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Fight in the Foundry
Day Three (cont.):
When the BotCM disappeared into the sewers, the party (Kref & Cross) in particular got a bit fired up. Cross pondered sending a righteous storm down into the sewers, but thought better of it. Needing to blow off some steam, the party opted to search out Henrick Mendon in his home... because when your upset, it's always best to barge into a strangers home and start to ask him about his recent behavior. Cross went into inquisitor mode and got all up in the grill of one of the Mistwatch... as Brom Angus (Knight Captain of the Mistwatch) looked on. Brom didn't take it well and he and Cross had a bit of a verbal "to do." Calmer heads prevailed and the party was shuffled off with directions to Mendon's home.

When the unsuspecting Mendon opened his door, Kref barged past him and made himself right at home. Put his feet up on the coffee table, set his Chaos Sphere on an endtable and made with the questions. Outnumbered, but understandably put out, Mendon was very reluctant to answer any questions. Taking up the better part of valor, Mendon told the party hid had a new lady friends named Sarah. He'd been in a good mood lately (which most people consider strange behavior for him) because of her. "And would you please get out of my house now. Thank you very much." The party determined this was all Mendon had to tell and they left him rattled, but unharmed.

As they made their way back to the market tavern, several party members (in a downright flurry of effective spot checks) noticed several shadowy figures making their way down a drain pipe while passing a gunny sack between them. Deciding to trail them, Winter Cherry wolfed out and Caledon slipped into the shadows. The shadowy figures (numbering 9 at best guess) made their way towards the iron works. About 100 feet outside the ironworks some clumsy sneaking alerted the, let's call them thieves, to the party's presence. Two crossbowmen turned to cover the street and the rest of gang fled in to the Ironworks.

With the gig up, the party charged. Winter Cherry got there first and proceeded to gnaw on archer. Everyone else beat feet and entered the Ironworks. As they entered the building, a figure ahead of them among the forges gestured and viscous webs appear to snare most of the party. Most of the party managed to avoid the net, but Cross in his "delicate" inquisitional garb, was held fast. The party then waded through the thieves like... well, like a fifth level party wading through 2 level rogues. During the melee, Caledon manged to execute the rogue's wet dream... Simultaneous, double, flanking, critical hits. It was pretty wicked. In short order, Xirew turned several dagger wielding rogues into bloody mist. Val made a herioc lunge, sucked a burning hands, and... successfully grappled the mage. This not only kept the rest of the party from sucking more spells, it provided an interrogatee.

With a read mind and Zone of truth spell in place, the interrogation began. With the mage's mind was too clouded to read, he's seemed unable (much to the DM's chagrin) to lie. With a series of well thought out questions, here's waht the party learned.
  • The mage's name was Gulik.
  • A man named Devlin is in charge of the guild.
  • There is another guild mage named Karse.
  • Gulik knew of Thurf, but didn't really know him.
  • There's an entrance to the guild in the basement of the ironworks.
  • There are other entraces to the guild in the sewers.

After several questions were asked, Gulick seemed again to be uniclined to be cooperative. The thieves appear to have stolen a set of china and some works of art from their last victim. The party also pilfered Gulik's person and came up with a magic ring, a potion, a scroll of confusion, a scroll of haste, and his spell book.

Now the night is getting late, the Ironworks is full of bodies (the party wisely pulled the corpses out of the street), and terror is still losse in the Grey Citadel.

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Midsummer - Not exactly how I thought it would start
I come slowly, languorously to consciousness. I'm loathe to open my eyes, so I keep them closed for the moment. I inhale deeply and smell the sent of a man and of herbs and rich earth. Mmmm.... this bed's sooo comfortable, and I'm so drowsy... I could just snooze a bit longer... I stretch languidly and realize something's not quite right. I roll to my other side. I can't feel the bed sheets beneath me... No wonder. I'm still dressed. That's odd. I chance to open my eyes a bit. I'm inside a small sparsely furnished cottage. I see a glowing statue of some kind, but my eyes are too blurry to make out what it is. The windows are shuttered and let in practically no light. My eyes shift to the door to find Agnor sitting upright and dozing. Where am I? How the hell did I get here?

I work my way into a sitting position and swing my legs over the side of the bed. My arm is intensely sore, and my head aches from a hair pin that must have been poking me in the head all night. Unsure of what to do, I sit for a moment to get my bearings. Soon enough, the door opens and in walks a tall man in flame colored robes and black hair. Agnor stirs and rises as the man approaches. As the man moves closer, a hint of recognition dawns on me. "Pale? Where am I? What happened?"

"You're here at my cottage," he replies, "You were attacked, and I gave you a sleeping draught to help you rest."

I vaguely remember the attack, but it sends a chill down my spine nonetheless. I shake my head, trying to clear it. "Why are you dressed like that?"

"It's my Midsummer robe," he replies.

Midsummer! I should be out there washing my face with Midsummer dew, but from the looks of the light pouring through the open door, I've already missed it... Disappointment sinks like a stone in my chest. "I've got a performance today. I've got to get home and get cleaned up."

Pale reaches out his hand while saying words of magic and touches a stray strand of hair that had worked it's way loose during the night. I feel fingers of magic smooth my frazzled hair. I reach out and touch my hair. It's clean. I smile up at him. "You're quite handy to have around, but I know that trick too." I hum a little tune and the wrinkles fall from my clothing. "Prestidigitation can only do so much though. I still feel dirty."

Before I can say another word Pale asks, "Why wasn't your body guard with you when you left the Whore's guild last night?"

Somewhat taken aback at the change, I reply, "Agnor wasn't comfortable with going to the Whore's Guild, so I left him to wait for us in the common room at the Forge and Furnace."

"Well, he needs to get over being uncomfortable! What good is a body guard if he's not with you!?"

I straighten. I'm not about to be lectured! "It's not like I knew they'd kick us out into a back alley! Plus, what I do with my body guard is none of your business! Come on, Agnor. Let's go home." I grab my fan from my belt, flick it open, and leave the cottage.

What the hell's his problem anyway?

____________________________________________________


I complained all the way home about not getting to sleep in the forest Midsummer's Eve. "And to make things worse, I had to wake up at Pale's house and get lectured as soon as I wake up for not having my body guard with me..." I continue on venting as the conveyance drives, and Agnor looks more and more shame faced as I complain. "All I wanted to do was to wake up with the sunshine beaming down on me, and wash my face with the Midsummer dew, but no!" Agnor explains that he needs to go get his medicine, and I call for the coach to stop and let him out. I continue on home sullen, folding and unfolding my fan.

I arrive back at my room and clean myself up and change. I practice my lute for a while and do some vocal scales to warm up my voice. I eventually stop to brew myself some tea when a knock comes on the door. A young girl is standing on my door step holding a basket. "Happy Midsummer!" she cries. I smile and thank the girl and take the basket inside. A small wreath of flowers surrounds a bottle labeled "Midsummer's Dew." I reach for the tag on the basket to find a message scrawled, "I know you wanted the real thing, but I hope this will do until next year." On the tag is a small sketch of a sword. Agnor. I smile as I read the tag. He really didn't have to do that. It does make me feel a bit better though.

Noon rolls around and I find myself in the main square warming up my fingers with a quick Zaldanan tune. I scan the crowd and see Pale still in his Midsummer robe and black hair sitting at a table enjoying a beer. I see Cassandra at another table enjoying several beers and talking loudly. Performance time comes and I perform Cartouche with the band. I somehow manage a few Zaldanan dance steps while I play and sing. A few more festival songs later and my set is done. I bid the other musicians goodbye and buy some garlands from a nearby cart. I feel badly for arguing with Pale earlier especially after how kind he was to me last night. I make my way over to Pale and place a garland about his neck and pull him close. I kiss one cheek and then the other. While I'm still by his ear I whisper, "Thank you for the sleeping draught last night. It really helped."

I pull away and Pale smiles, "You're welcome."

I stop for a moment to consider his appearance. The robes are nice, but the hair... I guess it's more of a visceral response. I don't like it. "You know, I really like the new robes, but I wish you had kept your hair white."

"Well, this is the color hair I had as a child."

"Really? Well, I still think the white suits you better. It's quite beautiful."

"Well, it wouldn't be white if it weren't for my father..." I look at him quizzically. "It's a story for another time," he replies.

"Very well. I've got to get going though. More garlanding to do!" I turn and head over to Cassandra.

I garland her but I don't do the ceremonial kiss. She's so far into the cups that I'm afraid she'll think I'm hitting on her. I clap her on the back and leave her to her drinking. Soon enough I happen across Cervil. He has so many garlands about his neck that I wonder if another will fit. One way to find out! One garland and one ceremonial kiss later, and I can say I've kissed a prince! haha!

One last garland left... I find Agnor standing at the agreed upon location. "Agnor!" I wave my arms wildly to get his attention in the crowd. He finally sees me and walks over. "Bend down, Agnor! I've got something for you!" He bends down and I garland him and kiss him on each cheek.

He blushes, "I... I didn't think to get one for you..."

I grin up at him, "There's no need. I got the best Midsummer gift earlier today. Someone gave me some Midsummer Dew." I throw my arms around his neck and give him a big hug. "Thank you, Agnor!"

He straightens looking slightly embarrassed but pleased, "I was hoping you'd like it."

"I do! Well, come on, let's get some drinks and enjoy the festivities!" Agnor and I wander off to find a table and listen to some more music. We spend the afternoon eating, drinking, dancing, and singing. Agnor finally seems to drop his guard and loosen up around me. As the sun is setting, he leans across the table, "I know that people tend to pair up on Midsummer night and head off to... you know..." He blushes again. "I wouldn't mind it if you found someone to take back home tonight."

"Really? And where would you go? It's not like you've got anywhere else to stay, and I guarantee you all the inns are booked up by now!"

Agnor scratches his head, he obviously had not thought about that, "Well, I guess I could sleep outside your room tonight."

My jaw drops. It's absolutely the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. "What!? N... No! I can't have you just sleeping outside my door while I'm in there doing... that!" Then the hilarity of it hits me. I start laughing... and laughing... and laughing... I lay my head on the table in an attempt to calm myself. "I can just see it now!" In my best Agnor voice I say, "No sir, you may not leave just yet. You have not satisfied the lady." I continue to laugh and this time Agnor starts laughing with me. I calm down and wipe the tears from my eyes, "Oh, gods! That was better than sex! I haven't laughed like that in a long time! Aleth will be so jealous!" I sigh and regain my composure, "No, Agnor, I'm not going to worry about that tonight. Let's just you and me go watch the fireworks instead."

Agnor finds a nearby shop that has closed for the night and boosts me up to the rooftop and then climbs up behind me. As we sit watching the fireworks, Agnor cautiously slips his arm around my shoulder, and I scoot closer and lean my head against his shoulder. "This has turned out to be a really great Midsummer despite the way it started off." Agnor nods. He opens his mouth and then closes it and then looks down. "What is it, Agnor?"

"I... I could be your Midsummer date if you like."

"Agnor, you know I don't expect you to do that."

"But I want to."

I look him in the eyes. He's definitely sober. "Well, if that's what you want, then that's different... but I want you to understand something first. I don't have relationships. That's not what I want."

Agnor pauses, "Why don't you want that?"

"Relationships only serve to tie a person down. Isn't it better that we enjoy each other as a free man and woman?"

Agnor looks thoughtful for a while, "I guess that makes sense..."

"Tell you what, I'll just let you think about it." I lean back against his shoulder and we watch the remaining fireworks in silence.

As the fireworks die, Agnor hops down from the roof, and helps me down. We head back home to the guild hall and up to my room. I begin taking the hair pins out of my hair letting it fall out of its up do. "So, Agnor, did you come to a decision?" Without a word, strong hands slide across my hips and pull me close.

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How Garr sees things
This is my time. All of my companions are here in my land, my home, my.... tarnished paradise. Will they stick with me past what their mission calls for? Or will they go back to their kingdom?

Hmm.

Titus has always done what is right. It might not have been the easiest thing to do, but he has pulled from deep within to do his duty to the Empire, even at odds with it's current ruler. His mind for tactics exceeds mine easily. When I would just fly at the nearest opponent, he takes time to set up the best blows.

Balthasar strikes me as odd now. Before, I understood him. I was there before. A brooding man wanting revenge. Maybe not as deeply as him, but I felt in nonetheless. As for his ability to stick with me past the current mission, I believe that he will. Although I hold no love for his Queen, and She for me, there is no hatred between the Mistress of Death and I. Nor is there any between Balthy and I either. Besides, I have a feeling he has a larger role to play here soon. In battle, it almost seems that he is more reckless than I, but his risks are calculated and have ended up saving our whole group from time to time.

Gaelen the Bane of Wyrms seems to also have a strong heart to do what is right. He seemed..... displaced with his own people, but at home here with our ragtag band. Although he does bear the title of Leader of the Eastwatch, I still believe that his heart wanders to wider places. More than what the Watch could ever provide for him. His bow is true, and it almost seems that his prowess with it comes from somewhere deeper than himself. He kills with no passion or remorse. Maye it is because he ends life from afar that he does this, maybe it is because he's just a heartless bastard. Either way, I would not want to be opposite his fletching.

Tristan. Poor misguided Tristan. I see rage in him. No, not rage. Recklessness. He thinks that the blade never lies, that we betrayed his father. His rage is unguided. Rage without a purpose is waste. IF he feels a way, then feel it fully! Let the rage consume your whole body, not just your mind! His father struggled with that all consuming rage and channeled to his own bidding, so I know there is a stong mind in that bloodline.

I have a feeling that Tristan would go to the endless desert and back to prove himself to us, so I see no reason that he would not join me in what I need to do. If he doesn't get slain first.
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People Muse
Norman Simpson, Lone Star Detective
Crime scene clean up is always messy. On the plus side, the bigger the mess, the easier it is to tell who did it.

From what we can tell, it looks like a team of four individuals hit this facility. As far as we know, it looks like an act of mercy. Fifteen sedated people in a dormitory, and two operating rooms. From the notes we've found in the computer system, it looks like this was an illegal clinic stocked with unwilling patients. One patient dead on the operating table, from massive trauma directly to the brain.

The security footage is encrypted, and being sent over to the Computer Forensics lab for decryption. We should have a clearer view of what happened here in a day or two.

Claude Birmingham, Petty Thief
I love smash and grab jobs, but this one was extra sweet because I got to blackjack an elf. They're the worst, you know. They almost look human, but aren't. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all taking orders from Tir Tairngire.


Jens Larsen
I haven't been able to find a job in over a week, thanks to that old wrinkled troll. So what if I was taking her medication - she filled the prescriptions and didn't use them anyways! Better that I sell them and get a cut than let them go to waste.

I'm sick of this shit. Real humans shouldn't be put out by freaks. I'm going to the next Humanis meeting and talking to Claude, and maybe we can work something out. Trolls aren't supposed to live to be old anyways.
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Pointer-left Black_man_bus_suit_thumb

van illa
Posted in ShadowSEA
Project Magnolia: Mission Log Entry 1
11:35 - Debrief on contact, Delphi

11:47 - Delphi reports operatives will contact me

12:01 - Operatives request live meeting. I suggest Blue Nile. David Shalis, culture columnist of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, praised the authentic ethnic quisine, spirit of preservation, and subdued atmosphere.

12:30 - Spirit of preservation was correct. Blue Nile's furniture was mostly woven, lighting low, smoking allowed. They compromised on background music as it was more wholly African than distinctly Ethiopian. I recall hearing an mbira. Mixed clientele.

12:45 - 2 of 3 operatives arrive. A troll - wearing sweatpants, a stained t-shirt, and a scowl. A cyborg - a pile of scars and metal. A rigger - represented by a manservant, wearing a suit from this season's Versace line. This is bad news. The nouveau riche are moving in on one of my favorite labels. I may have to see a tailor soon.

12:50 - The menu, in a purist spirit, is limited. I was expecting some variations. I order kitfo and sherry. The cyborg accepts wine. The troll opts for bourbon.

12:53 - Introductions. Troll - Mucha. Cyborg - Nicodemus. Rigger - Xenotrope. Operatives inquire of my abilities. Certain parties in the room are taking notice of my company. So instead of saying, hey, my body shares a special relationship with the forces of nature, I just give all interested parties Jimmy Carter. Want something to see? Check out black Jimmy Carter.

13:05 - Mission brief. The team is to investigate organ leggers and possible connections to ghost cartels. They have reason to believe the leggers will compromise patients from a list of hospitals.

13:25 - I accept the mission. The waiter, returning, asks about my potato farm. I correct him as Jimmy Carter had a peanut farm. I try my best and give a smile that says, "Hey, he's not black either. You can't be right all the time, you know?" The presentation of the kitfo was strikingly simplistic. The statement here is, the flavor is the star. It wasn't bad, admittedly. The injera was a steadfast accomplice and shouldn't be under-appreciated.

13:43 - I pay and leave. I can't come back lest someone start asking questions.

14:20 - Operatives and myself arrive at the decided location, a hospital. The plan: The hacker gins me up an identity as a doctor, I shift face to match, the cyborg poses as a patient (who later is transferred after a paper switch). So I enter the hospital, getting a 10k signing bonus. The rigger is good to know. I can't avoid some nurse or administrator or something named Sherry or Cheri or Cheryl or something. Looked around the hospital for a patient chair. Promised Cheryl a date to get rid of her. Found chair, stimpacks, and gauze.

16:15 - Met up with operatives. Lonestar tells me I owe parking tickets. Mucha stays in the lobby. I give him paperwork to make him looks like he belongs. I admit cyborg personally. The troll's depression seems like liability. I'm betting he'd cheer up a little if he were to start choking everyone in the waiting room. I buy a candy bar and give it to him. It didn't seem to help, so I wrote him a script for SSRIs.

17:30 - I can't avoid Cheryl in the lobby. Looks like I have to take her out. I've got time to kill.

18:45 - Kitfo again. What I really want is horse, but I don't have time to make reservations, nor do I care to stray to far from the mission site. Cheryl confides her life in me. It would be fun to stage a love affair and blackmail her with evidence from the right surveillance drones. Then I could laugh and go, "Ha HA! I ruined your life because you're boring!" I'll just leave her with the check.

19:30 - Back at the hospital. The cyborg and I run through transport procedure provided by the tech guy.

21:30 - Transport. Nobody at the DocWagon seemed suspicious. I played the chauvinist doctor for them. They bought it and liked it.

21:37 - Switched to tactical gear at the car. The troll and I established and maintained vehicle contact with the DocWagon. Followed South.

23:45 - DocWagon with operative pursued dirt path to a facility - Central Processing 4.

01:10 - The Cyborg's cover is compromised. The troll and hacker use high explosive grenades and power outage respectively to confuse and demoralize OPFOR.

01:20 - OPFOR neutralized. From the fighting, I recover a sub-machine gun. Ballistic shield is trashed. I need another.

01:25 - Operatives interrogate doctors and office workers about links to narcotics operations. Subject, Bob Newhart, is among those taken by the leggers. When I found him, the troll and cyborg were there. I do not doubt the troll killed him.

01:47 - All witnesses neutralized. Lonestar is called to clean up.
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