Mol, the 16th day of Rhaan
After precious few days together, the time had finally come for us to depart our home once again. A messenger came early in the morning as we sat on the porch enjoying the wind as it rushed across the grasslands beyond our low fence. The poor messenger, a kitten not yet of age, approached with wide eyes, terrified of us. She opens the gate with a timid push. I resort to an old standby that I use to scare children: I cast Detect Magic so that my eyes glowed green and stare down at her from my porch. Sam elbows me in the ribs and beckons the girl, now cowering against the gate, to come nearer. The panicked kitten responded by tossing a package in our general direction and then vaulting over our fence and high-tailing it out of sight. Sam stood up to retrieve the package, being sure to kick me in the shin as she walked towards the gate. Oh well, I thought it was funny.
As we already knew, the package contained our new assignment. We were instructed to return to Stormreach and investigate rumours that some recently rescued castaways had sold directions to an Azlanti temple to the Wayfinders. Upon hearing this news my blood began to boil. I hastily gathered my gear and made the trek back to the city. As is our custom, Sam would leave the next day so no one would see us arrive together.
Having reached the high wall of Stormreach, I was greeted rather promptly by an overly excited Sasha. Still fuming – and not expecting to see her – I was taken off-guard. She ran forward to embrace me and bade me return with her to her room at the nearby Cult of Vol abbey. I obliged.
Though sparsely furnished, Sasha’s room features both a bed and exposed ceiling beams. It serves our needs quite nicely. Relaxing together in the late afternoon, I am in a much better mood having channeled my anger into a much more enjoyable outlet. Over afternoon tea, Sasha tells me that the dastardly Kreshton has been meeting with the Wayfinders via the treacherous Gelic. They have apparently been discussing the contents of several rubbings we had taken from the temples on Smuggler’s Shiv. More over, they had failed to disclose the outcome of translations to any of the other castaways. Worst of all, Pol – who had been behaving oddly since our rescue – was also involved. Sasha suggested that I return to reclaim my leadership role and lead any expedition to the Azlanti temple with herself and the Emerald Claw at my side. Careful to consider the implications of this plan, I feign rage, loudly announce that I will return later, and storm out the door. Just before leaving the room, I take a quick glance back and see Sasha nefariously smiling to herself as she reaches for her teacup. She is a tricky minx.
I head for the inner city and meet-up with Dadak. I ask him if he knows anything about the situation with Pol, Gelic and Kreshton. He tells me that some days ago, Kreshton and Pol had conspired with Gelic to get the sum total of our notes from Smuggler’s Shiv decoded by the Wayfinders. Having not invited Dadak to the proceedings, Kreshton and Pol were unable to benefit from his sage advice of having the translations undertaken by several sources in parts so that the true contents could be contained. Instead, the Wayfinders now possess a full transcript of the translations, and we have to take them at their word that they have provided us a real copy of said transcripts. At this point, my mind begins to struggle with the possibilities, blurred by my enraged state. Could Pol and Kreshton really be so stupid as to deliver these vital clues to an organization that they have no leverage over? Or are they in fact really so smart that they have outfoxed everyone and successfully conspired with a powerful guild that will protect them? In either event, I can see no reason to not be seething with anger, so I grab Dadak and storm off in search of them.
the Plot Thickens
We march at a hurried pace through the city streets towards their last known residence. Upon arrival, I regain my composure and ask very diplomatically about the rooms that Kreshton and Pol are staying in. Smirking with a knowing grin, the innkeeper informs me that Pol and Kreshton are actually rooming together in his reputable establishment. He asks slyly if they are up to no good, and I assure him that they almost certainly are. Since when had Pol and Kreshton become such good friends? The signs are looking more and more dubious with each new clue.
Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee
Calming myself with a few rounds of strong ale, twilight approaches. As the watchmen calls out the late hour, Kreshton and Pol enter the inn. They appear as conquering heroes, soaking up cheers and catcalls from the crowd, hailing them as the masters of the Shiv. I stand calm and resolute, approaching them with Dadak in tow. Surprised to see us, they stammer a greeting. Suppressing my deep desire to incinerate them both, I summon my most diplomatic self and ask for their version of the story I have heard on the streets. To no relief whatsoever, it turns out that my first theory about them was correct. Engaging in intrigues too big for their britches, they had unwittingly handed over the proceeds of our hard work – in their entirety – to the Wayfinders guild; with no leverage whatsoever to guarantee we received an accurate translation. For all we know, the transcript we possess may well lead us on a wild sphinx chase.
Nothing further to gain, I table our discussion until morning and head out-of-doors with Dadak. He cozies up in the stables for the night, while I take up residence in a large tree overlooking the inn. The ring enables me to keep watch almost the whole night through. Nobody interesting enters or leaves the inn this night.