A Game of Thrunes

Exploring the Sewers
Session 07

• Rufus heard his door knock several times but nobody was there before his friends arrived for lunch (they were Dottari, but old school and honest like Rufus).
• They said the Lord Mayor had brought in his own loyalists into the guard and was spreading them out into all units.
• They were told not to bother investigating the latest murder, which they suspected matched the previous ‘Slasher’ murders.
• One of them volunteered to find out the details, and Rufus suggested speaking to Tayacet, an investigator who showed interest in the murders.

• Gaian is not getting many people taking his tours anymore.
• He has however noticed that there are a lot more Dottari on the streets these days.
• The common folk are talking about a boat race that took place on the river, nothing of major consequence seems to be being talked about.
• His eye is caught, however, by a mask on a dummy being used by a crossbow merchant. It seems to have an unnatural attraction for him (it is a Battlemask).
• To the point he sets several fires around the crossbow merchant’s stall, causing a large commotion during which he casually removes the mask and secrets it upon himself before departing the scene of his crime.

• Keldor is visiting the Red Roof Market, Kintargo’s well renowned clothing district.
• Rubbing the thumbprint on his forehead, he is sent shopping for spell components by Evalyn, looking for mica chips and bat fur to be precise.
• Keldor is handed a bunch of roses. And a note. It read: My Dear Children, know that you are not alone. My flock will rise up – but not yet. Until then prepare, recruit, build. Rose of Kintargo.
• DM NOTE: this didn’t come out in session, but Gaian and Brother Vaelus tells the group that the Rose of Kintargo is the name of a secret cult of Milani, goddess of hope and uprising.
• The message seemed to urge patience and preparation.

• Bug finds he needs not be concerned about the curfew; his skills let him roam where he wishes.
• The Halfling has begged for time off from working at Belor’s so he can visit his eyes and ears. They have been faithfully spreading the word of the Children.
• A criminal by the name of Three finger wants to meet with Bug
• Bug has decided to give his urchins a project: sniffing out the traitor. The focus should be the other staff at the dance hall.
• Bug goes to meet Three Fingers – a member of the Red Jills.
• Bug tries to sneak up on the man, but is wildly unsuccessful, and 3F seems unimpressed.
• The meeting is for the dividing up of turf, the Red Jills don’t want encroachment, they want clear boundaries. East of Veritas Plaza should be Red Jills turf.

• Aroldo prepares to go to Belor’s Beer Hall after five days of laying low.
• Alaria has been staying with Aroldo, coming to terms with what has happened to her. The girl is upset now that she will have a distinct lack of opportunity to ply her main trade, but she’s now thinking of other opportunities. She’s been writing letters and poetry.
• On his journey to Belor’s Aroldo has to cross the bridge across the river. He’s a little nervous, he’s moving a large amount of mint.
• The guards stop him, and in an uncharacteristic fit of nerves, he drops his toll on the road, instead of placing it simply in the hands of the guard.
• The wizard panics, but a decent bribe does the trick, getting the sweaty big man across the bridge with his precious cargo.
• The wizard makes several stops, one at Cinnamon Treat, the other at Fine Flowers.
• He ends his journey at Belor’s, and finds the ‘usual crowd’ there, plus Rexus.

• Rexus has the mithril key that Aroldo gave him.
• Rexus asked the group what they thought their goals were, their end-game.
• The group had a long and passionate debate. Everyone seemed to be pining for days gone past, where Kintargo was just mostly left alone by the rest of the Empire, but those days seemed to be gone forever, only independence for Kintargo would get the people the freedoms they deserved.
• The group compiled a list of the people that knew of the secret hide out: The Party; Rexus, Lentius and brother Vaelus; Pavo; Smiling Sen and Mercia
• And then a list of the people that knew of Belor’s: Alaria; The Jollytime Girls; Bug’s boys; perhaps the upstairs prostitutes
• The group then decided on some actions that needed to be taken:
o Question Alaria
o Go to the Records Hall to seek information on Hocum’s
o Find the traitor
o Explore the sewers
• The group also discussed the events around Pavo’s flight and Alaria’s capture and wondered about the man with the withered arm that pointed the finger. He was remembered as Marcel Aulorian.
• The group decided to investigate the sewers as their next objective.

The Sewers
• They recovered their raft and began explorations; the sewers mostly followed old roads and the like, Kintargo having been raised up and built over, the sewers being what remains of the old Kintargo.
• The thought occurs to find a map somewhere of Old Kintargo, which may help reveal secrets of the sewer ways.
• The group decided to head in the direction of the Livery; with Keldor leading the way, as the Tiefling can see in the dark.
• A rotting smell, noticeable over the normal rank aroma of the sewers becomes obvious as the group moves on.
• Keldor advances further and finds the smell comes from the giant rotting body of a moth, most likely a Carrion Moth, given its size and location in the sewers
• The group noted that there were slime trails all around the body, but seeing no alternative, begun moving past.
• The group were then attacked by a larval slime crawler, which was quickly dispatched, but the noise drew the attention of its brood mates, which also were dealt with.
• Further down the path on the way to the livery, the group encountered another obstruction, a pile of crates and debris, which required climbing over.
• Gaian and Keldor decide to climb over, both end up falling down a pit that was on the other side of the blockage.
• The group was then attacked by a man sized bug like creature with sickles for hands and a spider’s face – an Ettercap.
• After a struggle where Rufus and Aroldo were covered in webs, and Keldor had difficulty climbing out of a pit, the Ettercap was forced to flee from the strength of the band.
• The group then stumbled upon three priests of Asmodeus, they were observed trying to decide on a direction to head, they discussed looking for a way to the monastery.
• It was decided to attack the group stealthily, Bug leading the way.
• Bug momentarily seemed to have lost his mojo, and was easily spotted. He pretended to be someone addled in the wits department, and approached the men asking for ‘Shineys’
• This enabled Bug to get close enough to attack quickly (DM NOTE: I probably should not have allowed the sneak attack without some sort of Bluff check, a fail meaning the cleric realised Bug was attacking and normal initiative rolled to start combat)
• The men were overcome, with one being left alive for questioning.
• The priest revealed he had been sent down here to kill kobolds that infest this part of the sewers, and that the monastery was dedicated to Aerenwae (DM NOTE: LOL!! Someone got game worlds confused. It should be Irori, the god of enlightenment, self-perfection, knowledge, healing, and inner strength. His religion is a bit like fantasy Buddhism. He’s also the god of Brother Vaelus).
• The group then located what seemed to be the entrance to the temple of Asmodeus, and decided to return home.
• When they returned, Rufus caught Smiling Sen reading the notes of a sleeping Rexus.
• When interrogated, Sen gave a story that a talking rat told him to look through the papers. The voice had also told him to send a letter to the Dottari, detailing suspicions.
• The voice seemed womanly. It had mentioned something about a ‘contract’.
• Sen also had a note on him, which read:_ Lord Sarini, You have something I want, and I know something you will find very profitable. Please come to the dance hall known as Belor’s Beerhall in Old Kintargo. I promise you won’t regret it. Regards, B._

The Varied Thought of Gaian Vespinus 5

So, Alaria is holed up with this Aroldo guy.

So it seems. Of course, that’s what we assumed when the others lost her during the rescue.

Incompetants! That wasn’t part of the plan!

No, but it wasn’t unwelcome. We still rescued her and made Thrune look somewhat foolish, you got to promote yourself and the rebellion briefly, and then as an added bonus we didn’t have to worry about Alaria. Even if she were discovered she couldn’t lead them back to us.

But now not only can she trace back to us, she’s brought yet another bumbling oaf in with her. With all the failures around us so far, he’s sure to be a liability.

That’s a bit harsh, he’s apparently a wizard. He must at least be reasonably smart. And other than Pavo, who to be honest I’m tired of you harping on about, what other failures around us?

Seriously? They were supposed to take Alaria to the Livery, not hand her over to some unknown person!

From what I’ve heard there’s not much they could have done to avoid that. They didn’t exactly invite him in.

Fine, but what about Rufus setting those smoke bombs off early? You would have thought a former dottari could at least follow basic orders, but now it seems he butchers plans as well as dogs.

Ah, so now we come to your real gripe. You’re still pissed off that not everyone was watching you on stage.

Three loyalists! That’s all they sent after me. Those dottari should all have been after me. And the Hellknights!

Well, there was the harrower until she saw through your disguise and dismissed you as inconsequential. And maybe more would have followed if they could have actually seen you. But I think it worked nicely. You certainly made an impression with the loyalists, and the fact that you didn’t kill any dottari helps to support the fact that you are against Thrune, not against the city.

Perhaps. Maybe I should reinforce that, hunt a few loyalists down.

I think we have more important things to do for now, don’t you?

Of course. We need to find out where this Aroldo lives. I can search his place, look for any evidence of his trustworthiness.

I’d be inclined to agree if I believed that was truly your intent. But I’m not that stupid. I will not allow you to assassinate Alaria.

You’re a fool! She’s served her purpose, now she is nothing but risk to us. They had her locked up for days, do you really think they don’t have a strand of hair or drop of blood they can use to scry for her? Much harder to do with the crocodile digesting her.

If they do it will take them to Aroldo, and hopefully he can deal with it. I think we have some questions we need to ask Alaria. Starting with the night Pavo ran.

Hah, you don’t really think she’s the Poison Pen do you?

It seems unliklely, though not impossible. But assuming she’s not the Poison Pen, she may still have planted the poem on Pavo, which means she may well know who the Poison Pen is, or at least have a means to contact them. The Poison Pen could be a valuable ally of the Children of the Ash to help spread our message. And if it wasn’t her, then why did Lord Aulorian point his withered finger in her direction? What did he have to gain? And if nothing else, we need to know what sorts of questions were asked of Alaria while she was being held, and what she told them.

So I’m not allowed to hunt loyalists, and not allowed to tidy up the Alaria situation. What exactly do you suggest I do then?

Well, it would be useful to further explore the sewer network so we can make use of it to come and go. Rexus believes we have a traitor in our midst. Then there’s the rumour of Newt having magical items up for sale, which in itself is less interesting than the “fact” that he took them from the Nidalese Embassy. I thought Nidal had somewhat of an alliance with the Thrunes, why have they left?

All sounds a bit dull to me, more your interests than mine, although let me know when you find this traitor. Anything else more suited to me?

Well, there is one thing that only you could do that may help immeasurably.


Practice your knife throwing.

Fuck off.

Decoding the Documents Pt 3

Rexus looks around and lowers his voice, as if the traitor could be eavesdropping even though the room is empty. “These meetings make me nervous,” he smiles in the candlelight. “Listen, I’ve been thinking. Now that we have gone public, the people of Kintargo will be wondering who the Children of the Ash are, what they stand for. We should be prepared to answer those questions. I know we each have our own reasons, but outwardly we need to be united. This is important if we’re to find new recruits. Already these Happytime Girls—”

“Jollytime,” Titus interrupts.

“Yes, Jollytime Girls, seem to have joined for their own reasons, to take back what was theirs. I’m happy to have them on our side, but we need to ensure our recruits are joining for the right reasons. We need to all be on the same page.

“And speaking of pages…” Rexus pushes a small stack of papers across the table. “I have translated all but the last few documents recovered from the Livery. Many are of interest from a purely historical perspective but won’t benefit us at this moment. What I have learnt which might be of more use is that the Silver Ravens were said to be able to use something called the ‘Song of Silver’ to defend Kintargo. Unfortunately there isn’t any information as to what the Song of Silver is. We should try to discover anything we can about it. Was it actually a song? Considering the next piece of information, it may have been: the Silver Ravens maintained their headquarters in the Kintargo Opera House.”

The room is silent as those around the table wonder if it is simply coincidence that Barzillai Thrune set up his own headquarters in the same place…

Happenings at Home

Returning to my home, I enter to find my house surprisingly empty. Considering how much I have been away lately I am not surprised. Thinking out loud “Winifred and Tyrell must be next door with mother”. I took off my boots and hung up my cloak and started to make my way to the fire to get the house warm for the night. Not before returning the coins to the lock box beneath the floor boards under the Tyrell’s crib.

As I replaced the boards however, there was a loud bump from above. Quickly grabbing my sword I swiftly made my way up the stairs, half expecting some Dottari to be present and holding my wife and child hostage so as I would go peacefully. To my surprise though, there was no-one present, what I did find though was a picture of my late father on the floor. I slowly walked over to the picture and picked it up.

“Hello, Rufus”. Came a call from downstairs, it seemed my assumption was correct as Winifred’s voice came drifting up the stairs to meet my ears, soon to be followed by the crying of young Master Tyrell. I quickly returned the picture frame to its normal location and made my way downstairs.

Greeting me with open arms and handing my Tyrell, my wife seemed very tired. “Tyrell is sick, he has a fever and has been crying all day. Your mother and I have called on the doctor who came and gave him something to help ease the pain and help him sleep”. “Well what did the doctor say was wrong with him, nothing serious is it, if so we should take him to see a healer?” “No, nothing serious, see how he is grabbing his ear, well the doctor believes that he just has an ear infection and that it will just need to get better with some rest”. “Being the first time that he has gotten sick, I suppose that I was just over worried”, Winifred reassured me with her calming smile.

“Well, whatever it was that he gave him, it seems to have done the trick as he is fast asleep”. “That must be a miracle, as he said it wouldn’t take affect for another hour, and he has just left. We were lucky to get him out actually being so close to the stupid curfew”. “Maybe I have the magic touch? Let me just put him down to rest”.

“So what is for dinner then Wini”? Giving me a look, of what did you just ask me, I quickly retrieved the leg of ham and loaf of bread, which I had picked up earlier. “Sit down, honey I can see that you have had a rough day”. I then proceeded to tell her about my day, well the bits that she needed to know anyway. About the failed excruciation and the escape of the poison pen of Kintargo. She was very happy about that, as she was an avid follower of the poison pen, to which I replied that I only knew about her when she was recently caught by the authorities. She didn’t need to know the full details of what I am up to, after all she will only worry and try and talk me out of it. After dinner she offered to clean up, so I went upstairs to retrieve my sword which I had left up there earlier.

Upon opening the door, I was shocked. My father’s sword was on the ground pointing directly at the picture which was once again on the floor. I froze and looked around to find that the windows were still closed and latched from the inside and that I was alone. A chill ran up my spine and the stillness was broken by the sudden wailing of Tyrell from down stairs.

The Rescue
Session 06

The group begins by finalising the plan for Alaria’s rescue.

Before the rescue can begin, Dottari come to Belor’s Beer Hall demanding to speak to the owner. Titus presents himself to the guard, who inform him that they have reports of suspicious activities happening at the bar and that they have a warrant to search the premises.

Rufus being experienced in such matters examines the warrant, and finds it in perfect order.

The search is methodical and the guard leave no stone unturned and everyone grows nervous when the Dottari eye the area around the secret door leading to the hideout for some time, almost as if they knew it was there.

They did eventually leave without issue, but the mood among the Rebellion leadership was tense. There was discussion that perhaps Pavo had been caught and divulged what he knew under torture, or perhaps Alaria gave the them enough information to lead them to Belor’s? Deciding they may never be able to find out, the group decided to play normal for the rest of the evening and follow their usual routine.

The mood grew even more tense later that night when a man smoking a pipe seemed to be keeping the Beer Hall under surveillance.

The next day the group decides to explore the sewers, hoping to find a path to the Courthouse that the Excruciation will be occurring in front of. Along one of the main tunnels in the sewers, this formed a kind of river. To the group’s surprise a Halfling appeared on a raft and using a pole to propel himself along.

Appearing harmless enough, the group approached with a friendly demeanour and the Halfling was happy enough to reciprocate. He claimed to be known as “Dimples” and was nothing but a simple ferry man. Further conversation revealed some details of the sewers including where the main outlet exited.

Leaving the Halfling behind to continue on their mission they were able to find a path to the Courthouse and they took some time to set some traps in the sewer.

The plan was:

  • Titus in the Courthouse
  • Bug under the stage
  • Rufus up front
  • Keldor and Gaius near the front, but off to the side

Being marched up to the stage, Alaria was forced to humiliate herself further by reading out poetry:

Alaria’s Last Performance
Hello citizens you might know me, I am the Poison Pen
I’m glad you could come join me to see things to the end
On this most fortuitous day I hereby renounce my wicked ways
And admit there is a price to pay
(excruciator chains her to post)

I caused the riot at the park, peace of the city I destroyed
I killed the salt workers after dark, their screams I enjoyed
I wrote seditious essays, incited riots with poems and plays
Please show your gratitude in the usual way
(crowd boos and throws fruit)

My pen tried to lead astray, cause chaos and upheaval
The people of this fair city I plagued with words of evil
But now my penance will begin, scrub these ink stains from my skin
And let blood wash away my sins
(excruciator pours a bucket of blood red ink all over, plastering her hair etc)

(spitting blood ink from her mouth)
My pen was sharper than the knife, or this is what I thought
Now I beg for my life for the evil that I wrought
So as I kneel upon the ground (forced down), I ask you all to gather round
(voice breaks) Now Guard, release the hounds
(hounds unleashed snapping at her arms and face)

The Rescue
Performers used smokebombs

Rescued Alaria

Got chased through the sewers, barely escaped the witchypoo in orange and red. Throwing cards of doom. Smart girl, realised Mojo was a distraction. Black Tentacles!

Titus recruited some lady half orcs, they called their band the Jollytime Girls.

Have made a semi ally in the form of the Hellknight looking into Shensen’s disappearance, he wants to talk to Alaria not handing her over or punishing her either. Sir Rogatus.

Otyugh dude!

We have a traitor, who caused the cave in and possibly alerted the Dotari about the secret entrance.

The friend of Alaria, who may have been extremely overconfident in thinking he could even contemplate rescuing Alaria solo, introduced himself as Aroldo. He seemed slightly surprised to bump into Rexus, even though he had been looking for him, somewhat, since the incident with Rexus’ mother. It turns out she had left a key with Aroldo to give to Rexus.

Aroldo also invited all present to consider his home their home, a large yet slowly crumbling manor in Villegre, a well to do portion of the city near the Alabaster Academy.

Deep Thoughts

So much has happened since the faithful evening, where for one of the first times in my life I attended the theatre. If I had known that it would be so exciting I might have attended before now. But maybe it isn’t always that exciting and maybe it was more of the after party which has left me wanting more?

Sure enough there were some strange cooks in attendance that night and it seemed that only the member of the Hell Knights that conversed with me seemed to be the only one of sound mind. He also was the only thing that interested me, instead of nauseating me. That was until “that poem”. It is amazing how quickly a few words can get someone in deep trouble, even if it isn’t their words.

To see the look of sheer terror in Pavo’s eyes, I have never seen him speechless before and now it seems that we will never get the chance to see it again. Having no answer for the inconvenient event, he high tailed it straight out of the city without looking back to find out that he was cleared of any wrong doing. Even the few remaining friends in the Dottari were not able to shed any light on his whereabouts. Hopefully he has made it out and not captured by the Mayor and his goons for I fear any penalties that Alaria may face would be worse for Pavo as they would be done in secret.

This brings me to young Alaria, I am a bit conflicted about her I must say. Surely she is a fighter for the people, but on the other hand she tried to frame Pavo. Or at least it looked that way, maybe she didn’t expect him to get caught with it, but then she didn’t step forward when he was accused either. So I am not entirely sure that we can trust her.

However the decision was made that we will try to rescue the now infamous poet and try to use her artistic ability to further the cause. I suppose every movement needs a focal point a face as such, even if it is only by appearance with no real power, while the children of the Ashes remaining founding members still pull all the strings. Surely she is a better choice that Gaian?

Gaian has become a worry as of late. Erratic behaviour where he doesn’t seem to be himself, half paying attention and half of the time somewhere else. How he convinced the majority of the group to attempt a rescue attempt in front of a potentially large and hostile crowd is beyond me. Once a dedicated family man, he seems to have forgotten the risk for his family if this scheme does not go our way and either he or all of us are caught. It would mean the end for all of our families if this happens. Innocent families.

It is because of this that I will ensure that I do this with the upmost caution. I will not be putting my family in harm’s way to try and save Alaria or one of our own, especially those who put themselves in unsafe situations and do not take heed of the surroundings. I think that I may have some options available to me to ensure that we get the best result with this plan. But in the end if things look too risky, poor Alaria may have to meet her fate, after all we do these things at a risk.

Gaian's Opinion on Rescuing Alaria

“I wouldn’t be too concerned about what she knows of us,” Gaian says, leaning back in his chair with a bored expression. “She’s seen nothing to link us to Pavo beyond our normal daily association, and it was she that involved him in clandestine schemes initially, we had nothing to do with it. The only way I can see that she knows anything is if Pavo told her, which I wouldn’t put past the wretch. For all we know he gave her all the info on the rebellion then framed her as the Poison Pen to get it to the Thrunes while getting himself well away!”

As he finishes Gaian leans forward, his demeanour quickly changing, before relaxing back in his chair again.

“But no point worrying about that now, anything she thinks may help her she’s no doubt already thrown to the Inquisitors, and they haven’t come knocking yet.”

The erratic nature of Gaian in Nightswarm guise is slightly disconcerting to his companions, though perhaps less so than the overall change in identity; not only is the personality far removed from that of the enthusiastic and affable tour guide, his postures, movements, and speech are all just different enough to feel bizarre when associated with the familiar face. Indeed, when his face is covered it is at times difficult to identify this as the same person despite seeing the more familiar Gaian walk in and witnessing the change.

“So without any urgency on that front I think we can forget trying to trick or bribe anyone at the Holding House, those courses are too risky. Besides, we want to make a statement to the people of Kintargo, and if we spirit the Poison Pen away in clandestine fashion it is too easy for Thrune to claim some other cause for the excruciation to be cancelled.”

Nightswarm speaks more moderately now as he seeks to engage everyone, but becomes gradually more animated as he explains.

“So that leaves transit or Veritas Plaza. Of those the second is the better choice; although there is some degree of uncertainty as we do not know precisely what is planned, it is a far better forum for making our statement, and the crowd will make it easier for us to disappear with Alaria after. I have some thoughts as to how we can grab her and leave without any of you being at much risk of exposure to identification.”

Having said his piece he lapses back into apparent disinterest as he awaits a response.

Planning the Rescue

Titus closed the dance hall early this night – there were important matters to discuss. Tables were rearranged and chairs dragged up. Around the room were the extended members of the Children of the Ash – Titus and Bug, Gaian, Keldor and Rexus, Rufus, Lentius, Brother Vaelus, the Varisian performers, and the men recently rescued from the salt works. Notably absent was Pavo, whose whereabouts nobody was certain of; the group assumed he had fled the city. The loss hung heavily upon the rebels, though Gaian seemed to sneer “told you so” every time the bard was mentioned.

The tour guide had undergone a slight change, adopting the persona of Nightswarm to carry out his seditious activities. Bug had also changed, for the first time in his life he had a goal more than simply surviving another day. He was forming a network of spies and informers across the city, which fed him news from the people and government. His old potato sack had been replaced with breeches and vest; although he still dressed simply, his belt was heavy with coin to distribute among his followers.

“Let’s go over the information once more,” Lentius said. “Alaria is being held in the Holding House. It’s been recommissioned since Barzillai’s arrival, and a mid-ranking cleric of Asmodeus named Sabo is in charge. They call her the Spider, though we don’t know why. The Holding House is a strong, stone structure, heavily guarded.

“Our best opportunity may be to rescue her in transit. Alaria is due to be escorted from the Holding House to Veritas Plaza. That only gives us about a quarter of a mile of Old Kintargan streets. The escort will stick to the main streets. If we choose to attack the escort, we could use the side streets as cover.”

Rufus interrupts. “Usual prisoner movements requires a squad of six dottari as an escort. Important prisoners require more, possibly Hellknights.”

Lentius continues. “The Hellknights have set up scaffolding in front of the old court house at Veritas Plaza, where Alaria is due to excruciated – we don’t know how. Likely, she will then be sentenced to slavery, the place determined by what condition she is still in. We could attempt a rescue at the excruciation. There is likely to be high ranking officials present, and a crowd, which could play to our advantage. It will certainly be publicity.

“Finally, we could risk waiting until she is sentenced to slavery and then rescue her from wherever she is sent.”

Rexus clears his throat and takes over as Lentius takes a long draft of ale. “We always have the frontal assault option, but we could also try something a little more covert. Perhaps some kind of ruse. We could approach this Sabo, perhaps, see if she can be bought.”

Rufus nods. "We could try to forge prison transfer papers, I’ve seen them before, but approaching a professional to forge them would be better.”

“I don’t like our chances,” Lentius grimaces. “Somehow I don’t think it will be as easy as walking in and walking out.”

“Well we’d best decide quickly,” Rexus exclaims. “The longer we wait, the more chance there is that Alaria has pointed her finger at us. Although she doesn’t know about the Children of the Ashes, she would have to be blind not to realise something is up. At the very least, she could implicate us simply by association, or perhaps to help clear her own name.”

Decoding the Documents Pt 2

Where once neat handwriting told a tale of the Silver Ravens, the notes of Rexus have become almost illegible scrawl. The young man has bags under his eyes. Beside him, Brother Vaelus doses, head slumped on the table. “Yes, it is a wearying process,” Rexus admits, rubbing his face, "But we have made more progress.

“The heroes of their time, the Silver Ravens defended Kintargo from being conquered no fewer than a dozen times during the Chelish Civil War: five times from power-hungry noble families, four times from agents of Thrune, once from an invasion of skum from the sea, once from a cabal of Nidalese vampires, and once from a blue dragon named Rivozair.

“But despite this, the Silver Ravens had seen the proverbial writing on the wall—they knew House Thrune was likely to seize control, and had come to the difficult decision to surrender should this event come to pass, hoping to prevent Thrune from razing Kintargo. We believe the cache of treasure and documents hidden in the Fair Fortune Livery were intended to serve as a sort of time capsule, should Kintargo forget the Silver Ravens with the passage of time. As actually occurred.”

The Varied Thoughts of Gaian Vespinus 4

Well, that was interesting.
Enlightening, I’d say. Or maybe not, no real surprises there. Now get your wife home and then I’ll get us to Belor’s.
Of course, that’s where Pavo is most likely to go. We’ll meet him there.
Pavo? Fuck Pavo. We need to work out what we’ll do about Alaria.
I agree on Alaria, we need to rescue the poor girl. Pavo is probably already plotting a way to release her.
Pavo doesn’t know about Alaria, remember? Bolted at the first little hiccup. I told you he’d run as soon as things got tough.
I think you’re being a bit harsh on the lad. He was rather put on the spot.
And failed miserably. Even you would have had the balls to stick around and defend yourself. He was like a hare caught in sudden torchlight. Made of butter.
Torchlight made of butter?
A hare made of butter, smart-arse. Even if he does come, he’s proven he’s more a liability than anything. Weak as piss. Unless…
Unless what?
It doesn’t matter, just a thought. We’ll see. But hope that I’m right in my initial assessment of him.
I think you’ll find he’ll be very helpful in Alaria’s rescue. We should try to get to her before she is harmed. Poor innocent girl, what a tragedy
Not tragedy; opportunity. I don’t care if she’s innocent or not. To be honest I kind of hope she is the Poison Pen, though it seems unlikely. The important thing is that she will be held up as the Poison Pen. And so when we rescue her it’ll hit the image of Thrune hard. It won’t be easy, but they won’t be expecting that kind of trouble yet. And if it goes to shit, at worst we can kill her clean.
I’d hope we can rescue her rather than it come to that. But you’re right, saving her from Public Excruciation would at least be a mercy.
Saving her from Public Excruciation would stop Thrune making the example of her he’d like. Mercy is hardly the consideration.
You’re a brutal fuck, you know that? I’m not sure the others will agree with your approach.
They will if they have any sense at all.
And what of Bug? You said he’d go soon after Pavo. If your predictions are so right…
I was wrong on Bug. I like him.
He seems a little, er, murderous.
Practical, I’d call it. He’ll do what’s needed. I think the others will too.
I still think you’re wrong on Pavo.
Well, let’s get back to Belor’s and see, shall we?


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