It is a sombre mood that fills the hideout below Belor’s, where Aroldo has just finished telling his tale. Unsurprisingly, as the key figures of the Children of the Ash have just heard the wizard recount his belief that four of their number are in all likelihood dead.
“Well,” Rexus finally speaks sadly “Though I hate to say it, it’s better they are dead than captured. What they could reveal would assure an end to our fledgling rebellion.”
“Dead may not be much better.” Brother Vaelus says, tugging nervously on his beard. “The Asmodean priests will be able to elicit just as much, if not more information, from their corpses. Given time.”
Lentius quickly stands at this, hands on his weapons.
“Then we need to go back in immediately.”
“There is no doubt we need to go back in as soon as we can,” Gaian adds “But not without preparation. I assume you’re not ready to go straight back in?” he says with a glance at Aroldo.
“Not unless you want my usefulness to be limited to this.” The large wizard replies, thrusting his staff in the air for effect. “Not much use if Nox is still there. But give me a few hours rest and you can probably convince me to return.”
“Then that give us a few hours to prepare.” Gaian says. “Magdalene, Georgio,” he addressed the leaders of the Varisian performing troupe and the freedom fighters, “Ask among your members if any are prepared to take a more direct approach to combating Thrune. There will be no judgement if they don’t, after all that is not what they agreed to, but make it known that failure here will be the end of us.”
“Gerry,” he addressed the final man, his only known contact from Bug’s Boys, “See if any of your people know of anyone else in the city with strong sympathetic leanings.”
“And if they do?”
“Let me know as soon as possible, and Nightswarm will approach them. This is no time to be coy about recruitment. Regardless, we need to move quickly, and someone needs also to speak to the Jollytime Girls. As soon as Aroldo is rested we head back to the Fantasmagorium. We’ll find out for sure what has become of the others, deal with any bodies. And hopefully take out Nox.”