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Kulan: Knightfall's Crisis in Bluffside Game [IC]


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JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
"All of them I've faced have fought to the death. They are his Loyalists after all," Custodio replies. "We did capture a few members of the Rising Swords who were acting as mercenaries for," he pauses and takes breath. "Del Cannitha. The Five had them questioned before they were put on trial. One of the leaders was executed for his part in the New City disaster. One was banished from the city with only the clothes on his back; he was quite young and naive about the Swords, so the Tribunal gave him a pass. Another man, who helped lead some old friends of mine to a Rising Swords hideout in the Undercity, was given a five year sentence instead of execution."

"Yes, he's in the Dungeon in New City, I believe," Oakfirst adds. "He's sworn all along that he has no idea how to open the portal or even its location. We tried to trick him up on that, but he passed. Discern lies was used on him and the others. We don't condone torture in Bluffside, so no one was stretched or beaten. Torture rarely works; magic is more reliable." He pauses, "Well, most of the time."
Tuck nods.

"So it seems they're telling the truth, as far as we can tell. No sense in me talking to them, then."

The kobold ponders for a moment.

"I do know of some odd things going on in the City, that may or may not have to do with the Loyalists. For one, there are rumors about people impersonating Bluffside Elites, and if that is true, they may be backed by the renegade."

After that statement, he keeps quiet in order to see the reactions.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim frowns, his brow wrinkled in thought, "Imposters? This is very disturbing. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Mr. Tuck. I often have difficulty deciding upon first impressions concerning new acquaintances. You sir, have made an excellent first impression. I think I am going to enjoy your company. Productivity and usefulness are good traits for a man to have, and you have just proven yourself quite useful. Good show."

Tim turns to the others, continuing, "Are you wizard-types able to discern via magical means, the true heart of a man? Is the detection of imposters possible with the spells that are available to us? It would need to go beyond the scope of mere lie detection... we'd need to know, at a glance, whether or not a given person's heart was blackened by foul deeds; or at the very least, we'd need to be able to sense foul intent."

OOC:
Although Tim does not know exactly how to express it, he is asking if anyone has the Detect Thoughts or Detect Evil spells.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"I can prepare both divinations tomorrow. But those could be just mercenaries, not evil by themselves. And some real elites could be cruel, domineering men, rotten to the core. Don't mistake living within the law with the goodness of one's heart."

Akos considers other spells that could be useful for such an endeavor.
"We could simply agree on a code word with the real guards and patrol the night ourselves. But why would we? We have a renegade to catch! Portal to examine! A worthy warrior to cure! Let the guards deal with common murderers and fake guards."
 

Envisioner

Explorer
Overhearing snippets of a conversation whose context he largely missed, Relgar can't resist the urge to chime in sarcastically: "Are we sure that they actually are imposters? Or is that just what they want us to think?"
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck's small chest inflates with Big Tim's compliments, and the kobold feels pride that such a big folk - a really big one, too! - voices his appreciation like that, and in front of others, too!

"I do not know if they are evil, or even truly imposters. But it is odd that new and unknown Elites are patrolling the Gardens at night, while there are no new recruits assigned there."

Looking around nervously, the urban ranger continues, "I'm not saying that it's the only possible explanation, but it's at least worth investigating. I've heard that the Renegade is trying to unleash monsters into the City, starting in the Gardens with a hungry troll, although I must admit I'm not sure about those particular rumors. But what if there's a hideout nearby, guarded by his Loyalists masquerading as Elites?"
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim ponders this for a moment.

Big Tim grins, "Troll, eh? Have they caught him yet? ... You know, there is a saying back on my world, that if your only tool is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail. That being said, I do think that I would make the perfect solution to the Troll problem, because I AM the hammer, and the Troll, if he is still out there, is definitely a nail, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps we should begin by investigating the Gardens?"
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"Agreed. I could check on the gardener on the way or after the troll. If there is such."
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
The kobold ponders for a moment.

"I do know of some odd things going on in the City, that may or may not have to do with the Loyalists. For one, there are rumors about people impersonating Bluffside Elites, and if that is true, they may be backed by the renegade."

After that statement, he keeps quiet in order to see the reactions.
Tim frowns, his brow wrinkled in thought, "Imposters? This is very disturbing. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Mr. Tuck. I often have difficulty deciding upon first impressions concerning new acquaintances. You sir, have made an excellent first impression. I think I am going to enjoy your company. Productivity and usefulness are good traits for a man to have, and you have just proven yourself quite useful. Good show."
"False Elites in the Gardens?" Custodio looks at his commander with concern. "I hadn't heard anything about that."

"It's only a rumor, but one I'm taking very seriously," Oakfirst replies. He looks at Tuck with some admiration. "You seem to have the heartbeat of the city in your soul, Mr. Tuck. The Regulars could use someone with your talents, but I sense that you'd prefer to keep your independence. Still, maybe something to consider for the future."

The lord commander looks at Big Tim. "Several citizens visiting the Gardens during the dusk hours have said they've encountered guards, Elites, they've never met before who tell them that the park areas are off-limits after sunset, which isn't true at all. Yes, the city encourages the use of the Gardens during the day, but the main gate to the Gardens remain partially open until the midnight hour. There are more guards stationed in the Gardens at night, but I've not assigned assigned anyone new to the Elites there since learning that Phelix is in Old City. The guards stationed in the Gardens are all men and women I have known for years and trust with my life."

Tellerian Hawke said:
Tim turns to the others, continuing, "Are you wizard-types able to discern via magical means, the true heart of a man? Is the detection of imposters possible with the spells that are available to us? It would need to go beyond the scope of mere lie detection... we'd need to know, at a glance, whether or not a given person's heart was blackened by foul deeds; or at the very least, we'd need to be able to sense foul intent."
"I can prepare both divinations tomorrow. But those could be just mercenaries, not evil by themselves. And some real elites could be cruel, domineering men, rotten to the core. Don't mistake living within the law with the goodness of one's heart."
"If any of them have been corrupted, or enchanted," Custodio shakes his head.

"I doubt corruption or cruelty," Oakfirst insists. "However, Del Cannitha could have charmed one or more of them. I'm having Lady Émilienne keep an eye on the Elites stationed in the Gardens."

"As long as he hasn't corrupted her," Custodio retorts.

"If Del Cannitha can dominate or corrupt a Seventh Order wizard who is also a cleric of Sky and Air, we are all in serious trouble." Oakfirst looks at Akos. "But prepare your divinations tomorrow, just to be safe. Hopefully you won't have to use them."

Neurotic said:
Akos considers other spells that could be useful for such an endeavor.
"We could simply agree on a code word with the real guards and patrol the night ourselves. But why would we? We have a renegade to catch! Portal to examine! A worthy warrior to cure! Let the guards deal with common murderers and fake guards."
Overhearing snippets of a conversation whose context he largely missed, Relgar can't resist the urge to chime in sarcastically: "Are we sure that they actually are imposters? Or is that just what they want us to think?"
"If it's true that someone is making trouble for visitors to the Gardens, let's hope they are impostors and not true Elites who have gone bad," Custodio replies. "But, you're right, Relgar, anything is possible."

Tuck's small chest inflates with Big Tim's compliments, and the kobold feels pride that such a big folk - a really big one, too! - voices his appreciation like that, and in front of others, too!

"I do not know if they are evil, or even truly imposters. But it is odd that new and unknown Elites are patrolling the Gardens at night, while there are no new recruits assigned there."
"Exactly that," Oakfirst agrees. "And the citizens who complained about 'fake guards' who harassed them aren't known for causing trouble themselves. One was a elderly noble who is widely respected while the other two were a younger married couple who run a woodworking shop. They are honest folk with no reason to lie. Yet, the legitimate patrols found no evidence of these false Elites in the Gardens. It's not only odd, it's troubling."

JustinCase said:
Looking around nervously, the urban ranger continues, "I'm not saying that it's the only possible explanation, but it's at least worth investigating. I've heard that the Renegade is trying to unleash monsters into the City, starting in the Gardens with a hungry troll, although I must admit I'm not sure about those particular rumors. But what if there's a hideout nearby, guarded by his Loyalists masquerading as Elites?"
"Agreed. I could check on the gardener on the way or after the troll. If there is such."
"A troll!" Oakfirst exclaims. "I think someone was pulling your leg on that one, Mr. Tuck."

"But he might be right about Loyalists pretending to be Elites," Custodio notes. "If they have a hideout near the Gardens, that might be why the true Elites can't find them."

"Possible," Oakfirst says with a nod. "Hmm, I need to check on something. It could be related. Go check on the gardener and examine the portal." He nods to each of you before turning to leave the room. "Custodio, stay and help them. And if you encounter a troll, or something deadlier, send for backup."

"Uhm, yes sir."

"If any of you need me for any reason, send word to the Tribunal. Oh, and expect a few more compatriots to join you here at the manor. Carter will make sure they know how to find you, if they show up after you've left." With that, Lord Commander Oakfirst heads out of Horn Hall into the manor's anteroom.

The halfling you've come to know as Carter, steps through the door and bows. "I will be in the Kitchen Yard if you need me. Lavia is in the Main Kitchen should you require anything to eat before you begin your queries." He bows again, steps back through the door, and closes it behind him.
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
"No time like the present! And I don't need protection from evil or detects to examine the portal and the gardener. Maybe Master Custodio has one ready?"

Akos immediately starts after the Lord Commander
"Finally, something to do, this standing around and waiting is terrible on the health."
He thinks as he goes through the phrases in his mind
"Open portaly! silly ofcourse...lets see.
'Vrata ludila, otvorite se!' with grand gesturing
'Dome, slatki dome' plus the unlocking movement with the flower
'delCannitha nasljednik ulazi, otvori se' and simply walk toward the wall without flinching - this could hurt if I don't simulate the blood somehow...maybe it's any blood and I need to prick myself on the flower...
"

OOC: The phrases are in my native language in order:
Gates of madness, open!
Home, sweet home
delCannita scion coming, open! <-- maybe delCannitha scion passing through

Still need two more.

 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Akos thinks some more about the portals he knows about and especially the ones created specifically for or by a single caster.
"Is there anything this wacko loves or prefers above all else? We know he wants magic-users to rule over the rest of the people...what cantrips does he know?"
Akos considers the last two phrases. But there are so many uncertainties.
"Magična moći, zasjaj! while casting his favorite cantrip?
Magijo, prosvijetli nam put!"

OOC:
Magic-power, shine! or The power of magic, shine!
Magic, enlighten the way (or illuminate) the way
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Tuck shrugs. "Whether or not a troll haunts the tunnels beneath the Gardens is not really the point. The possibility of someone unleashing monstrosities into the City, is."

The kobold wants to say more, but his dog Big Mutt barks once, then with a wagging tail starts towards the front door as if eager to get to the Gardens.

"Sorry, I need to walk my dog," Tuck says apologetically, as he follows the canine as quickly as his little legs can carry him -- which is actually pretty fast for someone of his small stature. "Want to come along?"

OOC: What time of day is it? If it is night or evening, then we can get go find some of these fake guards. If not, Tuck will do some simple exploring of the Gardens and come back at dusk.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Big Tim offers to come along. He will go fully armed and armored, in case of trouble.

Big Tim chuckles, "I suppose you want to walk him in the gardens?"
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
"Possibly," Tuck's voice fades as the kobold moves further and further from the room. "Never know where Mutt wants to go."

That last statement seems increasingly accurate as the kobold follows the dog, without any sense of control over the animal.
 


Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"No time like the present! And I don't need protection from evil or detects to examine the portal and the gardener. Maybe Master Custodio has one ready?"
"I do have several detection spells available to me today, but none for detecting evil," Custodio replies. "I can cast detect magic, detect poison, and detect undead. Most of my other current spells are protective."

Neurotic said:
Akos immediately starts after the Lord Commander
"Finally, something to do, this standing around and waiting is terrible on the health."
Custodio waits for Relgar to finish scribbling his latest equation and when the matharcanist doesn't notice right away, Custodio clears his throat twice. It is his signal to Relgar that the group is heading out to the Gardens. A preemptive they agreed upon before Relgar delved into his equation. His responsibility handled, Custodio picks up the glass case with the bloom and follows Akos out of the hall into the manor's anteroom.

"My poison detection spell could be of use in helping to determine what is wrong with the dragori gardener," he says to Akos. "At the very least, it could rule that out."

Neurotic said:
He thinks as he goes through the phrases in his mind
"Open portaly! silly ofcourse...lets see.
'Vrata ludila, otvorite se!' with grand gesturing
'Dome, slatki dome' plus the unlocking movement with the flower
'delCannitha nasljednik ulazi, otvori se' and simply walk toward the wall without flinching - this could hurt if I don't simulate the blood somehow...maybe it's any blood and I need to prick myself on the flower...
"
OOC: The phrases are in my native language in order:
Gates of madness, open!
Home, sweet home
delCannita scion coming, open! <-- maybe delCannitha scion passing through

Still need two more.
Custodio listens to Akos musings without entirely understanding.

Akos thinks some more about the portals he knows about and especially the ones created specifically for or by a single caster.
"Is there anything this wacko loves or prefers above all else? We know he wants magic-users to rule over the rest of the people...what cantrips does he know?"
"He does seem to like fire magic, from what I know of him and experienced first hand. He's used the fireball spell of several occasions including the trap at the Golden Lantern," Custodio notes. "And he has an obsession with the Far Realm. The markings in the Growers' Tower show that as a certainty. While I'm not a student of wizardry, I suspect he leans towards evocation, and probably conjuration. And if his mind is lost in a dark place, he probably lies shadow magic. But as I said, I cannot say for certain."

Neurotic said:
Akos considers the last two phrases. But there are so many uncertainties.
"Magična moći, zasjaj! while casting his favorite cantrip?
Magijo, prosvijetli nam put!"

OOC: Magic-power, shine! or The power of magic, shine!
Magic, enlighten the way (or illuminate) the way
Custodio continues to listen without true understanding knowing there is an end goal in Akos' words.

OOC: By going over the phrases, Akos is fairly certain that illumination likely is the trigger, but it won't a light in the dark but an intense flame under a dark moon. Something to do with flames touching bloom and madness around the eyes (either literal insanity or a performance).

Custodio's information about evocation magic makes Akos think of the dancing lights cantrip but that might not be powerful enough. the 1st-level spell, burning hands, might be a better choice, but Akos thinks any low-level fire spell will do to ignite the bloom and open the portal. He has a sense that the powerful the spell chosen the longer the portal will remain open. However, if the flames are too hot, the bloom will be consumed.


Tuck shrugs. "Whether or not a troll haunts the tunnels beneath the Gardens is not really the point. The possibility of someone unleashing monstrosities into the City, is."

The kobold wants to say more, but his dog Big Mutt barks once, then with a wagging tail starts towards the front door as if eager to get to the Gardens.

"Sorry, I need to walk my dog," Tuck says apologetically, as he follows the canine as quickly as his little legs can carry him -- which is actually pretty fast for someone of his small stature. "Want to come along?"
Mutt is soon heading out of the manor just ahead of Akos and Custodio with Tuck close behind. The dog stops and sits just outside the front door and sniffs the air. The dog watches as dozens of citizens of Old City walk by on the street going in both directions. A young man pulls a cart full of flowers and other goods up the street and around the corner. His destination is likely the Sublime Bazaar.

Just as Akos and Custodio step outside, Tuck scampers past to find Mutt sitting and staring at an old cat hiding up in a nearby tree. The cat is eyeing the big dog with concern but Mutt doesn't bark back. Instead, Mutt turns and looks at his brother and is soon standing up and wagging his tail in anticipation.

JustinCase said:
OOC: What time of day is it? If it is night or evening, then we can get go find some of these fake guards. If not, Tuck will do some simple exploring of the Gardens and come back at dusk.
OOC: It is just after midday. The sun is out the sky is bright blue, and the weather is warm without being stifling. It's the perfect day to visit the Gardens.


Big Tim offers to come along. He will go fully armed and armored, in case of trouble.

Big Tim chuckles, "I suppose you want to walk him in the gardens?"
"Possibly," Tuck's voice fades as the kobold moves further and further from the room. "Never know where Mutt wants to go."

That last statement seems increasingly accurate as the kobold follows the dog, without any sense of control over the animal.
Tim will follow Tuck, no matter where he (or Mutt) decides to go. He will try to stay alert as they go, watching for anything out of the ordinary.
Big Tim steps out of the manor and notes the beautiful day. It's one of the few he's seen since being brought to this world. Bluffside tends to get lot of rain. but then, so did his homeland during the wet winters. But here, the rain is often wet and bone-numbing. So, the sunny day is a nice relief.

Several minutes later, Relgar follows them out of the manor. He is counting on his fingers and stuffing papers into his ledgers and then his bags. Ink stains the tips of his fingers and there is a bit of dust on his sleeves. He looks at Custodio and the young guard gives him a nod once he's caught up to the rest of them.

Mutt and tuck lead the way. At first, Tuck thinks that Mutt is heading right for the Gardens, but once you all leave the old Oakfirst Manor behind, the dog's destination becomes obvious. He's heading to the Sublime Bazaar. tuck manages to get to the edge of the bazaar alongside the dog and reign the animal in just enough to make sure Mutt doesn't dive into one of the stalls selling sausages and other assorted meats.

The bazaar is busy buy not overly crowded. This is Old City, after all, and not New City or the Undercity. People are more, reserved, here. (Tuck would call it stuffy.) While the bazaar isn't the largest marketplace in Bluffside, it is stocked with almost anything you can imagine, if you were a fancy noble with coin to spend -- exotic flowers, fine meats, rare vegetables, delicious sweetmeats, the finest clothes and jewelry, mantle knickknacks, strange clockworks, brightly painted toys, and heady spices that fill the entire bazaar. It is a cacophony of sounds and a visual wonderment.

Big Tim finds the bazaar's aisles and tight corners a bit crowded while Tuck finds his way through the throng with ease (most of the nobles move out of Mutt's way). A few of the locals stop Akos, wish him well, and ask for his blessing. Most of the patrons give Custodio a wide berth, as he has become a bit infamous due to his previous companions. Most simply don't see Relgar either accidentally bumping into him or not encountering him at all.

It isn't a chore not to buy anything as most of the prices are astronomical!

Eventually, you come out on the other side onto the wide avenue that leads to the Garden Gate, the main entryway into the Gardens. The avenue is packed with people heading to the Gardens to enjoy the day. It seems the worries about the Renegade won't keep the locals from enjoying such nice weather. Of course, it is midday and not dusk, so most likely assume it is safe to visit one of Bluffside greatest attractions. Most of the garden-goers appears to be making a day of it. There are families and young lovers, as well as elderly couples with picnic baskets.

The guards at the main gate are out in full force, but it next to impossible for them to stem the tide. Custodio recognizes most of them and tells you they all look legitimate to him. They are cordial to him, but he isn't greeted with much warmth. He isn't one of them, right now. you watch his exchange with the guards and wonder if he will ever be welcomed back into their ranks.

Still, they don't hold him or any of you up. They cannot hold anyone up on this day. Young children swarm by into the Gardens with fancy kites, bouncing balls, and a lot of energy. Several of them notice Mutt and their eyes go wide with wonder. A few gather around and ask Big Tim if they can pet his dog, assuming such a big dog belongs to the half-ogre. When Tuck correct them, they are both shocked and excited. They start asking if Mutt is Tuck's noble steed.

More questions are asked as you all pass into the Gardens by both the young and old. Many in the city know who Big Tim is and how he came to be in Bluffside. It was hard to keep a secret plus there is his connection to The Five. Most of the questions are friendly and don't involve the Renegade. A few of the more powerful nobles Tim has met do ask about the investigation but don't go overboard. No one wants to ruin the day.

Eventually, you find yourself in the Eastern Gardens where the foliage is denser. There are less people in this part of the Gardens. Ahead of you stands the Ascetic's Temple where dragori gardener is known to live with the other druids and adepts of the temple. There are a handful of buildings used for sleeping but there are hammocks tied to trees and sleeping cots in an open grassy area too. you are surprised to find the dragori not in a deathbed but meditating near the center of the temple. If he is sick, he doesn't look it.

A half-elven druid nods to you and welcomes you to the temple. "I am Huverel. News has come to us through the Regulars that you with to speak with our brother, Sylemis, about his illness. We welcome any aid you might be able to grant, although we have tried a number of remedies both mundane and magical." The druid looks at Sylemis with great concern. "He swears he is in no pain, but his movements say otherwise. He is being quite stubborn about this affliction. Saying it is his penance for past failings."

Looking closer, you note that the dragon-kin is indeed unwell in some fashion. His coloration is all wrong and his breathing is ragged. He wears the trappings of a monk but only so much as needed for modesty with a staff across his knees. Other people's modesty not his own. After several minutes of waiting, he opens his eyes and immediately notices Tuck's presence. He smiles at the kobold as he stands up and leans on his staff.

"Ltl' Tuck, you come for another visit, I ssee, and you're brought Mutt with you thiss time. Good, I wass hoping to meet your brother," He looks at the rest of the group. "And who are your friendss?"
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Tim introduces himself, "I am Sir Tymbeck Valencia, Knight of the Scarlet Cross, of the city of Kalchith, loyal servant and proxy of the King of Vrocia, Lieutenant Junior Grade in the King's Army, in the 3rd Infantry Regiment under the command of Duke Sir Grigory Polzin. I realize that these names mean nothing to you; I hail from a different world, brought here by the winds of fate, at the whim of the powers that be. For now, I serve Commander Oakfirst, and seek to help him quell the troubles that now plague Bluffside."
 

Envisioner

Explorer
Relgar quietly seethes at the description of delCannitha's mystic proclivities. The Far Realm, seriously? Maniacs like that are why people don't trust arcanists. Thank the Archmage of the Deities that abjurations exist, even if there aren't nearly enough of them (the limited efficacy of Dispel Magic and similar spells ultimately settled a younger version of Relgar on specializing in Evocation magic instead; Lightning Bolt might not be the strongest of spells, but it is relatively predictable, just as the former draftsman prefers).
 

JustinCase

the magical equivalent to the number zero
Looking closer, you note that the dragon-kin is indeed unwell in some fashion. His coloration is all wrong and his breathing is ragged. He wears the trappings of a monk but only so much as needed for modesty with a staff across his knees. Other people's modesty not his own. After several minutes of waiting, he opens his eyes and immediately notices Tuck's presence. He smiles at the kobold as he stands up and leans on his staff.

"Ltl' Tuck, you come for another visit, I ssee, and you're brought Mutt with you thiss time. Good, I wass hoping to meet your brother," He looks at the rest of the group. "And who are your friendss?"
Tuck bows slightly at Sylemis while patting Mutt absentmindedly.

"Thank you, Sylemis," the kobold says as if talking to an old friend. "How do you feel today? Better, I hope?"

Gesturing at the dog, he continues, "Mutt here wanted to go for a walk, and went straight here. Well, when I say 'straight', I mean by way of the Sublime Bazaar, and I cannot help but wonder about the tales people will tell in the days to come about the fierce canine called Big Mutt, barely kept in check by poor old me."

He yaps in a way that makes it obvious the little reptilian is laughing to himself, while Mutt moves over to the dragori expecting to be petted. "Watch him, he can be ferocious," Tuck says earnestly, even though Mutt has not shown any sign of ferocity in his life.

After introducing his companions to Sylemis, the kobold continues in hushed tones, "We suspect some Loyalists may have a hideout somewhere in the Gardens. What do you think are some places we could start looking?"
 

Neurotic

I plan on living forever. Or die trying.
Akos waits politely until friendly banter subsides before stepping forward.

He bows to the old warrior.
"Greetings, Sylemis of the dragori. I am Akos, a Loremaster of the Order of the Teacher. We're here to check on recent disturbances in the Garden. Along the investigation we learned about your...challenge. With your permission, I...we...would like to examine you for traces of radiation poisoning. As you know, various portals lead to other places, not all of them safe to the living. And this one was opened right here in The Garden."
Akos bows and waits for the answer.
 

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