D&D 5E On the Planes

ThirdWizard

First Post
The group emerged from the storm drains and into the rain. Pulling their cloaks on tightly, they found themselves on the edge of the Lady’s Ward and Lower Ward, once again in territory familiar to the group. By this time it was late and darkness had taken over the streets. There was no sun in Sigil, just a brightness that grew and then faded from view. Peak and anti-peak. The sparse pedestrians ran here or there, trying to get out of the rain using anything they could find as shelter. Shops had closed at this point, but the Lower Ward bars still teemed with activity as the group passed, and drunken residents loitered under the buildings’ overhangs smoking and laughing as the rain poured out in front of them. Several drunkards stumbled about, cursing the falling rain as they tried and failed to stay dry. Without a word the group fell into a quick pace toward the Heralds’ house, passing all of this by in a blur.

The Lady’s Ward was different. There is no wall or gatehouse between Wards in Sigil. The city’s just too big for anything like that, there’d be no point in it either. But, as soon as you go from the Lower Ward to the Lady’s Ward the streets are cleaner, more maintained, and straighter. The buildings are nicer, with less cracks and more paint.

The group pulled their hoods on more tightly here. They were traveling with someone with a known bounty on their head through the most patrolled area of Sigil. While it was likely that not every Harmonium in the city kept perfectly up to date with every wanted individual, it was good business to at least pretend like that were true. That way, when something went horribly wrong, at least a basher couldn't say that they didn't see it coming. You always saw it coming. They kept their eyes out, and indeed they did pass by several Harmonium patrols marching through the streets. When they saw one, they slowed their pace and stayed on the side of the street. For once the rainy weather in Sigil was in their favor as it didn’t look particularly odd for a group of people to be clutching cloaks at the moment. Each Harmonium patrol marched by without even giving them a second glance.

At one point, they thought someone might have caught a glimpse of one of their faces, but they didn't think they were being followed. They didn't see Red Wake anywhere, which was relieving. Those two were probably in the original shop by now, wondering what was going on. Or, more likely, fully realizing what had happened. They turned another corner, Mehen leading the way through the familiar streets. He was close to the Courthouse where he worked at this point. The Herald house was just a few blocks ahead. They ducked into an alleyway as a shortcut, and popped out in a side street. Did someone follow them down the alley? No, they were being paranoid. Two more blocks to go.

Passing by Fortune’s Wheel, one of the higher end of the higher end pubs in the city, a cart passed them by at a rapid pace, the reckless driver headed in their direction to the Noble District, where the richest people in the city lived. This was where the Herald house stood, and finally, without issue, they arrived at the impressive manor. It was a large two story building with a fence and courtyard encircling it. A couple of tower-ish third stories extended in two places, and the architecture was a sort of noble practicality that one might find in one of the more lawful of the Upper Planes. The group had, perhaps, underestimated the importance of their client.

“We should have negotiated payment,” said Jer dryly.

It was the first time any of them had spoken since leaving the sewers, and finally at their destination they could feel the tension start to evaporate. They had made it, and nothing had happened. They were inside the gates, walking up to the front door, and they hadn't been attacked or stopped by a patrol, or hipped through some portal to be taken out one by one. They started to feel a cautious optimism come over them. They doubted it would last.

They were expected and quickly escorted inside, water-logged boots and all. A servant, a tall man immaculately dressed who didn’t seem to notice them other than to motion for them to follow, took them into a well maintained library and left them to presumably tell someone that they had arrived. Dripping all over the fine rug, Mehen felt a bit out of place and stood to the side where he would cause the least damage, but Jer plopped into a cushy chair beside the roaring fire fire while they waited for their client. Mozzy walked over and stood by the fire, warming herself and trying to get dry. Aurian walked about the room seeing what kind of literature was kept in their library, nodding or shaking his head occasionally as he perused the titles.

“I have to admit. You got me here,” said Tesa as they waited.

“It was easy,” said Jer, not turning toward her.

“Still. You’ll need to get me to the next destination.”

“Where is that?” asked Mehen. “I think one of those men mentioned something about another safe house? You’re moving the shop.”

She nodded. “That’s right. We have several locations in waiting. You’d be surprised how citizens in the city are willing to aid one such as myself.”

“I don’t think I’d be surprised at all,” said Mozzy, turning to look at the drow. “The question is would I be surprised by who they are.”

Tesa just shrugged. “Perhaps. Perhaps not.”

“So, where are we going next?” asked Aurian. “After you’re done here, that is.”

“The Prison.”

“Wonderful,” said Jer.

Soon Colin Herald came down a staircase into the room, hesitating at seeing Tesa was a drow for only a fraction of a second. Ignoring any pleasantries, he spoke quickly. “You’re the curse breaker?”

“It is what I do,” said Tesa, matter-of-factly.

“Follow me.”

“Would I be able to join you? I’m very interested in purification and the removal of curses,” said Mozzy.

“I’m sorry,” replied Colin. “If you would all stay here except for you,” he motioned for Tesa to follow him.

The two left, up the stairs. The group waited. And waited. Thirty minutes had passed when one of the servants came in with a tray of food and drink. They were famished, and finished off every bite in only a few minutes. Then, with that distraction gone, they occupied their time once again by pacing, trying to dry themselves, and worrying that something upstairs was going terribly terribly wrong. They had just brought this person into their client’s house and left him alone with her. Perhaps that wasn't the best option. Maybe they should have insisted on going with them a bit more strongly. Maybe they shouldn't have trusted her so implicitly because a crazy man in the Gatehouse said that she helped him or that someone like Carmine would never lead them astray. Or that they hadn't been followed and were perfectly safe in this house.

Everything that could possibly go wrong ran through their minds while they waited, unable to take any kind of action. Fights to the death were rarely something one looks for, but at least when you were in that situation, you knew where you stood. When things could go terribly wrong at any moment, it was always somewhat comforting to at least know what it was that was about to go to Hell. All they could do right now was wait and hope.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

ThirdWizard

First Post
“Should we go up there?” asked Mozzy?

Mehen shifted uncomfortably.

“I’m sure she has it in hand,” said Jer, yawning.

Mozzy glanced toward Aurian who seemed to be deep in thought.

“I could just take a peek. You know. Make sure nothing… I don’t know… bad is happening?”

Mehen nodded a bit. “It has been a long time. We should have asked about a time frame.”

“Hindsight,” said Mozzy moving over to the flight of stairs that the two had ascended together. It wouldn't be too difficult for her to sneak upstairs, take a peek around, and come back down after having listened at a door or checked a few rooms. At least she’d be doing something, not just sitting here on her hands.

“Would we even be able to tell if something was wrong?” asked Aurian.

“Sure. If Colin is laying in a pool of his own blood, the valuables are all gone, and the drow is nowhere in sight, then something has gone wrong,” replied Jer dryly.

“Given a non-obvious circumstance, then,” said Aurian.

“Probably not,” said Jer.

A few more minutes passed. Mehen touched the symbol of Ioun. One of the goals of the Temple of the Mind’s Light was to protect people from improper use of magic, that including things like necromancy as well as curses. They had done their duty in bringing the Cursebreaker here to the Herald household, but perhaps they needed to take a more active role… just in case. He was about to ask Mozzy to go up and check it out when they heard movement coming down.

Mozzy backed up and pretended to be busy eating one of the sandwiches brought out for them. Aurian picked up a book and held it, although his attention was obviously on the staircase. Jer snored a little. No one was sure if he was really asleep or not. The pair, Colin with Tesa, came down, Tesa leaning heavily against the banister of the staircase, Colin helping her. He guided her into one of the chairs by the fire.

“She… I think she did it,” he said, his eyes wide.

“Your father will be fine. That was a powerful curse, though. I don’t know how he found himself on the receiving end of that, and I don’t know how he was able to survive this long.” Tesa was out of breath. She looked like she might pass out right there.

“I’ll remember this. Thank you. Thank all of you. If you’ll excuse me. Stay as long as you like.”

Tesa smiled as Colin hurried back upstairs. “He’s a good child.”

“Do you need to rest?” asked Mozzy.

“No. It is best that I get back into hiding. There are wards at the new Eight Watchful Eyes. I need to get there before someone finds me. I’ve been out too long as it is.” She pulled herself up. It was obvious she was exhausted, but they didn't argue. They still had a promise to fulfill, and moving her quickly was the safest option at the moment, regardless of her current state.

“The Prison then, that’s where the portal is?” asked Aurian, as they pulled their cloaks back on before heading out into the rain once again. They had just started to dry, and the wizard was not enjoying pulling the drenched cloak back over his body. The rain was starting to subside.

“Just outside it, thankfully,” replied Tesa.

Cloaks back on, they walked once again into the rain, which was finally starting to subside. By now it was fully dark, and they could start to see the brightest of lights above them through the rain on the other side of Sigil, the titan sized burning fire pits of the Civic Festhall and the white plume torch of the Hall of Speakers a comforting sight high above, intermingled with a few others of the brightest lights Sigil had to offer. Even on a day like this, or perhaps especially on a day like this, it was good to feel at home.

The Prison was not far away, but they moved slowly - Tesa still tired from her ordeal.

Mehen was the first to spot the man who they had seen when they emerged from the storm drains, and he quickly, and discreetly, pointed their shadow out to the others when it became obvious that he was following them, and he had more people with him. Bounty hunters most likely. That they got this job must have gotten out or maybe someone knew what Tesa looked like. Whatever the case, it didn't matter how they had been discovered. Half a dozen cutters were on their trail in the middle of the Lady’s Ward. They couldn't start much of a scene here in the center of Sigil's power. And, they couldn't let them find where they were taking Tesa. Her new shop, and its portal, had to be kept secret.

“We need to do something,” whispered Mehen.

“I've got just the thing.” Mozzy winked. Of course, being in the Lady’s Ward there was always one constant, even in the dark of night. And, that constant was Harmonium patrols and the fact that they loved to get involved in any little thing that is happening on “their” streets. She led the group to turn a couple of corners making it look like they were trying to lose their shadows, but after the third turn, she found what she was after. A patrol of eight.

With a flick of the wrist and a quick low word, she cast her spell then turned, a look of horror on her face as she looked straight at the lead man behind them. “He’s Revolutionary League!” She exclaimed in her most outlandishly offended voice. Jer suppressed a smirk.

The Harmonium took note immediately of the man who now sported quite the giant symbol of the Revolutionary League “hidden” just under his cloak. They immediately moved to intercept, and right before they got too close, Mozzy ended the magical effect. They had spotted the fake symbol on him, and it’s existence was no longer needed. She didn't need them figuring out it was a magical illusion. At least not immediately.

This is where Mehen stepped up, throwing back his own cloak to display the symbol of the Fraternity of Order for all to see. “We can’t have any Revolutionary League in our city! This is an outrage! You should take this man into custody immediately.”

The Harmonium offered no resistance to that idea. Three of the shadows scattered with patrolmen chasing them down, one stood jaw opening and closing, his feet not moving, and the last two started trying to talk their way out of the situation, which was a fool’s errand when it came to Harmonium. Mozzy didn’t wait around to find out what was going to happen, or for the escaping men to circle back around to follow, and immediately ushered the group away and into an alleyway. They criss-crossed a few streets just in case there was anyone else after them. Within ten minutes they were at the prison, sure that they had no tails remaining.

Tesa stopped in front of a large statue of a an armored Doomguard on one of the streets that crossed in front of the Prison. “Thank you. You kept your word.”

“Was there ever a doubt?” replied Mehen.

Smiling, she pulled out a small piece of parchment of paper, ripped it in half, and blew both pieces into the air. Upon doing so, a portal between the statue’s legs lit up briefly and she walked through to the safety of the new Eight Watchful Eyes.

End Session One
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
Intermission - Session One Commentary

And so went my first session.

This was mostly setting up the feel and theme of the campaign, and of Sigil in particular. It was a blast to run, and it made a fine introduction and "tour" of Sigil. I was going for a sort of noir feel, and I think the game pulled it off okay, not sure about the story hour retelling. There was very little combat, just a half dozen or so stirges that were all put to sleep in an instant! The rest of the possible combats were all expertly avoided by the PCs, which is what I like to see.

There were a bunch of characters introduced here, several of whom will be seen later. I should put up a rogue's gallery just to keep track who's who. When an NPC is introduced one session only to return again as an important NPC five sessions later, people tend to forget them for some reason (although my players have remembered everyone so far with a bit of prodding!). I think just about all the major players have come back in some way over the course of the game thus far.

I think my favorite thing about this session was the players interacting with Thessidas. I'm not sure how it comes across in the story hour. Probably terribly. They were scared of the neogi and the umber hulks. They knew one false move and they were dead, but they put up a false sense of bravado in order to not show their fear. It worked for the most part. Oh, and Dancing Gull! There was a whole scene I left out for brevity where they were trying to figure out where he was, only to discover he was back in the Gatehouse, then they sat and contemplated for a while how to get into the darn place. It was a blast.

Also fun was Mehen's player emphasizing how much he loved bureaucracy. The six foot something dragonborn fully decked out in armor wielding, at this point, some kind of two handed weapon everywhere, and for much of the adventure he's sitting at a desk filling out paperwork in triplicate in order to requisition information from his faction and the Harmonium, but it made perfect sense in context. There's a whole backstory there that I should get to at some point. Probably during the next session when he goes to meet his mentor. Or that's session three... yeah, session three.

But, now onto Session Two!

End Intermission
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
Session Two - The Mad House

You wonder why the Believers in the Source are godless, but your question is a false assumption. We are not godless, Abbot. We are godlings. Every one of us, even you. The Godsmen are those who seek to forge ourselves into something better, something more, as we forge metals into more useful and better tools and implements in the Great Foundry. We are more alike than you seem to realize. You may say that we are arrogant to aspire to godhood, but my brothers and sisters of the Believers of the Source are some of the most humble individuals I have ever met. We strive to better ourselves, and we see our flaws like few are able. With this in mind, I ask that you stop this campaign against our Faction. We can be allies. I know we can even be friends.

“Collected Correspondence of Factol Ambar” Volume 2, page 192. Written by Thram Kip.


A thick smog rolled over Steelarm Street, drifting down straight from the Great Foundry’s iron stacks themselves, ash gently falling downward like flakes of black and gray snow. Here in the Lower Ward, the Speckled Rat, a small underground (literally) bar, was a favored meeting place of the Godsmen who pounded metal all day. They worked the foundry without pause to make all sorts of useful tools, weapons, armors, and trinkets. Mozzy was still not quite where her superiors wanted her to be in that regard. She had been working there for a good seven months as an apprentice to Factotum Colborn, a strict bariaur who was a master crafter. He said she was improving, but she didn’t see it. Even today’s work was merely melted for slag after she had finished with it. Doing this day in and day out was exhausting. But, the Factotum said her mind was sharper after every day’s work. Whatever that meant.

As she made it to the entrance of the Speckled Rat a bubber with a gnarled mouth and a long nose jingled a tin can for some jink. She passed him by pretending not to notice. Heading down the stairs, she let her eyes adjust to the low light of the bar and took a look around. It was starting to fill up, as was usual after a shift’s end at the Great Foundry. Her friends hadn’t arrived yet, so she claimed a table for them, pulling out the note that had been delivered to her an hour ago, hopefully about a new job and something that paid better than her weekly five silver that she got working in the Foundry.

We’re meeting you at the Rat. Something going down.
-Mehen

Behind her she could hear two patrons arguing about whether the powers deserved worship. Turning her head just a bit, she saw a tattooed man with a Guvner amulet around his neck and a tiefling woman facing away from her, gesticulating to the man. From their argument, Mozzy thought she was probably Athar. At the bar there were two men and a woman, one already passed out and barely hanging onto the barstool and the other crying over some trinket. The tiefling woman didn’t seem to be touching the tall mug in front of her. All of them were Godsmen. Five cutters were conspiring in a corner, probably about some kind of score they were going after, and a group of four Godsmen were in another corner talking in hushed whispers, probably gossiping from the expressions passing over their faces. Finally, in the center of the room there was a table of Godsmen gambling over some dice and a lone scaly woman with a cockatrice on a leash who looked to want to be left alone.

It was a pretty typical day in the Speckled Rat.

Mozzy ordered a drink for herself and waited. A couple more patrons entered and sat down at the bar, a heavily cloaked man and a hunched over woman who laughed at the bartender’s far too much to be sincere. After a few more minutes some Dustmen came in, offering a little jink to the down and out members of the bar if they’d sign one of the Dustman Contracts they had prepared. It wasn’t a bad deal for an out and out bubber. They pay up front, and then when you die your body belongs to them. It’s not like you need it after you’re in the Dead Book. Still, no one took them up on the offer today, and they made their way out without another word.

Aurian was the first of the group to show up. He slid into the seat beside Mozzy and ordered a beer of his own. “Got a note from Jer to meet here, too?” He questioned as he checked out the other patrons, a peery look on his face. When his mug arrived, he took a quick look at it and decided discretion was the better part of valor, pushing it away slightly.

Mozzy finished off her mug and raised her finger for another. “Mehen. Odd.” Those two rarely confided in each other. In fact, Jer talked to Mehen as little as possible outside of their jobs, and even on their jobs he was tight lipped with the Guvner. The less Mehen knew about Jer’s ‘side projects’ the better.

“Must be something weird this time. Maybe we’re looking for a portal to a Prime world or something.”

“Who’d want to go to such a backwater Clueless-” Mozzy cut herself off. Sometimes it was easy to forget that Aurian and Jer were from Prime Material Planes. Pejoratives probably weren’t appreciated. Even if it were true. “We’ll find out soon enough. There’s Mehen.” She motioned to the dragonborn with her mug.

Mehen slowly descended into the bar as his eyes adjusted to the light, taking up a seat across from the other two and ordering a mug of his own. “So, you needed to see me?” he asked Mozzy. “What’s this about?”

Mozzy just slid the note she had received to the dragonborn. Aurian got a bad feeling. The wizard started watching every move the other patrons made. Three of the cutters in the corner went to the bar to order some more drinks. The argument between the Guvner and Athar was becoming more heated. The cockatrice on a string was a cockatrice on a string.

Mehen scowled. Dragonborn were good at scowling. “That’s my handwriting, but I didn’t write that. I’m starting to think we need to get out of here.”

“That sounds like a good idea to me,” replied Aurian. “What about Jer?”

“He’s good at watching his own back,” said Mehen in a matter-of-fact manner.

While they were talking, one of the cutters started making his way toward the two arguing, a resolute look on his face. Before anyone could do anything, as he was passing the table of Godsmen, he grabbed one of them, a smaller one, and rolled on the ground with him, pinning him down. That was apparently the cue, as the two at the bar turned, crossbows appearing from under cloaks and shot two other Godsmen dead. The last, mouth agape, simply sat there unable to move. At the top of the stairs, they could see a man with a crooked smile and a long nose with another crossbow, aiming to take a shot at the last Godsman.
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
The attack in the bar was swift, professional, and the onslaught seemed to go down before anyone knew what was happening. The Godsman on the floor was being dragged toward the staircase while the two men at the bar covered the room, with the last one of the remaining cutters at the table getting up to help to drag their captive away. The man’s struggling against the two was proving fruitless, his eyes flailing wildly around the bar desperate for aid. The last cutter at the table started making his way toward the stairs, while the the man up top with the crooked nose kept his aim readied at the remaining Godsman below, his eyes sharp.

The rest of the room was slow to react, caught completely unaware by the sudden overtaking of the group of Godsmen who most of which at this point lay dead or dying. As soon as those few moments passed, however, the room was hit by panick. The gamblers jumped underneath their table and barflies tried to find hiding places, diving around barstools and running to corners, away from the men with crossbows and swords. The Guvner and Athar slid under the table.

The gathered group at the table in the middle of the bar, however, acted in a blur rivaling that of the bar’s attackers. Mozzy flew into action, flinging a ball of fire into one of the crossbowmen at the bar, Aurian following suit, and dropping that assailant to the ground with a cry of pain. Mehen’s first objective was to protect one of the two remaining Godsmen, and he charged one of the cutters dragging the poor sod away, slamming his maul into one of the men, who turned on the dragonborn with a quickly drawn pair of shortswords, keeping him busy to let his ally continue to drag the Godsman away. The dragonborn positioned himself between the crossbowman at the top of the stairs and the bewildered, but yet untouched, Godsman, who took the opportunity to hide under the table that the group had been sitting at. Mehen was then quickly flanked by the cutter who had remained at the table, a large man who produced a broadsword in one hand, and a dagger in the other.

The Godsman being dragged away, now by a single attacker fought back with renewed vigor, clawing at the assailant. However he was quickly knocked on the side of the head into unconsciousness with the hilt of the man’s longsword. As Mehen and his opponents squared off, the crossbowman at the top of the stairs covered his friends, letting loose bolts at first Mozzy then Aurian, who found cover behind flipped tables after their spellcasting. Just as things were starting to turn against them, one of the last men in, covered in a cloak at the bar, threw off the cloak revealing himself to be Jer. Smiling, the man drew a dagger, stabbing the shocked crossbowman at the bar in the arm. The man cried out, dropping his crossbow and producing a dagger of his own, turning toward Jer snarling.

More spells flew from Mozzy and Aurian, and weapons clashed, Mehen’s flail spinning and flying through the air, and two of the six assailants were dropped quickly. Jer had retreated to join Mozzy and Aurian under cover, a nasty cut along his forehead leaving a trail of blood down his face that looked worse than it was. This left the sniper at the top of the stairs, the man dragging away the poor unconscious Godsman, and two flankers keeping Mehen busy and injured from his attackers, unable to take cover himself.

At this point, the group may well overcome most of the attackers, but no one was yet stopping the Godsman from being abducted.

Peeking out from behind the table they had flipped on its side, Mozzy saw a flash, then the silhouette of the sniper landing face down at the bottom of the stairs, unmoving in a pool of dark blood. Looking up, she saw a six foot tall creature, its body a perfect cube, with thin arms and legs and tiny wings. He was holding a halberd and scanning the room to take everything in. An amulet with an unfamiliar symbol hung from his neck, and the crest of the Mercykillers was displayed prominently on a brightly colored tabard designed specifically for him.

The modron descended, and the cutter who had now reached the bottom of the stairs let go of the Godsman, pulling out a short sword of his own to fight off the newcomer. Two quick thrusts later, both the Mercykiller and the assailant were bloodied, staring each other down. The modron, however, raised his left hand, and it began to glow. As it did so, the wounds that had been inflicted closed, healed. The cutter’s eyes went wide, and he glanced behind him to see how his companions were doing.

While this was going on, Jer had made his way over to Mehen who had just managed to take out another one of the attackers with some support from Mozzy and Aurian from behind their makeshift barricade, and with the tables finally turning, the two remaining men dropped their weapons in surrender. The modron’s polearm stopped mid-swing just short of his opponent’s neck, and Jer grabbed the other, binding his wrists with thick rope, and kicking him onto his back to tie his feet as well.

Mozzy and Aurian stood, taking in the scene. Tables were turned over, chairs broken. Patrons were taking the opportunity to flee. The woman with the cockatrice was gone, as were the Guvner and Athar. The bartender slowly rose, a look of frustration on his face. Everyone else was in the process of gently making their way past the modron and up the stairs to the streets. The remaining conscious Godsman, who had been lying under the table the whole time, got up and rushed forward to thank his rescuers.

“Thank the Source you were here!” He took Mozzy’s hand, shaking it. “I can’t believe someone would attack this place. I’m glad you were here! What were they after, do you think? We should report to the Foundry at once!” He ran his sentences together so much that it was difficult to tell what he was saying.

There were so many things to take in, more questions than answers. Why had they been tricked into coming to this place? What was the attack about? Who did the attackers work for? Were they brought here because this was about to go down? The answer to the last question was almost certainly a yes. Aurian took a closer look at the modron’s amulet, trying to place where the symbol on it might have originated. Jer eyed it as he completed binding the second prisoner.

“You were the ones attacked. Do you have any idea why someone might be after you?” asked Mozzy.

“No, but I’ve heard…” he looked around at the now empty bar. The bartender was the only one left, trying to put some things back in order. “I’ve heard that Godsmen have been assaulted in the area, carted off and found dead later. They’re trying to downplay it. To make it out to be something being handled. Well, handled or not, I don’t feel safe right now.”

“No idea why they’re being taken?”

“It could be any number of things. Another faction, maybe somebody with it out for Godsmen, maybe with something against our politics. Maybe they think we’ve got some kind of secrets.”

“Maybe they’re looking for a particular Godsman,” offered Aurian.

“Could be that. Wish I knew. I never thought we’d be attacked so close to home,” the man shivered a little. “I wish I knew who they were.”

“Revolutionary League or mercenaries working for them,” the modron said flatly. “I’ve been hunting them. I wish they hadn’t surrendered. Sigil would be a better place without them.”

The group turned to him.

“Thanks,” said Mehen, “We owe you.”

“I was merely hunting criminals. The fact that you were fighting them as well was merely a coincidence. A helpful one.”

“Do modrons believe in coincidences?” asked Aurian.

“Of course,” he replied. “We believe in probabilities.”

Mehen nodded, “Well, we still owe you. What’s your name? I’m Mehen. This is Mozzy, Aurian, and Jer.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Jer, still looking at the modron’s amulet with curiosity.

“I’m Two-Nine-Eight.”

“And…” Mehen held his hands open in front of him, “They were Anarchists?”

“Or working for Anarchists. I learned that Revolutionary League are operating in the Lower Ward near the Great Foundry. I was on patrol here when I heard the sounds of battle. I recognize this one,” he pointed to sniper who he had knocked down the stairs. The man’s neck was broken and his head laying in an awkward position, “from a wanted poster located outside the Barracks. It didn’t mention faction affiliation, but bounties rarely do.”

“Do you know what they’re plans are?”

“To spread dissonance in Sigil. To disturb the order and bring chaos. To lay low the rightful rule of law and create a period of unrest for our fair city.”

Aurian and Mozzy exchanged looks, Jer rolled his eyes.

“I think he meant… that is… in the more immediate sense,” explained Mozzy.

Two-Nine-Eight gave it some thought. “That, I do not know. I find it difficult to understand the motivations and plans of individual Revolutionary League cells and members.”

“Then how do you find them?”

“I don’t need to understand their goals. I just need to follow their tracks.”

“And you heard about them attacking Godsmen around the Great Foundry.”

“Exactly.”

It made sense, even if there was still little in the way of understanding. So, they at least knew a little bit more about what was going on. Still, the idea that someone had lured them here wasn’t sitting well with anyone.

Aurian decided to take a long shot, “You didn’t trick us into coming here did you?”

“Trick?” Two-Nine-Eight looked almost offended, if such an expression on it’s face were possible.

“I’ll take that as a no.”

“We’ll question these guys, then hand them over to the Harmonium,” said Mehen.

“That is acceptable. People say something here about a snake’s head,” said Two-Nine-Eight.

“Something like that, yes.” Mehen looked at the man Jer had just finished tying up and smiled. “Let’s have at this.” The man broke quickly.
 
Last edited:

ThirdWizard

First Post
Three-Nine-Eight looked toward the old warehouse, staring unblinking, his eyes slowly scanning across the crumbling bricks and creeping razorvine that made up the exterior. Every once in a while he would pause on one of the dirty blackened or boarded up windows that dotted the rough surface every few yards. At these, he would squint a bit, as if such an action would allow his vision to pierce through to the interior. Eventually, he would give up on the impossible task, and his eyes would move once again, continuing along the wall until they reached the next window where they would stop again. Finally, with the entire exterior inspected, the modron’s eyes would move back up again to the upper left corner of the building to start the entire process over once again.

As Mehen paced beside the six foot tall box on stilts, he found the modron’s repeated process unexpectedly maddening. Aurian simply leaned against the wall of the alley they had ducked into, his eyes closed, not seeming to pay attention.

“See anything there?” asked Mehen.

“I see many things. But nothing of note,” replied Two-Nine-Eight. “I don’t see why you sent the other two in alone. Is it not incredibly dangerous? We should have just charged in and killed anyone we saw.”

The modron was definitely a Mercykiller.

“This way, we might get some intel back.”

“The plan is doomed to failure in the end,” Two-Nine-Eight responded flatly.

“Sort of. They’ll have to wing it, see how things turn out.”

Two-Nine-Eight did not turn from the warehouse and paused his surveillance, his eyes unmoving for several seconds. Then he continued once again. “I don’t like winging it in this way. Your allies have limited options inside.”

Mehen didn’t argue with that. He agreed for the most part.

The mercenary they’d interrogated had said that he didn’t belong to any faction, but that this was where they were supposed to take the captive Godsman. He claimed it was part of the job that they keep one alive for questioning, and he didn’t know why, but he did know where the dropoff was supposed to be. They believed him. Soon after questioning, a Harmonium patrol had taken the two mercenaries off the party’s hands, leaving them to follow up on the rest. Mozzy wasn’t about to let her own faction members be taken off the streets by some Anarchists and let them get away with it, or leave it to the Harmonium to investigate. They’d find out what was up here. And, if it turned out that the mercenary was lying, they knew exactly where to find him.

So they had concocted a plan.

Mozzy and Jer had spells that they could use to disguise themselves. Mozzy would take the form of the mercenary they’d questioned while Jer would look just like the Godsman who they had rescued. Mozzy would then pretend to be the only merc left standing while she offered Jer up, trying to get any information that she could. They had quickly tied Jer up in some rigged rope, and the two of them simply walked in the front door. If anything were to go wrong, the rest of the group would be waiting outside.

And so, they waited.

Two-Nine-Eight asked another question. “What information do you wish to discover. They are Anarchists. They are law-breakers. Surely, as a Guvener that is all you need? Take prisoners if you can, like before. It seems unnecessarily risky.”

Aurian spoke up this time. “Because we don’t know where in the warehouse they are. We don’t even know if they’re there yet. We need to scout, but we need to do it in a way that is as inconspicuous as possible. Mozzy and Jer going in, looking like expected guests, means that everything is going as expected, from the Anarchists perspectives.”

Two-Nine-Eight mulled it over. “That is true. But, Mozzy is not going to hand over Jer.”

“We’ll be in there before any kind of situation arises,” responded Aurian.

“If everything goes as plan.” said Mehen. That was, after all, the part where improvisation would prove difficult. What exactly would Mozzy and Jer do after they had gathered all the information they could, and it was time for the prisoner exchange? Other than sounding the alarm and waiting for the cavalry, that is. “It depends on how long they can stall.” He turned to Three-Nine-Eight. “We just have to have faith in our friends that they can adapt to the situation as it develops, and that they give us enough time to get in there that we still have the edge up on the Revolutionary League.”

“I just hope that they do not escape,” said Two-Nine-Eight. His eyes stopped briefly, then pinged back to the upper right, his slow scan starting from the beginning once again.

“Mozzy is right there with you.”

There was a long lull, as they continued to wait in their own way. Two minutes turned into three minutes, which gave way to five more minutes after that. It was approaching the fifteen minute mark from when the two first went in when Aurian got the signal.

“We’re headed in,” he whispered, seemingly to no one in particular. Then louder. “The Anarchists know they aren’t who they say they are. We’ve got to move faster than expected.”

With that, the three broke into a run.
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
It was dark inside the building as Mozzy and Jer entered through an alleyway door and walked through the warehouse proper. If there was somewhere in particular they were supposed to be headed, they had neglected to ask. They didn’t really think about that part before, and the vast space dragged on ahead of them into inky blackness. The whole place stunk, and it seemed like it used to be some kind of wood pulp storage or something along those lines. Dingy old crates sat along the walls, often rotting from moisture, and a layer of dust lay across the ground. No one had used most of this place in years, but in looking around they did find an area near one of the walls that seemed more in use than the rest of the derelict structure. Perhaps, they thought, this was some kind of meeting place that the Revolutionary League used often. As they turned a corner around a stack of old shelves and rat droppings, a voice called out from the edge of Mozzy’s sight, and she squinted to see who was there.

“Took you long enough.” It was a woman with a husky rasp.

There were several figures standing at a distance, and Mozzy could only make out a couple of them reasonably. The mercenary had been human, though, so she looked around like she could barely see anything, then started making her way slowly toward the direction the voice had come from, pretending to stumble a few times in the darkness. Jer didn’t have to pretend. He could barely see the ground beneath his feet, and Mozzy was getting into character, giving the bard a few pushes to make it look real.

She could see them better now. There was a dark woman standing in the lead, tall and broad shouldered with a greatsword on her back. She wore some kind of light chain. She also looked impatient, a snarl on her face, her arms crossed tightly. Beside her was a stick of a man wearing a simple brown tunic and some kind of spectacles. On the other side was another woman that Mozzy recognized, the scaly woman with the cockatrice who was at the bar. Unfortunately, the cockatrice was still in tow. Behind them were two more people standing in the shadows just barely out of her darkvision. One was tall and muscular and the other was shorter and lithe. She thought both were probably men.

“Far enough,” the woman said. Mozzy could see a streak of red in her white hair, sharp features, and piercing blue eyes. “Where’s the rest of yer crew.”

“Dead,” replied Mozzy. When had the woman with the cockatrice left? Did she see that it was a lost cause? The Anarchists had still shown up here… maybe her’s and Jer’s cover wasn’t blown. She could play this off. “There was more resistance than expected in the bar. That’s fine with me. I’ll just keep all the jink for myself.”

The woman scowled. “That’s the trouble with mercs,” she said to the woman standing beside her. “No honor.” She shook her head.

Look who was talking, thought Mozzy.

The man standing in front pulled out a pouch about the size of Mozzy’s fist and shook it, a jingling sound coming from it. “Hand him over first. Then you get your pay,” he said.

“How do I know you Revolutionary League types will keep your end of the bargain now that I don’t have my backup?”

The scaled woman whispered something into the leader’s ear, who smiled. “You’ll just have to trust us. You earned your fifty silver pieces.”

That was at least implied admission that they were indeed Revolutionary League. Two-Nine-Eight wasn’t wrong. So, Anarchists were definitely taking Godsmen. The implications flew through Mozzy’s head, but she continued to try to get more information.

“I’ve got some more boys that can help capture more Godsmen, you know. Same price, and I’ll catch you as many sods as you want. If you can give me a name or a face, I can find anybody in this whole city, even. Done it before.”

“We’ll know more about who we need captured after we question this one. Then, maybe, if you’re lucky, we’ll talk about future employment.” The smile was gone from the leader’s face, and the scowl had returned. The scaled woman stepped backwards, slowly and smoothly, and said something to the large man in the back, who did not acknowledge her at all. The leader’s arms slackened, and fell to her sides, her fingers rattling against her chain, drumming.

Okay. So, they were questioning Godsmen and looking for someone in particular. If only she could narrow that down. To find someone in particular. But, how would she get that information out of them. She had to stall for time. Mozzy pretended to give Jer a good kick forward and, always a performer, he gave a practiced yelp, falling over in front of her. While she was pulling him to his feet, she decided to bluff. There were several rumors going around in the Great Foundry, so she picked one of them. If they were going after Godsmen for information, then maybe it was about something she had heard. What could it hurt?

“While I was headed here, this one said something about one of his faction members who disappeared recently. If it’s about that, he may have some good information.” Mozzy looked close for any sign that she had hit pay dirt. The reaction on the face of the spectacled man to the leader’s side was unmistakably surprise. She got something right just now. The smaller man in the back disappeared around one of the crates while the scaled woman’s lips curled up. Their leader shook her head.

“You aren’t supposed to talk to the prisoner. Well, you’d know that if you were who you said you were.” She smiled. It was not a pleasant smile.

Mozzy swallowed. She’d been made at some point. But, when? Didn’t matter. She and Jer took a few steps back, and Jer quickly jerked his hands to drop the fake bondings as the leader, scaley woman and her cockatrice, and the large man in the back started to advance, the sound of weapons being drawn, metal on metal, echoing through the warehouse. They couldn’t be sure where the smaller man disappeared to, and the spectacled man was standing back watching. They hoped he was just the accountant.

“I never doubted it would go down like this eventually,” said Jer.

“Always seems to,” replied Mozzy. Then she whispered, “We’ve been made and they want to kill us now.”

“Well?” asked Jer.

“They’re coming.”

Hopefully the others would arrive quickly.
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
The Anarchists attacked.

The woman who had done the talking, and presumably the leader, was the first to act. She curled her hands around the hilt of the greatsword on her back, using her other hand to release the blade. Her shoulders flexed, and the greatsword swung out while she moved forward, still smiling as she whipped the large through the air a couple of times on her approach.

Mozzy didn’t have a lot of spell power left, but she wasn’t about to hold anything back. They had remained far enough away during the verbal exchange that she and Jer had a few moments before the Anarchists engaged them in melee. Mozzy quickly focused on forming a globule of highly acidic liquid above her fingers, floating in the air and rotating just slightly. With a flick of her wrist, the ball flew from her hand. She chose her target carefully, striking the cockatrice before it could reach them and possibly turn them to stone. The reptilian woman screamed as the acid engulfed her pet, it’s burned body falling, dead, to the floor. The snarling scaled covered creature then reached behind her and pulled out a scimitar, her eyes full of hatred, and she took off at a run directly toward Mozzy, passing the leader in her rage. Mozzy backed away as fast as she could, but she knew it wouldn’t be fast enough.

Meanwhile, the spectacled man took a few steps and turned a corner, disappearing from view.

Jer pulled out a hand crossbow that he had been hiding and quickly shot a bolt into the reptilian woman’s leg, the only enemy he could see at this point. She ignored both him and the tiny bolt, continuing her advancement on Mozzy. The bard pulled out another bolt and began to crank back the bow, hoping he could get another shot before anyone was on him. Jer then moved back as far as he could, along with Mozzy to try to put some distance between them and their enemies. It wasn’t enough.

Before he could react, Jer had the leader on him, her greatsword taking aim at his neck, and he was barely able to dodge in time before having his head removed from his body. He fell backwards, rolled, and stood only in time to be swiped at again, this time taking a bad looking cut to his left arm. He dropped the hand crossbow, going for a dagger, but was pushed back once again. At the same time, Mozzy was overtaken by the reptilian woman, who swiped twice with her scimitar, giving Mozzy a mean looking cut across her leg as she tried to step back. She had no weapon to defend herself with, and started looking around for anywhere to run.

That was still only two of five, and Mozzy took a quick chance to try to pinpoint the other two. Jer was barely able to see in the darkness, and he had no idea how many they were facing off against. Taking a look, Mozzy saw the large man approaching with some kind of long curved sword held in both hands. She couldn’t see the spectacled man nor the shorter man. With the warehouse so full of crates and other objects it would be trivial for them to hide somewhere in order to disappear. But, what was good for the goose was good for the gander. Finding her opportunity, she retreated from the reptilian woman and moved behind a fallen pile of old crates, weaving between stacks, hoping she could lose her pursuer.

Unfortunately, this left Jer alone for the time being. His dagger wasn’t doing much, so he tried to put some distance between himself and the greatsword-wielding maniac, concentrating on dodging her attacks. Another swipe, however, and she drew blood again. His plan of tiring her out was backfiring, as he was starting to feel light headed. Grimacing, he flexed his left hand, an ever so slight glow appearing. With a word, his wounds began to close, and he could feel some of the vigor return to him, the fatigue dropping off like it was never there. Still… he wasn’t sure how long he could hold out by himself. On the edge of his vision, he could barely see the reptilian woman move around behind one of the crate stacks, disappearing. A large man who hadn’t made a noise previously came into view and then immediately disappeared around another side. Clenching his jaw, Jer prepared to try and move back himself, trying to buy time for the others to show up.

Mozzy crouched, moving slowly and trying to make as little noise as possible and make her way back around to possibly pick off the leader with Jer while the others looked for her. Peeking through the rusted iron bars of a tall shelf, she squinted into the darkness, making out Jer and his attacker. He was barely holding his own. She wasn’t sure how long he could last, but most of her firepower was gone. Looking around, she didn’t see her pursuers, so she took a moment to pause and focus her thoughts into a spell. A small dot of acid appeared above her finger this time, and she pointed her arm toward the woman like a crossbow, letting the rotating acid fly toward her target. It struck home, but just as Mozzy had finished casting her spell, she heard someone incanting another spell behind her. Before she could react she was struck from behind by something hard and flat. The wind knocked out of her, she leaned against the bars for support and looked back over her shoulder to see the smile spectacled man.

Stumbling, she went for another pile of crates to try and hide again, but her path was blocked by a large man. She hadn’t gotten a good look at him before. He had a severe face that was covered in scars and his left eye looked blind. He wore some kind of cure hides and wielded what looked like a large flat bladed sword. A sword which, by the way, was swinging straight for her. Jumping back, she barely dodged out of the way of the swing. She started to try and make her way back the way she had come, but spotted the reptilian woman coming towards her. Hiding wasn’t going to be an option at this point. Gritting her teeth, she tried to buy time. Flanked on both sides, she managed to keep from being sliced by the attackers for a few more moments before being able to go completely on the defensive, backing up against the metal rack that now separated her from Jer.

Jer skidded backwards and ducked under a swing of the leader’s sword, extending his dagger arm forward as he dodged. He felt the resistance of cured leather as he thrust forward, and when he was back upright, he could see blood dripping from the wound as well as a thin red coating on his weapon. Stepping backward, he was clipped by the flat of the greatsword, the momentum of which almost knocked him off his feet. Spinning, he could taste the blood in his mouth, and he spit it out onto the ground. His opponent smiled, and continued to push forward. She was no pushover, and he was taking better than he was giving out. He thought he could make out Mozzy behind some kind of shelf, but he wasn’t sure about anything in this darkness. He hoped she was doing better than he was. Given enough time, and enough healing spells, he might have won this one on one fight, but she started this one fresh, and he was out of spells now. All he could do was try to hang on until… Finally he heard the jingling metal of chainmail coming closer. He moved back as far as he could, toward the sound.

Aurian’s voice echoed in the confined space, bouncing off of the various crates and piles of decaying wood that lined the walls of the warehouse. As he did so, three barely illuminated orbs of pure force erupted from the darkness, flying toward the leader of the group who was facing off against Jer. She cried out in pain as they slammed into her, but she stood her ground. Two-Nine-Eight was right behind, his halberd curving through the air and colliding with Jer’s attacker’s weapon. Sparks flew as the modron stepped between Jer and the woman. Jer took the opportunity to move back the way he had come, to pick up his crossbow once again.

On the other side of the racks, Mehen slammed his maul into the reptilian woman, the sound of cracking ribs making Mozzy grimace as her pursuer slumped to the ground. The man with the large sword who had Mozzy cornered turned, at this, and growled at the dragonborn. The two squared off, the man’s first swing going wild, with Mehen able to easily dodge the attack. Mozzy used the opportunity to look around trying to find the spectacled man, but he was nowhere to be seen now. Stepping back, she carefully moved past Mehen and prepared another small acid spell, throwing it at the large man and burning his arm. Mehen slammed his maul into the Anarchist’s leg, the sweep cracking his leg, and he was thrown lopsided, his head coming into contact with the floor in a loud conclusion.

Back on the other side, Two-Nine-Eight had taken a nasty strike from the woman’s great sword, but he muttered a short phrase and his wounds closed like he had never been lacerated. Finding his crossbow, Jer was finally able to put two bolts in the woman, dropping her. She snarled as she hit the floor, lashing out one more time at the modron before finally succumbing to her injuries and passing out on the ground in a pool of her own blood. Aurian approached slowly, and the group remained on the lookout.

“Was that all of them?” asked Mehen.

“No,” replied Mozzy, “There were two others, but I only got a good look at one of them. A thin guy with glasses, a spellcaster, was one of them. I’d recognize him if I saw him again. I don’t know about the other. Maybe a bit under six feet, male, average build. I think they both took off.”

“I would expect them to leave their comrades at the first sign of danger,” said Two-Nine-Eight. “Still. Today was a victory.”

Mehen used the last of his magic to heal Jer, who was not looking so great. “You stood toe to toe longer than I thought you were capable of.”

“It’s surprising what you can do when you’ve got a sword pointed at you,” replied the bard.

Mehen nodded.

“So, I hope that almost dying was worth it,” said Aurian. “I hope you found out something good. Because they’re all dead now, and aren’t going to be talking. Whoever they were.”

“Anarchists,” replied Two-Nine-Eight.

“Yes, but… I mean… we still don’t know what they wanted.”

“I think I figured it out,” said Mozzy. “I got the leader to admit something before the fight started. They were trying to get information about someone. There are rumors going on in the Great Foundry about… well… there are a lot of rumors, but I think I pinpointed which one. First, I need to confirm what I think I know before we go any further. There are certain things we don’t like to talk about with outsiders if we don’t have to. You understand.”

The others understood. Everybody had secrets that weren’t theirs to keep. That’s how it worked.

“It was good working with you. With this cell effectively destroyed, my work here is done,” said Two-Nine-Eight.

“I’m sure we’ll run into each other again,” said Mehen.

“I hope so,” said the modron. With that, he was gone just as suddenly as he had shown up.

After checking the bodies for any incriminating evidence and finding nothing, they started moving out. It was best not to stay too close to the scene of a bloody massacre in the city for too long. There would be annoying questions, and Mehen would be able to fill out a report on their activities as soon as he got back to the Courthouse which would give the proper context soon enough anyway. It was useful having a Guvner around in that way.

They would meet the next day after Mozzy had a chance to get a next move.
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
Factotum Berroda’s office smelled of soot. The coals of her own personal forge glowed in the dim light of the room, a small one but with a heat that could never quite be quenched. Still, she didn’t really use it that often. She just liked to look at it, to smell it, said it reminded her of who she was and what she coudl be. At the moment, the bariaur Factotum stood looking into it, Mozzy seated behind her, uncomfortable. Berroda was aging, her hair and fur turning gray and she wasn’t quite as muscular as she had been thirty years ago in her youth, her hammer now traded for a quill and ink. The Godsman had been looking into the glowing coals for a full three minutes now after Mozzy had explained what happened and asked her question. At this point, Mozzy wasn’t sure if her boss’s boss was looking to answer her question at all. After all, this was generally outside the responsibilities of Mozzy’s rank, that of a simple Namer. If she didn’t get any answers from her faction, though, she might have to drop the entire investigation, let others take care of the murders of her own faction members. At least two of the Anarchists she knew to still be alive. As long as they lived, and as long as what they wanted was still out there, the attacks could continue. She needed information if she were to proceed. She needed Berroda to trust her. So, she remained silent and waited patiently.

At last, the Factotum turned, looking back into Mozzy’s eyes, nodded, and then turned away again toward the embers. “Thram Kip. I was hoping that the name wouldn’t have gotten around. But, when you put someone in Harbinger House, I suppose you expect some rumors.” Berroda trotted behind her desk and sat down, pulling out a thin stack of formerly loose papers all bound together into a sort of ad hoc booklet. On the cover was written “The Sounding Stone” in some of the finest penmanship that Mozzy had ever seen. “This is our entire knowledge base on what Kip was working on, a theory as to the inception of a planar oddity known as the sounding stone. It represents none of his actual work and only information on the stones that was collected previous to his research being conducted. In it are accounts of the powers of these stones, which Kip to my knowledge was the first to piece together. At least, he was the first to create an account of them that realized there was more than one.” Berroda watched Mozzy carefully as she talked. Mozzy listened intently.

“A sounding stone is a thing,” Berroda paused, “not necessarily a stone. A person keeps it on them, and the sounding stone becomes an echo of their deepest beliefs. Eventually, it collects those beliefs enough to make them true in some way. The person has no way to influence how this effect manifests. They just have the satisfaction of knowing that their beliefs will become real.”

Mozzy nodded, her eyes widening.

Berroda turned to one of the pages in the makeshift book. This one was a dirty leather page, written in by a some kind of burning process. Mozzy didn’t recognize the script. “The Tale of The Sword of Namshel is one such instance. Namshel was a devotee of Pelor who fought against the tides of evil. For him, the sounding stone took the form of a citrine, which he used as the centerpiece of his holy symbol: the sun from which Pelor’s holy light emanated. His lot in life was to fight baatezu, which he did with great fervor. His most hated enemy was a cornugon of great intellect and deceit named Brigak. The two squared off, finally, in the pits of Baator. In that battle, all of his companions lost their lives, and he was thrown to the ground. Brigak gloated over his battered body. That is when Namshel’s holy symbol glowed with a brilliant light that stunned the baatezu. When the light subsided, Namshel was holding a sword glowling with an amber light, and fully healed. The devil died that day.”

Berroda slowly turned the leather page, using great delicacy. Mozzy could tell that the page was old, possibly ancient. Berroda let her finger glide across the page, coming to a stopping point a few lines down. She frowned as she read the next part.

“Namshel retired after that. The physical trauma took its toll, and he built a new grand temple, teaching of Pelor to many who came to hear his tale. Upon his death it was said that the holy sword spoke. What it said is passed down within what is now referred to as the Order of Namshel. The fate of the sword, like the words it uttered, has been lost to time.”

“Do you know where this temple is?” asked Mozzy.

Berroda looked up. “We’ve searched, but found nothing, only rumor.”

“It’s an amazing story. And… its true?”

“According to Thram. And, he is meticulous. If he says it’s true, I believe him.”

Mozzy nodded considering. Thram Kip. He was recently an up and comer, destined to be the next Factol some said. Now apparently he was in Harbinger House, a place she had only heard about in whisper. She wasn’t sure what it was, but Berroda had said the name like she was talking about more than a simple building. That matched what little she knew about it.

While Mozzy thought, Berroda turned to another page. This script was in Common printed with a fine hand upon good paper that was still white and crisp. It looked recently written with a meticulous hand. “This is taken from an oral story of an anonymous Bleaker that is spoken of in the Hive. For him, the sounding stone took the form of a round pebble, which he had affixed to a silver necklace he wore at all times. The tales do not mention his name, but he ran the soup kitchen for the Gatehouse at one point in the not-so-distant past.”

Mozzy glanced down at the page. There was a picture of the necklace that Berroda had mentioned. It didn’t look like anything special. Truly important things rarely did.

Berroda continued reading. “This man believed that all could be redeemed, that if one accepted their fate, their place in the Multiverse, that they could then overcome that which held them back whatever it may be. If one understood that there was no point to anything, and that desire was a futility, that people’s minds would no longer be troubled. This is the basic tenet of the Bleak Cabal. One day, just like any other, the pebble on his chain cracked and broke in two. At first the man was dismayed, believing that he had done something wrong. However, a miraculous thing happened. Many of the insane started making sense. They didn’t seem crazy anymore. Over the next few days, the Bleakers started releasing those within the Gatehouse in droves, many of those released joining the Bleak Cabal Faction. For a single day, there were no inmates in the entire asylum. The Gatehouse emptied. Records corroborate this information, and it seems this happened roughly three hundred and forty years ago, give or take. The name of the Bleaker, however, is lost to time.”

“And that story-” began Mozzy

“Has been verified against official Bleak Cabal records, though not through official channels.” Berroda closed the book “And, those are but two stories that Thram was able to piece together. There are many more.”

Mozzy felt like she should say something about the implications, but she was floored by the idea that this was possible. Did such things really exist? What would happen if the Revolutionary League were to get their hands on some of these stones? How should she respond? She decided to just say the first thing that popped into her head after hearing that. “What can I do?”

Berroda smiled. “There is something we would like to get our hands on that we’ve let lie for too long now.”
 

ThirdWizard

First Post
The group - Mozzy, Mehen, Aurian, and Jer - sat in silence in the Mimir. It was early afternoon, and there weren’t many customers. Esbjorn had let them into a back room to talk privately, busying himself in the back room getting the barrels of mead ready to roll out when the evening rush arrived. Mozzy had related what she had learned that morning to the others, telling the two stories that Berroda had told to her. They had a task to do, and the group deserved to know why they were risking their lives - their very minds - for this one. And, it was a doozy.

Aurian spoke up first. “So, Thram was doing research on these stones?”

Mozzy nodded.

“And, right now the Believers in the Source, the Godsmen that is, don’t have the research. But, they know where it is, and in a fairly safe place. But they’d like to move it to the Foundry. So where is it?”

“In his home. A small enclave where he lived with a few other spellcasters to be exact. It’s a large house in the Clerk’s Ward just off Montgomery Street.”

“Swanky neighborhood,” said Jer.

“And why haven’t they just gone in and gotten it yet?” asked Mehen.

“That’s because for whatever reason, everyone there went insane.”

The others exchanged looks.

“And this is why Godsmen were being attacked?” asked Aurian.

“It’s likely, and it adds up. It’s something that’s worth killing for. Especially for Anarchists. Think about what might happen if they got their hands onto something, or things, that could turn their wildest fantasies into reality. I don’t see how they could not go after it.”

Mehen shivered, shaking his head. “We can’t allow that.”

“But, why were they attacking random Godsmen?” asked Aurian.

“Thram is in… a safe place.” She didn’t want to mention Harbinger House. It’s very existence was not pertinent and a closely guarded secret, one that she didn’t know the dark of but still knew enough not to mention. That Thram was there now explained why it was so difficult for the Anarchists to find out anything. Even she barely knew of its existence before Berroda had confirmed it directly when he said Thram was there. “The Anarchists don’t know where he is, and they don’t know how to get to him, although they’ve probably heard rumors about his research. They may not even know that Thram is the one who was researching the sounding stones, just that it was some Godsman high up who disappeared and nobody talks about. And, I expect you not to tell anyone about Thram himself. That is… need to know only.”

The others nodded.

“So, we go into this crazy house. We find his research. We get out. Seems straight forward,” said Jer, stroking his chin.

“There’s nothing straightforward about crazy mages in their own home,” mused Aurian dryly. “Do we have any idea what is driving them insane or if we’ll go insane if we go inside?”

“Nope. It’s why no one has gone in yet,” answered Mozzy.

“Of course it is.”

“How do we know they’re still inside?” asked Jer.

“A guard contingent has been posted. I have a writ allowing entrance, and autonomy in how to handle the house itself as well as its inhabitants. It’s all up to my discretion on how to proceed.”

“So, they can blame everything on you if it goes wrong,” noted Jer.

“Pretty much.” Mozzy leaned back in her chair and sighed.

“This gets better and better,” said Mehen.

Mozzy concluded the plan, such as it was. “And, once the research is safely in Godman hands, we simply let a rumor go around about it, and the attacks on Godsmen will hopefully stop. Of course, spying and infiltration against the Great Foundry itself will most certainly start up at that point, but that’s better than Godsmen being found dead in ditches by a long shot. Maybe some embedded Revolutionary League will make a wrong move and end up outing themselves. Who knows.”

“Speaking of those notes…” said Aurian. “I wouldn’t mind taking a look myself.”

Mehen nodded at the thought. He was always very interested in magical knowledge. “Agreed. I think a look would be acceptable. We are, after all, risking our lives. Maybe we can even make a copy for ourselves and keep investigating this independently.”

Mozzy shrugged. “I’d be fine with that. I can’t say my interest isn’t piqued.”

Jer smiled, “Maybe even get one of those stones for ourselves. I wouldn’t mind my dreams coming true.”

“We’ve got to get the research first,” said Mozzy.

“But, that’s the whole plan?” asked Mehen, “We go inside, take a look around for some notes, and hope we don’t go crazy?”

Mozzy looked at him and shrugged. “We’re going into an unknown situation with limited resources, unsure about exactly what we’re looking for, and unprepared for what we might find. No point in making a plan.”

“So just like any other day,” said Aurian.

Mozzy nodded. “Just like any other day. We’ll meet tomorrow morning in front of the house.”
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top