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The Twisting Tree (Inactive)

Game Master Mug

The world is The Tree. Tossing to and fro with the winds of change. Under siege from vermin, fire, and chaos. The Tree needs it's Thorns to protect it, Pruners to guide its shape. Are you up to the Task? -Pruner


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Pruner stands quietly, tying knots as he so often does, leaned against the heavy wooden pillars inside Vaynes Trading, the merchant front where you've spent much of your training year. There are some crates and small barrels in your customary meeting spot, Pruner long ago instilling in you the advantages of meeting out in the open, instead of a small room with few exits and no visiblity. Seeing your enemies, and letting them see you, is not the same as them listening in on your conversations, or understanding that conversation. He watches from beneath dark eyebrows as each of you enter, scarcely acknowledging you, except for a slight incline of his head or a quick glance at the haphazard meeting area you all are so familiar with.

You each are returning after your longest absence yet, Pruner sending out for bigger and bigger assignments, some making sense, and others not... but you know each of them is a test. You've caught glimpses of other Pruners, or at least watchers, as you've completed these tasks, probably because they've made little to no efforts to hide themselves -you are in training after all. But this meeting is different, this night's conversation could mark the end of your training as you all so deeply yearn for, each for your own separate reasons. Everything you've learned has been leading you to this moment, the business dealings, the trade negotiations, the parties, the midnight meetings, the weapons trainings and all the rest.

Pruner sighs quietly, a clear sign of irritation, as he waits for everyone to appear and seat. His hands remain in constant motion, tying and untying, tying and untying.

Go ahead an mark your entrance. The setting is the open-air area of your merchant building, among some crates, barrels, ropes and things along one side of the open loading area. The walls of Vaynes Trading rise up around the open area, and the entrance is a stout and wide wooden gate covered in reinforcing iron strips to create a surprisingly sturdy portal. There is a recessed portion of the loading area (1st floor), underneath the second floor of your building, and thick logs keep the upper portion (2nd floor) supported. We'll have time later to talk about ourselves, but this is just your entrance, descriptions, etc... You all know Pruner, and each other. Lets see what we have going here :)


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin moves effortlessly, even gracefully, through the goods gathered within the merchant building despite broad shoulders that force him to turn sideways to step around piles of stacked merchandise. He wears the customary armor of the Molthune army, a chain shirt emblazoned with the nation's mark, but the metal links that comprise the piece remain silent as the hobgoblin makes his way toward the meeting space.

He notes but does not return Pruner's nod as Halbrin springs atop a large crate. Setting his back against the wall he folds his hands against his chest and drapes his right leg over the crate's edge. His right foot taps impatiently against the wooden container as Halbrin waits for the others to arrive.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna enters the meeting area in her standard civilian clothes, rather than her armor, though her sword rests at her side. She carries herself with the smooth, sure steps of a warrior, but she makes no real effort silence her steps the way Halbrin does. She leans against a crate in a smooth motion that still suggests a readiness to spring forth at a moment's notice. As she does so, she smiles ever so slightly and says "Hello Pruner. Hello Halbrin. Beautiful evening, isn't is?"


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin shrugs in response and offers a toothy grin. "Too early to tell, dear Elianna; the evening remains young, though I will admit tonight's sunset showed more promise than usual." The hobgoblin lightly flicks the disk hanging from his left ear, causing the silver earring to begin spinning slowly. One side of the medallion bears the comely face of a human woman, while a simple mask adorns the reverse.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna snorts a bit as she laughs and says "You have got to be the most poetic hobgoblin I have ever met, Hal."


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

"It pays to be charmin', especially with a mug like mine. Puts folks off-balance." Halbrin tabs his head thoughtfully. "Life's a lot simpler when the folks can't figure out what you're thinkin'."


A smile plays over Pruners mouth, to accompany his nod, at Elianna's entrance. Holding up the two complicated knots currently tied into the rope, "Welcome Brin, Eli, what's holding up the others? Perhaps a small exercise while we wait?" At the last he casually draws a short blade with practiced ease, sliding it's razor edge between the two knots severing the rope neatly.

In the same way he's done so many times before, he holds up the now separated knots, eyebrows raised in a questioning manner, and simultaneously tosses the smell lengths to you both. From experience you both know the 'game', used to test your progressing creativity and different problem solving skills, as much as pass the time. Whomever can unravel the knot fastest 'wins', usually just claiming the bragging rights, but to Pruners ever-watchful eye this process seems to reveal so much more.

You may use either straight Dex to untie it. You can use Str to force otherwise unyielding strands. Wisdom to understand the flow of the knots, or Int to quickly formulate a plan, and execute it, in order to untie the knot. Please explain (non-verbally) your choice in the effort you make.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin deftly catches the knot in one hand while drawing his silvered dagger with the other. The hobgoblin utilizes the point of the small blade to manipulate the rope, separating adjacent sections of the chord to allow him to progressively loosen the knot until it comes undone.

Once finished Halbrin pins the length of rope to the crate with his weapon, then settle back once more to wait for the others' arrival.

Dexterity 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna knows her fingers are not as subtle or quick as Halbrin's and attempts to make up for it by forcing the sections of rope that get stuck. Once she gets the knot to a seemingly manageable size, she pins one end under a hand and the crate she leans on, and suddenly yanks the other end hard.

Strength 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9

"Guess you beat me again, Hal."


Male Human (Midlander) Woodsman 9; Init +4 (+2 Dex., +2 Reactionary); Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Sense Emotion, Perception +15; AC 19 (+2 Dex., +7 Def. bonus); HP 105/126; Fort +10; Ref +5; Will +10

A quiet flutter of wings accompanied by a soft thump signal the arrival of Keelix. His wings folded on his back, he slips through the door. Rather than wend his way between the crates of goods, he lifts his wings again and flies over them, landing in the clear area around Pruner.

Keelix is wearing the simple clothing he usually wears, suitable for working gear and sturdy enough to hold up to extended travel. His heavy bow is cased on his back between his wings, a few wood chips are caught in his light grey hair, and there is sawdust on his sleeves. He has obviously just come from the small archery goods shop he works in. He nods briefly to Hal and Eli and turns to Pruner.

Apologies for being tardy, Pruner. You would think by now the City Watch would know who I am and that I am not a threat to them. They seem to keep forgetting, however, and it took some small amount of time to remind them.


Pruner watches the contest in silence, but he eyes don't miss a thing. "Well done Halbrin, proving once again that the knife is mightier than the fist." he winks in Eli's direction, to take any potential sting out of the praise. His eyes turn skyward at the sound of wings, and he watches Keelix make his way to the group. He rolls his hand and presents his palm up in Keelix's direction, as if physically presenting the conversational point he's about to make, "Well Keelix, you are Strix after all. As has been pointed out, humans fear of your kind is probably healthier for most them in the big scheme of things. Is it not so?" While his words are serious, there is no mistaking the playful light in his eyes, the two of you having had discussions along similar veins many times before. He waits to see if you rise to the bait, hand still upright.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

"Don't worry, Featherhead, I appreciate havin' you around; when they see you comin' no one even notices me." The hobgoblin chuckles at his own statement, finding it particularly humorous.


Albrecht swiftly strides into the room, aware that he is once again running late. He apologizes to the others, remnants of this Ustalavian accent still coming through, though not as thick as it once was many years ago, "Sorry to keep you waiting, I was err ... trying to finish up a special piece". He had a tendency to get lost in his work and ignore the passage of time, that focus meant his craftmanship was unparalleled, but it often meant that he was unaware of the goings on around him at the time.

His clothes and even his thick blonde hair still covered in a layer of fine sawdust, his broad hands dry and cracked, worn from years of cutting and smoothing wood. He wore a dark brown leather apron, softened by time and hard labor. It bore the signs of its age, deep wrinkles and groves set into its surface from where he bent of over his craftsman table for many hours at a time.

Despite his haste from the shoppe, he was still not abe to make up enough time. He somewhat sheepishly nodded at the others, then finally at Pruner, before abruptly looking down. He knew, as the others did, that they were nearing the culmination of their trials and that Pruner didn't look favorably on such lapses in judgement.


Male Human (Midlander) Woodsman 9; Init +4 (+2 Dex., +2 Reactionary); Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Sense Emotion, Perception +15; AC 19 (+2 Dex., +7 Def. bonus); HP 105/126; Fort +10; Ref +5; Will +10

Keelix seems to miss the light tone to Pruner's words and responds with exasperation. It would be nice if a few more of your kind could manage to not judge us all by the actions of nearly every single one of us. As he finishes the sentence, his words betray that he did, in fact, catch the jest.

Keelix turns as Albrecht comes in and smiles, his very white teeth almost glowing against his jet black skin. Welcome Albrecht.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Though Elianna appears somewhat amused at Halbrin's statement, she turns to Keelix and says "Relax, Keelix, you're among friends. Besides, we're all outcasts of a sort. In fact, Pruner is the only fully human present. Most humans would be uncomfortable when outnumbered by half-breeds and monsters. Pruner is more sensitive than to make such presumptions though." She places a very slight emphasis on the word sensitive, as she looks in Pruner's direction, and then turns back to look kindly at the Strix and the newly arrived Half-elf. "And good evening to you, Albrecht."


Pruner seems to react to Albrechts guilt with stern-ness, the rest of you know the two well enough to know that this attitude is more a reaction to Albrechts expectations, rather than Pruners actual feelings towards the half-elf. But it's gone on for as long as you've known the two, and seems to be continuing. "I'm surprised, Elianna, that you still believe I'm fully human. I'm not saying you're wrong -or right- but the fact that you believe you're right is most interesting." He finishes and his eyes flick quickly towards the door, all of you knowing what (or who) he's waiting for.


Albrecht's heart rate begins to slow and the room appears to take on an amplified stillness in contrast to the hurried pace of his walk to Vaynes Trading. He rolls a medium-sized barrel over to the group along its circular rim and eases his weight down on it as he sits. His fingers casually trace the groves and seams of the cooper’s work back and forth as he breathes a few deep breaths as a way to reset himself. The banter appears to have already begun and he smiles subtly – they have all grown close over the past year as they worked together in preparation for their full ascendance into the ranks of the Twisting Tree, and ultimately their first true assignment.

”Funny Pruner, and here I have come to believe that nothing surprises you.” He interjects with a sheepish grin.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

"You know Pruner, always tryin' to get into our heads. Attemptin' to learn our inner motivations: what we know, what we don't, and what we only think we do." Halbrin idly frees his dagger from the crate and begins using it to scratch a design into the wood. "We really ought to charge admission."


Pruner chuckles deep in his throat, "Not so Kerkovian, I am constantly surprised at the effectiveness of sarcasm."
He turns bright eyes toward Halbrin, "Ah, but then the show must be worth the price, is it not so?" He lifts a finger deliberately to his chin, as if musing to himself, "I wonder the price to gaze into an empty vessel?" His eyes consider the sky, as if the answer might be hidden there.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

"I thought you knew better by now; if you try to sneak a peek between performances there's not much to see. The stage must be cleared in preparation of the next show. Stick around, though, and you'll see the endless potential take shape; it's well worth the steep price of admittance." Halbrin grins and continues to carve. The fingers of his other hand begin lightly tapping a repetitive rhythm against the crate.


Pruners grin threatens to turn into a real smile, "Ah now I see, but how was I to know the time between performances would be so long? It can get a bit discouraging. But I suppose it is to be expected when working with prima donna." He pauses dramatically and then continues, "I do have full confidence that the wait will be worth the investment. Or else we'd all be dead." It's uncertain whether the last was a joke or not, but Pruner gives a self-satisfied smirk, as if he'd make a great jest.

Andoran

Male Aasimar Magus 2

Strolling through the front door as if he owned the place, a figure slightly over six feet tall flips open a pocketwatch as a slight frown forms on his golden colored face. Oh dear, he says, clearly being dramatic, and still looking at his watch, it appears that I have arrived last once again. My apologies if you have been waiting long, Velasar looks up at the party with silversheen eyes, the frown growing into a grin, but on my way I came across some brigands ready to rough up a young lass, and well, I would not be a gentleman if I let such activity go, yes? Once safe, the pretty girl demanded to repay me, and well... closing his pocketwatch and putting it back into his right breast pocket, he raises one eyebrow, I may be chivalrous, but I'm still a man.

He looks around the room at that comment, hailing each member with the appropriate nod or half-bow, Kerkovian; 'Brin; Elianna; Keelix my fine-feathered friend...and Pruner...well met, mates. Velaras sits down on a nearby crate, foot up against one side and pulls a gold coin from a belt pouch, beginning to work it around his golden knuckles. In an honestly polite tone, he asks their leader, Shall we begin my good man?


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin shakes his head in wonder at Velasar's explanation. "I will never understand why humans and their kin feel the need to lay with their lessers. It's a wonder the species can survive with such poor breeding habits."

Andoran

Male Aasimar Magus 2

A sly grin reforming, Velasar replies to his friend, Ah, Halbrin, therein lies the answer to your own confusion! Who ever said it had anything to do with breeding?


Albrecht shrugs off Halbrin's comment ... his status as a half breed seems to constantly merit attention, even from the most unlikely sources. "And here I was feeling guilty about being late due to working the soft curves of a fine piece of furniture, to each their own I guess." as he smiles at Velasar, not hiding well his jealousy at his apparent triumph, real or imagined.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin rolls his eyes as the aasimar elaborates upon his motivations. "Lady's gaze, I've no interest in learnin' of your matin' habits; that my people have not enslaved the lot of you by now is an embarrassment I will never live down." The hobgoblin chuckles in spite of himself. "I've met goblins with greater modesty."


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

At Halbrin's comment Elianna chimes in with a more serious tone "As have I. Honestly, Velasar, what makes you think anyone wishes to hear about you taking advantage of a frightened young woman?"

Andoran

Male Aasimar Magus 2

Ready to comment about working soft curves, Velasar gives a slight chuckle at Halbrin's comments, but becomes much more acquiescent once Elianna speaks. Dear Elianna, he says in a soft, serious tone, his golden eyes staring directly at his lovely companion, I would hope you know me enough by now that I would do no such thing. It was not advantage I took, nor was this woman truly frightened.

Sighing, the aasimar continues, To be honest, if I hadn't shown up when I did, I firmly believe the lady would have skewered the man where he stood - this was no mere commoner, it was the Lady Skye, proprietor of the "establishment of fun" uptown. Truth be told, once I saw it was her, I almost kept walking so she wouldn't think I was playing the chivalrous pig, but I caught a wink that told me to feel free to assist, so I greased the fool's feet out from underneath him so Skye could give a nice kick in the jewels.

A bit more sheepishly but still well composed, he finishes, And yes, she did wish to - thank me - but trust me, if anyone was frightened at the time, it would only have been I to be lying with that woman. Gods she is strong!

Velasar walks over to the suli and leans to kiss her hand, And now that my exaggerations have been called out, perhaps we can move on? Peace, Eli?


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna pulls her hand away, not sharply, but with a clear measure of distaste. Fine Velasar. I guess that tale is a bit easier to swallow. And I agree, let's let the situation drop and move on to whatever Pruner had in mind.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbran's chuckles turn into unrestrained laughter. "You're a lucky one, Vel. You're not nearly as Cayden-tongued as you believe, and our dear Elianna is a particularly adept female; if she had half the sense of a hobgoblin she would have taken a lump of your flesh in payment for your offense." The hobgoblin's laughter stills, as if something has occurred to him.

"I will admit, though, by my people's standards you two would make an impressive match. Your offspring would likely be quite strong."


Albrecht new what he was getting into when he started his training sometime ago. As is often the case with a diverse group, bonds that take a little longer to form, those that must bridge the gaps of prejudice or ignorance, often are ultimately the strongest. As a team, this unlikely group is a powerful concert of forces. Their trust in each other is equally as strong. He would sacrifice anything to save them, and they he, and when combined with their faith in the Twisting Tree, this made them a daunting team.

His grin forms into a smile as he listens in on the back and forth.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna turns her head sharply in Halbrin's direction. "You know Hal, you ought to be glad I know some measure of self-restraint, or I'd take a lump out of your flesh for even suggesting such a thing. The gods only know where Velasar has been, or how often he Lady Skye's establishment. Does anyone have anything to drink? I need to get this taste out of my mouth."


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

The hobgoblin attempts to feign a look of innocence, though his bright orange eyes and abundant teeth spoil the appearence. "I don't understand what you mean, Elianna. That's not a compliment among your backward people?" Halbrin widen his eyes and places his open palm to his lips in shocked imitation of the wealthy nobles that frequent Eranmas' shopping district.

"It is truly a shame; one should be proud of one's potential for favorable breedin'."


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna gets somewhat red in the face and lets out a short, frustrated sound. "Sometimes you are completely insufferable, Halbrin Markes." With that she turns her attention back to Pruner and says to the room in general "Can we please stop discussing the breeding habits of various group members and get back to why we are supposed to be here?"


Male Human (Midlander) Woodsman 9; Init +4 (+2 Dex., +2 Reactionary); Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Sense Emotion, Perception +15; AC 19 (+2 Dex., +7 Def. bonus); HP 105/126; Fort +10; Ref +5; Will +10

With an amused smile, Keelix hands a drinking skin over to Elianna. The contents are a high quality raspberry mead. Perhaps this will suit?


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna is clearly flustered still, and at first she does not register the Strix's offer. Once she does she murmurs a quick thanks before taking a small swig. "Wow! Cayden himself would praise this brew Keelix. Are you sure you aren't an angel in disguise?" She laughs a bit and already seems to have relaxed.

Keelix clearly knows that the way to Eli's heart is through a fine beverage.


Male Human (Midlander) Woodsman 9; Init +4 (+2 Dex., +2 Reactionary); Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Sense Emotion, Perception +15; AC 19 (+2 Dex., +7 Def. bonus); HP 105/126; Fort +10; Ref +5; Will +10

It is rather tasty isn't it? As it so happens, I obtained this from one of Cayden's followers. They have all the best brews. And vintages. And distillations. As to my angelic nature... Keelix Extends his wings one at a time and turns to look at them consideringly. Well, if true, I am certainly the black sheep of that company.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Eli laughs warmly at Keelix's joke and replies "Perhaps so. But, in all seriousness, I have tasted Velasar's drinks, and made plenty of my own, but few were as good as this. When we have some free time I'd love to meet my fellow Caydenite so we can talk shop."

Andoran

Male Aasimar Magus 2

Opening his arms wide, gesturing to himself, Velasar laughs at Keelix's angelic comment. My friend, you put angels on a bit too high of a pedestal. Take it from one with their blood in his veins...most of their breed are overrated...if you are the black sheep, it is only because the majority are too scared to change their color.

The group is already aware of Vel's jaded view on his angelic nature - though they may not understand why just yet - but he still takes joy at any chance he can take to poke fun at his winged sires.


"What does it say about our group, when one such as I, normally an oddity, even an outcast, is a bland taste of vanilla in comparison to the exotic spices set out here before me.” He smiles at the others and continues sheepishly, “Thanks guys for making me feel so normal”


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

"Albrecht, my dear, I hate to be the one to break the news but hanging around with the likes of us doesn't make you seem more normal. It makes you seem even more strange than other half-elves. We're like one big, oddball family." She says the last part with an overly cheery grin.


Albrecht leans back on his barrel, his mouth open and his eyes gazing up as if searching for something to say. The irony and logic in her statement both hit him simultaneously with a thud."Fair enough then, here we find ourselves somewhere between exclusive and excluded, but clearly we were never being boring."


Male Human (Midlander) Woodsman 9; Init +4 (+2 Dex., +2 Reactionary); Senses Low-Light Vision, Scent, Sense Emotion, Perception +15; AC 19 (+2 Dex., +7 Def. bonus); HP 105/126; Fort +10; Ref +5; Will +10

Keelix smiles happily, That, my friend, is one thing they cannot call us!


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

"Sometimes I find Vel's stories rather boring. Does that count?"


Having watched the entrance of Velasar and the ensuing banter, the normally hard-nosed Pruner gives a snort, "Alright, that's enough Seedlings." He often uses the moniker 'Seedlings' when reminding the group of their child-like status -in his eyes- and bring them back to reality. "I'm pleased we could all make it tonight, and so good to see some of you so eager to keep your skills well-honed, profession, social, or otherwise." his eyes lighting on each of you depending on the skill you may have been improving before your arrival. "For the record; promptness is also a skill. Now, as you probably already know, Watchers have been entering the city for several weeks." he starts to pace back and forth, hands clasped behind him, this gesture an unusual display of nervousness from your teacher. "They've been in contact with me, and have observed all of you going about your business activities, as well as any tending you have been up to."
Tending refers to any actions performed on behalf of the Twisting Tree

His pacing continues, but now he walks around your chairs and resting places, looking into your faces as he does so, "There remains one more test. You are well trained and capable. I know you can do it. Instructions will be given after the final task is complete." He hands over a small piece of paper to Halbrin, gives you all a final look and a faint grin. He utters a familiar mantra, as close to good luck wishes he's ever given, "Guard the Tree, Mind the Winds." and turns and heads into the building, a tall powerful figure with bowed head.

The Tasks:
Seedlings, listen well and execute these commands with care and skill. Guard the Tree, Mind the Winds.
1) Head to Mulberry Street and enter the western warehouse. Do not harm the guards outside in any way, inside anything goes. Retrieve a key from a man called Parrin, *there is a well-drawn picture of a small, skinny sort of fellow with a pock-marked face*. He must not recognize, or remember your faces. Do what you must to ensure his silence. It'd be best if he weren't killed.
2) Take the key to Red's Jewelry Shoppe. Inside the key unlocks a safe with a large black envelope inside, which you must take. Make the theft look like a regular burglary.
3) Place this same envelope inside the desk of Councilman Lann without being detected. Cause a search to be enacted on the councilman's home so the envelope will be found. Confirm it has been found by the Guard.
4) Go get food at a public restaurant and wait for further instruction.
You have 24 hours to complete these tasks. If you cannot, then leave Molthune and forget you ever heard of Us.


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna looks thoughtful as Pruner makes his exit. "Hmmm. I wonder why he gave that to you specifically, Halbrin. I wonder if his pacing led him to you by accident or design, but I guess there is no knowing the mind of Pruner."

With that, she saunters over to Halbrin and peers over his should at the paper. "Well? What have we got?"


Albrecht sits patiently, awaiting the revealation of the contents of the paper. 'What next?' he thinks to himself, 'The journey has been so long and yet at the same time it feels like they have just baerely started upon their path.' He looks up expectantly at Halbrin.


LN male hobgoblin rogue 2

Halbrin snorts in amusement as he hands the paper to Elianna. "Seems we get to skulk around a bit. Play a little snatch and grab. Maybe a bit of frame-up; it is the kind of thing I have a knack for, I freely admit, and I particularly like the frame-up."

Can we get some background on Councilman Lann? What's he look like and what does he do? Also, what do we know about the Mulberry Street warehouse and Red' Jewelry?

Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14


Female Suli Fighter (Armor Master) 2

Elianna looks over the list and grunts. "You might have a knack for this kind of stuff, Hal, but I've never had much talent for sneaking about. I might have to leave my armor at home, but I'll want my shield." She looks at the attached sheet for a moment before saying "Parrin is not a pretty fellow, is he?" With that, she passes the paper down the line to Albrecht.


Albrecht looks intently over the note, reading each line carefully. His eyes squint as he reads, not due to his vision, but signaling that he his mind is working to develop a plan of attack. He folds the note and reaches over, passing it to Keelix.

Looking up, but addressing noone he quietly murmers, "Sometimes I think they should have hired a band of thieves and pickpockets rather than the group we have assembled here. Nevertheless, we will get the job done."

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