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The light waxes out the door, and the rain begins to taper to a drizzly fog. As the group discusses things, Renkar enters the common room, looking more put together and rested than earlier
"I see you are all getting a good breakfast," he says, grabbing a loaf of bread and some jam.
"Time to await Mr. Swire. I'll be glad to be shut of the situation"
He looks at the scroll.
Renkar nods at Ekuur
"Of course, it is always a good idea to look into these things. Don't trust kobolds bearing gifts after all. I would suggest the Lady's Library. It is the largest depository of books in the Cage. I happen to know one of the librarians, a modron that goes by the name of Olli. He works the Antipeak shift, and he does fantastic work ferreting out information. "
Naridre Ro'Arisahshe wrote:
Renkar appears at his door, rubbing his eyes with Mercutio draped on his shoulders.
"By all means, let us go!"
He follows Nari back to the Copper Cauldron
Merle Barer wrote:
"Well, you are free to persue what you desire, but we do have a contract to fufill for now. Taking off for a month might put you out of contact should we need you."
Renkar looks grave
"I have heard rumors of cranium rats teaming up in swarms, but never communicating or using psionic violence. Considering how endemic they are, that is most worrysome"
"I can hold it for you Justin, for the nonce. You'll have to figure out what to do with it long term"
"I suggest perhaps you rendezvous in Ragpicker's Square. It is close enough to the Athar's Shattered Temple District to be a quick walk over. There are several decent eateries in the area, I suggest the Mermaid's Blossom. It does a very nice seafood board of fare, and it is a very decent place for being in that neighborhood."
Renkar scribbles an address on a scrap of parchment, then finishes his sausages
"I will leave you to your breakfast, and we shall reconvene on the morrow."
Renkar stands and exits the common room.
OK, state what you want to, and we will advance the scene to the Antipeak hours
Since it doesn't really matter since Nari got home fine, lets just move along
Renkar looks over at Justin
"In theory, the Harmonium could do exactly what you suggest. In theory. The reality of the situation is slightly more complex."
Renkar stretches his fingers and sips from his ale mug
"You must remember Justin not to think of the Harmonium as town guards. They are a faction, like all the others in Sigil. They have taken the duty of imposing order on the populace, but this isn't a job given to them by a municipal government. This is a part of their philosophy. The policing is merely a side effect, not the actual objective"
Renkar sips again
"Now, the Harmonium have little influence in the core regions where other factions hold sway, unless they are allied, as they are with the Fated, the Fraternity of Order, and the Mercykillers. The Athar have a long antagonistical history with them. Sending in a platoon of red clankers there will likely be a major fight, which could set off a faction strife, or even a faction war. There is an unspoken agreement that factions take care of their own kips"
Renkar nibbles some sausage, dipping it in some sort of relish as he takes small bites
"Now, Jad'Hammet can take his case to the Hall of Speakers, but that is a very slow, expensive, and public venue to air grievances in. He could hire some mercenary toughs to storm the temple, but that could lead to faction strife just as easily. Plus, whatever the Athar are guarding could be valuable. Jad'Hammet is no new-whelped cony ready for the stewpot. We are supposed to bring him the dark of the old temple, and I assume he will base his plan upon whatever chant we uncover. "
"Well that problem is a bit more strightforward than powers getting penned in the dead book. I'm sure you will show him the error of his ways."
Renkar clears his throat
"As to the commission at hand. The building is still guarded, but not as much as before. I have convinced Mr. Swire to get Ser Jad'Hammet time to scout the building. However, I would appreciate if we can get this done sooner than later. This Before Antipeak if at all possible."
"Sounds like someone with a Hende lot of power is looking to uncover an especially hidden dark. Bwimb of Ooze, I can't twig to how that sod ties in. There is the fact that somewhere deep in the Undersigil sewers is a huge one way portal to the para elemental plane of Ooze where all the raw sewage goes. I don't know if that has anything to do with anything."
Naridre Ro'Arisahshe wrote:
When there is a lull in the conversation, Renkar feels a gentle tug on his sleeve. "Excuse me, Mr. Renkar?" Nari asked shyly. "Umm....I have something to ask. It seems that without Sanna sharing my body anymore I have some err...unexpected holes in my mental defenses. I need to find a teacher, someone who can help me learn how to protect my mind...and maybe how to better control my mental abilities as well. I...ummmm.....that is, I was hoping you could maybe help me find a teacher?"
Renkar takes a look at Nari
"Hmm. I am not too familiar with the psionic community, but didn't you folks know some sort of odd goblin that was psionic? He was like one mind with five bodies? I seem to recall him, ummm ...Quint I believe. I would wager he'd know some of the psionic community."
Skrint actually Merle..lol
Renkar listens to Justin
"Well, I'd not characterize Bloolp as a "friend", but as a research contact he has proven his value several times. It takes all kinds in the Cage."
He writes down an address
"Bloolp runs a shop in the Lower Ward off Ragpicker's Square. It's called The Pnakotic Fragment. It's primarily a bookshop, but the Alhoon has a private library of tomes devoted to necromancy and the necromantic arts. Let him know I sent you"
He looks at Justin
"Do you have enough jink to cover research expenses?"
just going to retvon this a bit. I should have addressed this earlier
"I know someone who would be interested in that chant. Mayhap he could help with the issue of the masks as well."
"He's an odd duck. An illithid , but also a Lich. The proper name foe his type is Alhoon. He studies the secrets of death, but he's no Dustman. He's an independent researcher. Goes by the name of Bloolp. I think you might get some answers from him."
Renkar stands and stretches
"Well, I'm sure you cutters will do the right thing. If you want it lost, I can help you with that, just let me know"
"It seems as if you experienced some strange goings on out on the Wheel. Undead fiends, dead gods, ancient artifacts. I am glad that you have made it back, and I'm certain Bess will be happy to put on a welcome home supper for you"
He looks at the intricate orrery clock on his desk.
"Since it is nearing The end of Afterpeak 6pm , why don't we continue our debriefing over at the Copper Cauldron? I'm sure after a tenth cycle in the field you lot are ready for a good warm meal and your own beds"
Mercutio flies down to his shoulders, looking plaintively at Chee Chowk while fiddling with the gewgaw Justin tossed him. The spider monkey does his best to hide behind Issac's head.
I missed the mask reveal
Renkar frowns as Justin reveals the four masks and discusses their provenance
"'Undead fiends?' That's impossible. A fiend would just reincarnate as a lesser fiend if killed. "
"There's something not right about those masks, ill give you that. Why don't you put them away? A Dustman would be the proper cutter to give those a once over. They'd likely get as excited as a Dustman can get over the thought of extra-planar undead"
Rankar follows the back and forth while studying the Thief of Charms. He hands it back to Justin.
"If you wish, I do have some arcane contacts I could bring in to help you study the artifact Justin."
Karrin Kind wrote:
. . . like I'd imagine that some of the creature that'd been drained personality exists with in the elixir and those that are kind of weak willed or whatever would find themselves kind of being shaped by the essence of whatever the elixir was made from. Also we saw lots of evidence that this stuff is addictive as all get out, I mean it was pretty clear that the lizard guys we took this off of were infighting over the stuff and because the thing isn't permanent people who liked what it did to them will want to keep using it. I mean for that reason alone this thing would be worth a fortune in unscrupulous hands.
"Very cogent points Karrin. Judging from its aged condition, perhaps it was meant to do something arcane with the drained essence, and this love potion is just an odd side effect. There are many strange things out there in the multiverse. "
"Since it seems you have lost more folks than you regained, do you think I should recruit a few more companions? And what sort of cutters would you like if so?"
I am considering adding a few slots to your roster. Head to the discussion page..
Renkar listens avidly to the description of the groups' adventures
"Ahh, it reminds me of my youth."
He nods to Issac
"You've been gone about a tenth cycle 30 days. The good news is the heat on your last assignment has cooled. Since Drazek is gone especially."
He shakes Rhiannon's hand
"It is great to meet another willing member of our crew."
He looks Nari over critically
"So, a whole new body? I remember a friend of mine ended up as a satyr when they did a reincarnation spell on him. It's a hard thing to deal with, I hope all is well with you."
He frowns when the Thief of Charms is brought up
'Well, you were hired by the warrior Tiandra. I had assumed she would take it. If you have the item, I would assume it is 'spoils of war'. An unknown magical item like that could be worth a load of jink. I really don't know what you should do with it. It doesn't kill folks, so it is inherently less dangerous than many items in Sigil. However, it produces a potent elixir, so it will be valuable to many. Can I see it?"
Renkar nods at Justin
"All excellent points. And I feel that we need to back off our current assignment until such time as things have cooled off. I will send a message to Ser Jad'Hammet and let him know what we have done so far. I think for an intial foray we have done quite well."
Tiandra looks at the group
"You may take these gems as a downpayment. If any of you are interested, I would enjoy some company to the Great Bazaar. Tivuum's Antiquities is quite an interesting shop."
The gems are high-quality, about 4,000 GP worth.
Renkar nods at Ekuur
"I understand the desire for satisfaction, but it should be carefully thought out. Let us talk to this Tiandra, then we can make a descision at that point. Karrin why don't you go visit your friend and the rest of us can see this new client? See if there is any information on old churches near the Shattered Temple."
I figure having Karrin off at the library will keep her busy while Guy is on holiday.
The group stretches and chats while waiting for Tiandra. At Peak, the bell above the door chimes and the warrior enters.
Tiandra is dressed in flame-patterned burnoose and baggy silk pants. Her chain shirt peeks out from the warm orange silk from time to time. Her longsword lies sheathed in an intricately-tooled scabbard attached to a silver-chased swordbelt strung with various pouches and vials. A steel spiked helm capped with a small silken turban containing a glittering red jewel completes her outfit. Now that she has regained her beauty, she is a vision of deadly grace. Think early Grace Jones and you'd be close
She is brought in and introductions are made. She comes to the point quickly.
"I intend to mount an expedition to avenge myself for the insult I received at these reptiles' hands. Your group proved itself both kind and deadly, so I wanted to give you the first opportunity to accompany me. I plan to inquire at Tivuum's Antiquities at the Great Bazaar later this peak to see if I can acquire the portal key to the gate they used. "
She pauses and looks around
"I am well off after a journey to the Elemental Planes, and I can pay you all in quality gemstones. Here is a small downpayment."
She reaches into her burnoose and withdraws a velvet bag. She opens it and reveals the contents. Several high-quality gemstones wink up from the dark fabric.
"Are we sure we want to take time away from the first mission? The longer we wait, the colder the trail gets, yes? And I am itching to pay them back for accosting me as they did."
Renkar turns to Ekuur
"Well, if what I am hearing about your evening is correct, you will not be able to access the church for at least a day, maybe longer. As for paying them back, that may be unwise. The Athar are a powerful faction, at least in their own areas. They are also prone to seeking revenge, not having any gods to pray to they tend to take it on themselves."
Renkar turns to Karrin
"You could always visit your Modron friend Karrin, and perhaps try and do a bit of research on the building."
Renkar turns to Justin
"And you can assist me in talking to this mysterious client you have procured."
Renkar follows the discussion avidly. He puts his training weapon away and motions to Justin:
"Justin, if I could trouble you for a cleansing spell? I fear I have practiced overlong and have no time for a bath."
He taps a finger against his beard.
"Well, seeing as the Athar are aware of your poking about, and perhaps others are following you. I have heard of these Sons of Anarchy, and they are not to be laughed at. Perhaps we should let the place cool off for a bit."
He looks at Justin
"This new client, perhaps helping her will let the current comission settle down, yes?"
Renkar nods approvingly
"You may not be a Guvner, Issac, but there are Guvners with less grasp on the situation of the Cage. Add in the Ser Jad'Hammet is a factor in the Takers, and if he makes too much of a stink the other two contesting factions can cry foul about that as well. "
Renkar looks about
"The legalities of the situation will eventually be settled in the Guvner courts. By that time, whatever is in that ruined temple will be long gone. I suspect Ser. Jad'Hammet has come to us to try and lann the chant of what exactly he's got ahold of here."
Renkar looks back at Issac
"If you know this Hulester cutter, I would suggest you start with him first. Having him just outed as an Anarchist plant will most likely make him relatively bitter. A few coins might make him talk."
Renkar tosses the two Hammers Issac gave him back on the table.
"See where 100 Ladies gets you."
"The Defiers also go by The Athar, if yeh don't tumble to the Cant. The Athar set out to prove the Powers ain't Gods, just powerful mortals playin' at bein' gods. They hold kip in the Lower Ward at the Shattered Temple. Think it used to belong to, uh, Aoskar, right? A dead god o' portals. Usually they spend their days keepin' any one cleric from amassin' too much power in the Cage. The Signers, or the Sign of One believe each berk's the center o' his own multiverse, buildin' the whole thing out o' there boneboxes. Once you say "I'm the center o' the sodding multiverse" and another berk says the same, yeh gotta agree that each sod creates their own multiverse. 'Cause o' that philosophy, they hold the Hall o' Speakers, usually actin' as arbitrators 'tween the other Factions. There's more'n that, but I ain't no philosophy tutor."
"Issac has the dark of the chant correct. I will say that I find both factions rather tiring myself. The Athar are fanatics and the Signers are narcisscists. It is interesting that both find something worth fighting over in this old church. "
Renkar gets up
"I'm off to the Temple of Hermes to send a courier over to Ser Jad'Hammet's offices. Why don't you folks relax and we'll reconvene say in the second hour Afterpeak? 2 pm?
I think we can let the legal thing rest there for now and run our next adventure. We now return you to the meeting already in progress..
Renkar looks about the assembled group
"Well, I have had an inquiry from a gentleman named Ferrel Jad'Hammet. Ser Jad'Hammet is a dealer in properties. He owns a lot of buildings in the Lower Ward. He is experienceing some difficulties with an old church his men were tearing down. The problem being, his entire construction crew disappeared. Now the Athar and the Signers are involved somehow, and are trying to take control of the property. Their motives are still rather unclear, but I would imagine any old church in the Lower Ward would naturally attract the Defiers, and the Signers are their rivals."
He leans back in his chair
"You cutters interested in some more gumshoe work? You seem to be rather good at it, I must say."
Karrin Kind wrote:
"Um," Karrin thinks, part of her wanted to tell Renkar everything, she needed someone to talk too, but part of her knew that it would be inappropriate involving her boss with her personal affairs, "could you just give me his contact information so I could go talk with him? I don't want to get you involved in some personal thing. You know for this Sharon person . . ."
"Here is his address, I will write a small note for him as well."
He writes down and address on some foolscap and then he writes a longer missive and seals it with a blob of candle wax and his signet ring.
"There Karrin. Good luck. The gentleman is named Bel Serra. He is an interesting character. I'm sure your friend will get good advice from him."
Karrin Kind wrote:
I mean I'm only asking for a second opinion, you know to tell this friend."
Renkar smiles and gestures for Karrin to sit down
"Well, Karrin, I would tell your friend that there are all sorts of reasons why a mother might feel it is best to give a child up for adoption. Maybe there were issues in her life that she had to deal with or maybe she had no choice."
"I would reccommend that you tell your friend that dealing with devils is a very dangerous matter. Not as bad as demons, but potentially life threatening. Remember, devils are not just people in funny costumes. They are planar spirits. Their purpose, when you strip everything down to the basics, is to garner souls for Hell. Many of them have been devils for thousands of years. They know every trick and twist to get what they want. If she insists, I would tell her to make sure everything that is discussed is written down and gone over by a really good lawyer beforehand. Never give a devil a handshake deal or a vague agreement."
"I came on somethin' odd in the Hive this Peak, Renkar: thought you might want to hear the Dark of it. Three Dusties and a company o' walkin', talkin' deaders in full kit were out scanning for shapechangers. From what I heard they were part o' some larger operation throughout the Wards. I know it ain't our business, boss, but it's best to stay lanned to the Chant, eh?"
Renkar's brow furrows as Issac speaks
"It sounds like you caught sight of a squad of their Catacomb force, the Unliving. I'm surprised they were on the surface, they are usually more discreet."
Renkar looks steadily at Issac
"I've tangled with them below the streets, Issac, and they are a hende bunch. Liches, vampires, ghosts, ghouls, mohrgs, and whatnot. They look after the Dead's interests in UnderSigil."
Renkar frowns deeper
"Hopefully it is not tangled up in our recent unpleasantness with the Dustmen and their Mortuary. I shall have to contact Werrena and check on what's afoot at the Spider*."
*Common knickname for the Mortuary
He claps Issac on the back
"Good eye lad! Remember that often times in life it's the small details that are important."
Seph Barer wrote:
As they walk along Seph begins to explain "Well Mr Renkar Sir there seems to be a mouse living in your building. Erm one that wears clothes and walks about." Well it had sounded sensible in his head actually saying it he wasn't so sure.
"In the Silver Rose? When did you see this mouse? "
Assuming you correct him.
"Oh, in the Cauldron! Well, Bess or Ramona would be the folks to tell, young Seph. Just remember that there are many people of all sizes in the Cage. Why, weren't you just a cat for all intents and purposes until quite recently? Perhaps this mouse is an adventurer or guardian spirit on his own adventure. He sounds fairly harmless."
Mr Swire wrote:
Swire looks puzzled at the former cat before speaking. "I remember hearing about him before. Supposed to stay at the Butcher's Block. Didn't think about it before because if you're the type of berk who calls yourself "The Shadowknave", you won't last the week in the Hives."
Renkar smiles grimly
"Unless he is powerful enough to carry the nickname off."
Renkar looks at the group
"At this point, if I was Master Shadowknave I would be ready to go to ground. Whether this is the Butcher's Block or back to his master's lair in Plaguemort you will have to ascertain at some point. For your own peace of mind."