Melothian

Viva la Revolution!

We finished are trip to the trip to Gomatlos, the capital of Tinuviel, and began looking for our contact to deliver Nigal’s message. It did not take us long to discover that he had been arrested and was scheduled to be executed in a weeks time. We were able to make contact with some other members of the resistance, but we couldn’t deliver the message to them since it had been magically keyed to the recipient. As we traveled around the city it became increasingly apparent that, non-elves and specifically catfolk were viewed as second class citizens by the government of Tinuviel.

Once we located the prison where our contact, who turned out to be the main leader of rebellion, was being held, Stellon shifted into a bird and flew over to get the layout. When he came back he reported a large number of guards and that an anti-magic barrier surrounded the prison. This made sneaking in incredibly high risk and assault unfeasible. Over the next several days we observed the prison and the square were the execution was to be held. We also were able to watch the transfer of one prisoner, the lieutenant who ratted out the captain, from the prison to the gallows. We developed two plans for how to free the captain, three if you want to count having Kiara sneak in to the prison by herself. The first involved attacking the gallows during the execution grabbing the captain and then running for it, possibly taking a shot at the king if the opportunity presented itself. The second was to ambush the transport between the prison and the square.

We chose the second plan, since it seemed the most likely to succeed and would likely produce the fewest casualties among the rebels and civilians. The plan was that Stellon, Rhianna, and I would blast the guards with as much magic as we could while Staccato and Freya stopped them from charging us. Meanwhile, Kiara would move invisibly up to the wagon and get the captain out. the Rebels provided some assistance by lobbing firebombs into the ranks of the guards.

The plan went off with out a hitch and in just a few seconds all but two of the guards were down and Kiara had the captain free. From there we hurried to the city gates to complete our escape before they locked down the city. Rhianna, Freya, and I arrived to late to make it out, but at least Kiara succeeded in getting out with the rebel captain. Stellon had transformed into a bird and had no trouble flying back and forth over the wall. Those of us trapped in side began to look for another way out, but the city was locked down tight. We found a place that we could hole up and stay out of sight. Our plan to get out was for Rhianna to disguise herself as an elf and then buy a wagon of food stuffs, to take to the town that was devastated by the earthquake. We would then hide Freya in the wagon and bribe are way through the gates. Later in the day the city guards began rounding up catfolk hostages to be executed if the rebel captain did not turn himself in. Luckily neither Freya or Rhianna were taken. After hearing this I passed a message to Stellon, still in bird form, making clear what was happening in the city.

Stellon flew back out of the city and deliver the message to Kiara and the captain. The captain’s first response was to go back to the city and save the hostages by turning himself in. Stellon explained that if he did that the rebellion was done for. The truth of this sank in and he grudgingly agreed that him staying alive served the greater good, and that nothing could be done to to save them.

In the morning Rhianna, Freya, and I made our way to the gates and succeeded in bribing our way past the guards. We didn’t like leaving the hostages to die, but the only thing we could do was die heroically in the rescue attempt. Our escape was not perfect as we were pursued by a group of cavalry, but we tricked them once by turning the wagon around and acting like were heading towards capital, and when they came back we hid in the woods. Eventually we made it clear of the pursuit and made it to the next town. We delivered the food, and Rhianna and I made sure to start the rumors about the atrocities the king was committing against the catfolk and possibly other non-elf races.

-Devon Ar Zarzuket (2100xp)

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Earthquake!!!

With the assassination attempt foiled we were given the rest of the festival off to enjoy as we wished. Near the end of the festival Nigal called us together for a banquet in his house, where he rewarded us for our service. Each of us was given an emerald valued at 5000gp, and we were each given a special boon. Freya was given the rank of lieutenant in the army which came with a stipend, Kiara was given a appointment at on of the local fencing schools, Rhianna was appointed to the bard’s college, Eiri was named an associate pastor at the local temple of Gada, Ruaridh was allowed to name an animal that he would like to acquire as a companion, and I was given an appointment to the mage’s college. Marcato received his reward and chose to retire from adventuring, but before he left he introduced us to his brother Staccato. Staccato seems like a nice person, but perhaps a little dim and uncivilized.

Rhianna and I chose to start using our new positions to conduct some research into some of the aspects of the prophecy. I began by checking with the librarian at the mage’s guild. I found him to be incredibly unhelpful. Looking at the endless shelves of dusty books, it was clear I did not want to search conduct the search for information on myself. Instead I set about hiring a student to do it for me.

After a few weeks we were once again summoned to Nigal’s office and given our next assignment. We were to take a letter to a group of dissidents in Tinuviel to warn them about moles in there organization. Staccato misinterpreted this to mean that there were literal moles or mole-men that were going to attack. We left Nigal and traveled uneventfully into Tinuviel, until we stopped for the night in a town at a crossroads on the way to the capital. Even there the night was passing uneventfully until the whole earth began shaking. Our entire group escaped the inn safely before it collapsed. Freya, Staccato, Eiri, and Ruaridh managed to save one of the maids who had been pinned by a beam on their way out. Once the shaking stopped we began to rally other survivors to work on rescuing people and animals trapped in the debris and to work on containing the fires that had started around the city. We continued fighting fires and pulling people from the debris well into the morning, making a noticeable contribution to the effort. We even managed to contain a raging inferno that had started around the the stores of grain and lamp oil. Once everything was under control, Rhianna and I made sure the people knew that the aid they had received was from people of Lorican.

-Devon Ae Zarzuket (850xp)

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Assassins!!!

We continued guarding Nigal for the next several days without incident, although we did manage to identify several people as potential assassins. After identifying these people we started working up a plan to try and capture one of them. We never got the chance to try and capture one, because before we could make our move they made theirs by attempting to kill Rhianna, Kiara, Ruaridh, and Eiri by ambushing them as they made their way home from the nights events. Both groups were able to escape their attacks, but they were seriously injured and poisoned in the process.

The next day we stepped up our guard trying to keep the the four who were attacked out of site, in hopes the assassins would attempt to attack, The day proceeded to pass uneventfully until our group was walking home from that nights party and Ruaridh raised the question of who was watching Nigal while he slept. Since the answer was most likely nobody competent we made a panicked run to Nigal’s home, with Ruaridh and I flying ahead. After talking to the guards at the front door we made sure that mansion was clear and that Nigal was still breathing, and then spent the rest of the night there.

In the morning five of us, Freya, Marcatto, Rhianna, a gnome cavalier, and myself, set out with Nigal for the days races while the others staid and rested. On the the way to waterfront we were jumped by five assassins. Their archer and mage started attacking Nigal while to of there fighters began cutting there way through the guards. Seeing the ambush coming I Hasted the party, and then turned my attention to the mage. Freya also seeing what was coming moved to defend Nigal and then intercepted a halfling rogue coming up from behind us. Marcatto and the cavalier engaged the two fighters, an anti-paladin and a barbarian, in a brutal melee halting their advance. Nigal did not fair well against the assassin’s arrows and poisons, and Rhianna began working to keep him alive, even taking an arrow for him in the process. Freya made short work of the rogue and then went to assist the cavalier, and after I dropped the mage I lent some assistance to Marcatto in finishing off his opponent. As the other assassins began to fall the elven archer that had been on the roof top started to run for it. Rhianna seeing this began to chase him only to encounter an enemy cleric in her path. Having seen the archer flee and hearing Rhianna scream in the alley I cast fly and moved to help in the pursuit. When I got to where I could see Rhianna was fighting both the archer and the cleric, and the fight was not going in her favor. I joined the fight blasting the cleric. Before anyone else could make it over to assist Rhianna went down in a growing pool of blood and the archer ran away, I stopped the cleric before he could escape. In the aftermath the Nigal was still alive but barely, Marcatto and the cavalier were cover in as much of their own blood as their foes, and five of the six assassins were dead along with several guards. Nigal was quickly rushed to the nearest temple where his wounds were healed and the poison was purged from his system.

-Devon Ae Zarzuket (1500xp)

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The Festival of the Regatta

In order to provide security for Nigal during the festival we decided to take it in turns with Freya, Kiara, Rhianna and myself on guard during the day and the others taking the night shift. Those of us working the day the shift followed Nigal to the races and attempted to blend into the crowds while we looked out for signs of trouble. The ones on the night shift would follow Nigal to whatever party he was attending that night.
The first several days past uneventfully with no attempts being made on Nigals life. The only thing that we noticed of any note was a pair of kids dressed in black and wearing holy (unholy?) symbols of a couple of the evil goods. I was able to talk to a paladin I found in the crowd and he didn’t detect any evil, and he wouldn’t try to smite them just to be sure. They also didn’t have emit any magical auras when I tried that. Kiara and Freya took turns following them back to a wealthy neighborhood where they kissed and then went to separate houses.
During the nights those of us on the day shift were free to attend what ever parties we could score invites to. Rhianna kept busy performing and attending the shows and parties thrown by other musicians. I offered Rhianna several scrolls she could use during her performance to liven things up, but she wondered if she could use them at her competitions shows instead. Kiara divided her time between helping Rhianna with her shows and attending various kinds of games a round the city. Freya was able to find herself invitations to several of balls being hosted for by the military for its officers. I was able charm my way into the parties of several minor nobles and wealthy merchants.
At one of the parties I attended I ran into an older woman who lived near the kids we had spotted at the during the races. She told me everything I wanted to know about them and more, even pointing out the father of one of them who was also at the party. It seems that while the kids are weird and troublemakers, unlikely to be assassins or evil cultists. The father, who owns a leather works, did mention he would extend some gratitude if I could get the kids to act normal. While its not a high priority I do have some ideas.
- Devon Ae Zaruket (500xp)

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Epegard then Home

Before we left Ragna we had one last meeting with Palar’s adviser and his suspicions were in line with my own. We agreed that the prophecy is referring to the source of the elements and magic. In some aspect this source will come in to play whether it needs protected or something else is still unclear, and no we have no idea where or what that source maybe.
Leaving Ragna we traveled uneventfully to Epegard. After we took some time to clean up from the road we split up with myself, Freya and Eiri going to wait for an audience with the king, while Rhianna, Kiara, and Rauridh went down to the docks to see if we could book passage home on a ship. After we waited for several hours in the antechamber and explaining why we were there we were shown in. The king had several immaculately brushed cats in his in throne room. suprisingly the the king addressed us by name when we entered. As it turns out the king has some abilities as a seer. We conferred with him about the prophecy and the he confirmed what Palar had told us. We also discussed what chances and alliances we might find to allow us to prepare for the prophecy coming true. We also learned from him that an ancient elf who was at the wall when it fell. To the kings knowledge he is still alive in Gabon and has used most means of cheating death short of becoming a lych. Before our audience with the king ended the I told him that we had learned about the doppelgangers. He was already aware of the threat and was taking measures to secure his kingdom. Strangely he warned us no to mention the doppelgangers to the king of Tinuviel.
Meanwhile the other half of the party successfully booked passage on a boat. In a few days we set sail and arrived back in Hightower the day before the festival. After arriving we reported back to Nigal and informed him of all that we had found out. Then we were given our next task to provide security for Nigal during the festival.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (1000xp)

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Signs and Portents

In the early hours of the morning I sit in the common room staring at my own reflection in the ruby liquid that fills my cup, I’m not sure what I’m looking for answers, hope, or maybe just understanding. It’s been a strange turn of events and many miles that brought us here to Holgersson. Most of the others are upstairs trying to get what rest they can. We’ll be riding for Epegard when the sun’s up but I doubt its rising will met with the usual joy.
We began this odyssey in High Tower, where the morning began with news of a prophecy sweeping through the city. A prophecy being issued is not such a big deal on its own but an almost identical prophecy being put out by at least five temples on the same day is almost unheard of. Eventually we all had the opportunity to see the prophecies nailed to the doors of the temple:

1. A pair of tarot cards one is a veil and one is a Tower. The clue says to seek the answer you must remove the shroud.
A Knight on his charger protects these riddles.
2. An essential fountain
The horse’s mouth.
A spring where the river commences.
The root that holds the tree in place.
3. I am a vehicle that’s wondrous large
But neither coach, nor wagon, ship nor barge;
Whether sitting, standing, lying;
With you I’m miles uncounted flying;
You hear not a breath while, mute as death,
My journey I pursue;
With a mighty swift whirling,
I’m constantly twirling,
But ‘tis all unfelt by you.
Some travel with me who never can see,
nor believe I convey them a yard;
And for years I have taken them.
Nor ever forsaken them,
And yet claim’d no reward.
And, gentles, against or with your will,
Or sleeping or waking, I’ll carry you still.
4. I have many tongues but cannot taste
By me, most things are turned to waste
I crack and snap, yet I stay whole
I may take the largest toll
I assisted all of the first men
And I will pay them back again
Around me, people snuggle and sleep
Yet run when I am released from my keep
I jump around and leap and bound
The cold man wishes I he had found
5. Three lives have I.
Gentle enough to soothe the skin,
Light enough to caress the sky
Hard enough to crack rocks.
6. Voiceless it cries,
Wingless it flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.
7. I am White or Black
I have numbers and words
I make Squares and circles
Power I both provide and require.
what am i?
8. I drive men mad
For love of me,
Easily beaten,
Never free.
The Knight and Death battle over this riddle.
9. In the sky it roams
as a dark cloud in the sky
yet much faster
and not when nearby

Sometime before mid-day but after we had all seen the prophecy, messengers bearing a summons from Nigal appeared, and we gathered in his office to discuss. We believed that we understood some parts of it. Parts 3-6 seem to be referencing the elements earth, fire, water, and air, but the others were a mystery to us at that point. Nigal requested that we seek out any oracles or sages that we may have encountered in are travels and ask their guidance in the interpretation of the prophecy, and he suggested that we might confer with some of the ancient elves living in Epegard. We then laid out our plan we would ride hard overland to Holgersson were we would consult with Palar the White, the dragon king of Ragna, from there we would travel onward to Epegard and consult with their ruling council, and then with luck we would make it back to High Tower before the festival.

Unfortunately the trip to Holgersson did not pass uneventfully. During the middle of the trip we were set upon by a pod of Bullete, apparently drawn to us by the scent of our Halfling companions. We were able to run them off killing two in the process, but they severely mauled the Eiri and Rauridh, and Kiara was almost eaten whole. Out of vengeance she and Rhianna cooked and ate one them, it actually didn’t turn out half bad.

We arrived in Holgersson and were granted an audience with Palar. We were at first surprised that he had already heard the prophecy, but it had been issued from the temples there as well marking this to be prophecy of great import. Before he would help us we needed to offer him something in return. To begin with we told him everything we had learned about the doppelgangers since we last spoke. In return he gave us his thoughts on the first two parts of the prophecy. First part of the prophecy he believes refers to the collapse of a great wall that separated the northern a southern continents some 2000 years ago. The collapse of this wall started 40 years of war and marked the decline of the civilized races. The prophecy seems to indicate that the truth behind the walls collapse needs to be uncovered and that a guardian either protects the secret, or that a guardian is needed. The second portion of the riddle is a source of some kind, according to Palar. I had already figured out that the parts seven and eight referred to magic, arcane and divine. To get anything more from Palar we needed to offer him something more, having nothing else to offer him we offered him a favor at some point in the future. The ninth part Palar said foretells the beginning of a high point in the orc population cycle, during which they make war on all those around them. As we stood there contemplating the doom we face, marauding orcs on one side and doppelgangers and dark races on the other, Palar offered us a glimpse of hope. Suggesting an alliance may be possible between the dragons and the civilized races, and that it may be possible to convince other races to at least stay out of the fight if not fight at our side. Then he offered another piece of information, all it would cost us is another favor. Needing all the information we could gather, we agreed. The final piece information Palar provided to us the existence of another population of the civilized races living in a cluster of islands on the other side of the world, where they have existed in isolation for the better part of two thousand years. Palar said that there may be some help to be had there, but he also warned us that they were incredible xenophobic, and that the xenophobia even extends to people from other islands.

Now I sit here owing two favors to a dragon waiting for the dawn, seeing only dark clouds and dangerous journeys in the future.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (1000xp)

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The Great Kiara Hunt.

We began searching the city for Kiara, checking all of her usual haunts to know avail. Eventually we found our first lead, she purchased a large number of items from one of the local magic shops. Checking with some of her less reputable contacts revealed that she had been seen talking to some of the local assassins and ordering a hit on Nigal, this information was of course promptly relayed to Nigal. About the same time we heard reports of someone being found murdered in the street and then being seen alive later. When this was investigated we found that the old ladies house had been completely cleaned out of anything of value. From there we managed to track the goods to a pawn shop. From the pawn shop Stellon’s bear was able to track the sent to another house, when we went inside we found the family had been murdered and that the woman in the house matched the description of the elf woman who pawned the stuff from the old lady’s house. By talking to the neighbors we discovered that the elf woman ran one of the local trading houses. When we reached the trading house we found that the woman had left with a caravan heading north earlier that day. We made some quick preparations and set out after the caravan. We caught up with them that night at inn, and following a brief chase and struggle we captured the doppelganger. She didn’t know where Kiara was taken, but we did stop her from reporting back about the person who was directing the hunt against them. Kiara turned up on her own in the city a few days after we returned with a good story about her daring escape from the clutches of the evil doppelgangers. Nigal also beefed up security for his office by supply his ‘secretary’ with some goggles of true seeing.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (500xp)

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Obligatory Beach Episode Finale

After some hours of debate and planning, we geared up dressing ourselves in the colors of the king and equipping our best armor and weapons. With our preparations made we stepped out into the darkness before the dawn and began our walk across the resort to the management building were we would confront the chief of security to find out were his loyalties lie. The grounds swarmed with guards, on edge from a break in early that night. It wasn’t long before we attracted their attention and they approached us. Rhianna speaking for the group declared us as agents of the king and demanded to see their boss. When they demanded that we disarm before they would take us to him, we refused and ordered him to be brought out. After a few minutes wait the chief of security emerged from the management building with four guards in tow. When the chief arrived the Rhianna began to explain the situation and ask the chief to prove he was not a doppelganger. At this point attacked Rhianna seriously injuring her with a blow. From there a short and bloody fight unfolded. Rhianna stepped back out of reach, while Freya, Marcatto, and Ruaridh stepped forward into the fight. The chief’s guards revealed their claws and entered the fray. Freya and Marcatto devlivered mighty blows to the doppelgangers attracting there full attention. Marcatto would take several brutal hits before going down hard and lying seemingly lifeless. Freya was in some senses luckier as the blows she took weren’t quite as severe, she went down once, and Eiri healed her, but before she could stand the guards beat her down again. By this point I had maneuvered into position and unleashed a lightening bolt through the line of guards sending them lifeless and smoking to the ground. Ruaridh and Marcatto had succeeded in keeping the chief busy through this and bought time for me to put two lightening bolts into the chief with little noticeable effect. After Marcatto dropped things were looking grim, but wonders of wonders Freya stood up again and staggered foreword to deliver a devastating blow to the chief. He turned and attacked her one more time knocking her to the ground completely unconscious. However thanks to her valiant act and Eiri’s powers as a healer, the party was saved as Rhianna sank a final crossbow bolt into the chief ending the battle.

Completely exhausted and from the fight Rhianna and I began working on crowd control while Eiri, aided by Freya’s admirer, tended the wounds of our brave fighters. With the corpses of five doppelgangers at our feet there was little argument from the guards and we were able to secure there cooperation in searching the resort and testing all of the staff and guests. In the aftermath we found were able to capture two doppelgangers alive, and secure the records of resort. However about a dozen staff members and the owner disappeared from the resort in the confusion. After taking some time to recover we returned home. Kiara recovered from the spell shortly after we returned home and we reported to Nigal. Giving him two live doppelganger prisoners, five doppelganger corpses, and a code code book. We received 3000gp for our reward.

However, a few days later Kiara disappeared and we suspect that she may have been replaced by a doppelganger.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (3500XP)

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Everyday is Like Sunday

Holy Mother of Fortune, please accept my most humble obeisances.

With your profound blessing, I’ve escaped from certain doom, yet still I find myself in a position most precarious. Sister Kiara is suspended in a deathlike trance, the victim of dark magics.

As I mentioned in my previous journal entry, Brother and I find ourselves in the lap of luxury with our misfit cohorts, at the seaside resort that Nigal suspects may be a cover for a doppelganger operation. At his request, we’ve investigated the resort and discovered proof that he was almost certainly correct in his fears. After some lighthearted singing of hymns on the beach with Rhianna, we found the body of a guest who was observed checking out of the resort at some time shortly after he had been killed. It appears that he had been replaced by a doppelganger.

Earlier tonight, we had intended to use a gem of true seeing at a gala event that was sure to draw a crowd of guests as well as staff. Alas, a great storm moved in and the festivities were cancelled. Kiara decided to put her covert reconnaissance skills to work and dig through the records in the management offices while it was shuttered for the storm. I’ve grown attached to her since we met a few weeks ago, and no one seemed interested in accompanying her. I have some skills that could be of use, and I can be sneaky when necessary. I decided to accompany her, but I was crestfallen that Brother didn’t wish to come along. To make a long, painful story mercifully short, the outcome was not entirely successful. Kiara ended up being enchanted by a trap protecting a hidden compartment. She is frozen in a state that Devon assures me will not leave her permanently damaged, but she won’t be back to normal for at least a week. The only real success of evening was the retrieval of a magic tome that Devon says proves the connection between the resort and the same cabal of doppelgangers who had previously caused problems for the group.

Truthfully, this terrifies me. Brother and I both want to get out while we still can, and ensure that Kiara is safely returned to vigor. We discussed our options as a group, and tensions flared. About half the group wanted to escape with the proof for Nigal, while the others wanted to stay and confront the doppelgangers. I was eventually shamed into the siding with the group who wants to stay, after Devon pointed out that we’d be leaving nearly 200 people to face possible death if we run out now. At this point, it appears that we’re going to do what we can to free the innocent.

Mother, I don’t know what will come with the rising of the sun, but I fear it will be more bloody fighting. Please help me be brave in the face of whatever comes. If I should fall to that ultimate liberation before Brother, please watch after him and keep him safe in your embrace.

Your humble and devoted servant,
Eiri

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Obligatory Beach Episode Part 2

Our next day at the resort passed with many discoveries and much excitement. The day began with Freya and Ruaridh riding out along one of the horse trails to see the spot that the body had washed up on. When they reached the area, which was a swampy cove,they found nothing more than an undisturbed beach and incredibly unhelpful local wildlife. Freya’s hawk companion proved a valuable addition to the search and discovered a humanoid body floating some distance out in the cove. They returned with this news and with storm clouds gathering on the horizon Freya, Kiara, and the fighter set out in a boat to retrieve the body. Then as the rest of us stood on the beach watching them slowly row away, we heard screams coming from the pool. We hurried to the scene and and arrived to a scene of bloody water and people searching for an alligator or crocodile that had appeared in the pool. Eiri immediately set to providing healing and comfort as best he is able. I was able to determine that the creature had been summoned into the pool with magic, but we were not able to locate the summoner.

A few hours later the group that had set out in the boat returned with the body of an elf. They created a bit of a scene when they arrived pulled up onto the beach, but we were able to examine the body. From the body we learned that the he had been dressed after he was killed, and that the he had also been seen checking out of the resort after he would have been killed. With this piece of evidence of doppelganger operations at the resort Ruaridh sent a bird to Nigal with message confirming doppelgangers, and with the identity of the elf they had replaced.

That night the planned party was canceled do to the days events and the storm that had moved in. We split into three groups with 2 of us watching the lobby for anyone trying to leave suddenly, Kiara and Eiri planning to infiltrate the management building, and the rest of us in the casino to search for doppelgangers. From the 2 in the lobby we learned that several people were planning for an immediate departure in the morning when the storm lifted due to the days events. In the casino we did not find any signs of doppelgangers, but Freya did catch a cheater at one of the gaming tables. Kiara and and Eiri had the most success, as they managed to locate on of the doppelgangers code books although it came with a price. Kiara was unlucky and feel victim to a sepia snake trap on the books hiding place, she was paralyzed by the trap but otherwise unharmed. At least Eiri was able to take get her out of the management building. We hid her in our coach and then gathered in the room to discuss our next move.
-Devon Ae Zarzuket (1000xp)

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