Destiny’s New Servants, Part 59

Destiny’s New Servants, Part 59

They retire to bed, after hearing their fill of tall tales from Starhammer and Orock.

The next morning, Elo is still uncertain about leaving to go so far North, but she wants to go on a quick shopping trip for Aurianna. Since the little dragon is not so little any more, Elo feels it’s appropriate to buy her companion a gift. Felix recalls that they need some more potions for Darius, and he wants to check on the dwarves who were making the ironmongery for the Hall. They agree that after their various shopping trips, they will meet at the hall for lunch to see how that is progressing.

Merri wanders with Elo, and they talk things through regarding the trip up north as they approach the jewelry district. Merri mentions that the Starhammer has mentioned it’s not just a tomb of one man, but where several honourable people are buried. Perhaps they will find something to help their sorcerers out?

They find a shop that seems reputable, and spend a while looking at all the pretty shinies, and eventually Elo decides to buy a fire opal – it’s particular form making it look like the sun rising over clouds. Next the pair wander onto the wizard’s tower. Elo may not be keen on receiving Elic’s sword as all her training is in short, rather than long, swords, but she does concede she could do with some enchantment on her blade. They arrive and ask for an enchanter, and a dapper half-elf comes strolling through to meet them. He introduces himself as Françoise {something}, but most people just call him Frenchy. Elo does a double-take as they are shaking hands, and asks if he’s that Frenchy. He affirms he is, and she says she knows a very excitable Gnome who would very much like to meet him. He takes them to his workshop, and listens to Elo explain her budget, and extrapolate on what sort of enchantments she might want on her blade. Frenchy thinks a while, and says he has just the thing, if she will hand over her current blade. Elo does so, and in a flash of light and magic, he turns her existing blade into a Sun Blade. She hands over the remainder of her cash, as this is basically the sum he’s asked for (a heavy discount, on account of materials to hand, and because he likes her).

Meanwhile Felix, Darius and Aurianna visit the Temple of Garl Glittergold, trade some goods in exchange for the Remove Poison potions, and the excess in cash. (NB: Darius got massively, horrifically swindled at this point when selling his Ring of Protection, to the point Dru actually screamed in rage). They then head on to the Dwarven district to see their ironmongers.

As they approach, they see some very strange looking people clustered around the outside of the blacksmiths. They are dressed in bright coloured rags and tatters, and have painted faces like clowns. But here the similarities end. The paint on their faces is grotesque and they cackle maniacally. On the ends of their hands seem to be strapped giant knives, in the form of claws. Some have even gone so far as to embed the knives in their hands. The leader cries out, calling on Erythnul to aid him, and jet suddenly, and seriously, jacked-up muscles. Auriana changes form while the two mages try and cast magic at the guy. The magic fails, and so do Auriana’s flames when she spits a gout at him. Felix decides that they aren’t going to be able to beat these guys without some severe help, and, even though there are still dwarven hostages, he and Darius mount up on Auriana, and fly over to their new Chapter House to find Elo and Merri. As they are flying away, however the leader of these insane jesters gives the order and his people murder the dwarves, causing Felix to cry out in rage.

By the time the trio arrive at the Knight’s Hall, Felix is spitting mad. He and Darius and Aurianna practically fall over their tongues trying to explain what happened. Eventually Elo and Merri pick out the details, and they all take off again with Aurianna who flys them back to the site. As they are coming into land, they over hear a dialogue between the priest of the insane men and one of his people. The priest asks what the men found, and the underling reports only gold. The priest says they will take it, and that their master will be pleased that these dwarves will no longer be encroaching on his business terf. The underling asks if they are going to raise the dead, but the priest says it will raise too much attention, and that Erythnul will be able to wait until he receives his bigger score

At this, they land and attack the crazy people. They kill all the men, and mortally wound the priest. They get some information from him, as he teaters on the edge of oblivion. Elo thinks he still has more information to give them, so she heals him a little, only to receive a dagger to the kidneys for her trouble. Angry still, Felix strikes him and sends him to the other side. Before they leave however, Darrius and Felix search the wreckage that the house and workshop have become. Merri checks on the neighbours, who all say they have had enough – first the council proposes segregation of all races, not their homes and livelihoods are being attacked – and they all plan to leave the city.

Merri re-joins the group and they decide they should report this to the watch house, and Elo suggests they could do with a certain rangers assistance. They arrive, and descript to Farren and Irvine what happened. Irvine wants to examine a set of the claw knives that the men used. Farren says they have been looking into the Dwarven issue, and they have a few suspects. The strongest one is a Lord Bergerac, a cotton mill owner, who has recently been making in-roads to ironworks. Given what the priest of these gore jesters said about Erythnul, Bergerac is now made even stronger given the fact Irvine’s mice found paraphernalia ties to the worship of Erythnul. Irvine then flutters his eyelashes, and Farren agrees to take some men and gather the bodies for his consideration.

While they are waiting, Merri says she’d like to check on the temple of Moradin, so they pop over and speak to a hungover Starhammer. He admits it seems like the humans have won their short-sighted little battle, as every day there is some small unrest and dwarven families are leaving by the dozen. These new creepy fighters are not helping matters. He starts to wonder if he’s failed and threatens to become a slayer, but Elo says the city can still be fixed, and to give them more time. He says he will given them a week to fix things.

On this dubious note, they return to the watchhouse. Snips, the mortician is going over the bodies, while Irvine looks at the claws. Between them they have deduced that these folks have come from very far away, a desert for sure, and Snips thinks maybe even so far as from Khull. That someone has outsourced these guys from soe far afield is a very worrying development. Irvine says however, that they only way they will really get answers is to question the dead. At first they think he’s being hyperbolic, but then he says Snips hasn’t started on the second body that wa retrieved, so maybe they should resurrect him and actually ask him?

It’s an odd proposition, but since Irvine seems so convinced it’s the only plausible option, the group go along with it, despite a few misgivings. Elo orders a double guard, and they strap him down securely, and Merri brings him back from the dead.

The group question the man, who is quite clearly off his rocker and through a combination of threats, bribery and cajoling they learn the following: Lord Bergerac was indeed the one who arranged for the hit to take place. He arranged, via Darkhide, for the Gore Jesters (as he calls them) to enter the city via wagon and take out all the dwarven ironmongers, thus eliminating competition with his own fledgling enterprises. The mad-man also mentions that Darkhide may have sent constructs of Zharadan Marr to Fangthane, which obviously upsets Meridith. The decide they’ve heard all they need to at this point, and Elo thinks it’s time to end this. One of the bribes offered was to end the life of this Gore Jester, and so Elo says she will now deliver on this half-promise. She orders everyone out of the room, and then releases his bonds. Immediately he attacks her, and she retaliates, ending his life. At that point there is uproar as Merri wants reassurance the Jester was lying about attacking Fangthane, one of the lieutenants announces Elo’s wrecked any case against Bergerac, and Elo herself wonders if this time she’s pushed the boundaries too far.

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