Kalyx arrived in D’kath by way of the teleportation circle at the Mage’s Guild. High Mage Edratha had funded her travel as a favor to Magistrate Pendred. To the best of her knowledge she’d arrived in plenty of time to rendezvous with the rest of the envoy, and to meet with Emmirus the Alchemist, who had put her off in M’ziir, but invited her to find him at the Alchemist Guild hall in D’kath.
As she made her way out of the Mages’ tower, she could hear the whispers of “sorcerer” and “dragonblooded” following her through the halls. She never heard her name spoken, but it was clear that her inborn magical talent was apparent, and uncomfortable, for those whose mastery of the arcane came only through years of tedious study.
She arrived at the manse of Zorin’Oze Az’Zoran shortly after the rest of the the party. They had passed through the Clerks’ Plaza shortly before midday, and had bathed and joined the young Lord for lunch. They discussed politics, the presence of the Aechellan emissaries in D’kath. They discussed the Slavers’ Guild and Kazzar Liran’Sulazzin. Zorin’Oze revealed himself to be a generally jovial, charming, elitist, foppish, cunning, basically good-natured …tiefling noble. Though his clearly genuine affection for Sur’maga Eirlys seemed to translate to a general warmth towards the rest of the party.
After a lunch and a brief respite from their travel, the party split up.
Ezra took a couple of guards to present himself to the Kazzar at Court.
Kalyx begged off to meet with Emmirus.
The others waited as Ink conducted a ritual, mumbling in a strange tongue and “listening to the whispers of the City.” The wizard seemed certain that the smith, Genvien, was operating in the Quester’s Quarter (or, the “Queue”), and that the Aechellans had already shown an interest in her shop.
Meeting with Emmirus was…enlightening for Kalyx. She was met with some disdain by the halfling Hallmaster, and had to make repeated attempts to even get in the door. Once there, Emmirus treated her as though she were an annoying petitioner for an apprenticeship. He excused the two of them to a private, warded laboratory, where, he explained, they could then speak freely.
First, Kalyx wanted to know why Emmirus wouldn’t meet her in M’ziir. Simply enough, the scarred alchemist explained that there were simply too many eyes and ears watching them both in M’ziir, which seemed reasonable enough.
They proceeded to a cagey conversation involving a lot of answering questions with questions. The upshot was that Kalyx learned the nature of the artifact that she and the other Retrievers had been trained to fetch: a scroll. A simple, but powerful and rare scroll. Emmirus explained that Khalipanofax, “Mother,” who was quite apparently not actually destroyed in the Blighting, had refused to commune with any eladrin since the end of the The Redemption Wars. The “Wardens” she’d grown up with were the surviving eladrin Sorcerer Priests, who were desperately trying to make contact with their god, who simply would not speak to them. The scroll, they’d hoped, would allow them to do so.
Emmirus claimed to not know what had happened at the Village, or where the Wardens and slaves had gone. He did, however, hint at other, deeper knowledge, including, perhaps, more about her own past, The Island, and The Voice she’d felt rumbling within her. But, he said, they should continue the conversation at a later date, lest the arouse suspicions.
With that, he ushered her out, loudly proclaiming her unfit for alchemy, and giving her a good slap to make it convincing. Kalyx left the Guild Hall to meet up with her companions.
Despite the increased urgency caused by the news of Aechellans interest in Genvien Arrol, the party didn’t go directly to Arrol’s Warworks. They wandered the Queue for a time first, and even paid a visit to the Explorers’ Guild Hall, where they rendezvoused with Kalyx.
At the Hall they met the Hallmaster, a dwarf named Artoss Hookhand, whose hands both seemed to be quite intact. Artoss was gruff, but friendly enough, and engaged in friendly banter with the group, commenting that they seemed like the sorts who might make good money through the Explorer’s Guild. Unfortunately, he also informed them that Guildmaster Lobbus Lighttouch was far to busy to meet with them any time in the next week or so.
Fortunately, the party was able to leverage their titles and prestige, with a nudge from Ink’s mind-altering whispers, to convince Artoss to set up a meeting for them at the Crooked Spoke Tavern in the afternoon on Penilan the 17th.
The group spent another few hours exploring the Queue and poking around Jehnahn’s Market. Sardis was almost cited and arrested for public urination, but managed to intimidate the guard who’d caught him into letting it slide.
The party didn’t approach Arrol’s Warworks until the shadows had begun to lengthen. The shop was busy, with what seemed to be at least three forges running in a walled area behind the store proper. The party perused the store, eventually gaining the attention of a sales clerk, whom they asked about speaking directly to the Master Smith, Genvien Arrol.
They were put off, assured, delayed, and, eventually, directed to the Mastersmith’s mother, Annabelle Arrol, a robust, middle-aged human woman with a rosy-yet-businesslike disposition.
The elder Arrol also tried to put the party off, but was eventually induced to arrange a meeting between her daughter and the party, but only after normal business hours.
As they waited, the party grew suspicious.
Then they met Genvien Arrol, and understood.
The burly, but otherwise somewhat unremarkable young human woman shuffled in, shoulders slightly hunched, and whispered a greeting. As she invited the party into one of the small, private consultation rooms in the rear of the shop, it became quickly apparent that the master smith was just…painfully shy.
Once in the private consultation room, the party, with surprising deftness, managed to broach the subject of the Azethi Succession.
Her first notable reaction was one of fear. It seemed as though several Aechellans had been by earlier in the day, asking, obliquely, about the same evening. She seemed fairly shaken to be asked the same questions by officials from M’ziir.
But, as they coaxed the story from her, they found that her tale was, in it’s details, not much different from Jorin Remms’ version.
They learned that Genvien’s master, the dwarven smith Loras, who had turned against her and the palace guards, had not been himself since he’d returned from Tor Endull two weeks before the succession.
They also learned that Genvien had seen the Prince of Azeth many times, and that he’d had large, curling ram’s horns, remarkable due to their size and shape, very different from the more typical horns of the Aziil bloodline.
Finally, they learned that the tiefling, Fate, whom Genvien had fled Azeth with, had almost certainly been the prince, and that Genvien knew it, though she had been careful not to say so outright as part of the telling.
As the young smith finished her tale, full dark was settling in around D’kath. The party was reassuring Genvien, obliquely, that her tale would remain secret, and discussing the ordering of some custom goods as a thank you and explanation for their visit, the true purpose of which they had been careful to obfuscate all day. Just then, Kalyx, Ink, and Eirlys all felt, and then saw, a small, raven-sized blur of energy, which resolved into a small mass of writhing tentacles, hovering near the ceiling behind Genvien. A familiar of some sort, and seemingly connected to the Ix’iil in some way. The familiar, revealed, fled through the wall and away.
Sardis, Ink, and Kalyx bolted to their feet, and rushed out of Arrol’s Warworks to give chase, while Eirlys lingered to reassure the Arrols and complete the transaction necessary to everyone’s cover.
Once into the well-lit but winding streets of D’kath’s Queue, the party became sparated. Ink and Kalyx, unable to give pursuit based on pure athleticism, each sought to anticipate the familiar’s path and cut it off. Sardis, meanwhile, kept the spirit in sight and attempted to run it down.
Eventually, Sardis, closing the distance, noticed that the familiar had darted down an alley full of a suspicious, writhing darkness. Thinking better of charging through, Sardis instead smashed directly through the back-door of the neighboring tavern, not slowing until he’d passed fully through the building, smashing through another door and into the alley beyond the darkness. And also directly into a robed and hooded tiefling, knocking the suspicious stranger to the ground.
Ink and Kaylx caught up, from different directions, and a tendril of writhing darkness lashed out at the sorceress, driving her briefly out of the present and into her darkest and most painful memories.
Ink sought to control the darkness with ze’s magic; meanwhile the tiefling stranger was loudly proclaiming himself an ally, and asking to be allowed to help.
Cautiously, Sardis let the wiry tiefling stand. Upon rising, he called out in a strange tongue, summoning a great, blindingly bright orb of light into the dark alley. The light flashed brilliantly, then faded. When it was gone, the shadows and the Ix’iilan familiar had disappeared as well.
The angry barkeep was still there though. Him and a half-dozen rough-looking adventurer-types who had taken exception to the damage to their favorite tavern.
The word in the streets and taverns is…
- The Kaz’Kazzar wears a glowing ruby diadem on his brow that allows him to influence the minds of those around him.
- The Thieve’s Guilds has been infiltrated by a dark menace from the Shadowfell that seeks to control Mokiir.
- The Blood King Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil is secretly a worshiper of a dark menace from the shadowfell that seeks to control Mokiir
- The Church of Tulvar is a front for the Cult of Subher
- The Blood King is able to see, hear, and even appear anywhere in Mokiir at will. He knows when anyone speaks his name.
- The cult of the dead god Khalipanofax is seeking to find a foothold in Mokiir.
- The towns and farms around D’kath are being harried by wyverns much more than is usual for this time of year.
- The Grauberg orcs have wiped out the goblinoids in the hills outside M’ziir.
- The touch of the Shadowfell on the dreams of the godless is growing stronger. Night terrors have turned murderous and things grow worse as Nemidahl approaches.
- There will be no truce with Darakor, and Mokiir will find itself at war with all the other nations of the west.
- Beaten, the Kaz’Kazzar will bend a knee to Ren’Raatha of Darakor, who will be the new Kaz’Kazzar.
- The Astrologer’s Guild has been abolished by the Guild Counsel at the insistence of the Shepherds
- Undead plague the hills and mountains north of D’kath.
- The orcs of Maelechar have departed, en masse, to the north, leaving their dark homeland empty and unguarded.
- In the fell wastes of Maelechar, a group of heroes have prevented a dark cataclysm from starting in the cursed orcish city of Ur Ta Shaal.
- The ancient primordials stir in their slumber and will soon awaken to make war on the gods.
- The Mules are setting up a chapter in D’kath.
- The Wild Hunt haunts the highways of northern Mokiir, preparing to carry away the souls of those who fall in the impending battles with Darakor and Aechell
- A diplomatic envoy from Aechell reached D’kath on Penilan the 15th, the day before a dimplomatic envoy from M’ziir.
- The Wild Hunt followed the envoy from M’ziir all the way to D’kath
- A powerful sorcerer has come to D’kath with plans to take over the mage’s guild.
- The Kaz’Kazzar has come to D’kath in secret to treat with Aechell.