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Old 11-18-2012, 11:38 AM
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Arrow Inquisitives - Turn 20

Raena and Altus

Raena sensibly acquired armour that afternoon. The mithril breastplate was a marvel to behold; white enamel chased in gold filigree. It suited the priestess, fitting her modest frame, offering protection without hampering mobility. She felt a little conspicuous wearing such elaborate armour so openly, but it didn’t draw any undue attention to her as she first feared. If anything, it gave her a bit more confidence to walk the streets and bridges of Sharn.

Even so, she was finding it difficult to employ that newfound confidence at the moment.

“The messenger said a half-orc matching Mardu’s description hired him,” Altus explained. He’d had a long talk with the House Sivis gnomish messenger that found them at Bank Kundarak. The gnome told them he knew where to find Raena because the golden-haired beauty with the half-orc told him where ‘the pattern showed the priestess would be’. That certainly sounded like something June would say.

“If what the note says is true, we’d be causing more harm than good if we searched openly for them. And the note said they don’t want to cause us any harm because of their own current situation.” The paladin clenched his jaw, waiting for Raena to object. Again.

“I know,” she said simply. “I just wish I knew what kind of trouble they were in that a member of the watch had to drop out of site as well.” She ran her fingers through her auburn locks in frustration. “I’m just worried for them.”

“As am I. But we have to trust in them.” The paladin placed a hand on Raena’s shoulder. “I believe that the two of them will be fine. AuJeunotte is both a sorceress and a prophet. I’m sure she’ll ‘see’ some way to deal with their situation. I’ve seen Mardu fight too and I respect his abilities. They make quite the pair. I’m sure they’ll turn up soon enough...”

Raena didn’t reply. She knew Altus was probably right. But she’d grown fond of the feisty prophetess and the taciturn half-orc in the short time she had come to know them. They were her friends. And one of them was her employee, to boot. She felt responsible...

“First things first,” she murmured after a few more paces. “First we stop M, then we find them.” Raena’s tone brooked no argument. “Now, we need to get back. Let’s go.”

Altus actually had to pick up his pace to keep up...

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:39 AM
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Default Durion

Marks and wards.

Durion's mind raced as he scanned the various books in the library. He'd been at it for nearly an hour, and had perused several dozen books and periodicals. He set aside a rather trite tome on the history of investigation techniques and practices and peered around the room. Another book caught his attention; a more modern writing on the Dragonmarked Houses.

Marks and wards...

Durion grabbed the book and flipped through the pages frantically. Finally, he found what he was looking for.

House Medani bore the Mark of Detection! Their stock and trade was in finding marks and wards. And the Warning Guild was known for producing some of the most talented inquisitives in all of Khorvaire. The half-elves were well known for their sharp eyes and keen intellects. And one half-elf in particular stood above all others; Baron Trelib d’Medani, Master Inquisitive, Patriarch of House Medani.

The question, of course, was how to get a quality introduction in enough time to save him, and how best to pass this information to his colleagues at The Agency. Perhaps his contacts at the club could aid him with the former (he might have to buff off some of his brass), but the latter was far easier than the former.

He strode into the main room at the club and looked around for the ancient head butler. Before he had turned once, the impeccably dressed old elf was at his side. "How may I be of service, Master Durion?"

Durion produced the letter and correct coin with an entertaining flourish and a few incidental sparkles for effect. "Please see to it that this note makes its way to this address with all due speed, Mister Oiland. And, if it isn't to much trouble," At this, he lowered his voice and spoke confidentially, "I shall require an appointment with Baron Trelib d’Medani, Master Inquisitive, Patriarch of House Medani for myself and colleagues at his earliest possible convenience. It is a matter of some urgency, regarding a possible threat to his life and reputation."

“At once, Master Durion,” the butler replied with a bow. Without another word, he was off on his errand.

Durion discovered an Aundarian Stout had appeared in his hand, but didn’t question it. Sergeant Benson nodded from behind the bar, but the Magus didn’t recall calling the bartender over or even ordering. No matter, he had time to kill while he waited for the steward to return.

He felt a bit out of sorts as he sat down on a padded brass bar stool. What had just happened? He had the feeling quite some time had passed, but he didn’t know where it had gone. He closed his eyes and savoured the stout as he tried to remember...
“Master Durion! They’ve flanked our position! We need to retreat!” Tavish bellowed. For such a humble and meek young man, he had quite the deep voice that carried over even the cries and screams of the battlefield. If the boy ever grew a spine, he could use that voice to command, the elf considered coldly.

“We do not retreat, Mister Tavish,” Durion replied calmly. He drew his gleaming black blade and decapitated the Cyran that was rushing him without taking his attention from the cleric. “Round up our able-bodied. We make a stand right here.”

Reluctantly, the cleric did as he was bade and rallied the remaining members of their company. Not many were left when they circled around Durion for their orders. A handful of boys, the elf thought bitterly. Only two other mages, seven men at arms, and the cleric were all he had to work with. They all bore injuries from the battle. All had earned the right to be call soldiers, giving much worse than they received tenfold. And Tavish had been busy restoring them with prayers and spells. Without the healing, they might’ve lost even more men just rallying.

“We do not let those dogs force our retreat!” Durion ordered. “We stand here, and we fight. This is our country! This is our land! We’ll not let them take it from us!” The soldiers around him cried out their support.

The battle was brutal. Wave after wave of Cyrans and Valenar came at them, and they turned back the tide with all their hearts. But it cost them every time, and Durion watched as his company was slowly whittled away. An explosion rocked the ground beneath his feet as he faced off with a Cyran pryomancer. But it wasn’t his opponent’s doing, as he looked just as surprised as the elf. Durion took the opportunity to strike and cast one of his few remaining spells at the battlecaster.

The elf’s world exploded in white hot sparks and intense pain. The pyromancer shrieked as he was blown apart by a focused bolt of lightning, but his ironwood staff was blown to flinders in the blast. A shard of it caught Durion across the face, nearly taking his eye. He could feel the blood flowing from above and below his eye, but he didn’t have time to worry about it. Tavish would see to it when they had time. He looked for the cleric through the smoke.

The cleric was swinging his heavy mace with a brutal efficiency that made even the Magus proud. A glowing blue mace made of spiritual energy flailed at those that sought to flank the young man. He was holding his own. Durion thought he just might make it after all...

Another wave of Cyrans had arrived with a dozen battlecasters. Spells were being thrown in all directions.

The young cleric’s head exploded.

Durion watched helplessly as what was left of Tavish fell to the ground lifeless. The Magus suspected that things might be getting a little out of control...

“You should get going now, sir,” a voice said much too calmly than the situation warranted.
“I beg your pardon?” Durion said incredulously. “We do not retreat! We are making our stand right here!”

The butler blinked in surprise. “Sir, your message has been delivered. You have an appointment for six this evening. You should get going now.”

Durion realised he was in the club still. A half dozen empty pint glasses were on the bar next to him, and a few other officers were watching him with concern written on their grizzled features.

“Of course,” the Magus said as he pulled at his uniform, straightening his posture. “It was good of you to inform me directly. I shall away. Gentlemen, as you were.”

Without another word, the scarred elf took his leave of the club and made for the inquisitive agency to inform the others...

***
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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Default Wireburn and Quinn

The gnomish cafe was a refreshing change from the typical eateries that Hawksley usually frequented. The service was excellent, and the menu choices brought fond memories of Korranberg University and the Library to mind. The young inquisitive smiled across the table as he sipped his tea.

Annushka Tolleranza peered over her notepad and studied the charming Mr Quinn with an alarming intensity. Sir Wireburn had seen that look dozens of times during his partnership with the young scholar. The warforged surmised she was probably undressing Hawksley with her eyes. It was very interesting to see that particular look on the face of the dwarven reporter seated before them both.

“Zo, you are askink me for top inqvisitives in Sharn?” she drawled in her thick Mrorian accent. “You are no doubt sizink out kompetition, no? Hopink to make big name for yourself, ov course! I am liking ze sound of zis story! I must write!” Ann scribbled furiously in her notepad as Wireburn wondered how she wrote so eloquently, and clearly, for the Korranberg Chronicle. Perhaps she had a very good editor go over her articles before they were printed.

“Off the record,” said Wireburn, “it never hurts to get an edge on our competition.”

“An edge,” the dwarf repeated without inflection, though it was obvious to the warforged that the reporter was eyeing his greatsword. But the moment passed, and Ann’s eyes wandered back over to the young man across the table.

“I can tell you dis,” Ann said smiling brightly, “Mr Abraxis Wren may think he iz sometink special, but you are by far better kompany to be havink! And your kompanion is zo impressive! Tell me, Sir Vireburn, is he as good as I am hearink? If Mr Qvinn iz to makink big name, he must solve big cases as well as be so good lookink!”

“Mr. Quinn is a top-notch investigator. The best I’ve ever worked with. And he is so much more than looks.”

Hawksley was about to reply, but chose to keep his thoughts to himself, touched as he was by Sir Wireburn’s words.

“He iz, iz he?” the dwarf murmured, smiling wickedly.

“I vill tell you dis,” Ann continued, “You are much more interestink to be writink about than Mr Vincent Saint Demain! Dat man iz inzufferable! Alvays praisink himself, pointink out how smart he iz! If him zo smart, vhy he not hired by Varnink Guild! Head of House Medani refuse him! Make Saint Demain zo very angry! You must not become zo arrogant as dat, you hearink me?” She paused to consider, chewing the tip of her pen before a thought struck her.

“Make nice vith de Baron. He iz smartest man in inqvisitive business! He might know who your kompetition is!”

Wireburn quietly nodded. He looked at Quinn.

Hawksley nodded with a smile. He knew this would be a good way to gather information.

“Your insight into the workings of this city never cease to amaze me, Anna,” Hawksley said brightly. “We shall seek out the Baron and ask his wise counsel on this matter.” He finished off his tea and was about to stand to leave when he caught the dwarf’s gaze.

“Zo,” the dwarf drawled as she eyed to pair with an inscrutable look. Wireburn had the impression of a predator preparing to pounce upon its chosen prey. “I am hearink all dis noise of big to-do at Cavendish Tower dis mornink. Halflinks and clawfoots makink for big mess on bridge. I am hearink you haf sometink to do vis dis, no? Can you tell me more about happeninks? I vant to be first to get big scoop!” In a flash, a pen and notepad appeared in her chubby little hands, and she smiled a rather toothy grin...

Wireburn launched into the penny dreadful narrative he had already written for himself. He described the fight blow-by-blow, focusing with particular attention on each swing of his greatsword. He neglected certain details, like the sniper, and emphasized his mercy upon the halflings. He left the exact means of their defeat, and Quinn’s abilities, a little fuzzy. Though he certainly did not slight Quinn, he also knew that Quinn didn’t want HIS competitors knowing the exact nature of his powers.

Plus, Wireburn felt the need to grab the spotlight.

“Well I’ll be,” a woman’s voice said from across the cafe. “That was you on that bridge, wasn’t it! I thought the description sounded familiar. I thought to myself, ‘Self, where have you heard tell of a four-armed warforged and a cocky boy in a dusty coat acting all cool and heroic-like?’”

Kestral d’Lyrandar rose from her table and sauntered over to the trio, a cup of gnomish tea in her hand. “I hear the halflings never stood a chance. Nice work. Wasn’t there a sorcerer with you as well? And some men at arms? Do tell! I want to hear this story too!”

“Captain,” a warning voice called after her, “I’m pretty sure that was a private conversation.” Garis, the ever faithful first mate, followed the petite woman, hoping to prevent a scene. “And we’re due back at the Aesalon. We have a delivery, remember?”

“It can wait. At least it isn’t some presumptuous professor and her doting hunk of a man-servant. Crates don’t complain if they’re running late to meet somebody,” Kes replied flippantly. “I wanna hear about the fight! I’m sure it’ll be in all the papers tomorrow, but you hardly ever get to meet the people involved.” She smiled expectantly at Wireburn and Quinn, wearing an expression of anticipation and innocence...

"I’m afraid you have missed the tale, my dear,” Hawksley said as he rose from the table. “You’ll have to ‘read all about it’ as they say. We were just taking our leave, were we not Sir Wireburn?” The young scholar gave the half-elf a forbidding look as he waited for his warforged companion to stand. Kestral was too taken aback to say anything...

To Anna, he made apologies for their abrupt departure.

“I believe my companion has given you an accurate account of what happened. The only thing I might add to the tale is how modest Sir Wireburn is being.” He leaned in close to the dwarf and not-quite-whispered dramatically, “I saw him split a raptor in two with a single swing.” He nodded solemnly as he straightened up and donned his tri-cornered hat.

“Shall we be off? I believe our good priestess will be quite interested in our findings...”

***
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:40 AM
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Default Han

Han changed his form to that of a male half-elf, one ear torn. He changed into clothes that were adequately grubby, and smeared some dirt on his face and hands to finish off the disguise. After taking a mental inventory of his daggers, and after a deep breath, he walked into Moktoh’s neighbourhood. Word would reach the hobgoblin that Silas half-ear was in the area long before he would get to the Nose, so he took his time…

Han took his time, looking here and there, not taking too long in one spot, but not being in any rush. Sooner or later a representative of Moktoh’s would contact him and tell him where to present himself.

Grusilla found him as he poked around a food stall. The female hobgoblin had a soft spot for Silas as well, and bought him a bowl of noodles.

“Been a while since we’ve seen your sorry butt, Silas,” she said gruffly. “Thought you might’ve been snatched up. Glad to see you’re okay.” She put a few coppers on the counter for their food as she helped herself to some food as well. As noodles went in Sharn, these were terrible. But in this part of town, they were among the best. Silas ate quietly while Grusilla eyed him critically.

“Come, I take you to Moktoh. He’ll want to hear about what’s kept you away so long,” the warrior announced as they finished their meal.

The pair traveled deeper into the warrens that made up the lower wards of Malleon’s Gate. Grusilla was quite popular among the goblinoid populace, and stopped every so often to chat with acquaintances along the way. Han knew this was all routine, her way of checking in and vouching for ‘Silas’. The changeling was aware of the hand signals and certain phrases that were used to offer safe passage and enquiring about Moktoh’s whereabouts. He grudgingly admired the system they developed to protect themselves down here.

Nearly two hours after he entered the lower wards, Han (disguised as Silas) was finally face to face with Moktoh Baylor. He was currently occupying a table in what used to be a taproom of an old inn. But time had passed this place up, and it had fallen into ruin much like everything else in the lower wards.

The hobgoblin Nose was hunched over a table littered with empty plates and cups, but his attention was focused on some papers in his massive hand. Moktoh glanced up over a pair of pince nez and smiled toothily.

“Silas!” he called and waved the boy forward. “Long time no see. I hope you’ve been safe. Lots of kids gone missing lately, I hear. Tell me how you’ve been.” As expected, the Nose was prying information from his contacts, all in the name of friendly conversation...

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Old 11-18-2012, 11:41 AM
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Default Anselm

The young artificer left his father’s offices with a sense of disappointment. Merrulius wasn’t very helpful, in Anselm’s opinion. If House Cannith needed inquisitives, it usually turned to House Medani for help. But he did drop a few names, which might lead to some help. Unfortunately, Anselm didn’t know where to start or what to do with those names. Perhaps his companions could do something with them. Sonja Carrde, Vincent St Demaine, Abraxis Wren, Thorbard d’Medani, Antos Kheldoran were the inquisitives that came to Merrulius’s mind. Anselm wondered silently to himself how many of them were dead like Antos...

Anselm mulled over the rest of the conversation with his father, not at all pleased with the elder d’Cannith’s views on what was going on. As far as Merrulius was concerned, their job was to craft and create, regardless of what the customer intended to do with the fruits of their labours. It was all about making money and meeting the expectations of the family business. And it was considered bad business to pry into the affairs of their clientele. That irritated the young man to no end.

It was only mid afternoon, so Anselm decided he’d pay his cousin a visit. Jora obviously didn’t share the same views as Merrulius with regards to their clients. And it would be a good idea to check on her, considering all that had happened in the past few days...

Jora’s laboratory was located above a smithy in Delrand Tower, in the middle wards of the Central Plateau. The smithy provided ample heating for her place, as well a convenient source of materials for her work. Anselm noticed the craftsmen were all quite busy this afternoon as he made his way up the stairs to Jora’s workshop.

Rounding the bend of the tower, Anselm stopped in his tracks when he saw the door to Jora’s lab hanging off only one hinge...

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