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The Further Adventures of Innes, Bhaalspawn

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  • TetraploidTetraploid Member Posts: 252
    edited January 2015
    Dyrellei's Correspondence

    ----------------------

    "Eric,

    What in the Hells are you doing in Neverwinter? Look, you want to play at being Innes' cleric? Fine. Thing is, whether he's a God or not, Innes doesn't need followers in Neverwinter. You have a chance to do what most clerics never will: serve your so-called 'God' directly. So get yourself to Athkatla.

    - Dyrellei"

    The note was scrawled hastily on the back of Eric's letter, her back turned to the group, and forced into the innkeeper's hands along with a scattering of coin.

    "Get it back to where it came from, quickly. Hire a mage or something with the gold."

    Forcing the anger from her face, she returned to join the group with nothing more than her usual expression of mild irritation.

    VorschesJuliusBorisovlolien
  • VorschesVorsches Member Posts: 23
    edited January 2015
    From the journals of Lomin Salix:

    Though I used to write of my days to stop my mind from wandering to darker memories, I now find myself mostly able to do without. My end goal remains the same however, I will make the cowled wizards pay for their past transgressions, this is the reason I sought the Bhaalspawn Innes in the first place after all. Yet, overall I cannot perform my "specialty" with the same enthusiasm as I once could though. Maybe I'm getting soft... I didn't feel the same hate that I used to when I dealt with the mages in the slaver compound some time ago. Though the challenge of slaying spellcasters is still rewarding, anything else that can put up a worthy fight will be just as good I'm sure.

    I feel that it might be for the best that I am reconciling with magic as a whole. After all, it did a lot for me and my family... or it used to. It no longer helps the rest of my family, but it still serves me, in a much different way now.

    Lastly, I have not forgotten about that mage, Irenicus. Last I saw of him he was a prisoner of the cowled wizards. This is acceptable though, now I will be able to end all my foes at once.

    Post edited by Vorsches on
    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • TetraploidTetraploid Member Posts: 252
    Chapter Eleven: Reunions and Resurrections

    -------------------------------------

    The Shadow Thieves may be important allies in the group's hunt for Irenicus...but they were still a Thieve's Guild, and it was only natural that Dyrellei would keep her eyes and ears alert while among her professional peers. Certain rumours took her fancy, and as the party left the compound she was keen to steer them in the direction of the Government District. After all, someone there must know something about the Cowled Wizards, so a search would likely prove valuable.

    Unfortunately - or, fortunately, as things would eventually turn out - the guards in the Government District maintained a significantly greater level of vigilance, less content to let the warring guilds hold their battles in the streets. Innes and his group, all armed to the teeth or else dressed in robes, drew attention to themselves just by being there. Attempts to reassure the guards that they were simply travellers passing through were hindered by Dy's nearby attempt to break into a house that a Shadow Thief had seemed certain would be unoccupied, and when Innes' name was mentioned that was sufficient to cause their arrest - apparently someone had been raving about an elf like him for a while now, and though there didn't seem to be clear charges the guard were happy enough to simply usher the group into the jail cells and leave them until morning to figure it all out.

    Lomin, under his new title of 'Lord Salix', attempted to negotiate bail for the group, but meanwhile Dyrellei was shouting angrily in her cell, which would probably have delayed proceedings had she not been distracted by a familiar voice through the wall, one that recognised hers. It had been so long, it took her a moment to realise she was speaking to Innes' lost companion, the halfling Eric. Her attempts to piece together what had happened - how he was in Athkatla, why he was in jail - were met with equally muddled confusion. As she tried to make sense of it, Lomin continued to arrange their release, for the fee of 5000 gold. This proved an adequate distraction to the party treasurer, who wasn't convinced that such a fee was necessary simply to open some doors, considering her particular skill-set. Furthermore, things turned sour when the guard got greedy, realising how wealthy his charges must be, and demanded double for his silence. Lord Salix took a different approach to silencing the jailkeep, and what should have been a civilised solution became a violent one as the rest of the nearby guards were alerted. The rota chosen to guard what had previous been an almost empty jail save for one mild-mannered halfling was a small one, luckily for the group, and once all witnesses were dealt with the party made a hasty exit back onto the street, headed for the relative safety of the Copper Coronet once more - no one batted an eye at their kind there, after all.

    As they walked, they managed to piece together some semblance of sense from Eric, who clearly had no idea he was even in Athkatla. Apparently he'd stolen onto a ship he'd thought was headed for Samarach, but had failed to disembark so stealthily and had been taken into prison from the docks. Evidently, he'd been on the wrong ship. He was clearly quite pleased with himself for getting onboard in the first place, and even told Dyrellei she'd have been proud of him. She didn't seem impressed by his failed antics, nor by the fact that he had come to Athkatla not to find Innes or to help, but purely by accident and idiocy.

    Back in the Coronet, after buying a round of drinks (including milk for Innes and Eric), the party were left with the decision of what to do about Marik. With no body left, a standard temple resurrection wasn't an option, but Hark had a plan. Making use of the slave pens, now empty, the mage began preparations for a ritual he claimed would work...but it needed a potent source of divine power. It took some time to convince Innes to participate, but eventually he agreed: his blood would fuel the process, and he stepped into the summoning circle. Eric contributed what he considered Innes' most holiest of sigils: a sticky bun, partially eaten by the hungry Bhaalspawn, though what this was supposed to add to the ritual was unclear. When Hark's incantations were ready, Innes cut his arm and let the blood fall into the circle.

    The resulting explosion took the group by surprise, and as the flames cleared...not ALL of them cleared. In the centre was a creature wreathed in magical fire, who was, apparently, Marik. Not quite as the group remembered him...but as he expressed his gratitude for being raised, and apologised for attacking Hark previously, it was generally agreed that any change was probably for the better.

    JuliusBorisovVorscheslolien
  • TetraploidTetraploid Member Posts: 252
    Chapter Twelve: A New Marik

    -------------------------

    Putting aside, for a moment, the inexplicable fact that Marik was now a Fire Elemental, there were plenty of other questions to be asked and answered. A brief experiment revealed that Marik still retained his casting abilities in his new shape, for starters. Another important detail that Hark had to point out was that the creature had been effectively 'summoned' from an alternative plane. Therefore, he was bound to obey Innes, who had been in the summoning circle at the time of the spell. Innes initially refused this contract, but it seemed there was no way out of it save for killing Marik and letting him return to whatever plane he'd come from. For now, then, Marik would be unable to disobey any order Innes gave him, and though the young elf insisted he wouldn't be making use of his new power, he did make an exception to point out that Marik would not be permitted to harm any member of the party again.

    Marik, on the other hand, seemed entirely relaxed about his new servitude. Apparently he had his own reasons to help Innes...something to do with 'fulfilling Alaundo's prophecy', which would have been more reassuring had the prophecy talked less about murder and chaos.

    Amidst the chatter, Hark, apparently ready to move onto his next project, cast some kind of spell on Dyrellei. He refused to say exactly what he'd done, but the thief's initial anger subsided when it seemed no significant change had actually occurred. The mage insisted the results were subtle, and though Dyrellei was uneasy she felt no worse off for whatever he'd done...apparently, it was beneficial, though that remained to be seen.

    Eventually, once the group had settled, it was time to move on...and disagreement sprang up over where they should head to next. Innes was keen to investigate the monsters plaguing the Windspear Hills, but Dyrellei felt the group had dawdled long enough, and should see to Aran Linvail's tasks so that they might finally make some progress in hunting down Irenicus - a standpoint Lomin agreed with. Marik and Eric were both determined to go along with whatever Innes decided, however, while Hark refused to choose a side, making the Bhaalspawn's insistence that they should decide by vote to be somewhat pointless. After arguing for far longer than was necessary, eventually Innes gave in and agreed that they could head to the docks to meet up with Mook, the thief they'd been asked to find.

    Of course, this plan was somewhat time-dependent...Mook wasn't likely to be around during the day. With nothing better to fill the time, Innes wandered the docks with Eric while Dyrellei and Lomin found themselves in the Sea's Bounty. A hidden door in the corner seemed dangerously familiar, but with little else happening Dy agreed to open it for Lomin to investigate - surely there wouldn't be a secret lich in every tavern in this city?

    It turned out to be nothing more than a smugglers' den, and the two of them dealt quickly with the pirates. Lomin's satisfaction in killing a dangerous mage was mirrored by Dy's grin as she helped herself to the smugglers' ill-gotten gains, and the pair of them were quite pleased with themselves as they returned to the inn...but celebrations were cut short as Innes returned to insist the party stop loitering around and start making themselves useful. In particular, Innes was hoping Dyrellei would assist with a little assignment they'd been given by a crazy-looking mage outside the tavern. Xzar - a vaguely familiar face - wanted them to infiltrate the Harper compound nearby, and was prepared to trade information about the Cowled Wizards for their help. Crossing the Harpers didn't necessarily sound like a great idea...but Innes refused to pass up a chance to learn more about his foe.

    VorschesJuliusBorisovlolien
  • TetraploidTetraploid Member Posts: 252
    Chapter Thirteen: Subterfuge at its Finest

    -----------------------------------

    With only one obvious entrance in the Harper's hold, and a permanent guard, even Dyrellei didn't fancy trying to sneak in through the front door. The proposed tactic, therefore, was surely the most subtle the group had yet devised for any of their exploits: asking nicely. They even said please. In light of their previous service - some time ago, they had brought a poisoned member to the door - the guard eventually succumbed to their pleas...in exchange for a small favour. As with so many favours, it boiled down to going somewhere, killing something and coming back. The where, at least, was local, and the something was a collection of monsters and the mages who made them. There were few complaints, especially from Lomin, and so the task was done without delay.

    The brief display of competent and well-directed violence earned the group an invitation inside, but it was made very clear they were not to stray from the ground floor. Gentle probing of the various Harpers inside revealed that upstairs would be unsafe: the guardians would not recognise them. Also of mention were the amulets that marked each Harper...and the plan seemed clear. A brief rummage through the living quarters later and, decked out in her newest jewellery, Dyrellei led the way upstairs while Innes engaged Berinvar in what must surely have been an engrossing conversation. In the absence of the thief's screams of pain or terror, the others decided it was probably safe to follow, and it turned out the so-called-guardians were relatively peaceful spirits...though perhaps it may have been different if Dyrellei wasn't wearing the amulet that apparently marked her as a Harper.

    In fact, the spirits were almost helpful, if somewhat cryptic. When asked about a potential thief, they responded with something akin to a riddle, claiming that they would keep such a trespasser above the ground. They were already upstairs, of course, but the suggested meaning became more clear when they came across a gilded cage of birds. One in particular seemed to eye Dy with intent, and sat calmly in her hand when she entered the cage. A polymorphed halfling was no stranger than the cursed chicken outside Beregost, and the elf was fairly relaxed with this apparent state of affairs...although Lomin was keen that she didn't leave until she'd had a good look through everything else the Harpers kept hidden there. It turned out to be mostly scrolls, which somehow Marik was able to use without burning.

    Grabbing Innes as they left - he was still amiably chatting away to Berinvar, who by now had a slightly pained expression - the group hurried back to share their find with Xzar.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
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