The world fades back into being with the party in their hotel room debating the best path of action to deal with their current quests. The trouble of course, is that it seems they have only half the story on everything. A pendant. A horse. No master. Spies. A notebook. Half of it forged. The discussion proceeds and the party decides that based on the evidence, the half-orc carriageman is most likely a victim in this web, and might be able to give them some clues as to the nature of what is going on.
With this agreed, Rhogar and Alek agree to confront him. He soon passes the inn, and the two flag him down. They ask for a ride to the bridge and once they are into the busier thoroughfare of town begin to question him. It becomes quickly apparent that he has no knowledge of any enemies to himself, nor any information on the spies or the circle. He is viscerally shocked when the forgeries in his notebook are pointed out, and he agrees to allow the party to catch the responsible party.
Many hours pass, and the party is waiting outside the inn to rendezvous with the coachman. While they are waiting, a voice calls to Alek around the corner of the building they’re beside. Alek goes to follow it, and Rhogar, standing next to him, does the same. Around the corner, several crow-men unleash a torrent of attacks in their direction.
Cliff, bravely charging to the escape, rips open a door to the warehouse they are standing beside… and is suddenly set upon by four similar foes in the doorway. Another pair appear behind the far corner of the building between the Coach and Pony and the warehouse.
The battle commences. The heroes struggle to turn the tide against their foes. Izzussan and Cliff, being the closest to the doorway from which the second wave of attackers is, find themselves the worst off. Rhogar and Alek trade places, and manage to seven of the foes themselves before heading off to help their besieged colleagues. Leshanna clears the other alleyway, and assists with the battle in the warehouse. Finally, the steel comes to a rest and the party frees a group of dwarves trapped in the warehouse. The dwarves bashfully admit that this is the storehouse of weapons for the entire city. They also warn the party about a human in command of the Circle – who is holed up in another warehouse in the far district of town.
Several Hours Later
A short halfling woman works her way through the wee hours of the morning going about her daily duties as a maid in the Coach and Pony. Another adventurer has come and decided to make the main hall his haunt for the night, and so she has been forced to delay that until he leaves and focus on completing her other tasks.
Lifting a small ring of keys from her belt, she unclasps the lock on the door in the far North East corner of the inn. The latch gives way with the slightest click and she pushes the door open slowly, only enough for her small form to slip past, and then into the room. She leaves the door slightly ajar, and creeps forward towards the sleeping area of the room.
She sees her target where it usually is – lying expectantly on the corner of the bedside table. A form in the bed shifts uneasily, and she freezes, fingers outstretched and reaching for the book. The sleeping figure does not rouse however, and after a tense several seconds, she lets out deep sigh of relief. She picks up the book and replaces it with one from within her apron, careful to lay it in the same position as the previous book.
Suddenly, there is a slamming sound and she whirls to see the door has been shut, with a large dragonborn glowering down at her. She spins around and nearly runs into an armored leg as the man from the bed, feigning sleep, has arisen and blocked the other way. She goes to scream but a scaly hand clamps down over her mouth.
“It’s not polite to take what doesn’t belong to you.” A deep, growling voice booms. With that, she felt her knees go weak and the world black.
“Rhogar!” Alek exclaims disapprovingly, punching the dragonborn in the shoulder. “Be gentle. We need her alive.”
“Rhogar WAS being gentle. She fainted.” He raised the figure up and tossed her onto the bed. The impact was enough to rouse her from her swoon.
“Enough – we’ll ask the qu- – - uaaackkk-
-” Rhogar begins to growl but instead winds up doubly over choking. “Alek…” he manages to wheeze, “Keep going – Rhogar swallowed a spider the wrong way and it’s trying to get out.” Despite her fear, the ridiculousness of this statement reduces the halfling maid to giggling laughter.
Alek shakes his head. “Look, nobody wants to get you in any trouble or report you to the authorities – but we need to know what you were doing with that book.”
“Just. . . doing my job.” The halfling replies.
Rhogar, composure regained, stands up and glowers angrily. “Do you want to get into trouble with your boss? Do you want us to report you to the authorities!? You’re going to have to do better than that!’
“I – I just replace the journals. And bring them to a tower.”
“I will show you if you promise not to hurt me or give me over to THEM.”
“We will not hurt you; however your fate is far from certain.”
“I can live with that.”
The party meets up behind the Coach and Pony. The sky is just beginning to lighten in the pre-dawn hours and they make their way to the base of one of the sentry towers lining the outer wall of the city. The party crowds the base, while Izzussan takes the maid back to Marisandra’s for questioning.
Eventually – someone appears in the tower and the party grab him. He says he knows nothing of the circle, but drops a cipher pad. The party hauls him off to Goldspinners. In an attempt to save himself, he says that Idara and the racist entryway guard are suspicious if they are searching for spies. The party contemplates this as they meet Goldspinner to update her on the status of their quest. . . . . .
FADE TO CREDITS!
She’s the one, the one at the merchant’s guild.
A trader’s guild.
Such a bold guilder,
Beckons you, to enter her web of spies,
It’s your demise!
Golden words, she will pour in your ear,
But her lies can’t disguise what you fear,
For a golden girl knows when she’s kissed her,
It’s the kiss of death from
Pretty but beware of this heart of gold
This heart is cold!