Having secured the portal stone of Honest Trade we made our way back to camp. The fight at the Merchants vault had nearly exhausted our daily stores and we were eager for some rest. As we arrived at the cliff looking down into the city we saw a group fleeting the merchant distract with enemies in pursuit. Upon further inspection we could see it was members of our faction at the waters edge with others we did not recognize rapidly boarding rafts and trying to push off. While most of us were too far to aid, I sent Skyyfang out so I could get a better look through his eyes, while Almaran summoned a huge water elemental to discourage the pursuers and aid our allies in the crossing. The mystic then took flight himself to help our allies while the rest of us made the long trek over land back to camp.
Once returned we were updated on the situation. Captain Dalon and the Golden Lions were attacked by the Red Orcs and Brotherhood. They were nearly decimated but with the help of our allies some were able to get away and make it to our camp. Taking them in was the right thing to do however Dalon’s orders were to capture Khaine and I for treason. A fact that was not lost on him or us. Still there was little threat of that matter at the moment and more pressing engagements soon presented themselves. The Nord King was to meet with the Boss this very eve as was the leader of the Brotherhood to meet with Osond and the elves. Both the Boss and Osond sent word that they wanted us to attend their meets. Deciding the Alliance needed attend both meets we decided to split up to have representation at each dinner. Almaran and I with the elves leaving Grune and Khaine with the Boss. Ari opted out to attend other matters.
The Meets were clearly politically fueled and while I cannot speak much for the Boss’s Meet, our introduction to Dusk, the leader of the Brotherhood, was… unsettling. Arrogant and cocky he maybe it was clear he was a dangerous man. There were powerful magics about him as well and although he only had two guards present, I knew there were others close by. We exchanged veiled threats making clear our dislike for one another as well as our respect for the threat each poses to our individual faction. That particular dance done, he then re-focused the conversation on Osond and offered an official truce and joint venture. He sought the aid of the elves and the Muse to assault the Government district and clear out the Aspari theat there once and for all. The elves would get to keep any artistic artifacts while the brothhood would keep anything else found.
Al and I exchange questioning looks at the offer as Osond stated he would take this request to the Muse for her ruling. Dinner proceeded with Dusk making comments to show off is knowledge of our camp. Some of it was a bit stale but not by much. It also felt like he was doing some fishing as well. Perhaps to verify bits he was not sure of. We gave him little to work with, making our distrust of him very clear and the conversation soon ground to a halt. It was then he made his leave as pleasant as one could be.
We conferred in one of the few walled structures in our camp with the others and I asked Cassandra to join us for added insight into Dusk who was aware of her defection. Grune and Khaine shared their thoughts on Ottin, King of the Nords the largest man they had ever seen. At nearly 9’ tall it was clear had the blood of giants in his veins. His size aside there seemed to be an real opportunity to turn him against the Red Orcs and Brotherhood. That truce seemed to be a tenuous one that we might be able to put a wedge in. He has invited us to a feast at his camp in 3 days.
Almaran and I then updated the others on our meet with Dusk and Osond and of the offer the leader of the Midnight Brotherhood made. We all agreed it was a cover for their true ambitions to find an artifact. A sacred sword that Cassandra mentioned some time ago she thought Dusk was after. We had also heard rumor of powerful blade in hidden in the city and Dusk must believe is hidden in that district. An assumption I initially shared.
After more thought and wise words from Grune, we came to the conclusion that assumption is incorrect and such an artifact would most likely be hidden in the Temple district where it could be guarded by the priesthood. With that in mind we knew where we needed to head next. As a caution I also shared Dusk’s apparent knowledge of our comings and goings. It was clear he as eyes on us so we needed to take extra effort in hiding our departures and perhaps our arrivals as well. It was an easy agreement for all and Almaran said he would prepare teleports for our excursions from now on.
Business concluded we started to disband when Cassandra asked me to wait a moment then stepped aside to have a brief word with Almaran. The mystic looked perplexed for a moment and then agreed to her ask and used the Eye to look at her. He then nodded, which was all she waited for to then push him out the door and lock it from the inside. With a surprising shyful smile and sincere eyes she then approached me and said…
“I wanted you to know that it is truly I when I say that Dusk terrifies me and causes me to be fearful of what tomorrow will bring. That you have shown me a kindness and respect I have not often known. That I ask you to hold me tonight so that I would be close to you”
Locking her gaze I took her into my arms and… well… we forgot about the troubles of the world until dawn.