After a few moments of Almaran explaining what he experienced, and Grune clearly seeing the physical effects on his mystic companion, Almaran convinces them to sneak out despite curfew and the late hour. He’s driven to validate if this was a portent of something to come a vision of an actual event.
Through various means the three make their way Low Town and find the herblist shop. They are surprised to see the watch already there, and three bodies being pulled out and placed into a wagon. One of the bodies was very small and the sheet covering it was bloodstained. Almaran unable to let this drop the team carefully investigate more over the next few hours.
What they learned was that a pair of Grey Band Loyalist had caught movement going into the back gate of the herbalist’s garden. One stayed and watch the shop while the other went to report the unusual activity. It was not long when Grey Wolves and a few more watch appeared. They broke down the door expecting to fine insurgences and found the dead bodies instead. The two adults were desiccated with black roses on them, while the young girl seemed to be have been attacked by an animal. Further validating it was not a dream, but with no other course of action it was just after dawn when the three return to the inn, again by various means.
Grabbing a late breakfast, it is near midday when Ingrid puts in an appearance and speaks covertly with the three. She arranged some black market trades for a few of the items they needed to sell as well as connected Alamaran with Winston so that he had a safe house for working on his ring. Grune and Khaine, then made their way to the Temple of Ospalar, as they had told the gate guards, and sell less attention getting trade items along the way.
Enroute to the temple district Grune and Khaine failed to notice they had picked up a tail but did see they had gotten the attention a pair of Loyalist and a Grey Wolf. Like the gate guards, they were eyeing Grune and the gear he carried. The three city watch approached, clearly trying to provoke Grune and all but ignoring completely ignoring Khaine. It would seem the magic that had disfigured him was enough dissuaded much scrutiny. Grune, showing a great deal of patience and diplomatic tack, constantly countered the guards attempt to provoke to the point THEY were getting frustrated.
It seemed they were about to escalate their attempt when an elven Lt. of the watch appeared suddenly indicating that he was asked to retrieve a cleric from Dwarfwatch for the Temple. Grune said he was that dwarf, and allowed the elf to lead him and his “servant” away, much to the chagrin of the Loyalist whose eyes greedily lingered on Grune’s gear.
They walked a short distance away with Grune not sure what to expect from this guard. Khaine was keeping his head low but recognized the elf as Din’dae’s uncle, E’lour’ahn Silvermane, and a bit of a foster uncle to him as well. After a safe distance away Silvermane turned to Khaine with a rue smile and commented about his looks, and then asked about his nephew. Khaine was a bit surprised that the elf could tell but Silvermane explained that while Khaines features were modified, his gate and mannerisms were mostly the same. He also noted that after following them for a mile he saw that he was dropping in and out of character. In those moments “out” he could not help but see the boy he knew so well.
He gave him some tips on how better to disguise his demeanor as they continued their talk in a small tavern. It was also there he shared details of the current state of affairs, much he was very impressed the two already knew. Khaine also assured Silvermane that his nephew was fine but not in the city. He would pass word to him if he liked. They talked for a bit longer before depparting with Silvermane asking the master dwarf to keep both his boys safe. He then embrace Khaine, telling him not to do anything too stupid or dangerous. They both smiled as they parted ways, knowing it was a jest given the way things currently were.
The following day, in the warehouse district, Almaran is leaving with Winston from the arcanist secret workshop. Mentally exhausted the last two days have been a bit of a blur with much to consider. While Ingrid is a servant of the crown, Winston works with her more as a free lancer with other primary interest that Ingrid supports in trade for his aid. An interest that Almaran and Winston now share. Uncovering the truth behind the Order of the Black Rose and why they are hunting and killing witches and warlocks.
The away team had been laying low since yesterday while the mystic crafted his ring. While on the way back to the Silver Talon after complete his day two effort, he and Winston see the streets are full and a large escort is passing by. It is the Baroness and her entourage. She had ten hard faced Grey Wolves and two of the Whisper Mages. Also closest to her was an exotic looking raven haired elven archer, and two broad shouldered helmeted soldiers with short swords on their backs. The Baroness herself was a beauty. Charismatic and smiling she waved at the people as she passed. The general feel from the crowd indicated she was highly regarded.
Feeling that the Aspari were playing a part in these troubles at home, Almaran could not help but use the Eye despite his exhaustion to “look” at the Baroness and those close to her. In so doing he confirmed the groups fears. The magic of the eye pierced the illusions around the Barroness and her two broad shouldered guards revealing them to Almaran for what they were. Like Celia, the Baroness was indeed Aspari and both magically and mundanely disguised. Also, and more surprising, was that her two personal guards were actually planar creatures called Astral Stalkers. They wore armor and a pair of short swords on their backs, but by the clawed hands and look of their dark skin Almaran could now see, he was sure that gear was mostly for show. They gaze of a Whisper Mage looking right at him caught his attention and he and Winston quickly lost themselves in the crowd. Almaran needed to back and tell the others.
That night the heroes talked but were unsure how best to move forward with this news. While the situation was bad it was merely one battlefront and they needed to get back to Bantu Asparr if they were to win the war. As they debated, Ingrid arrived asking for a favor. Since the coup, and the arrival of Sylouette the Red Wolves had been working in cells to protect their network from completely collapsing. One of the cell leaders missed their check in, and has not been seen. She needed to heroes to retrieve some intel he had stored in a secret compartment in a basement of a nearby warehouse. Their was a festival the next day so businesses in the area would be closed early. The heroes agreed and made their plans.
It was dusk when the heroes began their stake-out of the building, waiting for all the workers to leave. The sound of music voices floating faintly in the air has the spring festival picked up revelers int he distance. Once deemed quiet enough Almaran turned into a rat and entered the building, while Khaine took to the roof tops showing incredible prowess and skill, leaping across a 15’ gap to land steathfully on roof of the target building. He paused a few heartbeats before descending through a skylight. He realized that it was completely dark in there on he could not see the bottom. Also that if there was anyone in here, he was plainly visible hanging there. With no indicator from Almaran and no better choice, he descended into into darkness.
Khaine slowly made his way through the darkness, briefly startled by a rat crawling up his leg. He nearly swapped it till re recalled that was the form Almaran had taken. He waited watch the creature and barely made out it gesturing to move forward. Hoping this was indeed Almaran on his should he made his to covered metal floor hatch leading to the basement. There they waited a bit longer for Grune and after what seemed an eternity the dwarf used the key Ingrid had provided and entered one of the doors. He found his way to the others and with no signs of trouble or trap, the three descended below ground.
Once below ground the cellar was only 20′×20′ and seemed to be storage for mundane supplies needed to repair equipment in the warehouse. Ropes, pulleys, oil and sawdust were among the most obvious supplies. Not wanting to waste more time than they needed to the quickly found the hidden cache of intel and quickly perused it. So of it was in code, but with Almarans knack for understanding languages they were able to see the pattern. Apparently there was a larger amount have materials and supplies flowing through the city with much being routed to Gray Manor. For further proof however they needed the ledge from the office above as well as from from 4 other locations in the city. Khaine looked at the summary and saw that if they could get this proof, it could mean there were still large companies of armed forces pocked throughout the island. These supplies would help them lay low until needed and with help from the Baroness on the inside…. Khaine let the thought go unfinished as the three moved to claim that ledger and get out of here.
When the topped the cellar stairs they were not alone. Sylouette, the female elven archer and one of the leaders of the Grey Wolves was waiting for them. She wanted the intel they retrieved and for them to come quietly. Khaine said no to both request which got him a deadly aimed arrow in the chest as she called out her hidden companions. The sound of wooden crate lids hitting the floor began to echo in the building as the fight ensued.
Grey Wolves began pouring out of crates packed with herbs and spiced oils as Sylouette feinted attacks to fire misleading shots into Khaine and Almaran. Almaran quickly cast his 30’ tall Blind Barrier spell to try control the slightly confined battle while Grune healed and dealt with a human Grey Wolf who was trying to run him through.
The Blind Barrier had mixed effects with some resisting and others not as the bravely jumped through it, but did at least provide some time as assailants paused with indecision of what to do first. Khaine met the Orc Grey Wolves blade to blade, revealing himself in the process. Almaran turned into a spider to both better avoid Sylouette arrows as well as annoy her. Both attempts were fairly successful but things started to turn when a Whisper Mage entered the fray. Almaran new this mages could communicate over long distances so the likelyhood of more guards arriving just increased.
Khaine was taking big hits but Grune kept him up and as such Ebonfang was meeting out devastating damage and dropping opponents. Almaran moved back to his companions and warned them that they needed to leave as they would surely have company soon. Feeling they were on the clock, they dispatch the remaining Grey Wolves while Sylouette got away. They quickly claimed the ledger and fled the build. The sound of watch whistles could soon be heard in the distance as they ran off into the night.