The Vance estate skirmish had left me feeling good about our situation in the city, we have established meaningful connections that will let us glean important information into its power structure. There are moves and counter-moves ongoing within these walls, struggles between power blocks that will no doubt be rendered meaningless by the arrival of the Atruscan Empire. The city is as a powder keg and if we are the torch that will set it all off, the delays of the mangal on our invading forces are working as a slow burning fuse.
We have received a missive from Captain Shivaz detailing the armies plodding advance through that accursed Swamp, and a notice of reinforcements in the form of a squad mage named Sevas Aerin that was to be arriving in the next few days. My personal feelings on individuals arrogant enough to believe they can take that which is a gods to give will have to be put aside, I am left with a sense of foreboding however, no one can control such forces except through the divine will of the gods.
The morning after our run in with the Black Daggers assassin we found that Sevas had arrived at our inn during the night and we caught him up on the situation in the city. After detailing our movements so far to him we split up again with plans to meet up in the privacy of the Golden Dragon so as to not be seen together by any of the thief kings spies as well as to reconnect with Lord Vance.
Lord Vance agreed to our suggestion of giving Sevas a position on his staff to allow us to investigate officially on his behalf the assassination attempt on his daughters life, but did not share our suspicion of Orek Hammonds involvement.
Our plan for the day was twofold, get further information from our contact within the assassins guild to see how the beehive would react to getting kicked, and to try to strengthen our connection between Hammond and the thief kings underworld empire.
I went to our scheduled meeting place with our contact and learned that there was notable friction now between the guild & the king, allegations & suspicions were rife but so far however no breakdown in communication between them to be taken advantage of. I also learned that there is little connection between the assassins guild and the operation run by Whitestone.
Sevas and Erik meanwhile had seen a known lieutenant of the thief king who had extorted us for tithe on his behalf, leave the Hammond estate in an agitated mood, Sevas tracked him to some sort of Gambling establishment that will have to be researched further in the coming days.
Erik meanwhile followed the hooded rider that is our only connection between Orek, the drow and the cult we had a run in with a few days ago. Wisely this time he did not knock on the door, or so much as approach the tannery with out getting backup, he did however spin an unrealistic yarn that started off with him tying him self to the undercarriage of a hired stagecoach.
We set up a stakeout of the Tannery, both a visual and metaphysical one, we are now convinced the cultist are raising undead aberrations within the city walls for some nefarious purpose yet to be discovered, but as the ritual finished and the rats scurried back to their dens we did manage to follow one cultist back to the Mintheath estate. As we were rode up on the estate however we were about lose our quarry, Sevas rendered Erik invisible so that he might follow the damnable cultist within the manor.
As soon as his occult incantations finished Erik could be heard running off, but no more visible than the morning breeze, he was bound to find ingress into the estate. While waiting for his return however an increasingly improbable chain of events unfolded that leaves me shaken to the core but ever more sure that magic can not be taken by a mortal with out dire consequences.
I asked Sevas for a short report on the stakeout of the Hammond manner and was rewarded only with silence, I turned to look at him and could see a feral panic in his eyes, a look of alarm so profound I was put on guard instantly. The threat however was not immediately apparent, until Sevas himself started floating out of his saddle while holding on to the rains of his horse for dear life. Struck as dumb as he was I could only watch with growing horror as he started foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, clearly being punished by the gods for his accursed theft of their divine magic. With a tearing sound he disappeared and my first reaction was the belief that he had been called away to be judged by the divine. I was, however, mistaken. Suddenly out of nowhere came that same tearing sound, and now my horse reacted to a sudden increase of weight as hands desperately clasped around my waist. A blood curdling sound of infantile helpless moaning as pink froth sprayed across my shoulder and down my neckline, I will never forget the panic that struck me….as I struck him. Sevas had translocated onto my mount and in my panic I had backhanded him off of it. He went tumbling through the air weightless as a bubble of soap and snatched at my cloak as he simply floated looking as confused as I was terrified. I kicked my horse into action leading Sevas into an airborne tumble, that he somehow corrected, and then proceeded to fly under his own will to land on his horse, all the while foaming pink bubbles from both ends.
I will keep my eyes on him, and through me the divine will keep its eyes on him as well, magic is not a mans right and every type of theft is in the end punished. As Erik emerged from the house with news that the cultist was not a servant, but a member of the Mintheath family our next course of action seems clear.
To take a long and scalding bath to clean this accursed pink foam from my body, and then investigate further this member of the Mintheath estate and the newly discovered gambling den.
- From the memoirs of Jandar Bersk
EDIT: Formatting and added “from the memoirs…” so we can tell who wrote this