Hey everyone, Bowie here. Remember me? It’s time to celebrate our awesome victory!
We’re leading a wagon through the back-streets of Northgate and then Midland, heading to Citadel Volshyenek. A few people look askance at us. The Gate Sergeant stands to one side and we’re waved into the courtyard. Verick and the others are whisked away and we’re taken to Field Marshall Croft’s office.
Then she plunks down a big bag of gold on the table. She says, “Very, very impressive job you’ve done and I’m very grateful to you.” We explain how Maelynn put him up to it. She gives a big sigh. “Bad business. People are still asking questions about the seneschal and the king. My entreaties to the palace are ignored. We have new Hellknights coming into the city, expensive and counter-productive.” She has nothing more for us.
I give her a description of Kester and she tells me to talk to Lubbens who is the Duty Sergeant. The Guards seem a little less surly with us as we go. Lubbens isn’t, but I ask him to keep an eye out for Kester and his friends. He’s a little grumpy but he writes it down and seems like he’ll tell the Guard headed out. I think I’m wearing him down!
It’s the afternoon of Starday. There is a light breeze and a little smoke in the distance. We speak of what to do now that there seems to be nothing immediate. We discuss what to do with our thousand gold sails. Brian and Pavitra want to go for new clothes and spa treatments. Mod wants to go but they convince him he wouldn’t like it. Mod’s feelings seem a bit hurt and he glumly agrees to go with me to look for Kester.
We divide up the money and Po figures out that Verrick’s potion is a Cure Moderate Wounds. We give it to Mod to carry. I stow some gold in my room.
Po heads out to an alchemy shop: Hedge Wizardry, run by Phaeton Skoda in the Gold Market. Po looks for some supplies. They speak of Black Fester and Flesh Gems and Magnesium and Shadow Cloy and Terrup Sap. He has Po come in closer and gives him a sniff. “You don’t smell of anything,” he says. “How do you learn to do that?” Skoda offers Po some work making potions at some point. Po buys a light healing potion and the ingredients to make some himself.
Brian and Pavitra head to the Heights, to Tenna’s. They are met by an attendant. Brian says they’d like to be rejuvenated. He says they’d like some refreshment and new clothing brought to them. The attendant orders some cucumber sandwiches, wheatgrass shots, mudpacks, pedicures, manicures, and send runners to tailors.
When the attendant asks for some upfront payment, Brian asks if they can open up an account there. “Would 200gp be all right?” After a blinking moment, the attendant says that should be fine. Brian puts mine and the half-orcs’ names on it too.
The tailors’ assistants arrive to take their measurements. Brian dictates their actions. He hears the highest fashion is still currently large hats, tights, a blousy shirt and a flashy cloak. Pavitra buys them some dinner.
Mod suggests we inquire around with street kids about Kester. We notice there a lot of Hellknights around, reducing the amount of rowdiness. One kid we find after a couple hours says he saw Kester on Lancet Street down on Warehouse Way. Mod gives him a gold piece. We remember that Zelara lived there.
Mrs. Chang asks about Brian’s whereabouts. “I don’t care where he is,” says Mod. Mod tells her Brian is married. I didn’t know that! Mrs. Chang is disappointed. She mentions that there are a lot of people headed to the Pantheon of Many so we go to check it out.
The Pantheon of Many is a massive octagonal structure of white marble for seventeen different deities including Cayden Cailean. People are shouting about the King’s death like, “We need guidance from the gods!” and “We need an augury!” and “Cayden Cailean rules!” OK, that was me. There are some embarrassed clerics trying to get people down from the chairs.
I find a cleric of Erastil. He’s not too happy about the crowd there and worries that there might be trouble. I remember that some people call Erastil “Old Deadeye.” The cleric appreciates it.
Before we leave, I make up some prayers (that rhyme!) and shell out advice and pearls of wisdom to the folks nearest to Cayden Cailean’s shrine.
We look around Lancet street. We see Zelara’s place is locked up and one window is boarded. But down an alley I see Kester, he’s been watching us. He was hiding from us. When I go over to him I see he’s been crying. “You left us you bastards! I hate you! I hate you!” I can’t calm him down. “We went to find you!” he pleads.
He runs off and I use Cayden Cailean’s gift of speed to outrace him and, though he keeps slipping away, I eventually get my hands on him. He kind of blubbers in my arms but does not explain himself. Too tired to run any more, I carry him to Three Rings to get some food. Po is there already.
Brian and Pavitra come in, seemingly a bit tipsy. Pavitra is not able to get him to talk either. But after he settles down, he’s ready, but sullen. “One of ’em’s dead,” he says. “One of the others. And one of them’s taken.”
The Lambs had gone back to the fishery because it was warm. Kester was on the roof watching while the others were cleaning up. He saw a fellow on the opposite wall, crawling like a spider and sniffing. He went in the front door and came out with someone in a sack. The others have all scattered. One was dead. “We came to you for help,” he says, again. “And you ignored us.” Pavitra looks like she is feeling guilty. Well, she should!
“Attica’s dead. Gerb was taken,” Kester says, naming the victims.
“No one likes a Negative Nellie,” Brian tells Kester, pouting that no one is talking about his new clothes. “But we’ll find your friends.”
“Your nails look nice,” Kester tells him and then Brian warmly promises to help find all of them.
Theandra comes over to the table with a note for Brian reminding him that a friend of his is performing at Bard’s End. I’m feeling angry at Pavitra. She’s been acting very selfishly lately. Thinking of the Bard’s End, I’m reminded that I have not seen Meagan in a long time, not since Pavitra and I started looking for Leela so I say I’d like to go. I offer Kester my room. Mod wants to stay with Kester and loses his patience with Brian as Brian tries to get Kester to go to bed quicker so he can go to the show.
We make our way to the South Shore. Even more people are at the Pantheon of the Many. Some are praying. They don’t seem like they’re causing trouble, yet. Maybe the gods will answer them!
At Bard’s End we see a a big crowd including a group of rowdy elves, plus a few gnomes and halflings. There’s a band of three gnomes and a human on stage playing a harpsichord.
I look around but I don’t see Meagan. Brian sees his friend Fianaro and thinks for a moment that the bard onstage looks a bit familiar. He and Pavitra and Mod try to remember but can’t put their finger on it.
I find my way to the bar to get my battlemug filled.
Fianaro spots Brian and his face lights up. He comes running over and embraces him. “I’m… so glad… you could make it. I… hope you… got my note.” The Darkling Lullabies is the name of his group which has apparently grown to a very large size. They speak of Brian’s new clothing.
The bard onstage seems to notice Brian and then says, “Thank you very much!” and ducks off the stage very quickly and runs out of the bar out a side door as his band, confused, finishes up. A mystery!
Fianaro takes the stage. He first mentions that they will be in a battle of the bands in a week. Then he drinks a potion because he has to hit those “high notes” for a song for a very special person. His voice in a higher pitch from the potion, he sings a long ballad called “Brian.” When the song ends, the potion wears off and Fianaro’s voice returns to normal for the rest of the set. Afterward, he rushes off stage to see if Brian liked it. He did. Oh, maybe Brian is married to Fianaro, I realize. I should ask.
I eventually find Meagan who seems put out that I haven’t called on her for a while. I explain how I’ve been working with the Korvosan Guard doing special missions and this seems to soften her up. I don’t mention Leela and Pavitra, though, which makes me feel a little bit disloyal. I don’t know why, though. Pavitra doesn’t care.
I tell Meagan about how we saved those kids from Lamm. But now one of them is dead because we weren’t there to help them again. Meagan is sad to hear that but she’s busy with the place so packed plus she was promised a slot to sing if things slow down before closing time. It’s hard for her to think about other serious stuff right now. I tell her I’ll stick around to hear her if she gets the chance. I just don’t feel like going back to my room and seeing Kester and remembering what a lousy hero I’m turning out to be.