Beyond the Tomb of Five Corners - Session 6
Kuros: OK. It took a little ove ran hour to reach Lanterntown. A steady stream of wagons and people flow through the southern gate. The town itself is busy. The walls surrounding it are well taken care of, and the streets are even solid stone.
Kuros: A guard directs you to an area near the southern bridge, and the houses turn into multi-level palaces.
Kuros: You find a large inn called The White Lily, that is several stories high, but very nice.
Caran: (how late is it?)
Kuros: (Late evening, 7pm or so)
Alyssa walks into the front door, with an attitude of expecting to be catered to.
Caran follows, his mind elsewhere for the moment
Kuros: The servants are dressed in very high quality uniforms. A middle aged man approaches you, tall and thin, and bows. "Madame, welcome to the White Lily."
Kuros: "How can we serve you?"
Caran: "Rooms," Caran says, "3 of them."
Casteen ignores the servants and idly looks about the room, observing the construction and the art.
Alyssa: "A suite would be preferable." Alyssa amends.
Kuros: "Of course, madame."
Kuros: "Have you any belongings you require assistance with?
Caran: "No, thank you."
Kuros: "Of course. And the matter of...payment?"
Alyssa: "I am Alyssa of the White Vines," ALyssa declares
Alyssa: "Is your preference jade or silver?"
Kuros: "My apologies for not recognizing you earlier, madame! Our guests frequently enjoy your wines here!"
Kuros: "Jade will be wonderful, of course."
Casteen raises and eyebrow and looks at Alyssa, grinning.
Caran looks a bit surprised
Alyssa pays in jade. "And I will have a bottle of my own white, last years if you still have any. It has been something of a difficult journey."
Kuros: "Of course, of course." He bows again. "I'll have it sent right up."
Kuros: The servants show you to a large suite upstairs, with multiple bedrooms, running water, and silk sheets
Kuros: The entire building is of marble, stone, and jade, with sculptures, statuers, and paintings lining the walls and hallways
Caran: "A bit much, don't you think?" Caran asks once they've seen their accommidations
Alyssa: "It's my money to spend," Alyssa says, pouring herself some wine. "Why not be comfortable for once. Would you like some?"
Caran nods. "I'd love to try your famous wine." he says with a smile, "but you can be comfortable without a palace."
Casteen chuckles. "Yes, I would like to try some of this wine as well."
Alyssa pours out two more goblets and hands them over. "Of course I can, Caran. What's your point?"
Caran: "No point really, and you're right in that it's your money to do with what you will." He looks around. "I just have simpler tastes is all."
Alyssa: "To each their own," Alyssa shrugs.
Caran sips at the wine
Casteen sips at the wine. "I know that I'm going to enjoy this luxury while I can. It has been much too long since I've enjoyed a nice bed, a good bath, nice wine, and nice food."
Casteen: "Of course, now that I know that you're making this, Alyssa, I expect I shall be drinking this more often."
Alyssa: "Coveting my wine cellar, Casteen?"
Caran: "Hmmm, I never was a big drinker of wine, but I do enjoy this, so congragulations. For what it's worth anyway."
Alyssa: "Why thank you. Do you gentlemen have any more plans for tonight or can I relax into the lap of luxury?"
Casteen: "Well, what can I say, Alyssa? I enjoy wine. This is some of the best I've had in quite some time."
Casteen shakes his head. "I'm all for taking some time to relax." He sips at the wine again and then sighs. "Though I have been meaning to study a few things. Perhaps I shall do that instead."
Caran: "I have none, as it's a bit late for any questioning. So relax as you wish."
Alyssa: Alyssa refills her goblet and salutes them a touch mockingly before heading for the baths, wine still in hand.
Caran: "I must say, things are never boring around her." Caran smiles to Casteen. "I'd take a bath myself now, but she might get ideas. Goodnight."
Casteen laughs at Caran's words and gives him a slap on the back before he departs.
Kuros: (OK, the night passes uneventfully, and morning arrives!)
Lei_Zu: The next day Lei Zu travels the rest of the distance to Lanterntown and waits at the agreed upon rendezvous location, the agata circling overhead invisibly.
Caran: Come morning Caran's first order of business is to ask the innkeeper about the locations of any messengers, specifically any who could take a message to Spoke
Kuros: The manager directs you to a post station near the southern gate.
Caran: Caran will compose a short message to Joy and the rest of his troops, telling them to head towards (the town near the tomb) and I'll meet them their when I can.
Kuros: Message sent, Caran
Alyssa: Alyssa takes a stroll noting possible shops to replenish her wardrobe, and then heads for the rendezvous location
Lei_Zu: is standing beside the north road, leaning against a tree and waiting patiently
Casteen heads to the rendezvous location shortly after waking.
Caran sends his note, then heads to the meeting spot
Lei_Zu lifts a hand in greeting as his Circlemates arrive
Alyssa: "Good morning."
Lei_Zu: "And to you as well."
Casteen simply waves.
Lei_Zu: "I trust you encountered no problems in the city?"
Lei_Zu: "No Wyld Hunt waiting for us there?"
Casteen: "Certainly nothing of note so far, although Alyssa is full of surprises."
Alyssa looks startled. "I am?"
Lei_Zu raises an eyebrow
Casteen: "Well, I certainly wasn't aware that you're such a fine crafter of wines."
Casteen: "Until we walked into an inn housed in a First Age building where they're selling them, that is."
Lei_Zu: "Ah. A pleasant surprise then, good wine."
Caran: "At least to my ignoraqnt palate it was."
Casteen laughs. "Yes, a pleasant surprise. Sorry, I did not mean to worry you. I forget sometimes how..." He stops for a moment and thinks. "... cautious you are.
Lei_Zu: "The cautious live, the incautious die." Lei Zu shrugs. "Such is life in my experience. I strive to be part of the first group."
Alyssa: "And that caution saved our precious necks recently as I recall," Alyssa points out
Caran: "So, not to dampen everyone spirits, but how far behind us did we leave this Wyld Hunt do you think?"
Alyssa: "It seems reasonably unlikely they could trace us when flying, so chances are good that they have lost the trail for now."
Lei_Zu: "They'd have to come far on foot. But Casteen spoke of sorceries once by which can be commanded the winds themselves to carry men over great distances ..."
Alyssa: "True, although that would require them to know roughly where to go."
Caran: looks at Casteen. "Can some form of sorcery be used to track people long distances?"
Casteen: "I don't personally know of such sorcery, but I have no trouble seeing that it would exist."
Lei_Zu: "We will simply have to remain vigilant as always, then."
Caran: "That is troubling. So how can we know they aren't following us now?"
Alyssa: "I'm quite sure that they are trying to."
Caran: "I dislike the constant paranoia of our situation. But since we can't know for sure all I can think of is that we carry on as we have been."
Lei_Zu: "We should find out Lanterntown's position on the Realm and the Immaculate Order. A man I spoke to claimed that there was no temple of the Order in the city, so maybe they aren't well liked here. That would be an advantage to us."
Casteen: "That would be very good news."
Lei_Zu: "But apart from that Caran is right. Act cautiously, but don't let it interfere with our plans."
Lei_Zu: "Anyway." Lei Zu produces a letter from a pocket of his cloak. "I intercepted this letter as Alyssa suggested, however it has defied my knowledge of ciphers so far. Maybe one of you can make more sense of it?"
Caran looks at the letter
Casteentakes a loot at the letter.
Alyssa looks over Caran's shoulder at it.
Kuros: It looks like nonsense Rivertongue characters.
Lei_Zu: There's a second page on which Lei Zu has apparently made a good but apparently insufficient effort at decrypting.
Lei_Zu: "Here, this is what I've tried ..."
Casteen looks at the notes and compares them to the paper, going over it for a couple of minutes. And then suddenly, "Ha! Got it."
Casteen: And suddenly his face turns to a frown. "Not terribly informative, though."
Casteen: "All it says is, 'They are here, Lao.'"
Lei_Zu: "Regrettably I was unable to discover to whom it was addressed."
Alyssa: "Someone has a reasonably tight idea of security."
Lei_Zu: "So the question is, how do we proceed?"
Alyssa: "I think we should speak to Lao."
Casteen ponders over the message for a bit, not responding to Lei Zu.
Caran sees nothing but nonsense on the page, but trusts his friends interpretation
Alyssa: "It's a long shot, but there's a Tzu Lao who's quite prominent in Lanterntown."
Casteen: "Oh, this is not good. Tzu Lao is on the council of ministers in Lantertown."
Caran: "How prominent?"
Casteen: "Just about as powerful as you get in Lanterntown."
Alyssa: "Open confrontation could have some unfortunate consequences."
Lei_Zu: "He might not be related to these red necromancers. In fact it seems more likely, that the mayor was writing to warn this Lao about the them."
Lei_Zu: "There is no reason he would refer to you as 'them'."
Caran: "That doesn't help us much, if that's the case."
Alyssa: "Perhaps a relatively open approach then. Ask for information on the basis that we intend to take measures against them."
Alyssa: "It's unlikely that this note is about us."
Caran ponders. "A dangerous plan Alyssa." He thinks briefly, "But I see no better one with what we have."
Lei_Zu: "Mentioning the intercepting of letters would not be wise though. Out approach need not be that open."
Alyssa: "Oh, not that, no. In fact... hmm, could it be replaced in the post discreetly?"
Lei_Zu: "I could deliver it in place of the original messenger."
Caran: "The mans reaction could tell us a great deal."
Caran: "Does that sound agreeable to everyone?"
Alyssa: "Yes. If this is a genuine warning then best it be received."
Lei_Zu: "Meanwhile you can see, if you can find out what public knowledge and opinion of these people in red is. If they come from here, someone should know about them."
Caran: "Deliver the letter, and afterwards we decide whether or not to speak to this man."
Caran: "We can quietly ask around."
Lei_Zu: "I will go."
Caran: "Meet back here in say, 2 hours?"
Lei_Zu: "Is there a safe place inside the city we can meet at?"
Alyssa: "Why not later - at the White Lily?"
Lei_Zu: "It will look suspicious if we congregate here again and again."
Caran: "Eh, point taken. The inn then."
Lei_Zu nods. "Under which name can I find you there?"
Alyssa: "Mine," Alyssa says.
Lei_Zu frowns. "Ah."
Alyssa: "I am known locally, after all."
Lei_Zu: "Ah, that is different then."
Alyssa: "See you there for lunch then."
Caran: "Good luck."
Kuros: OK, what do Alyssa and Caran want to do?
Alyssa goes to the dress shops to replace the clothes damaged in earlier encounters and gossips with the storekeepers about the troubles to the south.
Caran: Caran will head to the shadier part of town and inquire about ... work of a less pleasent nature to the south
Kuros: A matronly woman is happy to chat with you. "I haven't heard about anything to the south, only over in Amram. What happened down south?"
Alyssa: "Oh, much closer to Lanterntown than that. There was a nasty business with that red-robed necromancer."
Kuros: She wrinkles her nose. "What's a necromancer?"
Alyssa: "Like a sorcerer but worse, apparently," Alyssa feigns ignorance. "There hasn't been any other trouble like that then?"
Kuros: "What did he do?"
Alyssa: "Burnt an entire village down apparently."
Kuros: "That's awful!"
Kuros: "Over in Amram, there's stories of the undead slaughtering all sorts of people. But you know how rumors go."
Alyssa: "Maybe that's where the fellow in red came from then."
Kuros: She shudders. "That would be awful."
Lei_Zu assumes a new face and asks around where he can find Tzu Lao's house. Having seen a messenger's uniform up close has no trouble duplicating its appearance for himself afterwards. Walking quickly and confidently he makes his way to Tzu Lao.
Kuros: Tzu Lao, you discover, is the Minister of the Interior. From what little you can find out in the time you have, he is in charge of security within Lanterntown, and other internal policies.
Kuros: His office is in the Paper Edifice, and passage across the bridges is restricted.
Lei_Zu approaches the bridges, letting all attention slide away from like water dropping off a lotus plant
Kuros: The Bridge of Flowers is built on jade stilts so ships can pass underneath it, and is guarded at all times.
Kuros: The guards are inspecting papers for each person. It doesn't seem anyone is trying to sneak across.
Kuros: They are professional, but exude an aura of confidence.
Kuros: The bridge itself is large, with walls a few feet high on ach side, and made of white jade.
Lei_Zu has no papers, sighs, and intensifies the aura of inconspicousness into outright burning his image out of people's minds
Lei_Zu: Thus warded he slips in after someone else to cross the bridge, past the guards and over the bridge
Lei_Zu: From there it's an easy thing to get to the Paper Edifice
Kuros: The bridge leads through a large, well guarded gate. This is the administrative section of the city, and it is beautifully landscaped. There are much fewer people here, all wearing the uniform of one of the ministries of the city. You also see the colorful, multi-hued robes of the Nitumenian Guild members.
Kuros: The Paper Edifice itself is a large building, occuping thousands of square feet, and has a constant stream of people moving in and out of it.
Lei_Zu slips in between them, inspecting the building from the inside
Kuros: The colored lanters hang from the building, and line the streets.
Kuros: The hallways are carpeted and plush, with dozens of rooms. The walls are made of expensive, dark woods.
Kuros: How do you want to find Lao?
Lei_Zu: In a roundabout way, eavesdropping on conversations and memorizing the pattern of the hallways, he finally moves toward Tzu Lao's office
Kuros: There's a sign for the Interior Ministry wing.
Kuros: You eventually find Tzu Lao's office. The large, double doors are wide open, revealing a bookshelf lined room, a huge desk covered in papers, and an extremely fat man in a purple and grey uniform yelling at a young woman, apparently for her failure to bring him the proper paper.
Lei_Zu: Carefully as to not draw attention Lei Zu lets the Mental Invisibility Technique drop, then approaches the doors. In the patient pose of a professional messenger he waits there until the man is finished yelling,.
Kuros: He rants on for a few moments more, and then turns to you. "You! Who are you?"
Lei_Zu: "If this is the office of the esteemed Tzu Lao, then I deliver a message." And he produces the letter (resealed).
Kuros: He waddles forward, and snatches it from your hand. "From whom?"
Kuros: He goes back to his desk, breaks the seal, and unfolds it.
Lei_Zu: "The mayor of [village name]"
Kuros: He stares at it a few moments, and then carefully refolds it.
Kuros: He takes a small purse from his pocket, and tosses it to you.
Kuros: "Someone will show you out."
Lei_Zu catches it and bows
Kuros: You notice he gets quite a bit paler after he reads the letter
Lei_Zu will then endeavour to evade whoever tries to show him out, take up the mantle of mental invisibility again and return to Tzu Lao's office to see what he will do next.
Kuros: (OK, we're going to return to Caran now.)
Kuros: Caran...has been asking around along every tavern, gambling house, and brothel along the piers.
Kuros: As you exit the most recent one, and head down a dark, garbage filled street that reeks of various unpleasent things...
Kuros: You notice someone following you a few hundred feet behind you. They aren't really taking any special pains to go unnoticed.
Caran will make his way to a fairly empty part of town, and then promptly attempt to disappear and sneak up on his pursuer.
Kuros: The man continues on past where you are. He's dressed in grey cloak, his soft boots make very little sound on the stone.
Kuros: He is tall, and has long, blonde hair.
Caran will come from behind him and quickly grab him by the scruff of the neck the slam him in to a wall, holding him there tightly.
Kuros: You succeed, and the man's breath rushes out of him as you slam him into the wall.
Caran: Caran leans in close and speaks. "Listen carefully. I dispise liars, so you will be truthful to me now, or you will regret it. Why were you following me?"
Kuros: The man smiles faintly, looking not the least bit worried.
Kuros: "I think you were looking for us?"
Kuros: He is dark skinned, with narrow lips and a small nose.
Caran: ""Us? Who exactly is 'us'?"
Kuros: You hear a sharp twang, and pain explodes through your right shoulder as you see a crossbow bolt tip emerge from it.
Kuros: 2L Damage
Kuros: And we'll finish that next week.
Caran: or more likely 'we'll finish Caran off next week"
Kuros: I need to find the poison rules..
Kuros: Not that the arrow was poisoned.
Kuros: ah, yes, 7xp
Alyssa: good night
Kuros: Night night Alyssa. Next Saturday, 12PM