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  #1  
Unread 28th of October, 2003, 04:39
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Chapter 3 - A time for madness

A month has passed since first landing on the island of A'Val and the port city of Freeport. A month since finding a cadre of cultists infiltrating the Boccobi Temple. A month since losing a beloved friend and comrade.

The weather is warmer than it was the day you arrived, though it is more overcast than usual. You are told by Millie, the tavern-girl at the Scholar's Quill, that this is normal for the time of year, and signals that Swagfest will soon be under way.

A couple of days ago, you recieved a hastily written note from Brother Egil, requesting that he speak to you at his earliest convenience, and that he would meet you in the dining hall of the Quill at nightfall, and this is where you sit, chatting amongst yourselves, waiting for Egil to arrive. When he does, he hails you with a stiffened wave and moves towards your table, eyes darting from patron to patron.

He sits down, and has the haggard look of a man who hasn't slept well for some time. He opens his mouth to speak when an ominous crash comes from a nearby table as a drowsy sailor droppes his plate on the ground, the ceramic dishes shattering against the wooden floor. Egil spins around faster than a hastened crossbow bolt, and starts to speak the first few syllables of what Kelemyn guesses to be a prayer of protection.

Egil surveys the scene of broken dishes and turns back to you, embarrased by his mistake, but not relieved under any circumstance. He pauses to catch his breath, before starting to speak again.

"It is good to see you all again," he says, slumping back into his chair, "Lucius asks after you all also. I trust that you are all well. My apologies for being a tad scattered at the moment, but I fear that someone is attempting to undo the good work you have done for Freeport."
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Unread 30th of October, 2003, 05:49
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"A month, and we're no closer now than before," he says, drumming his fingers along the table. A sly grin creeps across his face as he remembers the nights out at the taverns, "at least it wasn't wasted."

His statement isn't entirely true, he had learned a few things, as had the others, but nothing definite. Still, it was a month well spent, even if a certain elf only took him for a fool.

Egil enters the room and Cadrius smiles and nods to the man, who looks to almost be disheveled in appearance. The man is on edge and this is demonstrated by his behavior. Cadrius casts a concerned glance at his companions before greeting the priest.

"Hey, easy there. It might not be polite to break dishes, but I don't think he needs any of that."

Once seated he gives Egil a moment to rest before asking the obvious question, "Who is it? And what are they doing?"
  #3  
Unread 30th of October, 2003, 13:18
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Egil nods and looks around, before continuing, leaning in slightly.

"Things..have been happening. I don't think I can be more specific than that. I've lived in Freeport all my life, but over the last month, I've been sensing a change in the atmosphere. The city feels strange, and the streets are full of eyes, but no faces. I see movements at the edges of my vision, and shapes at the window when I'm at the temple. It could be just nerves after what happened with Lucius, and by Boccob I wish that to be true. But then there was the intruder the other night.

"I was watching over Lucius when I saw it. Lucius has been...well, it's been difficult for him to readjust, as I'm sure you can understand. First there was the possession, then the kidnapping..we try to make him as comfortable as possible at the temple, but there are some things that are beyond prayer. For days he has been collapsing at his desk - he becomes feverish and just faints. One of us always takes him home after such a spell, and the other night it was my turn.

"I laid him down on his cot and sat on a chair in the corner to catch my breath. I closed my eyes for a moment - then all of a sudden I was awake and it was the middle of the night. I started to stir, but something deep inside me told me not to, so I sat with my eyes half open, letting them adjust to the darkness.

"I felt it presence before I saw it: A patch of dark gliding across the room like the shadow of a cloud. I was too terrified to breath, but what air I could force down carried with it a curious odor - something cleane but..dense, somehow. Water on rocks, cold musty caves. Something like a serpent. I watched it move about the room. Poking about in drawers, examining books. I couldn't imagine what it wanted to steal, since our order takes a vow of poverty. Then it found what it was looking for - a roll of parchment. It stashed this in the folds of its cloak and left as silently as it had come.

"I dare not tell Lucius, for it may destroy what little is left of his sanity. I don't believe that the Council is cleaning out the caverns you had uncovered. I mean, how could they miss something like this? I suspect it is more than mere carelessness afoot here. Milos walked amongst us in a false shape, and convinced the Order of Boccob that he was a dedicated follower - not to mention human. Who knows how many other forms he took, or how many other people he decieved? And how many if his kind are here in the city, decieving people?"

He exhales a long breath, as if he had been keeping it in the whole time he had been speaking, before continuing.

"We're not a militant order. We don't have the wherewithal to look into this ourselves, but I can't sleep well at night until this matter is settled. I would like to engage your services once again - to find out the real situation in the serpent temple, and to discover just what inroads Milos had made in town. I will pay you for your services if you like, just please help."
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  #4  
Unread 31st of October, 2003, 11:50
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"I'm sure a reward isn't nessesary." Lee starts. "We'll help you, or atleast I will, because like you the events of last month have been tickling my mind and everywhere I look I find more questions then answers."

Lee takes a deep breath.

"I fear what may come of this city, the city I've grown to enjoy, if we sit idlely by and do nothing." Lee looks at his companions. "What say you all?"
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Unread 5th of November, 2003, 07:18
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"I think there are far too many pretty girls here to let a few snake-men ruin it. I'm in."

He grins, attempting to make light of the situation, but inside a tremor of fear rolls up his spine. Almost shivering at the thought of what could be happening even as they spoke, Cadrius stretches and pushes his chair out. He needs another ale.

Can we even trust Egil? he wonders, crossing the floor. Of course we can, he chides himself, he wouldn't do this if he was one of them...right?

The mug in his hand, Cadrius feels somewhat better as he takes his seat. His dark eyes move from each of his companions, his friends that he had grown to know since arriving in Freeport. Two were gone, one to his grave, the other to her own ends. Still, he's met more people than he's lost, it's a first for the rogue and he'll be damned if he sits around while Freeport sinks. Besides, there really were too many pretty ladies around for him to let the town fall.

"So where do we start?"
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Unread 5th of November, 2003, 22:26
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This is the first time that Kelemyn has met Egil. She wonders if he is always this jumpy, but then, after hearing his story, she sees that he has good reason to be.

"I guess that Lucius is the librarian that you went looking for," she says to her companions, remembering the tale that Cadrius had told back at the Steel Leaf. "But who was Milos? And what do you mean, Egil, about Lucius being possessed?"
  #7  
Unread 11th of November, 2003, 15:06
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Egil blinks, the newcomer to the party startling him slightly. "Oh, forgive me m'lady, I should have had the wits about me to have at least introduced myself. I am Brother Egil, priest of Boccob.

"Lucius is a dear friend, but some time ago, he became different over-night, packed his things up and left Freeport, returning to us five years ago, with no memories of his time away."

He sighs beofre continuing. "From what we at the Temple have ascertained, Lucius had been possessed by some other entity, though we know not what it may have been, whether it was malicious in intent, or what it wanted.

"As for Milos, from what I know of him, he was a decent man at the temple, but have since learned of his real identity through your companions here. It is unclear what his intentions were in the Library, but I have managed to uncover another of his alter ego's, that of a struggling merchant man known as Devlin.

"I'm afraid that's all I've been able to uncover without reprisal for neglecting my duties at the temple."
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Unread 13th of November, 2003, 06:02
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"Still like hanging around us?" he asks, giving Kelemyn a wry grin. He rests his hands on the table, one set of fingers wrapped around the handle of his mug.

"We've got men with no memory, others with multiple personas. Plus there's still the matter of the lighthouse. Egil, do you know anything about that? I haven't gotten much, except something about the Laughing Knives. There's a lead there, but where it goes, I don't know," he says, looking around, keeping his voice low, "and I'm not sure I want to either."
  #9  
Unread 13th of November, 2003, 12:36
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Egil frowns slightly, one eyebrow piqued a touch. "The lighthouse? What do you mean about the matter with the lighthouse?"

Upon mention of the Laughing Knives, he shrugs a little. "I've heard of them, but nothing concrete. Everything I've heard of them, though, has been they've only tried to discredit people like Sealord Drac, never anything so malicious as what happened with Lucius." He shrugs once again, slumping back into the hard-backed seat.
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Unread 18th of November, 2003, 14:10
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"Ahem," Cadrius says, giving his companions a cautious look, "if memory serves there's something about that lighthouse. I don't think we ever found out what it was, but we got a clue that it might be involved in all this. It lead us to our whole investigation into this Lord Drak as well as anyone else that might be involved. The only group I heard of were these Laughing Knives. I don't know how I'd talk to one of them and be discreet."

Causing trouble, discrediting the powerful. Sounds like a good time to me.
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Unread 19th of November, 2003, 03:12
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Egil quirks an eyebrow slightly before shrugging once more, looking about him with nervous eyes. "Well, I'd like you to try and uncover whatever you can as to whatever it was that Milos, or whoever he was, was up to in Freeport.

"If any of the information I gleaned from people is any good, then he was residing somewhere in the Old City, posing as some sort of strugling merchant from the mainland known as Devlin."

He goes to stand up, sliding the chair out from behind him cautiously. "I fear that I don't know much more than that, and that my time away from the temple is nearing an end. I bid you all a good evening, and please stay safe."
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Unread 20th of November, 2003, 02:00
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Lee stands up.

"Wait, Egil. Perhaps you would like us to escourt you back to the temple." Lee grasps the clerics shoulder. "You seem a bit.. well paranoid, wouldn't want you blasting away your good temples name by blowing up some poor begger with a miscast spell, Aye?" Lee says with a bit of humour. Egil's apparent paranoia runs deep and Lee feels for the mans safety - even if it is misplaced.
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Unread 8th of December, 2003, 18:14
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A relieved look crosses they cleric's countenance, as if a small amount of the invisible weight he had been carrying were lifted off of his shoulders.

"That would be appreciated, thank you."
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Unread 18th of December, 2003, 06:33
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Kelemyn falls in behind Lee and Egil as they leave the Scholar's Quill, walking alongside Cadrius. Her steps are measured and graceful; she almost seems to glide out the door. Where Cadrius is flamboyant, nodding and smiling to people on the street, the elf maid is thoughtful and quiet. But after a moment she leans her head in towards the rogue, and speaks to him in Elvish:

"Do you think that we should go to the home of Lucius - where Egil saw the dark shadow - and look around? Maybe there was more there than just the parchment; maybe the shadow-creature will return."
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Unread 8th of January, 2004, 06:56
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"An ambush?" he asks, replying in Kelemyn's native tongue, and happy to show off his fluency, "Yeah, it might come back and would be better than nothing. I don't know about you, but I haven't learned anything lately," he grins, thinking of elven merchant, "well, not much, anyway."

The thought of dealing with this shadow sobers him a bit; lizardfolk and snakemen were great enough foes, some sort of shade, something that might not care if it were run through by his epeť, is another matter altogether. Still, it's better than simply sitting around.

He gives Kelemyn a wink and asks, "You ever chase a shadow?"
  #16  
Unread 10th of January, 2004, 08:01
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Kelemyn regards Cadrius with curiosity for a moment as they walk along. Humans! A wink.... A nod.... A word that carries a double meaning...... How are you supposed to understand what they are trying to say half the time?

"I've chased many shadows...... if by that you mean 'shades', or the restless, wandering spirits of those lost on the way to Arvandor." Kelemyn's green eyes glitter. "Not by myself, of course, but with the help of other, more experienced priestesses of the Moon.

"But that isn't what you meant, is it? We were talking about that dark shadow that Egil saw in poor Lucius' room. But why your eye twitched like that when you asked me about chasing shadows, I really do not understand."
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Unread 13th of January, 2004, 02:10
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Walking through the moonlight streets of Freeport, you all can't help but feel like you're being followed, the paranoia teasing over even the most stalwart heart. Shadows dance at the corner of vision, unblinking eyes peer from alleyways ominously only to reveal themselves as a stray dog or a trickle of water mirroring the inky darkness of the sky. Even the few people on the streets seem to feel this almost omnipresent chill that tugs at the heartstrings

Shortly after setting out from the Scholar's Quill, you arrive in the Temple District, the large structures looming over the cobbled streets, standing a silent vigil over the city as they cast shadows over it. The Great Library stands quiet on its foundation stone, its once vibrant windows cold and muted of color in the moonlight. Egil hurriedly walks to the side entrance to the bedchambers before turning back to you all.

"Boccob keep you safe tonight. Please, find out what Milos was up to and how far his serpent's touch has spread."

And with that, he departs into the building, leaving the group of you outside in the night air to do as you need to.
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Unread 23rd of January, 2004, 06:13
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"So. Here we are," Kelemyn says softly after Egil ducks through the door of the Temple and closes it. It's eerily quiet in the darkened city - nothing like the lovely stillness of the moonlit forests of Kelemyn's home.

"What do we do now?" she asks after a moment. "I suggested to Cadrius earlier that perhaps we ought to visit Lucius, maybe have a look around there. He's been acting strangely, according to Egil. Perhaps we should ask him some questions.

"What do you think?"
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Unread 27th of January, 2004, 09:21
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But why your eye twitched like that when you asked me about chasing shadows, I really do not understand."

"You see, Kelemyn," he begins, but thinks better of it and just says, "nevermind."

He nods at her suggestion once Egil bades them goodnight. It certainly couldn't hurt to ask the priest some questions, but if he's as far gone as Egil said, it might not be useful.

"I've got nothing better to do, Lee?"
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Unread 28th of January, 2004, 00:58
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"Well i'd like a new sword." Lee says almost jokingly. "If we're to continue I think we should ALL examine ourselves and prepare for the worst., but I also agree. Lucius must be visisted but I have a different definition for you.." Lee says with a smirk.

Lee goes on to explain quietly that the only way to prove someone is acting strange is to watch them from afar, the group had some idea of how Lucius should be acting - having seen the priests at work within the temple before - maybe by watching him from the distance they could discern the nature of his strange actions. Lee continues explaining that it would probably be better to gather some "leverage" on Lucius should be turn out to be something he's not. After all how many people answer the question; "Hey, by the way, have you been acting strange and if so why?"
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Unread 31st of January, 2004, 00:31
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"This subtlety of which you speak, would it involve sneaking? Perhaps some spying? And how about breaking and entering?" Cadrius flashes a grin, "I'm in favor of all of the above."
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Unread 24th of February, 2004, 00:46
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As you walk through the Temple District, you notice the crowds of people slowly dwindle as they tuck themselves in for the evening, either in bed or into a drink. Clerics and devotees of the various gods and pantheons situated in this seaside hub of people start closing up their temples and shrines, leaving their final offerings at the statuettes and pillars dedicated in the names of those who would watch over them at night.

Walking through the district, you notice a group of what look to be rather well dressed but rowdy men walking towards you as if they owned the street. As they get closer, you can hear the voice of what looks to be the ring leader of the group talking loudly with one of his obviously drunk cohorts.

"...where to next, 'ey? I say we go to the 'ouse of Seren..Seren... oh, you know, that place! Maybe we'll run into that bludgard of a man, Devlin.."
"Devlin? Nah, ain't 'eard from him for a month or so now! Maybe 'e 'ad the sense to ship out before his shop went outta business!"

As they walk past you, they all seem to be laughing at the misfortunes of this man, one obviously not in their circle of notice.
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  #23  
Unread 10th of March, 2004, 02:45
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Cadrius' head whips around at the sound of Milos' alternate identity. The two men and their conversation fades quickly, but he learned that Milos, Devlin, had a shop. He looks to his companions to see if they made the connection as well.

"He has a shop. Maybe we could find some things there."

Ducking into the nearest tavern Cadrius buys an ale and asks the bartender where he might find Devlin's shop.

(OOC: Gather Information +4)
  #24  
Unread 10th of March, 2004, 03:19
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Heading into the Merchant District due to the sincere lack of taverns within the Temple District, you notice that the houses become more and more grander, each easily being four times the size of those in Scurvytown. The roads here are better, with cobblestone paving and gitters to the sides of them. You finally locate a tavern open to the public, The Palisade, and enter the establishment.

The moment the four of you enter, the music stops and all eyes turn to face the two men, the elven woman, and the unkempt dwarf. As you all walk towards the bar, the chatter and music starts back up again slowly, working itsself back to the pace it was at before being interrupted. Lee sits watching the entertainers, one of whom smiles back before continuing her flute playing.

The barkeep, a stocky man with firey red hair and freckles all over his face and arms, serves the ale and shakes his head. "Sorry mayte, ain't hearda no Devlin 'round 'ere."

As you all survey the people, a gnomish man, dressed in a green suit, walks over to you, motioning for you to listen closer. "Devlin, you say? I've 'eard of 'im. Doesn't own no shop in Freeport, but last I heard, he was operating out of a room in the Old City. Place called the Marquis Moon, if I remembers correctly."
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Unread 12th of March, 2004, 23:44
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Kelemyn tries to catch her breath as the party steps into The Palisade. Keeping up with the determined strides of Cadrius as he led the way to the tavern hadn't been easy! The rogue heads directly for the barkeeper, hardly seeming to notice the momentary silence or the stares of the patrons. Kelemyn meets the gaze of the crowd with inscrutable elven indifference until one by one they lose interest, and go back to their drinking and their conversations.

Then she catches sight of the gnome in the green suit approaching. He's heard of Devlin, and even knows where he may have worked. Kelemyn wonders what he means when he says that Devlin was 'operating out of a room' in the Old City. Operating? Does that mean selling his wares?

"The Marquis Moon..." she repeats the name. "How can we find this place? Where in the Old City is it located?"
 

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