Sifr

Act One / Episode - 01

Act One / Episode – 01
THE PROLOGUE
Session Date: January 01, 2012

In which persons of great destiny will meet, lightning will be fought, a potent prophecy will be spoken, and important events will unfold . . .

Naedas Lutand, a young nobleman, and Sitani Wo, a fledgling monk, travel to the township of Danaris for the Festival of the Sixteen Moons. Together with Pontus Varjo, apprentice to a local seer and master of one moon, the three of them are to undergo a right of passage, travelling to see the well-respected seer that lives on the lake outside Lightspring, from whom they will receive their first prophecy.

The trio departs after enjoying sausages prepared by Pontus’ destitute single mother, and while they travel Naedas introdues the others to Taga, his Eidolon. A dangerous lightning storm starts unexpectedly, and the young men defend themselves from a group of Elemental Creatures that crashed down to the ground.

Pontus, injured in the fight, is carried the rest of the way to Lightspring by Sitani, and they are welcomed into an inn to stay the night. In the morning they are met by the androgynous 13-year-old apprentice to the sear (and master of nine moons) Ahna, who had been waiting for them. Ahna guides them across the lake, though Sitani chooses to swim across fearing reprimand for not accepting the challenge.

When they meet with the Seer, he seems distracted and exhausted. Though he claimed to have spent the last several months studying prophecies relating to the trio, he seemed uninterested in giving them the prophecy that will make them adults. When they finally get their prophecy, Pontus interrupts numerous times to disrespect the seer and attack the validity of the divination school.

The seer becomes frustrated and leaves to another room, waiting for the trio to show themselves out. After consulting Ahna on why his master was so agitated, and asking questions on the other work the seer has been doing, the apprentice rows them back to shore — with the exception of Sitani who, once again, swims.

The trio become upset when they notice they are being watched by a woman dressed in brown leathers, but they spend some time debating if they should pursue her, and are subsequently unable to follow her trail.

Bandits attack the group while they make their way back to Danaris, and though Sitani falls early in the fight to the bandit leader, Pontus uses his spells to incapacitate the majority of them. Armoured figures speaking a foreign language approach at a run, and after their leader casts Detect Chaos on the conflict they fan out and begin incapacitating all involved parties. Naedas and Taga surrender, but Pontus casts Acid Hands on the already incapacitated victims of his Colour Spray, then begins beating them further with his hands. When a Calm Emotions spell is unsuccessful, the armoured figures are forced to beat him unconscious.

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Act One / Episode - 02

Act One / Episode – 02
THE PREFACE
Session Date: February 22, 2012

In which Good and Just Ideals are fought for, peace is strived toward, and unlikely persons are forced together under unfortunate circumstances . . .

Following their surrender, Naedas and Taga are escorted down the road by the red-clad warriors alongside the single bandit capable of recovering from Pontus’ colour spray, while Sitani, Pontus, and the unconscious bandits are carried. The foreign warriors’ glaive-wielding leader adds four more ruffians to his retinue during the march before they arrive at their destination, a large tent encampment. Separated briefly from Sitani and one of the bandits while their more fatal wounds are tended to, they are deposited together in a tent under a light guard, and no efforts are made to strip them of their possessions.

Once they have recovered and are all awake, threats are exchanged between the young men and the bandits that had attacked them. Pontus draws a dagger and, when he begins casting a spell, is restrained by one of the guards while the other leaves the tent briefly. Returning with a robed woman, she shortly assesses the situation and determines Pontus’ spell had been non-threatening, then has some soup brought for the detainees. Suspecting it could be contaminated, Naedas staggers his consumption of it.

The three young men decide to sleep in shifts, concerned that the bandits may try something, and during Naedas’ watch the bandit leader Barbara suggests a truce. Believing she can speak freely in front of the evidently foreign guards, she offers to give up both her weapons to Naedas if he and his friends will help her and her men to escape, but Naedas is unwilling to trust the woman who had nearly killed Sitani in a failed robbery earlier that same day.

All are awoken at the crack of dawn the following morning and led out into the middle of the camp. There, a long-faced bureaucrat speaks to them in Auran (which Pontus and Naedas understand), informing them that they are being transported in order to be processed. Believing they are being taken to a trial, Naedas and Sitani eventually convince Pontus to agree to the transportation, and they all join hands.

Following the bureaucrat’s spell, they find themselves in a foreign land, and Pontus is able to identify it as the Outer Plane of Arcadia. Deeply disturbed, they attempt to plan an escape, but the bureaucrat — evidently under the effects of a Comprehend Language spell — suggests that they shouldn’t try anything, or he will be forced to stop them with his spells.

After showing them to a more permanent military base, they are interviewed by a silver-haired elven woman, who casts a communal share language spell before stressing that they, a group of people called the Harmonium, are helping them. She explains that their world is full of strife, war, and suffering, and that her people only wish to help make it peaceful and safe instead. Though gentle, the woman remains convinced she is doing the right thing, even when faced with outrage from her charges.

Following the short interview, the young men are at last separated from the bandits, and shown to a transitional room with four cots until permanent arrangements can be made for them. When called for dinner, they attempt to gather information from the other inmates, and find that most are criminals being detained against their will.

Naedas and Sitani wake up at the gong early the following morning, but Pontus oversleeps and misses breakfast. When the elven clerk comes to their room after they return from the morning meal, she is outraged to find Pontus is still sleeping. When he is finally awoken she averts her eyes from his naked from while the guards assist him to dress, then insists he must make his bed before they can be shown to their new quarters, which they share with four other people.

Their first full day being held in the camp is highly regimented and filled with many tedious tasks, including lessons in the language the foreigners speak, drills to stand straight and in an organized line, group therapy, and running laps before bed. When the day is finally over, the young men are glad for the opportunity to rest.

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Act One / Episode - 03

Act One / Episode – 03
REHABILITATION
Session Date: May 03, 2012

In which companions are separated, achievements are charted, and a dust smuggling ring gets underway . . .

Naedas, Sitani, Pontus, and Taga are woken up at the same early hour as yesterday by an unknown woman with a long braid and her accompaniment of three guards. After casting Tongues, she informs them that they will be eating breakfast privately that morning, and the guards then lead them out of the room. Their four bunkmates speculate in a foreign language on what could be happening.

The braided woman takes them down a small number of long, straight hallways, then shows them each to their own small interview room; each containing two guards, and a folded white uniform on a table. Sitani wears his uniform over his own clothing, Pontus gets dressed to begin with, and Naedas changes into the new clothing. Taga is not offered a uniform, and instead has a short conversation with Alim Sushen, the bureaucratic man who Planeshifted their group to Arcadia. After questioning Taga on what she is and where she comes from, Alim sends her back to her home plane.

The boys are returned to their own room after they have eaten breakfast, though Pontus has a small confrontation with his guards, as they grab him and hold him down when he casts a Prestidigitation. Naedas, aggrieved by Taga’s loss, resolves to become as contrary to the treatment as possible, while Sitani remains certain they will be released soon.

Time passes, and the three get to know their bunkmates better. They learn that Jeremy, a half-elf, is from the plane of Arborea and is a member of a group called the Society of Sensation; Samilda Gyllenfalt is from the plane of Ysgard, and prescribes to the belief that anything she can take should be hers; Nedarilth is a tiefling from Plague-Mort, and is something called a Xaositect, which is not entirely uncommon here; and that no one believes Tim Ocher is from Sigil. They also discover that Ned is quite a bully, and he especially targets the comparatively defenceless Tim. Sitani and Pontus stop Ned from bullying Tim, tying him up in Naedas’ uniform, and Sitani takes Tim under his wing, teaching him philosophy and martial arts the same way his master taught him.

Their grasp of the language the Harmonium have been teaching them improves, and while Sitani works hard toward earning task-centric badges to pin on his sash, Pontus begins smuggling dust and dirt into the mess hall to change the flavour of their repetitious meals.

The boys encounter Barbara again, this time in their group therapy sessions. Every week, Barbara has been delving further and further into the tragic story of her life, beginning with her origins as a foundling. She goes so far as to speculate that her father was a noble, and her human mother was forced to get rid of her to hide the evidence of his affair.

Over the past month, she has been adding to this story, and though she began modestly and small, she is now occupying extravagant portions of the session’s time. When Barbara begins to apologize gratuitously for everything she’s done wrong in her life, and thank the Harmonium for helping her turn her life around, Sitani calls her out as a liar. Barbara’s Considerate Citizen merit badge is stripped from her, and given to Sitani.

A year passes by and they are still receiving treatment from the Harmonium. They begin to notice a strangely behaving guard named Amalia following them and watching their classes. Pontus’ dust smuggling empire has expanded to include grass, dirt, and other fauna he scrounges up during his field time.

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Act One / Episode - 04

Act One / Episode – 04
THE PALADIN
Session Date: May 17, 2012

In which the weak give up their friends, administrations are changed, and a volatile wizard is beaten bloody and dragged away . . .

The boys endure in the Arcadia Rehabilitation Camp; Sitani works toward earning more of the merit badges, while Pontus expands his dust smuggling ring and Naedas remains delicately defiant. They continue to protect Tim from Nedarilth and Samilda’s torment, and Tim finally confesses why the Harmonium took him.


Pontus is caught engaging in sexual activities with a fellow patient in the mess hall, and is promptly taken to a small square room to sit by himself. He yells and screams to the guards, then to himself, but is left alone in the room for the full day.

The next morning, those patients not in solitary confinement are woken a half-hour ahead of schedule to gather in the main hall. A heroic-looking armoured figure, bearing the Harmonium’s symbol on the clasp of his cloak, walks up to the podium and announces that Ms. Adelle is no longer in administrative control of the facility — he is. He gives a brisk speech, stating that he will cure his patients and they will thank him for it once they can think healthily, then exits. Sitani and Naedas ask a guard about their new leader on their way to breakfast, learning that he is Gulbrand, a Paladin of the Cudgel that was called in from the Abyss. The guard is clearly very impressed by Gulbrand, even gushing that Gulbrand could wade into Blood War battles and emerge victorious over both sides. Later, Naedas asks Amalia for information, and though she is willing to answer some of his questions, when Naedas brings up Gulbrand she ends their conversation by pretending to be attacked; other guards forcefully return Naedas to his meal.

Around midday, Sitani, Naedas, and the other residents of their room (with the exceptions of Tim and Pontus) are relocated to new quarters, as Pontus’ disturbance has prompted a search of their previous room. When Tim returns that evening, he has earned a new badge, and though he tells Sitani that he earned it by preventing a riot from taking place Sitani knows this is not completely true, and after further questioning Tim admits that he informed on Pontus.

Meanwhile, once Pontus has finally settled down, the door to his cell is opened by a familiar elven woman: Adelle. He tells her off several times, prompting her to slam the door and leave him alone again each time, but eventually he agrees that he is ready to behave. Adele makes him change into new clothes, and though he attempts to change only his pants, he is foiled by Arcane Marks on the new garments.

When Pontus is finally released from solitary confinement, he is shown to the new room, and becomes highly agitated when he is told they were relocated, frantically asking if the guards found his burrs or collected his dust. Naedas is able to confirm that the guards only found two burrs inside of his mattress, and Pontus begins frantically drawing up a plan to retrieve his remaining burrs from the other room. Tim, with encouragement from Sitani, confesses his betrayal to Pontus, and Pontus becomes extremely angry, yelling at Tim and insisting that Tim has doomed them all. Tim weeps pathetically.


The following day, Pontus refuses to behave in an orderly fashion, and exhibits poor posture and self control. When he talks back to the guards he is taken back to solitary confinement, and as he is taken away he calls out to Naedas, insisting that they must carry out his plan. Tim disappears once again, and when he is seen at the end of the day, he confirms that the Harmonium questioned him once again on Pontus’ activities.

Over the following days, Gulbrand begins making changes to the way the facility is run. The guards are no longer so friendly with the inmates, a seating plan is enforced at meals and in classes, and punishments grow harsher. Patients can no longer sleep in and miss their meals and classes, they are woken forcefully each morning. Pontus is in and out of solitary confinement for some time, until eventually he is taken to “Special Education,” where he remains for over a month.

When he finally does return, he appears to be calm, complacent, and enjoys following directions, but his sleep is unsound. One day a fight between patients breaks out in the mess hall, during which one of the legs on Pontus’ chair is smashed off. He becomes obsessed with righting it so he can sit back down in ‘his chair.’ A guard attempts to take the chair away, assuring Pontus they will bring him a new one, but Pontus loses control of himself. He attacks the guard with his Burring Hands spell, making him drop the chair. The guard retaliates with his sap, and Pontus fights back. More guards move on Pontus to subdue him, and he repeatedly casts Burning Hands on them until he is brought down. A number of other patients swarm the guards during the chaos, in addition, but all are subdued. Pontus’ body, unconscious and bloody, is rushed from the mess hall.

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Act One / Episode - 05

Act One / Episode – 05
THE COLLAPSE
Session Date: May 24, 2012

In which one dedicated to order makes a stand against order, chaos is wrought in the lawful planes, and new allies are found . . .

Sitani has had enough of Gulbrand’s oppressive influence over the rehabilitation facility, and chooses to make a stand against him at breakfast the next morning. He approaches the paladin at a brisk walk when he enters the mess hall, hands him his sash and badges, and declares the badges to be meaningless. Gulbrand orders him to return to his seat, but Sitani does not; instead, he begins removing his clothes. Guards take him from the mess hall to a solitary cell, where he remains for some time.

When Sitani refuses to put his uniform back on he is visited by Adelle, but she is unable to persuade him to dress himself. After some days without food, Alim Sushen uses powerful magic to compel Sitani into his clothing, but it is unsuccessful, as Sitani allows the spell to sap his energy away. Amalia sneaks into his room after two days under the influence of the weakening spell, urging Sitani to comply. She advises him that, if he does not obey the spell, it will kill him; additionally, she offers to tamper with the uniform and provide him his old clothes. Sitani accepts her deal, but when he notices his strength returning, he quickly removes the clothing again for as long as he can safely allow. Months pass in this manner, and Sitani is brought into his solitary cell each day he removes his clothing. During this time Pontus Varjo does not return, and when asked, Amalia states that he is dead.

Just shy of Sitani and Naedas’ second full year in the rehabilitation facility, they wake up in the dead of night, suddenly and simultaneously, to an unusual sensation, and they can see their bunk mates are also awake. Ned gets out of bed to investigate, but is knocked from his feet as the wall smashes apart and bricks fly across the room. The cell door jumps in place impossibly before being knocked ajar, and the hinges grind loudly as the door swivels open.

Ned leaves the room first, followed shortly after by Jeremy and Sam. Looking out the window, there is only darkness. When further crashes and explosions can be heard, Sitani, Naedas, and Tim decide to leave their room and investigate what happened. Naedas discovers that the facility is no longer Dimensionally Anchored, and he is finally able to resummon Taga.


As the four explore the empty halls, they see a small flying creature with a single large eye; it clearly looks at them before flying on, and Taga is able to identify it as an Inevitable. They make their way to the solitary rooms, and search the ones they can gain access to, finding them all empty. Amalia appears behind Naedas, offers the group a bag of supplies, then activates a Portal Beacon scroll to lead them toward their escape. Another small Inevitable flies past, but Amalia quickly stabs it with a previously hidden dagger, killing it in one blow. She casts a See Invisibility spell and, after looking startled, quickly flees. The group chooses to follow her, but lose her in the maze of crumbled walls and broken doors. They can hear heavy metal footfalls chasing after her.

As they run towards the portal, the building begins to lose its form, with the ceiling ripped off and the walls all smashed to pieces. Outside there is chaos. A winged woman Taga recognizes as an aasimar floats above the facility casting a complex spell; she is surrounded by four snake-tailed women, each with a mask and a pair of rainbow-feathered wings, who protect her while she concentrates. On the ground, several competent-looking though unrecognizable warriors tear into the Harmonium guards, and an alien-looking bowman floats in the air assisting them.

As Naedas, Sitani, Taga and Tim manage to run through the hectic battlefield, Naedas can hear the aasimar finish casting her spell, and he recognizes it as Precipitate Breach, a spell that creates a tear between the planes. A host of monstrous creatures spill out of the portal, and Gulbrand immediately turns his attention on them; and though he is able to make quick work of the beasts, there are too may for him to drive them back alone.

The once orderly fields surrounding the facility now resemble the site of an earthquake, with deep fissures cutting into the ground and steep, sudden cliffs rising out. Wreckage can be seen everywhere, with twisted metal doors sticking out from the earth, and piece of blown up walls and ceiling covering the ground.

A group of red-plated insectoid creatures leap up from one of the cracked chasms, directly in Sitani, Naedas, Taga and Tim’s path, and with the aid of a bizarrely-proportioned tiny swordsman they are able to beat them back. Taga sweeps the swordsman up onto her back, and they all safely reach the portal. The swordsman introduces himself as Loopwyn Nacklebell, and he adamantly insists he is a knight and a protector. He is able to activate the portal, and all five of them rush through, bumping into another man on the other side.

The stranger, calling himself Abacus Rex, shows an unusual interest in Taga before inviting them all back to his camp. Though Loopwyn warns Sitani and Naedas not to be too free with the details of what they just saw, they vent to Abacus about their experience with the Harmonium and everything that’s happened to them. Abacus offers to help them start a new life in Sigil, and they all rest for the night.

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Act One / Episode - 06

Act One / Episode – 06
BEYOND THE LABYRINTH
Session Date: June 7, 2012

In which friendships are formed, gears are crossed, dangerous divides are leapt, and many darks are discovered, divulged, declared, and demanded . . .

Naedas, Sitani, and Tim awoke in the morning to discover their new companion and guardian Loopwyn Nacklebell had gone without sleep, instead staying up the whole night to keep watch. With Abacus still in bed, the escapees agreed to keep an eye on camp while the little knight got some rest. Several hours passed, during which Naedas summoned Taga and went alone to an adjacent corridor to catch up with her privately.

When Abacus woke up, he expressed his doubts that anything dangerous would have found them inside the maze, but Loopwyn’s unease and suspicions remained. They wandered through identical stone halls for some time, sharing Abacus’ small stores of food and water between them and questioning Loopwyn on what had happened on Nemausus. Loopwyn was unwilling or unable to answer many of their questions, again stating quite firmly that he is a protector, and was there to protect people. He is eventually made to confess that he knew at least one of the other people there — the flying woman with rainbow wings — but resolutely refused to share anything about her.

Eventually the group encountered a family of Quills attempting to burrow through the walls. Recognizing that Quills are commonly hunted for food, the group resolved to kill the creatures, and though the beasts quickly startled and shot out their quills, Abacus rendered them defenseless with a Colour Spray spell and they are easily dispatched.


Loopwyn’s Holy Symbol

The group sets out again, with the Quills skinned and their meat and quills harvested, eventually finding their way out of the maze and up onto the surface of one of Mechanus’ gears. Though disoriented still, they picked a direction and began to walk, noticing small burrows and clumps of dirt on the hard-looking ground. They encountered a hostile group of Formians, and Loopwyn charged them with his sword and shield drawn, attracting the attention of the ant men while the others were able to defeat them. During the battle, Loopwyn brandished his Holy Symbol of Baravar Cloakshadow, which in fact looked to be a literal cloak and dagger. The symbol was deemed suspicious for a god of protection by most of the group.

Though tired from the trials of their day they pressed on, eventually reaching the gears’ end. Loopwyn leaped across first and though he couldn’t the chasm, he caught himself on a gear tooth and pulled himself up. Sitani became quite worried about how the others would make the jump, while Abacus scoffed at his concerned and made a carefree successful leap. Sitani nonetheless insisted that Taga carried Naedas and Tim across one at a time.

They marched across the second gear for some time, continuing to question Loopwyn about the attack on Nemausus and what their plan had been. The small knight became agitated with the questions and sharply insisted he would abandon them to fend for themselves if they continued. After sky above them turned dark, the group spotted a strange axel-like tower in the distance, connecting their gear with a second one high up in the sky. Small, dim lights glowed all along the tower, from the bottom to the top. Though resolved to explore the tower, the group decided to make camp for the night and approach it in the morning.

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Act One / Episode - 07

Act One / Episode – 07
In The Spiral City
Session Date: June 21, 2012

In which civilization is found, spoils are sold, citizens are questioned, and slavery strikes . . .

Abacus, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, Tim, and Loopwyn approach the large spiral tower, discovering that the structure is a city called Axis. As they travel up the spiral they sell the spines harvested from the Quills and ask around about portals to Sigil. Abacus warns his companions that slavery is legal in Axis, and the group learns that there are Tso slavers in the city. Sitani is outraged by the presence of slavery, and determined to put an end to it. The others attempt to dissuade him from that course, and they compromise on an agreement to go see the slave market first.

They stay at an inn for the right, and in the morning continue their ascent of the axle, though they lose Tim in the crowds. Unable to find someone who has seen him, and uncertain how long ago they lost him, the group resolves to continue making their way toward the market. As they near their destination, they are approached by a tall, gaunt blue-skinned man with an unusual number of fingers. The man convinces them to speak with him privately, though he is found extremely suspicious.

Once alone in a rented meeting room, the man explains that he knows they are looking for a slave recently acquired by the Tso. He offers to buy Tim back for them, and direct them to a portal into Sigil, in exchange for a small service: the delivery of a package into the City of Doors. After some deliberation, the stranger’s offer is accepted.

The blue man produces the package with a flourish of magic; it is small, wrapped in a colourful cloth, and does not appear to be magical. He tells them to deliver it to ‘Shemeshka the Marauder’ at ‘The Oarsman’ in Sigil’s Lower Ward, and warns that his client will be upset if the package is opened before they receive it.

The man then leaves them alone in the meeting room, returning shortly with Tim in tow. He advises them to get out of Axis quickly, before they encounter more problems, and escorts them to the portal that will take them into Sigil.

The portal is activated, and they walk through.

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Act One / Episode - 08

Act One / Episode – 08
STEPS IN SIGIL
Session Date: July 6, 2012

In which debts are repaid, accoutrements are acquired, appointments are made, and doors are walked through . . .

Busy streets and the cacophony of the crowd greet the travellers on the other side of the portal, and Abacus is quickly able to recognize Sigil’s Market Ward. Though the planar travel causes Tim to become sick, Loopwyn is eager to make his way to an appointment in the Clerk’s Ward, though he refuses to elaborate on the nature of the meeting. Unwilling to lose contact with the gnome completely, the others acquiesce, and follow him through the streets.

Loopwyn leads everyone to a dimly lit alehouse called the Screaming Hand, and though Sitani and Abacus are reluctant to enter, they eventually follow through the door. A redheaded woman with horns on her head shimmys on a stage, singing in a dusky voice, with a band playing behind her. Loopwyn sits at a table by the stage and looks quite irritated, though refuses to explain what they’re doing there or why he’s displeased. After finishing her song, the woman blows a kiss to the crowd and removes herself from the stage, but returns some five minutes later in less flashy clothing. Addressing Loopwyn as “Loopy,” she invites the gnome and his friends back to her dressing room.

The woman, Dolly, is vivacious and playful in conversation, and much about her manner seems to get on Loopwyn’s nerves. Though she laughs off most questions, she does indicate that she’d already been aware Loopwyn was escorting a group of primes through Mechanus, and she gleefully tells them the name of the winged woman opening the planar breach — Nerissa. After offering to speak with Nerissa on their behalf, and look for a portal that would get Tim back to Faerun, Dolly tells them to meet her the following night at the Crimson Harpy, a bar in the Lower Ward she’s scheduled to perform at.

Abacus, Sitani, Nadeas, Taga and Tim leave the Screaming Hand without Loopwyn. They head back into the Market Ward to Abacus’ home, a one-bedroom apartment above a barbershop on Turtle Lane, and regroup before making their way to the Lower Ward to deliver the package. Sitani, Naedas and Tim go outside to the Great Bazaar where they purchase new clothing for Naedas and Tim, and offload Barbara’s kukri for 151 jinx and a silk coin purse. They ask some of the merchants about Shemeshka the Marauder, and learn that Shemeshka is an information broker and an important figure in Sigil’s cross-trade.

When the group arrives at the Oarsman that evening, the barman appears to have been expecting them, and furthermore, expects them to hand the package over to him. After some deliberation over whether they should attempt to give it to Shemeshka in person, they agree to give the package to the barman, but insist that they have information Shemeshka will want to hear. They are told to go to Fortune’s Wheel the following day at eight hours after peak.

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Act One / Episode - 09

Act One / Episode – 09
APPOINTMENTS APLENTY
Session Date: July 24, 2012

In which city clerks are made cranky, unsound investments are counted up short, many many miles are marched, a fickle fiend sacks her security, and a sultry singer’s assent seems to have slipped her mind . . .

Sitani and Naedas awoke in the night to a commotion in the lane behind Abacus’ apartment. Sitani went out to investigate and found Abacus, intoxicated, harassing local street children. After abusing them verbally for being lazy wastes and unworthies, Abacus gave the children a handful of jinx and told them to run off. Back in his apartment, Abacus shared the story of how his parents, now both factioneers in the Fated, met and romanced one another.

The next morning Abacus, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, and Tim went to the Hall of Information in the Clerk’s Ward. After making an appointment with the Portal Registry for the following day to pick up information on portals to Faerun, the group walked across the Cage to the Lower Ward to check out the Crimson Harpy, the bar Dolly arranged to meet at that night.

When they find that the Harpy is closed during the day, only opening at four hours to Antipeak for the show, the group explores the Lower Ward and visits the Foundry, where Sitani asks some questions and learns about the Believers of the Source. Walking to the Lady’s Ward for their meeting with Shemeshka, they pass by the City Barracks, and Sitani attempts to inform the Harmonium posted at the Barracks gate about the Rehabilitation Centre on Arcadia. The guards become angry, and threaten to arrest Sitani for slander, defamation, conspiracy, and similar crimes. While they leave the barracks area, the group notices an air genasi woman that had been watching their exchange with the guards, and though they attempt to pursue her, she is lost in the crowds.

Arriving at the Fortune’s Wheel gambling hall in time for their appointment with Shemeshka, Abacus and Tim get their own table while Sitani and Naedas speak with Shemeshka’s gate keeper, a hideous tiefling woman named Margot. After being briefed on the information Sitani and Naedas have to sell, relating to their imprisonment on Nemausus, Margot withdraws and relays the information to Shemeska. Upon returning, the pair are told they’ve been granted an audience with the “King” directly.

Shemeshka, dressed in her fine silks and her razorvine headdress, is seated at a private table with many tiefling men attending her. She asks Sitani and Naedas to restate their information, making a callous offhanded remark on Margot’s incompetence. Sitani attempts to defend Margot, insisting that she did a fine job, but Shemeshka takes offence and immediately discharges Margot from her employ.

Margot is forced to leaves the Fortune’s Wheel immediately, but Sitani follows after her and offers her a job at the same wage she received from Shemeshka, in order to make amends for causing her loss of employment. Meanwhile, still inside, Naedas re-explains the information they possess on the Harmonium to Shemeshka, and strikes a deal to receive details on a way back to Vidalok in return.

The group, now including Margot, then make their way back into the Lower Ward to the Crimson Harpy, arriving in time to catch the end of Dolly’s show. Abacus orders a plate of larvae chips and, though they prove disgusting, he finishes them in order to get his money’s worth. After the show, the bar’s owner seems annoyed that the group is lingering so long after closing, and refuses to let them into the back. When Abacus explains that they’re guests of Dolly, the bar owner goes into the back to tell Dolly she has visitors, then returns to the front to clean up after the show.

Though Dolly leaves them waiting for quite some time, she does eventually come out from the back. While happy to see them, she seemed slightly confused by their visit, claiming not to remember offering them help finding portals. She states that she hasn’t seen Nerissa, despite having looked for the other woman, but did not seem concerned about it. She asks them what it was they were looking for, and offers again to help them find a portal, but Naedas tells her not to worry about it. Dolly tells the group about a show she is putting on the following week in the Clerk’s Ward, encouraging them to come see her again, before leaving the Harpy.

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Act One / Episode - 10

Act One / Episode – 10
A TIME FOR TEA
Session Date: August 7, 2012

In which ruffians aggress, footwear is frisked, hooligans are held captive, and an ultimatum is served alongside splendid teas and cakes at Madamme Sanguine’s . . .

While leaving the Lower Ward after Dolly’s show at the Crimson Harpy, Sitani, Naedas, Abacus, Tim, and Margot follow some ruffians into an alley and are accosted. When their mugging fails, the ruffians attack the group; they are handily defeated and, save for two that fled during the melee, are beaten into unconsciousness. Abacus and Naedas search the fallen bandits’ possessions, and eventually a consensus is reached to tie up their attackers and take them somewhere private for questioning.

The group travels by Pony Cab up to Dancer’s Court in the Market Ward, and at Abacus’ suggestion they rent a private room at Madame Sanguine’s, a discrete cafe-slash-BDSM dungeon specializing in exotic planar teas. Utilizing some of the equipment available at Sanguine’s, the muggers are restrained and brought to consciousness. Sitani questions them on their motives, families, and life choices, before informing them that they will all be living with him from now on, as he teaches them responsibility and helps them to find honest work.

Abacus returns to his home alone, while Sitani, Naedas, Tim, Margot, and the three muggers – Robert, Robert, and Jimmy – go to the home of Jimmy’s sister Anne for the night. Naedas and Sitani sleep in shifts, and Naedas stops Anne from stabbing Sitani in his sleep.

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