25 Arodus, 4718 (Starday) cont.


As Verity and I began to close on Mister Smiles, the jester cast a spell upon us that we were both able to shake off. Then he continued to move further away from us into the stacks of crates. I turned around, and made my way out of the stinking fog, closing in on the alchemist instead. He ducked under my bastard sword as I took a swing at him. Behind me, I could hear Verity closing in on Mister Smiles. 

I think the alchemist finally realized the danger he was in, and tried to turn and run away from me. I took the opening, and was able to cleave him down. I heard Verity cry out in pain, which was quickly followed by a stutter in Mister Smiles’ infernal humming as they exchanged blows.  I darted around the crates, finally facing the jester toe to toe.

Cornelius and Felyx quickly came up behind me, as Oliver dropped down from the boxes behind Mister Smiles. We finally had him cornered, only for the jester to cast a grease spell on the floor. Verity and I both hit the ground, though Felyx managed to keep her footing. Verity pulled herself up, swearing as she made her way through the grease.

While it was rather undignified of me, time was of the essence and I deemed it easier to simply crawl through the grease, regaining my feet once I was free of the area of the spell. 

Oliver recovered from the effects of the alchemist bomb, and with a yell he lunged forward, slamming Oakheart down upon Mister Smiles, striking true despite the jester’s mirror image spell, and felling our foe. 

We had a quick breather while Felyx patched us all up. We then took a quick look around the bottom floor of the building, retrieving weapons that had been dropped in the fight. One of the doors leading outside was already open. We must have lost track of one of the initiates and they had fled out into the city. 

Next, we searched the bodies of both Mister Smiles and the alchemist. My companions were able to determine that Mister Smiles was a fletchling, and the alchemist a wayang. Both of these heritages are tied to the Plane of Shadow, though I admit I don’t know enough about them or the church of Norgorber to know if that holds any significance, or is simply a coincidence. The alchemist had several vials of poison and a slow poison potion that were each labeled opposite of what they truly were. He also wore a ring similar to the one Imistos was wearing with a hidden place for poisons. This ring was filled with oil of taggit, which could render someone unconscious for several hours. He also had an extremely well made violin among his belongings. Mister Smiles had little of value, though his strangely painted sickle was made even more deadly with magic.

We decided to check the office next. Two large pipes came through from the lower floor, extending through the roof though I couldn’t discern what their use could be. A small storage room was attached to the office, though it was empty. A large desk took up most of the room, and the surface of it was covered in recently done vulgar drawings. I felt my expression fall into what Eardwulf called my “disapproving mother” look, remembering when Cynefrith was younger and thought such things amusing. He would scribble them places he didn’t think I or his tutors – would notice. Thank the gods he’d grown out of that rather quickly. 

Cornelius detected a magical presence in the desk, though the center drawer was locked. After much pulling and prying, Oliver, Verity and Felyx were able to wrench it open. Oliver mentioned that we should probably invest in a crowbar at some point, though I really hope we won’t have much need to continuously break into buildings and the like once we find Martella. 

Inside we found a rather large stash of coins minted this year and a few other small items of value. The magic Cornelius sensed radiated from two small pellets, though he couldn’t determine what they did. I took a closer look, and identified them as Shadow Hand smoke pellets. When thrown they cause a dense, smoky fog to materialize, and the magic within them will attempt to grab and stop anyone from passing through. Handy to have if we need to slow down anyone pursuing us. 

After searching the office, we returned downstairs, and went through the double doors to find ourselves in the loading dock. We hadn’t seen any  sign of a way down, and while everyone else began to search, I went outside to speak with our “captive.” I suppose I really shouldn’t have been surprised that she was gone, and had taken her injured friend with her. I found myself very angry over the whole situation. Two more thieves, willing to join the church of an evil deity, out on the streets to cause more harm to the innocents of the city. I forced myself to push the thoughts from my mind, and focus on finding the way down below the warehouse. 

Felyx and I returned upstairs. I thought the small storeroom off the office might hold some secrets, but after closer inspection it seemed to just be a room where more valuable items would be stored. Considering the people who currently infested this place it was no surprise that it is empty. Down on the floor, Verity found boxes of an extremely boring and poorly written book on river fish, and another box filled with poorly sculpted and even more poorly painted lawn halflings. Oliver discovered one corner of the building seemed to be dedicated to seasonal decorations, and Cornelius discovered the rest of the warehouse was taken up by the seasonal furniture for one of the Princess’ residences. 

We were almost at a loss before Felyx announced she had discovered a secret “door” in one of the pipes. Upon opening it, we discovered that the pipe was hollow, and a series of metal rungs attached to the wall lead downward. It was rather ingeniously hidden. 

We made our way down and found ourselves in a small, naturally occurring cavern. The walls were still rough, and the floor was made of packed earth. The walls were covered in cubbies, filled with objects most would deem worthless, but upon a closer look proved to be artifacts from Oppara’s past. I would have liked to take more time to peruse them, but we weren’t making any effort to be quiet, so I’m quite sure the remaining members of the Brotherhood of Silence were aware of our arrival.

One of the walls held a door that led into a room with worked walls. As we approached, we could see shelves filled with foodstuff and water. This must be Martella’s safe house. As Verity pushed the door further open, I heard the snap of a cord, and suddenly remembered the dagger trap outside of the Senate of Circles. I braced myself for whatever misfortune we had just triggered.