The True Cost of the Impending War

Amer successfully fools the oath-paper, causing Valten no small amount of distress. By all accounts nobody should be able to lie while under his oath, but Amer did it. Clearly he needs to re-evaluate his willingness to help these people. Once they leave the church each of them go their separate ways.

A Warrior Prepares

Xarth goes in search of a wizard to turn his preserved shark’s heart into a usable ward against the creatures he is facing. He finds one in The Wash who agrees to work on the vile object, but it will take at least a day before he is finished. He would also like the magician to work his shark’s tooth into a stone spear head to use as a weapon against the shark-demons. He is told that the best stone-carvers are located in Kernwerk, expensive, but the best.

Options diminishing

Amer returns to his house. Rein, the constable of the district where the Erasmus Trading House is located, has left a message asking him to see him at his earliest convenience. Additionally, there is a Thedurk messenger waiting in his parlor. The Thedurk are highly trusted Theodovan couriers, used only for the most sensitive information and objects. In this case the courier delivers a small bone scroll tube.

Amer tucks it away and goes to see Rein. He finds that the trading house is under guard and partially burned. Rein tells him that under orders of the Lord Marshall they came to arrest the mercenaries in the surrounding houses, but a battle ensued. The mercenaries retreated into the trading house, setting it afire, before escaping through a hidden tunnel into the storm drains. The watch put out the fire and tracked the mercenaries as best they could, but lost them somewhere near the northern washouts. Two watchmen were killed during the ensuing fight, two others have yet to return from the storm drains.

Amer tries his best to smooth things over with the constable, but it is clear that the man is not in the mood to be mollified.

Those left behind

Briz is eating in Mistress Gabi’s kitchen when Tomacarne drops by to chat with him. It seems that Tomacarne once boarded here as well and so he got word when Briz arrived. Briz begins to realize just how much the elf knows about what happens in this area. Tomacarne seems to keep tabs on everything that is happening in the “between” area. Those areas that are between the docks, wash, and market districts. An improvised area of ramshackle houses, brothels, and taverns – but strangely enough an area Tomacarne has pulled together.

Tomacarne takes Briz around the area showing him what happened to those who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. The people of this area are still pulling out the charred bodies of their husbands, wives, children, and neighbors. The ifrit cared nothing for such things when they came and burned out an infestation next door. These buildings are constructed of dried wood and burned quickly, trapping many people inside. Briz understands that when the Vulfgrau war comes, these will be the people that suffer the most. Instead of returning to his companions, he steps in and helps the people who are suffering.

Erasmus Saved

Pox, sensing an opportunity, manages to escape the ship with Cristobal and hide him at a warehouse. He then runs off to find Amer and tell him that he has saved Cristobal. Amer is grateful and sends Pox back with a note expressing his support and telling Pox to let Cristobal go free if he wishes. Pox presses for more information, but Amer reacts strongly after having been betrayed by those around him.

Irritated at Amer’s distrustful nature, Pox returns to Cristobal but instead offers to help him instead of Amer. Cristobal tells him that the Terrentes have made agreements with the Vulfgrau Trading House that will sacrifice much of their city and the Erasmus house for their own power games. Cristobal wishes to purge the influence of the Vulfgrau from the family and if Pox helps him he will see to it that he become the head of the trading house in Bornheim.

A morning of questions

Briz spends much of his morning with Gloria and her young charge – along with a rather dour looking guard. They have a pleasant meal together while the Lord Marshall’s daughter plays with the Incar. To everyone watching she has nothing more than a bright trinket, but Briz can see the Incar respond to her as they respond to him. It is a bit troubling because the Incar have changed, but he is not sure how – they just feel different. Gloria parts ways with Briz following lunch, but informs him that she would be welcoming should he come call upon her.

After lunch Briz again works with Tomacarne to help the people of this city. He discovers that each of the buildings directly attacked by the ifrit was a crafthouse – not just a tavern or flophouse – but instead directly tied to a craftsman. While many people in the area make and sell goods – the businesses that were attacked are those of recognized trades. Briz returns briefly to drop off a list of the most needy families on Xarth’s bedroll – giving him a chance to at least partially right those he wronged.

Kernwerk

Xarth and Amer travel to the village of Kernwerk. Xarth is looking for Master Yswa, a master stone carver, so that he can get a stone spear fashioned from his demon-shark’s tooth. Amer is searching for more answers about Charles. Xarth finds Master Yswa, but is rebuffed as he refused to use stone to kill – instead he tells him of a human carver that will help him.

On a hunch, Xarth speaks the shoag language. It turns out that the tribe of people living in the Fuldelf Ridge are the “lost” Stone Clan that retreated from their kin. He explains they have seen the rise of the humans and rather than fighting them, having instead hidden themselves among them. He warns Xarth against exposes their secret; however, when Xarth convinces him to that he will never do such a thing – the Yswa agrees to meet with the other shoag searching for the Stone Clan should he make his way to the mountains.

While Xarth is deep in conversation, Amer goes around asking about Charles. Everyone is convinced that Mistress Eva has left the village with her young lover (scandalous), but few people can remember much about the young man. He was dashing and wealthy, but nobody really remembers much what he looked like or when he arrived. Its not really a dead end, but more like a piece of the puzzle – Amer is just not sure where it fits. Charles had clearly ensconced himself in the village as many people remember him, but now that he is gone their memories of him have begun to fade.

Xarth gets his weapon and Amer gets more questions.

Mladovians

Pox returns to the warehouse and shows Cristobal the letter, which the man promptly dismisses. He tries again to convince Pox that he has evidence that the Vulfgrau mean to use the family as a stalking horse for their greater plans – the Terrentes are tied up in those plans. Pox is beginning to like Cristobal when a crossbow bolt from a hidden assassin sinks into Cristobal’s side. The door to the warehouse opens and several Mladovian men rush in with makeshift weapons.

Pox manages throws a cover over Cristobal and uses the boxes for cover from the assassin. He knows the warehouse well and uses that to his advantage. He cuts some overhanging rope, which tangles up the assassin, sending him and some precarious boxes to the floor. The thugs manage to corner him, but it is Pox who comes out on top during the exchange. As the assassin finally manages to free himself his thugs are retreating, so he does the same. Pox would like to chase them and get answers, but Cristobal is still alive and needs treatment if he is to live.

Pox meets with Amer after he finds a new place for Cristobal and tends to his wounds. Xarth is already at Amer’s house and is not sure what to make of Pox as half-elves are very rare. Amer lets them talk it out, while he retreats to his study to look at the scroll tube. Inside is one of the magical scrolls along with a letter. It is from a hidden member of the Vulfgrau house that was instructed to give this scroll to any surviving member of the inner circle if the normal operations of the Trading House were attacked. He writes that Amer is the last member of the inner circle remaining in the city and that everything falls to him. He wishes Amer success in his endeavor and success to the Vulfgrau.

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