Part 2 – Rewards and Intrigue
My head hurts. That’s from thinking about what kind mess this city is in. My chest hurts. That’s from some cultist maniac who came within a sails breadth of running me though. These cultists could be everywhere but then again could be nowhere. The last words of a dead man cannot be trusted. Its been one hell of a long day, I feel like I’ve walked all over this city never mind just been in a rumble a few hours ago. The sun is just about coming up and I still need to finish these sodding notes.
Gino met with us this morning. He was being all mysterious and flustered, turns out he had a brush with our old friend Oristis in the pre-dawn hours. He came away with a note that had a hidden message in it. Words are not my strong point at the best of times, so when Drakken managed to crack that code after only a few hours staring blankly at the page and another trip to see the pompous idiots at the Academy, I was kind of impressed. If only his choice of graveyard sneaking was half as good! Hah!
“At midnight where the afflicted lie”
The afflicted? Having a lie? Turns out that the poor people of the city go to the Volante Charitable House when they pick up injuries, diseases and malady’s. Seems they usually end up in the Paupers Graveyard soon after, but anything is better than going 6 feet under straight away I guess.
There was no time to dabble with such drama just yet. We had to meet up with the Volante head, Reuben, himself. We went to the palace and some fancy guards in their ornate armour marched us through a bunch of corridors to an inner room. Very private. There we met with Reuben Volante. I’m not entirely sure of what I was expecting, but he wasn’t it. He seemed more efficient rather than ruthless. Wise rather than arrogant. When Yolanda pressed him about the various methods that people in his employ use to ensure that things happen he seemed genuinely shocked and concerned. He was not happy to learn about Oristis murdering prisoners and dabbling in black magic. So much so he had us head over the Sept where we eventually got the Gias removed. Don’t get me wrong, we are still his hatchet men, but just cos we were made family associates and given some cash isn’t enough to buy my total loyalty, but it’ll do for now. It ended frostily. Inside this sanctum were four hooded and silent guards. I don’t want to tussle with those any time soon. They stank of magic.
The only other person in that windowless room was Morris Volante. An old bear of a man. The armour he wore was ornate, but also oiled and maintained. I would wager it had seen more action than some of those that marched us in. Funny man. Obviously can’t wait to marry off that Priscilla at the earliest opportunity, but he did seem grateful for us getting her out of that mess.
Onto the Sept of Many Faiths. Impressive place. Once inside we went quite a distance through underground passageways following this Arch Deacon. We ended up in a room and then took it in turn to stand in a circle while Arch Deacon Liara removed the Gias. It took a lot out of her. The elf we left was drained by the ordeal. But we are free of this curse and so Oristis doesn’t have direct leverage over us no more. The priestess of Ashoc did a grand job.
We had some time to kill before we had to meet Gino back at the Ball so we decided to take a look at this Charitable House. Yup. It’s a hospital. Full of sick and dying. The place reeked of death. A flash of our new Volante badges got us inside but there was no reason to hang around. Didn’t really see anything of the grave yard either. No secret passageways either, but I think Drakken needs to work on his interrogation. A 20ft wall is a bit of an eyesore.
Cutting through a park heading back to the Ball that little shit Lupe turned up. He was pissed. Turns out he lost his job in the guard. Mind you he was that bad at guarding stuff I’m not surprised. We took him back to the Ball and got good old Horatio to give him some beer and a bed for the night. A tab is a powerful weapon. The beer loosened his tongue some more. Turns out the Mortimers were the ones ousted by the Volantes. They sound like a good bunch. For the people. Clever tinkerers too by all accounts. That bit of drama last night at the pub was connected to the Mortimers too. The tryst that we interrupted involved non other than Lucy Mortimer herself. The note we found mentioned Samuel and some other guy called Vincent. Its getting messy.
Of course Gino then proceeds to give us our next mission. Mortimers. Hah. Apparently the Reapers Rest Tavern is still a stronghold of theirs. We need to go there and find an informant and then follow up any info he gives us. Mortimers. Volantes. Mess more like.
Well that’s what we should have done. But we had the more pressing matter of the afflicted lying to take care of. So off we went to the Charitable House to keep an eye on things. I knew it was going to be one of those nights after I nearly broke my neck getting over that bloody wall. The deckhands would have laughed their heads off at that. Sure enough some guys appeared and I started moving in to have a listen to their conversation. I did a pretty slick backflip over the crunchy path, but that was soon undone. I was under cover of the trees but tripped over on a root. Ok I shouldn’t have screamed, but the fart I couldn’t control. That was it. Cultists screaming everywhere. Before I could regain my sensibilities this one guy ran me through with a scimitar. Luckily he didn’t hit anything too important. I got up and managed gave him the old whip stab. I finished him and his mate pretty quickly then moved on. Yolanda and Manuel dealt with some minor sorcerer and another cultist. Mostly Yolanda. By all accounts Manel was busy deciding what kind of armour to wear, and then when he did throw those fancy javelins he nearly took his own eye out. He did better than Drakken though. He decided to climb over the top of the building and then arrived fashionably late after the knifework was taken care of.