Image by Gwyneth Ravenscraft
As the Guard escort them to the Donjon Kenari hides her theives tools in her hair. When all of their gear is confiscated before being led to their cells her tools are missed.
They are all locked into adjoining 5′ x 10′ cells and Ayrun prestidigitizes chalk for Kenari so she can leave off color heiroglyphs on the walls of hers. While doing so he calls out in draconic and gets the attention of the upstairs guards. Determining fairly quickly that they don’t understand the language he uses it to confer with his fellow prisoners. Ef Utan, being the only one who doesn’t speak it, is left out.
The next morning a bureocrat and squad of guards march them out of the Donjon and into the upper city at sword point. All but Vedis are brought to a manor house in the upper city, she continues on towards the grounds of Castle Skyview. When Ef Utan asks a guard where she’s being taken he say she has an appointment with Lord Cartan.
Left to wait in a meeting room they are soon joined by an aide to the magistrate. He explains that the leads on the Tenth Pit discovered have made his master inclined to be lenient. The minimum sentence of thirty days hard labor on the Underside has been chosen. After giving them a moment or two to sweat he goes on to say that Large Luigi andLady Tarilla Moune have interceded on their behalf and as a result the sentence has been downgraded to a fine of 75,000 gold. Additionally the Crown offers 100,000 gp for the Frostfire and it’s helms. The fine will, of course, be deducted prior to disbursement of funds. They accept enthusiastically!
When they ask about Vedis they are told that she is under scrutiny for not having revealed and registered her pyrokinetic talents before now. There is no telling how long she will be or what penalties she might face.
Ef Utan handles the paperwork and they head back to the dragonfly. While Ayrun and Lenata detect magic, finding the wards are all down, Kenari and Ef Utan search the ship stem to stern. Kenari finds a thin residue of purple dust on the floor of the hold which AyrunAyrun Sorpic identifies as residue from drow sleep poison.
Once the ship is secure Ef Utan heads to House Moune to see if there is any word on Wilhelmina. It seems she was found the day before unconscious on the fdeck by a messenger. She is currently in the care of healers and is recovering. He returns to the ship to inform the others.
After much discussion they decide more data is required. They head off towards The Burrows to talk with Rory.
Arriving at The Shady Rest they order a few rounds and put the word out they are looking for Rory. Shortly thereafter the halfling walks in and joins them at their table, puffing his trademark pipe. Leaning in close he tells them he’s made some headway in finding out why Muwara is after them. Evidently the Shou believes them responsible for the death of his nephew Yazir. Ef Utan describes the samurai in red and black that they had killed and Rory says the description fits. The catfolk shakes her head, “No, because the threats and attacks started ling before that.” Rory says he will continue to dig and will keep them posted.
Moving on to other business they relate the finding of drow sleep poison residue on the ship. Rory shakes his head and looks grim. According to rumor the drow Nation of Eternal Twilight has been in cahoots with the Tenth Pit recently. Between that and the trouble at the warehouse it does not look good.
Kenari asks about the sidewheeler they encountered, The SpiralConstructHamsterDreadnaughtKlash-Bang. Rory says they were hard to miss. Tinker gnomes on shore leave are a rather distinctive event. He says that while they were in port the crew mentioned something called The Dreamstone on several occassions. Kenari reconizes the name from legend although the details of the stories conflict.
Before taking their leave they ask if he would know anything about why the Tenth Pit would have Caine assassinate the Illithid Ambassador to the Neogi. Rory says he does not know but he will dig for information.
The group leaves The Burrows, walking along the docks, and head back to the ship. Once back on the dragonfly a bottle of wine is broached and discussion resumes. Lenata confesses to having kept a secret from them over the past year, Lady Tarillia Moune is her godmother. Factoring that news into their plans they decide to pay a call on Lady Moune the next day. Since the evening is still young they then head up the the Upper City to visit the Library of the Spheres.
While Ef Utan digs through the tomes available to the public Kenari, Lenata, and Ayrun use their membership in The Seekers to get access to the private stacks. Late into the night they pour over legends and lore, slowly piecing together scraps of information about The Dreamstone. It is described as a roughly 5″ gemstone filled with multicolored smoke. It is said to grant the ability to “control the dreams of another,” and is activated by a complex ritual. Ayrun is fairly certain he has pieced together the details of the ritual from their sources.
At two bells they walk back to the ship and call it a night. During the second watch that night Kenari is suddenly overcome with drowsiness and falls asleep. She dreams vividly.
In her dream she is standing with Ef Utan, Lenata, Vedis, and Ayrun- all of them arrayed in a ring. Around them the surroundings and the ground beneath their feet are obscured by whitish fog. Floating in the center of the circle, at about eye level, is the severed hand of Sapphira. Muted flashes of actinic purple light flicker around it. A deep, booming voice sounds from above them, ”The circle is incomplete. The circle is incomplete, but a replacement has been found.” There follows a blast of purple light and Kenari wakes up as the dream ends.
Tiptoeing as only a catfolk can she checks in on the others, only to find them sleeping peacefully. She spends the rest of her watch searching the ship for unwanted surprises, the hair on th back of her neck standing straight up while she does so.
When the others arise they discover in fairly short oder that all of them had the same dream. Immediately concerned Lenatta pulls the preserved hand of their tiefling companion out of her adventurer’s sash and begins to examine it. She feels a shock as she channels energy involuntarily. The hand soaks up the positive energy burning away the flesh as it does so. The tattoo of The Spelljammer animates and flies off the wrist as th flesh burns away to the bone. The animated tattoo flies across the room striking Ayrun in the chest and throwing him into the opposite wall. As he slowly shakes himself off and rises they see that his wrist now sports the same tattoo as the rest of them.
Regaining their composure they set off the few blocks to The Laughing Beholder. As they walk Lenata scans the surrounding blocks with locate object looking for Sapphira’s pouch, the one with the Fraternity of Order symbol on it. It is, alas, to no avail. Ordering breakfast they ask Luigi if there is any news on Vedis. The beholder says there is none yet.
While the others are eating Lenata talks to Luigi privately in the pantry. She asks for any possible aid he might be able to give them. Cryptic as usual, Luigi alluded to knowing much but the only substantive comment he makes is “it has to do with a very special prisoner of the Tenth Pit.”
At 4 bells in the afternoon the group make their way to House Moune. Upon arriving they discover Lady Tarillia is off-rock inspecting her holdings in the grainfields asteroids, but her Major-Domo Cornelius will see them. He greets Lenata with a kiss on the cheek and bids them sit while refreshments are brought.
They fill him in on most of what they know and what they think they know. Cornelius grows more concerned as they continue. He has no readily available pieces to add to the puzzle, but promises to look into it. He does confirm the description of Yazir Muwara as the black and red samurai.
A few quick drinks at The Laughing Beholder and they retire to the ship to confer. More and more possible connections seem to be presenting themselves. They debate long into the night and sleep on board ship again that night.
Up early the next day Ef Utan picks up the 25,000 gp owed them by the Crown and then stops by House Moune to drop off the party’s latest payment on the ship. He then stops by city records and sweet talks his way into getting a look at the land contract for the Warehouse. It’s in the name of House Kullek.
Asking Lenata about it he is told that they are a merchant house, like House Moune, that dels mostly in lumber, foodstuffs, spices, and silk. She also tells him that Morgan Kullek is a ruthles old bastard known or using force and intriue to squash his rivals. His house also owns seveal of the grainfields asteroids that trail Bral’s orbit.
Stopping by the lesser market they pick up three arcane scrolls of scrying. Returning to the ship they get Ayrun to use one in an attempt to scry Caine using the octaganal coin he left at the Illithid Ambassador’s assassination. While unable to locate Caine he does detect a scrying barrier of some sort . Ef Utan passes him the other two scrolls to hold on to.
Dining aboard the ship they are discussing the array of new info and how it fits their theories when they hear a meowing from the porthole. Looking up they see a white cat in the window. It leaps into the room and starts twining around Kenari’s ankles. Ef Utan picks it up by the scruff of the neck until Lenata makes him put it down, she feeds it some beef jerky.
The cat trots out of the bridge and proceeds to examines the ship. Ef Utan picks it up and carries off the ship and it down to the docks. As he does so a slender figure, face obscured by the hood of her cloak, approaches along the pier. When the figure is about twenty feet away Ef Utan calls out “stop and identify yourself!”
The figure stops and lowers her hood. A woman with pale, white skin and large, solid black eyes. It even tones she says her name is Parvatt and that she wishes to speak to them on a matter of common interest. Another cat, a calico, follows a few steps behind her. Lenata motions her aboard and they move to the bridge, which is protected from scrying.
As they enter the brigdege the white cat transforms into an exact duplicate of the hooded woman.
Parvatt explains that she is a Dvati- a single soul with two bodies. As she does so they notice that the two figures finish each other’s sentences. “The City told me we have a common problem,” she says. A common interest int he activities of the Tenth Pit. The slavers have captured one of her people (two bodies that is), a sorcerer Dvati who had infused himselves with dreamstuff named Melkot the Dreamer.
When asked what she meant by saying “the city told her,” she explains that she is an urban druid and communes with the spirit of Bral. She also can commun with the spirit of Port Walkaway on Ironpiece and is learning to speak to the spirit of the city of Anfalas on Spiral .
After much discussion she agrees to go to Ironpiece with them under guise of informing the paddlewheeler crew’s family of their deaths while looking for more clues. Her two bodies and feline companion leave to commune with the city and prepare for the flight to the outer system. Planning an early morning they make an early night of it.
The next morning they go to the Celestian Temple and retireive the recovered Kelson. While there they also hire another back up pilot- a Celestian acolyte named Aspodel, a halfling related to Rory. Ef Utan gets the distict inpression the halflings are keeping an eye on them. From there it’s a quick run up to The Burrows for drinks.
While Rory fails to appear a note gets slipped to Kenari under her beer mug. It reads ” I, N, X – commonality? One pair of exotic slaves.”
As they head back to the ship to cast off they encounter Parvatt, walking through the bustling crowd as though it was an empty street. She joins up with them as they go the last few blocks.
As they begin to cast off for Ironpiece a voice bellows “Stop!!” An out of breath Vedis comes running up to the ship. “You can’t leave without me, besides I’ve got one hell of a story for you!” she exclaims.