Leaving the Study at the Dragon’s Den, John Doe was invited again into the backroom. His agreement to help Roran had yielded a few extra perks from the Mistress of the house.
About that time Jaenara took notice of a very fine dressed elven woman making her way to the study. The beautiful woman held all the markings of Jaenara’s elven network. Jaenara approached her:
“The blessings of earth and sky are upon you.”
“Who sends these blessings?”
After naming herself, Jaenara and the lady Caisys find a table and table. Caisys took out a small sphere and the sounds of the room downed out their voices entirely. Jaenara then explained the elven woman should have some information about her sister and the cult in hopefully a few hours.
Meanwhile, the emaciated Tia informed Tove that thanks to his deal with Roran Tesh, she was released from her fast, but she felt too weak to be able to feed on her own. Tove agreed to help her, he was feeling quite undernourished himself.
Spotting an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, the insightful dwarf Tom convinced the group first head to the market before sending Tove and Tia to tend to their needs. At the market, Tom purchased some robes and holy symbols of St. Cuthbert, god of Minister Tyber, whose name Roran desired sullied.
The drugged and famished duo agreed to Tom’s plan, donned the garb of St. Cuthbert and set out into the town. Tove lured an easy victim into an ally where he easily cut the drunkard down. However, the weakened pair were not as surreptitious as they might have been under normal conditions. Even the drunken revelers in the main streets heard the death throes over the loud celebration. Several party goers moved towards the murder to investigate. Tove made sure the death wasn’t a complete failure and sought to advance his secondary mission. He shouted the praises of St. Cuthbert before running the other way and blending into the crowd and losing the religious paraphernalia.
After another similar failure to make a quiet kill. Tia suggested they bring a victim to the warehouse above the Rakshasha Clan, the workers there always turn a blind eye to the activities of the clan. Following her advice, Tove convinced a final unlucky and unwary party goer to follow them into a trap. There at the warehouse Tove and Tia picked his bones clean; the warehouse workers cleaned the mess.
Feeling much better, Tove returned to Jaenara, Sigurd, and Tom so that they might continue to fulfill their agreement with Roran. They went to the scout out the church of Kord, so that they might determine how to best plant the unknonwn holy symbol. It was still early evening and the front doors were still open. They heard many people talking inside, and following information given to Sigurd by Deso, they moved to the welcoming room where they found a few worshipers and paladins engaged the tales or heroism.
Sigurd and Tom sought to test the meddle of a few of the braggarts by throwing some light insults and shows of strength. Tom entered into a contest of trading blows with a paladin prove their manliness. Tom surprised the holy warrior by both accepting and delivering hits that may have surprised the both of them. Having proved their worth, the group was free to further explore the open areas of the church. They went into the balcony and looked down on a nearly empty congregation hall and ostentatiously decorated stage. There were a few more worshipers and paladins scattered in the great hall and on the opposite of the balcony set the podium the party sought to defile; it was a pearly-white, alabaster-like stone carved with remarkable skill from a single large mineral.
The group went downstairs and Sigurd sought to distract lagging audience while Tom made his way up the steps of the stage. His steps upon the stage were met with hostility from the stewards. Tom tried to explain how his devotion to Zilchus gave him a righteous task that he was performing for them, but the warrior worshipers were not convinced. Angers flared as Tom continued to the podium, getting a proper assessment of its back just prior to the holy men closing the distance between them.
Tom uttered a few words to Zilchus, he felt the strange holy symbol in his possession resonate oddly upon his person. As the followers of Kord attempted to apprehend Tom, they felt the hand of Zilchus constantly interceding on his behalf. Tom made it half way out of the auditorium before one of the pious protectorates managed to grab hold of him firmly. The whole time Tom proclaimed his innocence, but the captor was determined to examine the trespasser more closely. He dragged Tom to the sparring room adjacent to the great hall so that other soldier saints could assist in assessing the nature of the transgression.
Knowing that the unknown holy symbol that they were to hide in the podium could not be found upon them, the group decided to prove their right through might. They went to battle with six sons of Kord. While most of the party chose to incapacitate their advisories, Tove was not so forgiving. Be it his constant need to take life or his simple desire to not have these opponents interfere again, he sought to land deadly blows whenever he got the chance. The last two weakened worshippers threw down their arms, proclaiming the sanctity of the motley heroes. The party allowed them to tend to their wounded as they made their way towards exit via a hall bypassing the main entryway.
Knowing the design of the podium, Jaerara suggested they make a false back for one of the openings in the podium for the unknown symbol to rest behind. Tom’s knowledge of the stone and acumen in the market allowed him to describe the needs quite well to a local stone-crafter. The design was simple and wouldn’t take long.
While in the market, Sigurd heard a voice calling for him through the crowd. Oswind was looking for him. He informed him of a message he was to relay from a masked man. He said he was to tell, Sigurd that his kin was being transferred to the Incubus of Sim as a trainer. Additionally, Oswald and Oswind were tasked to travel to Sim to pick up resources similar to what they had upon their travels to the south where they first met Sigurd. Sigurd informed them he would be traveling with them. The dwarven duo planned to depart by sea after the double full moon festival the following night, and would right back in their caravan by land.
The outraged Sigurd, after attacking a random reveler with an empty bottle, made his way back to Roran and the party followed en tow. The outraged Sigurd accused Roran of failing to hold up his end of the deal in releasing his uncle Erland. Roran, calmly explained that he was both not accustomed to the tone Sigurd was using and unaware of the transfer of his uncle. However, Roran convinced Sigurd that the deal was still intact, and his influence extended to Sim.
Meanwhile Jaenara met once again with Caisys. The sylvan seer told Jaenara that Daramuk and her sister would be at the Orthium Theatre during the double full moon. Additionally, she informed jaenara that Minister Tyber and Misistrix Renna had been sending missives to each other concerning the city’s cult.
Tom had his mind on much more pressing matters. Be it calculation or base instinct, he decided the courtesan Ichira that had taken John into the back room earlier needed a little attention. He booked her for a private room and provided a performance leaving the accomplished escort thinking perhaps she should be paying him. Short of breath but loose of lip, she told Tom about the weapons operation they had exposed to John. They make Eastern weapons in one of the back rooms of the Den and sometimes Ichira herself enchants them. This is outside the terms of agreement for their operation within Sum, so it is their manufacture and not the weapons themselves that are illegal.
Upon leaving, Roran insisted on walking the heroes to the door as they left. After eyeing Sigurd and giving the group a few kind words, he turned his eyes down the street. The ground itself exploded under the feet of a dozen festival goers. Roran returned his gaze to Sigurd and wished the group well.
The group made their way over to the wreckage. Some of the group investigated the disaster area trying to discern what happened, some tried to stabilize some of the fallen citizens as best they could, Tom picked through the pockets of the dead.
Afterwards, they picked up the false back for the podium with which they would conceal the unknown holy symbol, and headed to the church. Back at the church of Kord it was too late for the entry of normal citizens, the doors were locked and most of the lights were out. Jaenara, with a quick flick of her wrist, picked the lock and pushed the door open. The group quietly made their way to the balcony to survey the auditorium. They saw no bodied, but there was a dim light coming from the door leading directly to the stage. The light occasionally flicked in manner that made it hard to tell if there was movement or just an open flame.
The group decided to all head downstairs to the back of the auditorium and let Jaenara sneak up to the podium with the symbol and fake podium back. While maneuvering her way into position without attracting attention, the stone scratched loudly against the podium as she attempted to cover the holy symbol she had planted.
A decorated knight of Kord burst from the adjacent room. The red-handed Jaenara tried to make excuses, but the priest charged her with utter disregard for her words. He struck her twice with solid blows from his hammer which glowed with the light of Kord. Jaenara was barely able to stand let alone fight. She leapt from the stage as her companions rushed forward to defend her. The esteemed servant of Kord fought hard against the group, inflicting divine wrath and pain upon them, but he was simply overwhelmed by their numbers; the warrior fell. The group quickly checked the back plate, then decided to further their smear campaign against Minister Tyber. They decapitated the fallen paladin, and drew the symbol of St. Cuthbert with his blood.