Most seers are rather inexact. They look into the future, glimpse things, and then try and base decisions on that limited knowledge. Ridiculous! I scribed a glyph into my clock. Whenever I view the future, I take a moment to scry my clock and align my visions. If I see a murder, I want to know what time that murder will take place! If I see Sir Eruzael receiving a letter, I want to know when that will happen! So I look at my clock, through my divinations. But Dorathy is quite right. The clock in the mess hall is behind by two minutes.
Krawl is only two minutes late today. This is a vast improvement, sure. Unfortunately, when we’re dealing with timing as important as this, two minutes is the difference between black and white, life and death, inner sight and blindness. But he’s getting closer.
My squires largely wake up on time, enjoy the breakfast in the mess, then bump into Sir Hollace Eruzael at 7:18, all according to schedule. They offer their help – enthusiastically – and he relents. His letter informed him that a man with the name Fienzo Lysilksis Jr has been imprisoned in Travesca on charges of unlicensed arcana. Yes, my squires would be happy to retrieve him for you, Sir Eruzael!
They walk the four miles south to Travesca. They go to the sheriff’s office, where they meet the barrel-chested Sheriff Baillins. As he says, Fienzo is a well-liked baker in town who used magic to put out a fire in the local inn. It’s hard to say he’s terribly guilty, he just needs some processing.
Krawl and Vannah meet with Fienzo’s wife and find the scrolls he inherited from his grandfather. Fienzo owned quite a little collection. If memory serves me right, his father had been an undead hunter in Leresh, though even his grandfather couldn’t have cast that chain lightning. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Morgan.
They take Fienzo north. They don’t know they’re about to get ambushed, but I’m not going to tell them! (If they knew, they’d be able to evade it.)
They start getting smart and check Fienzo for magic – and, yes, find another of Leto’s prisms inside him. Charlie uses his mage hand and medical knowledge to work the prism right out of Fienzo. And that’s when Orphan springs his trap.
Two charms, three blinding flashes, a mud to stone, a sleep, and a quick dismissal later, several of my squires are momentarily inhibited. Morgan and Charlie do well in not getting locked down, and, thinking quickly, send their familiars to me with the prism. I didn’t foresee this. Very clever.
Orphan, looking tired, approaches them. After a lot of backwards talking, a ruined chain lightning scroll, and a grappling chain ability that Orphan uses with ease, Orphan leaves. He catches up with Vannah, Dorathy, and Fienzo. He hexes Dorathy, and convinces Vannah to let Fienzo go with him. Ahh, but this is all part of the plan! Now I can scry their base’s location.
If Orphan is under-cover, should we instead have waited for him to reveal that information at a more opportune time to him? Difficult to foresee.
Orphan dimensionally teleports Fienzo and himself to a windmill a mile south of Travesca. The party turns around and heads south again.
They meet with Gelton, the owner of the windmill, who is nearly deaf. He never heard them digging the tunnels underneath his windmill, or the ogre being moved in, or his cellar door being magically sealed. Dorathy hacks said cellar door to pieces. Krawl takes some wine, opens the wine-rack, and they walk into the Chain-Breaker’s hideout.
There they meet Thurg. Thurg is kept there under an enfeeblement curse, which they break when they enter. They do some quick intimidating and negotiating, quickly making Thurg think that they are not the mages who captured him, but those mages are in the next room. He smashes the door into the next room, but the mages who captured him quickly activate another enfeeblement rune. Thurg sits down again, brain-fried.
Lyza and Reya Bleikoff are in the next room. They lovely, ginger-haired twin sisters that were born to Baron Bleikoff. The party quickly captures and binds them.
Orphan and Fienzo are in the next room. The party takes up defensive positions, then Orphan knocks on the door. There’s some brief talking, then Orphan invites them into the circular room he’s in.
See, Orphan is an under-cover agent of the Helix. He’s constantly being tested by the Chain-Breakers, his loyalty constantly under question, so he has to take a lot of precautions. Today, he’ll scar himself some more, then alter his memories of what happened so that the Chain-Breakers won’t be able to discover his loyalties. It’s all quite difficult on him.
Orphan modifies his memory and escapes. The squires leave as well, taking Fienzo, the sisters, and Thurg with them. They point Thurg east, toward the “evil mages” who imprisoned him. He goes that way, but not before stealing some more sheep. The farmers who live there, the Hanners, will be most upset when they find out in a few hours.
They stop by Travesca and let Fienzo say hello to his wife. He should be back tomorrow. They head into Erodin, up to the central tower, and deliver Fienzo and the sisters. Sir Eruzael is waiting for them.
He silences the sisters to his words. Orphan is an undercover agent, and there are many risks to his job. Because they know about him, they have the following choice: they can either relent to a memory alteration, or take a vow that they would sooner die than allow the Chain-Breakers to extract information from their minds. The memory alteration will have a fail-safe, ensuring that their real memories of Orphan will be triggered should they meet him. Galdor, Charlie, and Krawl assent to the mind alteration. Vannah, Morgan, and Dorathy take the vow.
I hope this won’t cause issues in the future. With half of them believing that Orphan is evil and still and loose, and the other half knowing he’s an agent of the Helix, it might cause for some uncomfortable conversations.
Ultimately, they retire.