Digging in the Flesh

Chapter 1, Session 3

Oh dear, the Grand Mistress has kept me rather busy. I do hate when I’m kept from my journal. Diviners, so inept at scrying their own past, really must take good notes, else we’ll forget things. Oh goody, we’re getting Rhun today! But… they need to be introduced as squires. I should teach them something. Help them along. No, no, Adastra would get angry. Maybe Likayus will do it. Yes, he will, I’ll offer him some of my Lereshi tea. He wouldn’t turn me down then.

My squires wake up. No, not all at once. They make their way to breakfast. (I didn’t foresee Morgan sleeping in so late.) They read my letter. They’ll meet with Likayus in room 36 of the tower, on the second floor, in one of the arcana lounges. Sir Yochi Cael will be there. I like that kid, though we’re going to have issues later.

At breakfast, Charlie tries to sell his wares. Hespiné’s surviving squire, Xega, will pick a bit of a fight with Charlie. He’s a bit bitter, having been stuck in limbo for almost a year and only leaving the tower on petty assignments for other nights. And, to think, he was the number 1 ranked page before being promoted to one of Hespinés’ squires. Of course, Falun and Gizelo’s son, Izo, has filled that slot ever since. (And it’s hard to argue with Izo being the top page. I would have chosen him if he was an actual option.) I do wish Xega would do something about that mustache. The long, pencil-thin mustache really makes him look villainous.

They meet Likayus in room 36, with Yochi. They take a while to get assembled, wasting Likayus’s time. But he doesn’t mind, so I don’t mind. I’ve always been impressed with how efficient Likayus is, despite being so laid back. It probably has something to do with his 32 apprentices.

Likayus explains the importance of their badges, the layout of the tower, which sections are off-limits, how to requisition items (which some will go on to do later), and several other security measures. Galdor is rather interested, and Likayus offers his apprentice, Diyezo, as a resource to Galdor.

I hope they paid attention. Those security measures are rather strict.

The cooper gets stuck in a barrel! Ahh, perhaps I should not find that so comical. They find Mister Turner stuck in a barrel, a barrel that he certainly could not fit in. I blame Garkuuk. (I saw him do it.) Rhun didn’t know what Garkuuk did. Rhun ran away. Joined a new masonry guild or something.

They meet with Ansley, Stonegate’s old bartender. It looks like he’s just been hired to be the foreman for a new company, Rockpoint Masonry. Good for him. (I’m not entirely sure why Demetrios likes him.) Ansley couldn’t remember anything about the Stonegate’s destruction.

Rockpoint Masonry is nearly identical to the old Stonegate Gambling Hall. The ceiling has become shingled, rather than wood. That’s a logical change.

Dorathy sees Demetrios walk out, with Rhun. Demetrios, very paternally, shakes Rhun’s hand, wishes him good luck, and then sees him off. Rhun needs Demetrios to seem fatherly. He’s nervous and this start to his new life. He’s made too many mistakes. Demetrios goes back inside. Dorathy follows Rhun.

Navally is a cold and calculating old hag. She has to be, to be Valandil Carnesir’s steward. He requires nothing less. There’s not a chance in hell she’ll let my squires meet with the Blood Inquisitor’s bulging vein, Valandil. I could give them an official approval from the Grand Mistress, Ivozea (Valandil’s own wife!), and Navally would still do everything in her power to ward them off. I mean, really, what is Valandil doing that is so important? Why do I not know this? I’m a diviner!

Oh, as to seeing Kordik Malarky, equally slim chance.

Navally does help them out. According to her mystical divine powers, Leto is in fact alive. She does a piss-poor job though, so I tag along on her little chat with god. I steal into the heavens, check out Nerull’s list of intelligent undead, and find Leto’s name missing. Thus, we can assume, Leto never actually died.

Did they need something else?

Ahrk is rather gracious in welcoming them back. Ahrk is surprisingly stoic. You don’t find many kobolds who stick to their own values and morals so strictly. Too bad he’ll die later today (not that that really matters).

Rhun’s just leaving. How nice. Oh, Dorathy and Morgan ambush him, club him over the head, and carry him off back to the Helix tower. That’s efficient. Dorathy meets with Sir Hollace Eruzael, who’s in charge of dealing with Discovereds and low-level renegades. They’ll deal more with Sir Eruzael tomorrow. Dorathy grabs a letter off Rhun, for evidence. Oh, that’s a fascinating letter.

The letter is addressed to High Sage Uzak in the College of Arts in Dyrises. It’s from Demetrios, asking Uzak to take care of Rhun and teach him. It’s all very nice, and gives us another solid lead to check out. Ahh, Sir Chane is in Dyrises. Perhaps I shall inform him of this new information.

They go inside Leto’s chamber. This is difficult for me to see. Someday, I’ll be able to see inside, so everything I see today is through me scrying on myself scrying in the future. It’s an excellent work-around, but it’s rather difficult, and it’s rather blurry.

Shotru is Leto’s “Sacred Dismemberer.” He severs her limbs when they grow too fast or powerful ones sprout out. The chamber is vile, full of rotting flesh. Leto can’t function, can barely communicate. To an extent, Shotru is the better resource here.

Between Ahrk, Shotru, and Leto’s groans, they discover many things.

Garkuuk is the only real gold kobold in the Golds. Garkuuk is Leto’s legitimate son. Garkuuk worked with Leto in order to create Ahrk and Shotru, which is why their mannerisms are less destructive than Garkuuk’s. Garkuuk is difficult to control, chaotic, and powerful. Yet, it seems that Shotru and Ahrk are both significantly more gifted than Garkuuk.

Demetrios is a Chain-Breaker lieutenant. He’s been using and abusing Leto and the Golds through Garkuuk. Leto wants both Garkuuk and Demetrios banned from the sacred areas. (A command Ahrk is excited to fulfill. It seems that Ahrk has no respect for Garkuuk, believing that Garkuuk is off, galavanting around and enjoying himself while Ahrk and Shotru fulfill their sacred duties.)

The true Leto loathes her current existence. She is trying to fight against the mutagens in her body that are keeping her growing and keeping her alive. In addition to the unusual (and often deadly) growths that Leto is producing, she has also started manufacturing the small golden prisms, such as the one found inside Cadwyr Turner. The prisms are supposed to repress the magic within Leto’s body. Mistakenly, Shotru disposed of over two dozen of them before realizing what they were. We must now believe that these prisms are within Chain-Breaker possession.

Ahrk prepares for battle. He raises the six knights whose graves sit above Leto’s burial chambers. One of those is the Lady of the Slicing Gale, Lady Hespiné, who Ahrk has borrowed the arm of.

By the time my squires return to me, it’s all over. Garkuuk knows of the betrayal. Demetrios has delivered punishment. I can see Leto’s chambers from no angle, but I know that Ahrk is dead, and the six raised knights in his employ are destroyed.

You win some, you lose some.

Hopefully tomorrow will be more of the former. I do hope they remember to talk with Sir Eruzael at 7:18 tomorrow.



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