The Illuminated Ones

Illuminated Journal 8

By Zakhar Melnokov

… This evening we continue tracing leads for Infernal blade, and traveled to residence of Lord Fenwick. His manor within Noble Quarter was quite opulent and well maintained, showing his wealth and position were prominent in Caspia. We were not able to meet with Lord as he was unavailable, though his chamberlain informed us he would send word and organise appointment to meet at Lord Fenwick’s convenience.

Having our connection to Maxwell Sadler delayed, we decided to find most prominent bar in Noble Quarter, not accounting for exclusive member’s clubs. We found a bar called “The Three Lions”, filled with haughty, pretentious lesser nobles and lesser merchant class. We were not well received in our armour and weapons, though other than pathetic jeers from several patrons, there was no trouble. Diego and Mathias began talks with barkeep, who after the promise of coin and a few good words in his favour, divulged some information regarding merchant Sadler.

Maxwell Sadler, who prefer to be addressed as Master Sadler, regards himself as patron of scholars, young artists, and adventurers. As with Kayazy, he is nouveau riche, and has arrogance that comes with one reaching above station. By consensus, we decided it best to meet Lord Fenwick prior to any discussions with merchant, believing best to have backing of noble before further contact.

We soon departed and were returning to the Sancteum, when we were set upon by six thugs. Initially I thought they had been hired by pretentious person we had encountered, though we questioned only survivor who yield to us. Thug not able to give many details, as dead boss had made arrangement with employer. He able to tell us was they were hired by woman at “Hail of Bullets” bar near docks, and they were to deliver heads. He said woman was short and plain, though wore mechanika plate and rapier.

We made way directly to dock area in hopes that woman was still at dive bar. Mathias and Caleb disguised themselves as thugs with sack of melons. We spent some time at bar, and other than Caleb making friends with Trollkin bouncer, we not gather any information other than she had been regular here, though only first appeared few nights ago. Lucian spoke to urchins outside, and paid them to contact us if woman returned.

Late in evening, we returned to SAncteum, only to find our quarters had been ransacked. Nothing seemed to be taken, nor any evidence left behind. After talking to guards and those quartered nearby, only our rooms were targeted whilst Khadoran and Trollkin caused disturbance earlier that day. After tidying mess, we retired for evening without further event.

Following morning was quiet, and after morning prayers, we went to purchase some attire better suited for dealing with nobility. Although my comrades bought clothing off shelf, I found it best to purchase tailored. The clothing is too fancy, and not in Umbrean fashion, but will make do for dealings in city.

Upon returning to Cathedral at noon, we received couple of missives. We stowed new clothing in rooms, then opened first letter, sealed with wax and embossed with gold crown. Upon opening, the letter disappeared in explosion of green flame, and within presence, lesser infernal appeared, quite hideous, though easily dispatched. Whoever was trying to waylay obviously underestimated us. The question, how many people are out trying to kill us?

The second letter was from Lord Fenwick, inviting us to attend performance of “The Llaelese Duke” later in evening. We send RSVP we would attend, and planned few hours to continue investigate leads.

Our first meeting was with Prelate Reardon at Cathedral. She is staunch woman, and upset with trouble we bring with us, especially infernal sent to attack us on holy ground. We talk about unholy relic we seek, and Prelate best course to talk with old companion of hers, Gatar Redhammer, Rhulik follower of Morrow, and one of few accepted into church. We were warned he is slightly mad after his experience fighting Thamarites.

We go to Galtar’s house, which saw was barred. Showed paranoia and security conscious. After knocking, heard many locks being turned. His aide answered door and invited us in. Spoke with Galtar about our search, and seemed stable until Fraternal Order mentioned. Then showed he had bolt loose, accusations against High Mage Arland Calstar, simply because he is arcanist. He then mentioned Lady Elizabeth Baern, who Galtar said she helped fight against Thamarite cult, and earned great respect with Caspia nobility.

After we left deluded Rhulic, we journey to estate of Lady Baern. Her manor was well kept from outside appearance, and we were granted entrance with letter of introduction. Inside we noticed paintings removed from wall, and areas covered from disuse. We were escorted to lounge room, and meet Lady. She was arrogant and deranged, similar to Galtar. After talks, with Diego using his Llaelese charm to seduce older woman, we found she did little to help against Thamarite cult other than bring to authorities attention. For such a small act, she believe she entitled to fame and recognition. Lady have similar disliking of High Mage Calstar, because he not give her credit for doing duty any citizen should perform. She mentioned High Mage took infernal candelabra after cult destroyed, giving her suspicions, though not uncommon for Fraternal Order to store items such as this. It appears Galtar and Lady Baern are two sandwiches in same picnic. She did lead us to a mage named Gabrielle Madigan.

With a few hours to spare, we went to Fraternal Order to meet Madigan. We were escorted to her quarters, and found woman in purple hooded robes and gloves. Lucian showed his distrust of her robes, and she removed her hood to show beautiful woman. Madigan told us she wanted merit for abilities, not looks. She was wary of us, but after some convincing, she told us that on adventure in Bloodstone Marches, she found ritual to destroy bound relic. This will be useful, but for her safety, told her to keep quiet about ritual and said we would need services in future.

We departed, and as exited the college, we met old “friend” Wolfe Scorleigh. We pretend we had been looking for him, to protect intent of meeting Madigan. He took us to his office were we talked, and eventually had open discussion. He upset we had not come to him for aid regarding relic, and said he also had ritual to destroy relic. Wolfe was happy to later vouch to High Mage he could perform ritual when it came time. This worked well for us to help protect Madigan, but I am suspicious one of these people is cultist, especially Wolfe as he knew too much about our dealings in city over past few days.

It was then time to prepare for evening at theater. We returned to Sancteum once more and changed to meet Lord Fenwick. Once again we were attacked by lone assassin, and Caleb and Mathias gravely wounded. Lucian provided covering fire as Diego and I assaulted building. We prevailed, but need to start taking these people alive for interrogation.

Due to recent ambushes, we take coach to Seaton’s Theater. We were escorted to booth where we met Lord Fenwick who was very cordial and friendly, good change from recent noble meetings. He provided good hospitality as we talked and planned, and agreed he would invite Maxwell Sadler to luncheon at “The Griffon”. We wanted to take advantage of merchant’s weakness to gain sort after information. After business resolved, we talked more and watched Llaelese play, then parted ways for evening.

As we returned to retire for evening, we found urchin waiting for us outside. He inform us mysterious lady was at “Hail of Bullets” for few hours now, and child upset he had to wait. It was time for us to quickly prepare to meet woman trying to kill us.

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Arasaka

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