1 – Today, I had returned to Tomoe’s home as soon as I felt it appropriate; I must say the boys were concerned as I paced the apartment until 10 am. I arrived with a sheath of our reports which I’d been working with and was ushered within to meet with my spherical hostess. She accepted the reports with grace and we quickly returned to conversation; there was a calming ease between us that unmasked me, possibly simply because we were able to converse in the language of our shared homeland instead of Taldane. Indeed, at about noon, after discussing the way things were being run and what the jobs were, I removed my mask, thanking The Lady for the rest this young woman provided a weary mind.
Over tea I would explain everything to my compatriot: the guild doubling as my task force for the Voices, the concern about leadership or initiative, the increasing threat of the Hands of the Mystic Discordia… I realized later that she got pretty much everything I had never mentioned to others in the guild from me. I even mentioned Artanis and her ongoing attempts to gun for my work and files, and a small smile flitted across the halfling woman’s face for a moment. She, too, knew about having to account for another’s clandestine efforts against one’s own actions. It was extremely odd; for the first time since traveling to this continent, I conversed as “Riller”, not “Carrock”.
She, in turn, explained her slave master, her training master, her master’s obvious connection to what she now knows as the Hands, and began to explain about her plans for the future regarding her contracts, but stopped herself suddenly, shaking her fat-encased head and seeming to reprimand herself; “you never know who’s listening”.
Almost appropriately, at that very moment I was suddenly startled out of the extremely relaxed stupor of our conversation by the arrival of Roukan in the room, his hackles raised but his face quizzical. He began to speak, but sounds of someone running across the roof above us said as much for him. I sprung to my feet and had my sword out before the runner gained the window, yet it was only one of the agents I’d recruited for the Voices, a half-elf by the name of Marphazor, and he had his own daggers up, likely just in case of my attack… and yet, his daggers were already bloody. He was taken aback by the size of my companion for a beat, and also the sight of my naked face, before breathlessly telling me that Garric, another of our agents, had reported after several hours of silence that we were “blind” and that “it’s all come apart”. Thus, Marphazor had been told to fetch me to the guildhall posthaste, but had actually been attacked suddenly while en route to find me.
While I knew that Garric had an active imagination, the blood was a vibrant indication of things out of the ordinary. I donned my mask quickly and apologized for cutting the visit short, though my hostess simply sipped her tea and waved me off, saying that it was time for her exercises anyways. As I settled my gear and crossed to the window I asked if I should post a guard, but Roukan gave me a look that said that the question was somewhat off-putting, so I followed Marphazor out the window without another word. The weariness within my bones has weakened my vigilance, but the restful sleep I’d received has reawakened me. I don’t know how much rust I’ll have to work off my muscles, but I am prepared to face the challenges approaching. It would be good to get a bit of blood on my blades once more.
2 – As Marphazor and I traveled to the guildhall, I heard fireworks and saw the beginnings of a magical light show colouring the sky from the centre of town; I was not aware of any particular event happening, but a comment from a passerby filtering up the road toward the noise reminded me of a report that a bard troupe would be visiting; one claiming unforgettable events and setpieces. While pinching coin was the only thing I used to join such crowds for in the past, I had larger concerns and more readily-available money now. =A phrase is written in Tien here which roughly translates as “the wild dog starves and the tamed dog wears a chain”= Nonetheless, it did indeed seem to be drawing a massive crowd, and in the short time it took me to reach the guildhall from Tomoe’s apartment in the dusk light, the streets were nearly empty. Curious.
The guildhall was relatively quiet, and Marphazor left me at the entrance; more runners must be roused and notified. I continued up the stairs in haste; I hate being unaware of what’s happening, and too many things felt just out of reach. Ascending to the Roost, I found my office in chaos. Garric, a young halfling of a somewhat excitable disposition, quickly caught me up on the situation: while researching local event rumors, he had put several reports together which had a theme, seeing the pattern which I had missed in my stress: an event was planned involving this very guild, but the details were light. He needed help digging through the reports to put it together, and right away! I was not about to argue with him.
As we worked, Garric spoke of what he knew so far, and that only one of his pieces of the pattern had mentioned this very day. We began to pull reports, and as we filled in the situation, a sort of tense dread began to fill the room, as though we were already too late. Ice… necromancy… artifact?? While Garric was confused about such details, I was near panic; precious few people knew about the artifact, but pieces were coming together that spoke to the fact that more than I’d hoped were aware of its existence… and its presence within the guildhall.
The jig, as the humans around here say, was up. I jumped to my feet at the first explosion; it wasn’t fireworks anymore… a siege stone had impacted a neighbouring building, and there was screaming. I raced to the door and down the stairs, very nearly bowling over Artanis in the process. She wanted… paperwork? A new guild member…? I hurriedly told her I didn’t have time, and brushed past her and her guest; we needed to get after the current emergency! The woman always had a confusing set of priorities, and it was not the moment to indulge an obsession.
3 – … I suppose that’s pretty much all I’ve got: we’re under attack by mercenaries, likely hired by the Hands or possibly another one of the many enemies we’ve created, and there appears to be some sort of… siege taking place. The guildhall was being bombarded with rocks, and Varro and I found and roundly abused a man trying to break into the vault, who told us, under great pain, of the general details of the plan. We eventually recovered a sort of spotter’s ring from another of our attackers captured by Screech; using it, we were able to convince the siege crews that they were missing the guildhall, but we shortly thereafter discovered ourselves to be trapped within a sort of pyramid of force which now surrounds the town, so it appears that our options are quickly being narrowed down to “fight”. There was a revelation that the event was intended to trick and trap us in particular and that they wanted the orb… and this sylph; some manner of hopeful new recruit who shows up right as we enter what will likely be the greatest trial we (and likely Oregent) has ever faced. She picked a hell of a time to step up, and I don’t trust her.
… The mayor has requested our presence tomorrow, but for now… I am exhausted. We shall see if I can sleep; winding down by writing in my log hasn’t helped me relax, but it’s a different sort of tired than the usual.