The Pakthryxl Proxy

First Steps on the Spire
More than meets the Eye: Halflings

After casting the foolishly confident Kaoth Saumeth into the sea, a momentary, lingering regret was felt; he was still wearing his full plate. Fifteen hundred gold pieces worth of shaped steel, it was a costly mistake. Lesson learned; before kicking future well-clad Scarnetti lackeys into the depths, strip them of their gear.

Waste not, want not.

That done, only Hebrind, a Mordant Spire Elf, remained. He yielded little information of use. The value of his continued life was argued for a time, eventually leaving him bound and below-decks on the VII. The next question was what to do with the elven schooner, the “Moon Dust”. There were many options, many avenues, but none seemed clear. The Scarnettis had a two-day lead on the VII, and had warned the elves of its approach and likely intentions. The elves would be expecting the VII on the east side of the Spire, but not the west. Taking the long route would add several days to the journey. Can they make use of this new ship or its lone survivor? After interminable debate, a plan was forged.

Tebrilith would take the “Moon Dust” to the Mordant Spire port with a stirring fiction of how the ship was attacked by pirates, and how they had just barely escaped with their lives. Lorenz, Myrrh, Hilig, and the three recently freed Halfling slaves, Werra, Faleth, and Kia would accompany her. Lorenz and Peril used their magics to disguise themselves as elves, and Peril’s more potent illusions cloaked nearly the ship entire. The halflings would remain as they were, and would have remained aboard the VII, if not for the fact that the Moon Dust could not be crewed without them. Myrrh would remain hidden until the time came.

So it came to pass, the battered elven ship came to harbor at the Mordant Spire,. The two “elves” giving such a performance as to leave no doubt in any heart. Leaving Peril and the halflings at the ship, Lorenz set out to charm a suitably secluded docking site out of a local, while Myrrh skulked through the shadows, searching for any clues to their imprisoned quarry. Lord Vestin ended his search with an elf named Suviel, willing to reveal a certain cove for a price. Though undoubtedly unscrupulous, this elf was also more cunning than Lorenz was used to.

Vestin, left alone by the ambitious elf, sent one of his recently purchased feather tokens out to the waiting VII, far out at sea, instructing it where to go to avoid detection by the ubiquitous elven fleet. The seaborne skill of Aven and the Hole Maker together were able to chart a course to the cove without incident or detection. Meanwhile, Goethe kept busy transcribing the spellbook contents of the obliterated wizard from the Moon Dust. Myrrh made his way up a large hill to the northwest.

His message sent, Lorenz had several hours until the VII’s arrival. Returning to the harbor to check on the Moon Dust, only to find it and its crew gone, Vestin sighed. After helping to free Yigorin Slate from the Spire, Peril was take the Moon Dust as payment for her trouble and trouble them no more herself. Leaving prematurely, without notice, with Hilig, the VII’s cook/assassin, and the three other halflings was not included in that deal.

An aggravated Lorenz later gathered that apparently the adult female halfling, “Werra”, had been the one in charge, barking orders before casting off. Also, the female elf and male halfling were white as fresh sails and nervous. Despite their acumen and experience, it appeared they had been had. Halflings… Yet, all was not lost. They still had one card to play. He made his way back to the cove.

Up the hill, Myrrh enjoyed kinship with shadows. He knew not where the path he followed led, but its significance was supported by the guard stationed there. Focusing his mind, his image folded into nothingness, and he was beyond sight. Not sound however, as he made his way past the guard and onto a rope bridge to unknowns beyond, an unlucky twig revealed his presence, if not his location to his perceptive pursuer. The whistle from the elf guard was unmistakable. He’d been discovered, if not found, and he’d be visible again soon. “Later”, he resigned to himself, and withdrew to the harbor to report on his findings.

Lorenz and Myrrh looked on as the VII made anchor. The news of the Moon Dust’s departure was disconcerting, however the sliver of hull Goethe sliced off earlier and the arcane spell “Track Ship” alleviated a few concerns, if not all. That score would be settled, eventually. It was getting late, but it was decided a midnight tour of the dock’s waterholes might provide some information.

One tavern remained open and busy. Lorenz, still the handsome elf, and Myrrh, again the handsome human, entered first, and were welcomed well enough. Staying behind a moment to distance his social stigma from his partners, Goethe entered later, leaving Blatz to stand watch invisibly on the tavern’s roof. Reskafar and Aven joined Goethe at his table. Their reception was as Goethe expected, although it seemed the Undine was only guilty by association.

Leaving the social dance to its practitioners, Goethe ordered a bottle of wine for himself, and started his evening. It had been a long week at sea. Myrrh slid skillfully into the graces and conversation of a human/elf pair of businessmen, gathering gossip. Lorenz earned the good will and thanks of a lone elven guard, standing watch outside the tavern, without drink to warm his belly until elf Vestin arrived with good tidings. Both managed rather well, especially the Auditor, as he may have snared a better lead on Slate’s whereabouts.

Goethe however, having perhaps one drink too many, lost his patience. In an attempt to slip the fate of would-be treasure-hunters out of an elf server, he ended up debating history with the haughty elf. The kobold encouraged the struggle, in hopes of further entertainment. As the pitch raised and the wizard nearly got the three kicked out, Myrrh stepped in to calm nerves and sooth egos. The left soon after, making their way back to the VII, and to sleep.

It was late, and after Goethe made clear the historical inaccuracies about which the elf waiter was mistaken, the others related the information gathered throughout the night, and began their plans for the morrow.

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"Fish"

It turns out cannons are very effective at taking the heads off of people. Unfortunately, the other ship is full of cowards who would rather hide than face their own deaths like men. The holey one had to bring the ship in close so I could go on board and finish them off. Goethe used his magic to make me a giant, so I could more easily cleave my foes in half.

When it was all said and done, there were only 2 people left. One of the elves, and some noble guy (it’s so hard to tell humans apart). Even the skilled Vestin was not able to get any useful information out of either of them.

However, when trying to grovel for his own life, the noble made a big mistake. He called me a “fish” man. Now, I didn’t mean to actually kill him at first, I merely wanted to make him fear for his life, then rescue him at the last moment. His mouth wouldn’t allow this to happen. Insult after insult spewed from his mouth, and in the end, while hanging from the railing from the ship he insulted Myrrh. I really thought he’d be able to swim back to the ship…

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Mordant Spire in View!!!
Annihilate the Elves!

What was left of the Salt Spray’s crew were more than helpful in loading their two best cannons on to my ship. What choice did they have after seeing how strong my crew and ship are in battle? After stripping everything of use from the Pirate Queen’s ship we were off. I am looking forward to our fight with the Pirate Queen. I am certain she will catch wind of our battle and vow revenge. That’s what I would do if I was her.

We traveled without incident for almost a whole day! I guess we did sail into a Aspis Consortium merchant ship with some nice wares. We traded the two Salt Spray cannons for two smaller ship cannons to save space on the top deck. Lorenz bought some halfling slaves for some reason. In the the twilight hours I spotted a ship with mysterious sails behind us a ways. I decided to try and let that ship sail past us in the midnight hours. We ran silent and dark until morning while I tracked the other ship by spyglass. I lost contact with the other ship in the darkness. The sunrise brought us two surprises. First, the Mordant Spire is in view. Second the mysterious ship was between us and the spire. If that ship was’t looking for us it should of been much farther away. I don’t back down from a fight and decided to sail straight for the Spire. We can’t afford to waste anymore time on the sea.

As we neared the strange ship it became clear to me it was a Mordant Spire elf ship. I knew we were going to encounter them but I was not expecting them this far from the Spire. They hailed us as we got closer. Those pale skinned bastards immediately demanded us to disembark our ship and let them seize it. Lorenz tried to talk sense with those aloof weirdos but they only responded with an opening salvo of arrows nearly killing him. Well fuck those elves! I pulled the lever of the fiend’s mouth cannon hidden in the prow figure head. I ordered the ship to blow the fucking head off the elf sorcery barking orders.

If I go down I am going down in flames

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A Pirate Parley
There is no honor among thieves.

Maybe that reptile isn’t so bad, for a pirate. It seems like they have little to no honor and soon no ships at all. The Pirate Queen’s fleet seems to be dwindling.

We met with intentions for earnest negotiations but it seemed that was not to be. Thanks to my leadership and Aven’s capable hands we took the captain by force. It seemed the captain had intentions of sinking our vessel and feeding us to a number of sharks.

Thankfully with the captain in hand negotiations could begin anew. With the first mate serving as chum and the captain detained the ships spiritual leader was now in charge. It seemed that the majority of the pirate crew had little interest in pirating. I took it upon myself to give them a fresh job offer. For removal of their less honorable companions there lives would be spared and they would be welcome to ferry the Church’s vessel safely back to Magnimar.

In order for fair dealings with no intimidation I was forced to remove the captain from the bargaining table and allow the crew to negotiate amongst themselves. While we had to settle a few arguments among the men we were able to hire on roughly half the crew as ferrymen for the vessel.

After a brief exchange of niceties the hired men were off and we were back on our way to the spire. Hopefully the elves are more open in their dealings.

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Come Sail Away with Me...

Before we set out to sea, there was one more loose end that needed to be taken care of. Ms. Peril. Lorenz took point in the conversation. With us having the leverage, it was agreed upon to take her onboard as a crew member, with minimal cost to our gold level. I am sure the cost will be far greater before our time with her has finished.

With that taken care of, and the Deep Current outfitted, it was time to finally set sail. I am thrilled to be gone from this place. I’ve been a little too comfortable showing my true self around here. I am putting myself in potential peril (I can only assume her name fits her way too well) by revealing it. Hopefully, by the time we have set sail and returned, the stories will have all blown over. Sadly, I am linked to this Valdemar ship, so there is more problems with that. I should have thought more clearly.

Leaving the dock was not without its own set of problems. As we were navigating from the harbor, a ship was coming into the area far too fast for anyone’s good. It seemed to be lined with us, if a ferry had not been in the way. There was a collision and many people were spilled into the bay. We hesitated on whether or not we want to get involved. Finally, aiding the people in the water won out in our minds. The ship that hit the ferry looked to be attacked by pirates and the captain did not survive the impact. After successfully rescuing us, a group of nobles who watched the whole ordeal from afar, came to us and lavished us with goods and praise. They wanted to throw us a celebration for our accomplishments. Kaledith soaked up the praises and exaggerated them further. Lorenz, trying to deflect the attention about us and the Scarnetti’s, humorously mentioned than him and Kaledith were an item. This did not go over too well with our half benefactor. The nobles, as annoying as they can be did give us information that Gradon Scarnetti had already sailed a couple of days ahead of us and might be seeking revenge.

Finally we were on the seas. We were intercepted by a naval vessel looking for pirate activity. They began to search our ship. It was found out that there was a pirate captive, one of Peril’s former crew, on board their ship. He began to go crazy hearing the voice of Ms. Peril. This caused concern from Captain Bardomma. He began to quiz us all. I was unable to convince him and we wanted me to meet up with the pirate. I played the noble card and said I found it beneath me for such trivial things. He agreed. He still wanted the pirate to hear our women’s voices. I quickly grabbed drinks and attempted to change Peril’s voice with some extra ingredients in her drink. It worked and we were free to depart.

A couple of days later, on the horizon… we feel we have spotted pirates!

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The one where the Kobold tries to make more holes....in a person.
What did I get myself into?

So I guess we decided to turn Thrul in. I dunno why, my team seems to trust the legal system. Idiots. Myrrh, Reskafar and I took on the task of bringing Thrul in while Lorenz and Goethe forge some document to “prove” we own the Sea Dragon now.

On our way out, Thrul gave Reskafar a dirty look, and like any sane person Reskafar shot Thrul right in the chest. I quickly disarmed the situation, and we were on our merry way. What kind of people did I make a deal with?

Luckily Thrul is a trooper and bore the wound while we trekked across the city without even a peep of complaint. I’m starting to respect Thrul more. After we made contact with the city guard Reskafar heads back to the ship. I guess guards freak him out.

At the prison we see how much our reward will be. At first the guard, Baymar Uleadien, claims he didn’t see any mention of Thrul in their documents; but after a “small donation” he all of a sudden found the paperwork, and we were entitled to the 500 gold reward. It’s these types of deal that make me despise all government fat cats. Myrrh then asked about Peril, and it seems that she does have a reward on her head, but doesn’t always go by the same name. Good to know.

While Myrrh and I were getting our reward, the hole maker was poking around the Sea Dragon and found a locked compartment in the mast. When we got back to the ship Reskafar showed this to Myrrh (with some difficulty) and Myrrh was able to unlock it after a bit of trying. It turns out the big secret of the Sea Dragon is that the figurehead housed a cannon in it. I wonder if we could afford to put this on the 7.

While Myrrh was taking his sweet time to unlock the compartment Goethe and I went to do a thorough inspection of the 7. While inspecting the hold I was able to find a secret panel that was holding something Goethe called “midnight milk” which was some sort of drug I guess.

It was at this point that the 7 needed to be attuned to the hole maker. We took the ship out to sea, because apparently the process is complicated or something? Well it turns out that it’s actually violent, and everyone was able to hold on except me, which threw me into the sea. I tried to calm down the ship by talking to it, but it wasn’t listening. I’m not sure what all happened up top, but it must have been pretty bad since they didn’t even try and save me.

So with most of the big preparation done, we went to visit Kaledith to renegotiate our contracts. When we got there she presented a gift to us: a cannon that can make a rope bridge so we can easily get onto an island with a sheer cliff face. This didn’t change her position with us, and after some negotiation we changed the deal of the contract to 30% goes to her, and 70% goes to an even split among the rest of us.

At this point, she was a bit reluctant to go with us. She wasn’t getting as much of the treasure as she would like, and wasn’t able to bring her horse. She wanted to see the ship before she made her final decision though. After stepping foot on the boat and seeing the master cabin she decided she was going to come with.

I think all we need to do is make some final trips to the market to get our last supplies, and we’ll be on our way. Finally.

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A man swims; a woman runs.
...a noble lies.

Peril bolted just as Thrul reached the docks, sprinting into the bustling chaos of the city. After bringing Thrul to unconsciousness, Aven tied up the pruned brute while Myrrh and Goethe gave chase after the woman. The woman was fast, and frightened, but beyond both perhaps, skilled in stealth. Tiefling and Kitsune made their way deeper into the city, prying information from bystanders; Myrhh excelled while Goethe alarmed.

At the Sea Dragon, Aven, Lorenz, and Reskafar took the mauled barbarian inside. Aven opted to stay inside and keep an eye on their captive, perhaps because he enjoyed the feel of a ship, or because he planned to kill him after the others left. These thoughts gave Lorenz pause for a moment as he and the kobold made their way back outside to follow the others. Tracking Goethe was far easier than than tracking the woman.

Minutes later, the four find one another; the woman was gone. It was a minor loss. Lorenz was certain they would see the woman again. Resigned, the group returned to the Sea Dragon to interrogate Bulumbar Thrul.

Returning belowdecks, the five truly see the beast they have wounded. A massive man, no, not a man, a half-elf, the largest any of them had ever seen. The graceful and lithe biology of the elves was lost on this half-breed. They quickly gather they would dare not face this one at his best. As his wrinkled, pickled skin displayed, he’d been at sea for days, swimming. Hard to imagine the rage, fortitude, or both, that would allow such extreme exertion.

Checking his bonds one more time, Lorenz used some of his divine magic to heal Thrul to consciousness. Over the interrogation, the true tale of Peril’s acquisition of the ship came to light. Using illusion, Peril made a powder barrel appear on fire and ready to blow, thus convincing Thrul and the rest of the crew to jump ship. With only herself, or a skeleton crew loyal to her remaining, she made sail to Magnimar to sell her deceit-bought ship as quickly as possible.

Thrul’s rage could still be seen through his exhaustion. He pleaded for them to kill her, or to let him do the same. He hid it well enough, but there was also fear, fear that the Pirate Queen would hear of his failure, and also hear of Peril’s wit. Neither option pleased him. That was the sort of thing the Queen would respect, perhaps even reward. His reward, however, would be less savory. What remained to be decided by his captors was to either turn him in for potential bounty, or kill him and be done with it.

After leaving him to contemplate his fate in the bowels of the Sea Dragon, the crew remembered something they would learn to regret in several minutes; they had not asked to see the map that Kaledith Sevardomos had claimed to possess at their first meeting. After perfunctory greetings and questions of progress, they wasted no more time, “Might we see this map, Kaledith?”

After much avoidance of the question, they forced the truth from her. The map is held by a family friend, a man named Yigorin Slate. Also, that man is being held captive by the elves of the Mordant Spire. We will have to free that man to retrieve the map, so that we may continue our voyage.

This was not the arrangement. She lied to us. Our agreement was not made in good faith.

A renegotiation is in order.

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Kobold Got a Boat

The mysterious Golemworks guildmages upheld their end of the bargain. There was lots of talk about gold, magic, and rigging but all that matters is I got a boat. That super sleek barely been in the sea, ship, is going to be mine. I can’t go into the details but that ship is going to be like my new pet magic parrot or some shit like that. Anyways its mine since I am the only one with enough kalith and niguntikis. I still don’t get why we couldn’t get the ship to fly or at least glide. I am thinking I should name it Reskafar’s Roost.

The others had more dealing after we agreed to a price for improvements to my boat. Where do my new crewmates find the stamina to go to endless meetings? We met Tebrilith Peril by her ship the Sea Dragon. Lorenz offered to buy her ship with church money and the audacity to invite her on to the crew. Before I could protest because I didn’t know this munthrek bitch, she screamed when she saw something large in the water. A crazed half-elf man was swimming as fast as a shark straight for us. She panically accepted the deal in exchange for us taking down the half-elf Thrull. No scales off my back to shoot a man in the water!!! Aven and I made quick work of the wounded man. With his dying breath he yelled, “Don’t trust the bitch she stole my ship!!!”. We all turned and gave Lorenz the stink eye for inviting a ship thief on to the crew. She is not going to steal my boat that is for damn sure.

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The Auction
For the right price...

Goethe went through the day in his mind. The invitation had been unexpected, but highly enticing, a solicitation to join a search for wealth, treasure from an ancient and shattered continent, Azlant. The land was broken, its fortunes less so. However, only fools take such paths unprepared.

The meeting was held at a “Capatin’s Club” near the Magnimar shore. There were two humans, both charming, but one far beyond the spectrum of typical men, an Undine, and a brash kobold. Their would-be patron, Kaledith Sevardomos, laid out her intent. She had a map, and wealth equal to their combined investment, whatever that may be. It was fortuitous there were charmers better than Goethe at the table or the 60%/40% split could have ended much more unfavorably for the “investors”. After little talk, Kaledith asked Lorenz to draw up a contract, and for the rest to be ready within a week.

The remaining day and night were spent investigating ships, being threatened and fought by Scarnettis, hatching plans, and making deals. It was an eventful day.

Waking the next morning, Goethe began his preparations. He was confident in his plan, and its supposed outcome. He only tired of the fact this spell was of the enchantment school. He smiled at the irony of its usefulness now. Gathering with Aven, Saar, and Xurkwa… the Hole Mak.. (Goethe had not figured out how to refer to the kobold, as he spoke Draconic. Referring to a sentient as “Hole Maker” did not sit well with the tiefling)..the kobold, Goethe cast a Message spell so they might stay in communication during the auction. Saar assured Goethe that he would be an utterly different man at the auction. Goethe could trust the man this far; they both had their gold tied into their next actions. Saar disappeared, and the rest made their way to the harbor.

After some time, Goethe announced to any passers-by that he would now begin another demonstration of practical magic, and educate the interested in its mysteries. As a small, artless crowd gathered to watch and to argue, Goethe smiled and slowly made his way to the auction. It was at this time that Lorenz was enjoying a moment with Gradon Scarnetti and the law, taking the family head away from the auction and giving his companions greater opportunity. Though this is another story.

In the shadows, Saar became Myrrh, the Kitsune none knew him to be. Aven passed in the open daylight, an honest sailor looking to bid. The kobold slinked in and out of every hiding space in his path. All three made their way to the auction, one in light, one in shadow, one in between. The fiendspawn instructed on the arcane with reverence as the three settled into place.

As the auction begins, a passing wizard and his entourage stop, “This is a suitable place to stop. I do enjoy the breeze. Now, as I was saying about Necromancy…”, the tiefling rambles on, “Besides, these auctions can be entertaining.”

First, the Crab Cage: 2,000 gold? No? 1900? Yes! Do I hear 2000? Yes! 2100?

“That’s enough of that”, thinks the tiefling. As he casts his enchantment from near the edge of the spell’s range, the cue for his “raven” to appear is made. Poof! “I have made my invisible raven visible again, you see. This is very helpful for those who care deeply for their pets.”
The other bidder seemed to utterly lose interest in the ship, seemingly defeated.

The Crab Cage had been won by Aven for the measly sum of 2200 gold, a victory for their party. The hard part had come. As Lorenz had arranged, Graydon was not here, merely some lower member of his house, and the muscle behind the party’s previous intimidations, name unknown. Goethe had never seen this man before, but Myrrh informed him of his actions. Goethe almost smiled.

“We will start this bid at 22,600!”, the auctioneer bellowed. As it was the real auction of the day, many nobles bid earnestly and highly for the Valdemar VII, but none more fiercely than the Scarnetti man. As the bidding neared 30,000 gold, Goethe knew it was time. Casting his esoteric enchantment once again, his “raven” blinked away,

“…and so our pets can be shielded once again from prying eyes.”

The Scarnetti bidder, seemingly burdened by some terrible thought, refused to bid further. Even though his muscular companion manhandled him and nearly shook him dead in the interim, the little man would bid no more. The VII was won, at the reasonable price of 32,000 gold. The “muscle” cast the bidding paddle to the ground, shattering it. He stormed off, fuming.

It would not be a lie to say Goethe was pleased. In 30 minutes, his party had managed to not only buy a suitable ship, but ensure that their plans would mature. The Valdemar VII was theirs, the Valdemar family was in their debt. The Golemworks would be pleased the Apparatus was acquired successfully, without suspicion, at a lesser cost, and would repay them with animation magics on their new ship. In addition, they had deftly evaded the suspicion of the Scarnetti.

Besides, the Scarnetti tried to intimidate (and stab) us first, so really, fuck those guys.

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Game 0.1
Ambush on the way to church

The information of the value of the cargo of the Crab Cage, it was decided to use this to our advantage. Lorenz, Goethe, and I went to the Golem Works to get an audience with the principal acquisitioneer. Lorenz spoke with the mage in the guard post. The words and aura about Lorenz just makes people do whatever he wants them to do. It is an impressive talent. Is it an internal, learned strength, or is there something magical about that man. It did not take too long for the guard to fumble over himself and go and get a Half-orc mage, Garash.

Few words were exchanged between them, and we were invited in to have a conversation. I would like to consider it a conversation, but there was far more being said in the silence than what was spoken. Lorenz passed a note to Garash with an amount for our silence or support for them to get the Crab Cage. Garash did not appreciate this amount and there were offers and counter offers. Finally, an offer to animate our future ship was intriguing enough for us to talk this through. Sadly, none of this really means anything to me. Goethe seemed to think that the offer is more than generous for our help. It was decided upon, and we were told that we would get a decision early in the morning from the Golem Works. Prior to leaving, Garash gave us a note with a seal to hand to any of the mages of the Golem Works that would stop them from attacking us. It seems the Scarnetti’s have already visited here and received aid from them. This family is becoming more and more annoying to our goals.

Goethe left to do some preparation for tomorrow morning. Lorenz had a couple of places to stop at, so I decided to trail him for safety purposes. It was a fine decision. One of the Golem Works’ mages appeared in the middle of the street. He did not seem to notice either of us. While we were paying attention to the mage, a Halfling attacked Lorenz from the shadows. I sprang into action and stabbed the Halfling in the back. The mage attacked me with a stream of acid that continued to burn. Lorenz immobilized the thief while I attempted to wave off the attack with the letter we received from Garash, the golem mage. Lorenz delivered the note while I continued to stick the Halfling. I was ready for him to pay for attacking us. The mage read the note and backed away leaving the fray. The Ogre-ish intimidator from the bar came onto the scene, but Lorenz was able to make him turn tail and leave with but a word. Very impressive.

The guard was on its way and I felt it time to fuck right off after dropping the halfling on the ground via his face. I left Lorenz to the guard and headed to a safe house to see what amount of capital I may be able to scrounge up for the auction tomorrow. I did not get as much as we may need, but it should be helpful.

We all circled back to Geothe’s place to continue to discuss what is necessary for the morning. I believe Lorenz may have more to say about the halfling and his dealings with the guard.

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