Captive… Again

Once we’re all gathered back up with Chirina, we decide we had better let her in on the whole mess. We start with the assassins and their contact and our plan to meet him at the bar. Remy tells her about his magic hat, because she can actually speak Italian, but she’s not particularly interested in getting mixed up with DiRudio’s business. Eventually, we give up hedging and just tell her about our magic. This goes as well as could be expected. She doesn’t run out and call the police, but she sure is scared of us now. I ask the Dawnmother to help out her uncle a little bit, and manage to heal some of his bedsores, but he is too far gone for much else.

We head out to the bar to wait for the contact that night, but no one shows. We say with Chirina and take watches that night, getting a good rest despite the cramped chambers. A nurse stops by in the morning to check on Uncle, and Remy and I go get groceries for breakfast. One more day at the bar, and one more day of nada.

Third times the (ill) charm? Day three, about a dozen men with red armbands approach the bar while we wait and head inside. Next thing I know, Gerhardt is being chased outside by several of them, who are beating him up. Dalish is calling for the constables, and Chirina is rushing inside. I try to get them off Gerhardt, but give up and head for the officers myself. They eventually get to the bar and start arresting people, including Gerhardt. Dalish and I follow them all as witnesses, but make up stories about not knowing what happened and they release us. Gerhardt is held for trial, they tell us.

Back at Chirina’s, we meet up with Remy who says they’d come in, knowing he was American and trying to get him to go with them. When he refused, a fight broke out, and they had guns, so it got a bit messy. Chirina goes outside to keep watch for any more of the men. She says they’re agitators for Sardinia, wanting Rome to give in to the Kingdom. Dalish says he has to check on Gerhardt the next day, so we make plans to head north after that. Hit the hot springs then head for DuRudio.

Dalish heads out early to check on Gerhardt. When he returns, it’s only with a message. Gerhardt was taken away by carriage in the night and is now being held in a nice room. While we discuss what this could mean, another message comes in. He’s an hour north of Rome by carriage, at an estate. I send back to him, asking for details of the route or the estate, and he manages to let me know a few landmarks to find him.

With Chirina’s help, we manage to get out of the city and up near the estate in question. Heyhey goes on a scouting run and sees a Lot of guards in the place, and on the walls, but the front gate is wide open. Inviting us into the trap. I let Gerhardt know we’re here, and he says his snake is scouting the building, and he has no windows in his room. Nat sends in her invisible eye to take a look around and finds two rooms she can’t get into. Gerhardt’s snake leads her to the smaller one where he is staying.

Remy and I sneak a bit closer, discussing whether he should go talk to the guards, or I should try to magic my way in. I’ve got a new spell and if the snake can get in and out, maybe it’s just protected against divination. He eventually agrees that I should try. I concentrate and try stepping through the air to the area Nat described to me. And end up outside the door, with a guard to either side.

I shout for Gerhardt to open the door and fight off the guards, mostly by dodging them. Gerhardt manages to get the door open, but one of the guards kicks him back inside, and then follows him in. More guards come rushing up and it becomes too much. I get grabbed up, gagged, bound, and tossed inside.

I ask Gerhardt what happened once he unties me, and he says that he met a guy in the prison who was also looking for the stolen plans. The guy said he’d give us a three day head start, but then Gerhardt was brought here. It doesn’t make any sense. I let Remy know that I got caught and they’ll have to make a new plan. The room is a private sanctum, so there’s no magicking us out.

Poisons and Useless Adults

Hey, guess what we did? Yep, more spell hunting. These guys are relentless, can they even Cast all these ridiculous things they want to find? I’ll go see if I can help, not much else to do around here if they’re all busy. Study, you say? Study what? It’s nearly Fall Break.

They are all convinced the Auditorium must hold more secrets, so we head back. There’s no tub for mana this time, thank goodness! Remy’s been a bit more touchy since the last time. They all scatter about, and I hang out near the stage. Dalish says there’s something else going on around the stage, but Maribeth is too afraid of getting boo-ed to go up there. Dalish goes and finds brooms, but then Klyce and Remy find some cue cards up in the rigging.

They spend a lot of time playing with those. Apparently if you write something on one, and an actor asks for his line, it appears on his hand. But no spell appears when they do this, so it has to be something else. They go around and around for awhile. Eventually writing the line “How do we find illusory script?” The voice in the audience answers that one, though. “Not like that.” They try writing “And then he discovered the magic spell.” This one works, and they get a spell, but I can’t see it. Besides, I’m too busy trying to find the voice in the audience, so I can sit in its seat.

Then Gerhardt finds magic on the balcony rail. This leads to some rather crazy behavior. Whispering on stage does nothing, but shouting and screaming from the balcony casts the silent spell. Only, it doesn’t appear anywhere for them. Remy breaks the railing and brings part of it down to see if it silences the voice, which it does, but still no spell. Then someone looks inside the railing tube, and notices it is written on the inside. The boys with pets send them inside so they can see the writing, but only two of the guys can do that. Klyce transforms his hands into claws and cuts open the tube so everyone else can get the spell.

We all check around the building some more, and just as we’re about to leave, Dalish remembers the brooms. He and Remy have a sword fight with them, and Dalish pretends to die. He gets Feign Death floating above his head. It takes Remy a couple tries to make the death look real. Klyce isn’t a good actor. Gerhardt tells a death joke about Socrates, and he gets both spells at once! Maribeth tries it with a ray of sickness, a cup and everything. I think she deserves the spell, but the stupid magic doesn’t.

When it’s time to head to Nat’s house, the school provides carriages and we ride out with no adult supervision. We ride all day until it gets dark and the horses get tired. So, we pull off and make a small camp. Some people sleeping on the ground, and the rest of us in the carriages. We argue about setting watches, after all we’ve been through, and eventually agree on who will watch.

Partway through the night, there’s a bunch of shouting. Brigands have come to rob us! Oh goodness! It’s terrible! Klyce tries to get them to leave, because we have magic and they don’t. But they already stabbed Dalish and shot a couple of people. I toss one in the air to try to help convince them to go, but they just don’t. When they’re all down, we start hearing hoofbeats. Lots of hoofbeats, so we get the horses to run! A bunch of natives come out of the woods and start chasing us and shooting at us, but we just keep running.

Nat got poisoned by an arrow, so we just keep pushing the horses until we get to town and head up to the family estate. The servants meet us at the gate and help carry Nat inside. Nat’s parents come down, and almost spill the secret before shuffling us off to bed. We’ve told them everything, surly the’ll take care of it.

But the dreams come again. Showing me a huge lake, with hills and fields. And it’s all pulsing, beating. To the north, I feel a weak, fast heartbeat, seperate from the ground. The voice comes again. “She approaches. Burning as the sun. She approaches. Long wither is broken. Fire and destruction. Death and rebirth. World without end.” The heartbeat vanishes. I know it’s Nat when I wake with a start. Nat’s in danger!

I run down and find Nat’s room. Kendrick and Mahalla and a doctor stand over the bed. Nat is really sick and will die, they tell me. Will die unless more of the poison can be gotten. I implore, but none of them seem willing to go risk their lives for Nat. I storm out, yelling at them that we’ll go do it, just keep Nat alive. It’s the middle of the night, though, we can’t go now. I go back to bed until morning.

Rousing at my usual time, I go down to meet everyone at breakfast, but most of them don’t show up. I fill Remy and Gerhardt in and we go find everyone else. It takes a lot to convince Maribeth to get out of bed, she did not fare well with our fight and flight to get here. Remy goes to pack everything we will need to travel. The rest of us talk to Mahalla about the natives in the area. They are called Cree and they are very ruthless and angry. Great… just great.

We head out, going back to our campsite and setting up watch for the night. Half-hoping that they’ll show up again, but they don’t. In the morning, Maribeth follows their tracks back into the forest, past warning signs of blood and bone, and out to a hilly plain, with a lake in the distance. I confirm this is where we are supposed to be. Maribeth knows a bit about these people, so she makes a little nature doll of the Green Witch to show our peaceful intent.

We start to head towards the village at the edge of the lake. The people come out and surround their homes, a drumbeat starts. I don’t like this, at all. Maribeth steps forward and a woman from the village matches her. Remy follows at a slight distance, and two men step out to match from the village. I step out to match their numbers, but two more step out, so I step back, and so do they. Maribeth meets the woman and they speak quietly for a bit. When she comes back, she tells us that the poison was not proper, and they are going to speak to the one who shot Nat.

We wait a long time before the woman reappears, and when she does, it is with an offer for single combat for the poison. We ask for details of what is allowed and are told anything for weapons, including magic. We have a bit of a fight over who will stand, mostly Remy fights, though no one is arguing with him. We decide on Remy and head forward. T’he’chak the wolf introduces himself and the fight begins. He’s a lot bigger and stronger than Remy, and eventually, even Remy’s magic cannot hold out. Klyce manages to shame T’he’chak into not killing Remy and we walk away.

The woman, however, stops us and takes Maribeth into the village to meet their witchwoman. When she returns, she has the poison we need, so we hurry back to Nat as fast as we can.