After an uneventful night in Villa Nauripides the party woke and ate together as they continued their discussion about current events. Eventually they agreed to split up and pursue several different goals simultaneously. They also agreed to meet back at the villa in the early evening and share information and devise a more coherent plan.
Hunting the Hunter
Daqiq and Jax set out to do what they did best, learn about their prey and set a plan in motion to take him out. Today their prey was the templar Darian Haraxes who was responsible for the destruction of the Veiled Alliance in Balic. After Daqiq eliminated a minor templar guard and Jax assume her persona of a minor patrician, the pair entered The Praetorium and began to investigate. Through several conversations they learned the following…
- Since the recent election of Darian Haraxes he has been rising in influence among the ranks of the templars with his successful purge of the Veiled Alliance.
- His campaign against the Veiled Alliance began with applying pressure to businesses and individuals who were sympathetic to the Veiled Alliance and culminated three months ago following the removal of an Alliance member from the Ivory Dungeon.
- Haraxes likes to spend his off hours drinking at the Parched Throat in the Market Precinct. He also has a fondness for elven women.
- Since his success, there has been an increase in the number of elf murders. There are whispers, but nobody has been able to trace it to Haraxes.
- The monthly arena matches were set to begin in a week and many of the templars are likely to be in attendance at the games.
Lena and Way-lynn headed to the Guilder’s Precinct to look for weapons, armor and information about the current events in Balic and the other city-states. Lena stuck to the shops pretending to be a soldier of fortune and Way-lynn stuck to the drinking establishments attempting to learn any information that they could. After the day was spent, they learned the following…
- The threat of giants is believed to be a cover for other larger issues at work across the entire Tyr Region, as the crops are not ready for harvesting and that is the time for the normal incursions by giants from the Sea of Silt.
- Darian Haraxes spent a lot of good money hiring mercenaries to rough up merchants and shop owners who might be sympathetic to the Veiled Alliance. This undermining of their support structure helped to bring about their eradication.
- The upcoming games at The Criterion will feature a week-long event with many different daily events and registration will begin in a few days. The matches are deadly but have the potential to make the winners rich. The most influential templars and Andropinis himself usually attend the games near the end of the week.
- The Wounded Lirr, an inn, is a reputable location and Lena requested information about the availability of high-quality weapons be sent there for her.
Gwyn traveled to the Elven Market outside the Agora, to try and gather information about passage out of the city to the deep Sea of Silt. She found that the market was really a collection of peddlers and not a permanent establishment like the one in Nibenayshe grew up in. She was shocked at how shabby the merchandise was and for once realized why the elves had such a poor reputation. After carefully observing, she made contact with Karis, of the Wind Dancer tribe, and learned the following…
- Those looking for transportation out of the city via the Sea of Silt should go to the Furled Sail in the Harbor Precinct.
- The days of relatively easy access to the silt dromonds is over and all the under heavy guard in the Arsenal.
- The pirates, smugglers and merchant ships with psionically powered vessels stay away from Balic for fear of their ships being commandeered. As such only silt skimmers are available for hire.
The Veiled Alliance
Banoc went searching for any signs of surviving members of the Veiled Alliance. He was not hopeful, given the efficiency of the eradication, but there were some newer members, Sestus for one, who might have escaped based on their relatively unknown status. The Elven Market did not turn up any clues but he did find Sestus at the Sandtiger’s Tail, a seedy establishment used from time to time as a meeting point for Alliance members.
Although both men were somewhat reluctant to divulge too much information, Banoc was convinced that Sestus was a good man. As they talked, Banoc learned the following…
- During the purge the veiled alliance cells were systematically compromised and eliminated. The Alliance attempted to reorganize and scatter, but the templars were too efficient.
- Darian Haraxes had already laid a foundation in the businesses and applied pressure to discover the new cells.
- Rumors persisted that some of the Alliance members are being held in the Ivory Dungeon, but nobody knows for sure.
- Sestus was attending a meeting at the Nauripdes Villa when it was attacked. He was knocked out early in the fight and does not know what happened to Zaethias or Venithia. He is certain that he saw Ramphion taken down by the templars.
- Sestus has been hiding for the last few months and only just now started venturing out to look for other Alliance members.
- There is a meeting of Alliance sympathizers in the ruins of Mount Laeron and Sestus wanted Banoc to be there as a face of the Alliance and to provide hope. Banoc would not commit to the meeting as he wanted to check with his companions.
Jax and the others returned to the Villa while Daqiq stalked his prey inside the Parched Throat. After discussing the situation they agreed to head over to the Parched Throat and see if they couldn’t take out Haraxes tonight. While the others were at a nearby tavern, Jax assumed the form of an elven woman and went into the Parched Throat. This was not her and Daqiq first set-up and it worked well.
Darian Haraxes took a liking to Jax and after a while he suggested that they leave and go some place more quiet. Daqiq had set himself up on a nearby roof and was waiting to ambush the praetor. As the pair came out, and Daqiq drew his bow, something alerted the praetor to trouble and he quickly cast a protective spell, Daqiq’s arrow hit and hit hard, but the spell absorbed most of the damage. The fight became more complicated as two other rooftop assassins, likely guards of the praetor, started firing at Jax. Jax summoned her Sword of Tyr and she and Daqiq manged to finish off the praetor. There was a brief chase and exchange of arrows, but the other assassins were defeated.
Lena and the others arrived to help clean up and they put the praetor’s body in Gwyn’s bag. Feeling pleased with the justice they dispensed, the group was also suddenly rather nervous and eager to leave the city before they were found out. At Gwyn’s suggestion they headed to the Furled Sail to attempt find a way out of Balic and onto the Sea of Silt.
Fleeing the City
At the Furled Sail, Jax assumed the form of Darian Haraxes and stayed off to the side with Gwyn. Daqiq kept his distance acting as a look out in case they were followed. The rest made contact with Regulus, the captain of a silt skimmer who was available and able to take people out of the city with no questions asked. Unfortunately, although he was willing, his price was too high and he couldn’t be talked down to a an amount that the party could afford. However, there was another, more dangerous option – to steal a silt dromond from the Arsenal.
Regulus agreed to provide the crew for the ship, including a psion who would be able to power the helm and take the party into the Sea of Silt. The party agreed to steal the vessel and give it to Regulus. They decided the best course of action would be for Jax (still in the form of Darian Haraxes), Gwyn (posing as his companion) and Daqiq (in the templar guard attire) to make their way into the Arsenal. They felt that they could allow the others, Regulus and his crew into the Arsenal and steal a ship.
Given the urgency, they immediately headed for the Arsenal…