Second day at Mistra. I hadn’t thought it possible but somehow even more happened today than yesterday. I’m taking a brief time now before resting to write it down. I must confess, I am so hyped from battle that sleep is far from my mind. My hope is that scribbling it all down helps settle my brain. To begin with, we started the day with a meeting in the navigation chambers. The primary purpose was to discuss who was entering the duels and spending the credits earned from the Arcanum. It was agreed that we would split up and later meet in the afternoon for the shopping. For whatever reason, it seems that most of my crewmates have things to attend to on shore. Sadly I had no such agenda of my own. (After Zorotoro’s mishap with a local gang yesterday, it was decided that travelling in groups would be best. Safety first, an adage my father would be proud of.)
Zorotoro had some errand to run at the Arcanum’s acquisitions office. I decided to tag along to ask this so called expert about the Spirit Throne. (Let’s be honest, when it comes to the arcane I’m grasping at straws. Anything this man might be able to tell me would be a massive help.) The Master Adele was surprisingly cooperative. Of course he dismissed the Spirit Throne as common folklore but since we (the crew of the Gilded Marauder) had proved adept at retrieving another piece of folklore (that malicious axe from Abraaxis) the Master Adele tasked us with bringing other such items to him. He even gave us a book that detailed famous relics throughout the ages and possible locations. Part of me is giddy. It reminds me of being young in the mines and looking for buried treasure with my brother. (The most we ever found were some old glass bottles, but it was treasure to us none-the-less)
But then I wonder if each relic in this book is like the Spirit Throne. Powerful and dangerous. Or worse yet, if each relic also has a tragic story behind it. In the end it matters not. I know what must be done. I trust this Arcanum with most items, they seem like honorable sorts for magic users. But there is only one course of action if I find the Spirit Throne. It must be destroyed. At any price. I vowed to Uncle Leaf-Beard that I would do it, and I shall. Even if it destroys me in the process.
After that meeting we got to go to some odd supply house for the Arcanum and go shopping. Normally I’m not the sort to enjoy such frivolous things but this was amazing. Every sort of scroll, potion, wand, and weird doodad you could imagine was there. And thanks to a more than generous payment for returning Fang we had enough money to deck out the ship and a little extra for each of us. (Maru purchased these bizarre lights for the boat. They remind me of will’o wisps but in a pleasant way.) It was so hard for me to decide what to buy. After much serious deliberations I decided on a rather sharp looking belt that will improve my strength, this amazing folding boat-thingy, a few potions, a new satchel for carrying things (my old one had gotten ratty), and a book on lay lines. There were some spiffy boots I wanted but sadly none were my size. (This town is not what I’d call dwarf friendly.)
Eh, my hand cramps as I write this. I warned you journal, that today was long. I haven’t even gotten to the point where I fell from the sky onto some overdressed mercenary. (That comes soon) After shopping, there was a bit of downtime which I used to read my newly acquired tome of lay lines. I’m starting to understand it a bit more. It seems that magic, much like metal, exists in veins. Except you can’t really see it. Sometimes though you can tap into it, similar again to mining just with different tools. Isn’t the world a magnificently complicated place? Just when I think I know what I’m doing, some large new thing gets chucked in my path.
At the end of the day it became known that Maru has been causing quite the ruckus around town. Not only was she attacked in broad daylight, but she found a corrupt town guard, killed him, and laid a trap for Crotan. (He was that scary rat-thing that worked with the Shankhill Butchers) We found ourselves sneaking towards the trap with those orcs we picked up a few ports ago. Can’t say I was terribly pleased, but no one asked me. (The orcs seemed eager to fight but I can’t help but think they’d be just as eager to do us in.) When we arrived at the designated ambush point there were already 2 guards at the door. Tadakechi shifted to the form of a bird, stole a guard’s hat, and led them on a merry chase away from the area. I broke down the door and the rest of us rushed in. It was pure chaos. Apparently the town guard were working with mercenaries who were working with the Butchers, and they were all trying to ambush us. Everything afterwards went by very fast. The orcs went one way and took out the mercenaries (and looted everything in sight) while Maru & I knocked unconscious more town guards and dispatched a few mercs ourselves. Eventually we were able to eliminate the immediate threat.
There was 1 floor we had not cleared. Using the armor that Leaf-Beard gave me, I was able to float my way to the roof. It was then that I realized how elaborate a set-up this had been. Not only were there droves of men to fight, but they had set up archers at the windows, and trap doors for easy escape. We have made some serious enemies. Regardless I focused on the task at hand. Tadakechi had come with me. We opened one of the trapdoors on the ceiling and rushed in to attack the scum left on the last floor. (Earlier in the evening I had discovered a new way to thwart opponents. Go into my leaf form, float above a doorway, wait for someone to go under me, and drop on them like a cave in! It’s perverse how much fun it is…) Utilizing the same trick, I phased out of my leaf form and dropped onto this fancy dressed man. It was a very bloody fight. The room was filled with much better trained people than we had encountered before. We lost a few orcs. I had gotten rather injured myself from dueling the stranger. Then out of nowhere Aneesha steps forth, casts some strange thing on the man so that he was paralyzed, and then shot him with her pistol. The battle ended very quickly. (Something about having a dead master makes everyone surrender. I find this level of cowardice amusing. If we, the Others I mean, gave up every time our Captain was knocked unconscious… ) Two mercenaries joined the crew and the orcs looted some more. At this time we remembered we had to finish setting up an ambush for Crotan.
I volunteered to sit by myself in the building opposite the one we had just cleared out. There was a crossbow waiting for me in the window and a very good vantage point. Aneesha and Tadakechi tried to set up an oil trap (the idea would be to fence in Crotan with fire) but sadly they didn’t have enough time to finish. The nefarious Crotan skulked down the alley. A few shoddy looking would be Butcher recruits were behind him. Somehow he saw me. Heart racing I had to quickly decide to fire upon him early and spring the trap or see if he would continue down the alley where everyone else waited for him. Without any hesitation I took my shot and fired. The bolt landed into his arm. At once, my traveling companions sprang into action. We made short work of that odious man. While inspecting the body we made a surprising discovery. It wasn’t Crotan at all! Those double-crossing, sneaky butchering bastards had tricked us yet again! Someone noticed a figure on the roof watching us. Zorotoro dashed up there and found nothing but a note. We set the warehouses on fire and disappeared into the night. Back on the ship we looked over the note. It was from a threat from the governor we had ousted on Sparrow’s Head. Not only does he head the Butchers but he’s quite displeased that we’ve given him so many problems. Ha! If that scoundrel thinks that threatening us will make us desist he has another thing coming.
Tomorrow the duels start but I wonder what other things we have set into motion.