Codex III-Chapter 4

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Orensland managed to snag the grappling hook on the first try. Both he and Jenika managed to scramble up it easily, the monk actually climbing up faster than the rogue. Balanced atop the wall, Orensland repositioned the hook and then slid down the rope, landing softly in the alleyway. His monk companion landed just as silently a moment later.

It appeared that they had made it into the Sendylus’ guild’s compound without detection. Hardal had been right. The number of guards had decreased substantially earlier that evening. The patrols were the same, it’s not like the place was unguarded, but Orensland was sure that there would not be reinforcements if they were discovered. Rynn’s suggestion on the timing had been the right choice. The others would be leaving the city in an hour or two. He and Jenika were on their own.

Eryx (DM)
As you can tell, I’ve decided to split up the groups goings-on into their own chapters. We’ll see how well this turns out. I hope we are able to end them both close enough to simultaneously that nobody is left out in the “I can’t post because I have nothing to do” land.

If you look on the little hand-drawn map I sent you all on October 3rd, you are now in the alley between the wall (the edge of the card in my drawing) and the building where Zeke is, right by the “Z.” Assume that the layout is that the top of the card is North. There are windows along the north and west walls, easy enough to jump up into. The only true entrance is on the west side of that building, right by the Main Building. How do the two of you want to sneak in and get Zeke? Go in a window together? Leave Jenika in the alleyway as a lookout (Orensland will need to pick the lock)? Sneak in the front door together? What’s the plan from here?

DeltaWolf

If possible Jenika would want to peer through a window and see what she can see. Assuming she can see in: Who is in there, where are they? Where is Zeke? If we jump trough the window could we, with Zeke, climb back out?

Eryx (DM)
You don't see anybody in there aside form Zeke, but it is night and there isn't a lot of light inside. It's a warehouse with doors affixed to individual "cells" or "stalls." There is no window that leads directly into a stall, and Zeke is in one of those. His door, a metal barred one, is closed. None of the others are. It looks like Zeke is locked in his stall, which is about what you should have surmised from the Scrying spell.

Crosis
I'm thinking Orensland should go in through the window, pick the lock into Zeke's cell, show him it's a friendly face, and give him a boost through the window. Jenika would stand guard outside and help Zeke out on the other side of the window to aid the silent nature of this excursion. Or, if somebody is in there, I would advise Jenika come in too- two people to overpower the one. Once Zeke would be safely over the wall, (which I assume we have a method of doing… how tall is the wall again?) Orensland would stay behind long enough to set the building on fire. I believe that was the plan, was it not?

Jenika jumped up to push herself halfway through a nearby window. Inside were a series of what looked like stalls. There were metal gates to each, most of them slightly open or obviously open. One, however was not. Zeke’s. With that in mind, they looked more like cells than stalls, but their partitions were made out of wood. There was nobody else in the building that she could see. A single torch by the doorway lit the place darkly, its light mostly blocked by the wooden partitions of the individual stalls. She dropped back down and whispered to Orensland what she had seen. He nodded, patting his backpack. She acknowledged his motion—he had brought his masterwork thieves’ tools for breaking the kid out.

“You stay here, keep an eye out. I’ll go in and bust him out. If you need to come in to avoid being seen, do so.” The rogue was all business. He jumped up and disappeared into the window. Jenika waited, ears straining for any hint of an approaching guard.

Orensland landed softly in between two of the stalls, counted to thirty, and crept quietly along. Zeke was two stalls down, kiddie-corner to the entrance, which had no door. He picked a pebble up and tossed it in the cell through the bars at the sleeping boy. Missed. He grabbed another one. Also a miss. The saying was true, in this case, as the third time he managed to hit Zeke in the face with another small pebble. The boy woke, groggy, to see Orensland silhouetted darkly in the light, a finger touching his lips. The boy’s face lit up with excitement, but he nodded solemnly a moment later.

The rogue broke out his tools, smiling at his new Heward’s Handy Haversack. He didn’t know who Heward was, or why these wonderful sacks were named after him, but he loved the fact that he could just reach in and grab, and the item he wanted was there! He set to work on the lock. It didn’t take him that long to get it open and he tried to swing the gate open quietly. It made some noise, but not very much. Zeke squeezed through the narrow opening, and gave the rogue a big hug. Orensland hugged him back fiercely, then grabbed him by the hand and slowly crept away, making sure the gate was shut and locked.

A quick whisper to Jenika brought the monk to the window, and Zeke was quietly passed from rogue to monk. “Go,” Orensland whispered. “I’ll be right there.” Jenika nodded, had Zeke wrap his arms around her neck, and then began climbing up the wall using the rope.

Orensland darted away. The time for stealth was rapidly coming to a close. His hand disappeared into the Haversack a second time, this time producing two small vials. He poked his head around the stall by the entrance, and crept quietly forward. He could not hear anybody in between the building he was in, and the Sendylus guild’s main building about 20 feet away. He poked his head out briefly. The coast was clear.

He stood, took a deep breath, looked to his right at the fading torch, ran through his actions in his mind one more time, then acted.

The Sendylus guild was everything he hated about rich people. Pompous and in complete arrogance towards the poor and needy, using those lower than them in the economic system to profit and fill their own coffers. Well, he thought to himself, let’s see how they like this!

He tossed one of the vials at the building. There was a soft tinkling sound as the glass shattered, then suddenly the building erupted into flames, just where he had hit. But he wasn’t paying attention. He reached up and yanked on the torch, bending and warping the sconce it was set it, making it look like the torch had fallen. He dropped it to the floor, took a few steps back, then tossed the other vial on the ground, right in between the two rows of stalls on either side. The flames from his other fire quickly began to spread across the floor, licking up the wood frames of the stalls, igniting the straw haphazardly strewn around in the stalls and on the floor, even making its way into Zeke’s former cell. He bolted; this entire thing had only taken mere seconds, jumped out the window without even bothering to try to be quiet (the crackling of flames was clearly growing anyway), and was up the rope in moments.

“What in the name of …” Jenika began, but Orensland cut her off.

“Run,” he hissed. Behind him, to his satisfaction, he heard cries of alarm as the fire climbed into the sky. The alchemist’s fire had done its job wonderfully. Time to go.


Amy wearily came to the door. Who on earth would be pounding at this time of night? The first light of daybreak hadn’t even appeared yet. She had spent another nearly sleepless night praying to the gods that Zeke would be unharmed, and that the heroes from the inn would survive the trap!

“Who is it?” she asked. Surely it wasn’t that man. He said he would be leaving soon.

“Mom!” She gasped, the intensity of her emotion striking her heart, that place of hope opening so quickly it was almost painful. She threw the door open to see Zeke standing in front of Orensland and Jenika. Zeke ran into his mother’s arms, and Orensland and Jenika pushed in past the two of them and shut the door.

“How? How did you do this?”

“Long story short, we followed the man who was blackmailing you, discovered who his employers were, are springing his own trap on him and his buddies, and rescued Zeke,” said Orensland. “However …” he gestured to Jenika.

“However, doing so has likely angered the Stondylus guild. Especially the part where you burned down their complex,” she glared at Orensland, who just flashed her a smile.

“It’s not like they didn’t have it coming. Hopefully they will think that Zeke died in the fire. It should at least throw them off the trail.”

Jenika glared at him. “I wish you would have told me what you were going to do!”

“Would you have approved?”

“No.”

“Then I’m glad I didn’t. However …” he gestured to her again.

She glowered at him, clenching her fists, then turned to Amy. “The monks of the Hawkfeather monastery have a place for you to stay. You will be safe there from the machinations of the rival merchant guilds you have been a pawn of. But we must go immediately. Wake Jennifer. We must go.”

Amy nodded, tears still streaming down her face. “Zeke, grab what food you can carry. And your clothes. Hurry!” The young woman disappeared into a back room and emerged a moment later with a sleepy Jennifer.

“Zeke!” the young girl nearly shouted.

Orensland shushed her. “Quietly now, Jennifer. We need to take you to a place where the bad men won’t be able to take Zeke again.” Amy had vanished again as Zeke grabbed what he could and tossed it onto a small blanket. Clothes, food, whatever, he just tossed everything into it before grabbing the corners and heaving it over his back like a sack.

Amy emerged no longer in a shift, wearing her normal dress and hurriedly putting her shoes on. Jenika helped Jennifer into hers, though Orensland was amused to see the monk balk at helping the little girl, and in just a few minutes they were out the door. Amy paused to look back one more time as she was about to turn the corner.

“Will we be able to go back?” she said.

“I doubt it,” said Orensland. “But at least you’re together.”

“The monks will be able to help you. They know what has been going on,” said Jenika.

“They have always been kind to the people of our city, especially here in the slums,” Amy replied. She looked at the monk and the rogue. “Thank you.”

Orensland nodded. “Come, let’s go.”


Jenika and Orensland stayed the night at the monastery, sleeping in well past noon. After making sure Amy and her little family were secure, they left. Orensland asked around at a market they passed through, but nobody had heard anything about the fire last night. Jenika caught wind of someone talking about it. Apparently the main building had been lightly damaged, but one of the side buildings, the one Zeke had been held in, was a complete write-off.

The two of them stole away into a tavern to grab a bite to eat. Orensland was ravenously devouring his meal. He had splurged a little, a bit of a victory celebration for having rescued Zeke, and for giving the Sendylus guild what for. Jenika was more muted, still quietly steaming at the rogue for his arson, and also worried about the others in the caravan.

Still, when Orensland raised his glass, she raised hers as well.

“Success!” he said.

“Oh, I don’t know if I’d toast to success just yet,” whispered a smooth, silky voice. “I saw you running away from the Sendylus guild. I wonder what the authorities would think about your midnight jaunt last night, son.”

Another elf sat down at their table. Orensland looked in shock at the older elf. A hard face stared back at him, short, unkempt black hair sticking every which way, and a new scar across his right cheek.

“Father,” Orensland said, his previous mirth having absolutely vanished, and his face growing pale. Jenika looked with horror from elf to elf, the family resemblance suddenly clear to her. She clenched her fist, her body tensing, ready for action. But the elder elf wasn’t here for action. At least not yet.

"You goin' to introduce me to yer friend?" he asked.

Orensland looked at him like he had newly arrived from Arkenos. "Um, Jenika, this is my dad, Zevhran."

"Pleased to meet ya," he said, inclining his head, but then he whipped back to Orensland like Jenika wasn't even there.

“Been trackin’ you for some time,” he continued, “since I breaked out of prison myself a few months back. The bounty hunters from Dreqorun were a load of help in pointing me in the right direction. And you won’t have to worry yerself about them coming after you. I took care of ‘em. Least I could do for my son.” He leaned forward, menace in his eyes. “’Sides. I din’t want anybody messin’ up my family reunion. I want you all to meself. After all, you stole my knife.” His face went even more deathly serious. “And you betrayed me.”

Eryx (DM)
Orensland would know that the two of you can NOT take him in a straight fight, and Jenika can tell he's extremely self-confident in this situation, but not out of arrogance. However, he’s chosen to make his appearance publicly. The tavern is quite crowded, it being the end of the lunch hour rush

What will you do? It’s apparent that Orensland’s father knows you were behind the arson from the night before. However, he’s myopically focused on Orensland. I will say that he, in the course of the conversation, will say that he cares not at all what happens to Jenika.

In short, Crosis is leaving on his mission in 6 days, and this is an opportunity for him to write his character out. The question really is … how does he want to do that?

I think two more posts in this chapter would be a good number to take Orensland out of the game. I could likely do it in one, but would prefer two.

Crosis
Ooh! That is a darn exciting development!

Seeing as Zevhran is here publicly, I doubt he wants to fight. He wants to scare the living daylights out of Orensland first. And it's working.

I'm not sure how the conversation would go, to be honest. Orensland would be really shaken up. His responses would be short, and I get a feeling Zevhran will do most of the talking. Probably threatening.

If Zevhran wants his knife back, Orensland will say it's at the inn. I'll let you do a check for that lie. If Zevhran catches the lie and tries to take it anyways, Orensland would put himself in a position where everyone can see him to prevent a confrontation. Like standing up. That would be a lot of spot checks for any attempt to steal it. If Zevhran just leaves with the distinct threat that he will be back, Orensland would probably tell Jenika that they need to find Amy and her kids and take them to a place better than the monastery. If Zevhran is willing to sell them out, which he probably is, they are no longer safe.

For however long afterwards, Orensland would become increasingly paranoid. He will never want to be alone, wants somebody behind him he trusts at all times, all the time looking over his shoulder to prevent that person from getting sneak attacked. Sleep, I'm sure, would be a major problem.

I'm thinking that Orensland, in his increased paranoia, would be thinking of a way of leaving the party for their own protection. He doesn't want anybody to get hurt on his account. But at the same time, he wants to be alone as little as possible. If the opportunity presents itself, he would not tell the rest of the group- rather, he would leave a note at their inn or in someone's pack as they sleep, find an excuse to direct everyone in a certain direction of the city in the daytime when the crowds are busy, then slip away.

I think we both know who Orensland is going to see, Eryx. I suppose his 27 Sleight of Hand check earlier would come in handy while talking to them.

DeltaWolf

Jenika would take her cues from Orsnsland. While she distinctively dislikes this guy, she does not want to fight him, however, if it comes to blows she will try to grapple him.

Sweat had appeared on Orensland’s brow. He was thinking back to all the times his father had used him for his own gains … and how when things didn’t go right, the older elf had taken it out on his son. The knife Zevhran was speaking of was in Orensland’s boot now, a keepsake, really. And Orensland had several scars from it. It had been several years, but his father had the same effect on him. The rogue was freezing up.

“Nothin’ to say for yousself?” Common had never been his Dad’s strong suit. Come to think of it, his elven wasn’t all that good either. “Well, I’ll spell it out for ya.” He leaned back. “I’m a patient man. You’ve made me suffer those long years in prison. You give me the knife now, and I’ll let you live for a few more years. As many as I was in jail. Only fair, I s’ppose.”

Orensland stood up quickly and took a step back. He didn’t think his father would start a public fight, but he wasn’t sure, and definitely wanted to be seen as the victim should it come to blows. “It’s back at my inn. With my stuff.”

Zehvran stared at him for a long while. “I reckon you don’t, at that. Didn’t bring it on your fiery caper last night?”

“No sir,” the words escaped Orensland’s mouth almost before he could think.

Zehvran smiled at that. “So I’ll tell you what. I can tell my being here is alarming to you, and I certainly wouldn’t want that.” He reached over and grabbed Orensland’s goblet. Much of the wine was still there, the rogue having not touched it before the encounter began. “I’ll be here tonight. This very inn. You get that knife, and that’ll be the end of it, for now. You don’t bring it …” he drank the rest of the wine down, then threw the goblet down onto the table. Orensland jumped despite himself. “… and I won’t be lettin’ you live for the next few years. In fact, the Sendylus guild will be after your blood as well.” The man stood, looked at Jenika, gave her a leering bow. “Miss.” He began to walk out moving past Orensland, who moved quickly out of the way. Zehvran reached out to pat the boy on his face, and the rogue completely froze. Zehvran hit him twice, somewhere between a pat and a full slap. “Bring that knife tonight, y’hear? Be seein’ ya, boy!”

With that, the elder elf left, the door to the inn swinging open to let the sunlight in momentarily, then shutting, leaving the patrons in relative darkness again.

It took Orensland a minute to sit down again, and when he did he was almost shaking uncontrollably. Jenika reached out to grab his hand, steadying it.

“Take a deep breath. Let it out slowly,” she said. It was the most basic of breathing exercises, learned by practically every monk on the entire moon in early training, but it might help him here. He followed her instructions, though the “letting it out slowly” part was more jittery and staccato than she would have liked. Still, it helped him with his trembling, but he still pushed his plate away.

“We need to get Amy out of town,” he whispered. “He won’t care if she’s innocent or not. She’s caught up in this. I, I don’t know.” Abruptly he got up to leave. Jenika quickly left a decent tip from her own coin, then followed.

Orensland was walking back towards their inn, but suddenly turned and headed the other way, towards the central marketplace. He was practically jogging he was walking so fast.

Jenika followed along, half jogging, half speed-walking just to keep up with the elf. She looked around, but could see no sign of Zehvran. “Orensland, where are you going?”

“Central market. Public area. He won’t try to kill me there.”

“What about Amy?”

“I don’t know.”

“Would he kill her?”

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Orensland!” The elf pushed ahead, but his conversation didn’t improve. Jenika could get no answers from him. The cocky, fun-loving, mischevious elf was gone. This new, grumpy, scared rogue elf at all like him. It was a side of him she had not seen. As much as she didn’t like his chaotic nature, seeing him clam up like this brought her no pleasure. He got to the marketplace and began to pace, wandering around some of the stalls. Jenika watched him, keeping an eye out for his father. She wondered if she would even be able to spot him. He did look like he knew what he was doing and was extremely confident to confront them like that. Sneaking was likely second nature to him.

Orensland walked around, still in a daze, still walking quickly. As he walked, he pulled out one of his coins and began to flip it through his fingers. It gave him something to focus on, and Jenika watched as he calmed down a little, his energies going somewhere other than … well, other than “get away.”

Indeed, as the coin flipped back and forth between his fingers, he calmed down significantly. Coherent convesation became possible.

“I don’t know what to do,” he said. “I don’t want to give him the knife back, because he’ll probably kill me immediately. He’s not going to wait a few years, though he’s sadistic enough to give me that false hope.” The coin continued to dance around his fingers. “He would also be willing to kill Amy and her family, just to spite me. That’s probably what he’ll do. Get the knife, kill them, maybe kill you guys, then come after me after he’s killed everybody I care about.” Another coin appeared in his hand, the two of them now doing an elaborate dance across the back of his fingers. “Yeah, that seems like him. That’s probably his plan.” Another coin appeared, and he began juggling all three of them with one hand.

He began to look around, also searching for his father. Jenika looked around again, but there was nobody to be seen, except a Halfling watching them from across the little aisle they had stopped in. He had stopped to observe Orensland’s act. The rogue noticed him, gave a smile and wave with his other hand, in which suddenly another coin appeared. Jenika knew that meditation could take many forms, focusing on particular actions. She herself liked standard breathing exercises in standard bodily positions, almost stereotypical meditation, but watching Orenslan, it was obvious that the tricks he was performing were helping his mind sharpen and address the current situation. At the very least, it was calming him the way meditation calmed her. She thought back to how she had to spend hours in meditation after her last encounter with Kaylee, the one that had left Jenika broken mostly in spirit, but also in body.

“I think I should get out of town. If he thinks I’ve taken off, he might just try to follow me. Maybe I should make it really obvious.”

“So, you going to throw down a hat or something so I can give you a gold coin, or what?” asked the Halfling.

Orensland looked at him, the smiled. “It helps me think. That’s what I need right now. I’m not performing.”

“Fair enough, but you still get a gold coin from me.” The Halfling flipped one into the air at the rogue, who snatched it from the air and incorporated it into his juggling act without breaking stride. He was now juggling five coins in both his hands. The Halfling whistled, then gave a jaunty wave and left.

“You really want to leave? Wouldn’t it be safer with all of us around?” asked Jenika.

“Don’t know when the others will be back. Besides, I was the one that burned the place down. You could attest to that and not have to lie. I was acting on my own. Not your fault. Might be better for you all if I left.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I do.” He dropped the number of coins down to three, but continued to juggle them with one hand this time. He used his other hand to put the other coins back in his money pouch.

“I’m still not sure what to do about Amy.”

“Well, I’ll tell you what,” came a voice. “I just might have an idea about that.” Orensland and Jenika both took a step back, the coins disappearing as Jenika brought her hands up to a fighting stance. But just as quickly they dropped their fighting stance.

A plump woman stood in front of them, the Halfling at her side. She was dressed quite garishly, a host of colors draped around her body. “Reven here tells me you’ve some skill with a coin, and that you’re in a bit of a pickle.”

Jenika’s eyes narrowed. Orensland had been talking openly. The Halfling may very well have overheard the entire conversation.

“But perhaps it’s best not to speak of such things in the open, hrm?” Reven said. “Not sure who you both keep looking out for, but perhaps a private venue would be a better place.”

“Come with me, if you like,” the woman said. “We can speak in my wagon. Come.”

Orensland and Jenika glanced at each other, but the rogue followed her as she walked off, moving surprisingly fast for a woman of her size. “I’m intrigued,” he said. Jenika followed along.

It was only a few blocks later that they came upon a series of garish wagons and carts. Red, gold, blue, purple, green, the colors practically assaulted their eyes. One large wooden cart read “Silderman’s Shadowdancers.” Reven darted ahead to talk briefly to a young man, who glanced their way, then disappeared behind one of the wagons. Jenika immediately was distrustful. She had heard of shadowdancers. It was said they used dark magic.

But out front several girls were dancing, a small tightrope had been set up, and there was one girl using acrobatic techniques to do amazing things with a ring and a long silk scarf, all suspended thirty feet up in the air. All were dressed garishly, their gaudy costumes clearly set up for performances such as this. A decent crowd was gathered, but the woman slipped behind the carts unobtrusively, and Orensland and Jenika followed her into one. There wasn’t much room, but she sat herself down on one side. Jenika and Orensland sat down among the paraphernalia in the wagon. Reven closed the curtain behind them, but it didn’t quite shut all the way.

“I’m Kalana Silderman,” the woman said. “I run this little troupe here. Reven overheard your conversation, explained what he had seen and heard, and brought you to my attention.”

“What did you hear?”

“Sounded to me like someone is coming after you, and innocents may be affected.”

“My father,” Orensland replied. “He and I have not gotten along. He wants me dead, and doesn’t care much who gets in his way.”

“Ah. Not much of a father, I take it?”

Orensland drew a knife out of his boot. “Not much of one at all. This was his favorite method of punishment. Most times he wouldn’t use the edge on me,” he lifted his shirt up to reveal a nasty scar across his lower abdomen. Jenika hadn’t seen this before. “Most times.”

Jenika’s sharp intake of breath was clearly audible. Orensland looked at her. “You never told us,” she said.

“You never asked. It’s not something I like to dwell on.”

“But now it’s following you anyway,” Kalana said. Orensland put his shirt down, and nodded.

“And these innocents? Who are they to you?”

“Friends,” Jenika said. “Just random people who got caught up with us and are now in trouble for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

“I see. Tell me about this trouble.” Jenika had originally been slightly wary, but this woman seemed pleasant enough. She seemed very no-nonsense about the entire situation.

Orensland and Jenika together shared the story. Jenika noticed that Orensland left out the fact that he had set fire to the Sendylus guild’s buildings.

“And it was last night this happened, that you rescued the boy?”

“Yes ma’am,” Orensland said. He wasn’t sure why, but this woman commanded his respect. He said it as naturally as he had said “yes, sir” to his father, but for entirely different reasons.

“So, you had nothing to do with the fact that the Sendylus guild had a fire in their complex last night?”

Orensland shook his head. Kalana looked at Jenika, who started, then shook hers as well. “We didn’t do that,” the monk said.

“Nice try, my dear, but you’re not very good at lying,” Kalana said. She looked at Orensland. “You did better, though.”

“It seems that we can be of use to you,” Kalana said. “Seems to me like you might be safest for a while on the move, and, well, we never stop moving. Seems like this family you’ve rescued might benefit from it as well. And it’s clear you have some skill with your coins. Could be of use to a traveling circus. And we have other tricks we could teach you.”

She looked at Orensland. “And I’m a sucker for hard-luck cases. You’ll find most of us here are wanderers with no home but where we make one. We’re a family, though, and we look out for our own. There’s a place here, Orensland, for you and for this young family, if you want it.”

“I’m afraid that my father wouldn’t distinguish between me and those that helped me. It’s why I was thinking of leaving the city on my own.”

“You don’t need to do that?” Jenika said. “We can help!”

“It’s his choice, Jenika,” Kalana said. “And don’t worry about your father. If he come ‘round, we can take care of him. Isn’t that right, Jago?”

“Yes, mother.” A young man suddenly appeared sitting on the bench next to Kalana. Both Orensland and Jenika gave a start. Neither had seen the young man the entire time they had been there. It was the young man that Reven had spoken to as they approached the troupe.

“We shadowdancers have our tricks, and I myself an awfully protective of young folk like this Zeke and Jennifer. I wouldn’t worry about your dad,” Kalana said. “If he comes after you while you’re with us, he’ll have something else coming to him.” She pointed at her son. Then her eyes narrowed. “Seems like he deserves it.”

But all Orensland could think about was the message that Kyrnyn had given him. He turned to Jenika and spoke the words of that message. “Those who travel in the shadows do not always have to serve the darkness.”

His meaning was clear. Perhaps Heironeous meant for this to happen.

“That sounds like something my father would say,” Kalana said. “He would frequently speak of how we shadowdancers walk in the edge of shadows with our bodies, but that we should not do so in our hearts. He is the one that founded our little troupe. It may not be much, but it’s home. And you could earn your way performing with the troup as we travel. We would have to further discuss Amy and her family.

“I have more than sufficient money to pay their way for many months,” Orensland said.

“We don’t like freeloaders,” said Jago, a bit harshly.

Kalana waved her son. “That would do for now.”

“If you say so. Not sure we want a fugitive with us, though.”

“Perhaps. Now, this is very important young man,” she shook her finger at Orensland. “It was you that set the fire. Why did you do that?”

He thought it best to level with her. “The Sendylus guild deserved it. Kidnapping and extortion, all to aid their own profits and bring them more money at the cost of the less fortunate. They can afford it. A little taste of the destruction they seem to so casually visit on others. Also, if the building Zeke was in burned down, it might very well look like the boy had perished. They wouldn’t be looking for him. Gives us a chance to slip him away, which we have done.”

Kalana and Jarod exchanged looks, and the boy nodded.

The shadowdancer matron turned back. “You may come with us if you like, Orensland, but you’ll have to earn your keep. Amy and her children can come as far as the next major city before we would have to discuss their earning theirs. We’ll be headed next to Bailey’s Point next.”

Eryx (DM)
Yeah, I had been waiting to use that 27 sleight of hand check to grab the attention of the shadowdancer troupe, like we had discussed in private a while ago, Crosis. Reven gave you one gold piece, which is pretty good earnings for a 5 minute “performance.”

I rolled Sense Motive checks (which are my purview), and you both have a strong impression that she is sincere and telling the truth. Jago is a little harder to read at this point, but you don’t get the impression he’s misleading you. Just dutifully watching after his mother Kalana.

I assume that you will take them up on their offer to travel with them, and that will be that. Orensland will sneak away with these Shadowdancers, and will be leaving the campaign. When Crosis comes back Orensland will have been making commensurate leaps in XP so he’ll be more or less with the party. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Once Orensland is gone, we'll really start in on Jenika's private adventures in the city. That will be it's own chapter, Chapter 6.

Will you go try to convince Amy to come with Kalana and her little eclectic family as well? They are welcome at least as far as Bailey's Point.

Crosis
Orensland has seen his chance. Not only can he get away from his father with some creepy awesome protection surrounding him all the time, but he is intrigued by the prospect of learning to work in shadows. He will take his chances with the shadowdancers. As for Amy and her family, they would have to be counseled with, as their opinion matters. However, Orensland thinks that leaving they city would draw his father away as well. That would be a factor in their decision, as they may wish to stay, but you never know- they might enjoy life on the move as opposed to their previous life of sitting in bars with drunk patrons. Just saying.

In regards to saying goodbye to the other party members, Orensland would want to say goodbye in person, but is terrified of leaving his sudden sanctuary. Also, it would also be a good idea for Jenika to report the news and not have the party come to visit Orensland to pay their respects or objections. The shadowdancers would probably not approve of drawing a killer into their midst, and if Zevhran knew of his intention to join them and were following the party to do so… it would probably not go over well. It would seem like Orensland to avoid the issue altogether.

In regards to me saying goodbye, it has been a pleasure playing, everyone! I hope this is still running in two years when I come back. Let's face it, my character will be really cool by then. But either way, thank you for making my first D and D experience so memorable. See you all in two years, yeah?

DeltaWolf

Jenika has changed her mind, she would love to beat the stuffings out of this guy! She will be sorry to see Orensland go, but she recognizes that he has to do what he thinks is best. She will respect his wishes.

BlackWolf
I've very much enjoyed the character you brought to the game, Crosis. Glad that you've enjoyed it as much as I have. Enjoy your mission!

Orensland was quick to agree that he would stay and take them up on their offer. Jenika was heartbroken at how quickly he gave up, but he made his point quickly to her.

“My Dad is trouble. He’s far more trouble than you think. I need to get out, and get out now. You need to go tell Amy and her family about what’s going on, in case they want to come. It would be best for them if they did.”

“I will accompany you,” said Jago, standing. “I assume Orensland will stay here.”

The elf nodded. He patted one of the straps on his handysack. “I have all of my things with me. My staying here, out of sight, would be best. Less opportunity for my father to find me.”

Jago whistled quietly. Reven threw back the curtain; the Halfling had apparently been standing guard. The young man stepped down, then held a hand up to help his mother step down the small staircase.

Jenika looked at Orensland. “You’re sure? Part of me would like to beat the stuffing out of your dad.”

“Maybe someday, but right now he would beat the stuffing out of us. This is for the best. Go get Amy. Bring her here. Or have Jago do so.”

“I will.”

There was a long awkward pause. Then Orensland stuck his hand out. “Goodbye, Jenika.”

“Goodbye, Orensland.” She shook it, turned, and left. Reven let the curtain fall, and as the monk looked back, the last thing she saw was Orensland’s goofy smile assuring her that all was well.

Eryx (DM)
Orensland is gone. We’ll pick this back up in Chapter 7, to be posted shortly.

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