PREVIOUSLY ON CLOSE QUARTERS:
After deciding that the Lady of the Well did not deserve to be murdered, despite being a weapon of mass destruction and literally trying to kill our band of adventurers, the group decided to heal the harpy.
The watch came by to check in on what was going on, so BD hid in the harpy's place while Rennie scampered to a rain barrel (one of BD's many hiding places) to hide with the harpy.
After some failed and successful attempts at distraction (including an illusory ferret), the watch were turned away, and the harpy is safely ensconsed in the Apothecary.
MEANWHILE, since not everyone agreed that the harpy should be rescued, Mantike did some exploring and found a mausoleum door revealing a Devilkin burial ground, a tiefling graveyard.
AND NOW, WE RETURN TO THE STORY
Rennie, having run into Jason while wearing a harpy backpack, finds him waiting at the shop to apply as an apprentice. He remembers the harpy.
Rumors fly that we brought big treasure out of the catacombs, which is possibly tempting to people who need to pay quite a bit of gold to the taxman.
Later, we are all at Kiir's Deli, faced with the problem of the Harpy. Rennie suggests a muzzle, which may not be a permanent solution. Mantike wonders what our goal was in keeping the harpy alive and makes the argument that you can't really re-home a harpy. We "learn", thanks to BD's sticky fingers, that harpies are very dangerous, and believe they have a right to control other beings due to their natural abilities.
After a bit of an argument, the group explains to Kiir that the harpy ISN'T their friend. This changes Kiir's mind, and others are more invested in...not healing the harpy. Sa-cha recuses themselves from the conversation, as a healer killing a sick creature is wrong, and BD tries to sneak away, but Rennie and Rasmus notice, but lets BD go. BD tells the harpy that their life hangs in a balance and asks what brought them to the city. Through very basic drawings, the harpy tells BD that she was captured and put into the well. BD learns that the harpy killed the leader of the group that captured her, and that the harpy had the dirge before she got captured.
When Sacha, Rasmus and Kiir get to the apothecary, BD lets them in and...the harpy jumps through the open window. Kiir catches her, explains that their feelings are hurt, and asks if the harpy will leave. The harpy promises to leave if we heal her,and Kiir threatens to smash the harpy to bits if she comes back.
Mantike and Rennie have HORNS BUSINESS. Mike decides to chat with Adric about getting into the tunnels.
Mantike tells Rennie about the mausoleum. "Here we lay to rest our dead. Long-forgotten devil's kin." The door was locked and shut to an adventurer whose strength is more metaphorical than literal. Who is burying their tiefling dead under this city? Rennie and Mantike decide to go to the catacombs and check out the mausoleum, despite Rennie's reticence towards going to a big tiefling graveyard.
Mike chats with Adric about the entrance to the catacombs and claims that it's been triple-boarded shut. He tries to convince (but not bribe) Adric to let him in, but is not quite successful. M'Rose, sneaking down to the cellar, reports that Adric has been deceitful. There is a sign, however, on the door saying "DO NOT OPEN. THIS MEANS YOU."
When confronted, Adric gets defensive, and something spooks him. Mike turns to see a halfling with a sleeve of tattoos who winks at Mike, but Adric agrees to let Mike in and Mike moves on from the halfling.
meanwhile, back at the gate:
Kiir's friendliness and story about a picnic to Guard Captain Romero gets them out of the city into the capital forest and are warned about the witch-hunters -- a human and an elf carrying a very large sword. Sa-cha attempts their grandmother's spell for curing disease, and gives it to the harpy, who drinks it down. The purple markings fade from the harpy's skin, but her wings don't grow back. Sacha patches her up, and says "I suppose I owe you my thanks." We all get sad when we realize that the harpy is very far away from home, and watch as the harpy slowly, painfully walks away.
We take a break for our picnic and find ourselves joined by... an elf lady with a large sword. The elf says "Tell me about the harpy." Her name is Angela, and she is mad. She wants to know why we didn't kill the harpy and why it didn't kill us. She asks us to get her into the city because she wants to hunt more monsters.
BD requests payment, 6 silvers, and Angela claims that she'll pay us when she gets back in.
at the mausoleum door:
There is a short debate about how best to proceed -- if you knock, what if something knocks back...? But the doorway has been sealed, so Rennie takes a look to see if there's a way to get in. Rennie gives Mantike a lesson on Tiefling culture and visiting the dead. After a few minutes, they manage to pry the slab loose, sending it crashing to the ground. Mike has wandered his way towards them, and
They explain that it's a horn thing, and Rennie realizes that she doesn't quite know why she agreed to this. Mike is also curious. Mantike just wanted to check it out. It's all very chill.
Mantike walks through the entrance and sees
brassieres unlit braziers leading up to an altar, where there are a large series of sigils. It is elaborate, magically constructed, very, very abandoned, and bereft of corpses. Mantike runs up past the altar and finds a giant chamber (this is where the corpses are). Tieflings don't decay, so each and every corpse looks like they just died.
Suddenly, all the sigils light up and crawl up the pillars in a bright blue light, with the names of the dead written in infernal (and some things, curiously, written in angelic), and a breeze blows away the dust. Mantike knows her wildmagic did this and revels for a moment in her power as two storeys of crypts are revealed.
back at the gate
Four geniuses try to figure out how to smuggle in a seven-foot sword. We try to brazen our way through the gate, and Romero's spideysenses are tingling. Sacha tries their best to distract Romero, but he requests a one-on-one. Romero is suspicious, but offers Sacha help -- "I'm not going to search your cart, but I've been doing this a long time...and this whole spontaneous picnic thing........" and he warns us to be careful. He gives Sacha an out: if she rats on the stow-aways he'll let this go. Sacha tells him about the sword and he confiscates it. He gives Sacha another chance to fess up. When we don't, he admonishes our foolishness, and makes it very clear that he'll be mad at the witch-hunters (and us) if something goes wrong.
We learn that crowbars make a cawing noise and that a group of tieflings is called a "ska."