...Back to Malkara we go! In which our heroes get hoodwinked, find out they've been hoodwinked, fly by bug-back, and skip literally over the ambush Jim has laid for them.
August 16, 2017
Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’
Erturin and Refarid return from gathering firewood, finishing up a conversation. Refarid says, “You should just tell them.”
After much back and forth, Erturin tells them (under Suggestion from Dorian) that the stone “makes messiahs”. The Black Bell mercenaries were retrieving it for Primat Phillippa of Baneldud, priestess of Arman.
Several days later, Giacomo comes upon Refarid casting a spell when he is supposed to be gathering firewood. Giacomo casts Mask of Many Faces to make himself look like Refarid, and mimics Refarid to his face, attempting to freak him out. Refarid is unphased.
Refarid says, “what are you doing?”
Giacomo says, “what are you doing?”
Erturin looks confused and pissed off.
Giacomo drops the disguise and displays some magic to intimidate the two mercenaries. Erturin is still unphased. He moves off, claiming he’s just collecting firewood. Giacomo attempts to intimidate Refarid into telling him what they were up to. But the weak-willed cleric finds his spine and keeps to his story that he was “just praying”.
Giacomo suddenly realizes that he sounds like his creepy, evil father, and since Refarid has actually been helpful, he needs to stop being so creepy. He switches back to being all friendly towards the cleric and helps him gather more firewood.
A couple days later, J (still in the form of a giant scorpion) catches Refarid casting Sending. Refarid gets the spell off just as J bursts into view.
With a bit of cajoling, Refarid spills the beans: he has been sending all sorts of information to the Black Bell wizards - the party's location, general heading, abilities of the party, who has the stone, etc.
Our heroes decide to fly off and leave the two mercenaries to their compatriots. They hightail it to Malkara at their best possible speed, flying over and avoiding ambushes set by parties of the Black Bell.
As our heroes approach Malkara, they see smoke rising from multiple places. There are running battles in the streets, various tabards of opposing forces. Factions are openly fighting!
Closing credit song: We Didn’t Start the Fire