Location: Farwatch, just leaving the Merchant Council HQ.
After leaving the audience with the Merchant Council, we were strolling back towards HQ chatting when we noticed that people were gathering around the notice boards. We went up to take a look and saw that there were recruitment posters for the merchant militia. We were discussing this rather boisterously, mostly on how bad it actually could and probably would be when Draxxon from the council mysteriously appeared behind us. (How the hell did he get the drop on Rangers??? I’m getting soft after only being in the city for a few days!) He seemed to agree that this was a “Bad Thing”, but really didn’t feel comfortable talking about it much more in public. We followed him to a private room at the Stone Thrower at his invitation.
We sat and discussed local politics for a bit, but I rapidly lost interest as human politics make zero sense to me. He did seem to agree that Valarious’ behavior had changed recently for the worse in the last month or two, but didn’t have any more light to shed on the situation.
As we were leaving, Darkstryke and I noticed a group of humans and non-humans trying very hard not to be noticed. The two of us sidled up closer to two very obvious (and oblivious!) lookouts to try to see what was up. (That damn heroic streak that drove me into the world from my own lands, getting me in trouble again!) We were just starting to get close, when Mrrel bounds up and shows of an admitted very interesting gem to Darkstryke. Unfortunately she was completely oblivious as well to what DS and I were up to, and started dancing around DS showing off her new shiny.
Well, even 2 completely green raw recruits cannot fail but notice a dancing Brinchie. Admittedly it was very hard to ignore, as both DS and I didn’t see the 3rd person step from the shadows, tap one of the lookouts on the shoulder and whispered something in his ear. All three started walking down the alley away from us.
We followed them for quite a ways until they got to a major intersection and split up. DS headed left, and I took off to the right. I rapidly lost the trail, and headed back the other way to catch up to DS.
I found Mrrel on the way back and she and I took off after DS. We found him just as he trapped one of the lookouts in a dead-end alley. He tried to run but DS just stuck out an arm and clotheslined the poor guy. Once he realized that there was no escape, he kinda deflated a bit. And then Mrrel smiled at him. I didn’t realize that human bladders could hold so much. Of course, maybe seeing a Brinchie smile like that at you inspires a man. Or just scares ALL the piss out of you.
We dragged him back to HQ, got him cleaned up and talked to him a bit. Turns out, he was just a courier, who was hired to drop a letter off at an undisclosed to him location. The letter he had was written in the same “probably” Shay language as the other note we had. His boss’s name was Harkvale was about the only other usable piece of information.
Poor Reggie had a bad few hours. After some severe questioning, and being out of a job, we decided to “employ” him for odd jobs around HQ. Everybody gets a second chance.
I’m not sure what everybody else did, because after a quick discussion, DS and I headed to our perch and cot, respectively, as the dead of night has taken on an entirely different meaning recently.
It seemed our foresight was well rewarded, as a boom in the night shook the walls a bit. Looking outside, we saw a backlight cloud expanding from the direction of Eastown. We briefly debated a bit about all of us heading out to investigate, but we all ended up heading out leaving Siege & company behind to hold the fort.
Shortly after traveling to a nondescript warehouse being completely engulfed in flames in Eastown, militia dressed in the livery of Highgate joined us on the scene. It appeared as if this was a similar explosion to the ones in the Dredges, but no ghoul or other attacks. We quickly decided that we were not needed here at all, and proceeded back to HQ.
There we discovered that the entire thing had indeed been a diversion to draw the bulk of the Ranger’s force away from HQ. There were even more holes in the wall and amazingly enough a Siege shaped dent in the wall. Derek and I quickly went to his aid, bandaging what we could until Thalien arrived, and was able to heal him. The others were not as horribly injured, but none were doing all that well. We tended to them all before scouring the place to figure out what the hell happened. Mrrel seemed to remember something, but then, unfortunately, she got distracted by something, and the thought left her.
It was discovered in a previously closed off hidden room that a child’s doll was removed, obviously quite forcefully from the premises.