Interesting fact – It should come as no surprise that even the Hansa’s don’t trust the postal clan! For all their very important mail – specifically military Generals and what not – the Hansa’s use metal envelops!
Day 46 started with disappointing news soon followed by excellent news and a decision made that I hope we do not regret.
Tesla, Asta’s half-brother (a newly minted Jenkins) and his “Aunt” moved into the Adventurer’s Guild. I swear they will let anyone join – and now we have more of Asta’s family! Crap. Tesla professes to know how to fight well but excels at spell casting. Time will tell. His “Aunt” – I don’t think she is really his Aunt – appears to be an old battle axe… an aggressive, domineering and forceful woman. She’s a spell caster to boot.
After a brief set of introductions Barrett and I were saved by the postal clan of all people. Mail call! TWO letters – one for Barrett and one for Jax. Both in metal envelopes! We received our letters and shut the door on the face of the substitute postal clan member. He was very keen on knowing what was contained in these letters.
Barrett’s letter was from – I think her name is Fiona – the Hansa ice bitch from the Blackberry Festival. I have no idea whom mine was from! It read:
Asta is 1.2 km south south east of Barton. She is in great danger. Rescue her as soon as possible.
Beware: she has been charmed and will resist the rescue.”
Well this is certainly interesting. I could have right then and there destroyed the letter and not said a word about it. For the good of the Guild however, I did promise to support the Guilds activities and in doing so its members. It wouldn’t be good to not save or support other members of the guild.
I rallied the troops and we met in the common room along with Tesla. I presented the letter to the group – Barrett, Tesla and Lina. Not sure where the other folks were… Should we pursue Asta? Again it’s a quandary we all had to pause to think about. There was no immediate “let’s go!” from the group. That in itself should tell you their opinions of Asta. Lina after a few moments grabs the letter from my hand and rips it in half. “Problem solved.” She said. “What letter?”. I had to contain my mirth at that – well done! In the end, my oath to the Guild prevailed. We hitched the wagons and headed to some small out of the way place deep in Oberhardt territory called Barton. My only highlight of the trip was that we had to travel through New Fandango – that meant a stop at Elsie’s! That meant a night in the most wonder bed I have ever slept in! YES!
Prior to leaving Southern Cross Barrett interviewed some town bums – he pays them to inform him about “new” people in town. Apparently ~6 days ago the bums helped some strangers by leading Asta to their stagecoach outside town. Astar talked with the strangers (archtypes?) and got in the stagecoach apparently of her own volition. Tesla was able to confirm this will a spell which allowed us to view the events that transpired in this area several days in the past. Three of the four strangers – they looked like triplets! State clones perhaps!? Ohhh… what new conspiracy is this now?
We arrived in Barton and noticed that – a lot of inbreeding went on here! Either that or they were all State clones! It was quite obvious who was and was not a “townie”…the town was guarded not by Oberthardts but by xx_forgot_name_xx. Hired merc’s basically.
We stayed at an Inn outside town that night. Tesla noticed that some of the townies were mucking about our horses and wagon! We told the Innkeeper, who woke a guard, who woke yet more guards. The guards noisily stomped out of the Inn and loudly announced they were going to search the barn. So subtle… NOT! I send Montra to the back of the barn and she trails half a dozen townies into town where they immediately split up. Tesla trails one to a house with an invisible wizard eye – the eye makes it through the front door and then – not sure what happen here but the individual ran back out another door in the house and the eye couldn’t get through it… Lina’s owl kept watch that night – nothing else amiss happen.
I searched the wagon and the horses and found four “bugs” – small dots of magic placed on the wagon. I silently picked these off the wagon. I secure them where they cannot listen or perhaps see anything the group does. (I place them in an envelope, wrap them tightly in wool clothing, lots of sound and sight dampening material and stick them deep into my bag of holding.) Lina talks to the horses and the horses indicate that they went on a trip – backwards. We believe one of the townies used a spell or psionics on the horses to see where they came from. The horses traveled all the way back to the Adventurers Guild…
The next morning a townie arrives and tells us we’re not welcome here and to leave. I tell him we’re not leaving without seeing her first. I don’t even say her name and they know what I’m talking about. The townie tells us to stay in the inn. He leaves and heads to the watch tower outside town. A short time later Asta appears. You know as soon as I see her my blood pressure starts to rise and I immediately regret ever coming to “save” her. We convince Asta to come back home with us – however she’s fully convinced that she needs to stay, to finish “important” work. We explain she’s been charmed and eventually after talking with a townie outside concedes to come with us. Only as long as it takes to cast a dispel magic on herself to prove she’s not been charmed. After talking with the townie before leaving Asta has no memories of what she was doing but she wrote herself a note so she would return later. Whatever…
I retrieve the communication ring she was holding on to after the Griffin mission – I feel sorry for the person on the other end LOL.
On the way back home we once again stop outside a kaka-tora clan town – we previously stayed at the Inn on the way down. High security inn mind you! Force fields AND bars on the windows! (I don’t fully understand the purpose of both… I think the force field would suffice.) The group is approached by a finely dress man who wants to buy the ring I liberated from Asta. 3mp! Seems like a more than fair price to me however – the Guild Magic Store told us they would buy it for 200-300gp. What’s the deal here!? The gentleman says either someone needs to wear it or he will buy it from us. Lina wants a million mithril for it – dull surprise. I’m curious now – what’s the deal with the ring – Asta stated that no one ever talked to her through it. She was able to take it on and off with no detrimental effects… I slip the ring on and tell the gentleman I’m wearing it. He’s happy with that arraignment and leaves. He wouldn’t divulge his employer…I considered selling it but I’m still frustrated after the whole dragon bound “story book” fiasco. I was ripped off!
Back in New Fandango Barrett confers with Misha Hansa and Elsie. Elsie hears about the letter from the ice bitch and doesn’t talk to Barrett again. Misha wants to see the letter I received. I’m totally prepared to hand it over when the ring starts talking to me in my head!
“No. Take that letter back!”
Now, the group has already professed to NOT see things i do. Honestly that’s their problem not mine. Rather than tell them I’m talking to the ring, I start talking to myself. It crushes me – Misha offers to give me a bed of my own! He offers to give a bed to all of us in exchange for the ripped letter I have. The handwriting on the letter does not match that of the Hansa regents he says. The ring again speaks to me:
“The letter came from me. If the letter gets into the Hansas’ hand, I lose a form of secure communications.”
Ok this is crazy even for me. The ring did help us track down Asta – still not sure why but I strongly suspect the townies were using her for nothing good. I ask the ring: are you for law or chaos. It says its on the side of law. (Seriously why trust a ring? As paranoid as I am – Asta is a tool for chaos, left to her own means she is bad news.) I take a risk and side with the ring and cry over the fact that I’m sure I’ll never be welcome back (as much as a Jenkins’ is ever welcome) into Misha’s keep and never sleep in the best bed in the world! ARG! I miss dinner that night. I was not the only one however – apparently Elsie did as well.
Back home Asta casts Dispel Magic on herself and immediately starts to prepare for her trip back. She has a letter from herself and no memory of it – go figure… Before letting people back into the Guild I scan everyone for magical bug dots again – I don’t want these getting into the Guild!
The ring says I can trust Barrett and I tell him and only him about the ring. I tell him NOT to tell the Hansas’ or anyone else. Barrett still doesn’t appear happy knowing what I told him. So I ask the ring – what is the benefit (something along those lines) of wearing it? Why do I wear it?
The next morning a package appears on the steps of the Guild – it contains 10mp and a note “You happy now?” That’s I not what I meant!