Team BAJA deals with the aftermath of the cultist insurrection, as the city of Lastil-Taswell began the process of restoration and repairs. The group help the town through their various talents and take the time to look deep within themselves. Some seek to aid others, while some continue to hone their skills whether combat or spellcraft. What lies in store for the party next? Find out!
By the next morning, columns embers and smoke from the fires of last night nearly died. The city was calm, and its citizens were still busy with repairs and clean up. The team awoke the soft sunshine and distant sounds of the still vibrant city life. It had been nearly a week since the failed cultists’ insurrection, the Twinned City as a whole was on the road to recovery through the loss of the moon has left many of the citizens worried. Clergy of various creeds offers their reassurances with no clear answer. The night sky remains moonless with only the soft light of the stars to provide any semblance of comfort. The team individually progressed with their own agendas and projects, some more humanitarian with others more personal.
One morning after breakfast, the group assembled in the drawing room of Aurelia DuMont’s estate to discuss their next course of actions. Jimmy Moon informed them that they were welcomed to enter the elven city tree of Lastilven at the heart of the city, to hopefully meet with the Lady of Light. A figure they were previously informed to seek almost a year ago, at least to them. The temporal gap between traveling the planes caused them to miss nearly five years in the Material Plane.
“Guys, while I know we’ve arrived in Lastil-Taswell to speak with the Lady of Light. We have even been granted an audience with her possibly, but there’s something more personal on my mind.” Jimmy addressed to his friends
“What’s on your mind?” Arcaelus inquired.
“It’s my mother. I have not heard a word from her, and I want to know she’s safe.” The half-elf druid paced along the room for several moments. “Lady Aurelia informed that she hired my mother to infiltrate the cultists before all this mess but lost contact with her.”
“Do we know where to even start?” Brightiron questioned.
“I have an idea,” the halfling suggested.
Aydan seemed aware of the assassin’s choice and instantly rebuked him. “No! Definitely not!”
“What choice do we have? He’s probably the only other person in this city besides Aurelia who had an inkling of a cultist uprising. Look, I don’t like it either but do we have any other choice?”
“How will you contact him?” Jimmy asked.
“Don’t know, he usually finds you.” Rainer pondered for a while, even his knowledge from the Nest of Shadows was never conclusive about the mysterious entrepreneur of Taswell.
“I bet if we find her, she will take us to him.” Aydan proposed. “I’ll go find her.”
“Hold on, I’ll go with you.” Rainer followed the tiefling sorceress, and the two began their short walk through the various districts within the walled city of Taswell.
The hours of the morning passed, and by mid-afternoon, it seemed as if none of Rainer’s previous contacts could offer any information of substance. Aydan grew impatient with the endeavor until the sound of a familiar female voice from behind ended their search.
“I have heard you have been seeking my master and me,” Cecil determined. “How may we be of service to you again?”
“We need information,” the halfling demanded.
“Can you be specific?”
“We’re seeking information about a friend’s mother, Lapin Hornraven.” Rainer remained firm in his tone, after the various dealings with Randor and his associates, the rogue knew to keep his emotions in check.
“Ah yes, the Ghost of Taswell. I see, indeed my master should be more than capable of procuring the information you seek. There will be a price, of course.” Cecil grinned and directed the two to follow.
She remained silent for the duration of their brief walk, turning between several different alleyways and passes after leaving the main road. Once and awhile, the blonde beauty would turn to verify their pace with her piercing amethyst eyes. Eventually, the trio arrived at the dead end of a seemingly abandoned alleyway. Cecil began to whisper words of power and gently tap on the various bricks along the wall. Once she finished her chant, a low rumble sounded, and multiple blocks began to shift and part away to form a mysterious hallway behind it.
Cecil turned to the pair, “please follow me. My master will be waiting for us.”
The duo crossed the threshold and the portal faded. The low light from torches on sconces revealed a narrow wooden hallway with a series of doors ahead. Cecil continued her path while Rainer and Aydan tried to keep pace, trying to keep their curiosities at bay as they passed various doorways.
Cecil abruptly stopped in front of a door and knocked three times.
After a brief pause, the familiar voice of Timeaus Randor ordered them to enter. Cecil graciously turned the doorknob and revealed a room littered with piles of books on the floor, tables, and scattered across bookshelves. Aydan and Rainer cautiously enter as the door closed from behind, they each carefully stepped into the ominous sanctum before finding the stretched-skinned face of Timeaus Randor behind several columns of books behind an ornate mahogany desk.
“I suspect you seek my services? Well? Speak.” The gravelly voice of the shriveled businessman felt like glass against a chalkboard.
“We need help finding Lapin Hornraven, you are the only other individual that would know enough her and the cultists. So here we are.” Rainer demanded.
“Very well, I believe that is within my capabilities. But I will need payment for my services.”
“No. From her. I seek payment from her.” Timeaus interrupted.
Aydan clutched the Animus Gem tightly behind her cloak.
“Do not worry girl, I have other things that are equally as interesting as that trinket. Besides, the one you all presented to me has proven to be most adequate to my needs.” Timeaus rose from his seat and towered over the two even with Aydan’s antler tiefling horns, the shrewd tycoon seemed more massive than their previous encounter.
“Fine. Name your price.” Aydan surrendered.
“Very well, have trinkets that I wish to be retrieved eventually and would prefer if you could fetch them for me. I hope you are more, accommodating than your compatriot over there.” Timeaus informed and leered at the halfling.
“Alright, it’s a deal.”
Almost instantly, Cecil materialized with a scroll. Once unveiled, it revealed itself as a contract of some sort. Layers of legislative text littered the parchment, Aydan’s previous experiences in her past helped her navigate the more delicate details of their potential business arrangement. The tiefling agreed to the terms and signed effortlessly.
“Very well. Luckily for you, I have been keeping tabs on her lately, and her whereabouts are known to me. You will find her in the marsh village of Halpslem, located several days north by cart. I would advise you to hurry soon.” The philanthropist calmly handed them a scroll and gestured them to leave.
Rainer was the last to leave the room before Timeaus interjected. “Rainer, you should visit them. Preferably before your journey north.”
The halfling turned to the scheming man, unsure of his motives, but proceeded to leave with Aydan and return back to the DuMont estate. Upon their return, they conveyed the information presented by Randor, which set the pace for their departure the next morning. On their way, Rainer visits one of the cemeteries located outside of Taswell, only to find broken and empty graves. The halfling remained calm but was internally mortified and angered. Timeaus’ grim comment was more than enough to send a series of questions looming over the assassin’s head.
Upon their arrival to Halpstem, the group learns of corruption spreading through the marshes. It was no longer safe to boat through the mangroves and swamps beyond the village. Jimmy Moon does not listen to reason and hijacks a canoe large enough to fit the party as they made their way into whatever dark aura loomed over the mire.
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