End of Empire

Times Are A'Changing

In Which Echos Shows His Sensitive Side And Dawnis Gains A Staff

Heading into the sewers, Ailith becomes impatient with Echos and Dawnis’ dithering and shouts at them, ruining the party’s chance at a stealthy entrance. Fortunately, the two groups of guards that approaches is no match for the might of the group, and is easily dispatched.

Carrying on through the sewers (some of the party members already dripping with… poop), the group reaches a large open space with a utility room. Planning their attack a bit more carefully, the group manages to surprise some of Shard’s guards before the battle proper.

Shard, accompanied by Avarice (yet another old “friend” of Hope and Echos’), fight hard, but are ultimately defeated by the group. Mara reveals she has discovered a few new tricks, including summoning what appears to be an angel of fire. The group is much impressed. After the battle, Mara declines to usher the souls of the dead to the Raven Queen, stating it is no longer her task, and instead makes sure Deanna cannot escape.

Echos, to everyone’s surprise, very carefully retrieves Shard’s body and keeps Hope from searching it. With Hope’s help, he carries the body out of the sewer with the rest of the group.

Reaching the tavern, the group finds only the young boy and one guard remaining. Sending the resistance members away, Hope talks to Deanna to explain (somewhat) why they have come from her. Outlining the need for the “song of the nation”, Hope asks for Deanna’s help, assuring her that she will not be forced. Presumably considering the matter, Deanna asks the party members what they think the song of the nation should represent.

Hope: lots of different people, should live peacefully Ailith: the nation is strong Dawnis & Echos: strength through unity Mara: not my nation

Ever concerned about security, Ailith suggests that Deanna stay with the group. After accidentally revealing to Echos that the group is not staying at the most expensive inn in town, it evolves that the group will split up. Echos, Deanna, Mara and Ailith will move to the Ivory Horn (the best inn in town), while Hope and Dawnis opt to remain at the Tawny Lion.

Before adjourning to sleep, however, Echos declares that he will see Shard’s body properly taken care of. This requires taking the body to Tuefhar’s temple, under the assumption that Abbott Lux will recall he might owe the group a favour, and will allow Shard to be treated as a noble. Ailith chooses to accompany Echos, rather than have him wandering around alone.

Reaching the temple, after walking through still-chaotic streets, they are granted an immediate audience. More than slightly surprised to see them, Lux eventually agrees to perform Shard’s funeral rites. Despite Echos’ strong encouragement the process takes almost 2 hours, after which Ailith is all but asleep on her feet. Echos is given Shard’s remaining posessions.

In the meantime, Hope, Mara, Dawnis, and Deanna remain at the Tawny Lion. Hope leaves Dawnis and Deanna to themselves, watching surreptitiously as they blush at each other.

Upon Ailith and Echos’ return, they pick up Deanna and Mara and carry on to the Ivory Horn to sleep. Dawnis informs Hope that he has a meeting with Carl, which he must attend alone. Hope assures him she has no intention to follow him, since she promised Deanna to check up on her grandmother. Sensing no deception, Dawnis hurries to his meeting place (followed discreetly by Hope).

Meeting with Carl, Dawnis learns a bit about his father’s history. However, before he can ask some of his intended questions, Carl offers to give him his father’s old staff. Taking the staff, Dawnis is treated to the lovely visual of Carl being burned to dust. Hope, watching from a distance, sees only a massive explosion, turning half the hill-side to glass. Running to see what happened, she finds a dazed Dawnis standing alone, beside a pair of skeletal feet, with a staff in his hand.

Well aware that the city guards would have seen the explosion, Hope hurries Dawnis back into the city to hide. The once-mage, still recovering from his ordeal, follows in silence.

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