Parallax

Episode 5

 

After waking up in Aldus’ bed, the Assassin filled Declan in on his drunken antics the night before and let him know that Arka and Bannon had been sent to a Garrison and that there was probably a letter waiting for Declan at his Mercenary Guild in Summerloch. While Declan was being treated to his first Courtesan Guild experience (as promised) by Walter and Dru, the gang spent one more night (which was both raining and hailing) in Eastborne before setting off in the morning in a miserable but manageable rain. Dru carries Rowan’s letter with him, with the intention to present it to Morighan himself and seeking answers yet again from her when he gets back to Moat. Meanwhile, Rowan has asked Sina if she would continue to travel with the party and collect any information she can from Dru’s future assailants if any are captured. Walter and Declan, as Dru’s bodyguards, also continue to travel with him.

Declan expressed his wishes to go to Summerloch, so the group passed through Porthcaul on their way there where they were charmed by an inn called The Worn Chant. The place has bookcases instead of walls and seems to be occupied by all manner of scholars. Sina found the book written by a former friend, of which she had a direct impact on the formation of, and Dru found an interesting read about sleight of hand. Speaking of interesting books, the group was able to find shelter between towns in an abandoned and slightly falling apart cabin, in which Dru found a coded diary he is still trying to crack.

At the side trip to Summerloch, it was learned that Ruaidhrí, Suibhne and Ainsley had indeed made it to the Mercenary Guild and had impressed the members enough that Ailbhe practically begged them to join. Currently, no one has beaten Ruaidhrí in a fight and he has expressed that he would like to finish his duel with Walter in the future. The three are leaving in a day for their first mission together, on which Ailin may join them, but Declan has said he will mention this request to Walter and see if the duel can be arranged before they leave. Meanwhile Declan did find his letter from Arka and Bannon explaining that they had been sent to a Garrison for disobedience and that they would be staying there for a few years.

 

Sina, having never been to Summerloch before, is intent upon some sight-seeing while Declan goes about catching up at the guild and Walter watches Dru.

 

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Episode 4

While camping in the woods a day's travel from their destination of Eastborne, the group was approached by a man looking to share the fire during a cold snap. It was the second-to-last watch of the night and Sina was on guard duty. She allowed the man to warm himself by the fire and during their conversation discovered he was a Scout. Upon seeing her branch's symbol on him and not recognizing his face, she began to slyly question him while appearing to make conversation and discovered in the process that he was an imposter.

 

The fake Scout ran into the woods and Sina gave chase, ultimately capturing him by rendering him temporarily lame in one foot. Declan showed off his first aid to stop the man from bleeding out while Walter and Sina played good/cop bad cop for more information about the situation. Throughout the interrogation, the man insisted he had found the Scout uniform on a dead body and just took it to make travelling alone easier. The group carried the man to Rowan, Guildmaster of the Scout Guild, whom they were planning on meeting with anyway. 

 

Rowan confirmed that a dead Scout had been found but also noted that the Scout had been attacked, and after stabbing the imposter with his own blade confirmed it was the same marking. Unconcerned with Walter's information that the guard at the gate wanted the imposter when Rowan was done questioning him, Rowan choked the man to death while simultaneously holding a meeting with our heroes. 

 

Upon learning that Dru was the man being targeted by assassins which Morighan had been requesting Rowan look into, Rowan let Dru know that Morighan had more information than he did. He provided Dru what he knew: that the attacks are being orchestrated by a Noble in a neighboring country and that he hadn't been able to scare up the name as he had to tread carefully. Rowan suggested Dru not go there looking for answers. Dru settled on returning to Morighan to demand answers, and Rowan asked Sina if she'd like the task of accompanying them back as it's somewhat on her way to her own guild branch. Rowan is also allowing Dru to carry his reply back to Morighan. 

 

Meanwhile Declan caught up with an old army friend and drunkenly fell asleep on his bed and Sina went to take a nap while Walter and Dru were left chatting at the inn. There are plans to introduce Declan to his first Courtesan and to sell more compasses in the future before the party adventures back to Moat. 

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Episode 3

Setting out from the Cup and Club the next day, the group runs into trouble on the road—a bandit gang with three archers and four melee fighters. Sina and one of the archers entered into a duel with bow and arrows while the rest of the group engaged where they could. Eventually, it became clear that the spear-wielder in the bandit gang was a caliber or two above his compatriots and Declan and Walter began to compliment and speak with him. While the leader of the bandit gang had been killed in battle, the spear-wielder (whose name they learned was Ruaidhrí) made a deal that he would stop the fight on two conditions: Declan beat the second-in-command whom he was currently fighting and the Ruaidhrí would be able to freely take whatever members of the bandit gang he chose and go on his way.

Declan did indeed win this fight while Walter and Ruaidhrí had their own duel and the others watched, and Sina continued her fight with the archer. Once the fight was over, Walter told Ruaidhrí to go to Summerloch and his Mercenary Guild and to drop his and Declan’s name to see if they would be accepted and find work there. Ruaidhrí decided to go there with Suibhne, the sword-wielder, and their archer friend Ainsley. The archer who had been fighting Sina was dismissed after Ruaidhrí put a spear through his chest when he wouldn’t stop fighting on command. The third archer, however, was angry at this turn of events and with the fact that Dru had been needling him throughout the fight and that the other bandits had let it happen. He still, however, went off with the others.

The group decided to camp for the night and continue on in the morning. During Dru’s watch, he was attacked by that same archer who had split off from the other bandits and doubled back. Dru was able to kill this foe, however he charged into the woods screaming a Nomad war-cry which woke Declan in a panic, as he had heard those same cries before during the war. Convinced the camp was under attack by Nomads, the others ran after Dru into the trees. Walter tripped over Dru and the archer scrabbling in the dirt and Dru killed the archer by slitting him open.

Later, washing off in the stream with Walter as his guard, Dru spotted and communicated with a Nomad who had been drawn by his cry. After a peaceful exchange (which Walter saw Dru’s half of) the Nomad left and Dru cut the heart out of his dead enemy and burned it while praying to offer it to the God of Blood. Sina, the only one not to see this display, acted as normal while Dru’s bodyguards were full of questions (and maybe misgivings).

Upon arriving in Skystead at night, it was decided Sina would go to Skyhold and report in while the others sought out a place to stay for the night and meet Blythe in the morning. Sina recommended the Imp and Queen and the Duchess and Hawk Inns as good places to stay, but told the group they’d get more for their money at the latter. The group purchased rooms at the Duchess and Hawk, with Walter and Dru rooming together so Walter could question Dru about his connection to the Nomads.

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Episode 2
Overflowing Cups

Aksinya the Scout finally arrived back at Morighan’s estate and received a letter to deliver back to her commanding officer. Dru (and therefore Walter and Declan) semi-successfully tailed her through the estate and then approached her outside of it to gather information. They had coffee at a place away from the docks called The Bodyguard’s Cup and Aksinya agreed to let the three tag along with her to meet Blythe, the commanding officer of Skyhold, the Scout Guild branch located in Skystead, roughly a three day’s trip North West of Moat.

 

Along the journey the foursome met Lorcan, a hunter who roams the villages about a day’s journey outside of Moat and invited him to spend the night in the burrow Sina had discovered (as he often used the burrow before, and happened upon the travelers accidentally and almost got his throat cut by Walter for it).

 

The next day found our adventurers in Arbordale, where Dru bought a puppy and dropped it off at the Assassin Guild branch to have it sent to Esben Brandr. Declan asked after his Assassin friend Aldus Braden and a woman named Catriona said she’d get in touch with Aldus and ask him to pass on messages to both Skystead and Moat for Declan. Declan is looking for information on his friends Arka Tasker and Bannon Teel. (Speaking of friends, on the road it was discovered Dru had had some dealings with Walter’s friend Ashby Keswick's subordinate soldiers during war time as he was trading goods.)

 

Still in Arbordale where they were planning to spend the night, the group ran into an Assassin acquaintance of Dru’s and decided to both have dinner and rent rooms in the Cup and Club Inn, run by the charming Embla. We left our adventurers as they were bedding down for the night—Dru’s room between Declan and Walter’s (who took the one nearest the stairs) with Sina opposite the hall from Dru and both other rooms in the Inn occupied by other guests. There is still a day and a half’s journey to reach Skystead where Dru hopes to get information from Blythe.

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Episode 1
A Backstabbing Assassin?

Declan and Walter arrived in the city of Moat at the end of an escort mission for a man named Col, who was travelling to Morighan—some kind of underworld leader. Ailbhe, Walter and Declan’s Guild Master, had told them they were free to carry out any additional tasks Morighan set them to if asked. Upon dropping Col off safely, they were given the option to be hired out as bodyguards for Druwaine, Morighan’s “nephew” by Fiachra, Morighan’s right hand man. Druwaine meanwhile wasn’t to know anything of the job but was tipped off by Morighan’s granddaughter Rioghan (who then informed Declan and Walter that she had informed Dru of the job).

 

Morighan claimed to have no knowledge of the information Druwaine was visiting her for, but Rioghan told Druwaine that he should check with the Scout visiting their abode, whom was out at the moment but would return. In the few days they have been waiting for the Scout, Druwaine has led Walter and Declan through a dance of keeping up with their charge and the three have run into an Assassin, Esben Brandr, whom Dru introduced as his boyfriend after a misunderstanding between the bodyguards and Esben in the street. Druwaine then set up shop in the Mercantile District to sell some dresses, and Walter helped while Declan stood guard. An archer on a nearby roof took a shot at Dru, winging him in the arm. Walter took off after the archer but lost him in the streets. In the meantime, guards approached and a Healer was led to Dru by one of the guards. The Healer then tried to stab Dru, as he was a secondary killer in disguise. Declan fought the fake guard who had brought the “Healer” over and Dru tried to get information from the “Healer”. After receiving very little information, Dru was brought back to Morighan’s place by Declan and Walter and the fake guard was brought into custody. (The fake Healer died of his injuries at the scene.)

 

Word reached Fiachra later that both the archer and the fake guard had been killed, and it looked like a professional job. We left off the session with Fiachra intimating to Dru that perhaps his Assassin friend was not as loyal as he appeared if he killed their only leads as to who is trying to kill Dru.

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The Story

The peace that Prince Rhys Durant brokered three years ago with the Nomadic people of Doanlec has been shattered. The Prince has since been labelled a traitor and has gone missing. Oran Mac Duibhshíthe, Marshall and head of the King’s Guard, is forced to provide orders for several new garrisons along the border that are only half-built, at best, and now must stand as the country’s first line of defense against invasion or attack. As if the Nomads, with their excessive strength, durability and abnormal healing factor, weren’t bad enough, there are also rumors circulating that they have some sort of alliance with Necromancers who are said to roam through Doanlec at their leisure.

Daulurrak does not have many options for allies itself: to the south, the people of Kolmorol refuse to dirty their hands in a war they don’t believe in. To the north, above Doanlec, the people of Katerbreen have kept to their side of the mountain and are not interested in the conflicts erupting outside of their borders. To the east lies Artedin, a country with an impressive military but who is perhaps still nursing a grudge from Daulurrak’s secession a century ago; an uneasy truce lies there that could become a strong alliance, or a grave mistake.

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