Helena

Between Barakas and a Hard Place

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After killing Bharash, Jak suggests they track the path of illithid influence by going to back to the House of Cards. If they branded him with forbidden far realm mind control rituals, they might also know about mind flayers.

Going to back to their trusty contact Tellus the guard, Jak and Max make him pee himself as he tells them everything he knows. They ask him about the only living kidnapper of Bharash (a small humanoid). Tellus informs the party that the halfling they’re referring to was named Tynis and was publicly executed by Barakas this morning as part of an “Illithid Purge” he has started. Back to their old friend Barakas! He tells the details of an investigation he’s been conducting for over a week. He’s singled out a few unresponsive Cards that have been acting…suspiciously. The adventurers form a tentative alliance with Barakas to tap into his information and find thralls.

First, the party goes to nearby Seifri Manor to find Walter “The Houndsman” Seifri. When no one answers the call bell at the gate, Max picks the lock on the front gate. Opening the gate (of battle?) sets of an alarm. Soon, the pattering of paws and fast breathing rounds the corner of the estate as five guard hounds sprint up to the gate. Immediately backing out and shutting the gate leaves the party just out of reach of their snarling jaws. Jak intuitively commands the dogs to back down with his dominating presence. Impressed, the others proceed up one of the twin stairways to the main entrance on the second floor. Max fucks up another lockpick check and sets of the alarm again, which infuriate the dogs, who Jak orders to stand down with a furious growl.

The group is now able to slip inside the seemingly abandoned house. The party startles themselves with their insane levels of quietness just before a gruff, bearded man comes quickly downstairs. The party scatters like sneaky sneaky mice into the curtains. The gruff man communicates to his hounds and realizes that intruders are present. He turns around and bellows, “WHO’S IN MY HOUSE? I KNOW YER IN HERE!” Jak reveals himself from the shadows and introduces himself. One by one, the others emerge from the curtains like they’re a clown car. Barakas confronts Walter and Jak presents the Flayer’s Foil. Aside from looking like a goofy bearded man in a tiara, nothing happens to Walter. Check one off the list!

Because the adventurers have no lead on the Assassin, they decide to pursue Ambassador Silver Kine.

Abernathy Wistershire messages his assistant Ross and asks for all the latest information he has about Kine. Ross isn’t able to tell him much, but has heard a rumor about a party Kine would attend and gives Ben the Ambassador’s address. The adventurers trek across town to Kine’s chateau where they are greeted by a servant maid. Max makes some bullshit about how Catherine is mute and he is speaking on her behalf and that they were invited but they lost their invitation and so they want to know if they can borrow Silver’s. She’s like, “ummm….” and Catherine speaks up. Catherine says “My friend’s had a long day, let us in,” and the maid’s like “sure.” She knows that Kine is indeed attending an Eladrin-only function that evening and that the invitation may be in his office. Ben finds the letter, Jak finds some Notices of Summons from Barakas in the wastebasket, and Max finds 32 platinum pieces in a lock box underneath a desk. He takes not only the coins but the box as well.

Later, at a fancy party, the “Eladrin” (Catherine, Max, Ben) infiltrate the ballroom while Jak and Barakas pose as bodyguards on the outside. Max overhears someone mention that the ambassador is freshening up in the water closet before giving a toast. Catherine strikes up a conversation with him in the foyer, which sets the stage for later. The adventurers are able to watch him carefully and confront him after dinner. Catherine walks up to him and continues where their conversation left off. Then, Ben walks up with a box containing a crown. “Someone wishes to give you a gift, Ambassador, and they need to know your circlet size.” By feeding his ego, they are easily able to get the Ambassador to believe the ruse. BUT WAIT THAT’S THE BOX FROM UNDER HIS DESK! Ben plays the part so well that he doesn’t recognize it. BUT WAIT THE AMBASSADOR WORKS WITH BEN EVERY YEAR SURELY HE WOULD RECOGNIZE BEN! Ben plays the part so well that he doesn’t recognize him.

So yeah, the Ambassador isn’t a thrall either. One “suspicious character” remains: the Sexy Deadly Drow Assassin Chick.

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