Primalvas 20, 6,995. While in Trivium, Scanah De Morcey arranged a meeting with Kail and Annika (who brought Geneva and Kurt along.) Scanah told them her husband Vernell gave her son Adal a thousand gold pieces and sent him to Setine to make his fortune. She went with him to help him along.
The De Morceys roomed at the Aril House with a young Sentinian nobleman, Nosse Aril (who wore a silver mask, as was the affectation of the nobility.) They paid rent, and Adal found his way as an art dealer. About six months later, Scanah left, in the autumn.
The next spring Adal wrote that he met a nice girl. Then the letters stopped. She has not gotten a letter in four months, and she is worried.
She gave Kail and Annika 300 gold pieces to travel to Setine and find out what happened to Adal De Morcey. The Aril House is south of the Gray Market in the Citadel District, off Glitterscale Way, behind the lumber yard and the cobbler’s shop.
They agreed to go investigate.
Arrival Outside Town
Hamvas 12, 6,995 Annika weakened significantly during the journey, turning pale and unwholesome, coughing into a kerchief until she could no longer move or be moved. Fortunately, by then they had covered the tremendous distance between Trivium and Setine. They stopped at a local noble’s house, staying with Fen Ryvan only an hour or so outside the city walls of Setine. Kail hired Edru and Fynn to look after Annika as she shivered and coughed.
They met Galen Tandro, a friend of Ryvan, who was visiting. They lounged on the balcony patio in the crisp fall afternoon, trading stories and song. Galen entertained them with his violin. After a discussion, Kail retained Galen’s services as local guide, to find out what became of Adal De Morcey. Galen seemed to recall something about the Harrofaustian noble falling afoul of a loan shark, but he would find out more the next day.
Investigation in Setine
They visited the Gray Market, and as they browsed and enjoyed a puppet play, Galen tracked down a contact. Salizar, right hand man of Vash the Unconquered, was collecting in the beer tent. He told Galen (who he affectionately nicknamed “Fiddler Crab”) that Adal De Morcey was a prisoner of Vash the Unconquered, used as leverage to get Nosse Aril to service his debt to the loan shark.
Galen caught up to his customers, and told them; they offered to buy Adal back, and Galen managed to take that message to Salizar before the criminal left the Market. They worked on some details, with some mark-up for the middle men, to be finalized at a meeting in the Beggar’s Court that night. Salizar also explained that some debt collectors would be swinging by the Aril House sometime this afternoon.
Also, Geneva switched out her Vistani outfit for local fashions so as not to draw unwanted attention. She got a fan case for her kusuri-gama.
Showdown at the Aril House
They found the somewhat run-down but still-magnificent Aril House. They were halted at the broken door by the sound of a musket serpentine cocking. Fortunately Galen knew Dakri, the house’s guard, so they chatted about the situation.
Three months ago Nosse and Adal had a row about finances; Adal met a woman, and was neglecting his business. Adal stormed out and vanished. A month later, Nosse turned over the remaining art to Vash to stave off collections. Last month, Vash had Adal prisoner. To protect Adal, Nosse gave up his mask as a payment. He has been a depressed, besotted wreck since. Now another payment is due, and there is no art or money or anything else valuable.
An orc and six agents showed up to collect, and Galen negotiated to have a little more time, asking them to come back an hour after dark for a hefty fee now. They agreed, and sloped off.
Into the Rubble District
Kurt revealed he had contacts in Setine. In the interests of setting up a meet in a more advantageous location than someplace chosen by Salizar, they went to meet Talon. They bribed the guards to let them across the Rosewater Bridge, then they navigated past the tent camp and into the broken overgrown corpses of buildings in the Silver District.
At a performance stage now used for animal fights, they found Talon, a crippled old man with many friends in the criminal underbelly of Setine. He was put off by Kurt’s attempts to haggle him down from his price as neutral party dealing with Vash the Unconquered, so he refused to give them much in the way of help. He did tell Kurt that Vash the Unconquered, the loan shark with Nosse Aril’s marker, laired out of the battered ruin of the Ellydia House in the Rubble District.
They headed for their rendezvous with Salizar at the Beggar’s Court, a theater converted to desperate shelter for unfortunates trying to sell their services to criminals for a day’s bread.
They staked out a seating platform and waited. Salizar arrived with six of his tough guys. He ordered Galen out of the way, and sent his killers to wipe out Kail, Geneva, and Kurt! Much to Galen’s surprise, the toughened adventurers made short work of the thugs. Unruffled, Salizar met with them in a theater box out of easy earshot.
He told them “Vash the Unconquered” was a title, one he was ready to assume. He told them he would clear Aril’s marker and release De Morcey and cut them in to some sweet jobs in his organization, and all they had to do was kill Vash quietly and dispose of the body. They agreed to work together on a plan, and Salizar vanished into the night.
Back to the Aril House
Racing back to get to the Aril House before enforcers did, the company managed to arrive shortly before the orc showed up with twelve thugs to collect. After a bit of banter, Galen pegged the orc with a flung dagger that nearly did him in. Kurt unhinged reality itself, creating a throbbing pulse of undeath on the battle site to hungrily devour any who fell.
Geneva and Kail battled mightily, plowing through minions and closing in on the startled orc—but Galen felled him with a well-placed dagger hurled from the balcony. As Geneva and Kail rounded on the stragglers, a desperate minion lunged at Geneva and struck her in the face. The blow carried killing energies of the World Below in the haunted arena, and she was dead before she hit the ground!
Kail raced over to her and focused all his will and the energies of his healing ring into her, barely dragging her back from the abyss and jump-starting her vitality.
Still badly wounded and exhausted, Geneva rested as the rest of the company re-secured the house and considered their next move.