As the party dealt with the implications of being discovered in an alleyway with the body of an unconscious Kharlin guard, the woman responsible told them to meet her at the Spiked Gauntlet after she had spoken with her handler. Ignomine, unwilling to leave the helpless guard (and thankful that his wanted compatriots wouldn’t have to go to Fort Vigilance) elected to remain behind to guard him until Dante regained consciousness. It wasn’t until everyone had left that Ignomine realized he didn’t know where the Spiked Gauntlet was, which was something of a predicament.
Luckily, discussions with the woman were concluded quickly and Artas Menethar came along to give Ignomine the location. With that safely out of the way and Artas moving to Fort Justice, Ignomine proceeded onward to Vigilance in the company of Drake. There, Drake was informed to take the half-orc and his information to a particular officer of the fort.
The soldier took Ignomine to a courtyard busy with the hustle and bustle of the fort’s operations, and the officer in question seemed preoccupied. After seeing several other important-seeming people jump in front of them, Ignomine asked the soldier what the protocol was only to be surprised by his ramrod-stiff stance at attention. When asked whether he should just walk up and assert his presence like the other soldiers apparently were, the guard began sweating in anxiety and glancing nervously at the apparently very important officer. Ignomine contented himself for another half-hour of waiting before finally striding up to make his case, much to the distress of the guard.
The man revealed himself to be the Captain of Fort Vigilance, the nobleman and officer in charge of the entire complex. Ignomine made his apologies, but made it clear the urgency of his message warranted the intrusion. He informed the captain of the massing Goblins and their construction in the forests outside Shivar. The captain seemed skeptical but unsurprised at this intelligence, given that one of his officers had been telling him of the rumors of such an event but assuring him that it was just the populace overreacting to a typical raid.
Seeing as this meant either his officer or Ignomine were lying to him, the Captain offered Ignomine a deal: he would scout the area in question and deal justice to whomever was wrong. To enforce this, Ignomine would have a geas placed upon him to return to the trial in two days’ time. The half-orc agreed, accepted the magical compulsion, and went on his way to meet his companions.
Meanwhile, most of the party headed to Fort Justice to warn them as well. Exiting the city of Shivar, however, required passing the Magistrate’s Tower where a long line had formed from those waiting to be searched. Polycarp elected to avoid the hassle and climbed into the tower. His actions were eventually noticed, and the guards gave chase. He swiftly outran them, but was stymied by his attempts to climb the wall back out and was spotted once again. Heavily wounded, he raced up the stairs to the wall-top, dashed past a surprised guard, and leapt onto a nearby roof and escaped into the safety of the shadows.
That business concluded, the party reconvened at the Spiked Gauntlet. The woman identified herself as Ayda Magnus, member of the Free Shivar movement. She explained the reason for the movement, their resistance to the Arelan Compromise, and why they chafed under the rule of the other Great Cities. As invitation to join their cause she requests that the party meet with her handler.
Some time later after they had retired for the night, the party are summoned to the common room by a disgruntled-looking barmaid. The cause of her distress is revealed when the common room is shown to be completely empty of patrons save for a solitary nobleman and a guard retinue. It takes little effort to identify him as the Magistrate of Shivar, Lord Chandler Thorton. Around a mouthful of steak “acquired” from the customers’ hasty exit and a bottle of extremely expensive wine (paid for by the party), the Magistrate made it clear that the Free Shivar movement were hostile and malicious terrorists that were going to get a lot of people killed if they got their way, and that a legion of very powerful and very wealthy forces would look unkindly on the party if they allied themselves with the Movement. After a few more thinly-veiled threats, the possibility of acting as informants was broached. The party remained noncommittal, and after reaffirming his threats the Magistrate and his large contingent of guards withdrew.
The party then set about taking care of a few errands and the opportunity that a Great City like Shivar can provide. Drael visited the workplace of some ladies of the night and made more contacts for his spy network. Ignomine and Artas went to the temple of Abadar, which gave Ignomine a chance to marvel at one of the great works of the ancient Arelans and a chance to get the tainted sword and dagger they acquired cleansed. Though the acolytes of Abadar weren’t able to help them, they did direct them to the Temple of Alion, where Artas was also able to ask about gods owing debts and talk obliquely about some of the other strange things that had happened to him. The cleric can offer little help, but does cleanse the sword and reimburses them for it. The dagger, however, requires a more involved ritual and would take time to cure, so he requested they return tomorrow.
That taken care of, the party meets with Ayda’s handler. He reveals that he has acquired tickets to an important ball where many Shivar, Ceres, and Kharlin nobles will be attending, and requests the party help in infiltrating it. Drael and Ignomine are selected as the most polished members of the party, while Artas and Vyktor are chosen to be their “bodyguards.” As an act of prudence, the theurge went with the paladin while the fighter accompanied the sorcerer. Suitable garments were acquired for the swanky party, and carriages bought by the handler are provided. Just as the party are underway, the necessity of subterfuge makes Ignomine wonder aloud if someone else wouldn’t have been better a better choice for representative given the fact that he cannot lie. Without time to change the plan, the party arrives at the dinner…
These are notes that I will use to write up a full session recap later. It’s been a while so things are a bit hazy, I will likely get stuff wrong.
-The woman tells us she needs to speak with her handler and will meet us at the inn.
-Escorting the guard back to fort Vigiliance. Iggy meets Steve and the Captain, gets a gaes to return.
-Attempting to get to Fort Justice, stopping at the Magistrates tower instead.
-Polycarp breaking into the tower, confronting the guards almost getting killed being chased out of the tower, failing at climbing the wall, finally succeeding and running past a last guard.
-Returning to the spiked gauntlet, speaking with the woman. She explains the Free Shivar movement and invites us to meet her handler.
-The magistrate comes in asks us a bunch of questions and threatens us. We offer to be his informants against the free shivar and the Kharlin army.
-Dreal goes to a brothel and expands his spy network
-Go to the temple of Abbadar. Iggy does some worshipping. Artas asks about Alion owing a debt.
-Going to the temple of Aloin to ask about debts. They don’t know how thats possible. The cleric cleanses the sword and pays us for it. He is unsure about the dagger and asks you to leave it with him and return tomorrow.
-We meet with the handler, he offers us tickets to a party. We accept for some reason.