Act 2. Session III. April 14, 2007.
124 YR of Factol’s rule, 2nd day, 3rd rule, state of Serenity
It was an exciting time. Within less than a week, we’d be celebrating Athena’s birthday. Specifically we’d be celebrating Athena as protector of the city. Melissa has been working on the dress for a year and a half now. The special day would feature processional marches, a torch relay race for the young boys, and the dress would eventually be pinned to the tapestry in the church.
At twilight the air was thick. Chryseis was at Hinrik’s forge and Eki was on his way back to Crossguard from the lower ward. Ludvik awoke in the room he shared with Svanna. Normally, he’s the first one up. Svanna usually slept long and late, but this particular morning she was awake, and setaed on the bed. She stared intensely forward.
Ludvik learned that Svanna had a dream that woke her. She dreamed of her mother and it seemed so real. The siblings briefly spoke about their missing mother. Ludvik was fatalistic, admitting only that it bothered him sometimes. Their mother couldn’t be perfect, after all she’d left them.
Downstairs Avrillius dropped by to wish Chryseis a good day. Chryseis was working on a piece of engraving. It was a task the least likely to annoy the neighbors, and one she’d found by trial and error. She was watching the day workers heading to the foundry in their grey-black cloaks. A few Davas float by.
She was startled to hear someone yelling down on ash row. A man turned the corner into crossguard, slipped, fell, then was up and running straight for Chryseis. She stood to get a better look. The human was male and had a grey-brwon beard. He seemed full grown and was wild eyed in panic. He began yelling even louder.
Chasing him were three cloaked individuals. They turned the corner as a group. One spotted him and they surged forward. The old man banged on doors, and when they didn’t open, he lurched towards the next, and the next – making his way up the street, towards Hinrik’s forge.
As Ludvik came down to the forge, he heard the yelling. Chryseis pointed out the stranger and headed out into the street. Ludvik grabbed the tonges from a workbench and followed. The three cloaked indivduals were male tieflings.
Eki was close to home. He passed a few other light boys and foundry workers when he saw three people running pell-mel into Crossguard. He followed and heard the old man yelling.
Chryseis spoke to the toughs, trying to get them to state their grievances. One grabbed the old man and spun him around. They spoke in a guttural tongue to each other. The old man drew a dagger and seemed prepared to fend everyone off. Ludvik tried to convince the toughs to leave the old man alone. They recognized Ludvik as an assimar and they claimed the old man’s junk. The noise woke me and drew me to the window. I saw them gathered together in front of Yougros’ door, so I went downstairs and woke Yougros up.
Eki called out that the Harmonium are on the way. Chryseis tried to convince the toughs to leave and then interposes as the stranger defended himself with his dagger. The fight is short and the toughs are matched by Chryseis, Ludvik and Eki. Eki successfully triped one, Ludvik beaned another with the tonges and Chryseis grappled and held the third. The toughs agreed to leave. As a parting shot Ludvik put a halo on one of the tough’s heads. He got rid of it quick, but they’ll remember Ludvik for that.
By the time Yougros came to the door with a stout club in hand, it’s all over. We took the stranger to the temple and learn that the clueless is called Eliath. Chryseis wakes up Sophia and she managedto find a common language (Gnomen). Iseme puts him to work on oiling the pews in the temple. It’s a task he seems comfortable with. He’s got a pretty piece of jink around his neck – a medallion showing the sunrise.
Iseme follows a set of muddy tracks out of the church and into the street. Eki didn’t wipe his feet before going into the temple. Outside Iseme notices that the sewer is backing up. She departed for the Olympian temple.
Meanwhile I was asking around about the clueless, trying to figure out who to ask to see where he’s from. Iseme spoke a few words of gnomen, but other than maybe Averlius – I couldn’t think of another that I knew who knew the language. I learned from Ismene, Da and Averlius that we’d have to take the clueless deep into Gov’ territory and visit the hall of information to try and find the clueless’ home world. Then there’d probably be a fee in figuring out if there was a doorway back to wherever he’d come. Since he got here and got chased – it was doubtful he could find his way back on his own. The adults kept telling me that he should work, get his own coin, and find his own way out of the hell hole he’d fallen into. That just didn’t seem right to me, but Ismene said we can’t help them all.
By second watch the sewer wasn’t just backing up, it was spreading out. By mid-afternoon people are avoiding the area. It was a serious problem – the flies and the stench were pervasive. Wingar Finash tried to organize a response to this. Da is hired to go find the blockage. Da says there’s streets under these streets – and giant rats too. At the time I though the was just trying to scare me off.
Da goes down into the sewers to find the blockage. I went rat hunting for the bounty on their tales. Eki, Cy, Ludvik and Eliath all shovel shit. It’s quite a problem finding a place to dump the stuff as, as the day progresses more and more of the drains are blocked. Rats are swarming up out of the sewers and the gallows hawks swarm to get the rats. The flies are everywhere. Later in the day, the Doomguard come out to enjoy the view – telling us to just give in. The world will end in shit.
That night I spoke to Averlius and he offers to look into where Eliath might have come from. He seems to agree with the other adults that you can’t help them all, but to this day I don’t know if it was the stench of the place that gave him a serious jonesing to go do something away from here, his curiosity, or my own intentions that made him take this up. Possibly a bit of all of the above.
During the night, it began to rain. And by morning our smelly little problem became huge.
Ismine returned a few hours after dawn. The Davas have at long last arrived and start shoveling sewer refuse. They also removed the midden piles; anything to keep the number of rats down. By mid-morning, however, Da was still missing. The grate through which he went into the sewers was overflowing. Wingar was trying to organize more locals, and us kids decided to go down and find Maurii.
Wingar lent us some rope and unlocked the door to the old butcher’s shop at the far edge of crossguard. Ludvik went in first. As he stepped in, something came crashing down from the ceiling. Slime and refuse splatterd out the doorway and Ludvik was violently ill. Eki was next in and he was attacked almost immediately by a ghost. The thing raced across the small room and grabbed his arm. I managed to get in via the window and threw a dart at it, while Chryseis grappled with the ghost on Eki’s arm.
I was then attacked from the shadows and fled. Chryseis managed to kill the thing on Eki’s arm. It was some kind of bug, covered in an old and tattered sheet. As we tried to regather the door behind the bar opened, and then closed. Chryseis healed us with a prayer and a touch. It was strange – I remember feeling somewhat lightheaded and then very relieved, so much so I barely noticed the stiffness in my tail.
We went back in after Ludvik stopped retching. Eki found his dagger almost immediately, and we steeled ourselves for what lay beyond the recently closed door at the back of the shop.