Time slows to a crawl as you look around for where the shot came from. (spot checks, -14 penalty)
You see a humanoid figure in the 3rd story window of a building around 140 feet away from your position. He is barely obscured by a telltale cloud of gunsmoke.
You can’t see the shooter, but you are able to determine that the shot came from one of the buildings to the north-east, there are two potential sites. Around 140 feet away.
While you search for the sniper, Tilani finishes her incantation. Her image begins to fade and she says: “If you survive, we will meet again.” Her image disappears in a flash of bright light and out of the flash steps a muscular humanoid figure. It has the head of a noble hound, short red fur covering it’s body and a greatsword slung over it’s back.
It draws the weapon and says to you: “I have been summoned from the heavens to vanquish those of the scourge. Stand and fight!”
Combat begins. Dagget and Hound Archon.
You can see Enfys escorting Cecily back to friendly lines, covering her with her bow.
Dagget’s nest is booby trapped with a shaped charge (spot dc 17, 3d6 ballistic dmg, ref dc 15 half)
(hound archon falls first)
The outsider succumbs to its wounds and falls unconscious. You can see it taking shallow breaths
(Dagget captured first)
You manage to bind Dagget securely. He is struggling, but he shows no sign of being able to escape.
Dagget and the outsider are both incaptacitated. By the time you meet back in the square, Enfys has returned and Jacc is waiting. Enfys is tending to the outsider’s wounds. She motions for you to come quickly. When you get close, she says: “He’s a hound Archon. They defend the heaven planes from demonic influence. He wants to speak to you before he dies. We can report back to Reilly later.”
The Archon speaks in a soft, raspy voice. He is clearly in pain. He says “I am afraid I owe you all an apology. I have been deceived. I was summoned here to smite agents of Necmasth in the mortal realm of Materrian. I detected the scourge inside you, felt the dark magic coursing through your blood and your soul. I do not know how it came to pass that you could remain such agents of good in spite of the evil inside you. There is much you should know, but I am not long for this world. The foul demon Necmasth no longer relies on the dead or dying to be turned.”
The Archon exhales deeply and then begins to shimmer away into the ether. There is no sign of Tilani. You can see your Weslythan comrades approaching with the representatives of the IEG and the Merchant Lords at swordpoint. Cecily is approaching from the other side with a tattered flag holding the barely recognizable insignia of the merchant’s guild. The last time you saw it, it was flying above the northern tower of the guild headquarters. She approaches the two captive diplomats, throws the flag at their feet and says: “Our forces have captured the merchant’s guild hall and are currently moving on the grand estates. We are prepared to accept your offer of withdrawal from Gildenport.”
The diplomats sigh deeply and follow Cecily back to the table. Harxen and Robyn approach with Dagget bound and at gunpoint. Dagget spits out blood and says: “So, what now? Interrogation? A sword through the neck?”
“Of course. Well, go on then. Take me to them. It’ll give us time to talk.”
While you walk to the Hexagon, Dagget appears cooperative. Reilly is waiting for you when you arrive. She tells you that the Nightblades are on their way over and then turns to Dagget. “Remember me?” she says.
Dagget nods and says: “So. I assume Lilia told you about our falling out. The grand tale of slow corruption? She was always dramatic. I imagine this may come as a surprise, but I harbor no ill will toward you or the Nightblades. In order to set up operations in Kaptal, we needed funds. Lilia by admission took contracts for hire. But we all know that picking and choosing contracts on morality will never net enough money to truly expand operations. So we took contracts of more questionable ethics. How do you think we got that hideout under the Lighthouse? A polite request? You, McTeague. Or is it warmaster now? You’re no stranger to doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. We heard about what you did with the Doppleganger we sent. I must say, removing kneecaps to worm out information is hardly becoming a woman of your station.”
Reilly crouches next to him and responds: “I know full well what I did to him was wrong. I thought it necessary at the time. I’ve figured out now that there are lines you don’t cross. Dagget of Fask, your greatest betrayal is not that of your comrades, but that of yourself and everything you stand for. You became the very sort of evil you swore to defend against. It’s Vile. I could dome you with my pistol right here, but I refuse to follow in your wake.”
“Well said”, another voice approaching from behind replies. It’s Jacc, flanked by two assassins. The two assassins grab Dagget by the arms and bring him to his feet. Jacc says: “We’ll bring him back tonight. Cecily sent us a message to pass on. The IEG has agreed to withdraw it’s forces and mercenaries from Gildenport. She’ll be speaking tomorrow at what is left of city hall. If you have time, it would mean a lot to her and others for you to be there.”
“Good. I’ll see you there and we’ll pass Dagget to you afterward. Your old friend Lilac called in a favor. You’ve got rooms waiting at the Red Sapphire, but she said to tell you that room service would be unavailable for the night due to celebrations. See you tomorrow.”
The Red Sapphire is less crowded than the last time you saw it. A small group of people are sitting around a coffee table with a keg of beer. You recognize Lilac, Cecily, Fetrian, Slingshot, and the Paragons who accompanied you to a fight. Slingshot sees you first and walks over quickly with a grin on his face. He ushers you inside and says: “Glad you made it. Lilac noticed that all the other companions were out with friends and family, so she set up a party for us. Come on in. I’ve finally broken open my latest brew.” He pours several mugs from a keg labelled “Sneaky Orc Stout” with an image of Brill’s face that is significantly less ugly than you remember. The rest of the celebrants walk over to you. Lilac raises a glass and says: “To absent friends. Without their sacrifice, we would not be free.” Her violet eyes shimmer as the glasses clink. The others echo “To absent friends.”
The rest of the party is a whole lot of “What will you do now?”.
Lilac tells everyone she plans to continue her current profession, but on her terms. She and some of the others plan to run the red sapphire themselves.
When slingshot is asked, he merely taps the keg and says: “Some old friends and I have a few more ideas to try out.”
Fetrian says he plans to work in diplomacy for a city that is effectively it’s on sovereign nation.
Cecily is the only one who can’t say. She tells you that she honestly didn’t expect to survive the uprising given the target on her back.
Eventually the keg runs dry and each of you either falls asleep or passes out from drink.
When you wake up, you can see Lilac strapping a Kukri in her Garter under a skirt. She notices you’ve woken up and says: “Good timing. We can walk to Orthalyn Square together.” Harxen and Enfys are standing at the door.
The streets are damp and puddle-ridden from an apparent rainstorm the previous night. You see a lot of abandoned barricades and rubble as you walk, as well as some smouldering buildings. Enfys remarks: “A broken city on the mend, reminds me of where we met.”
There is a large crowd by the time you reach Orthalyn Square. You can see Cecily standing atop one of the barricades facing the crowd. “Friends and Comrades,” She begins “When I was elected mayor, I took the office with the goal of doing myself out of a job. Now I have done that. But the credit does not belong to me. It belongs to every single person who took to the barricades. It belongs to those who stood behind treating the wounded or gathering supplies. We are free from those who hoarded the wealth of our city and we now enter a new day in a new city. Gildenport, a city defined by gold, is dead. Today we welcome a new age of working for our neighbors. Long live Freeharbour, a beacon of hope in a world crushed by tyrants.”
Cecily steps down and approaches you.. She hugs each of you while saying: “We all owe you our thanks. I didn’t mention you in the speech because it is now time for us to stand on our own. I hope you understand. Here. I’ll walk you to the docks.”
She continues while you walk: “Rumor is the Bastion Army has finally began routing the Arkali. This good news puts you at a disadvantage, though. Once the Arkali threat has been eliminated, Bastion’s focus will turn to you. When that time comes, you will have safe port and sanctuary in Freeharbour.”
As you approach the dock, you recognize Veil’s eagle perched on a lamp-post, a note lashed to it’s talon.
The note reads: “I was unable to track the Arakli dragons by conventional means, so I elected to investigate what caused them to leave. There have been sporadic sightings since they fled the battlefield, but never twice in the same place. They must be searching for something. My search led me to Termalyn. I won’t risk too much information to a single note, even in Orion’s care. I’ve booked a room on the Termali border at an inn called ‘The Red Pegasus’. Meet me there and bring Declan with you. I’ll be waiting there to explain everything in person.”
The note bears Veil’s signature.
(players elect to go to termalyn)
Cecily offers horses for you Journey and tells you that on horseback, you can make it by nightfall.
As you approach the gate with Declan, Lilac comes up along side you on a grey mare. She asks “Do you mind if I accompany you? I need to get away from Gildenport for a while and I’m familiar with Termalyn.”
Reilly asks to stay behind to train volunteers in Freeharbor. Cade takes the helm of the Dawn of Orthalyn, wearing a hat that he stole from the captain of an IEG frigate and vandalized to an image more suitable for piracy. Milo approaches you as you leave and says: “I’ve given Lilac information on all my contacts. She can help you out in Termalyn if you need to know anything. I’m heading back to Polaris to help Harxen train urban scouts” He hands Lilac a notebook and says: “That’s got the latest information on the state of Irythan. It seems like now that the Arkali are pissing off, people are starting to fight each-other again.”
You ride down the narrow road east toward Termalyn with your cohort. Lilac dives into Milo’s notebook and Declan plays “Laerta’s Last Stand” on his fiddle as you ride.