The Tabaxi Chronicles

Chapter 2 Part I

In Alma, the latest Mudoran Crusade has come to an end. The savages to the south have been subdued, although the Alman army suffered heavy losses. Whispers of men made of the very earth have swept across the land, terrifying stories of stone made flesh the rise up and crush Mudorans and Almans alike. But there is hope! A renowned cleric of Avalon, Cameron of Timberheath, has been giving his sermons across the kingdom and now, from the holy power of the Grand Cathedral of Avalon, he will broadcast his sermon around Alma! The sermon is planned for Sunday, Pentember 17th, 979E and a great caravan heads West on the Dewdney Trade Route, towards the great Imperial city of Waltz.
After joining Cameron’s caravan two days ago in Timberheath, Lanval Brighthart arrives back in Waltz for the first time since leaving for the last Mudoran Crusade. Suddenly, Eduardo de Fruncida – their clerical liaison – decides suddenly to have a drink at the Happy Cow tavern in East Waltz. Cameron and Lanval decide to join him. Lanval’s younger sister, Reagan, continues to the manor, which House Brighthart has been invited to occupy during their stay.
Inside the Happy Cow, Lanval plans to have a quiet drink, however, among the bar crowd – a table of card players and a few shadowy figures in the corners – someone recognizes Eduardo. Her name is Kitanna, and she immediately uses a change-self spell to appear as someone else, moving into a cloud of rowdy bachelors.
Cameron immediately decides to flirt with the bar wench Matilda. Rolling his eyes, Lanval turns away from his friend and orders drinks from the barkeep Heinrich Bovett.
Meanwhile, outside, Barbarian Lars rescues the gnomish illusionist Sedgewick Silverspore from a gang of thugs, and prepares to take him for a drink. Lars knows that there is someone waiting for him within the Happy Cow, but he is a man living in the moment, and so he places his priorities in the restitution of his new friend.
Both Eduardo and Kitanna are here to meet Lars. Kitanna seizes her chance and – still in the disguise of a blonde seductress – chats up Lars until she sees fit to cast a charm spell on him. Eduardo takes great offense to his informant being charmed, and pursues Kitanna as she lures Lars out of the bar.
Lanval, sensing foul play, declares loudly and angrily that Lars has been wrongly ensorcelled, and gets Sedgewick to help track them down. They leave the Happy Cow and track them West down Dewdney Street.
Kitanna, using Lars as a way to discover the way into the Thieves’ Guild, allows him to take her to the secret entrance at the Landingsquare Inn (room 302). As soon as he opens the wardrobe leading to the downward stairs, however, Kitanna’s spell ends and she returns to her true form. Lars shakes himself out of the charm she has cast on him and is grievously upset at betraying his guild by showing her the entrance!
Kitanna, attempting to save face, blames her actions on the bachelors at the Happy Cow. Lars, rushing to her defense, storms towards the bar, picking up Sedgewick and Lanval on the way. They all rough up the bachelors and have a celebratory drink.
The bar has busied up, and Cameron is now making out with Matilda, so the party gets a table and begins to speak. Eduardo confronts Lars about their supposed meeting, to much confusion around the table. Kitanna suggests that they go back to her room (above the Happy Cow) for a more discreet conversation.
In Kitanna’s room, Lars reveals that he has been dubiously involved with a thieves’ ring that intends to assassinate a man of the cloth, and that the Church of Avalon contacted him with offers of protection in exchange for information on his ringleader, Winfield the Sly. They contacted him via carrier owl. Eduardo says that he was contacted by the same owl, a message from someone within the thieves ring wanting protection in exchange for vital information about an assassination attempt.
By the time they realize that they’ve been set up, Cameron has disappeared from the bar. Matilda said that he was feeling sick and went to the washroom.
The party arrives in the washroom just in time to catch Cameron’s last wretching breaths as he succombs to the poison in his system. They stand over him, in wonder as to how it could have happened. Eduardo climbs out the window and seems to shimmy up the side of the bar. Kitanna follows him to the roof and they scan Dewdney Street for recognizable assassins, but to no avail – the streets are far too busy.
The bar is largely the same, with the exception of a hooded man smoking in the corner – Lanval notes that he noticed the man’s three facial scars, and Lars recognized those scars as belonging to Winfield the Sly! Also, Matilda has mysteriously disappeared, but before suspicion can be drawn, Heinrich the barkeep finds her body in the washroom – apparently, the poison in Cameron’s drink could be spread by kissing.
With no Cameron, Eduardo is in need of a priest to pose as Cameron for the announcement on Sunday. Kitanna volunteers to ‘become’ Cameron and Sedgewick volunteers to aid with his illusionist abilities. However, Winfield is still at large. A plan is set in motion.
Covering Lanval’s crimson cross with a thick cloak, the party makes their way to the Landingsquare Inn, where members of the thieves’ ring, Tallus and Gerund, are discussing the success of their assassination job, and Lars announces that he has brought a congratulatory whore for Winfield. They are let down through the wardrobe, into a hexagonal chamber, where Roger lets them in to see Winfield sitting at his desk.
Winfield inquires as to the presence of both a gnome and a warrior along with the whore. Lanval says he’s there to protect his prize, and Sedgewick offers some mushrooms to enhance the experience. After testing the poison of the mushrooms on Roger, Winfield orders Lars and Lanval to remain in the meeting room with Roger and begins to escort Kitanna and Sedgewick down the tunnel to his chambers.
As they walk, Kitanna tries to raise Winfield’s spirits enough to put a charm spell on him, but Sedgewick runs his mouth about the Alchemist’s Guild, which makes Winfield suspicious of them. By the time they get to his door, however, Kitanna has prepared her ring-of-sleeping-poison and swats at Winfield, who dodges, but is caught by Kitanna’s rebounding backhand.
As the mushrooms begin to take effect of Roger, Lanval knocks him out with the hilt of his sword, and the two brawlers rush to the aid of Kitanna, who Sedgewick explains (much to her chagrin) that she had the whole thing taken care of.
After discovering an owlery, they conclude that Winfield was indeed the person who set up Lars and Eduardo, as a test of Lars’ loyalty to the guild.
The team also discovers Winfield’s private treasury, which they loot mercilessly, finding a mysterious pair of gloves and a ring that exhibits a magical aura!
Lanval picks up a beautiful scarab and puts it in his purse. Moments later, however, the scarab comes to life and begins to burrow through the purse and Lanval’s hip! He tries to pull it out, but it burrows into his hand, crawling up his arm towards his heart.
Seeing no other choice, Lars takes his great axe and cleaves off Lanval’s arm. They quickly cauterize the wound and (after throwing the scarab away) rush Lanval, his arm, and the unconscious and bound Winfield to the Grand Cathedral of Avalon, where they get medical attention.
Lanval’s arm cannot be reattatched, but they manage to magically adhere it to the stump, for show. Eduardo takes Winfield into custody and takes over the investigation from there, agreeing to reconvene at the Happy Cow tomorrow evening at 4pm. Lanval invites everyone back to his place to rest until morning.

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