Jacques is (easily) talked into drinking the questionable water. He says it doesn’t taste right – a bit … oily, perhaps? Don’t have a lot of to discuss, as a local kid finds us and informs us that Ivik Gunnett is looking for us. He’s apparently returned from his travels – he’s been trying to set up new trade partners in the region. Apparently Redfang disagrees with this mentality – I’m beginning their distrust extends from robots to outsiders overall.
We head up to High Home, and are lead to a small library just off the council chambers. Library is a generous description though – it’s really just three books. For a town that apparently has such a strong hate of/distrust of technology, you’d expect their printed resources to be greater. Ivik is waiting in this room, smoking a pipe. He’s an older man, paunchy and balding, with a great bushy mustache. After reading our letter of introduction from Dinvaya, he asks for our story. We give him a recap with a bit more of a pronounced anti-tech skew. He asks our thoughts on the Technic League, and without missing a beat, 10LO says if they’re friends of tech, they’re no friends of ours.
This seems to please Ivik, and he goes off on a bit of a big monologue. The two big takeaways: he’s in need of people to run afoul of the Technic League, and he believes they have a spy in Iadenveigh. Of this last point, has no proof. We’re tasked with sussing out this spy, and if we can prove this to the council, the town may even compensate us. This seems tied to our larger problems, so we take on the work.
Ivik pulls a cloth-wrapped bundle from a locked cabinet, and carefully unfolds it before us. Inside, are the broken remains of a clockwork bird. It was brought down about 3 days ago by a hunter, heading North. Inside is a roughly sketched map of the town with the hillside springs circled and labeled “badwater”. On the back is this message written in Androffan:
“Locals identified southern springs as the source of the area’s mutations and now avoid it. Afflictions consistent with mutagenic gas poisoning, as you posited from Silver Mount expeditions. I will explore with caution; locals avoid the area and my current cover would seem noticeably out of place were I discovered there.”
I simply say “Odd language. Huh.” – it’s apparent that Ivik doesn’t read Androffan – no need letting him know I do. It is an odd language – I didn’t exactly lie.
If it was heading North, maybe it was heading to Starfall or Silver Mount? I think Ivik is on to something – this does seem like it was sent by a Technic League spy. Ivik confirms that the streams were the ones that Redfang drank from. And nearby the streams is the family Bardleigh – stonemasons that pick through rubble on side of hill looking for decent stone. Ivik tells us that they could likely tell us more about the “badwater”. Ivik’s also reasonably confident that the spy is a newcomer to town.
10LO and I head to the butcher/dentist/sawbones/etc while the others head to the Bardleighs. I talk to him that I’m a healer, and want to look at these mutations – to see if I can help somehow. 10LO decides to cut early, and rejoins the group as I chat with the “doc”. He says that there are less mutations now, since they know that water is the culprit. I tell him of the healing power of Sarenrae, and we chat for a bit about how both our gods are good, and he says that if Sarenrae would channel her healing powers through me, her heirophant, then there’s someone I can look at.
He takes me to a smaller home, stops at the door to talk to a woman, and motions me in. There’s a perfectly looking baby in a cradle. That is, it looks normal until it opens its eyes, revealing square pupils. After some quick tests, it’s clear that the baby is blind. I cast Cure Blindess on it, bandage the eyes, and instruct them to swaddle the child and not expose it to light for three days. With the divinity of Sarenrae revealed to these people, I return to the group.
Apparently Jacques went swimming in the badwater (of course), and Preston went fishing. They tell me of the Bardleigh kid who’d found some zills (finger cymbals), and what they gleaned from his parents. They talked of gypsies staying at the lumberyard (the campgrounds we could have stayed at), and that they’d been there for about a week.
We head there, and meet Heddick Widefoot, the owner. His lumberyard has high fences … looks a bit fort-ish? He doesn’t want us to start trouble, we’re just saying that we want to return the found zills. He points us to some tents in the middle of the yard.
Like Ivik, they’re trying to establish trade routes. We mention this, and offer up an introduction since they seem legit. We mention the zills, but they say they’re not theirs. Well, not theirs but Ilarris Zeleshi‘s – they met her, a half-elf, outside town a few days ago outside town. Like them, she is Varisian too. We hear a ruffling of a nearby tent and see dark figure scrabbling towards the timberwall. Aakpesh sprints and catches her as she’s trying to climb the wall.
She spits as him, tries to bite him and squirm free, but she can’t escape Aakpesh’s grapple. It’s Ilarris, and I can easily sense both anger and fear. In a show of good faith, I cast Remove Fear on her, and the space that was filled with fear has just been replaced with more anger. While Aakpesh releases her and we try to get answers out her, Preston sneaks off and inspects her tent, finding (and keeping some as evidence) the same parchment that was found in the clockwork bird.
It looks like we may our spy, but we need to get better confirmation. Things would also be easier to have her near High Home when we do, so we offer food and drink to her smooth things over, and in an another show of good faith, extend the offer to the other Varisians. We agree on this evening, and go our various ways. Preston and Jacques though sneak off to spy on the lumberyard. They see Ilarris slip off towards badwater, and lose track of her.
Vayu has a good idea for this evening: when we see Ilarris privately, we can say that we got her messages to earn her trust/trick her. This’ll be much easier as I can read and speak Androffan.
Session Date: 05/04/2017, Prior Journal XP: 216, Session XP: not this time.
Title Source: The New York Room – Minion of the Gypsies