Session 8:
It All Comes Together


[JadedDM]: Saffir 8th, 666; Seaday at 10 bells.  The Shadow Bats are in the Mirthful Miner Tavern, waiting out a nasty thunderstorm.  Jasmin found a mysterious note asking them to go into the basement.  There is a gloomy feel to the place, partly because of the rain, and partly because of recent events in the town.  The miners are still out of work, and a number of strange occurrences have left the people worried the Drow will come.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin pushes herself out of her chair after hearing what the note had to say and starts for the basement. "Are you three coming along, or am I doing this by myself?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "How do we know this isn't a trap?"

[Jasmin]: "Who would want to trap us?"

[Daufer]: "A trap?" Daufer questions. "Here? The circumstances don't seem very favorable."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris frowns.  "All right.  We'll check it out then."  He stands.  "We'll have to get Flaco to let us down into the cellar."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin merely shrugs at Gaheris before she walks over to the bar. "Flaco, dear," she says sweetly. "Could you let us into the cellar?"

[Daufer]: Daufer also gets up and waits.

[JadedDM]: Flaco looks over the four.  "What for?  If you need some wine, I'll send one of my girls to go get it."

[Jasmin]: "While the wine would be lovely, we have some business to discuss that we would much rather do in private. Your cellar provides that privacy rather well, and it stops us from going into the rain." She smiles faintly to the man. "It will only be for a few minutes. Please?"

[JadedDM]: The bartender crosses his arms.  "All right.  But only because I like you kids.  Don't touch anything, though."

[Jasmin]: "Thank you, Flaco," she says sweetly once again. "And don't worry. We won't."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris leads the way down, although he keeps his hand on his sword hilt.  Meschior follows, looking curious.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin keeps close to Gaheris as she follows after him though she certainly seems more relaxed than he does.

[JadedDM]: The basement is much as they remember it.  Cool and damp, as well as dark.  A single torch near the staircase is the only source of illumination.  Dust covers just about everything.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks around the dark basement for only a few moments before sighing softly. "Hello?" she finally calls out.

[JadedDM]: "Are you alone?" asks a disembodied voice.  It sounds close, but nobody can see anyone nearby.

[Daufer]: "Who's there?" Daufer calls, scanning the room.

[JadedDM]: A figure materializes before them, fading into existence from nothing.  He is short, almost four feet tall, and bald.  He has a silky brown beard and a stout figure.  He looks nervous and his muscles are tense, as if he was on the verge of running.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin takes a few steps closer. "Haven't I seen you before?"

[Daufer]: Daufer starts at seeing the odd little man appear out of thin air. "Who are you?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "That's the other dwarf, the one on the run from the constables.  They say he and his brother are behind the mine attacks."

[JadedDM]: The dwarf nods.  "Name's Dermer.  And that is why I needed to see you."

[Jasmin]: "What exactly are you wanting us to do?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "I need you to help prove our innocence!"

[Daufer]: "Why would we want to do that?" Daufer says.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks over her shoulder to Gaheris and the others before turning back to Dermer. "How do we know that you are innocent?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "You're Slayers, aren't you?  I can pay you one hundred gold a piece for your services.  But we have to act soon.  In a couple of days, the Drow will come.  I overheard the constables talking about it.  When they do, they'll kill my brother as a scapegoat.  It won't matter to them who's really responsible!  But if you can prove it wasn't us...find someone else for the Drow to take their punishment on..."

[Jasmin]: "We don't have really any clues that lead to anyone else."

[Daufer]: Daufer shudders. "Hey, now. Risk our life for a hundred gold when Drow are involved? Are you crazy?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "One hundred gold a piece?  If you have that much, why not just bribe the guards?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "Because they need a scapegoat, that's why!  The guards can't be paid off, not in this instance.  Look, you're my only hope on this.  I'm Duergar, after all.  You've heard the stories...about mithril, right?  Maybe I can get you some.  But only if my brother and I are alive."

[Jasmin]: "Do you have any idea what or who might have caused the mine attacks?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer shakes his head.  "I just know it's not us.  We were easy targets to blame, because we're from out of town and are dwarven.  We were ousted from our clan, so we can't get help from our own people."

[Daufer]: "Hey, Labree, aren't you going a little too fast? Do you understand what 'getting involved with the drow' means? First, prove to us you're innocent, dwarf!"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "I can't!  I've tried finding evidence myself, but I've had no luck.  The answer must be in the mines, but even with my invisibility, I can't get inside.  It's too well-guarded."

[Jasmin]: "The drow don't scare me like they do everyone else, Daufer," she says with a shrug. "Wait, you can't tell us what you and your brother were doing when the attacks were happening?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "Just looking for work, and not doing such a great job of it.  People aren't particularly willing to hire foreigners."

[Jasmin]: "People aren't particularly willing to hire ones who insult our mine either," she points out before looking to the others. "It would mean going back into the mines, and probably questioning those involved in the attacks like my father."

[Daufer]: "We all know of your 'fearlessness' Labree, but frankly, everyone should have a healthy respect for the drow."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "If he's telling the truth...and we find the real culprit, the Drow would be pleased.  We could be rewarded well."

[Jasmin]: "I never said I didn't respect them, but Gaheris is right if we do find the real culprit the Drow would be pleased. Then again if we don' could turn out badly. It is a risk, but one worth taking."

[Daufer]: "Mm…" Daufer muses to himself. "And what will you be doing in the meantime, dwarf, while we're out looking to clear you and your brother's name?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "I can't do much.  I've only managed to evade the constables this long with invisibility.  I can't be seen in public.  That's why I had to drop you that note."

[Jasmin]: "Why did you pick us exactly?"

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "I can't afford the Tainted Hands.  And I've heard good things about you.  Word is you took down some fire monster that attacked the slums."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "A harginn, yes."

[Jasmin]: "Mystery solving..." she mutters to herself.

[Daufer]: "Well, the mines are heavily guarded, as you say. But there might be a few people who might know or seen what happened in the mines."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris nods.  "All right.  We'll take the job then."

[Jasmin]: "I can always talk to Romain and see if he remembers anything from the attack."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "And that boy, remember?"

[Jasmin]: "Right, the boy too."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "What should our first step be then?"

[Jasmin]: "Well, really all we can do is ask questions of those involved, so I guess that is our first step?"

[Daufer]: "Let's get to it, then. The miners won't be busy at any rate."

[Jasmin]: "True." Jasmin turns to look to Meschior. "That...rune you gave me for my sword. How long do you think it would take to place it on one of my swords?"

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "A few minutes."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks to Daufer and Gaheris. "I want to get that done first," she says before looking to Gaheris. "If that is okay that is."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Go ahead.  Then go find your father.  I guess Daufer and I can hunt down the boy then."

[Jasmin]: "Should we meet anywhere once we are done?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Back at the tavern, I suppose.  We'll make our next move from there."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin reaches out and takes hold of Meschior's hand before she moves back up the stairs. "Come along, handsome."

[JadedDM]: Dermer:  "The gods bless the whole lot of you.  Good luck."

[JadedDM]: Jasmin and Meschior head upstairs, the acolyte looking a bit confused.

[Daufer]: "I guess the half-ogre might know where to look for the boy," Daufer says.

[JadedDM]: Dermer fades away again.

[Jasmin]: "I suppose you need to do this at the Shrine?" she asks as she walks along side Meschior, yet she doesn't let go of his hand as she walks.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Togg.  Yeah, I know where to find him, too."

[Daufer]: "Then, let's go," Daufer says.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior nods.  "I will need a few minutes to prepare the ritual, but it shouldn't take long."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris nods and the two head upstairs and back out into the rain.  His hood up, Gaheris leads the hobgoblin east, to the seedier part of the slums.

[Jasmin]: "I'm not really too worried about the time too much. My father is probably going to be drunk when we question him anyway." Jasmin leads them out of the tavern and towards the Shrine.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior nods and puts the hood of his cloak up before stepping into the rain again with Jasmin.  He leads the way to the shrine, opening the large, steel doors when they arrive.

[Daufer]: Daufer follows Gaheris.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin runs her fingers through her wet hair as she steps inside the Shrine. "I should invest in a cloak," she mutters more to herself. "Is there anything I can do to help you along?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The two arrive at a run-down building.  A pair of beggars sits outside of the door, looking dazed.  Gaheris steps by them without a glance, entering.  Inside is a strange smell, and several people lie about the place, as if drunk or drugged.

[Daufer]: Daufer looks at his surroundings. "Where are we?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "No, but you can warm yourself by the fire," he says, gesturing to the fire place.  He takes off his own wet cloak and sets it on one of the back pews.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin crosses her arms and sits down in front of the fire, then removes her right sword from its sheath. "You are probably going to need this."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "A little hangout for people who use herbs to 'enhance' their senses," he replies, a smirk on his face.  "Togg has been known to hang out here."

[Daufer]: "I see," Daufer says, with a stone-faced look on his face. "Well, where is he?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior is all ready gone to the next room.  He returns a few moments later.  He has taken off his armor and his shirt, revealing that he's actually rather muscular under all that red cloth.  He stands by the altar and beckons Jasmin to come forward.  She notices he still has a few burns on his body from the fight with the grue.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris glances around.  "Ah, there."  He steps over a couple of drugged out goblins and heads to the far end of the room, where Togg is on the floor, leaning up against the back wall.  A pair of women, one human and one hobgoblin, are cuddled up near him, sleeping peacefully.  The half-ogre looks up at them, his eyes appearing somewhat lucid.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin raises an eyebrow at the sight of Meschior, so very obviously looking him over before walking towards him. "Does the ritual require you to have a bare chest? You are likely to make a girl blush looking like that."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "I assumed you had grown accustomed to the sight of flesh," he says matter-of-factly.  "But yes, the ritual is hindered by armor and my clothes are still wet."

[Daufer]: Daufer sets himself at eye level to the half-ogre, which is not difficult, considering his size. "Hey."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Togg blinks a couple of times.  "'re really there.  I thought it was another illusion.  Did you boys want something?  I can get you some herbs, if that's what you're looking for."

[Jasmin]: "I pick and choose whose flesh I wish to see. Seems I was wrong about you though."

[Daufer]: "We just wanted to know where to find that boy we found down in the mines. Then, we'll leave you to... whatever it is you're doing."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "Set your sword on the altar with the rune," he says, standing before the blazing fire.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Togg:  "Boy?  Uh...boy...oh, Stanley ?  He lives near the farmlands.  Just south of the entrance.  You sure you boys don't want to join me?"

[Jasmin]: Jasmin places her sword and rune gently upon the altar as she is told.  She looks curiously to Meschior once she is done.

[Daufer]: "No, thank you," Daufer says. "We got what we came here for."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior places the rune on the blade and holds it there with one hand.  He raises the other hand over his head and begins to pray softly.  Slowly, a glow begins to emit from the rune.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris grins, amused.  "Some other time, Togg."  He puts the hood of his cloak back on and heads back into the rain.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin watches quietly, yet she clearly seems to be interested in what is going on.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  As the prayer continues, the rune now glows as brightly as a torch.  Then, the rune seems to melt, forming a liquid that covers the blade of her short sword.

[Daufer]: Daufer steps out into the rain and says, "Well, let's go."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin turns her head slightly to avoid looking at the light too much though she seems a little surprised upon seeing the liquid covering her sword.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris glances at Daufer, a glint of humor in his eyes.  He follows Togg's directions.  They find, not a house, but rather a poorly built lean-to that just barely counts as a shelter.  The boy, Stanley , his hair just now starting to grow back, is sitting under it, drenched and cold.  He is huddled up, a torn and raggedy cloak wrapped around him.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  When the transformation is complete, the light fades and the sword appears normal once again.  The rune seems gone.  Meschior is sweating a bit, his eyes filled with intense concentration and focus.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin hesitates to pick up the sword, so she locks her gaze on Meschior. "Are you okay?"

[Daufer]: Daufer walks up to the shack and calls out to the boy.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior wipes a beat of sweat from his brow and nods.  He picks up the sword by the hilt and looks at it.  As if responding to some hidden command, the blade of the sword lights up.  A moment later, the light diminishes.  He nods in satisfaction and hands it to her.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The boy, Stanley, looks up at them and freezes.  Fear is in his eyes.  He gets up to his knees.  "I...I have nothing of worth," he says.

[Jasmin]: "How did you make it light up like that?" she asks curiously as she gently takes the sword from him.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "You must simply hold the sword and wish it so.  It will glow or darken by your whim."  She notices when she holds the sword, it feels lighter somehow.  More balanced.  On close examination, it even seems sharper.

[Daufer]: "Get up, boy. We need to talk to you," Daufer says. "Let's get out of the rain while we do," he suggests.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "It's all right.  We're not here to hurt you.  Remember, we met in the mines.  We saved you."  At their beckoning, the boy slowly emerges from the lean-to and toward the pair.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin takes a few steps back to give the sword a few practice swings just to make sure she is not imaging things. Pleased with the way it feels and moves she holds the sword out for a moment and watches as the sword lights up then darkens. With a smile she places it back within the sheath, then walks over to Meschior and wraps her arms around him in a hug. "Thank you," she says softly.

[Daufer]: "We're here to talk about that," Daufer says. "Can you tell us what you remember that day down in the mines?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior returns the hug awkwardly with one arm.  "I should get dressed."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The boy looks between the two before answering.  "I was working...I hadn't found much.  It was a slow day.  I was walking to a new spot, for better luck.  And...I remember I saw someone."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin holds the hug for a few moments longer before letting him go. "I'll be waiting."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior nods and heads back to the next room to change.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Who did you see?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Stanley :  "I don't know.  I didn't get a good look.  I thought it was another miner, so I was going to say hello.  But then I heard a strange noise. a horn.  And then...I heard squeaking and squawking behind me."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin walks over to the doors and waits for him to return quietly. She actually seems to be in thought, which is rare for her.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior returns, his clothes and armor back on.  "I am ready," he says.

[Daufer]: "Another miner, you say? So, it wasn't a child or anyone around that size?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Stanley blinks, and then tries to think.  "No.  He was tall.  I remember...he wore black."

[Jasmin]: "Hmm?" Jasmin glances to Meschior. "Oh, right." She clears her throat before she opens the steel doors. "My father is probably at home right now, so we'll head there," she says before stepping out into the rain.

[Daufer]: "A tall man wearing black..." Daufer mutters. "That's not much to go on."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "Hold," he says before she steps out.  "Here."  He hands her a cloak.  "It belonged to Vandoorm."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Sounds kind of familiar, though," he says, rubbing his chin.

[Daufer]: "You're thinking of the man mentioned in that priest's journal? We don't want to jump to conclusions, though. Like you said, that description could fit anybody."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin pauses in her steps and takes the cloak looking slightly confused. "You didn't have to do that. I know that he meant a lot to you, and considering I'm the one who..." she sighs softly. "Well, either way you don't have to."

[Daufer]: "Boy, is that all you remember?" Daufer asks, turning back to Stanley .

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "If you would prefer to walk in the rain, that is your choice."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Stanley nods numbly.  "I tripped over something and fell backward.  That's all I remember before I woke up."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin raises an eyebrow before she wraps the cloak around her shoulders and pulls the hood up. "I sometimes get the feeling you don't like me much," she says as she steps out.

[Daufer]: "Well, we learned a few things new, I suppose," Daufer says.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior shrugs.  "I have no ill feelings toward you," he says as he closes the doors behind them.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris tosses the boy a silver coin and then looks to Daufer.  "Any theories?"

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "I'd want to hear what Labree had to say, first."

[Jasmin]: "You don't have any feelings towards me at all, which is weird to me." Jasmin leads them towards her parent's home.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "All right.  I guess we should head back to the tavern, unless you had somewhere you needed to go?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior:  "Is it?  I apologize then," he says, as if it were of no big consequence.  The two head to her family's house.

[Daufer]: "There is one errand I need to take care of," Daufer says. "It may take a while, if you want to come as well."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Go ahead.  I'll meet you at the tavern when you're done."

[Daufer]: Daufer nods and walks north.

[Jasmin]: "I guess you don't have to apologize. It just gives me more reason to find a way to make your crack," she says cheerfully as she continues to walk. Once she reaches her old home she looks upon it almost hatefully before knocking on the door.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Daufer heads toward the library, the rain not letting up at all.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  There is no answer, but the door does come ajar when she knocks.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin raises an eyebrow upon seeing the door just open in which she glances to Meschior before slowly pushing the door open. "Hello?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The two step inside, out of the rain.  Meschior closes the door behind them.  Jasmin spots her father lying on the floor, a bottle in his hand.

[Daufer]: Daufer trudges through the rain and mud, determined to get to his destination.

[Jasmin]: With a frown, Jasmin moves to her father's side. "Romain?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The hobgoblin reaches the library and enters, finding shelter from the storm.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain groans and then belches.  He reeks of alcohol.

[Daufer]: Daufer shakes himself off and looks around for the librarian he had met yesterday.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin wrinkles her nose of the smell but she braves it and gives the man a shake to wake him. "Well, things haven't changed after nine years, not that I expected them to. Wake up, father."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  He spots her behind her desk.  She smiles and beckons him forward.  "I've been expecting you.  Nasty weather, isn't it?" she says.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain sits up and rubs at his blood-shot eyes.  "What is it?  Jasmin?  What are you doing here?" he asks,

[Jasmin]: "If you are sober enough, we have a few questions to ask you."

[Daufer]: Daufer nods in agreement. He reaches inside his bag and takes out the book buried deep within. "This is yours."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior helps him to a seat.  Romain coughs and rubs at his temple.  "What is it?" he asks.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii:  She accepts the book.  "I hope it proved useful."  She sets it on her desk and then reaches under it for his hammer, returning it to him.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin finds a place to sit down. "Do you remember anything about your attack in the mines?"

[Daufer]: "It was... well, it was interesting," Daufer says.  He takes the hammer from Loreleii and says, “Did you learn anything more about this hammer?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain:  "I all ready told you.  It was those damned dwarves."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii.  "It is blessed, as I thought.  It's lighter, quicker...sturdier than a normal weapon.  There's more, but...its powers have been sealed."

[Daufer]: "Sealed..." Daufer repeats softly. "By who?"

[Jasmin]: "Maybe, but tell me exactly what you remember anyway," she smiles faintly. "Humor me, okay?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii:  "In the old days, this was common.  When a great warrior fell, his weapon's powers were sealed by the priests.  This way, they could not fall into the wrong hands.  The weapon will reveal its power, slowly, if it deems you are worthy of it."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain:  "Well, I was working like everyday.  It was a slow day.  Not much ore to be found.  I needed a drink, so I slipped away to an isolated area for a quick nip."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii:  "I wish I could be more help.  But my magic isn't powerful enough to penetrate the seal."

[Jasmin]: "What happened after that?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain shrugs.  "I was jumped.  Someone hit me in the back of the head.  When I woke were there."

[Daufer]: Daufer shakes his head. "You've done more than enough." He takes out a bag of gold and lays it before the librarian. "I believe this is the amount we discussed previously."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii:  "Thank you.  This should go a long way in fixing up this place."

[Jasmin]: "That is all you remember?" You don't remember seeing anything out of the normal when you went into the mine that day?"

[Daufer]: Daufer looks outside and says, "I suppose it's time for me to go out and brave the rain again."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain:  "Out of the ordinary?  No, not that I can recall."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Loreleii:  "Good luck."

[Jasmin]: "Okay, so how isolated was this place you went to so you could have your drink?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain:  "It was where you found me."

[Daufer]: Daufer opens the door and walks out into the thunderstorm.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Daufer returns to the tavern.  Gaheris is all ready there, at their usual table.  He is eating fried mushrooms and drinking an ale.

[Jasmin]: "That doesn't much help at all then," she sighs, glancing to Meschior.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The priest shrugs, unsure of what to say.

[Daufer]: Daufer walks over to Gaheris. "Labree not back yet?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris shakes his head.  "You know her.  Probably got distracted by something shiny."  He grins.

[Jasmin]: "You said you were hit over the head, right? If that is the case, that means someone had to be either just your height, taller, or maybe just a few inches shorter. I don't think a dwarf could reach your head."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Romain shrugs.  "Whatever.  Are we done here?  My head is killing me."

[Daufer]: "I was thinking," Daufer says, taking a seat. "There were a few other people down in the mines who might have seen something strange. I wanted to talk to you first about it because... well... You're not going to like who I'm going to suggest."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Who?" he asks, raising a suspicious brow.

[Jasmin]: "Yeah, go on. Get some rest," she says then stands up with a shake of her head.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Meschior puts his hood back on.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin pulls her hood back over her head  then steps out of the house and heads back to the tavern.

[Daufer]: "The Tainted Hands were clearing the mines out. They might have seen something."

[JadedDM]: Jasmin and Meschior step inside the tavern, soaked from the rain.  Gaheris and Daufer are sitting at their usual table.  Gaheris looks upset.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "We don't need their help," he argues.

[Daufer]: "Who says help? Why can't we just go about it like last time?"

[Jasmin]: "We don't need whose help?" Jasmin asks as she walks to Gaheris and Daufer.

[Daufer]: "We'll get to that later. Let's hear what we found out," Daufer says.

[Jasmin]: "We didn't find out much, except for the fact that Romain was hit over the head. I have a hard time believing a dwarf could sneak up on someone and hit them over the head."

[JadedDM]: Meschior takes a seat and removes his hood.

[Daufer]: "Hmm," Daufer says. "The boy had a sharper eye, I suppose. He says he saw strange man in black just before getting attacked. He definitely wasn't a dwarf."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "A man in black?"

[Daufer]: "Still, that's not enough to prove anything," Daufer says. "Who's to say the dwarf didn't just disguise himself with an illusion of some sort?  The boy couldn't say anything more than that he was tall and dressed in black," he continues. "To prove anything of importance, it looks like we'll have to find this man."

[Jasmin]: "True. We need more information, and it seems that this man in black is the common link."

[Daufer]: "Which brings us to where Gaheris and I left off," Daufer says. "There was one more group of people down in the mines who might have noticed something."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin removes the hood of her cloak finally and shakes out her hair." The Tainted Hands."

[Daufer]: Daufer nods. "If they can't tell us anything of this mysterious man, at least they might be able to tell us of the source of the creatures they fought. Perhaps."

[Jasmin]: "It might be a little harder for me to do it this time, but I think it can be done," she glances over to Gaheris. "Of course, I'm sure you don't mind me flirting with them to get some information."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "The last time you didn't get much."

[Jasmin]: "I didn't ask the right questions."

[Daufer]: "Perhaps it was your target that was the problem. Maybe one of the older men might have more information."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Maybe we can find a clue in the mines themselves."

[Daufer]: "They're heavily guarded, aren't they?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Maybe we can bribe them.  Or Jasmin can work her charms."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin crosses her arms with a small frown. "It could work if I said that father lost something down there I guess."

[Daufer]: "Well, we can always search the mines after questioning the Tainted Hands."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "And what are you going to ask them?"

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks to Daufer for that answer. "What should I ask them if I go to the Tainted Hands?"

[Daufer]: "Use your...those feminine wiles," Daufer waves his hands. "Ask them if it was a straight-forward job, or if they might have noticed something a little odd this time. See what happens from there."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "And what are the rest of us supposed to do in the meantime?"

[Jasmin]: "You can stand outside the window and watch me work," she giggles lightly. "Maybe ask Flaco if he has seen a man in black in here."

[Daufer]: "Actually..." Daufer goes up to the bar.

[JadedDM]: Meschior says nothing, but merely watches as the others speak.

[Daufer]: "Flaco," Daufer says. "Did you ever patch up that hole in the cellar?"

[JadedDM]: Flaco sets down the empty mug he had been polishing.  "Well, I tried to board it up.  But I haven't gotten around to actually filling it in."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin watches Daufer as she places herself in Gaheris' lap.

[Daufer]: "Hmm," Daufer says. "Mind if I go take a look?"

[JadedDM]: Flaco:  "Uh...all this interest in my cellar, huh?  Yeah, all right.  Just be careful."

[Daufer]: "Thanks, Flaco," Daufer says. He walks over back to the party. "Gaheris, let's check this out."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin stands from Gaheris' lap. "So I guess while you two are doing that, I'm going to speak to the Tainted Hands?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What do you have in mind, Daufer?"

[Daufer]: "I just want to check something," Daufer says.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "All right, let's go then."

[Daufer]: "Meschior, you, too," Daufer adds, beckoning.

[Jasmin]: "Okay, well I'll find all of you once I'm done then." Jasmin pulls her hood up over her head, and makes her way out of the tavern.

[JadedDM]: Meschior nods and goes with them.

[Daufer]: Daufer walks the path down to the Miner's cellar, once more.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin steps out of the tavern and heads back home to change into the dress that she bought only the night before. Once done changing, she makes her way to the Wolf Blaze Inn.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The three men descend once more into the cellar, the only source of illumination the torch near the entrance.  Gaheris grabs it to light the way.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Jasmin changes into her dress and makes her way to the Inn , the wind picking up and the rain getting even worse than before.  Eventually, she makes it.

[Daufer]: Daufer grips his maul and leads the way through the cellar.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin keeps the cloak she was given tightly wrapped around herself as she steps into the Inn . With a sigh of relief she pushes back the hood of her cloak and shakes out her hair before running her fingers through it as her eyes sweep through the Inn .

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  The three approach the back and find the hole from before.  It's been partially boarded up with a couple of two by fours, but that's about it.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The Wolf Blaze Inn is slow tonight, perhaps because most people have the good sense to stay out of the rain.  A waiter offers to take her cloak and seat her.

[Daufer]: "Guess I'll have to pay Flaco back," Daufer says. He takes his maul and strikes at the wood.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin hands the cloak over to the waiter with a smile. "I'll find a place to sit, thank you," she says to the waiter.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  With a crack, the boards split apart.  Gaheris bends down a bit to look inside.  "You think this goes to the mines?"

[Daufer]: "Do you think it's a coincidence the giant rats appeared here at the same time that giant rats attacked the mines?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The waiter nods and takes her cloak.  The restaurant only has a couple of tables occupied.  One by a couple of merchants talking business, and another by a young couple.

[Daufer]: "The question is, will any of us fit...?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "We can crawl from here.  But I have no idea if it gets wider or smaller along the way."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin looks over the people within the restaurant, yet her eyes rest on the young couple curiously as she moves to take a seat at the bar. She is able to pull her eyes away from the couple to signal for a bartender.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The bartender approaches.  "What can I get you?"

[Daufer]: "Well, you're the nimblest of us, Gaheris. Could you go in and check? Not too far, though.  I suppose that dwarf would be better at this sort of thing."

[Jasmin]: "Well, I was hoping that perhaps you could answer a few questions for me, if it wouldn't be too much trouble."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Yeah.  Good luck trying to find him.  I'll check it out."  He pulls out his short sword in one hand, the torch in the other, and he begins to crawl into the hole.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Bartender:  "About drinks?" he asks, half-kidding.  He's an older man with a receding hairline.

[Daufer]: "Hold on, Gaheris. Meschior, could you light his way? That way his hands would be free."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior:  "I'm afraid not.  I used my only prayers on Jasmin's ritual."

[Daufer]: "Hmm, I see," Daufer says.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin giggles lightly at him. "Maybe some other time. I know this is going to sound odd and vague, but have you seen a man in black come in here. I'm sure a lot of people in black come in here, but I thought I would try asking anyway."

[Daufer]: Daufer waits until Gaheris comes back.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Bartender:  "People in black?  Well...we get lots of customers, and several will wear black clothes.  I don't suppose you could be more specific?"

[Jasmin]: "I wish I had much more than that, but he seems to be rather mysterious, which probably doesn't help at all either."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  After a few minutes, Gaheris returns, now rather dirty.  He stands and dusts himself off.  "It goes for awhile, but it opens up after awhile."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The bartender shrugs.  "Sorry.  I wish I could be of more help."

[Jasmin]: "Well, I'm sure you can be of a little help. When do you suppose the Tainted Hands will be down?"

[Daufer]: "So, we'll be able to go through it. Did the tunnel go in the direction of the mines?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  He looks her up and down.  "Oh, you're here to visit them, are you?  They usually tell me when they are expecting company."  He shrugs.  "I can bring you up to their rooms.  Which one are you seeing?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris pauses a moment to think.  "Yeah, they do.  They head west."

[Daufer]: "Well, let's get back up to the common room. We'll want to be prepared when we go through the tunnel. We'll need more torches, rope, picks..." Daufer mentally makes a list.

[Jasmin]: "Cardel," she says simply deciding to go along with whatever the bartender assumed.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "All right.  We can take care of that while we wait for Jasmin."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The bartender nods and summons one of the waiters to take her upstairs.  The waiter, a young man, escorts her to the second floor.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin follows after the young man. "They regularly get visitors like this?" she asks.

[Daufer]: Back at the common room, Daufer says, "So, we have a way into the mines, but we still don't know what we're looking for."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The waiter nods.  "Yes, miss.  Many women ask to see them."  He stops at one of the doors.  "This is Master Cardel's room, miss."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Any theories?"

[Jasmin]: "I don't suppose you know what type of women visit Cardel, would you?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The waiter blushes.  "Young women, much like yourself, miss."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin smiles to the young man and places a kiss upon his cheek. "I think I can manage from here. Thank you."

[Daufer]: "Well..." Daufer begins, "if this man dressed in black is the same one responsible for giving the summoning scroll to the rogue priest..." Daufer glances at Meschior and continues. "It seems that this is somewhat bigger than any of us can imagine at this point."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The young man hesitates, but then departs after a few longing looks.

[Daufer]: "He must have some amount of power to cause chaos down in the mines and to acquire the high level summoning scroll. We can't take underestimate a person like this."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "I don't see the connection, though.  Why disrupt the mines?  Why set a monster loose in the slums?"

[Jasmin]: Jasmin takes a few moments to make sure her hair is falling down over her shoulders just right before she lightly knocks on Cardel's door.

[Daufer]: "What happens if he manages to cause enough trouble?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior:  "The Drow will come.  According to the dwarf, they are all ready coming."

[Daufer]: "That must have been his goal from the beginning. To what end...  Well, I can't answer that.  Perhaps even this Greed Demon that attacked the market while we were...away, is also connected to this somehow."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  The door opens.  A man, about 25, answers.  He is quite bulked-up, with broad shoulders and tanned skin.  He has long brown hair and hazel eyes.  He looks her over, a little confused.  "I wasn't expecting anyone..."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Perhaps to cause chaos?  Some kind of anarchist, maybe."

[Jasmin]: "Does that mean you are going to deny me a visit even if you weren't expecting me?" Jasmin asks as she looks him over.

[Daufer]: "In any case..." Daufer says. "If this man has his way, then something will happen when the Drow arrive.  And if he manages to carry out his plans..." Daufer pauses. "Then, I can't imagine what the drow response will be."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel:  "Not from a woman as lovely as you, no.  Come in," he says, stepping aside.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "The last time a Drow was here...people died.  I can't imagine anyone is crazy enough to actually provoke them."

[Daufer]: "Perhaps he's deluded enough to think his plans will actually work."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin smiles lightly to the man as she steps inside his room. "Thank you. I know that you don't know me, but my name is Jasmin."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior:  "Deluded, maybe.  But if this is true, he must be intelligent to pull it off."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel.  "I'm Cardel, although I guess you all ready knew that."  He closes the door.  "Jasmin, huh?  Strange, I've never seen you around.  Are you new to town?"

[Daufer]: "Intelligent perhaps. I wonder if he is working alone, though."

[Jasmin]: "I've lived in Voxis all of my life, it is just that I'm of humble origins," she says as she pretends to look over his room.

[Daufer]: "This is all just a theory of course.  Perhaps we'll know more when Labree comes back and when we explore the mines in full."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel takes her hand in his own and plants a kiss on it.  "Well, I'm humbled myself, standing before such beauty," he says, pouring on the charm.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "As long as the dwarf pays what he promised.  You think he could really get us some mithril?"

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "He looked desperate to me, willing to say anything. Maybe he can, maybe he can't."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior:  "If he does, it could be very valuable.  I've only heard rumors of the precious metal myself."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin finds herself blushing faintly at his words, as she normally doesn't hear them. "You are too kind. I hate to just get to the point, but I'm more here on business I suppose you could say. I know that the Tainted Hands went into the mines to clean them out not long ago. My father is one of the miners, and he was hurt down there. I was hoping you could shed some light as to what you encountered down there."

[Daufer]: "Well, seeing is believing. We'll know when the time comes. I doubt anyone in this place could reimburse us for its value, though."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel:  "Let me get us some wine," he says.  He pours her a glass, as well as himself.  "The mines...yes, we went down there.  It was mostly filled with vermin.  Rats, was below our skill, really.  But the Viscount insisted."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "While we're waiting, Meschior why don't you go pick up the supplies?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior:  "What should I get?"

[Daufer]: Daufer lists off a few items.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin takes the glass of wine from him gently. "Yes. I heard but I am thankful that you did. The mines really are the only thing keeping Voxis running, but I heard that a man was killed down there. Rumor has it his hair and his eyebrows were...shaven off or something. You didn't notice anything odd other than rats and bats when you were down there?" She takes a few sips of the wine as she acts the part of the concerned daughter.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel sits next to her, his wine glass in hand.  "Yes, I heard that.  The dead man was supposedly eaten alive by the rats or something.  As for the shaving, well...maybe it was some kind of prank."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Meschior nods, puts his hood back up, and heads out to get the supplies.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin shakes her head sadly. "Maybe. I suppose it was really a simple and straight forward job for you wasn't it?"

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel uses his free hand to brush some of her hair off her shoulder.  "Pretty much.  I didn't even break a sweat."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris sits back down and pops in the last of his mushrooms in his mouth.  "Bleh.  Cold now."  He raps his fingers on the table.  "I wonder what she's doing now..."

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "Gaheris. You said, 'the last time a Drow was here.' Do you actually remember a time like that?"

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris nods.  "Yeah.  It was about...thirteen years back.  I was just a kid then."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin turns her gaze from her lap to Cardel once he brushes her hair off to the side. "I'm sorry. It is just that my father was one of the men hurt. He said he was hit over the head, but he managed to catch a glimpse of a man in black before he passed out. It has had me concerned."

[Daufer]: "That was around when I joined the shrine, with old Hrodgud," Daufer muses. "Strange that I don't remember that."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel sets his hand on her leg.  "Man in black, you say?  How strange."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "It wasn't here, in the slums.  It was up in the noble district.  I was there, picking a few pockets.  A wyvern descended right in front of the Viscount's manor.  A single man clad in black was on its back.  A dark elf.  Even though I was just a kid, I could still sense their power.  I ran and hid."

[Jasmin]: "Very. Of course, a lot of strange things have been happening around here as of late. I don't suppose you've noticed such a man about?" Jasmin lightly places her free hand upon his yet she keeps eye contact with him.

[Daufer]: Daufer gives a subconscious shudder. "I can imagine.  Their power can be... frightening to behold," Daufer says, remembering past events.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel doesn't answer, but simply stares into her eyes, desire burning in his own.  He licks his lips and moves closer.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris nods.  "I don't know why the Drow was there, or what he wanted.  I do remember him going into the manor, though.  When he came out, he was carrying two heads with him.  He tossed them aside, mounted the wyvern, and took off."

[Daufer]: Daufer nods. "Hmm. You should keep a rein on Labree's mouth. If the Drow should overhear what she thought of them... Well, it just seems a stupid attitude to have in the open for everyone to see and hear."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin holds back the desire to laugh. "Have you?" she asks softly once again. She doesn't move away from him though as she acts as if she is stuck in some sort of trance.

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris nods.  "Yeah.  Whether it's diplomacy or a giant monster, Jasmin is just as likely to act without thinking."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel:  "Have I what?" he asks, blinking.

[Jasmin]: Jasmin merely smiles sweetly to him. "Seen a man in black around?" Slowly she scoots a bit closer to him.

[Daufer]: "Not just the drow of course," Daufer says in a whisper. "Any manner of sycophant might carry that information to the drow just for a simple honor or reward."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel:  "No.  I can't say that I have.  The only person I've seen today is my brother...and you, of course."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "She's a hot-head, all right.  I just hope she learns better before it gets her killed."

[Daufer]: "Gets us killed is just as likely, you know."

[Jasmin]: With a disappointed sigh, Jasmin looks down. "And here I was hoping to find some sort of clue to the mystery."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris wrings his hands.  "Yeah, I know.  I wonder what's taking her so long..."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel then quickly swoops in, planting his lips on hers.  His hand, still on her leg, squeezes it tightly.

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "I suppose it is taking longer than expected. Still, I'm sure she's fine."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris waves the waitress over.  "Another ale."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin's eyes widen a bit as if she was truly surprised yet she returns the kiss rather passionately before pulling away from him. "...M-maybe I should go," she says quickly.

[Daufer]: "Still, if you're that worried," Daufer says. "It's only a short walk to the Wolf Blaze Inn..."

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel grabs her by the waist and pulls her back.  "You just got here."

[JadedDM to Daufer]:  Gaheris:  "Worried?  Nah, she can take care of herself."  He gulps down the ale quickly.

[Daufer]: Daufer shakes his head. "If you say so," Daufer says, unconvinced.

[Jasmin]: "But I only came for a little information. I will have to return soon," she says innocently as she places her hands on his arms.

[JadedDM to Jasmin]:  Cardel:  "Then I will have to persuade you to stay," he says, pulling her even closer.

[Jasmin]: "Do you really think you can persuade me?"

[JadedDM]: Jasmin finally returns a couple of hours later.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris, who by this point has had a few, is quite annoyed.  "Where the hell have you been?"

[Daufer]: Daufer, having to endure Gaheris drowning himself in alcohol, looks annoyed as well.

[Jasmin]: "Trying to get the information we need," she says in a bit of a huff as she crosses her arms. "You know going to them is kind of pointless. They go in there, and do their job, and that is really about it."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "A big waste of time then.  I knew it."

[Daufer]: "Are you sure you weren't... obvious about your intentions?"

[Jasmin]: "Oh...I'm pretty sure I wasn't." She clears her throat.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What does that mean?"

[Daufer]: "'Pretty sure?'"

[Jasmin]: "What do you think it means?" Jasmin smirks a bit at Gaheris before looking to Daufer. "He was clueless."

[Daufer]: "Well, which one did you ask?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "So basically, you learned nothing and kept us waiting here for hours, for no reason.  And the Drow is scheduled to arrive in a couple of days.  We're wasting time."

[Jasmin]: "Cardel was the only one I could go to. The oldest one is full of nothing but grand stories, and he wouldn't have told me anything. Liamx I've been too before. As I said, all of them just go in there and do their jobs. They don't seem to ask questions."

[Daufer]: "Well, I guess we learned something. They're fools."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I could have told you that," he says, crossing his arms.

[Daufer]: "Moving on..," Daufer says, glancing at Gaheris. "We found an entrance into the mines. We'll wait until tomorrow to explore it fully."

[Jasmin]: "I had a reason for keeping you waiting, Gaheris. It is just not a reason I'm going to be telling you about," she huffs again. "What about this man in black that no one seems to know anything about?"

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "We think he had something to do with the greed demon, too.  It may all be connected."

[Jasmin]: "Yet how can we prove that it is all connected?"

[Daufer]: "Well, it's just a theory at this point," Daufer says.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "If we could find this man in black, that would answer some questions."

[Jasmin]: "We need more information on what he looks like. There are a lot of people in this town that wear black."

[Daufer]: "I doubt you'll find anything substantial," Daufer says. "Anyone that saw him only saw a glimpse or is dead."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris stands up, a little wobbly.  "Well, we'll find out more tomorrow then."

[Daufer]: "Looks like our best bet is to explore the mines."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin nods in agreement with Daufer. "I guess we will continue tomorrow then."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "We'll meet here tomorrow then."

[Jasmin]: Jasmin turns and makes her way fro the door.

[JadedDM]: (And....I guess we'll call it a night here.)

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