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Seeking refuge, the party have fled the Sands, staying hidden in the elusive town of Last Hearth. While they are safe from Lysander for now, they have found that Last Hearth comes with its own slew of problems. The borough is entirely controlled by a party of elites known as the Parliament, keeping hegemony over all its residents in the form of imposing constructs.

While exploring, the party have discovered several things:

The Keepers, mechanical sentinels that watch over Last Hearth, are in fact composed of the corpses of captured criminals.

Several areas of Last Hearth are marked as "Condemned" - though what this means and why is unclear.

The Parliament are a reclusive cabal, operating in and around a building known as the Parliament House.

An event known as the Night of the Hunt has been organized, due to happen in two weeks. This involves the mass slaughter of slaves purchased from the nefarious Chanticleers, and the subsequent reclaiming of their corpses to a place called Morrilcole, though to what end is unclear.

Perhaps most importantly for the party, Silver and Aegis have met a waif called Lilura. Afflicted with a disease that renders her vulnerable to fractures, Lilura has been pining to escape Last Hearth for a long time. She has offered to trade her entire supply of stockpiled goods in exchange for being smuggled out.
1362 posts and 4 image replies omitted. Click reply to view.


"Gah, dang. Keep them off the strider!" Rabi shouts as his shot goes wide, and he tries for another shot, this time with electricity, before deciding against it and trying to help Dawn out of the water. Better be safe!

Roll #1 2 = 2


"Hmm? I'll try that when I get the chance- lightning in water sounds a little risky, though, right?"


"H'm…" I think for a second and look the books over. "I don't know. He didn't give me any kind of specific thing he liked. Just someting nonfiction. Maybe something that teaches a skill or something?"

[1d100]Closest skill related book to the roll maybe?

Roll #1 79 = 79


"Iz zhiz not a large enough body of water for zhat not to be an izzue?"


Mjolnir ignites, rumbling and glowing in your hands. You single out the furthest shrimp, which is currently oblivious to your presence. They are single mindedly focused on attacking Jenny.

That gets their attention. The poison-filled pod impacts on the surface of the water, bursting and spreading its foul essence. The shrimp recoil and break formation, scattering in all different directions as the poison burns their eyes. Ezra cheers you on. "Good throw, good throw! Get 'em!"

You take a moment to convalesce and charge up a healing spell.

You help Dawn out of the water as she fumbles to the shore, following your voice. She is soaked to the bone, and seems to have taken a blow to the head, but is otherwise unharmed. Just a little dazed. "I'm too old for this," she gripes.

The Wineshrimp seem disoriented by Hermodur's attack, but do not leave. "We're gonna have to chase 'em off," Ezra calls to you as Jenny begins to get back up with a low rumble. "Otherwise they're gonna hound us all the way to the ruins. Whatever you do, don't meet them in the water. That's where they'll get you. Hm…"

Aurora takes initiative and starts swooping them with aerial sword slashes!

Dawn tries to orient herself and fires off a magic bolt!
[1d10+1] [1d10+1]

One of the shrimp lunges out of the water at Aurora!

Ezra loads another harpoon, this time with a rope attached. "If we can spear one and drag it ashore, it'll be helpless," he explains. "That's how we fish 'em. And if one's gone, the rest usually scatter. Usually."

Roll #1 1 = 1 / Roll #2 2 + 1 = 3 / Roll #3 8 + 1 = 9 / Roll #4 10 = 10


You find one that looks intriguing, and quite relevant to your current predicament. We Pass From View, by Theophilus C____. It seems to detail certain rites and occult practices centering around dreams, and dream manipulation. Sprig raises an eyebrow. "That's esoteric," he remarks. "I haven't managed to parse it myself. A bit dense for me. What could your friend want with dream magic?" For some reason, you get the feeling the question is rhetorical.


Huh. Creepy, but it could be useful. I just give sprig a half shrug. "I'll pick it up when I get back to pick Purdue up. How much did you say you wanted?"


"S-Sorry." is all Rabi can manage, letting out a bit of a huff before trying to blast the shrimp with a bolt of dark energy.
>[1d10+3] [1d10+3] Magic Bolt (Dark)
>Using Frozen Light, Wark >>737167

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5 / Roll #2 4 + 3 = 7


Huh. Creepy, but it could be useful. I just give sprig a half shrug. "I'll pick it up when I get back to pick Purdue up. How much did you say you wanted?"


>using orb

With my sun orb bursting in a shower of sparks, i prepare another bead. Emboldened by my shot and it's effect, i put more effort into hitting the shadows!

[1d10+1] Ranged

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8



"Chase them off we shall, then."

The front of Mjolnir opens up, and Hermodur gives it a golf swing to launch a red ball at the one he targeted before.

[1d10+3] [1d10+3]
>DC-1, take the larger roll

Roll #1 7 + 3 = 10 / Roll #2 2 + 3 = 5



Forgot to specify, that is a ranged attack.


He takes the book from you, paging through it idly and considering it. "I'd part with it for 50 bits," he says. "Sound fair?"


"Feels a little steep, but the book does seem pretty unique and you don't seem like the kinda guy that would stiff me too hard." I shrug. "Sure. Sounds good." I look toward the door. "Anyway, I got some stuff to do. I'll be back when this job is done and I get paid." I glance back at him and hold out my paw. "Thanks again for helpin out and for the charts and stuff. Really appreciate it, Mr.Sprig."


Seeing Aurora in danger, Zunden lashes out, crushing her glowing Severance orb, in her pain wanting to sever the shrimp from reality itself.

>Automatic Instant: Held 12 for Severance

Using the energy of the crushed orb, she channels it all into healing her allies.

[1d10+3] Healing Bonds: Silver (Frozen), Rabi (Frozen), Jenny

Roll #1 2 + 3 = 5


You and Dawn blast the shrimp with a combo attack, disintegrating it in the water with dual explosions of black and silver. There's not much left of the shrimp but some ashes floating on the surface after that. Dawn gives you a nod of approval.

You feel reinvigorated by Zunden's orb, hurling another pod from the sling. This time you hit a shrimp head on, and it recoils and thrashes about in the water, blinded by the stinging poison.

You see it writhing, and go for the finisher with your energy orb. It sizzles and squirms as the orb impacts, essentially frying it in its own shell. Its legs twitch and curl up, and it floats to the surface, stone dead.

You reach out and reconjure orbs for your companions, channeling healing energy into the Strider. It's difficult to heal because of the sheer size of it, but you do seem to give it some scantling of strength.

Severance flashes as you lash out; there is a blinding flash, a rumble as of distant thunder, and where the shrimp once was there is only a faint trail of black particles, floating upwards into the sky, defying gravity and reality itself. Aurora blinks, veering out of the way, a bit confused as to what just happened.

With three shrimp down, Ezra harpoons the last one, hitting it square in the side. It flails and struggles to get free, but he grits his teeth and holds on, digging his webbed feet into the mud and heaving with all his strength, trying to reel it in. "Give me a hand here, would ya?" he grunts.


"Sounds like a plan," he grins, shaking your hoof. "I'm looking forward to working together on future endeavours. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some agapanthuses to tend to."

As you make to leave, you notice Purdue staring at something speechlessly; it's a diagram of the skies in the Dominion. Seems he learned the truth about the planet after all.

Dahlia moves to your side, wordlessly offering to escort you out.


I give Purdue a quick glance and almost ask him what he found. Instead, I decide to just let him sort it out and ask him later. Turning to the butler, I nod, and move to follow her out.


with a little cheer as i send a shrimp reeling from blister, my attention is drawn to Ezra fighting with the harpoon. Rushing over, i try to help pull the shrimp onto the shore!
[1d10] assist

Roll #1 8 = 8



"Getting some dinner?" Hermodur asks with a grin as he grabs Ezra to steady him. [1d10]

Roll #1 4 = 4


Seeing as everyone is safe, Zunden focuses on making more orbs to float around herself.

[1d10+1] Creation (Frozen)

Roll #1 8 + 1 = 9


Rabi lets out a sigh of relief, before chuckling a bit and grinning at Dawn. He quickly shakes it out before hurrying to help out Ezra, and gives a concerned whinny before asking "Is, uh, Jenny okay?"


You summon another orb, flashing with the spidery nonagon symbol of Creation.

Between the three of you, you manage to wrench the Wineshrimp out of the water and onto the muddy shore. It has a long body almost like a lobster, with a burgundy shell, two bulbous eyes on stalks, and more legs and feelers than should be allowed. Out of its element, it flops about helplessly, trying to get its bearings. Ezra grins, winded by the effort, only managing a thumbs up. "It's good meat," is all he manages to say to Hermodur as he catches his breath. "Lot of money."

After hauling the shrimp up, Ezra looks over to her. She's slowly starting to recover, righting herself and anchoring her spindly legs into the ground. "She'll be fine. She's a trooper. Had worse from better. Right girl?" Jenny lets out a low moan like a whale song.

After recovering from the exertion, Ezra produces a mean looking club and sharply cracks the shrimp over the head a couple of times, which seems to kill it instantly. He looks up at Jenny, now fully standing, and clicks his tongue. The gargantuan arthropod crouches, allowing you to board the shell once again. "Ready to get going?" he asks with a smile. "Sorry about all that. Didn't expect to run into their lot out here. They usually stick to the Mudlake during spawning season. Wonder what drove them out to these parts…"


Dahlia escorts you to the door. You see Lily tending to some late breakfast customers, but she gives you a smile and a wave goodbye as you exit.

You go back to the guard barracks, where you find Captain Marques outside speaking to a couple of guards. Sounds like he's talking to them about you. He notices you approaching and waves you over.



"It actually does seem quite appetizing," Hermodur says as he climbs back onto the bug. "My pleasure to help. Especially if we get a taste later."

"Honestly, it seems like an idea animal for hunting. Unlike your normal shrimp for which you require multiple to make a meal, you get multiple meals out of one animal. And, unlike other animals which give multiple meals, nearly the entire body is edible. So, there's hardly even any waste."


I approach the group and nod in greeting. Huh. I wonder if he's sending both guards with me. My heart beats a little faster as the job slowly starts to feel more and more real, but I guess I've done this part enough that it isn't as big a deal. Especially not some pickpocket. "Mornin. We ready to go over the plan?"


File: 1587620493313.png (52.48 KB, 585x714, Healing Bonds.png)

"Ze beaztiary noted it'z tazte az well- It zeemz we got a larger zhan average pack."

Zunden nods to Ezra about being ready to leave, idly making orbs to pass the time.

[1d10+1] Return (Frozen)

Roll #1 7 + 1 = 8


"Maybe the ruins appearing? Or, something that took up in those ruins?" he suggests, frowning a bit. He shrugs regardless, before smiling. "I'm glad Jenny's alright. Do you need a moment yourself?"


"Aye," says Marques, as the two guards salute. One is a Dog like you and looks like a younger recruit, while the other is a pegasus. She looks more experienced. "I was telling Karras and Overlook here about the discussion from yesterday evening. Lay it on us."


With the rest of the shrimp scared off, i store blister and brush a few brambles off my dress, waiting for Jenny to recover before climbing aboard.

"Strange indeed.. is the Mudlake further north? Perhaps they've been displaced, as Rabi mentioned."




"I do enjoy shrimp. Seafood in general, really," Hermodur responds, sounding a little hungry.


"Ah, it iz a zhame you were not wizh uz when we tried raw fizh wrapped in rize and zeeweed. Even Aurora gave it a try." She thinks for a moment where Hermodur was at the time, before adding, "Ztill, no reazon we cannot find zomewhere to try it again."



"Are you describing sushi? I am not a fan of sushi," Hermodur says, retching slightly.



"Aye, they're quite delicious. Especially the larvae. They serve 'em up all the time at Caer Portach. Should try some tonight if we have to stay that long." He grins.

You conjure up the now familiar rune of a circle with two counter clockwise arrows. Ezra watches you perform your sorceries with mild interest.

"Hm. That'd make sense," he nods with a frown. "It is near the ruins, but it shouldn't have been too affected by their appearance. Maybe we'll get a chance to take a better look 'round when we get there. Haven't actually been there myself yet."

He smiles, appreciating the concern. "I'll be alright. Just a bit winded is all."

"Oh you mean sushi!" Marisol pipes up. "I love it myself. They sold the best sushi at the Swap Meet this year."

"It was delicious," Aurora confirms from the sidelines, looking a bit rattled by the fight.

Ezra finishes catching his breath and, with an almighty haul, pulls the dead Wineshrimp on board Jenny, storing it under the seats. He looks down at you from his perch. "Well, if we're done here, then, all aboard I guess!" He gestures at the seats dramatically, and Jenny makes a deep warble like a pigeon.


I take a deep breath and start in on what I've been considering. "Alright. So here's the idea. I'm going to pose as someone looking to buy high end artifacts. I'm hoping this-" I hold my arms out and look down at the sneak robe. "Is makes it obvious enough that I have enough money to actually pay for said artifacts and zero me in as a good target. Instead of an adventurer, though, I'm thinking more like I'm gonna seem a little bumbling and careless. That way they don't get suspicious when I leave my 'coinpurse' exposed and ripe for the taking."

I lift the pouch with some of the water eaters, a few bits, some clockwork orange gears, and lastly my trick coin. "In here I have a few things, but one of them is very specific. Specific enough that I'm pretty sure I won't have any issues tracking it with this-" I pull out the compass of want from deep inside my clothes. "If we have to. But first, I want all three of us in a triangular pattern around the square. It'd be harder if there were only two of us since I'd have to worry about line of sight. Since there are three, however, one of you should always be able to keep line of sight with me. Periodically as I pretend to browse the stalls I'm going to rub the back of my head. It's sort of a habit I have anyway, so it should be convincing enough not to raise suspion about-" I hold my arm out and lift my sleeve, revealing the bell tied to my arm. "This. I'll flick my arm a little harder when I drop it to give this bell a good ring. It's another magic item. One that, when rung, reveals anything in the area hidden with magic. I assume that extends to pickpockets."

"In theory, if one of you have line of sight when it happens, you should see either someone just pop into existence or, if not that obvious, then should at least be able to catch the person advancing on me. Then we could have a signal or something and one of you could alert me if I don't see them myself. But if I do, or if I see them running away, I have-" I pull my mini crossbow from inside the robe. "This. Darts tipped in sleeper poison. I also have some rope, but I think maybe I should get a pair of shackles or cuffs or whatever you use. I'll take your opinion on that, though."

"The main issue is that this hinges on the thief targeting me. Even if they don't, though, and the bell still works it's possible someone recognizes them. I'll also have Ricotta here hiding in my pocket keeping an eye out, so if she catches someone me and you guys miss and for whatever reason they steal something besides the purse, I can't track the purse, or she gets lucky enough to catch them stealing from someone else, then her orders are to follow the thief. Then I can track her instead."

I look from each of the guards to the captain, and back to the guards. "Any questions or suggestions?"


Marques looks a bit skeptical. "That's… convoluted. I see you thought about this a lot. It's crazy, but it might just be enough to work. What do you two think?"

The other two just shrug. "Works for me," says Overlook.

"Right. We'll position ourselves and wait for the midday rush. If necessary, take these." Marques gives you a pair of spare cuffs. "We'll stay away from the crowd and watch you like a hawk."

Karras looks from one to the other. "Let's do it then. Should get busy in a few minutes, so we'll have to set up quickly." Marques nods, and all three of you wait for you to lead the way.


My ears fold back a little as he calls my plan convoluted. He probably isn't wrong, but a lot of that was just backups just in case, and besides. Unconventional thief calls for an unconventional plan. I feel a little better when the other two support me… sorta. Close enough.

"Alright. Good." I take the cuffs, slip them under my robe, turn, and straighten up a little. With my back as straight as I can manage, and my chest puffed a little, I make my way toward the market square.


You head up to the market square. It's already beginning to get a bit busier, seeing as it's nearing lunchtime. Merchants are setting up their stalls, peddling all sorts of street food, groceries and miscellaneous wares. Two Batroc musicians have set up near the fountain, playing an accordion and a trumpet.

As the market begins to thrive, you see Marques, Karras and Overlook slip into the crowd, positioning themselves in a triangle formation as per your request. They have forgone their uniforms in order to stand out in the crowd less, and you quickly lose sight of them; though, you get the feeling they have not lost sight of you.

Eventually, it starts to remind you of a miniature Swap Meet in popularity. Everyone is buying here, and everyone is selling. You get jostled by the thronging crowd more than once.
>roll Perception


Oh, dang. I knew it was gonna be crowded, but I didn't realize it was gonna be this crowded. I make a little show of looking around at each of the stalls, but keep an eye out for anything that might be of note. Just in case, I rub my chin like I'm trying to decide which to go to, then lazily drop my arm to my side, flicking it enough to jingle the bell some.

[1d10]Perception. Improvise.

Roll #1 5 = 5


You ring the bell, sparing a glance around when you feel it's safe. Nothing seems to have changed.

You feel someone bump into you, hurrying away with a muttered "excuse me". When you check your pockets, however, everything seems to still be there. Or is it?…
>roll Perception again


I stumble a little and look around, shifting my hand to my pocket to check for a bump-and-grab.


Roll #1 10 = 10


Everything seems to be in its right place. You double check just to be sure.



Ricotta's missing.

Why would someone take a rat?

From somewhere nearby, you hear the beating of wings.


My jaw drops, and a thought starts to form, but before I try to put my finger on anything concrete I pull the compass out and try to search for Ri, glancing back and forth from the compass to the sky. Hopefully this doesn't break my cover if whoever stole her wasn't the pickpocket.


The compass spins in circles wildly before vaguely pointing southeast.


Well, this is as good a lead as any. I just hope whoever stole Ri doesn't kill her before I get to them. I pull my crossow and try to beeline toward where the compass points, not totally confident I can keep up with someone with wings. If I can just draw a bead on them at a moderate diatance then that shouldn't be an issue, but even that feels like a long shot.


Following the compass doesn't accomplish much. Following it directly just takes you to a solid wooden wall, taking you away from the marketplace.

Captain Marques catches up to you with a frown. "What happened? Why did you run?"


"They stole my rat for some reason. I heard wings. Not sure if it was a bird or something like a a griffon, but whoever it was decided my rat was more interesting, stole her, and flew away." I look down at the compass again. "As long as they don't decide to get rid of her for one reason or another-" Hopefully especially because they don't need most of her parts. "Then I should still be able to track her. Unless you guys usually have incidents with crows or magpies or some echoes equivalent this might actually be our pickpocket. Just not really sure why they took Ri."


"A bird? That'd be a first. We didn't see any griffons or pegasi take off. Very strange. We'll have to keep searching, but it won't be easy. Especially not if whatever this is is camped outside the walls. In the meantime, keep an eye on that compass of yours. With any luck, it won't lose the trail."

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