Things were a bit calmer after we drove Murder-Robe off, if I’m honest. I helped Esther loot Ratzer’s thugs a bit, and then I headed off to sleep at the inn to recover my strength. I knew the innkeeper was really grateful, so I didn’t want to put him on the spot by asking if it was alright to stay there. I think Hanneke spent the night looking after Shae, Catrain created a spontaneous street-party to celebrate how awesome it was that we saved the town, and Esther probably went there and found her barmaid or something. I expect Kolyev slept in a bush or something, and I know for a fact that Jayca was up all night with his nose in the Duke’s books.
Next morning, I said my prayers and felt a lot better, which was good. I found a couple of unbroken bottles of beer and wandered off to the keep. On the way, I bumped into Esther, who wanted to talk about stuff, so we headed back to the inn and had the beers and a chat. It turned out that she wanted to know about the Bitter Hand, so I explained things and she really seems to get it, you know? Said she used to be an Olidammara worshipper, but prefers the idea of a god of our own, which is as it should be.
Anyway, it occurred to us that the innkeeper was fast asleep down the corridor. Esther picked the lock on his door and snuck in, and came back out with two woodcuts of some children (I guess his kids or something – lots of tasty tasty sentimental value, whatever!) and a bottle of some pretty strong booze. We locked the door behind us so he won’t have any idea where his stuff went!
We all met back up again – it turns out that the goons in the keep all had the same necklace on, which had a sign like a human forearm with an animal-type fist. Apparently it’s a symbol of a transmuter, which is a type of wizard (and may mean that at least some of these dragons are just people who can change form), and they’re all “message stones” – if you hold one and concentrate, it transmits your thoughts to everyone else wearing one. The downside is that we don’t know the range and we don’t know who else, if anyone, has them – we can assume Murder-Robe does, but he might have other minions. Anyway, it’ll be helpful if we ever need to pretend to be them or something, and I reckon it should be possible for a wizard to follow the magical links back to find other ones that are the same.
We also found out that Lord Blackstone’s daughter was en route to the town and would be arriving in the next few days. Probably just as well we cleared out the bandit problem, really! Well, for her sake, anyhow. I spent the day praying in one of the shrines, and Esther came along and I put her through the first initiation. I think you need to meet her at some point – she’d be a huge asset to the Kurellim.
Anyway, I spent the next few days keeping an eye on the road from the north to make sure we didn’t get mobbed by dwarves. I think everyone else just sort of got on with their own stuff – Kolyev and Hanneke helped Shae, for example, and Ace was writing stuff into his spellbook. Apparently some ancient ancestor of his was someone called Malefic, who founded his college of magic or something?