Well then, today’s story is going to be one of mistakes, I’m afraid. We went out to do a lot, achieved little to nothing and, in the end, managed to get split up.
Yeah, I’m not really aching to tell that story, but here we go. Maybe you people can help us make sense of this mess.
What was positive was the fact that we had managed to find Waldo, who had eluded us for a while. The tree guy was a nice addition to our party.
At the end of my previous story, I told you that we’d head out to Baron Crimson and confront him with what we had learned and, quite frankly, that is exactly what we did. For once, we opted to tell one of the rulers of the land everything we knew and make sure that the guy wasn’t unaware of any blind spots or information that we did have. It was quite refreshing, actually.
When we got that over with, Crimson appeared to lighten up to us a bit. At least he considered actually hiring us, instead of sending us all over the country to look for his frickin’ orb without any pay. He asked us to return the next day, when he’d have more information and a strategy for us.
When we returned, Crimson looked properly grim for what he had come up with. His plan consisted of luring Dejour out of his hiding by going to Sannich and loudly claiming that we had a new wind crystal. We’d be transporting it to Crimson and, hopefully, would be intercepted by the man or his cronies as we did so. If we managed to catch anyone, it would be a solid plan.
When we dropped the name of Verlicht, the father of the man who ambushed us with a group of Changelings, though, Crimson seemed troubled. Dejour had been a bodyguard of the baron of Candémòre and Crimson knew the man from a meeting in Sol ti Terro, where he was a guard of Baron Scillio of Mort. The guy went around quite a bit, apparently.
This information threw Crimson for a bit of a loop, though, and he suddenly changed his plans. We could either go to Mort and take a good look around there, or we could go to Candémòre and ‘interrogate’ Verlicht for some information about his son and what he could have been up to. We decided to do just that.
So, as Crimson sent out some people to Mort to feel around, we left to Candémòre, travelling through Sannich.
In Sannich we paid our good friend Tepez a visit, who gave us a courtesy scry of Nimrod. Though he wasn’t able to find an exact location, he managed to tell us a direction: Nimrod was to the southwest of Sannich. Geziah wanted to head there immediately, but we thankfully managed to convince him otherwise as we headed for Candémòre.
We arrived the next day, but it wasn’t quite what we had been expecting of it. It was really just a farmer’s community of separated houses and fields, connected by what could be called a road if you were generous enough. After the necessary trouble we managed to locate an inn called ‘The Sweet Tooth’, which was little more than a converted stable.
What was especially troubling was that this was the point that we remembered we had left Lin and Lucas in Altea.
Don’t know how we had managed to do that, but apparently we were all rather absent-minded at that exact moment.
The remaining party split up to try and find something resembling a mansion, where Verlicht would probably be living, and eventually managed to converge on the largest farm of the area. It was rather obvious, even though it could hardly be called a ‘mansion’. It was staffed by a butler, though, who was friendly enough to lead Jimmy and me to Verlicht.
This is where things started going wrong for us. We asked Verlicht about Dejour, but he claimed not to know Dejour. When we pressed on and told him that the man had hired Dejour as a bodyguard, we realized we made a mistake. Dejour had never played bodyguard for Verlicht.
Well, that’s what you get when you let one man guard so many people.
Well, anyway, with that embarrassing point out of the way, we went back to the matter at hand. We asked about his son and got the same story about the Changelings. Apparently he had been pulled into the wrong kind of fight, and us claiming that it was possible that Dejour was part of that put him in a bit of a foul mood.
We got a letter from him to Sannich, in which he allegedly asked for more information. Well, I can tell you, even I was tired of all the political bull by that time, so I heartily agreed when Jimmy suggested we just open the letter and read it.
For once, we weren’t being lied to.
Geziah sealed the letter again, after which we headed to Count Sannich to give it off. Sannich, I can tell you, was suddenly a lot more interested in what we had to tell. We dropped the information about the Changelings in Mort, and the man suggested that, with the running rumour of the insurance scam next to the Changelings, ‘serious actions’ might have to be taken against Crimson. He told us in the same breath that he couldn’t help us with that, which was unfortunately a bit sad.
Things had turned into such a clusterfuck that we decided to let the political situation of Istal boil for a bit while we turned our attention back on Nimrod. Following Tepez’s hint, we went south and met a small village of elves at – how could it be any else? – the edge of a forest.
We quickly met the village elder, who could tell us about the passing of a Gnome and the way he went into the forest. Geziah immediately wanted to follow and didn’t let himself be dissuaded this time, so we entered the forest. We had to spend the night there, after which we actually found footsteps which leaded to a clearing with a circle of tree roots in the middle.
Then we finally met the illusive Nimrod. The guy was sitting in a tree and spent a little while taunting Geziah, after which he promised the Avenger that he’d return the Star of Corellon if he managed to catch the Gnome.
Then the little asshole jumped into the circle of roots, which turned out to be a portal. Geziah, Lanaya and Waldo followed without thinking, but Jimmy and I looked at each other and thought better of it. We waited for a while, but when we finally decided to follow them down, the portal closed on us.
We were locked out, away from our friends, and it was our own damn fault.
Ah, I remember the days we were just killing ants…