Out, Damn Skraeling
Back in town, we get Loruen to make the potion. There’s a new bartender at the inn—a seriously intimidating guy with oriental features & bright blue eyes. However, there’s a more dramatic change upstairs, where the door of our room is askew, bulging off its hinges; the room is trashed & clawed, with something that looks like Teryx huddled in the corner (diplomatically?). When I go to grab him, he gets cut… We force the potion down his throat, then watch as a skraeling crawls OUT of him. I slash it as it goes by. Teryx wakes slowly and seems like himself but sees everything in double; for example, in this other view I seem to have five giant claws, glowing eyes and dark gold hair (as opposed to my typical level of golden-ness, spread across my hands, face & eyes).
Pel sells some of the extra mushrooms for us and makes us a dreambox. We find a note slid under our belabored door: under a black seal, “We need to talk. –Aurella Shadowreaver.” She gives an address, where we’re to meet her at midnight.
We spend the rest of the evening shopping. The milliner seems to recognize me—something about complications with a custom order? I play along, though I don’t think he’s buying it. Surprise, surprise, it’s a choice! I can either accept a white circlet with a white stone, or a silver circlet with draconic wings. In Teryx’s new view, the white circlet has a white aura, while the silver one seems tingly & gold… I choose the silver; worn constantly, it will complete my transformation into an Aethyrion.
A quiet interval in the inn’s common room is interrupted by shouts that someone has been shot outside! We open the door to see two Slith pelting towards us—one is taken down by an arrow, and the other manages to gasp out “I bring word from Dre-” before he dies. (So many captains, such similar names…) During this fracas, we notice that the bartender seems unusually strong—he introduces himself as Toras Stargrave.
We find Pel, absolutely distraught. He’s a total mess—his brother has been killed (prematurely?). This goes beyond Pel’s personal loss: there are a limited number of changelings—for each birth, one parent must die—and his brother’s death permanently reduces their number. Ever since the Requiem, mortal man has advanced changeling extinction…
Aurella: Friend of Spiders, Murderer of Royal Bastards
Running late, we head for our meeting with Aurella. The address leads us to a two-story building with blacked-out windows; despite an overturned table and signs of battle on the first floor, we find her upstairs. She tells us she’s from Ridgewater, that a new order is coming—the two guilds are now one, and she & Krull lead. The Phoenix must be stopped (it’s bad for business), but its members won’t die. The thieves’ guild, or really her personally, can lure them out (thanks, it’s usually so hard to get bandits to attack a caravan). She—via a huge, red troll bodyguard—a pair of red manacles that will allow us to capture the Phoenix, containing the “hollow one,” the demon who is a puppet for…? They’re runic manacles, which are immune to fire & will prevent the one wearing them from shifting planes. In exchange for her help, we agree to do our best to get her to Aaridon, for her own personal reasons. Apparently she’d have trouble doing this otherwise, some little matter of her killing the crown prince’s brother—what? We’ve never heard of this brother! Apparently a bastard child no one talked about. Also, we’re to beware of the Kai-Shaddar (hmm, that sounds a lot like Shaddar-Kai)—we notice a spiderweb tattoo on her wrist.