[Alliance] Chapter Three: Session Nine

Appearing Characters: Elissa Cross, Esara Verrinde, Galadin Windrunner, Gilveradin Windrunner, Giramar Windrunner, Marin Noggenfogger, Mida, Nazmin Farram, Raluhi, Remnii, Rhonin Windrunner, Sanzi, Seria, Shimaa Farram, Talath Dawnsworn, Uther Menethil, Velameestra Windrunner, Victor Prestor

December 10th (Evening)

Rhonin had grabbed Vel, who had started to show signs of panic and seemed to be getting ready to run to the bank to answer the demands of her cousins’ kidnappers.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Vel, wait. We have to consider our options here. We don’t want to make any brash moves.

Vel immediately stops, jilted out of her response, and nods. She goes over to the lantern of revealing she had left in her study and promptly turns it on, flooding the area around them with the magical light. She pans it around the room, but there doesn’t seem to be anything invisible lurking in the study.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I don’t think she’s still here.
Rhonin Windrunner says: That’s good. So what are we going to do?
Velameestra Windrunner says: The… more that I think about it the more it doesn’t even make sense. Just doing some quick math… 20,000 gold pieces would be over 400 pounds. That’s an unreasonable amount to just drop into the Underbelly with.
Rhonin Windrunner says: That would mean we would need more than one person carrying it. That alone is something we need to be careful with.
Velameestra Windrunner says: That, and it’s a demand we can’t even get. The bank isn’t open.
Rhonin Windrunner says: They… wouldn’t be, no. Not this late.
Velameestra Windrunner says: The logic doesn’t make sense. If they’re warlocks specifically targeting us, why aren’t they demanding we stop pursuing them?

As she’s talking, Vel starts to summon glyphs with minor illusion, seemingly quickly arranging and rearranging them as some sort of means of focus or potentially a means to try and calm herself down.

Velameestra Windrunner says: There are things that aren’t lining up.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Yeah, but it could mean any number of things. There’s a lot that could be done with that much gold.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yeah, but they also run the risk of getting entirely too much attention focused on them.
Victor Prestor says: It sounds to me like they’re desperate.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yes, and that logical fallacy could potentially be used as an advantage. If we make a show of following through with it, and play into the fact that what they’re asking is impossible, that may be able to give us an insight into what they’re doing, and give us more time. I have about 500 gold on me presently. If we’re meeting with them, offering that may at least show an inclination of being willing to follow through with what they want. Perhaps they’ll be willing to speak more. And prove if they even have both of them in the first place.
Rhonin Windrunner says: That’s a… that’s a good point. That could at least get us a confirmation they’re alright. And we can decide what to do from there. I don’t want to put their lives at risk.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Which… we can probably confirm if Galadin is there in the first place. He carries his sending stone, right?

Rhonin nods and uses his sending stone to try and contact Galadin. After a moment, he shakes his head.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Nothing.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Well, on that note not all of us even need to be at the forefront when we meet with them. Some of us can follow afterwards. As insurance. Gil, I know you’re adept at that.

Gil nods.

Velameestra Windrunner says: And with Seria… they won’t expect her if she’s pursuing as an animal. If she’s willing to help.
Esara Verrinde says: I have a little something that may be able to to help us out. I can ensure eight of us are in communication telepathically. It would last for an hour, but as long as we take care of it before we get there, the people in the immediate area should be able to convey information between each other without any issue. That would also let our special friend here--

She gestures to Seria.

Esara Verrinde says: To communicate with us even if she isn’t in a form that would normally allow it. A handy little trick I picked up.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Excellent.
Esara Verrinde says: It can only work on eight of us though.

Raluhi raises a hand.

Raluhi says: I will stay here and make sure there is an escape route to get back to… if you need it. And make sure they do not try to do something.
Talath Dawnsworn says: I can go and contact the Sunreavers. I imagine they’ll want to know about this… once you give me the signal. I don’t want to endanger the boys.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yeah. Getting too much attention may just result in them getting more desperate. Ultimately, at the very least, Rhonin and I should make our faces present. Both for the fact they’re Rhonin’s boys, and I’m the one they likely expect to have the money in the first place.
Rhonin Windrunner says: And.. no offense…

Rhonin looks at Uther and Elissa.

Rhonin Windrunner says: But the two of you especially are going to stick out like sore thumbs. And. Well.. Remnii, for a different reason, you as well. The more people we bring the more edge they’ll likely be. So while you can show your faces, they probably won’t exactly be thrilled about it.
Velameestra Windrunner says: And the goal would be for some of us to not be immediately present. Victor, I don’t know if you could potentially also go with Gil?
Victor Prestor says: I’d be willing to. I’m not exactly sure where this Cantrips and Crows is, but I’m assuming when you say Underbelly there’s something I don’t know about this city. In my short time here.
Velameestra Windrunner says: There’s… effectively an entire secondary city in the sewers beneath Dalaran. People live there, but it’s also a site of less legal dealings. The Cantrips and Crows appears to be one of the more centralized locations.
Victor Prestor says: Well I suppose that answers that.
Rhonin Windrunner says: I know a way to get in that should lead us close to the Cantrips and Crows. There’s a series of tunnels that leads from outside the city. Some in use, and some old sewer pipelines that have been either repurposed or in some cases shut down. They lead to a centralized tunnel called the Tunnel of Woe. I know, garish, but it should lead us close to the tavern. Don’t ask why I know this.

Rhonin had looked at Gil specifically, and Gil closes his mouth.

Talath, meanwhile, is just looking between Vel--who knew a lot about this--and Rhonin--who also knew a lot about this--now fully realizing there is a lot about this city and these people that he didn’t know.

Velameestra Windrunner says: But beyond marching order and how we’re going to split up there’s not a whole lot we can plan for until we get a feel for the situation, and get an actual visual on Galadin and Giramar to ensure they are alright.

Talath looks to Gil.

Talath Dawnsworn says: I’m going to head into the city. Gil, you or whoever else, just give me a holler and I’ll alert the Sunreavers if it becomes necessary. If that’s okay.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yeah, that’s more than okay. That’s the right thing to do.

Talath grabs a cloak and looks to the rest of the group.

Talath Dawnsworn says: Good luck. Don’t take any risks, alright?

Vel looks to Elissa as Talath leaves.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Elissa, could you accompany him, just in case?
Elissa Cross says: Right! Sure! I probably wouldn’t be much help skulking around an Underbelly anyways. Be safe, okay? I’ll make sure everything is alright here too.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Thank you.
Elissa Cross says: Talath, wait for me!

She hurries after Talath.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Well we should get headed out. Until we meet with them, we can’t make any other plans, and we can prepare as we get closer to the tunnel.

Vel nods.

Raluhi says: Don’t worry, I’ll set some alarms up while you’re gone, just in case!

Raluhi pulls out his crystal and goes to start setting up some alarms around the manor just in case anyone does try to invade while they’re away.

Vel picks up the lantern of revealing to bring with them, and the group heads out. The night is fairly cold, and there is some heavier snowfall and stronger winds, but it’s not a full blizzard.

Rhonin leads them to the tunnels he mentioned, outside the city limits near a creek that runs from the mountains and wraps around to Lordamere lake. Seria had turned into a rat and was riding in Gil’s cloak.

Rhonin drops down to a pipe, and he pulls at a metal grate.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Dammit. It looks like someone re-secured it.

He turns to the rest, and he offers to look for some of the other pipelines, but he isn’t sure if they can find him. He opts to try and break in with thieves’ tools and Seria’s help, who started to chew on the lock, as well as Remnii’s guidance spell.

He is successful, and he holds a hand out to Seria for a high-five. Seria taps it with her tiny rat hand. Rhonin laughs and hands Seria back to Gil, and then Rhonin and Uther are able to pull the grate off.

They all start to squeeze into the pipe. Uther’s progression is a lot less graceful, and they hear the sound of his cloak tearing a bit.

Vel lights the lantern of revealing, and Remnii also conjures a light while Rhonin casts dancing lights. Multiple other pipes branch off. About 20 minutes later, the pipe widens, and the pipe dries out.

They see lights in the distance at the end of the pipeline.

Rhonin Windrunner says: We’re almost there. What’s the plan? Vel, you and I are going in, but what about the rest of us?

Esara snaps her fingers, and her studded leather armor shifts and transforms itself into a more drab, discreet attire. She offers to head in first and keep watch, and she then starts to ritual cast telepathic bond.

Gil casts pass without trace, and Rhonin casts invisibility on Remnii and Uther.

Gil does a sweep for demons, and he senses three that are very, very close. He senses seven others that are much further away.

After Esara finishes the telepathic bond, she also looks to Gil and Victor and tells them to be careful who they make angry. She then prepares to cast jump on Gil and Victor before heading in first.

Gil, Victor, and Seria head up onto the roof to try and get in through the second floor. There aren’t many places to hide, but as long as they stick to the shadows they should be fine.

Vel and Rhonin then head inside as nonchalantly as they can. The tavern seems to be rather busy. There are an abundance of individuals of various creeds about. Vel does see Sanzi running about, as well as another goblin behind the bar laughing and pouring drinks.

Humans, elves, and several dwarves are all partaking in the merrymaking to the live band inside.

One man, who is wearing a cowl, looks in their direction as they enter.

To their immediate right, there is a stage, and there are young humans on it. One of them is wearing heavy, draping clothing with beads and small jingling baubles and a shawl on her head. She’s very tan, and she’s plucking the strings of her instrument. She has a small, elegant piercing that connects from her nose to her ear. She has a scar under the piercing.

The other woman, who is a bit lighter tan, is wearing very decorated (and revealing) dancer’s attire. She also has a red covering on her head, and she has small clicking instruments in her hands as she twirls around the stage to the music of her partner. The song they are playing is a common tavern song.

In the far left side of the tavern, at a table closest to the hearth, is an elf. He has long robes, and Vel recognizes him as one of the students from Duskwither that Vel had helped imprison.

Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: And don’t look too hard, there’s another figure close to the stairs that has been paying too close attention to us.

There is another cowled human that is looking in their direction periodically.

Vel transmits the information to the others.

Duskwither Student says: Ah, my esteemed friends. I was wondering when you’d get here. Please, take a seat.

The elf has dark-brown hair that is shorter on one side.

Duskwither Student says: Come. Come, dear, lets entertain our guests.

He gestures to another elven woman who is lounging on a sofa, and she makes her way over. She has short black hair draped in a small ponytail. She looks at Vel with a smirk as she takes a seat. This woman is likely the succubus in disguise.

Duskwither Student says: I’m glad you made it. Barmaid, if you would please, some drinks for my friends.

Sanzi walks over and asks what they want, and Vel requests water, but then she recognizes Rhonin.

Sanzi says: Oh goodness, is that you Rho Rho? Long time no see! What will it be, sugar?
Rhonin Windrunner says: Just the usual, Sanzi.

Rhonin pretends that exchange didn’t just happen.

The elf warlock asks Vel if they brought what they asked for, and Vel confirms that she brought some, but she wants to see her cousins.

Uther and Remnii are waiting outside, still invisible. Esara is also on the other side of the tavern, watching.

However, as Remnii and Uther step onto the wood they can also feel the wood give. Some of the patrons outside squints, looking around. They ask if the others hear anything, and the others say they hear the music. They get the sense that one of them, at least, knows someone is around.

Uther and Remnii opt to stay close to the building.

Up on the roof, the other group sees three windows on one side, and three windows on another. One window is open, and they see smoke periodically coming from it. They can get the scent of some sort of substance, one that Gil may or may not be familiar with.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well. Victor. That’s the only open window.
Victor Prestor says: That means there are people in it.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: They are likely not paying attention.
Victor Prestor says: That’s true, I suppose if you want to take a look.

Gil pushes Ara’shel to go look, and he turns into a cute alley cat. As he peeks his eye in, Gil seeing through his eyes, they see three people. One half-elf and two elves. One is on the bed, one cross-legged on the floor, and the other laying down looking at the ceiling.

Lounging Elf says: It was a really good idea to skip class today.
Sitting Elf says: I was thinking the same thing, you know? Like. Winter's Veil is coming up soon, but I feel like these classes are so brutal seeing I don’t even know what happened up north. I’ve been under so much stress.
Half Elf says: I get you. I have a cousin who’s a mercenary up there. I’ve been wondering what it’s like to be a mercenary in times of war like this.

Ara’shel does not like the smell of the substance. They don’t seem to have seen the cat.

Continuing prowling along the other windows, the second one is unoccupied though has stuff in it, and the third one has an elf inside. There is a candle lit, and the elf appears to be writing.

The middle room latch appears to be locked on the inside.

Seria, still as a rat, goes into the stoner room. She inches along the wall and squeezes beneath the door. She goes into the next room, and opens the latch for Gil and Victor.

Uther and Remnii are watching through the windows quietly, but they can only hear what Vel is transmitting for them.

Duskwither Student says: Give me what you have so far, and I’ll let one of you confirm they’re alright.

Rhonin nods to Vel, and she slides 500 gold pieces over.

Duskwither Student says: Very well. Sir Rhonin, accompany me. Velameestra, my companion will keep you company.

The warlock leads Rhonin upstairs.

Upstairs, Gil and his gang hear footsteps coming up the stairs. Gil grabs Victor.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’ll apologize later, but this is the best way to make people not look at us.

He immediately kisses Victor, and Seria slips away. There is a growl from Victor, but he goes with it out of necessity. He then grabs Gil by the shoulders and slams him against the wall.

Victor Prestor says: If we’re going to do this, we’re doing it my way.

And he kisses Gil again. Ara’shel, still a cat, just watches.

Seria, as she goes down the hall, hears some quiet mumbling. She smells sulphur and brimstone. There is a tiny, high pitched voice trying to shoo her away. Seria telepathically informs everyone of what she’s hearing, and she ducks under the nearest door. The room appears to be empty.

However, Rhonin and the warlock appear to be going into the room next door. Seria communicates that information.

Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: The boys are here, and they are safe.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Are you sure they aren’t illusions?
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: I am. I can’t hug an illusion after all.

Meanwhile, Vel is still downstairs sitting with the disguised succubus.

Succubus says: So how does it feel? Losing a home?

Vel raises an eyebrow at her.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Why does it matter?
Succubus says: I suppose I’m just curious.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Not particularly good. As you could imagine.
Succubus says: That’s a shame. I guess you could ask that draenei a thing or two about how to cope with something like that.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Curious choice, going for money.
Succubus says: Not my choice. But if you’re smart, you’re not going to try any funny business.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I handed over what I could. Unfortunately the bank’s closed at this hour.
Succubus says: Yes, and I’m sure you’re planning on handing the rest over. Just admit it. You’re just waiting for an opportunity to try something, aren’t you? Go on. It would be so easy. I know you’re just itching to blast me with some sort of spell. I’m sure you have friends waiting in ambush somewhere, don’t you?
Velameestra Windrunner says: If you’re trying to goad me, it’s not going to work.
Succubus says: Please, dear, I’m just trying to have some fun.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Well, you’ll quickly find I’m not the type of person that enjoys fun.
Succubus says: I guess not. Shame, that.

Vel takes a sip of her water, her touch frosting over the glass. The succubus watches and smiles as she sips her own drink.

Succubus says: I will say I wasn’t expecting to see a draenei here, of all places.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I guess you would know what they are.
Succubus says: Few demons wouldn’t.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Hmph. Out of curiosity, is this your arrangement? Or did they just decide to pull you from the Twisting Nether?
Succubus says: That’s for me to know and you to never find out, oh dear Velameestra. All you need to know is that you’re lucky he’s the one calling the shots. And that I care so much to follow his ideas. Otherwise this would have had a very different ending. I’m not one to forget a slight, and I don’t like to be embarrassed. That little princeling of yours… maybe I’m just looking for a reason.
Velameestra Windrunner says: What? To just attack me right here?

The succubus smiles and takes another sip.

Upstairs, as Rhonin and the warlock leave, Gil and Victor break away.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well. Now we know what room they’re in.

Victor punches Gil in the gut.

Victor Prestor says: You’re lucky you’re a good kisser or that would have been a lot harder.
Victor Prestor says [telepathically]: At least we know where they are. Now what’s the plan? Are we going to try to get them out of there or are we actually planning on paying them? Also there’s that little pipsqueak around here, right? He’s probably following us. Or he will if we try something.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Rhonin, do you have dimension door prepared?
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: Yes, I do.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: If we leave here, we could could dimension door back into the room, and then you and I can both dimension door them out.
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: There’s also the problem of… what if they move them too quickly? It’s an idea. I’m not opposed to it. But it won’t be safe.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Seria, can you get into the other room?
Seria says [telepathically]: I can try.

They discuss some details of a potential plan.

Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: The succubus was goading me. I think she’s adamant we try to start something.
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: We shouldn’t play into her hands. But it’s worth a shot. They had two people with the boys. But I think we could probably handle them. Especially if we have backup.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: What did the others look like?
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: I couldn’t see. They were heavily cloaked.
Gilveradin Windrunner says [telepathically]: I think these are idiots, unfortunately. And it’s hard to predict what idiots will do.
Remnii says [telepathically]: Do not underestimate the demons.
Gilveradin Windrunner says [telepathically]: I’m not talking about the demons.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: There’s still one demon unaccounted for. I’m assuming the pipsqueak described is an imp, and there are probably others around.

At that moment, Rhonin and the warlock arrive back downstairs where Vel and the succubus are sitting.

Duskwither Student says: So, is that sufficient? I take this here and now, and the rest you deliver after the banks open. I will determine a place, and you bring what is required.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]:: Yes. You certainly have someone that can find me, don’t you?

Vel glances at the succubus, and she smiles.

Succubus says: Only for you, darling.
Duskwither Student says: You’ll meet us on the outskirts of town.

The warlock writes down a location and directions on how to find him. It’s a small abandoned warehouse some short distance from Dalaran just outside the city limits.

Duskwither Student says: You’ll meet us there. I assume you have some way of carrying the currency between the two of you and your compatriots. Bring it there, and we’ll have the boys for you. Is that amenable?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Not that we have much choice in the matter, do we?

Seria squeezes into the hostage room, and she sees the two half-elven boys with their arms tied. The two cowled people don’t notice the rat, but the boys do.

Giramar’s eyes widen, and the two boys look back and forth to each other. They both appear to be real.

Duskwither Student says: It was a pleasure doing business with you, Velameestra. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow bright and early. And remember, any funny business at all, and you’re going to be down a family member. I would hate to see that. This war has been so hard on you already.

Rhonin furrows his brow and scowls.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Fine. Lets go, Vel.

Vel and Rhonin leave the tavern.

Esara Verrinde says [telepathically]: They’re heading upstairs now. I would be careful. They might try to move the boys, but I’m not following them.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Seria, can you keep an eye on them?
Seria says [telepathically:] Planned on it.

Upstairs, Victor looks at Gil.

Victor Prestor says: Lets get back in a room. We’ll exit if anything bad happens.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Yeah, lets go.

Outside, Remnii and Uther stay where they are. Down below, Esara also notes that several people are gathering at one table.

Seria hears the door unlatch, and two figures enter.

The warlock looks at the figures in the room.

Duskwither Student says: Change of plans. It looks like your friends aren’t going to be taking the bait. I have a feeling they are going to be trying something stupid, and if they do, we’re going to be ready for them. Look alive, you two.

His eyes begin to glow green.

Galadin and Giramar back further away, and Seria hears the warlock speaking a harsh, crude language she doesn’t understand. A ripple manifests, and a massive, armored fiend steps through it.

Succubus says: Wait a moment. I have a feeling someone is listening in right now.

She shows her demonic form, and starts to look around.

Succubus says: I don’t think you’re going to get your ransom. I know you’re listening, little one. Where are you? And what are you?

Meanwhile, in the pipe, Rhonin looks at Vel. Seria has been telepathically communicating what's going on.

Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: What’s the plan? They seem to be expecting us.
Gilveradin Windrunner says [telepathically]: Seria can’t get out.

Inside, the succubus starts to search. Seria hides, and sees her hooved feet stop in front of the bed. She drops down, and two bright blue, glowing eyes stare right at her.

Succubus says: There you are.
Rhonin Windrunner says [telepathically]: It’s now or never.

He’s looking at Vel.

Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Teleport right by the bed.

Rhonin nods, and grabs Vel.

Gilveradin Windrunner says [telepathically]: We should go in first then. So they don’t just immediately cut you in two.
Velameestra Windrunner says [telepathically]: Make a ruckus.
Victor Prestor says [telepathically]: Alright, no time like the present!

Victor kicks open the door and takes his full action to run screaming down the hall, banging his sword on the wall. Galadin tries to start slipping off his restraints.

Down on the first floor, the group of people stand up, and the performers glance at each other with a smile. They start to play a very different tune, one that's higher energy and more fitting for the excitement that suddenly seems to be breaking out.

Esara immediately launches a firebolt at one of the warlocks, and it smacks into her chest. The warlock looks at Esara, who is smirking, one hand on her sword.

The imp in the hallway attempts to take a shot at Victor, but it misses.

The minstrel down below smirks at Esara and casts heroism on her.

In that moment, Rhonin dimension doors himself and Vel in. As soon as she appears, a massive fist grabs around Vel’s midsection, grappling her.

Felguard says: Not so fast, little one.

The nearby assailant tries to stab Vel, but she is wiggling enough that he fails to do so.

In that moment, Gil fires an arrow at the imp, revealing himself. The arrow goes straight through the imp’s skull, and Gil follows up to back up Victor.

Giramar tries to break his bonds, and he manages to do so.

Down below, Esara starts her bladesong, and she triggers steel wind strike. She flips over the table and disappears. She teleports around, striking them with unseen speed, and all four of the warlocks drop with gaping wounds.

Esara then bows, and the crowd in the tavern goes wild.

Ara’shel catches up to Gil, and Rhonin holds his hand out. A ball of fire appears and he lifts into the air, and he spikes it down. The room is caught on fire, and the door is blasted off its hinges. Vel takes the brunt of the blast, but the fire washes over the warlock, the felguard, and the succubus without harm.

Rhonin then looks at Vel with a blank stare.

Seria tries to use banishment on the felguard, but it fails. She then transforms into a gigantic constrictor snake, and she smashes through the wall.

Down below, a bar brawl has broken out. An imp goes flying, caught up in the brawl, and disappears in a puff of fel fire as it is slammed against a wall.

Remnii says: ...I hate imps.

Vel blinks out of the grasp of the felguard, and she manages to stabilize Giramar. The warlock then goes to use blight on Victor, and Vel tries to counterspell it, but Rhonin reaches out and grabs her hand, counterspelling her counterspell.

The warlock grabs Victor’s arm.

The felguard spins on Vel and punches her. He then whips around with his greatsword, and the weapon bites into her flesh, leaving a vicious wound.

Uther and Remnii start running up the stairs, along with Esara. Esara blinks to the top of the stairs. She stabs her sword into the former Duskwither student, twisting it. He gasps, and the concentration on his summon greater demon spell drops.

The felguard seems to lose his focus, and he goes into a rage.

Gil gets into the room and attempts to use protection from evil and good on Rhonin. However, as he grabs onto his arm and tries to banish the influence, Rhonin casts it away. Gil then stabilizes Galadin, who starts to come to.

Vel reaches out to the boys, and she grabs them, enhancing the spell so she could drag both the boys out. She dimension doors out with them, very wounded, and standing over them, blood dripping heavily from the wound in her side.

Remnii reaches out to Vel with telepathy, asking her to hold on, she’s coming.

Seria goes for the succubus, and manages to constrict her. She then tries to drag her out of the room, and the Duskwither student attempts to smack her with his staff, and he succeeds.

Succubus says: I’d love to stay and chat, whatever you are, but this isn’t exactly the kind of hug I would appreciate currently.

The succubus disappears into the ethereal plane, and the grip on her slackens.

Seria informs the others (sans Rhonin) that the succubus vanished.

Remnii says: Uther! You go on ahead.

Uther nods, and Remnii opens the window near them, still invisible. Vel hears her voice as Remnii uses her channel divinity to heal Vel and the two boys. Both Giramar and Galadin come to consciousness, and Vel tells them to stay down, standing protectively over them.

Remnii asks the others if they need help, and Gil says that any help would be appreciated.

Uther had reached the top of the stairs, and he cracks into the Duskwither student with his maul as he steps out of invisibility. He then uses green-flame blade and swipes in, slamming the student in a bloody mess into the wall, and splashing some of the damage onto Rhonin.

However, he remains charmed.

Victor then enters past the corpse of the warlock and runs to Rhonin, trying to smack some sense into him.

Victor Prestor says: Snap out of it, man!

He smacks Rhonin again.

Rhonin Windrunner says: W-wha… NO!

He seems to be snapped out of it fully.

The felguard lets out a roar and decks Rhonin. Then he swings around with his greatsword, slicing into Gil. Ara’shel runs up and uses virtue on Uther.

Galadin asks Vel what happened, and she says that he was knocked out and tells him, again, to stay down. Giramar also starts to get stock of the situation.

Rhonin, now coherent, uses mirror image, and he attempts to back away from the fiend. As the felguard lashes out, it shatters one of the duplicates.

Gil zephyr strikes away from the felguard, and then launches a barrage of arrows at the felguard.

Rhonin launches a frostfire bolt at the felguard, but it doesn’t seem to do much. The felguard chooses to charge at him in retaliation, attempting to ram him through the wall. He fails in that, but Rhonin is pinned against the wall.

Remnii uses her second channel divinity, dropping most of the healing on Rhonin.

Outside, Vel hears a voice ring out, and the succubus appears 10 feet in front of her.

Succubus says: Going somewhere?

The succubus smiles, uncurling her whip.

Seria attacks the felguard, but her fangs clash off his armor. Uther follows up, slamming his maul into the felguard. The felguard roars, whirling around on Uther, knocking him 10 feet back and onto the ground.

Uther gets back to his feet and Esara darts by, whirling in on the felguard. Glowing green blood begins to seep from the wounds.

Giramar stands up, looking around.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Get behind me.

The two twins back behind her, and Giramar mentions to Galadin that he hopes he grabbed something. Galadin nods, producing two daggers he had managed to snag from their assailants.

Vel steps forward to get into melee with the succubus, unsheathing her sword. Blood is still dripping from her side.

Velameestra Windrunner says: You wanted to fight, didn’t you?
Succubus says: More than you know.

The succubus grins eagerly.

Vel snaps her fingers, icy armor materializing as she allows her cold snap to release and enrapture them both. The succubus’s eyes widen, not expecting as much, and then Vel manifests a glyph beneath her, exploding a frost nova.

The succubus screams in pain, and the crowd that has gathered, not sure what’s going on, starts to cheer.

Gil stands up, takes a deep breath, and fires off two arrows, impaling the felguard. He slumps to the ground and begins to dissipate.

Esara jumps out the window to help Vel, casting feather fall to catch herself and anyone else. She also casts a firebolt at the succubus.

Galadin holds his dagger, avoiding the icy storm, and hurls it at the succubus. It cuts the succubus right in the leg. She glances at him in rage.

Rhonin, from the window, launches a frostfire bolt at the succubus with a cry of “I’M TAKEN”

The succubus had turned to run, but the bolt hits her in the back.

Succubus says: You may have won this time, but I’ll find you again.
Velameestra Windrunner says: We’ll deal with that when you reform.

The succubus slumps down, her body starting to be eaten away by green flames, and the crowd is silent, and then bursts into cheers. But then they start to split as the underbelly guard approaches.

Rhonin, up from the window, starts cursing upon seeing the guard and starts helping to put the fires out.

The underbelly guard asks what happened as Vel quickly slices the wings off the succubus's body to use as regents.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Warlock activity.
Underbelly Guard says: Fantastic. And it had to happen here? Of all places?
Velameestra Windrunner says: They picked the theater, not us.

The guard runs a hand through his hair, looking at the mess.

Underbelly Guard says: Boss Mida isn’t going to be happy about this.
Female Goblin says: That’s right. I’m not going to be happy about this.

A well-dressed goblin with spectacles appears, flanked by two guards. Vel recognizes her, as she had seen her during her last trip to the Underbelly.

The goblin stops and crosses her arms.

Boss Mida says: Who’s responsible for this?
Underbelly Guard says: Oh! Your Tallness! Apologies, I’ll let you handle this.

Gil calls down from the window.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: The corpse upstairs.

The goblin adjusts her spectacles and sighs.

Boss Mida says: You know. I was looking to acquire this tavern.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You can likely get it for a better price now.
Boss Mida says: I reckon I could. But I ain’t so certain that Marin Noggenfogger is going to be too happy with what you did to the place.

The name is familiar to Vel. He’s not only one of the most gifted alchemists in the world, but he’s also a high ranking member of the Steamwheedle Cartel--one of the most powerful goblin cartels.

At that moment, another goblin appears.

Male Goblin says: Aye, what’s all the commotion out here? And why do I-- HOLY-!

This goblin has a nice coat, top hat, and monocle. It seems likely that this man is Marin Noggenfogger.

Marin Noggenfogger says: What did-!? I thought it was just another raucous night at the tavern, what in blazes happened out here?!
Boss Mida says: Apparently there was a tussle between these mages and some warlocks or something.
Marin Noggenfogger says: Boss Mida! I didn’t know you’d be coming here. You’d a-- oh boy. Well this is quite the predicament.

The rest of the party heads down from upstairs, dragging the bodies down with them and the two warlocks they had managed to keep alive.

Marin Noggenfogger says: Yeesh! And you’re saying these two are responsible for all of this?
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Them and the demons they summoned.
Marin Noggenfogger says: And uh… there was no collateral damage from putting these demons down? None whatsoever? Eh. You know what? You got these two down. I’m not above dragging both of them to the Violet Hold and making them work off all this.
Velameestra Windrunner says: I’m sure they’d be happy to once we’re through with questioning them. So this doesn’t happen again.

Vel shoots a glare in the direction of the unconscious warlocks.

Marin Noggenfogger says: Hey, that ain’t my business! But sure. You wanna question them first? Do that. But look. I don’t know exactly who all yous are. I know who a couple of yous are. I don’t know what you are.

He points at Remnii, and Remnii smiles.

Marin Noggenfogger says: Look. Lemme put it this way. I don’t want to see you guys here anymore. That a fair trade?
Velameestra Windrunner says: We’re already gone.
Marin Noggenfogger says: Alright. Then scram. It’s gonna take me enough time to fix all this mess anyways. Sheesh.

He looks to the Underbelly guards.

Marin Noggenfogger says: Hey. Take these fools they got to the Violet Hold. If yous all want to question them you can deal with the Violet Hold. I’m sure they’ll let you. You’re a Kirin Tor mage at least. Hey. Ain’t you that--

He looks at Rhonin, who raises a hand.

Rhonin Windrunner says: Not now.
Marin Noggenfogger says: Alright. Look. How about this. None of this gets brought out. You can question your people, and I’ll even let you come back here as much as you want as long as you don’t start no more trouble.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Trouble is nothing we’re intending.
Marin Noggenfogger says: Yeah I’m hopin’ not.

Vel nods, and Gil quickly checks for demons, but he senses none in the immediate area. Vel, holding her injured side, goes to hug Giramar and Galadin, and they both immediately embrace her, both shaking from the experience they just went through.

Galadin Windrunner says: I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to start anything. I didn’t want--
Velameestra Windrunner says: We can talk later.

Galadin nods.

Rhonin looks at Vel, Galadin, and Giramar.

Rhonin Windrunner says: I’m… kids… listen, I’m… I didn’t… Vel I’m sorry.

He seems to be processing that he had, moments ago, dropped a fireball on his two children and his niece.

Velameestra Windrunner says: You were charmed. It wasn’t your fault.
Rhonin Windrunner says: I led them right to you…

Vel shakes her head.

Velameestra Windrunner says: Lets go home.

Galadin and Giramar go and give Rhonin a hug as well, and tears are welling in his eyes as he hugs them.

Marin and Mida were speaking for a moment, and Marin then looks at Vel as she is getting a few things cleaned up and dealt with before leaving.

Marin Noggenfogger says: Yous Velameestra, right?
Velameestra Windrunner says: That’s correct.
Marin Noggenfogger says: I hope you remember the kindness that I showed you by letting you all not worry about all this, eh?
Velameestra Windrunner says: I won’t forget.
Marin Noggenfogger says: Good. Good. See ya around.

Marin turns back to Mida. Seria transforms out of her giant constrictor snake form and they go to leave. The dancer and minstrel watch the group leave, and Marin congratulates the women on their performance. They have a bit of an accent.

Vel sends Talath that they go to enter the tunnel.

Talath Dawnsworn says: I’ll let the Sunreavers know. I’m sure they’ll want to hear about this.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Whoever you speak with, inform them I’ll be by tomorrow.
Talath Dawnsworn says: Yes. I’ll do that.

The group makes it back to Vel’s manor without any issue, and there is a sigh of relief from Raluhi after he counts heads to ensure everyone was there.

Raluhi says: I hope everyone is alright.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Much better than it could have been.

Remnii casts prayer of healing over the party to help ease the wounds that were sustained.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Vel. You’re going to meet the Sunreavers tomorrow?
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yes.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Would you mind if I went with you?
Velameestra Windrunner says: No.
Remnii says: I’m going to take a guess… do they have anything to do with the anti-warlock situation?
Velameestra Windrunner says: They’re the ones heading it.
Remnii says: May I go as well? I have some knowledge that may be able to help.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Yeah.
Rhonin Windrunner says: In the meanwhile, we should all probably get some sleep.

Rhonin has a somewhat haunted look on his face, and his hair is messy and askew.

Galadin goes to Vel, looking fairly nervous and uncomfortable.

Galadin Windrunner says: I’m sorry. This was all my fault.
Velameestra Windrunner says: What do you mean?
Galadin Windrunner says: You were right. You were right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done it, but I wanted to try and learn something useful and they came to me. I was trying to avoid them after we talked… they found me after you left. Giramar came to find me and… this was all my fault. I almost got everyone hurt.

Vel shakes her head and hugs him again.

Galadin Windrunner says: I’m sorry. I just wanted to help.
Velameestra Windrunner says: We’ll deal with it. I’m glad you’re okay.
Galadin Windrunner says: I know a few things. I learned some stuff. Maybe you can learn more…
Velameestra Windrunner says: We can talk about it tomorrow.
Galadin Windrunner says: Okay.
Velameestra Windrunner says: Go get some sleep.

Galadin nods, and he and Giramar go to head up to their rooms. After they leave, Gil holds Galadin’s knife out to Vel, which he had recovered off the body of the warlock along with their other belongings and Vel’s money.

Velameestra Windrunner says: I’ll return that to him.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: It would be better if you did it.

Gil then heads upstairs to find Rhonin, who had retreated up to his room as well. Gil knocks on Rhonin’s room, and Rhonin tells him to come in. He enters, and he sees his uncle sitting on the bed, his head in his hands.

Across the way is a table, and on the table is an unopened flask of whiskey.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: Uncle Rhonin. You know that wasn’t you.
Rhonin Windrunner says: I know. I know. But it was, all the same. I let myself get caught. I let this happen. And I put all of you in danger, and a lot more than just you in danger. I almost killed my boys.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: It could have been any of us. You are not at sole fault. It’s not your fault. They twisted your mind. It’s not your fault for what they forced you to do.
Rhonin Windrunner says: I know that Gil, but it doesn’t make it easier to stomach.

Gil nods and sits next to him.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: We’re here with you.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Yeah. I know. You know. I’m starting to see why your old man’s so nervous. Why he’s so afraid.

Gil half-smiles.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: You know… you two aren’t that dissimilar. Not where it really matters.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Maybe not. But your old man is a much better person than I am. I’m not a bad person, but
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You’re just a person who made mistakes. Like everyone else.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Someone that keeps making mistakes.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Just like everyone else.

Rhonin half-laughs.

Rhonin Windrunner says: I see a lot of him in you, Gil. I’ve… always respected your father. He’s got a good head, and he always goes out of his way to help people. Friends. Family. Strangers. I’m glad to see that’s what rubbed off on you. But I definitely see where he’s coming from. If I’m going to be able to be there for you and Vel and the boys and Vereesa… I need to pull my shit together.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You’re not the only one. Everyone is pulling pieces together right now. The best part about our family is none of us are ever alone doing it.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Yeah. You damn Windrunners. There’s so many of ya… you make it hard not to be a part of it. Gil, when I first heard about Vereesa….

He stands up.

Rhonin Windrunner says: I was… I was beside myself. I still am. I was trying to chase it away with drinks. Vel’s the one that made me see I wasn’t helping anything by doing that. I promised her I would stop. And I did, for the most part. But I kept this.

He gestures at the whiskey and weighs it in his hand. He tosses the flask of whiskey at Gil, and he catches it.

Rhonin Windrunner says: I want you to hang onto that. Take a swig if you ever miss me, and keep it far away from me. I… I can’t rely on it anymore. I need to rely on myself. My wit. And I’ll need both of you to make sure I hold to it. This is your part.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Well. I’m a busy person then.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Yeah, I know. I’m sure you will be off before I know it… but I’m going to do what I can.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: You’re making sure there’s a home to return to.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Thanks. I appreciate it. You should probably go get some rest. I’m sure you have all sorts of business to take care of tomorrow. And I… guess I have work.
Gilveradin Windrunner says: Try not to think about it too much.
Rhonin Windrunner says: I’ll try not to. I’ll try to think about what matters.

Gil smiles and stands up to hug Rhonin. Rhonin hugs back.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: We’re really not all that far off.
Rhonin Windrunner says: Guess not.

He shakes the sending stone and sees Gil out.

Gil goes to apologize to Victor for kissing him, but Victor holds up a hand and tells him not to mention any of it ever again.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I’ll admit, I panicked, and it’s a tactic I used before. Normally people don’t want to pay attention to… yeah, I’m sorry.

Victor shakes his head with a sigh.

Victor Prestor says: For what it’s worth, Gil, you’re not bad.

Gil flashes him a smile.

Gilveradin Windrunner says: I know.
Victor Prestor says: Yes, of course you do. I’m going to get a glass of water. Get rid of whatever this is.

Raluhi checks on Remnii, and Remnii shares her concern that every demon they see is one more that can track her.

Raluhi says: Yes. But not every demon that sees you will know you.
Remnii says: And I hope to keep it that way.
Raluhi says: For now, yes.
Remnii says: Here’s to the quiet things. But, I’m glad you’re safe.
Raluhi says: It was quiet once you all left.

The house falls into silence as everyone goes to sleep.