((DM’s NOTE: Anything in double quotations are my notes. Also, I directly copy/pasted this from the campaign logger I use. Because this particular entry had to be added to the logger in FOUR PARTS, I left all the tags in. I didn’t feel like editing them all out. :P ))
The party gathers around the captured and restrained attacker. While discussing among themselves the best course of action, @A’Box elbows its way through the group, spins around, and begins moving to sit on the woman’s head.
@Kallista and @Arradir notice this and make attempts to stop the ^Modron. Kallista begins whipping her tail towards the prone woman while Arradir places both hands against A’Box’s side and makes a shove. Kallista isn’t quick enough and Arradir isn’t strong enough. Their failed attempts are punctuated by the sound of bone crushing and the wet squishing sound as skull, brain matter, and blood is smashed into the cobblestone alleyway. It ejects from beneath A’Box and splatters against the nearby wall.
“Noooooo! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” is screamed from the shadows of the alleyway. Another woman emerges, dispelling the invisibility spell she had cast on herself. She rushes forward, face flushed with anguish, tears streaming down her face.
This leads to an exchange between the woman and the party. She accuses them of murder, they state they were defending themselves against a would-be kidnapper. In this moment, the party learns that the figure laying dead in the alley is the woman’s sister.
She tells them they cannot speak so publicly and certainly not while standing right next to the brutally murdered body of her now-dead sister. If they care not to help her then perhaps they will feel more compelled to act on their own self-interests, since she informs them that @Valakas is now on someone’s radar and that probably won’t be the last kidnapping attempt he’ll experience.
Without waiting to see if they follow, the woman steps out of the alleyway and heads down the street. @Elander kneels before A’Box and warns her that if the Modron ever acts so rash again without consulting those who it’s actions effect, it will be at risk for suffering some SERIOUS repercussions at his hands. A’Box responds with a stare.
The rest of the party follows the woman. She moves with a purpose, her heeled boots clicking with a hurried rhythm against the stone streets. Her robes flow behind her and her shoulders are covered with a short cape. A symbol is embroidered into to the shoulder of the cape. @Kallista and @Dob recognize it to be the insignia of one of #Sigil’s factions: the ^Bleak Cabal.
It’s members are known as ^Bleakers and they headquarter in #the Gatehouse, located within the #Hive Ward. Kallista and Dob share a knowing glance; they’ve heard about the Bleakers’ work with the less than mentally sound, providing care and treatment.
Meanwhile, @A’Box stays behind in the alley. After sitting for a while, it gets up and begins roaming aimlessly. It follows the clearest path, which is the main thoroughfare the party had been travelling along. The ^Modron heads in the direction of the Market Ward.
The party continues to follow the Bleaker. She leads them to an inn in a lesser visited, and seemingly forgotten, area of the Guildhall Ward. Above the door hangs a rickety wood sign labeling the establishment: #The Squeaky Teapot. ((I may have forgotten the actual name if that isn’t it.)) The woman enters without confirming if the party intends to follow.
@Arradir, dark elf rogue, leaps onto the side of the building and climbs the roof. It is a split-level structure, with a second story occupying only half of the building.
Kallista and Dob inform @Elander that they saw the insignia of the Bleak Cabal on the woman and what that means. Elander enters in the inn, followed shortly after by @Valakas. They make their way to the table the woman is occupying in a lonely corner of the inn. Kallista and Dob enter after and take a seat at the small bar at the far end of the room.
Another exchange happens, fueled with emotion primarily on the part of the woman. She informs Elander and Valakas of the following:
- she is a Bleaker and works with the mentally unwell. It is her calling in life, to help others.
- one of the tenets of the Bleak Cabal is to cut ties with your family. This has disabled her from being able to openly help her sister.
- her sister’s name is @Ramiya.
- her sister suffers from a specific variety of mental unwellness: ^derangement. Its symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, muscular dystrophy, memory loss, thirst.
- another member ^Bleak Cabal invented a highly effective treatment for ^derrangement: an ointment. It used a mineral component created from elements found on the #Plane of Fire.
- the distributor has cut off the Bleak Cabal’s supply.
- @Ramiya, now lacking treatment, succumbed to her ^derrangement. The distributor used this as a way to control the dead sister so she could act as his arm, doing his dirty work without putting him at risk of being directly involved.
- the Bleaker sister tried to help, and during these moments her sister would go on mad rants about slaving dragonborn. The Bleaker sister didn’t give those mad rants too much consideration given their source.
The woman informs the party she, now reluctantly, needs their help. It is her calling in life to help others. She is currently unable to help some of the neediest patients at #the Gatehouse because they cannot create the ointment used for treatment.
With a warning look, she tells @Valakas that whether or not they choose to help her, he should probably watch his back from now on. If he hadn’t noticed, he’s the only creature of his type in the ENTIRE city.
During all this, @A’Box finally manages to make her way back to the #the Market Ward. As the day passes and the floating, tentacled creatures continue their march of protestation around the perimeter, more-and-more of the standing merchants are made to feel increasingly uncomfortable and choose to pack up their wares and leave. @Nigel, the merchant, still remains, waiting patiently for the return of the party with his missing creatures.
Nigel spot’s A’Box and approaches the Modron. He inquiries to the location of the rest of the party and expresses concern for A’Box’s current state. Inviting A’Box back to his stall to await the return of the rest of the group, he places a hand on the Modron’s back, waves a hand, and informs A’Box “We’re friends now, right?”. A’Box delightfully agrees.
Back at the #The Squeaky Teapot, @Kallista and @Dob join @Elander and @Valakas at the table with the Bleaker woman. @Arradir, having gained entrance into the upper level of the inn, sneaks his way through a dark empty room, down the stairs, and hides in a shadowy corner. He goes unnoticed by the rest of the room’s occupants.
The party agrees to help the woman. @Kallista places the !Tracking Wand and !warm smooth stone on the table. The woman is unable to identify them, though she points out that either item could act as a !portal key to many of the city’s #portals.
@Elander asks how they will reconnect later. After some thought, she says to meet back at the inn within 7 days. Confirming that date, she gets up and exits the inn. @Arradir comes out of the shadows.