Bear Claws

58. Rufus and the Secret Chord...

... by Rob Zombie

Characters: Thornside, James, Alton, Roland, Jak, Xaladin
Level: 17
Location: Sayre
NPCs: Mary, Amyria, Emil, Pattie, Telicanthus, Jeff

Cachlain pulls Xaladin down from the rafters and introduces him to Inzira, Daughter of the Frostwhite Forest. She holds up an icy white acorn on a platinum chain and thanks him for returning the Seed of Winter to her. She then shows him a mirror and when she lowers it they are in an icy white forest where she tells Xaladin to take Nathyra back to the Material Plane with him, Nathyra has made a deal with Inzira in order to be allowed to leave to look for Mary.

Back in Sayre Amyria comes to check on the Bear Claws and tells them that the githyanki have been strangely silent inside the Coalition lands. Outside of it the attacks continue and Amyria has messengers offering aid to any that will accept it but the offers travel slower than the news of the destruction.

Alton asks James to make him a magical item that will make him more awesome as a Hellbringer of Avandra. James says he will do some research on that.

Roland makes a trip to the library and talks with a dwarf about the Incanabulum Primeval. The dwarf doesn’t want to talk but eventually does. On the way back Roland sees Mary approaching the mansion and stops to talk with her before going inside.

When she comes in Jak goes to find Nathyra who has taken up wood carving at the prompting of Alton. Jak has her close her eyes and takes her out to meet Mary. Nathyr and Mary do not know each other at all but when they are told who the other is there is shock and awkwardness — neither of them knows how to react.

Thornside invites them to come back later for a feast. Emil and Pattie come to visit as well and Emil has been helping Amyria run the Coalition. He mentions that each of the members has their own agenda that gets in the way of things running smoothly. He tells them that Pattie is expecting… her family to come visit. Thornside and Xaladin think he is saying expecting a child which embarrasses Emil.

Pattie responds that she can’t have children because she might eat them.

Emil asks to speak to Alton in private and asks him what Malthazard asked of him in exchange for his power. Alton reluctantly explains that he destroyed his entire village in order to get the power that he wanted. Emil is shocked and admits that he made the deal expecting Malthazard to play fair and he is now scared about what may be required.

He leaves feeling troubled.

Rufus Cromwell sends a message by way of his zombie butler, Jeff. The message says that Lady Torrence has been to visit Telicanthus in prison and he claims that he has information for the Bear Claws.

They make a trip to the dank prison under the dam at the top of the city where Telicanthus has a well-appointed cell with plush carpet and comfortable chairs. He claims that there are no hard feelings between them and he can find a rebel githyanki faction if they will take him to the city of Tu’narath and set him free. They do not believe him but James escalates the discussion by tossing a large bag of excrement into the cell. Telicanthus immediately starts to gag and wretch and Roland summons a thunder storm that teleports the entire contents of the cell on top of James. Jak grabs Telicanthus and they have the guard show them to an interrogation room while James cleans up his mess.

They question Telicanthus some more but find that his information is of little use and that he is simply making a desperate try for freedom.

They return to the mansion and have an awkward dinner with Nathyra and Mary while the two of them struggle to find things to talk about. Nathyra is quiet and timid after decades of serving the Winter Queen first as a soldier and then as a house slave. Mary is open, intimidating and outspoken and they both come from very different worlds.

At the end of the dinner Amyria returns frustrated that the Coalition is so hard to deal with. She has heard reports of githyanki moving about on a mountain pass north of the outpost of Thiradith — the northernmost outpost of the Coalition. She asks the Bear Claws to go check it out because it coincided with the location of a githyanki camp that Cachlain told the Bear Claws about.

She gives them two scrolls of sending and the portal sigils for Corwyn — a city three days to the south of Thiradith.

58

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