I commit these words to memory not knowing the whereabouts of my friends, Merora and Rindle I have not seen since we entered this place and I Pray to both Boccob, lord of magic, and the Elven Pantheon that they remain safe. I can only hope that Vanya and Andrin have realised my fate and remain alert to the machinations of these cursed creatures. May the bladesong guide your way my friends.
How would I describe our current predicament? As I would describe the first time I tried to master a cantrip, or the feel of my blade as it clashes upon cold steel. Invigorating, yet frustrating. The magic aches to realise its potential, and the blade thirsts to draw blood. Both are hindered no matter their best efforts, yet the thrill of the action is undeniable. I have to say this quest has proved to have undercurrents I could not have expected when we set out to retrieve the Mayor’s daughter. Indeed we set off to the Jacqueline, or Jackel Inn, knowing that we were dealing with a full-blown cult of shapeshifters. One that preyed upon the most vulnerable folk of Tint and those easily lead astray. The mayor’s daughter, in her naive act of rebellion, seems to have got heavily involved and I only hope that she has not yet fallen to this foul Lycanthropy.
As we arrived we set about planning our infiltration of the Inn, my better judgement telling me that a full assault would only lead to the death of innocents, or ourselves. As Naivara always taught me, evaluate the situation fully before your strike. With that we agreed that Rindle’s… particular way with people, as well as Vanya’s way with the crowds may serve us well in establishing a Rappor with these men. After all, it is a tavern they seem to be holed up in. Meanwhile, Merora would infiltrate and scout out a more covert route to find the people leading this masquerade, allowing myself and Andrin to flank the enemy and gain the element of surprise should it come to that. A solid plan, but when does anything the Enchanted shield does go to plan. I think I wrote something about a worry for my continued sanity in my last report. Well, I believe I shall be considering that when I read these memoirs in the future.
With our ‘Plan’ set, Rindle began a ritual of some sort, chanting wildly for a full 10 minutes with little regard for the world around him. A strange sight if ever I saw one, and one that attracted the unwanted attention of two Jackals. Fortunately they seemed non-hostile and Rindle’s strange ritual seemed to have bestowed the ability to sense diseases, which was most useful in determining that these Jackals were fortunately not of the shapeshifting type. With Merora scouting out the roof of a nearby building and myself and the priest forming a plan of attack, all seemed well. Of course that is when it fell apart. Rindles persuasive powers failed to coax the Jackals goodwill and it bit him, prompting Vanya to react. I know little of her bardic abilities, but what I do know is that the Jackal must have seen a dire vision indeed as it fled instantly. Reacting myself, I knocked on the nearest door, hoping a stablehand would be able to call the dogs off and we could resume our masquerade of peaceful intentions. But no, the stables had to be full of more dogs. Angry dogs. With our plans seemingly in tatters, I shouted a quick message for Merora to continue her espionage and made a Dash for the Inn door with Vanya.
With nothing else to lose, me and Vanya formulated a quick plan before the door opened. That was when my self-loathing grew a hundred fold. Seeing no other way out, I adopted the persona of one of the arrogant, flamboyant nobles that so often buy their way into the college. No talent, no modesty, just outright obnoxiousness. Vanya was to be my personal bard. This day is something I will always regret. In fact it went against every moral fibre I possess, but needs must and my vow of protection will always come before my own needs. With Vanya at my side, we somehow bluffed our way into the confidence of a suspicious bald fellow, my pipeweed and our claims serving to convince these creatures that we were in search of other recreational substances. Knowing that the Mayor’s daughter was much the same circle that we claimed to run in, it seemed a ploy that would work to our advantage. Gain their confidence, then strike at the heart. Though the means were to my distaste, the tactic was sound. With Andrin watching silently as a bystander, we had support should we need it. I have to say that this whole debacle gave me a new found respect for the Bardic arts and the power of words. They do say that the great Eladrin bladesingers of old were only a step away from Bards themselves. Anyway, at least Merora did not have to hear any of that. She seems to feel much as I do about substance abuse, a blight on this city and it’s people and Bluevine and Mutblood are a stain we would both like to see erased from our land.
With our way in secured we were lead to a private room, where more forward questions were posed by both myself and Vanya, her playing the demanding musician. With ‘something to take the edge off’ on order I was invited to peruse some of the rarer wares out back. I nodded to Vanya and followed, stepping through the door and turning to the man, but my senses were overcome with a fog so thick that I feared Merora’s wayward blade for a second. Then it all went black….