Rain pelts Upper Dura, the respectable roof shielding some of Sharn's seediest districts from the eyes of the heavens -- though the upper crust wouldn't grant "respectable" to it. Adventurers fill Clifftop, strange foreigners populate Overlook... Yet, at the same time, this place is not without its bright spots. Pegasus Spire in Highwater is the traditional home of House Vadalis's highest-ranking local leader. Further, there is the literal bright spot that is Hope's Peak...

But is it not to the glimmering Citadel of the Sun this place is known for that we look today, but to the small shrines in its shadow. An unassuming white tower houses, on one floor, two shrines across the indoor street from each other -- one to the lore god Aureon, and the other a shrine to his wife Boldrei, the goddess of community.

Boldrei's shrine here has little in the way of claims to fame. It's not one of her larger temples. It's not the one that houses Daca, thought to be a saint. The Cauldron of Boldrei has not allowed itself to be relocated here. If anything at all would cause this shrine to be mentioned as being remarkable in the least... it would be the prodigal talent of the boy who sweeps its floors.

Kyra leans against his broom, wiping a bit of sweat off of his brow.
Lannar, dressed in his priest's robes as usual, walks up and offers a glass. "Water, Kyra?"
Kyra smiles in gratitude. "Thank you, sir," he says as he takes the glass and takes a swallow.
Lannar smiles in return with a nod. "It won't be long now, will it? Just the entryway to finish."
Kurala d'Jorasco enters the shrine, looking somewhat troubled.
Kyra nods vigorously, then turns to acknowledge the newcomer.
Kurala: Ah, Kyra, do you have a moment?
Kyra: Oh, hi, Miss Kurala!
Kyra looks to Lannar, figuring he'd have a better answer to that.
Kurala bows.
Lannar: If it only involves speaking with him, you have all the time you need, though he's rather busy for anything else yet.
Kyra looks sheepishly to Kurala again.
Kurala nods to Lannar. "I only have a question for him, your grace."
Lannar: Very well, then.
Kurala looks back to Kyra. "It seems that Janasar's already found himself having to take care of a bird like yours. You know how it is, the Skyway elite always want the newest things even without considering the consequences..."
Kurala shakes her head. "The poor thing."
Kyra nods slowly.
Kurala sighs. "In any case, they seemed not to know what to feed him and unfortunately neither do we, and he's already weak from the experience."
Kyra: I see...
Kurala: I was on my way to ask your parents, but if you have any suggestions, Kyra, please...
Kyra seems lost in his own thoughts for a moment.
Kyra: Well, they mostly graze, like horses or cattle... So you'll want greens or grasses of some sort.
Kurala nods. "They were trying to give it seed like a flighted bird... thank you, Kyra. If we have any further problems with him, maybe you'll be the one we get to hire to help."
Kurala smirks warmly.
Kyra looks at the floor and blushes. "Th-thank you, ma'am."
Kurala: You're welcome.
Kurala reaches for her coin pouch. "Now, let's see..."
Kyra looks to Lannar hesitantly, then back to Kurala and shakes his head. "I... I can't."
Kurala shakes her head. "Kyra, you're a member of House Vadalis. I had originally intended to pay your same family for the same thing."
Kyra: Um... well... I...
Kyra keeps taking glances towards Lannar as he continues to try to stammer out a rationalization for now accepting the payment.
Lannar: Your faith is not your only community, Kyra. You have a responsibility to your House as well to accept fair payment freely given.
Kyra stops stammering and instead just looks to Kurala and nods. "Then... what you feel is appropriate, ma'am."
Kurala hands Kyra five gold pieces.
Kyra bows respectfully. "House Vadalis gives our thanks."
Kurala: And House Jorasco our own.
Kurala walks to the altar and begins to pray...

There is a knock on the door, despite it being open all day.

Lannar sighs. "If this is who I think..."
Kyra raises an eyebrow.
Lannar motions for Kyra to be silent and continue sweeping.
Lannar then heads for the door.
Kyra nods quickly and gets back to work.
Anselmo and Zweifel walk in once invited.
Anselmo: Greetings. We represent the Archival Foundation. ...I see you've heard unpleasant things concerning us.
Kyra tries to sweep and keep a secretive eye on the archivists.
Lannar: Hmm. While I can appreciate your viewpoint, I also hope that you can appreciate ours. Aureon's temple may be more receptive to your search; it's just across the way.
Anselmo nods. "I'd thought you might say that, but it never hurts to ask."
Lannar: Hmmm...
Zweifel catches sight of Kyra. "Merely blessed, you say?..."
Anselmo puts a hand on Zweifel's shoulder. "Er, forgive the rudeness of my comrade... We'd best be on our way."
Anselmo clears his throat.
Zweifel hrmphs and starts for the door. "Very well."
Lannar shakes his head at Anselmo's back as the more talkative archivist follows his fellow.
Kurala stands and turns from her prayer, than shakes her head. "Some questions are simply an insult to ask."
Kyra makes sure the two are gone before looking up from the floor.
Lannar looks back and down to Kurala. "And some must be asked for the good of society. They believe that their questions are the latter, but I'm in no position to presume where Boldrei stands on this particular matter. No doctrine covers it."
Kurala shrugs. "I'd best return; I've probably already been missed at the clinic. Thank you again, Kyra; blessings of safe unity to all."
Kyra silently bows to Kurala.
Kurala heads out quickly.
Lannar looks to Kyra with a sigh. "I was afraid they'd come because of you."
Kyra looks down again. "I'm... I'm sorry, sir."
Lannar shakes his head. "Don't be; it isn't your fault at all. Be thankful that Boldrei favors you so, Kyra; never be ashamed."
Lannar: They are at fault for simply refusing to take your situation at face value.
Kyra nods, though he still looks unsure.
Lannar bows. "I should apologize... I phrased things poorly."
Kyra quickly shakes his head. "Oh, no no, it's fine."
Lannar: No matter what others may think, the reason you have such capability is because Sharn needs you. Never forget that, Kyra.
Lannar smiles gently.
Kyra blushes. "I should finish cleaning up."
Lannar nods. "And I should see to budgeting our donations. I trust you can finish your task alone."
Kyra: Yes, sir.
Lannar heads into the back room.
Kyra bows and moves into the entryway to finish cleaning up.

The rest of the task goes quietly... though once Kyra is sweeping the dust out of anyone else's way, he notices that familiar sounds of Middle Dura's great bazaar below sound a bit louder and off somehow.

Kyra looks at the door. "That's weird..."
Kyra finishes cleaning up and, after leaning his broom against the wall, steps outside.
Kyra: It's probably nothing...
Kyra walks over the bridge to prove his suspicions wrong.

Unfortunately, from out here the off sounds are much more reminiscent of screaming. Kyra can see some people fleeing one of the lower towers in the distance from this vantage point.

Kyra: Wonderful.
Kyra looks over his shoulder at the shrine, then psychs himself up and starts running for Middle Dura.
Kyra: I'm in so much trouble...
Kyra looks around as he runs for an alleyway to duck into.

These are simple enough to find once he makes it down to the edge of Hareth's Folly on his way to The Bazaar.

Kyra ducks into one and hides from the view of the streets.

No one seems to notice. Aside from some flies, no one is here, either.

Kyra quickly unwraps his scarf and activates the glamer on his armor, changing it into a set of robes. He ties the scarf around his head to hide his face, grumbles about the bang that falls from under the improvised mask, and darts back into the streets.

Kyra finds himself encountering less-panicked, though fearful and confused, bazaar-goers murmuring amongst themselves as he goes.

Kyra continues amongst the chaos, trying to determine the source.

It isn't long before he finds the tower that emptied itself. A man with some sort of black scarf covering his nose and mouth, decked out in light mithril covered in a black vest, trailing a black cape, and with shoulder-length black hair is now raiding the stalls, seeming pleased with himself. Hopefully not for looking so cliche.

Kyra screeches to a stop near a stall, trying not to let himself be seen. "Found you."
Black Clad Man files through a display of blankets, seeming oblivious to Kyra's presence.
Kyra presses himself against the nearby stall.
Black Clad Man stuffs a warm-looking blanket into his backpack before heading to a baker's stall and starting to gorge himself.
Kyra: quietly Just a thief?

On further observation, this thief appears reasonably armed; a simple black scabbard hangs at his left hip.

Kyra presses his hands together and begins chanting a spell.
Black Clad Man steps back from the stall as he seems to hear the chanting. "Mm?" He swallows, then looks towards where he thought he heard the sound.
Kyra crosses his arms over his chest. His form begins to waver and glow simultaneously.
Black Clad Man frowns and draws his sword. "So you're more than just an urban myth after all, then?"
Kyra reaches for his bow. "Wow, I'm an urban myth?"
Black Clad Man hmphs. "No matter; you cannot stand against fear itself!"
Black Clad Man approaches at an angle in order to try to get a look at his assailant; though he squints, he seems not to be as disoriented by the light as many Kyra has faced.
Black Clad Man stretches out his hand and closes his eyes. Two things conspire to try to overwhelm Kyra's heart -- misfortune and fear.
Kyra raises an eyebrow. "A nice attempt." Stepping back slightly, he begins casting another spell. A wave of force works itself into existence and begins swirling around Kyra.
Black Clad Man chuckles to himself, still looking at Kyra head-on self-assuredly. "And yet still you hide yourself behind magics... You know fear, even if you deny it.."
Black Clad Man walks quickly to try to close the distance to his foe, and unleashes that twin mystical assault again...
Kyra starts to take a step backwards as the feeling of misfortune starts to overwhelm him. "N...no...I...YOU!" Quickly shaking his head, the negative emotions give way. "Follower of evil, I will strike you down where you stand!"
Kyra nocks an arrow into his bow, and with a cry of "Take this!" lets it fly.

The arrow doesn't fly very true, but still manages to get between the links of the edge of the man's forearm armor. He seems not to have even felt it, however...

Kyra quickly steps back, keeping his eyes trained on the man.
Kyra: under his breath This could be bad.
Black Clad Man: Do you really think you and whatever rainbow god you're obsessed with can stand against the Black Terror?!
Black Clad Man pulls a dagger from an apparent second scabbard hidden under his main one and throws it at Kyra.
Black Clad Man flinches and rubs his eyes after the release.
Kyra moves his head slightly to the left; as the dagger passes, it clips a couple strands of his loose-hanging hair loose into the wind.
Kyra: If that's the best you've got, we might stand against you pretty well.
Black Terror snarls.
Kyra smiles -- only afterwards realizing his mouth is hidden -- and raises his hands.
Kyra: Besides, it isn't that god you should be worried about.
Kyra throws his hand forward. Force reshapes itself near the "Black Terror," forming into a spear. "Take this!" The spear swings itself through the air and attacks the Terror.
Black Terror's eyes widen at the sudden appearance of the spear, then winces as he's struck solidly in the side by it. "What -- gah!"
Kyra thumbs his nose at the Terror as he continues retreating.
Black Terror: Childish, for an elf... very well. I've had my fill.
Kyra blinks.
Black Terror chants a spell over himself, then begins to run.
Kyra turns around, letting the loose-hanging part of his scarf catch the breeze. "And don't let me see you again." His force spear takes one last parting shot at the escaping Terror.
Black Terror winces as he's struck again, and continues his retreat. He runs for the corner, then turns on his heel to continue to follow the "road" formed by the dust from patrons' shoes.
Kyra sighs in relief, letting the light surrounding himself fade and diwsmissing the spear as it returns.

Kyra notices a woman hiding behind one of the stalls with a quill and paper; she tries to slip away.

Kyra smiles behind his mask and waves to the reporter.

She doesn't respond, simply continuing her retreat.

Kyra forms a V with his fingers. "Give me a good report, will you?" Turning his back on the reporter, he starts making his way back to the shrine.
Kyra muses on his return trip, realizing a couple things about his opponent.
Kyra: But if he was... then how did he... and just using...

Kyra passes people making their way back to the tower as he goes. A few seem to regard him with some surprise.

Girl: Mommy, it's that rainbow elf lady! I bet she got rid of the scary man!
Woman: Now, dear, don't get too close. We don't know that it's the same person...
Kyra waves innocently, deciding not to say anything to keep the illusion going while looking for somewhere he can slip to switch back into his "civilian guise."
Girl waves back excitedly.

Once Kyra makes his way from the Bazaar district back to Hareth's Folly, it's simple enough to find an alley.

Kyra ducks into an alley and hides. Changing his armor back into armor, he adjusts his scarf back around his neck, and ducks into the crowd.

It's a simple enough journey back to Hope's Peak, so long as Kyra is wary.

Kyra hussles into the shrine, hoping beyond hope that Lannar is still in the back.

There's no sign of Lannar...

Kyra lets out a breath, then heads to the back room to let Lannar know he finished the cleaning.

Lannar isn't there either.

Kyra: ...Weird. Mr. Lannar? Sir?

No response.

Kyra begins looking around the shrine for him.

Lannar is apparently nowhere in or around the shrine...

Kyra crosses his arms. "...Maybe he went for supplies..."

A few minutes later...

Lannar makes his way back to the shrine worriedly with a magebred basset hound at his side.
Lannar: Oh! K-Kyra! There you are!
Kyra waves sheepishly. "H-hi, Mr. Lannar..."
Lannar: Where have you been?! Your parents and I have been looking for you for half an hour!

The magebred basset hound sniffs Kyra over vigorously, then makes a low woof as though to emphasize the point.

Kyra: I... um... heard a commotion from Middle.
Kyra: My curiosity... well... I had to go see...
Kyra bows respectfully, repeatedly. "I'm so sorry I left without saying anything!"
Lannar sighs exasperatedly. "Middle Dura is noplace for someone your age to go alone, even if you can protect yourself! Spells can be countered, Kyra!"
Kyra sniffs. "I'm... sorry..."
Lannar sighs again. "I don't know why Boldrei allows you to run away so often; I can only surmise that she always finds your forgiveness sincere."
Lannar: Come. You have some time to spend on that this evening...
Lannar motions for Kyra to follow as he heads inside.
Kyra wipes his nose with his sleeve as he follows Lannar.

Shortly, Kyra finds himself shut in a simple monk's quarters, featuring only a simple bed, a small altar to Boldrei, and a collection of tales of the Sovereign Host.

Kyra sits on the bed, his stomach rumbling lightly in protest.
Kyra looks at the altar. "Well... you know I did good today, at least..."
Kyra falls back onto the bed, his stomach still acting with a mind of its own.

Eventually, dawn's light shines through a vast window in the tower and onto the stained glass that forms the window in the monk's quarters. The light shines directly on the altar, revealing a familiar-looking wafer or cracker.

Kyra yawns, blinking as the light hits his eyes. Noticing the wafer, he picks it up, eyes it, shrugs, and has breakfast.
Kyra sits back on the bed, looking at the small altar.
Kyra: smirks I know, I deserve every bit of this. But... most people would say it's not fair, I guess.
Kyra: Oh well, as long as you and I know I'm doing what's right, everything will turn out ok in the end. Right?
Kyra lies back down.
Kyra: And that's all that matters.

While for a time this next day looked like it would be a sunny one, now rain pours from the sky and the gutters of Dalan's Refuge alike onto Deathsgate. This district is perhaps one of the most avoided by those unable to defend themselves, as the less virtuous of adventurers are known to congregate here.

Nevertheless, many dragonmarked houses have places of business here. House Jorasco, who asks no questions of those they heal in this place. House Deneith, which knows a good source for their rank and file when they see it. House Sivis, who get plenty of opportunities to defend these people in the courts.

It is not the most peaceful of the middle wards, to be sure. Thus, this is one of the primary Jorasco hospitals to have a Deneith security detail, through an arrangement in which Jorasco pays not with money, but with a loan on one of their trade secrets... a loan which one of the guards here today is all too familiar with, as it led in the end to the loss of a life close to him.

Liridon sighs boredly as he leafs through a copy of the Sharn Inquisitive. "Looks like there were some robberies in Middle Dura."
Martin looks to Liridon. "So why's that in the paper, then? It'd be more news if there weren't any."
Liridon: That's not the news. Seems that "protector of Dura" stepped in, and the robber was some "Black Terror".
Liridon holds the paper out to Martin.
Martin: "Black Terror"? Is this guy serious?...
Martin accepts the paper and begins to read.
Liridon: It'd seem so.
Liridon stretches his arms out, then looks around. "I half wish something that interesting happened around here."
Martin: Well, the other half suits me just fine.
Argyle d'Deneith strides into the lobby from outside, carrying a pair of stones in his left hand. "Martin, Liridon..." He eyes the latter.
Martin looks up from the paper. "Yes, sir?"
Liridon looks to Argyle.
Argyle walks up to Liridon and presses one of the stones into his hand. "If you're going to wander from your post so much, we should at least compensate for that so you don't tarnish our good name."
Verna murmurs insistently, "With all due respect, Mr. Argyle, would you please keep your voice down!"
Liridon: Sorry, sir. But the lady is right, this is a hospital.
Argyle fumes. "Just take it," he says in a lower voice.
Liridon grasps the stone.
Argyle turns and offers the other to Martin, who takes it without complaint, then fishes a third from his pocket.
Martin: What are they, sir?
Argyle: Sending stones, a four-way set. I commissioned House Sivis to make them as soon as I saw what Liridon's reputation meant.
Liridon tosses the stone up and catches it innocently.
Argyle: This isn't for idle chatter, mind you -- they work only daily. They'll send to as many of the others as you want.
Martin: Hm. I'm surprised we're resorting to such trinkets, but as you wish, sir.
Liridon: Very well.
Argyle nods, then heads through the door further in to find the other guards.
Liridon continues to idly toss the stone. "Maybe if there were more to this job than intimidating people from doing anything most of the time..."
Martin pockets his sending stone. "That's probably why you're getting off this easily."
Martin: On the other hand, this might be a warning, too...
Liridon shrugs. "Let him bark."
Martin looks back to the paper. "A 'prism', huh..."
Argyle eventually heads back through. "This is not license to wander, mind you. This is compensation so you can actually do your job. This place needs order."
Liridon rolls his eyes.
Argyle closes the door behind himself as he leaves.
Verna sighs. "If he didn't have a point..."
Liridon looks to Verna with a much friendlier demeanor. "Sorry about that."
Verna nods. "It's all right. Frankly, your arrival just seems to have made the entire family around here go from merely arrogant to irritable."
Liridon: I seem to have that affect on them. I haven't spoken to my father in... phew, has to be years now.
Martin: I can believe it. It can be a pain that we can't tell what you're thinking, sometimes.
Liridon shrugs again, then pockets his own stone.
Martin: I don't think most of the house believes you're a real paladin, besides.
Liridon scoffs. "Just because I don't follow the law with my nose pressed against it. It's their initiative if they use the law to protect people, but it can just as easily be used to oppress the same people they try and protect. I follow my own compass."
Liridon walks over to a window, looking at the rain crawling and dripping down.
Martin shrugs and shakes his head. "You're a piece of work, Liridon."
Liridon walks towards the exit. "I'm going for a walk."
Martin: Heh, so soon? Be careful or Argyle'll whack you a good one.
Verna: Be back soon, Liridon.
Liridon: What doesn't kill me... You know how to call if anything happens.
Martin nods.
Liridon holds up his arm to wave backwards.
Martin waves to Liridon.

Liridon steps out from the clinic onto the sidewalk of this tower's indoor crossroads. Aside from the clinic, three other sites have been built into the corners of this floor of the tower, including a skycoach station; other, less prominent buildings have also been crammed in here and there after the fact despite the designers' original intent. Unsavory characters ride horses, dinosaurs, or stranger things still to and from the four bridges that exit this tower.

Liridon walks around boredly in no general direction.

"No general direction" leads across a bridge to the next tower, a shorter one; this one features what one supposes was once meant to be a park but now more closely resembles three trees and some scant patches of poorly-watered grass flanking dirt roads, a ramp to the top level 15 feet above, another ramp down, and two other bridges leading out.

Liridon heads towards the ramp leading upwards, whistling to himself.

Upstairs, a simple fruit vendor has set up shop, seemingly to take advantage of the one true attraction of the top floor of this tower -- a large, simply-railed balcony that dominates the north side.

Liridon heads over to the fruit stand to buy an apple before heading out towards the balcony.
Vendor: Thank you, sir.
Liridon: You too, have a nice day.
Liridon puts an extra copper piece on the stand, walking off with apple in hand.
Vendor's eyes widen in delight as he accepts it.
Liridon stops at the edge of the balcony, taking in the view and occasional bites of apple.

From the balcony, many of Deathgate's most famous towers are easily visible. The large grey one containing, among other businesses, Karr'Aashta's Investigations... the thin charcoal one that houses the Deathsgate Guild... the one built on a higher part of the plateau that appears through illusion to be constructed out of the night sky itself, which is home to The Guild of Starlight and Shadow.... Some of the other towers stretch all the way up into Dalan's Refuge; others act as supports for platforms that hold other towers that exist only in that bedroom district for the wealthy.

Below, most of the towers widen enough to begin to merge into each other, and the bridges are thus very short indeed; this is Dragoneyes, a world of gambling and debauchery populated by openly admitted changelings and doppelgangers. It is said that Dragoneyes can become anything the visitor wants. ...Typically, though, what they want doesn't involve making people run away from a tower...

Liridon blinks. "...well, looks like today won't be so boring after all." He looks around him on the balcony to see if anyone else is around or looking at him.
Liridon slips out a silk sash, wrapping it around his eyes, and a shirt that he slips over his breastplate. He then hops over the railing, plummeting towards the chaos.
Liridon shifts into a head-first dive in his fall, which is suddenly guided by a pair of orange and green dragonfly-like wings that sprout from his back.

As Liridon flies into the offending tower -- a place where the continual flames are far enough apart for the streets to be only lit well enough to see where one's going in places rather than sufficiently banishing shadows -- he notices that there are a couple of apparent changelings lying in pools of blood on the street, presumably unconscious at best.

Liridon lands near the changelings, kneeling down to them to examine the state they're in.

One appears dead; the other, however, is still breathing. Both seem to have been cut down by sword blows.

Liridon's hands glow as he traces them around the wounds of the changeling still among the living.
Changeling's wounds vanish entirely; s/he stands and rubs the spot where she was previously wide open...
Changeling: Ow... what the...
Changeling blinks at Liridon. "Well, that's new."
Liridon stands as well. "Are you all right? Had some pretty nasty wounds there, what's going on?"
Changeling shudders. "This black-clad man... I don't think he liked that so many of us wouldn't be bullied just because he was able to frighten some of us off by magic."

Some commotion is audible in a nearby tavern.

Liridon: Hm... black-clad man -- ...That's probably him. I suggest you find a safe place to hide or run away.
Changeling nods. "You're probably right..." Sie makes hir way to an alley.
Liridon gestures, and a gray crackling aura passes over him for but a moment, then it fades away.
Liridon walks over to the tavern to investigate.
Barkeep: P-please, what did we do?!
Black Terror: You stayed in my way. No one defies the Black Terror!
Barkeep backs behind the counter. "Leave us alone! You don't have any right to do this!"
Liridon charges into the tavern, scimitar drawn. He knocks the chair out of his way, so as to stand between the Black Terror and going around the counter. "No one? You're sorely mistaken, because that's exactly what I'm doing now."
Black Terror laughs. "An overgrown fairy? That sparkly elf was more intimidating."
Liridon: You'd be surprised. I suggest you stand down now before you or anyone else gets hurt.
Black Terror swings his sword twice -- once in an upward swing that impacts with Liridon's side, then towards Liridon's arm from there, though the followup attack is clumsy.
Liridon winces slightly, but stands his ground.
Barkeep stares at the fight from between two barrels...
Liridon: Very well, if you want to solve this with force...
Liridon swings his scimitar towards the Black Terror's chest, but the blow unfortunately is deflected off of his breastplate.
Black Terror steps backward after nearly being hit solidly. "You think you're so high and mighty? Well, let's see whether the ickle fairy can withstand true fear!"
Black Terror holds his hand up, and Liridon feels misfortune and fear attempting to ensnare him...
Liridon staggers slightly, but then stands that much taller as he fends the negative emotions off. "You're going to have to do a lot better than that to scare me."
Black Terror glowers at Liridon. "As insufferable as the other, too..."
Liridon takes this opportunity to gesture with his hand, a yellow aura seeming to extend from him to the barkeep, which shortly fades. He then moves in closer to the Black Terror.
Black Terror: Pfft, you forget your own hide!
Black Terror slices across Liridon's armor and tries to stab through it, but to no avail.
Liridon shakes his head. "My 'hide' is tough enough that I don't have to worry about the likes of you." He then makes a swing for the Black Terror's torso again.
Black Terror: Grah!
Black Terror staggers a bit as Liridon manages to pierce a weakness in his armor.
Black Terror retreats from the tavern hastily, though turns back to face Liridon rather than running further...
Liridon takes another shot at the Black Terror as he runs off.
Black Terror screams as Liridon's scimitar finds the space just beneath his chain shirt in the back. He grits his teeth upon turning around.
Black Terror: I will make that strength falter... whether later, or now.
Black Terror raises his hand again...
Liridon staves off the fear and doubt once more. "Please..." He pursues the Black Terror, making another slash as he draws in.
Black Terror howls in protest as Liridon strikes particularly true again.
Black Terror backs away somewhat. "Very well... paladin. I'll find my meal elsewhere."
Black Terror chants a brief spell over himself.
Liridon: Meal?
Liridon: ...no way that you're going anywhere, I owe it to that dead changeling that I return the favor.
Liridon draws in again, making a final decisive slash.
Black Terror screams, now quite visibly bloody. Rather than counterattacking, though, he goes into a limping yet startlingly fast retreat.
Liridon curses under his breath.
Liridon shakes his head and then enters the tavern again.
Liridon looks to the Barkeep. "Are you all right?"
Barkeep: Y-yes, I'm fine... that was amazing! Such swordsmanship...
Liridon bows. "Well, take care, and just look to the skies should I ever be needed again."
Barkeep: Ah, so those are real? Interesting.
Liridon: Quite real. Before I go, there's one of his victims on the street... please make sure there's a proper burial.
Barkeep: Of course. If I can manage it, Chance himself will see to it.
Liridon: Thanks.
Barkeep nods solemnly.
Liridon waves, exits the tavern and flies off.
Barkeep walks out of the tavern, then stares at the body Liridon mentioned...
Liridon flies into the first unoccupied alley he sees, landing and taking off his costume. "Whew. Well, probably about time I headed back." After storing the sash and shirt in his secret pocket and retracting his wings, he starts on his way back to Deathsgate...

The way is unimpeded. Martin seems to have been dismissed in the meantime, however...

Yamalle: Well, there you are. I did hear that you theoretically were also at this post; no surprise that I came to find it empty.
Yamalle tosses her red hair.
Liridon stretches. "My walk ended up taking longer than I'd bargained for."
Liridon shrugs.
Liridon: Besides, I'm sure things were just as boring as ever around here.
Yamalle: Hmph, walk indeed. Those changelings you seem to like so much do have more than a shrine down there.
Liridon rolls his eyes, walking over to where Martin set his paper, folding his page back out and resuming to read it.

It's been a couple of days since Sharn last read of the ravages of the man who styles himself as the "Black Terror". As he's struck in two different places in two days, the middle and lower wards are now haunted by an aura of unease -- even despite mysterious protectors rising to the challenge of stopping the man both times.

Not all who would fight for the welfare of Sharn, however, are content to wait for the Black Terror's next move. Two friends of secretive circumstance -- Kale d'Medani and Gauvain d'Orien -- have made their way to the vast bazaar section of Middle Dura -- not so much to further examine the scene of the crime as to track down the rescuers themselves...

No rain pelts this tower with stalls and carts sprawled astride "roads" formed of patrons' leftover dust today; however, it's so hot and muggy that rain might have been preferable. At the least, the walls of this tower would protect from it...

This tower's usual business seems quite active this early afternoon, even if the mood is off for the region. The mood, however, is not as unusual as the greater presence of guards in Dura of all places.

Gauvain looks around the place a bit.
Gauvain sniffs.
Gauvain: So what are we exactly looking for anyway?
Kale narrows his eyes in distaste as he canvases the bazaar with a once- or twice-over.
Kale: A clue...
Kale: Someone here surely knows of this... elf woman, at least enough to help us find her.
Gauvain: Maybe we should ask around?
Kale: Indeed.
Kale adjusts his spectacles and eyeballs the various people gathered for anyone who may stand out enough to warrant questioning.

Some of the guards seem more alert, while others seem more bored. While most of the merchants seem less than cheerful today, some are more ill at ease than others.

Gauvain: Perhaps one of the local merchants saw something.
Gauvain points at a random stall nearby, "How about that guy?"
Gauvain: Right well, I'm gonna go see if he saw anything.
Gauvain walks on over to a nearby merchant.
Kale follows suit!
Baker eyes Gauvain suspiciously. "May I help you?..."
Gauvain eyes over the man's cart.

Various breads and pastries are displayed, both the bland and simple and the sweet.

Gauvain: Hm, so what kind of baubles are you selling here?

Kale nods to the baker in greeting. "I understand this place found itself with a rather... interesting protector recently."
Baker: Hm, well, I take particular pride in my cinnamon rolls -- hm?
Gauvain slinks back a bit, lets Kale do the talkin'
Baker: Well, I didn't see her. I just know that some of my turnovers were missing after this "Black Terror" came along and started driving the crowds off.
Baker scowls.
Kale: Mm. Do you know who would have seen her?
Gauvain raises an eyebrow.
Baker: Well, I've heard the guards complain about not being able to catch her before. Dunno why they'd want to, though, besides her muscling in on their action. Not like they usually care otherwise...
Baker shakes his head.
Kale chuckles drily. "Few guards enjoy such competition..."
Gauvain . o O ( The Black Terror steals pastries? )
Baker: If anyone stayed behind, I didn't see.
Baker shrugs.
Baker: I was too worried about that sword of his.
Kale arches an eyebrow. "Sword? May I inquire as to what seemed so peculiar as to worry you?"
Baker replies drily, "It was out and he seemed eager to use it, that's what."
Kale: Mm, indeed.
Kale flips the baker a silver piece. "For your time. If you'll excuse me..."
Baker bows. "Thank you, sir."
Baker accepts the coin and places it under the counter.
Gauvain walks away from the cart
Kale: If you think of anything else, however...
Baker nods.
Kale fixes the baker with a stare, nods, then pivots on his heel to find the nearest guards.
Gauvain: Hey Kale...
Gauvain: Don't you think it's kind of strange for the city to get so worked up about some guy who steals desserts?
Kale: This man wasn't solely focused on pastries, unfortunately... There has been at least one death involved, though not here.
Gauvain: I suppose. Still seems kind of strange to me that he'd bother with something like that.
Gauvain shrugs
Kale: Quite strange, indeed, hence our investigation into the matter. 'Tis possible, however, he's just an obnoxiously selfish individual and happened to be voraciously hungry the day he attacked here.
Gauvain nods, but says nothing.
Kale heads over to the nearest guards. "Excuse me, I would like to inquire as to the attacks this bazaar suffered at the hands of this...'Black Terror'."
Guard: Hm, and who can I say asked?
Gauvain looks over the guard while Kale converses~
Guard hesitates. "Honestly, there's not a lot to be said about what he did here. A child or two was gravely wounded, but fortunately no one actually died. Some of those present also reported having been overwhelmed with fear when he raised a hand."
Kale narrows his eyes. "Children involved? Were these accidental or purposeful injuries?"
Guard: Definitely purposeful.
Guard: He was in a magical disguise until shortly before he struck as well, now that I think of the briefing some more.
Gauvain ponders with an audible "Hmmmmm..."
Kale: Any details on this disguise, appearance-wise?
Guard shakes his head. "Nothing specific, unfortunately, just that he looked like another man until that guise winked away like an illusion."
Guard: What he stole amounted to some blankets and some pastries before that vigilante showed up.
Kale ears perk up slightly. "This vigilante... what can you tell me about her?"
Gauvain raises his OTHER eyebrow this time.
Guard: Not much. I'm usually not stationed around here. You'd have to ask someone local for much about the rumors.
Kale: Mm. Anything else you can remember about the attack?
Guard shakes his head. "Not really; this is all secondhand. So who can I say asked?"
Kale adjusts his spectacles slightly. "Kale d'Medani and friend, good sir."
Gauvain smiles.
Guard: Ah, very well, then. Good luck in your investigation, then.
Guard: Now if you'll kindly excuse yourselves...
Gauvain: Are any guards that were present at the attack here today?
Gauvain frowns.
Guard seems darkly amused at that question.
Gauvain: ...Nevermind.
Gauvain sighs.
Kale pats Gauvain on the shoulder.
Kale: One last question, from which stall were the blankets you mentioned stolen?
Guard: By my understanding the area was clear before the theft began, but I think he set up in a different tower today.
Guard seems to be getting a bit impatient.
Kale arches an eyebrow at the guard's antsiness. "Very well."
Kale pivots and surveys the bazaar once more.
Kale: Thoughts, Gau?
Gauvain: Blankets and pastries?
Gauvain scoffs.
Gauvain: If it weren't for the deaths involved, I'd assume he was stealing for a homeless shelter.
Kale: Cold and hungry, an amusing combination for someone so ruthless.
Gauvain: Well, you want to ask around the place some more? Maybe we could get more information on this elf woman.
Kale scans the surrounding stalls intently.

Little is different from before.

Kale: I'm unsure of how much help these folk would truly be, as most seem likely to have fled at the first hint of danger.
Kale spins back to the antsy guard. "The children injured, do you know much of them or who their parents are?"
Guard: I wasn't told. May I please go back to paying attention?
Gauvain: Tch.
Kale sighs and waves a hand frustratedly in the air, muttering under his breath to Gau, "You'd think they'd be a touch more helpful in attempting to capture such a criminal..."
Gauvain: We're just trying to help find this guy. What's the problem anyway?
Kale: Come on, someone else here is likely to be more accomodating, someone whose livelihood would actually be at stake in the face of these attacks.
Gauvain shrugs.
Gauvain: If you insist.
Kale taps his chin thoughtfully then heads back to the baker. "Pardon my intrusion yet again, but I understand there were children injured in the attack here. Do you know anything of them?"
Baker: Hm, I think one of them was one of the Smithson kids...
Kale: Any idea where I can find the Smithsons?
Baker points to a stall displaying various chains. "Right over there. Jagel's usually pretty busy, though."
Gauvain nudges Kale. "Don't forget to ask about the elven woman."
Kale turns slightly. "He doesn't seem to know anything, though these Smithsons might if their child was involved..."
Kale nods his head slightly to the baker. "Thank you again for your assistance."
Kale then makes his way over to Jagel's stall!
Baker nods.
Jagel can be seen behind his stall using tongs to bend hot iron into a chain link connecting two others.
Kale attempts to get his attention. "Pardon me, Mister Jagel..."
Jagel calls out, "I'll be a couple minutes before this sets enough to leave alone."
Kale nods. "I'll wait."
Jagel eventually leaves the chain-in-progress behind and dusts himself off as he approaches Kale. "Now, what can I do for such well-dressed fellows today?"
Kale: I understand one of your children was involved in the 'Black Terror' attack on this bazaar...
Jagel's eyes widen as his smile melts.
Gauvain grimaces a bit.
Kale: My condolances to you, but I was hoping you may know something, anything, which would help us find this man.
Jagel sighs...
Jagel: ...Well, like the papers say, he was dressed in black, long black hair. Pretty well-armed and armored; it's strange to think someone could afford all that and would still be s-so desperate as to h-harm... f-for just...
Jagel sniffles.
Kale looks on sympathetically. "Was he after something from your stall?"
Jagel: I-I don't know... I-I... I j-just took Ellen and ran.
Kale: Who is Ellen?
Jagel squeezes his eyes shut. "M-my daughter. I-I was able to... to get her to a healer's at least, but..."
Kale: But...?
Jagel sobs. "H-how could anyone be so cruel?!"
Kale: What did he do to your daughter, sir?
Jagel seems too caught up in sobs to answer right away.
Kale patiently waits.
Jagel calms down somewhat at length. "He... he... sh-she tried to run, b-but the t-tip of his s-sword s-still t-tore... the l-left side of h-her back...!"
Kale gently pats Jagel on the shoulder. "We'll find the man who did this and bring him to justice. You have my word."
Jagel nods weakly. "Th...th-thank you..."
Gauvain closes eyes and nods in agreement
Kale: One last thing before I go... do you remember anything about an elven woman here? Perhaps defending this market from the Black Terror?
Jagel shakes his head. "I-I s-saw it in the paper, but..."
Jagel: ...I-I think s-some of E-Ellen's f-friends b-bragged about j-just h-hiding.
Kale: Where could I find them?
Jagel: Th-the vegetable c-cart... th-they'll... they'll be helping there.
Gauvain turns and looks around for the cart.

There is a vegetable cart visible about fifty feet east.

Kale nods. "Thank you for your time. I am truly sorry for your daughter."
Gauvain tips his hat and heads on over to the other cart.
Jagel simply sobs.
Kale leaves a gold piece on the stall benchtop and takes his leave, following Gau to the veggie cart.
Gauvain: The more I learn about this Black Terror, the less I understand him.
Kale: 'Tis not logical of someone to purposefully injure a child yet only abscond with food and blankets...
Gauvain looks around for any kids.

Two children seem to be playing tug-of-war over a basket of carrots.

Kale approaches the veggiemonger. "Excuse me, I was informed there were some children here who may have seen the Black Terror attack here recently?"
Veggiemonger: Who's asking?
Kale: Kale d'Medani. I'm doing some investigative legwork with my friend here into this whole matter.
Veggiemonger nods. "I see. OK then."
Veggiemonger nods over her shoulder to the two; the boy of them then wins the fight only to be covered by an avalanche of carrots.
Gauvain chuckles.
Veggiemonger: Marin! Nallen! Work together!
Kale turns his attention to the two playful kids. "Good day, you two. Mind if I ask you a few questions?"
Marin sighs and takes the basket off of Nallen. "Now look what you've done."
Nallen: It wasn't my fault! You started it!
Marin shakes her head and starts picking up carrots. "Just help... huh?"
Marin looks over and up at Kale.
Kale chuckles to himself.
Nallen: Whadda you want?
Marin whispers insistently, "Nallen, show some respect!"
Kale: I hear you two saw that Black Terror guy attack the market.
Nallen perks up. "Yeah, we saw the whole fight! It was awesome!"
Kale smiles slightly. "Was it now?"
Marin continues picking up carrots. "I only stayed because of him... it was kinda scary."
Nallen: You did not! You were watching too!
Marin: Only in case -- hey!
Marin nudges Nallen. "Help clean up!"
Nallen: Ow! All right already...
Nallen starts picking up carrots and placing them back in the basket too.
Kale: Did you see the person against whom he fought?
Nallen: Yeah! I'd heard stories, but this is the first I'd seen him!
Marin: "Him"? It's a girl and you know it!
Nallen: Is not!
Marin: Is too!
Gauvain sighs.
Kale glances over at Gau and surreptitiously rolls his eyes a bit.
Nallen: Is not!
Marin: Is too, or why would there be all the rainbows and stuff?
Gauvain: ...what.
Nallen: Is not! It sounds like a boy to me!
Kale: Rainbows, eh...
Kale: Diab did describe it as rather prism-y.
Marin: Is too! We'd get spanked if we tried to do that kinda stuff! It's a grownup!
Nallen: So? The little races can sound like that!
Marin: Come on, she's too big for that!
Kale clears his throat and attempts to head off the argument. "So what did he... or she... actually look like?"
Nallen: Maybe it's part of the disguise!
Marin: Well -- oh, sorry sir.
Marin bows.
Marin: Well, she was in fancy robes and she had a scarf wrapped around her head.
Nallen: Yeah, it was gold or orange or something... I couldn't see too well, he was glowing too much.
Marin: Besides that, she looks kinda blurry.
Kale: Mm, interesting.
Kale: What about the Black Terror?
Marin: Well, he really hurt Ellen...
Marin hangs her head. "I wish I could help with stuff like that."
Nallen: See, that's why I'm better than you!
Kale pats Marin on the head. "I'm sure Ellen will be fine."
Marin: You are not! And you can't heal anyway!
Nallen: So what?
Marin: So what?! That could've helped Ellen!
Nallen: I was gonna help Ellen!
Kale glances over at Gau again.
Marin: No you weren't, you would've just made him see us!
Nallen: But I could've hurt him!
Marin: Not as much as she did!
Nallen: ...
Kale sighs a little. "Is there anything else you think was important about the fight?"
Marin looks back up at Kale for a moment. "Well, she made this magic spear show up and attack him and that made him run away 'cuz it hurt."
Kale raises an eyebrow. "Magic spear...?"
Gauvain chimes in, "Did she say anything during the battle?"
Nallen: Yeah! He called the guy a follower of evil after the second time he tried to use his powers on him!
Marin: And something about gods; I don't remember.
Marin thinks. "And she sounded kinda happy when he called her an 'urbung miff' or something..."
Kale scratches his chin thoughtfully.
Gauvain: "An urban myth?"
Marin: Yeah, that was it!
Nallen: Whazzat mean anyway?...
Nallen scratches his head.
Kale mumbles more to himself than anyone else, "There should be more information on this person somewhere if he or she is infamous to be considered an urban myth..."
Kale: Well, if there's nothing else you can think of, we must be on our way.
Kale gives a small smile to the two children.
Nallen: Wanna see what I would've done?!
Kale glances briefly at Gau. "Okay..."
Marin smacks Nallen upside the head. "No, of course not!"
Nallen: Ow, quit it!
Marin: You don't want anybody hurt, do you?!
Gauvain: Sure, why not.
Marin blinks at Gauvain in surprise. "Huh?"
Nallen jumps and spins. "Yeah, see?!"
Gauvain: Sure kid, show me your moves~!
Nallen chants a bit, then points at one of the carrots yet to be picked up. A thin, short, pale blue beam flash-freezes the point of impact.
Nallen: Just like that!
Marin: Nallen, you'll scare people away!
Nallen: Nuh-uh!
Kale raises an eyebrow.
Gauvain: Er...
Gauvain: Impressive.
Nallen: Yeah, isn't it?!
Marin picks up the partly-frozen carrot and sighs. "We can't sell this now..."
Gauvain looks over at Kale.
Gauvain: Now what? Do we investigate this mysterious lady or the Terror some more?
Nallen: I'm telling you, it's a guy!
Marin: No it isn't!
Kale rubs his chin. "I'd say we should check out Dragoneyes next. Someone else staved off that attack, and there was that changeling who was killed..."
Gauvain: Sounds good to me.
Kale bows slightly to the two kids. "Thank you for your time."
Marin bows back. "You're welcome, sir."
Nallen: No problem, man!
Kale heads off to Dragoneyes with Gau in tow!
Gauvain ventures forth!

The two take a long skycoach ride from the scene of the first crime to the scene of the second -- an understated section of the multifaceted red light district that is Dragoneyes, featuring many small buildings and relatively sparse lighting. The residents seem less shaken by the crime that occured here despite its greater severity. Unfortunately, it seems as though the place where the body fell is now clean...

Kale exits the skycoach and approaches the guard on duty!
Gauvain follows behind, taking a look around a bit
Guard is leaning against the wall of an unfinished-looking building. "Can I help you?"
Kale: I'm here to inquire as to the Black Terror attack here recently. Do you know anything of it?
Guard nods. "Of course. May as well talk; I'm bored anyway. People overblow this place..."
Guard: I wasn't there myself, mind you, but I can tell you what I've been told between the briefing and the residents.
Kale nods.
Guard: Besides, if I'm right you're from House Medani anyway, one of their inquisitives?
Kale: Indeed I am.
Guard nods. "Who's your Orien friend here?"
Guard looks to Gauvain.
Gauvain smiles, "Ah, my name is Gauvain, of House Orien'"
Guard nods. "And your name?"
Gauvain: It is good to meet a guard that's actually willing to help us.
Kale: I am Kale, good sir.
Guard: Where were you, the Bazaar? You probably just talked to one of them too long considering they're supposed to be on full alert.
Kale: Aye, they did seem rather agitated, at least the one to whom we spoke.
Gauvain nods, "So, you were saying? About the Black Terror?"
Guard: Yes. The body fell right there, according to witnesses. Two people were down, but I guess only the one was dead.
Guard points to a spot in the middle of the road, not far off.
Kale: Who was the second?
Gauvain looks at the spot.
Kale makes a note to investigate the spot of the crime later!

It appears as though some effort has been made to clean up the mess.

Guard: The second? Hm, her name was Rim, I believe.
Kale jots another mental note. "Any idea where she might be now?"
Guard: I believe she's with the, er, entertainment around the corner.
Guard jerks his head southward.
Gauvain takes a look.

The road turns east after about eighty feet.

Kale: Mm, indeed. We shall speak with her later, I suppose. Any idea what the Black Terror was after here?
Guard: He apparently ran off at an enhanced speed across the bridge to the north.
Kale briefly turns his attention north!
Guard: He was almost about to kill the poor barkeep there when the cavalry showed up.
Guard points southeast to a small, ramshackle tavern.
Guard: If you're wondering where the body went, by the way, they didn't waste any time burying it. Chance himself helped put the poor sap to rest...
Guard: I guess they've got an idea of what'll scare off what customers they get.
Kale: Mm. I suppose one last thing... I've read there was someone here attempting to drive him off, a... green-haired fellow with dragonfly wings?
Gauvain nods
Guard nods. "That's what I'm told. Healed up Rim, too."
Kale: Any clue who it was?
Guard: Nope, never heard of anyone like him. Not like over in Dura, where there's tales about who helped there.
Kale: Mm... if you'll excuse us, then, I'd like to take a look around. Thank you for your assistance.
Guard nods. "Sure. Breaks up the monotony."
Kale heads over to the scene of the murder and closely looks around.
Gauvain looks up from the place the body hit.

It seems that the residents were primarily concerned with the blood; the place wasn't cleaned up incredibly thoroughly. There are a couple of hairs here, one grey and one black.

Kale carefully lifts the hairs found and inspects them close-up.

The grey hair seems borderline iridescent; probably the victim's. The black one is thick and long, perhaps shoulder-length.

Kale pockets the two hairs for further analysis later.
Kale: Mm... why don't we go pay this Rim a visit, Gau?
Gauvain looking skyward.
Gauvain: Hm... Sure.
Gauvain: Wonder where he fell from.
Gauvain: Wonder if he fell at all.
Gauvain: Well in any case, lead the way.
Kale: Mm.
Guard: Witnesses claim he flew in from the north.
Kale heads south toward the entertainment building.
Gauvain: Ah. I see.

It's a mere fourty yards' walk to the door of the building the guard pointed to. Once the pair enter, they see a 35' square room with two doors each to the left and right. At the far end from the entrance is a worn table, behind which is what appears to be a voluptuous half-elf with pale reddish-blonde hair.

Attendant: Well, what brings the likes of you to the Nameless Stay?
Kale approaches the half-elf and nods his head in greeting. "Good day to you. I'd like to speak with a... Rim, if you don't mind."
Gauvain smiles and looks around the place.
Attendant looks slightly disappointed. "Oh. Are you here to ask her about the Black Terror or that fair knight too?... No one's requested her for a stay lately."
Attendant sighs lightly.
Kale perks his ears. "Others have come here to speak with her regarding that incident?"
Attendant nods. "Yes, members of the Sharn Watch mainly. There was this creepy gnome, though..."
Attendant: I don't think he was with them.
Kale: Mm... tell me more about the gnome.
Gauvain raises an eyebrow at the mention of a gnome!
Attendant: Well, he had a large nose even for their kind, and wore a ratty black cloak. He was using a quarterstaff for a walking stick, but I don't think he was fooling anyone.
Attendant: He was wearing a pendant too, but I didn't see what it was of, just that it was black.
Kale: Mm... how long ago was this?
Attendant: Just yesterday.
Gauvain: Sounds a bit suspicious.
Kale: Indeed.
Attendant grins. "If you think that's good, boys, how about this; he spent a while writing things down before he left."
Kale: How long did he speak with her?
Attendant thinks.
Attendant: About ten minutes.
Kale jots more mental notes. "Thank you for the information. Is she available now so that I may speak with her?"
Attendant sighs. "Unfortunately, yes, she is. I guess it's more of a turn-off than a point of interest to have had a recent brush with death."
Kale gives a slight smile. "I'm sure things will pick back up soon enough for her."
Gauvain looks at Kale curiously.
Gauvain: Do you want to speak with her alone?
Kale eyes Gau. "I wasn't referring to myself..."
Attendant makes a showy sigh of disappointment.
Kale: If you'd like to wait here, you can, Gau, but it's entirely up to you.
Gauvain: Nevermind; let's just go speak with her.
Kale turns back to the attendant. "Direct us to her, please."
Attendant nods and leads the pair to the southwest door. She then knocks.
Rim: Yes?
Attendant: Unfortunately, it's more questions now. An inquisitive this time...
Rim sighs. "All right, let them in..."
Attendant opens the door and waves the two in.
Gauvain enters the room, and takes a look around.
Kale follows suit.
Rim has taken on a feminine form, one reminiscent of a skinny yet very well-toned elf with, of all things, pale green hair.
Kale: Good day, miss Rim. I understand quite a few individuals have requested your time regarding the attack in this district. I shall attempt to make our own inquiries brief.
Rim shakes her head. "I hope I stop getting inquiries and start getting customers again. I'm not sure if I'll eat next week..."
Kale: What do you charge, if I may so ask?
Gauvain stares at Kale
Kale arches an eyebrow at Gau, but returns his attention to Rim without a word.
Rim: Usually just 8 copper...
Kale: Then you shall be paid tenfold, though all we seek is information.
Rim's eyes widen.
Rim: I... w-well... th-thank you...
Kale: Now then, please tell me everything you remember as to what occurred when this Black Terror attacked the district.
Rim: Well... he appeared from among us. Since change happens all the time around here it didn't trouble anyone until he started shouting threats and preaching about how he was fear.
Kale nods and listens.
Gauvain: Uh huh...
Rim: He waved his sword, shouted... some of us were scared, some weren't. He then held out his hand and some of those who weren't afraid started to flee suddenly... but I guess not enough.
Rim: H-he... cut down Nax... I-I'm told he didn't make it... a-and when I tried to run, pain struck me from his direction...
Gauvain nods.
Rim shudders.
Gauvain: I'm starting to see a pattern here... please continue.
Kale nods.
Rim: ...but when I woke up, there was this man with the bearing of a paladin... not just any, though, not like the Silver Flame ones. They wouldn't look at the likes of us with such sympathy...
Rim: ...He was more like what few of ours call themselves paladins.
Rim: And yet... we can't grow wings like that. And his hair, like this...
Rim twirls some of her currently pale-green locks.
Kale: Mm, yes I read few details of him in the various reports.
Rim: I was shocked to see someone with such an appearance. Yet apparently he was worried for his own identity even despite those wings likely giving him away.
Rim chuckles a bit.
Gauvain: Really? Interesting.
Kale: So you didn't catch a name or anything else to identify him beyond the physical?
Rim: No. In fact, he wore a green silk mask that covered his face and nose, matching the shirt over his armor.
Kale mutters to Gau, "Saviors are difficult to find when they insist on masking their identities."
Gauvain: I suppose.
Rim shrugs. "Maybe he finds shame in who he is; even some of us changelings are like that, and pretend to be humans or elves or the like."
Rim: Then again, maybe it's all more complicated than we realize.
Kale: Mm, I mean no grudge against him, just that hidden identities make bringing a character such as this Black Terror to justice all the more difficult.
Rim: If he is one of our paladins, Chance would know.
Kale: We all have our secrets, indeed.
Rim: In any case... after I was up, he told me to hide.
Rim: There was a commotion in the tavern, and eventually the fight led outside of it. They were both very good with swords...
Rim pauses. "Hm, come to think of it, the fair knight's sword was a scimitar, like our god prefers. Maybe he is one of ours..."
Kale listens intently.
Gauvain: Your god?
Rim: The Traveler, of course.
Rim: Nonetheless, the fair knight was the better, so the Black Terror cast a spell over himself and fled once he was undeniably losing the fight. He seemed to be driven by aggravation with this paladin near the end...
Kale: Any ideas on what he was after here?
Rim: I think he said something about finding his meal elsewhere before he ran.
Kale: Food again...
Gauvain is silent.
Kale taps his chin thoughtfully, then turns to Gau. "We've two other individuals with whom to speak... that barkeep and this Chance."
Gauvain: Hrm? Er, yes. Right...
Kale refocuses on Rim. "The attendant out front mentioned a suspicious gnome had come here to speak with you. What can you tell me of him?"
Gauvain seems very distracted.
Rim shudders. "Him... I had to look like a shifter just to feel at all safe. He demanded to know things about how he fought, and backed it up with a magical threat."
Kale: How who fought? The paladin?
Rim: Him as well, yes, b-but his true concern s-seemed to be the Black Terror.
Rim: H-he was holding the charge on an Inflict spell... I-I had to tell him everything...
Kale frowns. "I would imagine he didn't leave any clues as to identity and affiliation."
Gauvain: What did you tell him...?
Rim: A-as much as I've told you.
Rim: But he seemed more interested in the d-details... like he was trying to evaluate them.
Kale taps his chin and ruminates on the information.
Gauvain: I see..
Kale: Did he leave any hints or clues as to his purpose? Anything at all?
Rim stares at the ground. "Not that I'm aware... I saw that he wore a crumpled-looking black amulet, but that's all."
Gauvain: Can you think of anything else that would be helpful to our investigation?
Rim shakes her head. "No... that's everything."
Gauvain tries to recall if he's heard of anything like that amulet before.
Kale extracts eight silver pieces and hands them to her. "Thank you for your time, miss Rim."
Gauvain: If you'll excuse me for a minute..
Rim nods. "Thank you so much... I hope you find out more about the fair knight. I'm interested in knowing more about him myself."
Kale arches an eyebrow at Gau.
Gauvain: Just trying to remember something.
Kale chuckles. "Of course."
Gauvain speaks up after a moment of deep thought.
Gauvain: It sounds like the symbol of an evil god I read about once... It might be worth investigating.
Kale frowns. "Indeed. We shall look more into this..."
Rim shakes her head at the mention of an "evil god".
Gauvain: It certainly would be consistant with his actions.
Gauvain: Well then.
Gauvain tips his hat.
Kale: Mm... We must be off. Thank you again for your time. It has been most enlightening.
Rim: Take care.
Kale nods his head slightly and makes for the door.
Gauvain heads out first~!
Rim looks at a lock of her currently-green hair thoughtfully.
Kale glances at Gau. "Let's go find this Chance fellow."
Gauvain: Hm.
Gauvain: Isn't the bartender fellow closer?
Kale: Most likely, though I can't imagine how much more information he would have for us if this Terror bloke is just angling for a free meal wherever he goes.
Gauvain: Wouldn't hurt to drop by.
Gauvain: Besides, I could use a drink.
Kale chuckles. "Very well, let's pay him a visit."
Gauvain smiles.
Gauvain adjusts his ruffles and heads on over.
Kale follows suit!

The tavern is tiny indeed -- only a bar with five seats. Two other patrons are drinking here currently as the barkeep, not hiding hir changeling nature, cleans a glass.

Barkeep: Ah, may I help you two?
Gauvain: I'd like to take a look at your wine list.
Kale: I shall be abstaining from alcohol myself, but I would like some information regarding the Black Terror incident to which I believe you were party.
Barkeep: Of course. It's probably not what you're used to, but the price is fair.
Gauvain: Indeed.
Barkeep hands Gauvain a small slip of paper with five wines -- all low-quality, but at least a variety: two red, two white, and a blush.
Barkeep looks to Kale next. "There have been a lot of questions about that..."
Kale: Mm? Who else has inquired?
Barkeep: The watch. A gnome also came to ask, but seemed cowed when I asked if he wanted to pick a fight that could get Chance after him.
Barkeep shakes his head. "I don't know who some people think they are..."
Kale nods. "Interesting... anything else about the gnome?"
Barkeep shakes his head. "Not really."
Gauvain: How about the watch? Nothing out of the ordinary with them, I assume.
Kale: So what can you tell me about the incident itself?
Barkeep: No, they were as disdainful as usual. And I told all I could think of to say to the reporter... he really did seem like one of our paladins, if not for the wings.
Barkeep seems lost in thought.
Barkeep: Though when I think of it, maybe that wasn't my imagination...
Kale looks at the barkeep in askance.
Barkeep: When he used that gold light to shield me, I thought I saw a faint shimmer under his hair.
Barkeep: Never when he did anything else, though...
Barkeep: I thought I was seeing things in the chaos, but now I'm not so sure...
Kale: Mm, perhaps it is now time to find Chance.
Gauvain: Alright.
Gauvain: Hm.
Gauvain finally selects a wine
Gauvain: I'll try a glass of this one.
Barkeep pours out a glass of the pricier of the two red wines.
Kale orders up a bit of water, as all this interrogating is drying his throat.
Barkeep pours that too. "Glad to be of some service, at least."
Kale drinks his water in a very socially refined manner.~
Gauvain sips his wine and ponders the events of today.~
Kale: Copper for your thoughts, Gau?
Gauvain: Oh, just pondering the true nature of this Black Terror fellow.
Kale: It is rather puzzling that someone so seemingly powerful would use his abilities to steal food...
Gauvain: Mm, yes.
Kale: Surely it would be just as easy to become a simple adventurer and earn keep and meals the old-fashioned way.
Gauvain: There's always going to be people who look for the quick and easy way to do things.
Gauvain: mutter ...assuming this fellow is a person at all.
Kale: Aye, though these past two attempts haven't exactly been 'easy'.
Gauvain sips.
Kale finishes his water and pays the barkeep. "Shall we be off, then?"
Gauvain: Lead the way!
Kale heads off to find Chance!

Kale and Gauvain make their way through two towers and then find themselves in a short tower whose ground floor is simply a wide, spiraling staircase. Bells, clattering, lights, laughter, and shouting drift from above... the tower that is the casino Chance.

Gauvain sniffs.
Gauvain: Quite a gaudy place.
Kale hunts for Chance the priest, paying little heed to the frivolity inside.
Gauvain follows behind.
Gauvain looks around for someone who looks like staff.
Kale asks various non-preoccupied patrons as to where he could locate the priest in question.
Gauvain approaches.
Suited Man observes a craps table.
Gauvain: Excuse me.
Suited Man: Yes?
Gauvain: I would like to speak with the owner. How would I go about arranging a meeting?
Suited Man: That depends on what sort of business you have with him.
Gauvain: "I'd like to speak with him concerning the Black Terror."
Suited Man raises an eyebrow.
Kale nudges Gau and whispers to him, "He'll be here shortly. Look for someone wearing an interesting amulet. He wears it no matter what form he takes."
Gauvain nods.
Kale keeps an eye peeled on the entrance.
Kale arches an eyebrow and nudges Gau again. "Seems you've attracted some attention..."
Liridon, a scruffy-looking human with a breastplate and other lighter armors, tries quite pitifully to hide behind a row of slots.
Kale frowns at the guy trying to hide and approaches!
Gauvain continues looking for a guy with an amulet then!
Kale ...drags Gau along with! "I don't think we need Chance anymore..."
Liridon is leaning against the slot machines when Kale approaches, looking nonchalant but still acknowledging him. "Good eyes. Of course, I'm not used to hiding much."
Gauvain: Huh?
Gauvain: You know this guy?
Kale chuckles. "Very little can escape my sight, anyway. I'm willing to wager that you're the person whom we seek."
Suited Man looks up at those words.
Gauvain looks confused
Gauvain: So... who are you anyway?
Liridon looks to Kale. "Those are dangerous words to be saying around here, y'know, it's bound to get all kinds of trouble. And I'd like to avoid attention."
Kale: Picking fights with someone like that Black Terror isn't exactly the best way to go about things, then.
Liridon: ...let's talk somewhere else.
Kale nods. "After you."
Liridon walks towards the entrance. "And if your eyes are really that good, make sure no one is following."
Gauvain follows along.
Kale makes sure to keep his eyes peeled for any suspicious characters.

Liridon leads Gauvain and Kale outside... but then he stoops down and transposes the positions of two cobblestones in the road that had seemed solidly planted, then another two. There's a slight rumble in the distance.

Kale raises his eyebrows.
Gauvain: What?
Liridon walks back inside the casino, but instead of going up the stairs he heads towards a door on the left that wasn't there before.
Kale follows.
Gauvain also follows.
Gauvain: What just happened?
Liridon: I opened the way. But this might not be it.
Liridon points to two other such doors that weren't there before.
Gauvain: Opened the way to what?
Liridon: The temple. We can probably get more privacy there.
Liridon opens the door once they reach it.
Kale: Interesting...
Gauvain heads inside!

Gauvain finds himself smacking into a wall when he tries.

Liridon: ...yeah, you might want to wait and see if we have the right door.
Gauvain: Uh huh.
Kale chuckles.
Gauvain stares.
Gauvain: Well?
Liridon closes the door and walks to the opposite side.
Gauvain continues staring.
Liridon opens the door when they reach it, and extends an arm inside. He isn't stopped by anything, and so nods to the other two, walking into the passage inside.
Gauvain looks to Kale. "After you."
Kale raises an eyebrow and enters with another chuckle.
Gauvain pokes the door before walking through

The passage leads down, eventually emptying into into a chamber carved from the natural stone of the plateau, dimly lit by drifting motes of purple and grey light above. Three banners depicting the Traveler's sigil hang in random-seeming places on the wall; there's hooks for a dozen more. There's a dais in the center that seems suitable for some sort of altar, but no such object is there. Two other stone doors are visible in the walls, but are sealed.

Gauvain: Hm...
Gauvain: So.
Gauvain stares at Liridon.
Kale steps into the chamber, noticing the rather worn-and-torn dais and arching his brow.
Liridon leans against a wall. "So, I overheard that you're interested in the recent 'Black Terror' attack around this area."
Gauvain looks around the place, "Yes. We heard you've met up with the fellow."
Kale links his hands behind his back as he slowly paces the chamber. "Indeed, though who wouldn't be interested in such a criminal?"
Gauvain stares at Liridon.
Liridon: So, before we get down to finer details, my names' Liridon. May I ask who you are?
Gauvain: Ah yes, of course.
Gauvain: The name is Gauvain.
Gauvain: How do you do?
Kale: And I am Kale.
Liridon: What do you know so far?
Liridon crosses his arms.
Gauvain sighs.
Kale: Some sort of prism-y character of questionable gender staved off an attack on the Dura bazaar.
Kale: And then there's presumably your noble defense of one Rim and the Dragoneyes area.
Kale pauses in his pacing. "I should ask, I suppose, if you possess a dragonmark, seemingly on the back of your neck."
Liridon sighs and turns, revealing a Mark of Sentinel that is indeed on the back-right side of his neck. He turns back to lean against the wall. "So, you've caught me."
Kale resumes pacing after briefly inspecting the mark. "Indeed, as suspected, though 'caught' isn't precisely the word I'd prefer to use. I only seek information on this Black Terror, and perhaps the assistance to bring him to justice."
Liridon raises an eyebrow.
Kale: In other words, this secret -- and any others you hold -- are safe with me.
Liridon nods. "...Thanks. So, what do you already know about him?"
Gauvain: If what we heard is to be believed, he seems to feed off the fear of his victims.
Kale shrugs. "Black hair, big sword, peculiar powers. Seems to take on a disguise when entering an area and losing it once he starts frightening people. And he seems especially hungry, and possibly cold."
Liridon: Hm... Well, he tried using some kind of power to overwhelm me with despair... or something like that. And while he did so I noticed something glowing through his clothing from his left shin...
Gauvain: Something glowing?
Gauvain: A dragonmark perhaps?
Kale rubs his chin. "Another dragonmark...?"
Liridon: It was red, that's all I could tell.
Kale thinks on it for a moment.
Gauvain: Anything else?
Liridon shakes his head.
Kale: Have you heard anything of a gnomish character around these parts? Seems to be fairly interested in the Black Terror, to the point of threatening harm for information.
Gauvain coughs.
Liridon shakes his head.
Kale sneezes, then lightly rubs the tip of his nose.
Gauvain: Alright then.
Gauvain: What's our next step...?
Kale: We find this other person of interest, I would think.
Gauvain: I suppose it couldn't hurt.
Gauvain looks over to Liridon. "Have you heard anything about the other who confronted the Terror?"
Liridon: You were kind of vague on this gnome, what else do you know about them?
Gauvain: Oh, uh, hm...
Gauvain: Gnome... possibily part of some cult.
Gauvain: Probably pretty short.
Kale: He wore an black amulet, likely signifying some organization of some sort.
Gauvain: Think he had a mustache.
Kale: Threatened an Inflict spell on the Rim girl in order to gain information about the Black Terror's fighting style, as well as your own.
Gauvain: Ringing any bells? Yes? No?
Gauvain: Maybe?
Gauvain coughs again.
Kale stifles another sneeze.
Gauvain: Excuse me. Phew, must be coming down with something.
Liridon: Black amulet... Anything further on that?
Gauvain: Hmm, nothing comes to mind.
Kale: Seemed to be kind of... crumpled, in appearance.
Liridon: He was probably connected to The Shadow...
Gauvain: Oh?
Gauvain: Why do you suppose they'd be interested...?
Kale rubs his chin. "Mm, interesting."
Liridon shrugs. "Their sovereign covers secrets and dark magic, the Black Terror might be interesting to them. Otherwise..."
Kale: I'm curious as to why this criminal goes to such lengths solely for such things as food. Surely there would be simpler methods of attaining such.
Gauvain: There's a lot about this guy that doesn't make any sense.
Gauvain: Alright, so...
Gauvain: How are we going to find this rainbow person?
Liridon: I'm guessing you've looked into them, too. If so, find out anything that hasn't been in the Inquisitive?
Gauvain: Yes, we have.
Kale: I believe it was documented as a female, though there are differing reports as to its true gender.
Kale: We spoke with two children in Dura who witnessed the fight there. The person in question was swathed in robes and a scarf of either gold or orange color, and seemed to give off some sort of constant glow.
Gauvain: She... or he... mentioned that the Terror was a "follower of evil".
Kale: Seems he or she is considered something of an 'urban myth', at least to the Terror.
Gauvain: And she summoned a magic spear.
Liridon raises an eyebrow. "Magic spear..."
Gauvain checks his nails.
Gauvain looks up. "Yuuup."
Kale: Seems like it might ring a bell with you?
Liridon: Sounds like a cleric of Boldrei.
Kale rubs his chin. "Sounds like a lead..."
Kale glances at Gau. "We should find their temple and see if this person can be found."
Gauvain: Thinkin' the same thing.
Gauvain: Not sure what we expect to find, though, seeing as how we don't even know their gender.
Gauvain: But it's the best place to start.
Kale: The other physical features are distinguishing enough, though. Not many people can be described as 'blurry' or 'indistinct'.
Gauvain: Mmm.
Gauvain stares at Liridon, "So what do you think?"
Liridon: Well, I suppose I don't have anything better to do.
Gauvain: That's the spirit.
Gauvain: Hmm...
Kale: Let's try Hope's Peak first, the Boldrei shrine there.
Gauvain: Lead the way.
Kale attempts to find his way back out of the temple!
Gauvain: Er, do you need to do something to get us out of here?
Gauvain looks over at Liridon.
Gauvain leaves.
Liridon shakes his head, and follows after Kale and Gauvain.

The three find their way to the opposite end of the city, and to an unassuming white tower in Hope's Peak. The floor Kale leads them to has two buildings built into it: a shrine to Aureon and a shrine to Boldrei, across the indoor street from each other. Though there's room to go behind the buildings if one wishes, there's certainly no room for anything else to be built here. This floor was seemingly designed with this purpose in mind, as a large Octogram is built into the stones of the road between the two doors.

Gauvain heads into Boldrei's temple.
Kale follows suit and looks around once inside.
Liridon seems uncomfortable, but follows along anyway.

The inside of this temple, in stark contrast to its stone exterior, looks much like a cottage. The pews are almost couch-like in their appearance of comfort, the whole room is lined with wooden panels, and there's even a fireplace behind the altar.

Kyra steps out of the back room, adjusting his armor slightly. "Yes, sir, I'll..." He looks up at the three newcomers. "Oh! Welcome, to you all." Bowing shortly, he begins sweeping the main hall's floor.
Gauvain: Hi there.
Gauvain smiles!

Kyra is a fairly average young human boy with fairly long, blonde hair, and simple robes under a simple-looking chain shirt. He has his blue eyes on the floor, carefully cleaning the shrine with a dusty but well-kept broom.

Kale raises an eyebrow at the boy. "Good day. Would you be someone to whom we might pose a few inquiries?"
Kyra keeps his eyes on the floor and shrugs.
Liridon crosses his arms nonchalantly.
Kale: We're looking for the one known as the 'protector of Dura'. Heard of him? Or her?
Kyra shakes his head. "No, sir."
Gauvain: You don't read the papers?
Kyra: Of... of course I do...
Kyra takes an occasional glance over his shoulder towards the back, slowly shuffling farther away from the group while sweeping.
Gauvain takes a look over at what Kyra is looking at.
Liridon stares at Kyra...
Kale: Seems to be a priest of Boldrei, and chased off that Black Terror bloke at the bazaar.
Kyra: Oh... right... I remember reading about that...
Kale eyeballs Kyra suspiciously.
Kyra: ...Listen, Mr. Lannar is in the back... he can answer any of your questions...
Gauvain: Ah, perfect.
Kale: Indeed, we shall go speak with him.
Kale tips his head to Kyra then walks on back to find Mr. Lannar.
Liridon: No, you know something.
Liridon stands put, staring at Kyra.
Kale stops and eyes Liridon!
Kyra sheepishly looks up at Liridon. "Sir, I... you..." He trails off and looks back to the floor.
Gauvain: Listen...
Kale: We aren't going to hurt you if you know something. You can trust us.
Liridon nods. "What he said."
Kyra: I don't... have anything to hide.
Kyra: drops his voice But I can't... not with...
Kyra looks over his shoulder to the back.
Kale lowers his voice in kind. "Is there someplace safer we can meet, then, to discuss things?"
Kyra: There's this spot away from everything in Redstone. ...I'll tell Lannar I need to go home for a moment and I'll show you the way.
Kale nods. "Sounds good."
Liridon: All right, then.
Kyra disappears into the back.

The group follows Kyra south for several minutes, heading from bridge to tower and even going up two stories and down one over the course of the trip. Eventually, they enter the aptly-named Redstone region, an uncharacteristically high-class-looking section of Dura.

Being a new district, many of its towers rest on platforms that use the tops of towers in Middle Dura's Bazaar district as support; whether they do or not, though, all are constructed of red granite, brick, or even the now-unattainable red marble.

Kyra leads everyone up a tower in the district to an apparently unused floor. He fiddles with the lock on the door for a moment before it finally gives, and the door swings open. He motions for everyone to enter.
Gauvain heads inside.
Liridon walks inside without ceremony.
Kale follows.
Kyra steps inside after the others, pulling the door to. The room shuts away into darkness.
Kyra: Yes, I know something about "her."
Kale folds his arms. "Please, do tell."

The room is suddenly flooded in light, swaying between various colors, shades, and brightness. The light is, of course, radiating from the unassuming young boy, who has taken on a slightly faded-looking apperance.

Kale squints a bit. "Well, I'll be."
Gauvain shields his eyes.
Kyra: slightly pouty I don't know why everyone thinks I'm a girl, though...
Kyra suddenly looks stern, out of place with his attitude up to this point -- and almost a bit ridiculous.
Liridon squints as well. "Well, that was pretty easy."
Kyra: Either you work for that guy, or you're looking for help. Which is it?
Kale: I have to ask, given recent events...
Kale: Are you dragonmarked?
Liridon: Well.

A pair of dragonfly-like wings suddenly extend from Liridon's back.

Kyra holds up his arm and pulls down his sleeve, revealing the Least Dragonmark of House Vadalis on his forearm.
Liridon: Go ahead and guess.
Kyra's stern look disappears.
Kyra: Preeetty...
Gauvain: Could you turn that off, please.
Kale raises his eyebrows and looks over at Gau. "It seems we have more clues to our own... manifestations..."
Kyra: Wait! I saw you in the paper!
Kyra points at Liridon, ignoring Gauvain. "You're the other guy that ran into the guy I ran into!"
Liridon: You could say that.
Gauvain: I'm not going to ask you again. Turn it off.
Kyra nods, satisfied. "I was going to try to find you, and you come to me."
Kale blinks and shakes his head. "Bloody..."
Kyra notes Kale's state and suddenly looks stunned himself. "Oh, I'm so sorry! So so sorry!"
Kyra closes his eyes, and the lightshow disappears back into the darkness and Kyra's form stabilizes.
Gauvain glares.
Kale presses a hand to his eyes for a few seconds until his vision clears.
Kale: Quite... all right...
Kyra sits down and crosses his legs. "Fear guy didn't seem like too much of a threat, but... something isn't right."
Kale blinks once his eyesight returns to normal, then focuses back on non-glowworm Kyra. "We only have a few details, but it seems strange of him to use so much power just to steal some food."
Kyra nods. "It wasn't just me, then."
Kale: Another organization seems to be trying to find him, as well. A gnome's been asking around, likely connected to the Shadow.
Kyra: And there was something else wrong. Even with an aberrant mark and whatever else he was using... he shouldn't have been able to do what he did.
Liridon crosses his arms. "Hm..."
Kyra: Huh.
Kyra: Using his Mark twice... whatever that was he used to scare us witless... something is wrong.
Kyra: shakes his head slowly I think someone's behind the scenes. And I don't like where my intuition is pointing.
Gauvain: hmmm
Kale: He's very... motivated, whatever the case.
Kyra: And forgive me for saying this, Lady Boldrei, but the best way to find out who it is might be... to... beat it out of this guy...
Kale: Well, first we must locate him, which could prove difficult given his propensity for disguise.
Kyra: He sounds like the type that might respond to being... what's the term... "called out" by those that beat him.
Liridon: Hm...
Kale eyes Liridon and Kyra. "An appeal to pride, indeed."
Kyra blushes and waves Kale's gaze away. "I just got lucky..."
Kale: Luck is one thing, yet you both possess powers beyond your house markings.
Kale: Well, it seems we have a few options...
Kale: We can attempt to draw him from the shadows somehow, be it a direct challenge or a trap of some sort.
Kale: We could also look into the possibility of House Tarkanan's involvement, given the presence of an aberrant mark.
Kale: Or we can try finding this gnome, perhaps look into one of the Shadow temples.
Liridon: Well, which is the bigger threat at this point?
Kale: I'm concerned about that gnome's involvement in all of this. Terror is a danger but he's more of a known quantity at this point than those who could be seeking to use him in some way.
Liridon: ...why couldn't we get both?
Liridon scratches his chin, even though it might not be visible.
Kyra: There are four of us. Mr. Dragonfly and I could get Mr. Terror out of hiding, and you two could track down the gnome.
Gauvain: Are you sure about that?
Gauvain: Both of you fought this guy one on one and couldn't take him down, right?
Kyra's eye glistens slightly. "This mama's boy isn't afraid to put his neck on the line."
Liridon: If we make an anonymous but public challenge to the Black Terror, and the gnome is looking for him...
Kale: It's likely we'll all wind up in the same place, in the end.
Kyra: Two birds, one stone.
Liridon: Exactly. But how to do it...
Kyra smiles. "I think there's a certain reporter who would jump at the chance for a story on two of the city's 'heroes.'"
Kale chuckles. "Good ol' Diab."
Kyra: We'd just have to hope he reads the paper.
Kale: If he's so wrapped into his deeds as to give himself the moniker Black Terror, I'd consider it a guarantee that he reads the paper.

The Everbright district is aptly named; despite being a middle ward, it comes across like an upper ward, due to the finery of its famous variety of magic shops, its cleanliness, and he unusually high concentration of everbright lanterns that lend the district its name. Even its ubiquitous light is rumored to cast shadow, however; a temple of the Shadow is rumored to be hidden within. The enemy may, thus, be closer than Kyra and Liridon think...
The two stand at the base of a tower built on one of the higher crags of Menthis Plateau -- low enough to be considered to start in Everbright, but tall enough to extend well into the University District.

Liridon stands in "costume", light green silk draped across his armor and a bandana covering his face. "So, Kyra, was it? Have a question."
Kyra adjusts his scarf/facemask slightly, it having fallen down his nose a slight bit. "Hmm?"
Liridon: Have a problem with flying?
Kyra's eyes light up. "N-no sir!"
Liridon: Well, then...
Liridon's wings fold out from his back, and he starts hovering over to Kyra, then grabs under the boy's shoulders tightly. "Make sure to hold on, it's quite a drop."
Kyra: D-don't worry.
Liridon starts ascending towards the university district slowly but with little trouble; though if Liridon's face weren't covered he probably couldn't hide some of the strain of carrying someone while flying.

Though it's tricky to maneuver with this much downward pull, Liridon does manage to adjust his path as necessary to avoid bridges as he ascends with Kyra. A few of those they see on the way up react with looks of surprise, or simply point or try to get the attention of comrades.

The pair eventually find the entrance to the lower of the two tower floors that make up Haftak's Books and Bindery, home of the Sharn Inquisitive and profitable independent business in its own right.

The entrance is a quality-looking pair of double doors leading from a large, sturdy balcony at the end of a bridge.

Liridon gently sets Kyra down, then descends to ground level himself, letting out a deep breath.
Kyra: That... was awesome!
Kyra looks up to Liridon, his eyes wavering. "We've gotta do that again later!"
Liridon catches his breath. "...Yeah, of course."
Kyra closes his eyes and makes a noise that can best be described as "squee".
Liridon temporarily ignores Kyra's enthusiasm and turns towards the entrance, crossing his arms. "So, how exactly do we want to call this 'Black Terror' out?"
Kyra shakes his head quickly. "I thought we could use the paper as a way to challenge him."
Kyra: Bad people always respond to a challenge, right?
Kyra does a psyching-up motion.
Liridon: Yeah, that was my thought, too. I'm just wondering exactly how much ego we should pour into it.
Liridon turns back to Kyra, with the look of a grin in his eyes.
Kyra: Two heroes banding together to take out a common enemy. Sounds like something out of a story, doesn't it?
Liridon: You could say that.
Kyra looks lost in thought. "We don't want to overdo it..."
Kyra: We don't want too many innocents showing up to watch a spectacle.
Liridon: Yeah... We should also pick somewhere to fight without a lot of people.
Kyra: I fought him in a pretty busy area... can't call him back there.
Kyra: I was lucky he ran everyone out beforehand.
Kyra: stammers I mean, he was evil for doing it, but...
Kyra looks at the floor, ashamed.
Liridon: Dragoneyes isn't exactly a good candidate either.
Liridon hmms.
Kyra: Well... hesitates There's always Lower Dura.
Liridon: Or Cogsgate.
Kyra: I'll defer to you... you know the city better than I.
Liridon: Well, a little less to worry about if someone else decides to join in the fray.
Liridon shrugs.
Liridon: So, anything else that comes to mind?
Kyra: Well... there's the Fallen...
Kyra: The old Godsgate. The Cauldron of Boldrei is there...
Kyra: Fewer guards.
Liridon: Hm...
Liridon: Well, that'll probably have to do.
Liridon: Let's do this, then.
Kyra nods.

Cherry doors greet them as they approach -- literally, as approaching triggers a magic mouth. "Welcome to Haftak's Books & Bindery."

Within, bookshelves that span the distance from the blue-carpeted floors to the ceiling line the walls and create aisles within this vast semicircular 20' tall room. There are even ladders leading up to catwalks to ease the searching of higher shelves. Next to the door are several desks with cash registers upon them -- a common mechanical luxury in upscale stores such as this.

Kyra seems to have been here before -- his normal childish curiosity doesn't seem too piqued.
Liridon looks around with some interest.
Kyra points to a door towards the back of the room.
Kyra: That's where we need to go.
Liridon nods, and heads that way. "Probably best to get this done with quickly."

The pair receive quite a few stares as they head through the bookstore section of Haftak's; some patrons even mutter amongst themselves quietly after they pass.

Sentry stands up from leaning against the wall next to the door forward. "Your business here, please?"
Kyra puffs himself up.
Kyra: I'd like to speak with Diab Kearne, if I may.
Liridon: We're here to see Diab about an -- article, yeah.
Sentry: Hm. Anonymous, I suppose? ...Well, as anonymous as you can be with those wings of yours.
Liridon: She might know me as the Fairy Knight.
Sentry: Ahh, I suspected as much. Still, I'll need to escort you under the circumstances. And hold your weaponry, if you would.
Kyra nods, and hands over his staff, bow, and quiver. "I trust they're in good hands."
Liridon unstraps his scimitar and bow and holds them out.
Sentry takes the various weapons with a nod, then opens the door. "This way, please."
Liridon follows the sentry.
Kyra steps after the guard, a bit more wary of his surroundings now but not letting it show.

This section of the tower is divided in two by a 10' wide hall with only a 15' ceiling. To the left, machinery and eldritch hums are faintly audible, while to the right are various doors. The guard leads them up a flight of stairs at the end of the hall, which empties into a quieter floor of the same height as the lower hall. He turns left and then knocks on one of the doors.

A perky voice replies, "Who is it~?"

Sentry: I have two visitors for you, miss Kearne -- apparently your "Fairy Knight" and "Prism".
Diab: Really?!
Liridon speaks up. "Really."
Kyra: brightly Yep!
Diab throws the door open. She's dressed in a well-worn, not-too-fancy light brown suit, and sports wide hazel eyes, straight short-to-medium silvery-grey hair, and a pair of small horns atop her head -- which are pink, of all colors.
Diab: Ooh! This could make things lots easier!
Sentry: Should I come in, miss Kearne?...
Diab seems not to notice the sentry's question at first, apparently a bit lost in delight.
Kyra: Um... Miss Kearne... it's a little hard to do an interview if you, um, stand there all day...
Liridon: ...What my accomplice here said.
Diab jumps with a bit of a squeal at that. "W-well, come in, come in then!" She steps aside. "Elegain, wait outside, if you would?"
Sentry nods.
Liridon steps inside.
Kyra steps in, in Liridon's shadow.
Diab seats herself at a semicircular table with four chairs around the round side and one, the one she takes, at the straight side. A desk covered in paperwork is also visible at the far end of the room. She takes a quill out of the ink jar it's restng in, taps it on the rim, and gets ready to write.
Diab: The first obvious question, of course, is why? When there's the Sharn Watch and more typical adventurers about, why would people such as yourselves pursue fighting crime in this city?
Diab begins writing down her own question; she's obviously rather quick with her fingers.
Liridon sits down in one of the chairs. "Now, hold on a minute. Before we hop too far, we didn't exactly come here for an interview, but if you take care of our request and the real reason we came here, we'd be happy to answer a few questions within reason."
Diab pouts a bit at that. "Ohhh... well, if you keep to that, all right!"
Diab puts the paper she wrote on aside and reaches for a blank one.
Kyra walks around the room examining various things. "You have nothing to worry about."
Liridon: We want to make a formal challenge to this "Black Terror" that's been, well, terrorizing the city. The very same that we fought and drove off from Dura and Dragoneyes, respectively.
Liridon: We'd be waiting in Fallen, the old Godsgate.
Diab nods as she scribbles this down. "I see... very interesting! This could be quite a story indeed!"
Kyra: And you'd have the exclusive on it, of course. points to the wall Maybe another award to join these?
Liridon nods at Kyra's comment.
Liridon: I mean, what wouldn't be more eye-catching than a story on two of the cities' heroes joining up against a common foe?
Kyra: Especially when one of them is stealing the other's lines. sneers slightly
Diab giggles.
Diab: Though to make an article of the challenge itself, I'd like to hear more of your reasoning for this!
Liridon: Very well, I credit my colleague here to that concept, but. As far as reasoning, we're fairly certain that someone who went so far as to give himself a persona couldn't resist taking such a challenge.
Liridon: And since we've both staved him off he might want to even the score.
Diab nods and writes. "How did you two come to meet?"
Liridon: By chance.
Diab: Can you be more specific?
Kyra shrugs.
Kyra: Not really. It really was nothing more than that.
Diab: Whereabouts?
Liridon: We both occasionally stray out of patrolling the areas we've taken charge of, more easily in my case because of my wings, and it was easy to spot Prism here because of his glowing vestige.
Kyra turns on his shining ability for effect.
Diab shields her eyes, squinting.
Kyra suppresses the ability. "I'm hard to miss."
Diab rubs her eyes. "No kidding!"
Liridon: Around Cassan Bridge.
Diab nods, and goes back to writing as the spots clear from her eyes.
Diab: So, back to my earlier question: why fight crime when there's the Watch and adventurers?
Liridon: Adventurers don't always help and the Watch isn't omnipotent. Not saying we are, but just saying that they aren't always able to take care of things. We just figured with our powers we could afford to take things into our own hands. Well, that's my reasoning, not sure about Prism.
Liridon shrugs, and looks to Kyra.
Kyra: The Knight pretty much covered it.
Diab: Why is it that you have such abilities?
Kyra shrugs, still examining the walls.
Liridon: ...I'd answer that if I knew why.
Diab raises an eyebrow, then records the responses.
Diab: Perhaps seeds for another story~!
Kyra: If you find anything out, let us know. laughs
Diab: What about your identities? Why hide them?
Kyra: We could tell y... never mind.
Kyra thinks better of making that joke.
Liridon: Because we do actually have lives outside of this, and it'd be a little hard going on with that with everyone knowing who we were.
Diab narrows an eye and tilts her head. "Is it really that simple?..."
Diab looks back down to write.
Kyra: Yes, yes it is.
Kyra: If you were to start going around delivering your own brand of vigilante justice, wouldn't you be afraid for your safety if everyone knew who you were? For the safety of your family?
Diab: Hmmm...
Liridon nods at Prism's statement.
Diab shrugs as she write down some more.
Diab: Whatever the case, I think I have enough for the time being... Thank you so, so much!
Liridon: No problem, Miss Kearne.
Liridon stands up and bows.
Kyra turns his head to look at Diab with what he hopes is mystery.
Kyra: Just don't forget your part of the deal here.
Liridon: Indeed.
Liridon: And if you plan on showing up there yourself, I suggest you take on making yourself scarce, we wouldn't want you getting hurt.
Diab places her quill back in the inkwell, hops up from her chair, and crosses her arms. "Of course -- the challenge will be mentioned early on, I promise you that!"
Diab: There's only so much cover in Fallen, but I'll do what I can -- can't write an article while dead, after all~!
Diab grins.
Kyra chuckles a bit. "Indeed not."
Liridon nods, and heads for the door. "Take care."
Kyra gives a two-finger salute over his shoulder as he follows Liridon out. "See you again!"
Diab waves to the pair. "Oh, I'm sure! After all, the truth must prevail~!"

Elegain escorts the two back downstairs to the bookstore section of the complex and gives them their weapons back.

Kyra restraps his gear to his back. "Thank you, good sir."
Elegain nods. "You're welcome. You certainly seemed to leave Diab pleased."
Liridon fastens his bow and scimitar as well. "Thanks for holding on to these." He obtains a gold piece from some pocket on his clothing/armor, and flicks it at Elegain.
Elegain catches it, with some surprise.
Elegain: Thank you, sir.
Liridon nods, and heads for the exit.
Kyra quickly slips out behind Liridon before his not-tipping can be questioned.

The two make their way out to the balcony with no incident.

Liridon stretches.
Kyra: ...She's scary...
Liridon: You think so?
Kyra: I don't know, she just... shudder Really... forceful personality...
Kyra's speech is forced again; apparently, all of his composure went towards the conversation with Diab.
Liridon: Hm. Well, that's her place as long as she isn't actively forcing people into revealing things.
Liridon shrugs.
Kyra: ...Oh, no!
Kyra suddenly panics.
Kyra: I... I have to get back!
Liridon: Well...
Kyra: Can you get me to the ground? I have to go, NOW.
Liridon: Sure thing.
Liridon grasps on to Kyra tightly and ascends into the skies.
Kyra: ...Listen... could you come with me? Back to... the... makes a non-commital noise
Liridon: Hm?
Kyra: I'm going to have to explain where I've been. If you're there... maybe... I can get away with saying I went to the Cauldron with you as an escort.
Liridon: I suppose.
Kyra: Th-thanks. I hope he buys it...
Kyra: Forgive me for my deception, Lady...
Liridon drops down on the next bridge in the direction of Dura. "Don't think I can carry you all that way, so..." He whistles loudly, and a white horse with a saddle and chain armor strapped around it gallops seemingly out of nowhere, stopping at Liridon and Kyra's position.
Kyra: ...Can you teach me to do that?
Kyra has the glossy, idolizing look in his eyes again.
Liridon: Some things can't be taught.
Kyra pouts. "Fine, let's just go..."
Liridon shrugs, lifting Kyra up onto the horse, then jumping on himself. The horse begins galloping along in the direction of Dura without prompt. "His name's Eleutherios."
Kyra nods, having gone silent.

Liridon brings Kyra to Hope's Peak without trouble; they arrive at the white tower where the shrines of Aureon and Boldrei are by sunset.

Liridon hops down from Eleutherios, still in costume with his wings outstretched. "Follow my lead. Said you'd be going to the cauldron, right?"
Kyra hops off of Eleutherios as they arrive at the shrine, having returned to his civilian armor at some point during the trip.
Kyra: R-right.
Liridon nods, and strides inside.
Kyra gathers himself, then saunters in behind Liridon with as much confidence as he can muster. (Not much.)
Liridon enters the shrine of Boldrei and stops at the door of the office he saw Kyra go in from before. "You should probably knock."
Kyra: Right.
Kyra steps up and knocks. "Mister Lannar, I... I'm back!"
Robin opens the door and grabs Kyra by the shoulders.
Liridon stands as tall and noticable as he can.
Kyra: . o O {Oh, by the bloodstains of Shavarath...} Oh... hello, Mother...
Robin: No warning! No explanation! No idea where you've been! Do you have any idea how worried I've been?!
Robin hugs Kyra, sobbing.
Liridon doesn't interrupt.
Lannar steps up to the door next, but only looks down with quiet concern himself, for the moment.
Kyra: I... I apologize... I didn't expect the trip to take so long...
Robin: Trip? TRIP?! Is that all you can call this, Kyra Vivian Freidheim d'Vadalis?!
Liridon: He had some unsavory characters try to mug him on the way to Boldrei's Cauldron, luckily I noticed him and took care of them.
Robin: WHAT?!
Kyra just looks at the floor.
Lannar: Robin, please, calm down... I've read of this man in the Inquisitive. He's a paladin with a good hand to back that blade of --
Robin lets Kyra go to stand and face Lannar. "Don't tell me not to worry about my son!"
Lannar sighs, looking down. "I suggested no such thing, Robin."
Liridon poses slightly heroically, then retracts once attention has fallen off him again.
Robin: Then what are you talking about?! Kyra ran off to a slum in Lower Dura by himself, without so much as a how-do-you-do, and he even got attacked and needed rescuing by this... this refugee from the Reaches or something!
Kyra: Yes, Mother. I... I was wr-wrong... I should've said something...
Liridon holds a finger up as if to speak, and if his face weren't covered he probably could be seen opening his mouth as well, but thinks better of it.
Robin: You should've done more than say something! You shouldn't be down --
Lannar: Robin... if I might interject --
Robin: Don't say you're on his side when --
Lannar: ENOUGH!
Lannar glowers, balling his fists.
Robin stares at Lannar, stunned.
Lannar takes a breath.
Kyra likewise stares.
Lannar: While I rather disagree with Kyra's approach to such matters, the fact of the matter is that he is not as helpless as you presume. The Host shields him from much, far more than any would expect of one his age. Further, the Cauldron of Boldrei is one of the most sacred relics in Sharn -- perhaps one such as he could learn to fathom the Lady's will in its continued presence in that forsaken district.
Lannar: That a protector of communities dismissed by many would come to his aid may itself suggest something of the will of the gods. If you cannot have faith in Kyra, at the least have faith in them in light of today's events.
Robin: ...
Kyra sniffs, starting to cry slightly.
Lannar sighs. "I realize it must be hard, Robin, particularly after what happened to Antonie --"
Robin runs out of the shrine sobbing at that name.
Lannar: ...
Lannar sighs.
Kyra: I'm-I'm-I'm... I'm s-s-sorry...
Lannar kneels down. "Kyra..."
Lannar: Please, don't worry us like this again. I know that you've taken to wandering alone often lately, but you have to understand how far you can go...
Kyra wipes his nose.
Kyra: I... I won't do it again. I swear it.
Lannar: Why did you do this, Kyra?...
Lannar looks up to Liridon. "And just what did happen?"
Liridon: Standard mugging. Of course I have to admit, you're worrying a bit overmuch for him, if I may say so myself. He's talented enough that I think he might have been able to hold them off even if I hadn't interfered.
Liridon crosses his arms and nods.
Kyra blushes, starting to recover his composure a bit.
Lannar: Even so, Fallen's risks are far deadlier than the Middle Bazaar's, where he ran off to the last time. Even discounting those remote possibilities, the few people there are desperate beyond what the well-to-do could imagine.
Lannar: I'm aware you'll be protected, and will protect yourself... but we cannot help but worry.
Lannar sighs. "The worst dangers, perhaps, involve no physical or monetary harm at all..."
Lannar looks up to Liridon again. "Tell me, sir... why do you hide your face?"
Lannar: Surely there is no shame in serving one's community.
Liridon: I wouldn't say shame, but there's danger, and I do have a life outside of this that I'd rather it not be jeopardized.
Kyra: ...I'd better... go home. Father is probably worried, too...
Liridon: I should be going myself.
Liridon bows. "Take care." He then walks out of the temple.
Kyra bows graciously to Liridon. "I... thank you for your protection, sir."
Lannar nods to Kyra. "Very well." He then stands and shakes his head at Liridon. "I'd rather we spoke further. You've said far too little for my liking..."
Liridon stops as he's leaving. "Well, it's all I feel comfortable to give at the moment. Read the Inquisitive, perhaps something will come up one of these days."
Lannar: I'm concerned about Kyra associating with someone so secretive. Surely you can understand that.
Liridon sighs and nods. "He's a good kid, I can understand why you're worried."
Lannar waits expectantly.
Liridon: But I hope you understand that I have my own things to worry about as well. Maybe we'll meet each other again.
Lannar: ...
Lannar: ...Very well. I clearly cannot stop one such as yourself. What recourse I have seems insufficient for one of your skill.
Liridon continues to the exit, waving backwards.

Khyber's Gate is by no stretch of the imagination a child's playground. Desperate beggar families living in shallow caves water down gruel to make enough to go around. Goblin gangs war amongst themselves. There are barely enough working lanterns to allow Kale and Gauvain to see where they're going, let alone a mere human. The street they make their way down is a relatively peaceful-seeming spot, however -- a cavern a good 30' high, with rough concrete buildings that are 20' high filling it, and people actually going about relatively legitimate-looking business... though one of these buildings is said to be no businessplace at all.

Gauvain: Any idea where this temple is supposed to be?
Gauvain looks around the place, eyeing the buildings.
Kale: I think...
Kale: It's this way, if I'm not mistaken...
Kale heads toward the building where he's been informed the Shadow cult resides.
Gauvain follows behind Kale, keeping an eye out for any filthy commoners.~

At a glance, there's little indication of what this building could be. Unlike the small restaurant across from it, the tailor to the left, and the ogres' inn to the right, this building doesn't display much in the way of indication of its business. Indeed, on closer examination the "sign" on the outside has no true lettering, just gibberish characters to give the illusion of such.

Kale glances at Gau, then opens the door to head inside.
Gauvain follows

There's almost no light in this place; just a pair of candles sitting atop a black altar, giving off a dim blue light. It's possible to tell from what little light there is that the altar sits upon a raised wooden section of the room, but the far left and far right are totally dark.

Kale nudges Gau and points at a hobgoblin bowing over to the left. "Think we're in the right place..."
Gauvain nods to Kale.
Gauvain approaches the hobgoblin.
Kale moves in to investigate the raised section while Gau interrogates the goblinoid.
Gauvain uses his hat to change outfits into some commoner clothing to fit in better!
Hobgoblin looks up at the footsteps approaching, and scowls upon seeing Gauvain.
Hobgoblin whispers, "Humansss. They think they own everythingsss."
Hobgoblin: Ssstep sssilent in thisss plac-ssse or don't ssstep in!
Hobgoblin "mum-hmm"s to itself, seemingly a light chuckle.
Gauvain watches the hobgoblin carefully and says, "I'm looking for someone."
Hobgoblin keeps his voice a hoarse whisper even in conversation. "Sssomeone here isss likely to have hisss sssecretsss! Not want finding, hmmm?"
Hobgoblin: You wantsss secretsss, you givesss secretsss.
Gauvain frowns.
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain whispers back, "So then, you know where I can find this gnome?"
Gauvain: Is that correct?
Hobgoblin: Ahh, a gnome, isss it? It dependsss. A few gnomesss come. But to hear what isss of ussse, pay in kind! Mum-hmm!
Gauvain whispers back, "Well if it is a secret you want in return, I know a good one."
Gauvain: What do you say, my good man? Willing to trade?
Hobgoblin: Perhapsss. A sssecret about what?
Gauvain: Have you heard of the 'The Prism'?
Hobgoblin raises an eyebrow. "Dissstant rumorsss turned paper talesss, eh? Interesssting indeed to hear more sssubstanc-ssse."
Gauvain: It just so happens that I've discovered her true identity...
Gauvain: What do you say?
Hobgoblin's eyes widen. "Sssuch intriguing sssecretsss, indeed! We have a deal."
Gauvain glances around the room a bit, and then leans in close to the Hobgoblin's ear.
Gauvain: The Prism is none other than Diab Kearne herself.
Hobgoblin looks amazed at this. He whispers back, "Sss-certainly mussst be desssperate for talesss, if ssso! Very well. The gnome you ssseek isss Fibblebaum, yesss? One of our priessstsss?"
Gauvain nods and whispers back, "Yes, I believe so."
Hobgoblin: Fibblebaum hasss read the paper tale of the challenge, and ssseesss a need to protect hisss invessstment.
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: What do you mean by 'his investment'?
Hobgoblin: Long time, he aidsss Timore. Ssstrengthensss while feeding hisss desssperation. Fool the weak to aid the wissse! Mum-hmm!
Gauvain: Do you know where I might be able to find him?
Hobgoblin: You've ssseen the paper talesss, hm? He aidsss Timore there.
Gauvain nods. "I see."
Gauvain: Who is Timore?
Hobgoblin: Mum-hmm! He callsss himssself Black Terror now. Something changed ssshortly before then; don't know what, but Fibblebaum very interesssted indeed!
Gauvain: I thought so.
Gauvain stops leaning in.
Hobgoblin nods.
Hobgoblin: Busssinessssss appreciated! Mum-hmm!
Gauvain tips his hat to the Hobgoblin and leaves without a word.
Kale: Anything interesting?
Gauvain: Indeed.
Gauvain looks around.
Gauvain: Let's head outside; I'll tell you what I found out.
Kale nods and heads back outside.
Gauvain: Well, the Hobgoblin certainly did seem to know quite a bit.
Gauvain: It seems the Black Terror was once a man named Timore.
Gauvain: Something happened to him, and made him into the Black Terror.
Gauvain: The gnome, who I believe is the priest of this temple named Fibblebaum...
Gauvain: Seems to be very "invested" in the Black Terror, and he lends him aid.
Gauvain: Perhaps he had some part in making the Black Terror who he is.
Kale: Interesting...
Gauvain: From what the hobgoblin said, it would seem as though the priest is using the Black Terror as well.
Kale nods. "Both the girl and the barkeep in Dragoneyes did say he was overly curious as to how the Terror had fought."
Gauvain cricks his neck. "In any case, it looks like he's noticed the challenge as well, and is likely to show up along with the Black Terror."
Gauvain: To protect his "investment".
Kale chuckles drily. "And we'll be ready when he does."

Kale and Gauvain quickly make their way to the ruined district that was once Godsgate, but is now aptly known as Fallen. Few people walk these streets, and most of those who are are pitiful, desperate souls with rags tied about them, likely only still here because scrambling for a spoonful of the horrid soup from the Cauldron of Boldrei is the only way they can eat. Merely seeing anyone better-off and armed around, though, is enough to make them flee, fearing for their lives...

It's been two hours since Kyra and Liridon began their vigil on the highest point they could find -- which is not very high at all, a second-story bridge between two of the only buildings that didn't fall completely to the ground. They are quite obvious to Gauvain and Kale as they arrive.

Liridon stretches and yawns.
Kale feeds Dominguez a scrap of bread, then sends him off to watch from up above.
Gauvain nudges Kale and points out the bridge.
Kyra paces slightly and nervously, his glaring light going in full force.
Kale arches an eyebrow. "More costumes...?"
Gauvain: I prefer "persona".
Gauvain looks up at Kyra and Liridon.
Gauvain: Ho there!
Gauvain: Mind if we join you?
Kale sighs at the flamboyancy of it all.
Gauvain heads on upstairs.
Liridon: Might as well, could use some more eyes.
Kale glances around, surveying the surrounding area, then ducks into the first floor of one of the buildings connected by the bridge.

The first floor features some piles of finer gravel and rubble covered in thin sheets, apparently attempts at beds.

Kale leaves the door open and tucks in against the doorframe.
Gauvain leans against the door frame and looks Kyra and Liridon over from the second story
Gauvain: So how long have you two been here?
Kyra crosses his arms. "Long enough that our reporter friend is probably getting antsy."
Liridon: What he said.
Kyra sighs, drooping his upper body.
Gauvain: Well, it looks like our gnomish friend is likely to show up as well.
Kyra: You'd think the villain would show up on time...
Kale slips a vial from one of his belt pouches and downs the liquid inside.
Liridon: We didn't specify a time, I just figured we'd do a stakeout since the paper wouldn't come out until today.
Liridon shrugs.
Gauvain: Well then.
Gauvain slinks back a little bit back into the room.
Gauvain waits in silence~

Before long, Kale, Kyra, and Liridon hear voices in the distance... and they're getting closer. As they near, it's clear that they're not speaking a familiar language.

Kyra covers his ears. "I think it worked..."
Liridon turns to the source of the voices.
Kale frowns.

The Black Terror himself walks over some low rubble; behind him stands a black-cloaked gnome, who touches his back to transfer what seems to be a spell's power to him.

Kyra: So you answered our challenge after all!
Kyra dramatically throws his right arm out to the side. A burst of light energy emanates from his body, spiraling outwards in a sphere.
Liridon: Took you long enough.
Kyra settles into a combat position, removing his bow from his back and holding it ready.
Black Terror approaches the apparent pair and looks up. "You won't defy me this time!" He points his outstretched hand at Liridon, looking determined...
Liridon grits his teeth and flutters his wings in a flashy motion, fending off the impending doom and darkness. "It didn't work before, and it's not going to work this time, either!"
Gauvain concentrates, and lets loose a screaming missile of fire from behind the doorway, directed at the Black Terror.
Kyra jumps and instinctively hits the deck.
Liridon stands his ground.
Gauvain grins from his covered location.
Black Terror manages to dodge, but is still singed by the heat of being right next to the point of impact. "What the -- you brought backup?!"
Kyra scrambles back to his feet and reassumes a dramatic pose, wagging his finger. "Tsk, like you didn't."
Fibblebaum says something in that unidentified tongue to the Black Terror.
Black Terror grumbles something back in reply.
Liridon puts his hands on the railing of the bridge and lifts his legs over, then flutters down to safety, drawing his scimitar in the process and swinging horizontally towards the Black Terror's torso.
Black Terror twists and spins aside. "I expected better."
Liridon curses under his breath.
Kale hunkers down in the doorway and stays hidden, eyes trained on the gnome.
Fibblebaum closes in and casts a spell, spreading a passing shadow over the area which seems to undercut Kyra's prior spell.
Kyra hisses angrily -- a rather odd noise coming from him.
Gauvain smirks to himself.
Kale curses under his breath and slips up the stairs to the second floor.
Kale also draws and loads his crossbow.
Kale whispers to Gau, "Keep that damn gnome distracted."
Gauvain grins. "With pleasure."

The heroes, save Gauvain, overhear a soft "ooh!" from the south.

Kyra seethes with anger. "You'll pay for that!"
Kyra raises his arms into the air dramatically -- despite still holding his bow. "In the name of the Sovereign Host, I will strike you down!" He begins to let out a kiai as energy begins to swirl around him. "Take this! Prismatic Spear!"
Kyra throws his arms forward. A shining spear creates itself in midair in front of Kyra and throws itself towards the gnome.
Fibblebaum doesn't manage to dodge, but the gnome's own shadow rises to parry the spear at the last second.
Kyra reassumes a combat pose, still seething.
Fibblebaum: You understand little of secrets, eh, shiny?
Kyra: And you understand little of insults, spawn of the Dark Ones.
Fibblebaum utters something command-like in that mysterious language.
Liridon: ...
Black Terror winces at Kyra's glow, but seems to comply; he points at Liridon, then holds out both arms in a wide arc. Fear threatens to descend on several of the group...
Liridon's resolve shatters as he shudders visibly.
Kyra nearly loses his footing, and his monitoring spell on Liridon doesn't help his composure.
Gauvain feels that a tactical repositioning is in order!
Black Terror chuckles to himself.
Gauvain hurries back into the building.
Gauvain wipes the beads of sweat from his brow and concentrates on his next manifestation.
Black Terror: Did you truly think I was nothing, fools?!
Kyra coughs. "You just caught me off guard, that's all..."
Liridon recomposes himself, though still visibly shaken by the Black Terror's power, and swings his scimitar upward.
Black Terror's breastplate is scraped by the blow. "What's the matter?" he quips smugly.
Fibblebaum steps behind the Terror and begins chanting an elaborate spell...
Kyra's spear floats after Fibblebaum menacingly.
Kale growls softly, then turns and heads to jump off the east side of the building... only to lose his footing.
Kale brushes himself off, no worse for wear.
Black Terror glances off to the east briefly.
Black Terror says something in that language...
Kyra staggers slightly as his spear swings itself at Fibblebaum.
Fibblebaum's own shadow acts to protect its owner from the spear as it lunges for him again.
Kyra: That's getting old.
Kyra points his open palm towards Liridon. "Hey! Get ahold of yourself!" A golden glow surrounds Liridon for a moment before dissipating. Kyra quickly swings his hand towards the tower that Gauvain is inside; the same glow surrounds Gauvain briefly as well.
Liridon grits his teeth. "Thanks."
Kyra falls back into his combat pose that doesn't really seem to be serving any purpose other than to give Diab something dramatic to watch.
Black Terror swings overhead at Liridon, managing to strike him squarely in the head with the blade. He tries to follow up with a stab at the heart, but despite the piercing strike displacing armor, Liridon appears unharmed by this second blow.
Liridon spits out blood. "Come on, is that all you've got?"
Black Terror's eyes widen.
Kyra coughs once as well.
Gauvain shouts out, "It's going to take more than a few paltry tricks to escape from my fury!"
Gauvain charges through the door and fires off a pair of screaming firey bolts at the evildoers.
Gauvain cackles, "Feel the burn!"
Kyra instinctively ducks again. "...Stop that!"
Fibblebaum and the Black Terror both are taken by surprise at Gauvain's sudden return and brutal firey assault.
Black Terror: Gyaah!
Gauvain smirks and nods at Kyra.
Fibblebaum yelps, barely retaining enough control of his spell to make gestures of cancellation.
Liridon swings at the Black Terror's chest again.

Liridon's swing slices the Black Terror just below the breastplate; he winces, but doesn't stagger.

Fibblebaum tries to recover from his earlier disruption, chanting a quick spell over himself.
Fibblebaum's wounds mend themselves considerably.
Black Terror calls something in an agitated tone over his shoulder at Fibblebaum.
Liridon smirks. "What's wrong?"
Gauvain grins.
Gauvain: Your magics can't save you!
Fibblebaum snaps a retort at the Terror.
Kale creeps along the wall, heading north.
Fibblebaum tilts his head and mutters something.
Kyra's spear lances at Fibblebaum yet again despite the seeming futility of attacking him.
Gauvain shouts back at Kale's direction. "They can hear you, by the way."
Gauvain turns back to Fibblebaum. "And I can hear you." He grins.
Kale swears under his breath.
Fibblebaum's shadow fails to intercept this blow; he's pierced in the leg, and howls.
Fibblebaum: Damn you! Damn you both!
Kyra: You haven't seen anything yet!
Kyra decides to take the opportunity to fire a simple arrow at Fibblebaum, despite his grandiose words.
Fibblebaum's breastplate is struck solidly.
Fibblebaum: Short on blessings from your self-righteous patrons?
Black Terror simply continues lunging at the weakened Liridon, resistance to sword blows or no.
Liridon deflects both of the Terror's blows with his shield. "You're getting sloppy."
Black Terror hrmphs. "I'm getting blinded by rainbow girl up there."
Gauvain closes his eyes for a moment, concentrating.
Gauvain opens his eyes suddently, burning with psionic energy, and releases a blast of lightning.
Gauvain: Ha HA!
Kyra ignores the Terror's comment and glares at Gauvain. "Fond of that one, aren't you?"
Gauvain pouts at Kyra. "But it's lightning this time!"
Gauvain: What would you rather I do? Make comments on their fashion sense?
Kyra shrugs.
Kyra: That's their tactic, apparently.
Fibblebaum squeals loudly in pain, reminiscent of swine.
Black Terror growls in agony, and nearly drops his sword.
Fibblebaum barely seems able to stay half-upright...
Kyra: Nice shot, though.
Liridon takes a step to the left and then rushes into the Black Terror, shield arm out.
Black Terror tries to counterattack, but his glancing blow to the waist goes unnoticed...
Black Terror does, however, manage to stand fast against the charge and push Liridon back. "I think not."
Liridon curses.
Fibblebaum pulls a wand out from within his cloak while coughing blood. "Enough of this."
Fibblebaum waves the wand and vanishes.
Kale swears again.
Gauvain: Coward!
Kyra's spear droops in the air, looking as distraught as an animated weapon can.
Gauvain: Your priest has abandoned you. You have no chance. What's it going to be, Timore?
Black Terror blinks in clear surprise.
Kale moves out of hiding and around the building, crossbow leveled at Timore. "Let this end. We know who you are."
Liridon: They're right.
Black Terror: ...
Kyra just stands there, attempting to look threatening.
Black Terror sighs, then sobs a bit.
Black Terror: You don't know what it's like... scared of everything, scared even of yourself... fear was my existence.
Kale: You've done a great many wrong deeds, Timore. Someone has to answer for those.
Gauvain: The gnome was clearly the mastermind behind this. If you cooperate in his capture...
Liridon sheathes his scimitar.
Kyra holds for a second, but senses Liridon's intent and waves his hand. The spear spins to point straight up, then vanishes in a burst of colorful light.
Black Terror: Yes. He was the one... who showed me that fear could be my tool for survival instead!
Black Terror holds his arms up.
Liridon: Tch... And here I thought we'd knocked some sense into you...
Kyra staggers. "Y-your death will b-b-be swift, agent of evil..."
Kale grimaces. "Bloody..."
Gauvain: Don't you remember? You've already tried that trick on me.
Kyra seethes angrily. "You'll receive no mercy from me now, fiend."
Kyra raises his arms into the air dramatically -- despite still holding his bow. "In the name of the Sovereign Host, I will strike you down!" He begins to let out a kiai as energy begins to swirl around him. "Take this! Prismatic Spear!"
Kyra throws his hands forward. This time, though, the spear materializes directly in front of Timore and slashes downward. "Lance of the Heavens!"
Black Terror staggers backward. "Gah, again?!"
Kyra glares at Timore. "You're one to talk, Mr. One-Trick-Pony."
Gauvain focuses on the Black Terror.
Liridon redraws his scimitar and aims for the Terror's chest with a horizontal slash.
Black Terror turns away and is struck in the side, but not solidly; he only seems bruised.
Liridon: We show you mercy and this is how you take it?
Black Terror: Would I have survived so long if I did otherwise?
Kale zips around the wall again until Timore is out of sight.
Kale's eyes start to glow silvery and a sheen of light briefly envelops him.
Liridon sighs and shakes his head...
Black Terror coughs. "But sometimes, to survive..." He takes on a defensive casting stance and chants a spell over himself, causing a brief red shimmer over his legs.
Kyra: He's running away! Stop him!
Liridon curses.
Gauvain laughs.
Kale swears.
Black Terror runs straight north, dodging Liridon's swing at his back.
Gauvain lets off another burst of psionic energy, "You can't escape!"
Gauvain fires off another bolt of screaming fire.
Gauvain leaps down from the bridge to give chase!
Black Terror screams in pain, then collapses to the ground.
Kyra punches the air. "Yeah! Way to go, G-person... standing next to... me..."
Kale sees the bolt go shooting down the path and smirks.
Gauvain: Ah ha, where are my manners.
Gauvain: Wherever evil rears it's ugly head, I will be there, to ignite it with the fire of my rage! I am... The Dragon!
Gauvain poses.
Kyra: ...That's a crappy name. I'm going to call you Mindflare! grins widely
Gauvain: ...That works too.
Kale moves back around the building while putting away his crossbow. "Quite a mess, that fear business."
Kyra dramatically hops off of the bridge, his robes blowing in the wind behind and above him... and lands squarely on Liridon, sending them both sprawling to the ground.
Gauvain manages to land on his feet.
Liridon is caught off guard, toppling down face-first.
Kyra: Owie...
Gauvain: Are... are you ok?
Kale approaches the others. "Well done, ...Mindflare."
Kale fights off an eyeroll at the superhero names.
Kyra pushes himself up (using Liridon as a brace) and dusts himself off. "Y-yeah... gah!" He realizes his scarf has shifted slightly and scrambles to tie it back in place.
Kyra tightens the knot, leaving it lopsided and with a long strand of hair sticking out, but still covering his face.
Gauvain stares at Kyra with unusual focus.
Liridon taps a finger on the ground.
Kyra: No problem!
Kyra then realizes he still has a foot on Liridon, pressing his weight against it, and scrambles away. "S-s-sorry, Sir Knight!"
Kale looks over at Timore's prone body. "A shame we couldn't stop that gnome..."
Kyra takes the opportunity to save face and runs over to Timore's prone form and casts a quick spell. A brief light surrounds Timore's body then quickly vanishes.
Liridon stands up and dusts himself off.
Black Terror's bleeding subsides.
Kyra sneers and lightly kicks the body. "Not so tough now, are you?"
Gauvain as focuses on Kyra, a strange voice in his head chimes, >Don't tell anyone, but I'm really Gauvain.<
Gauvain winks!
Kale walks over to join Kyra. "S'pose we haul him to guards somewhere."
Gauvain turns and looks at the reporter.
Black Terror seems to have started bleeding again...
Kale rolls his eyes.
Kyra: ...Whoops...
Diab is peering around the corner, writing like crazy.
Kyra quickly recasts the same spell, his gestures and chanting a little more frantic.
Kale looks over his shoulder and narrows his eyes.
Kale: Dammit, I forgot she was here...
Gauvain chuckles to himself and heads over to the body.
Kyra turns and forms a V with his index and ring fingers in Diab's direction. "That should look good on the front page tomorrow, don't you think?"
Liridon walks over to Diab. "Hello again, Miss Kearne."
Kale: ...It probably doesn't help that I'm the only one not in disguise, does it?
Diab walks over. "It does pose a number of interesting questions..."
Liridon does his best to stand in the way of Kale.
Gauvain: There is still of course, the matter of the gnome.
Diab blinks at Liridon. "Hm? Now what?"
Kale: We'll be sure to interrogate this bloke and get his whereabouts.
Gauvain nods.
Liridon: I suggest you stand back. Prism's taken to tending the Black Terror's wounds, and who knows if he's just bluffing again or not.
Gauvain: In any case, we should search his person for any other concealed weapons.
Gauvain kicks away the Terror's sword.
Gauvain checks him for any other weapons.
Diab: I still want to know why a Medani inquisitive is associating with vigilantes such as yourselves!
Gauvain: Vigilantes? Ha!
Liridon: 'Vigilante' is an ugly way to say it.
Kyra: I don't know, it's kind of catchy.
Kale groans and turns his attention to Diab. "We can discuss this later."
Kyra: And I'm just keeping him alive. Death is a reprieve for his kind.
Diab frowns, but writes.
Gauvain: I'm not sure we can depend on the city guard for this matter...

Gauvain discovers that on the hidden side of the sword's sheath is another sheath containing a dagger. Further, there's a detachable Eberron shard stuck on his mithril armor, he's wearing a black cape, and he also wears a simple silver ring.

Kale pulls out his rope and starts tying up Timore after Gau relieves him of his worldly belongings.
Kyra: If I may, Miss, this is hardly the place for an interview. Maybe we could meet you somewhere else?
Diab: If you insist, when and where?
Kyra: We should turn this person in to the authorities, after all.
Gauvain frowns at Kyra.
Gauvain: Are you sure about that? The city guard hasn't exactly proven themselves to be all that competent in this matter.
Kyra glares at Gauvain, raising an eyebrow very briefly.
Diab keeps writing.
Gauvain shrugs.
Kale sighs and walks over to Diab.
Gauvain: But this seems to be your fight, so it is your decition to make.
Kyra: We can trust the city guard in this, I believe. After all, the brave men in the force dedicate their lives to this kind of thing.
Kyra: . o O {Too bad they suck at it...}
Kale: I'm well aware you feel a grandiose need to report everything to everyone, but we're still in the middle of this investigation and unfortunate tidbits inadvertently linked could throw our trail off.
Gauvain: Well this confirms my suspicions.
Gauvain points out the dragonmark on the Black Terror to the others.
Diab looks to Kale. "Don't worry, I do know when not to jump to conclusions."
Kyra grumbles under his breath as the others refuse to follow his lead. "After we finish our business here, the Knight and myself will come to your office and answer any questions you may have."
Gauvain nods to Kyra.
Liridon nods at Kyra's comment. "I'll agree to that."
Diab sighs. "Fine, fine..."
Diab storms off.
Kale rolls his eyes. "That woman causes more trouble..."
Kale trails off into a series of mutters.
Kyra waits until Diab is out of earshot, then turns on the others. "Are you all bloody STUPID!? Everything we said with her here is going to end up in the paper for all of Sharn to see!"
Gauvain: So?
Kyra: Not to mention everything we did! Looting the body of a person whose ass we just kicked looks REALLY good on us, you know.
Liridon looks to Gauvain. "...We what?"
Kyra: And I don't know about you, but I'd rather keep popular opinion on our side, thank you very much.
Gauvain: I'm not looting, I'm just taking away his weapons.
Gauvain: So he doesn't try and stab me when he wakes up.
Kyra continues fuming while he sets about doing the exact thing he just chastised Gauvain for doing.
Kale sighs and hoists the tied-up Timore into something vaguely resembling a standing position.
Kyra: Besides, you can't do this.
Kyra holds his hands over Timore, casting a quick spell that has no visible effect to anyone other than Kyra himself.
Kale: If you don't mind, we can debate the do's and don'ts of proper heroic vigil later.
Gauvain: ...Alright.
Gauvain: Anyway...
Gauvain: Perhaps we should take him somewhere a little less... public?
Kale looks at everyone else. "Anyone have any suggestions? I can't imagine my house would be terribly thrilled with me hauling this bloke into their enclave."
Gauvain shrugs, "These buildings nearby are relatively empty."
Gauvain: They're not perfect but they don't require us dragging a body across town.
Kyra remains concentrating on the body. "If you can find an empty one..."
Kale whistles for Dominguez, who soars down and lands on his shoulder.
Liridon: I have enough troubles with my family as well.
Kale looks over at Kyra. "You done with your scan?"
Kyra: One... second...
Gauvain motions over to the empty house we were just in.
Kyra looks startled, then falls to a knee. "...Must've strained... myself..."
Kale helps Kyra to his feet. "Find anything?"
Kyra shakes his head quickly and stands up with Kale's help. "Right then, to that building."
Kale beckons for Liridon to grab the body's feet as he takes hold of the shoulders.
Gauvain heads on over, leaving Liridon and Kale to the manual labor.
Liridon walks over to help Kale with the body.
Kyra walks after Gauvain, rubbing his temples.
Kale hoists with Liridon's help and carries it after Gau.
Kyra ducks into the building and looks around.

The building remains as empty as the streets.

Kale deposits Timore on one of the makeshift beds, then takes a seat himself.
Kyra: Forgive me, Lady Boldrei...
Kyra traces an octogram shape in the air with his hand, and begins casting Detect Magic again, focusing on Timore.
Gauvain: You should know, we've learned the location of what we believe to be the gnome's temple.
Kyra grins. "This guy is loaded, by the way."
Gauvain: Which items are magic?
Gauvain: I might be able to divine their properties.
Gauvain: Tomorrow anyway... the battle drained much of my power.
Liridon: So... Who's going to stay behind and watch him?
Kale chuckles. "Perhaps the one who can most withstand his obnoxious fear capabilities."
Gauvain: Oh?
Gauvain: Where are the rest of us going?
Liridon: I believe Prism and I have an appointment with Miss Kearne.
Kyra: The sword... weak, but no school of magic that I know of. The dagger's pretty strong, conjuration type... The ring is weak, transmutation... His armor is transmutation, too, and pretty strong. The shard is fairly weak and abjuration... the cape's weak, and I can't tell what type of magic it's using.
Kyra: This guy is pretty stacked; can't imagine he got all this stuff on his own.
Kale: Well, with a gnomish priest as his benefactor...
Gauvain: This dagger seems strange...
Gauvain grasps his amulet in one hand, and the dagger hilt in the other.
Kyra: I have to advise that we don't try to use any of this until we know what it all does... hey!
Gauvain: I'm going to attempt to disern its properties.
Kale just shakes his head.
Kyra: Your call, smart guy...
Gauvain: It'll take a while, though, so I'll wait for now.
Kale: I trust you can fabricate a believable story regarding my undisguised involvement in this. Diab is... a handful at best.
Gauvain: You seemed unusually agitated by her presence.
Gauvain: Do you two have some sort of history?
Kale: Of a sort, yes.
Liridon raises an eyebrow.
Kyra slyly begins removing the rest of the magic-determined items from Timore's person while the others talk.
Kale: She's... forceful, when it comes to getting the story she wants.
Gauvain: Well it makes no difference to me what story she writes. shrug
Kale rubs the back of his neck. "I wouldn't say she's a 'bad' person, as it were, but certainly overzealous at the best of times."
Gauvain looks over to Kyra and Liridon.
Kyra is tugging at the breastplate by this point.
Gauvain: In any case, if you two are insistant on doing this interview, I suppose Kale and myself can watch him.
Gauvain: I'm not really interested in speaking with the press. My actions speak for themselves.
Kyra: They sure do, hot-shot. grunts Some help, here?
Kale assists Kyra.
Liridon: Do we want to add dishonesty to our portfolio?
Liridon shrugs. "We did say we'd go, so we'll go."

The two remove Timore's breastplate with no issue.

Gauvain: Correct me if I'm wrong...
Gauvain: But wasn't the agreement that "the prism and the knight" meet at her office?
Kyra: And meet her we shall.
Liridon: That's who I meant.
Kyra stashes the ring and shard in his bag. "But you have to have priorities."
Kale raises an eyebrow.
Gauvain: Splendid then, we are in agreement.
Kyra: ...What? If we leave them with him, he could use them again when he wakes up.
Kale: I think... perhaps some of these items should be sold and used as reparations for those to whom he caused harm.
Kyra: At the same time, if any of it could aid us in, what was the word she used, "vigilante" justice...
Kale: The knight's biggest fangirl in Dragoneyes hasn't had a customer since his fight, as an example.
Kyra: How about a compromise?
Gauvain: Lets wait until the items are identified before we decide what to do with them.
Gauvain: How about that?
Kyra: We'll each take an item or two, find out what they do, determine if they would help us out, and if not, sell them.
Kale nods. "Sounds reasonable."
Liridon: Very well.
Kyra doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to say who takes what, having already pocketed a couple of the items.
Gauvain: Hm.
Kale folds the cloak and stashes it in his pack. "I'll check on this at next opportunity."
Gauvain looks back to the Terror.
Gauvain: When do you suppose he'll wake up?
Kale: I suspect it'll still be a while. Best to go get that meeting with Diab over with now.
Gauvain: Hmm.
Gauvain: I'm not sure I understand what your rush is. It seems to me like it would be best to at least interrogate him first.
Gauvain: The more people we have here, the smoother it will go.
Kyra: ...I'm scared of Diab, that's why.
Kyra slumps his shoulders with a sigh.
Kale: If they don't go to her, believe me, she'll come looking for them.
Kyra: We'd better go ahead, Knight...
Kyra: And get it over with.
Gauvain: Well, the way I see it...
Gauvain: We really don't know much about the gnome or the Black Terror...
Gauvain: ...and she is likely to have a lot of questions about them.
Kale: The last thing we want is her stomping in here mid-interrogation.
Liridon: Hmph, she's not as scary as your mother. But yes.
Gauvain: My point is, she is going to have a lot of questions that you won't have answers to until we interrogate him.
Kyra says nothing, just giving Liridon a dirty look.
Gauvain: If she's not satified, she may demand another interview.
Kale: Oh, she'll demand further interviews regardless of how informed we may be.
Gauvain: Besides, it's not going to take us that long, is it?
Kyra: I fear for our safety and public image if we stand her up.
Kyra: For some reason, I can see her playing dirtbag here up as a hero and making us the villains if we don't show up.
Gauvain: Again, i'm not proposing you stand her up, just delay for 15 minutes or so.
Kyra: Which would be very bad for Mister Nameless Hero here without a mask.
Gauvain: After all, you did say "after your business here was finished".
Kale frowns and nudges Timore in the side with a finger.
Kyra snarls.
Kyra: You know what? Fine! We do things your way!
Kale chuckles. "Perhaps your hero name should be Miniature Fireball with that personality."
Gauvain shrugs, "I'm just saying what I think... it's your decision, after all."
Kyra is surrounded by a burst of light as he drops to the floor and begins chanting. He places a glowing hand on Timore without a second thought: Timore's body shines brightly as curative energy flows through him.
Kyra: Pin him down, he's going to be pissed.
Liridon: Yes, it is our decision, and I think it's -- nevermind.
Liridon crosses his arms and shakes his head.
Gauvain: Er...
Kyra stands up quickly and kicks Timore as hard as he can in the side. "Wake up, dirtbag!"
Gauvain: Geh...
Black Terror's eyes flutter open, only to squeeze shut with the wince. "Hey!"
Black Terror struggles within his bonds.
Gauvain: Don't bother.
Kale restrains him by the shoulders. "Easy there, tiger."
Black Terror: What's the meaning of this?! What do you want?!
Liridon: Answers.
Black Terror: And why should I give you any?
Gauvain grins.
Kale: Are you so bent on protecting your gnomish friend?
Kale cocks his head to one side.
Liridon: He did run and leave you.
Black Terror just glares at Liridon.
Gauvain: Heh
Gauvain: 'Friend'?
Gauvain: I don't think so.
Gauvain: He was playing you the whole time.
Gauvain: You're just a pawn to him. His own little puppet.
Black Terror: And just what makes you say that?
Black Terror looks dubious.
Kale: If you were of any importance to him, do you think he'd have left you to us?
Gauvain: Think about it, you were out stealing what... blankets? Food?
Gauvain: The gear he gave you... you realize it is worth a fortune?
Gauvain: You probably have no idea, do you?
Black Terror stares at Gauvain with an eyebrow raised.
Gauvain: He used you. Sent you out to inspire fear and terror amoung the populace to feed his own dark powers.
Gauvain: He lied to you and used you for his own gain.
Black Terror: It... I chose to myself, when my mark grew! He was taken by surprise that I'd left the lower wards!
Kyra staggers back against the wall. "...Not... not possible...!"
Liridon looks to Kyra with a raised eyebrow.
Kale eyes Kyra while still restraining Timore.
Kyra: Aberrants aren't supposed to... who in the world ARE you...?
Gauvain peers at Kyra. "You understand now as well?"
Black Terror looks to the two with confusion.
Gauvain: Heh...
Gauvain: No wonder the gnome was so interested in you.
Gauvain: Don't go anywhere. smirk
Gauvain: Watch him for a moment, will you Kyra?
Gauvain: I'd like to fill in the others.
Kyra: Yeah... sure...
Gauvain heads over into a nearby room, and motions for Liridon and Kale to follow.
Liridon blinks.
Kale lets up on Timore's shoulders and follows.
Liridon follows Gau.
Gauvain keeps his voice low.
Gauvain: It seems as though his dragonmark is not an ordinary abberant mark.
Gauvain: It's significantly more powerful, a 'lesser aberrant mark'.
Gauvain: There hasn't been one of its kind since the War of the Mark.
Kale: Intriguing...
Liridon: ...Hm.
Gauvain: Additionally, the fact that both of his powers are fear-based makes it even more unusual.
Gauvain: Since the powers that show up are normally unrelated.
Gauvain: The fact that these types of mark are showing up again is very bad news... if some stories are to be believed.
Kale sighs and shakes his head. "Well, no bloody wonder the gnome was so interested in him."
Gauvain nods. "Indeed."
Liridon: And it's all the more important we find him.
Gauvain: It is likely that he was using the Black Terror to gain information about the resurgence of this new type of dragonmark.
Gauvain: Well... this new... ancient type of dragonmark.
Gauvain: And perhaps find out how to maniuplate its dark power.
Kale: We need to keep Timore under even stricter lockdown than normal, then.
Gauvain: Agreed.
Kale: He's a prize. That gnome's not going to let him go so easily.
Gauvain: These types of dragonmarks commonly bring about particularly destructive powers...
Gauvain: ...and it's not unlikely that these powers can cause the bearer to be driven insane.
Gauvain: Of course... like I said, there hasn't been a sighting of these in many, many years.
Gauvain: So this information is mostly rumors and such.
Kale: Rumors have quite a way of coming true.
Gauvain cricks his neck.
Gauvain returns to a normal speaking voice. "Well then. Shall we continue?"
Gauvain looks back to the Black Terror.
Kale nods and turns back to Timore.
Gauvain heads back over.
Liridon follows the two back.
Black Terror seems genuinely puzzled, still.
Kale: Feel up to talking yet?
Black Terror: What got you so worked up?...
Gauvain: Timore.
Gauvain stares.
Gauvain: Why do you think the gnome was so interested you anyway?
Black Terror: He said he saw my potential and wanted to help me realize it.
Black Terror seems mildly annoyed at the question.
Kyra stands there, just staring.
Gauvain: So, were you the one who decided to attack the market? Or was that the gnome's idea?
Liridon: Timore. That gnome saw nothing in you, just your abilities. He didn't want to help you "realize your potential" for you, he wanted you to do it for him.
Kale: You are the very definition of a 'weapon' to him, Timore. A weapon and a tool for research.
Black Terror: How... what... what're you talking about?! I attacked the market alone!
Gauvain: For what purpose?
Gauvain: Why did you steal from the merchants?
Black Terror: Well... there's plenty of things I needed!
Kale: Typically speaking, harbingers of doom don't use their powers to obtain food.
Gauvain: But your sword, and armor, you had those when you attacked?
Gauvain: The gnome gave those items to you, yes?
Black Terror: Yes, and...?
Kale: Look, man, don't you want to know why this Fibblebaum was so interested in you? REALLY know why?
Gauvain: If the gnome truly cared about you, why wouldn't he simply give you the food and shelter you needed?
Kale: Doesn't it kind of make your pride twinge when you think that he MIGHT have been using you for his own purposes, rather than out of some desire to help you?
Black Terror looks to Gauvain, then Kale, seeming disturbed by now...
Kale: He never wanted to HELP you, Timore, don't you see that?
Liridon: If he did then he wouldn't have left you.
Black Terror: He... he played me for a fool, all this time?!
Kale: Yes, he did.
Black Terror's disbelief slowly melts to rage.
Black Terror: How... how dare that man!
Kale: We need you to help us find him.
Black Terror: Damn him...! He frequents both shrines to the Shadow, and also exchanges information with House Tarkanan. That's all I can really tell you about where to find him; he usually tracked me down, not the other way.
Gauvain: House Tarkanan you say? Hm.
Gauvain nods and looks to the rest of the party.
Black Terror: ...He also claimed he made his... "supplies" for me himself.
Kale leans back some, absorbing the information. "If he's dealing with Tarkanan, you may not be the only one he's using in such a manner. Just the most loudly declarative."
Gauvain: By supplies, you mean the equipment?
Gauvain: The sword and armor and the like?
Black Terror nods.
Black Terror: I even saw him forge the sword.
Kale: Well... I suppose the only question remains, what do we do with you?
Gauvain: He is still a threat even without his equipment.
Gauvain: I hope the city guard have the proper facilities to contain him... if that is how we are handling him.
Gauvain looks to Kyra and Liridon.
Kale: Regardless, we need to keep you and the gnome away from each other.
Black Terror looks less than pleased. "I told you what I knew!"
Kale: And you've still injured and killed innocent people in your exploits. Crimes for which you will have to face justice.
Black Terror hmphs.
Liridon: There is no excuse for that.
Kyra shakes his head, but says nothing, still a bit angry at his "allies" and stunned at the revelations.
Kale looks at Liridon and Kyra. "I think you should be good for meeting with Diab now..."
Gauvain leans in to Liridon. "Do fill Kyra in on what I said before. I'm unsure how much he is aware of."
Kyra: R-right. Let's go, Knight.
Kyra wastes no time in exiting the building.
Gauvain waits for Kyra and Liridon to exit.
Liridon nods, then follows Kyra.

Before long, the bright buddies enter Diab's office, where they find her swirling her quill boredly around the rim of the inkwell.

Diab perks up quickly upon seeing Liridon and Kyra. "Oh, there you are!"
Liridon: Sorry to keep you waiting.
Kyra bows. "Apologizes for the delay, Lady Diab."
Diab stretches her arms, then already starts to write. "Have a seat, have a seat! And to begin with, a bit more on the situation -- who was that gnome who was helping the Black Terror?"
Kyra doesn't sit, like last time, instead crossing his arms and leaning against the wall.
Liridon has a seat, indeed. "Well, he seems to have taken the Terror under his wing. For then anyway, it was clear when he ran off that he cared more for his own hide."
Kyra nods in agreement, remaining silent for the moment.
Diab scribbles. "I notice you've also teamed up with another known 'mystery man' like yourselves."
Kyra shrugs. "The more, the merrier."
Liridon: You could say that.
Kyra: ...That's the wrong saying. "Three heads are better than two?" Or something.
Kyra shakes his head.
Diab wags the forefinger of her off hand. "Ah, but not just three heads~!"
Diab: If not for the coordination involved, I'd think Kale was only there independently.
Kyra: Well, three of us did all the work...
Kyra rolls his eyes dramatically.
Liridon: Just coincidence.
Liridon shrugs.
Diab: If it were coincidence, then why was there any communication between you, and a clear lack of questioning of each other?
Diab smirks. "You were there together; don't try and hide that."
Liridon: I suppose you've caught us. Kale had done some sleuthing to try and find us so we could join against the Black Terror, and did a fairly good job at it.
Diab nods and writes; she's actually quiet for a beat.
Kyra: Like I said before: all the help we can get.
Diab: Kale is also a strong fighter, I should add -- all in all, he shows almost unnatural all-around talent. Was this in your considerations?
Liridon: Can't say it was, honestly.
Kyra shrugs.
Diab hmms and continues to put quill to paper.
Diab: Enough on the setup, I think. How did you find out about this gnome?
Liridon: Kale had learned of him in his investigation, I believe.
Kyra: Right. Kale gets the credit for that one.
Diab nods. "Concerning the fight, were there any moments that stood out for you? Shocks, surprises, personal triumphs?"
Liridon: I have to say I owe one to Prism, here. My resolve wavered slightly at a bad time, and he pulled me through it with that spell.
Kyra blushes a bit, and says "it's nothing" in halfling.
Kyra: in Common Just doing what I do best -- helping others do their best.
Diab nods as she takes this down.
Diab: Anything else?
Kyra shrugs. "It all kind of blends together."
Liridon nods at Kyra's comment.
Diab: So, Prism, what led you to such a level of faith in the Sovereign Host?
Kyra looks towards the ceiling. "What leads anyone to put any amount of faith in anything? I do as I choose, no more."
Diab: Not used to dodging questions, I see...
Kyra closes his eyes, his eyebrow ticcing slightly. "I don't know what you mean."
Diab: I mean you didn't do a good job of disguising that as a real answer~!
Diab grins.
Diab: And I can't fathom why it would be an embarassment.
Kyra opens his eyes and grins back -- though his mouth is hidden, it's clear in his eyes. "And here I thought I did a pretty good job."
Kyra blushes again and looks away. "I... I have my reasons. Let's just leave it there, ok?"
Diab shrugs as she records more of the conversation. "For now~."
Diab looks to Liridon. "What about you, Fair Knight? Being the newest of the three of you, you're the one our readers know the least about. Even rumors are scarce."
Liridon: Well, that's probably not going to stay that way for long.
Liridon winks at Diab.
Diab grins. "And a defter sidestepper. I can respect that. But is there anything essential you'd like the public to know?"
Diab: It wouldn't do for me to have nothing to say about you~!
Liridon: All that matters is that I'll be there when the need is dire, and they need only look to the sky.
Diab murmurs as she writes, "...adamant refusal to so much as hint at his motivations..."
Liridon chuckles lightly.
Kyra shakes his head, snickering a bit.
Diab: So, back to this morning. After the vanquishing of your rather dishonorable opponent, I noticed that you yet had the courtesy to ensure his survival, Prism.
Kyra nods. "I refuse to stoop to their levels. It's not my place to decide who lives and who dies."
Liridon nods slightly to Kyra.
Diab nods as she writes. "Though I notice some apparent differences with the Dragon -- or Mindflare, as he seemed to allow you to retitle him -- over philosophy and procedure..."
Liridon: Hmph.
Diab: Do you have any comments on that matter, and how it proceeded after I was run off?
Kyra: Nothing terribly. We left not long after; didn't want to keep you waiting too long.
Liridon: Well, what we can't use in defending the people, we're going to pay to the victims for damages.
Liridon crosses his arms and nods.
Diab: It seems hard to believe, given how long I waited, that you two didn't pool your minds with the others to figure out more about your foe.
Diab grins. "Am I right?"
Liridon: We can't deny that, no.
Liridon eyes Kyra.
Kyra looks to Liridon nervously.
Diab scribbles a bit more than seems warranted for just taking down the words said.
Liridon: That gnome is still out there, after all.
Diab nods. "What can you tell us about your conclusions?"
Kyra: You want the summary? Whoever the gnome fellow is, he was behind the Terror's actions.
Kyra: Not entirely, but he was definitely the manipulator behind the scenes. And we will find him, and he will be brought to justice.
Liridon: We didn't know that at first, but the end result is still the same. I've heard he's been threatening people related to Prism and my fights with him, and that alone warranted that he was a threat to the common citizen.
Diab nods and puts her current page aside, writing more on the next. "Do you know anything about why?"
Liridon: I can't say we do. Hopefully we'll find out more when we catch him.
Diab nods. "I see. One last question..."
Liridon: Yes?
Diab: Why would Kale express concern about not being disguised?
Diab grins wolfishly.
Liridon: Probably by being seen with us, I'm not sure. We're probably not the best company to be around unmasked, otherwise...
Diab raises an eyebrow. "Even with your efforts at doing the right thing? Interesting..."
Diab writes rather a lot...
Liridon: Like we said before, there's risks to being the good guy...
Liridon shakes his head.
Diab doesn't look up from her work. "You'd made it sound like only risks to yourselves and your families."
Diab: Which I note most adventurers don't seem to have as a concern... but then, few adventurers have rich families, either.
Liridon: Hmph, if you're talking about my gift to your doorman the other day, I earned that of my own merit.
Diab: That proves nothing~!
Diab is still scribbling furiously.
Diab: Wealth goes to the wealthy, and all that! Takes money to make it!
Kyra has by this point withdrawn, his eyes closed and his eyebrow ticcing, afraid to say anything else without having it misconstrued.
Liridon: I suppose you have me there, but regardless of whether they're family or not, I wouldn't want anyone related to my... normal life to suffer because of my actions, just as much as any other common citizen.
Diab nods... "I think I've heard enough for today. Besides, I think your friend the Prism needs to calm down?"
Kyra's eyebrow stops ticcing for a moment as a visible sweatdrop appears on his brow. "I'm... fine..."
Liridon eyes Kyra for a moment, then looks back to Diab. "Might as well not hide it. Let's just say we're not all joyous to cooperate with the press on this, but it's probably inevitable, so..."
Liridon shrugs.
Diab stops only long enough to dip her quill. "Either way, I'm sure we'll talk again someday~!"
Liridon stands up. "I'll count on that, Miss Kearne."
Kyra bows courteously, but stiltedly. "It's been a... pleasure."
Diab waves with her free hand.
Liridon bows as well, then walks to the door.
Kyra wastes no time in leaving.

Momentarily, just outside on this tower's balcony...

Liridon stretches... "Need a ride anywhere?"
Kyra shakes his head -- and that isn't all that's shaking.
Liridon looks to Kyra again. "...What's up?"
Kyra: I'm... I can't keep this facade up. Someone's going to find out. She's going to find out!
Kyra: And when she does, Mom will... she'll...
Liridon: Don't worry, I won't let that happen.
Kyra looks at Liridon, outright panic in his eyes.
Kyra: Y-you don't understand...
Kyra lets out a deep breath. "Can you just set me down somewhere? I... have someone I need to speak with."
Liridon: Sure. Where were you thinking?
Kyra: Somewhere near Upper Dura. I need to get to the shrine.

Shortly, Gauvain completes the manifestation of a power of identification -- a slow, straining task when the subjected item is magical, but at length he has discerned a horrid truth...

Kale takes note of the information received and starts making his way back to Gau's place!

Kale makes his way through the Karrn residential district of Greywall to a house that, while as modest as the rest on this floor of this tower, nonetheless seems slightly out of place -- the flowerbed is too brightly colorful, the paint too white with too cheerful a shade of teal for its trim, the equally teal curtains within too meticulously decorated with golden patterning.

Kale chuckles once again at the garish curtains, then raps lightly on the door.
Gauvain answers the door.
Gauvain: Ah, hey Kale... good timing. Come on in.
Kale enters. "Anything interesting?"
Gauvain closes the door behind Kale.
Gauvain: Mm, yes.
Gauvain: The dagger is quite powerful indeed... but...
Kale raises an eyebrow.
Gauvain stares at Kale, "It is a human-bane dagger."
Kale: Well, that's... a touch disturbing indeed.
Gauvain: Quite illegal for most, as I'm sure you already know.
Gauvain: I'm not sure what to do with it, to be honest.
Kale: Unfortunately, we can't really sell that for reparations...
Kale: I'd not like to put something so dangerous on the open market.
Gauvain: Well I don't know about that.
Gauvain: You know what they say...
Gauvain: If it can be sold anywhere, it can be sold in Sharn.
Kale: Yes, but as to whether or not that's a good idea...
Kale frowns.
Gauvain: Yes...
Gauvain: If we were able to find a buyer, it would fetch a very significant amount, I would wager.
Gauvain: Much more than any of the other equipment we found on his person.
Kale: Such a tidy sum could be put to good use, but...
Kale shakes his head. "Can you keep it safe here until we decide?"
Gauvain: I don't see why not.
Gauvain: In any case, I wonder exactly what are our alternatives are... simply take it to the town guard?
Kale: Well, we can sell it or destroy it somehow...
Kale: I don't think a weapon like this should be in the hands of Sharn's guard.
Gauvain closes his eyes and sighs for a moment.
Gauvain: I suppose we don't have to decide what to do with it right now.
Gauvain takes a seat.
Gauvain: So! What have you been up to?
Kale chuckles. "Looking into the whereabouts of our gnomish quarry."
Kale: He seems to be holed up in some 'undertemple' at the Shadow place we visited in Khyber's Gate.
Gauvain's eyes widen a tad. "Re-really?"
Gauvain: You tracked him down already?
Gauvain: Well you certainly didn't waste any time.
Kale: Well... it's what I do for a living, after all.
Gauvain chuckles. "Ah yes, of course."
Gauvain: Well, this is great news.
Gauvain: We should contact the others. I'm sure they are quite eager to finish this once and for all.
Kale: Mm, indeed; I would certainly prefer to be done with this mess sooner rather than later.
Gauvain rubs his chin. "Hm, I suppose we probably should have arranged to meet up someplace."
Gauvain: I'm not really sure how we're going to find the others again.
Gauvain: The priest might be at his temple, I suppose... not sure about the other.
Kale: The knight would likely return to Dragoneyes.
Gauvain nods.
Kale: Hopefully their interview with Diab went... well enough.
Gauvain smirks.
Gauvain: Hm.
Kale: In either case, we should rest up to be at full strength before taking on Fibblebaum.
Gauvain: Ah yes...
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: Do you suppose we should try to contact the others today?
Kale: Mmm... perhaps.
Kale: Should try Liridon first, I think.
Gauvain stands up.
Gauvain: Sounds good to me.
Gauvain looks around the place.
Gauvain: Ah.
Gauvain walks to bookshelf.
Gauvain takes out a normal looking book.
Gauvain hides the dagger in the false book~! (surprise!)
Gauvain: There we go.
Kale chuckles and nods. "Good."
Gauvain places the book back on bookshelf.
Kale: Shall we be off?
Gauvain: Lead the way.
Kale exits Gau's house and starts making his way toward Dragoneyes!

Meanwhile, Kyra and Liridon part ways, as Liridon needs to go back to work and Kyra has a rather personal issue to address. After spending some time attempting to prepare, the young Vadalis scion finally approaches the entrance to the shrine he helps to tend...

Kyra tugs the knot on his scarf, tightening it. He hasn't changed out of Prism guise, and is still in his intricate robes with his face hidden.
Kyra nods to himself and walks into the shrine.

A couple is praying before the altar, but there's no sign of Lannar in the main room.

Kyra clears his throat, and speaks in a changed version of his own voice he came up with for Prism -- slightly higher than his normal in an attempt to match the general idea of what Prism is.
Kyra: Excuse me, sir and ma'am. I seek the proprietor of this shrine.
The husband and wife look up after a moment.
Husband blinks. "Are you...?"
Kyra nods. "I believe you would know me as Prism, good sir."
Wife nods, seeming surprised at what she's seeing. "He's in the next room, as far as we know."
Wife looks to the door from the raised section of the room.
Kyra bows courteously. "Blessings of the Host to you." With that, he walks to the indicated door.
The husband and wife look to each other.
Kyra raps on the door. "Sir, a moment of your time?"
Lannar's voice comes from the other side of the door; he can be heard approaching it. "Certainly."
Lannar opens the door... then blinks down at Prism.
Kyra waves, closing his eyes for an innocent look. "We finally meet, good sir."
Lannar looks even more confused. "Er... yes." He steps aside and opens the door wider. "Co--"
Kyra throws his finger in front of his mouth, shushing Lannar.
Lannar looks outright baffled by now, but simply motions for him to enter.
Kyra looks embarrassed, then shuffles past Lannar. "Th-thank you."

This room is filled with bookshelves, and has a pair of simple square tables with wooden chairs pushed in under them. One is pulled out and has papers strewn out on its corner of the table -- apparently where Lannar was working.

Lannar closes the door and pulls out two chairs from the unused table.
Kyra slowly runs a finger along the spines of a row of books, continuing his trend of never sitting down, ever.
Lannar takes a seat regardless. "May I ask what the meaning of all this is?"
Kyra doesn't look to Lannar, mostly to hide the fact that his resolve is faltering.
Kyra: I merely need to ask... a favor of you, Sir Lannar.
Lannar appears uncertain, but still replies, "Name it."
Kyra rummages through his bag and removes the shard and ring. "These items were removed from the person of the Black Terror. I'm... sure you've read about him."
Lannar looks confused again. "That I have, and of..." He shakes his head. "Regardless, I'm not certain why you would bring such things here. Surely Aureon's shrine across the way would be of more help if you require assistance with magical objects?"
Kyra: Indeed. After aiding in the Terror's defeat I was tasked with identifying these. However... I... well...
Kyra steps back to the door and latches it locked.
Lannar stands. "What are you --"
Kyra turns to look at Lannar... and removes his scarf with a complete lack of drama. "I spent all of my allowance already..."
Lannar: Kyra?!
Kyra waves a finger in front of his mouth frantically. "Sssh!"
Lannar looks displeased, though does lower his voice. "Kyra, why would you dress yourself as the Prism?"
Kyra looks a tiny bit exasperated.
Kyra starts to say something, rethinks it, and looks MORE exasperated.
Lannar: I hope this isn't the form of deception it looks like on its face to me.
Kyra finally gives up and throws a hand out to the side, flaring his trademark prismatic light into existence.
Lannar chokes on any further words, his eyes widening even as he shields them.
Kyra suppresses the light. "I... do apologize for hiding this from you... sir."
Lannar rubs his eyes, then looks back to Kyra, clearly too stunned to speak yet despite his eyes working to blink the spots away making the expression harder to read.
Lannar: ...Kyra...
Kyra: You... you cannot tell... Mom and Dad...
Lannar: ...Before I promise such a thing, I wish to know more.
Kyra: I'll... tell you everything.
Kyra takes a seat.
Lannar reseats himself as well.
Kyra: Well... what I can.
Kyra resituates his scarf in its face-concealing position.
Lannar holds up a hand and shakes his head. "Please don't."
Lannar: The door is locked, and I wish to see your heart with my own eyes.
Kyra: ...I have every right to be cautious.
Kyra lowers the scarf regardless.
Lannar: As do I.
Lannar: Surely you can understand that?
Kyra nods.
Lannar simply pays quiet attention for now, looking fearful.
Kyra: So... what would you... like... t-to know?
Kyra's resolve is pretty much gone, leaving him in his normal hesitant speech pattern.
Lannar: Start from the beginning.
Kyra: W-Well... you kn-know about th-this one already...
Kyra slides his right sleeve down, showing off his dragonmark.
Lannar cocks his head slightly. "Yes?..."
Kyra: Well... th-the light thing kinda just... happened... at the same t-time.
Kyra: I... I was afraid it was... aberrant... so I... d-didn't say anything...
Lannar: It is understandable... but to my knowledge, aberrant marks don't look the same, nor do they ever possess the same powers, and you can indeed manifest the power to speak to animals.
Kyra: And... well, the light isn't... all..
Kyra: Aberrant marks can... well... be hard to tell if someone who is already from a House's bloodline develops one.
Kyra removes an arrow from his quiver and begins twirling it nervously.
Kyra: And... well, the aberrance doesn't stop at the light...
Lannar simply quietly awaits more explanation.
Kyra stops the arrow head-down, and slashes his arm open with it in a short line, wincing as he does so.
Lannar jumps up. "Kyra!"
Lannar starts to chant...
Kyra holds up the injured arm. "Wait."
Lannar completes the spell regardless, but leaves the pale green light on his fingertip rather than touching Kyra.
Kyra takes a deep breath as the wound shimmers briefly, then somehow seals itself, healing well enough that it seems the injury was never there.
Lannar: Incredible...
Kyra: And... I even have sharper vision than before this all manifested.
Kyra: Not to mention that only hurt because I let it.
Kyra drags the arrow along his arm again almost idly, it not causing a gash this time.
Kyra: But... if Mom knew, she'd...
Kyra: I... I don't know what she'd do.
Lannar: ...Kyra... it may not be your mother you should be most worried about. There are others, less scrupulous, who see power... even the gifts of the gods themselves... as tools to exploit, or even something to... take apart to learn to reproduce.
Lannar shudders.
Kyra sighs, his shoulders drooping.
Kyra: It's... going to come out sooner or later anyway... Might as well do some good before it does.
Lannar: Not if I can prevent it, Kyra. You are too good a young man to allow the worst to happen to so easily.
Lannar shakes his head.
Kyra blushes slightly. "Then... then help me."
Kyra: I... cannot leave a job unfinished.
Lannar nods slowly. "In truth, you probably should not have rejected any connections."
Lannar: To go it alone when your need is great and yet still claim Boldrei's favor... well, while she clearly still accepts you, likely because you have helped Sharn as a whole, I cannot imagine her to be completely satisfied.
Kyra doesn't say anything.
Lannar: It is a mistake you're now in the process of correcting, isn't it?
Kyra nods quickly. "There are four of us."
Lannar raises an eyebrow. "More beyond the Fair Knight? This is news."
Kyra: I said I'd tell you everything. There is also the mage Mindflare, and... a gentleman whose name I forget.
Kyra thinks for a moment.
Kyra: Kale, that's it. I'll be honest -- that's really all I know of those two. Knight seems to know more about them than I do, but I trust his judgment.
Lannar nods. "It was not only fighting companions I spoke of, however, but also myself."
Kyra: I... well... it was very selfish of me to not confide in you sooner, I know...
Lannar: "When a family gathers for dinner, theirs are not the only presences..."
Kyra: "...the baker is present in his bread, the stablehand in the milk, the butcher in the meat, the farmer in the vegetables."
Kyra sighs.
Lannar places a hand on Kyra's shoulder. "We all falter at times, Kyra."
Lannar: We can only forgive such mistakes and correct them. Perhaps Boldrei had faith that you would see your own error.
Kyra sniffs, his resolve totally gone finally. "Th-thank you, Lannar..."
Lannar smiles warmly at Kyra. "You're always welcome... Prism, was it?"
Lannar picks up the shard and ring with his free hand.
Kyra pouts, though it's clearly fake. "I think it's girly."
Lannar chuckles.
Lannar: I've one last thing to say before we go: while it is clear that your spellcasting ability is perhaps as much a skill born of necessity as a blessing of the gods, perhaps you've received greater gifts from them than I previously realized.
Kyra stands, deactivating the glamer on his armor.
Kyra: Who knows what the gods have in mind, in the end?
Lannar nods. "Though I do believe it their wish for civilization to be their eternal gift to us."
Lannar: Come. Remelle does still owe me a favor, though that will likely only extend as far as one of these. I'll have to pay for the other...
Kyra grins a bit ironically. "Then I guess I owe you a favor."
Lannar smiles as he heads for the door and unlatches it. "While we're there, do you wish to read? It'll take some time, after all."
Kyra smiles honestly. "You read me like a book, Lannar!" He snickers lightly at his bad pun.
Lannar shakes his head, still smiling, as he opens the door to the now-empty main room.

The action in Dragoneyes seems to be beginning to pick up as evening leads to sunset. Chance, too, seems to have more people heading in than out for the time being.

Gauvain takes a quick look around outside.
Kale slips inside with the rest of the crowd.
Gauvain follows behind Kale and looks around the place.

While there's no apparent sign of Liridon, Gauvain does notice a woman with short brown hair and a fair face wearing a simple slate grey dress, a flattish black hat... and, oddly enough, a prominent pendant featuring a round red gem in the center set in a pair of silver half-circles -- a smaller one for the top half, a larger one for the bottom.

Kale sighs when it becomes apparent that Liridon is not in attendance, then turns to Gau.
Gauvain is checking out the mystery woman~!
Kale raises an eyebrow, then turns to look at whatever he's checking out!
Woman: Can I help you?
Kale: A... girl? That's not Liridon, Gau!
Gauvain: Ah, forgive me, my lady. It was rude of me of me to stare.
Gauvain approaches a smidge.
Kale eyeballs the lady in question.
Woman grins at Gauvain. "I see I've caught your interest... Liridon, you say?"
Woman looks to Kale.
Gauvain: Oh, er... yes. You know him?
Gauvain looks a little confused.
Woman: Oh, you know I know him.
Woman winks.
Kale raises the other eyebrow. "Liridon's quite the lady's man, isn't he?"
Gauvain looks even more confused.
Woman shrugs. "Not usually."
Gauvain: I am afraid I don't follow.
Gauvain: Have we met?
Woman shakes her head at Gauvain. "I don't believe we've been introduced, no."
Gauvain: Ah, well in that case...
Gauvain takes a small bow. "The name is Gauvain Grey. A pleasure to meet you"
Woman curtseys back. "Chance, proprietor of this casino."
Kale: Mm hmm.
Gauvain looks a bit surprised. "Ah, it is an honor, then."
Chance giggles.
Chance: If you wish to discuss Liridon, we might do better with some privacy. Do you have a preference of offices?
Gauvain glances at Kale, "Not really, you?"
Kale shrugs. "Anything will do, I suppose."
Chance shrugs and heads for the stairs down. "This way, then."
Kale follows!
Gauvain follows. "Of course~."
Chance heads outside and swaps two pairs of cobblestones -- not the same pairs Liridon did. A soft rumble is heard within.
Gauvain, impressed, lets out a low whistle.
Chance spins to head back inside and chirps, "This way, please! No touching the other entrances!"
Gauvain nods and enters.
Kale sighs and follows suit.

Three doors are visible in different parts of the ground floor now. Chance heads for the one furthest back and quickly heads down the darkened tunnel within.

Gauvain tries to keep up~!
Kale quickens his own pace.
Gauvain tries to keep himself from looking TOO impressed.

The shrine to the Traveler is much as it seemed before, though the tapestries hang on different sets of hooks than before.

Kale scratches his chin thoughtfully and continues on after Chance.
Chance: Now, if I recall correctly, what you already know is the nature of the deception and the fact that he's marked, hm?
Gauvain: Ye...yes.
Kale: We are aware, yes.
Gauvain looks pretty surprised.
Gauvain: Are we that easy to read?
Kale folds his arms and arches an eyebrow.
Chance: Actually, not terribly. But that's where other methods come in.
Gauvain: I... see.
Gauvain frowns a bit.
Chance puts a finger to her lip. "You know his name, as well... I suppose that's close enough, given the right circumstances."
Chance: What brings you here in search of Liridon?
Kale: We... require his assistance.
Chance nods.
Gauvain nod slowly.
Chance: Concerning the case of the Black Terror? I don't think I've found today's developments yet. But Fallen being so empty will do that.
Kale: The Black Terror's already been taken care of.
Chance: Ah, so the story's more interesting than that. A shame I missed it.
Kale: Mm, indeed.
Chance: It might not be a long tale if you don't swallow your pride, though, Mr. Medani.
Chance: And that would mean the fun's over.
Kale raises an eyebrow. "... ...There's not terribly much to it."
Chance laughs.
Chance: Oh, different story.
Gauvain looks terribly confused at this point.
Chance: And yet so far the same.
Kale: We need Liridon's help to apprehend an accomplice. I take it you know how to find him.
Chance digs something out of a pocket. "Liridon? Yes. Ah, so that's what that was about..."
Gauvain ponders Chance's cryptic remarks.
Kale stands put, arms folded with his eyebrow still raised.
Chance tosses a small, dark, six-pointed object at Gauvain. "Give this to the Prism, will you? It'll help lengthen the tale that most interests me too."
Kale: You speak in riddles, doppelganger. I didn't intend to order a platter of frustration to close out my day.
Gauvain catches~!
Gauvain: Do I want to know what it is?
Chance: A pantheon's arsenal. It'll help.
Gauvain handles it with great curiosity.
Gauvain nods slowly, looking it over, but says nothing.
Chance looks back to Kale. "You'd do well to learn how."
Kale sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose, shifting his spectacles down slightly.
Chance: In any case... you were able to draw the connection due to his use of his mark, correct?
Gauvain looks up.
Gauvain asks, still slightly distracted, "Who? The Black Terror?"
Chance shakes his head. "Between Liridon and the Fair Knight."
Gauvain: Ah yes. That... I believe Kale was the one that pieced that one together.
Chance nods.
Kale: Mm, indeed.
Chance: Did you not think to ask what marks would make sense to use upon a threatened barkeep?
Kale: ...Whether or not we did, is there a purpose to this line of questioning?
Chance: Only that you probably didn't need my help -- yet apparently you did.
Chance shrugs.
Gauvain smiles sheepishly. "There's no sense in getting hostile; I'm sure she's only trying to help."
Kale: We first met him here. Surely logic might dictate he return to your establishment at some point.
Chance: At some point. Not necessarily soon. I don't fault you for starting here, though, just for not putting your skills to deducing where to look next.
Chance shrugs.
Kale eyes Gau. "We'll be taking our leave now."
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: Well, thank you again for your time, m'lady.
Gauvain holds up the spikey thing, "I'll be sure to get this to the Prism."
Kale stalks out of the temple.
Chance nods. "If I'm not here, you can usually have one of my employees relay a message."
Gauvain: It was a, uh... notices Kale leaving ...er. Yes. Well. Goodbye!
Gauvain quickly bows before heading out.
Chance waves.
Kale slows down a bit for Gau to catch up.
Gauvain jogs up to Kale.
Gauvain: Right then!
Kale: ...Let's go find him at his House.
Gauvain: Uh, sure... you know where that is?
Kale: I have a fairly good idea.
Gauvain: Well, that sounds good to me, then.
Gauvain: I'm not sure I followed everything that Chance was saying...
Kale: Doppelgangers are... irritating. Especially when they take a female form.
Gauvain: What do you suppose she meant about the barkeep?
Gauvain: Was she suggesting we investigate him further? I was not sure.
Kale: The knight had to protect him somehow, and the barkeep saw his mark flash. What possible houses deal in protection of that sort?
Gauvain: Deneith comes to mind.
Kale: Indeed, so off we go.
Kale heads toward the Deneith enclave.

The nearest Deneith enclave is a small Blademark recruitment center in Deathsgate -- though "small", in this case, means a 100-foot diameter tower floor with both open training grounds and administrative buildings.

Gauvain looks around.
Gauvain: Want to try the the administrative building?
Kale nods. "Worth a try."
Gauvain heads on over.
Kale follows.

This wooden building's lobby is decorated with paintings of notable battles, posters advertising Blademark service, and so forth. A stern-looking woman looks to the two from behind a desk as they enter.

Kale approaches the woman.
Woman: You seem a fit man. Are you here to enlist?
Kale: I'm actually looking for someone...
Woman: Oh, I see. Name?
Kale: Liridon of House Deneith.
Gauvain idly looks over one of the recruitment posters.
Woman raises an eyebrow and looks askance at Kale. "Liridon? Are you sure, sir? He isn't the most reliable of ours, though he's certainly a strong fighter. If he actually were at my side in a fight, I would be glad."
Kale: Yes, we need his services.
Woman shrugs. "If you insist. I'm not sure how that troublemaker gets any commissions... In any case, how quickly do you need him?"
Kale: As soon as humanly possible.
Woman: In that case, if you're lucky he should be on guard duty at the local Jorasco hospital, and if not, they have commissioned sending stones just to account for that loose cannon.
Woman shakes her head. "So either way, you should be able to locate him quickly."
Gauvain turns away from the poster.
Gauvain: Ah ha, sounds good.
Kale bows his head slightly. "Thank you for your assistance."
Woman nods.
Kale turns to Gau. "Hospital or sending stone?"
Gauvain: Checking the hopital first won't cost us anything.
Kale: Save time if he's not there.
Kale shrugs and heads off to the Jorasco hospital!
Gauvain: Eh, he'd still have to be at a sending station to receive the message... and then send one back to us.

The dark duo doesn't have to look very hard to find House Jorasco's local hospital; it's one of the four buildings built into the corners of a crossroads tower floor, and tends to be quite busy indeed thanks to the flow of seedier adventurers in and out.

Gauvain looks around for any Liridons.
Gauvain heads on inside.

The waiting room is surprisingly clean given the amount of traffic this place sees. The waiting clientele includes a rather green-looking -- and rather impatient-looking -- elven man and a heavily bandaged human man. The receptionist is a halfling woman. Finally, there are two guards; one is moderately armored and sitting in one of the seats along the wall perpendicular to the wall the two waiting men are waiting in, and the other is lightly armored and leaning against the wall with his nose hidden by a newspaper.

Gauvain boldly approaches the receptionist!
Verna: May I help you?
Gauvain: Yes! I'm looking for a man named Liridon. It's my understanding he works as a guard here?
Gauvain: He wouldn't happen to be around today, would he?
Kale follows Gau inside, pushing his spectacles further up on his nose.
Verna looks a bit irritated. "More quietly, please, sir," she says in a lower voice.
Gauvain blushes!
Gauvain: Oh... terribly sorry, miss.
Liridon lowers his paper. "Yes?"
Gauvain: Oh!
Gauvain: Yes. Hello?
Gauvain approaches Liridon.
Liridon: How can I assist you?
Liridon seems to be acting as if they'd never met.
Gauvain: Oh, um... yes.
Kale: We require your protective services.
Gauvain smiles and lets Kale do the talking.
Liridon: Well. I trust you've got things taken care of, Martin?
Liridon looks to the other guard.
Martin looks to Liridon and nods. "I think if waiting becomes too much for these guys I can make do. Hopefully without blowing my stone's charge on getting people from the next room!"
Martin grins.
Liridon nods, and heads outside.
Gauvain smiles at everyone and heads outside~!
Kale follows suit.
Liridon: So, what's up?
Kale lowers his voice. "We found the gnome."
Liridon leans against the outside wall. "Hm... good. Where?"
Kale: Khyber's Gate, in the underbelly of a Shadow temple there.
Gauvain looks over Liridon.
Gauvain: Hrm. Ah, yes.
Liridon nods...
Gauvain: Before I forget.
Liridon looks to Gauvain.
Gauvain: We had a bit of a time trying to find you.
Gauvain: Perhaps for future reference, we should work out some sort of way to contact each other?
Gauvain: Any thoughts on the matter?
Liridon shrugs.
Gauvain: Well, I suppose we can work something out later. We should figure out what to do with the gnome first.
Liridon: Mm. When're we planning on taking care of him?
Kale: I say we move in first thing tomorrow morning, after we've all had a chance to rest.
Kale: He doesn't know we're yet onto him. I'm sure he still thinks the temple is a safe haven.
Gauvain: Perhaps.
Gauvain: Well... I would not throw out the possibility that he might be ready for us, at least.
Kale: Either way, best we be at full strength when we face him.
Gauvain nods. "Agreed."
Liridon nods.
Kale: We'll need to contact our other companion as well.
Kale looks at Liridon. "How did the interview go?"
Gauvain smiles and looks to Liridon.
Liridon: Fine. Kyra seems slightly shaken up, though. Said he couldn't keep the charade up...
Gauvain: Really? Hmm.
Gauvain: He is just a child, after all, I suppose...
Kale nods. "Did he return to the temple?
Liridon: Yeah. Said he had to talk to someone.
Kale: One of us can try to reach him later, then...
Gauvain: Ah, Chance wanted him to have this.
Gauvain takes out the pointy shiny thing.
Gauvain: I don't suppose you know what it is? She was... vague.
Kale narrows his eyes just a bit at mention of the doppelganger.
Liridon stares. "It's the symbol for The Dark Six. I don't know what he's up to, sending it to him..."
Gauvain: ...oh.
Gauvain puts it away nervously.
Gauvain: I assume you two know each other, then? You and Chance.
Liridon: You could say that.
Kale: He said it would help, though I'm unsure how. Something about a 'pantheon's arsenal'.
Liridon: Hm...
Gauvain: Well, hopefully Kyra will know what to do with it.
Liridon scratches his chin...
Gauvain: Right, well... you seem to be busy here, so I suppose I'll go speak with him.
Gauvain: We should probably arrange something for tomorrow while we're here.
Gauvain: How about we all meet up somewhere tomorrow morning?
Liridon: That seemed to be the arrangement already.
Gauvain: Ah. Hm, yes. Where is my head lately?
Gauvain: Let's see here... how about...
Gauvain: We should probably get some way to coordinate our efforts.
Gauvain: I believe I recall hearing about specialized sending stones that could be made for personal use.
Gauvain: Definitely something worth looking into.
Kale nods. "Meet at a tavern in Khyber's Gate called Shamukaar, as much as I hate it. Dress inconspicuous. There won't be any reporters around this time to chronicle our efforts."
Gauvain looks to Kale. "Sounds agreeable."
Liridon: Hmph.
Gauvain: Well. I suppose that's it for now. We don't want to keep you from your job too long.
Liridon: Not like much happens anyway...
Kale: Aye, we can figure out a means of future communication after dealing with this gnomish threat.
Gauvain flashes a hint of disappointment. "Yes... that would be best"
Gauvain: Well then!
Gauvain tips his hat to Liridon.
Kale bows his head slightly. "Until tomorrow."
Liridon bows, and heads back inside.
Gauvain turns to Kale.
Gauvain: I guess I better see what I can do about getting this thing to the priest?
Kale nods. "I'll leave you to it. I've got to make sure all my affairs are in order before tomorrow. I've no doubt this gnome will be a tough opponent."
Gauvain: Very well. I will see you tomorrow, then.
Gauvain tips his hat to Kale too~!
Kale gives a little wave and starts making his way back to his apartment.
Gauvain heads off to temple to speak with Kyra.

It's not a difficult matter for Gauvain to make his way to Hope's Peak by sunset. There seems to be slightly more activity at this time, particularly in and out of Aureon's side of the tower floor shared by his shrine and Boldrei's.

Gauvain, intrigued, takes a peak over in the Aureon side to see what all the hubbub is about.

At a glance, it simply seems to be people going in and out of the back door of the main room.

Gauvain wanders back around to the Boldrei temple.
Kyra: Bye, Lannar!
Kyra steps out of the front door of the temple's floor, cheerfully strolling into the streets.
Gauvain: Oh.
Lannar waves after Kyra.
Lannar: Take care, Kyra.
Lannar closes the door after Kyra.
Gauvain: Yoo hoo.
Kyra looks to the source of the noise.
Gauvain waves.
Gauvain approaches.
Kyra: Oh, sir Gauvain. Fancy running into you at this hour.
Gauvain: Yes, good timing, it looks like.
Gauvain: We've a few things to discuss, shall we find some place to talk?
Kyra looks a bit nervous at that. "Can we make it fast?"
Gauvain shrugs. "If you'd like."
Gauvain: But we really should find some place a little less public first.
Kyra: ...I have a way to kill two birds with one arrow. Follow me!
Kyra wastes no time in setting off in a jog.
Gauvain: R...right.
Gauvain tries to keep up

Kyra leads Gauvain to and through Redstone, and eventually to a bridge leading into one of the middle floors of a tall yet thin red marble tower. This floor involves a T intersection in the center, a large wooden building taking up all of the unbroken side, some stables in one of the corners, a set of pens with various animals wandering within them taking up the other, and many impressively-carved red marble support beams with anthropomorphic designs. There is also a long staircase built into the wall of the unbroken side.

Kyra makes his way to the larger wooden building.
Gauvain: ...Interesting place you've got here.
Kyra shrugs offhandedly.
Gauvain: Right, well, anyway.
Kyra ducks into the large building. "Mom, Dad, I'm home!"
Gauvain stares.

This looks to be the lobby of some sort of business -- to judge by the design, decor, and most importantly the fact that everyone waiting seems to have an animal, likely a veterinary office.

Gauvain sighs.
Gauvain heads inside as well.
Robin: Oh, Kyra! You're a little late... who's this?
Robin looks at Gauvain with mild suspicion.
Kyra looks caught off guard for a brief second, realizing he forgot to tell Gauvain to wait outside.
Kyra: He's an acquaintance of Sir Lannar's and mine. Said he wanted to see the clinic.
Gauvain smiles. "Hello."
Robin cheers up somewhat. "Ah, well then. May I ask your name, sir?"
Gauvain nods, "Ah yes, of course."
Gauvain: I'm Gauvain Grey~!
Robin nods. "Pleased to meet you, Gauvain. I'm Robin Freidheim d'Vadalis. I don't suppose you have any pets or mounts? Or did you just want to see what Kyra does when he's not at the shrine?"
Gauvain: Well...
Gauvain: No, I do not have a mount right now, but I've always been interested in getting one.
Gauvain: So I'm just doing a little bit of research before I make any decisions~!
Robin: Hm. Well, there's an enclave nearby with a number of our finest if you want to learn about our different offerings. We just tend the ill and injured here.
Kyra nods. "I need to tend to Nessa, anyway. I can show him the way and give him the grand tour."
Gauvain: Ah.
Robin: Be sure to stay on the streets, don't go in any buildings besides the stables and the enclaves, straight there, straight back, you have an hour.
Kyra slumps a bit, zoning out after about the first three words of Robin's tirade. "Yes, ma'am..."
Gauvain smiles sheepishly.
Gauvain: Well then, takes a small bow good day to you.
Kyra bows stiltedly and retreats from the office.
Robin looks back to Gauvain, a bit more pleasant again. "You might actually be interested in Nessa. She's one of a new discovery from the Talenta Plains. We're still working on the breeding program."
Robin waves.
Gauvain smiles and heads out.
Kyra remains silent, apparently a combination of sulking and fuming, as he makes his way towards the stables at the corner of the floor.
Gauvain: Your mom seems nice.
Kyra: You haven't actually met her yet...
Gauvain: Oh.
Kyra: Ask sir Liridon of his opinion next time you see him.
Gauvain scratches his head.
Kyra walks into one of the lines of stables. "Now, it's safe here. What did you want to talk about?"
Gauvain: Ah yes.
Gauvain looks around a little bit first.
Kyra keeps his back to Gauvain, checking each stable as he passes to make sure the occupant is taken care of.
Gauvain: We've found where Fibblebaum... the gnome... is hiding.
Kyra: Oh yeah?
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: He's hiding in a Shadow temple in Khyber's Gate.
Gauvain: We've made plans to go after him tomorrow.
Gauvain: There is a tavern nearby, called Shamukaar... we're going to meet up tomorrow morning.
Gauvain: I assume you're interested in seeing this through to the end.
Kyra nods, stopping in front of one of the stalls. "I'll... do my best to be there."
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: Ah, yes.
Gauvain: There was one other thing.
Gauvain rifles through his pockets.
Gauvain: Er... one second.
Gauvain: Where did I put that...
Kyra stops at the next stall over. "And here's my pride and joy."
Kyra looks to Gauvain. "But she can wait a moment. ...Lose something?"
Gauvain: Here we go.
Gauvain tosses the small, dark, six-pointed object to Kyra. "Here."
Kyra turns slightly and reaches across his body with his left arm to catch the item slightly above his right shoulder -- and his eyes go wide as it connects with his hand.
Kyra: A... a Hexagram?
Kyra drops it, one very short step away from rebounding away from it, hissing. Instead, he just stares at it.
Gauvain: Yeah, Chance asked me to give it to ya.
Kyra remains standing in the position he was in when he caught it.
Gauvain: Er...
Kyra's eyebrow begins ticcing slightly. Then rapidly. Then violently.
Kyra: Ch-Ch-Chance gave that t-t-t-to you? The d-d-doppleganger?

The creature in the stall, apparently sensing Kyra's panic, lets out a loud wark.

Gauvain frowns. "Ye...yeah... what's wrong?"
Kyra: Th-th-that's... that's a...a-a-a... a symbol of the Dark Six!
Kyra leans down hesitantly and picks the symbol up gingerly between his thumb and forefinger, holding it away from himself in disgust.
Gauvain: Yeah, that's what I figured. Not really sure how it's supposed to help.
Gauvain: Was kind of hoping you would know.
Kyra: Oh, I know what it is. And you say Chance gave this to you?
Gauvain: Uh huh.
Kyra takes an empty feedbag from the wall, drops the symbol into it, puts that bag into another empty feedbag, and ties the bag-in-a-bag to his belt.
Gauvain stares.
Kyra: I can't imagine what he meant to accomplish, other that seriously pissing me off.
Gauvain: Oh.
Kyra looks genuinely livid.
Gauvain: Well the doppleganger was rather... cryptic.
Kyra: This isn't just a symbol, either. It's like there's... something... waiting to be tapped.
Kyra: You can't tell me you didn't feel it.
Gauvain: I... did not really take the time to investigate it, to be honest.

The large yellow bird in the stall that Kyra was tending to sticks its head out and nudges its beak against the bag at Kyra's waist.

Gauvain: IF it turns out that it was some sort of sick joke, then I apologize.
Kyra: No, Nessa, quit it.
Gauvain: My hope, however, is that its importance will reveal itself in time.
Kyra scratches the bird's head offhandedly. Nessa seems satisfied and retreats into the stall, seeing to dinner.
Kyra: I should hope so.
Gauvain: Like I said, I am not sure exactly how much of Chance's remarks I fully understood.
Gauvain: He did refer to it as "a pantheon's arsenal", if that means anything to you.
Kyra: ...He did, huh.
Gauvain nods.
Gauvain: Right. Well, anyway.
Kyra lets out a small sigh. "While I can't agree with the form, this may indeed prove useful."
Gauvain: Oh?
Gauvain: Well then, I'm glad to hear that.
Kyra shakes his head. "I don't know why people always have to do things in the most complicated way possible..."
Gauvain: Well, she's a doppelganger after all, right? I'm sure it's just their nature to screw with people.
Kyra: True.
Gauvain: She certainly rubbed Kale the wrong way, that's for sure.
Kyra: Well, is there anything else? Mom's probably going spastic by now.
Gauvain: Ah yes, just one other thing worth mentioning.
Gauvain: We're looking into a way to communicate with each other.
Gauvain: Possibly some sort of sending stones.
Gauvain: If for no other reason than to stop us from having to meet like this.
Kyra: Good idea.
Gauvain: Well then, just thought I would give you the heads up.
Gauvain: I'll let you get back to your duties...
Gauvain pauses, then smiles. "...and sorry about back at your house."
Kyra: Things happen.
Gauvain tips his hat.
Gauvain: See you tomorrow, then.
Kyra bows courteously. "May the Host watch over you."
Gauvain mutters to himself on the way out, "Good grief, it smelled in there."

Dragon Towers, while not a district renowned for displays of wealth, is known for its displays of power. Here, it tends to be clear who among the dragonmarked houses controls what -- the crests of each are difficult to avoid. Even the generally low-profile House Medani gets in on the act, if reluctantly -- engravings and small marks display its presence here rather than large, brightly-painted banners.

Many of the dragonmarked proudly display their colors on or above their front doors of their homes in this place. House Medani's heirs, though, tend to be subtler, as they tend to either value the efforts of the perceptive or just want to be left alone. Kale is among the latter.

The interior of his rented residence is tidy, bordering on sparse. Seldom does he ever entertain guests of any sort, as his furniture selection throughout makes apparent. Little more than a nondescript table and pair of chairs adorn the living room, alongside a long, waist-high bookshelf -- holding stacks of old copies of the Inquisitive along with a few research-related borrowed textbooks -- nearby.

Kale's study, however, sees more signs of life than the rest of his home combined. A large, sturdy oaken desk sits along the back wall, pressed up against an opened window. Next to it is a well-worn perch, currently not in use as Dominguez soars the Sharn skies in search of a morning snack. Scribbled-upon papers -- as well as even more copies of the Inquisitive -- lay strewn about the desk, evidence of recent, rather harried use.

Kale sits on his very broken-in desk chair, leaning slightly on its back legs, as he peruses the latest edition of the Inquisitive -- particularly a certain reporter's article about his and the other's exploits regarding the Black Terror.

There is a knock at the door.

Kale frowns and sets the paper down to go answer the door. "Yes...?"
Neugier, a brown-haired man with only a pinch of elven blood whose predisposition towards well-tailored outfits of red, orange, and rose is quite apparent today, is at the door. "Good morning, Kale."
Kale: And a good morning to you in turn. Is there something I can do for you...?
Neugier: Let's speak inside, if I may.
Kale moves out of the way and motions for the man to come inside.
Neugier bows slightly, then enters, closing the door behind himself.
Kale gestures to the chairs nearby. "Have a seat, if you prefer."
Neugier: Thank you.
Kale takes a seat himself, then looks at the man in askance.
Neugier does indeed seat himself. "To be honest, Kale, your actions of yesterday have left the local elders baffled. Here you are, a man who normally tries to stay out of the public eye, earn his keep, and pursue his own matters, and all of a sudden you're associating with these so-called 'men with skin like iron' who are rising to prominence."
Kale looks a little taken aback. "I... was acting as I thought necessary in order to bring such a known menace to justice."
Neugier: The fact that you're quoted as saying that it "probably doesn't help that you're the only one not in disguise" strikes us as particularly strange, and we're not sure that Diab wasn't simply thrown off the trail with the insistence that they're dangerous to associate with.
Kale drops into a slight yet brief scowl at mention of Diab's name. "Unfortunate as it may be, all three are now linked irrevocably to myself through her article. To be perfectly honest, I would prefer such a known link to not exist solely to protect their identities moreso than my own. After all, it's hardly a bad thing for a Medani inquisitive to be directly involved in the apprehension of a wanted criminal, is it?"
Neugier: Nor is it strange for an heir of Medani to have an interest in shielding a secret whose revelation could throw Khorvaire into chaos. If these three had nothing to hide, they would act as simple adventurers, wouldn't they?
Kale: Well, I think that's the very nature of wearing a disguise. I can say that these are highly skilled, fairly powerful individuals who all seem to hold a desire to keep such identities hidden, but as to the question of "Why?", I am afraid I have no answer. They have their reasons, I am sure, and my only intent would be to keep their reasons from being blasted across the public sphere.
Kale: This would be the same thing I'd tell Diab were she to inquire, naturally.
Kale: She has not yet opted to speak directly with me, though I am sure that is only a matter of time.
Neugier raises an eyebrow. "You claim the association carries risk, yet also claim to know nothing?"
Kale: I know that the risk involved for them is that I am a known quantity. I can be found and questioned with ease by any who would desire to do so. It is most likely in their best interests that I not be overly informed as to their true nature.
Neugier nods... "I don't suppose you think they'd feel comfortable trusting us to help with counterintelligence, then? If their intent is as benign as it appears, it may be in Sharn's interest that they stay safe."
Kale smiles slightly. "I would imagine that counterintelligence would be most beneficial, though I would request to be the one acting in that respect... as I have been doing up until now, though likely with less participation in the actual confrontations, as it were."
Neugier: Perhaps -- but there's still a lot we don't know. What danger would we be in if they were merely building a positive reputation to leverage later?
Kale: Though I know truly little of them, that would seem an unlikely situation. At worst, however, they are, again, fairly powerful, though I would require additional opportunity to monitor their skills in action to provide a true assessment.
Kale: I cannot imagine we would be in grave danger if their desired positioning as 'heroes' of a sort proved a ruse. At least not at this time.
Neugier: Why not? Do you already have a contingency plan in mind, even if preliminary?
Kale: I cannot with any honesty say that I do at this time, though I have only met these individuals all of... two or three days ago.
Neugier nods... "Knowing their intents is the most vital thing, in the end."
Kale: Well, to date, their intents seem to be focused on, "Find and defeat evil-doers," if their assistance in the pursuit of the Black Terror and his benefactor can be used as an appropriate example.
Kale: If that should ever change, I mean to know immediately.
Neugier: We wouldn't question it so readily if their methods weren't so atypical.
Neugier shrugs.
Neugier stands. "Thank you for your time, Kale; I'm sorry to have disturbed you. But there is one other thing..."
Kale stands as well. "Yes...?"
Neugier: It is our understanding that Diab has started an investigation of her own into the whereabouts of the gnome, in hopes of intercepting the group.
Kale frowns. "I should have guessed..."
Neugier heads for the door out. "Have a good day, Kale."
Kale breaks from his thoughts for a brief moment.
Kale: You as well, sir.
Neugier waves, then shuts the door behind himself.
Kale strides back to his study and sweeps up the morning's Inquisitive, scanning for/through Diab's article and muttering to himself. "I should have bloody known that woman would go and bugger the whole operation like this..."
Kale snatches a blank sheet of paper and a quill, and start scribbling a note addressed to Gauvain -- "Girl is on the hunt. Be careful with disguises. I'll be nearby. -K"
Kale folds it in thirds, then slips out his front door and makes his way to Gau's home to drop the note off -- all the while muttering about annoying girls.

Gauvain appears not to be home.

Khyber's Gate -- the city of the wretched beneath the City of Towers. Goblinoids are common in these streets and cavern tunnels, but even stranger and deadlier things can be found in this place -- as well as some of Sharn's sapient refuse. The Dark Six and the Dragon Below, Khyber itself, see much reverence in this hive of monsters.

And yet, even the scum of Eberron have a neutral ground, free from the open warfare that often occurs in these streets -- Shamukaar. The fumes of many questionable substances linger in the air here, and the clanking of glasses, the bright brass tones of goblin jazz, and chatter in many foreign tongues fill this place, occasionally interrupted by the squeal of a beast being slaughtered for a meal someone has ordered. While neutral, this place is hardly benign; indeed, it's a den of villainy.

Gauvain is already waiting inside the tavern in a completely different disguise involving a commoner's outfit and looking as nondescript as a human can possibly be in Khyber's Gate.
Gauvain is keeping an eye out for the others, since they won't recognize him.
Liridon keeps a steady hand on the hilt of his scimitar as he walks through these slums with Kyra, heading towards the tavern Kale cited as their meeting place.
Kyra tags closely to Liridon; he himself is in a different guise than usual, wearing a cheap-looking cloak over his unglamered armor and a brown scarf tied around the lower half of his face, but with his hair uncovered.
Liridon: So... You ready?
Liridon nods his head at Kyra.
Kyra nods nervously.

From the outside, the granite building housing Shamukaar is large, even considering the size of some of the creatures it's intended to be able to accomodate. Even from out here, a degree of the din is audible.

Liridon walks inside, and looks around.
Kyra stays latched to Liridon, trying not to look TOO nervous while looking around nervously.

A few of the patrons look askance at Liridon and Kyra briefly as they enter.

Liridon raises an eyebrow, then bows slightly. "Don't mind us, we're looking for someone."
Hobgoblin: That other human that came earlier?
Liridon: Probably.
Hobgoblin looks to where an apparent commoner is sitting.
Gauvain: !
Liridon nods. "Thanks." He then flicks a silver piece onto the counter before heading over.
Hobgoblin hurriedly grabs and pockets it before it can bounce more than once. A few nearby heads turn at the sound.
Gauvain looks up at the two.
Gauvain: Ah good, you're here.
Liridon takes a seat near the disguised Gauvain. "...so, that's three of us. Where's your friend?"
Kyra ducks over as well, taking a seat and remaining quiet.
Gauvain sits back. "I'm sure he'll be showing up shortly."
Liridon nods and leans back.
Gauvain: Did you get his note?
Liridon: Hm?
Gauvain frowns. "I suppose not."
Gauvain: Well... he mentioned that the reporter is still on the hunt...
Gauvain: So we had better be careful to not attract any unnecessary attention to ourselves in public.
Kyra rolls his eyes ironically, figuring that will get his point across without saying anything.
Liridon shrugs. "Not our problem."
Liridon: I'm not going to let her get in the way.
Gauvain cocks an eyebrow.
Gauvain: Right, right. shrug
Liridon sits back to wait for Kale without further comment.
Kyra squirms in his chair.

A bugbear waiter -- lanky for the race, which admittedly isn't saying much -- approaches the group from Kyra's direction. He booms, "Drinks?"

Kyra nearly jumps out of his skin.
Gauvain: I think we're good here, thank you.
Liridon looks the waiter over. "Something strong."
Gauvain frowns back at Liridon.
BugbearWaiter: Oho, human thinks he strong!
Liridon grins.
BugbearWaiter looks around at the nearby patrons, asking a question in goblin. Boistrous laughter is the response.
Gauvain facepalms.
BugbearWaiter: OK, human, wait.
BugbearWaiter heads over to the bar in the distance.
Gauvain stares at Liridon.
Gauvain: What are you, crazy?
Gauvain: You'd be better off drinking from a toilet.
Liridon: Probably.
Gauvain sighs and rolls his eyes. "Well, it's your stomach."

A few of the patrons start gathering around a table and throwing coins into a pile.

Liridon: Might as well have some fun while we're waiting. Looks like our friends here agree.
Gauvain mutters to himself, "This is not what I meant by 'inconsipicous'."
BugbearWaiter eventually returns with a softly fizzing, dark purple drink which reeks of rancid fruit and bread mold.
BugbearWaiter: Four silver!
BugbearWaiter holds his free hand out.
Liridon places the coins in the Bugbear's hand, then takes the drink. "Thank you, sir."
BugbearWaiter grunts in response with a nod. A few of the other patrons turn to watch...
BugbearWaiter steps back.
Liridon takes a large gulp of the drink without a second thought.
Gauvain watches with disgust. "Try not to make too much of a mess."
Kyra buries his face in his hand. "Good night, sweet prince..."
Liridon stands up and gives the Bugbear a strong bow. "Now that... was a drink." He then sits down... only to topple onto the ground.

The patrons cackle, and the pile of coins is divvied.

Gauvain rubs his temple.
Kyra's face hits the table. "Nice..."
Gauvain looks up at the waiter, "He gonna live?"
BugbearWaiter grins. "He live."
Liridon shouts up from the floor. "I'm fine! Just a little... whew..."
BugbearWaiter heads back to the bar.
BugbearWaiter returns at length with a bucket, and sets it by Liridon.
Liridon points at the bugbear. "Good show, but I'll be back here some day to finish that drink, mark my wo--..."
Gauvain continues being mortified.
Kyra: 3... 2... 1...
Liridon turns over and places his head over the bucket to vomit.
Kyra makes a twirling motion with his hand and sits back, satisfied.
BugbearWaiter heads off to continue serving the rest of the patrons.
Liridon promptly passes out after vomiting, luckily to the side of the bucket instead of with his face still in it.
Kyra glances at Gauvain. "...Not it."
Gauvain stares at Kyra. "Hm?"
Kyra points to Liridon. "I'm not helping him. ...Do you have a pen, by chance?"
Gauvain: Helping him what? He seems 'fine' to me.
Gauvain: Er... no, I didn't bring a pen.
Kyra falls back into his chair, crossing his arms. "Nuts."
Gauvain: Hmf. He can sleep it off. Serves him right.
Kyra looks a bit nervous at that. "We do have business here, remember..."
Gauvain: Well hopefully he'll shake it off before Kale arrives... until then, there's really not a whole lot we can do.
Kale slips into the tavern, beige fedora perched atop his head and a matching scarf wrapped tightly around his lower face. His eyes twitch with disgust at having to again grace Khyber's Gate with his presence.
Gauvain and the others are hard to miss.
Liridon is still passed out on the floor.
Kyra sits there, still annoyed at Liridon.
Kale arches an eyebrow at the scene, then walks over and mutters to the others, "This is ridiculous... He's been drinking?"
Gauvain sighs, obvoiusly still incredibly embarrased.
Gauvain: He made a bit of a spectacle of himself in the process as well.
Kale pulls up a seat. "He'll be of no use for a while, then. This food and drink was not meant for humans. We've larger concerns at the moment."
Gauvain brushes back a tuft of hair and mutters to himself, "Honestly... what was he thinking..."
Gauvain nods at Kale. "Right, then."
Kale keeps his voice low. "I haven't seen her yet, but that doesn't mean the girl's not around here somewhere. I've been informed that she's trying to find the gnome."
Gauvain: Hmm... yes, I see.
Kale: You should be fine once we're in the temple, but this lout just diminished our chances with his drunken endeavors.
Gauvain: I suppose we should make some attempt to get him on his feet.
Kale nods. "I need to keep an eye out for her while the rest of you work the gnome, so it's in our best interests to get him upright and mobile."
Kale nudges Liridon with his foot.
Liridon jumps, hits his head on the table, then plops back to the ground again. "...ow, wha?"
Kale: You with us, champ?
Liridon looks up to Kale, dazed. "...I dunno, are there supposed to be three of you?"
Gauvain: Eh. good enough for me.
Kale rolls his eyes and growls just a bit, then holds out his hands to hoist Liridon to his feet. "Best we can do, I suppose. You three get going. I'll follow shortly."
Gauvain: Right, then.
Gauvain stands up from the table.
Gauvain instinctively dusts off his outfit.
Liridon stands up for about a second before falling back to the ground. "...woah."
Gauvain looks down at Kyra. "Ready to get out of here?"
Kyra: I've been waiting for someone to say that since I got here.
Kale sighs and looks at Gau, jutting a thumb in Liridon's direction. "Help him."
Gauvain sighs. "Me too, kid."
Gauvain: Teh.
Liridon vomits into the bucket again.
Gauvain stares.
Kale: ...Might want to take the bucket with you.
Gauvain grimaces.
Gauvain makes a weak attempt at helping Liridon onto his feet.
Gauvain makes his way out of the tavern with Liridon in tow.
Kyra hops up enthusiastically and takes off and walks briskly after Gauvain.
Kale sits back down for a brief spell as the others depart.
Liridon is mostly dead weight at this point, as his attempts at moving his legs seem staggered and weak.

It takes a good hour before Liridon's stomach settles and his head is clear enough for him to be able to swing a sword safely. Soon afterward, the three change and make their way to the temple of the Shadow that Kale and Gauvain visited before...

Kale lurks nearby, attempting discretion, to keep an eye on the temple from the exterior as the others arrive.
Liridon has since changed into his costume, his dragonfly wings out, but bent down along his back, to make himself a little less noticable. Though likely not by much.
Kyra is now in Prism guise as well, walking with much more confidence than he was earlier.
Gauvain in in his mighty super form as well, full beard blowing majesticly in the wind~~
Liridon cracks his neck. "Well, here goes nothing."
Gauvain: After you.
Liridon looks to Kyra.
Kyra finishes chanting and places his hand on Liridon. "Status."
Liridon nods. "Well, then..."
Gauvain already has inertial armor up.
Liridon takes the lead into the temple.
Kyra shakes his head. "This isn't going to end well..."
Gauvain follows about ten feet behind.

As before, the temple is mostly not lit, with only a couple of tiny candles on the altar to provide a point of orientation.

A familiar chirpy voice calls out to them: "Hi~!"

Gauvain: Brightness be!
Liridon: Good day, Miss Kearne.
Kyra doesn't say anything.
Gauvain: What.. are you doing here?
Diab: Gathering information! What did you think?
Diab: Oh, by the way... if you let me follow you, I did find a juicy tidbit you'd like while I was waiting~!
Gauvain raises an eyebrow, growing leery of the reporter. "And what is that?"
Diab can be heard, and eventually seen, walking to the altar. "The way further in. How about it?"
Diab grins.
Liridon: She's obviously not going to tell you unless we agree to her terms, so we might as well humor her.
Gauvain: You realize how dangerous this is going to be, don't you?
Diab: This is what keeping your distance is for, hm~?
Liridon: Of course she does, but that probably isn't going to stop her.
Liridon shrugs.
Gauvain shifts his weight, "Just how did you find out about this 'tidbit' anyway?"
Diab shrugs. "I poked around a bit. You took an awfully long time to get here..."
Liridon: ...complications arose, ensued, were overcome.
Diab whips out a quill and clipboard. "I see! I bet they were interesting, too!"
Gauvain: Oh yes. It's all a rich tapestry.
Liridon is blushing, if anyone could see him.
Gauvain: Interviews later. Right now we have a gnome to take care of.
Gauvain: You want to join us? Fine. Just as long as you understand the danger and don't do anything idiotic.
Diab scribbles a bit. "All right then!"
Liridon: That we do, Miss Kearne, I'll agree to the terms as long as you keep well out of the way and run if anything goes wrong.
Diab kneels down behind the altar and can be heard fiddling with what sounds like stone mechanisms.
Liridon: It wouldn't do for the Inquisitive's finest reporter to go missing.
Diab looks over and grins at the Fair Knight. "Such a charmer!"
Kyra sneers. "Can we get this over with?"
Diab: I'm working on it!

There's a thud eventually, and a stone panel slides aside behind the altar to reveal a 10'-wide double door.

Diab: Ta-da~!
Liridon: Impressive.
Diab stands, and gestures to the door.
Liridon walks towards the door.
Kyra tails Liridon closely, staring at Diab cautiously as he heads for the door.
Gauvain follows not so closely.

Through the door is a better-lit chamber full of bookshelves.

Diab: Now, where was it...
Diab begins tapping the floor.
Kale slips inside the temple, notices the open door near the altar then slowly sneaks over and through.
Liridon crosses his arms, watching Diab carefully.
Diab: C'mon, I know there was a trap door somewhere...
Gauvain keeps an eye out for anything suspicious!

After a few minutes, Diab eventually finds a trap door near the back of the room and works it open. There's a ladder going down from it.

Diab: And this is probably that "undertemple" I found out about. I haven't gone past here, though~!
Gauvain looks to Liridon.
Kale approaches where the party is, staying hidden, and scowls at Diab's presence.
Liridon walks forward. "Good work. I'll go down first." He begins climbing partway until he's through the opening, and then lets go of the ladder, gliding down into the darkness.
Kyra, still not saying anything, follows after Liridon, though he stays on the ladder.
Gauvain: Ladies first.
Gauvain makes a smallish bow.
Diab blinks and puts a hand to her ear. "Hm? Someone else is here..."
Gauvain: Eh?
Kale pauses and crouches low.
Diab looks around...
Diab scratches her head. "I'm sure I heard footsteps..."
Gauvain raises an eyebrow at Diab
Diab shrugs and climbs down.

Gauvain rolls his eyes and follows.

The room below is pitch black. Only the light from the room above is present.

Kale starts creeping forward again once they've all descended through the trapdoor.
Kyra finds the floor rather abruptly, stubbing his toe on it while trying to reach the next rung on the ladder.
Liridon stands rather still. "This might call for some light, Prism..."
Kyra nods to the darkness as his prismatic light suddenly flares into existence.

The room is revealed to be 25' square, with a high ceiling -- a good 15'. The walls look to be made of black stone. Aside from the ladder up to the trap door, there's a single small doorway leading into what appears to be a small hallway.

Gauvain: Right, let's get moving.
Diab shields her eyes.
Liridon simply averts his gaze to the doorway.
Gauvain looks expectingly at Liridon.
Liridon nods, heading through the doorway.
Kyra sticks close to Liridon, trying to shed light into the room to come.

It looks to be a hallway heading both to the left and right.

Diab stays at the rear of the room for the moment...
Kale watches from the trapdoor edge.
Liridon moves so Kyra can step in further.
Kyra slides into the hallway himself and looks both ways.

As Kyra steps into the hall, it's shown to be north-south, with one bend at the end of the north branch heading away from where they came and two different paths also heading further in at the end of the south path.

Liridon scratches his chin. "Which way?"
Kyra shuffles through his bag and removes a silver piece. He tosses it into the air end-over-end, and catches it in his other hand.
Kyra points south. "That way."
Liridon: Well, then...
Liridon heads south.
Kyra: Though we're probably going to run into a dead end eventually...
Kyra stays close to Liridon.
Kyra: ...Wait a sec.
Kyra rummages through his bag.
Diab slips over to the first doorway in order to better watch.
Kyra: Don't ask why a walking candle is carrying one of these, but...
Liridon raises an eyebrow.
Kyra takes a hooded lantern and a small tindertwig out of the bag, and hands them to Liridon. "Two heads are better than one?"
Liridon: Good thinking.
Liridon: Don't stray too far, though.
Kyra: Don't worry.
Liridon takes the lamp, and heads down the passage in front of him.

Liridon's path goes for a short distance, then turns into a dead end.

Liridon: ...well, that's no good.
Kyra meanwhile motions for Gauvain to follow, and walks a short distance down his own hallway.
Gauvain quickens his step and keeps close to Kyra.
Gauvain: A maze... how bothersome.

A patch of blackness on the wall suddenly grasps at Liridon, ignoring his armor and draining some of his energy!

Kyra jumps suddenly.
Kyra: Liridon!
Kyra pushes past Gauvain and retreats backwards, starting down the hallway Liridon took.
Gauvain follows behind, "What's wrong?"
Diab slips over to try to get a better hearing vantage point, if nothing else.
Kale swoops down the ladder and creeps over to the doorway.
Liridon jumps, pulling away. "What the!?"
Kyra: L-- Sir Knight, are you ok!?
Liridon holds his shield up against the dark forms.

The forms emit a hissing screech.

Kale frowns at all the commotion and moves out into the hallway while drawing both swords... only to run smack into reporter girl. "What the...? Get out of here!"
Diab: I'm trying to get a story here!
Diab: But what're you doing here?
Diab slips aside even as she starts scribbling.
Kale: And get yourself killed in the process, no bloody doubt!
Kale: We'll discuss this later. Now is not the time!
Liridon slashes forward at the form immediately in front of him.
Gauvain: What's happening!?

The magic in Liridon's sword allows Liridon's well-guided blow to snag on a thicker part of this insubstantial being, ripping it slightly like a black gown. It screeches and glowers at Liridon with eyes that seem red just by virtue of sucking away nonred light.

The creature counterattacks, but poorly, not managing to reach Liridon.

Liridon: You'll not catch me off guard again, creature.
Kyra hisses angrily. "I will not question how you got here! But I will be the one to send you back, foul beings!" He takes the holy symbol wrapped around his neck in hand and raises it over his head. "In the name of the Host, return whence you came!" A burst of light emanates from the symbol, surrounding Kyra in a sphere and striking at the shadow before dissipating.

Only one of the shadows is even slightly in sight of Kyra, and it seems unintimidated by having this light pass just before it.

Kyra continues focusing on the symbol despite the failure.
Diab remains where she is, writing furiously.

A second of these beings slides towards Liridon, staying low to the ground rather than hanging in midair like its brother. It reaches through Liridon's armor and siphons quite a bit of energy out of him through his left leg.

Liridon staggers.
Gauvain's eyes burn brightly as he fires off a pair of screaming bolts of fire at the shadowy creatures!
Kyra's concentration shatters as he hits the deck.

The mystical fire is as effective on these things as ay typical fire would be on thick cloth. Their screeches are shrill and painful, and they're rather faded once the light clears.

Gauvain smirks.
Kyra stays on the floor, holding his ears and whimpering.
Kale moves down the hall toward the shadows, swinging twice on his approach and growling, "Liridon, get out of here! I've got your back!"

Both of Kale's swords unfortunately pass through the upper of the two creatures...

Liridon steels up. "Sorry, I've got an image to protect."
Liridon slashes at the upper one after Kale.

The monster dodges. It swings in response, but only manages to drink up a tiny amount of Liridon's life before he staggers away.

Liridon curses, but continues to stand, panting.
Kyra pushes himself to his feet and dramatically presents his holy symbol in front of himself again. "You shall NOT defy me!" The symbol radiates a similar light to the last attempt.

This time, both shadows are lit, and recoil from the light, moaning and whimpering.

Kyra dramatically waves the symbol through the air, then returns it to its spot around his neck. "I make a compelling argument, if I do say so myself." He snickers at himself.
Diab edges slightly closer in order to peek around the corner.

The lower shadow edges back, cowering in the dead end.

Kale growls and swings twice again at the higher shadow. "Images are meaningless if you die in vain, Knight."

While Kale's shortsword still fails to treat the horror as anything but air, his longsword's magic manages to connect with the being this time, slicing it in twain; it fades away.

Liridon takes a few steps forward, and slices at the second shadow.

Unfortunately, magic weapons alone seem not to be a reliable way to strike true against these; Liridon's sword passes through again.

Liridon curses.
Kyra holds his position, knowing that making the shadow feel threatened could break the hold fear has on it.

Kyra's stand seems to help, as the shadow merely cowers.

Gauvain inches closer a bit, "Do hurry up and finish the thing off quickly, will you? I don't have a good shot."
Liridon: We're trying.
Gauvain waves his hand dismissively.
Kale slips by Liridon and into the cul-de-sac next to the shadow, and swings at it with his longsword.

The weapon somehow fails to apply its magic well.

Liridon growls and slashes himself. "Die already!"

Liridon's rage spoils his concentration; he misses.

Gauvain moves in around the corner and watches the shadow carefully
Kale sighs and swings again. "...This is ridiculous."
Liridon swings in tandem with Kale.

Liridon and Kale miss once more each before finally the magic within Kale's sword manages to take hold, allowing the creature to be shredded.

Kale sheathes both blades. "Damn well about time."
Kyra lets out a sigh of relief. "I... should've sensed that. I'm sorry, Sir Knight."
Gauvain smiles.
Liridon plops on the ground and leans back against the wall, panting.
Kale: Are you well enough to continue?
Diab steps a bit closer, raising an eyebrow at Kyra's words.
Liridon: I can hardly move.
Gauvain shakes his head.
Kyra: ...We cannot really continue with Liridon in this condition.
Kale crouches down and drapes one of Liridon's arms over his shoulder and tries to hoist him back to his feet. "We shouldn't loiter here. There may be more of those lurking..."
Diab: ..."Liridon?"
Kyra shakes his head quickly.
Kyra: Bubblegum rainbows and lollipops!
Kyra staggers in a circle.
Gauvain: Oh dear.
Gauvain: The Prism's babbling again.
Kyra looks to Gauvain. "Good sir, have you seen my candle? I seem to have misplaced it..."
Kyra turns and runs headlong into the wall.
Kale rolls his eyes. "Mindflare, take care of him."
Gauvain puts his hands on Kyra's shoulders, "Easy there, little guy! Just relax and it will pass."
Kyra strains. "Shadows... spell... Mind... slipping..."
Liridon looks to Diab, his eyes gleaming slightly, with comfort and caring despite his state. "It's nothing, Miss Kearne. Nothing that would do you any good with your story, just a slip of the tongue. In fact, if you had any sense for the life of your story you'd do best to forget it."
Diab looks dazed. "Huh? Hm... oh, all right..."
Kale chuckles drily and shakes his head. "Come on, Knight, let's get you out of here."
Kyra picks himself up and dusts himself off.
Liridon stands up, but he seems irritable and even slightly depressed.
Gauvain: What now, I wonder? Are we giving up?
Liridon ...drops back down. "...Think I'll need some help."
Kale hoists Liridon again. "We need to get him to a temple. A good one."
Kyra glares at Liridon without saying why, and nods in agreement to Kale.
Gauvain inspects his fingernails. "I don't think we'll have much luck finding one in this district."
Diab shakes her head, seeming less dazed now. "Well, Prism, you could take him wherever you go, couldn't you, if a hospital's not an option?"
Kyra: I could. I'm owed a favor or two... though I would have to ask that you not come along.
Kale glances over at Gauvain. "Can you stay here, nearby? Make sure no one else enters or leaves?"
Liridon: Let's just hope there aren't exits deeper in.
Gauvain recoils at the thought.
Gauvain: In this nasty place? I ck.
Diab glowers at the Prism... "And why should I miss out?"
Gauvain: Oh, come on now, what would be the fun in that, miss reporter?
Diab looks at Gauvain strangely. "The fun?"
Gauvain: Oh, don't be coy. We know what you're after.
Gauvain chuckles
Diab: I'm after the truth!
Liridon: How about we just tell you all about the visit during our next interview?
Kale chuckles, then turns his attention to the reporter girl. "No offense, Diab, but we really don't have time to argue this. You can have your interviews and whatever else you seek after the Knight's been taken care of and this whole mess is behind us."
Liridon seems dismissive.
Gauvain smiles to himself
Diab sighs. "All right, all right..."
Diab: But you'd better make it good!
Diab starts back towards the ladder. "Like my mentor said, the truth will set you free, or die trying."
Kale assists Liridon in getting back through the Shadow temple.
Gauvain heads on up as well.
Kyra brings up the rear, retrieving his lantern from where Liridon set it down.
Kale pauses very briefly to make sure his scarf and hat are re-secured before leaving the temple!
Gauvain: Right, then... Don't keep me waiting too long.
Gauvain tips his hat and changes into a nondescript hoblin.
Gauvain sits across the street and watches the temple entrance from behind a newspaper.
Liridon whistles, a white horse in chain armor appearing next to him. "Uh, need some help up, but after that you don't need to carry me anymore."
Kale helps Liridon into the saddle.
Liridon: ...Actually, I have an idea.
Kyra continues glaring at Liridon. Oh, you aren't that bad off. uit faking."
Kale chuckles.
Liridon: Let's go to Dragoneyes first.
Kale raises an eyebrow in askance.
Liridon: Chance might be able to help.
Kale glowers at mention of Chance.
Kale: ...Very well. I'll leave you both to it, as you've your horse now.
Liridon offers Kyra a hand up onto Elutherios.
Kale tips his hat and slips back into the Khyber's Gate crowds.
Kyra hops up.
Liridon rides off to Dragoneyes.

Dragoneyes is said to become whatever the visitor wishes. The variety of sights and sounds in the red light district do seem to bear out that reputation -- appearances range from fancy to humble, garish to subdued, sometimes even on the same street.

Liridon, however, directs Elutherios to a relatively short, tastefully-decorated tower, one that doesn't reach the district above it -- the casino known by the same name as its proprietor, Chance.

Kyra looks disgusted.
Kyra: Fitting that you would put your trust in a doppleganger, Traveller.
Liridon hops off of Elutherios, patting him on the neck. "Wasn't quite faking back there. But I'm not exactly used to being weighed down this much."
Kyra doesn't dismount, instead just looking down at Liridon with a bit of a hurt look.
Liridon: ...what?
Kyra: How could someone as honorable and noble as yourself follow... the Dark Ones?
Liridon sighs and looks up. "Well, how do you follow your god?"
Kyra: Oh, no. A follower of the Six isn't going to try to sway me.
Kyra: I do not agree with the methods, but we must get you healed. Let us make haste.
Kyra seems excessively stilted in his speech compared to his normal tone as he hops off of Elutherios.

"The light would do well to learn to recognize what is dark, and what is simply caught in its shadow."

Liridon shakes his head... then looks behind Kyra. "Oh, we were looking for you."
Kyra jumps forward, spins around in mid-leap, and comes down holding his holy symbol threateningly. "Who dares to --"
Chance is in a middle-aged male human form with short, wavy dark brown hair, with a hairstyle that makes him appear to have a rather large forehead. He's dressed in an outfit that seems simultaneously simple and garish -- a bright red shirt with black highlights and four small pins, paired with black pants. He also wears a large red-and-silver amulet that looks out of place in the outfit.
Kyra retains the pose. "Who are you, and what do you want?"
Liridon: Chance, Prism. Prism, Chance.
Chance bows. "A pleasure."
Chance: I want quite a few things, not all of them immediate, not all of them requiring effort.
Chance shrugs.
Chance shakes his head at Liridon. "I thought this might happen... I was hoping the Prism might foresee it."
Liridon: Well, we don't exactly have a lot of time, so I have a favor to ask.
Kyra: You have no right to say such things, trickster.
Liridon sighs and shakes his head at Kyra...
Chance: No less than you have a right to say things like that.
Chance shrugs.
Kyra looks extremely confused and on the verge of tears.
Kyra: Let's... let's just get this over with.
Chance chants a spell that creates a grey-blue light over his hands, and lays them on Liridon.
Chance looks to Kyra. "What is darkness?" he asks pointedly.
Kyra sniffs and doesn't answer.
Liridon: ...well, that was straightforward. Thanks.
Chance nods to Liridon. "Be more careful. Light isn't always what it seems to be either."
Liridon nods.
Chance: Prism could probably tell you what you should've done, and why.
Chance reaches to pat Kyra on the shoulder. "You weren't deceived except by yourself."
Kyra sniffs. "You don't have to keep calling me on it... I knew something was wrong, and yet..."
Chance raises an eyebrow, seeming clearly surprised.
Liridon raises an eyebrow as well.
Kyra: I'm sorry, sir Knight. I let you walk right into that trap...
Liridon: ...?
Kyra: I could've warned you that something was amiss. I could've said something, and yet...
Kyra releases his holy symbol pendant. "I'm... I'm sorry... I forgot that you're my ally, and friend, when I discovered whose ideals you follow..."
Liridon: ...
Chance scratches his head. "I suppose that works too..."
Kyra glares angrily at Chance. "What, was that the wrong tearful confession for you? What would you have me say, trickster!?"
Chance shrugs. "I don't know everything."
Chance: I can be surprised, too, despite my own best efforts. Such is the world. It would be pretty boring otherwise...
Chance: I don't discount the value of that discovery. It just wasn't what I expected to be discovered.
Chance folds his hands and smiles. "It's a start. Just don't lose yourself in finding others, and you have nothing to fear."
Kyra: ...Can we go now?
Chance: No one's stopping you. Did you like the gift?
Kyra finally smiles a bit and nods. "Though Sir Knight here will have to wait to see why..."
Liridon raises an eyebrow.
Chance waves and starts walking to the tower. "It's incidentally relevant to the question."
Liridon hops up on Eleutherios with renewed vitality, then extends his hand out to Kyra. "...Let's go."
Kyra hops up on to Eleutherios wordlessly.

Shortly, Liridon and Kyra make it back to the Shadow temple.

Kale spots the dynamic duo from the crowd and slips back to the temple himself.
Gauvain looks up from his newspaper.
Gauvain heads on over to the two. "Feeling better?"
Kyra doesn't answer.
Liridon: You could say that.
Kale nods. "We've a gnome to squash. Let's get to it."
Gauvain tips his hat and his features shift back to Mindflare's guise.
Gauvain cricks his neck.
Gauvain: After you.
Kyra sighs to himself and makes his way towards the trapdoor.
Kale heads on into the temple and down into its nefarious underbelly!

The four make it back down to the undertemple unhindered. There's no apparent sign of Diab anywhere.

Kyra arrives at the trap door and jumps down without a second thought, not bothering with the ladder.
Kale: ...Where did that foolish girl get to now?
Gauvain shrugs
Gauvain: Let's get moving.
Kale takes point and moves south to the more northern of those two passages.
Kyra lands with a soft thud and pushes back Kale, taking the pathway he had originally intended.
Kale also draws both swords, so as to be prepared for any further creepy crawlies.
Liridon floats down.
Gauvain shows a little dignity and climbs down the ladder like a normal person!
Kale sighs and follows behind Kyra.
Liridon follows Kale and Kyra.
Gauvain keeps close.
Kyra: The path splits. Which way?
Kyra is speaking much more stiltedly than usual, almost spitting the words out.
Gauvain: Go left.
Kyra does so, still at point.
Liridon follows without much ceremony.
Kale follows as well.
Kyra stumbles, and throws his hand back. "Stop!"
Kale comes to a screeching halt and squints his eyes!
Liridon draws his scimitar. "What's up?"

Iron spikes shoot out of the floor!

Kyra realizes what's about to happen, but isn't able to get out of the way fast enough as the spikes tear at his legs.
Kyra: Gaaaah!
Liridon instinctively flaps his wings to safety. "Kyra!"
Kale winces as the spikes catch him off injuriously off-guard.
Kyra: I'm ok, I'm ok...
Gauvain watches curiously.

Before the group can catch their breath, iron needles rain from the ceiling!

Kale: Mother fu--!
Kyra is still on the ground as the needles rain down, and unable to move. Wincing in pain, he barely manages to avoid being pinned to the floor itself.
Liridon cries out.
Kale rubs the welt on his calf from the spike. "I'm really, really beginning to hate gnomes."
Kyra forces himself to a standing position, pulls a straggler needle out of his arm, and throws it aside.
Gauvain: ...Everyone ok?
Kyra rummages in his bag, removes a silver piece... and throws it at Gauvain as hard as he can.
Gauvain peeks his head around from around the corner.
Gauvain: Hey!
Kale: Just a little scratch.
Liridon pulls the spikes out of his back.
Gauvain ducks behind the wall out of the way of the Spinning Silver Coin.

The spikes slowly retract.

Kyra: Anyway! This hall does continue.
Kyra takes another silver piece and flings it down said hallway.
Liridon: ...still have that lantern?
Gauvain picks up the nearby silver piece and harumphs.
Kyra: Oh, right.
Kyra takes it out of his bag and hands it over.
Liridon takes the lamp and point as well, actually flying a couple feet above the ground.
Kyra breathes a sigh of relief as Liridon lights the lamp. "Aaah..."
Gauvain says, "Those wings aren't just for show looks like..." to no one in particular.

Nothing unusual happens; the coin bounces and rolls to a stop..

Liridon flies through the passage.
Kale stretches his leg slightly, then follows suit.
Kyra carefully walks down the passage, a bit more cautiously.
Gauvain brings up the rear.

Two eerily silent bugbears with a slight stale stench about them are visible around the corner.

Liridon: ...ah sonova...
Kyra looks up at Liridon inquisitively, stopping where he is.
Liridon readies his scimitar, hovering in place.
Kale sighs. "Wonderful."
Kyra: ...Weird... I don't have that sense of... foreboding...
Kyra: Maybe we should... try another path...
Kyra seems a bit happier now for some reason.

The zombies begin to advance...

Kale: I don't think we get that option now.
Gauvain: More monsters, huh? What is it this time?
Kyra, not wanting to repeat last time, pushes Kale out of the way and, sliding under Liridon on one knee, turns and points his holy symbol at the bugbears. "Fear the power of the true light, evil beings!"
Kale stumbles a bit at getting shoved aside.
Kyra seems downright ecstatic as a tremendous burst of light issues forth from his holy symbol.

The bugbear zombies shield their eyes and look as though they'd be screaming if they had voices. They abandon their attack and begin shambling away down a path to the left.

Kyra points forward with his free hand. "You know what to do now, guys!"
Liridon: ...just had to be the left...
Kale sighs for the trillionth time in his life and shuffles off down the hall after the bugbears.
Gauvain peeks around the corner down the hallway. "Soooo what are you guys fighting over here anyway?"
Gauvain: Need any help?
Gauvain: Are they invisable?
Liridon: No, Bugbear zombies. Kyra took care of them, they ran.
Liridon flutters forward and around the corner, lamp in one hand and scimitar in the other.

Liridon navigates the narrow passage only to find himself emerging into a large room, divided in two by a 30' deep open trench. Three fiendish wolves crouch ready to pounce even as the zombies run past...

...and at the other side of the trench is the gnome, reading off of a scroll -- and summoning an air elemental from it as it crumbles.

Liridon: ...oh, nuts.
Fibblebaum: I've been ready for you!
Liridon: ...Guys, you might want to get in here QUICK.
Liridon slashes at the bugbear in front of him in mid-air while shouting back to his comrades.
Kale can just barely see one of the wolves. "Ah, bugger..."

Liridon's slash chops off a chunk of the zombie's rotting flesh, only adding to its terror from Kyra's earlier effort at repelling it.

Kyra darts through the hall, knocking Kale out of his way yet again as he passes. "Liridon, what's going on?"
Liridon: Wolves! Windchimes! Gnomes!
Kale stumbles against the wall.
Fibblebaum raises an eyebrow at Liridon. "Windchimes?"
Liridon: Well, that's about how easily it's going to be torn up.
Liridon: Seeing as I'm not alone.
Kyra catches a glimpse of one of the wolves. "...Oh." Waving his hands quickly in a casting motion, he silently points one hand towards Liridon, open-palmed. "The Host empower you! Lucent Rush!" A beam of multicolored energy lances from his hand and into Liridon.
Liridon grins nervously.

The zombies continue their retreat from Kyra, splitting up and going to the opposite corners of this half of the room.

Meanwhile, the fiendish wolves gather around Liridon and leap up to snap at him, growling furiously.

Liridon weaves away from the wolves' snapping jaws with ease. "Please, is this all your little pets can do? Bark at my heels?"
Fibblebaum grits his teeth. "Of course, it's not you they're really meant for..."
Fibblebaum steps forward and casts a spell, then reaches up to the air elemental as it comes down to meet his touch. A bit of smoke seems mixed into it now. It then darts up and at Liridon, raking at the Fair Knight with condensed mist.
Liridon weathers the blow. "Hmph."
Kale slips by Kyra -- without knocking him over! -- and takes a swing at the wolf directly to Liridon's north.

Kale's careful aim around the corner manages to still easily be quick enough to cleave the fiendish wolf to the floor. It yelps loudly, but still slowly struggles back to its feet.

Gauvain closes his eyes and begins concentrating!
Liridon swings upward at the air elemental.

Liridon not only misses, but loses his grip at the top of the swing! His sword goes flying over the air elemental to land behind it and the wolf beneath it.

Liridon curses.
Fibblebaum cackles.
Kyra mutters under his breath, already chanting a spell as the sword leaves Liridon's hand.
Kyra reaches into his bag and pulls out a holy symbol of the Sovereign Host. "Thank you, Chance... By the Pantheon's Arsenal! Dol Dorn, I call for your aid! Shining Sword of Chaos!"
Kyra thrusts the holy symbol forward, and a prismatic longsword made of energy appears above the air elemental and strikes downwards at the mass of elemental energy.
Liridon blinks. "What the..."

Unfortunately, the swing easily comes short.

Kyra mutters, breathing a bit heavily. "Should've... expected that... different force pattern..."
Kyra pockets the symbol quickly.
Fibblebaum stares at the sword. "Well, well..."
Kale raises his eyebrows. "Pantheon's arsenal, eh...?"

Meanwhile, as two zombies continue to cower, the wolves leap for Liridon again -- the wounded one shedding shadow as it does so.

The two attacking normally fail to reach Liridon; the desperate one manages to touch him, but not actually sink its teeth in.

Liridon shakes his head.
Liridon: So I'm a little off my game.

The air elemental rises and shifts position, looking to take advantage of Liridon being distracted from below in order to strike him from above. Unfortunately for it...

Liridon floats backward, dodging the blow.
Fibblebaum chants a spell, briefly bathing the room in a pale blue-grey.
Kale growls and dual-slashes at the wounded wolf.
Liridon: Light shows aren't going to do you any good, we've got the master with us.
Kyra hides the bit of his face still visible as he blushes, simultaneously realizing what the spell is.
Kyra: On your guard, Sir Knight! He's strenghtening his minions!
Liridon: Hmph, it's too late for him.

Meanwhile, Kale has an easier time thrusting his shortword around the corner than swinging his longsword around it, and impales the wolf. It whimpers, collapses, and finally fades.

Kale extracts the shortsword and flicks it a bit to -- in vain -- try and clean it of the wolf's remains. "Next."
Gauvain opens his eyes, his meditation complete. A great roar and a puff of green smoke announce the arrival of a massive black bear behind Kyra.
Kyra freaks out and presses himself against the wall, letting the bear pass -- then immediately ducks as the now-familiar lances of fire screech over his head.
Gauvain's eyes ignite as he flings a screaming bolt of fire into the air elemental.

The bear lunges past Kyra and Kale and launches itself at the southmost of the two remaining fiendish wolves, claws flailing.

Kale jumps into the northwest corner of the hallway to dodge the rampaging bear. "Well, this just got even more interesting."
Liridon stares down. "...Bear."
Kyra whimpers. "...Bear."

The bear's assault takes the wolf by surprise; it howls and yelps and whimpers as it's mauled to near-unconsciousness.

Gauvain: Pardon the summon, I hope you can BEAR with me for the moment!
Liridon darts forward, obviously towards his scimitar lying on the floor.

The wolf beneath him leaps up with a bark to try to bite Liridon, but only connects with armor.

The other wolf is too busy being mauled by a bear to even try to attack; the air elemental simply seems dumbstruck that Liridon left.

Liridon drops to the ground with his hand outstretched, grabbing the hilt of his scimitar as he hits it, and flutters around into a full flip, facing towards Fibblebaum with his re-acquired weapon pointed forward with an outstretched arm. "You're next, gnome."
Kyra meanwhile quietly chants a spell as his animated longsword takes an upward swipe at the confused elemental.

The last of the smoke that Mindflare's fire began to consume is dispersed with the swing of the "Shining Sword", and even the cloudy form of the elemental itself is lightly rent.

Fibblebaum grins back at Liridon knowingly.
Kyra nods as his sword meets its mark, though his voice wavers as he speaks: "Shining light, surround and protect me! Lustrous Nimbus!" Kyra is quickly surrounded by a bright cloud of light in addition to his own bioluminescence, yet he doesn't move, keeping a firm glare on the bear that stampeded past him a moment ago.
Fibblebaum: The knight! After the knight, you fools!

The unscathed fiendish wolf shifts position while the other wolf takes an evasive path to flank Liridon; meanwhile, the air elemental takes a similarly roundabout path to become an obstacle to Liridon's progress.

Gauvain grins upon hearing that.

The wolves' attacks are ineffective even despite coordination and the shadowy desperation of the wounded of the two, but the air elemental's blast...

Liridon takes the blow, and spits out a little blood. "It's already too late for you."
Fibblebaum: We'll see, fairy!
Liridon grits his teeth.
Fibblebaum pulls out a wand and shouts something garbled. Two lances of bronze energy shoot out of the wand, arc around, and strike Liridon from above each wolf.
Liridon spits out a little more blood, but grins through the elemental at Fibblebaum. "Come on, is that all you've got?"
Kale edges past the big ol' bear and roundabouts his way to angle up a shot at the wolf south of Liridon, then slashes his longsword in a horizontal arc.

The bleeding wolf's side is torn in two; its howl of pain echoes even after it dissolves.

Liridon: Hey, Mindflare! Take care of this wolf!
Kale glances over at the gnome. "Two down. Who's next?"

The black bear lurches at the wolf, rending and slashing in a blur of claw and tooth.

The final wolf fares no better against the bear than the previous did, and is left a limping, bloody mess.

Gauvain hurries past Kyra. "Pardon."
Gauvain: Remember me, gnome? Lets see if this rings a bell!
Gauvain blasts the elemental and Fibblebaum with twin bolts of screaming fire.

The elemental reacts quickly; only a portion of it is consumed to fuel the fire. Fibblebaum isn't so lucky in his evasion... yet still is hardly hurt.

Gauvain: You won't escape this time!
Fibblebaum: I told you I was ready for you.
Fibblebaum grins.
Liridon flaps a couple inches off of the ground, and then flies forward, with his scimitar trained on the gnome.

The air elemental takes an accurate but weak swipe at Liridon as he goes by -- so weak as to not even be noticed.

At the same time, the remaining wolf escapes the bear's grasp and lunges -- only to run headlong into Liridon's breastplate.

Liridon continues his flying assault, shrugging the blow off easily. Upon reaching Fibblebaum, he spins around and slices upward with a concussive uppercut slash.
Fibblebaum's breastplate absorbs the blow, though he stumbles back an inch from the force. "An excellent try."
Fibblebaum: But the shadows protect me from the likes of you as well.
Liridon grins at the gnome. "Oh, really?"

It IS noticable that shadows swirl about his form...

Liridon: Well, we'll see how much longer that helps you.
Kale rolls his eyes. "Shadows, shmadows. You bleed the same as any of us."
Kyra quickly darts around the corner as his sword takes another swipe, pulling out the holy symbol and chanting as he does so. "OK, Fibblebaum, this ends now! By the Pantheon's Arsenal, I call for your aid, Lady Boldrei! Prismatic Spear of the Protector!" The signature spear appears above Fibblebaum, driving downwards at the gnome.

A shadow moves to parry the spear, much as in the previous fight.

Fibblebaum: You overestimate yourself. Do you think it possible to shed light that casts no shadows?
Kyra doesn't respond.
Fibblebaum points to the wolf. "You, after the priest." He then steps back and points to the elemental. "And you, guard me."
Liridon shakes his head. "Delaying the inevitable."

The fiendish wolf closes the brief distance to Kyra, then lunges with its apparent desperation attack!

Kyra yelps as the wolf connects with its teeth, but doesn't seem too worse for wear. "...Please."
Gauvain: Pick on someone your own size, wolfie!
Liridon: All right, Prism?
Kyra looks to Gauvain, then back to the wolf, then back to Gauvain, then back to the wolf, but decides to not comment on relative sizes.
Kyra: I'm fine! Don't worry about me, take care of the shadow priest!
Liridon: Way ahead of you!

At the same time, the air elemental circles around to interpose itself between Fibblebaum and the Fair Knight. It flings itself at him ineffectively.

Fibblebaum looks to the Prism. "If it's a better lesson you need, then I'm happy to provide it!" He then chants a quick spell and points at Kyra. A jet-black beam blasts from it to strike the young priest...
Liridon grits his teeth.
Kyra lets out a louder cry this time as the spell hits its mark, falling to a knee holding his stomach with one hand and his mouth with the other.
Fibblebaum begins laughing.
Liridon growls.
Kale jumps at the gnome's attack on Kyra, then narrows his eyes and focuses back on the gnome. "You son of a..."
Kyra struggles back to a standing position. "You... you son of a..." he stammers out in tandem with Kale.
Kale's eyes start glittering a silvery color and, with a loud growl, brilliantly white feathered wings erupt from his back, tearing at his shirtcloth in the process.
Fibblebaum: !
Kale: Pits won't stop me, gnome.
Fibblebaum: What the...?!
Kale floats up into the air and shoots forward and around to behind Fibblebaum, then slashes down toward the gnome's face with his longsword.
Liridon: ...Well, glad to see I'm not the only one here.
Kyra raises a fist... then quickly puts it over his mouth as he gags slightly. "G-give him my regards!"
Gauvain puts a hand to his forehead. "You have got to be kidding me."
Fibblebaum is too stunned to dodge properly; unfortunately, his armor and wards together take the bite out of Kale's blow.
Kale frowns. "Next time."

The black bear roars, clawing and biting at the wolf's side; tufts of fur fly everywhere.

The dark wolf barely lives long enough to make the slightest squeak as it's reduced to a bloody pulp which mercifully vanishes.

Kyra rather fortunately turns away from the assault before it gets too bloody.
Gauvain: Your wolves don't seem up to the task!
Gauvain: Lets see how you fare...
Fibblebaum: On the contrary, they served their purpose.
Gauvain's eyes flash a brilliant blue as twin shards of ice materialize and streak towards the air elemental and the gnome.
Fibblebaum: Wh-what?!
Kale laughs shortly. "You seem to be confused often this day, gnome."
Gauvain: We're just full of fun little surprises, aren't we?
Fibblebaum recoils and shivers as the ice overcomes him; the air elemental, for its part, is frozen into snow that quickly dissipates.
Kale looks over the gnome at Liridon. "Let's end this."
Liridon nods to Kale.
Liridon floats toward Fibblebaum. "So, the shadows can protect you, huh?"
Fibblebaum hisses. "This one form of attack I did not foresee."
Liridon grabs ahold of Fibblebaum. "Give it up, Gnome."
Kyra snarls, seeing an opening as Liridon's actions unfold.
Fibblebaum attempts to avoid the Fair Knight, but is too slow, and too small not to be enveloped.
Fibblebaum: Gah!
Kyra steps forward slightly and holds his hands at his sides, open-palmed and facing forward. "Light of the deities, gather to me..." The light from Kyra's earlier spell begins to gather to his hands. As it finishes, he raises his hands over his head, pressing them together. "Take this! Lustrous Lance!"
Kale chuckles and shakes his head. "A hug? Really, Knight..."
Kyra brings his hands forward quickly, throwing the light energy at the tangled mashup that is Liridon and Fibblebaum.
Kyra's own natural light seems to surge a bit as well, adding to the blast as it surges forward.
Fibblebaum screams in mingled pain and horror before going limp in Liridon's firm grasp, bleeding profusely.
Kale lowers his swords. "Weak little bugger in the end, wasn't he?"
Liridon: ...Why didn't I think of this before?
Kyra pants heavily, still holding the post-two-handed-fastball position.
Gauvain clears his throat.
Liridon: Make sure he's out; we saw how low his pet went.
Gauvain points to the zombies.
Kale: Mm, yes, we still have a pair of uglies of which to dispose.
Liridon: ...want me to throw him down there?
Liridon nods his head back to the pit.
Liridon: If we're lucky maybe he isn't much of a climber either.
Kale: He likely still has whatever wand it was that permitted his previous teleportation. Best not to take any chances.
Kyra stands still, keeping his eyes locked on Fibblebaum, waiting for him to make the slightest movement.
Fibblebaum merely bleeds.
Kyra finally falls to a sitting position on his legs and sniffs. "I wanna go home..."

The black bear charges the northern zombie, slashing at its legs with bloodsoaked claws.

The zombie, still disturbed by Kyra's presence, is slashed quite simply.

The summon roars a final time before disappearing into a cloud of green smoke.

Gauvain focuses on the wooden plank across the room with unnatural concentration, whispering inaudably.
Gauvain raises his hand suddenly, and the plank creaks and groans, and starts to shuffle across the floor.

The plank lurches across the ground with disturbing speed, nearing the large chasm. It suddenly rears up, falling towards the nearby zombie!

The zombie is cleanly struck, and stumbles forward; the plank lands neatly across the chasm.

Liridon sighs and shakes his head, applying a glowing hand to Fibblebaum for a moment.
Kale chuckles at the board antics.

The zombies appear to be calming down slightly...

Gauvain: Let's finish off these zombies quickly.
Gauvain: I'm getting bored with them!
Kyra: So stop screwing around!
Kyra sounds genuinely angry.
Liridon: ...
Liridon stares at Gauvain, looking like he's about to chuck the gnome at him for the bad pun.
Kale flits up in the air and zips over to the southernmost zombie, slapping at it with his longsword with a sigh. "Sooner we get out of here..."
Gauvain looks taken aback a bit by Kyra.
Gauvain: Last time I checked, these zombies WERE trying to kill us. I'll imagine they'll continue soon enough if we don't deal with them.

Kale manages to lop off one of the zombie's hands with ease.

Kyra: Well EXCUSE me for making it my number one priority to make sure Darky d'Buttkicker there doesn't wake up and continue his assault!
Gauvain rolls his eyes. "Tch..." He returns his focus to the board.

The board lurches suddenly again, striking the zombie solidly.

Kyra quickly unholsters his bow and lets an arrow fly at the zombie Gauvain has been assaulting. "So shut it!"
Kale glances at Kyra and Gauvain and gives a little sigh.
Liridon continues to hold Fibblebaum.

The zombie's ear is nicked by the arrow.

At this point, the zombies overcome their terror and converge on the one who overwhelmed them so...

They both run at him at once, swinging their morningstars at the youngest of the four.

Liridon: Kyra!
Kale snarls as he watches his targetet zombie run toward Kyra.
Kale swings at the bugbear zombie before it can escape his reach!
Kale: Dammit!
Kyra simply holds up his hands and catches the zombies' morningstars as they come down -- by the spiked ends.
Kyra: Didn't your mothers ever tell you, "Don't stare into the sun?"
Kale flies after his bugbear and slashes once more. "Die already, so we can get out of this cursed place!"
Gauvain: Yes, enough of this.
Gauvain's eyes burn with orange flame as he fires two more screaming bolts of fire at the remaining zombies

The board creaks one last time, and then remains still.

The zombie between Kyra and Kale has noplace to dodge, but the other drops and rolls. Even so, the zombie that was able to react looks ready to fall apart.

Liridon digs in Fibblebaum's pockets, taking any suspicious objects.
Kyra takes a quick step backwards. "And yet you still stand." He raises his right hand forward, open-palmed as always. "Say goodnight! Prisma Storm!"

The zombies swing at Kyra as he backs off, one missing, the other clobbering him soundly over the head.

Kyra unfortunately takes the whallop pretty hard and loses his concentration, the intended spray of colors spurting out haphazardly towards the ceiling as he raises his hand to nurse the wound instinctively.

The zombie that struck Kyra steps forward to do so again, while the other turns to whiff at Kale.

Kale nimbly flits out of the way of the attack.
Kyra takes the hit silently.
Kale snarls as he rears back with a now-slightly sparkly longsword and a still-normal shortsword, swinging them both at the zombie before him.

This attack seems to be quite overkill, leaving the zombie as nothing but a pile of rotted flesh and broken bones.

Gauvain: Yikes.
Kale smirks as the glow vanishes from his longsword. "Almost done."
Gauvain: Just die already!
Gauvain edges closer and kicks the zombie.

The zombie topples over.

Gauvain: Argh!!
Gauvain: My shoe!
Kale drops solidly to the ground, all the way to kneeling on one knee, as his wings disappear.
Kale: Quite a workout...
Gauvain kneels down to wipe off zombie residue.
Kyra: ...Are we done?
Kyra sounds heavily annoyed, and more sardonic than honest.
Kale looks over at Liridon and friend.
Liridon: So.
Gauvain stands back up.
Gauvain: Didn't even break a sweat. Hmf.
Liridon empties the gnome's pockets onto the ground, including three wands, a bunch of coins, bunches of paper and scrolls, an ink well and a quill.
Gauvain looks down at the gnome.
Gauvain: We should probably restrain him... even without his wands, he has still proven to be quite a nuisance.
Kale tosses Liridon a length of rope.
Kyra mocks Gauvain behind his back.
Liridon: We should probably take care of all of his stuff.
Gauvain glances at Liridon. "Need a hand over there?"
Liridon: By all means. He smells funny.
Gauvain peers down the chasm.
Gauvain saunders over to the plank. "Hey Kale, mind giving me a hand with this?"
Kale hoists himself to his feet and sheathes both blades as he moves to join Gauvain.
Gauvain starts shuffling it over the gap.
Kale picks up his end.

The plank is easily put in place across the chasm.

Kyra doesn't move, glaring daggers into Gauvain's back the entire time.
Kale moves across the blank to assist Liridon.
Gauvain appears to be oblivious~
Gauvain makes his way across the bridge and turns back to Kyra. "Everything alright back there?"
Kyra: under his breath Bite me.
Kyra: Yeah, just... recovering.
Liridon sets the gnome down, and floats over the chasm to Kyra.
Kyra rubs his arm, the open gash on it slowly closing.
Liridon holds out a hand to Kyra. "All right, kid?"
Kale nudges the gnome with his toe. "I almost want to say he's too dangerous to be left alive..."
Kyra: lowers voice so just Liridon can hear I'm in a world of pain, on the edge of losing what nerve I have, and I want to knock Mindflare into the pit and let him fend his own way out.
Kyra: sniff I've been better...
Kale sets about removing the gnome's worn equipment.
Liridon: I'm sorry, I just didn't trust to leave him alone, and by the time I would have done something... I let you down.
Kale looks over his shoulder at Gauvain as he does. "Mind gathering this up? We can identify and decide what to do with it later."
Gauvain: I suppose.
Kyra shakes his head. "It's... not you. You did what you had to do."
Gauvain picks up each item, giving it a brief inspection before placing it unceremoniously in his backpack.
Kyra: And I let my guard down... guess even "superheroes" have to remember their weaknesses.
Liridon shrugs. "C'mon. Let's get out of this hellhole."
Kale grunts a bit as he removes the gnome's silver breastplate, then places it to the side with the other items -- quarterstaff, amulet, and black cloak.
Liridon: Well... I suppose I can't trust him with them, though.
Kale then ties up the gnome once all gear is removed!
Kyra smirks. "Was there anything I can use on that guy?"
Gauvain: I'm sure there is. We have no idea what any of this stuff does, though.
Kyra jumps, surprised to hear Gauvain respond to him.
Kyra: I, er, then we should, uh, find out what it is and, uh, decide... yeah...
Gauvain: ...Are you sure you're alright?
Kyra: Yes, I'm fine! Why wouldn't I be?
Kale hoists the gnome by the rope tied around him. "First we get to decide what to do about this guy."
Kyra's arm drips blood as if to accent his words.
Gauvain: Ah. Yes. Him.
Gauvain raises an eyebrow at Kyra and shrugs.
Liridon turns and crosses his arms.
Gauvain: I suppose we could interrogate him, but...
Kale carries the unconscious Fibblebaum back over the plank to join the others.
Gauvain: Frankly, I could care less about what he has to say about himself.
Kyra: ...How dare you?
Kale raises his eyebrows at Kyra. "Pardon...?"
Gauvain: What? All he's going to say is, "Oh, I did it for my dark god of whatever."
Gauvain: I've heard it all before and it is all quite boring.
Kyra: That isn't the point! Evil or not, you're suggesting we take the life of another!
Liridon stares.
Gauvain: Huh?
Gauvain: No, I just meant let the guards deal with him.
Kale: I... don't think he was suggesting anything of the sort.
Gauvain chuckles.
Kyra: This IS a sentient being we're talking about here! Call me crazy, but I don't see myself as one... that...
Kyra: Don't patronize me!
Gauvain: R...right.
Kale crouches slightly to look Kyra in the eye. "This is a dangerous world, Prism. Death can happen, even as you attempt to avoid it."
Liridon: And I didn't save his life just for you to take it.
Liridon glares at Kale.
Kyra: This is the point where everyone tells me just how dark a world we live in, how I shouldn't be so optimistic, right?
Kale barely restrains an eye-roll in Liridon's direction. "Optimism is grand, but only when tempered some with reality."
Kyra: At least one of us has a brain between his ears.
Liridon: It's your own choice to be so, and if anyone wants to question it they'll answer to me.
Kyra looks to Liridon with a light in his eye and the first half-smile since he got down here.
Liridon continues to glare at Kale.
Kale: Save lives when you can, but don't waste your own if it means a choice between you and someone such as this gnome.
Kale rolls his eyes fully back up to Liridon. "And in no way was I suggesting we kill this gnome, as distasteful and dangerous as he is."
Gauvain: Although.. now that you bring it up, Kyra...
Gauvain: Well, shrug like I said before... It does not matter much to me either way.
Gauvain: I certainly have no problem doing things your way, since you seem to feel so strongly about it.
Kyra: There's a "but" there. Spit it out, already.
Gauvain: Er... no, that was pretty much it.
Gauvain: I told you, I really don't care either way. If you want to make the decision, then make it.
Kale shoves the tied-up gnome at Liridon. "Let's go. I believe you have a promised interview with Diab, anyway."
Liridon's gaze weakens. "...Very well. Just keep in mind that if you ever decide on such a thing because someone is 'too dangerous to be left alive', my sword will be glad to return the favor."
Liridon takes the gnome.
Kyra: Diab can go sniff an owlbear. She's the last person in the world I want to see right now.
Liridon: Let's get out of this hellhole.
Gauvain gathers up any items left over and heads on over to the plank to leave.
Liridon flies through the maze towards the exit.
Kale: Mm, very well. I suppose I can speak with her to fend her off a bit. Though...
Kyra retraces his steps through the maze closely behind Liridon, taking care to avoid the spike trap.
Kale fingers the newly-shorn holes in his shirt. "I suppose I should take better care next time..."
Kale heads back to the entrance as well.

The Bazaar of Middle Dura... while its reputation isn't the best, in truth common merchants far outnumber the seedy ones, and even a handful of reputable itinerant businesses can be found here from time to time.

Here, at Kyra's request, his near-second-father Lannar, priest in charge of the shrine to Boldrei where they alone work, acts as an escort for the young Vadalis heir...

Kyra sneezes abruptly.
Lannar turns to Kyra, frowning slightly. "I pray I was right that you're past the contagious stage..."
Kyra: Me, too.
Kyra is generally quieter than usual, only partially due to still being in recovery from a cold.

In the distance, a little girl from a vegetable stand runs up to another from a smith's. "Ellen! You're OK!" "Yeah, the halflings helped a lot when that 'terror' guy hit me!" "I wish I could do that..." The veggiemonger's other child, a boy, chimes in, "You're just jealous of my magic." "No I'm not!"

Lannar looks down at Kyra. "Are you sure you're all right? I understand that you managed to finally sleep well last night, which is likely why you're finally getting better, but regardless..."
Kyra rubs his eyes absently. "...A lot happened on that day..."
Lannar raises an eyebrow at Kyra.
Lannar: I admit curiosity, though it seems a rather public place to discuss something so personal.
Kyra nods simply.
Lannar frowns over at a stall with various wands, rods, staves, and odds and ends on display. "...Probably not that one. I know of this merchant; she deals in... second-quality merchandise. I know her to be meticulous in ensuring that no truly harmful side-effects exist in her merchandise, though -- hence the scarring."
Kyra: ...Come again?
Kyra looks up from his brief lapse of "ooh, shiny" towards the stall.
Lannar looks back down to Kyra. "Miss Faliel buys objects with minor curses or whose enchantments were botched, so long as the drawbacks are essentially harmless, and resells them cheaply."
Kyra looks back to the stall, the initial wonderment past. "So you think she'll have what I'm looking for?"
Lannar: It's... possible, but the results may be unexpected in some fashion. I know of one paladin of Dol Arrah who purchased a halberd from her, not minding that it loses its power at night -- she felt it a fitting tribute.
Kyra: Hmm...
Lannar: Then there was the man who bought a ring of feather fall from her that happened to be an obnoxious green with a pink glow, feeling embarassment to be a small price for safety.
Lannar shrugs.
Kyra: Well, glad I brought you along to ask all the right questions... since nobody would ever listen to a little kid like me.
Kyra seems genuinely distraught as he finishes that sentence.
Lannar places a hand on Kyra's shoulder and squeezes lightly. "...Kyra. If this is why you're looking for such things..."
Kyra doesn't respond, continuing to look over the merchandise.
Faliel watches this young customer curiously. "A House scion, I presume?..."
Kyra nods absently.
Lannar nods to Faliel. "He is. He hopes to find implements of disguise... though I must admit to doubts about his reasons, I at least have confidence that he would do no harm."
Faliel: I see... well, I do have a few things. A wand of alter self, but it requires the magic of song and a rhyme that takes several seconds to recite to activate... though I presume that you're no spellcasting bard, son?
Kyra laughs. "Tonedeaf as everything."
Faliel: Hmm... well, there is this circlet... it's similar to a hat of disguise, but the circlet itself is locked to this shape, though not this size... and it furthermore surrounds you with a chill, so for safety's sake it would best be removed if you went someplace cold.
Kyra: Doesn't sound too threatening... what do you think, sir Lannar?
Lannar: There is the question of whether this might endanger someone who was struck by ice magic as well.
Faliel: Admittedly, there is a chance it would make such magic slightly harder to resist, but I'm surprised the question's even being asked -- unless he fears an assassination?
Faliel: For most, this would just be a matter of discomfort.
Faliel: You can try it on if you like; all my merchandise is guaranteed safe to handle.
Lannar looks to Kyra.
Kyra: Thank you, I would.
Faliel takes the circlet off of a display bust and hands it to Kyra.
Faliel smirks. "No running off now -- I know a few tricks myself."
Kyra nods quickly, taking the circlet and setting it on his head.

Kyra suddenly feels markedly colder, almost to the point of a change in season about him.

Kyra shivers a bit. "You weren't joking."
Faliel: Well, dishonesty is no way to get by in a business like this...
Kyra closes his eyes. His form seems to waver a bit, before quickly being replaced by an older looking form -- an attempt at replicating his father. He failed slightly, however: the form is a good five inches shorter than his father, and his hair is unchanged.
Lannar sighs slightly.
Faliel looks to Lannar questioningly.
Kyra shrugs. "The first thing I could think of."
Kyra looks a bit discouraged at hearing himself, and the illusion dissipates. "I don't suppose you would have something that could alter my voice, as well?"
Faliel: Not today, I'm afraid.
Faliel shakes her head.
Kyra: Darn. Well, it was worth asking.
Lannar: I'm not entirely sure if even a small vulnerability to cold is a wise price to pay in your case, Kyra...
Kyra looks to Lannar, almost pleadingly. "I won't wear it all the time, I promise..."
Faliel scratches her head. "I'm not sure why you're concerned for someone like him in that respect, but it is only 1500."
Kyra seems to be waiting for Lannar to say something.
Lannar: Please consider the risk you're taking, even so.
Kyra is fishing through his bag before Lannar even finishes speaking. "You have nothing to worry about, Sir Lannar."
Lannar sighs. "If you're absolutely certain."
Faliel scratches her head. "Does he have enemies or something? At his age?"
Kyra: It's a long story.
Faliel: Hm.
Lannar: ...
Kyra fishes out the requisite coins. "Thank you, Lady... ma'am."
Faliel seems a bit surprised to see the payment actually come from the child and not the adult, but accepts the coins and gives them the usual cursory examination. "Thank you as well."
Lannar bows to Faliel, then turns to Kyra. "Shall we go?"
Kyra bows to the vendor as well. "Yes, let's."
Faliel waves. "Please come again!"
Lannar looks to a small park with a bench as they continue through the streets. "We should probably talk..."
Kyra sighs. "OK, sure... I'm sorry I've been too sick to really tell you much about what happened."
Lannar: It isn't that, unless it's relevant -- and if so, we should probably find someplace more private to talk.
Kyra shakes his head. "You know the saying, 'feeling your age?' Well, it works the other way, too..."
Lannar sighs as he seats himself on the bench. "I was afraid of that when I saw the form you took."
Kyra smirks. "That really was the first thing I thought of. Has absolutely nothing to do with... that."
Lannar: As useful as that circlet may prove to be for other purposes give the circumstances, though, an illusion seems unlikely to achieve the effect you desire among your... friends. For that, you'll need to earn the trust you want.
Kyra nods. "My intent isn't to 'fool' them. I just know that, well, I can't stay hidden forever. I thought this might help."
Lannar nods...
Lannar: You'd best put it away for now, though; it'll slow your recovery.
Kyra nods, taking it off and putting it into his bag.

After some further shopping in which the two reserve a choker that can disguise the voice, the two return to the temple. After Lannar checks to see that all is well, he ushers Kyra into the study.

Lannar pulls out a chair and sits. "Unless you'd rather talk over a meal, shall we speak here?"
Kyra: Here is fine.
Lannar nods.
Lannar: So, what did happen?...
Kyra: ...I don't know what to think any more. Up is down, hot is cold...
Lannar looks deeply concerned now.
Kyra rummages through his bag and removes the Pantheon's Arsenal.
Kyra shows it to Lannar. "A powerful tool that lets me reshape my Spiritual Weapons to any of the Hosts'."
Kyra: Given to me by a follower of the Traveler.
Lannar blinks.
Lannar: The Traveler?... I wonder what the catch was.
Kyra: It was originally a symbol of the dark ones; when it was in my possession overnight, it changed into this.
Kyra: And... and the Knight is also a paladin of the Traveler. Someone I looked up to.
Lannar: ...The Traveler has paladins?
Kyra: That's what I said.
Kyra: I guess every deity needs its defenders...
Lannar thinks for a moment.
Lannar: ...I suppose in the Traveler's case they'd be more akin to Dol Dorn's paladins or to the Knights of Fortune than to the usual orders.
Kyra nods.
Lannar sighs. "It comes as no surprise that your first interaction with the Traveler would leave you reeling, Kyra. The same is true of anyone. The Traveler is a capricious and incomprehensible being..."
Lannar: That said, the Traveler's sin against the Host was not evil, but a simple rejection of any authority beyond him-or-herself, as well as rejection of civilization as a goal.
Lannar: To combine such tendencies with a care for others would produce a... strange sort of "champion", indeed.
Lannar: ...You imply that it was not he who gave you this, though?
Kyra: Indeed it wasn't. It was another follower of the Traveler, one calling itself "Chance."
Lannar holds his head in his hand. "Merciful Host, that one..."
Kyra: I... presume you've heard of it, then.
Lannar: Quite... he's the Traveler's high priest in this city.
Lannar: And at the same time, he also runs an infamous casino -- reputable as they go, but everything from the Race of the Eight Winds to others' private lives can be bet on there.
Kyra: So, that was a casino, then...
Lannar nods.
Lannar sighs, lowering his hand. "While he is literally honest with others, he takes delight in confusing them."
Lannar shakes his head. "Or she, as he sees fit -- I'm more used to the male in reference to Chance, though."
Kyra nods. "Shapeshifters have definite pronoun issues."
Lannar nods to Kyra.
Lannar: So Chance gave you that, then, and it resembled a symbol of the Dark Six, only to change later...
Lannar: The fact that he'd give you a tool of deception is unsurprising, though. That's among the Traveler's interests...
Lannar: He'd probably insist he was trying to make a point with the method of delivery, though, knowing him.
Lannar shakes his head.
Kyra: And it has come in handy...
Lannar: Given that you're admittedly engaged in a deception yourself, this comes as no surprise. ...I'm not certain that his aid would be motivated by any true altruism, however. Just as likely, he simply finds the entire matter a fitting tribute... or simply fascinating.
Kyra: I can definitely understand how someone could think the latter.
Lannar: Is there any more, or were these two things alone enough to unseat you?
Kyra: Well, then I was all but useless in helping to take out that gnome we were tracking...
Lannar half-frowns, but doesn't comment, simply awaiting further explanation.
Kyra: I don't think I told you that's why I caught that cold. And couldn't sleep.
Lannar: I don't understand...
Kyra: I was hit with some spell right at the start. Messed with me pretty badly, made me feel sick as everything.
Lannar: Hmm... can you describe it?
Kyra: Not really... it was dark, and when it hit, I nearly threw up.
Lannar: Strange... I haven't heard of a spell suitable for combat that would simply cause someone to catch a cold.
Kyra shrugs. "And it took me too off guard to really hazard a guess myself."
Lannar: It sounded from the report in the paper that your allies supplied that you were not the liability you claim, however. There was mention of summoning weapons of the Host?
Kyra: Yeah, lot of good they did. He blocked every swing I took.
Lannar: But his minions didn't.
Kyra: Yeah, they just clobbered me over the head so I couldn't even get a spell off.
Lannar: And yet you still were a channel for the Host's aid in keeping those same zombies out of the fight until the other threats were gone, correct?
Kyra: Yeah. Then I choked, nearly got myself killed, then had to listen to everyone else talk down to me the entire way out.
Lannar: Kyra...
Kyra: Yeah, yeah, go ahead and say it, I'm being a stupid child. I know you're thinking it.
Lannar places his hand on Kyra's shoulder. "No, but... you seem almost deliberate in selling yourself short."
Lannar: It's even said that even despite your condition, you delivered a stunning final blow?
Kyra: Is that what they called it? More like a lucky shot...
Kyra sighs. "It's not... that I feel like I didn't contribute."
Kyra: It's that the others made me feel like I didn't.
Lannar: How? What did they do or say to such effect?
Kyra: Talking down to me. Patronizing me.
Lannar frowns. "In what way?"
Kyra sneezes suddenly and violently.
Kyra: I... don't think I'm thinking clearly, still...
Lannar takes out his own handkerchief with his free hand and pats the front of his robes with it.
Lannar: You've been through quite a bit and were unable to sleep for days afterwards, you've suffered from a cold, your mother has been close to a panic... it's understandable.
Kyra: And... the dreams... I... I...
Kyra visibly shudders.
Lannar blinks. "Dreams? I was told you didn't sleep at all."
Kyra: Well, I got a few minutes here and there... for what it's worth.
Lannar winces a bit at that description.
Kyra curls up in his chair, wrapping his arms around his legs and not saying anything.
Lannar: ...Is there anything I can do? Listen, perhaps? Or something I could read or recite?...
Kyra doesn't reply.
Lannar: ...Should I stay, Kyra?
Kyra: ...I should... probably be the one to go.
Lannar blinks in surprise at that. "Go? Whatever do you mean?..."
Kyra stands. "I... appreciate your listening, but... I think I need some time to myself."
Kyra smiles genuinely. "I'll be back tomorrow morning. You've really let the place go while I've been gone!"
Lannar smiles back, though it's strained; he's still quite obviously very worried.
Lannar: I'll see you tomorrow, then.
Lannar: Take care.
Kyra turns and walks out of the shrine peacefully.

As dawn breaks and sunlight streams gently into the study -- gleaming almost blindingly off the paper strewn across desk -- its lone occupant stands before a rather smudged mirror, clutching an unremarkable fedora in his hand.

Kale glares at the hat, almost crumpling it in his fist. "That I even have to do this..."
Kale turns his head slightly to glare at a copy of the Inquisitive -- detailing the capture of that gnomish priest, dated one week ago -- sitting atop the rest of the scattered papers. Kearne's article mentions his own involvement in the matter, of course...
Kale cocks his head to one side, popping his neck, and, with a grunt, feathered wings erupt from his bare back. He glances up at their majesty and murmurs to himself, "This wouldn't even work if she'd seen these."
Kale: I still have yet to figure out how these powers came to me, but...
Kale flexes his wings, though not quite expanding them to their full span. "Fights like that don't seem to give me much of a choice in whether or not I desire to use them..."
Kale slaps the slightly-smashed fedora atop his head, then reaches for a beige scarf that lies draped over top the mirror and begins wrapping it tightly around the lower half of his face.
Kale: Hopefully this is as easy as Gauvain makes it seem...
Kale sighs once the scarf is in place and reaches up to 'tip' the wrinkled hat.

Upon the hat's activation, Kale's form, save the luminous white wings perched upon his back, morphs before his very eyes. Hair previously dark and well-kept suddenly sweeps out into a burst of deep, fiery crimson. The scarf shifts upward and shrinks into a small black mask fitted across his eyes and brow.

A dingy, black leather overcoat melts across his bare torso and down past his waist, buttoned tight around his chest and up to almost covering his chin and mouth. His icy blue eyes, however, shimmer a violent red briefly before a silvery sheen overtakes the color.

Kale narrows his eyes at their apparent argent overlay, ignoring the rest of his physical change. "I thought this damn thing was supposed to disguise everything at will...?"
Kale touches the hat again, once to undo the current disguise back to his original form, twice to activate it anew.

The second activation liquefies his face then molds it into much more youthful features. His hair flows down to chin-length and fades to a dull gray, and the scarf once more morphs into that small mask over his eyes.

Black plate armor flows out across his torso -- save for two open slits on his back -- and down over his legs. Just as before, however, the color change in his irises -- this time from blue to a stony onyx -- is only temporary as the silvery hue returns.

Kale growls at his visage in the mirror, the angry scowl awkward on his now-boyish face. "Again...? This is ridiculous!"
Kale shakes his head and reaches up to undo the disguise, then grabs the fedora and launches it across the room.
Kale: To hell with this!

A sharp squeal alerts Kale's attention to the window as Dominguez comes fluttering through with a small mouse clutched in its talons.

The hawk tilts its head almost askance at its master's antics with the fedora before dropping its quarry near the leather-covered perch and flitting over to perch on Kale's right shoulder.

Kale reaches up to let Dominguez nuzzle and gently peck at his fingers, paying no heed to the dead mouse currently dirtying his floor, for he knows the hawk will dispose of it in prompt fashion.
Kale tugs the scarf free and tosses it to the side. "What do you think, little one? This whole mess I've gotten myself into... quite a conundrum, wouldn't you agree?"

Dominguez stops pecking at Kale's index finger to tilt its head again and squawk lightly. Then, just as quickly as it entered the room, it kicks off his shoulder and swoops back out the window after snatching the mouse from the floor.

Kale watches his companion fly off into the morning sun with a curious gaze, mind swirling with thoughts. "Perhaps..." he murmurs, turning to look at the fedora, lying crumpled on the floor.
Kale: Perhaps I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be...
Kale fetches both fedora and scarf and replaces them atop and around his head, respectively. With a brief anticipatory grimace, he reaches to activate the hat once more. "Here goes nothing..."

Upon this third disguise trigger, the fedora -- left untouched and unmarred on Kale's previous attempts -- melts down his head into a deep burgandy bandanna wrapped around his eyes. Small, silvery wings burst out of the mask on either side of his head, just above the ears.

A matching burgandy cape erupts from his shoulders and falls down around the wings to his ankles. The scarf, instead of mask, shrinks and grows slender, becoming a silver chain connecting each end of the cape and laying prone across his upper torso.

Dead center of the chain dangles a pair of sterling wings to match those on the bandanna.

Lightly armored leather encases his body, neck to toe with arms and hands included, in black with touches and swirls of burgandy placed almost haphazardly.

His eyes, focal point for that morning's frustration, shift to a swirling combination of red and brown. As always, however, an argent sheen overlays the color otherwise present.

Kale raises his eyebrows at his new form in the mirror, flexing his arms occasionally to get a feel for the outfit. "I feel... ridiculous, but..."
Kale glances up at his hair and frowns, closing his eyes to concentrate as he reaches to touch the bandanna. Black becomes a steely gray, though the length remains the same.
Kale flutters his wings a bit in front of the mirror, then moves over to the window to look out upon what little of Sharn he can see from his home. "I suppose this will have to do. Kale d'Medani will fight no more..."