Domine Dirige Nos

What came before, affects what comes after...
Bloody Elves!!!

You remember when we went to that meeting, where the elf’s came last and left first and our minds were addled and jaddled. Powerful men and women and orc’s and elf’s spoke of things of moment and import however we knew it not.

It is linked somehow to what we are doing now, wandering around a subterranean complex occupied by four different groups chasing 4 keys for four locks that only need three to be turned to release what the elf’s say will be the end of the Greatest City of Albion, perhaps the world, a trap left by the departing Selentines, who felt that what they cannot hold no one else should have.

The Elf’s want the keys, Mancaster should be given the keys and we have settled on a plan to have 2 each. Once we find them.

There are four groups.

Chaubrettan Spies who had a plot to abduct the scions of the rich and powerful and others with some claim to power. ( I Eadweard was on the list, a cell prepared and named. I have long known my father was well off, however I would not have thought he could exert the influence that would make myself a target or the riches to command a mighty ransom. I am but the third son, and not his Heir) By Gatanedes these Chaubrettans grow bold. WE have taken their key.

Summoners of Daemons and Dark powers, a Cult of Death that talks of the light occupy another Quarter. They it seems are disrupted somewhat by our activities and driven from the complex, there plan perhaps undone? We have not found their key, perhaps they fled with it.

Elf’s of course occupy the third Quarter, and they have a key still and desire a second. They were not aware that three would unlock the doom. The elves of course want us gone, the leader professes though no will to be the one who does it her?self. The Elf’s fear not the Doom, assured they were when it was placed that it would bring no harm to them. I cannot trust the Elf’s. They hate us. Mancaster is filled with wroth against them, they do irritate his bowels so.

The Elf’s have tole us the nature of the last occupants, the fourth quarter. Birdmen they named them. The Mungodan bird priests perhaps?? Most likely. They are nasty filthy things. However we must do what we can. Mancaster is counting upon us.

So far we have learn much. The Elf’s believe the doom for us and the great city above lies behind the door. The Chaubrettan’s have it in for us, as did a death cult, the Inquisition were here before and are gone believing they have secured a prize and chasing further the allegations of Heresy, and the Birdman have there own nasty and nefarious plans that we must now reveal.

Can we trust the Elf’s and what they have told us? That is the question that much vexes me.

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The Inquistion Comes to Town
The Inquistion, what a show!

The Party arrived at the tower of the Tashim (Alhim) on the way back to Ongus where they found the front door broken down. A piece of parchment nailed to the doorframe, most of which was ripped away, was nailed there by a good nail, probably mailed in Ongus. The paper was of particularly good quality (church or government use).

On entering the tower the Party found that the ground floor was a library which had been almost completely trashed, only a couple of books remained, one of which was a copy of the Holy Scriptures (a particularly good copy). A large stain was also found in the centre of the room.

On the first floor the Party found a bed chamber. Again the room had been ransacked with the bed slashed open.

On the second floor the Party found what was left of a laboratory and another ladder leading up.

The Party proceeded to the roof where the Party found a large, heavy chest which showed signs of abuse. However the chest had remained unopened.

From the tower the Party noticed the remains of a bonfire near the tower. On closer inspection it was found to have been burnt books.

On the Party’s return to Ongus an attempted to arrest Eadweard is made on the authority of Father Elcano. Helga, Eadweard’s bodyguard, advises the Party to run. Those who hadn’t already passed through the gate decided to either run or go with the guard. An attempt to arrest Brother Godric is made but the guard refused to carry out the order. Godric is advised to go directly to the Bishop’s Palace.

Those that ran (Eadweard, Jayden, Aelfraed, Julianne, Keiran and Gregor) headed for the south gate.

(Eadweard, Jayden, Aelfraed, Julianne, Keiran and Gregor) made it into the city and hid at the orphanage.

Godric and Ayden made it to the Bishop’s Palace where they discovered that Elcano was claiming to be an Inquisitor from the Pope sent to root out heresy. It seems he was behind the attach on the tower and the order to arrest Eadweard (because he’s a sorcerer).

After midnight (Eadweard, Jayden, Aelfraed, Julianne, Keiran and Gregor) were lead from the orphanage into the tunnels under the city where they met “Amethyst”, a member of the thieves guild (the Crooked Rooks) and the Party was in the Rookery. They learnt that Mistress Marta had been arrested along with almost every other sorcerer in the city.

The following the day (Eadweard, Jayden, Aelfraed, Julianne, Keiran and Gregor) made their way back to Mistress Marta’s School where they found Alhim. Eadweard returned the books that the Party saved to him and Jayden went and acquired clothes for him.

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Monastery Mayhem
17/3/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Torsdae, Halig Monath). Ayden, Julianne and I set off, less than a day behind the others. But with snow falling it became obvious we would not reach Ongus and as the afternoon wore on we looked about for shelter. Lights in the distance led us to a monastery where we were let in. We found that we had arrived at a seen of utter mayhem. The other party members were there, having come across a scene of obvious murder. The feet of one Brother Edmund were sticking up out of the main cauldron in the kitchen, withe the words ‘Penance is done’ daubed on the cauldron. When his body was pulled out it was found that Edmund had been manually strangled by someone with unusually long fingers.

This was not the first mysterious death. Some weeks ago Brother Able, the librarian, leapt from one of the walls, an apparent suicide, and was buried outside the monastery. A few days ago, Guilarno, a hunchback who was the bellringer, was found hanging from his bells, also manually strangled. Again the words ‘Penance is done’ was written on one of the bells.

The brothers who found Edmund, Brothers Francoise and Bernadino, swore they saw Brother Able standing over the cauldron. In their hurry to flee through the door they collided with each other and fell, allowing Able to pass. Able would be described as a person with unusually long fingers.

The brothers said they had previously seen Edmund walking through the snow towards the kitchen and decided to follow him as Edmund was always suspected of stealing food.

One interesting point was that Edmund was Guilarno’s only friend.

Brother Francois wears a magical charm around his neck.

Some months ago the library burned down. Although many books were saved all the documents were destroyed, (although cpies of these would be at the cathedral). Several monks left as a result of the loss of the library. The books were currently being stored in the stables.

The body of Edmund was taken to the infirmary and cleaned by Brother Debrace. He confirmed that he buried Able himself.

After some sleep and some breakfast to start Freyadae the grave of brother Able was examined. It was empty. In fact it appeared something had clawed its way out. A search of Able’s possessions produced a diary. It referred to Able’s revelation of the location of a well that would bring good fortune to the monastery. He told Brother Bernadino, who said this was heresy and that Able was never to mention it again. This was the last entry, on the day of Able’s death.

We headed over to the chapel which was found to be filled with lighted candles. Brother Bernadino was there, praying. Brother Able appeared and Bernadino screamed out, “We murdered you.” I intervened, promising Brother Able that Bernadino would face the Ecclesiastical Court in Ongus which would certainly mean a death sentence for him, and that Able could go to his rest without any further blood on his hands.

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A criminal unmasked
10/3/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Wotansdae, Halig Monath). My involvement in this session was very limited. Suffice to say that the criminal, one Dnald Coldwater, was captured. Facing trial I assisted with preparing the documents for the prosecution. The party set off back towards Ongus, Ayden and Julianne staying behind as well.

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Investigations in Borton
3/3/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Tyresdae (Tuesday), Halig Monath

Having arrived in Borton, (and trying to get accustomed to the smell), we investigated Frickard’s house. He had been found in his bed with a crossbow bolt in his chest. The crossbow was missing. We found strange yellow chalk marks all over the house. In his room was a crude drawing in blood of a hanged man, with a cipher that eventually read ’what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.’

We then surprised a man climbing into the room using a ladder. After he was seized two others were heard running away. He said he was Cylis, a member of the Committee of Public Recriminiations, also inquiring into the murder. (The impression we got was that the Borton group didn’t think much of our abilities).

Other members included:
Undal Parrwicker – Inkmakers.
Karl Darldimple – Goose Farmer.
Janet Morallian – Clerk at paper manufacturers.
Viviaquin – Odd job man at the Monastery who talked about ‘mysterious deaths.’

It became apparent that Undal and Janet favoured the new quill, whie Karl and Viviaquin did not. Cylis was neutral.

The marks over the house suggested that it was about to be turned into tenements.

On Wotansdae, the party met with Viviquan at the monastery who said there had been ‘certain deaths’. An investigation was made at the Public Records at the Town Hall. The list of deaths, including Frikard’s, suggested a certain, as yet unidentified person stood to gain this house about to be turned into tenements. It became apparent that the death of Frikard may have nothing to do with the opposition between quill and nib.

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War of the Writing Implements
24/2/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Tyrsdae (Tuesday), Halig Monath)

Pity. No entry for when the sorceror, in fact a dark elementalist) was finally taken down. So I’ll have to skip to a new entry, when on Tyrsdae, Kieran received a summons to the Merchants Guild. We all turn up, where we are asked to sold of the murder of a scribe, Callery Frikard, the town of Borton about ten miles away. We agreed and set off, to find the town was most disagreeable in terms of smell.

It became apparent that there were two rival factions in the town. Frikard had created a new writing nib, which allowed faster writing without as much skill as with a quill. Those who supported the traditional way of writing the (traditionalists) opposed those who wanted the quill made readily available, (the modernists).

The town council is made up of members representing each of the guilds and a town representative.

Places of possible interest:
Guild of Scribes.
The Inkmakers’ Union.
The Borton Goose Breeders Association.
The town paper manufacturers.
The Monastery of Blackwood.

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Immoral Practices???
3/2/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Boldersdae (Saturday), Halig Monath).

I wonder when the Summoner will give me a real case, i.e. something to do with the Church. Instead, there are these ad hoc secular activities that seem to arrive at the Swan every time we do. In fact, talking of the Swan, our host is bethrothed. In his culture, the woman chooses the partner, and in Tokli’s case, he had to defeat her in a (wrestling, boxing, no holds barred pankration??? whatever) contest. He won, (after ten tries), but he did get his bride.

During a visit of several of the city’s churches, I was told by Father Jerome of Our Lady of Grace that the nearby bathhouse was being used for ‘immoral purposes’. However, his only real indication was that when he asked to see the place, the manageress seemed to be ‘almost too eager’ to comply. I said I would take a look.

I told the band at the Swan (still don’t what to call it, but Motley Crew is definitely out). A few decided to enter the place. Edward discovered through his ungodlike powers that the hot and cold pools definitely exhibited magical auras. This suggested some possible deception, (pay to use the cold pool, then pay extra because you’re desperate to use the hot pool to recover from frostbite). Heat for the hypocaust apparently came from a boiler situated in the next building, the Guildhall of Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Glassblowers. (Does this mean they worship retorts and glass mozaics? Sounds pagan to me).

An entrance to the Guildhall was made in the evening of Haligdae (Sunday) by our usual method; we broke in. Down in the cellar was the boiler, clearly unused. In a nearby tunnel a small child came trundling up to us quite calmly, said w’d be in a lot of trouble for being down here and then casually mentioned the name of Bator, at which point he was put into a sack and taken to Mistress Marta.

I have some coal dust to clean off.

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Woodcut posters and thieves falling out
27/1/2015

(From the pen of Brother Godric, Wotansdae, (Wednesday), Halig Monath)

My apologies for not being up to speed with events last time. Must be what I drink at the Swan. Anyway this entry starts on the evening of Wotansdae at the Swan. Word came to us that posters were being put up all over the city (and then almost immediately pulled down). Kieran managed to get one, which showed a very good likeness of Darla, except hair color was different. The poster referred to the missing daughter of WylSmyth, a master engraver. We paid a visit to his house and Gregor decided to make a nocturnal entry. At least that was the intention, (considering how many 20s on a d20 were rolled IN A ROW). This resulted in such amusing antics as Gregor literally falling into the bed occupied by the engraver and his wife and then running into a cupboard while trying a hasty exit, (in pitch blackness). A crossbow bolt fortunately missed the hapless burglar wannabe. (Pity we missed the antics). Yours truly entered and managed to calm things down with the engraver. With his skills he was able to create a very good likness of Gregor on a woodcutting there and then. Master WylSmyth said his daughter Margory had been missing for four days. I said the church would look into it. Also the man in the woodcutting was known to me and was most likely a common burglar, with nothing to do with his daughter.

(After all this, Gregor decided to shave his beard, hide his distinctive cap and lie low for a few days. I don’t blame him).

On Torsdae (Thursday) we again met at the Swan. Keiran revealed he has a portrait of Darla painted by an artist who lived next to a brothel called The House of a Thousand Dreams. He also said that he had on good authority that Darla was currently with the children working for the sorceror. Meanwhile Edward went to see Mistress Marta about the boy rescued from the sorceror. Because the boy had been exposed to demonology he had to be cleansed, involving a swearing in ceremony in which Edward assisted. Before leaving, he was told by Kes, the girl that works there, that she was sure she had seen a girl just like Darla, (or Marjory), at the bishop’s house. Edward revealed this to us.

On Freyasdae (Friday) I visited the bishop’s house. His Grace showed me the girl staying there, and it became immediately apparent that it was Marjory. Upon confronting the woman that attended her, she would only say that she and the two other women that tended the girl were with the Secret Service. The bishop immediately said he would handle the matter, but gave me permission to visit the engraver and tell him and his wife their daughter was safe and should be back with them shortly. I was also told to visit the summoner to get an ecclesiatical court prepared ‘in case it was necessary’. Both were done.

That night we were visited by an 8 year old girl who, after demanding food, (and getting potatoes), said that Darla would be returned if we ‘backed’ off. After a descussion we agreed. (This indicted to me a falling out among the thieves or at least the sorceror was getting cold feet, especially if he had found out that both the bishop and Mistress Marta were interested in him). A short time later the child said Darla was in the latrines, where we found her hogtied and gagged. Julianne told the child that if she came to the Swan at the same time each week she would get more food. The child was very enthusiastic about this. (A possible method set up by Julianne to get information from the child about the sorceror at a later date). The child did reveal that Darla had referred to the sorceror as ‘Master Bator’.

Dumping Darla into a sack she was carried off to the bishop’s house, (attracting quite a crowd of interested onlookers who were amused at her protests, as well as two men at arms that acted as an escort). After returning Darla, Marjory was taken back to her parents and a report was sent to Mistress Marta.

At present we are still tasked with finding the sorceror, (the name ‘Bator’ and the child may help). The ecclesiastical court may still be needed. No inquiry regarding the House of the Thousand Dreams has been made.

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Mistress Marta's Magic Cats, and a visit to a private club goes wrong

Well, this is Kieran Bode aka Dodger letting you coves know about what happened over the last two days.

After we left Mistress Marta and Earl Mancaster at the Palace, the gang headed back to the city. As we passed the gallows, it was noticed that two bodies had disappeared from. Some cove had nicked them. Knowing better than to get involved in that sort of thing, I ignored the questioning that Eardward asked the guards about the comings and goings through the closed gate; especially about any wagons that had come through.

We headed straight for Mistress Marta’s school on the southern side of the city. It became pretty obvious to both me and Eardward that we’d picked up a shadow; some young girl that was following us, from between the City Gate and Old Fort. Some of the others in the gang cottoned a bit later on. She was good, but not good enough. She did notice me slip into a dark alleyway though, so I pretended I had to use the jakes and emerged about a minute or two later.

Once we got to the School, we confronted her. She said she was called Kes, and wanted to know why we were breaking into the school. Eardward quickly informed her that we weren’t technically breaking in, as we had been sent there to collect some gear for the Mistress. Gregor attempted to pick the lock with the new tools supplied to us by Earl Mancaster. He failed, so Kes stepped in and opened it easily. Only myself, Eardward and Kes entered the building.

Whilst Eardward started to have a talk with Kes (who is only about 14) I headed up to the Mistress’s room. I was greeted with the most shockingly, surprising room I had ever seen. There was lace and doily’s everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! Then I noticed hanging up some men’s clothes, next to women’s clothes. I never knew MIstress Marta liked wearing men’s clothing. For disguise? (Eardward, after looking around the room pointed out that some of the clothing actually belonged to Mancaster; it had his arms visible. The Mistress and the Earl? I guess everyone needs to have someone.)

On her bed was the biggest, and fattest cat I had ever seen. I had seen a similar cat here only a few months ago when still a student here; the cat was nowhere near the size it was now! Worried about what might happen with a cat in the room when I was blindfolded and the chest had been opened, I picked up the cat and took it down to the kitchen and gave it some fish to eat. Returning to the room (and once more familiarising myself with the layout), I knelt down beside the bed and looked under the bed. There, looking at me with an intelligent gaze, was the cat I had remembered from my days at the school. Identical to the fat one, but normal size for a cat. Collecting this one, I returned to the kitchen and fed BOTH cats.

No more cats. I returned once again to the room. Eardward and Kes are still happily chatting away. Closing the door, I kneel down again only to find a kitten. Where are all these cats coming from? I picked up the little bundle of fur, open the door, and handed it to Kes. Finally returning to the bed, I removed the loose floor boards as instructed, and there was the chest. I took the key from where I had hidden it on my person, and put the key in the lock. Then, after tying the kerchief (supplied by Eardward) around my head as a blindfold, I reached in and turned the key until it clicked in the lock. Opening it, I started to feel around inside it.

I could feel coins, gems, rings, (lovely specie), before feeling first one and then two scrolls. Removing them, I closed the lid, backed out and made my way to the door. Opening the door I step through, closing it behind me. Removing the blindfold, I handed the scrolls to Eardward. First part of the job done.

I replaced the blindfold and returned to the chest. Opening the chest, I start looking for the runed cloth that I was instructed to retrieve. First thing I find is something furry … a rat? No, the feet are wrong. The playful nature and the purring confirmed my suspicions … another kitten. How on Legend did the kitten get into the closed chest? Removing the kitten, and placing it on my back, I start feeling around for the cloth, again encountering lots of luverly (sic) specie in the form of gems, rings, coins and such like. Once I found the cloth, I made sure it was folded over and …. I l know what you’re thinking … Dodger couldn’t miss such an opportunity. However, this was Mistress Marta. She would most likely turn me into a toad. And, I suddenly realised, she had actually trusted me, Keiran. No one had ever trusted me like that before. It was weird. So, against all my instincts, I closed and locked the case (still blindfolded mind you). I was putting the floorboards back when I felt a thump on my chest. Now I had 2 kittens on my back. I grabbed the kittens, put them on the bed and headed out of the room. I gave Eardward the cloth, which he folded up in another kerchief and tucked it away. I removed my blindfold to see Kes holding 4 kittens.

We left the school and all headed home for some much needed rest.

The next day we all met as usual after word at the Swan. Kes had told us (on the previous night) that an unusual man had been seen entering a brothel in the Plaza Ward. This was the man we were seeking with regard to the “magic kids” we had encountered earlier. Now that we had time to think about it, we had no idea where this brothel actually was. I know Plaza Ward pretty well (as a messenger I know where most buildings are) and could not recall any brothel in the ward. More information was needed. Eardward then informed us that he knew how to contact Kes to find out more about this brothel.

Upon returning from his meeting with Kes, we discovered that it was a large building next to a place with naughty pictures in Diamond Street. That was, in fact, an artist who specialised in “tasteful” nude paintings of ladies. Between it and a locksmith is a fairly non-descript 3 storey building. Eardward’s bodyguard Helga then informs us that the place is a “private gentlemens er, club” called “The House of Infinite Dreams” where gentlemen could meet and discuss private business, and enjoy “other” activities. She herself had worked as a bouncer (and had provided some other occasional services which she declined to elaborate on, except to say that some people liked to have someone walk on them).

Eardward was immediately recognised by the bouncers as a Boniface, and wanted to know if this was to be covered by him, or to go on his fathers account. We thought it should go on Mancasters account (after all, it was a legitimate expense) but he decided to pay himself. Then we found out the entrance fee; 1 Gold Crown per person. I think I saw Helga slip a small pouch into Eardwards hand; otherwise where else did he find 7 Crowns?

It was a very posh place. We were given a “private meeting room” on the second floor. Eardward asked for the man we were “supposedly” meeting (the wizard) to meet us here. The only description was that he was “unusual”. She seemed to know just who he was referring to.

Gregor hid under the bed, leaving me, Eardward and Helga in the room. The others all went down to the bar where they could watch the door. They could only see the upper half of the door; nevertheless they were totally surprised when they saw the door open and close by itself.

The door was opened by a small man no more than 3 and a half feet tall. He questioned us about what we wanted with him, and seemed very suspicious of us, finally demanding to know just who we were working for. Spinning a bit of a story, I said we were working for a Chaubrettan who had been chasing slavers, and that we were hunting for a missing girl, whom we wanted to return to the people who were supposed to be looking after her. (Darla, the young girl we had met previously, has turned out to be the Chaubretten Princess, held as “hostage” by the crown to ensure peace. She had run away again and was now running with the gang of kids working for the evil wizard.)

Suddenly the place is stormed by Palace Guards, and the short cove orders our arrest! He was none other than the Kings Hand (which I thought unusual, cos he looked like a cove to me, not a hand) . Establishing that we were really working for Mancaster, he quickly devised a cover for the storming of the place by the guards. We were instructed to keep working for the Earl to recover Darla and stop the Wizard.

Whilst Gregor and I slipped away to join the others at the bar, and then depart the building, Eardward was dragged out screaming “No you can’t take me back to Montombre. Father will kill me” pretending to be the son of the Earl of Montombre. Well, he’s pretended to be Gregor before.

So that’s it. No extra specie for Dodger, though I did get a new heavy leather jacket.

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Dangerous Children
13/1/2015

(From the pen of brother Godric, Baldur’s Day , (Saturday), Halig Monath.

Two days passed. After the morning’s work on Baldur’s Day, the party arrived at the Swan to find it shut as it was flooded. As it was pouring with rain this was not surprising. A friar sermonizing the crowd at the corner said that he had been robbed by ‘sorcerous litle imps’ in a park. Edward figured that this involved the use of Transfix, a moderately powerful sorcery spell. The friar was accosted by a younger child who demanded his money, wherupon everything went black. When the friar came to his money was gone.

The party visited the park and spoke to some children playing there. One remembered seeing a child of teen years with red hair in Falcony Road, heading towards dockside. He had a large knife as well as ‘a funny look on his face’ (as if he was drunk). The party also went to the Faithful Hound Inn near the park. There a barbarian (of short stature but with a very large sword), said he has spoken to a child of this description. He thought the child had a Cornumbrian accent. Apparently there had been robberies involving children in Argen Hill and Bridgewater.

On Halig Day (Sunday) Godric took a walk through the area, coming from the nearest city gate. The rest of the party was watching. Godric had made himself appear as a merchant newly arrived in the city, carrying a bag of gold, (although it was only filled with rocks). After reaching Dockside he headed back to the park.Upon entering an alleyway he was accosted by a child. The whole party except Jayden was afflicted by a Transfix spell, but because the knight was still mobile the children ran. Jayden managed to seize one, who claimed nothing could be done to him as he was only six and thus too young according to both secular and ecclesiastical law to commit a crime. When the party recovered it was decided to take the child to Mistress Marta. The Mistress said she would get answers from the child by that evening.

In the evening the party returned to Mistress Marta’s. The boy had been persuaded to talk by being given sanctuary there. Considering what had happened to him before coming to the city it was no surprise that Mistress Marta’s course of action had been effective. The boy had been kidnapped in Cornumbria and sold to slavers. Several children, including the boy, had been sold to a mysterious figure who always appeared to them wearing a devil’s mask. He was the one that cast the magic while the children looked for potential targets and took the wealth.

Syfsdae (Monday) dawned and the party found that the Swan was open. While there they received royal commands from a messenger to attend the palace. Upon arriving, they were taken to the Star Chamber, the highest court in the kingdom, where they met Mistress Marta. She was required to stay at the palace as the king ‘needed her’, but the party was charged with finding this sorceror. The mistress was prepared to give aid, including her most powerful item, a Stasis spell stored upon a magical Rune. Strict instuctions were given about getting the Rune, which is on a piece of folded cloth and stored in a locked chest. On no account must the Rune be looked at. For this purpose the one getting the Rune (Keiran) will be blindfolded. This exercise is yet to take place.

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