18:35 – The group hire rooms at the Skyfishers Lodge; a pleasant inn owned by a slightly absent minded Ghaerduun (clearly distracted by the voices in his head) named Athex Xericomb, who gets so into telling the party about his youthful flights as a dirigible pilot that he forgets to ask for payment for their rooms. Much of the inn is built over the edge of the bridge city, and hangs over the precipitous drop into the white waters so very far below.
19:00 – 21:00 - After the group settle in, Seren, Adrielle and a little before Jaegar, leave to visit the Unified Order headquarters in the city, positioned in the eastern spire cities temple district.
The Assassin – in truth a well paid killer in the employ of the Unified Order – reports to Arch-Magus Archevult – Hero of the Unified Order, expert on strange and unusual magics and collector of people with strange talents. As always the Arch-Magus wears a full mask of intricately worked darksteel, and full robes of black, gold and silver. He sits on an ornate throne carved with runes of power and warding (which can be activated with a thought to protect him and his guards and to blast apart enemies), and is flanked by two deadly allies – the feared human psi-assassin Amanita, and the shimmering form of a chaotic spell caster he bound several years before.
Jaeger is paid for the skull plates from Quicksilver and Athame, and informed that there are other individuals that need “a visit”. The assassin then gives a full account of what he has seen whilst travelling with the party.
He speaks highly of Seren, and asks that Varracuda be given some slack (Archevult agrees to this, as long as Jaeger is willing to vouch for him, and to face the consequences should he prove dangerous). He also informs Archevult of Adrielle making it known to the group that he was a killer working for the Unified Order – a serious breach of protocol.
Archevult states that he will personally support Seren's promotion to the rank of Wizard, and assures Jaegar that Adrielle will be made aware of the impact of her actions.
Then the assassin tells him about the vial.
Archevult – usually the epitome of control – springs forwards in his seat, and his dark eyes seem to gleam with power from behind the slits in his mask. He very carefully asks Jaeger to be more specific, and when the assassin described the vial, its runes and then speaks of what they feel it to be (backed up by the attack on Greenford and the reanimation of the Gorgoth on the way here).
Archevult seems stunned. He then asks Jaeger to be very, very, very careful with the vial, and to the assassin's surprise, asks him not to bring it to the Unified Order or the church of Merriel'Shaava for destruction, stating that “there are those within these organisations who might just be tempted to seek power through its use, and I cannot risk that”. He tells the assassin that “I will send help, and when it arrives you will know. Until then, keep a lid on the vial and don't loose sight of it”.
He then dismisses the assassin after informing him that he will not be in Peregrine for much longer, but will be headed to Irin.
...Seren has reported to the Unified Order to register for her application for the rank of Wizard. She is therefore more than a little surprised when a servitor golem presents her with a scroll (bearing the black arcane seal of the Order, its paper shimmering with the flickering magical watermark that their official stationary carries), which informs her that she has already been granted the rank, and represented for it by non other than Archevult.
A little dazed, and unsure if this is a cruel (and very well played joke) she spots Adrielle moving through the foyer. She rushes up to her and shows her the scroll beaming. Adrielle snatches the scroll off her, and unfurls it. Anger plays over her face, and is then replaced with shock as she notes the signature at the bottom.
Paler than a ghost, Adrielle stalks from the headquarters and out into the night.
21:00 – 22:00 - On his way back to the Skyfishers Lodge, Jaeger stops off and speaks to some associates in the local underworld, and gets the low down on the current situation within the city. He learns that like all the cities in Fey, Peregrine is severely undermanned, as many of its soldiers are either dead, or are overseas, fighting the Vaesuurians. A large force of Warforged are stationed there however; the 19th Veteran Vanguard, the 52nd and 70th Adamant and the mages of the 8th Arcane Sentinel. There are four Warforged Titans there (“Vires”, “Infragilis Loricatus”, “Vigilo Proeliator“ and “Victum Rabies”), and numerous representatives of the Unified Order.
The Order are the de facto rulers of Peregrine at the moment, the Falcon Council being too fearful / grateful to them to deny them anything they ask, and there has recently been a strong push to “Reveal hidden workers of dark magics”. Paranoia about “Aelwyn sympathisers” is running high, and the Order have worked hard to get the general populace to equate unregistered magic users with those who would support the departed Fey. Each day at noon public executions of “witches” and “traitors” occur in front of the temple tower of Merriel'Shaava in the middle city (its temple spire), usually by burning at the stake, or crushing under weights. A rare few are beheaded by rune blades, their souls being flayed before the horrified crowds. These events are popular amongst the population, and gives them some illusion of control. Vendors of all manner of grisly souvenirs ply their trade there, and the polished skulls of past victims – struck with warding runes to keep their souls from returning and wreaking havoc – are displayed in grim stacks around the execution grounds.
This Order fed fanaticism has also spawned increasing mistrust of all non-humans / non-dundorin, with even Vyrleen and Ghaerduun finding themselves being held under suspicion (the Unified Order do not condone this racism, but appreciate the fact that it keeps the people vigilant for anyone possibly using magic against their orders or strictures).
A “human power” group calling itself the “Sons of the New Creed” has recently begun to stage protests against non-human businesses and even the Warforged, calling for them to be driven from “Human lands”, and made to stay apart. At present they are seen as a rabble, but there is power behind them. The Order are currently making plans to bring these folks to justice, as they recognise their potential to bring harm to their own plans.
There has been little news of the war so far away in the south, and the general population are starting to grow angry about their menfolk being so far away for so long. Rumours of gathering masses of greenskins and the spread of new and alien plagues is only fuelling this anger, and there have been a number of riots of late. To try and quell this simmering anger, the Falcon Council have staged a number of processions where the Falcon Knights swoop over the city in a show of arms, and the Warforged Titans are regularly sent out with large bands of Warforged and mercenaries to hunt down and crush any enemies in the local region.
There are stories of a great scarlet Dracani being spotted over the eastern reaches of the Southguard Mountains, and some believe this terrible beast is the one marshalling the greenskin hoards.
Jaeger also learns that an old, old nemesis of his – a wererat named Skythiss – is back in the city, and is up to his old tricks (the assassin cut off his tale in an epic battle five years ago, after hunting him down for his part in promoting the vile religion of Skeer'Tesh, an aspect of the Sarrax'Thag'Naestra).
Jaegar makes a mental note to visit him at some future point.
23:00 – The group get some sleep after discussing the revelations.