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Subject: PbV Campaign 2-6 - Baby Steps rss

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Andrea G
United States
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Panda Empress, First of Her Name
The group has just left the council chamber when Catriona, under escort by guards, is brought upstairs. She was promised that her arrest would be explained upon arrival, but the guards do not seem to be very forthcoming. Fiona tells Catriona she's late. Catriona immediately leaps to the (correct) conclusion that Fiona had something to do with her arrest. Rather than explain, Fiona tells them that they've been dismissed, and she invites them back to the MacLeur manor for the night. As they leave, Catriona glares at the guard that had arrested her.

On the way back to the manor, Filian explains to Catriona the purpose of their meeting with the Duke. Catriona asks Caerian if he thinks that magientists could have anything to do with it, and Caerian tells her he will look into it. The group believes that someone must have overheard them, either at a tavern or at the MacLeur household.

While the rest of the group retires, Fiona pulls Filian aside and asks if he had noticed anything unusual about Lady Aoda's eyes during the meeting. He confesses he thought he had noticed something, but he had assumed it to be a trick of the light. Fiona suggests he speak to his fiance's father to see if anything unusual has been happening in the palace. Filian, in turn, suggests she ask the others if they had seen anything unusual.

The following morning, once everyone has come into the dining room, Fiona ushers out the servants and then closes the door behind them. Filian begins to address the group and asks if they saw anything unusual while in the Council Chamber. Neither Caerian nor Ruairidh confess to having seen anything. Ruairidh thinks Fiona should have her head examined. Caerian explains to Ruairidh that they should take this seriously; this Feond has already proven very difficult to remove. Caerian and Filian both realize that Lady Aoda's mind had been intermingled with the Feond's mind, and they fear that part of the Feond returned with Aoda to her body. They discuss using their contacts within the court to learn if she has been behaving unusually.

With that matter settled, they turn their attention to who may have overheard their discussions about the events in Garad. Each confirms that they have not told anyone about their involvement there. They decide to check on the prisoners and learn what they can from them. Caerian will check with the demorthens to see if they had a hand in this, while Catriona checks with the local varigals.

Fiona, Filian, and Ruairidh arrive at the local prison, which is far too small to hold all of the prisoners inside. Outside, there are several corrals where prisoners are being held. Filian suggests having Fiona arrest Ruairidh to gain inside information; Ruairidh promptly turns down this offer. Filian next suggests we single out a prisoner rather than trying to talk to them in a group...if only they can figure out how to get into the prison.

Catriona visits the Frozen Waterfall, which is a well-known tavern for varigals. It is noticably emptier than usual with only three varigals in the common room. She sits down next to the varigal sitting by himself, and he begins to complain about how little work there has been. Apparently, a lot of the varigals were hired this morning to escort merchants out of the city. She assures him that he shouldn't take it personally that he wasn't approached, then asks what he knows about the riot. The varigal witnessed numerous people coming in from all over the dukedom, and they all seemed to grow angrier and angrier by the moment. Catriona wonders if someone has orchestrated the attack, which interests the varigal greatly. The varigal offers to go out into the streets and start asking around for information. Catriona tries to convince him that this is not a great idea, but she isn't sure she was successful. The other two varigals in the room have clearly overheard, and they seem to be snickering at the eagerness of the younger varigal.

Caerian goes to meet with Turian at the Sacred Grove. The guards there direct him towards the castle. After about a 10 minute wait there, Turian arrives to speak with him. Caerian asks they speak alone, so Turian asks the others to leave and invites Caerian to sit. Caerian tells Turian that he was surprised to see two demorthen entering taverns to tell the patrons about the death of the child. Turian affects surprise; he certainly never passed this information on, and he agrees that it would be absolutely terrible if the demorthen were involved in the riot. Caerian suggests they investigate the involvement of the father of the child who had been killed. Naturally, Turian agrees to investigate the villagers as a possible source of the riot.

Fiona approaches the guards, introduces herself and her companions, and tells them they are here to interview the prisoners on behalf of the Duke. They seem dubious, so Fiona suggests they send someone to the castle to check their story. The runner comes back and announces the Captain of the Guard had no idea what they were talking about. Fiona says they should talk to the Duke, not to the Captain of the Guard. They tell the group that the guard isn't sending a runner all the way back to the palace. Fiona chides them for their laziness; they respond that Hilderin Knights are loudmouths; and Ruairidh ends the conversation by saying that they are children unable to protect the magientist school from peasants armed with rocks and torches.

The group heads for the castle. The Duke is busy, but catch sight of Lady Aoda in the courtyard. Filian approaches her and asks for a moment of her time. She seems sympathetic to their plight, and she agrees to write them a letter stating that they are acting on their father's orders. Before she turns away, Ruairidh notices a bit of amber in her eyes, and he also notices the way she seems to be distracted, as though her thoughts are elsewhere. She signs the papers, and then Aoda asks if there's anything else. Filian tries to delicately bring up her situation and possible lingering consequences, but she quickly tells him she doesn't want to talk about it. Ever. The group is dismissed, and they head back to the prison.
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