In the midst of what passes for the guild’s financial management meeting the door swings open and Natalia staggers into the front room. Used to her bedraggled, dirty appearance she doesn’t draw much immediate attention until a small voice peeps up behind her. Taking notice of the young girl following Natalia the rest of the guild recognizes the horrible shape Natalia is in. Badly beaten, bruised all over with chunks of hair torn out she is barely standing. She tries to brush off questions but the others are insistent and her story comes out.
Finally unable to continue her cat and mouse dodge of her past Natalia was picked up by Urgolian commissars almost two weeks past when eating at the Nibbler on Dicers. The past two weeks have been hell for her as she was tortured, frozen, burned, shocked, and healed to go through it all again. The girl with her, around 11 or 12, freed her this morning and the two stumbled back to the guildhall (see stealing bread). Natalia is exhausted and badly hurt and wants nothing more than some rest. Toad and Ano are adamant that a message needs to be sent to these Urgolians. Apu offers the suggestion of permanently altering Natalia’s appearance. After a bit of rest the group sets off for Bone Walk on Hospice to the butcher shop Natalia was held captive at. Ano’s scouting reveals the commissars have cleared out leaving nothing but a wanted poster of Natalia which she adds to her considerable collection to wallpaper her room. Seems she hasn’t lost her dark sense of humor.
Midnight that night Sister Helga stands at the Riverside docks on Captain’s for a meeting requested with Lionor Cathor by note. Toad stands as bodyguard and with Ano, Natalia and Apu hidden as backup and itching to try out their new firearms. The useless wretch never shows but a group of Hurley’s toughs show and half-heartedly threaten Sister Helga warning her Lionor still owes Hurley a lot of scratch. The leader of the thugs is proud to point out he is the brother of someone called the Ox, apparently an important man in Hurley’s syndicate. Sister Helga explains she has no idea know where Lionor is but will pass on the message should she see him. She then extends a warm invitation to the thugs to attend the next Morrowan service and they thank her sheepishly and leave. Natalia retires to the Guildhall with her new protege, Alice, and after throwing the cat a fish the rest of the group hits the Swiggling Pig for pork skins and swill.
The morning starts out quiet. Sister Helga returns from a visit with the arcane mechanik captured in the raid on Hurley’s steamjack factory. The mechanik, Christoper, is being held in protective custody by the church of Morrow’s Inquisition in Five Fingers under the care of Sir Manfred. Vaun takes up the only merc job of the day and so the rest of the guild agrees to help Christopher retrieve his apprentice whom he believe is still stuck on Crane island and likely hunted by Hurley’s men. A trip to the Blaggard’s Manse on Crane leads to a meeting with the apprentice, a skilled arcane mechanik named Kieran MacGrath. She wants off the island, revenge on Hurley, and a place to lie low for awhile. The guildmembers argue the point a bit but it was decided the minute they realize she was in trouble. Ano finally puts to words what everyone is thinking… everyone in the guild has scores to settle and most have a past they want to leave behind. If she can keep a lid on her desire for revenge, play it cool and safe, she’s welcome but she’ll need a new name. Back at the guildhall Apu makes a joke about the quarters getting crowded, and the possibility of sharing rooms if the BRT continues to expand it’s roster. Toad completely misses the innduendo and shrugs, “You should’ve served in the army”.