Dark Moon Rising

Winter in Summer

27th Session

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Summer in Five Fingers brings sea breeze stinking of fish and salt and heavy with dust and smog. Business was slow for the Dark Moon Guild, so Vaun had been spending much of his time in the smithy at the end of the block. On his way home, smoking an early evening cigar he met with three visitors outside the guild house. Their leader spoke in an accent unfamiliar to Vaun and introduced herself as Abigail Thompson. The large Urgolian to her left was Joachim, and Vaun didn’t catch the last name if it was given at all. Abigail asked about the whereabouts of Natalia, and Vaun was pleased that he didn’t have to lie when he said he hadn’t seen her recently. For the past few days he’d been hard at work on a shield for a lieutenant on Dicer’s. He said he’d passed the message along if he saw her, and they added that messages could be sent to an inn on Tambertan Lane. Apparently, there was a price on her head, and they meant to cash in. Then, strangely, Joachim gave Vaun a hearty Urgolian shake and passed a letter with it, saying he knew that Vaun would help restore justice in the Urgolian way.

Once they left Vaun look at the message which told of how Joachim knew of Natalia’s service in the Urgolian army, how she’d disobeyed “The Butcher’s” orders and helped a few children live. Now one of those children, Joachim, was all grown and he wanted to help her. And it had one more bit of news…Natalia was the last living member of her family. Her uncle who became her caretaker when her parents died was executed recently for Natalia’s disobedience. When everyone arrived, Vaun delivered a brief on his little meeting, then handed Natalia the letter soberly. Natalia broke into tears as everyone looked down. Vaun did his very best to console Natalia, thinking partially of his own family, and the harsh life that good people seemed to lead in Urgolia. Apu and Toad instantly went to thinking about what to do about these three bounty hunters.

Not long later Kieren and Sister Helga noticed that someone was hanging out outside the guild house. Kieren and Sister Helga went out to meet him. Dressed in a form-fitting red suit of Urgolian intelligence officers, complete with the tall cap. Unfortunately, just as they opened the door, everyone heard a crash upstairs. Alice ran up to see what might have happened to Natalia. They determined that she’d jumped through a window and ran down the rickety staircase in the back. Everyone left let the officer enter, resisting the urge to discuss Natalia for the time being, and acting as if everything was fine until he left. The officer revealed that he’d been watching the guild for some time and that he’d determined that these bounty hunters were working for Aman Nitzer, “The Carrion Bird,” “The Vulture,” a particularly cold and deadly Urgolian warcaster kommisar. He generally works with Eskil Mantalivas, “The Clockworker,” and his spellsword assistant, Petra Hinter, known lovingly as “The Frost Bitch.” He suggested they find Natalia as soon as possible and get her to safety. Before leaving, he threw them one more piece of information. Hurley’s men were watching the guild house for a time, if they didn’t know.

And suddenly summer wasn’t so slow and casual anymore… Natalia was gone without a trace. And while Apu could certainly find her, he wasn’t sure now was the best time. She could use a little space to herself, and they might even lead the bounty hunters to her. No, it was better to let her hide in the ways she knew so well, as she had done when she first came to Five Fingers.

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