Rallaak takes out his bag and grabs a wooden box that seems to be just a little bigger than a music box. Heading to the dining table, he sets the box down and opens it up. Inside are a variety of different small mechanisms with vials and bottles. There a couple empty syringes and cogs that seem to shake the vials in place. He starts to extract some of the poison he was handed and injects it into one of his control vials. "Help would be appreciated. Keep an eye on reactions if you don't mind," he says.
Quiberron watches the reactions with interest. “Rallaak, I never saw this equipment on our trip here. How did you come by your knowledge of alchemy?” Quiberron inquiries in a friendly way as the vials bubble away.
Rallaak turns back, talking to Quiberron more quietly. "Not really alchemy. Just knowledge around, well... poisons and such. It just runs in the family, so sometimes you need to spend time to study it." He speaks up, but doesn’t go into too much detail about his previous work.
“Sounds like an interesting story I hope you’ll tell me sometime. Knowledge, even about poisons, is something to be treasured and preserved; you should not feel embarrassed about having studied it.” As he moves away from the table where the kit is set up, Quiberron adds, “If you need my help analyzing, let me know.”
"If you could find someone else with knowledge of poisons, that would be helpful," Rallaak says.
Quiberron nods and excuses himself.
Rallaak steps off to the side as he looks around trying to take in the situation. The invite to dinner only seemed to make things worse. He looks and motions to Quiberron, wanting to talk off to the side as he heard the words about helping to clean up.
Quiberron sees his friend motion to him, and walks over. “Quite an interesting evening, eh? I don’t suppose you have any familiarity with analyzing the properties of unknown poisons?” he asks, brandishing the vial of poison residue.
Rallaak blinks a little bit then smirks, not wanting to give too much away. "I have dabbled in poisons. Let's take a look to see what it's about," he replies, pondering a little bit more. "What do you think of all the events anyway? What exactly is going on?" he adds.
Quiberron hands the vial over to Rallaak. “Here you go, see what you can make of it. Whatever analysis you do, let me know if I can help.
“I really don’t know what happened here. Fennix was going to announce some kind of job, I think, and I’m guessing someone didn’t want him to do that. Maybe they don’t want the job done, or they don’t want him to be the one to sponsor it.” He adds, “It’s a bit of a mystery,” with a quick smile and a glint in his eye.
Terrence is disappointed that The Director isn't more directive at the moment, but that was quite a scene, and sometimes the older ones need to rest after. He approaches the young woman cradling the fallen lord. "My apologies, my lady. I'm sure you're very distressed about your father, as are we all; however, the villains are afoot, and a quick response may be vital in redressing the situation. Do you know why those devils attacked and where they may have escaped to?"
Terrence’s stomach gurgles uncomfortably.
"Er, could you point me toward the little adventurers' room?” Terrence asks.
“The what?” Arabella asks.
“The facilities. I need to wash my hands. And feet. I could be in there a while.”
“Oh, yes. Out the doors, down the hall, right at the vase that looks like an upside-down turtle, and it will be on your left.”
Terrence hurriedly exits stage right.
Roland asks, "This Ricrose, who is he? Perhaps I can help locate him?"
“My brother,” Arabella replies. “He was supposed to be here this evening... but I suppose he had better things to do.”
"What sorts of things?" Roland continues. "I don't mean to pry, but if you think he can help we need to find him."
Arabella flushes, looking rather embarrassed. Then she says in a low voice, “I’d check the taverns, brothels, and slave market. And please keep the attack and my brother’s reputation quiet.”
Roland feels a brief flash of embarrassment himself as she responds, but keeps control of his expression. Responding in an equally low voice, he says, "Understood. I will look into it personally, and tell no one."
“Thank you,” she says sincerely. “I would choose someone else to take with you. You may tell them. But no one else.”
Arabella pushes herself to her feet. “I am going to my father’s study,” she announces to the room. “I understand if any of you will be headed immediately home and want no more to do with this. However, I would appreciate help cleaning up, someone to go fetch the coroner, and any insights anyone might have on the attack. If you wish to speak with me privately, I will be in my father’s study going through his notes to find any possible connections. Hopefully, my father will wake up. If not, for now, I will take up his mantle. And once we have things sorted as much as possible, I will return to talk of the expedition.”
After his conversation with Málean, Roland's head has finally started to cool off. He walks back toward Arabella. He kneels down beside her. "I apologize for my outburst a moment ago. I am deeply sorry for what happened, and though I couldn't stop it I do promise I will do all I can to try and make it right. I hate to bother you with this now, but do you know anyone who could have wanted to do this?”
Arabella looks from her father to her mother who is as pale as a sheet. Slowly, she begins to process that this puts her in charge of sorts. Her expression regains poise. “It likely had something to do with the expedition. We had permission from the king; however, one can never be sure of motives.” She pushes herself to her feet. “You,” she points to Tyrects, “could you please help carry my father up to his room?”
She then turns to her mother. “We must track down Ricrose.” Her mother stands there, unresponsive. “Mother!” Arabella shouts.
The woman starts and looks at her daughter. “I don’t know where he is.”
Arabella looks around for someone she can assign to the task.
Tyrects picks up the High Lord and readies to follow the young girl.
Arabella gestures for her mother to show Tyrects the way. It takes the woman a moment to react, then she starts off, leading Tyrects there.
Málean waves down Roland as he moves away from the unconscious lord. "Hi. Yes, you, excuse me. Could you help me look for the dagger that wounded the High Lord? If we can find it, and I can get my hands on some tools, I might be able to find out what is wrong with him."
Roland starts a bit as the light purple-skinned man stops him. Shaking his head, he responds, "I would if I could, but all I saw him get struck with was a whip, and that damned pale elf took it with her." He pauses briefly then holds out the dagger he still clutches before continuing, "This was carried by the man whose bloody shirt first tipped me off. He could have cut the lord, but given that I am still standing I doubt it was poisoned in any way." Talking it over like this had a strangely calming effect on Roland, his voice growing more confident.
Málean takes the dagger carefully, not wanting to risk anything despite Roland’s hypothesis. He studies the knife, trailing off into thought and seeming to completely forget that Roland even exists. This suits Roland just fine, and he leaves the strange night elf to his musings.
Roland steps up to where Arabella kneels on the floor over her father's body. He stammers a bit, looking back and forth from her to him before saying, "I... I'm sorry. I tried to protect him. I...". At that he seems to notice the char and scorch marks from when he nearly burned down the building with them inside. A horrified look comes over his face, and he says, "I have to get out of here." He stumbles a little, clearly shaken, and starts to turn.
Arabella looks up as if to stop Roland, but she lets him go, too worried about her father to do anything.
Tyrects jogs to the main entrance and retrieves his weapons, as well as Quibberon's and Rallaak's. He returns to the dining hall, giving each of his companions' their items. He checks the dead enemies, ensuring they are fully down, and looking for anything worth taking.
“Thanks Tyrects,” says Quiberron, gratefully accepting his things. The wizard is kneeling next to the High Lord, giving the fallen man a general inspection and also looking specifically to see if he can figure out what magic is preventing him from regaining consciousness despite the efforts of his daughter and Terrence. Whatever it is, it certainly is not magical. If anything, it is some sort of poison that has made High Lord Fennix comatose.
Quiberron looks at Arabella. “Your father may have been poisoned. Do what you can to help him, or call priests who can. I’m going to look for more clues.”
Málean walks over to where Fennix is laying. "Is the high lord okay?" he asks with concern in his voice.
Quiberron is unsure if the question was directed at him or Arabella, so he answers. “He appears unconscious despite healing, and may be poisoned. Beyond that I cannot say.”
Quiberron stands then to go into the kitchens; he wants to search for clues or for living servants who may have witnessed or heard what transpired before the assassins emerged.
The kitchen is an absolute state. There has clearly been a fight, and both cooks lie unconscious (or possibly dead) on the ground. Quiberron finds a servants’ entrance and opens the door to see that it seems to lead down a hall to the outside. He then checks on the cooks. He manages to stabilize one, but the other is dead, choke marks around her throat. Despite being unaccustomed to death, it doesn’t really seem to phase him. He just carries on in his search.
Quiberron weeds through the mess, looking for any evidence of poison—a residue in a pot, a vial, a twist of paper that could have contained a powder, etc.—until he finds what he is searching for. He carefully fishes an empty vial from where it was knocked beneath some shelves near where it looks like they served the cobbler. He examines the vial, but does not think he has the right tools or background to test it—possibly he could find someone who does, or who could at least help. The vial has a few drops of the mixture left in it.
Del kneels down beside Sabal's body. "Can anyone heal?"
The woman with the tiny dog approaches and places a hand on Sabal.
"Lord Fennix is downed,” Del says as Helena heals Sabal. Maybe after she heals him she can heal High Lord Fennix too. Del’s expression is solemn.
Helena nods. “Yes, dear,” she says. Then, as if having supposed what Del was thinking, “They’ve already tried healing him. It’s not working.”
Slowly, Sabal comes to, and Helena waddles away to help others who have fallen.
"The elven priestess,” Sabal breathes, “...she should not be here…. I fear that I...." He trails off, not wanting to complete the thought out loud. He turns to Del, "Thank you. You healed me?"
Del shakes her head and points to the woman with the tiny dog. Sabal nods just a little then lays back, trying to hide the fear and shame in his eyes by shutting them.
With the targets of his initial ire vanished, Flynn turns back to the dining hall and sees the second ogre is now on its feet. Even flinching at the thunder suddenly all around him from Malean’s weapon, he sees the ogre swatting at something. He leaps in to take advantage and attack.
Tyrects turns away from the vanishing pale elf with a throaty growl, searching for a place to redirect his rage. He charges the ogre, holding the club over his head and bring it smashing down as he nears the creature. While most of the other attacks are missing the hulking brute, Tyrects manages to land a solid blow.
Then, from across the room, another piece of cacophonous lead flies to strike the ogre in the chest. Already wounded from attacks he took while in his humor fit, the ogre staggers and, like a tree falling, crashes to the ground.
Everyone pauses to look around. Many stoop to help friends or mourn the dead. Some go to finish dousing the fire.
Terrence looks around for the director. "I say! Who were those fiends? Shall we track them down? Split their skulls possibly?" He is holding an untouched serving of cobbler in each hand, one of which he holds outstretched toward Flynn.
Adrenaline leaving his system, Flynn slowly lowers himself into a chair. Absentmindedly, he accepts the cobbler and takes a bite. He savors it for a moment, then suddenly makes a face and sets the plate on the table. "Ugh. Too sweet... Not really my thing."
Rallaak gave a grin at the decent work on the ogre before he decides to try and fully assess the situation. He flicks out a syringe from his hat and knocks it toward the pale elf woman. The syringe hits, and she flinches before reaching to pull the needle out. Her gaze settles on Rallaak for a moment, then the whip uncoils, striking out at Flynn who stands directly in front of her. As the leather grazes his face, the woman stoops to scoop up the demon-born. Then, in a cloud of smoke, they vanish.
Roland lets out a snarl of frustration as the elf disappears. He screams at the empty air, "I should have burned you when I had the chance. I will see you sent to hell if I have to burn myself along the way!" He sees Arabella collapsed over her father's form and knows he can do nothing to help. Eyes still alight with rage, he hisses out another curt phrase in Draconic and flicks his wrist at the oncoming ogre, letting lose a blast of fire while standing his ground, dagger ready in his other hand.
Little Terry pumps his puppet fists encouragingly, "Try to hit his face! You could only improve it!"
Quiberron is intensely frustrated by the disappearance of the two adversaries. He feels that they held the key to explaining what was going on here today, and their vanishing act may have taken his chance at answers with them.
Bart, being an owl, has no such human-like emotions, and dives down again to help distract the ogre for Flynn’s next attack.
In a dangerous political climate, several expeditions are made to the infamous Wilds in hopes of expanding the country, Urbane, and avoiding an all out civil war. But, when the lord in charge of the excursions is almost assassinated, tensions increase and put new pressures on the brave explorers.