Continued from Session 11: Blood and Boltholes
After talking with Ursa at the Dark Horse Den, Ren was worried about Braelyn. He and Meriel left the Darin's Folly neighborhood to make their way to the Giving Hands to meet the others. At the Giving Hands, Amos, Tor'in, and Oak delivered the young Caithan Kith safely to Kennick and The Solari. Amos asked a few questions of Kith along the way, and learned that Allan had received an invitation to the Fournius Remembrance Ball. Amos wondered if Allan was killed so that the murderer could go to the party.
Kennick was understandably upset about the death of his friend Allan, but said that he would look after Kith. Kennick mentioned that he was working on a public speech he was going to give during the Week of Remembrance since his permits were recently approved. It will be held at a plaza between the Oldkeep and Overlook. Amos was concerned about the security and Kennick's safety. Kennick asked if Meriel was with the group; there was someone at the Giving Hands that was asking for her. Worried about recent events, Amos led the group towards the Tradefair Seat of Law instead of waiting for the others. Fortunately, the two groups found each other along the way. They split up once again, with Tor'in and Meriel going to the Giving Hands, and the others going to the Warrens to find Braelyn.
Before separating, the group shared what they knew of Blood Mages. Tor'in knows it's orcish magic, and like any other magic, can be used for good or ill. Blood mages could collect a bit of blood from parents looking to heal a sick child, or a whole village to ensure a good harvest. When the Empire began their war against the orcs, the humans' victory seemed inevitable after a while. Maimed or veteran orc warriors unable to battle volunteered their lives to the blood mages to try to turn the tide. There are rumors that eventually the orcs grew so desperate they no longer relied on volunteers. To Meriel and Amos, their knowledge of history is different, with the orc blood mages described in a more villainous light.
At the Giving Hands, Meriel was taken to a room where a very old man named Mordenkai was waiting for her. He was very happy to see Meriel, although she did not know who he was. With a bit of questioning, a slightly confusing story was told. Mordenkai said that he used to hear voices, a layer of choruses that would speak to him and tell him what to do. He called them Singers, and he said that he was their Listener, and he had been one for over three centuries since around the Fall of Sentra in the ninth century. He believes that his age is catching up to him now that he is no longer a Listener. He says a new Listener must have been selected, because he can sense him in the city. Mordenkai thinks he could sense the new Listener if he was closer. The story of the voices, or Singers as Mordenkai called them, reminded Tor'in of elvish bogeyman stories of the ustasi duyarti (which roughly translates to "puppet master"). When Tor'in spoke to Mordenkai in elvish, the old man responded in kind, mirroring Tor'in's own accent. Mordenkai sought out Meriel because she is an ancestor of Orien Afar, a wizard that Mordenkai knew before he became a Listener. Orien cast magic on Mordenkai so that he could warn others about the Singers, but it did not work until after he was no longer a Listener. With the magic, Mordenkai was able to find Orien's descendant Meriel, although Mordenkai also mentioned he once met her great great great great great grandfather Reginald Ravenstone. Mordenkai traveled for several weeks from the region of Baron's City to reach Sentra. Meriel and Tor'in wondered if Orien or any of Meriel's ancestors had orc blood.
Amos and Ren arrived at the Warrens around one in the morning. They both noticed two White Daggers watching Braelyn's house, although they were trying to be inconspicuous. With a little bit of intimidation and a little bit of bribery, Amos convinced them to leave. Although Amos and Ren were relieved to find Braelyn alive, although she did have a dagger ready to throw their way until she realized who it was. When asked, Braelyn said that she was with Artellus Prusun at the Keepers shrine, and was then escorted back with a couple of goons left behind. Braelyn isn't sure what Artellus's interest is in her, but she suspects either he's soft on her and/or is worried about her safety. Amos offered her safety, away from the Warrens, which Braelyn said she would consider after realizing his sincerity. She asked if she could return to the Soft Blooms to look for her necklace and gather Thea's things, and Amos said she could. As they made their way back, Amos discussed going to look at Vigilant records to find records of blood mages.
Continues in Session 13: Bygones.
Art by Aleksandra Olbińska. Modified by the author.