Spoiler: Chapter 26: Textual Tension

For this chapter, Fayd was away from the gaming table. We took the opportunity to send him extremely confusing and misleading text messages regarding what the party was doing, which I will include at approximately the points we sent them in [brackets] with the name of the sender listed.

For instance, we started off with [“Ye gods I hate the plague.” -Cade]. Now, Flynn wasn’t suffering plague at the time, but he definitely wasn’t lying.

Our noble adventurers return to Scarlet and the Eight-Headed Hydra Inn. Miaoyu promptly challenges Tsarae to a drinking contest. Guess who wins. If you guessed ‘the lady with a trait called Hard Drinker’, you guessed right. Apparently Miaoyu doesn't cheat in drinking contests with other Gilgadarites. By the end of the night, she’s having trouble walking straight. Or walking at all. Tsarae alternates between laughing at her and making sure she doesn’t hit her head on any sharp corners.

Before they get too deep into their drinks, Aelron asks for Miaoyu’s rod of spider climb. “I’ll fix it up for you,” he says. “Try to make it a little less... spidery.” He takes the horrible mandible of evilness and purchases a nice cloth to wrap it in. As he’s returning to the inn, he finds a lovely patch of creeping ivy climbing a brick building and pulls a patch of it free, wrapping it around the cloth and affixing a simple enchantment to keep the leaves fresh for a time. He returns it to a lightly buzzed Miaoyu, who proclaims that it’s the most beautifully disguised awful spider-thing she’s ever seen.

Flynn notices a small group of adventurers loudly talking about their plans to go into ODC and become rich. He casually joins their conversation, telling them of all the unspeakable horrors he and his friends faced—not a word of it lies, though he does leave out the high points of the expedition. When he gets to the part about the spider wolves, a strapping young dwarf gives Flynn a skeptical look. “Pigeon crap,” she says.

Flynn raises a brow. “Really?” he turns in his seat and calls to Miaoyu, who’s somewhere between ‘drunk’ and ‘no, really, really drunk’. “You want to tell them about those spiders? About the people we found in their webs? The poison?”

Miaoyu trembles, lip quivering and tears springing into her eyes. Tsarae pats her on the back and pushes another drink into her hands, giving Flynn a dirty look (mostly for show, as she knows what he's trying to accomplish). Flynn turns back to his audience, shaking his head sadly. “She ran straight into a group of them. Hasn’t been the same since.”

The adventurers look mortified. Flynn’s job here is done.

Meanwhile, Gavin approaches the inkeeper. “Can you have a tub of hot water and a scrubbing wench sent up to my room?” he asks.

The inkeeper scowls at him. “Scrubbing wench?” she deadpans.

Gavin blinks. “You don't have scrubbing wenches?”

The inkeeper smiles without mirth and slides a long-handled, rough-bristled brush across the bar to him. “Have fun,” she says. ["Note, the eight headed hydra does not have scrubbing wenches." -Werebear]

Gavin takes a bath, trying to scrub off the rotted scales. It’s a valiant effort, but futile. The only thing that’s going to get rid of those scales is Ylsilar’s forgiveness.

Come morning, the party sets out for Hangtree to recover their horses. They meet a group of soldiers—Scarlet's militia, though even the word 'militia' may be somewhat generous for these men—who are heading to the Wolfhead Woods to kill or capture bandits. Aelron offers them the blessings of the Mother of Dragons and the party warns them of the strange group of militants they encountered in the Wolfhead Woods.

That night, Miaoyu is on watch when she hears a group of people approaching.

“Hail,” says a man, just out of the firelight. “My name is Dorn, and these are my companions. We saw your campfire and wondered if we could avail ourselves of your hospitality?”

Miaoyu hesitates, scanning the group. They stand in the darkness, but she guesses there may be about twelve of them, all armed and armored but none with weapons in hand.

“Your answer, ma’am?” Dorn prompts.

After a moment Miaoyu says, “You can wait for me to confer with my party, or you can keep on moving.”

“We will wait,” Dorn says.

Miaoyu shakes awake Gavin, then Flynn. “About a dozen people are asking to join with us,” she relays once they’re alert. “What do you think?”

“Let them join us,” Gavin says, and Flynn nods silently. They both leave the tent and greet Dorn and his fellows, and everyone steps into the light.

Dorn himself is a dwarf, and his companions are a grab bag. They’re mostly dwarf and human (some of which look to have a bit of dwarf blood) and one elf. They’re a great mix of classes, too, and Gavin and Flynn take a moment to arrange watches, ensuring that at least one person from their party is on watch at all times.

After everything is sorted out, they alert the rest of their party to the fact that there are new folks in the camp. Aelron doesn't even wake up all the way, merely murmuring that he's fine with it and rolling over. Seeker takes it in stride, getting up to check if any of their new companions need healing, but Tsarae is immediately on edge.

“What were you thinking?” Tsarae asks Miaoyu as she starts to don her armor.

“Sorry...,” Miaoyu offers helplessly. Tsarae shakes her head and grabs her sword. Outside, she finds a nice tree to lean against and stays up for the rest of the night.

Aelron is the last on watch. Tsarae is still awake, for a given value of ‘awake’. She tends to nod off for moments before shaking herself awake. Aelron digs through his bag until he finds the gift that Seeker made for the party for Midwinter. Aelron waits until Tsarae looks lucid and approaches her carefully.

“I have a item for you—a band that will help you recall pleasant memories as you sleep. It may help—”

“Pass,” she says. “I appreciate the effort, but pass.”

“It’s enchanted with an alarm,” Aelron lies. “It’ll wake you up if anyone tries to get within five feet of you.”

“That’ll happen pretty definitely,” Tsarae says. “Look, I’ll be fine. I get like this when I’m around new people—ask Miaoyu.”

“I’m just worried about you getting enough sleep,” Aelron says.

“I’ll be fine. I’ll take... what are they called? Cats? Cat naps.”

“Okay,” Aelron finally relents and returns to his spot next to the fire.

There was some curiosity amongst the players regarding whey Tsarae didn’t make any rolls to tell if Aelron was lying regarding the alarm enchantment. Cave elf culture is obscure and diverse, but all of them have one defining factor: the clan is more important than the individual. To sabotage one person is to sabotage the entire clan, and could possibly end in tragedy given how vicious the Underdark is. Tsarae has adopted the party as something of a pseudo-clan. Although she and Aelron are by no means birds of a feather, she trusts him and is invested in his welfare.

There's also the fact that Aelron just doesn't usually lie.

Fortunately, no one’s throats are slit come morning. The party takes time to get better acquainted with their companions. As it turns out, Dorn and Company are headed to Hangtree too. They’re interested in seeking the Baroness’s employ as mercenaries, guards, or whatever else she may need. Scarlet was once a barony in its own right, but was rather rudely absorbed into Forscythe county a few years back. Now that Countess Forscythe is dead and Baroness Hangtree has assumed temporary control of the region, it’s quite likely that these Scarlet natives are looking to put a bit of pressure on Hangtree—in the politest, most helpful way possible—to reinstate Scarlet’s independence.

These adventurers are meant as sort of ‘backup’ characters. If for any reason our characters aren’t viable (death, distracted by shiny objects, or something is happening in Hangtree while the party is away) we can draw from them as necessary. The only notable one at the moment is Bekki, a male dwarf who’s short, and extremely touchy both about being short and his name, which is a perfectly respectable dwarven name, thank you. (“Dibs!” TheWerebear declares, laughing.)

Fortunately, with so many well-armed and experienced combatants banded together, nothing on the random encounter chart feels like trying its luck against the party, and they arrive in Hangtree without further incident. Goodbyes are said (or glared, in the case of Tsarae) and the two parties split. The Scarlet adventurers head up to the Baroness’s manor and knock politely on the door.

Flynn answers. “Hey,” he says.

There’s a bout of confused pointing and head scratching until Flynn deigns to inform them that he's Hangtree’s gopher and explains that the lady will be out for a while—but he has a few quests he can offer them, working them into the patrol schedule and having them clear out minor issues in and around the town.

Once that’s taken care of, the party gathers up their horses, Keegan, and Lajiao and heads for Brandt; Aelron also grabs Olaf’s Razor, but keeps it in one of his horses’ saddle bags.

Gavin pulls Keegan aside. “I’m going to try to keep this simple. I’ve been told that Olaf was training you to fight, mostly with a staff. I fight with spears and I can expand on that training, if you so desire.” Keegan nods. “Okay. And for what it's worth... I lost friends to Alderik too. We share that.” Keegan's second nod is much harder and grimmer, out of place on the face of a twelve-year-old.

It turns out that Keegan has been trying to keep busy in the party's absence: he's been going on patrols with Sergeant Ranolf and the Hangtree city guards, familiarizing himself with travel in a military unit, movement through the countryside, and soldierly duties. For a twelve-year-old, he's doing remarkably well, and seems to be something of a mascot to the guards.

The first half of the journey to Brandt is uneventful, aside from Gavin dispensing some friendly Ocean Witch priest's advice to a few local fishermen. The second half of the journey is a little more exciting. The party is only about a day and a half out from Brandt, traveling along the coast, when a beautiful, haunting melody washes over them from the waterfront, and everyone is asked to make a will save.

Gavin shrugs off the enchanting music; he learned to sing from sirens and mermaids, and as beautiful as it is, he’s not as affected as others. Aelron and Tsarae similarly shrug off the call—but Seeker, Flynn, and Miaoyu are immediately taken by the sound, and each attempts to make for the beach.

At this point, Fayd got a flurry of texts:

"You caught a likely looking fish. Congratulations." -Werebear
"Seeker's a real chick magnet tonight!" -Averagesparrow
"No one expects the Seeker Inquisition!" -Cade
"...Oops" -Dawnflame

Fortunately, Seeker and Miaoyu were on foot. Aelron manages to grapple Seeker (a tricky task, given he doesn’t want to tear Seeker’s enchanted stole or robe) and says, “Think of your wife, Seeker! The woman you love!” Seeker ceases struggling as the enchantment relinquishes him. ["I might have caused major property damage." -Dawnflame] ["Oh, and you might need to make some minor repairs to your clothing. It might have gotten damaged when you were grabbed. We are lucky your robe didn't come all the way off. -Werebear]

Tsarae’s answer to charm spells is more blunt: she grabs Miaoyu, shoves her to the ground, and sits on her.

Flynn, however, was on a horse—he goes careening towards the shoreline, Gavin giving desperate chase. Gavin manages to grab the reigns of Flynn's horse, drawing it up short. “All this Connish stubbornness is useless if you give up now!” Gavin shouts. It’s enough to put a chip in the spell, and Flynn manages to get ahold of himself.

Tsarae isn’t so lucky. There’s just enough shadow over Miaoyu that she’s able to teleport a short distance away and take off towards the ocean again. Tsarae sputters out a few curses and lunges after Miaoyu, grabbing her wrist and trying to yank her back. With a bit of a struggle, Miaoyu breaks free again and keeps heading toward the as-yet-unseen mermaid.

“I didn’t expect them to do this sort of thing outside of a tent,” Aelron says aside to Seeker, grinning as he begins weaving a dispel.

Gavin, unaware of Aelron’s actions, shouts out to the mermaid, “That’s lovely singing! I wonder if you could win a contest!”

At the same time, the dispel hits Miaoyu and she stops in her tracks, a bit dazed. The singing stops then, too, and a splash echoes up from the beach as the mermaid retreats back to the ocean: they’re terribly shy.

With no one in any immediate danger of drowning, the party makes its way safely to Brandt. Seeker immediately secures an inn, then purchases space at an elven weaver's shop (as previously agreed-upon with the DM) and sets to work on the elven spidersilk armor. Tsarae goes off to loiter with intent. For everyone else, it’s off to see the Ylsilarites.

The library of Brandt is a small cluster of buildings centered around a tall stone tower, all adorned with gargoyles that glare down menacingly at any passersby. The tower is easy to find, thankfully, and the party marches up smartly. Aelron knocks on the door, and after a few moments a young initiate opens it.


Gavin speaks first. “Hello. It seems that through some mistake, I was cursed with the disfavor of Ylsilar. You see I—”

“Building to the right,” the initiate says, and begins to swing the door closed. Flynn puts a hand on the door to keep it from closing. She frowns at him, but raises an eyebrow. “Yes?” she repeats. He holds out the folio the party found in the Gryphon’s Peak manor.

“We’d also like to discuss having this document opened and duplicated, and get a look at its contents,” he says. The initiate opens the door wider, now with something resembling a pleasant expression on her face.

“This way, please,” she says.

Gavin goes his separate way, then, to the next building over. This building is blocky and squat where the tower grows gracefully from the ground, and the door is plain and unadorned but for a knocker made to resemble a snake head. Another initiate opens the door at his knock. “Who seeks to curry favor with Ylsilar?” she asks.

“I, Gavin of Tidehollow. was in Old Drougant—”

The initiate holds up a hand for silence. “I am not the one you must tell,” she says, then gestures him inside and leads him into the complex. He’s shown to a small, windowless room, adorned only with a bench. He takes his seat, and the door swings closed behind him, a lock loudly sliding into place.

After a few tense minutes, the viewport slides open, then the door unlocks and creaks open. A frail-looking old man studies Gavin for a moment.

“I understand you have... sinned,” he rasps.

Gavin draws himself up and finally gets his chance to explain. “My companions and I were investigating a library we found in Old Drougant City. Not realizing that it was consecrated to Ylsilar at the time, I attempted to enter using this token,” he holds out the snake brooch, “and found myself in Ylsilar’s disfavor. Given that this was a misunderstanding, I had hoped we could resolve this quickly and with little hassle.”

The man plucks the brooch out of Gavin’s hand, eyes narrowing. “We must investigate your claims,” the priest says carefully. “I shall return.” The door swings shut again, though it is not bolted this time. A few long minutes later, the old man returns, a tiny black snake in the palm of his hand. “The records on that amulet corroborate your story. We appreciate your efforts in the city, and the information you bring us. Now, if you please....” The man holds out the snake, and it rises up, tasting the air with its tiny tongue.

Gavin pauses for a long moment, then stiffly leans forward and kisses the snake on the head. ["Gavin got lucky too... just with the wrong species." -Cade] A strange scratching sensation comes over his body, then vanishes. He straightens and begins checking his body for scales. They have all but disappeared, only slightly-raw patches of flesh marking where they used to be. Gavin sighs in relief. “Thank you. If you ever come across the soul of the person who was in possession of that brooch, please, do me a favor—flay them. Now, regarding that library, I’m sure that my party would be happy to retrieve the books for you. And, one more thing—if you could put a good word in for me with the Turmlarites?”

The old man looks a bit taken aback at that request, but nods and gestures for one of the initiates to join them. “Please escort this young man to Head Librarian Siobhan. He has a matter he would like to discuss with her.”

The others, meanwhile, are already speaking with Head Librarian Siobhan. She is a portly woman who wears a beautifully patterned snake draped over her neck. She carefully studies the folio as Flynn explains to her how the party acquired it. “I must admit, your story is quite impressive. We can safely open and transcribe the contents of this journal for you within a few days. Would you like to pay in advance to have a copy as well as the original, or would you like to donate the original to the library?”

“If we donate the original, will the library be willing to provide the original if we need proof of the copy’s authenticity?” Flynn asks.

Siobhan nods. “Although additional fees may apply.”

“Before we go,” Miaoyu says, “you should know that we found an abandoned library in Old Drougant City. It was still being protected by its old ward spells, but they had all sort of run together and were denying us access. The books still appear to be in good shape, though, and there must have been thousands. We could acquire them for you, if you want, or escort one of your librarians there.”

Siobhan pets her snake as she considers this. “Acquiring those books again would be greatly appreciated and beneficial to all. Seeing as it would be impossible for you to bring them all back in one trip, we will compose a list of valuable and lost books that should be prioritized if they can be located within the library. We will also craft tokens for you all to pass through the barrier without penalty.” (As if on cue, Gavin enters the room at this exact moment and a disgruntled look crosses his face.) “Both items will take a couple of days to complete. We won’t be sending an initiate to accompany you, however. I mean no offense by this but... if one of your number were to perish in Old Drougant City, it would have a less significant impact on our order, and you could easily be replaced by others.”

Well, no one can say Ylsilarites are liars. Wait, no, that's not true. Ylsilar is the god of betrayal and the son of the goddess of lies. But this particular Ylsilarite definitely isn’t sugar-coating things, and sometimes blunt honesty like that is refreshing.

With that taken care of, the party sets off to do whatever it is that needs to be done, but no one has a more pressing concern that Gavin.

“I’m going to ask the Ocean Witch to release me from her service,” he tells his companions. “And maybe finally realize my dream of serving Turmlar instead.”

Being released from service to a god is a rare thing, but not unheard of. More easy-going or chaotic deities are willing to allow their priests to leave them, provided a special service is performed for them first. Aelron's probably never going to be released from the service of the Mother of Dragons, but luckily for Gavin, the Ocean Witch is exactly the kind of goddess willing to do this for her priests, assuming she doesn’t kill them for asking.

The party gives him various well-wishes and promises for a lovely funeral if he doesn’t return, and Gavin departs for a nice, isolated patch of beach, just outside the city walls. He wades into the ocean and silently requests an audience with the Ocean Witch.

What do you want? she sighs in his mind, a distracted tone in her voice.

“My lady, I humbly request to be released from my service to you.”

The voice in his head suddenly takes a more interested tone. But I thought we had something going! she cries, fake sobs echoing through the waters.

“I made these oaths when I was young and stupid,” Gavin says gently.

Are you calling me stupid? the Ocean Witch demands. Are you saying that I manipulated you into serving me? You make me sound like some sort of predator!

“You are, my lady,” Gavin says.

Don’t bring facts into this! Still, you have been faithful and you didn’t really want to make the vow in the first place—a personal failing on your part—so... I’ll let you go. Bring a virgin and sacrifice them on the shores.

Gavin gapes in horror.

What? Is that not your thing? No one ever does that anymore. Are virgins really that hard to find these days? She sighs. Okay. Option two is to convert someone into serving me. But I get the feeling you won’t like that either, seeing as how you’re so hung up about not wanting me in the first place. So! Option number three! Smiting my enemies! You’re good at killing things, aren’t you? That’s what I liked about you in the first place. Now, give me a moment.

The Ocean Witch falls silent, but in the back of his mind, Gavin can hear what sounds distinctly like someone turning the pages of a little black book, punctuated by the occasional mumble from his goddess. Hate... Hate... Hate... Oooh, he's cute, I should look him up. Kill. Screw, then kill. Kill while screwing. ["Who knew the Ocean with was a Tweenie Queen? Like Maeve, except maybe a little more reasonable maybe." -Cade] And on and on in that vein. Finally, she speaks again.

So how do you feel about spiders? The Ocean Witch is a fey goddess of the Seelie courts. Her Unseelie counterpart? The Princess of Spiders. It looks like she’s feeling a bit competitive at the moment.

“We’ve actually already dispatched a spider grove, my lady. It had a shrine to the Spider Princess, so I stole the spell scroll on the altar and replaced it with a picture of a spider on a sinking ship. I captioned it, The tides come further inland every year.”

Deplorable! the Ocean Witch cries. I love it! But I’m going to need a little bit... more. Anyway. Princess of Spiders. She lets out a whistle. I mean, I can’t tell if I want to kill her or sleep with her. I mean—ohmygod so hot. What was I talking about? Right! I have a list of a few shrines and altars to her inland. If you could desecrate or convert or consecrate or all of the above, that’d be great. Oh, and if you could maybe drown one of her cultists in some salt water? I’d consider it a special favor. So... I’m still a little pissed at you, so don’t get in a boat for the next week or year. Not until you get this done for me. But you can keep your spells for now.

“That is very generous of you, my lady,” Gavin says.

I’m a giver, she agrees. Unlike you. So yeah, just drown a few spiders and we should be good. By the way, if you’re into mermaids, I can hook you up! Or merrow. Are you a merrow sort of fellow?

“No thank you. But consider the task done.”

Good! Otherwise I was going to smite you. Okay, so come back in three days and I should have that location for you. Kisses! Bye!

Rather abruptly, the godly presence that had filled the waters vanishes. Gavin begins to wade back to the shore and then the city. A few yards away, a young couple is eying him suspiciously. Not too many people just carry one seemingly one-sided conversations with the ocean.

Gavin heads back to the inn where he finds the party (sans Seeker, who is still off weaving) enjoying some drinks. Or rather, Tsarae is enjoying drinks rather liberally and the rest of the party is watching in awe as she downs them all without seeming to suffer any effect. Even Aelron, in his years at the towers, never saw anyone who could drink like this. Though Miaoyu could drink this well while casting Cheat, Tsarae is just drinking stoically. “The surface has much better alcohol,” she muses as Gavin approaches. “All we ever had was fermented mushrooms. Have you ever had those?” She shakes her head. “Awful stuff.”

Gavin sits at their table then and all attention turns to him. “Well. Looks like we have a quest.” He fills his friends in on the Ocean Witch’s demand. Miaoyu makes that sound she always does at mention of spiders.

“Don’t be like that,” Tsarae says. “We’ll fight some spiders, you’ll say, Oh no, I have spider goop in my hair! Wash it out for me! and then you and I will have a romantic moment....” Miaoyu rolls her eyes.

“It will be fun,” Gavin agrees eagerly. Then he leans over to the passing barmaid. “Give me a glass of whatever you have with the highest alcohol content.” She returns a moment later and Gavin passes the drink to Tsarae. “What do you say, help me out, find a good fight, a round of drinks afterward?”

Tsarae responds by taking the drink, lifting it in Gavin’s direction, and chugging most of it down. She coughs. “What is this?” she demands, a note of admiration in her voice.

“Cleaning fluid!” calls the bartender. “Use it on the hinges when they get rusty.” Tsarae nods appreciatively and takes another drink.

A few moments later, she’s having trouble sitting up, and pondering exactly what colors and time really are. Looks like Tsarae’s finally found a way to get smashed without a few hours’ warm-up first. Miaoyu obligingly helps her with walking, drinking, and really anything more advanced than breathing.

The next day, Aelron, Gavin, and Miaoyu head to a jeweler and Flynn goes to the bank.

At the jeweler’s Miaoyu presents the storefront attendant with the sapphire she found at Gryphon’s Peak and explains where she found it.

“We were curious to know if it has any significance beyond its worth,” Gavin adds.

The attendant looks at the jewel with eyes as wide and glittery as polished silver dinner plates. “I will inform Lady Danica that you require an appraisal,” he says, though the effort it costs him to tear his eyes from the gem looks like at least 3d6 reserve HP of heroic effort.

He disappears for a few moments, returning with a woman dressed in silk finery and carrying herself with an air of command. This would be Lady Danica, who owns the jeweler's shop they're standing in. She greets the party, confirms their story, then vanishes into the back to study the jewel. As they wait, the attendant shows them to a small parlor and provides a luncheon. After a few hours, Danica returns.

“I apologize for the amount of time this required,” she says. “I had to make a couple of trips to the Church of Laeros to confirm that this gem is not, in fact, any sort of heirloom belonging to Gryphon’s Peak or any other family. It isn't, it seems, so it's merely an enormous sapphire. I am, however, quite happy to pay you all full-price for the gem or negotiate any other deal, as you see fit.”

It takes a bit of time to work out the details, but the party ultimately decides on the following deal: they will give the gem to Danica and she will pay the group 60% of its worth, effectively investing 40% of the gem in the store. In return, they will also get large discounts on any future purchases from the store (an especially good deal, considering that Aelron’s primary spell components are gems) and always the possibility of a future quest, should Danica require their services in any capacity.

At the bank, Flynn turns in the coins he acquired at the charm-induced race and the coins Aleron and Gavin collected in the harpy’s nest. The bankers are quite pleased to have the racetrack coins back: they’re a historical curiosity now, especially in mint condition. The coins from the harpy nest are simply taken back out of circulation; they're ancient and still smell vaguely of bird droppings. Flynn gets some more modern coins for his troubles as well as the blessing of Waerdun, the god of commerce, which gives him advantage on all Trade checks—including his Trade: Gambling skill.

From there, the party splits up to work on individual tasks. Because he plans on taking some of the elven chain, Aelron takes Miaoyu's Rod of Spider Climb back, breaks it down, and weaves its enchantment into his old dwarven byrnie for her, doing a bit of extra work to expand on the ivy theme and hide the spider elements. When he's done, the armor has a single sapphire in the center of its chest, ivy-shaped tracery skirling around the ribs, shoulders and arms, and a single emerald in the center of the back, from which the ivy tracery emanates. The spider leg has been broken down into smaller pieces and hidden among the ivy, and is now almost unnoticable.

Flynn decides to make use of his blessing and goes gambling in the seedier part of town. He earns a few extra coins here and there, but what really matters is that he hears rumors of a sort of ‘scoundrel’s night’ coming up where some of the local lowlife can get together for a good time without the scrutiny of the law.

Miaoyu and Tsarae (annoyingly hangover-free from her Hard Drinker trait) do a bit of pranking and robbing. Miaoyu follows people ominously as they go down alleys and herds them to Tsarae, who jumps out to frighten them. Sometimes, they try to punch her, which means Tsarae gets to have a brawl while Miaoyu cuts their purse. They make a decent sum and have a few good laughs. Ah, romance.

Next session, look forward to the shocking return of one of the most devious minds our party has ever encountered!