The morning after

The company gathered around the table in the main hall of Greyriver Lodge, each side divulging the details they had agreed to put off until the next day.

Alexis and Tarmen told of their briefing in Stoneshade Keep, the two ships that were sabotaged by fire in the harbor, and their subsequent chase of the Brotherhood members.

After their day's events were recounted, Voah spoke of the revelation of Ereuhin; how her messages were someone cryptic, but implied Gonyaul was still alive and that continuing to pursue him now would lead to his death; how Ereuhin had pointed her to Sir Zane.

It was never easy to digest someone's claim of communing with a God, but strange things happened in Arcadia, and with this group it was beginning to sound normal. Ekero even backed up Voah's claim, telling how strange the encounter was, even for Arcadia.

The group reached a consensus on their immediate priorities. They recognized the need to uncover the Brotherhood's location and their next moves to prevent further decay of the city's morale and defenses, while also seeking the shaft of Fosia's Hammer. The map Tarmen had retrieved from the Brother was marked with critical points in Ostiarium, including the center of religious authority and what appeared to be Nicolaus' apothecary. These locations would need to be secured or thoroughly investigated.

Voah apologized for what may have seemed like another fickle decision and a new shift in her approach; she would no longer completely evade the Inquisition. She planned to approach Sir Zane directly to offer her sword services toward the upcoming war, come what may. She chose to go alone first to ensure that, should things not unfold favorably, her actions wouldn't jeopardize the others by linking them to her actions.

The plan had been going well for the most part, Tarmen being glad that the nights revelry had paved the way for clearer heads. All up until Voah's declaration.
He hoped there was tact to her plan, especially after he and Alexis had been quite descript in their discomfort of the walking corpse of a holy man that stalked the city now.

"Where do you plan on this meetin' goin' down? We could be nearby in case he has other plans."

Tarmen's concern was one of the reasons Voah had cut the conversation short the night before and withheld her intentions until today. She understood the risks involved and appreciated his offer of support. Even though she trusted that Ereuhin wouldn’t be leading her into immediate danger, Tarmen had a good point. She had no delusions that she was completely invincible until she ‘played her part’ and it was important to have a backup plan, especially in a city where anyone could be an enemy.

"I haven't set everything in stone yet," Voah admitted, her voice steady despite the uncertainty. "Not knowing enough about the current situations, habits of people... I planned to enter the city under disguise first. Once inside, I intended to do some scouting. Find a way to summon or approach Sir Zane directly… Ideally in a location away from prying eyes, especially Margrave Otho. I wouldn’t mind the support.”

She paused for a moment, “It is the season of harvest, but from the sound of things there is little joy to be had with the Purger leading the people. I doubt there will be much in the way of Hoi’s festivities. I urge you to put your faith in the Pillars to protect against what is to come. You have seen prayer and rites in action. The wards do work against magik. That snake Alcuin… his armor was etched with the holy markings of abjuration, denying the cyromancer’s full force. If all goes well, I can gain access to supplies to arm you both with salts, oil, and wards.”

Alexis… just nodded. Sure, this was a lot, but indeed, a lot was what they were getting used to endure.

She made no argument to stop her friend. Too well she knew the feeling of being driven by now.

“We could see if we can find out what Zane will be up to in the foreseeable future. Maybe even the Purger though that is significantly harder probably.”

Voah had a feeling it mattered very little whether or not she had help, but she certainly wouldn’t refuse the backup.

“If that is what you wish. I welcome the assistance. In that case how would you recommend we proceed?”

The mercenary chuckled a little.

“I don’t see you sitting idle and wait for news. You do your thing.”

she answered with a lopsided smile.

“But it has been heavily implied we are expected back at the keep, unsurprisingly. So if we pick something up that is useful to you while we are at it, all the better. We should check in wether they got something out of the assassin anyway.”

Tarmen didn't like the sound of it, putting Voah so close to the Inquisition's grasp, but her call to trust in the Pillars struck him differently after last nights discussion. No time like the present to put that oath of his to the test, he jested to himself.

"With the two of us bein' back at the Keep, you think there would be a way to get Voah in with us? There are plenty of rooms that would allow a private moment between her and Zane and we would just so happen to be there, followin' orders like good tin soldiers, eh?"

Alexis raised an eyebrow, and shrugged.

“If it can be done, you would be the man I’d look to for how it’s done.”

Reflecting on the suggestion, Voah added, “I can begin my reconnaissance based on the locations identified on the map. We can then reconvene later to exchange updates. If you manage to arrange a way for me to infiltrate the Keep, perhaps we will try it. A guard’s uniform or something? I had considered having a message delivered... However, there’s no guarantee he’ll respond to a private summons or involve others.”

“Well, we were given permission to equip us from the armoury…”

Alexis remembered. Might not be impossible to get enough for Voah between the two of them.

And there was the in, Tarmen himself had already forgotten the offer from Zane. He rubbed a hand through his growing stubble with a grin.

"We can see about the prisoner, rummage through the armory and be back to get you suited up. And if anyone has problem with it, you're simply a soldier we dragged along while investigatin'."

"That may indeed suffice. Let’s ensure the uniform fits well enough to avoid any suspicion?" She smirked and wrapped up the discussion, saying, "Shall we make ready?" implying it was time to make the necessary preparations and set off.

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