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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:42 pm 
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"These aren't the only trucks we have are they? Could people come out from the ship to retrieve them?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:54 am 
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"We have so many trucks, Roger," Felix says. "Trucks to last us for years. If we lose these two the only major loss will be the time it takes to get back to the ship and the possibility of David yelling at us. He freaks out too much, I'm worried about his health."

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Arkady nods at Talen, then turns to the others. "Then if they are expendable, let's be letting our guide do his job and put self interest to work. We may not even be needing to mention that our blood-bee honey isn't pink enough right now."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:43 am 
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Felix shrugs.

"This is fine by me."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:01 am 
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Talen raises as eyebrow as everyone chats away in English. Evidently deciding that he's waited long enough, he hops off the truck and stroll down towards the city.

--------------

Fifteen minutes later, he's returned with a burly, hairy fellow wearing an eyepatch, who is introduced as "One-eyed Billy." One-eyed Billy doesn't seem fond of talking, but is happy (or, at least, he does not complain) to lead all of you (with the exception of Sir Ulath, who he clearly suspects is going to tell the local constabulary about all of this) to a small, well-concealed cave near the main road, where the trucks can be hidden away from prying eyes. The entrance to the cave is well hidden by bushes, which grow in thick profusion over some sort of hinged lattice - if you know where the concealed catch is, then a good portion of hillside just opens right up. The cave itself is fairly deep, and One-eyed Billy does not seem eager to have anyone head any further into it than is strictly necessary to conceal the trucks.

A few scraps of this and that on the floor suggest that this cave is often used by smugglers.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:20 pm 
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"Looks well maintained." comments Arkady. "I am hoping this is not too inconvenient to your business."

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:41 pm 
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"This will work nicely," Felix says. "Thanks for the assistance. If it's not too much trouble I'd like to be on our way, now."

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:33 am 
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One-eyed Billy grunts, and Talen reassures Arkady that Platime will be paying Billy more than he'd lose due to not using this cave.

And so the group moves on into Coombe.

--------------

The guards at the gates are bored and have far too many people to deal with. As none of your party is carrying anything visibly recognised as a weapon (aside from Sir Ulath's axe) and one of you is clearly a Church Knight, the entire group is waved in through the city gates with minimal formality.

Almost at once, most of you spot a familiar face. (Which is quite an achievement, on an alien world). It seems that Sir Sparhawk and his party (a few more Church Knights, and the Styric Lady Sephrenia) are also recent arrivals in Coombe; and they notice you almost as soon as you notice them.

"Hail!" calls out Sir Sparhawk, raising a hand in greeting. "I did not expect to meet you here, of all places. I don't suppose you have any news from home?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:59 am 
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Felix's face brightens up almost immediately.

"Sir Sparhawk! Felix exclaims, throwing his hand out into a wave back at the Knight. Much more subdued, but no less happily, he also nods deeply to Lady Sephrenia "Lady Sephrenia, too. It has been far too long. We've got much to tell."

Felix looks about, before continuing much more quietly.

"If you'd like to find a place that is free from prying eyes and ears, I believe we have much to discuss."

Speaking aside to Arkady, Roger and Theresa.

"Sir Sparhawk and Lady Sephrenia were the ones who first found us shortly after the ship made landfall. Sir Sparhawk was the one who asked Sir Bevier and Sir Ulath to stay behind and help us and gave us advice on how to proceed. Without their assistance, we'd be having a much more difficult time."

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:03 am 
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A grin splits Nate's face.

"Well paint me blue and call me a Pict! It's good to see you - all of you. If I didn't know better I'd say it was fate that we meet."

He pauses, a grim look momentarily clouding over his joy.

"Felix is right, we should find someplace private to talk. And there a lot to talk about."

The cloud passes, and the smile returns.

"Besides, I think I owe you lunch."

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:09 am 
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"Let us take a table at the local inn. The Lady Sephrenia can ensure that there are no eavesdroppers - or at least that they do not hear anything." suggests Sir Sparhawk

The Lady Sephrenia frowns at Piper. She takes a cloth from her pocket, spits on it, and wipes at a smudge on Piper's face. "Honestly. You should take better care of yourself. Would it kill you to keep your face clean?"

Piper responds with an amused little trill on her pipes.

"Yes, I know," responds Sephrenia. "But that's no excuse for poor hygiene. What will people think?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:02 am 
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Arkady grins. "That she is the bane of sweetmeats, come to punish naughty young confections for not obeying their parents. And that the hygiene is being part of her air of mystery. Since you are asking. Ah, before I forget; Sir Vanire sends his regards."

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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Felix will follow Sir Sparhawk and Lady Sephrenia to the tavern, politely waiting for Lady Sephrenia to put up her eavesdropping defenses. Once this is all said and done, Felix will start telling them about everything that happened from the colony deed to the fight with the mercenaries and subsequent interrogation to the trip to Rendor to procure a sample of Darestim in order to synthesize an antidote.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:05 am 
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Nate helpfully brings everyone's drink of choice over and orders food.

The kids get sweetened ice tea, no matter what Talon has to say about the matter.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:39 am 
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Sir Sparhawk raises his eyebrows. "Adus is dead? Well done! He's been a thorn in our side for years!"

One of the other Knights shakes his head, but he's smiling. "Almost a pity, really. I wanted to kill him myself."

"You'll just have to make do with whoever Martel replaces him with, Kalten," says Sparhawk.

"There can be no replacement for Adus," says Kalten, with mock sadness. "Martel will never be able to find anyone quite that stupid again."

Lady Sephrenia rolls her eyes. "Elenes! If the two of you can stop discussing murder for a minute, perhaps it's a good idea to tell the gentlemen what we've been up to?"

"Of course," says Sir Sparhawk, with a nod. "We don't have your... trucks, you called them? So we can only move so fast, but we've made a few discoveries ourselves. First of all, we went to Borrata to interview the doctors there. Unfortunately, Martel had got there first, and had given them all a very large bribe not to talk to me. Fortunately, one of their number, a bitter old drunkard, was more than willing to answer my questions - more because he enjoyed the thought of his colleagues screaming at the loss of their bribe than any attempt to be helpful, but nonetheless. He heard the Queen's symptoms, and immediately identified the poison - his diagnosis was Darestim, which is confirmed by your information. However, he was also able to provide us with one further piece of information - rumour has it that the Rendorish royal family was poisoned using Darestim by an Eshandist fanatic some eight years ago. The fanatic was of course killed; but the Royal family lived, thanks to the care of a physician in Rendor. How he accomplished his miraculous cure is unknown; though the King immediately gave him a full and complete Royal pardon for any activities performed by him up until the date of the pardon, which implies that the cure may have included some use of magic, which is of course illegal in Rendor. And that would also explain why he never told anyone else how it was done - if the Rendorish population were to discover that he had used magic, he would be strung up by a mob in short order, royal pardon or no royal pardon."

Piper seems happy with her sweetened ice tea, but Talen gives Nate a glare. He does drink the tea. But it's clear it's not his first choice.

It takes Arkady a few moments, but he realises that he has seen the Lady Sephrenia before -

- a Styric lady in a white robe, collapsing onto the throneroom floor -

- she is somehow associated with the preservation spell that keeps the Queen alive.

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