Once Upon A Time In The Empire

The Edge of Night

When our heroes stand on the brink, between darkness and light

From Arminius’ Pocket Notebook:

The day before the ball, our party split up to get some personal things done, and continue in our attempts to discover the nature of the chaotic menace at the heart of the city, as well as secure our position as favourites in the city’s hearts and minds. After accompanying Murk and Kvothe to the Metalworkers’ Guild, and fighting off a slew of chaotic imps while en route, I decided to refresh myself and leave my companions to their armouring. I rejoined Ariana and Graille on the way to the Shallyan hospice, where Graille was hoping to uncover more about the occupants of its attic.

Whilst he spoke with Priestess Kueper, Ariana and I spoke with two rat-catchers about an encounter they had had with one of the Skaven creatures we seem to be beset with. They had followed the creature through the sewer network to a disused warehouse, where they found hundreds upon hundreds of rats, injuring themselves in their attempts to escape. These men were harmless and confused – it seems Hendrick and Commander Pfeiffer are not taking any chances of letting knowledge of chaotic activity in the city reach the general public.

Deciding that this warehouse could potentially provide us a lead, we made our way towards the docks, by way of the Boatmans’ Guild to see if we could ascertain any useful information. Here, as with several times before, I used my guard-seargent breastplate to bypass a usually barred entrance – I feel I cannot continue abusing my uniform in this way, as it is becoming clear that the methods that my companions and I use to further our aims do not see legality as a consideration. For the dignity of my former office, and so that my companions and I might move without attracting as much watch attention, I fear I shall soon have to cast off my armour in favour of another garb.

I should hope that garb is armoured likewise, however, for from the Boatmans’ Guild, Graille was led into an ambush set by men whose signage he had drunkenly stolen. It had pained me to see the noble priest stoop to such levels, but, sensing trouble, I followed him out, and promptly suggested that Graille simply return their property. Graille did so, and the men left – but not before smashing my face for good measure. We rejoined Ariana and headed for the warehouse.

Once inside, we found nothing of any value. Approaching a large grain silo at the far end of the warehouse, I made the foolish mistake of checking for movement by hitting the silo with my blade. Movement there was – the rat-catchers had not exaggerated, and a torrent of rats exploded into the warehouse, quickly finding their prey. We climbed to higher ground, and Ariana tied cloth to my sword and lit it to make a firebrand. Holding the rats off, my friends and I bolted for the door. On the way, I noticed lanterns. I reasoned that the greatest cure for rats is a purge, I lit a lantern and ignited the wall, gesturing to Graille to do the same. My caution and restraint have deserted me these past three years, it seems.

Thinking quickly, I realised that we could turn our arson to our favour. We quickly marshalled a fire-fighting effort. I rallied the nearby workers to retrieve water from the river, and the blaze was controlled before it spread. Downplaying our role in the fire’s origin, we made much of our continued dedication to the protection of the city, in the name of our chosen patron, Lord Aschaffenberg. We appear to have earned even Commander Pfeiffer’s begrudging respect. Finding ourselves accosted once again, we were whisked off by cart to the Emperor’s Rest Hostel, in the rich district, to hear an offer from Graf von Saponatheim.

The Graf did not mince words – he offered us a highly lucrative patronage, wherein we would be agents in his organisation. I did not, and do not rate the man on any kind of scale of honour, and had no desire to accept his offer, tempting though it was. Ariana, finally growing impatient with non-elven political machinations, was less steadfast in her resolve. Graille refused to divulge the identities of those behind the quarantined patients in the Shallyan hospice, and thus von Suponatheim brazenly threatened to kill Sigmund Wurst in front of us. Not wishing death on the man, we relented – and gave our chosen patron’s chief rival valuable and damaging information about his doings.

Rushing to keep control of the political situation, we reconvened with our companions and Wurst, and devised a plan to keep Saponatheim occupied before he had a chance to use his information against us, long enough for us to frame him with the chaotic documents Murk found in the Temple of Verena. Kvothe attempted to visit Commander Pfeiffer, and left her an encrypted message in case of interception. The rest of us visited Vern Hendrick at Lord Aschaffenberg‘s lodgings, that he might prepare a defense of his lord. Hendrick revealed that Wurst had been identifying Saponatheim’s spies in Aschaffenberg’s operations, including their head chef. Demanding midnight nourishment, we loudly discussed misleading information in his presence, hopefully halting Saponatheim’s operations long enough for us to plant the documents at the ball.

The next morning, we witnessed a procession of flagellants making trouble in the city. I can’t stand these men – I believe that to live one’s life to its fullest, bravest and noblest extent is to please Sigmar, and not to spread discord and despair. Graille marshalled his words and turned the crowd against them – but we could not shake the feeling that the mood of the people was not too different from those insane fools. My resolve to defeat the chaotic menace in the city was hardened – I feel tonight will be the night.

Being summoned once more, we met briefly with the third of the viable candidates for leadership of Ubersreik, the military man von Holzenauer. He impressed us, and appreciated our uses as a special-operations unit, but his quest for power is primarily motivated by that for wealth and lands. Lord Aschaffenberg wishes to destroy chaotic forces, as I do – and so he must be my choice.

We attended the town council meeting at the Lord Mayor’s request, but decided to leverage our influence and popularity as heroes to the general populace to advance the cause of Lord Aschaffenberg, who, it transpires, has also offered us patronage. Our rabble-rousing had its intended effect, as we exposed von Suponatheim’s bribing practices and associated our own achievements with Aschaffenbergs. I felt bad for betraying the mayor – but Aschaffenberg’s leadership is the best outcome, for my party, and for this city.

Our business concluded, we journeyed again to the Hill to don our costumes for the ball. I felt very smart and noble in my Bretonnian armour – though it could’ve been a bit more practical. I shall have to keep my shield with me. While we changed, a group of assassins ambushed Kvothe, whom they thought to be Graille on account of his changed dress, and he dispatched them with ease and great theatrics. Though we did not discover their identities, we suppose them to be Suponatheim’s men – for we have declared openly against him now, and must weather the storm of his wrath. But I am not worried – for though three years of my life are gone, I know that it is these people who have kept me alive. I have no fear – only a desire to see right done in the world. Tonight, we play some role in the fortunes of this city – and I know that with these people, I will perform it well.
Edge of sewers

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TheMarchoMan

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