Mede 29 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar)

I woke Gorum up early by bite/tugging (non) playfully on his beard – I’m eager to get back to my usual species.  I have no idea if it’s true or not but I’ve heard tales that if you spend too much time polymorphed eventually your mind becomes that of the animal you look like.  All your memories and intelligence fade away and you’re left a dumb beast.  That’s a fate I’d just as soon avoid.  Gorum insisted that we return to his “store”, which is apparently more of a storage facility for books he will never sell, to make sure everything was safe.  This checking process seemed like it was going to take hours but once I started chewing on the corner of some tome or another he was suddenly ready to go.  Since my little cat legs can transport me only so fast he carried me, which neither of us really liked.

Paddock Street in Beresford (I have no idea why it’s called that, I saw no horses) looks to me like the kind of place that was where the rich people lived when the town was young and now is where the better off middle class people are trying to keep up appearances.  In another few generations it will be packed with poor people and everything will be falling apart.  I wonder if people study how cities change over time like that – it’s like the migratory patterns of rich folk and their impact on the urban environment.  People seemed to be pretty startled by seeing a dwarf carrying a cat – it’s just weird enough that people take notice. It was actually a helpful in to get directions to Bywan’s house.

Said house was a well-maintained two story deal with a second story balcony on fancy pillars that framed a door that was mostly green stained glass – must have cost a fortune.  Not a fortune fortune but a fortune for common people.  Answering the door was a silver haired half-elf woman who had the tiniest hint of wrinkles and the first hint of walking with stiff joints.  I’ve never seen a half-elf show any signs of aging before but I suppose it stands to reason that they eventually get old and decrepit since they’re half human.  I can’t say why exactly but it made me slightly uneasy – it’s like seeing a massive stone with a little tree growing out of it, something about it just doesn’t sit right.  She was taken slightly aback but a talking cat but adjusted quickly.

“Our pardon for calling on you at such an early hour madam, but we’re looking for Bywan Staelish.”

“I’m afraid he’s out of town.  Is there something that I can do for you?”

“Do you know anything about magic?”

She smiled slightly “I have a passing familiarity.”

She invited us in for tea to talk.  I felt somewhat ridiculous lapping out of a teacup but she didn’t seem to mind.  Turns out that Bywan got all the fame, but all those grand deeds Gorum was talking about yesterday – his now wife Cladarielle was there too for all those deeds getting in the mix with sword and spell.  Bywan had left town with some of their old comrades in arms to investigate what was going on at that half-ass fort in the woods but Cladarielle was willing to help, possibly eager – a life of excitement is probably a hard one to ever give up completely. 

“I don’t have the power to break the spell myself.  I don’t know of anyone in town who does either but there may very well be someone, I can ask around.  If nothing else pans out I do know a couple people that have this kind of magic that I’m sure would be willing to help but it will  take a few weeks for them to get here.”

“If that’s what it comes to I have no choice really.  One thing I’ll mention when you’re making your inquiries you may want to be cautious, the mayor and I recently had a little bit of a falling out and he may have eyes and ears on the alert for someone asking these exact questions.”

She thought for a moment before answering “I’m not exactly fond of office of the mayor at the moment.  The current administration and I have had issues of our own.  The people I’m going to be reaching out to know the value of discretion.”

“I like them already.  One other idea that I’ll throw out there, in my personal effects I happened to have the severed head of a hag – you know how that goes – and I was given to understand that you can use them to cure werewolfism.  This isn’t exactly the same thing but it’s similar so I wonder if there’s a possibility there.”

“Magical theory and research wasn’t my area of expertise, I was more about application, but I think there’s a good chance that would work.  And I happen to know a wolf shaman who’s usually in the area.”

“The only problem is I don’t know where my stuff is at right now.  I was arrested you see and I don’t know if the city watch took it or if the Vultur people did.”

“The Church of Vultur is involved in this?”

“You’re familiar with them?”

“We worked with them a few times in the past.  I’m all for good and just laws, but I believe that justice needs to be tempered with mercy and compassion – not so for the church of Vultur.  They’re about as rigid and inflexible a group as you’re likely to ever find and still be working on the side of good.”

“That sounds about right, except that piece about them being on the side of good – the way I see it there’s nothing more than assassins.”

“Why do they want you?”

“Some law office in Three Rivers paid them to grab me, I don’t know why.”

“Glilcus and Stolo?”

“Yes, how did you know that?!”

“Educated guess, I’ve heard that name in reference to some shady activities over the last few years.  I know they’re heavily involved in that mess with the Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company being broken up and sold off.”

“Oh, that probably explains it.”

“Do tell.”

“I don’t know what the official story they tell is for the reason behind that but I’m the reason behind that.”

She raised an eyebrow slightly “Is that so?”

“It is.”

“Not surprising I suppose.  Anyone who gets turned into a cat by unknown parties breaking into the Tower of Midnight must be getting up to some interesting misadventures.” She poured herself some more tea and sat back in her magnificent elfen crafted chair looking contented. “My inclination is to help anyone who comes to my door, that’s why Bywan and I are so happy together – we share a common passion for making things better – but I’d like to know who you are.  When you get back to being yourself what will you do?  How do you bring good into the world?”

“Honestly I tend to keep my cards pretty close most of the time.  I don’t usually talk much about myself or where I’m from, people usually are looking for an angle they can work in whatever you tell them, but since you’re being so kind I don’t mind telling you a little about my story.  I’m a simple country girl really. You might say a cockeyed optimist, who got herself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.  Had I not been so enthusiastic perhaps I could have adverted this disaster.”

She smiled faintly “You’re a bit of a bullshitter aren’t you?  That’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with having a silver tongue as long as you’re not a jerk about it.  I’ve been known to tell the occasional fib.”

“I tell a lot more truth than I get credit for.”

“I’m certain of that.  I’ll make some inquiries and get back to you.”

“Thank you madam, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  It’s rare that I find people willing to help without an agenda.”

“Well I haven’t helped you yet, but I shall do my best.”

Gorum gushed over her for a while before we left, it was mildly annoying because he seemed to ignore her part in all the tales to ask her about Bywan.  I suppose that’s to be expected, the world being what it is.  Afterwards we returned to his shop where there was nothing to do but wait.  I hate waiting, especially when I’m counting on someone else and there’s nothing I can do.  But life unfolds as it will in spite of our impatience.   

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hair regrowth progress :  NA 

Funds: None

XP: 348,051

Inventory:  Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm)

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee,  Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer

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