UM Chapter 2 Spark Notes

A Curious Game
  • Padric’s Inn hosts tournaments for a dice game called Abraxis Battle Dice. Nightingale overhears the commotion and investigates thinking that it’s something more like a bar fight.
  • Rook and Remi both recognize the game immediately and even have their own dice. Meanwhile, Zeke and Nightingale have never played.
  • Padric’s manager introduces herself as Charlotte and asks if they want in on the next round of play. Charlotte explains that it’s 20 gold for all four of them to play but there are prizes if they do well.
  • ! Special: If the party has 20 gold they can play Abraxis Battle Dice.
A New Visitor
  • Beyond the area where Melody resided, and deeper within the cellar, the group finds a series of well organized artifacts. Rook was right, the ledger was used to catalogue them and Malik had been peddling stolen artifacts.
  • Using the ledger, the group is able to identify that only a single artifact is missing. The Hegemonix.
  • The group pieces together the clues and determine that whoever killed the information broker likely also stole this Hegemonix.
  • Seeing all the damning evidence against her father’s integrity come together causes Remi anguish. Her father wasn’t just an information broker who had rooted himself in the aristocracies of Elenia, he was a smuggler and a thief too. While Remi didn’t know the full extent of the motivations behind his apprehension to let Nightingale and Zeke hang around his estate, she knew that it was likely that the royal family didn’t know how deep his treachery ran. Remi apologizes to everyone, worried that she got them caught up in something awful. Regardless, the others stand by her side, ensuring her that it wasn’t her fault.
  • Realizing that Malik and Grace are likely up to no good, Remi worries that relying on them will get Nightingale killed. She is decidedly clear that they can’t wait around for someone else to solve this murder for them. Remi wasn’t going to wait around for Nightingale to end up like Melody, nothing but a host for a horrible parasite.
  • Rook agrees outright with Remi. He shares his concern with the authorities getting involved, yet their being a severe lack of official accountability and intervention. And Grace using the Black Hand to do an investigation only made him more worried that the Duchess of Rhamsted was likely benefiting from all this somehow. Without circumventing the royalty of Rhamsted, Nightingale was in real danger.
  • Zeke doesn’t seem surprised, nor does he seem quick to defend his cousin. He’d heard stories, and there had been constant rumors about Grace’s surprising ability to turn such a small town into something so successful. But somewhere deep down, Zeke still wanted to give Grace the benefit of the doubt. If Malik was a criminal, she’d need to know.
  • All of the talking blurred into the background, and in Nightingale’s exhaustion and malaise, she only found herself listening to the Maluma’s whispers in her mind. It lulled her, promising Nightingale once gain that it could take her to the murderer. It knew where they were. If only she’d give it her body, for only a moment.
  • Before Nightingale can agree to the Maluma’s deal, Rook shakes her out of the stupor. Nightingale’s fear shows for the first time and she trembles as clarity comes crashing back into her. Rook can tell that the Maluma is getting a stronger hold. Slowly, but surely, Nightingale would succumb if they didn’t act with haste and purpose.
  • Above them the floorboards creak as someone enters the house. Everyone goes still, worried its the Black Hand returning. Instead, through small slivers of light in the ceiling the group catches images of Aisling, the redheaded woman that had been arguing with Padric. Moments later, Aisling darts out of the house, leaving fire and billowing smoke in her wake.
  • Panicking, the group realizes that Aisling set fire to the house. They narrowly escape the burning building by breaking out a window on the upper levels and rolling out onto the grass.
  • After letting the adrenaline subside and recovering from coughing fits the group angrily decides to pay Padric a visit about his redheaded friend. Afterall, if Aisling tried torching the place, she might be the murderer. Furthermore, she might also have the papers they need to find the Theodotion Mage.
A Rarity In Middara
  • Padric finds his shotgun. After excitedly checking that the mechanisms still works, he celebrates with the rest of the group. He claims that after a bit of work he’ll have it back up and working in no time.
  • The group heads back to Rhamsted without incident.
  • ! New Story Flag: Prized Possession.
Aisling In Pursuit
  • Remi winces as she hides behind a rock to avoid the monsters pursuing her.
  • Using a torn piece of cloth from her nightgown, Remi bandage the wound the best she can. Without proper attention, though, it would do little to stifle the bleeding coming from a bad cut on her leg.
  • Aisling calls out from nearby in the dark. As Aisling nears, remi can hear the sound of her cleavers scraping crossed the rock walls.
  • Realizing she has no good option, Remi waits for the right moment to make one last ditch effort to sprint ahead of Aisling and out of the cave. As she stumbles towards the cave exit, She desperately hopes that someone has come to help her.
  • ! New Story Flag: Leg Wound.
  • ! Special: Aislings close pursuit of Remi has forced her to kill some nearby monsters.
Aisling’s Prisoner
  • Still wearing the outfit she took to bed, Remi regains consciousness in a cave.
  • After coming to her senses, Remi finds herself cold and hurt. Her hands and legs are bound with rope. And with her gear still back at her father’s manor, Remi feels defenseless.
  • Aisling paces back and forth in front of her, tossing the Hegemonix from one hand to the other. Aisling taunts Remi, explaining that she’s going to use all the incriminating documents she found to bury both Grace and Remi’s father, assuming he’s even still alive.
  • Remi asks why she was kidnapped. Aisling explains that with what Malik and the Black Hand are capable of, she had to take Remi hostage as a guarantee for her own safety until she can reach the capital of Elenia and give Balthazar proof of Grace and Malik’s transgressions.
  • During her monologue, Remi is able to get her hands and feet mostly free of the rope binding them.
  • Remi asks about Theodotion and to both of their surprise Aisling admits seeing something about it in the documents. Aisling inquires about why Remi cares about Theodotion, but Remi cuts Aisling off and begins insulting her by comparing her to Malik.
  • Hearing herself compared to Malik makes Aisling furious. Unable to restrain her own temper, Aisling moves closer to get in Remi’s face and insults her.
  • Remi uses the opportunity of Aisling’s close proximity to knee Aisling in the stomach. Remi runs, moving as fast as she can with what little rope remained around her wrists.
  • Remi is able to grab some weapons and the document bag from Aisling’s belongings as she stumbles away in the dark, hoping to find a way out.
  • Behind her, Aisling calls out, promising to kill her the same way she killed the information broker if she catches her.
  • ! Special: Remi has escaped! She is no longer Unselectable.
Arriving At Rhamsted
  • The group arrives to Rhamsted. To Rook’s surprise, it’s nothing like the descriptions in his books. Since they were written, the small fishing town on the coast had turned into a bustling port city.
  • After having some fun in the elaborate market districts the group is finally able to pull Nightingale away to find Remi’s father’s estate.
  • The estate is up on the higher cliffsides overlooking the ocean. The richer stone district impresses even Nightingale and Zeke. So much, that Remi is hardly able to contain her pride in her father’s lavish lifestyle.
  • Remi’s arrival home is met with joy as the family steward, Mia, embraces Remi in a hug. Upon hearing her father is in a meeting, Remi offers to return later but Mia takes them in anyway.
  • After a long wait, a group of men clad in black armor and hoods leave Remi’s father’s study and the group enters.
  • They are introduced to Malik Moretti, Remi’s father. Zeke can’t help but think he looks like a super villain as the advancement gave Malik red eyes and horns. A far cry from the soft features that Remi had.
  • During their meeting, Malik realizes that both Nightingale Arsen and Zeke Jeong are in his study and becomes strangely worried at the presence of royalty at his estate. Remi has to explain the events that brought them to his study calm him down. While Remi avoids mentioning The Maluma or the fact that Nightingale is in any real danger, she lets Malik know that the King has nothing to do with their visit and that they are just her new friends accompanying her to Rhamsted.
  • Relieved to hear that Princess Nightingale had no formal reason to be present, Malik offers his help in finding a Theodotion Mage but explains it will take a couple days.
  • Remi wants permission to stay at the estate for the night, but Malik protests. He says that the King would be very disappointed if he knew that his daughter was anywhere near his estate. He offers instead that the group stay with Zeke’s cousin, Grace Jeong.
  • Remi thanks her father. Despite her negative feelings about Malik not letting her friends stay at their house, she’s happy to have finally seen him again.
  • Malik hugs his daughter and promising to contact them when he hears about a Theodotion Mage.
  • The group leaves Malik’s estate, then heads out to find Zeke’s cousin.
Back at Padric’s
  • The group aggressively confronts Padric back at his inn. At first he plays coy, but after hearing that Aisling almost got them killed by setting fire to the murder scene he drops the act and goes deadly serious.
  • Remi begins threatening that she’ll go to Malik and Grace if he doesn’t cooperate, but it’s unneeded. Padric shushes them all down before ushering them into the back of the Inn where they can talk in private.
  • With slumped shoulders, and a promise that they wouldn’t go to Grace or Malik, Padric explains. The Black Hand are criminals, and Padric hated that Grace was working to any capacity with them. He worried that Grace knew about Malik’s treachery and was okay with it it so long as it furthered her own ends and helped Rhamsted prosper financially to make her look good to the other royalty. Padric probably could have looked the other way in either case, but when Aisling came to town, everything changed. Padric and Aisling wanted to stop Malik, and to uncover his criminal activities to Balthazar, to Kezia, to Grace, or to anyone who would listen. But as they searched for proof that would damn either Malik or Grace, Aisling got out of hand. She got the idea that Grace was as guilty as Malik. As Aisling’s past came to light, Padric worried that their schemes had escalated from bringing justice to Malik, to getting revenge on him and anyone else turning a blind eye. Aisling became increasingly more violent as time had gone on. And the fight between Padric and Aisling that they stumbled on early was Padric telling Aisling he didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.
  • Zeke defends his cousin by pointing out that Grace might not know about Malik’s criminal activity. While Padric hopes that’s the case, the possibility has always been the reason why neither he nor Aisling could simply go to the authorities or Grace herself. If they were wrong, it could mean trouble for both of them.
  • As Padric talked, Remi looked increasingly uncomfortable at the extent of her father’s criminal activities being talked about in such a public setting. She couldn’t help but feel that being a good father wasn’t the same as being a good person. And somewhere, deep down, she was having a hard time believing that he could so such horrible things.  
  • Rook and Nightingale demanded to know more. So Padric sighed, and with a look towards Remi, he continued. Without going into too much detail, Padric explained that Aisling’s lost her dad back on Earth and that Malik was directly responsible for his death.
  • Remi couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her father was a murderer too? That wasn’t possible. He was always so nice to her and everything he’d always done was out of love.
  • Remi spoke up, defending her father but was cut short by Padric as he explained that Remi didn’t know her father very well. She had only been on Middara for less than three years and Padric could assure her that Malik was far from an upstanding person, good father or not.
  • Remi sulked, angry and conflicted at all the new feelings washing over her.
  • Padric continued. He admitted that his actions weren’t out of altruism, revenge, or any other need to see Grace and Malik imprisoned. He just loved Aisling and got fired up by her fervor. But when things got out of hand he failed to convince her to let it go. If it wasn’t for what the group had just told Padric he wouldn’t have even believe that Aisling was behind the murder that happened to the information broker. But if the information broker really died in such a spectacular fashion, it could only mean one thing. Their plan worked and Aisling was able to steal the Hegemonix.
  • The mention of the ‘Hegemonix’ piques Rooks interest as he confirms to Padric that the Hegemonix was missing at the house.
  • Padric elaborates. The Hegemonix was a magical puzzle box from Arkalla, dangerous and capable of calling down exalted espers. They’re plan was to steal an artifact as proof for the King. It was likely that Asiling went to steal the artifact and got caught, then used it to kill the information broker.
  • Padric claims he has to end this, and he can’t let Aisling hurt anyone else. He doesn’t trust going to the authorities, but he wants to help them find what they need from the information broker and apprehend Aisling.
  • The group agrees, but Remi protests against the idea of helping everyone imprison her own father, but after some emotional support from Nightingale, Remi agrees to help in any other way she can.
  • They spend the night at Padric’s Dragon Arms for free once again, bathing and resting. They would need to be prepared if they were going to stop Aisling.
  • The next morning, as the group prepares to depart, Padric arrives, geared up and ready to join them. After finally being asking why he’s always so helpful, Padric comes clean and tells them that he personally knows Shayliss Arsen. If anything were to happen to Nightingale, Shayliss’ older sister might literally kill him. While there is clearly some unexplained history there, the conviction in his voice is enough for Nightingale to believe in the authenticity of the claim.
  • Excited to finally depart and get the information they need, Nightingale asks for a discount on gear before they depart. Padric only smiles and shakes his head. But he does let her know that he’s always happy to take money from royalty.
Commotion Downstairs
  • A pair of loud arguing voices wake up Nightingale, Rook, and Zeke.
  • Due to drinking and staying up so late, Remi sleeps through the loud commotion coming from downstairs in the Inn.
  • With Remi still asleep, Nightingale, Rook, and Zeke sneak downstairs to listen in on the drama.
  • From the stairwell they watch as Padric argues with a redheaded woman he calls Aisling.
  • According to the argument, the two had some sort of serious plan together that Padric decided to no longer participate in. Aisling complains to Padric, and angrily yells that he’s letting her down and whatever they had planned is going to be even more dangerous for her now. Padric tries to talk Aisling out of doing whatever they had planned, making it clear that he believes that it isn’t the right thing to do anymore.
  • There is mention of some sort of dangerous artifact and saving the city. Before the two can elaborate on the meaning of the comments, Aisling looks over to see the three of them eavesdropping from the stairwell. Realizing someone might overhear them, Aisling ends the argument and curses at Padric. She calls Padric a coward and then storms out of the Inn.
  • The three help Padric clean up the mess Aisling made in the Inn.
  • Padric offers them a free room for another night if they keep quiet about what they heard. Really, none of them knew the full extent of the conversation. And despite it sounding a bit shady, they agree if only not to get caught up in Padric’s personal drama.
  • Remi appears, sunken eyed and hungover just in time for the free breakfast promised by Padric.
  • As they eat, Zeke finds an interesting bounty posted on the Inn’s bounty board. The paper depicts a crude drawing of a strange looking Animate and reads “The Warden.” Zeke approaches Padric about the promise of a reward posted on the paper. Zeke tells Padric about their run in with the creature, detailing the fight.
  • ! Flag Check: Bouncer Bounced.
  • After recounting their encounter with The Warden to Padric, the group decides to buy gear before taking a look around Rhamsted.
Ending 2: Death Of A Princess
  • Nightingale is killed during the fight.
  • The group huddles around in horror as her body shudders one last time before going still.
  • The Maluma seeps forth from her dead body, just like it had with the thief back at the vaults. Aisling cowers in fear before being taken by the Maluma.
  • Game Over
Eruption Of Chaos
  • As they near Malik’s estate, the group realizes something is amiss. People flood the streets and the sounds of screaming and yelling fill the night. Instead of an elegant garden and estate, they come upon a makeshift triage. Malik’s estate is in shambles and men and women are injured all around.
  • Their late night rescue is thwarted at the discovery that the Estate has been attacked and nearly completely destroyed.
  • Through the confusion, Nightingale hears her named called out by Malik. The group finds Malik on a nearby cot being treated by his fellow Black Hand members.
  • Injured, Malik weakly explains what happened. In the night, Aisling attacked. She used the Hegemonix and summoned an Exalted Esper that tore through his estate while his men slept. They fought her off but not before she narrowly escaped, kidnapping Remi in the process.
  • Malik tells them that he doesn’t care how they’ve escaped from Grace’s tower or what they’re up to, all he cares about is Remi’s safety. With his men in disarray, injured, or dead, Malik offers to pay them whatever they want to ensure Remi’s safe return. Malik feels that Padric likely knows more about Aisling than he’s letting onto, and if he’ll promise to save Remi he’d never forget it.
  • Nightingale and Padric refuse his blood money, but promises to save Remi nonetheless.
  • Malik promises to keep their escape a secret for as long as possible. Then the group decides to depart before Grace’s soldiers show up to see what the commotion is about.
  • Once isolated and away, the group desperately tries to come up with a plan to find Remi. Unfortunately, Padric doesn’t know where Aisling is. His best guess is that she’s at the hideout she always talked about. But Aisling never shared that information with him.
  • As things begin to look their darkest, the Maluma speaks up once again. It makes Nightingale the same offer it had before. If Nightingale traded her body, the Maluma promised to take them to Remi.
  • Despite long protests from her friends, Nightingale could see no other option. Instead of wasting time that could be spent saving her friend, Nightingale makes the deal.
  • ! Reward: Nightingale inches closer to losing herself forever.
  • Nightingale, no longer herself, commands the group to follow her. They reluctantly do.
  • Somewhere, deep within her own psyche, Nightingale screams as the Maluma taunts her for making such a stupid deal. The Maluma promises to keep its bargain, but it makes no promise to help keep her friends alive in the process.
  • The maluma leads them out of the city using Nightingales body. It continues until leading them nearly a mile out through a winding path that goes up a nearby cliffside, void of roads.
  • At a perilous cliff side, the Maluma looks at the group and warns them that there are monsters about before using Nightingale’s body to draw a weapon.
  • ! Special: Remi has been kidnapped! Mark her as Unselectable.
Finding An Inn
  • The group questions Zeke about why he didn’t mention that he had a cousin living in Rhamsted. Zeke explains that his cousin, Grace Jeong, is the Duchess of Rhamsted. But he’s heard enough rumors about her to know better than poke around in her business.
  • Worried that bugging royalty might uncover their escape from Elenia and get them caught by Yoel, the group is convinced by Nightingale to stay at a local Inn instead.
  • Nightingale finds an Inn called Padric’s Dragon Arms. It offered beds, tats, grog, and guns. It was perfect for the authentic adventuring experience she hoped to have.
  • The group introduces themselves to Padric, the owner of the Inn. The man sits at the bar, tinkering with a flintlock style firearms. He greets them warmly.
  • After securing lodging for the night, Nightingale insists to stay up late and drink. Nightingale only gets a single beer in before passing out from exhaustion and all but Remi ends up going to bed earlier than expected.
  • Remi struggles with understanding why her father was so weary of Nightingale and Zeke. As the hearth dies down and the bar empties, Remi is left alone. Eventually Padric approaches her. The owner of the Inn sits next to her with his own glass of beer and sparks jovial conversation.
  • After talking, Padric shines some light on Remi’s situation. Padric jokes that he never thought he’d see a Moretti hanging out with an Arsen. He explains that Malik Moretti has a bad history with the royal families and that while he didn’t officially own Rhamsted, he might as well have ‘owned’ Rhamsted.
  • The criminal insinuations about Remi’s father makes her uncomfortable. But Remi is too drunk and too tired to keep up the conversation with Padric, so she decides to turn in.  
Formulating A Plan
  • The group moves back into the cave to take cover from the storm and enjoy a moment of respite. Once inside, Zeke goes through the bag that Remi took from Aisling. Luckily, the Information Broker did in fact find what they needed. There was details about a Theodotion user traveling with a cult called The Anointed. The group was last seen in the city of Hyde.
  • Excited, Rook explains that Hyde is only a couple days walk. If they left Rhamsted tonight, they’d cover that ground in no time.
  • The group agrees. And despite being locked in the tower by Grace, the events that had just transpired were important enough that Grace needed to know that they handled it. And in anycase, Remi wasn’t going to leave without making sure Malik was alive and okay.
  • Together, the group decides to check in with Malik and Grace and explain themselves.  
Gear Up
  • Just as her father instructed, Remi stops by her house to grab her gear before they depart Rhamsted.
  • She finds the Black Hand hard at work cleaning up what’s left of the Moretti estate.
  • Mia, the steward, invites her inside and shows her to her bedroom.
  • After grabbing her gear, as Remi turns to leave she sees a box on her bed. She might have not seen it at all if it hadn’t meowed. Above the box she finds a note written in Malik’s dense handwriting. It reads, “Congratulations on graduating, I wanted to get you something Special, and remember you saying how much you missed your cat from earth. I brought him home for you. Don’t tell anyone. Love, Dad.”
  • Inside, Remi finds a fantastic version of her cat from Earth. Gage had apparently passed through the advancement just like her and gained supernatural abilities.
  • ! Reward: Remi has reunited with her pet from Earth. In addition, Remi regains her old equipement.
  • After receiving her father’s thoughtful gift, Remi and the others make their way to Padric’s Dragon Arm’s. Charlotte is running the place in Padric’s absence. For their help, Padric left Charlotte with instructions to help them out.
  • ! Reward: Charlotte begrudgingly offers the group 1 free Item.
Goodbye To Grace
  • None of the guards move to stop them as they stride purposely back into Grace’s Palace.
  • Remi intends to check on her father after meeting with Grace, but there is no need as Malik is already in the throne room with Grace when they arrive.
  • Upon seeing his daughter, Malik is ecstatic. He embraces her and apologizes for getting her wrapped up in any of this drama. Despite the claims made against Malik, Remi could never push away the love she felt from her father. Instead, Remi is overwhelmed with joy to see Malik alive and safe.
  • Malik thanks Nightingale, stating that he’ll never forget what they’ve done for him. He hands her small black ticket, and promises that one day, the Black Hand will return the favor.
  • Grace looks to Zeke, hands on one hip and annoyed. With Malik already filling her in on their escape and rescue attempt, Grace bluntly asks how it went.
  • Zeke explains that Aisling is dead. He tosses her the Hegemonix as proof.
  • There is a moment where everyone is worried that Grace will try to imprison them again, but to everyone’s surprise, Grace is ecstatic instead. Grace claps with joy and lets them all know that they are less incompetent than they look.
  • Malik tells Rook and Nightingale that he always keeps his promises. He adds that he could never repay them enough for saving his daughter.
  • Before departing, Malik hugs Remi goodbye and reminds her to stop home for her gear before leaving.
  • ! Reward: They party gains the Black Ticket Story Item.
  • ! New Story Flag: Soul Judgement.
I Owe It To Your Sister
  • The group sees Padric back to his inn, with the intent of one last goodbye before leaving Rhamsted.
  • Padric surprises the group by announcing that he owes it to Shayliss to accompany them to Hyde. The threat that looms over Princess Nightingale is too big for him to ignore. And in either case, leaving Rhamsted for awhile was probably a good idea.
  • Padric leaves his trusted employee, Charlotte in charge.
  • Padric grabs his camping gear and weapons and then the group decides to shop before departing.
  • ! New Story Flag: Experienced Guide.
  • ! Special: Padric joins the party and may or may not have his prized shotgun.
Imprisoned By Mistake
  • Padric leads the group to a small stone building in Rhamsted that Aisling calls home. He warns them to take it slow and watch what they say. Hopefully, they can talk her into turning herself in. If they’re lucky, maybe they can even get her to cooperate into going to King Balthazar.
  • They knock, and after a few moments Aisling answers. Aisling embraces Padric upon seeing him. She recognizes the rest of them, but before she can ask what’s going on Padric talks her into speaking about what transpired inside and out of earshot of the people walking on the streets.
  • Once inside, Remi angrily accuses Aisling of trying to cook them alive back at the informants house. Aisling claims that she had no idea they were even there.
  • The group asks about her motives and learn that Aisling didn’t mean to kill the informant. She explains that they got into a scuffle while she was stealing the Hegemonix and she used it in self defense. The spectacular nature of the death was unexpected and terrifying for her.
  • Irritated, and caring little about her moral conundrum, Remi asks why Aisling looted all the paperwork if she was only there to steal the Hegemonix. Aisling confesses that she was looking to take whatever she could in hopes of finding strong evidence against Grace or Malik’s transgressions. If she could prove that they were in league together then king Balthazar would listen her.
  • Inside of Aisling’s bag, the group sees the stolen papers and a surge of hope fills them. Somewhere in that bag was the information they needed about the Theodotion Mage. On top of the pile of papers however, they also see the dangerous artifact called the Hegemonix.
  • Nightingale takes charge, seeing that this is a matter of her country’s security. She explains to Aisling who she is and that she’d love to do what she can to bring the matter to King Balthazar herself.
  • Aisling shows sudden respect towards Nightingale and stammers as she apologizes over and over again for what happened. Then, Aisling explains her side of the story. She claims that both Grace and Malik are willing to do whatever they can to secure Rhamsted as one of Elenia’s strongest cities in the coming years. Both are capable of extortion, kidnapping and even murder.
  • Aisling seems like she’s willing to cooperate and everyone but Remi is ecstatic.
  • As Remi listens to Aisling make horrific claims about Malik, she isn’t able to take it anymore. When Aisling finally starts expressing her desire to see Malik hang, Remi screams at her, calling Aisling a liar.
  • Through her outburst, Aisling learns that Remi is Malik’s daughter. The two argue, and the confrontation escalates to blows. Rook is able to stop them by tossing them apart from each other. But things take a turn for the worst as Aisling reaches in her bag for the Hegemonix.
  • Nightingale tries to diffuse the situation by explaining that Remi has nothing to do with her father or the Black Hand. Nightingale pleas to Aisling that this could all end peacefully if Aisling just listened to her.
  • There is a moment of contemplation on Aisling behalf, and she eases up on the Hegemonix. Everyone sighs in relief.
  • Suddenly, voices outside alert all of them of the city watches arrival. The door is kicked in as the Black Hand and city guard come crashing into the small house.
  • Aisling narrowly escapes through a window as the city watch move in.
  • The rest of them try to explain but are arrested.
It’s Not Our Decision To Make
  • Nightingale protests Suri’s decision to kill anyone in cold blood, even if they’re an enemy.
  • Suri resorts to threatening Melody. The two agree to mutually keep each others presence on Middara a secret. Then, Suri angrily swooshes away, leaving a blue luminescent hue in her wake.
  • The Maluma hisses inside of Nightingale’s mind, urging her to reconsider letting Melody live. Nightingale fights away its mind numbing banter by screaming at it, alarming everyone else in the room who couldn’t hear the Maluma.
  • Melody announces that she believes that her debt to the Black Hand and Malik has been paid. Then, with a thank you, Melody pulls herself away and leaves the cellar, promising to never return.
  • After Melody’s departure, the group presses on, determined to see what Melody was protecting.  
Heeding Suri’s Warning
  • Together, the group agrees that Suri is right, Melody needs to be punished for her transgressions. But none of them feel prepared to kill Melody in cold blood.
  • Fortunately, Suri was prepared and already figures they wouldn’t be able to do the deed required. Her transparent form becomes fully opaque and Suri manifests in the real, truly touching the surface of Middara for the first time.
  • Seeing the worried looks on their faces, Suri quickly explains that the Great Bounty makes an exception for those participating in claiming those breaking their rules.
  • Suri kills Melody and steals her essence with the intent to return it to Arkalla.
  • Before departing, Suri hugs Rook and he’s able to feel her body for the first time. Rook bids Suri farewell before she blinks away.
  • After Suri’s departure, the group presses on, determined to see what Melody was protecting.   
  • ! New Story Flag: Contract Terminated.
Jophiel’s Judgement
  • Nightingale clicks open the Hegemonix, unleashing a searing red and orange light that cuts through the clouds and rain. An Exalted Esper rises from the box until it’s massive size towers above all of them. It proclaims itself as Jophiel, Judger of Souls.
  • Jophiel says that he will sentence the guilty. Then the Exalted Esper produces a massive magnifying glass to inspect each of them.
  • Terrified, they all scramble away the best they can as an enormous eye inspects each of them, looking for who to kill.  
  • As the magnifying glass hovers above Nightingale, the Maluma panics. Worried that it will be chosen as the guilty, the Malma buries itself back into Nightingale. Relinquishing her body so quickly causes Nightingale to drop the Hegemonix. The colorful artifact clatters to the ground but it does little to banish Jophiel.
  • Nightingale claws herself back to the surface of her own psyche, finally retaking her body from the Maluma. Nightingale screams in horror at the sight of the monster above her. Luckily, Jophiel isn’t tricked. It sees the Maluma deep within Nightingale, but also realizes that the darkness was replaced by innocence. Jophiel decides to move on.
  • After each is subjected to a horrifying moment of being judged, Jophiel stops on Aisling. Jophiel laments that he’d judged her twice before and there had always been greater sinners in proximity. This time however, Jophiel claims that her soul weighs heavily. Aisling mutters a few words in disbelief before being cut short by the same spectacular death that had befallen the Information Broker.
  • Padric screams out to Aisling as she explodes, scattering gore across the grass.
  • After makes his judgement, Jophiel returns to the Hegemonix.
  • With Aisling dead and the Maluma gone, Rook scrambles to Nightingale’s side. Rook finally explains to Remi what has happened and the realization dons on Remi’s face. Her friend hadn’t gone crazy, she was controlled by the Maluma.
  • Feeling like it’s her fault that Nightingale gave her body up to the Maluma, Remi comforts Nightingale as the organic armor and weapon vanish back inside of her.
  • Nightingale sobs into Remi’s shoulder, shaken by the ordeal.
  • Zeke picks up the Hegemonix in the grass triumphantly.
  • Meanwhile, Padric stands amongst what’s left of his friend and mourns the loss of Aisling.
Learning Abraxis
  • Charlotte calls out a new round of Abraxis Battle Dice and the participants take their seats by team. Charlotte puts Zeke, Nightingale, Rook, and Remi together at a table and explains how to play.
  • ! Special: Read pg.67 of the rulebook for rules on how to play Abraxis.
  • ! Abraxis Battle Dice: The Pirate Wench!
Leaving The Pirate Town
  • None of the guards move to stop them as they stride purposely back into Grace’s Palace.
  • Remi intends to check on her father after meeting with Grace, but there is no need as Malik is already in the throne room with Grace when they arrive.
  • Upon seeing his daughter, Malik is ecstatic. He embraces her and apologizes for getting her wrapped up in any of this drama. Despite the claims made against Malik, Remi could never push away the love she felt from her father. Instead, Remi is overwhelmed with joy to see Malik alive and safe.
  • Malik thanks Nightingale, stating that he’ll never forget what they’ve done for him.
  • Grace looks to Zeke, hands on one hip and annoyed. With Malik already filling her in on their escape and rescue attempt, Grace bluntly asks how it went.
  • Zeke explains that Padric took Aisling to the capital for proper judgement. He also explains that the Hegemonix was taken by Padric as proof of what has happened in Rhamsted.
  • Grace shakes with anger over their decision to simply let a murderer go after catching her with a dangerous artifact. Grace adds that Aisling killed their best information broker and she worries about what Balthazar would do if he found out what they’ve been up to in Rhamsted.
  • Zeke questions what exactly Balthazar would think they’ve been up to in Rhamsted. Grace only reminds Zeke that Balthazar wouldn’t be okay with his own dangerous excursion with the Princess. Rook interjects, explaining that it’s to save Nightingale’s life but Grace doesn’t care. Grace decides to lock them up again, commanding her guards to arrest them and haul them back to the tower. Grace promises that their stay won’t be so comfortable this time and that they’ll be staying until she sorts this mess out with Balthazar.
  • As the guards move to shackle them, Remi pleads with her father to help her friends.
  • Malik, refuses to look the other way and not help those who saved his daughter’s life and orders his personal Black Hand guards to help.
  • There is a tense moment as the personal guards for both Malik and Grace draw weapons on each other.
  • Grace relents, as she is not willing to go resort to violence in her throne room. The group is escorted out of Grace’s Palace by Malik and the Black Hand.
  • Malik tells Rook and Nightingale that he always keeps his promises. He adds that he could never repay them enough for saving his daughter.
  • Before departing, Malik hugs Remi goodbye and reminds her to stop home for her gear before leaving.
Let’s Just Deliver The Message
  • For the second time in two days Remi finds herself back in her father’s study.
  • Remi shamefully explains what happened. Admitting to her father that they didn’t go to the guards for help and thought they’d be able to handle it by themselves.
  • Malik isn’t angry. Instead, Malik’s just happy that his daughter is okay. He hugs her and thanks the others for watching her back before sending them away with a promise that he’ll contact them as soon as he knows more about the whereabouts of a Theodotion Mage.
Listening To The Dark Passenger
  • The weather worsens as they climb further up the winding path.
  • The Maluma explains that there is a cave near the cliffs and that Aisling is inside.
  • Padric excitedly confirms that Aisling’s hideout was in a cave.
  • The Maluma cuts him off, warning the group that their are creatures between them. They’ll need to fight again.
  • The group draws their weapons and mentally prepares for another battle.
Make A Break For It
  • Nightingale’s protests are for nought. Grace reasons that Balthazar would do anything to protect his family, and so will she. Grace uses her guards to forcefully drag the group to a set of rooms in the far tower, forcing them to stay until Aisling is caught. She promises that once Balthazar can arrive to take his unruly daughter back to the capital that they can leave.
  • Meanwhile, Remi is taken by Malik and the two return to their estate.
  • Nightingale takes no comfort in the luxury of the prison Grace chooses for them. It’s a  lush bedroom in the high tower. Nightingale looks out over the coastal city from a wide balcony that overlooks the city and worries that she’ll be trapped until the Maluma is able to take her body and mind. After a lot of tossing and turning, Nightingale is finally able to suppress her anxiety enough to drift off to sleep.
  • In the middle of the night, the voice of the maluma startles Nightingale to wake, instructing her to go to the balcony.
  • Behind the glass of the balcony, Nightingale finds Padric waving with a smile and set of harnesses. Nightingale smiles as she realizes that Padric is staging an escape effort.
  • When asked why he’d do something so dangerous, Padric adds that he owes Shayliss more than they know, and he believes Nightingale when she says that the Maluma is a threat to her life.
  • After getting her friends in the room across from her’s, the four escapes the tower by night and set off to emulate the same escape attempt for Remi at Malik’s estate.
Malik’s Mission
  • While exploring the delightful bustling streets of the coastal town of Rhamsted, Remi spots Mia out of the corner of her eye.
  • Her father’s steward waves at her from a nearby ally. Remi approaches to find that Mia was sent to fetch the four of them for a favor.
  • Mia gives Remi an envelope. Inside, Remi finds that it contains instructions for the town guard. It details Malik’s intent to allow the four of them to accompany the guard while they seek out a missing caravan.
  • Ever the optimist, Nightingale convinces the group to go look for the caravan alone. She reasons that a caravan that has simply gone missing shouldn’t require a whole set of guards to find.
  • Shortly into the search, they find the caravan abandoned, wrecked, and in disarray as if destroyed by some sort of explosion. Before they can look for the source of the damage, they are ambushed by wild creatures.
Murdered Informant
  • After finishing a meal in town, Remi recognizes a cloaked man dressed in all black as one of her father’s personal guard. The man hustles towards her estate. Worried something is wrong, the group follows him.
  • Upon reaching Malik’s house, it’s clear that something awful has happened. Dozens of men in black garb surround the estate, meandering and waiting for orders.
  • Concerned for her fathers safety, Remi pushes past the black clad guards and enters her estate.
  • The group finds Malik in a heated discussion with another girl inside of the courtyard of the manor. Upon seeing them, Malik hurries across the courtyard and embraces Remi. Malik expresses his own concern for her safety. The other occupant of the courtyard introduces herself as Grace Jeong.
  • After some discourse with Grace, we learn that there was a murder in Rhamsted. Malik was worried for Remi’s safety when heard the news. Malik was about to send someone to look for them and check that they were all safe when they showed up to his estate. Grace on the other hand is furious. While she knew that her cousin Zeke was present, as the Duchess of Rhamsted she would have expected them to stay at her own place. If something were to happen to Nightingale Arsen or Zeke Jeong on her watch, either family would have taken her head.
  • With some apologizing, Zeke calms Grace down and explains that they stayed at Padric’s Inn. The group learns that Malik and Grace have some sort of beef with Padric but are otherwise happy to see that they weren’t caught up in the recent drama.
  • Malik elaborates on the situation, and to Nightingale’s chagrin, the group learns that someone killed the Informant that was set on the case of finding the Theodotion Mage. Even worse, Malik believes that the Information Broker may have actually found something relevant to Theodotion but the work the Informant had compiled was stolen from his house after the murder.
  • Grace writes off the task of finding anything about Theodotion as meaningless for the time being. Instead, she wants Malik to divert his resources into helping her find the culprit and bring swift justice to whoever was responsible for the murder.
  • While protesting Grace’s decision to abandon their quest to find more about Theodotion, Remi accidently lets it slip that they needed the Theodotion Mage to save Nightingale’s life.
  • Realizing that this mission for Theodotion is about keeping the princess of Elenia safe, Grace becomes enraged. She questions why Balthazar doesn’t know about this and argues that they need to get in touch with someone from Elenia and that the four of them should wait until help arrives. Grace claims that their foolish quest is going to endanger more lives than it’s worth and she isn’t going to be responsible for the death of Nightingale.
  • Angry and worried that they’ll be detained until Balthazar returns, Remi storms out of the room, dragging Nightingale and her friends with her. Malik cries out after his daughter but Remi ignores his plea to stay and decides to take matters into her own hands.     
Padric’s Lost Shotgun
  • Padric is a self proclaimed renowned gunsmith. He’s lost an old shotgun with sentimental value. Padric explains that It was left behind on a recent excursion and he’s hoping to find it.
  • After taking some flak for losing something so valuable in the first place, Padric is able to convince the group that having a shotgun could prove to be a huge help in the future. The five depart deep into the nearby Rhamsted forest to find Padric’s Shotgun.
  • Not long into their trip, they come upon aggressive denizens of the forest.
Ready, Set, Let’s Go
  • Out and away from the palace, Rook and Zeke calm Remi down. They convince her to return home to grab her gear before they leave town.
  • Remi finds the Black Hand hard at work cleaning up what’s left of the Moretti estate.
  • Mia, the steward, invites her inside and shows her to her bedroom.
  • After grabbing her gear, as Remi turns to leave, she sees a box on her bed. She might have not seen it at all if it hadn’t meowed. Above the box she finds a note written in Malik’s dense handwriting. It reads, “Congratulations on graduating, I wanted to get you something Special, and remember you saying how much you missed your cat from earth. I brought him home for you. Don’t tell anyone. Love, Dad.” Remi would have torn the note to pieces if hadn’t been for what it said.
  • Inside of the box, Remi finds a fantastic version of her cat from Earth. Gage had apparently passed through the advancement just like her and gained supernatural abilities.
  • ! Reward: Remi has reunited with her pet from Earth. In addition, Remi regains her old equipment.
Remi, We’re Coming!
  • Nightingale gleefully kills the last of the monsters, relishing in the blood lust.
  • Zeke and Rook look on with concern.
  • Nightingale continues leading the group, claiming that they’re almost there.
Rhamsted Justice
  • None of the guards move to stop them as they stride purposely back into Grace’s Palace.
  • Remi intends to check on her father after meeting with Grace, but there is no need as Malik is already in the throne room with Grace when they arrive.
  • Upon seeing his daughter, Malik is ecstatic. He embraces her and apologizes for getting her wrapped up in any of this drama. Despite the claims made against Malik, Remi could never push away the love she felt from her father. Instead, Remi is overwhelmed with joy to see Malik alive and safe.
  • Malik thanks Nightingale, stating that he’ll never forget what they’ve done for him. He hands her small black ticket, and promises that one day, the Black Hand will return the favor.
  • Malik and Grace freeze at the sight of Aisling and the two demand an explanation.
  • Zeke tries to defend Aisling by explaining to Grace that Aisling had been wronged by the Black Hand but Grace only laughs. Grace asks if Aisling was the one responsible for the murder of their informant, stealing the Hegemonix, and the attack at Malik’s estate. Padric admits that she was, but quickly adds that the information broker was killed in self defense and not intentionally.  
  • Aisling confesses the same, explaining  that she never intended to hurt the Informant.
  • Malik turns on Aisling. While she might not have intended to hurt the Informant her actions weren’t innocent. Malik angrily accusing Ailsing of malicious intent to murder him, his associates, and his only daughter.
  • Aisling stammers in her defense and grace silences both of them. For Aisling’s crimes against Rhamsted and trusted associates of the Duchess, Grace accuses Aisling of sedition, kidnapping, and murderer.
  • With a nod from Grace, Malik pulls a knife from his belt and positions Aisling so that she’s helpless in his arms.
  • Padric springs into action to save Aisling but is stopped by Malik’s and Grace’s personal guards.
  • Malik flatly whispers into Aisling’s ear that nobody threatens his family before brutally slicing her neck open.
  • Bound and unable to do anything but watch, Padric yells out for her.
  • Seeing her father kill someone so easily alarms Remi. It solidifies all the bad rumors about Malik in her head. Remi realizes in that moment that neither Malik nor Grace were going to let Aisling or Padric live if they brought them back. Her father was a bad person, someone she couldn’t trust. Remi confronts Malik over all the bad rumors, asking if they’re true. Malik tries to calm her down, explaining that he only wants to protect her.
  • Grace has no time for their familial dispute and demands that they return her property. She holds a hand out for the Hegemonix. Remi curses at her, claiming that she would be as dangerous as Aisling if they gave it to her.
  • Remi demands that her father let Padric loose. To her surprise, he does. With Aisling dead, it seems that both Malik and Grace got what they really wanted.
  • Together, the group follows Remi as she storms out of the palace.
  • ! Reward: The party gains the Hegemonix and the Black Ticket.
  • ! New Story Flag: Soul Judgement & Familial Dispute.
Rumors
  • At the direction of Padric, Nightingale leads the group down into a tight passage beneath a huge aging tree.
  • Despite their concern that this might not be the right way to go, Padric assures them that he’d know. Afterall, there isn’t that many secret tunnels people carve out under giant trees in the middle of deserted forests.
  • Not too far down into the passage, Padric’s indignant tone is cut short. After someone fumbles in the dark, the ground gives way. Roots crack and dirt slides and everyone screams as they tumble down into the unknown.
Safe Travels, Padric
  • To Remi’s chagrin, the group decides to part ways. Padric decides to depart towards Elenia with Aisling while the rest head off to Hyde.
  • Padric thanks everyone for their help. The storm clears and Padric promises to catch them when he figures this all out at the capital. In the meantime, he tells them to save the Princess.
  • Padric departs and the group decides to report back to Malik and Grace.
Set Her Free
  • The woman collapses on the floor from the weight of her wounds. Despite how horrific her wounds are, she doesn’t seem to respond to the pain as much as one would expect.
  • The woman calls herself Melody and tries to lure Nightingale close by using a ruse and telling her that she needs help bandaging her wounds. It almost works as Nightingale feels bad for the dying woman.
  • Luckily, Rook is there to talk some sense into Nightingale. Rook claims to have read about these creatures back at the institute. Rook elaborates, calling the woman a Living Oblation, a monster that was once human. Whoever Melody once was, she was long gone now, replaced by the monster they just fought.
  • Melody begs to be left alone, claiming that she’ll unnaturally recover from her wounds. She promises to stay away and to not hurt them or anyone else if they let her live. Remi accuses Melody of murdering the informant, but Melody denies it. Melody claims that she’s Malik’s lapdog, and she owes him a debt. She claims that she was told to guard the basement from intruders like them.
  • The revelation that Melody was working for her father rattles Remi, and she angrily curses her father for employing such an abomination.
  • Suri suddenly whisps into the air, making an appearance. Suri urging the group to kill Melody, claiming that the destruction of the woman’s host will allow the spirit inside to be claimed by the Great Bounty and judged for its crimes.
  • The group learns about the Great Bounty and the lore behind the Maluma that infects Nightingale makes a little more sense.
  • The Great Bounty is an organization that enforces interdimensional laws. Those from the realm of Arkalla are known to host a myriad of hostile parasite like creatures that leech on other realms. Because of this, none from Arkalla are allowed on Middara. If they kill Melody, Suri would be able to keep the parasite inside of her body trapped until agents from the Great Bounty arrive to claim their prize.
  • Piecing this information together, the group realizes that if Nightingale were to die, the Great Bounty would claim the Maluma if it didn’t find a nearby host quick enough. In addition, even Suri’s presence on Middara could alert the Great Bounty if she were to physically manifest or be found out by those looking to claim a reward.
  • Melody argues with Suri, calling her a hypocrite. Melody believes that Suri is no different than her. Just another leech from Arkalla who wants something from a better world.  
  • Meanwhile, the Maluma agrees with Suri. It whispers into Nightingale’s mind and urges her to kill Melody to prevent the creature from possibly alerting the Great Bounty to its presence.  
  • ! Decision: The group must decide what to do with Melody.
Shayliss Would Kill Me
  • As the situation becomes more and more dangerous, Padric puts a stop to the quest for his shotgun. Knowing full well that Shayliss would never forgive him if something happened to Nightingale, Padric apologizes and forces the group to leave before anyone can get seriously hurt. Nightingale’s lust for adventure is culled by Padric as her and the rest of the group takes up his promise for a hot meal back at his Inn.
Sickening Fall
  • Aisling is pushed over the cliff. As she teeters over the edge, she drops the Hegemonix and yells for Padric to save her. Padric reaches out in vain as Aisling disappears over the edge.
  • Padric watches helplessly as Aisling falls, screaming. She slams into the rocks far below. Padric watches in horror as her body washes away into the ocean.
  • Nightingale backs away slowly as the others corner her. Desperate, Nightingale goes for a knife on her own belt and moves to jam it into her own neck, but Rook takes her to the ground with a vicious tackle before the suicidal blow can be delivered.
  • Nightingale thrashes in Rook’s arms. Remi approaches her, horrified that Nightingale did something so reckless to try and save her.
  • Remi comforts Nightingale until the Maluma finally relinquished its hold and rolls back deep within her. The ordeal of clawing her own consciousness back to the surface of her psyche leaves Nightingale shaken. As she regains control of her body the organic armor and weapon vanish back inside of her.
  • Nightingale sobs into Remi’s shoulder, shaken by the ordeal.
  • Zeke picks up the Hegemonix in the grass triumphantly. Padric only scoffs at him, angry that they killed Aisling.
Sneaking Into The Crime Scene
  • Not far from Malik’s manor, the four begin to discuss the best course of action. During their debate, Nightingale hears the Maluma whisper inside of her head once more. It claims that it knows how to find the one responsible for the murder and if she would allow it to take control of her body, the Maluma would lead her there.
  • Nightingale’s resistance to the Maluma wanes but nevertheless, she holds strong. Nightingale screams at the Maluma to stop trying to manipulate her. Her sudden outburst at seemingly nothing causes the group to worry about Nightingale’s mental health.
  • Seeing the urgency slowly starting to manifest itself in Nightingale’s physical and mental appearances, Remi decides to find the crime scene herself. By asking around town, the four are able to find the scene of the murder. It ends up being a small house in the poorer district of the city.
  • The group hides outside of the house and stakes the place out until nightfall. Strangely, the building isn’t guarded by the city watch and is instead being stalked by two of Malik’s guards in black. Remi admits that these men are her fathers goons and they call themselves the Black Hand. Zeke’s suspicions that Malik was a bit of a villain are confirmed by this. Remi berates him, defending her father’s integrity. Then she takes charge of the situation, leaving the others behind to watch as she convinces the guards to leave.
  • Once the coast is clear, the group enters the informants house and stumble upon the gruesome murder scene. The Informant seems to have been literally splattered about the room. Whatever killed him did it in a spectacular fashion and couldn’t have been done by non-magical means.
  • The group searches the scene. Rook finds a black ledger that details a list of artifacts. Suri appears to confirm that these are stolen property from the dead. Each one a dark name from Arkalla that had been killed and had their belongings stolen. Rook comes to the conclusion that this was a ledger of artifacts that Malik had likely been peddling. Remi defends her father, but the evidence against him surmounts as Rook clearly finds transactions being tracked.
  • A noise from below them alerts the group to the presence of something beneath them. Together, the four search, finding a hidden trap door that leads into the cellar below the house. Down below, in the darkness, a strange woman contorts in inhuman ways and attacks them.
Someone’s There
  • With the monsters defeated, the group begins to celebrate. Remi catches sight of someone standing behind shrubbery in the distance. At first she’s worried that the figure was a victim of the explosion, but her concern quickly vanishes when the silhouette darts into the nearby forest.
  • Realizing the figure might be the culprit, Remi dashes forward, hoping to catch the figure before they can escape.
  • After a short chase, Remi is able to use her natural ability to fly to catch the man with a tackle. The two tumble to the ground and Remi freezes when she hears the click of a gun.
  • The man forces her back at gunpoint. While being held with her hands up, Remi is able to see the man’s striking facial features and scars.
  • Luckily, Nightingale, Rook, and Zeke arrive just in time and force the man to retreat.
  • The unknown assailant escapes, but Remi is left unscathed and with a description to give her father.
  • For the second time in two days Remi finds herself back in her father’s study.
  • Remi excitedly explains what happened. Admitting to her father that they didn’t go to the guards for help but they were able to handle it by themselves.
  • Remi gives Malik the description of the man that they saw, describing his strikingly unique features and long scar on his face.
  • Malik’s expression darkens at the description of the man. He admits that he knows who was behind the attack but refuses to let them get caught up any further in his personal issues. Malik’s temper is withheld so much that he has to tell Remi that he isn’t angry at her. Instead, he’s angry at the man who pointed a gun at his daughter. Regardless, Malik is happy that his daughter is okay. Malik hugs Remi and thanks the others for watching her back before sending them away with a promise that he’ll contact them as soon as he knows more about the whereabouts of a Theodotion Mage.
  • ! New Story Flag: Culprit Identified.
Spend That Gold
  • Just as her father instructed, Remi stops by her house to grab her gear before they depart Rhamsted.
  • She finds the Black Hand hard at work cleaning up what’s left of the Moretti estate.
  • Mia, the steward, invites her inside and shows her to her bedroom.
  • After grabbing her gear, as Remi turns to leave she sees a box on her bed. She might have not seen it at all if it hadn’t meowed. Above the box she finds a note written in Malik’s dense handwriting. It reads, “Congratulations on graduating, I wanted to get you something Special, and remember you saying how much you missed your cat from earth. I brought him home for you. Don’t tell anyone. Love, Dad.”
  • Inside, Remi finds a fantastic version of her cat from Earth. Gage had apparently passed through the advancement just like her and gained supernatural abilities.
  • ! Reward: Remi has reunited with her pet from Earth. In addition, Remi regains her old equipement.
Stop Her!
  • Aisling stumbles from a deep gash in her side. Defeated, she staggers and drops to her knees.
  • Seeing that they have been defeated, Nightingale goes for a knife on her belt and moves to jam it into her own neck, but Rook takes her to the ground with a vicious tackle before the suicidal blow can be delivered.
  • With Nightingale incapacitated by Rook, Padric tries to talk Aisling down as she backs away.
  • Aisling, still under the impression that Nightingale is acting on her own, refuses to surrender. She pulls the Hegemonix from a satchel, intending to use it.
  • As Aisling clicks the mechanisms of the Hegemonix into place, Remi sees that Padric is frozen, unable to bring himself to stop her. Remi charges at Aisling in an attempt to take her to the ground before she can activate the Hegemonix.
  • ! Flag Check: Does the party have the Story Flag Leg Wound?
Struggling To Get There
  • As the creatures bore down on the party, the Maluma nearly falls from the cliffs before lashing out from Nightingale’s palms and devouring them. Even though Nightingale suffered a nasty cut, the Maluma seemed unphased by the pain. Instead, it looks nervous from the close call with death from falling.
  • Seeing it’s nervousness for the first time, Rook can’t help but wonder that the Maluma would have nowhere to go if it died in a body that fell that distance. Perhaps the Great Bounty would claim it after all?
Thanks anyway
  • With the last of their attackers either fleeing or dead on the ground, they are free to assess the damage. Padric walks slowly between them, unable to completely restrain his hope that someone had managed to find his shotgun. But of course, they didn’t. It was lost.
  • Padric thanks them all for their help, even if they failed to find his shotgun. Padric promises a reward of sorts regardless and the group returns safely to Rhamsted.
  • ! Special: Padric offers a discount for your help.
The Grace Of Rhamsted
  • The group is dragged to the Rhamsted palace in irons.
  • When they arrive, they find Malik and Grace together in the throne room. Grace chastises the guards for locking up royalty and has the irons removed before apologizing to Zeke.
  • Malik and Grace demand an explanation as they have eye witness accounts that the five of them were seen leaving the murder scene in flames. Zeke quickly defends their actions, telling them that it wasn’t them. He points the finger at Aisling, explaining that she was torching the place to hide evidence and cover her tracks.
  • Remi also backs the story up, angrily condemning her father for using Melody as a deterrent for others who might attempt to break in.
  • Malik and Grace seem relieved to hear that they weren’t the ones destroying evidence. But the relief is quickly replaced with anger at the realization that Aisling is the one behind the murder.
  • Malik and Grace argue over what to do about Aisling and the group learns that Malik had warned Grace long ago about Aisling being hell bent on revenge. Apparently, Grace hadn’t taken him seriously and no action was taken the first time she was warned by Malik.
  • Their open display of teamwork shows Padric that Aisling was probably right the whole time, these two were in league. Padric makes a snide comment to Grace about letting someone like Malik in on such official business. Grace only threatens him, making it clear that his friendship with Shayliss is the only reason Padric’s still able to run his mouth the way he does. Furthermore, Grace promises that if he intervenes with their pursuit of Aisling that Grace will have him tried all the same.
  • Padric is rudely dismissed. He bows respectfully to Grace before leaving, making sure to make eye contact with Nightingale before finally leaving the throne room.
  • Grace and Malik decide to take action against Aisling while keeping Nightingale and her friends away from causing anymore trouble. Nightingale, Remi, Zeke and Rook all protest, claiming there is a bigger threat that needs to be taken care of but Grace has none of it. She tells them that they’ll be staying in the castle until Balthazar comes to fetch them.
The One That Got Away
  • Defeated, Nightingale slumps against the wall as the monster woman advances on her.
  • Remi yells, trying to distract the monster before it can kill Nightingale. The monster woman turns on Remi and bears down on her.
  • In a moment of desperation, Nightingale is coerced by the Maluma into giving up her body to save Remi’s life. With her friend screaming and in danger, Nightingale sees no alternative and accepts the Maluma’s offer.
  • The Maluma takes ahold of Nightingale’s body and ushers in incredible strength. Nightingale is controlled like a puppet as a horrific maw opens from her palms and spits forth a wave of grotesque mouths. Only moments away from making a killing blow against Remi, the monster woman is caught in the multitude of mouths and thrashed about, suffering grievous damage to her body.
  • The monster woman screams and backs away in fear as the Maluma looms above her with a wide maw. Feeling the Maluma’s malicious intent on consuming the woman whole, Nightingale fights with all of her might to force the Maluma back inside of her palms. Nightingale is able to regain control as the Maluma disappears, it’s massive mouth snapping and raging as it’s sucked back into her palms.
  • True to its word, the Maluma let her have her body back… or was it it Nightingale that forced the Maluma back inside of her? Nightingale isn’t sure, but regardless, Remi is safe, the monster Woman is incapacitated and Nightingale feels pretty good about herself.
  • ! New Story Flag & Reward: Slipping. Nightingale’s encounter with the Maluma learns her a new Discipline.
The Perpetrator’s Hideout
  • In distress and panicking, Remi sprints out of the cave. To Remi’s relief, her friends have come for her. Zeke catches her before she can fall to the ground from exhaustion and pain.
  • Remi screams out a warning as Aisling comes sprinting out of the cave just behind her.
  • Aisling skids to a stop, frozen in surprise that the group was able to find her hideout. In, one hand she holds the Hegemonix and there is no mistaking the power radiating from the artifact.
  • Aisling curses at Padric, thinking he has betrayed her by helping the group find her hideout.
  • Padric tries to talk sense into Aisling, but it does no good.
  • Aisling knows she cant bring her father back, but she can honor him by bringing justice to those who wronged him. By punishing those responsible, Aisling is only taking what’s rightfully hers. Kidnapping Remi and stealing her away from Malik would force him to feel loss, just like she had.
  • Before the verbal fight can escalate any further, the Maluma cuts them both off with a shrill laugh. Using Nightingale’s body, it shoves Remi down into the dirt and mud.
  • Hurt and confused, Remi watches as Nightingale joins Aisling’s side. Emulating Nightingale, the Maluma claims that she too cares about Elenia and bringing justice to Malik and Grace. Nightingale promises Aisling that they shall both have what’s rightfully theirs.
  • Believing that the Princess of Elenia has her back, Aisling gears up for a fight.
  • Zeke curses at the Maluma, calling it a liar. Then he explains to Remi that the Maluma is in control.
  • Nightingale laughs as a sort of organic armor latches to her body. The Maluma forges a weapon made from the biology of it’s own sick body. It forms a grotesque sword and a set of armor that engulfs Nightingale. Then, without any further discussion, the Maluma and Aisling charge forward.
  • Rook yells out, instructing that nobody hurts the Princess. Rook knows that the Maluma is looking for a new body and he won’t be tricked.
  • With a renewed strength and purpose, Remi picks herself up and draws her daggers. She wasn’t going to let Aisling or the Maluma hurt her friends.
The Shortest Path
  • Staying safe by sticking to the road takes the group on a hot walk beneath refreshing shade. After sometime, Nightingale hears a waterfall and Padric smiles knowing that his shotgun is close. 
  • With advice to take it slow and be careful, Padric draws his weapon and the group follows suit, slowly advancing towards the waterfall.
Too Broke To Play
  • Charlotte berates the group for being too poor to play, seeing as how she’s heard that they’re royalty of sorts according to Padric.
  • Before Charlotte can make too much of a scene Padric steps in and offers to let them play for free.
Victorious Aisling
  • Remi collapses physically and emotionally from their defeat.
  • Aisling taunts Remi, thinking that the youngest Princess of Elenia has her back. Aisling leans in close to Aisling and promises that she is going to take her back to Elenia and have her entire corrupt family punished for their crimes.
  • Aisling is suddenly struck in the back of the head by a vicious blow from Nightingale.
  • Controlled by the Maluma, Nightingale delivers a second horrible blow that sends Aisling crumpling to her knees.
  • Through her delirium, and unaware that Nightingale has been controlled by a parasite this whole time, Aisling is confused by her actions. She coughs blood and falls to the dirt.
  • Remi looks on in horror and confusion as the Maluma looms over Aisling.
  • Padric tries in vain to pull himself up in an attempt to stop Nightingale from delivering a fatal blow to Aisling.
  • Nightingale only laughs, taking the Hegemonix from the grass nearby Aisling. Nightingale clicks the puzzle box into place and unleashes the Exalted Esper inside.
  • Aisling croaks out a warning in fear and pain. The Hegemonix was not to be trifled with and only Aisling truly knew what it would unleash.  
We’re Close
  • Rook tosses the last dead Fragor from the cliffside, watching its body tumble far below.
  • They ask the Maluma if they can have Nightingale back, but the Maluma claims that it promised them the murderer. Until then, Nightingale will stay under its control. The Maluma promises that they are almost upon the cave.
  • Sure enough, the cave entrance was just ahead. It was a jagged wound in a cliff that was constantly bleeding rainwater.
  • To his surprise, Rook could just make out the outline of someone running towards the exit from within.
What To Do With Her?
  • Remi slams into Aisling moments before she’s able to use the Hegemonix.
  • Aisling goes sprawling and the Hegemonix goes over the cliffside.
  • Remi kicks off the ground and dives after it, narrowly catching the Hegemonix before crashing into the rocks below.
  • Unarmed and wounded, Aisling accepts defeat. Padric rushes to her side and comforts her. He quickly begins treating the terrible wounds she suffered from the fight.
  • Nightingale thrashes in Rook’s arms. Remi approaches her, horrified that Nightingale did something so reckless to try and save her.
  • Remi comforts Nightingale until the Maluma finally relinquished its hold and rolls back deep within her. The ordeal of clawing her own consciousness back to the surface of her psyche leaves Nightingale shaken. As she regains control of her body the organic armor and weapon vanish back inside of her.
  • Nightingale sobs into Remi’s shoulder, shaken by the ordeal.
  • The group moves back into the cave to take cover from the storm and enjoy a moment of respite. Once inside, Zeke goes through the bag that Remi took from Aisling. Luckily, the Information Broker did in fact find what they needed. There was details about a Theodotion user traveling with a cult called The Anointed. The group was last seen in the city of Hyde.
  • Excited, Rook explains that Hyde is only a couple days walk. If they left Rhamsted tonight, they’d cover that ground in no time.
  • The group agrees. And despite being locked in the tower by Grace, the events that had just transpired were important enough that Grace needed to know that they handled it. And in anycase, Remi wasn’t going to leave without making sure her father was alive and okay.   
  • But there was still one more issue to be resolved. Remi wasn’t going to let Aisling off the hook. Angry at what she’d been put through, Remi has little remorse for Aisling.
  • Padric on the other hand, seems to be more of an apologist, even going as far as trying to diffuse the situation all together. Remi angrily tells Padric that they should take her back to Malik and Grace and have them sort it out. It’s their city after all, and with the only thing Grace really cares about taken care of, she would have no reason to keep them locked up anymore.
  • Aisling pleads. Claiming that she only fought them because she thought the Princess of Elenia had her back. Aisling worries that if they take her back to Grace that she wont get a fair trial and they’ll simply have her punished or even executed.
  • Padric agrees. He doesn’t see taking Aisling back to Malik or Grace as a true form of justice. Instead, he recommends that they let him take Aisling to the capital of Elenia for a proper trial. That way, the Arsen and Jeong family can decide for themselves what needs to be done about the mess.
  • Remi still doesn’t like it. Moreover, she’s worried that any action against Aisling could put her father in real danger. King Balthazar didn’t have a reputation for being kind on criminals either. If they were all unlucky he’d have Aisling, Grace, and Malik executed.
  • Padric doesn’t disagree, but he still stands by his plan. He wants to give Aisling a chance to explain herself to the King.
  • It’s made clear that regardless of the decision, Remi, Rook, and Zeke feel that Grace and Malik should know what happened.
  • ! Decision: The players must make a decision.
Your Plan Sucks
  • Beaten back, the party hides nearby and regroups.
  • Zeke comes up with a plan and throws a rock to distract the creatures before darting forward towards the cave.
  • ! Special: The noise from the stone distracts the monsters.