The Alexandrian

Ptolus - In the Shadow of the Spire



October 21st, 2007
The 26th Day of Amseyl in the 790th Year of the Seyrunian Dynasty

The group headed up-city into the Rivergate District. After leaving the Ghostly Minstrel they broke up into smaller, less noticeable groups. Dominic and Elestra arranged for a carriage to wait for them near the burrow adjacent to Linech’s.

The narrow alley beside the Yebures’ house was crowded that night: All six of them were needed for the plan to work.

Tee secured her grappling hook and rope to the lip of the chimney and rapidly ascended to the roof. She hid behind the chimney for at least a minute to make sure that her ascent had not been detected, and then climbed down towards the window.

As she approached it, her sharp elven ears clearly picked up the sounds of someone moving about inside the room… despite the fact that the light hadn’t been turned on.

Tee carefully approached the window and peered inside: There was a thin, emaciated woman searching the office. She was, in fact, poking around the bookshelves where Tee had hidden Zavere’s scrying cube.

Tee must have made some sort of noise, because the woman suddenly whipped around, “Who’s there?”

Tee jerked back, but the woman was coming towards the window to investigate what she had seen. But just as she was nearing the window, Tee heard the door of the office thrown open and a rough, burly voice growled, “What are you doing up here?”

The woman’s voice was filled with tightly-controlled fright: “Linech asked me to get something for him. I was just looking for it…”

“With the light out? Get over here, we’ll just go and see Linech about this.”

“Oh please, no… no…”

Tee could hear a brief struggle, and then the woman was pulled from the room and the door slammed shut behind her.

Tee waited a few moments and then peeked around the corner of the window to confirm that the office was truly empty. It was. She reached for her tools and quickly unlocked the window, sliding it open silently and slipping inside.

She quickly crossed to the door and locked it, listening to ensure that no one else was waiting outside the room. Then she secured a second rope to the golden statue for Agnarr and Tor to climb up.

While Tor and Agnarr were climbing, Tee quickly checked on the scrying cube to make sure that the woman hadn’t discovered it or disturbed it. She hadn’t. But Tee decided to move it anyway: If people were going to be searching the office, she wanted the scrying cube to be more secure.

She focused her attention on the desk, thinking to find a drawer behind which she could hide it. What she found, instead, was a secret compartment at the back of one of the drawers. Sliding it open she found two things: First, an iron money coffer that was completely empty (obviously Linech’s funds were almost completely depleted at this point). Second, a letter written on elegant paper that had once been sealed with wax that was now broken.

The letter read:

To our associate, Mister Linech Cran—

We are in desperate need of your most delicate shipments. As you well know, we have important work which cannot proceed apace without those shipments. Urnest assures me that the consequences will be most dire if you cannot fulfill the responsibilities you have pledged yourself to.

But I am pleased to inform you that I have interceded on your behalf. You have until the third of Kadal to deliver those shipments promised to us these two weeks past.


Tee quickly pulled out the parchment and pen she always kept handy, copied out the letter, and replaced the original exactly the way she had found it. She then pulled out the bottom drawer of the desk and placed the scrying cube within the hollow baseboard: There it would go unnoticed unless someone picked up the desk or pulled that bottom drawer completely out of the desk.

Ptolus - Lord AbbercombeTor and Agnarr, meanwhile, had reached the room and moved the statue to the window. Tee confirmed that she was now ready to leave and moved towards the door to keep an attentive ear on the hear-out for anyone approaching the room.

Tor and Agnarr heaved and the statue tipped out the window. Ranthir, sturdily braced against the rope with Dominic and Elestra, uttered a single syllable of arcane power and slowed the statue’s descent to the pace of a feather’s fall. This allowed the three of them to pull the rope with all their strength, yanking the statue to one side.

Their intention was to redirect the statue so that it would land in the alley and not on the roof of the house directly below Linech’s. In this they were partly successful: They managed to pull the statue enough to the side so that, when it struck the roof, it immediately slid off and continued its magically-slowed descent.

Unfortunately – despite its slow fall – the statue still weighed more than 800 pounds, and when it struck the roof it did so with an incredible crash. A commotion almost instantly arose in the house itself, and the group knew that it had little time.

Agnarr and Tor were already climbing back down to the alley. Tee, meanwhile, had unlocked the door was doing a final check of the office to make sure everything was exactly the way it was when they arrived. (Except for the missing statue, of course.) As soon as the statue had cleared the lower roof, Ranthir dropped the rope and began casting another spell – this one to disguise the statue as a large, relatively innocuous, crate.

Meanwhile, Dominic and Elestra, thinking quickly, were heading toward the end of the alley.

Elestra: “Drunk?”

Dominic nodded and, as they reached the corner, began weaving.

Rounding the corner they practically bumped into the owner of the house coming towards them to investigate the sound.

“Free exorcisms!” Dominic cried. “In fact, I just got done exorcising this young woman here…”

“Oh dear,” Elestra murmured. “You’ll have to forgive my friend, he’s a bit deep in his cups.”

“I was exorcising the house!”

While Elestra and Dominic dealt with the angry homeowner (eventually getting him to go back inside his house with a promise that they would soon be gone), Tor and Agnarr reached the alley and began carrying the statue-disguised-as-crate towards the waiting carriage.

Tee, meanwhile, levered herself out the window, slid it shut, and began working to lock it again. (She rather delighted in the idea of leaving Linech with no idea how his prized statue had disappeared.)

As she worked, however, another threat appeared. She heard Linech’s voice, from the far side of the compound, roar: “YOU WERE IN MY OFFICE?” His shouted rants could be heard clearly crossing the burrow towards his office.

Tee quickly finished locking the window, rappelled to the ground, and silently loosed her grappling hook. She was just in time, as the light came on in the office – (Dominic: “Oh! He must have found the lamp!”).

“WHERE’S MY STATUE?” Linech crossed to the window and tried to lift it, but finding it locked he merely looked through it… and saw nothing. The statue-as-crate was already across the lower burrow and being loaded onto the carriage, and Tee’s lithe form was lost in the shadowy alley below. He turned back to the others with him in the office and continued raging as the thieves slipped away into the night.


Tee had the carriage take a slightly longer route to the Nobles’ Quarter, believing that if they were followed or seen leaving Rivergate it would leave an impression that they were heading towards a location in Oldtown or Midtown.

They had no problem passing through the Dalenguard despite the late hour, telling the guards on duty that they were carrying a delivery for Castle Shard.

Even Tee, who had grown up in Ptolus, was seeing Castle Shard for the first time: An octahedronal building of light purplish stone, with eight towers at each of its corners. The castle was surrounded by a moat filled with a purplish-black sludge.

Standing in the road beside the castle, on the far side of the moat from the raised drawbridge of blackoak, the party saw a tall figure with gray hair and gray eyes dressed in an elegant suit of charcoal gray. His arms were crossed before him, and he stood stoicly and watched the carriage come to a stop.

“I am Kadmus, the servant of Castle Shard. You have been expected.”

Kadmus snapped his fingers, and the drawbridge slowly lowered itself in perfect silence. As it came to rest, Kadmus turned and strode across it.

The party followed him. Beyond the drawbridge they entered a long entrance hall, the tall walls of which were covered in elaborate carvings of bas relief. Large doors of black oak at the opposite end of the hall were shut. Kadmus turned to face them.

“Lord Zavere apologizes, but he is not in the castle tonight. However, he has arranged your payment.”

He snapped his fingers again and a platform of pure force drifted out from a side chamber. Tor and Agnarr placed the statue upon it and Ranthir allowed the illusion upon it to drop away. As the platform drifted away again, Kadmus snapped his fingers a third time and an elegant bag of black velvet drifted towards the party from another direction. The bag seemed strangely empty, but when Tee reached into it she found that she could pull out their payment with ease… it was a reward wrapped inside a reward.

Most of the party couldn’t conceal how impressed they were with the display, but Tee was careful to match Kadmus’ stoicism (despite the glee she was feeling inside). They thanked Kadmus and left.


As the carriage carried them back towards Midtown, Tee split the reward money and transferred the contents of her old bag of holding into the black velvet bag that had been given to them by Castle Shard. She was excited to have a bag that complimented the more elegant clothes she was wearing. (Her old bag of holding was given to Ranthir.)

The carriage came to an abrupt stop as it was turning into Delver’s Square. The driver called down to them, “All right, everybody out. I’m not going in there.”

Tee stuck her head out the window. “Why? What’s happening?”

“Well… just look at that thing!”

They looked: A huge green dragon was chained up outside the Ghostly Minstrel. It may have been tethered with perfect docility to the horsebar, but there was no doubt that its mere bulk was intimidating all by itself.

They piled out of the carriage (Tee made sure to the pay the driver a little extra to make sure he forgot the entire evening) and crossed the square. They couldn’t help stopping to take a closer look at the dragon. Tee was enraptured. Ranthir pointed out the silver collar of dragonkind around its neck, which would let its rider control it. Tor noted the military aerial saddle, remarking on how similar it was to those worn by the griffon mounts in eastern Barund.

“It’s enslaved?” Agnarr said. “We should set it free!”

The rest of the group dragged him inside.

Inside the Minstrel a bard was playing and the common room was bustling. Tellith greeted them with a smile. Ranthir headed back to the kitchens to collect his dinner and then headed upstairs to study his arcane texts. Dominic and Tor settled down at the bar and chatted amiably with Zade.

Tee stopped long enough to ask Tellith who the dragon belonged to. “Oh, that’s Master Daersidian’s!”

“Does he come here often?”

“Not for the past month or so, but he used to come by regularly.”

“Any idea where he’s been?”

“No, not really.”

“What’s he look like?”

“Tall, blond. Rather good looking.”

“Human?” Tee sighed when Tellith nodded.

Tee and Elestra headed into the common room, where they quickly spotted Daersidian sitting at a table with Sheva Callister and another man.

Tee headed to a table by the windows so that she could look out at the dragon. She placed an order for dinner and watched as it absent-mindedly swung its tail and decapitated one of the carefully groomed bushes in front of the inn.

Elestra, on the other hand, headed straight over to Daersidian. As she approached, she heard Sheva saying, “I can’t help you. I think you simply need to accept that Thurvan has been lost to us. I don’t—“ Then she saw Elestra coming. “Elestra! How are you?”

Elestra sat down. Sheva almost immediately excused herself, but Elestra introduced herself to Daersidian. Daersidian smiled broadly, and also introduced his companion Brusselt. They chatted for a brief while, but then Daersidian made their excuses and left. Tee sighed deeply as she watched the dragon’s broad wings lift it into the air and out across Ptolus’ skyline.

Agnarr, meanwhile, had spotted Jevicca sitting at a table by herself. He headed over to her with a broad smile on her face. When she looked up and saw him, she smiled sweetly in return.

Their small-talk soon turned to business. Jevicca inquired after “that girl that you were helping”.

“Phon? She’s all right. She won’t tell us who the father of her child is, so we can’t help her much, but Tee and Dominic have been checking on her.”

“And the baby?”

“She hasn’t popped it yet.”

Jevicca seemed taken aback. “That’s a little crude.”

“It’s a colloquialism,” Agnarr grinned. And then wondered where that word had come from and frowned. He must have heard it from Ranthir. “What about your business?”

Jevicca sighed. “We’ve been looking into an illegal trade in magic items coming out of the Warrens.” She went on to describe how the Pale Dogs were beginning to use dangerous magic items, including some – like rings of domination – which were strictly illegal in any circumstance.

“One of my friends heard on the street that someone named… Daym…? No, wait. Demassac, that was it. Someone named Demassac was selling to the Pale Dogs.”

Jevicca’s brow furrowed. “Really? We’ll have to look into that.”

Tor, meanwhile, asked Zade a question: “Zade, what do I look like to you?”

Zade frowned slightly. “Rough around the edges. Dusty and road-worn. You’re the type who’s got his dirt under his fingernails.”

Tor nodded, and silently resolved that – with his newfound wealth – he would do something about that the next day.


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