dfryer36 wrote:"During my investigation of the Rising Swords their quartermaster let it slip that they had infiltrated the Regulars, the Elite, and possibly even the Lanterns as well," Terger said. "I've considered that it was a ruse to throw me off but he had information about myself and the Elites that were following us that he could have only known if he was being truthful, about that at least. How better for Magnus the Trapmaster to lure me into a trap than to bait it with truth. It seems suspicious to me that Magnus had information that only Captain Patenaude knew and that he conveniently exiled himself from the city at the same time that the Rising Swords leadership was evacuating the city. Now I have no idea if Patenaude is a member of the Rising Swords or if it's just coincidence. But I suspect that there is more going on here than just simple coincidence; just like I suspect Captain Shantilayla shutting down the Crier is just coincidence as she is one of the few who does know it's role in the Lanterns' network." Terger looked across the room at the man who had been his mentor, his friend, and in many ways more of a father than his own father had been. "I will understand if you don't want to do this; this isn't a sanctioned op and if I'm wrong and we get caught we are both facing exile at best. But if you could find out who in the Guards or the Lanterns are working for the Rising Swords it would go a long way to solving the bigger mystery at play here."
"It wouldn't surprise me at all if there are spies for the Rising Swords amongst the Regulars. While Commander Oakfirst likes to think he has a firm grasp on the guards, corruption has always been a problem in their ranks. The Elites, less so. They're usually made of sterner stuff. It is troubling that Patenaude walked away from the city, and I'm already looking into it, but, personally, I doubt he's in the Rising Swords' pocket. What he's always been, is a stubborn fool who believes the rule of law is a gospel that cannot be broken. I'm certain it was the deal you struck with Magnus that went so against his personal beliefs that he felt he had to make a political statement to The Five. . . .
"I'm with you when it comes to figuring out the Rising Swords endgame. We're going to have to work quietly for now. I'm not sure I can trust the older runners and I don't want to frighten the younger ones. Hells, I'm keeping most of the really young ones off the streets. I'm relying on Asgeir a lot, probably more than he's ready for. And I'm not worried about Florrie. She could have ran after what happened to her, but she stuck with it and has been a good soldier. I am worried about her spirit but not her loyalty."
Terger thanks his mentor for the information and heads out of the Crier hideout. At the outer door of Thriftmore's home, one of the runners, a girl, stops him and whispers, "There is someone out there. I don't know him, but he's been waiting out in the side alley for several minutes since you came in."
"I know," Terger replies. He steps out of the cellar's entrance and takes a quick look at the nearby guard tower. No movement. He slips out carefully while the runner closes and locks the door. He move carefully and casually towards where the man is standing.
"Terger," the man says. He managed to spot Terger before the Dark Lantern could surprise him. "I take it you're done with whatever you're up to here." The man is more observant than Terger would have given him credit for.
Custodio steps out of the shadow and walks alongside Terger as they head out onto the wide thoroughfare of Dragontooth Walk. They walk as casually as they can towards the Wood Gate at the end of the street.
"Here we are again," Custodio says as they come to the gate where they fought against the Rising Swords with Gralf and Pekko. "Feels like its been forever even though its only been a few days."
The two of them easily pass out of the district and are soon over the chasm bridges and heading back into Old City. Custodio follows Terger's lead as the two of them head for the Tribunal, walking in relative silence.
willpell wrote:"Let us stick to the mission for now."
"So, to the Tribunal then to see if Terger is there," Elkgrar says politely.
Relgar and the dwarf walk the distance to the open-air courtyard known as the Tribunal of Review and Retribution. The design of the structure is simple. On one side are the five sitting judges of Bluffside and on the other is the day's accused on a raised platform, standing in either fear or hatred. Benches are place in a circle around the edge of the courtyard.
As the two men arrive, the judges declare a guilty plea to a trio of men accused of committing robbery during the crisis in New City. The punishment, 60 days in the Dungeon and then 1 year of service in the city's Adamantine mines. The gathered crowd murmurs their approval on the sentence.
"Next case!" A male judge with a gray beard orders.
Elkgrar looks for Terger in the gathered crowd, but he doesn't see him anywhere. He does see Commander Oakfirst standing at the edge of the courtyard, watching the procedures with interest. The two of them make there way towards the leader of the Bluffside Regulars quickly and quietly.
He sees them approach, at the last second, and motions for them to stop and sit on a nearby bench. "In a minute."
"Terger?" Elkgrar asks.
"He's not here, yet," the commander says quietly. "He's not one for keeping a tight schedule. The nature of his work. Now, please, stay silent, for now. This is the last case for the day."
The next two accused include an old man dressed in priestly robes and a stern warrior who is shackled tightly next to him. The judges read off the charges against them, which includes tresspassing in the temple of the being known as Carlinhos and attempting to kill all the cultists of the Gray Ooze God, as well as the ooze itself kept in the bowels of the temple. The crowd boos, as the charges are read.
"Kill the ooze," an onlooker yells. "Banish the cultists!"
"Quiet!" An imposing female judge yells. "Or we clear the courtyard."
The crowd goes silent, except for a few nearby whispers. The judges ask the barrister for the accused for a defense. The man goes into a long litany of religious precedents about the risks of worshiping dangerous creatures and the supposed madness of the leaders of the Temple of Carlinhos. Once the barrister finishes, the judges call one of those temple leaders forward and puts the man through a rigorous series of questions to check his devotion to Carlinhos and the cleric's mental state. To Relgar, he comes off as fanatical as any cleric he's met before but he doesn't seem insane. Surprisingly, magic is not used .
The judges dismiss the man and quickly bring down a verdict of guilty for the two men. The robed man is forbidden from entering the city of Bluffside for 50 years while his shackled companion is sentenced to 25 years in the Dungeon for the deaths of a priest of Carlinhos and a Bluffside Regular who tried to take him into custody. The crowd is displeased by the outcome and begins booing again. Someone throws a piece of rotten fruit at the judges, but before the courtyard erupts in violence, the Bluffside Regulars, lead by Oakfirst, move in and gather up the worst of the troublemakers.
It is at this point that Terger and Custodio arrive at the Tribunal. The judges order the courtyard cleared for the day and they quicky leave under the protection of the Bluffside Elite. Terger sees Elkgrar helping an old couple through the disapating throng of unhappy citizens.
"Another typical day at the Tribunal, it seems," Custodio notes to Terger, as they step up next to Relgar whose mood seems... it's unclear what he's feeling, actually.