Rio woke up once more.
He realized he was no longer in the same place, but the darkness around him was interrupted by a few lit candles in front of him, revealing two figures in the shadows.
His gear, including his armor, was sitting in a pile in front of him.
As he tried to stand, he felt nothing but pain in his stomach and side. Rio was heavily bandaged around where most of the pain was.
One of the figures spoke out, telling Rio to hold off from gathering his equipment quite yet.
A figure in light leather armor with hair down to his neck and pointed features stepped forward and asked him who he was and what he was doing in the city.
The leather clad person announced himself as Ferrand Arnos. He explained to Rio that his group, operating in Forlen, was in a bind. The other figure, the bird person from earlier, started over to Rio’s equipment and started handing Rio his belongings.
Ferrand explained that his group operated by “acquiring” goods and selling them, but due to the sudden surge of werewolves in the city, they had been unable to operate without high risk. Rio was also shown members of the group afflicted with lycanthropy: forced to be chained up at night to avoid them killing everyone else.
Ferrand asked for Rio’s help in his latest scheme, as his men recently discovered that Grahm Longfellow has a relic that they believe he’s using to create the constant full moon. While unsure of what it was, he offered to acquire the relic for them (while they acquire the rest of Grahm’s wealth) if they work on distracting Grahm and the wardens away from their keep during the raid. He also told Rio that if they were to help in their plan, they would give them instructions on a way to cure the lycanthrope curse.
Agreeing to the terms, Rio asked to be taken to his group.
Ferrand took Rio over to a scrying stone to search for his party.
Looking into the stone, they saw the group’s carriage speeding off towards the other end of town.
However, the trail went cold, and neither Drop, nor the werewolf could be found.
Ice Bear had an idea.
He opened the carriage to see if he could get Chester to search for the trail.
However, he noticed another dog on the other side of the carriage.
Unsure of what the second dog was, he lifted it up, only to have it snap at him.
Regardless, he told the two dogs to find the trail.
Both dogs seemed to ablige Ice Bear, but while the new dog pointed ahead, Chester pointed back in the opposite direction.
Upset at the situation, he decided to follow Chester, alone, while the others would follow the other dog (slowly recognized as Winber).
Winber continued to follow the scent. After some tracking, he was able to do what was thought impossible till now, and find Drop hiding in a haystack on a short building.
Drop had tracked the creature till it found a place to rest and lick its wounds.
Drop silenced Winber and pointed out the werewolf.
She then got out of the haystack and made her way over to her target.
Not willing to let it get away this time, she took her shortsword of frost and drove it into the creature’s back.
Realizing that something was dropping down from above at a quick pace, she moved herself away just enough to evade the attack.
A figure decked out in black platemail was standing over what was left of the werewolf, bits and chunks strewn about, with a greatsword sticking out of the top.
Pulling the greatsword out. The person, in a gruff voice, asked Drop who she was and what she thought she was doing.
Ferrand turned to Rio and mentioned that the man in platemail was Gram Longfellow, their target.
Drop scoffed at the heavily armored figure and wiped her blade on his armor.
Noticing him lift his blade, Drop struck Grahm and started running at full speed away.
Grahm disappeared from the top of the building and reappeared in front of Drop and sliced her with the blade.
The others prepared for battle and did what they could to take down their new foe.
Ice Bear heard the voice of Drop yelling for him to return, as they were in combat.
Tired of chasing Chester and unsure of his path, Ice Bear picked up the dog and ran back in the other direction.
While the group managed to strike Grahm a few times, this only seemed to anger him.
Grahm slammed his sword into the earth and pulled out a greataxe, this time slicing through Drop and Birel like a knife through butter.
Rio, worried for his friends, asked Ferrand to put on his armor so he could tell the others to disengage before Grahm would execute them.
Bringing them to the ground, the remaining two surrendered and requested that they would leave him be.
While he looked furious, Grahm didn’t seem to budge as Stolkey and Winber carefully walked over to save the others from the brink of death.
Drop, waking up first, began to scoff at Grahm again.
Grahm picked up Drop, and began threatening her that if they didn’t leave the city, he would end their lives if he saw them again.
Instead, Drop saw this as her chance, and struck the side of his head with a dagger.
She watched as the blade made contact with his head, it didn’t pierce his flesh as she intended. However, it seemed to leave a deep mark in the side of his face.
Enraged, Grahm dropped Drop to the ground, lifted his axe, and began chopping it into Drop’s back.
The first strike knocked her unconscious.
The second went into her back, through her armor and flesh, straight into the ground below.
Blood spattered across the other’s faces, covering their shocked expressions.
Grahm turned around, looking at the other’s faces with a rage that seemed unquenched.
As the others backed up, not wanting to fight any longer, Grahm disappeared once more, reappearing over to his sword.
Lifting it up, he turned and repeated himself, telling the group to leave immediately or they would be hunted down and killed like the werewolves they were hunting.
The three looked over at Drop, realizing that their powers of healing wouldn’t be enough to bring her back.
Drop was dead.
Ice Bear managed to reach the group, seeing the others looking back and forth at each other, unsure of what to do now.
Enraged, he began picking each of the group up and tossing them into the carriage.
He had to find Rio now that they knew he was alive, and he had to find a place to hide, now that they were no longer welcome in the city.
Meanwhile, Rio demanded again that he needed to reunite with his friends. He also asked Ferrand if there was anything he could do about drop.
Ferrand explained that while curing lycanthropy was difficult, raising the dead back to their former life was nearly impossible. However, he would get them on the right path if they wished, as long as they continued to help with his plan.
Rio didn’t quite trust Ferrand and asked how he would hold up his end of the bargain.
Ferrand, tired of convincing, pulled off his glove, stabbed his hand enough to draw blood, and held it out to Rio.
Rio did the same.
They blindfolded Rio, before Rio felt an odd hand grab his and drag him off through the catacombs.
Eventually, Ice Bear noticed Rio being led through the streets by what looked like some bird person.
Both groups stopping for a moment, the bird person lifted Rio’s blindfold.
Rio, seeing his group, ran off to greet his friends.
Instead, Ice Bear lifted Rio and tossed him into the carriage.
When he returned to the front, he noticed the bird person sitting shotgun.
Not one to care about this, Ice Bear drove the cart through the city, searching for a place to lay low.
Finding another inn, the group parked their carriage and made their way to their room.
The group rested for the night.
When they awoke, Ferrand had located their room and decided to drop in.
He greeted the bird person, addressing him as Rain (which explained the sound of water hitting a window during a storm that he made).
He explained that Rio had agreed that in exchange for helping them with their task (mentioning Grahm’s relic), and giving them a lead on resurrecting their friend, the group would help lure the wardens and their leader away from their keep long enough for Ferrand’s men to break in, take the relic (and a few other acquisitions) and escape.
They didn’t need to kill any of them, just distract them long enough to let the others carry out the plan.
The trick would be to get the wardens’ attention with their standard prey.
Winber would provide a wolf’s… scent for the group to help attract other werewolves.
Ice Bear would be the bait for some werewolves, waiting in a designated location with meat, blood, and the scent from Winber.
Meanwhile, Birel would be used for her speed. Able to outrun the wardens, she would be tasked with luring them over to Ice Bear’s location, where the werewolves would have been already lured to.
Stolkey would be needed to keep the others alive and provide support from a distance.
Rio would be positioned at a distance to pick off the enemies without coming into direct harm.
Rain was told that he would assist the group, as he was more of a fighter than a rogue anyways. He would provide support during the mission to give the wardens a better challenge.
Drop’s body was wrapped in a blanket after Stolkey preserved the body as best he could.
Ice Bear brought the body out to the carriage to take with them.