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January 6, 2009

Beware of the Dog

Astrid's Journal

14 Lamashan 4709 AR

We were shown a locket with a picture of Lucinda and told she was “standoffish” with interests in falconry and gnomish poetry (I did not even know there was such a thing). We were told that our inside man is a carriage coachman called Rathas that would be taking Lucinda to her family once we rescued her. If she didn’t come willingly, we were supplied with a white powder to add to her drink to knock her out.

Our new personas for the evening are as follows:

Zandu: Alexandru Romantis, a silk merchant
Salma: Tatiana, wife of Alexandru
Tythe: Varuna Elendar, an emissary from Kyonin
Astrid: Astrid, Linnorm bodyguard of Varuna.

Hmph. Obviously, someone assumes I can not act. At least my dress clothes allowed for my claymore this way.

The ball was very interesting. We were announced as we arrived, as if we were royalty. We opted to split up, so Tythe and I went to the bar while Zandu and Salma went off to mingle or whatever. I noticed that there were huge windows that looked out on to a garden, a rather nice orchestra, and a buffet beyond the bar. Tythe and I just listened to the gossip around us, and did manage to hear that some local nobles had been disappearing and a rumor of ghostly figures in the Puddles before our target arrived: Antione Toresco and Lady Lucinda were announced, followed by someone called Marlis, who looked exactly like Nessiam. At that point I mentally decided I would add a task to our evening’s business and Tythe and I moved closer to where Nessiam was headed. He was at the bar asking a man called Ilias how his trip had been when we purposely bumped into them; while Tythe managed to distract Ilias, I swooped in on “Marlis” and managed to get him to the dance floor. I got very little information out of him, learning that he dealt in “antiquities” and lived locally. I steered him towards some semi-private seating briefly after the dance was over, and was able to get close enough for a kiss, but I was and am still not sure that he was the same man— had there been an easy way to rip one of his sleeves off to look for tattoos, I would have done so. I was just about to suggest we go somewhere alone so I could do just that, when he abruptly kissed my hand and apologized for having to depart so early!

Several other men left the ballroom at that time, including Antoine Toresco, which at least meant there was an opportunity to get Lucinda away from him. We eventually lured her to the “ladies’” bathroom (with Zandru even) to talk her into going with us, pointing out her fiancé was involved in some shady dealings. Somehow Zandru had a glass of alcohol with him (spiked with the white powder) which she absentmindedly took from him and drank. As soon as she was knocked out, the plan was to swap her clothes with Tythe’s (even though she’s a good foot taller), and Tythe would sneak out of the bathroom at a later time, while Salma and Zandru pretended to be taking the Kyonin emissary to her carriage. I opted to keep people in the ballroom by getting the orchestra to let me join them in song. I was actually keeping a pretty good crowd enthralled with a tune when Tythe came into the room naked and shrieking that she’d been robbed (at which point the orchestra abruptly stopped, the entire room’s attention turning to the unclothed elf). The Master of Ceremonies quickly found clothing for her and called a carriage, which we quickly and indignantly boarded. We headed off to the Golden Griffin, assured that Salma and Zandru had our quarry with them as their carriage headed to the Salty Dog.

Posted by Kristin at 16:52 | Astrid’s Journal