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Arannis Falone

Character Info
Name: Arannis Falone
Age: 39, appears 30
Alignment: LE
Race: Half-Elf
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Silver: 2006
Late in the night, Arannis stepped out the front door of the inn. The moon was just as bright as it had been the previous night, and guided Arannis’ way through the city. He walked along the main canal. He carefully made it back to where the largest canal intersected the largest roadway. He took a few moments to look about, but eventually noticed a figure hiding in the shadows. His contact, he presumed. He approached the figure and they spun around, dagger in hand. It was the same boy from last night. His eyes were filled with fear, this task was clearly not one he was comfortable with.

“The money?” The boy quickly whispered.

Arannis pulled a small sack of coins from his bag and handed them over. At first the boy looked prepared to run, but Arannis locked eyes with him. His gaze was frigid enough that the boy shivered. He stayed in place.

“Who was the mage that attacked you?” Arannis asked.

“I don’t know who he is. He’s. . . There’s three of them. They showed up a month ago. They started asking for a cut of what everyone in the district got. They. . . they killed the ones who refused. It was horrible. The flames, they burnt away all his skin, and his flesh, down to the bone. I still, he screamed so loud as he died. Look, they’re bad business. I shouldn’t even be talking to you. They want other stuff sometimes too. Not money. They want blood. They take it from us. I felt really sick for a week after he took mine. I felt like I was dying.”

Arannis nodded, taking in what the urchin had said. He pulled out a second, smaller sack of coin and handed it over, “Meet me again in a week. There will be more coin.”

The kid snatched up the pouch and turned to dart off into the night.

Albrecht Krieger

Character Info
Name: Albrecht Krieger
Age: 31
Alignment: TG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: Fencer/Mercenary
Silver: 305
Once the boy had moved on, Albrecht stepped out of his own shadow. He had always been a light sleeper and had quickly been ready to step after his recent employer, able to keep out of sight and relying on his soft soled shoes to avoid detection. His dark gray cloak obscured his jack qnd his weapons but those who recognised his type could tell what he was at a glance.

The fencer had little doubt that Arannis knew he was there; he had no proof but the mage just seemed he sort. Without announcing his presence, Albrecht said, "So, blood magic." It was only barely a question. "Some new racket to get ahold of ritual items." The well lit night made it easy to move without stumbling and the mercenary came to a stop behind Arannis. "I'm guessing you want to get involved? Go after the other two or something?"
Kiratta

Character Info
Name: Kallistrate
Age:
Alignment: TN
Race: Sylvan
Gender: Female
Class:
Silver: 273
Kallistrate had made her way with in hearing range to hear at least part of the conversation. And while she wasn't what she would call a mage herself, she knew enough to know that blood magic was not something one simply dabbled in. Nor was it usually practiced by the most …decent of people. None the less there was clearly some kind of plan, or at least something that could vaguely be called a plan and there were other people about who knew it better than her. So for now she allowed other people to take the lead, so to speak.

"Or maybe you just want to see what kind of creature a really creative mage would turn you into." She interjected, clearly having heard the last part of the conversation. "If it is blood magic, and who knows if it is or not, it is not the most balanced kind of magic. It tends to attract a certain kind of person. Most of them aren't the hug and make up type. So I suggest having a well formed plan before doing anything that might be seen as rash." 
Arannis Falone

Character Info
Name: Arannis Falone
Age: 39, appears 30
Alignment: LE
Race: Half-Elf
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Silver: 2006
Arannis turned to face his two companions. He nodded at the fencer, saying, “I am interested in investigating these mages, yes.”

He then turned to Kallistrate, “Blood magic is an often misused and misunderstood field. While it is true that a lesser mage such as the type Albrecht slew could use minor blood magics for simple augmentation rituals, improving one’s strength or speed or arcanum, more experienced practitioners could have loftier goals. Blood magic could be used as an easy route to minor powers, but its true potential involves more finesse than many other magics."

He paused for a moment before continuing, "I wouldn’t expect the average power-hungry warlock to be studious enough to master the runes behind truly impressive feats of blood magic. An organized racket seeking these kinds of magics is unlikely to be doing so for but a drop of power, I suspect this is meant to serve some kind of higher purpose.”

Arannis looked back at Albrecht and said, “What do you think? Are you aware of any fledgling cults in the region? What about mundane crime syndicates? Else, we could begin a search at the source, where these mages trained, or through more direct methods.”

Albrecht Krieger

Character Info
Name: Albrecht Krieger
Age: 31
Alignment: TG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: Fencer/Mercenary
Silver: 305
When the woman quipped at Albrecht's expense, the swordsman gave a mirthless chuckle. "Probably wouldn't even take," he muttered under his breath.

Returning to the conversation at hand, he thought a while before saying, "Honestly, you'd be surprised what people would do for nothing 'but a drop of power.' I mean," he continued, half-laughing. "Pick your vice: Pride, Wrath, Envy…Lust. All it has to do is make sense to them and that's enough." Still, what did he know about magic? Maybe things were different in such cases.

As the trio contemplated their next step, Albrecht found himself at a loss. "I'm not particularly pious so I don't really keep up wth the religious community. And, whenever possible, I stay a stranger toward the criminal element: easier for me that way. Perhaps we can try and find more information on the man I killed: name, background, whatever. That could yield more usable information to build on later."

Glancing to the newcomer, Albrecht took the opportunity to say, "By the way, I'm Albrecht, in case you didn't know. Pleasure." He offered an opened hand to her as his greeting.
Kiratta

Character Info
Name: Kallistrate
Age:
Alignment: TN
Race: Sylvan
Gender: Female
Class:
Silver: 273
Kallistrate shrugged at the longer speech regarding blood magics, granted she had some small amount of innate magical talent, which had been used on occasion to lure humans and other races who might be seen as snacks into the forest and to their deaths. Kallistrate, herself had never eaten any one of course and like to think most of it was bad public relations. "Well, if it was for power, it would stand to reason it would be some one who was at least in some political position to begin with, or some one who wants to be in them, maybe a priest of some sort or the other. I doubt some one who wants to keep a roof over their head and feed their children is going to take up blood magic as a hobby." Although, she had to admit it might be a good place for some one with those goals in mind would be to hide among the poor and the masses.

 "If I were trying not to attract attention, I would clearly hide where no one would bother to look, though. Which means laying under cover among the little people, so to speak isn't out of the question either. Whose going to go door to door in some poor neighborhood looking for rogue mages."  She took the offered hand regarding him for a moment, having clearly not met him yet. "Kallistrate." She would offer her own name, as clearly they were introducing themselves at this point. 
Arannis Falone

Character Info
Name: Arannis Falone
Age: 39, appears 30
Alignment: LE
Race: Half-Elf
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Silver: 2006
Arannis chuckled a bit when Albrecht pointed out how far some people could go for even a drop of power. The man was right, Arannis would need not to assume that others in this area would share his logic of maximizing investment when dealing with the forces of magic. Less rational individuals might sacrifice much for little gain. Abrecht’s suggestion that they seek information on the slain man was a good one.

“Perhaps we should pay the town guard a visit then,” Arannis suggested, “see if we can inquire into the status of the investigation.”

Arannis thought for a bit. He still did not want to associate his name with such messy business as this, especially not on this side of the investigation. But on the other hand, approaching the guard openly at his finest and perhaps tossing a bit of coin around would surely loosen lips. However, were those lips so easily loosened his involvement would become known far too readily. No, he would maintain the guise he used that night instead, he would avoid attracting the attention of the guards while working on this side of the investigation. Let them believe Albrecht is the only one of importance between the pair of them, keep Arannis’ involvement minimized.

Kallistrate spoke next. Political ties were a valid motivation, “I wonder,” Arannis asked of the pair, “what the current political climate in the region is. How secure is the government of this city? This country? Are either of you aware of any recent stirrings? People have killed for far less than maintaining control of even a section of local government. Though, blood magic is far from the most obvious method of manipulating the political spectrum.”

Political motivations could certainly make things interesting. A local governor might feel threatened and bend to the will of underworld types to maintain control, or a guard commander might be let in on the take of crime in exchange for taking a side in a mob war. Such situations often led to a web of deception and betrayal, it would be most interesting to unravel if that were the case.

“Perhaps,” Arannis proposed, “Tomorrow morning you can lead us back to the guards we spoke with, Albrecht. We can inquire on the status of their investigation, see if they are willing to divulge any information on the identity of the man you slew. It will certainly give us a lead if they are willing, and if they are unwilling then it tells us the man was of some kind of importance, and other powers are keeping them from disclosing the information. Either way, we have something to gain.”

He then turned to their new companion, “And afterwards, perhaps we can begin to investigate the local political sphere. I have heard rumors of an event being held, a gala by some local bureaucrat. What do you think it would take to get the three of us invited to such an affair? It would be quite the opportunity to gain both information and influence, if things should go well.”

Arannis gazed into the night where his informant had fled, “In the meantime, I will also see what my sources can turn up in these areas of society. Perhaps others in this area of the city have heard more, it may be possible to dredge up some information.” Arannis wondered if he could manage another summoning ritual. His last was quite successful, and having an extra pair of eyes would not be wasted. However, his list of Names was not infinite. It might be better to avoid calling upon such resources until necessary, especially given the associated cost.

Albrecht Krieger

Character Info
Name: Albrecht Krieger
Age: 31
Alignment: TG
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: Fencer/Mercenary
Silver: 305
"Hm," the swordsman mused, touching a knuckle to his lip. "Sadly, I don't know much about the politics here besides gossip by traders and what most consider common knowledge. Stable council to ensure peace and understanding. Hard to say how much is true and how much is propaganda." Personally, Albrecht found he was not fond of the idyllic city; the culture seemed to favor mages as a whole and those who did not or could not…

Glancing at Kallistrate, the man added, "And I doubt any religious leaders are going to be looking to gain a foothold in politics. The mage Council is pretty adamant about its ban on public displays of faith. Although," he continued, his attention shifting to Arannis. "If there is a possible blood mage cult, the Council might deem it a direct threat to their authority."

Albrecht began to retrace the path back to the inn. "Anyway, we should probably speak more over breakfast. If we linger too long here, I may have to stab someone again. And that," he said, holding up a finger to emphasize his point. "That would just make any further inquiries…awkward."

While he made no mention of it, Albrecht had noticed the mage attempt to keep his identity hidden, or at least obscured. The swordsman resolved to handle the guards alone. It would be wholy believable for a man to offer condolences to a dead man's family or friends.
bob_bobinson

Character Info
Name: Borton Roth
Age: 21 yrs
Alignment: LN
Race: Human
Gender: Male
Class: Sorcerer
Silver: 40
"Ave you found yourself's investigaeting an intrigue plot?"
You hear as a man in a purple cloak steps out from the shadows(as is tradition)
"I would like to offer my services. Unfortunately, Ise wont be risking anything if i dont think i couldnt get somthin out of it. Been in this half of the continent for naught 2 weeks, ise came here seeking some sort of knowledge or adventure. I know where i wont to go, but little is in my possession. Rather running dry. I wont be asking you of anything. But you must know my intentions of getting something out of this before I offer my services as a sorcerer to your party. Im not yet sure what I will find, but Ise am quite sure id find it if you fine folks would let me tag along."

After a short pause, the man continues.

"Not yet do I have a vested interest in the politics of the area, or too many connections, but I would like to get my leg in the door.

Bedsides, my craft is one that i can confidently say may be of use on your venture
."

B. Roth

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