PREVIOUSLY ON LOST…
We ran all over the place and got in a bunch of trouble. Nalia was extremely bad at lying and Sharzad and Riaeki tried to make a distraction, and Afa cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. We got the heck outta there!!! Sharzad fought tied up her fake dad and took him to the sewer. Riaeki and Sharzad had an important conversation about trust and their pasts. Meanwhile, Afa has charmed fake dad (Ravi) into thinking she too is a prisoner of the gang…
The gang discuss what to do next. Sharzad suspects Nalia and Afa cast a spell on her mom, but Nalia is a bad liar and Afa is a good one (#TEAMWORK) Meanwhile, Riaeki goes to ask Ravi if he has anything else to tell them (she STEPS on him). He tells her that all Imperial guards were a locator charm under the skin. Riaeki is unimpressed with his attempts to make a deal and thinks he is hiding something.
Sharzad comes back after talking with Nalia and Afa, and insists on healing [guards] name. She then explains she was only where she was to check on her mother. He tells her she (Sharzad) is only one person but she says there are FOUR of us….;_; and then explains a little about who each of us are. Unfortunately this kinda messes a bit with the charm person Afa casts on him. He tells them some more info about the emperor etc…Riaeki’s detect thoughts spell fades out.
Eventually the gang decides to take Ravi with them as they try to find the rebels. Sharzad realizes she doesn’t have her bearings beneath the ground. Afa gets sent to look up above ground to see where they are but she doesn’t see much. Riaeki uses her holy symbol to get some directions, which are basically just to go to the left. Riaeki throws her glow globe as they walk, as its quite dark after sunset especially.
After a bit, the gang hear some voices and out the light. They call out and Ravi says “I’m here! They have me tied up!” Chaos ensues!!!!! Ravi tells the guards to call for reinforcements and some steps above retreat. Meanwhile there’s still the guard in front of them. Riaeki casts misty step~ *
The gang high tail it outta there. Nalia is able to get pretty far away and the rest follow. But after a minute or so a loud bell starts ringing— the alarm has been sounded! After a bit they all rest and Sharzad tries to figure out where they are. They are in the blacksmith’s corridor, which Sharzad is familiar with. She knows the way to the rebel caves from here.
After about a half hour they have to EMERGE from the sewer. Sharzad goes first and the rest follow. Everyone is pretty stealthy!!!! They come to a natural cliff opening that is fairly wide. It’s the cave entrance…a slight breeze blows out of the cave, smelling slightly of rotten eggs. They go in.
The father they go in the worse the sulfurous smell gets stronger. Eventually they come to a natural hot spring/pool. Beside it are mining carts filled with a strange powdery substance. Sharzad takes a pouchful of the stuff. They all continue down.
The more caverns and tunnels they go through the less it looks like a mining operation. Eventually the tunnels seem to be naturally formed rather than the result of mining. Sharzad hears something faintly in the distance— “I think we have company.”
About ten people in ragged clothing, mostly orcs, surround the group.
Sharzad recognizes an orc when she steps forward— Mithra. She tells the group to announce themselves & their business— or die. As soon as Sharzad says who she is, she snaps to attention.
“Sharzad? What are you doing here?”
“I…came to help. There are my friends.” Everyone intros themselves. Sharzad says they’re here because of the rebels to be executed, and that they’re here to help. Mithra says “Follow me.”
After some time of walking, they enter a giant cavern. Sharzad has been here before and knows its beyond the city walls. Everyone is taken to a room. Mithra dismisses everyone except one other orc. She closes the door. Then she asks how the group plans to help. Sharzad explains she has trained, and her friends are accomplished.
Sharzad: You’re alive.
Mithra: Only by the grace of others.
She then explains she was captured shortly after Sharzad escaped, and spent five years in the gladiator arena. She says there was a time when she blamed S for what happened (to ?) but then she was there— and she does not blame her anymore. Sharzad embraces her and weeps. They exchange friendly greetings now. Everyone introduces themselves again and says what they can do— what they’re good at. When Riaeki explains herself, Mithra says “A fellow paladin!” and shakes her hand.
They discuss further what everyone can do and what they know. Mithra also explains that she did not win her freedom, she was freed: by Huma. Sharzad doesn’t know who this is but the name is the same as a mythological bird. Whoever they are, they are an invisible helper— and work in the Winter Palace.
Sharzad then tells everyone her “bad idea” — which is essentially finding where the guards and firing her gun so they wake up and chase her, and meanwhile there is a window to free the imprisoned rebels. Or— ambush and capture the guards to embarrass the empire. Mithra outlines some of the risks. There’s more planning to do, but first…the gang goes to sleep.
But first…as Sharzad leaves the room, she almost runs into Riaeki. Riaeki pulls her into another room and shows the last shot of her memory wine (???) to Sharzad if she wants to speak to her brother. But she warns it has never shown her who she wanted each time she’s taken it. Sharzad gently pushes Riaeki’s hand and the shot back.
“I thought you said you’d do anything.”
Sharzad says that she hopes Riaeki knows she didn’t want Riaeki to buy the wine. Riaeki says if it helps, the wine has been completely unhelpful, and then takes the last shot. Crestfallen, Sharzad leaves.
She sees her sister in a tavern. She looks about 14. Riaeki bangs her hand on the table and says
“This isn’t who I wanted to see!”
“Who did you want to see?”
“Could you become him if I asked?”
“Then I want to talk to Saiid”
He appears before her, smiling. Riaeki is shaken. She wants to know if he’s ok, but she knows “he” doesn’t know.
“I think you know by now what this is.” He leans forward and presses a finger to her temple. “I know what you know.”
“Then tell me something I already know. Tell me..tell me a story.”
“A story…” He tells her he remembers when they first pulled her from the sea, and they speak of memories from her time there. “I thought for certain you must have been a sailor before.”
Riaeki wishes Saiid could tell her if he’s alive, but he’s her memory. Even so, she tells him she misses him every day and that she’s sorry she ruined his life. He says he’s sure he understands. She says she hopes he’s alive to curse her every day. The looks away and the light from the window grows lighter and lighter, and then turns to darkness. And she wakes up.
In the morning, Sharzad is running around looking for saltpeter. She gets all her supplies together and starts making up a huge batch of blackpowder. Riaeki helps with the tunnels, Afa plays a song to lift people’s spirits, and Nalia accidentally flirts with the sword guard man (Idez).
After some time Sharzad bursts out with her blackpowder but then rushes off again for more preparations.
Later in the day, a runner rushes in and hands Mithra a scroll. By now, most people are congregated in the center. The scroll contains information from Huma. It is specifically about the prison where the rebels are being kept. It is difficult to get to, but the good news is the execution itself is not to be in the palace— but in the arena. This is important mostly because it means the guards will have to move the prisoners.
Sharzad speaks up and says in fact the weakest point is the gladiator pits, which will have fewer guards because of the prisoners being in transit. So the group should release the gladiators there, and have them attack the captors, and then use the ensuing chaos to escape. Riaeki suggests that perhaps the group switch some of the captors out for themselves. Mithra is unsure, since Riaeki and Afa especially would stand out. Riaeki then suggests posing as guards instead. Mithra says she thinks now they have the beginning of a plan…