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The Chamber of Eyes (Part I of Thunderspire Labyrinth)

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The Ordinator Arcanis nods, acknowledging Azad's request. He looks to his left slowly, then to his right, meeting the eyes of each enforcer. They quickly scatter and you can hear Brugg and his canine departing from beyond the ice wall. A few minutes pass before the Ordinator comes down the steps from the minotaur statue. With a casual gesture, the wall of ice spontaneously melts and flows into the river.

"Let's head to Mistress Halfmoon's inn." he suggests and without waiting for a reply walks across the bridge past you and towards the inn, clearly expecting you to follow. Weary and somewhat relieved you head after him.

User posted image
The Seven-Pillared Hall

As you approach the Halfmoon Inn trailing after the Ordinator who has already entered, you slow down warily when you realize all is eerily quiet. Entering through the double doors you catch the last of what the Ordinator is saying. "...and be so kind to supply us with food and drink." Glancing your way, the Ordinator gestures, then walks into the small private dining room.

Rendil and Erra Halfmoon stare at you with open mouths, realizing you will be dining with the Ordinator Arcanis. Then they notice your bloody clothes, half-healed wounds and weary look. They also catch sight of Susana Wrafton who looks even worse. Erra's hospitality kicks in and she rushes around the counter to gently guide Susana away to a single room after she queries you about who she is. Rendil, not at all loud and sassy as you recall, guides you to the dining room where the Ordinator is already sitting. He then rushes back and forth with clean water, towels, drinks, and finally food.

Gradually, the quieted patrons begin speaking again, realizing that no swift justice is about to befall any of them. Bennik begins playing a sorrowful tune and sings a song of forlorn love "I----- once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me..." He is soon surrounded by sighing teenage girls. Just before the door to the dining room is closed, you see Vadriar looking at you curiously and also catch sight of the hooded man with his pipe, whom you were told is Terrlen Darkseeker, enter the inn and go to his usual spot.

After the door is closed, the Ordinator goes to it and casts an incantation on the lock. He then spins his staff around a few times, murmuring. Corydimbiddle recognizes that he has magically locked the door and secured the room from eavesdropping. Sitting again, the Ordinator looks at each of you slowly before speaking. "I apologize for Brugg's insensitivity. I told him that your actions have sparked my interest and I would like to speak with you. I didn't think he would become overzealous. When I sensed the magical energies localizing on the Hall's bridge, I came to investigate. None too soon I see. Thank you for dining with me despite how you've been treated. An introduction might be in order now. I am the current Ordinator Arcanis, but my real name is Orontor, one of the Mages of Saruun." As he says this, Orontor removes his golden mask. Underneath you see what looks like a middle-aged man, but his eyes belie his age and you guess he is several decades older.

User posted image
(Ordinator Arcanis - Orontor)

Bennik the Wanderer: J11, halfling minstrel
Vadriar the Sage: L7
Terrlen Darkseeker: G4
Erra Halfmoon: N6
Rendil Halfmoon: N8
Ordinator Arcanis (Orontor): E13

User posted image
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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With nervous fidgeting, Harkin looks like he wants to say something. Still, he remains silent and looks toward the other party members, letting on of them break the brief silence.
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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"Well! You are an unexpectedly quiet lot. I suppose light and shadow, whence your name comes, don't make much noise either. I'm used to awe and silence from the Hall's populace when they see the Ordinator Arcanis, but thought upsiders might feel less daunted. Is there nothing you wish to say or ask?" says Orontor, a smirk appearing on his face. He grabs a sweet bun and throws a slab of juicy brisket on it before taking a bite.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Looking at the food before them, Harkin finally asks, "How is heated animal flesh?"
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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The knowledge seeker in her comes up with many questions she might could ask - about the slave trade, the political structure of the Seven Pillared Hall, what Brugg's role is, etc. However the less trusting gith within her limits Edeya to only ask "Tell us who you are and what you want with us."
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Azad angrily demands "How can you allow this filthy slave trade to flourish under your authority? This whole labyrinth place seems to be full of shady characters and wicked people. Disgusting! It makes me want to take a nice, long bath." She shudders for emphasis.
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
« Last edit by Gary on Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:35 pm. »
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Looking first at Harkin, Orontor answers after taking a swallow of wine. "This morsel is among the best cooked meat in the Labyrinth. Mistress Halfmoon is a far better cook than Rothar will ever be. Even so, I choose not to speculate on the nature of the meat itself. Best not to ask." he says cheerfully.

He looks at Edeya and his face loses all good-naturedness. "I have already told you who I am, which is far more polite conversation than any of you have offered so far. Then again, you maybe guess correctly that I already know quite a bit about you. As to what I want with you, well, let's just say I have heard about your encounter with the Bloodreavers and am intrigued. Intrigued and even considering hiring you for an expedition."

Orontor turns his attention to Azad and his face darkens in anger at her words. "You throw words about you like a child throwing a tantrum! Shady the Labyrinth may be, but wickedness can be seen in both the light and the darkness. Slave trade is not a business activity that we Mages of Saruun condone! Unfortunately, even the eye of Saruun does not see all."
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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"Mr. Orontor, we are exhausted and have a hard day ahead of us tomorrow, searching for a little girl who has already had too much trouble in her life. If you don't intend to arrest or detain us, I think we would all like to sleep as soon as possible."
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Mal Geminous - Tiefling Warlord, Scales of War
Corydimbiddle - Gnome Artificer, Points of Light
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Orontor looks at Corydimbiddle with a blank expression for several seconds. Then his face softens as he says, "You are quite right Master Corydimbiddle. It must not have been easy to infiltrate the Chamber of Eyes. I....wish that I could let you seek rest immediately. However, after you hear my proposal you may find that our paths are somewhat aligned. And so the illusion of a pleasant dinner must end."

"You are seeking the girl named Anna, who was captured and enslaved by the Bloodreavers. I too am seeking someone lost, my apprentice Paldemar. He has gone missing on a mission for the Mages of Saruun. I, that is, we sent him on a mission to investigate where the Bloodreavers are taking the captured slaves and what they are being used for. I have not heard from Paldemar in many weeks, and the few reports I had received of his activities in the Labyrinth, indicated that he might have ventured into the territory of the Grimmerzhul duergar clan. I do not know to what end. Having heard of your exploits, I believe you to be uniquely qualified to discover the fate of my missing apprentice and hopefully be able to help him in his mission. Succeed and you will earn the gratitude of the Mages of Saruun. Is that acceptable?"
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Edeya seems surprised at Orontor's mention of a possible job "Brugg was about to arrest us, presumably under your orders, and now you say you were considering hiring us for and expedition? Excuse me if I seem less than polite, but I don't warm to threats and intimidation."

Still confused as to what role this Ordinator plays, she nonetheless becomes interested in his proposal "You say you are also interested investigating the slavers?"

OOC: I am honestly confused as to the relationship between Orontor, Brugg, the Mages of Sarrun and the Bloodreavers. I thought the Ordinator was like the mayor and Brugg was like the sherrif and the Mages were like the city council, no?
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Orontor looks at Edeya and responds. "As I said outside by the bridge, I asked Brugg to bring you to me and he clearly became overzealous. It is not in his nature to be polite or non-aggressive. He stepped out of bounds though when he launched a magical attack against you. Again, you have my apology for that. We do not...arrest people and lock them up in the Hall. If justice is needed then the Ordinator Arcanis deals with the matter immediately and permanently. As for intimidation, I am fully aware that I can come across as threatening. I hoped that taking off my mask and revealing my identity over a pleasant meal would put you more at ease." he says with a sardonic smile.

He continues "Regardless of your feelings, we do indeed have the common interest of investigating the slavers, as I had ordered Paldemar to do. The Bloodreavers, along with the Grimmerzhul clan, have gone too far with their clandestine operations in the Labyrinth. It is time for that to end. You are in a good position to follow-up on Paldemar's investigation, help him if needed, and discover what all those slaves are being used for."

Edeya senses that Orontor, while definitely interested in stopping the slavers, is hiding many, many things. She isn't sure though, if any of those things have something to do with the matter they are discussing. From his words, all of you realize that the Ordinator Arcanis and the other Mages of Saruun have absolute power in the Seven-Pillared Hall, acting as judge, jury, and perhaps even executioner. It's also clear by the fact that he sent his apprentice on a mission, that the influence of the Mages does not reach to all corners of the Thunderspire Labyrinth.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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"We're looking for Anna. There's no reason we can't keep our eyes open for your apprentice while we're at it."
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Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Harkin silently ponders Orontor's long sentences, trying to piece together his meanings.

Insight and Perception rolls (24Hr) (1d20+12+2=34, 1d20+12+2=23)

OOC: Nat 20 insight 8)
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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"That was also my thought." Orontor says in reply to Azad's statement, nodding towards her slightly.

Harkin, who has been mostly silent, has been covertly busy getting a sense for Orontor's body language, inflexion, how it matches his words, or even if he smells any pheromones of fear or aggression. Several things stand out for the dwarf druid.

Orontor is exhibiting extreme confidence and ease and doesn't feel the slightest bit threatened in the current situation, despite being in a room with the Lights Shadows. Harkin surmises that his arcane powers must be great enough that nothing they could do would harm him. Given this insight, Harkin wonders why Orontor would seek help from those he must consider weaker individuals.

Orontor is being honest when he says he didn't intend for Brugg to harm or even arrest them. At the same time though, if he didn't need their help, Harkin believes Orontor wouldn't have cared a whit for what Brugg might have done to them.

Orontor is also being honest about his disdain for slavery although Harkin senses a little more to it than just virtue. He feels that Orontor may perhaps be additionally angry at the current situation with Grimmerzhul duergar and Bloodreavers being able to do whatever they want under his nose.

Orontor appears to say "I" as opposed to "we" more often than might be expected when referring to the Mages of Saruun or about things that the Mages do. It somehow strikes Harkin as peculiar.

OOC: Thank you Nathan. I was waiting for some appropriate skill rolls to help you guys out. Now all Harkin has to do is try to communicate his insights clearly to the others. Not so easy with the hermit talk he uses, eh. ;)
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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"Orontor, why no send Brugg to find lost youngling?"
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Sentinel - Warforged Shielding Swordmage (Eberron)
Allena Walmond - Human Paladin of Amaunator (Forgotten Realms)
Variel - Elf Beastmaster Ranger
Thaelan the Clanless - Dwarf Protector Spirit Shaman (Dungeon Delve 4)
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Posts: 5084
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Azad smiles sweetly, "And since we were planning on routing out the slavers in any case, what would be the benefit to us for helping you?" diplomacy (1d20+11+2=27)
_______________
Salazar Miller - Human Sorcerer 24 - Scales of War
Azad Halim al'Zahir - Tiefling Battlemind|Paladin 7 - Points of Light
Khavak'aashta - Half-Orc Thief 5 - Eberron
Dwimmerlaik - Revenant Hexblade 2 - Dark Campaign
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Edeya looks around the room trying to catch Rendil or Erra's eye. She will have some questions for them before she retires for the evening.
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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"Send Brugg? Ha! Brugg is good enough at keeping the Hall's inhabitants from petty crime such as stealing, blackmail, and damage of property, but sending him on a mission into the Labyrinth would sorely tax his capacity for intellect. Not to mention that he isn't above the occasional bribe himself and isn't completely reliable. Look at what he tried doing to you out of his own initiative?"

Looking at Azad. "You speak of compensation other than the gratitude of the Mages of Saruun. If that is what it takes to garner your aid, then know that one of the Mages primary reason for establishing order in the Hall was to seek out and research ancient magical artifacts from the time the minotaur Empire of Saruun Khel. We have accumulated a small collection thus far and would be able to part with some."

Edeya looks around and remembers now why all the sound from the main room is gone. Orontor had closed the door, did something magical with it, and then cast some sort of spell to keep out all other sounds. She guesses that mean their sounds aren't going out either. Likely, Erra and her son Rendil are minding the bar this whole time at the other side of the closed door.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Orontor looks around at each of you. He then replaces the golden mask over his face. "It appears we have an agreement. Please do your best to locate my apprentice Paldemar and help him uncover what's happening to the slaves. If you wish to report your findings you can stand in front of the Minotaur Statue and ask out loud to speak with the Ordinator Arcanis." He stands up and is ready to leave.

OOC: I'll let you guys decide to ask anything else before tomorrow evening.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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After the mage leaves, Edeya seeks out Erra. The githzerai wants to learn more about Orontor and this magocracy before setting out. She also decides it is time to confront Terrlen Darkseeker.
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Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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After Orontor drops the silencing spell, the usual sounds of the inn accost your ears. You notice that they quickly die down as the Ordinator exits the dining room and walks out of the inn, only to pick up again after his departure.

Edeya heads into the main room and after only a few steps Rendil rushes over. "Oh boy, did you really just eat dinner with the Ordinator? Are all of you still alive? Any fingers or hands missing? You 'aven't been up to no good have you?"

His mother Erra comes over as well and shoves him aside. "You shut it now and go on back to tend the bar! Can't you see Edeya and the others look bone weary." After he reluctantly goes back she adds. "So, you gave us quite a scare bringing the Ordinator Arcanis here. If you want to make arrangements for sharing a private room with a man in future, you just have to let me know a little ahead of time." she finishes with a nervous sounding joke. It's clear to Edeya that the Ordinator coming into the Halfmoon Inn to dine is highly unusual and she's anxious about the reason why.

Bennik the Wanderer: J11, halfling minstrel
Vadriar the Sage: L7
Terrlen Darkseeker: G4
Erra Halfmoon: N6
Rendil Halfmoon: N8

User posted image

OOC: The map is valid, other than the Ordinator being gone already and Erra and Edeya now somewhere in the main room. The other locations still aply.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
« Last edit by Viktor on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:53 am. »
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Edeya answers apologetically, "I regret any upset we may have caused to you and your patrons. I'd never heard of Orontor until he detained us just now. And he expected us to be more polite..." Edeya pauses to consider, "Politeness, the most acceptable form of hypocrisy." Then she continues "He has some peculiar methods and I don't trust him a bit. Apparently he intended to hire us for a job." Shaking her head in dislike she continues, "We didn't actually agree that we'd work for him, but we'll walk along the path and see what fate has in store for us. He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned." Finally Edeya asks, "What can you tell me about Orontor in particular and the other Mages of Saruun?"
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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Erra's eyes widen at Edeya's words. She makes hushing noises with her arms and hands and whispers to her urgently. "Don't go about speaking ill of the Mages like that. Somebody is going to hear you and then they will find out. Are you saying the Ordinator Arcanis' name is also Orontor? Nobody I know has ever heard that name, but I'm not surprised since the Mages are very secretive. The Ordinator always appears wearing a golden mask, but from people's stories, he is sometimes taller or shorter or fatter depending on who you ask. Some even swear the Ordinator sounded like a woman to them."

She continues. "The Mages are pretty much why this place exists. You've probably heard about the origins of the Labyrinth and the Seven Pillared Hall since I saw you talking to Vadriar for so long earlier, but that was ancient past when minotaurs lived here. After they were gone, nobody except monsters and bandits hiding from the surface world used to live here. Well, the original Mages of Saruun, I think there were three of them, came here and established a sort of order. They cleaned up the place and made it possible for trade to begin flourishing. Since they've come, I heard tell that lots of trade with lower denizens and even the Underdark started up. They don't really care who lives here as long as nobody disrupts things in a big way. If there's ever a serious dispute, anyone can go up to the minotaur statue and call for them. Soon after, the Ordinator Arcanis appears and passes judgement on your dispute. From what I've heard and seen, they're harsh when they need to be, but never unfair"
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)
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Edeya nods appreciatively, "Interesting. Thank you for telling me that. I wouldn't be surprised if the mages take turn being Ordinator. And don't worry, we can take care of ourselves."

Then Edeya seeks out the man with the pipe. Weary from all the day's exertion and without any pretense, she simply asks "Are you Terrlen Darkseeker? If you've any interest in me our my group, speak now. Otherwise, just leave us alone."
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Dungeon Master - Scales of War
Edeya - Githzerai Seeker - Points of Light
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The hooded man puffs on his pipe, the embers flaring red, and blows smoke up calmly before raising his head to look at Edeya.

User posted image
(Terrlen Darkseeker)

"Yes. I am Darkseeker. I thought I was leaving you alone." he answers neutrally, a slightly bemused smile touching the corners of his lips and eyes. After another puff of smoke he adds. "You name yourselves Light's Shadow, interesting name. What brings you to the Hall? Other than rescuing stray halfings and their mothers inns that is." He still looks bemused, yet clearly interested in what Edeya's answer will be. She gets the sense that he is withdrawn, yet friendly to her, and that he is trying to decide something based on how she might respond.
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Ravenblade - Dwarf Two-Weapon Ranger, Hammer of Moradin (Scales of War)

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