The trip to Thrushmoore was tense, the party constantly feeling watched. Upon arrival, rumors abounded about ghosts in the chapel and common folk gone missing.
The spirits had some answers for us that evening:
- Professor Mari Sirinov is in Thrushmoore, but is not a member of the Whispering Way. She is associated with them however.
- She works for Count Haserton Lowls IV, whose palace is on Iris Hill
We know the name of Haserton from the dinner party that Kendra held back in Ravengro, where Horace Fitzherbert was quoting his rant against Dr. Meirtmane, Lim Weftharper’s mentor. He claims that 2 mysterious pillars known as Starstilae (possibly a 3rd on Iris Hill) are proof of Kellid barbarian rituals.
Lim Weftharper however, has a professor that claims there were no Kellids in Versex.
Versex was never directly controlled by the Whispering Tyrant.
In other news, an up-and-comer new merchant is in town by the name of Yolanda Otarov. She has become quite the trendsetter in Thrushmoore and her fashion sense is all the rage.
Following up on the rumors of local missing persons, we found something odd with our Palatine Eye contacts. Some of them had just up and left Thrushmoore in the last few months, while the remaining ones seemed to have no idea what the P.E. was and didn’t know any of the code words. They all mentioned Yolanda and the few we could check had auras of magic about them.
Suspecting some kind of mind control magic might be at work, Kelda cast a Protection From Evil spell on one of the merchants and she immediately behaved differently. She remembered meeting a pretty lady at a bar and asked us to get a message to the P.E. that “Raven’s Solarace was not completed” and that the agent assigned had disappeared. With only a few minutes to work we questioned the merchant as much as possible and tried to assist her in breaking free of the magic once the protection was over.
After that was done we went to the temple and purchased a Sending to alert Judge Embreth Daramid of the message we had received.
In the mean time, Ronit investigated the stables and discovered a letter left in some saddlebags by one of the Dark Riders. The letter instructed the rider to feign going south to Illmarsh, then cut north and east to Redleaf.
Our next stop was to dinner at Yolanda’s…at her invitation. Our visits to the P.Eye contacts had not gone unnoticed. We were escorted to a dining room, and when the other guests arrived they were not guests at all, but Greedspawn. They were dispatched with little effort, but we were only able to track them back to a secret entrance from the sewers.
Upon returning to the dining room, the bodies of the Greedspawn had been removed and replaced with bodies of servants. The city guard was alerted and Kelda and Nikola went to delay them while Ronit and Shiogi continued to search the estate.
Yolanda had brought the guards and attempted to use her mind control magic on them to get the group arrested. When that tactic didn’t work, she disappeared. The guards took that and the word of two agents of the church that there was something fishy going on and Kelda and Nikola were allowed to join in the search of the house.
A symbol of the Demon of Whispers indicated a secret door leading to a fancy bedchamber. Corpses of two nobles drained of their energy (with no visible wounds) lay on the floor. The first was a Palatine Eye contact, the other was the Raven’s Solarace agent.
Behind a large mirror in the room was a symbol of the Demon of Whispers drawn in blood….perhaps a summoning rune of some kind. The party defaced the rune.
Guessing the rune had something to do with the mind control on the Palatine agents, we made contact with the agent Kelda had helped earlier, who had regained her memory. The agent agreed to spread the word to evacuate the other agents, and Nicola intimidated the agent into revealing some information to him alone.
We alerted the guard to everything that we had found and left it to them to do the cleanup.
After all of this, we received yet another invitation…from Mari Sirinov.
Her estate was strange, with a spiraling walkway. We were instructed not to deviate from the path, and despite some strange sounds along the trip, we arrived unmolested.
Once inside, Sirinov had much to say on the topics of the Palatine Eye, Whispering Tyrant, the Tenebreous Veil, and the Dark Tapestry. She claimed that her work with demons and the Whispering Way were a means to stop the Dark Tapestry. She also knew of the Palatine Eye’s plot to assassinate the Count… a plan known as Raven’s Solarace. The Palatine Agents were all silenced at once as a warning sign that such an attempt would not be tolerated; Sirinov warned that further Agents who attempted to infiltrate Thrushmoore would be dealt with more harshly.
On questioning, she admitted serving as a liaison to the Whispering Way, to see if that group would be worth allying with. But, she chose to end her association with the Whispering Way, deeming the Whispering Tyrant too great a threat. In breaking things off, she sent one of the dark riders to mischief in Illmarsh, neglecting to warn him of the surge of Dark Tapestry activity in the area.
Kelda told Sirinov that she was under arrest for her crimes and a battle began. Sirinov led off by summoning a couple of demons, and then let them do the fighting for her while she watched the group. Her magic was devoted to holding the party back rather than directly assaulting them. Near the end of the battle, she offered to give Shiogi the book he was looking for in exchange for doing a task for her. He reluctantly refused. Once the demons had been dispatched and the party was closing in on her, she used some power to send the group back to the inn.