The Unquiet Earth

Meanwhile, in Sagespire 2 & 3

After the debacle of “acquiring” Tallulah Benson, Merk and Lofren decided to take a little time off from talking to bards. They hired on as bodyguards at the local Merchant’s guild (called Tradesman’s Trade) using fake names (Vinni and Mors).
The female dwarvish secretary, Agnes, took down their information and set them up guarding a small cart on its way south to the small town of Saltmouth. The lone merchant, Leofric, was glad for the muscle. The muscle was mildly disappointed the Leofric was hauling lumber, and not anything worth stealing.
On the first night south, the party was attacked by a pair of Raccoons. Merk and Lofren killed the bandits and took their stuff. Leofric was very grateful.
The rest of the journey south was uneventful. In Saltmouth, “Vinni” lost a few silver playing dice with a halfling at the FiddlePot Inn. Lofren purchased some bling for Miss Agnes. In the morning, they reunited with Leofric and his new cartful of goods.
The first night north, Merk and Lofren examined the cargo, finding a chest full of embroidered silks and two casks of booze. Not sure of the value (or where to fence it), the two thieves decided to complete the bodyguard mission for the guaranteed 100g fee.
The journey north was uneventful, and Vinni and Mors each were awarded their half of the 100g fee. Mors gave Agnes her new baubles, earning her as a contact in Sagespire.

Bored again, the two thieves checked in with Theren and learned that Theren is having a sort of steal-off with a rival group of Raccoons. Merk and Lofren were tasked with stealing the candelabra from the altar on the Temple to the Divine Siblings.
They started by casing the place, taking note of comings and goings. Late that night, they returned of the temple. Merk flitted into the temple like a shadow, while Lofren unfortunately tripped in the street, drawing attention. Merk replaced the golden candelabra with a cheap brass candlestick marked with a two-stroke hoary cross. He slipped out of the temple as Lofren intimidated his audience into leaving him alone.
The two thieves decide to find a quiet place in Raccoon territory to hide. They locate an abandoned-looking apartment and Merk fey-steps inside through a broken window to find a family of squatters. The squatter father wakes up and asks Merk who he is. Merk tries to bluff that he is part of the guard and fails, then he throws money at the family and demands that they leave. The family leaves, and Lofren enters the apartment. About fifteen minutes later, Lofren hears traffic outside. A pair of guards come directly to the apartment and knock on the door. They shout into the apartment and eventually bust down the door.
Merk and Lofren subdue the guards and make a run for it, but a crowd has begun to form. The thieves split up and try to escape, but they fail the skill challenge and are each chased into dead-ends.
Lofren defeats a pair of guards and intimidates the civilian lookie-loos. Merk engages the guard after him, but the mob is too big, and he is forced to flee again. Merk eventually gets away from his pursuers and meets back up with Lofren. Together, they find a safe place in the Undercity to hide for a few hours.

Meanwhile, Pusher has been working with Tallulah, showing her the ropes. Things seem to be going well, but then the mood in the city suddenly shifts. Overnight, the city guard is doubled, and each patrol is accompanied by a fighting member of the Temple of the Divine Siblings (such as a paladin, warpriest, or avenger). The Raccoons are stirring, and a few elf-kin and more than one dwarf has been lynched in the street.
Theren pulls Pusher aside and explains about the steal-off and that he is worried about the two thieves. He sends Pusher and Tallulah to assist.

Pusher, unsure of how else to locate his companions quickly, uses the Sending ritual. He contacts Merk and receives directions on how to find their location. Pusher and Tallulah quickly find their way into the the section of the Undercity, with is located in a normally quiet part of the wave-breaks—great for a quiet hideout—used by both Hoary Cross and Raccoons when they need to get away from the city guard.
The party of four discuss their plans for returning the candelabra, becoming quite animated, and almost fail to hear the group of adversaries sneaking up on them. A trio of Raccoons finds them, and a battle ensues.
The party eventually subdues two of the Raccoons, killing the third. They tie up the unconscious men (one elf and one human) with their own clothes and hot-foot it away from the scene without taking a short rest. While on the move, they run into a city guard and a paladin who are scouting out a shaft off of a main sewer line.
Thinking fast, Tallulah leaps ahead of the party, disheveled and wide-eyed. She loudly bluffs that the men in the hall behind her have been pursuing her and that she is so very lost and in need of rescue. The guard and paladin take the bait and tend to the seemingly terrified girl while the rest of the party slinks away into the darkness. They hear Tallulah plead for the two “heroes” to escort her out of the dark, scary tunnel, and the two men quickly agree.
Less one bard, the Three thieves take some time to rest before heading aboveground and closer to the Temple. They split up for a time, with Pusher and Lofren playing a drunk and his escort, while Merk slips through the shadows alone. They meet back up near the city’s main north gate, only a few blocks from the Temple. Looking for a stealthy approach, they slip into the sewer and carefully navigate toward the Temple. Theren is able to use his knowledge of the temple to find a likely place for the sewer to intersect the catacombs beneath the temple. They heard that way and luck out, finding a great hiding spot, out of sight of the main sewer line and backed with a stone-and-mortar wall that most likely leads into the tombs below the temple.
Lofren examines the wall for strength and thickness and proclaims it a possible entry point. Pusher carefully applies two flasks of alchemist’s acid, loosening the mortar significantly, allowing Lofren to pry out a head-sized stone. Merk then carefully chisels a gap in the plaster and fey steps through, into a hall of mostly unoccupied tombs. Pusher and Lofren dimensional scramble through, getting a little bruised.
The party makes its way through the catacombs and up into a hallway of the temple complex. Merk and Lofren scout, looking for a way into the main sanctuary. They find the women’s’ dormitory, backtrack, and then find a maintenance hallway that leads to some stairs up to the balcony overlooking the sanctuary. After retrieving Pusher and waiting for the timing to be right, the three thieves make their way to the balcony.
Pusher becomes invisible and performs a ritual, creating a grand illusion of the God and Goddess’ symbols swirling down from the heavens. The worshipers and protectors in the sanctuary look upon the miracle with slack jaws and wide eyes as the missing candelabra descends from the lights to rest once again upon the altar. The three thieves sneak out the front door of the sanctuary, completely unnoticed by the distracted guards and worshipers.
Once on the street, the party quickly move away from the temple, their mission complete. They head back to Theren, who rewards them for their success.

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