-enters ETG headquarters, go to see Anderstein. He tells them that they’re gonna leave since the hammer is coming down. Alphonse, Diana, and he stay in the office to pack up the important things, other three leave to help with the general effort and try to find the runes. They do and Ironbeard identifies them (2 necromancy, 1 nature, 1 evocation, 1 divination)
-anderstein says to diana and alph that the three of them need to save their asses because the rest of the guild is expendable and not trustworthy, they get the important stuff and head for the emergency teleportation room
-pocket the runes, go upstairs because the guards are knockin. force of 30 guards and two mages lead by alistair viserigon. asks about zane, with no answer, says that viserigon will pardon those who assist them, still no cooperation.
-the group says that they were held captive by the ETG, as ironbeard is a wealthy foreign merchant, which they eventually accept via more lies. many of the thieves see which way the wind is blowing and side with the guards, so they enter. they hear an explosion from down below
-walk to teleporter, anderstein looks at the door for a second, and it explodes. He’s seriously injured, diana and alphonse are okay. orc dude and three thugs show up and go for them
-alphonse makes phantom helpers but the baddies swarm him. he gives up and tries to grab anderstein and telekinetically toss him into the teleporter, which fails. He and diana make it through. they’ve been teleported outside of the city about a mile. diana closed it behind them
-diana is glad that alph tried to save her dad, but sad that it didn’t go through, she’s kinda broken, says she’s gonna lay low in Refthek. Alphonse manages to convince her to come back to eklesa on the hopes that they can revive her father or rescue him
-follow alistair to the source of the explosion, see the teleporter room and the orc and his thugs carrying anderstein’s body.
-he’s alive, and alistair gives the orc a bag of coins, saying “congrats, Shor, you’re now the wealthiest traitor in the city”
-AOI bug out quickly, because they recognize the orc guy
-bells ring outside, indicating that the first voting session is concluded
-Ollin and arcturus go the inn to drop off their recovered runes, ironbeard goes to the tavern to chill out and contemplate the situation with his daughter
-telepathically contacted by a creepy thing, it says that it can offer him a helpful hint if he lets it protect his daughter. he agrees.
-it tells him that something nasty will happen in the city, and that the path to “purging the darkness” lies deep beneath the surface, “where one feels warmth but sees blackness” which ironbeard thinks is a reference to the earthsmile (a big ravine on the kalashek/combine border)
-he is left to finish his meal, then meets up with ollin and arc
-drop off runes, run into herald grayson, who’s looking for alphonse. ollin tells him that he was last seen in the ETG base, which grayson shakes his head at
-ollin asks some questions about grayson’s political alliegance, which grayson responds “small questions from a small man”. grayson says that when they see alphonse send him to the mage’s tower
-they meet and try to find alphonse, which they do at the gate.
-they all head to the mage’s tower and walk by the soverign’s palace, where they run into barthanas and his bodyguards
-the 7 of them go to grayson’s study, but bodyguards wait outside
-barthanas is angry that alphonse put the ETG on his side, but grayson points out wisdom in giving him deniability
-barthanas says something grayson wanting alphonse to be one of the Executors, which he explains as “population managers” who ensure that the Kalashek way remains true throughout the nation
-everyone else thinks it sounds really sketchy, but alphonse digs it
-barth leaves to go to the next vote, more small talk, grayson tells ironbeard to remember the name “melissa sardis”
-they go outside to read the results of the vote, and viserigon is trending upwards over barthanas. barthanas is already inside, and they see visergion enter
-silence, then cold, then soverign’s palace surrounded in blackness and an eclipse of the sun. viserigon runs out saying that dark things are within and that he needs to rescue flosshilde and the rest of the senators so that he can be the hero.
-ironbeard recalls the hints he got, and a sage nearby tells them that Melissa Sardis founded a Hirogen clan under Semadra back in the day with their main temple in the earthsmile, but they got wiped out by followers of Sheshtui and are essentially forgotten.
-they resolve to go to the earthsmile on the pjotlkraft