-While guarding the wall, she receives a note from theGreenfeet Clan’s leader, Yaga-Shura. He asks her to come to their barracks, and she suspects a trap, but goes anyways.
-She is let in by human GFC dude, who she tries to talk to, but he ignores her and walks her to Yaga-Shura. The orc tries to outline a detail without revealing too much details (because he’s in front of many of his men), but gets frustrated and tells everyone to leave.
-He says that Termina is growing too powerful for the city of Bastion (he makes a comparison of her growing from the young jaguar into the great jaguar, which is said to terrorize the Yara-Mal Mountains), and that she must leave. Yaga-Shura can help her do this, by offering her a way out and a substantial “gift” for her service to the city. The way out is that they have captured someone who was involved in the attack, namely her personal enemy, Nyktu (a goblin who scapegoated her and caused her to leave the GFC). For a while, the GFC was following a trail of crumbs that lead to some people who smuggled a dragon into Bastion, and now to Nyktu. If Termina deals with the smugglers, she can have Nyktu and interrogate him herself, but must make a public example of him, and she will get a reward. Termina accepts.
-Yaga-Shura calls back in the dudes, and calls to Grobak, who tosses her a suit of leather armor studded with sharp bone fragments. Grobak says he’s going with her to deal with the smugglers, and Termina annoys him a little more.
-They get to the cliffs and start climbing down. They find their target location (a cave in the side of the cliffs), and they enter. There’s nobody home, but there’s a passage further into the cliffside, so they walk through. Eventually they see torchlight and hear voices, so Termina tells Grobak to lie in waiting while she goes to deal with the people. They turn out to be two elves, who claim to know nothing, but Termina bullies them and they lead her out of the passage.
-Before they’re out, they run into an elf woman in wizard robes, who tries to talk Termina into walking away. It goes badly, and she starts flinging fire around. Termina tackles her and she gives up (because they would both be on fire). Termina tries to get her to tell her why she has a dragon, but she says it’s the director’s birthday and confuses Termina. They climb up a ladder and go up through the basement of a store into the streets (leaving Grobak in the cave). While they’re walking, the elf teleports around and escapes.
-Having disrupted the smugglers, Termina goes back to the GFC barracks and reports to Yaga-Shura. He is pleased, and they bring in Nyktu. Yaga-Shura asks her to make sure to leave a blood stain on the floor, because it gives the meeting room character. She accepts, and cuts of Nyktu’s ear and stakes it to Yaga-Shura’s table. He breaks easily, and tells her he did it for the money, and that he told the Combine agents (there are five: one dwarf and four elves) everything he knew about the city’s secret passages, and helped them place the gas bomb inside. That’s all Termina needed to know, so she drags Nyktu outside, through the markets, and out to the cliffs, where she throws his body into the sea. A dragon swoops down and takes a bite out of it.
-She goes back to Yaga-Shura, who is pleased, and gives her the rest of the award, and tells her to (essentially) have a good life. Termina remembers Ollin’s offer to travel with them, and she heads off to find them.
A Trail of Breadcrumbs:
-The quartet head off to the headquarters of The Shield Bearers to follow up on the information that Alphonse got from Mirus. The headquarters was busy, but the group got a meeting with The Shield Bearer’s commander, Polvor Ironblood.
-Arcturus accused him outright of having an impostor in his ranks, which he didn’t like. Ironbeard name-dropped himself again, and built up a rapport with Ironblood, then asked him if they could try something that would root help to root out any fakers. He accepted.
-Ironblood assembled his men, and addressed them on the attack on their city. The quartet set about watching everyone in the room to see who was most uncomfortable. After some searching, they found one of the dwarves was trying to keep an eye on all of them at the same time, so they figured that that’s their man. Alphonse walked up to him, and distracted him by asking him if they had met before. He was super confused, but eventually said that Alphonse seemed familiar, and they went outside.
-The other three started to follow, and the dwarf drew some kind of knuckle dusters and whacked Alphonse in the back of the head and made a run for it. He was damn fast, and had an alarmingly un-dwarven aptitude for acrobatics. Ollin could keep pace with him, and recognized the weapons that he was using as the signature of a group called the Obisidian Hearts, the dwarven-only counterpart to the people that had recruited Ollin into The Combine. After more chasing, he finally escaped, but not before Ironbeard managed to alter a jar of sand into a perfect portrait of their dwarf’s face.
-They went back to the Shield Bearers, and informed the commander of the traitor. He was ashamed for his group, but took the sand drawing for reproduction on wanted posters. The quartet left for the Director’s Palace.
-Termina had gone to see her superiors, and they reacted in an appropriate manner, resulting in her leaving The Sisters. She met up with the quartet, and asked to hang around with them some more, and told them that she had to leave the city rather soon.
-The five of them went to the palace (Termina had been disguised with Alphonse’s glamour magic), and they filled in the director on the extent of the Combine’s involvement in the attack. She was disturbed and frustrated with the fact that nearly all of her guard groups had failed her in some way. No more mistakes would be tolerated, so the director and the quintet worked on a place to continue the meeting that would be more secure. They came up with taking a ship into the sea and holding the meeting there. They were dismissed.
-Outside, Ethricil was waiting for them. He explained that the situation had developed in the palace, and that though they tried to keep knowledge of the Combine’s involvement in the attack to a minimum, the others had heard enough to be scared into thinking that continuing these trade talks would result in further Combine retaliation, which none of them really wanted. The Kalashek, Polaris, and Jaran representatives were going to back out.
-Ollin, Ironbeard, and Arcturus stayed in the palace that night to be Ethricil’s watchdogs. Alpohnse and Termina had gone out to a bar to forget about life. In the middle of the night, Ethricil got up, and took Ollin and Arcturus with him to go to a secret meeting with the representatives who weren’t backing out. They creeped through the hallway and got to a room with one entrance, where the other reps were waiting. He told Ollin and Arcturus to stay outside and keep watch (the other reps’ bodyguards were inside the room). After a few minutes, Ollin heard something moving around, so he went to look. He turned a corner to see five people (four elves and a dwarf, the same dwarf they had chased earlier). They stared in surprise at each other for a second before springing into action.
-The O.H. dwarf attempted a flying kick at Ollin, but he evaded it. One of the elves started using fire magic, and lit up the hallway with some summoned fire elementals. It was a slugfest, then the other bodyguards came out to join the fray. Ironbeard’s dad senses told him something was wrong, so he got up and ran to the source of the loud noise. One of the elves fell, then something alarming happened. Ethricil came out of the room and yelled for them to stop, and that he surrendered to the Combine. He walked slowly and calmly to them, and Ollin realized he’d seen this demeanor before, in someone Archon Yukanis had mind-controlled. Ethricil got to the combine agents, and they quickly grabbed him and secured him. They walked out the front door.
-While enjoying a beer, Alphonse and Termina got to talking about the Kalashek. Alphonse told her about how everyone was given their place in society, and that there was always a sense of direction and purpose in one’s life (the standard BS). Termina had told him about being kicked out of Bastion and how she was kinda adrift, so Alphonse made a joke about running off together to the Kalashek. Soon after, he felt something strike into his mind. It was so forceful, that he dropped his mug. A voice spoke into his mind: “A plan has been set in motion. Go meet with your friends, for you will be needed.” It was the voice of Archon Yukanis.