-goes to buy off diviners, logic goes as: viserigon is bad, do spying on him, payment for work. Diviners are like cool, who wants this done, alphonse says grayson wants to am (mislead him, give alph the power while giving him deniability)
-zane appears, tries to get them instead, alphonse deflects supremely and he leaves, shamed
-alph tells the diviner he’s got a special mission for them: making sure viserigon’s spy shit is legit, they accept
-stormway comes, makes dark and pain, alphonse troubled, tells him to open his mind and heart
-alphonse goes to feast w pjotlmannen, many pomp, barthanas comes around to pjotl and alph, alph has private meeting
-rickstern am there as bodyguard, loling at alphonse’s presence, alph lays the plan down after deciding that barthanas might bite, he bites, once he sees that alphonse is playing the game against itself and rickstern nods eagerly.
-barth tells alph that his friends are back in town, and that he should use them to further the campaign and make resources available to them (ie join the party)
-go to Viserigon‘s part of the soverign’s palace, and see Letheirax and the swordsman who was in the street fight with Rick Stern when they arrived in Eklesa. Letheirax recognizes Ollin, and lets three of them in. Stupid nice interior. Strange interest in Ironbeard‘s name.
-they make their pitch to Visergion, and he says that it’s the same thing they said to William Barthanas, and they panic. Visergion pulls out a letter from his spies and says that he has something they may want to hear, and he’s not sharing until they offer a better deal. Ollin offers to give them an in on the Ekwan Republic by having the Kalashek set up a training program for their spies and such, and Arcturus offers them the opportunity to study at the channel.
-viserigon is pleased, reads the letter, from a spy of his in The Combine, who talks about unrest being spread amongst the dwarves by Eoric Deepsong, and says that she has gone into hiding because the combine is after her now that her father’s involvement in the rebellion is known. It’s signed “H”, which Ironbeard connects the dots to mean his daughter Helga, who was acting president of The Ironbeard Trading Company.
-Vis says that if he doesn’t win, he can’t guarantee the safety of spies like Helga, much resentment from party, but Ironbeard says he’ll do his best to make sure his daughter is safe.
-AOI leave and start talking amongst themselves about who they should support. They lean towards visergion first because he has less overtly destructive goals and because of Ironbeard’s daughter. Soon after, IB decides that he can disown his daughter to make her a target no more, and they conclude that viserigon is too slimy so they settle on supporting Barthanas.
-leaves the sages’ tower for breakfast in the square, sees the pjotlkraft landing in front of the tower while blaring a “landing horn”. walks over with the gathering crowd to say howdy.
-meanwhile, AOI can see the pjotlkraft from the square as well so they follow the crowd to it, and spot alphonse. they approach through the crowd, IB is quite curious, O is feeling sneaky, and A is plain awestruck. O sneaks up to Alph and says hi, then the others approach with greetings.
-pjotlmann and alph have some words and invite AOI onto the kraft. the obvious question of alphonse’s departure comes up, and he says that some thieves took the runes so he chased after them with Termina Vzorcaya and they lead here, where he lost them. they buy it, but just barely.
-they take off in the kraft, and blare the horn again for the sages. they make introductions and explain that they’re supporting barthanas in the election to help the ER. Pjotl and Alphonse approve.
-lunch is served (cooked by Jeddre) and then pjotl and alph go to the captain’s cabin so that pjotl can get the story from alph. Ollin follows and listens in on the talk from a precarious position. Alph tells it true and pjotl listens, then they hit a rough patch and ollin nearly falls off the ship but is left hanging in full view of the main window in the captain’s cabin.
-pjotl pulls him inside and they discuss what he just heard. alph admits his lie but says to ollin that he should understand (as a former assassin) the need for temporary secrets. Al and Pj pitch to O that he should join up with the ETG to help the cause. he reluctantly accepts and joins IB and Arc.