Day 130, Part 2: Nice Work You Did...Edit
The Captain of the Guard interrogates the ladies as to their involvement in the affair of the killings; though entirely forthcoming, they fail to impress the Captain, despite their logical connections.
The Captain also reveals a scroll in which the Old King of Valis (As opposed to the New King of Valis... or the New New King of Valis) names his bastard son, Krazz, as heir to the throne. The scroll is affixed with the signet of the Old King... though the Old King's signet ring has been missing.
Fe tries once again to get a glimpse at the talking monkey, but the animal handlers are still being questioned. The captain identifies the party as a 'group of warrior women', to which Lily seems confused. (EL: December's carrying at least 9 daggers; Lily is carrying all the accoutrements of a Wizard, Fe is dressed as a monk with brass knuckles; aside from Elianna, I'd be more confused as to them NOT being identified as such)
A few hours later, the Captain returns; it seems the queen has awoken and confirmed the ladies story. He seems reluctant to let the party see the Queen. The group is rather indignant at their treatment and lack of reward, especially Lily. Fe tries to leverage it into a look at the talking monkey, but the entertainers have left the castle. The Guard Captain escorts the party out the castle.
The ladies turn to question the Captain again; he's been working at the castle for 37 years (EL: How old is he??), and uses that as a defense against being involved. When they try to press further or ask to speak to someone else, he orders the gate guards to make sure the crew leaves - or arrest them.
Thus thwarted, the crew make their way to the closest tavern to think out their next move over a cheap beer.
The group adjourns to talk in the middle of a field for privacy. December summarizes the conspiracy plot. Fe still wants to find the talking monkey. The general consensus is to wait and see which way the royal-assassination situation falls to decide what side to back, and so some hanging out and listening.
Lily hits upon the idea of using Locate Object to try and find Black Claw. She tries, scanning about from horseback, but is unable to find him. They retire to an inn to recuperate.
Day 131: A Box Like No OtherEdit
Lily tries to Locate one of the animal cages from the animal handlers; She's unable to locate them.
Day 133: Fishing For A MonkeyEdit
While wandering the town and asking about the animals, they are told that the owner is staying with a friend of his, a local Lord. (EL: And Lords never end messily on these shows, right?)
Arriving at the House of Redhawk, the girls identify themselves by their individual "Wind" names. As they're shown in, they notice a lot of bustle about packing up. The owner is more interested in discussing selling the monkey now that the royal family is not in a position to buy. He's asking a huge sum though - 40,000 gold for Frank. He even highballs the girls at 5,000 gold just to talk to the chimp. Fe is rather angry, but can't bring herself to spend the gold to do so.
Day 135: Our Day In CourtEdit
The Queen makes a public appearance; she declares that her "late husband's son" will be ascending the throne shortly. Valis is an Agnatic Succession; but to ascend the throne to a bastard son is unusual in the highest. Suspecting the Queen is under duress, the ladies plan to go to Court and seek audience with the Queen, but before that they go looking for Black Claw again.
Lily and Elianna both discover that Black Claw was hassled by confiscations at the city gate several days ago. Arriving at the city gate, Lily tries to locate Black Claw's shoes, but they weren't confiscated or otherwise have been moved. Not wanting to confront the city guards over stuff that may or may not be there, they go to plan C. Back to Lord Redhawk, who would be able to invite the ladies to Court without an issue to present. He consents, as he was going anyway.
Lily doesnt have her Whispering Wind spell memorized, but the group attends Court anyway. Elianna is singled out by the queen as her healer, and is thanked. Elanna's manner is somewhat hard towards royal company, but nevertheless the party is granted a semi-private audience; the guards remain of course.
December is nominated as the speaker for the group (EL: Because the assassin would be the one to send before Queen Abigail who's just been attacked). With consent of the group, she discloses that they transported Black Claw to the city, and had seen him with the signet ring. They provide the queen with the details of Black Claw's description, the fact that he had items confiscated from him by the city guard.
The queen mentions that she feels the group's safety is in danger. In effort to aid the crew the queen offers recompense for time spent hunting Black Claw (or whoever holds the signet ring and faked the 'will' putting Krazz on the throne). Lily manages to parlay it into an audience with the royal wizard.
The Royal Wizard, Burnstem Brown (EL: Whole lotta color names going on. Blackclaw, Redhawk, Brown...inb4 Steven the Mildly Ochre) , once again asks Lily about her schooling. She explains her level of knowledge, and he concedes to give her some spells to aid her in serving the queen. He will however require time to scribe them, and suggests they come back the following day.
Burnstem grants Lily: Protection from Paralysis, Protection from Poison, and Protection from Cantrip to study. The group ride out for Redstone Port. Along the way, they ask passersby after a man matching Black Claw's description. He apparantly was seen at a bar in Redstone Port, down at the docks a couple of days ago.
Day 137: You Can Never Have Too Much RopeEdit
The ladies make their way to the bar in question in the evening as they get into town. Deciding they might need some rope in confronting Black Claw, they purchase 100' from the ship's fund (EL: Fe was already carrying ropes....) and 30' is purchased by Lily for her Rope Trick spell.
Day 139: Bad Ways To Get A DateEdit
After two days without sight of Black Claw, the party start asking around for a man who looks like him. Fe and Elianna get called over by a guy in an alleyway (EL: These guys love alleyways) who says he can help them. After paying him for his information, he leads the girls down the shore to a dilapidated shack (EL: Because THAT doesn't sound like the preface to an entirely different sort of story). Fe leaves a couple of clues to her location behind (Belt at the docks; rope outside the shack).
The man ushers them inside, and tells them Black Claw should be meeting him there in about 45 minutes.
45 minutes later, there is a knock, and a word exchanged in a language neither of the girls know (Dwarven). 3 additional men enter the room. They mention (EL: Though it was mostly missed) that Black Claw is no longer on the continent, and then draw weapons.
Combat: Scuffle at the Shack. Fe knocks one out immediately, and then caves in the chest of another so badly it bursts ribs out of the back of him. One blinded captive, and the fourth laid dead in the sand.
Fe interrogates (and nearly strangles) the blinded guy. He belongs to an 'organization' who 'get things done'. He's never actually heard of Black Claw, but he's new. Fe snaps the neck of the unconscious man, leaving just their captive.
They hide the bodies, but have to decide what to do with their prisoner. Knocking him out, Fe carries him back to town.
- Recap from EtoileLion on reddit. Editoral notes are theirs.