Salvation

Love Explosion

Things begin heating up in Karna.

Truday, 25 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group plans and prepares for their first mission as Butterfly operatives. At 1:30, they enter the markets incognito, while Narida, Misae, and an invisible Blaster work their way behind the scenes to begin placing the explosives. 

While they do this, the other teams mill about in the plaza in front of the slave stages. Tomren buys a mango the size of a basketball and eats the entire thing, and a few electrum pieces are given to a blind man whose parrot says a series of very cryptic "futures."

The behind the scenes portion goes smoothly at first, with Blaster arming the first and second bombs without problems. While at the second tent, Narida and Misae arouse the attention of a guard. Narida attempts to flirt her way out of the problem, but fails, and is backhanded by the guard. Without much time to think, Misae slits the guards throat, assassinating him quickly. They hide the body in a barrel of wine and make their way to the third tent.

At the third tent, the women see two pleasure slaves lounging on pillows, almost entirely nude. Narida enters the tent with the invisible Blaster and tells Misae to come with. Narida begins speaking with the slaves to put them at ease—Misae cannot speak the language but suspects that Narida is flirting. Blaster is taking an abnormally long time, so Misae goes to ask what's taking so long. At that precise moment, Blaster makes a mistake arming the bomb and the device explodes, killing the slaves in the tent and the slaves on the stage and sending the plaza into a panic. The other teams stare in horror and shock, and swiftly move to begin executing the plan early.

Misae finds herself unscathed, but realizes it is because Narida has used herself as a shield to protect her. Narida is badly injured, but mobile—Blaster, however, appears to have been torn nearly in two, his legs barely more than shreds of flesh. Narida says that Misae must arm the final bomb on her own, and that Narida needs to get Blaster back to headquarters immediately for healing.

White team begins to escort innocents out of the area, while violet team begins to construct their message. Emanaya makes a violet butterfly out of eldritch energy, augments Haseya's storms, and writes a message in high elven - "You are free now." Haseya causes stormclouds to gather, grows an abundance of flora that overtakes the flesh markets, and summons forth bees, butterflies, and fireflies to swarm around the plantlife and the symbol. Arnold uses a magic arrow to cause a wall of brambles and roots to surround the symbol, then encapsulates the butterfly in a heart of blue butterflies, and causes music to pour out of Haseya's flowers- a song of salvation and hope.

Misae makes her way to the fourth tent and sets the bomb, but is stopped by a guard—a guard who reveals themselves to be none other than Eskandar za-Tavana. Eskandar seems confused that Misae is here and is part of the Butterfly. He forces her into a swordfight, offering the use of one of his scimitars. It is apparent that Misae is outmatched in hand-to-hand combat, but Eskandar makes no grand attempt to injure Misae. Eventually, a detachment of cataphracts finds the guard captain, and he takes Misae's dagger, injuring himself with a stab wound to the gut and commanding her to run. Unsure what to make of any of this, Misae flees back to the Butterfly headquarters.

Red team staved off the waves of attackers, killing only one of them while putting the rest to sleep (or, in one case, pinning a man under his horse by putting his horse to sleep.) Krystof used the telekinesis spell to create a flying, flaming battering ram, and Taegon slashed through the ranks.

All of the Pathseekers then decided to launch the symbol into the sky and flee, and all made it away safely.

Norday, 26 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The operation was a resounding success who's effects are felt all throughout Bratana. Slave revolts and riots break out and cause a police state lockdown to occur in Karna for the next two days. Enough attention is drawn to the Butterfly that the size of the organization expands rapidly, causing need for two new hideouts to open up—one under the Falcon's Perch and one in the Grey Falcon Inn.

During this day, Tomren goes to check on Sunshine to find that the creatures' extended presence in the stables has caused an aura of corruption that is withering the feed, rotting the wood of the stables, and sapping the life energies from the horses. Tomren tries to move Sunshine to the other side of the stable but is caught by the stable boy who fetches the innkeeper. The innkeeper then gets it out of Tomren that this was the result of Sunshine and demands that Sunshine be removed. Tomren fights back, but eventually relents when the innkeeper agrees to have the Butterfly act as an intermediary in the dispute. Butterfly agents arrive and move Sunshine to the sewers of Karna.

Tomren surveys the death and rot left by Sunshine and gathers that it is an infusion of black weave. He uses his arcane ability to extract the Weave and pull it into himself, which nearly kills him. Quickly, he is rushed inside, where Krystof explains that it will take about a week of bed rest for Tomren to recover from this, during which Tomren will suffer excruciating pain the entire time and will be barely able to eat, drink or sleep.

That night, while trying to find sleep, Tomren has a fever dream of climbing an icy mountain of bones while the raven Lot mocks his attempts.

Venday, 27 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The streets of Karna are still unsafe this day. In the evening, Haseya has a dream where she sees a large bear who takes her to a tropical island. She sees some ruins and senses frustration from the entity that communication is difficult.

Taursday, 28 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The streets are finally cleared on this day. Misae awakens to the innkeeper knocking on her door and telling her she has a visitor. Misae goes downstairs to find Eskandar waiting for her, wanting to take her on the promised date. Misae consults with Haseya, and Taegon threatens Eskandar. Eskandar laughs off Taegon's threats, saying he is not intimidated by him. Haseya allows Misae two hours, and also threatens Eskandar—Eskandar tells Haseya as well that he does not intimidate. Zafar also encounters Eskandar—Eskandar calls Zafar 'Zaffi' and seems to know him. Zafar does not seem happy to see him.

What follows is half a pleasant date, half an extremely awkward date. Eskandar is a gentleman, pays for lunch, takes Misae somewhere romantic, and stays engaged and interested in who Misae is, where she came from, and what makes her Misae. Misae in turn is confused because they definitely fought each other a few days ago and she can't reconcile dating someone who works for the Lord of Servitude. Eskandar explains that his brother, Javad, was killed during a slave revolt, and since then he has sworn to ensure that the status quo be kept. While walking around the Cascading Fountains, Misae does allow a small amount of affection to be shown despite her misgivings, allowing Eskandar to take her hand as they walk.

True to his word, Eskandar returns Misae to the Falcon's Perch Inn before the two hours are up, unscathed and unharmed. Misae is left wholly confused about the events of the past few days.

Oathday, 29 Whitefall, 6934 EY: Tomren continues to recover. Taegon goes to a jeweler with Arnold following as a translator and has a few items commissioned. The jewelers tell Taegon and Arnold to return the following day. Haseya and Misae both speak with Zafar about Eskandar. He remains evasive as ever, saying only that Eskandar is incorrugible, and is a trouble maker. 

Lorday, 30 Whitefall, 6934 EY: Taegon has crafted a cloak pin for Tomren that is blessed in holy water and prayers to Tarathiel to shield Tomren from undeath. Tomren explains that undeath is kind of his thing, and Taegon points out that every time Tomren meddles with it it almost kills him. Taegon also presents Misae with a medallion to wear around her neck, blessed with the protection of Tarathiel, in the hopes that it will keep the demon Ruzazel out of her head. Misae expresses interest in Tarathiel, explaining that sun symbology has been following her quite a bit the past few days.

Arnold then reveals he had a silver cock-and-balls secretly commissioned for Taegon and finds it extremely hilarious. Haseya offers some suggestions of where Arnold can shove it, which gives him a few ideas, and he goes to find Narida.

Arday, 31 Whitefall, 6935 EY: With Tomren hale at last, the group decides they are ready to begin the second mission for the Butterfly. This time, they learn from Kamaria, blood must be spilled. The message has been sent but they have not bared their teeth. Kamaria wants the head of Vessa za-Farahani—the Lord of Servitude. Tomren and Haseya seem to balk at the idea of assassination, but Kamaria is insistent. To further complicate the matter, Haseya reveals a secret told to her days ago by Zafar: that Vessi za-Farahani is not only the Lord of Servitude, but also Zafar's father.

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