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Week Fifteen

January 15th, 1998
Avg. Rating: 3.2

Starcarn, Manayar 1st,Year of the Shield, Night

As the session began Gregory was waiting for word from Sivantri outside the castle, while everyone else was still at the Stone Hearth.

Gregory waited a few minutes until a guard finally emerged from the castle with orders to escort him to Sivantri. The two men walked briskly through the heavily guarded castle, descended a set of spiral stone steps, and finally arrived in Sivantri's workshop. A woman's screams could be heard, even above Sivantri's frequent shouts of "Get me this, get me that", and Gregory could see a paralyzed Juliet, being eaten alive by some crazed warrior, in a mirror on the wall. In front of the mirror sat a small luminescent pearl, in a clawed holder.

As the screams continued, Sivantri, armed with a dagger he had smeared with his freshly created poultice, smashed the glowing pearl in front of the mirror. The scene in the mirror changed- Juliet disappeared, her screams replaced by those of the enraged warrior, as the scene slowly faded away.

Sivantri told Gregory that Juliet's soul had become trapped inside the sword, and that if he had not been able to release her she would have been trapped there forever. Sivantri thanked Gregory for his assistance before suggesting they return to the Hearth (where Erik and Tristan had wrapped up Juliet's body and cleaned her room).

On their way back Gregory and Sivantri came upon a small crowd, gathered around the crucified body of a Shieldbreaker. Some of the people about mentioned seeing other dead Shieldbreakers found in similar states, and no one knew who was responsible. Gregory and Sivantri continued on.

The entire party was soon reunited at the Stone Hearth. The sword, however, the one responsible for Juliet's death, couldn't be found anywhere in the building and was assumed to have "moved on" in search of others to corrupt, much to the party's dismay. Gregory related to Kelly what he had seen in Sivantri's laboratory, hoping to ease her mind a bit by assuring her that Juliet was now at peace. But not even an offer of apprenticeship from Sivantri could lessen her sorrow- Sivantri returned to the castle, leaving the party to grieve their friend.

Kelly said she would go and speak with Calishara in the morning, to discuss burial arrangements, then turned in for the night. Talyth, still recuperating from his wounds, was already asleep on her floor, and Tristan similarly retired to his own room. Only Gregory and Erik stayed up; feeling restless, they ventured into the city streets looking for a fight. They quickly found one, on the docks, and after easily defeating two drunken thugs they returned to the Hearth with the woman whose honor they had protected (she had been drugged to make a more accommodating victim).

Erik and Gregory woke Tristan to examine the woman. Tristan told them that she had been drugged but was otherwise fine, then returned to sleep. Gregory let the woman sleep in his room, and he and Erik returned downstairs for more beer and ale.

About three in the morning Einor returned, looking exhausted and haggard in the dim light of the bar. He mumbled to Gregory and Erik then slowly made his way upstairs, carrying a large leather sack behind him. When Gregory and Erik got up to shut the door behind Einor they discovered that the floor and the stairs were spattered with blood. They rushed upstairs to Einor's room, but they couldn't wake him. He was covered head to foot with a dozen separate fatal wounds, and all his clothing was stuck to him with blood. In one hand he held his father's axe, in the other a small wooden scroll tube. Erik once again fetched Tristan, but there was nothing to be done- Einor was dead.

Erik tried to remove the axe from Einor's hand, but even in death he gripped it tightly. In the scroll tube of the other hand was a sort of farewell note from Einor, leaving to Kelly all of his family's belongings and property and entrusting to her the task of returning Heartseeker (the Bjornson clan's family axe) to the Northlands. Einor also wrote that he had finally avenged the deaths of his father and mother- in the sack he had carried in the party discovered 27 human hearts.

At this point Kelly, who had been awakened by the noise and was watching from the hallway, walked into the room and right up to Einor's body. She took the axe from his hand, whispered "I'm sorry" into his ear, and returned to her room. She woke Talyth and told him what had happened; he dressed and went out for the rest of the night/morning.

After Gregory explained to Kelly exactly what Einor had written, she offered the use of Heartseeker to Erik (not being experienced in the use of an axe, he declined). She put Einor's note into Juliet's hidden lockbox, along with the map Juliet had left her, before returning to sleep. Tristan also went to sleep, again, as did Erik. Gregory stayed downstairs drinking.

Aircarn, Manayar 2nd,Year of the Shield, Morning

In the morning everyone met downstairs for breakfast, including Florence, the woman Gregory and Erik had rescued the night before. Gregory packed up his belongings and announced to the group that he would be living elsewhere. He and Florence then walked to Florence's home, the Inn of the Many Doors, where Gregory rented a room for himself under the name "Silvershield". He carved a small symbol of Llira (three stars) on his door and told Florence that, should she ever see anything unusual, she should slip a piece of paper under his door and he would come talk to her (he told Gino the exact same thing, except he told Gino to sign his name on the paper).

Tristan and Erik, meanwhile, had set off to the Cryptkeeper's Guild, to arrange for Einor's burial. Kelly had gone alone to the Tower of Luck, to speak with Calishara about a great many things...

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Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.
--Tolstoy