2 days after the night of the full moon.
As the party headed down to the common room of the inn for breakfast, they were greeted by their new liason with Coeus: a dwarf named Throrin, whose relaxed confidence and easygoing manner contrasted sharply with the 30-foot berth the other patrons were giving the table at which the dwarf sat. Beside Throrin was a hound named Blood, at least as large as it’s master and from which a constant, low growl emanated. Whether the patrons’ fear was caused by Blood or Throrin, the party had no way of knowing; seemingly oblivious to all of this, Throrin sat stroking Blood’s head.
Introductions proceeded smoothly, with the names of all but the black cat already known to Throrin. The cat told Throrin to call her Nyx; this may have been the first time the name was spoken since the party first met, and yet this interaction seemed to pass without comment.
The dwarf explained that Coeus would now avoid visiting them directly, as a god communing directly to mortals was rarely taken lightly by others. The Shadows, the organization which Iona and Throrin served, largely supported the party and saw great potential in it. However, this did not mean that they had a free ride; some of The Shadows distrusted the party, and some distrusted Coeus. Throrin explained that they would also likely meet the three ambassadors; one from each of the three main political powers on Ravalneer. The party had attracted some attention, and the kingdoms were sure to gather as much strength as possible about themselves.
Throrin and Blood then departed to inform Iona (who had been at her own house), and the party was escorted to their new residence. After a period of them traipsing around the house, exploring and declaring their respective territories, there was a knock upon the door. Outside was a prim and proper man, fair-skinned and with small stature. He came with a summons from a princess of New Hestalphia, and escorted them to what seemed like a miniaturized castle, all turrets and minarets. Inside they met with Iona and were shown to a changing room full of formal wear. They changed and were shown to the throne room.
Inside, flanked by several more beautiful and shirtless fairies, was a grand throne. Upon it sat a fair-skinned woman with silver hair; she looked decidedly bored. She immediately brightened, rushed over to meet the party, bounding forward with a smile. She talked nearly non-stop, about how good it was to see them and how bored she was and how she’d appreciate it if they could kill some ugly goblins and how much she wanted to play a game. At several points she seemed to get very cold and serious, killing intent directed at a single person for a single misspoken word. But she would become bubbly again just as easily, continuing on as if nothing had happened.
Declining the offer of games or dance, the party left, keeping the clothes they had been given. Iona split off, and as the rest walked home they realized that they had never actually gotten the name of the fairy princess.
As they all approached the house, they say a man in a plain uniform peeking into their windows. Allen snuck up on him, but he spun around as Allen’s foot caught some gravel a few feet away. Just then, Nyx descended from the rooftops just inches behind the man, causing him to yell, draw his sword, stumble, and fall on his ass. Riven calmly took a step toward him, hand on hilt, and he apologized almost as quickly as he threw down his weapon. He stammered that he was from the Greenstone Alliance and was just sent here to invite them to the embassy. The party headed out once again, with Allen arm-in-arm with their guide. Their guide didn’t seem particularly happy about that, and yet he never complained. Shook constantly, but never complained.
Approaching the embassy, they saw Iona standing near the entrance with an elf. As soon as he felt Allen’s grip loosen, their own guide sped off down an alley. The elf, somewhat confused by his comrade, nonetheless led them inside. He showed them to a large room, in which a round table featuring a map of Ravalneer took most of the floor. At the other end of the table stood an elf in a more decorated version of the uniform worn by their guides. He introduced himself as Sorindir, ambassador of the Greenstone Alliance, and explained that he wished they would be able to help the Alliance to drive back the corrupted areas of Ravalneer.
He suggested that to start they could concentrate mainly on reconnaissance, and maybe work up from there. In particular, he would understand if the party wished to concentrate on Rhyre; he’d heard that they had a companion who had run off to there, and would understand if they wished to spend their energies to help him. He told them to come see him if they decided, and then dismissed them.
The party headed home again, fully expecting a third emissary to be waiting outside their door. In this respect, however, they were disappointed, and they (including Iona) went inside to discuss the days events. They concluded that the fairies were interesting, Elian didn’t seem to want their help, and surveillance was boring. More importantly, the party realized that the party really needed to find a name for the party.
Allen and Riven decided they’d waited long enough, and got directions to the embassy of the Order of Black Lightening from Riven before she left. The two of them headed off on their own, and those remaining set about further making themselves at home, destroying various furniture.
In front of the imposing building of dark stone, they found an orc with face painted white and carrying a greataxe in each hand. Seemingly unimpressed, Riven casually strolled up to the orc; Allen tried the same, somewhat less convincingly. The orc was taken aback by the show of bravado, and answered their questions almost in a daze. However, he did not reveal the location of the ambassador or when he was likely to be back; he simply told them to expect a messenger.
Several days passed, and no messenger came. They kept themselves occupied, but soon decided to act on the invitation given to them by the fairy princess. As they traveled to the keep, however, they encountered the same orc who had been in front of the embassy. He called out a challenge, and charged toward Riven in his bloodlust. A couple of the party members took heavy blows, but he yielded after a particularly nasty stab in the back by Nyx. He told him they had impressed him, and to tell Wolf Bane at the embassy that they had Gray Mane’s respect. The then staggered off into an alley, seeming to gain more strength with every step.
They decided to go straight there, postponing slightly their trip to New Hestalphia. They traveled to the embassy, and the door opened at their knock. Inside was an orc, who apathetically moved back to his poker game in the corner. The party wandered inside, unsure of what to do. One of the orcs at the poker game finally pointed at the door to the next room. Riven, after spending too much time with Nyx, mistook herself for a cat and showed her affection for the door by head-butting it. Upon actually opening the door they find a dining hall filled with orcs. At the head of the table was a man, the only one in the room, who sat staring at them with a hint of bemusement.
He questioned them about who they were and what they were doing here, and they told him of themselves and the fight with Gray Mane. His face turned to one of amazement and disbelief, and he explained that he did have work for them; all they had to do is decide if they preferred to kill elves or fairies. He said that they should feel free to come back, but it could take a while for him to work out the details of their jobs. They left, heading once again to the keep. After a quick stop by the infirmary to be healed, they entered the portal to New Hestalphia.
11 days after the night of the full moon.