A carriage arrived at the appointed time to deliver the Wayfarers to their tea party with Telecanthus. Apropos of Telecanthus’ vocation, the carriage windows were lined with stained glass. Having received an invitation myself, I rode alone, arriving before the Wayfarers did. A long hedge lined Telecanthus’ manor, providing privacy, if not some measure of protection, from prying eyes and potential thieves. Entry was through a small antechamber to a large, domed great hall, all marble and stained glass. Light and music wafted through the scented air, Telecanthus provided a short tour of the open chambers of his manor: a balcony lead from the great hall and overlooked the gardens, a tea room held hors d’oeuvre and wine, a parlor a small band of minstrels, and a gallery held a wall of portraits of supposedly illustrious githyanki (I did not recognize anyone, but General Alvro Theremin, captain of the town guard entered, and I quickly slipped out before he recognized me). A library and comfortable reading room completed the rooms that were open to our visit, but my attention turned to one of Telecanthus’ other guests, a female centaur, and with a bottle of wine in hand, we slipped out to the stables behind the manor. I later found out the Wayfarers arrive via the front door as I exited the rear…
In addition to the good general, Lord Divian Torrance, Lady Torrance, the Archdean of the University of Sayre, and Baronor the Black, a retired human adventurer who’s own manor was next door to Telecanthus’. After entering the great hall of the manor and receiving Telecanthus’ tour, the Wayfarers found themselves left to their own devices among the niceties of civilization, something Mako, Orsik, and Odachi were now good at handling. Especially Odachi, who wandered into the portrait room, and after a quick look at the portraits (That they were all of githyanki was about all he could gather from them. “Those people all look the same,” he thought to himself with a grunt.), Odachi began questioning the general about defense of Sayre and sharing wine over war stories. Odachi was able to find out that General Theremin did see Telecanthus as a threat, but the githyanki’s pull was enough to keep Sayre watch patrols away from his manor.
Mako wandered back towards the wing of the manor Telecanthus did not include on the tour, and when Penel quickly appeared to block his way, he claimed to be looking for the jakes.
Arranis amused himself by talking (loudly) with Baronor, the old man excitedly telling tales of his encounter with a black dragon, as Kah, Telecanthus, and the Archdean listened as well. The Archdean, however, quickly grew bored, and with a slight grin began chatting up Kah (KAH!? It’s nice to see him use his abilities for his own good, for once). As they discussed magic, it became clear to Kah that her understanding was on theory, not the practical application of the raw powers of magic to light things and creatures on fire.
Kah was slightly disappointed. Slightly.
He took advantage of her attentions to slip away and explore the grounds, always returning knowing grin and wink of the servants who questioned him. As they walked, the Archdean mentioned that the quantity of foodstuffs the manor consumed was odd for the size of the staff.
Orsik snacked, received a knowing, but “keep-your-familiarity-to-yourself” nod from Lord Torrance, and headed to the parlor to listen to the minstrels. Lady Torrance joined him, and gently dropped a note that only he noticed, “The lord feels Mr. Penel could be of interest,” it read. Mako joined the dwarf in the parlor, and the two hatched a plan to create a distraction and grand Orsik access to the off-limits wing of the manor. A wager was made, to be witnessed by the minstrels, that Mako’s arrow could not fly true down the hall that ran the length of the manor. Orsik wandered down the hall and opened the door outside, as they would not want any damage to come to Lord Telecanthus’ home. As he walked, Orsik tried doors but, more significantly, noticed the ground was not as solid as it should have been; a recent excavation must have been dug beneath the manor. At the end of the hall, he found Telecanthus’ glass workshop, and a master bedroom, surprisingly clean, un-lived-in and unused. Commotion began to spread through the guests, as they lined up to watch the wager. Arranis grabbed Penel and pulled him into an unlocked room. An arrow was loosed. Orsik slipped into another Spartan bedchamber. Arranis locked the door behind him; Penel removed Arranis’ hand with more strength than expected. Odachi and the general drank. Minstrels and guests watched the arrow fly by. Arranis questioned Penel about the history of stained glass. The arrow flew through the open door. Cheers went up, and a platinum piece was paid between friends and a sliver to the minstrel who took up the bet. Arranis was able to slip Penel’s key from him while he was distracted talking about his lord. Telecanthus, between clenched teeth, but the model of civility, sternly led his guests to the great hall.
Meanwhile, Kah and I were occupying ourselves in much the same fashion, a stall apart in the stables. Kah and the Archdean returned to the hall through the same door Mako’s arrow had exited, and also looked in upon Telecanthus’ workshop. “He is either the cleanest stained glass worker,” the mage thought, “or this workshop has not been used.” Kah also discovered a well-stocked kitchen, again, almost too well-stocked for the lord and staff of the manor. Penel appeared, and firmly led the mage and the now-blushing Archdean to the great hall, as guests departed.
The same carriage returned through the streets, depositing the Wayfarers at their lodging, where, Odachi’s nature streak showing, he loudly complimented Mako on winning the wager. The adventurers debriefed; after a significant debate over the merits of infiltration and killing Telecanthus’ staff, the Wayfarers agreed on sneaky and non-lethal for their return to Telecanthus’.
Mako’s grapple provided access to the roof of the servants’ quarters out back of the main manor house, as they climbed down the side, the door opened and Telecanthus’ cook looked Arranis in the eyes. Arranis put his finger to his lips with a “Shhhhh,” and the cook quietly closed the door. The Wayfarers could hear something large being dragged in front the door.
With the purloined key, the Wayfarers entered the side door of the manor, and while Odachi stood watch at the door, the rest of the party entered Telecanthus’ office. On his desk sat a journal, containing guest lists for the parties, a stack of formulas for coloring glass, and a few small shards of stained class. A long mirror lined one wall of the office. Investigating further, Mako and Orsik entered a second office, where a ledger revealed the manor burns through a tremendous amount of gold, but there was no clear connection to any illicit activity. Within the first office, Kah and Arranis reviewed the papers and studied the glass. Returning, Orsik realized that there was too much wall between the master bedchamber and the office. Kah experimented, until touching a piece of the stained glass to the mirror opened a small, unlit passage with stairs leading down. Orsik identified the roughly carved passage as being only months old. The last to enter, Odachi took up rear guard as Mao slipped ahead, hearing sounds of breathing from ahead. After a small drop, five githyanki slept upon bedrolls surrounding a table. From a single candle and a far off light down a deeper tunnel, the chamber was lit well-enough to see; other, dark tunnel radiated from their room. Their silver swords and armor lying next to them, Mako silent crept through the camp and removed the githyankis’ weapons, bringing them back down the tunnel to the stairs. With Mako’s reconnaissance, each of the Wayfarers moved next to a githyanki and attacked while they lie prone.
Mako questioned the githyanki’s leader, while he was pinned and unarmed, “We dig,” the mind slicer responded, “We are performing the ritual.” Mako asked, “To what dimension are you trying to open a portal?” The githyanki looked at him as if he had asked, “What does the color blue taste like,” and before Mako could get any other information, yelled down the lit tunnel, “TO ARMS!” Four more githyanki joined these; as the battle waged, Mako was able to subdue one more to question again, later.