(Recounted by DruidX)
Hextor stands in the pile of dead orcs.
“You could have given me more of a challenge,” he says. “Are you coming with us, or d'you want a piece of me too?” The woman stands back aghast.
“What… are you? These were 12 of my best thugs!”
The woman hisses and steps back, and begins to move her hands in mystic gestures. Alarmed Hextor rushes forward, and with a sweeping arc slices both the casters hands off.
“Woops,” he says. From high above Alexis cries out, “Holy Greg in a hand basket!” Hextor looks around, and spots Ursella.
“Err, can I have a hand here please?” he says. Ursella hurries forward and heals the woman, and the group take her back to the ship.
Navek inquires and Hextor describes the battle. Alexis helps Ursella search the woman and they find a tattoo of black horned dragon cropped around a heart. One of the team's scholars takes a look at the tattoo. He says she is a priestess of the Beguiled Temple, who believe in subterfuge and sneak their way into the high ranks of society.
Navek interrogates to the orc prisoner. The orc tells the group that he works for the woman, and that she slept with their boss to order them around. Navek asks if he's ever been to City of Beggars, he says he never want to go there because he's scared of it. Hextor then steps forward and throws the bag of hands at the orc, who screams like a child. Hextor asks the woman's name. The orc says she is Ethelia, and she works for some freaky temple in the mountains to the north. The evil warlord up there is called Vesper, but everyone calls him 'The Death Jester' cuz he wears a mask and is cruel and insanely depraved etc. This man lives on the edge of the desert in a big mansion. He's never been there, and the woman is his only contact.
“Alright, he's given us everything he knows. I say we give him a beer and send him home.” Alexis says.
“We can't. As soon as he gets away, he'll report us,” says Naveck. Alexis turns to the orc.
“You wouldn't do that would you,” she says, with wide eyes and fake innocence. The orc shrieks at the sight of her and says he wont.
“Tell you what,” says Hextor, “if you can best me in single combat, we'll let you go. I wont even have any armour or a sword. You can even have a weapon.” He smiles. The orc whimpers.
“It's okay, I won't tell!” he says. “I'll take up farming if you let me go.”
“Okay then,” says Alexis. “You go and take up farming. After all we know where you live now.” The orc nods enthusiastically.
“And we want you to be nice to old ladies. And plant some trees.” Ursella giggles.
“Yeah, yeah! Anything!” the orc sobs.
At the back, Naveck speaks to the cleric, who steps forward and makes some mystic gestures and mumbling.
“Right,” he says. “If you disobey, you'll get a nasty surprise.”
With that the group releases the orc, and wait for Ethelia to wake. She does so soon after, and screams at the loss of her hands. She sighs and says, “I can't even look at my nails.” Simultaneously Ursella and Alexis thrust forward her severed hands, “Here!” the cry.
Ethelia screams. After extensive questioning she tells the group that Vesper is in the back pockets of the temple and the high priestess is in contact with Baelgrun… the bad guy.
The group leaves her in the care of Mr Lok and heads to Vesper's mansion.
Alexis tries to bluff the guards, saying they are special agents from Alansia to speak to the High Priestess. She fails, but they dispatch the guards within six seconds. Hextor throws the severed heads in and says, “We said we were here to see Vesper, stop fucking abut!”
The group walks in to a lavish mansion towards a bird cage of exotic birds. More guards show up and ask, “Who let you on?”
The group says again they want to see Vesper, and they guards say “That's up to us mate.”
Hextor and Navek dispatch two in quick succession, but there is one guard left. Alexis steps forward and with a skilled shot fires through the bird cage and hits the guy. The guard lunges and hits Hextor, who screams in agonised pain. Ursella steps forward and releases the birds, asking them to cause chaos, which they do… by shitting on the guard. Navek kills him.
The group move round as Navek kicks in another door. Hextor cuts the heads off the shitty guards and throws them at the two inside.
“SERIOUSLY!” he says. “We're trying to deliver a message. You guys are the worst butlers ever!” Still the guards come forward, but again are dispatched quickly. Alexis sneaks forwards and calls back, "There's another guard on the way!". Ursella's mount, Tempest, runs forward and bites the guard, and Alexis follows and slashes at the guard. Hextor and Navek are quickly back in the fray and decimate the guard.
The troupe then walk up the stairs towards another door. Alexis steps up and opens the door and looks in. The room is filled with a pond full of fish, fed by two fountains shaped like fish. It seems very pleasant. There are no guards present though. Naveck goes to step in, but Alexis holds her hand out.
“Wait,” she says.
“What is it?” asks Hextor. “Are there traps?”
“it's too quiet,” Alexis mumbles to herself, not answering him. She walks to the edge of the pond and dips her finger in the water. A large fish comes up and nibbles on her finger. She stands and looks around, then walks down the right path. Alexis stops abruptly and crouches down.
“Are there traps?” Hextor calls from the doorway. Alexis holds up a hand to shush him, then goes back to Ursella.
“I need a pebble,” she says. Ursella hands her one, and with no further explanation Alexis takes it and crouches back where she was. She tosses the pebble onto the square. Nothing moves… but the area makes a hollow sound. Grimly she stand up and walks over to a fountain by the doorway. As she passes, Alexis looks at Hextor.
“Traps,” she confirms. At the fountain, Alexis crouches again by the base, noticing scratches that indicated it would turn. Silently she turns the fountain. The water stops by about halfway. Once it turns full, there is an audible click. Alexis turns back to the others and grins.