After many days of travel, I finally arrived in the shining city of Egomar. The buildings were fabulous and the people were extravagant, but the rumors going around town were troublesome to say the least. It seemed that the heads of the merran pantheon were vying for control of the throne. This was much bigger than anything I was dealing with up north, and for someone of my stature, dealing with bigger things can be quite intimidating. I was given no meeting place to find the new comrades I was supposed to join up with, I was confident that things would work out. When the organization is organizing, things tend to happen the way they want. As I meandered about town, keeping watch for a messenger to tell me where to go, I stumbled upon something better. I saw my new party. I wasn’t told who they were or what they looked like, but as soon as I laid eyes on this group, I knew that they had to be organization grunts like me. They had weapons at their sides, and a giant mantis on their heels. How could they not be the people I was looking for? Closer investigation confirmed my suspicions when I noticed the rings on their fingers.
Figuring they were told nothing about me as well, I thought it would be humorous to approach them cloaked in an illusion to make me appear as a human of normal height. My plan was thwarted when one of the group, a man I later learned to be named Halnas’, picked me out of the crowd and approached me. I was both impressed and discouraged by his ability to see through my illusion. Wanting to meet on my terms, I had the illusory man bait Halnas’ into an alley, allowing me to sneak up behind him and introduce myself.
My new allies seemed like the perfect group to be teemed up with. All of them had a certain je ne sais quoi about them that makes them naturals at bluffing and schmoozing their way through political intrigue, and most of them seemed like they could hold their own in a fight. There was Magnus, the Toxite paladin. I knew very little about his religion, other than the fact that it gave him a personal interest in the events that were unfolding. Then there was Murthrug, the druid. He seems like quite the outsider, which makes him less useful in delicate social situations, but his magic abilities and unique perspective more than make up for his weaknesses. Halnas’, quite unlike the rest of the party, looks very much like a regular person. However, I can tell that he is really just someone who is trying very hard to appear ordinary. And last but not least, there is Taka. I’m still not sure what exactly he does, but he certainly has a knack for screwing with people, which is a very useful talent for people in our line of work.
They confirmed my suspicions that our goal was to mitigate the negative side effects of the church’s almost inevitable takeover. My experience from my previous work in the organization told me that the best way to do this would be to target the sources of the church’s influence. Less influence means less ability to do bad things. Two of the major noble families in the city had recently started backing the church, so we decided to try and turn the families against each other. Disguised, either magically or mundanely as “the help”, we infiltrated the household of one of the families to gather information. We learned that the other family broke off a betrothal that would have united the two families, which seemed like a good opportunity for us to open some old wounds.
But first, we went to a safe house to plot. It was there that I met an acquaintance of the party known as Kevtumal. Like me, he is a member of the vertically challenged races. Also like me, he seems to have experience manipulating people, although his experience seems somewhat less legal than mine. He suggested that we turn the nobles not only against each other, but against the church by forging some documents from the church promising the same property to each family. This man seems like a very useful ally, even though the rest of the party acts uneasy around him.
And so, we set off to steal some documents to copy and forge. We expected the documents to be in the main office of the head of the family, and so I disguised Halnas’ as the nobleman, and he went inside. The guards standing at the door, however, insisted on following him, as he apparently always travels with bodyguards. I should have thought of that, and creating illusory guards would have been a cinch for me. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time I do something like this. Unable to retrieve the documents we needed, Halnas’ left, followed by the guards. This left the room wide open for a certain invisible gnome to sneak on in and have a look around. Without the pressure of guards looking over my shoulder, I was able to find the papers we needed, and left. It was a clean, easy job pulled off without a hitch. I waltzed on back to the safe house and delivered the goods to Kev, happy to make a good impression on him.
My good mood ended soon after that when Halnas’ burst in through the front door covered in grease, quickly followed by a battered and bruised Murthrug. I gathered from them that their extractions from the noble’s manor was nearly as simple as mine. Perhaps my first impressions of this crew were slightly optimistic. However, despite the unfortunate lack of finesse, we accomplished what we needed to and are on track to accomplishing our goal.