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Session 159 - Sins of the Feather

posted Aug 16, 2020, 2:39 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits continued on their journey from Morend by catching a ride with a merchant caravan heading towards Tortuftus. It was quicker than walking, but they still got to see and share the land where Callon and Lucas had been born and raised. They chatted idly with the troupe as it traveled, and kept them safe from the odd wandering beast or monster that proved little challenge for them now. They had made it the foothills of the Wyrmaw Mountains that bordered Morend when evening arrived and it was time to set up camp. 

After a simple dinner, the group of travelers sat around the campfire sharing stories. The fantastical tales of the Maladroits astonished and captivated many, but attention was never far from the lands to the east. The group was now close enough to Toftuftus but still high enough to get a clear view of the Scoured Lands, where the Stormwall had, for reasons still unknown, ventured from it sat out at sea to sweep across a third of the land of Tortuftus. In its wake was a dead and barren land where plants, animals, and people all had been unmade in an instant. The stark white land shining in the moonlight gave them all cold shivers. Talk eventually turned to the mysterious event so many years ago. Some of the Morendi merchants brought up how it resulted in an escalation of Tortuftan aggression that Morend had to answer. Lucas was taken aback by this, saying that he remembered it being Morend who had taken advantage of Tortuftus' sudden weakness. Alera tried to placate the group, while Callon thought there was a truth to be found behind the different accounts. Lucas, not wanting to disclose himself as Tortuftan, asked in Solfege to speak with the rest of the party later.

Sadly, that chance would be delayed as an unexpected visitor arrived: Dram, the fearsome blue dragon that they had made a deal with and then betrayed in the alternate cosmology in order to obtain one of the Shards. He brought along younger blue dragons with him and was generally far more intimidating now, with the clear trappings of undeath about him. He said nothing to the Maladroits and prepared to attack. The party, previously discussing the past wrongs of their respective countries, were now faced with a past error of their own. Fate would see how well they answered it.

Session 158 - Triage

posted Jun 16, 2020, 7:06 PM by Will McCain

Ever since they somehow earned the ire of the fearsome and fabled adventurers known as the Invincible Trio, the Hopeless Maladroits have been looking over their shoulder. They were once nearly slain by the three, and have been the target of their hatred ever since. Now, in a nondescript village between countries, they happened once more upon the warriors who have claimed them as foes.

Battle is joined immediately and savagely by the Trio, with Fox casting a Fireball at the group. They manage to bear it without much damage, but look around in horror as the patrons they had been sitting with were now charred corpses on the floor. Throwing all reservation aside, they engage. A Hungry Pit spells nearly catches Callon and Alera, but the fighter is nimble enough to step aside and pull Alera along. Blows and spells are exchanged in an escalation ferocity. At one point, Lucas gets confused. Then, Callon suffers a series of such heavy blows that it takes the blessing of his armor and all of Alera's healing might to keep him from utter death. It was looking like it might be a repeat of the their first encounter with the seasoned warriors. 

Fortunately for the Maladroits, Knox was able to land some well-considered spells. Cat was sent away with a Gate spell, and Bull was encased in an Icy Prison. Recovered enough to fight, Callon landed a stunning blow on Fox, which gave the rest of the party just the chance they needed to finish him off. The momentum of the battle had been shifted, and the Maladroits finally had the upper hand! A brief consideration was had over whether to show the Trio mercy. Such was the prerogative of the strong and the victorious, after all. Thinking back to their past crimes and killings, the group quickly and grimly decided that the world ill needed such 'heroes' as these three. In the end, they too dangerous and just not that important.

While they waited for Cat to reappear from his banishment, Callon walked over to Bull. As the mighty fighter struggled in vain against several feet of solid ice, the Morendi captain braced himself and slowly pushed him into the waiting maw of the Hungry Pit. Alera healed the group back as they listened to the grinding of ice as it broke. Bull was eventually freed, but had no way to climb out of the pit. He was hardy, though, so he struggled against its hunger for some time. Watching him, they noticed him trying to get something from his bag. Determined that he would get no chance for escape, Alera dispelled the magic that had conjured the pit. Bull was immediately before them on the floor of the tavern, but had no chance to act as Knox stripped away his remaining life with Disintegrate. Now, there was but one left.

The group took their places around the spot where Cat had vanished and readied their attacks for when he appeared. Alera stepped aside to heal the regular folk still in the tavern who had been injured by the initial magical assault. Finally, Cat returned. A clear-headed Lucas met him, ready to pit their roguish skills against one another. Cat was slippery, though. It was finally a well-placed strike that fell as a final doom from Callon that slew him. 

And such was the ending of the infamous band of adventurers known as the Invincible Trio. Often honored, sometimes cursed, and always feared, the Maladroits found it fitting that their legend should end in a place so easily overlooked. As their bodies burned in the pyre, the party found themselves eased of one thorn in their sides. Which, of course, only helped them remember how sharply the ones remained still stung.

Session 157 - Robber Barren

posted Jun 8, 2020, 8:05 AM by Will McCain

Forsyth and the Erlking both laid unconscious in the merchant's parlor as the Maladroits and their Morendi allies began discussion their options. Kava Nara helped to fill in some of the details of what had transpired. She remembered Forsythe coming into the forest and making various agreements with the Erlking for resources from the woods. She recalled his behavior changing one day after meeting with Forsythe, and all made the connection to the Crown of the Iron King. As for punishment, she was willing to help, but really just wanted to return to the woods with a freed Erlking. 

The discussion boiled down to two options. On the one hand, they could report Forsythe's misdeeds to the crown and let Morendi justice follow its natural course. On the other, they could see his punishment through themselves, claiming their right as the injured party as well as seeing through the wills of the forest royalty. After much discussion, they were unsure that Morendi law would be as strict as they thought it should be on someone of such financial influence and import. Also, Morend was not as advanced in the arcane arts as places like Riparia, so a Sorcerer like Forsythe might be able to turn things to his advantage or even escape. Callon voiced his own personal hesitation with turning to the crown. To him, Forsythe was either going to be willing to seek reformation or would continue to be a threat. He had already proven how dangerous he was willing to be, and the good of the people he would eventually hurt again must take precedence.

Knowing that justice must be done, the rest of the group relented. Rousing Forsythe, they first had him remove the Crown from the Erlking. Kava Nara took him, still injured and confused, and retreated with him into the woods after some words of commiseration with the party. Callon asked if he was willing to change his ways, a proposal that Forsythe flatly refused. Forsythe continued to attempt spells to regain his freedom, even as he was brought outside and knelt in place for Callon to deliver the finishing blow. In a panic to flee, Forsythe used Dimension Door to escape once more on the road. Knox used the same spell to follow, with Callon in tow. Upon catching up to him, they saw him readying a scroll, but didn't get him a chance to finish as Callon ran him through.

It was a grisly business, but at least it was over. The group met back up with Corwin and settled the remaining issues in Morend before setting out for Tortuftus in their long trek to the eastern mountains. As they neared Lucas' homeland, they stopped at a small village with a cozy inn called the Gray, named after an obscure but beloved adventurer who had fallen in battle. Talking to the locals, they heard odd tales of the Hopeless Maladroits making their way through the region. The THREE Hopeless Maladroits. Their fears were soon realized when the Invincible Trio walked in, and, with little pause, battle was joined. 

Session 156 - No Rest for the Trees

posted Jun 7, 2020, 12:04 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits meet the Erlking's attack. Through the back and forth, the party notices some strange things. First, when pressed about why he's attacking, the Erlking responds in a stutter that he must protect Forsythe. What's more, Knox notices that he is wearing an odd iron crown. Searching his prodigious memory, he recalls that it must be an artifact known as the Crown of the Iron King. It is a foul thing that makes whoever it is placed upon obey the orders of the one who placed it. Realizing that the Erlking isn't their true quarry, they do their best to end the fight without killing him. In the meantime, a magical fog was unleashed in Forsythe's mansion, causing Alera to become Feebleminded.

With the Erlking subdued and the rest of the attackers subdued or (for the most part) slain, Knox flies into the sky to see if Forsythe fled his manor. Sure enough, he is able to spot him running away down the road that winds from his estate. He and Callon give pursuit, while Lucas keeps watch over the unconscious Erlking and the childlike Alera. Upon seeing them approach, Forsythe casts various spells at the pair. Now realizing they are dealing with a caster, they close in to subdue him. After resisting or countering various attacks, they go on the offensive themselves. Knox launches Callon toward Forsythe in a Telekinetic Charge. The impact of the fighter hitting the ground next to Forsythe knocks him off balance long enough for Callon to wind back Desangriev and slam the flat of the blade into Forsythe, knocking him out.

They bind the merchant and return him to the manor. After Knox shares his knowledge of the Crown, the Maladroits realize they were right to suspect Forsythe from the beginning. They begin damage control, with Lucas heading into town for a scroll of Restoration that he can cast to remove Alera's condition. He also gets word to Corwin, Lilu, and Kava Nara, so that they can all convene at Forsythe's manor and discuss what to do with the devious merchant.

Session 155 - Fresh Baked Patsy

posted Apr 25, 2020, 6:20 PM by Will McCain

After sharing their findings with Corwin, the Maladroits debated on what to do. They thought of taking direction against Forsythe, but that stood to be too high profile  if it was traced back to Callon. More importantly, it seemed incredibly out of character for business dealings in Morend. Something else could be afoot. In the end, they decided the best way to learn more was to ask Forsythe himself. Even if he refuted the charges, maybe they could learn what would push him to such extremes. 

As Forsythe wasn't a noble, they had no obligation to inform him of their desire for a meeting. A sudden appearance at his door was met with a cordial welcome and followed by a genteel discussion that danced around the issue while the Maladroits tried to feel him out. Not making any headway, they asked him directly about the assassinations and laid out the evidence they had found for suspecting him. He seemed genuinely shocked by the accusation. He starts to respond, but turns in surprise at a loud crash from the rear of his property. Looking out his window, everyone sees centaurs and satyrs emerging from the wood and ready to charge the manor.

Some more pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place in the minds of the adventurers, but they first had to fend off this unexpected assault. They tell him to take cover somewhere as they head outside to meet the invaders. Their numbers are alarming, but none of them prove much of a challenge for the veteran fighters. Smoke suddenly fills the house, but the lack of fire suggests that it was simply a security measure that Forsythe had activated. While they try and piece together the motive for the assault, the driving force itself appears as the Erlking himself emerges from the wood.

Session 154 - Immigrants Wronged

posted Apr 25, 2020, 6:00 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits were finally admitted to Corwin's office, where he brought them up to date on happenings in Morend. The tales surrounding Callon were in part spread by him and his efforts marketing new products using his elder brother as an inspiration. As Callon feared, his letters home from Riparia had never arrived. He apologized to his younger brother for letting him think him dead for so long, but Corwin didn't seem to take much umbrage and was just happy he was alive. 

Attention then turned to Lilu and her hamadryad companion. Corwin explained that both of them were refugees from the Shalewood in eastern Morend and the mountains bordering them. The hamadryad, who is by nature a queen of the forest, had fled from the Shalewood when an erlking, previously summoned from the Feywild to help fend off invaders, had refused to return to his home plane. He declared a war on civilization, which the gentle hamadryad opposed. She wanted to warn the nearby towns, but was chased by his soldiers. In her flight she had met Lilu, who agreed to fend off the pursuers while local Naiads helped the  hamadryad escape. Both were injured and ended up floating down the river towards Morend City, desperately clinging to life. By chance they washed up on the shore of the Foxmane estate, where Corwin found them and offered them sanctuary. 

The group also learned that Lilu had been born a Dwarf in the eastern mountains that border Morend and trained as a Monk of the Four Winds. She had died in combat, but her mastery of her discipline afforded her instant reincarnation into a new body. She awoke as a human in village some distance from the mountain dens, where she met the hamadryad.

Another troubling issue was the troubling news that Corwin had been the target of three separate assassination attempts in the recent month and a half. That coincided somewhat with the appearance of the hamadryad, but the group couldn't make any conclusions baed on the little information Corwin had to offer. It did help to explain how aggressively Lilu had received the armed party. 

Now up to speed, the Maladroits decided to do some legwork and take care of some other lingering issues. For his part, Callon went with Carissa to visit the Brinehearts in order to clear the air. He explained as well as he could about Beletsirana, and how the extant Foxmanes were trustworthy allies. Reflecting aftterward, he realized they wanted to hear him speak more on Carissa and the future he saw with her. Nonetheless, a tenuous agreement and understanding between the families was forged.

Knox and Alera searched around Morend for information. They learned about a conglomerate whose markets were in direct competition with Corwin. It was taking the unique path securing funds from commoners to fund its efforts. The founder, Reynold Forsythe, became a prime suspect for the assassinations in her mind. They also happened upon a shop serving arcane needs, which was a rarity in Morend. It was run by a Verona Skyspark, who had come to the capital from the southern city of Eyrie. She was fascinated by Knox's arcane talent, and was herself a fan of the Marvelous Tales that Jonid had spread so effectively.

Lucas flexed his roguish might and learned the details of the different assassination attempts. Each had been perpetrated by different people, two of which the guard had custody of. Searching their records, he couldn't find much information on them. He did, however, find records of bribes that might explain why so little legwork had been done. Searching the back channels, he also learned of a contract out on Corwin.

Returning to the estate, Lucas tested its security a bit, to the consternation of Lilu, who WAS said security. A brief prank war ensued, which earned her some esteem in his eyes. Lilu's estimation was yet to be determined. 

Session 153 - Pressed Sternum Depression

posted Feb 16, 2020, 1:03 PM by Will McCain

The Maladroits finally enter Callon's family home and are immediately greeted by a monk bodyguard named Lilu. She is a little too eager in her duties, and is more inclined to fight the party than listen to Callon's protests of it being, in truth, HIS home she is defending against him. She holds her own surprisingly well against the party, with pain dealt and healed in equal measure. The heretofore expatriat hommadryad queen of the Shalewood that was helping Lilu came under assault from the party, but pleaded for them to stop fighting Lilu. Sharing her protests with the monk, the party managed to convince her to stand down with a flash of Callon's Foxmane signet ring. With a wary truce, Lilu began to lead them to Corwin's study, ominously asking that Callon not do his brother any harm after they spoke. 

Session 151 & 152 - Star Crossed and Sea Tossed

posted Sep 8, 2018, 6:05 PM by Will McCain   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 6:08 PM ]

Rike the Bard. Denea the empathic arcanist. Beatrice the motherly cleric. Sir Worg the battle-hungry. Delve the emotionless monk. <Geordi> who saw and acted through his ship. Visili the annoying. They all seemed strangely familiar. They all turned with respect at the appearance of their captain, Carissa Foxmane. Callon was speechless in joy and confusion as she walked over to the discussion. Callon expressed his amazement and asked how long she had been awake. She ignored his question and calmly stated that if they wished to book passage, the fee would be much higher. Callon was shocked at her coldness, and pushed against her demand, asking what happened to her. Did she even get his letters? They arguee back and forth, with Carissa placing a hand on her blade at one point as a warning. Having had enough, she stormed off. Callon, however, called after her with parts of a song from their wedding. Carissa stopped, but didn't turn back, even as the rest of the crew joined in Callon's singing. The Maladroits were very confused. As they reached the end of the song, Carissa finally joined in the chorus as she rushed back to throw herself on Callon in tears.

Reconciled for the moment, Carissa told her crew to set sail as the Maladroits sat down with her to see what had happened in the time Callon had been away. She told them that she had awoken from her mystical sleep not long after Callon had left for Riparia. Her family told her that Callon had stayed with her after she fell into her sleep just long enough to satisfy propriety and then quickly made his exit. Nothing had been said of their convincing him to annul the marriage. She refused to accept the decision, and took her favorite ship from the Brineheart fleet and left Morend. With legitimate enterprise no longer an option, she became the pirate captain of the Sparrow and raided ships in the seas between Riparia and Morend. Though refusing to surrender her married name, she was still angry at Callon for leaving her as she had been told. Callon explained not only their great mission and the vision that pulled him away from Morend but what happened at the wedding that he learned from the Maladroits' adventure with Beletsirana. There is little time for anyone to process either revelation as a Dead Ship closed in on them and battle was joined.

Undead flesh given form and motion by the restless souls of those lost at sea, Knox recalled what such vessels are capable of. Carissa and Callon called everyone together to first receive buffs from Alera and Beatrice before facing off agains the horror. Before they can be dispensed, the ship attacked with one of its dreaded abilities, slaying Sir Worg and Delve. The two groups continued the plan, and magics were dispersed. With their flight and other reinforcing magics in place, Callon, Lucas, and Carissa soared out over the waves to engage the enemy. The arcane casters began pouring spells into it, while Alera and Beatrice started using their healing arts to disrupt the energies of undeath. Carissa tried to damage the ship first, but missed. Moments later, Lucas and Callon got into their usual positions and began landing strikes on the fleshy hull. Alera and Beatrice decided to take a more hands-on approach, with Beatrice teleporting over and Alera flying over like her comrades. They both unleashed channels and Heal spells into the terrible vessel. Callon had received a particularly potent blessing from one of Alera's spells, and decided to try using a new ability he had access to: the Smite attack of a Paladin. Charged with holy power and Callon's own might, the ship was unable to avoid its doom. 

The group returned to the deck of the Sparrow. Alera and Knox examined the fallen, and determined that the terrible rending away of Sir Worg and Delve's souls could not be undone with a regular resurrection spell. However, the use of Miracle on each one from Alera should suffice. For such specific cases, she wouldn't even have to supplement the spell with the usual amount of gold in order to petition the Dawnflower. The bodies were preserved until the morning when Alera would have the magic prepared, and both crew and Maladroits relaxed, glad to have survived and a little more comfortable with their circumstances. Lucas and Knox still opt to remain on guard around actual pirates.

For their part, Callon and Carissa retreated to her cabin to make up for lost time.

Session 149 & 150 - A Torrent of Troubles

posted Aug 19, 2018, 9:43 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Aug 19, 2018, 11:57 AM ]

Maladroits at sea! With Knox at the magical helm and Lucas using his fresh sailing knowledge to keep the ship in proper sailing form, Alera and Callon enjoyed the feeling of being on the waves. While Callon reminisced about the time he spent with Carissa on the seas of Morend, Alera ran between starboard to port to bow, full of childish wonder. She had never been on the ocean, after all, so it was quite exciting for her. For a long while it was a peaceful voyage of friends and comrades. As with everything involving the Maladroits, though, peace was not to last.

Before long, they caught sight of another ship on horizon. It was closing in on them fast, and it wasn't long before they made out the skull and crossbones defiantly hoisted over its sails. Sighing to themselves, they readied themselves for a fight. They slowed the Dibs as the other ship pulled alongside. They were told to surrender their goods or their lives. Smirking to one another, they chose a third option and took the fight to the pirates.

Both sides started off strong. The enemy cleric cast a Mind Fog on Lucas. In response, Knox put up a Prismatic Wall blocking off almost an entire side of the Dibs from view. This frustrated the pirates, as they had to reposition themselves and make quick teleports over to the Dibs. The Maladroits used this time to gather to the center of their boat and prepare their various skills and tricks. Before long, a fight is upon them, with a monk, barbarian, and bard coming over from the pirate crew to try and take them out. Callon and Lucas pair up to take on the monk, while Knox is able to send the barbarian away with Maze. Unfortunately, the barbarian is able to return in only a few moments while the monk landed a Stunning Fist on Lucas. The Maladroits front-liners were about to try and mount another offensive when another threat emerged from the waves. An enormous beast from the depths took notice of the battle and decided to make the Dibs its next prey. 

The two parties agree to a temporary cease-fire to deal with the threat. Spell and strike were piled on, but it was too little. Saved from the depths by a Mass Fly spell bequeathed to them by Knox, the Maladroits could only watch as their beautiful ship, brought all the way from the Astral Plane, slowly dipped beneath the water. Fortunately, all of the most precious items they brought with them were still in their Bag of Holding, so it was only the ship that was lost. Not only that, but Alera had heard tell of a spell she could cast that would be able to return their lost vessel to them. It was strange to have such a simple fix to a problem, for once. 

The heroes landed on the deck of the pirate ship. The other crew had already retreated there, and were continuing to fight to monster now that it's attention turned to their own vessel. Knowing their mission is more important than their ship, Callon opens negotiations to book passage to Morend. While Lucas also agrees with the order of priorities, he is less quick to forgive, keeping an eye on the crew for an excuse to enter combat again. To him, booking passage is like rewarding them for attacking the Maladroits and sinking the Dibs. Knox and Alera have their concerns, as well, but Callon gives them all the order to fall into line in Solfege. With a tentative agreement in place, the pirate crew calls for their captain.

Carissa Foxmane.

Session 146 & 148 - Where Everybody Knows Your Name

posted Aug 6, 2018, 9:10 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 6:05 PM ]

The Maladroits returned to Riparia, their adopted home for the past few months of their quest. Though thankfully free of the Invincible Trio, it had still become an unwelcoming place thanks to their efforts. Trying to keep their minds on the task at hand, they headed to the Tower to confer with their few remaining allies. On their way to the top chambers, they came across a half-elf wizard by the name of Simone who had recently arrived from the Tower's sister school, the Ivory Academy. She was a scholar of legends and lore, and told them the story of a faraway mountain range called Avannan. This particularly caught Callon's attention, as his original vision that lead to him leaving Morend involved a mountain range and being gifted with the Avanni language. After he surprised the scholar with his knowledge of the shattered moon, she went on to explain that it was fabled to be the resting place of the goddess Avanna. Dwarves guarded its depths, but dwarves unlike the kind known today. These were dwarves of legend, and spoken of as closest to the ideal of dwarves. All she could say to its location was that it was purported to be in the far east, beyond Morend and Tortuftus. They hadn't even conferred with the Divine Blade, and yet the party felt their path laying itself in front of them. 

Meeting with the masters of the Tower was a somber affair. Rufus looked somehow even weaker than before, and it pained the group that they could not, considering the stakes of their collective efforts, ask him to stop his work. Callon ventured into the mindscape for one final communion with the Divine Blade Aria now that only one Shard remained. Many shocking truths were revealed, from Carissa being awake to Oragor gifting the tattoo they had seen on Jonid to his lieutenants so that he could communicate with them. It occurred to Callon that he had not seen the Shard of Illusion yet. When he asked, he watched as Aria reached out through a hole in the air and grabbed the hand of another of herself and used the hand to slap Callon across the face. Now outside the mindscape, he realized that Aria had been the Shard of Illusion the whole time and was talking to Callon in bubble of illusion. He shared what he had been told, even though none of them could be sure what was true and what was a lie.

Since they had begun collecting the Shards, everyone involved in the effort had been wondering how they would forge them once more into the Sword of Magic. What they had recently learned of Avannan gave them hope and at the very least a lead. They began their preparations like they had for every other sojourn, but realized that not only would this journey perhaps be longer than any other so far, but they also had little reason to return to Riparia. Since they would be heading east, they decided to try going by sea, and sought a way to make the Dibs sea-worthy. The first task, of course, was bringing it over from the Plane of Shadow. A visit to the Tiderunners Consortium availed them of a method, but they would have to do a task first. There was a meeting soon between leaders of the Crow and the Stingblades to exchange some very dangerous items. The Tiderunners couldn't afford to get involved openly, but they could send adventurers to try and stop it.

The Maladroits wanted to do this undercover, so they availed themselves of Lucas' Gem of Gender-change. With some additional disguise work from Lucas, they began roaming the town as new adventurers looking for dark dealings they could take a stand against. After gathering enough info, they headed underground and hid in order to ambush the two groups. The underworld bosses finally arrived with their attendants, but before the Maladroits could make their move an unexpected group of heroes burst onto the meeting and declared their intent to stop the exchange. Rushed into action, the Maladroits had to struggle with helping the quickly overwhelmed heroes and trying to apprehend the leaders and their contraband. Unfortunately, the Stingblade leader escaped with a terribly potent poison, but they were able to capture the Crow leader who had come for a strange, wispy creature held in a cage, which Knox and Alera suspected was the manifested form of a soul.

Having done their duty, the Tiderunners used their artifact to bring over the Dibs and began to fit it for the sea. Lucas watched and learned what he could of seamanship. Callon, in his female form, was spared the slurs and hostility that the Maladroits usually received from the denizens of Riparia thanks to the rumors of the Invincible Trio. He found himself wistful of Morend and the respect his name and profession awarded him. 

Eventually, the work was done and the time came to leave. The Maladroits went through the city and got their affairs in order. It was solemn work, and not a few tears were shed as they said goodbye to friends who had stood and fought by them. They offered their now-empty rooms at Bramblewick to Elistra, Yanjing, and any other of their allies who might need a place to stay. Lucas checked in with Emmett and Kokichi. Alera paid a final visit to the Congregate. Callon promised the preserved body of Cordova that they would bring her back one day. Knox took Amii to the top of the tower and shared a kiss with the fire-haired mage. 

After their separate business, the friends took a final stroll around the city. It had loved them, hated them, but still had welcomed them and became home for a time. They took to the air with Knox's magic and watched the evening shadows stretching over the great city, just as they had every day before. Should the Maladroits succeed, it would see many more. The next day they set out on the Dibs, into waters and futures unknown.  

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