The Reign of Dregoth

Night Runners Broken

The Dead

Najaf Shuja concluded his few days of research to discover that his proposition to Dregoth via Mon Adderath was accepted. The Templarate would begin an “Elf Registration” regime wherein elves in Raam who were registered and wore the registration mark would be permitted to live relatively unmolested in the city whereas elves who were not registered could be persecuted with impunity. It was also understood that only elves of certain tribes would be accepted for registration, and the Night Runners were not on that list. Content with this news and the fruits of his research, Najaf returned home to discover that his sister and companions had just survived an assassination attempt, and that they were all currently at the home of Dhaara’s uncle. Najaf hurried off to rejoin them.

Meanwhile, Alekel got a 45 minute head-start on investigating the supposed hit by the Night Runners on the offices of the Iron Ring mercantile consortium while his companions awaited the custody of their elven prisoner. He arrived under no guise but his own and saw the front door had been broken. Inside, on the floor of the hall, was the corpse of their night watchman Daiv. Alekel, hands raised, assuming he was being watched, entered the offices and engaged in a… negotiation of sorts with the cloaked and hidden would-be assassins. He informed them in no uncertain terms that Dregoth was out to get them all, and that he, as a press-ganged servant of Dregoth, was sick and tired of the raw deal he had, and of the flagrant genocide. He told the elves that they should just leave town because they really had no chance of fighting the likes of Dregoth and all his forces.

The elves, in response, made a point of noting that they had more of a right to citizenship in Raam than Alekel, a foreigner, had. The Night Runners, as the only settled tribe of elves, had lived in Raam for generations. It was their home, they were important to its economy and its existence, and that Dregoth was hardly going to personally go door to door to exterminate them. Alekel tried his hardest to persuade them to pack up en masse and depart, but his diplomatic efforts succeeded only in their own departure from the offices without killing him. He then sat on the doorstep to await the arrival of his fellows, whereupon he made no effort to conceal his growing dissatisfaction with his service to the Sorcerer-King of Raam.

The group retired to one of their pre-prepared flop-houses to discuss matters. Najaf went out of his way to attempt to placate Alekel, offering what concessions he thought he could. Alekel was willing to grudgingly continue in their efforts, mostly because he believed any other course of action would result in his magical destruction from afar.

The group discussed their time-table on the endgame of their mission. The pieces were all moving into place. Mon Adderath had the ritual that would permit him to destroy the Night Runners’ means of communication, and incidentally those most important in the tribe as well. Official forces were preparing to enforce the new registration regime while House Maarham’s mercenaries were prepared to storm Night Runner safe houses and boltholes. They decided to take three days to put everything into place, and then bring matters to what conclusion might come.

Shahzadi convinced her mother that an excellent betrothal gift to House Maarham might be any and all intelligence on Night Runner activity that Padme’s extensive network may have uncovered. Sure enough, the elderly matron of House Shuja had already devoted significant resources to investigating the elves who continued to harass and attempt to assassinate her daughter. House Maarham, guided by Safa, using this intelligence as well as their own, had their Red Crescent mercenaries storm Night Runner bases as mansabdars and templars moved openly through the city harassing and arresting any elf without the mark of registration. Najaf, utilizing his magical rituals, kept a eye on everything, timing strikes and coordinating activity, especially the moment when he felt best to cut the head off the beast via Mon Adderath’s ritual. Due to this timing, the expected response by the Night Runners to the pogrom, namely setting the city ablaze with anarchy, never materialized. All their leaders and communicators died in a massive telepathic blaze right before they could coordinate a response. Alekel stirred up all his contacts in the street, including elves of any tribe, using his powers of persuasion and events as they unfolded to convince them to leave the city en masse. Dhaara convinced her uncle to speak to the other Saddhu of Ascetics’ Row and convince them to stop taking Night Runner money in exchange for sham astrology and therefore stymie the elves operations in that part of the city. Dhaara also tracked fleeing Night Runners to their last-ditch hold-out, prepared carefully and secretly in the ruins of House Shialha’s former estates beyond the walls.

Over the course of a few days, the city was purged of its entrenched elven criminal element. There was surprisingly little collateral (i.e. non-elven) damage. Already the petitioners were lining up to lay claim to abandoned property while other factions started moving to take over criminal enterprises now bereft of masters. House Maarham was excellently placed to take significant advantage, as were the Sky Singer elves, one of the “officially sanctioned” tribes.

In the aftermath, the agents were summoned by Mon Adderath and given their reward: a booklet of vouchers they could use to draw upon the treasury. Each booklet was worth, in total, 60,000 ceramic pieces. Mon Adderath furthermore informed them that if they wished to return the booklet they could receive instead some less tangible reward, a favor, a ritual, becoming a Kaisharga, whatever came to mind. They all chose to keep the money for the time being.

After receiving their reward, they all left but for Alekel, who privately expressed his misgivings to Mon Adderath. Mon Adderath informed Alekel that, certaintly, agents could depart Dregoth’s service without dying, provided the circumstances were favorable. Mon Adderath furthermore seemed surprised at Alekel’s assertion that he was serving under compulsion. They spoke some, and came to an understanding. Alekel would continue to willingly serve Dregoth alongside his existing companions for the nonce…

Najaf and Shahzadi also had a private conversation with Mon Adderath wherein they revealed Shahzadi’s membership in the Offspring. Mon Adderath seemed fascinated, and after doing some psychic examination of Shahzadi, expressed admiration for Abalach Re’s ability and technique. He informed the siblings that while he did not detect any secret psychic triggers or other crude means of control, a biological specimen such as Shahzadi may have inbuilt “urges” like the need to procreate, or breathe, that might impel her to take actions that she might not otherwise take. Aside from that, he did not appear to see any particular threat in her, and seemed to think that the value of having an Offspring on staff was more useful than any threat she might represent.

The agents retired, then, to a night of celebration culminating once more at the Jeweled Scarab, where they drank the finest wines and had their every need satisfied.

XP: 4,000
Total: 63,332

1 book of vouchers worth 60,000 Ceramic Pieces per character

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ardhanari

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