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Of Great and Terrible Things

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Blinking, cheeks uncharacteristically flushed with a hint of crimson at the dwellers' reaction, the novice slinks back a feet or two behind Balthazar, apparently convinced it would be better to let the cleric do the talking.

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Posted (edited)

Balthazar would like to play up the role of a pious but somewhat naive nobleman looking to help the poor in whatever way he can. He wants to determine when one of these special meetings are held so he can speak to the alms house owners about patronage. And of course, if these two fine individuals can help him track down this information he is willing to make a personal donation to their well-being.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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On 4/4/2020 at 6:48 PM, Servant of Dante said:

Estelia makes her way quietly to partway down the fire escape of a building to the left side of the alms house (left when looking at its front entrance). She squints her eyes, trying to pick out any details she missed or any suspicious activity that wasn't visible to her before.

((Awareness: 20 Per + 0 Known + 0 Difficulty = 20; Roll:48 for 3 DoF Faith PFint reroll: 68 for 5 DoF so it just made it worse. Faith in the Creed: 8, so Estelia is down to 1 FP))

There doesn't seem to be an obvious new details, however you do note that the door you were trying to open before force itself open (quite loudly at that).

You eventually hear someone (a male voice above you) call out from the fire escape entrance, "Oi, what're you making all the ruckus for?!"

From here at least can't make out too many facial details, and they likely can't make out too many of your details for what that's worth.

((That's what the 07 awareness ended up being))

On 4/8/2020 at 12:26 PM, Lynata said:

Blinking, cheeks uncharacteristically flushed with a hint of crimson at the dwellers' reaction, the novice slinks back a feet or two behind Balthazar, apparently convinced it would be better to let the cleric do the talking.

They don't pay too much attention to you if you quiet down, seemingly they've noted it may be that you're a "guard" for a reason.

On 4/14/2020 at 10:35 PM, Covered in Weasels said:

Balthazar would like to play up the role of a pious but somewhat naive nobleman looking to help the poor in whatever way he can. He wants to determine when one of these special meetings are held so he can speak to the alms house owners about patronage. And of course, if these two fine individuals can help him track down this information he is willing to make a personal donation to their well-being.

((Make a +30 Influence Test (as this is more or less pocket change) for the "well-being" donation (failure isn't going to hurt it just won't help). If you get any DoS you may add them to a Charm roll (base +10) until you get to +30))

Both of the scum perk up immediately at the idea of getting a payday, and seem utterly eager about helping the nobleman out.

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Estelia's eyes go wide when she realizes she's been spotted. She hurries to get out of sight of the door, reaching for her pistol but not drawing it yet. Hopefully her black bodysuit would be nondescript enough that she could not be tracked down later. She would find out how good of a look they'd gotten at her face when she came back disguised as a noble.

The Novice subvocalizes over her comm bead to Ariel and the Father, "I've been spotted from a distance, moving away now."

((Estelia will try to get and stay out of sight of the person on the roof, and try to get back down to street level so she can leave if necessary))

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Ariel watches the hivers warily, perhaps thinking they might try to rob the cleric after all if he were to start flaunting his currency.

Then the message reaches her commbead, and she glances at Balthazar to verify the priest has heard it as well. The novice seemed a bit more tense now, but made no intention to move away just yet, considering the call to be more of a status report. At least for the time being, there should be no need to interfere. In all likelihood, the denizens of the alms house might consider Lia's observation the doings of some local gang, a careful probing as to how hard or easy it might be to hit the place. If this were the case, they would most likely not pursue the scout, nor would they link the incident to this investigation. Or at least this is what the dusk-skinned novice hoped.

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Balthazar beckons the two hivers closer. "Now I'm keen to spread the Emperor's Generosity to the inhabitants of these halls, but I want to make sure my money's going to the right place. You two look like resourceful people, and I hope you could help me track down the people in charge at the alms house. If I can get into one of their meetings, I'm sure we can discuss donations and other such matters. Why, we could provide outreach and opportunities for blocks in every direction!" He hands each of them a few thrones; "An advance payment, to get the wheels turning. Once we find what we're looking for there will be a bonus for you both."

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On 4/18/2020 at 9:41 AM, Servant of Dante said:

Estelia's eyes go wide when she realizes she's been spotted. She hurries to get out of sight of the door, reaching for her pistol but not drawing it yet. Hopefully her black bodysuit would be nondescript enough that she could not be tracked down later. She would find out how good of a look they'd gotten at her face when she came back disguised as a noble.

The Novice subvocalizes over her comm bead to Ariel and the Father, "I've been spotted from a distance, moving away now."

((Estelia will try to get and stay out of sight of the person on the roof, and try to get back down to street level so she can leave if necessary))

((You can make a Stealth Test -10 Test. It's not about getting down to street level or not, but about being noticed.))

Estelia hears some grumbling back at the entrance, but at this point she is not being pursued seemingly.

On 4/21/2020 at 5:23 AM, Lynata said:

Ariel watches the hivers warily, perhaps thinking they might try to rob the cleric after all if he were to start flaunting his currency.

Then the message reaches her commbead, and she glances at Balthazar to verify the priest has heard it as well. The novice seemed a bit more tense now, but made no intention to move away just yet, considering the call to be more of a status report. At least for the time being, there should be no need to interfere. In all likelihood, the denizens of the alms house might consider Lia's observation the doings of some local gang, a careful probing as to how hard or easy it might be to hit the place. If this were the case, they would most likely not pursue the scout, nor would they link the incident to this investigation. Or at least this is what the dusk-skinned novice hoped.

((You can make an Awareness Test +0 as you were considering Estilia's goal as well. At a different view for sure, but still a scope out is a scope out even if it's short.))

On 4/22/2020 at 8:53 PM, Covered in Weasels said:

Balthazar beckons the two hivers closer. "Now I'm keen to spread the Emperor's Generosity to the inhabitants of these halls, but I want to make sure my money's going to the right place. You two look like resourceful people, and I hope you could help me track down the people in charge at the alms house. If I can get into one of their meetings, I'm sure we can discuss donations and other such matters. Why, we could provide outreach and opportunities for blocks in every direction!" He hands each of them a few thrones; "An advance payment, to get the wheels turning. Once we find what we're looking for there will be a bonus for you both."

The scum wide eye at the 'advance payment' and nod quickly at your request.

They huddle off to discuss what they each know to report back.

((You and Lyn can make Awareness -10 Tests to possibly gain any different info that they're about to give you.))

They come back and Skive begins: "Well you're lookin' for Brother Baranthas sure as a maggot ration stinks"

- "Aye, but he's away for now" - Tandy

"Away quite a bit to be fair, down in the Dark findin' "More to bring to the fold" or somesuch thing." - Skive

- "Gone four days now, prolly back in 3" - Tandy

"No, who you probably want to talk to about details is Sister Intias. She's his right hand, far as we've been told." - Skive

- Tandy scoffs and makes a face mumbling loud enough to hear, "Moren'is right hand sure as sure." and Skive bats at her.

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Posted (edited)

Watching the two hivers retreat for the moment, Ariel has little to do but wait for their return -- a time she uses to let her eyes wander to take in the sights once more. Still unaccustomed to such environs, however, the young novice finds herself easily distracted and does not seem to be able to make out anything out of the ordinary. (Roll 75 vs Per 35, 4 DoF)

Her attention returning to Tandy and Skive, she listens to their description. (Roll 72 vs Per 35-10, 5 DoF) Presumably, she muses, the Dark must refer to the lower levels of the hive, where she had heard living conditions would become more and more miserable, and public safety more and more transferred into the hands of bandit gangs. Why anyone would want to live down there was beyond her comprehension.

Edited by Lynata

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Moving as quickly as she can without making a racket, Estelia scrambles down to street level.

((Stealth: 45 Ag + 10 Stealth - 10 Difficulty = 45. Roll: 16 for 4 DoS))

Back at ground level, the novice keeps low and quickly glances around, taking stock of her present location

((Awareness if you want it: 20 Per + 0 Awareness = 20. Roll: 93 for 8 DoF (not including any difficulty modifier, not that it probably matters))

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Balthazar tenses ever so slightly when he heard the mention of Alms House officials bringing others "into the fold." That doesn't seem like a phrase used by charitable aid workers, but could potentially signal something nefarious behind the scenes. Perhaps his past experience with cults on Thaur was making him overly jumpy, but a suspicious mind is a healthy mind.

Either way, he thanks Tandy and Skive for their information, gives them any promised payment, and asks for a description of all the mentioned parties, "in case I happen to run into them." He intimates that he will be very grateful indeed if the two of them would keep him appraised of any further comings and goings from the Alms House.

He hears the commotion above but remains where he is, since it seems things are mostly under control at the moment.

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On 4/26/2020 at 12:08 AM, Lynata said:

Watching the two hivers retreat for the moment, Estelia has little to do but wait for their return -- a time she uses to let her eyes wander to take in the sights once more. Still unaccustomed to such environs, however, the young novice finds herself easily distracted and does not seem to be able to make out anything out of the ordinary. (Roll 75 vs Per 35, 4 DoF)

Her attention returning to Tandy and Skive, she listens to their description. (Roll 72 vs Per 35-10, 5 DoF) Presumably, she muses, the Dark must refer to the lower levels of the hive, where she had heard living conditions would become more and more miserable, and public safety more and more transferred into the hands of bandit gangs. Why anyone would want to live down there was beyond her comprehension.

Following the father's kind "ministrations" you do note the two scum seem like they'll continue to be cordial with your coterie down the line.

How does Ariel feel about the Father essentially bribing Scum for information, or does she think it's bribing?

On 4/26/2020 at 12:23 AM, Servant of Dante said:

Moving as quickly as she can without making a racket, Estelia scrambles down to street level.

((Stealth: 45 Ag + 10 Stealth - 10 Difficulty = 45. Roll: 16 for 4 DoS))

Back at ground level, the novice keeps low and quickly glances around, taking stock of her present location

((Awareness if you want it: 20 Per + 0 Awareness = 20. Roll: 93 for 8 DoF (not including any difficulty modifier, not that it probably matters))

Estellia isn't entirely certain where the fire exit actually lead out. The way was...confusing to say the least appears that the exit had been "maintained" over the years to update to the hab block as it was increased upon due to the ever growing nature of the Hive.

She's not entirely certain just where she ended up in relation to the front of the alms house now.

((Make a Navigate (Surface) +10 test, you may modify this with Survival +0 Test to essentially track the flow of people and maybe catch a familiar face in the same way Balt got to modify his Charm Test in the earlier post.))

On 4/28/2020 at 11:56 AM, Covered in Weasels said:

Balthazar tenses ever so slightly when he heard the mention of Alms House officials bringing others "into the fold." That doesn't seem like a phrase used by charitable aid workers, but could potentially signal something nefarious behind the scenes. Perhaps his past experience with cults on Thaur was making him overly jumpy, but a suspicious mind is a healthy mind.

Either way, he thanks Tandy and Skive for their information, gives them any promised payment, and asks for a description of all the mentioned parties, "in case I happen to run into them." He intimates that he will be very grateful indeed if the two of them would keep him appraised of any further comings and goings from the Alms House.

He hears the commotion above but remains where he is, since it seems things are mostly under control at the moment.

"Well, Brother Baranthas is a...well a bit scrawny really, think he never really got a lot of nutrient paste as a kid. Says he grew up in the Dark himself, so's I guess that catches. Short, thin, scrawny, old though, he's a survivor sure as sin. Hard to miss really, tan like he gets in the sun of the wastes, brown eyes, odd hair though...like pus-fruit wine. Piercing in his eyebrow, gold, says is from his ganger days to remind him where he was so it can't drag him back...looks valuable though..." Tandy says off handedly as if she's thought of taking it before.

"Sister Intias is wiry, taller, only a bit though, thinner 'n gettout. Hardly think she eats anything, says she enjoys fasting, puts her closer to the Emperor. Personally I think if the Emperor didn't want us to eat he wouldn't provide us with food, but who am I to disagree." Skive shrugs, "Anyways, she's younger than Baranthas, but not by much. Personally I think they grew up together, but you didn't hear that from me, I don't think they're actually brother and sister," he whispers conspiratorially. "Fair skinned, mousy short hair, blue eyes...bluest eyes I ever saw. Jittery though, says she got a tic from the fumes when she was young, acts up every now and again when things get hectic."

They definitely give their approval at the idea of keeping Balthazar appraised of anything that may be happening anytime soon, but they explain that things don't generally happen until Brother Baranthas gets back up from the Dark.

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The blond novice takes uncertain stock of her situation before trying to make her way back to the alms house.

((Survival: 20 Per - 20 Untrained + 0 Difficulty = 01, Roll: 72 for 8 DoF so no help with the Navigation there.
Navigation (Surface): 30 Int - 20 Untrained + 10 Difficulty = 20, Roll 21 for 1 DoF))

Unfortunately, Estelia is forced to admit to herself that she's lost. At least a bit. She could have sworn the place was right there.

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The bribery itself does not seem to concern Ariel too much. She would have been enraged if they had been acting in their official capacity as emissaries of the Church, but even in her blissful ignorance she understands the concept of poverty (somewhat), and thus the idea of being paid when performing services for strangers.

"Suffering lets us experience an inkling of the Emperor's own sacrifice", Ariel offers helpfully as Skive finishes, as if happy to have finally found something common to talk about. "We need to eat to survive, but by choosing to fast we can show Him the purity of our immortal souls, so He may elevate us to sit at His table in the afterlife."

Like right out of the book. Belatedly, the novice wonders if her little sermon was too out of line for their cover, but she calms herself with the thought that starfaring nobles considering to invest in an alms house would of course have to be spiritually minded. Why else would anyone part with their riches to fund a public institution?

She tries to recall if the briefing they had received on this world mentioned anything in relation to this 'Dark' and the 'wastes'. The terminology seemed obvious enough, but perhaps there was something more specific.

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Balthazar has no more questions for the hivers, and he thanks them for their help. At this point he sees two possible courses of action -- talk to Sister Intias in the Alms House or go looking for Brother Baranthas. Which one they choose to pursue first is up for the group as a whole to decide.

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On 4/30/2020 at 1:20 AM, Servant of Dante said:

The blond novice takes uncertain stock of her situation before trying to make her way back to the alms house.

((Survival: 20 Per - 20 Untrained + 0 Difficulty = 01, Roll: 72 for 8 DoF so no help with the Navigation there.
Navigation (Surface): 30 Int - 20 Untrained + 10 Difficulty = 20, Roll 21 for 1 DoF))

Unfortunately, Estelia is forced to admit to herself that she's lost. At least a bit. She could have sworn the place was right there.

This area certainly seems...different in a similar way that much of the hive is similar. You can see why people who live her are adept at urban navigation.

Anyone in this back area of the hab block seems to be on their own business, and currently are not paying much attention to you.

At this point, it seems that either Estelia may have to get ahold of her team for aid, or ask one of the various citizen for directions. Oddly enough you have heard Lax mention of some people who take work directing and leading people places for a living. Getting lost in a hive is an easy thing, finding your way back, not so much.

On 5/4/2020 at 1:21 PM, Lynata said:

She tries to recall if the briefing they had received on this world mentioned anything in relation to this 'Dark' and the 'wastes'. The terminology seemed obvious enough, but perhaps there was something more specific.

It seems as if the scum had heard much similar from the alms house or street preachers, and don't take too much regard with the sermon.

As for what Ariel may recall, I believe in her time in Desoleum she would have learned generally that the 'Dark' is a point below even the underhive. It is the foundational layer of the city. As bad as an Underhive it, this is supposed to be worse...somehow. The 'wastes' refer to the area outside of the hive, the irradiated, glassed deserts of the planet dividing hive cities.

((You can make Common Lore (Imperium) +0 test to ask more specific questions that I'll answer))

On 5/10/2020 at 10:00 PM, Covered in Weasels said:

Balthazar has no more questions for the hivers, and he thanks them for their help. At this point he sees two possible courses of action -- talk to Sister Intias in the Alms House or go looking for Brother Baranthas. Which one they choose to pursue first is up for the group as a whole to decide.

((After discussing on Discord what the current plan is for the group.))

Before a meeting can occur you'll need to get back with Estelia, and it definitely feels like she should have made contact by now or been caught, some change regardless.

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Estelia tries to make contact with Ariel via their comm beads "Ariel, I think I'm lost. Can you still hear me?"

She begins looking around for any nearby landmarks that might let Ariel and the Father know where she is.

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Balthazar hears Estelia's request for help and responds once away from the hivers. "Yes Estelia, I can still hear you loud and clear. Where are you? Do you recognize any landmarks near your location?" ((If there's an opportunity for an assisted Navigate check Balthazar could possibly help, but he's pretty bad at anything Perception based.))

 

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The other novice could not suppress a small sigh, though part of her empathised with Estelia. This humongous city was truly a mess; she wondered how many people got lost here on a daily basis, and how many might never find their way back.

"What if you just ask one of the people you meet for the location of the alms house?", she offers, perhaps a little naively. "If it services the poor, it has to be a location the streetfolk would know about."

On 5/16/2020 at 3:36 PM, ThenDoctor said:

((You can make Common Lore (Imperium) +0 test to ask more specific questions that I'll answer))

((Unfortunately that is a Specialist Skill I don't have, so this is not an option for me. Would have probably just been trivia anyways, though!))

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On 5/20/2020 at 7:18 PM, Servant of Dante said:

Estelia tries to make contact with Ariel via their comm beads "Ariel, I think I'm lost. Can you still hear me?"

She begins looking around for any nearby landmarks that might let Ariel and the Father know where she is.

 

On 5/22/2020 at 9:13 PM, Covered in Weasels said:

Balthazar hears Estelia's request for help and responds once away from the hivers. "Yes Estelia, I can still hear you loud and clear. Where are you? Do you recognize any landmarks near your location?" ((If there's an opportunity for an assisted Navigate check Balthazar could possibly help, but he's pretty bad at anything Perception based.))

 

 

On 5/25/2020 at 4:11 AM, Lynata said:

The other novice could not suppress a small sigh, though part of her empathised with Estelia. This humongous city was truly a mess; she wondered how many people got lost here on a daily basis, and how many might never find their way back.

"What if you just ask one of the people you meet for the location of the alms house?", she offers, perhaps a little naively. "If it services the poor, it has to be a location the streetfolk would know about."

((Given that this is all of you assisting this one thing, I'll just make one general reply.

Take a +20 to an Awareness, and/or to an Inquiry depending on if you take Balt/Ariels or both suggestions.))

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Estelia freezes, not sure at first which piece of advice to follow, before settling on listening to Estelia. The people of the hive had been rather fun to talk to before, even if they didn't wish to speak to her. She looks around for someone who doesn't look too busy and approaches.

((reminder: Estelia is wearing just her armored bodyglove right now, and has her laspistols strapped to her waist. Inquiry: 35 Fel + 0 Known + 20 Difficulty = 55. Roll: 58 for 1 DoF. Faith Point Re-roll: 31 for 3 DoS. Faith in the Creed: 2 so no regained FP, 1 remaining))

"Good day [sir/madam], I'm looking for the alms house that I think is around here somewhere. I can't seem to find it in all these alleys."

The Novice does her best to smile endearingly at the stranger she has addressed.

((She leaves her comm open as she talks and hopes she sounds "natural" to the locals))

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On 5/29/2020 at 12:47 AM, Servant of Dante said:

Estelia freezes, not sure at first which piece of advice to follow, before settling on listening to Estelia. The people of the hive had been rather fun to talk to before, even if they didn't wish to speak to her. She looks around for someone who doesn't look too busy and approaches.

((reminder: Estelia is wearing just her armored bodyglove right now, and has her laspistols strapped to her waist. Inquiry: 35 Fel + 0 Known + 20 Difficulty = 55. Roll: 58 for 1 DoF. Faith Point Re-roll: 31 for 3 DoS. Faith in the Creed: 2 so no regained FP, 1 remaining))

"Good day [sir/madam], I'm looking for the alms house that I think is around here somewhere. I can't seem to find it in all these alleys."

The Novice does her best to smile endearingly at the stranger she has addressed.

((She leaves her comm open as she talks and hopes she sounds "natural" to the locals))

Estelia seems to have found herself at a food stall named 'Garak's Grub' which is in a lull period for the time. Perhaps the majority of shift changes are over.

Not exactly sure what the stall is selling other than what smells like meats covered in some sort of sweet smelling sauce to mask the...dubious quality of the actual protein it's on.

The stall vendor is a middle-aged man who's currently mixing what appears to be a newer batch of food (again seemingly in the lull since there's time).

'Garak' as the sign would imply actually takes a look up from his work and wide eyes a little bit at Estelia gear.

"Throne, you ain't there to shake it down or nothin' huh? They're decent customers when they aren't begging." He seems to be kidding though as he laughs to himself shaking his head.

He makes a quick...confection (it's basically a gyro) and hands it to her, "First one's free, but the Alms house is down that road and hang a left for a quarter block when you hit the main thoroughfare."

((Theoretically Estelia may ask him some questions, or come back later (as we discussed about her making her way back) certainly something to keep in mind given the high DoS basically giving an alright impression on him.

Assuming she goes on her way.))

He calls out to Estelia as she begins making her way back to the alms house, "Tell your friends! Heck bring'em!" he laughs to himself again.

On 5/22/2020 at 9:13 PM, Covered in Weasels said:

 

 

On 5/25/2020 at 4:11 AM, Lynata said:

 

((We'll just assume the both of you note Estelia walking up from the other direction you'd have thought.))

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Raising a hand to signal the fellow novice, Ariel waited until Estelia had bridged the distance.

"For the Emperor's love, please try not to get lost again, Sister", she chides the other girl, though her expression also conveys a sense of relief. "And I thought the Convent Sanctorum was big. Do the people here not get lost, or is it just that there are so many no-one will miss them?", she wonders aloud before turning to Balthazar, perhaps expecting the priest to give the go-word for the next stage of their plan.

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Estelia waves back at Ariel, just finishing the gyro "A nice man gave me some food and pointed me in the right direction. It seems like the locals know their way around this part of the hab at least," in a lower voice she continues, "We should get going if we don't want to be recognized when we return, or someone gets the wrong idea from the way I'm dressed. I'd rather not have to test your theory about whether anyone misses the disappeared."

The Novice nods also to Father Thorne, "Was your visit productive? I found a place we can get some food and maybe ask questions of a local discretely, but not much else."

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"I am glad the Emperor guided you back to us safely," says Balthazar. "We do have sone promising leads for our investigation. If we return tomorrow in our noble attire, we can obtain an audience with the 'Sister' who is running sone alms house operations. And there is another senior member there who may be visiting the Underhive; I would certainly like to question him.

"Let us retire for the day, I think we have had enough adventure for the moment. " With that, Balthazar is ready to return to the villa. 

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Per my figuring:

1230 XP for base tests

Round up for roleplaying 170

Total: 1400 XP to spend

Feel free to refresh Fate Points, Wounds, etc for resting.

Feel free to get a Requisition set in if you'd like.

Is there anything you'd like to do in the short time you're waiting at the Villa beforehand?

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