The next morning we arose in Thentia and made plans for the day. Adric had some goods he wanted to pick up in Melvaunt, one-time home of the spy who betrayed my circle of agents and seat of one of the largest temples to Tempus in the realm.
As Adric saw to his own priorities in town, I engaged a street caricaturist and described to him – without explanation – the various faces of BOB we had seen or had described: Alec, Muad Ter’Thalas, the Faerath, the dwarf, the grey-skinned being and the bullfrog into which Badl turned him when we fought him in the Tomb.
I ordered, from said caricaturist, one poster with each of these portraits, in caricature, on a single page. Once I had that in hand, and was satisfied that the likenesses were sufficient to serve their purpose, I took the sheet and paid him well, then set off for a messenger service. The Mulmasterian noble Adric and Rock had interrogated the day before had confirmed one of our suspicions about Mulmaster and Hillsfar’s two-pronged invasion: Melvaunt’s leadership – ie, Helmuth Bruhl – had agreed to allow Mulmaster to pass by unmolested, once Thentia had fallen, in order to assault Phlan. As mayor emeritus of Phlan, I was more than just personally offended; my people had been traded between Melvaunt and Phlan like so much excess cattle.
In order to make the point to Helmuth that his deed had not gone unnoticed, I used my disguise kit and a quick Alter Self spell to make myself into the living image of Lord Dicaprio, the spy who betrayed the rest of the Obsidian Arrows all those years ago. He’s long dead, you understand; in his guise I walked right down one of the main streets of Melvaunt, into a messenger service, and sent a note to Helmuth:
It looks like you won’t have a chance to wave hello to your Mulmasterian friends as they pass by on the way to Phlan. Tsk – this is how the followers of the god of war behave when there’s an invasion on either side of them?
Then I turned right back around, walked right back down that same main thoroughfare, ducked into an alleyway to drop the disguise and the rest of us teleported to Phlan.
Once in Phlan, I had to locate a high-capacity printer. I found a dwarf who could do 20,000 copies of the caricatures I’d had drawn in Melvaunt. I had him add specific text to the posters, too: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHAPESHIFTER? Some of them have the address of my teleport point in Waterdeep, others the address of the temple to Lothander in Selgaunt, still others simply “Sess’uadra,” and some with the address of the old tower of Rowena, in Phlan itself.
Speaking of said tower, we (the TTC) now formally own it. I engaged an engraver to make a TTC sign to go on the building, but he was unwilling to actually remove the old sign from the front of the tower and replace it with mine; our compromise was that he would prop the sign up in a chair in front of the door of the tower but not actually touching it.
Is it wrong of me to hope that these posters, which are currently being manufactured and distributed throughout the realms, will piss off BOB so badly that he’ll send someone after us in Phlan and they’ll end up springing all the traps Rowena left behind so we don’t have to bother?
In other craftables news, I have commissioned the manufacture of two more TTC signet rings from a jeweler in Phlan. When they’re completed, I plan to give one to Badl and one to Adric to formally welcome them into our ranks. In the meantime, however, there are two more places of power to investigate: the Aelfwin weapon foundries in what is now the frozen waste of Rashaman and the City of Dragons, where the gold dwarves now make their home. From the sound of things, Adric wants to go to Rashaman first.