Our travels lead us to the city of New Thebes, which lies behind a portal in the basement of the high tower of Birth. Unlike Birth, New Thebes is heavily stratified economically by a series of walled off plateaus. In the lowest plateau, which is referred to as the trench, people live in absolute squalor and misery. This is also where we were allowed access to the city, after a suspicious trip through customs.
As we ascended the tiers, Mars stopped off at a bank and exchanged some of her gold(which is illegal here… perhaps as a means to prevent people from owning any true wealth?) for an absurd paper currency. I have taken a vow of poverty and even I think it is ridiculous. I suspect that this is also a view shared by the wanted fugitive, Tarja. Another bank further up the city exploded into the street, and Tarja stood over the rubble with somebody official looking from inside, whom she executed in public. She then fled into the chaos. I gave chase alone, to the chagrin of my comrades.
As I chased her, I realized I was living out a dream I often have about chasing the seeress through strange and filthy streets. In the dream I nearly catch her but she falls off a cliff. In the waking world she was even harder to catch, somehow bending time or reality to blink in and out of my perception. She was acutely aware that I was chasing her, which hurt my feelings a little because I was doing so as a pretty bird. She jumped from the top of the tier into the district below and gave me the slip.
The people seemed to be celebrating spontaneously in the streets below. In my search, I found another element from my dream. A tavern called the two torches. There, I inquired about the seeress as I know her from behind time, which led me to the table of Scarlet. Her name matched her long hair. She carried herself like she knew her way around in a fight, and she wore an eye patch to conceal her constant and obvious desire to wink at me throughout our conversation. I learned that she too was hunting the seeress, whom she knew as Tarja, but with nefarious intent. She proposed that we work together to find her, and that to prove myself I should knock over a jewelry store owned by a man named Datsielk. I assume she had an engagement ring picked out and hoped that when I saw it the mood would strike me to propose to her. Alas, fate had other plans. We stand on opposite sides of Tarja’s well being, so had to part ways. She made some kind of dig about how we might need her help to escape the city. A desperate ploy. I realize now that if we do find a way out of the city, it will be as it’s liberators and not smuggled out in a basket or whatever she had in mind.
I reunited with my comrades, and we finally found some city officials who were willing to take us seriously. We were put up in a tower and offered fresh clothes and accommodations. I of course decided to fly around the city some more and explore. I followed my nose to a massive fallen mage tower that still layed strewn across the city. Supposedly an angel fell from the sky sixteen years ago and knocked it over. Hoping to find the seeress, I instead found a pair of bickering mages. They seemed to be imprisoned and thought maybe I could help them escape. Not knowing whether or not they could be trusted, their captor opened the cell door. White Elf. White elves don’t taste so bad.
United by a common enemy, we set about escaping the apparent secret tower prison complex with a gaggle of their scryer mage friends and a myriad of other desperate seeming prisoner types that always seem to litter white elf habitats. After a wrong turn or two and some combat with some first bemused and then very concerned white elf B team guards, we found our way out of the mazelike structure and back into the trench.
After finding a place to lay low, my new friends told me that my comrades had been captured after I left, and taken to a discouragingly secure location. Strangely, Harolde and Cho were held in the least secure place, and had managed to cause some trouble on their own before I arrived. I laid down some magic, and was perhaps a bit overzealous about jumping into the fray. And hey Tarja was there shooting arrows on our behalf! When the combat finally seemed to be going our way, she signaled some kind of warning and quit the battle. She escaped what we did not; some kind of indigo orb that lit up like a black sun and forced us into some other plane of being. Here, it seemed we could perceive the souls of the living and the dead. Obviously, we had to fight our way through both to destroy the black orb thingie. Speaking of dead souls, my favorite vampire [Violiana] showed up to aid us! The ship she planned to take out of birth turns out to be none other than the Equinox, and that lovable scamp [Winston Scarsdale] won’t leave town without us.
We destroyed the orb, and made a temporary escape from the grounds to lick our wounds. On the way out we freed Harolde’s friend Felipe! He is a very hairy man. Violiana very much wanted to head back to Birth. She is understandably antsy around white elves, since they are notoriously good at controlling the undead. I hope that we become friends, Vi and us, and that she can take some comfort in the fact that we do not abandon our friends to torture and death, even if that requires us to raid the seven pointed structure that seems to be the seat of power for the seven kingdoms in New Thebes. I would prefer to do more planning, which means that Harolde must be beside himself. But there is no time for that, our enemies don’t treat their guests as nicely as we do. Arcturus, Mars, Dietlinde. We are coming.