The three on assignment to help thwart the spread of information on King Noren tiKalloban’s assassination as well as identify his assailant were halted by a lock down at the palace, leaving the two ambassadors from Qi, Tawnos and Jack, and servant, Orinda, to wait patiently for word on when their audience will be granted.
Put up in a lavish estate situated on the outskirts of the palace grounds, with a large open stone promenade between the house and the palace proper, patrolled by guards constantly, the three were left to find less orthodox methods for gaining entry to the palace.
Orinda, not wishing to wait, promptly began to scout the cellar, thinking there might be a way in through a subterranean sewer system or something of that nature. Meanwhile, Tawnos decided the best opportunity for finding information was to make the house staff uneasy around him, and set to display his mystical nature, further concerning the servants trapped with this odd priest of Qi. Jack meticulously scoured all the upper levels of the manor for information and clues, checking studies, libraries, and the like, hoping to glean something on the palace layout, guards, or individuals of importance.
Orinda quickly found that there was indeed a set of pipes for the plumbing of the house that left through a small opening in the cellar wall on the south wall of the house. With this knowledge, she returned to her quarters after reporting her findings to Jack, to get some rest in preparation for the long night of work before her.
Meanwhile, as Orinda scouted the cellars bellow, Jack found himself in a library on the third floor of the manor. Whilst looking at books of little interest, a young boy in lavish clothing, clearly not a servant, found him, and latched on quick as a conversational companion. After a bit of back and forth, the boy divulged that he was Prince Garu tiKalloban, second cousin to King Noren tiKalloban. He also noted that the guard rotation was laxed, which Jack later surmised was not really the case, but rather a benefit of being from the royal line, and that a person could get into the palace through the sewers maybe, but that it was not a good way to go, mainly due to some creatures within the sewers rumored by his cousin Noren to be quite vicious.
After a while, Tawnos began to pursue a few of the staff, listening in on odd conversations, and after cornering one woman after asking for a bath to be drawn, he learned that her sister who working in the palace had claimed to see the King several times in the last few days.
The two ambassadors decided to call it a night eventually, but Orinda decided this was her opportunity to scout the sewers in solitude, an idea she later regretted due to the perils within. Using her ability to phase through materials, she made it into the sewers below the manor, and within a few minutes of traversing the first tunnel by shimmying along the overhead pipes, she saw a massive elongated creature dart past her in the sludge below her at an incredible speed. She hesitated a moment, and then pressed forward, to the end of the tunnel where a “T” formed, skillfully and acrobatically gliding from the pipes overhead to a small ledge without making a sound.
Within moments a second creature appeared, and they paced in front of her for several minutes before one left off to the west. She saw little opportunity to return the way she came, so she delved deeper into the sewers, following a maze of tunnels until she reached a large room that had massive whirring machines responsible for some manner of sewage and water control. She surveyed the area, making mental notes of the paths she had taken and the machines in this grand chamber, then climbed up some pipes and into what appeared to be the only fresh water sluice in the room. This led under the promenade, where a storm drain was present, currently within close proximity to two guards, along the west side of the estate they stayed in, and into the palace gardens behind the estate. She exited the sewers via a storm drain in the gardens near a fountain, made it over the wall separating the gardens from the palace promenade and guest estates, and within feet of a window she could phase through to get back into the manor she had come from, but then a guard rounded a corner of the manor and saw her, calling for her to halt.
She ran back to the gardens and hid in the storm drain tunnel, as the guard roused all the people of the manor, and as Tawnos and Jack, quite annoyed at being woken from their sleep, spun a tale about Orinda’s sleepwalking habits and called out to her while searching the gardens by help of an escort of guards. Orinda, not wanting to be caught, even if under the pretense of sleepwalking, decided it best to return the way she came in, willing to risk contact with the creatures lurking in the murk of the sewers once more.
When she arrived close to the “T” that would lead her to the manor, she took one of her knives and threw it as far as she could past the behemoth sitting in wait. Her aim and throw was off, and it hit the creature square in its center, blunt side, and flew off into the murk.. The creature let a blood curling squeal escape its jaws and it stood up on end, filling most of the tunnel. It was a giant slug-like monster roughly 8 feet in length with short tentacled arms and a massive jaw. It turned this way and that, calling for its companion, and after Orinda had tucked away out of sight, she saw her knife come hurling past her hiding spot, with precision enough to hit a person square if they were standing in the tunnel, before it twanged off a wall and was lost again.
Seeing her original exit thoroughly blocked now, she decided to return to the section of sewer tunnel that she calculated ran along the cellar’s exterior wall. She was able to phase through it back into the estate unnoticed, and realized with this that her original exit plans were needlessly complicated and unwise. She changed her close and sneaked back up to her room without issue. Orinda shared her intel with Jack and Tawnos on the sewers before the three retired for the night, all of them planning to investigate their options in the morning, once they had rested more.
The next morning Tawnos and Jack were awoken by servants of the house informing them that the guard had offered to escort them outside the palace walls should they need to shop or send correspondence home to Qi. The city of Mulen had returned to order, except within the palace walls. Tawnos decided it best for them to send word to Fidelius Crenwick in the palace, urging him in discrete ways to expedite their admittance into the palace walls. After this was taken care of, the set to discussing plans for entering the palace on their own, and considered heading to the market district to fetch supplies, and hopefully numenera, that would help with their plans.