Ep 26: "Cutting the Cord"

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Seldanna again met with the King for her predetermined dinner. He continued trying to impress her with flowers in the carriage and more simple food than the previous meetings. This time she asked him to create a formal guard for the city. He tried to argue that the Nocturne were less prone to corruption, but she pointed out that the Nocturne lacked a mortal quality. He grumbled something about the fact that “she” suppresses the Nocturne’s empathy, but did not say who “she” was. He agreed to Seldanna’s request as long as she finds a person to run the guard and asked him for something selfish the next time.
Oisin tried again to connect to Tre at the tower. He was able to get a small reaction from Tre, but ended up just talking to him until the lunch meeting. Mari sold her flowers and, this time, was not bothered by Jastra. Pesk arrived at Reynard Manor to visit Seldanna and walk to the Beer Forge with her. Pesk immediately noticed the tension between the other two women and tried to speak with both of them to help resolve the issue.Nothing was resolved at the time, so Pesk and Seldanna went to the Beer Forge to see everyone else.
At the Beer Forge, the group discussed what they had been up to and spoke with Ivy now that she was back. Mari suggested speaking with her friend and roommate, Hailey, about who to appoint as the new head of the guard. Hailey was likely to have a good idea since she was a member of the guard. The group started to head out when Steros, a tax collector, sauntered in and started demanding taxes from Ivy. She complained that it was early, but Steros insisted he was within the law as long as he did not collect twice in one month.
Seldanna, irritated on Ivy’s behalf, attempted to intervene. Unfortunately, Steros was either too ignorant to know who she was or too pompous and full of his own self worth to care. He ignored Seldanna and even insulted her several times. Pesk, angered at the insults being slung at her friend, punched Steros after he made one comment too many. Ivy pointed out to Pesk that she should technically have kicked her out of the bar, but wasn’t going to do so. Pesk had to promise not to punch or bite anyone else unless they threatened her first.
The group left the Beer Forge and met with Hailey at the Tea Garden to discuss options to lead the guard. During the discussions, Hailey begrudgingly admitted that her first choice to lead the guard would be a man named Aldion. Hailey wrote a list for Seldanna of people in the guard she would trust to run things, and also those she would not trust. This surprised the group, but they were surprised even more when several of them spied a copy of Hobbes’ Tome of Transcription inside Hailey’s bag as she pulled out paper to write the list.
After Hailey left, the group discussed the fact that she must be part of another resistance cell. Mari also told Seldanna, and the others, about her surprise meeting with Jastra and some of the things that Jastra had revealed to her. This included Jastra’s knowledge of  Seldanna’s “secret” apartment, the fact that Seldanna had been to the Temple District, and that Seldanna had nearly been stabbed to death. Seldanna was, understandably flustered and headed home while the others followed behind.
At Reynard Manor, the group continued to discuss the situation with Jastra. They were worried that she might know about them being in the resistance as well. Seldanna also questioned why Jastra had revealed so much information to Mari. At that point, Mari reluctantly admitted that Jastra had told also told her they were both Nikosta. This was very hard for Seldanna and the others to process, since the Nikosta were generally considered just legend and myths.
The continued tension between Seldanna and Juveha became too much for Pesk. She managed to mediate between the two of them enough for Seldanna to get up the nerve to apologize. Juveha expressed that she was capable of taking care of herself and revealed facts about the day’s events that proved she had been watching Seldanna, and the group, throughout the day. Though no one in the group had seen her at all. Juveha referred to herself as a Handmaiden of the Cord and said that she had sworn an oath to always be by Seldanna’s side. No one had any idea what a Handmaiden of the Cord was, but it was generally assumed that it must be some sort of secret order of handmaidens.
Juveha, much happier after the conversation with Seldanna, rushed out to enjoy her fist ever night on the town. As she left, the group heard a party start at one of the nearby houses and realized that it was one of the first night parties since the curfew was banned. It was proof that, though it might have been small, they had changed something in their town.
Mari, back at her apartment for the night, had a conversation with Hailey. They were excited to find out they were both in the resistance, but frustrated to realize they could not discuss everything with each other. They did both agree that it was nice not to have to hide their movements as much as they had been before.
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