The one with the earthquake

Yanika sat at the dinner table in her apartment, feet on the table and leaning back in her chair with a cup of wine in her hand. Her friends were sitting opposite of her, waiting for her to start talking about all that had happened after the date. She let out a soft sigh and took another sip from her wine.

“We went to the mining guild to see if they could shed some more light on the earthquakes, and to our surprise found out that there is an independent mining company next to the big one. Most of the mines belong to the Cooperative, led by Ortir, but there is also one small mining business next to them, called Quaritz mining. The talks did not lead to much information however. Ortir could confirm that the earthquakes are not natural, and that no-one has been disappearing in the mines, and confirmed that the deeper you go into the mines, the stronger the effects. The only other two interesting points of news was that they had a sighting of West, my Otyugh friend, and that Spade asked some questions regarding an axe.”

Estar looked a bit confused at the mention of West, how could anyone befriend an Otyugh? So between Zaela and Helix, they managed to recount the story of how Yanika had sort of befriended him.

“So after that we had a discussion on how to proceed further, as we didn’t have any real leads anymore. Tailing Maerissa to see if she’s involved somehow? Finding Har’Hak? Talk to Jonas in the black Maze, or as I suggested doing, investigate the house in the Noble district. In the end Kayne, Aitlas and me stayed behind in the guildhall to observe Maerissa, which led to nothing, while Spade, Ace, Majid and Zebulor went to the flower shop, also coming back more or less empty handed.”

She turned to Estar to explain that they were trying to find out if the impostor had been buying flowers under his name and that they would be informed if he came back to buy more. He nodded at her and motioned to continue the story, while Zaela refilled their cups.

“We settled on finding out more information on the Black Maze first, so we returned to the entrance where we had met Janos. He was surprised to see us there but was more than willing to talk about the Black Maze. Apparently monsters are mostly unaffected by the toxin, and he hadn’t heard any music in the Black Maze, nor does he know of any big temple. He offered us to come back in with him, and all except Kayne and me accepted. Back at the small temple where we had gotten our blessings, Ace figured out that there was a creature there and she tried to make contact, but without success.”

Yanika reached for some of the fruit sitting on the table, courtesy of Estar, and munched on the apple as she gathered her thoughts about how the story had continued.

“At least she didn’t have any success in the Black Maze itself, but she did get a visit from the creature at night. They had a bit of a talk and Ace learned that the creature knows the location of the dwarven pyramid, and that it has nothing to do with the earthquakes. It also said that there is a way to protect yourself from the toxin, and that we would know how when we realized how the tocin came to be. The main piece of information though was that it is the owner of the Mirrorsheen Sword, and that Har’Hak had been employed by the creature to retrieve it.”

She brushed her fingers through her long red hair and licked her lips, finishing the last of the apple before swallowing it down with some wine.

“Also during that night the earthquake hit and while everyone ran to Ace and Spade’s for some reason, I headed to the new guildhall to see if it had been affected by it at all. While investigating the grounds, I found a crack in the street leading from the guildhall to an abandoned inn called The Burning Hall. I informed Dakmar about it and he said it is probably some old underground hallway or tunnel that collapsed. I decided to investigate the inn on my own, and quickly found out that, even though it had been boarded up, the back entrance was only a disguise, and had been used recently. The only thing I found before turning back was a bunch of mechanical creatures called bronze scouts. They are usually used for digging tunnels and such and are mostly harmless unless directed to attack, and they are also extremely tough. Investigating any further on my own would be folly, so I waited for the rest to arrive to go any further.”

With that being told, she looked up, noticing the time and half stumbled, half stood up from her chair. It was already getting late and she had another date with the lovely Emine that evening. Helix laughed out loud as she hurried to her room to freshen up and get changed, while Zaela shook her head in amusement, heading after her friend to help her prepare.

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