Conversation 1: 11/13/16
Me: “Anyone with you?”
Bear: “Yes. The same two I brought last time. May I come in, Pearce?”
Me: I open the door. “You boys are up late. Come in”
DM: The two underlings move forward into the room, poking their heads in, then return and say it looks secure.
Bear: Bear enters and politely asks, “May I sit?” His eyes tell a different story though, as he is almost glaring at you.
Me: “Sure. Have a seat” I gesture for the table
Bear: Bear slowly sits, making himself comfortable, then looks toward you. “When is the last time you had been to the Senation District?”
Me: “I’ve never been”
Bear: Bear pulls a bag out and pits it on the table. He opens it up and slides a human head out onto the table. The man’s face has gross little scabbies on it. There is a pause. “Were you involved with this?”
DM: You don’t recognize this man, but based on the level of decay he was either recently killed or recently homeless and killed.
Me: Pearce recoils “Geez man. No. I don’t know who that is or whatever happened to him”
Bear: Bear stares at Pearce for awhile, studying his face. His expression is hard, but seems to lack the anger that was present when he first entered. Finally, he relaxes. “I was hoping that was the case.” He puts the head back in the bag and closes it. “I didn’t believe you were the kind of man to do something like this. I’m glad I was right about you.”
Me: “O-Ok? Good to know?”
Bear: “I apologize for any insult I might have caused. However, I have been intending to approach you at some point, this miscommunication just hastened that moment. I would like to make you a Council Member.”
Me: “A what? Like on the weather society?”
Bear: “Yes, on the lower council. Would you be interested in that sort of position?”
Me: “Yes, on the lower council. Would you be interested in that sort of position?”
Bear: “You have several qualities that I desire in an employee. I think you would serve the position well, and having another friend on the council is always beneficial to me.”
Me: “So you get me in and I help you out with whatever it is you do?”
Bear: “That’s correct. And you will be paid, of course. Consider it a retirement plan.”
Me: “And if I say no?”
Bear: “I would be disappointed. I might offer you other, smaller jobs in the future. I always have need of a man with your talents. But I would greatly prefer you say yes.”
Me: “I’m not sure what qualities you’re talking about but I’ll will politely decline your offer as tempting as it is. Thank you anyway”
Bear: “Like I said, very disappointing. However, I do have a small job I could use you for now. No obligation, just a one time thing. And you’ll make 500 gold. Would you be interested?”
Me: “Depends entirely on the job”
Bear: “I had something taken from me awhile ago. Something very dear. I was able to locate it recently in the possession of a Captain in the Docks. The job would be to retrieve it.”
Me: “Do you know where this Captain is?”
Bear: “I know where he can frequently be found.”
Me: “Ok. What’s his name and what does he have?”
Bear: “Are you agreeing to the job? I hope you understand I don’t want to be airing my personal grievances unless we’ve come to an understanding.”
Minion: Mutters, “That would be a-paw-ling” The other one shoves him once, and he quiets.
Bear: Bear turns around to look at the two underlings. “You are being extremely rude to our host. Please wait outside.” The underlings leave quietly.
Me: “Look. I will tentatively agree to this but I can’t 100% commit. I don’t know who this target is or how powerful his connections might be. Let alone what you want me to get”
Bear: He nods. “That is shrewd. I suppose I will trust you to keep my business discrete then. The man’s name is Blackthrone Bill. He stole my bear. Or he bought my stolen bear. I don’t care. I want it back.”
Me: “Like… an actual bear?”
Bear: “Yes. My pet bear. They’re very hard to come by, as you can imagine.”
Me: “… How do you expect me to … get your bear to follow me. I’m not an animal handler. Let alone find the thing”
Bear: “I know where Blackthorne is, and he takes the bear everywhere with him, from what I’ve been told. I would normally have Duchess do something like this, but she’s been tied up in the Temple District for much longer than expected. I would suggest getting a cage and a sleeping potion from a local alchemist.”
Me: “… those would have to be your expenses not mine”
Bear: Bear looks surprised and a little bit offended. “Is 500 gold not enough of a payment for you? Fine. Make the necessary purchases and I will refund you the cost.”
“Do you need help or do you believe this is something you can handle alone?”
Me: “How big is this bear?”
Bear: “Its the size of a dog. Should be perfectly manageable for you.”
Me: “Then I should be fine by myself. Where do you want your bear delivered?”
Bear: “That depends how quickly can you retrieve it? My Mids Operations have been…hampered somewhat in the last week. I’m in the process of setting up a new location.”
Me: “Well. Assuming your info is good and I can find the bar he frequents maybe a day or 2?”
Bear: "That will hopefully be enough time. I will leave a note with the address once I’ve confirmed that it is secure. So Blackthorne Bill can be found most nights in the Monkey Knuckle. Have you heard of it?
Me: “Nope”
Bear: “It’s a bar in the Docks. Seedy place, frequented by sailors in port. Make sure you look the part. When you are stopped at the door, make sure you tell them you sail under Captain Red Ear on the ship ‘Deep Plow’. That ship is in port and Red Ear won’t be around for the next few days.”
Me: “Ok. Well. I’ll try. Only thing I can tell ya”
Bear: Bear pulls out a bag of gold and puts it on the table. “Here is your 500 gold. I’ll be in touch.” He turns to leave, but stops. “I’m heading to the Temple District. As a show of friendship, is there anything I can do for you while I’m there?”
Me: “I wouldn’t mind knowing how you plan on getting in. I’ve heard security is pretty tight on the border”
Bear: “That’s it? That’s really all you’d like as your favor?”
Me: Pearce shrugs. “I don’t deal with the temple much”
Bear: “Alright. I have a pass and a special understanding with their security personnel. If that’s all, I’ll take my leave. I look forward to our next meeting.”

Conversation 2: 12/20/16
Me: “Who is it?”
Bear: “It’s Bear. May I come in?”
Me: “Our business is concluded Bear” I gesture to Jacket he might want to put on his mask if wants to keep his face hidden
DM: He puts on the mask. You see him move his hand under his robes which you now know contains wands
Bear: “You left a strongly worded message for me. I don’t understand what happened.”
Me: “I talked to your man. He’s had that thing for ages. You said it was stolen. He had witnesses to collaborate. I don’t like liars Bear”
DM: There is a silence before that. Like. Thoughtful silence.
Bear: “You spoke directly to him? Did you see his pet bear?”
Me: “Our. Business. Is. Done.”
Bear: Bear sighs. He sounds tired and sad. “I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. My sources said that this captain had a small pet bear. It had been so long since I had seen my dear friend that I…I…” He goes quiet for a bit. “Could you tell me more of what you found out? I understand you can’t continue, but finding out the truth is important to me. I can pay you for your time.”
Me: I mouth “I’ll be right back” and I open the door and try to slip outside. “Um. Look maybe I was a bit harsh? I apologize if you’re serious. I did find a pet bear but it seems like he’s been with them for generations. Maybe it’s a different bear? Look both of you claim ownership and both sound sincere. Sorry. I can’t help you”
Bear: He looks a bit relieved. Perhaps hiding the expression behind a solemn face.
“Did you see it with your own eyes? What color was his fur? Were his eyes two different colors?”
DM: You describe the bear which does not match the description.
Bear: Bear stares Pearce in the eyes with a strange look. It could be either rage or grief. It could be both. He then looks away, suddenly unable to maintain eye contact. “I’m very sorry I wasted your time. I think I was a bit overzealous with my assumptions. Can I offer you payment for you time and for my embarrassment? 100 gold?”
Me: “Well. Sounds like there are 2 bears.” I take the gold. “I’m sorry you couldn’t find your friend”
Bear: Bear nods. “Me too, especially now. I have lost a great many friends in the last 24 hours. Though I suppose you probably have too.”
Me: “I think everyone has. And sadly it seems things are going to get worse. Depending on where you’re from”
Bear: “Yes. It was a dark night, and not just because of the moon theft.” He makes eye contact again for the first time since breaking it off. “Are you okay?”
Me: “Me? I’m surviving. What about you? You seem like you might be at the end of your rope”
Bear: He nods again, the changing shadows really defining the bags under his eyes. “I am. I think everyone knew this war was coming, but I had no idea how soon. I’ve done what I can to put out the fires, but I’m physically drained.”
Me: “Why are you a part of this? I didn’t know you were with the Mids.”
Bear: “I’m not. I don’t care about this ‘district’. I care about the people in this district. They’ve been through so much torment the last few decades. I hoped the weather society would finally be the answer, but I was wrong.”
DM: He is maybe over exaggerating his hope in the Weather Society being successful.
Me: “And who would you have lead the people? You?”
Bear: “No, I’m not cut out to rule. And I don’t have an answer. But I know the temple, Senate, and blue poles are scrambling to take over. And they won’t be good for anyone.”
Me: “… the senate and bluepoles are a part of this?”
Bear: “In different ways, yes.”
Me: “If 3 districts all declare war on the Mids we’re done for. What are they doing exactly”
Bear: Bear seems to suddenly catch himself. “You’re asking a lot of questions. What will you do with this information?”
Me: “Depends on how the senate and Bluepoles are going to react. If they’re going to join the temple I need to act or else the Mids will be destroyed. You’ve already told me their involved. Might as well tell me the full story” Pearce stops and stands at attention. “Wait” He turns to his apartment. “I had a guest. This should not be heard by others. Please give me a second.”
DM: You go in and after a short discussion Jacket exits the apartment.
Me: I invite the bear in. “Bear. Are you playing me? Is everything you’ve said true”
Bear: Bear looks at Jacketman as he leaves. "Unfortunately yes. Now what do you plan to do? "
Me: “The Senate and Bluepoles are going to war on the Mids. I need you to say that clearly. No misunderstanding”
Bear: “Who would you tell? Not everyone in the Mids has the interest of the people at heart.”
Me: “Sigh. Every time you deflect the question you make me more suspicious. That might be true but if you didn’t think I wanted to help the people you wouldn’t have said what you did. So why are you deflecting?”
Bear: Bear chuckles. “Understandable. You make a valid point with that deflection.” He gives a knowing look at Pearce. “But fine. They are both considering war for different reasons. It’s complicated.”
Me: “Will they side with the temple? Mids? Whoever wins?”
Bear: “What reason do I have for revealing all of this if you won’t answer any of my questions?”
Me: “You want me to answer a question without knowing the details. You’ve said the Bluepoles are going to war. If they’re going to war for the Mids. My answer changes. If they’re going to war for the Temple, My answer changes. Same applies to the Senate”
Bear: “I have reliable information that either the Blue Poles or the Senations will betray the Mids as a whole. The Blue Poles have been playing both sides, supplying both the Mids and the Temple. The majority of the Senate don’t like the Temple District, they’re very anti-religion there afterall. But there is a small minority who are invested in the Temple. So if I had to guess which one would betray the Mids by joining the Temple in this war I’d say the Blue Poles. But the Senations have…other motivations.”
Me: “So a full blown war is coming” Pearce is just kinda staring and taking deep breaths. “I’m going to try and make a sanctuary I guess. You seem to know everything that goes on in this city. Maybe one side is good and one side evil. Frankly I don’t know”
Bear: “You’re asking for absolutes in a non-absolute situation. The Temple started their invasion last night, did they not? And the situation is only going to get worse. Now, it’s your turn.”
Me: “I know that there are people who don’t want to fight in this war. You gave me that intel, maybe you came over here to know. I’m going to take those I can and help them survive”
Bear: “How will you do this?”
Me: “Cut me some slack. You told me 5 minutes ago. What are your plans? You said you don’t want to the Bluepoles or senate to win, or the temple. If we can’t win the war then what do you plan to do?”
Bear: “That’s fair. Would you like my help? It sounds like a valuable project, and the city needs those right now.”
Me: “You would help me? What do you get out of it?”
Bear: “If you are truly creating a sanctuary to help people, that’s enough. I have done … horrible things to get to where I am. The least I can do is use my position to atone for what I’ve done. The first step is to talk to the Senate. They are greedy, but reasonable. I believe they can be convinced to help. The problem is, you need all sorts of documentation to get through their legal hoops as an outsider.”
Me: “Well if you’re truly sorry you can always become religious. They’re all about forgiveness”
Bear: “Are you joking with me right now?”
Me: “I’m just saying. We need a safe zone right? Why not say it’s protected by some religion? It might make the temple pause. We need some sort of organization to make this safe zone right?”
Bear: “On the contrary, it would make it more of a target. The Temple District doesn’t think much of other religions. And their allies are a whole different story. No, a religion is not the way to go.”
Me: “Then what did you have in mind? We need an organization that isn’t associated with a district yet will inspire people to believe it will work. I can’t think of anything else”
Bear: “I don’t have anything in mind for your plan, but I’ll help if I can. I do have some plans for dealing with the Senate. I also have some men still hidden in the Temple District, so I have some plans for subterfuge there.”
Me: “Ok. Well. We need a lot of land at least”
Bear: “Unfortunately, the organizations that are actually competent enough to provide those services aren’t usually the inspiring type. Harriers, Meat Smiths, etc.”
Me: “So right now we focus on getting land and planting the seed of a safe zone in the leaders. See how they react and then we can plan from there?”
Bear: "That could work. What specific steps do we take to accomplish that? Which leaders do you want to talk to?
Me: “I’ll talk to the Mids, Rats, and maybe the Senate. Can you handle the others?”
Bear: “Do you have a way to talk to the Senate?”
Me: “… not directly. I know a senate ambassador. It might be useful to bring up the refugee camps. If we declare a safe zone they can avoid a wave of refugees. Have you heard of Broderick Spencer? Apparently his family has a lot of pull in the Senate”
Bear: “Please tell me you don’t mean that weasel Broderick?”
Me: “… I see you have heard of him. What do you have against Broderick?”
Bear: “Is that what he told you? His father is a disgraced Senator that hasn’t had any real power in 20 years. Broderick himself likes to pat himself on the back for being an ‘ambassador’ when he’s really a trumped up messenger boy. He conned both sides into thinking he’s more important than he is. He has no power in the Senate.”
Me: “I-I didn’t know that. Okay. Then yes I don’t have any contact in the Senate. Sorry”
Bear: “We can use Broderick if you’d like, we just need to be wary. He is fairly predictable in that he always acts in his best interest. How can we make it seem like this safe haven is in his best interest?”
Me: “It wins him favor across the city? If you have another contact that’s fine. He’s just the only one I know”
Bear: Bear laughs heartily. “You really know him well, don’t you? That narcissistic man loves praise and adulation above all else. Yes, I think that could work out well.”
Me: “Okay then. I guess I should avoid telling him you’re backing this? Since you seem to not want to deal with him”
Bear: “Just don’t let him know I’m involved. I have special plans for him, and I don’t want him knowing I’m around.”
Me: “That will make convincing him harder. It will depend on me getting the Mids first. Only way he’ll believe it might work”
Bear: “Anyways, I can’t get in contact with the Matroni leader. I’m not well liked there. But I can certainly take care of the Blue Poles. I can try to help you with the Mids, but my influence is not what it used to be. Fischer purged the council members who I was working with. I can also get in contact with the closest thing the Docks have as leaders.”
Me: “Ok. Well Matroni are the quietest right now. If we can get the others maybe they’ll give in”
Bear: “Who do you know in the Temple District that you’ll talk to?”
Me: “I’m… gonna need time to think on that. Not even the temple would go against the whole city at once. If we can get the majority to honor it I’m hoping they will begrudgingly get in line”
Bear: “Why would you offer to talk to their leaders if you don’t know who to talk to? I’m just now realizing that you haven’t given nearly as much information as I have. Who are you going to tell about this conversation?”
Me: “The safe zone plan? Or that war is coming? Also I never volunteered to talk to their leaders”
Bear: “Both.”
Me: “I can’t make a secret safe zone. I will have to talk to diplomats until I can confirm it will happen. If we can make it happen period”
Bear: “You’re avoiding the question now.” He isn’t laughing anymore.
Me: “I’m not? You asked who I will tell. I just told you I need to talk to the various governments in order to get the plan to work. How is that avoiding it?”
Bear: He doesn’t respond to that, it’s unclear if that answer was satisfactory. “I will be going to the Temple District then. Hopefully them and their allies are in a reasonable mood. Is there anything I can do for you while you’re there?”
Me: “If you hear where a halfling is being tortured, I’d like to know where. Allies of the temple kidnapped her last week. Besides that I think I’m good. Let me know if you want to talk more about that forgiveness”
Bear: “What do you mean? About forgiveness.”
Me: “You just seemed like you had a lot of guilt.”
Bear: “Very few people in this city have clean pasts. And no one in power does. It’s the sad reality of the city. I just try to be a net positive.”
Me: “That’s probably true. If that helps you find peace then I can’t argue”
Bear: “When would you like to next meet?”
Me: “I’m going to need a day or two. Can I leave a note at that store?”
Bear: “Yes. I will need awhile as well. Anything else before I go?”
Me: “Stay safe? We’re in a warzone”
Bear: “You too. Goodbye.”

Conversation 3: 2/13/17
Bear: “Ah, Pearce. Timely as ever. Please sit down. We need to discuss the Sanctuary, and more.”
Me: “Good evening Bear. Let’s get started”
Bear: “As my messages indicated, I have verbal agreements from the Blue Poles and the Temple. Have you gotten agreements from the Mids, the Senations, and the Matroni’s?”
Me: “I’ve gotten agreements from the Sewer district and the meeting to vote for it in the Mids is tomorrow. I’ve received word it is almost surely to pass. Broderick has been informed of the plan and the Senate has agreed to the plan as well as agreed to create a secondary Sanctuary to house some of the citizens. All that is left is the Matroni District”
Bear: “Excellent. Then I say we should start crafting the official document to make the rounds. If you would like, I can have my people take care of it? Then you can review it before we send it out.”
Me: “That sounds fine. Who were you thinking to police the sanctuary? I’ve gotten a tentative agreement from the Sewer district to do the task”
Bear: “The Temple demanded that they get the right of refusal for whoever polices it, so it’s nice that we have two options. It will either be the Senate or the Sewer.”
Me: “What are the odds the Senate use this treaty as an excuse to sneak a large military force into the Mids? You yourself said they had some motive”
Bear: “I think if the Sanctuary is placed in the Senation District they’re less likely to become involved in the war. They’ll almost certainly use the opportunity to do something with the Sanctuary within the rules of the treaty, but that will keep them occupied and satisfied.”
Me: “… I have a bad feeling about it but I guess we will have to use what we have. Anyway. If your people are going to craft the document then it seems we are good to go.”
Bear: “When dealing with the Senate you just have to be happy with negative consequences. Speaking of the Senate: I have a favor to ask you. I know you tried to enter the district today with poor results. I’m guessing it’s for the stone. Am I right?”
Me: “You’re well informed.”
Bear: “I thought as much. Unfortunately for you, somebody tipped the Senate off to the stone’s presence and importance – they’ve already moved to secure it. However, I might know a way through which we can gain leverage on them, and I’m starting tonight.”
Me: “You want me to help you steal it tonight?”
Bear: “No. It is beyond my reach now. But I know of a senator. Theodore Dunwick. He’s the largest proponent of the faction that supports the Temple District. His family is also responsible for the majority of food imports into their district, somehow, without going through the mids. I have a spy that is going into Dunwick Manor tonight, and I need you to accompany him. If we can figure out how to threaten their goods supply, they will be completely beholden to the Mids just like the other districts. That will give us leverage – the kind we need to acquire the stone.”
Me: “Why do you want the stone? Do you know what it does?”
Bear: “I have a suspicion, but I’m not certain. I don’t necessarily want it. I just don’t want the Senate, the Temple, or Fischer to have it either. All three of them could spell catastrophe for us.”
Me: “Your convinced it brings catastrophe and you just have a ‘suspicion’. Come on Bear”
Bear: “I think it opens a portal to the Gauntlet, through which terrors our minds can’t comprehend could come pouring out. But again, I don’t know for sure.”
Me: “Depends on who has it I think. Who would you give it to? Just keep it yourself?”
Bear: “I would study it. Seek to find a caretaker for it. Worst case scenario, I would destroy it, if possible.”
DM: You think he is telling the truth.
Me: "If you swear to me to not give it to the Friends of Man I will help you
Bear: “That would be the worst group to give it to by far, I can assure you that.”
Me: “Did I ever mention it’s refreshing to hear someone else believe that? Anyway. Yes. I will help you. Just tell me what I must do”
Bear: Bear chuckles, but there’s no real emotion behind it. He starts talking. “We have similar goals, Pearce, so we think of them the same way. Anyways, meet my agent at The Gaggle…” He gives you an address to a brewery near the Senation border to the Mids. He hands you a blue ribbon. “Wear this blue ribbon from your belt so he can find you. Call him William. Do not call him Willy. Do not call him Willy. Don’t call him Billy or Billiam. Just call him William. And… make sure he gets back here safely.”
Me: “Okay. William”
Bear: “Thank you. He will get you in the district and to the manor. Together, I want you two to find out what the name of Dunwick’s ship is and how he’s getting supplies into the district without going through the Mids. I understand you have other interests in the Dunwicks as well. I have instructed William to assist you in any way in looking for information in that matter, if you wish.”
DM: You probably did have some physical expression of interest with Dunwick’s name earlier. He might have caught it.
Me: “Sounds simple. Will I be able to take my gear? Or should I leave it behind?”
Bear: “I suggest you bring gear, but conceal your weapons as best as possible. The senations don’t tend to walk around with weapons. It would draw attention.”
Me: “Heavy cloak it is. Anything else?”
Bear: “I will likely be busy in the docks when you return. Feel free to let William report what you find or leave me a note.”
Me: “Will do. In that case I will be off. Before I go, don’t worry about finding my friend. I found… what was left of her.”
Bear: “Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. And I’m very sorry I wasn’t able to be more helpful.” You catch an expression: the Bear seems slightly ashamed.
Me: “It happens. It was already too late when I asked. Don’t concern yourself with it”

Conversation 5: 3/23/17
Me: “Good evening Bear”
Bear: “I’m glad you showed up. I wasn’t sure you would.”
Me: “Yes well based off last night and your letter we have a lot of things I would like to discuss”
Bear: “I imagine so. I have some for you as well. Let’s start with your questions.”
Me: “I guess I’ll start with last night. Were you able to locate Dunwick’s tunnel? I’m pretty confident that is how he was able to move his supplies”
Bear: “Locate? Didn’t you locate it last night? It lets out into the Bluepoles District, doesn’t it?”
Me: “I meant as in ‘did you confirm it’ or do anything about it? The point was to shut it down in order to force them to be pressured to give up the stone wasn’t it?”
Bear: “I have not been there to see it myself, nor have I taken actions against it as of yet. I did, however, take some actions against their shipping occupation today. So that’s something.”
Me: “I see. Good to hear. Would you like to ask a question now or shall I proceed?”
Bear: “What were you after in Dunwick’s office? William is sharper than he seems.”
Me: “Dunwick is after several magical items. I was curious about them”
Bear: “Which items?”
Me: “A crossbow, a book, a bean, a fan, two bags, an instrument, and an elafont hand”
Bear: “Do you feel these items have any significance that I would be interested in?”
Me: “I honestly don’t know why he is after them. That’s part of why I wanted to inquire about them”
Bear: “I assume your source on this information was the Reclamation?”
Me: “I am not allowed to confirm or deny such a thing but that is a wise assumption”
Bear: “I would like to meet with a Reclamation representative. Could you make that happen for me?”
Me: “If you have need of their services you can ask me. I can get in touch with a member”
Bear: “Excellent. I’d like for you to get in touch with a member and arrange a meeting for me.”
Me: “About?”
Bear: “I can’t tell you until I know more. It’s a lead that must be followed.”
Me: “You want to get a hold of a very private group but you won’t tell that group why you want to meet them?”
Bear: “Correct. My name provides me with quite a bit of leeway in these matters. I’m able to bypass quite a few usual processes.”
Me: "But you don’t know how to contact them already…
Bear: “No. Reclamation contacts I’ve had in the past have been notoriously short lived. Which is why I’m asking you. Can you do this for me?”
Me: “I will try? I can’t guarantee anything. And I want your word you will not have William or anyone else tailing me for the next couple of days while I try to do this”
Bear: “Ah yes, William told you. He’s an incredible talent, but can’t hold secrets well can he? Yes, yes. I promise I won’t have you followed by William or anyone else.” (Believed True)
Me: “Very well then. Okay besides that. Any more questions before I ask a few?”
Bear: “Nope. Your turn.”
Me: “William recovered some documentation from Dunwick’s labs. What did the documentation say?”
Bear: “I have only had the time to go over some of the documents. But it appears they were researching demons down there. For what purpose, I’m not sure yet.” (Believed True)
Me: “Would it be possible for me to have that documentation after you’ve had a chance to review them?”
Bear: “When I am done with it you may review it, but it will have to be here. I can’t give up that documentation. I have done so in the past, and come to regret it.”
Me: “Fair enough. With that out of the way. What is William?!”
Bear: “What did he tell you he was?”
Me: “An outsider cursed to constantly change his face. Was he the elf who let me in?”
Bear: “Close. He isn’t forced to change his face. From what I understand, he literally is no one. He has no identity, no memories, no personality, nothing unique to him. If he forces a name on himself, he can become someone, for a short time. He will develop memories while he is ‘William’. But if he ever loses that name, whether he forgets or is convinced he is someone else, he loses all of those memories. And no, he wasn’t the elf to let you in.”
Me: “How long has he been able to maintain a persona?”
Bear: “This one? Going on three months. Before that ‘he’ was Rachel. And when I met him, he was going by Solomon. He, of course, remembers nothing of those names. He always has a vague memory of why he has no memories, and nothing else.”
Me: “Where did you even find him? He’s incredibly hard to perceive”
Bear: “Ah, I shouldn’t reveal that much. William is incredible, but very fragile. He needs to be protected.”
Me: “How many ‘Williams’ have you seen? Was the idea of a ‘family’ a part of the persona you created for him?”
Bear: Bear catches a bit at this. “Why are you so curious in his kind?”
Me: “You’ve had a shapeshifter following me around for who knows how long. Who would NOT be curious about this?”
Bear: “He and his kind need protecting. I have taken that responsibility upon myself. To that end, I think the less you know, the better.”
Me: “Fine. But I want to know what you have on me. Apparently the word Reclamation has been thrown around. Not sure where he heard that from”
Bear: “I know very little about you that you don’t want me to know, Pearce. A large portion of William following you was for your protection.” (Lying about something)
Me: “Bear. I’m being real understanding about the fact that you heavily violated my privacy. I have a HIGH suspicion if I had pulled such a stunt you would be furious. If you want us to continue to work together I want to know.”
Bear: “You want to know what William told me about you? You’ve met him, you know he’s no spy. He can’t infiltrate, he can’t get information subtly from you. All he can do is follow you from afar unnoticed. He would follow you occasionally, when he was feeling up to it. He told me you’ve been to Broderick’s homeless shelter. He followed you once to the edge of the Temple District, but nearly lost himself and returned.”
Me: “How did you hear about the Reclamation? Also what made you trust me? You and William act like I’ve done something to earn your trust but we’ve literally spoken 2-3 times. You have some source on me”
Bear: “I am very good at reading people. I see more than their face, hear more than their words. I have no source on trusting you, Pearce. Just my intuition.”
Me: “So you guessed I might have involvement in a magical item market? That’s your answer?”
Bear: “Oh, you wanted to know specifically how I knew you were involved with the Reclamation? That much is simple, you told Broderick that. And that man will sell any secret necessary when his neck is on the line.”
Me: “Fine. Last question. What is the weakness of the FoM you discovered?”
Bear: “I do believe it’s my turn. But don’t worry, it’s related. What do you know of the Conduits?”
Me: “That the friends of man are looking for them. It’s supposedly a catch all term for things that can move to different planes”
Bear: “Have you found any of them?”
Me: “A ‘Brother Nathan’ had a machine that might have counted. Why? Did you?”
Bear: “Yes. I have been searching for them for awhile, and I have found one, here in the Mids. A Conduit is a member, maybe even a leader, of the Dawnmakers.” (Believes True)
Patrick: Are you bullshitting me?
Me: “Which one? And what makes you think this?”
Bear: “The Conduits often spawn cult followings, due to their power. The Dawnmakers have sprung up and acquired a following very quickly. That, and their connection to the Sun speak volumes.”
Me: “What are you going to do with the Conduit?”
Bear: “Same thing I would do with the Sending Stone. Learn from it if I can, destroy it if I must.”
Me: “So what? We kidnap this person?”
Bear: “That’s why I’m sending you. I know less of this situation than I usually do. I will have to trust you to make many important decisions in the moment.”
Me: “…”
Bear: “Why the surprise?”
Me: “I’ve been looking into the Dawnmakers for other reasons.”9:44 PM
Bear: “Oh? Tell me more.”
Me: “The reasoning is confidential”
Bear: “You’ve known me long enough to know that is an unacceptable answer.”
Me: “You’ve with-held information about why you were following me and your spies. I backed off when you didn’t want to share. I’m asking for the same courtesy”
Bear: “You have consistently been resistant to sharing information with me. The flow of information in this partnership has been largely one sided. I have told you everything about how you were followed, but I withheld sensitive information about fragile people that I was trying to protect. I trust you’re a good person, but truth be told, my patience with your secrecy has worn thin. Now. The Dawnmakers.”
Me: “You think explaining how you’ve been tailing me makes us square? Good bye Bear”
Bear: “What a shame. Good bye, Pearce. If you ever feel that a true partnership would be beneficial to you, my door is open.”

Conversation 6: 5/17/17
Me: “I… owe you an apology. Several apologies”
DM: He seems to get a little less irritated. He looks like he wants to hear an explanation.
Me: “Broderick claimed that you were aware of the kidnapping of the Weather’s Upper Council. I was so concerned I… I didn’t think he would betray me. He used the kidnappings as bait to lure Weather forces away so the Senations could take the district”
Bear: “Oh. Huh. Of course Broderick was behind this. I should have known.”
Me: “Anyway. If I’ve offended you past working together I understand.”
Bear: Bear has turned away, and is shaking his head muttering to himself. “How did I miss this? They weren’t the ones…” He collects himself. “Past working together? No. I need trusted allies more than ever. But the last time I talked to you, I got the impression you weren’t interested in talking again.”
Me: “I… got emotional and said some things in haste. The fault there is no one’s but my own. I apologize for that as well.”
Bear: Bear nods. “I don’t have the luxury of holding a grudge right now. This Senation invasion. Very unexpected. I haven’t had any time to find out more. Do you know anything about it?”
Me: “The headquarters has burned down. The weather milita was at the temple border. We took the few remaining forces to go save the Council. They took it without contest. It sounds like Broderick might be in charge of what was once the Mids. He offered me a job. That’s all I know”
Bear: “And…what are your thoughts on this turn of events?” He says. He looks like he is gauging your reaction.
Me: “I’m pissed. My home has been subjugated but… I can’t fight them. Not now. The Friends of Man are the biggest threat. Oh. We need to talk about Harrison, or Zane. Now. Not on the street though”
DM: You head inside
Bear: “Alright. What do we need to talk about Harrison? And who’s Zane?”
Me: “They’re the same person. Apparently he has a lot of aliases. Anyway. Out in the ocean is a spire. Harrison has been using that for who knows how long to raise sleeper agents that are also spellcasters. He is also apparently going to use the power of the conduits for himself to destroy the FoM in exchange for ruling the city”
Bear: “He wants to rule the city? He told you this?”
Me: “Himself? No. His daughter, assuming she wasn’t some brainwashed child herself, talked to us”
Bear: “Interesting. So another power is after the conduits. What do you propose we do about this?”
Me: “Are other people after them? Regardless. Harrison can not have that kind of power. I’ve only heard of him recently but he has left nothing but pain and suffering in his wake”
Bear: “I have the same impression of him, and the same conclusion. Are you ready to help me investigate the conduit in the Dawnmakers?”
Me: “The Dawnmakers? Led by that man Prestor? He is nothing but a superstitious man who was in the right place at the right time. He has convinced a few that he is responsible for the Dawn and is now exploiting them”
Bear: “And that’s it? You’re confident there’s nothing that could be a conduit associated with that cult?”
Me: “It’s possible that he has a conduit he’s working for but he didn’t make the dawn. That I can be sure of. I was sent by the one that did” Pearce kinda avoids eye contact. “That was why I was originally looking into them. To see if they were misguided or malicious”
Bear: “I understand me pressing on this issue last time was the reason for our…misunderstanding. But I am highly motivated to know more about the one you say made the dawn.”
Me: “I know. And I think you deserve some answers Bear. If you are also deceiving me then you have done a good job of it. I pray I’m not wrong again” He kinda mutters the last part. “She. Is the divine who made the dawn. That and whatever else she can to help us. She is Lady Amethyst. And Harrison was right about one thing. I think we need her help in order to survive. I have been doing what I can to help her and her allies”
Bear: “I had heard rumors. Legends, really. I never thought…Anyways. Is she a conduit? Can I meet her? What can I do to help?”
Me: “If she is a conduit is something I don’t know. She is clearly a divine being but… I don’t know her powers. A meeting can be arranged. I assume you will want to run tests. These will have to be approved before hand. And she will determine the location. As you are protective of your nobodies, so must I be protective of her. Do you wish to join her or are you interested purely as a neutral 3rd party?”
Bear: “I am a 3rd party that might be interested in joining her. I respect you trying to protect her. But we should keep looking for other conduits. Do you have any leads?”
Me: “I know the ratfolk have one. I’ve… met something in the docks that might be one. A shadow that … is hard to describe. What I’m more concerned about is that Harrison might have one. If he is telling his minions his plans he must already have a guaranteed way to either steal it’s power or make one work for him. Either idea terrifies me”
Bear: “I see. I urge you to learn more about those. I will be back in the district tomorrow night.” Bear turns to leave, but pauses. “Pearce… should we do something about the Senations? About Brodie?”
Me: “As much as I hate to say it, I have neither the resources or the time to fight the Senations or their champion. Helping Lady Amethyst, stopping the Friends of Man, saving this city. These are my only goals. However if you ever find a way to be a thorn in his side twist it once for me”
Bear: “If I find a way to resist them, do you want me to bring you in? Or should I leave you in the dark.”
Me: Pearce sighs. “Leave me in the dark. It seems I will be working for them soon. The less I know the less I have to hide. I wish I could though”
Bear: Bear nods. “Take care. Sorry to interrupt your morning.”

Conversation 7: 7/24/17
Me: “It seems my expert disguise did not fool you” he sarcastically states when Bear closes the door
Bear: “Your face is disguised, but your swords aren’t. And I know of every man capable of taking Pearce’s swords in the city.”
Me: “Damn right. Now are you ready to go? I’ll ask you to take off any weapons, jewelry, or other trinkets that might be a magical item”
Bear: “Go? Go where? I wasn’t expecting to see you today, Pearce.”
Me: “… wait. what?”
DM: It is revealed that their was a confusion from the last conversation.
Me: “To meet Lady Amethyst”
Bear: “Yes, of course. I rarely carry weapons. I’ll even ask Duchess to leave her weapons here.”
Me: “Woah. woah. woah. Who all is coming with you?”
Bear: “Just Duchess.”
Me: “And she is someone you trust not to talk about what we see here?”
Bear: “I trust her to handle many of my own sensitive affairs.”
Me: “Fine. I do have two more requests before we go. I’m aware you’re still in contact with Broderick. I’m aware of his plan to destroy the conduits. I don’t know if you agree with it or not but I want you to swear that what goes on in this meeting will not get back to him. Also I need you to prick your finger”
Bear: “Fine. I won’t tell Broderick about anything I see in this excursion. And why do you need to prick my finger?”
Me: “I don’t need to do it. Just need to make sure you’re human”
Bear: “Explain yourself.”
Me: Pearce shrugs. “I’ve run into several non-humans. They don’t bleed blood. Just a routine check”
Bear: “And that’s all you need to see?” Bear calls out louder “Duchess! Come in here please.”
Me: “I trust you. A blood test is enough”
DM: After a few moments, the door lightly opens and a half-orc woman enters. Bear extends his arm and pulls up his sleeve a few inches.
Bear: “Duchess, kindly cut my arm. Just enough to draw blood, please.”
DM: The woman is armed, although you may not have seen her draw her blade. She slashes with gusto at her employer, a momentary toothy grin with wild eyes. Bear is bleeding, but the attack was done with clear skill. His blood looks normal.
Me: “Works for me. Let’s get that covered” I ask the tailor to bring in some fabric to cover a wound.
DM: The tailor gives you some sparecloth. “Don’t make this a routine, you people.”
Bear: “I appreciate the thought Pearce. In the future though, let’s keep my business and my host separate, shall we?”
Me: “Oh. My apologies. I will avoid doing so in the future. Now if you’re fine leaving your weapons here we can head out”
Bear: "Duchess, please leave your weapon here. On the way out the door he stops at at a person working in the store. You hear Bear say: “If I don’t send the signal by midnight, enact Agni Nine. Start with the half-orc, ‘Bell’.”
Me: “I assume I would not like Agni Nine”
DM: The person says nothing. He looks at the Bear, then nods.
Bear: “Bell certainly won’t. Have you met her? Very nice lady. I do hope I am able to send the signal by midnight.” Bear says this, quietly.
Me: “You have my word you I will do everything in my power to protect you while you are under my custody. As long as you don’t pick a fight”
Bear: “Good to hear. Let’s go.”
DM: You make it back to your apartment.

Conversation 8: 7/24/17
Sam: “Something up?”
Me: “We have another potential recruit. This one is… cautious. However I think he is a force of good in the city. Just remember to NOT give him the gift today. If he accepts say you will give it to him soon”
Sam: “Then what… what do I tell him?”
Me: “That you believe we are both forces of good in the city and that you want him to help others”
Sam: “But I don’t know him. At all. You’ve never made him out to be a force for good. I’d be lying. I don’t know him.”
Me: “Fine. Then ask him why he is good. Why he should join?”
Sam: “Okay. Lets try it.”
DM: She assumes her formal attire and I go fetch Bear and Duchess.
Me: “Lady Amethyst. This is Bear and his friend Duchess. This is Lady Amethyst, Lady in the Pages, and the Angel of Gallowsbird”
Bear: Bear bows a respectful distance and says, “Lady, my name is John Bernard. It is my great honor to make your acquaintance.”
DM: Seats are drawn up for everyone.
Sam: “Pearce tells me you are working together to do good for the city. Is that true?”
Bear: “It is. We’ve had out difference, but the city needs men like Pearce.” Bear says, looking calmly your way.
Me: I nod “Bear was extremely helpful in trying to save the citizens when the Weather and Temple were at war”
Sam: The Lady nods. “And now you want to work with us…. is that correct?”
Bear: “I’m not entirely sure what that entails. But I trust Pearce, and I know this is important.”
Me: “We are a group of people called the Amethyst Court. You occasionally help the city, help guide others towards peace, follow the rules, and in return Lady Amethyst helps you”
Bear: “And who are you, Lady Amethyst? How did you come to this city?”
Me: “Lady Amethyst is a guardian spirit for the city. She’s been here longer than any of us”
Bear: “I see. And what are your plans?”
DM: Pearce activates telepathy to instruct Samantha. (T) messages will be telepathy.
Me(T): Tell him we’re primarily focusing on restoring balance to what was called the ‘Mids’. I’ve left our plans with dealing with the ‘Friends of Man’ group to Pearce. He updates me periodically
DM: Lady Amethyst repeats what I say.
Bear: “And what part would you have me play?”
Me: Pearce speaks up. “Mostly intel. You have connections to every district in the city. Like you said, we’re desperate for allies right now. We need to get some influence so that our members don’t feel scared just to be a part of our group. You just need to help us find good people who can use our help. As well as continue to work with me on finding Divines and the Friends of Man forces”
Me(T): Tell me that you can answer questions on your own. Then confirm what I’m saying. Politely.
Sam: “I can speak for myself. But thank you Pearce, you are correct so far.”
Bear: “How can I contact you?”
Sam: “Pray to me”
Bear: “I pray to you, and you appear before me?”
Sam: “No…” she says. “I will know your message. I can try and help from my end. But I will not appear before you. Not yet.”
Bear: “Ah, disappointing. Pearce can attest to this, trust has to go both ways with me. I’m not the type to blindly whisper my secrets into the night in the hopes that a mystical being I’ve met once will hear them and do the right thing.”
Me(T): Tell him that he can communicate in any preferred method he chooses. We don’t want to force him to do anything he is not comfortable with. As long as he doesn’t break our rules.
Bear: “And what are your rules?”
DM: The rules are stated.
Bear: Bear chuckles a bit. “May I speak lies? That last one isn’t a rule, but what do you know of Friends of Man? And…birds?”
Me: Pearce narrows his eyes. “I’m sorry our laws seem trivial to you”
Me(T): Documents, books, what is written is the history of this city. Lies corrupt the history. I do not like them. Say that.
DM: The Lady repeats the words but is now blushing.
Bear: “Calm down, Pearce. All customs seem bizarre to the uninitiated. But understanding is more valuable than blind memorization. Continue, my Lady.”
Me(T): The last one would be more appropriate as ‘do not ally yourself with the friends of man and do not trust them’ but people are more willing to believe a statement. As for the birds, some of them are my friends. I do not wish for people to hurt the ones I use, so all will be spared
DM: She repeats but sounds less confident.
Bear: “And lastly, what is the punishment for breaking one of these rules?”
Me(T): He’s just pushing boundaries. Don’t let him get to you. Tell him that the punishment depends on the severity of the offense.
Sam: “That depends on the severity and nature of the offense.” she says.
Bear: “Hmm. Alright. I have much to think about. Do you have any questions of me before I leave?”
Sam: “I don’t think so.”
Bear: “Thank you for meeting me. I will be in touch.”
DM: Everyone stands and makes light bows before the Duchess, Bear, and I leave.
Me: “Impressions?”
Bear: “She was different than I remembered. Though I would imagine she would have thought the same of me if she remembered me. How did you meet her?” This is a lie
Me: “Oh? You go way back? I’m curious to hear that story”
Bear: “Way back isn’t the right word. But I was someone before I became the Bear. Everyone has a past, Pearce. Even your beloved Lady Amethyst.”
Me: “Interesting. Anyway. I have a favor to ask you. You’re friends with the Captain’s correct? I need someone to lend me a ship”
Bear: “For what purpose?”
Me: “I need to transport several dozen people. Voluntarily. Not prisoners or anything illegal”
Bear: “What people are you transporting? Where are you transporting them to? This is a very large favor you are asking of me.”
Me: “To and from the spire. Average citizens mostly” I explain the general location of the spire.
Bear: “Harrison’s Spire? What are you taking average citizens there for?”
Me: “They’re going to help me convince the people there to leave. Kids Harrison is raising”
Bear: “Ah, of course. The Children. I should have figured. I can get you a ship tomorrow with regular sailors, or a ship in three days time with a crew that will never speak of the mission. Both you can only have for one day.”
Me: “Three days is fine. I appreciate it”
Bear: “Alright. And one more condition, Pearce. Ships aren’t cheap, and the waters to the spire are dangerous. I can only put my neck on the line if you are responsible for damages. You can either leave 15k gold with me as a deposit. Or, that scimitar as collateral. Either one you decide on will be returned to you freely when the ship is brought back undamaged.”
Me: I hold out my keen scimitar, “If the ship is damaged, I’ll pay the repairs and get my sword back. Correct?”
Bear: “Keep your sword. Give it to me when I give you the ship in three days. And yes, you pay the repairs and receive the ship. I have no interest in your weapon, I just know it is valuable to you therefore it is valuable as collateral.”
Me: “Then we have a deal. Let me know when you have a decision for the Lady”


Gallowsbird (2016) Random11 Random11