A shortish half-elf with rusty brown hair and a pointed nose. He is wearing pretty dingy clothing.

Conversation 1: 11/11/16
Bell: Bell signs, “This is my friend.”
Me: “Ah yes. I’ve heard about him. I suppose you are Thomas correct?”
Thomas: He nods, smiling. “Yep. I’m Thomas. You are… her friend. I’m sorry, its hard to give names in sign, and she didn’t know what to describe you with physically… so I suppose hello human male friend!”
Me: “Friend and employer is probably correct” I open the door and extend a hand “Pearce Atwood”
Thomas: “Ah. Yeah, she and I are still working through the ‘learning to be free’ stage of things… it gets easier, Bell, haha.” He dodges your hand. Then turns around to shake. “Sorry, force of habit..”
Me: “It’s fine. Would you two like to come in?”
Thomas: "Oh, I don’t mean to impose if you are busy… "
Me: “Never too busy for a friend of a friend”
Bell: Bell signs “He is an awkward person around new people.”
Thomas: “I just wanted to thank you for helping my best friend find freedom. I managed to get out of slavery earlier and have been looking for her current employer…”
Me: “Well if you’re half as noble as Bell you deserved your freedom”
Thomas: “Look, it isn’t much, but i think you saved her life. I owe you one, a really big one, for that. I don’t own anything I value more than Bell. Oh, I’m not noble. I just never met anyone I connected with like her. She is my best friend… and even now, with a single evening together, I know that helping her get through is what I want to do. After I find my family.”
Me: “I can tell… here let me go see if I have some old clothes” I return with some old clothes if I can “Right I’ve heard you’re looking for them”
Thomas: “Yeah… never knew my mom, only knew of my dad… never met the man. I have this vague memory of the two celebrating my birthday with me, but… past that, nothing.”
Me: “That’s a shame. Was never close to my parents either. I can sympathize”
Thomas: He shrugs. “Anyway, I wanted to let you know, Bell told me you have a friend who needs some books written? Something like that?”
Me: “Oh are you a scribe? Yes I intend to transcribe a lot of books”
Thomas: “Yep. If you get me the equipment and pay a fair wage, I can work with the task… and depending on your views on the subject, I am well versed in arcaenotech, or magical technologies… NOT that I believe those are appropriate, but I was forced to learn the task”
Me: “At your age and you already know magical technologies? That’s impressive”
Thomas: “Slavery is… weird. Like that. I know how to perform rituals to devices related to my specialty, but I can’t wash the dishes. And I was a slave. I got highly specialized, poor Bell didn’t really.”
Me: “She can hold her own better than you think”
Thomas: “Oh no, I agree. She is very good at everything she does, but it wasn’t the slavers who taught her that.”
Me: “What do you know about alchemy?”
Thomas: “I know… enough… if that were needed, I could fill that need, again, with appropriate consistent compensation. If my needs are cared for, I could do both, since both involve a lot of sitting and thinking.”
Me: “Before we go any further. Do you want to do this? I know you can. But if you just need money I can find you a simpler job”
Thomas: “I want to work with Bell. By Bell. Those were my happiest years, and they will be again.”
Me: “If you work for me… you’ll be doing work that others will disagree with. Some people are opposed to magic and alchemy. Are you ok with that?”
Thomas: “If you and Bell can keep me safe, I will do this for you. For a fair wage, a location I can do it safely, and privacy. I can fulfill multiple roles since all I’m doing is filling an account and searching for my father. This works just as well as any other career, I get to be with my best friend, and you get help on whatever this big project Bell is working on is.”
Me: “Hmmm ok. Pop quiz. If you pass you get the job. Can you decypher this?” I grab around and hand him the recipe for the tonic
Thomas: “Lets do a trial run before you get me involved in anything dubious, okay?” He reads it over.“Oh man, this is arcaenotech. The dark mixture of magic, alchemy, and the physical arts. I specialized in this sort of reaction. I have sworn an oath not to explain why I specialized in this, and I am honor-bound to that, but I can say that this is what a previous owner forced me to deal with. This type of stuff.”
Me: “I’m not gonna force you. You do this of your free will, but you will be required to make this and other things. Still in?”
Thomas: “One question. Can I leave at any point. Because otherwise its slavery. If I don’t have permission to leave at any point.”
Me: “As long as you don’t run off with my junk and you don’t go ratting me out I don’t see why not. I don’t intend to have slaves. I prefer that people work for me because they believe in what I’m doing. But I’ll settle for doing it for the money. I’d prefer a heads up if you leave for good though. Professional courtesy and all that”
Thomas: “Of course. I’m just making sure I don’t find myself in a new kind of slavery.”
Me: “Nope. How much has Bell explained…”
Thomas: “None. She said you had found something she wants to protect enough to.. .whatever happened, and wanted you to talk to me.”
Me: “Do you want to know? Nothing wrong with working for money. If you don’t you can still work besides Bell?”
Thomas: “Well, then I guess lets do that. I’ll work on your secret projects in secret, but at least until I find my family, let me focus on that. When I find them, we can talk about your secrets.”
Me: “Sounds good. It’ll take me a few days to get you set up though. I wasn’t expecting this”
Thomas: “Yeah. Sorry. Just wanted to get in on this early, to make sure I can make profit from it. It’s expensive to run a search in a city like this.”
Me: “Well if I can help in some way with that feel free to let me know”
Thomas: “Thank you for this chance.”

Conversation 2: 12/27/16
Thomas: “Who is it?”
Me: “Pearce. How are… things?”
Thomas: “Not so good. I can’t get her fever down.” Thomas has a cloth over his face. “Come on in… She has been really depressed.”
Me: “Depressed? Why?”
Thomas: “She says that this is how her ancestors died…. She thinks she has some kind of sacred illness?”
Me: “Have you been able to determine if it’s magical or not?”
DM: He brings you to her side. Bell is sweating profusely, her eyes twitching. She moves her hands in sharp twitches. You recognize she is trying to communicate. Her eyes flicker toward you, then closed again.
Thomas: "I can’t figure out what it is. It could be magical, but it definitely is serious…. " He pulls you away for a minute. “Did you touch anything unusual? Did she? I’m forced to believe she has been poisoned, but I do not know how it was administered.”
Me: “You saw what happened on the moonless night. Odds are yes”
Thomas: “If we had a solid method to communicate with her, I might be able to figure it out.”
DM: Pearce activates his telepathic bond and voices what Bell says.
Bell: “Pearce, I’m very sick.”
DM: Thomas starts to ask her a series of questions. It is revealed she has a very bad rash on her palms and fingers.
Thomas: “It extends down her arm… It’s growing.”
Me: “Did you grab anything odd? Anything in the rock?”
Bell: “Rash came from before…. Before moonless day. I kept quiet… I assumed it would get better. I noticed it first several days ago, I assumed I got it from the halfling girl… She seemed diseased.”
Me: “Viola?”
Bell: “She had rashes on her hands…. I saw them.”
Me: “well…. we need to get a healer then”
Thomas: “Before she went under, she kept drawing something… In the dust.”
DM: In the dust you see a square.
Thomas: “Does it mean anything to you?”
Me: “Yes. I’ve seen it on a book and on a cleric. Evil magic”
Thomas: “Evil magic? You think magic made her sick?”
Me: “I have no idea. I’m not a healer”
Thomas: “You know, if it is magical, I could probably make a cure. Probably will cure her. 75 percent sure.”
Me: “If you could see the another person infected would that increase your odds of diagnosis?”
Thomas: “Yes, probably.”
Me: “So. Long story. The halfing she mentioned is knocked out in my apartment”
Thomas: “Oh. Well. Good to know. Let’s go up and see.”
DM: You go upstairs to find Samantha in a regal pose and Viola knocked out.
Sam: “She has been mumbling about God’s and demons. What news do you bring?”
Me: “Conditions remain unknown my lady. In the meantime. Knight Belltoll has grown ill. This is her friend. Thomas. A healer. He wishes to examine the girl”
Sam: "Privately, I assume? "
DM: Thomas walks over and examines her. He checks her vitals using his fingers.
Thomas: “Weak pulse… And… What happened to this person..”
DM: The figure in front of you has thin surgical lines up and down her torso and to each arm. It’s as if she were an amalgamation of different bodies. Thomas points out that each section seems to be elven, halfling, or orc. No part of her is human. Her face is completely different. It’s why you didn’t notice her. She seems to have an Elven face, but even that has seams.
Me: “Just… what…”
Thomas: Thomas throws up. “Who, or what, can do this?” Thomas sputters, wiping his hand
Me: “A group called the Friends of Man” Pearce spits. “Thomas. I don’t think you’re going to get anything from this. Why don’t you go downstairs. I’ll be down shortly”

Conversation 3: 2/10/17
Me: “How is she doing?”
Thomas: “It was tough going. She isn’t really accepting the process, and her body is rejecting the potions. Its like she is resisting it. But I think we can save her arms. Her legs are not going to work again, I am just trying to make sure they look like legs.”
Me: “Can you not fix this with healing magic?”
Thomas: “Whoever broke her bones healed them in place this way, probably using magic. I have no idea why someone would do that. It is so… callous.”
Me: “Can we re-break her bones, set them, and then heal them? Once she’s stable?”
Thomas: “Its a shot I think we need to take. But re-breaking them, the shock may kill her.”
Me: “Thomas why don’t you get some rest and give us a minute”


Gallowsbird (2016) Random11 Random11