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The Search for Skamos (Sunrise, Glen, Sithani)

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Glen nods, appreciative of Boss' understanding, and slips back into a familiar dialect. "Thank you, sir. The same for us." Some of the tension on his face and in his posture melts away as he assures himself they are unlikely to be violently killed at this particular moment. Or, at least, he attempts to assure himself.
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Sunrise smiles at the exchange. "After all, what's a few arrows between friends," she murmurs, dry but amused. "And you're not worried about having the orcs as enemies?"
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He snorts at the question. "Northside orcs were already the enemy. Nothing's changed in that regard."
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"Orcs or Redfangs?" Sithani asks. "If the latter, you have good taste in enemies."
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"Is there even a difference at this point?" he asks, a sour note entering his voice. "Bastard Redfangs moved into northside and drove a dozen tiefling merchants out of business and back into the slums. Generations of social climbing, set back over a couple of years."
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"Ah." Sunrise smiles; there's no warmth or humor in it. "Another reason to dislike them. Excellent." She shakes her head. "They're not making many friends for themselves these days."
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"If I have the right to offer advice - which I freely admit I may not," Sithani adds, "if there isn't a difference now, there will be should some tragic misfortune strike our red-toothed friends. I'm not speaking from experience, but I get the impression social climbing is easier together than separately."
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The Boss laughs at this, looking pleased. "Didn't think you all were friends with them, what with stealing the boy and babies they were after, but nice to hear you're expecting ill fortune in their future."
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Glen's face darkens. "Quite frankly, Boss, I wish I'd saved the arrows I put in your people for them."
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Sunrise snorts softly. "Don't suppose you know any recent Redfang gossip? I'm starting a collection."
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Glen earns a brilliant flashing grin for this sentiment, while Sunrise receives a more thoughtful smirk. "There's words going around that one of them is a wizard or a witch or something. Does experiments on her property. Maybe even the cause behind this damned plague."
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Sunrise raises her eyebrows. "The first part's true," she muses. "They do have a mage. Haven't heard anything about tying her to the plague though."
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Glen's eyes are far off. "But they may be trying to exploit the plague for their own gains."
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Boss smirks over his cards, looking amused. "Proof is what's left standing when everything else falls. I can't say what's true and what's gossip, just what people say about their witch."
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"Cause or attempted cure, who can say? Well, they can, obviously. Generally proof is easier to keep standing when it's on a half-solid foundation, but I'm not an architect."
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"If nothing else," Sunrise says, echoing Boss's mild amusement, "it's a decent counterrumor to encourage if they try to take credit for a cure."
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A faint cloud passes over his face at the suggestion that his enemies might try to take credit for such a thing, but he nods. "It's believable. Plague's gotta come from somewhere. Everyone knows it's magic, what with how the clerics can't cure it, so that means mages. Might have another mage-purge of the feytower before all this is over. Like the old bad days." He shakes his head. "If that happens, tieflings need powerful allies. We've been scape-goats too many times before. Tainted demon-blood and all that horse-shit."
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Glen appears horrified at the suggestion. "My god." He doesn't know the history of the city and the past purges. "Well, if that happens, I will stand with you. I know I'm just one elf, but. That kind of injustice... I cannot even imagine it." Realizing how naive he sounds, he falls silent.
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Sithani grimaces. "And if it's not mages, it's gods, fey, or fiends; the last of which fucks you over even more. I'm sorry." A thought occurs to her. "If it is the Redfangs though - or if we go with the pragmatic rather than the idealistic definition of proof - I suspect anyone involved in the decapitation of their syndicate wouldn't go unthanked."
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Sunrise grimaces, her tail twitching wildly behind her. "I will happily throw the Redfangs under the bus before letting either tieflings or the Feytower take the fall," she says with a sigh. "I'd rather it not come to that; truth is always better than a scapegoat. But if someone's taking the blame unfairly, it won't be me and mine."
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<Oh shit,> Sithani projects to Sunrise and Glen. <We might actually have to make that choice; I'm still convinced there's something wrong at the Feytower.>
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Sunrise hesitates, glancing at Sithani; she doesn't say anything, but she does nod slightly and there's a sense of putting a pin in this thought for later discussion.
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Glen glances back at his cards and nods, remembering the aboleth and feeling a chill run down his spine.
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The Boss nods, pleased with these answers. "Someone's going to have to take the blame soon," he predicts. "We're not quite at the level of street riots, but we're close. Nobody wants to wait around like cattle until we're all zombified."
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Sunrise nods. "Don't spread this one, because if it's not true it'd be cruel, but rumor has it Laerdya Siannodel is close to a cure. Even if it doesn't tell is who caused it, it'll be good not to have it hanging over everyone's head."
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