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31. Busts & Bustings

Past midnight, André and Kent headed out from the Arcaneum to retrieve the bust and found Miln the quickling in the streets of the Mystic Quarter to join them in their efforts. They scouted out the Black Cats’ hideout first, using magic to determine if the object was within the vicinity. When their spell failed to detect the bust, Kent personally inquired on the bust with one of the members present there, who, with some persuasion from the mage, ceded that Belinda had gone to pass it off to the buyer at the docks. With Miln running circles around the two mages, the trio hurried to the docks as the night ticked away. Again relying on Kent’s magic, they searched around the massive Curian docks before pinpointing the bust located on a ship getting ready to set sail. The group sent Miln ahead to search for the bust on the ship and hopefully return with the information. As the minutes passed, André and Kent decided to search for the heirloom personally.

Using a mixture of magic and gall, André swam to the ship, creating something of a distraction to allow Kent the opportunity to also board the vessel. However, the latter’s attempt to teleport on the ship led to the patrols taking note of his presence and subsequently attacking him. His presence put the rest of the ship’s crew on alert, along with reports of trouble from below deck. André, Kent, and Miln, who had been searching hastily in the cargo bay for the bust, proceeded to cause more chaos on the ship. Fortunately, they managed to locate the bust; though, the item remained behind a locked safe. André held off their attackers, which included a mage, while Kent worked away at the lock. The bard suffered some blows, magical and not, during the process, yet in the end, Kent’s efforts proved a success. With the bust in tow, the two made their escape, relying again on their magic to maneuver through the lower deck and jump off the ship. The two swam back to the docks, farther away from the roused vessel, before returning to the Grand Arcaneum to return the bust.

Meanwhile, back at the Adjective Noun, Tycus roused Andraste as soon as he noticed the door to their room open, revealing a group of armed, masked individuals on the other side. The two proceeded to beat back the assailants: Tycus striking down their foes precisely and forcefully with Andraste providing supporting flames and healing behind him. The ruckus also roused Jester who went toe to toe with one of the assaulters. In the end, one of the masked individuals fled from the scene while the rest of his comrades were restrained, so that authorities could collect them in the morning.

Over the next six days, the party proceeded with their individual affairs. The midnight assailants at the Adjective Noun turned out to be bounty hunters attempting to collect on Tycus’s head. This revelation led Andraste, Jester, and Tycus to relocate to another establishment for the near future. Jester also managed the return of the bust to the Trow Estate, taking the time as well to meet once more with her father. Visibly affected by recent events, Lord Trow allowed the audience, and while Jester continued to reason with him, if only for her mother’s sake, the old lord did not seem liable to change his judgment on his daughter. André, Kent, and Varris spent the days leading up to the Grand Tournament of the Blades at the Arcaneum, just as Andraste continued his charity work and spreading the faith of Pelor. Come, the first day of the Grand Tournament of the Blades, the entire party attended. André and Jester’s cases numbered among the participants while Andraste, Kent, and Varris witnessed the proceedings from the stands, with Tycus also appearing under a shoddy guise. During this time, Jester soundly defeated her opponent, Lan the Tiger’s Claw, before the rest of the first round’s participants proceeded with their matches.

"Super slow! Both of 'em! So. Many. Funnel cakes from waiting! But, bust's back! Should make Lord Soldier happy now! And Lady Princess, too!, they're okay."
— —Miln the Quickling

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