Prologue: Gates of Stone
CHAPTER THREE:

Moons Ascendant
Cuthberta Eoselunday

Frankie's first entries into her new journal...

I have decided that I will no longer inflict this rubbish on my poor engineering journal; I have started a journal just to transcribe the evidence I will present in court once I discover who the guilty party is behind this magical assault!

The next day, after the fun-fun sewer trip, I woke up to discover that the other people in the group had already awoke. I was kinda tiffed, since I wanted to head off to find Grisst at the watch station by myself.

As I was privately bemoaning this, Arek showed up. It appears he had a crappy time as well. He was exiled from his Order and the Dwarevn City! Bummer!

To make matter's worse, he spoke of how two Unspoken agents interrogated him. I will have to keep my eyes open... literally. He said they might have used some kind of sleep-magic stuff!

After having a short meeting, we decided to go back to the watch station to talk with Corporal Picket.

I decided that I needed to take a detour to NUTTS's sister institute, NATURAL, (That is, the New Academic and Technical University of Riot's Gates and the Lakes - DM), to gather a few things I might need.

Frankie goes NATURAL

I only wish that my student break was over! Stepping back into the engineering labs and all the colourful warning signs made me long for better days. I went to the Engineering department and checked to see if I had any messages. Nada de-nada! Things must be fine in Selunaport. Corie probably hasn't even gotten back yet!

Moving on to one of the labs, I bumped into Gruedo, a goblin "wannabe" engineer. Geesh, they'll let ANYONE into NATURAL nowadays. He started by making small talk, and it is a good thing I am polite. I wanted to tell him to his face that his technojargon sounds like Kobold!!!

To make matters worse he starts talking about taking me out on a date... I wish Arek was there, he could pretend to be my study partner and get the green-skin off my schemas. Thankfully the Echo-Gamma Experimental lab was close by, and he doesn't have the same authorization as me. I almost succeeded at keeping a smile off my face as I told him it was off limits to him. He almost cried!

Gathered up some gear, and I wrote my Uncle Tufimatix a letter on all the goings' on. I hope that his legal expertise can get me out of this mess!

On the way out I drop off the letter to the NATURAL postmaster. *sigh* time to get back to the "group."

Frankie Goes to Holy Pub

I met up with the others' at the watch station, and after talking things over with Corporal Picket we eventualy had him send a letter to Grisst for us, asking Grisst to meet us at some bar. Hopefully it will get through.

Things were not looking that much better, and on the way to the Church of St. Cuthbert I tried to talk my way out of this mess. It didn't work.

Arriving at the church made things a LOT worse. The groundskeeper said that the withering outbreak is getting close to Peppershot! This is horrible, I didn't study zoogoly (Frankie's family refers to "zoology" as "zoogoly" as a demeaning term, since it is not engineering. Ironically enough, her cousin is recognized as an expert in this field. - D) like my cousin did. I have no idea how to invent a cure. I could be an orphan (One of a gnome's greatest fears is to be made an orphan, with no family to call their own -D) if a cure is not found!!

After hearing the horrible news, Nimbus set off to speak with Olaf's friend in Axes'Bithat... what a wacked idea. He'd never make it in there! The rest of us went to some kind of religious zealot bar called Censur and Chalice. I had water since I only have a NUTTS meal card. Decided to work on some glass frames while the others blah blah blah about religion. Grisst was a no show, which really sucks.

Realizing we weren't getting anywhere, we set off to the Horendish (That is, "Orindish" - DM) embassy. On the way there a gold dragon flew overhead. I would just love to know how that thing flies! Maybe I need to study up on those arcane engineering equations, hmmm.

At the Horendish embassy I tricked a rude gate guard into revealing that Grisst was Talum's bodyguard, and that he had not seen him since he went missing.

Back to the Bell & Dragon

Giving up, we went back to the Bell and Dragon. I knew things were gonna go bad when Phillip, the criminal gang leader, was standing outside. Domaldi, Thalazaar, Tiberio, and myself went inside and Whitey was there to give us an ultimatum.

Whitey also said that Thalazaar was a Drug Dealer. Great... now I am associating with known criminals... might as well write up my own expel papers for NUTTS. All my hard work, gone!

Things went down the plumbing from this point. Domaldi advanced on Whitey, while Thalazaar started casting magic. Woo, great, now I can get fined for being a party to magical assault.

Seeing that things were going nowhere fast, I snuck out to warn Arek and Nimbus of the trouble brewing.

The three of us arrived back to see Thalazaar injured, with Tiberio starting up an act. Thalazaar explained his past, and why he was associated as being a Silverleaf dealer. All the thugs and gang guys had cleared out the back door. Dimaldi healed him, and warned him to keep his nose clean.

As all of this was going on, Tiberio broke down during a song. Good thing I don't get performance anxiety as an engineer!

Once it was determined Tiberio would be ok, I brought up the fact that it was strange how Mei Mei and Grisst just happened to be kidnapped and sent to the same cult.

Susan came into the main room really upset. She handed us Plake's ear. This was the message Whitey had said we should wait for. To top things off, she told us that we needed to pickup a package from some person named Irontusk for the Dripping Blade. Wow, total setup or what! The group had a big discussion, which was going in circles. I got upset cause it seemed it was going nowhere, and Plake didn't deserve what happened to him (I didn't deserve this either, but I still had both my ears) I stood up, ranted, and stepped out to go save Plake.

Next!
Tiberio's Vision