The newly-thrust together companions had little rest ahead of them. Once the battle in the public square ended, the battle for public opinion began. Jules Amour, a nobleman of minor station, and Caithas Thalornn, a bastard of no consequence, suddenly found their faces plastered on every street corner in the city. Luckily for them, Jules happened to be quite adept at disguises, and he sought to help them keep a low profile as much as possible. Only one of those goals met with any success…
But Malcom saw the mantle of a leader and grasped it with whatever skill and might he had. He stirred public opinion, rabble-roused crowds, and sowed the seeds of rebellion from the inside. While his time in the Guard was perfunctory at best now, he was able to maintain some semblance of innocence after the madness of the wedding day. He was able to maintain it for just under a full day.
The day after the spark was lit, the day after Markus was freed and the wheels of fate were set to turn, Jules and Elana should have been on their honeymoon. By all rights, a newly-wed noble couple should be sailing the seas or vacationing in exotic locales. Instead, Elana found herself trying to avoid the public’s scrutiny, quite unsuccessfully, now that she was married to a fugitive. She also found a wayward child named Sarah who she simply couldn’t turn away, which made the intricate process of planning a revolution a bit tricky with a seven year old child present.
Jules, the other half of the should-be honeymooning duo, found himself bleeding to death in an alleyway instead. While his first instinct, to write a series of letters to families and organizations that might be friendly to the rebellion’s cause, was sound enough, his desire to meet with Andelia’s underground elements to secure sufficient funding proved to be less so. A drug-deal-connection gone awry, Jules’ instincts failed him when a common thug nearly gutted him unceremoniously in the dark streets of the city they’d all come to call home in recent days. The nobleman survived thanks to Caithas’ twin blades. While the perpetrator of the ambush escaped, his two henchmen, including Jules’ attacker, lay dead in a pool of coagulating blood thanks to the half-elf’s scimitar. Jules’ future and survival were uncertain until Caithas forced two potions of healing down his friend’s throat.
With Jules weak and wounded but safely back in the basement of The Broken Tooth tavern (Ulf’s establishment), and Elana caring for both her husband and the child she’d brought home, Caithas decided to go outside the tavern to clear his head; he was not a man used to slitting the throats of two strangers on an average day. On that walk, he saw the strangest thing: Malcom, in guard-gear, with other members of his brood, amidst a brawl with some disguised rebels.
It became clear to Caithas quickly that Malcom was dressed as a guard, but was not fighting as a member of that esteemed brotherhood. Seeing Malcom raise his blade against his former-brethren, Caithas charged into the fray to help even the odds. Between the rebels’ ferocity and Malcom’s betrayal, along with Caithas’ intervention, the guards were killed, save one young man named Hakon, who ran off. And while everyone survived the fight, Malcom and Caithas had only helped destroy another refuge of the newly-formed rebellion, as Ulf’s tavern would surely be searched and checked after a bloody battle took place practically in front of it.
So, reunited ever so briefly, and with Jules back on his feet after allowing the potions to do their work, the group hid at Elana’s dilapidated estate until they were supposed to meet with the secret society called The Crimson Irregulars, a group whose attention had been piqued by Malcom’s rabble-rousing amongst the common-folk.
Through underground passageways, the four companions reach a nondescript location, and after learning about a mysterious ‘master of secrets’ from the Crimson-clad, they head to a tavern to meet with him. There, the group finds themselves in a crowded bar, complete with bare-knuckle boxing brawls sans ring or rules, where they come face to face with Andelia’s resident Master of Secrets: Runolf Greycloak, the same powerful old mage that had inadvertently brought their little foursome together in the first place. It’s as they say…it is indeed a small world.