When the circus comes to town.
Circus prequel - Vivian
Planted into Solstic society by Tak-Tak as a noble from distant Nerath. Remjaz Dadtzllevulf has been gathering intel on the friendships and alliances of the court. One very important relationship, that between the Grand Duke and his mistress Vivian has him extremely curious. It’s well know that his mistress is brought to his quarters every Monday, Thursday and Friday. But, she’s never, ever seen at court any other time, or anywhere else for that matter. A long term mistress such as Vivian is a power broker in her own right, so why isn’t she seen, heard, visited by other nobles. Remjaz tries following her several times in order to learn more about her, but always loses her in the streets in less than 10 minutes into her tail. Frustrated Remjaz decides it’s important enough to call in guild support and Aurzel, Vague, and Ganitari come to lend a discrete assistance in the task. Getting into the palace is easy, Lord Dadtzllevulf and his vassal are allowed entry without question, but getting into the upper levels and into the Grand Dukes bedroom is much, much harder. Remjaz feigns illness and Aurzel uses a cantrip to change his appearance subtly to aid that fiction so that they have an excuse to leave the main hall. Aurzel and Remjaz split up so that Remjaz can make the attempt on the second story and Aurzel can continue with the fiction that Lord Dadtzllevulf is still downstairs but feeling ill. Remjaz is able to successfully infiltrate the upstairs, but decides against trying to hide in the Grand Dukes bedchamber as he can’t be sure of remaining hidden or being able to successfully get out of the Grand Dukes chambers in time to achieve his main objective, tailing Vivian. But, he is able to listen at the door and what he hears confirms his suspicions, not the tell tale sounds of a man with his mistress, but two male voices in discussion. Finding this out was definitely worth the risk, now if he can just follow him! When “Vivian” leaves the Grand Dukes quarters Remjaz uses every resource at his disposal to remain hidden and follow “Vivian” but he/she is very good his job and spots Remjaz and loses him after ducking into a building and changing his appearance. But, he doesn’t spot or fool Ganitari and the chase is most definitely still on. The trio are able to stay with him/her through multiple buildings and disguises and Remjaz calls in Vague, a changeling himself, Vague has the best chance of staying with Vivian. Once Vague joins in the hunt they are finally able to get ahead of him and they take that moment to attack in an attempt to subdue Vivian before she can get away and change once again. But a missed attack by Remjaz gives Vivian the opportunity he needs and he uses his impressive gifts to attack Ganitari, change into him and switch places with him. Vivian then calls out to the others to kill Ganitari as the changeling. Ganitari tells his team mates telepathically that the changeling is the one doing the speaking and he will not speak until the changeling is down so that they can tell them apart. Pretending to be fooled Vague moves in and successfully bluffs an attack on Ganitari so that he can position Vivian between himself and Aurzel giving them the advantage in an attack. Unfortunately, in the confusion Aurzel’s attack misses and so does Ganitari’s and then so does Remjaz’s. Vivian, knowing that somehow they can tell her apart from Ganitari changes target’s and changes into Vague, successfully attacks him and changes places with him. This is the opening Vague needs and with a smile Vague changes his form, while Vivian screams in frustration, Vague gets a successful attack in and Vivian starts bleeding, something he can’t hide. Aurzel’s attack misses but Gan’s and Remjaz’s hit as they both make the most of the opening Vague gave them. Vivian strikes Vague with her dagger in a vicious slice and bleeding profusely Vague goes down. Remjaz successfully attacks Vivian increasing her wounds and knocking her prone beside Vague. Aurzel, unable to use his more deadly attacks as he’ll hit his team mates misses and then it’s Vivians turn. He decides to cut and run while Gan is busy tending to Vague’s hideous wounds and is able to successfully make it into a nearby building. With Gan’s impressive healing abilities Vague recovers enough to stand up and determined that Vivian not escape him and knowing she’ll change again, Vague doesn’t follow her into the building but rather moves to it’s opposite side, the south side, and readies himself to attack once she comes out again. Aurzel cuts off her ability to leave from the same door by throwing a fireball into the building and positions himself to watch the north and west sides of the building. Gan cuts off the east side and they prepare themselves to take down this formidable foe. Screaming that the building’s on fire and they have to help the person inside Vivian exits the south side of the building where Vague is waiting and rather than pulling off this escape Vivian rushes right into Vague’s attack. Communicating with the team telepathically through Gan, he tells them he’s got her and they all rush to Vague’s aid. Gan is able to knock Vivian out before she can attack again and she slumps unconscious. Now all they have to do is get her/him away from here without arousing suspicion. Vague picks her up and calls for people to help put out the fire and simply walks away with her to the meeting place at the Hungry Griffon Inn which fortunately is close by because he’s heavy. Once at the Inn they arouse Vivian and begin questioning her. He changes once again and tells them off. More agressive persuasion by Nova though is able to get him to reconsider his position, that and his complete inability to escape the bonds tied by Vague, who well versed with every changeling shapechanging trick has made it impossible for him to escape. He tells them that he does anything the Grand Duke requires, gather intel, plant evidence, steal items or kill people. Questioning him closely they learn his most recent assignment was to steal a small crystal statue from the country manor house of the Grayhavens and that he had recently assassinated the youngest dau. of Lord Vraihodaim as she was a “liability” Satisfied that they had as much useful information as they could obtain Vivian they killed him so that he couldn’t report them to the Duke.