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Chapter 14
A Plot against the A-TEAM

The following day the party arrived again to Raus Fort. Again a few days were spent on drinking with Merlox. The idea of opening a second A-TEAM Inn in the new town area of Raus Fort was considered and talked about. It would be a much smaller Inn, but Raus Fort needed an Inn and this would be a good place to get the chain of A-TEAM Inn's started. Here Merlox could check the inn-keeping and see that everything would be done right, plus here would probably not be much competition, if Merlox played the cards right.
On the third day the A-TEAM decided that the journey had to continue, and when a cargo ship stopped at Raus Fort, they got onboard for the ridiculously expensive price of 2L/day/person. The captain, Betrand, and his crew of four were not very talkative, but could do their business. After sailing half a day, the wind lessened and the speed decreased to almost nothing. It was decided to continue in the dark to get further along and come to Chomoro in the morning. In the middle of the night the ship suddenly got stuck into something. The captain was very annoyed as here should be enough of water and no known sand banks. He said that nothing was to be done and he and his crew went to sleep. The A-TEAM smelled something fishy, and stayed on guard the whole night.

In the morning one of the crew swam on shore to get help from Chomoro, a half days walk from the location. Meanwhile Dolxx and Axjack sounded the depth, but it was between five and ten meters around the ship on all sides. Then they took a long rope and started to keelhaul the rope from the bow and at about quarter ships an obstacle hindered the rope. The same was made from aft of the ship and it turned out to be only one this single point where the ship was stuck. It might be a tree trunk standing up, on which the ship had got stuck. Kaid-aw and Dolxx tried to convince Raven to go underwater to see what it was, but he did not want to. At midday, the sailor came back with two local divers who dove below to see what the ship got stuck on. When they finally emerged, long after the A-TEAM thought it was possible to keep ones breath, they told that the ship was stuck on a shipwreck, and had got stuck on the mast, it was pinched between the part that stood up from the deck and the top part that had fallen down when it had sunk. They also told there were dead people onboard the wreck and did not want to disturb the peace of the dead. Other people had to be gotten from Chomoro to get the ship free from the mast. After hearing this, Raven and Axjack accepted the renewed plea of getting underwater and freeing the ship from the obstacle. Raven used his breathe air/water ring, while Axjack used his spell. They also were prepared with all possible spells and both had a rope from the mast to the their waist, and when they made three jerks they should be pulled up immediately. After they had been underwater some time, the ship suddenly got loose and Axjack and Raven were pulled up. They had got some items from the wreck. One was a miniature totem pole of an ancestor tribe to the bison tribe. There was also a small Pavis flag. When the ship came to Chomoro, the divers were let off the ship and the journey could continue, slowly. In the early evening, all of the A-TEAM saw suddenly huge and giant water spiders running towards the ship. A warning was uttered to the crew and captain while spells were thrown. There were two giant ones, over 30 in SIZ, and three huge, SIZ between 10 and 15. One giant chose Raven as his victim, while a giant and a huge one chose Kaid-aw. Dolxx and Axjack got both one huge spider each. None of the crew nor the captain was attacked at first. On the first round Kaid-aw used his blinding fastness and impaled the giant spider in its body, and it fell down, unable to move. Dolxx fumbled with his parry against the spider, he got somehow his right leg armor entangled in the parry, and a leather strap broke, making it useless for the fight. Also his cloak came in way of his vision, making it a bit harder for him to see to fight. But with his next attack, Dolxx killed the spider hitting it in the head severing it. Kaid-aw's allied cast a lightwall to ease his situation. With Raven's third hit, he crushed the other giant spiders body making it also unmovable. This made his darkwall effective, as now the spider could not see over the darkwall. Kaid-aw needed a third hit to the giant spider, killing it by hitting in its head. Also Axjack finished his enemy, with one mighty blow to the body of the spider. It took Raven two more rounds before he had killed the last giant spider, as he crushed four of its legs before crushing its head. In one minute of hectic fighting the spiders had been killed. The crew looked with great respect on the A-TEAM, as they had now seen the effectiveness of A-TEAM. Even the captain was impressed with the way A-TEAM fought. The crew cleared most of the spiders away from the deck; Raven kept a half spider as food for him. In the evening the ship cast anchor and the crew went on the shore for the night. A-TEAM kept guard through the night.

In the morning the captain asked Axjack who was up if he had seen the crew, but Axjack just replied, that he was not their guard and had not seen them. The captain got a bitter look and went to the rudder saying: We won't leave until my crew has come back!.

Raven knew exactly what had happened, but didn't tell the others. He had seen four Aranea worshipping trolls taking first one of the crew, and when the others had tried to escape to the ship, the trolls water spiders had got caught of them and brought them back to the shore. Then the trolls had taken the crew away, probably eating them as food.

At midday a merchant ship like the one the A-TEAM was on came down rivers, and the captain sent a message to it. The captain sent word to Chomoro, about the missing crew, if they had heard anything. Dolxx tried to get a ride to Chomoro, but the ship was completely filled up, and could not take Dolxx onboard. After the other ship had left, Raven started to eat the rest of the spider from last evening. A little bit later Raven started to fill uneasy in his stomach, and he burped. As he did that a piece of paper flew out of his stomach in from of Dolxx. Dolxx looked a little disgusted, but took the paper up and started to read what it said:

Regarding the A-TEAM case:

Tell Mairlenos at Whistling Feathers our contact is making progress. He will soon have the layout and guard routines ready.
The Jaw has been informed and they ask only for the troll in return.
It has been suggested that the action should be initiated while the magician is still occupied.
Save (unreadable) for later. We might need him elsewhere.

When Dolxx read this he started to get angry at Raven and at the same time wonder where Raven had got hold of the paper. Dolxx told Kaid-aw what there was written, and Kaid-aw got as angry as Dolxx. They started to question Raven and Axjack, as obviously it had to be gotten from the wreck. Then Axjack told that the people had had Lunar armor on them. Dolxx and Kaid-aw got even madder and shouted the two others why hadn't you told this before! There was obviously a plot going against the A-TEAM, but who were the powers behind. Lunars were among them, but were they the one who had started the plot? Or were there more parties involved than Lunar and Krarsht followers? The troll was of course Raven and the magician Merlox, but whom did the conspirators want to save. Probably not Axjack, but was it Kaid-aw because of his Yelmalio connections or Dolxx because of his Orlanth connections? Kaid-aw remembered that the Whistling Feathers was in Arrowsands, close by now where they ship was currently located. The captain was asked if he would take them to the shore, but the captain said he will not move the ship until he would get his crew back. Raven said he would walk to the shore, beneath the water and take a rope to the shore for the others. Betrand wanted have payment for the trip and surprisingly Raven gave the captain 6L. A long rope was tied around Raven and when he jumped over board the first thing he did was to cut off the rope to the anchor. The boat started immediately to drift, but the captain ran to the rudder to keep it in the river. Raven climbed on the shore and tied the other end of the long rope to a tree. He then started to pull the rope slowly. This made the ship to come closer to the shore, even if the captain tried to keep it in deep water. The captain demanded the rope to be cut and let his ship free. He even called the A-TEAM pirates. But after some time the ship hit ground and Dolxx, Kaid-aw and Axjack could leave the ship. When the captain wanted to have his 6L from the others, Dolxx gave him it, Kaid-aw gave only 1L (which actually was much more than the captain had deserved because of his ill manners) and Axjack only burped and gave nothing to the captain. When they all were on land they cut off the rope as the captain cursed them, and said he would report to the due officers about Kaid-aw and Axjack not paying for their trip. They boat started slowly drift away from the shore with only the captain aboard.

The A-TEAM felt much better when they got away from the ship and back on ground again. They followed a trail along the river and after walking for a couple of hours, they heard some noises further along the trail. It was tradetalk spoken like the speaker was gagged, but also something incomprehensible, which Raven understood as darktongue. Raven lied to the others that there were the four trolls from last night, for he had now told what had happened to the crew, and said that they were tough, prepare all you have, if we are going to meet them. If it was the four trolls from last evening, they had to be killed, and lots of spells were cast. Everybody tried to sneak and hide, but only Raven succeeded in hiding and none in sneaking, so a thirty meter from the grove where the sounds came from, a sentence, Sorry, have to go now!, and a thump could be heard. Also somebody started to run away from the scene. Dolxx who had cast a mobility on himself was the first one in the middle of the grove. He saw a bleeding, tightly tied up man against a rock, but he also saw where the running troll was headed. Surprisingly there was only one troll. It took only few rounds, outside the grove, when Dolxx got caught of the troll, who stopped and got in a defensive position. Dolxx hit once with his Greatsword IronWind and severed the trolls arm even if the troll made a successful parry. Dolxx searched the troll and found some money and a piece of paper where was written Raven and the A-TEAM sign. Dolxx then returned to the grove. Meanwhile when Kaid-aw had came to the man, he had saved his life, by healing the man just before he died. The man presented himself as Vairon Pike, a local farmer, who had been captured when he had been fishing at the river. Kaid-aw presented himself as Yelmalio Light Son and Priest, which greatly increased the thankfulness of Vairon, as he was now sure Yelmalio had heard his prayer when the troll had (almost) killed him. Axjack did not hide his Orlanth status, but Raven and Dolxx wore their cloaks tightly and did not reveal their right identity. Vairon asked in Firespeech from Kaid-aw what he was doing with an Orlanthi, as had been learned already as a child, that Orlanthi's are bloodthirsty and evil men and should be avoided at all costs. Kaid-aw answered in the same language, that true, but sometimes it is good to use the enemy for bigger tasks and use his strengths for the good of Yelmalio. This is not a thing that can be done easily, but now Yelmalio had shown him the way. Vairon should not ever tell about Kaid-aw visit and guests to other people. Vairon insisted that the A-TEAM should stay over the night at his farm, which was close nearby. Kaid-aw tried to say that they should not come, but Vairon insisted so much, that Kaid-aw had to accept the offer. On they way to the farm, Kaid-aw asked if Vairon knew anything about a man called Mairlenos. Vairon answered, yes he was drunkard often staying in the Whistling Feathers, even if he sometimes were long times away mysteriously. At the farm Kaid-aw asked if he could find one bed in the barn for one of his friends, meaning Raven, as he has been ill and needed the quietness and outdoor air of a barn. Vairon's wife and children greeted when they arrived and went then inside. His wife prepared a supper and Vairon then told that Kaid-aw himself had to sleep in his bed, in the bedroom. He would sleep on the floor between Kaid-aw and his wife. Dolxx and Axjack could sleep on the floor in the kitchen.

In the morning, Kaid-aw thanked Vairon for everything, but he thanked even more for his life and said Kaid-aw would always be welcome in his farm if he ever was close. It took a five-hour walk to get to Arrowsands. About an hour earlier, Axjack and Raven made a camp and stayed, while Kaid-aw and Dolxx went together to fetch Mairlenos from Arrowsands. Before they entered the village, they covered themselves with big cloaks covering their armor and other equipment. At the Whistling Feathers Dolxx and Kaid-aw went to the bar to get a beer each. As it was noon, the bar was almost empty, only three other people were present currently. They started talking to the bartender and asked if he knew Mairlenos. He said Mairlenos is the man in the middle of the three men in the corner. Dolxx and Kaid-aw approached Mairlenos and asked him if he could talk with them for a while. Mairlenos asked them if it was about the money they had came for. Dolxx and Kaid-aw wondered, but answered yes it was because of that. They all went outside and Mairlenos gave them 3 L. Dolxx and Kaid-aw started to question Mairlenos, who became more cautious, and reluctant to answer. When Dolxx tried to get a grip on Mairlenos one arm, he fled towards the inn shouting for help. Mairlenos went behind his friends at the table, who tried to defend him. Kaid-aw told the men, the matter didn't concern them and threw some money to the bartender for some beer to the men. The men looked at Dolxx and Kaid-aw for a while and decided to have a beer. Mairlenos ran towards the furthest corner and shouted for help. The bartender asked what are Dolxx and Kaid-aw wanted of Mairlenos. They answered, it didn't concern him either and told him to keep out of their way. The bartender didn't like this and said he would call the sheriff of the village if Dolxx and Kaid-aw wouldn't let Mairlenos go. Kaid-aw answered, do that if you want, and the bartender told a boy to run after the sheriff. The sheriff arrived after a while and started to question who Dolxx and Kaid-aw were. Kaid-aw started to talk to the sheriff while Dolxx held an eye on Mairlenos. Kaid-aw and the sheriff went outside to talk closer. Outside Kaid-aw showed his Yelmalio status, Light Son and Light Guide to the sheriff, who immediately changed his attitude towards Kaid-aw. He felt himself honored to have such an important visitor to their village. When they came back to the inn, Mairlenos noticed the changed attitude of the sheriff and tried to run away, but Dolxx and Kaid-aw captured him easily. A rope was tied around Mairlenos arms and then Dolxx and Kaid-aw took him away from the village. As the sheriff didn't oppose, nobody else dared to do anything when they left.

At the camp they started to interrogate Mairlenos. He told everything he knew. He had been contacted in Arrowsand's, as he had other business and was frequently away to take care of them. A messenger was recognized with a special wrongly minted coin. That's why Mairlenos had given Dolxx and Kaid-aw 3L. One of the coins was wrongly minted, and any messenger would have known about the coin and would have identified himself to Mairlenos. The leader of the chain in this end was Lord Kael-Barmol, the owner of the Red Cliff Domain. He got the messages and took them forward to Lord Kael-Barmol's right hand, Taveera. He told about Queenscliff village where the lord held his court. He lived in a new house outside the center of the village. There were balconies on all sides of the building. He did not know who sent the messages to him, neither did he know any members of the plot in Pavis. Mairlenos could not come himself and show Taveera, as he had an oath on him that prohibited him from doing anything against the plotters. Raven got so mad of this nonsense that he killed Mairlenos when he had nothing more to tell the A-TEAM.
In the morning they started for Queenscliff. In the evening the came to Chomoro, where Dolxx fixed his armor. He had to pay 8 wheels for the simple task of getting the leg armor strap changed. He was also interrogated by the sheriff, how he had got the Iron armor and why he was in Chomoro. Dolxx didn't show his status and kept his story that he was just passing by and had had an accident in the wilds which needed to be fixed urgently, as he wanted to continue tomorrow forward on his journey. In the end the sheriff accepted the story and Dolxx got his armor back. In the evening they all took a couple of beers in the inn they stayed at.

Early the morning they continued towards Queenscliff and arrived there in the afternoon. The building Lord Kael-Barmol held his court was easy to spot amongst the otherwise low buildings of Queenscliff. Lunars were building a temple of the Reacting Moon near the new fort of Queenscliff, which was somewhat surprising. When they knocked the door of the mansion, they were admitted inside and could meet Lord Kael-Barmol after about twenty minutes. Beside Lord Kael-Barmol was Halcyon van Enkorth, who the A-TEAM had met in Elkoi in Balazar on their way from Eldarad to Pavis. Merlox had gone behind the back of the rest of the A-TEAM and made a deal with Halcyon. Lord Kael-Barmol invited the A-TEAM to a party in two days. When they left the building for an inn, Kaid-aw's hawk stayed on guard near the mansion and soon afterwards a messenger left the building and the hawk started to follow the messenger if the location he went to, would reveal who might be a contact in Pavis.

During the first day nothing happened, neither the next day. In the evening was the party. Dolxx and Axjack were not liked, and nobody came to talk to them. If they started to talk to someone, he suddenly had to excuse him because of something. Raven noticed that Merlox arrived to the party. When he went to greet Merlox, Merlox wounded Raven's hand with a dagger. Raven tried to capture Merlox, but he came away. Raven got poisoned, but Axjack healed Raven with a heal body. They both took their armor on them. Raven went down to the kitchen to search for some clues, but found nothing. Dolxx talked with Taveera, but Taveera insisted on Lord Kael-Barmol getting the Raus Domain before he would talk anything more.
In the morning they leave, as Taveera advised them. After walking some time, Raven headed towards Raus Fort to meet Merlox, while the others continued towards the south. Sometimes after noon, a big tent, diameter about 30 meters, was seen with people around it. There were three guards watching the surroundings, but the team avoided them and found an observation place behind a dune on about 400 meters distance. The guards were changed every three hours, every time with different ones. In the night the team sneaked closer and Dolxx heard how the guards were talking about a campaign against Holy Country led by Tatius the Bright. The also talked about a very odd man who had arrived from Sartar recently. Was this Halcyon they were talking about or somebody else?

At sunrise the team sneaked around the tent on a safe distance and continued southwards. In the afternoon they saw a new construction site. There were about fifty men at a fort, which had its walls already completed. Dolxx and Axjack circled around the fort from a safe distance when suddenly a guard looked up from the grass. Dolxx charged immediately and hit once with his Greatsword IronWind severing the man into two parts from the chest, killing him instantly. He had also a woman there who Dolxx and Axjack started to question, but she knew almost nothing. When she promised not tell anybody about Dolxx and Axjack she was let go back to the fort. After hiding the body, they went back and together with Kaid-aw they followed a trail to a second construction site. It had a low stonewall around it, about 200 meters in diameter, and in the middle something was being dug up. They waited until dark and went cautiously towards the wall. Inside it the area was magical. There were guards in the area, about a dozen led by a captain.

A small man walked out of the fort with four guards, but they were let to pass. Later during the day Raven and Merlox arrived to the site. After dark an attack was made against the guards. Merlox threw spells, while Kaid-aw shot arrows, before the others attacked. Merlox got four and Kaid-aw one guard down. As Dolxx had cast Mobility, he was extremely fast and fighted for two rounds alone before the others reached the fight. During this time Dolxx killed three guards. Axjack fought against the captain, who fought very well. When the other arrived it only took a few rounds before all except the captain was killed. Axjack managed finally to kill him, but he made a divine invention and vanished from the place. When Axjack, Kaid-aw and Merlox were investigating a weird construction dug out from the sand, Dolxx and Raven were looking at the old house, also dug out of the sand, the small man suddenly came out of it and threw a knife in the head of Raven killing him. He then took a mobility rune and showed it towards Dolxx, who, to the amazement of the man, did not freeze but was only slowed down to a third of his normal movement rate. Dolxx tried to slowly follow the man, but he fled into the house and flew away using his homing circle. Kaid-aw, who had been on the other side, could not either catch the man. He and Merlox had found a magical spear, which they took with them. An alarm was for sure given and they had to leave the area before the guards from the ort would arrive. Kaid-aw then took Raven, while Axjack took Dolxx and they started to run as fast as possible away from the site. After coming out of the site and getting out of sight, they stopped and resurrected Raven back to life. At the same time the effect of the mobility rune wore out of Dolxx, giving him his normal movement back. When everybody was fit, they started to run towards the river, away from the place. Every now and then they disguised their tracks to make it more difficult to find the direction where they had escaped.

When the sun had risen, they arrived to the river and luckily there was a boat coming upriver almost immediately. They hitched a ride to Pavis, where they arrived after four days. Kaid-aw's hawk had followed the messenger to the Patrooma residence on Rich Hill. The family rules the Zebra people areas and holds control of the transports to and from the city. They decided that the safest place to keep the magical spear would be at Arlaten's tower. At the central bridge they jumped off the boat to walk to Arlaten's. There were four trolls trying to control the bridge asking a fee to pass it, but Merlox used his Troll-to-Fish spell and the trolls became fish. At Arlaten's they met with him and asked him to analyze the spear. Kaid-aw left for New Pavis, while the others went to their inn. A note was waiting for Raven. His "girlfriend" wanted to have a new dressing room in her house, so Raven had to order a couple of trolls to do the building. When Kaid-aw came to the city, he heard that the captain, Betrand, had sued him, because of the unpaid voyage. Axjack arranged a big celebration, as he got his first mastery in a skill. The party went on the whole day and night, long into the next day. An official announcement told that Kaid-aw had been appointed to the Armstice Commission, which was a great honor. The Commission discussed about important military issues of the city. There were participants of all the important official parties of New Pavis.

In the morning Dolxx left for the Lhankor Mhy library to find information about the totem they had found. He also searched and found out information about the Patrooma family. The head of the family was Malaver Patrooma. His son, Pedevar Patrooma had made the only other, in addition to A-TEAM, Puzzle Canal exploration team that had survived their trip. He was a short man who later turned out to resemble the man they had seen at the temple construction. Dolxx tried to arrange a meeting with the Indagos family, but they did not want to talk to him, as he was an Orlanthi. Kaid-aw meanwhile arranged a meeting with the Coders to the afternoon. The meeting was fine, but the Coders did not know anything the A-TEAM did not know already. When they came back to the inn, Dolxx heard that he had had a guest there during the day; he had taken someone there for about thirty minutes at noon. Dolxx knew that he had not done it, which meant that somebody had disguised himself to impersonate him. Dolxx made a search in his room but could not find any traces of the people or other things that had been touched. The other rooms were also searched through, but nothing was found in them either. Dolxx and Axjack decided in any case to sleep in another room just for safety, if something would happen during the night.

As nothing happened, Dolxx went in the morning into his room. When he entered, spirits materialized from his bed poles. The spirits had greater power than Dolxx and Kaid-aw gave him a Spiritblock 2. Kaid-aw was attacked by another spirit and he had to use his last Spiritblock on himself and get a Spirit Screen 4 from Axjack. Axjack got the most powerful spirit attacking him, and he also used his Spiritblock and Spirit Screen 4 to help himself in the fight. Dolxx cut off the bed poles and burned them, dismissing the spirits. Dolxx left then to Arlaten to talk with him about the spear, if he had found out anything about it. Arlaten told that it was not him who was analyzing it, but Mikos. Mikos told he was doing it, but that he had to bury the spear for three days in the garden. Dolxx suspected that Mikos might have given it to the Lunars, but said nothing. When he came back to the inn, he told about his suspicion and a plot to see if it was true was made. When Mikos left Arlaten's tower, they dug on the spot where Mikos said the spear should be, but nothing was found. When Mikos returned, he was easily captured and the slave bracelet was put on him to get control of him. They took him to the inn and interrogated him. He told the Lunars from the Lunar College of Magic had bribed him. They had offered lots and lots for his spying on Arlaten. Between five and ten different Lunars held contact with him. Already two months ago he had been contacted and asked look out if the A-TEAM came with a special magical spear to Arlaten. He should then tell and possibly retrieve the spear to the Lunar College of Magic. A deal was made between Mikos and the A-TEAM. The A-TEAM would not tell Arlaten that he was spying and Mikos would tell everything he told the Lunar College of Magic beforehand to A-TEAM and getting more information on the men behind the A-TEAM hunt without having to actively ask questions. After this Mikos was let free. Next day was spent on prayers and the following day it was Dolxx 29th birthday. To celebrate this he arranged a big party in the evening.

A spy was from the Hawk gang was set to follow Pedevar Patrooma, a Rune Lord of Yanafal Tarnils. He spent most of his time in the "Silk'n'Plume" or the Lunar temple. In the evening Kaid-aw asked Dolxx and Axjack to a pick-nick, but Dolxx did not want join and stayed in the inn for the night. At 4.30 in the morning, the leader of the guard of the inn woke Dolxx up. He told that the inn was invaded with trolls. Dolxx saved the people still in the inn, while the guards fought for their life. Three guards stayed behind to slow down the trolls. The trolls demolished everything on the first two floors of the inn. Ten dead trolls of the Loricek clan were found after the trolls went away. In the morning when Raven came to the inn, Dolxx was really pissed off, shouting and accusing Raven for the nightly incident. Raven admitted nothing, but could see what had happened. Builders were hired to rebuild everything destroyed. The A-TEAM started to make a plan on how to find out who was behind them. They agreed on starting a rumor, that the river people had found the flag and were ready to sell information where they had found it. Mikos would be used to pass on the information to the Lunar College of Magic that the A-TEAM would be there. The sale would happen early next season, in a couple of weeks.

One evening a few days later when Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw were on their way back to the inn from the city they noticed new guards the never had seen before at the Wyvern Gate. When they were about 50 meters away they heard “Hail the Temple of the Reaching Moon” and the men summoned many ghosts against the A-TEAM. The only way to survive these powerful spirits was to reach Arlaten's protected tower in time. All possible defensive spirit spells were cast and also the best mobility available to boost their running speed. Dolxx had the worst problems and close to the tower when it was clear that he would not make it, Kaid-aw cast a teleport on Dolxx and teleported him to the tower. He immediately alarmed Arlaten that they would need help in dismissing these ghosts. Kaid-aw made it to the tower but Axjack fell a few hundred meters away. With the powerful spells of Arlaten, Axjack could be fetched to the safety of the tower. They stayed there the night and by the morning the ghosts were gone. Dolxx and Kaid-aw went then to their temples to pray again. The next day it was Orlanth's high holy day, which was celebrated with the normal religious services amongst the Orlanthis. Dolxx and Axjack participated in the services.

As it looked like the Temple of the Reaching Moon was behind the attacks on the A-TEAM, a meeting with them was arranged with the help of Porusa the patient, high priestess of Seven Mothers. The priest did not tell his name and he was not at all cooperatively, making any kind of negotiations impossible. He told he would only accept the full surrender of A-TEAM and that they then would leave the area never to return. After this the meeting ended. The next day news came that the Temple built by the Temple of the Reaching Moon close to Queenscliff was destroyed by Sun County troops. When Dolxx heard this he sent a full alarm to all trusted Orlanthis. It was learnt the next day that there had been a big fight between Lunars and Yelmalio troops. Sun County was on highest alert and nobody was allowed to pass through it. Also Sun town inside New Pavis is very closely watched, and the feeling was very tense. The Lunars were surprisingly still, it looked like business as usual for them. The Coders were out of town with Tala Errio, which was very unusual, as she very very seldom left the temple. A few days later a new rumor came that Tatius the Bright was on his way to Pavis from Sartar. The new Yelmalio temple on Yelmalio Hill, started to be built by Kaid-aw was finished and the Yelmalios held great ceremonies to sanctify and take into use the new temple. It was a big temple with many priests and people serving in it.

One morning the A-TEAM then finally took the boat towards Chomoro, where the map was supposed to be sold. In the evening a message arrived to Kaid-aw with a hawk. He told the rest that Lord Kael-Barmol was on his way towards Pavis, and the A-TEAM jumped off the boat in the evening. He had a guard of twenty guards and a captain. He had also four wagons in the caravan. They had free way through Sun County. Dolxx knew the Garhound family running that village with the same name. The A-TEAM went there and Dolxx managed to get the permission to give prepared food to the caravan when they would arrive to the village. The A-TEAM then left the village and made an ambush far enough from the village and started waiting for Lord Kael-Barmol and his entourage. The next day Kaid-aw's hawk alarmed that the caravan was coming, and the ambush was set up. First an attack with missiles and then Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw would charge against the guards. Kaid-aw managed to kill Lord Kael-Barmol with his arrows. Then the three of them charged. Immediately Dolxx and Kaid-aw killed one guard. On the next round Dolxx and Kaid-aw killed two, while Axjack killed one guard. The next round Axjack killed the captain with one single blow, while Dolxx and Kaid-aw killed again two guards each. On the fourth round Axjack and Dolxx killed one each, while Dolxx also maimed one guard, Kaid-aw continued to kill two guards each round. The battle ended on the fifth round when Axjack and Dolxx one guard and Kaid-aw killed the two last guards. In a minute the whole troop of over twenty guards was destroyed. Axjack, Dolxx and Kaid-aw put the dead bodies on the wagons and tried to conceal as good as possible the signs of the battle and the tracks of the wagons, which they drove towards the river. Close to the river the bodies were looted and burned in one of the wagons after they also were checked. Kaid-aw left for Pavis to get a boat to get the items from the wagons to the inn.

Meanwhile in Pavis, the previous day four men who accused Raven for killing their brother, attacked him. After he had killed two of the men, they managed to get the lucky shot and killed Raven, who had to make a divine intervention. The men were really surprised when Raven got up again and continued fighting. One got away, but Raven killed the other.

When Kaid-aw came to Pavis he arranged for the boat and heard that Raven had left for the south riding his Griffin. Kaid-aw then decided to send his hawk to fetch Raven back to Pavis. He came the next day to Dolxx and Axjack with the boat and everything was loaded to it. When they arrived to the Central Bridge, three trolls and trollkins were trying to get toll for passing the bridge. Kaid-aw shot one trollkin before they passed the bridge and a troll after passing it. Dolxx and Axjack left to the inn for Dolxx's cart. The important stuff was then loaded to the cart and taken to Blind Kings Castle, while the normal stuff was taken to the inn without any problems. During the evening they heard about some very bad rumors about the A-TEAM, all false trying to make the A-TEAM look really bad, also the rumor of Tatius arriving in about two seasons. In the morning they talked about how to stop the false rumors and find out who has started to send them around. The Patrooma family residence had to be searched thoroughly. Kaid-aw arranged a big party where all families from Pavis were invited. When the people were away from the Patrooma residence, Axjack, Dolxx and Raven search through the house. Information on the house had to be gathered, how many people, guards etc. The party would be held in two weeks.

When the party was held, Axjack, Dolxx and Raven knew that there were guards on both entrances. The guard, which was at the back door, was killed with a single surpricing blow. The door was searched and found out to be trapped. Instead they climbed on the roof and used acid, which Dolxx had arranged, to break the bars in front of the window. The shutters were then opened and everybody went inside the build. Then the shutters were closed again. It became dark, and only Raven could see, while Axjack and Dolxx had to follow Raven's directions. They searched through the second floor for locked doors or working rooms, and after about twenty minutes they found a door, which was locked. The door had a trap and magical protection which were disarmed before they entered the room. It was a working room with a desk and bookshelves on all walls. They started to look through the desk and the shelves. Only one book was interesting enough to be stolen, Pedevar Patrooma's diary. After the room was thoroughly searched they left the room and locked it again. After fifteen minutes of searching they found a second locked door, but they could not open it. After this they left the building the same way as they entered. On the way away from the Rich Hill a policeman surprised them. Axjack surprised him and killed him with one blow. Raven flew off to Arlaten's tower with the book, while Axjack and Dolxx stayed at Gimpy's. They heard that the party at Kaid-aw had gone very well.

In the morning they all gathered to Arlaten's tower to read Pedevar's diary. The following sections were interesting:
Puzzle Canal:
Voghran's masked boss hired us to go to the Puzzle Canal, which was a horrible confusing place. In the center there was a mirror, which the boss wanted to find. When we came finally to it after many hardships, neither Voghran nor I could see anything in it. The boss saw something in it and sketched it to a piece of paper for a long time. He went closer and then further away from the mirror. What a stupid little man, imaging that he could see anything in the mirror.
The other interesting entry was only two weeks ago:
I got a letter from Voghran. He is still in Moonbroth, but his boss had not told how long they would stay there. What are they doing there? What does his boss really think he could find there? Or is he so stupid that he thinks he could get the oracle to answer his question?

Was the boss Gim-Gim? It might be, as it is said that he has been into Puzzle Canal and is often called the masked man. The next morning Raven got a visit from a troll. He had with him the man Raven had sent to the trolls to retraining. The man was now totally broken mentally and obeyed every order given to him. It could not be a difficult task as the man had retarded to the intelligence of an animal. Raven took him as his servant in his quarters. If Gim-Gim was in Moonbroth, then the A-TEAM also had to go there. A few days of preparations were made before the A-TEAM left for Moonbroth. Halfway to Moonbroth they saw a Marble Phalanx troop of about 40 soldiers, which they avoided. After five days they arrived to Moonbroth. Axjack and Dolxx took a room from the Pilgrim Inn, while Kaid-aw and Raven went to the Beat-Pot Moonrock Cafe. After some initial enquires they found out that Voghran and Gim-Gim lived in the fort, even if Gim-Gim spent most of his time in the old Wandering Moon Temple. Half of his men were staying in the Geysir Inn while the other half was in the Beat-Pot Moonrock Cafe. The Lunars were building a new big temple in Moonbroth.

On the second day they started to spread a rumor about a weird party approaching Moonbroth. It consisted of a troll riding a Griffin, one Yelmalio and one Orlanthi Rune Lord-Priest. Axjack held an eye on the temple, while Dolxx is held an eye on the shrine. It took a few days for the rumor to spread enough. Axjack was sitting in the inn, when Gim-Gim entered and sat at the table next to Axjack, without noticing him. Gim-Gim talked with his men about actually being happy that they finally are on their way here. Then he mumbled, “It's impossible anyway”. On the next day the A-TEAM arrived officially and took a room from the Pilgrim Inn. When sitting in the afternoon on the veranda having a beer, Gim-Gim arrived and told it is not possible for them to kill him there. He tried to get a duel against him either immediately or in the middle of the night. In the middle of the night he waited outside the inn, but none of the A-TEAM accepted the duel.

Kaid-aw tried to provoke one of Gim-Gim's men to a fight by trying to trip one of them, but failed to do so. He then went to the Seven Mothers temple to meet Gim-Gim, who was not there. Kaid-aw left a message to Gim-Gim. Meanwhile Raven was sitting in the Moonrock Cafe at a table stuffing food into himself. It could not be called eating the way he put stuff into his mouth. In the table next to Raven's sat an elderly very cultivated Lunar priest called Vetanis. He was the chief of the market in Moonbroth. Hea had the habit of eating very well at the cafe, and he was very disturbed by Raven's behaviour. In the afternoon a big gong-gong was heard sounding. The A-TEAM wondered what was this and asked the people nearby. It was the signal that the oracle would accept a question from somebody and answer it. After eleven days the oracle would take and answer the question from the masked man they heard later. This was something that had not happened in many many years.

Raven watched the temple where Gim-Gim spent most of his time and when he came out the temple, Raven started to follow him. But after sometime he lost the sight of Gim-Gim. On his way back to the inn, Gim-Gim suddenly appeared before Raven and when Raven continued forward he threw with lightning speed two knives against Raven saying ”Through armor into bone”. Raven died instantly of the two criticals in his head and from the poison on the knives. Later Dolxx and Kaid-aw wonder where Raven was and started to walk towards the temple where Raven should be. On their way the found Raven in the street, dead. He had all his things still with him, as nobody had deared to touch him. They took Raven to the Deezola temple, where he was healed and resurrected. Raven then told the others what had happened.

When they came back to the inn, they sat once again on the veranda and heard a whistle. Gim-Gim, who was on his way towards the inn, turned around and met two men; they talked for some time and started to walk towards the temple construction together. They heard from some people sitting close by, that the building of the new temple was going forward very slowly and high people were annoyed with the slowness of progress. Dolxx fetched a few beers and went to talk with the men offering the beers to them. Them men were building it and told about at least three different big problems. Firstly the food was always short, the leaders change the plans all the time and very many weird constructions had to be built into the temple, making the construction work very difficult. The decorations were strange and lots of tunnels inside the walls. One of the men told in secrecy about a central control room where all these tunnels were leading to, where it is possible to listen to all conversations held in the temple. Dolxx asked would it be possible to see this place as he said he did not believe in such things. The man said, if they met at the construction tomorrow, he would show Dolxx the place before it is ready and closed for outsiders. Meanwhile Dolxx talked the whole evening with the two men, Kaid-aw and Raven follow two other men towards the fort. When they were in shadowed area, Kaid-aw and Raven attacked the men. One of the men was killed easily, while the other just mumbled: ”Leave me alone you mortals or die!”. Kaid-aw and Raven still attacked the man. Raven even hit a huge hit (38 points) to the head of the man, him without even noticing. He made then a movement with his hand and disappeared in a gust of wind. They then quickly checked the dead body and ran back to the inn.

In the morning Dolxx woke up at sunrise and went to the temple construction site trying to get work. He left everything special in the inn and hid his real identity as good as possible. Dolxx managed to get hired for a day carrying rocks. Before noon he bumped into the man from last night and he gave Dolxx some rocks to carry and they went together to the control room. Dolxx listened and could hear talking from many different directions. One voice sounded familiar and he started to listen. He recognized the voice to be Gim-Gim's. He heard Gim-Gim mutter the following:

The representatives have arrived. What do they want? More information on the threat? How to solve this? That Tatius, he is so stupid. A lie will not be enough, I have to make more evidence that will convince him that they are trying to kill him. The representatives can be shown that they are on his trail, because they came here. Luckily I am safe here, as I would not be that in Pavis.

After this Gim-Gim left the room and his voice died out. Dolxx told the man, that you were right, this is a control room, where you can hear everything said in the temple. He then left the room and pretended to be working for the rest of the day. Meanwhile in the city, Kaid-aw and Raven saw a process with seven convicts that would be crucified for the killing of a Lunar citizen last night. The man Kaid-aw and Raven could not kill lead the process! They heard that his name was Marel Manius, a special envoye from Tatius the Bright.

In the evening some people came and met Dolxx. They were Orlanthi relatives of one of the convicted men, wanting to have revenge for the false accusation and death of their kin. Dolxx put his words very wisely and told that by doing something immediately nothing could be accomplished, but soon they could participate in getting rid of all Lunars from Prax. He told them to be patient, just letting their kin be a martyr to be avenged later with interest.

Next morning Dolxx walked in the city and saw Marel Manius, and tried to talk with him. Marel did not want to talk to Dolxx and as Dolxx did not immediately move away, Marel started to call for guards. Before the guards came Dolxx disappeared from the scene, letting Marel go on. Later Marel and Gim-Gim left together the temple and Kaid-aw let his hawk follow them from above. When Marel returned alone back from the fort, Kaid-aw met Marel and tried to speak to him. Marel told Kaid-aw to go away, but revealed himself to be Halcyon van Enkorth. In the inn a plot for killing Gim-Gim was made, as he was the brain behind the plot against A-TEAM. Probably Gim-Gim had seen his death in the Puzzle Canal mirror. Was it the picture of where he would die that he had sketched? Gim-Gim also belived that he would be killed in Pavis, and that the A-TEAM could not kill him here in Moonbroth. Because of that, he would not be as cautious here and could be more easily killed. A message was sent late in the evening to Gim-Gim from Marel, asking Gim-Gim to meet him at midnight at the temple, as he had got new orders. Soon after the message was delivered a new message boy was sent out from the temple. The A-TEAM ran after the message boy, surprising and killing him. The message was a confirmation of the meeting.

After dark Dolxx used all his sneaking spells and skills to get to the temple entrance, hiding behind a pillar. Raven and Kaid-aw waited at the footsteps of the temple. At midnight two Gim-Gim's guards came out and as everything looked like normal, Gim-Gim came soon after them. A surprise attack was made. First Kaid-aw and Raven charged towards the two guards. Raven killed one of the guards, but at the same time as it hit Raven unconscious. Kaid-aw fought the other guard, but could not kill him immediately. At the second round Dolxx surprised Gim-Gim from behind, severing one arm making Gim-Gim unconscious, but Gim-Gim woke immediately up again, while rolling down on the stairs to the temple. Dolxx jumped after him and severed with his next hit Gim-Gim's leg making him again unconscious, but this time he did not wake up. Dolxx then immediately cut off Gim-Gim's head from his body. At the same time Kaid-aw finally managed to kill the second guard. Raven had been healed by Kaid-aw's allied spirit and had woken up. A piece of paper had fallen out from Gim-Gim's pocket and Dolxx picked it up. It was a picture of a temple, just like the one they were standing at. This might be the picture Gim-Gim had made in Puzzle Canal. And he had mistakenly thought that the image he had seen of his death was from Pavis, but it was not Pavis, it was the temple here in Moonbroth. How ironic, he fled to Moonbroth to escape his death, which he had seen in the mirror in Puzzle Canal, but then he had not recognized the image correctly. If he had stayed in Pavis, this would not have happened! Also the heads of the two guards were taken with them. Then they ran to the Lava tube area, as nightguards were approaching the temple, because of the alarm the other guard had made. The guard's heads were immediately thrown into the tubes. Gim-Gim's mask was taken off from his head. The face was horrible and distorted. The skin had partly grown into the mask and it was filled with festering wounds. The sight was the most disgusting they ever had seen during their life and would probably stay it also for the rest of their lives. After this they also threw his head int the lava. This was the end of Gim-Gim the Grim, the masked man. With his head destroyed in the lava, nobody could resurrect him or get to know who killed him.

Outside of Moonbroth Bababa wanted to get A-TEAM work for him.
After the statement was heard, the A-TEAM made a visit to Corflu.

Copyright © 1999-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 01.01.2005.

A picture with runes which makes this 
page look cool ;-)