On September 14th, while Stephen is studying the map and the board in the Citadel House common room, wondering what he can get up to for a new week, he spots a gnome watching him through the window. The gnome flinches when seen, but enters, professing to be from Aithreachas and come following a rumor that Citadel House had obtained an ancient gnomish map in a tomb in Slighe Domhainn. He convinces Stephen to check if anyone knows about the map.
- Stephen (EnS): Level 2 Human Thief
- Edrej Buidseach (MiM): Level 1/1 Gnome Magic-user/Alchemist
Asking around, he learns that Matthias is the one to talk to about the alleged map. On his way there, Stephen passes through the common room again and finds a second gnome chatting with the first. This one, Edrej, claims to have come to join the Citadel House Adventurers and accompanies him to Matthias. Matthias, knowing Edrej’s parents and considering him trustworthy, allows them to see the map. He warns them that it is supposed to lead to Luath Draoidh’s tomb and that no one should be allowed to know he has it.
Stephen and Edrej return to the common room and tell the gnome there that the map was destroyed. He becomes upset at the destruction of a gnomish piece if history and storms out. Stephen and Edrej agree to follow him and start out, careful to keep enough distance not to draw his suspicion. They manage to tail him through Timberford and Confluence then into the woods. In the woods it is harder to keep eyes on him and remain inconspicuous.
As they approach Iron Fields, the gnome rounds a bend out of sight and by the time they round the bend, right at the wood line of Iron Fields, they see no sign of the gnome. They quickly search the brush near the bend but find no sign of him. Stephen is particularly good at finding people who don’t want to found and assesses that the gnome only had to time reach one of three nearby cottages.
Under the guise of sunset, Stephen makes the rounds of the houses, finding one with all the windows shuttered, seemingly for a long time, when the other houses have their windows open to the fair evening air. He knocks on the door and runs behind another cottage in time to hear the door open. He peeks around the corner and sees the door open only a crack, dark within.
He approaches and knocks again, this time staying to talk to the gnome. The gnome is belligerent, but invites him in. Their conversation goes sideways and the gnome attacks Stephen. A second gnome bursts into the room and Stephen calls for help. Edrej has been waiting near the back door and comes to his aide. They soon capture the two, taking them back to Citadel house to be put under guard, now sure that they are Ar-a-mach. They destroy a Sensory Extension stone they find in the shack. Stephen levels up.
After so many setbacks in recent weeks, the Ar-a-mach have one avenue left to them: gaining access to what Citadel House has. Even that avenue has few resources left to it these days. Haven needs a new major arc.