Lester casts a Summon spell through the narrow gap between shutter and sill. Two Fiendish Badgers appear in the center of the room. Lester and his fellows watch. Nothing happens to the Summoned creatures. The music pauses for a moment, then resumes. The Badgers sniff around.
Lester casts Baleful Transposition on one of the Badgers. The Halfling disappears and Jaques has to cope with suddenly holding a confused and startled Badger.
Appearing inside the room where the Badger had been, Lester immediately checks his surroundings. The source of the music is a shadowy figure sitting over by one corner of the room. It continues to play. Lester goes to the window, unbars the shutter, and lets in Jaques, Genive, and the other Badger. When they are safely inside, the room suddenly erupts with bright torchlight.
Alarmed, the Heroes look over toward the source of the song that is now fading away. Sitting on a comfortable chair is a Wizard. He is male, looks to be early or mid-20’s, and wears a placid, bemused smile. His robes and tall pointy hat are a deep blue, adorned with bright-yellow five-pointed stars.
He sets aside the mandolin and folds his hands calmly, bidding welcome to the Heroes in a passive, even voice. The wizard says he has been waiting a while, but the Heroes have arrived before he expected them to, so in all it is of no matter.
The Heroes watch and listen, tense and anxious and ready for the worst to happen. Unexpectedly, the Wizard proceeds to tell them a story. It is the story of how the Heroes came to be here, and why.
In the course of the Wizard’s narrative, Lester comes to a personal realization. So, too, does Genive.
As he speaks, the man’s appearance changes. He is a Wizard at first; then for a while he is the Duergar Commander. Then he is a Bard. Then he is the Barbarian Chieftain. Then, most surprisingly, he is the Dwarf Scout that the Party had encountered in the 4th Underground level, who had fed the Heroes the location of the Duergar command staff. Then he is a knight in armor, a rogue, a pirate, a merchant. All the while, his face remains constant, unchanged. An intentional alteration to his otherwise flawless disguises, to make a point.
Lester and Jaques come close with their Knowledge : Local and Knowledge : Nobility checks, but fail to identify the man. Strangely, Lester’s familiar, Percy, succeeds in his Knowledge check and knows what this man is. The bird chatters the answer to his master.
He is White Jade, a highly renowned Monk assassin. Lester hesitates to believe his familiar; the stories and rumours about White Jade promote such a grand mythos that most people do not believe that the Monk actually exists. But this man’s appearance and mannerisms … and the aura about him and the simple fact that he is here … all fit the legend. Percy is convinced, and Lester wisely does not doubt.
The master assassin and operative elegantly unwinds a telling narrative over the next five or ten minutes. When interrupted, he answers the questions with gentle patience. When asked, he answers honestly. When allowed their audience, he holds sway over their attention like a master orator. In all details he is entirely forthcoming. These are not his secrets, nor is he sworn to their protection…