Sunday, May 7, 2023
(After playing the scenario “Practical Magic” by Jason Nelson from Dungeon Magazine #113 in Matt McPike’s D&D 3.0/3.5 Greyhawk game on Discord today from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with Adam Frager, Scott Wakefield, Aaron Frager, Laura McPike, and Sean McPike.)
Matt McPike: DUNGEON MASTER
Myself as Bartleby Grymm (human bard)
Adam Frager as Groth Stoutbrew (dwarf cleric)
Scott Wakefield as Fred (gnome wizard)
Aaron Frager as Turk Stoutbrew (dwarf paladin)
Laura McPike as Alexiah (dwarf fighter)
Sean McPike as Himo Nailo (human monk)
As we saw the City of Dyvers in the distance along the road, a flash of light with a rainbow appeared momentarily in the middle of the road. When it disappeared, a gnome stood there. He had black hair and a goatee and mustache. He wore dark blue robes. He had appeared out of nowhere. I stopped, surprised. He looked at his surroundings curiously.
“Fred?” Groth said. “Did you just teleport? How did you find us?”
“You cast that spell,” the gnome, Fred apparently, said.
“That was yesterday.”
“That was five seconds ago.”
“Uh … well, we appeared and spent the night and have journeyed for a whole day. Evidently someone odd’s going on …”
“I don’t know. I’m kind of confused at the moment.”
“I’m here now.”
The sun was setting.
“Well, we must make haste,” I said.
“I guess we’ll catch up once we get in the city,” Groth said to Fred. “We have a lot to talk about.”
Groth looked at all of us.
“Oh yes, this is Bartleby,” he said. “We ran into him after our plane shift. He’s a bard and …”
“I’m a storyteller,” I said. “Greetings. I’m sorry. You’re name’s Fred?”
“Fred,” the gnome said.
“Very well. Just Fred?”
I asked him about himself as we walked towards Dyvers.
When we reached the gates, the guard hailed us.
“What brings you to the free city of Dyvers?” he said.
“Passing through,” I said.
“Very well. And your name, sir?”
“Storyteller. I’ve been here before.”
“And you dwarves?”
“I go by Groth,” Groth said. “I’m a cleric of Clangeddin Silverbeard.”
“And what brings you to the free city, Groth?” the guard asked.
“Uh … passing through on our way potentially to Greyhawk, just looking for quarters and rest.”
“Mm. Possibly. We didn’t come here specifically to Dyvers for adventure. It happens to be on our path.”
“Very well. And you other two dwarves?”
“I’m Turk,” the other dwarf said. “I’m a paladin of Clangeddin Silverbeard. I’m on my way through Dyvers as well.”
“And lady dwarf: your name?”
“Alexiah,” she said. “And I am a traveler and traveling with my companions.”
“Are you all siblings?” the guard said. “What’s your family name?”
“We are not all siblings,” Groth said. “At this point, I’d rather not discuss our clan name.”
“Hm,” the guard said.
“Is Dyvers at war?” I said.
“Uh … just … hm,” the guard said.
“Why all this then?” I said.
“You’ve got our names. We can pass, can’t we?”
“I’ve been asked to keep note of who is coming in and out of the city.”
“Ah, very well.”
“And their professions.”
I looked at Fred.
“Sir Gnome?” the guard said.
“Fred,” he replied. “I’m a wizard.”
“Do you also only have a first name?”
“As a wizard, you are probably adventuring, aren’t you?”
“I’m adventuring with this group.”
“Very well, in order to adventure and seek treasure in the lands of Dyvers, you will need to be chartered. I will‒”
“What do you mean ‘chartered?’” Groth said.
“Oh!” the guard said. “In order to adventure and gain treasure, you must have a charter here in the lands of Dyvers. I could charter you now or you could let me know where I can find you and I can report to have somebody come find you in order to … um … let’s say … make wealth of lost treasures here in the lands of Dyvers.”
“So, it’s like a tax,” Fred said. “For our adventuring.”
“It is to help us … make note of worthy adventurers that come through the city,” the guard said.
“I’m not an adventurer,” I said. “I’m a storyteller.”
“Are you with these folks?”
“I’m traveling with them. Presently. But that’s all.”
“Normally I’m an adventurer, but I’m assisting the dwarves at this time, so I’m not adventuring right now,” Fred said.
“Very well,” the guard said.
“If that changes, I’ll let you know. But I may not have time to adventure. They keep me on a tight leash.”
“There’s no reason to be smart, Sir Gnome. I am merely following the orders I’ve been given. I am treating you in no way unlike I have treated everyone who’s come through these gates.”
“I will be the decider of whether I am offended.”
“I just want to understand this,” Groth said. “Basically, your rules and laws are if adventurers do come in within this area, if they find someplace to … like a goblin stronghold or an orc encampment …”
“Actually, the reason for having chartered groups is if we were to learn of such a thing, we would know how to get hold of you, your skills, and who we would most likely want to send out,” the guard said. “Our military is … tied up … so to speak.”
“So, we do rely on adventurers to take care of things that simply are beyond the abilities of our military at this time.”
Groth looked at Turk and the other dwarf nodded.
I leaned to Groth.
“Aren’t you a member of a group already?” I whispered.
“Yeah,” he replied quietly.
I gestured towards the guard. Groth sighed.
“I’m nervous about giving too much …” he said.
“That’s fine,” I said and then turned to the guard. “Storyteller. S-T-O-R-Y-T-E-L-L-E-R.”
“Very well, Sir Bartleby,” he said.
“Not sir,” I said. “I’m not nobility.”
“You’re free to go.”
I turned to Groth and the Company.
“I’ll be staying at the Roaring Griffin,” I said.
I proceeded into town. The others followed, surprisingly. I thought the guard would continue to question them. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Turk and Fred noticed one of the guards at the gate following us.
As we passed various places of interest, I pointed them out to the others. We passed through Old Town to the Trade District where the Roaring Griffin stood. The ground floor was a large tavern with three more stories above it. I knew the more expensive rooms were on the upper floors, so I usually stayed on the second floor, though Hari often tried to get me a room on the more expensive third floor.
As I entered, I saw Hari Lorebb, the innkeeper, behind the bar. I went up to him.
“Greetings,” he said.
“Hari Lorebb!” I said. “I’m late this year.”
“Oh, yes, Bartleby.”
“My usual room if it’s available.”
“Yes, your room on the third floor is available.”
“That would be grand. These gentlemen also need rooms. And this lady.”
I gestured at the dwarves.
“Will they also be staying on the third floor?” Hari said.
“Iunno,” I said.
I looked at the dwarves and Fred.
“Sure,” Groth said.
“Sure,” Turk said. “If you have enough open rooms.”
“I do!” Hari said. “They are usually open. They’re a little more costly than the second or first floor.”
I arranged for a second floor room, as usual.
“Oh yes,” Hari quipped. “My mistake! The second floor. I assume the rest of you also meant the second floor?”
The rooms on the second floor each had two beds, as well as hooks on the walls for garments and such. They were not as nice at the third floor rooms, but were adequate for a night or two. I paid the five silver pieces for the night. I went up to the room and dropped off my bag, clothing, and writings, and returned to the tavern for dinner.
While I was away, Turk arranged for his rhinoceros to be placed in the stables. There was some confusion about what he was trying to board but Turk assured Hari that Glorack would only eat what the other horses ate. Hari asked what the creature was and when Turk told him it was a rhinoceros, Hari replied “A rye-whaterus?” Turk clarified and Hari went outside with him to make sure the creature was suitable. A group of children and their mothers stood by the beast, open-mouthed, asking what it was.
“What is it?” Hari said.
“I told you, it’s a rhinoceros,” Turk said.
He went to Glorack and petted him on the nose.
“See?” he said. “He’s perfectly fine.”
“He never has fits?” Hari said.
“No, he’ll let me know if he’s agitated.”
“Very well. And you’ll let me know if he’s agitated.”
“Yes. Of course.”
“Very well, go ahead and take him back. Tell ‘em Hari said it’s okay. He’ll definitely have one of the stables for warhorses, that should be accommodating for him.”
“I will ask the door is at least latched, if not locked while he’s in there.”
“We do still have some friend fish and potatoes if you’d be interested this evening,” Hari said as I came down the stairs.
“Sure,” Groth said behind me. “Sounds great. It’s better than what we’ve been having.”
“As you’re friends of Bartleby, ale is three copper per glass and the first glass is free,” Hari said. “Bartleby, I hope you will, as you always do, entertain everyone with a story this evening.”
“Of course!” I said. “I’ve got many stories from Furyondy this time.”
We got a large table in a corner and had food and drink in plenty.
Fred called Hari over and pointed towards a guard sitting alone not far from the door. He ordered the man an ale.
“That’s very friendly of you, gnome,” Hari said. “But he is on duty. We’ve already asked him and he has refused any food or drink.”
“Okay,” Fred said.
The guard got up and left the tavern.
“Do you know him, Fred?” Groth said.
“Oh!” Fred said. “He was one of the guards, when we came in. He broke off and he followed us. He’s been trailing us since.”
“Oh. I see.”
“I noticed he was back there so …”
“Hm. Fred, do you have identify prepared by chance?”
“I think I do.”
He told Fred the story of meeting me and then of the destruction of the house of Andunna Freemidden and what had occurred there, her death, and dispatching of the belker within. He told his companion of speaking to the dead woman through magic and the chest we’d found. I reminded him of the spell books we’d found as well. He noted if Fred didn’t have enough to identify the items, he’d understand.
“And this is a friend of yours?” I said, pointing at Fred.
“Yes,” Groth said.
“Well, if you wish to look at the spell books, they’re up in my room,” I said. “There are many spells in them.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t mind looking at them,” Fred said.
“Well, let me finish my supper and I’ll fetch them for you,” I said. “You can take a look.”
I ate more quickly.
The door opened and a woman wearing a robe and a large seal of Dyvers entered the tavern. She walked to Hari and I ate more quickly, bolting my food. She had a brief conversation with Hari and he nodded. She went into a door to the back where there was a private dining chamber. As I gulped down the last bite of food, Hari approached the table.
“When you have finished your meals, there is somebody who would like to speak with you in the Grand Room,” he said.
“Speak with who?” I said.
“But speak with who?”
“With all of you.”
“She mentioned me by name?”
“Um … I believe she said that a group of adventurers …”
“Ah, that would be them!”
“… had recently …”
“I’ll be back.”
I got up and went up the stairs.
“But your story!” Hari called after me. “You promised a story!”
“I’ll be right back!” I called back. “I just have to get something from my room.”
“It isn’t a rush,” Hari said to the rest. “But I wouldn’t advise trying to run. Constable Truesil is not someone who I would trifle with. Also, it does not appear you are in danger. She just said she had some questions and some information she would like to share with you.”
“Okay,” Groth said. “Fair enough. We’ll be there shortly.”
“Really, there’s no need to rush,” Hari said. “She told me such.”
I returned to the tavern and gave the two volumes to Fred.
“I would like them back when you’re finished,” I said to him.
“Yeah,” he said.
I got another ale and found a table towards the center of the room and sat down.
“If anyone is interested,” I proclaimed, “I have some stories from Furyondy. And news!”
As people turned their chairs in my direction to listen, I told of what news I brought back from the west. The Company of the Copper Card left the tavern and went to the Grand Room when they finished their meals.
When Groth, Turk, Alexiah, and Fred entered the Grand Hall, they saw the woman in a large, well-lit dining room. There was another door to the room behind her.
“Welcome,” she said. “I apologize for the surprising introduction we’re having. But a man from my constabulary has contacted me to let me know some adventures had entered the gates this evening, that you have a wizard among you, and we have some work that requires adventurers with a knack for magic. I believe you are Fred, gnome wizard?”
“Yes,” Fred said.
“And do you speak for your party?”
“I speak for myself. My party speaks well on their own.”
“Depending on if it’s a good cause, they will join.”
“Unfortunately, the two dwarves don’t have your beast with you, so I don’t know which one is Groth and which one is Turk. I believe Turk has a large beast he travels with as a companion.”
“I am Turk,” Turk said.
“Hm,” Constable Truesil said. “Then you must be Groth and you must be Alexiah. I believe there is a storyteller traveling with you named Bartleby. Is he indisposed?”
“He is … uh … telling a story in the common room,” Fred said.
“Very well,” Constable Truesil said. “Very well.”
“He promised the innkeeper a story, so he’s fulfilling his promise,” Groth said.
“Understood,” Constable Truesil said.
“He had a deal with him where he could do that to get discounts,” Fred said. “Just to put this out there, we have not signed any charter yet, if this is one of those deals.”
“Well, we could have the charter waived. Or no charter at all. We’re actually looking for a group who can act discretely.”
“We … we have a person of interest who has gone missing and they are rather important.”
“Her Excellency Larissa Hunter has requested that Eloranta Naslun, a wizard who travels the Nyr Dyv hawking her wares who has been hired to work out how to have self-repairing ships for our military, be found. She was supposed to, as a gift to interested leaders here in the region, make a formal presentation of officials of the Free Marines during Needfest. We thought it would be a welcome gift to our military.
“You may have noticed about a dozen warships in our port that are currently there for protection, but we have more that are out in the Nyr Dyv, serving the region. When they do come under attack, it can be very costly to repair or to build new warships. Eloranta, Ellie as most of us know her, was expected to make a formal presentation of this new magic during the celebration of Needfest.”
“I see,” Groth said.
“It would be rather embarrassing if it were to get out that the wizard who is to be performing this presentation has gone missing,” Constable Truesil said. “We do need her to return and make this presentation in less than a fortnight.”
“What was her last know whereabouts?” Turk said.
“Actually, her last known whereabouts are this very inn,” Constable Truesil said. “She keeps an apartment on the third floor.”
“I see,” Groth said.
“Do you know which apartment?” Fred said.
“I do not, but I’m sure Hari could give you that information,” Constable Truesil said.
“Would he let us search the room?” Turk said.
“He may,” Constable Truesil said. “I do not have … I have not asked for that and I’d rather not throw my weight around, in forcing him to do so. But Hari is an amiable man and I don’t see that he would get in the way of your investigation.”
“If we chose to investigate.”
“That is true.”
“We’re not typically from here,” Groth said. “So, I know little of Dyvers. Your military, what kind of missions are they currently on? What is their main objective right now?”
“One of their biggest is to keep Iuz in the lands of Iuz,” Constable Truesil said.
“We also … we don’t have a grand relationship with the Free City of Greyhawk, currently. They’re rather jealous of us and the amount trade, business, and success that we have here, in the City of Dyvers.”
“They patrol our borders, especially in the Nyr Dyv and protect our assets like this city.”
“I see. Okay. I understand.”
“As your brother had just said, if you chose to accept this charge, I’ll cut to the quick and say ‘Are you interested?’”
“Where was she planning on going?” Turk said. “I mean, we can’t …”
“She was staying her until …” Groth said.
“Yes, until Needfest,” Constable Truesil said. “She was expected to stay here. She may have had some meetings with some important folks here in the city, but she had been asked to be left alone for most of the time to continue her research as she finalizes this new magic that she’s trying to develop.”
“Is she … is she originally from here or does she live in this apartment at the top of the inn?”
“She travels through the friendly cities along the edges of the Nyr Dyv and trades magic, works with other cities and towns to provide services, but she does maintain an apartment here at the Roaring Griffin full time.”
“We have not heard from her for several days which is unusual when Her Excellency has asked for her to make a presentation, so we are very concerned.”
“Well, we have some personal problems with Iuz, so if you are working against them, that is a very just cause in my eyes. We may need a moment to talk about this and just make sure we’re all on the same page.”
“I can leave you the room.”
“I’ll step outside. Perhaps enjoy the stories of Bartleby, which are obviously so much more important than helping the constabulary here in the Free City of Dyvers.”
“We’ve just met him. I’m not sure.”
“I’ll excuse myself. Please let me know if you’ve made a decision and come out and find me in the common room.”
She left the chamber.
“What do the rest of you feel like?” Groth said after the door closed. “I mean, me personally, I would need to know more about Dyvers and their military. It sounds like they’re on a good and just cause and for that, I would like to help them. But if there’s other reasons you’d like to have before we help them, that’s up to you too.”
“If somebody’s kidnapping wizards, that’s cause of concern for me,” Fred said.
“We can look into it and see if we can help out any,” Turk said. “I just don’t know if we can help at the moment.”
“See if we can get access to the room?” Fred said. “Could be another military power. Could be Greyhawk or Iuz that doesn’t want her to do her magic on the boats.”
“Well, we had a pretty important discussion, Fred, before we arrived at Dyvers too and didn’t have a chance to talk about it,” Groth said. “Since leaving the Iron Fortress, I’ve personally become a little concerned that we’re in over our heads. We’re trying to figure out what our next course of action is. I do not like the idea of having Imperagon and a pit fiend coming after us. I cast some divination spells and, what I basically found out is that the smiths are being tortured, they know our names, they know about Blasingdale, they are preparing to start searching for us. They can’t easily track us, but they do know our names. That’s why we were hesitant to give out too much information at the city gate.
“We started discussing what to do about the sword. Turk had expressed that maybe we should try to fix it so that ends the wish spell and we could potentially free the slaves. Alexiah was a little nervous about that, about completing an evil item.
“We got discussing it and kind of came to the realization that this sword belongs to the sultan. We kind of had forgotten about when we were at Orrin Thundercleaver’s he had a book of Alexiah. When talking about the Horn of Hellfire, it noted it was loaned to her from the Sultan. So the Sultan’s the same being, the same efreet, the one who used to own this Sword of Fiery Might apparently leant this horn to Alexiah. So, we don’t know if we need to potentially use this sword as a trade, if he would award us with that.
“We say this because we have to figure out how much time we have before we go to the plane of fire. The longer we take to get there, the more time it gives Imperagon and them to find us. We need to be careful about giving out information about ourselves in case they send out spies. I don’t know that he could easily scry on us, I don’t know how difficult that would be. He’s never really met us so it would be difficult for any of them to do that.
“I was told by Orrin, I spoke with him directly, not to come back there.
“We need to do a lot of research. We don’t know how to get to the plane of fire. We don’t know how to get to the City of Brass, where the sultan stays at. Maybe, potentially helping out this wizard and Dyvers, they give us resources to where we’re then able to make our way to the plane of fire or at least get the information to get to the plane of fire. That’s my other thoughts on it as well.
“Alexiah, do you have an opinion?”
“As far as this adventure, I’m interested in how Fred feels because he, as a magic user, is what drew their attention initially,” Alexiah said. “I mean, we definitely have things that we need to do and we need to get to a bigger city to do that research and stuff, but we also need resources to make that happen.”
“You know, having this military on our side might be a good thing,” Fred said.
“Making connections that could benefit us in the future,” Alexiah said.
“Right,” Groth said. “It sounds like we’re going to have to do some research. I have a divination spell prepared to give us a head start on this about this Eloranta Naslun which may help. So, I guess we’re decided then? We will help them?”
“Yes,” Turk said. “I’m in for it.”
“We also need to keep our eyes open and even notify her of what‒” Groth said.
“What’s following us?”
“I was thinking our two lost companions.”
“Max and Himo. If they happen to come through here or around here, giving them descriptions so they can potentially connect us to them.”
“Absolutely,” Alexiah said. “I agree with that.”
“Okay,” Groth said.
He went to the door to find Constable Truesil.
Constable Truesil had sat at the table where the rest of the party had sat for dinner. Many others were around me as I told news and then a story I’d heard in Furyondy. The news included certain raids by Iuzian troops and reprisals by the Furyondian military. Then there was local news from Hommlet, Verbobonc, and the areas west of Dyvers. There was also a tale of a group of adventurers who aided the church in Verbobonc with certain magical shards.
Finally, I ended with a story of certain mermaids who lived in the Nyr Dyv, at least according to a man who lived in a small town on the Velverdyva River. The story was about a man who fell in love with a mermaid and deciding to go under the waters of the Nyr Dyv. He eventually made a pact with a wizard to turn him into a merman, but the evil wizard declared he must earn the mermaid’s love within a week or die. The youth failed as the mermaid he loved was already betrothed to another merman who she also loved. In the end, unable to secure her love, he became the foam that appeared when the waves crashed to shore. The story was supposedly true.
My story was well-received as Groth exited the room and motioned to Constable Truesil. She went back to the room as the crowd clapped for my story and I turned my hat over in front of me. My hat was filled with copper commons, some 600 of them. Per my agreement with Hari, I exchanged the commons for gold, giving him one of the six gold wheatsheafs for his exchanging the money for me.
Constable Truesil took her seat at the table as Groth sat as well.
“Have you made a decision?” she said.
“We have,” Groth said. “We will help you. We like the idea of what you’re trying to accomplish here. We are still missing two of our companions. There is a monk of Heironeous and a mind mage.”
He gave descriptions of Himo and Max, telling her what Max could do with his mind.
“You say he’s a man?” she said.
“Yes,” Groth said.
“A good man?” she said.
Groth thought on that.
“Yes,” he finally said.
“Why the hesitation?” she asked.
“I’m just trying to understand your shock at his powers.”
“Most of our experience with people who can do things to peoples’ minds do not mean well to their victims.”
“I guess I …”
“Since we’ve known this man, he has never invaded a good person’s mind without their consent,” Alexiah said.
“Oh,” Constable Truesil said. “Very well. Very well. That does set me at ease. Some of these beings definitely wouldn’t ask your permission before they sucked your brains out.”
“No, he’s done many good deeds,” Groth said.
“I will let the guards at the gates know they may be on the lookout for a monk of Heironeous and a man you said with red hair and purple eyes?”
“Hm. I doubt he will get around without being spotted.”
“Probably a fair assumption.”
“What other questions do you have for me?”
“Where can we contact you? What’s the best way to meet you if we find anything?”
Constable Truesil gave directions to her office in the city hall and told them to give her name and show them a coin she handed to him.
“This is not money,” she said. “This is just a token that, when you show it, will let people know you are working with the constabulary here in the Free City of Dyvers. I would ask that you not flash it around regularly, but if you come to a situation where you feel it might persuade the people you’re getting information from, I give you permission to use it. Mostly, if you need to come see me, you can show this to the guards and they will greet you and take you to my chambers at the city hall.”
Groth reached out to take it.
“I can hold onto it too,” Turk said.
Constable Truesil put out her hand and Groth took the coin.
“You are being very generous,” she said. “I do have to ask what needs you have we can assist you with. I do not know the nature of what you are about to discover.”
“We may need the assistance of mages,” Groth said. “We also need to do a lot of research on the plane of fire.”
“Yes, we have a grand library here in the City of Dyvers. I will definitely make sure you have use of the scrolls and parchments within.”
“Is that all you would want in return?”
“It’s hard to say, depending on what we encounter. If we suffer any losses or lose any equipment, if you could help out. We do so, knowing what we’re getting into but we don’t want to be … we don’t want to put the risk of our party … How do I want to say this? I’m saying this poorly.”
“You want to be compensated?”
“Would 1,000 gold pieces for each person in your party be suitable?”
“Sounds generous to me. I just want to make sure if anything happens to any of us or our equipment …”
“Well, as long as it’s not magical equipment. I can’t say we can replace magical equipment. But we can definitely provide the thousand gold pieces to each of the four of you if you are successful.”
“What about the other members of our party though as well,” Turk said. “Like we said, we’re separated from them. If we find others along the way to help us out.”
“This monk and this … mind mage, I believe you said?” Constable Truesil said. “Yes, we can provide a thousand gold pieces to all six of you, if they were to appear.”
“Or anyone else that may accompany us that we may find along the way?”
“Like who? I have to be honest, we can’t just be adding people to your party. I hate to be so rude. Are you speaking of Bartleby in the next room?”
“Possibly. I was at least going to bring it to his attention.”
“Oh yes, you could include Bartleby in your party, even though he finds himself so disinterested and would rather make a few coins speaking to the masses.”
“Isn’t that his job? Isn’t that what he does for a living?”
“That is his chosen profession. But he was also invited into a secret meeting with the head constable of the City of Dyvers.”
“Well, he’s still honorable at what he does.”
“Very well, I will not argue with you. If you find he is helpful.”
“I just met him today, so …” Fred said.
“Yes,” Constable Truesil said. “I would like you to limit it to the seven folks that you have right now if at all possible. Our coffers are not endless or bottomless.”
“I just wanted to make sure that anyone that might accompany us would be duly compensated is all,” Turk said. “I don’t foresee any more, but you never know.”
“He is a paladin, so he isn’t going to be dishonest,” Fred said.
Constable Truesil leaned in towards Fred and gave him a good, hard look.
“Very well,” she said. “I would recommend that you speak with Hari. I did let him know you may have a request for him. I did not give him the details but that you may have a request for him after we met.”
“Okay,” Groth said.
“Have a good evening,” she said. “If I am not at my office, you can always leave a message. We have scribes on hand to take your notes.”
“All right,” Groth said. “Sounds good.”
Constable Truesil left the room. Groth and the others followed directly thereafter.