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Angel's Report is the fourteenth episode of The Chain. It aired on May 1st, 2019.

The Chain of Acheron finds out what Angel has been up to while they were in the Underdark. Later they do some shopping with a strangely familiar shopkeeper.

Summary[]

Stool Investigations[]

Leech tries to get out of going with them to the Footstool on the basis of staying out of the sun, but King says they want him to accompany them, so Odie deploys the parasol, but indifferently. When they arrive at The Footstool, there's a crowd outside. They see Boots and Two-Shoes in the crowd, along with the stone giant owner Gront, and a goldbutton that they recognize from their first day in Capitol: Captain Cinzia. King tries to get to Two-Shoes for a report, but another of the goldbuttons holds him back, saying he'll have to wait until the Captain is done questioning them.

We go back to the early hours of the morning at the Footstool. The reporter Nero is present, delighted to see the Chain, and eager to make inquiries. Gront gives an account and Nero tries to get more information from Boots. After Nero moves on, Captain Cinzia also asks Boots about what happened and he gives his account of events. She wants to know if he saw anyone suspicious; he says nothing stands out. She asks about the broken window, and other soldiers tell her that the window was broken overnight. They found it that way after the battle, with an iron bar nearby.

Cinzia asks how many shadows there were, and Boots pulls her aside to speak privately, explaining that he saw a specter rise from the body of a killed ranker. He thinks most of the shadows were created from the other dead patrons. She wants to know who was the last person The Chain really upset, so she asks where the Chain was yesterday and what their last contract was. Boots is reluctant to reveal who they'd been working for or what their task had been. She says that it's most likely that the person behind this is someone upset about their last contract and tells Boots to contact her if he can share more information about it. Gront, the stone giant, is still upset, stating that it will be the death of his business. Boots makes a pitch to Gront that maybe they can help each other. The co-owner Voz, a dwarf, comes up behind Gront and tells him not to do anything stupid, saying that they just need to hire better guards. The cop leaves them to their negotiations as the rest of the senior officers and Leech join the scene. Boots tells them he thinks they owe Gront a favor, since it seems their presence there last night may have played a part in what happened.

Captain Cinzia asks King to come inside with her and interrogates him about where they've been. She wants to know who they were working for and King informs her that they signed an NDA, but does tell her that they went to the World Below. Then she asks who they pissed off. King tells her that the most recent people he can talk about are the people whose jobs they turned down. King wonders if someone they turned down might be responsible. She says she doesn't know, but she'll be asking a lot of questions and they might not know until something else like this happens again. Then a voice says, "You won't have to wait long," and a church official walks past the brass buttons and into the inn. The captain greets him as Commander Donegal and the two of them begin having a curt conversation about what happened.

After some back and forth with the Captain and Two-Shoes, Donegal tells them this has happened twice before recently, once in a library and the other in a church, where all of the occupants were killed and shadows were a factor. Boots speaks with him and learns that he's with the Church of St. Polarius the Aspirant. Boots wonders if Commander Donegal thinks this happened because the Chain was there or if it was unrelated to them. Donegll says, "Why do any cults do anything?" and confirms there are dozens of cults in Capital, but that he doesn't really know that a cult was responsible. After exchanging some more barbs with Captain Cinzia, he leaves and Leech sends Odie to follow him. The Chain wonders if Commander Donegal might have been involved, considering how quickly he was on the scene. Captain Cinzia says she doesn't believe The Chain is responsible but is still trying to figure out if it happened because they were there or if they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

She tells Gront she'll have her men clean up. She asks King if the Chain will be staying there and Gront says yes. His Dwarven co-owner says, "Looks like we have new guards."

Odie follows the Commander to a church, but he can't enter since the church is warded against intrusion by imps. Leech calls him back.

After Captain Cinzia leaves, some Gnolls show up and start cleaning the place up. The Dwarf engages in negotiations with the Chain to hire six of their rankers to protect the inn for the next two weeks and offers them free room and board in return, then starts picking out the rankers he wants.

Angel's Report[]

Main article: Angel's Report (Document)

At this point, Angel shows up dressed like a short Riojan noble. He says, "We are not working for House Valetta." Two-Shoes confronts him about not checking in and Judge tells him that in future they expect him to check in daily. They decide to go back to the Somnium Tenebris so they can speak with Angel privately. When they arrive at the ship, Leech slips off to check on her.

Angel starts pulling out a bunch of notes, hastily written on scraps of paper. He orders them into piles and appraises the senior officers of the political situation in Capital.

Angel says they need to be careful because pretty much everyone in the city is a spy and reveals that he thinks they were actually working for House Alvaro to get the crown, which they seem to want to use as leverage against House Valetta to get their support. The Dead Lady won't take any action because she seems to think Duke Maximo is still alive, responding to all requests with: "When my husband returns..." Angel also tells them that the church hired the mercenary band Shooting Star and took the Citadel, the band now occupying it. Angel says they need to stop thinking as much about jobs and start thinking about positioning themselves as a power in Capital if they want to recruit more members. King asks what it would take for Angel to start building their own spy network in the city and Angel explains the initial costs. Boots says they need to know what pieces move when they take actions.

King also says they need to make sure House Alvaro knows they're no friends of Ajax and Angel says he can get that done. Angel also says he thinks that the kids who sell the broadsheets also act as spies for the guild that runs them, but he might be able to work them around.

After their meeting, they return to the Pharaoh's Dream and sends a message to the Herald to talk to him about their next job. In the evening, Boots plans to return to The Footstool and wait for Angel's next report. Judge spends time in the Pharaoh's Dream people-watching and confirms the willingness of people from different factions to talk to each other on the basis of both having graduated from the Military Academy. The evening passes uneventfully. The business in The Footstool is light but present.

At the Permanent Transient[]

The next morning they have an appointment with The Curator, which is in the city proper. They decide to take a tapestry, magic carpets run by the Farrier's Guild. The cops look them over thoroughly to make sure they're not carrying weapons, then give them magical coins spelled to take them to the district they wish to go to.

They board their tapestries and see the whole city spread out below them. It's the largest city any of them have ever seen. Judge investigates the stability of the tapestries by leaning over the edge, causing it to tilt to keep the passengers safe. They fly over the coliseum on their way to the Blues, one of the richest parts of the city. The building where The Curator is located in a nice brick building with double doors and steps up to it. It looks like a nice home than a shop. Inside is a small foyer with a heavy wooden door opposite. A bell situated inside the front door rings. Once all of them are inside, the door closes and they hear the front door latch behind them. They open the door to the Curator's club, and it's disorienting. The building they walked into was two stories, but through the heavy wooden door, it's bigger on the inside than it was on the outside. There is a figure behind a counter, one in the stacks, and a third that shows up a few moments later. The figure behind the counter is about 12 feet tall and looks like a giant tree.

They each introduce themselves as Sumat Pol, each a different version from a separate dimension or timeline. One seems confused about whether they are literally the same person, and they often argue. King makes arrangements with Sumat to get a diplomat's pouch and a bag of holding. Boots asks about a niftier rapier, then new boots, and finally seems to settle on some blue mercury, which he could use at a blacksmith to turn his rapier into a weapon of speed. Copper wants some magic arrows and they retrieve a box with five arrows that they offer to him, each with a different magical effect -- burn, wall of ice, excavate, translator (a teleport spell), and web/entangle. Copper asks if they have star metal, but they don't. They do have sinmetal, which will make it possible for people who are sensitive to light to walk around safely under the sun. Leech lays claim to that ore. Slim wants something to help protect himself from psionic attacks and ultimately settles on a Tome of Enlightenment. They give Judge the heart of the demon Za'az that he can use to turn his sword into a sword of demon slaying. King asks about the Blade of St. Akamitsu, but they don't know where it is. He asks about some other items but settles for a new shield. King also asks if they can get membership in the Curator's Club, but they say they're not looking for more members right now.

Slim asks about upgrading the Navigator on the ship so it can tell who is on the ship, an improvement over knowing only the number of creatures. The Sumat Pols are intrigued about the prospect, speculating how you would breed that ability into a Mindwitness. They offer to look into it for free.

They also offer to help The Chain find information. King asks about what other magical items Ajax might have besides the Jade Hand and they say they can probably find out. They also explain that Lady Sariel's father is the king of the Elves. Odie tries to steal something on the way out and one of the Sumat Pols eats him in retaliation, Leech resolves to re-summon him later.

Behind the Scenes[]

Sumat Pol is a reference to the firbolg shopkeeper Pumat Sol from the DnD stream "Critical Role", which is run by Matt's friend and collaborator Matt Mercer. Pumat is also a magic item merchant with a similar-sounding accent who uses three simulacra of himself to run his shop (called "The Invulnerable Vagrant").

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