Across Acryn flyers and posters cover just about every available advertising surface.
The Noble house of Irrit seeks capable adventurers to venture into the flux and return with the missing party, one Lord Alexander Hamilton Frederick Irrit the 3rd. Lady Kathleen Agnes Irrit is extremely keen to have him returned to her side and would have those willing to join the search come to her townhouse at 12 noon on the 2nd day of the new year. The reward for the return of “dear sweet innocent Alexander” stands at 40R per head.
After arriving at the Irrit townhouse, the party is shown to the drawing room and greeted by the Lady Kathleen. She quickly explains how she believes her dear Alexander to have been kidnapped by her once friend Florence and how she would like them to set out as soon as possible. After some questioning, the party find out that Alexander is an ordinary household cat and that Florence was once a close friend of Kathleen’s, though the noble is evasive to any other questions about their current relationship. She suggests the party looks into Florence's house first and see if there are any clues there.
As they leave on their quest, Marlo asks Kathleen’s faithful butler what exactly the relationship between Kathleen and Florence is. The Butler explains how Florence has been Kathleen’s friend since childhood but as of late, the feelings on Florence’s side had become somewhat more romantic.
On the way to Florence’s, the group are accosted by opportunistic thugs, thinking to steal either reward money or the cat off the group that clearly just came from the Irret household. The thugs are easily dealt with, despite their attempts to put Hardy in a bag, and the party moves swiftly on to Florence’s house.
Hardy is able to break in via a window, but swiftly gets chased out the front door by a large wolf, who growls at them to leave. Carefully, the party gets information for the snarling creature, learning that he has not seen Florence in several days and he would assume she has traveled into the flux for some reason or another. If she has, than it is very likely she will have stopped off at Rosemerrow as is her way. After making sure that the wolf, named unimaginatively Lupin by Florence, has enough food and water and is happy with his situation - which he is not happy at having come under scrutiny as as far as he is concerned Florence is the sweetest girl anyone could meet and couldn’t even hurt a fly - the party leaves and heads toward Rosemerrow.
Someway into the flux, Alexander is spotted on the horizon in front of a large wall. It doesn’t take long for the animal to notice them and with a loud expletive he runs off, quickly slipping into a small crack in the wall behind him. The group exchange looks at the appearance of a second talking animal but only Hardy is small enough to drop his daggers and follow Alexander through the wall.
As he does, he is stopped short by the cat sat in the middle of the cracked path. Unfortunately, Alexander doesn’t give up anything relevant to Hardy, instead, complaining about Kathleen’s frankly preposterous hobby of dressing him up in tiny hats and shirt and little booties. Eventually the wall seems to shake and startled, Alexander rushes off through the wall and Hardy is forced to let him go as he returns for his daggers and to rejoin the party.
The party, he learns, has found another way through the wall, though a fallen boulder is blocking his path to them now. Hardy just about manages to squeeze past it and finds Marlo and Bartholomew on the otherside, charming the creatures of the tunnel into leaving them alone.
After encountering the reason for the wall and fighting off a bunch of Clawfiends and a young Tyrant Lizard, the party finally make it to Rosemerrow. There they find two of the villages being assailed by feral cats. Subsequent to fighting the kitty army off, they learn that the feral cats of this town are normally sweet and docile creatures who wouldn’t hurt anyone - according to the Villager Jamie, who seems to very much like cats. Peggie mentions seeing a cat of Alexander’s description not long before their attack. Peggie also mentions knowing Florence, and that the girl was here topping up her potions not 2 hours ago. The Party ask in which direction she headed and quickly give chase.
Eventually they come across Florence being set upon by large feral cats and see her fall to the floor unconscious. Quickly fighting their way over to her the party manages to both heal her and fight off the fiends. As it turns out, Florence, in a inadvisable attempt to win Kathleen’s heart, ensouled Alexander. She thought since Kathleen was so attached to the cat, it would give her a constant companion and she didn’t expect Alexander to turn out like he did - wanting to get revenge on Kathleen for all that had happened to him.
Following an argument about Florence coming back to Kathleen’s with them and a brief failed escape attempt by the girl, the party return to Acryn to update the Noble Lady Irret on the situation.
When they arrive, Kathleen is holding a Luncheon and quickly invites them to join her and explain a) why they are back from the flux without Alexander and b) why Florence is here and not with the city watch. Once the situation is explained, The watch is sent for and Florence is taken away - though not before she expresses her love for Kathleen one last time. The Lady is clearly distressed by this and after some nudging from Hardy is comes about the Kathleen is also very much in love with Florence, but due to her father’s dying wishes that the Irret Household continue to be of a strong Noble lineage, Kathleen has pushed her emotions aside and promised herself to a Noble marriage.
The Luncheon continues and gossip of various acts of thievery and violence as discussed, which the party decide to follow up and see if there is any connection to their furry friend.
Upon arriving at the market place, they discover that cats came in and wrecked the place, the fish monger being the biggest victim with a large and expensive tuna being carried off by 5 cats. They also head to the leader church, where it is rumored something had been stolen. As it turns out, the small church had a quill stolen - one that is claimed to empower the user to write the strongest and most moving speeches. They plead with the party to find the cats who stole it - claiming that they also seemed to be carrying a large fish - it all happened so fast…
At this point, the party decide to head to the watch and pick up a tracker dog - which they get in the form of Barry the Chihuahua. After becoming quick friends with Marlo, Barry catches the scent and tares off towards the warehouse district. Stopping in front of a fabric warehouse, the party discover the scene of yet another kitty crime as the owner explains how most of his stock has now been shredded to pieces. This appears to be just another catastrophe on top of an exploding rat problem he has that still hasn’t been dealt with after someone made a flux sewer in the back of his building. The party push in and deal with the rats, Hardy then stabilizing the flux and claiming a 10 riel reward from the warehouse owner.
After hearing loud meowing coming from down the great, the party decide to head in and Barry leads them through the sewers and out a great into what looks to be some sort of Catacombs under Acryn. Here the party fight off a bunch of hardy cats that seem to be guarding a large door.
Once they push through, the party discover Alexander stroking a golden quill, eating a large tuna and wearing a tiny regal cape. There is discussion of trying to convince Alexander back to the surface and his Noble home but after negotiations fall flat, a fight finally kicks off and Alexander is subdued.
Gathering up the Feral cats and Alexander - one small kitty being completely charmed by Marlo and riding on his shoulder next to barry - the party head back to the surface. On their way to the City Watch they drop the quill back at the Leader Church who are very grateful and bemusingly write Hardy a note confirming his usefulness at his request. At the watch they hand over Alexander and Barry - whom looks distinctly betrayed by Marlo.
With the cat safely in custody, they head back to Kathleen’s house and give her the bad news. Despite the lack of a de-ensouled Alexander with them, she recognizes their efforts and pays them the full 40 Riel for their troubles and help in this situation. Hardy once again tries to remedy the situation between Kathleen and Florence, but Kathleen says that there is no way they could be together now even if she hadn’t promised herself - what Florence did was out of the question and she must pay for her recklessness.
They then set off to see Florence, who is awaiting trial with a guild Lawyer on hand. Hardy yet again attempts to aid in Florence and Kathleen’s relationship, but it seems even Florence herself has given up on trying to convince Kathleen that marrying a noble isn’t all that. Hardy suggests that Florence looks into buying her way into Nobility, but the girl doesn’t seem keen on the idea and after a stern look at Hardy from her Lawyer, the matter is dropped. Hardy also manages to convince Lupin to attend his “Ensouled Animal’s Support Group”.
Marlo and Bartholomew discuss the possibility of asking the Tender for a Miracle to move Alexander’s soul to a human form but after much discussion around the ethics of such a thing decide they sound first find out what Alexander actual wants. So they head to the Wayfinders Guild, where Alexander has been placed after his trial. They quickly learn that being human is the last thing the cat wants and he is quite happy lounging on the table in the sun. Hardy also manages to convince him to come to his “Ensouled Animal’s Support Group” - though Alexander isn’t completely sold by the idea.
Hardy then heads off to talk to Councilor Lazaro, handing over the letter from the Leader Church and explaining that he wants to become an ambassador for the guild. Lazaro explains that it would take some training but it is not completely out of Hardy’s reach. After some discussion it is agreed that Hardy will receive training and perhaps a course at a Noble finishing school to get him up to speed on the correct manners he’d need. Lazaro also talks about finding some more suitable clothes for Hardy.
Following this Hardy follows a lead given to him by a cat merchant at Lady Kathleen’s Luncheon and meets up with a monkey expert called (name forgotten). They are able to tell Hardy that he is infact a breed of monkey local to the island of Thys and after sampling some of Hardy’s cooking, would be happy to talk to Lazaro about exchanging some sets of her monkey clothes for some of Hardy’s time as she has been trying to train monkey butlers and failing and thinks Hardy might be able to help.
Meanwhile, Marlo has taken the feral cats to an orphanage and helped the children clean up the cats - each one scrubbing up rather more nicely than it perhaps should have thanks to the glory of The Tender. He leaves the cats to their new home, but the small shoulder kitty that had grown so attached to him he takes to the Irret household and gives to Kathleen. The Lady is near speechless, but as soon as Marlo is out the room can be heard cooing over the new adorable kitten. Those who ask about her new cat are introduced proudly to Lady Florence Alexandria Irrit the first.
Florence is still pending trial.