Club or Church?
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Lupin slowly opened his eyes, wincing in pain as something cold and wet brushed against his forehead. He found himself laying on a theater bench on the main floor, his wounds being tended to by Sara Landry, the woman who had been working on the marquee outside. The young woman smiled warmly at him as she met his gaze.

"What happened?" Lupin asked, slowly sitting up.

Sara gently pushed him back down and placed the wet cloth back upon his brow. "All ya'll done got trounced by that there Frank fella," she explained. "Too bad, too. He was a mighty fine carpenter."

The halfling sat up again, pushing Sara's hand away. "What happened to Derive and Lucy?"

Sara pointed across the aisle to where Derive sat reading the strange book they had found in the hidden chamber.

"Where's Lucy?" Lupin asked worriedly.

Sarah laughed and called out to one of the balconies overhead. "Lucy, honey, have ya caught all them sparkle fairies yet?"

The cat girl poked her head over the balcony railing, a deep frown on her lips. "I'm sorry Sara, I can't find them!"

"Don't worry, dear, them little tricksters are around here somewhere," Sara replied reassuringly.

Lucy smiled brightly, then disappeared out of sight. Lupin glared sternly at Sara, but the woman could only laugh.

"Sorry honey," she said to Lupin, patting him on the head, "but Lucy's pestering was giving me more of a headache than an indoor kobold concert on a hot summer day when I ain't got no booze."

Lupin scratched the back of his head, clearly confused. "What does that even mean?"

"I'm just saying she's dumber than a codfish in a pickle barrel," Sara replied.

Shaking his head confusedly, Lupin slowly got to his feet, gave Sara a nod of thanks, then walked across the aisle to join Derive. The swordsage put the book down and arched a quizzical eyebrow at the halfling.

"What's our plan?" Lupin asked as he sat down beside his companion.

"The book mentions someone named Jonathan Long," Derive answered. "I say we go talk to him."

***

"Frickin' random encounters!"

"I don't know why you're complaining, man," Lupin said to Derive reproachfully. "You get all of your stuff back at the end of the battle."

Lucy smiled brightly as she picked up Lupin and put him on her shoulders. "Besides, we almost leveled up."

"That's not the point," Derive grumbled. "We're in a city. New Greyhawk, of all places. We still got attacked by a pack of clockwork rats in the middle of the day on a busy city street!"

"Well, we were passing by a pet shop at the time," Lupin replied.

Derive snarled, irritated. "Since when are robot rats pets?"

"Since gnomes make awesome steampunk toys." Lupin answered with a sagely nod. "Lucy, we're here. Please put me down."

Lucy shook her head, unintentionally smacking Lupin repeatedly in the face with her long pink hair. "Nuh-uh. Not until you buy me that airship like you promised."

"Would buying you a beer get you to put me down for a little while at least?" the halfling asked hopefully.

"Okay!" Lucy answered happily, immediately dumping Lupin to the ground.

***

Jonathan Long's office was a massive octagonal chamber on the fourth floor of his business's building in downtown New Greyhawk. The floor was immaculate white marble tile, while the walls were painted a pale blue color. Ivory statues lined the walls, and the ceiling was covered with mirrors. Mr. Long sat at his circular desk in the middle of the room, his large leather chair rocking back and forth slightly of its own accord.

Mr. Long himself was a tall and handsome man in his mid-forties. He had short black hair that was graying at the temples, and a well-groomed goatee. He wore a black business suit. He flashed his pearly white teeth at the adventurers as they sat down at his desk.

"My secretary informs me that you wished to speak with me about a private matter," Mr. Long said.

"That's correct," Derive replied. "We found a hidden chamber beneath The Paradise Theater, and inside we found a book about the Sound and Light club. We found your name mentioned in the book as one of its members."

Mr. Long nodded slowly, then leaned back casually in his chair. "It's true. In my younger days, before I became the wealthy land-owner you see before you, I worked as their book keeper. The club was for rich business men to meet with one another, collaborate on projects, go fishing, play cards, so on and so forth. It was disbanded several years ago."

"Frank attacked us when we showed him the book!" Lucy stated.

Mr. Long looked at her with mild curiosity. "Frank ... ?"

"He was working as a carpenter at the theater," Lupin explained. "He rambled on about how films were made of sound and light, and then he attacked us."

"I'm sorry for your trouble," Mr. Long said sincerely. "However, my association with that group ended many years before it was disbanded. I'm sorry, I cannot help you."

***

"Well, that was a waste of time," Derive grumbled as they returned to the theater.

"Oh well," Lupin replied with a shrug. "Every good mystery has its fair share of red herrings."

"Like Communism?" Lucy asked.

Lupin and Derive stared at her as if she had lobsters crawling out of her ears.

"What?" she said defensively. "Am I the only one that's seen the movie Clue?"

Lupin and Derive nodded simultaneously.

"Well fine," she snorted, folding her arms indignantly over her chest. "I guess I'm a wiener then."

"Howdy ya'll!" Sara called out to them excitedly as the entered the theater. "All ya'll oughta come take a gander at these here photos I found in that there cellar down there."

Beaming with pride, the young woman handed them several dusty black and white photos. Lupin feigned interest as he politely flipped through the photos of the theater and its long-forgotten productions. However, he stopped suddenly at one photo and tugged on Derive's pant leg to get his attention. Looking over the halfling's shoulder, he could immediately see why Lupin wanted to show him this one.

In it, a much younger Jonathan Long shook hands with an unusual looking elf woman outside the theater front, with Frank the carpenter standing nervously behind her. Over the front of the theater was a banner that read "Grand Opening! Greyhawk Chapter of the International Church of Sound and Light!"

"No way ..." Derive muttered hoarsely.