After briefing Garess on our plan to not see Malthus, we made ourselves scarce. When Malthus returned, he refused to believe we were out and teleported into our council chambers uninvited. Having expected such boorish behavior, we weren’t there, but Garess and a sizable contingent of guardsmen were on hand to try and arrest him for his trespass. Realizing he wasn’t getting anywhere and wanting to avoid arrest or a direct confrontation, he teleported away again.
Once he left, we decided we really needed the ambassador’s side of the story, and wishing to avoids crying and/or dominating mental spells, we ambushed him with an anti-magic field active, making sure we weren’t visible before he was in the field. Our cautions were warranted when the ambassador told us that his brooch allowed Malthus to scry him. With our reassurance that the item would be inert while I was nearby, he was much more forthcoming. He told us that Surtova won the civil war with quite a lot of help from the mages and can’t really deny them requests, no matter how odd they may be. He doesn’t know why the magic college is so interested in that area that they’re willing to affect alliances to acquire it. He advises us to expect retribution as soon as Malthus returns to Brevoy, but did say that he quite enjoyed the dismissive way we treated Malthus. He also said that while Malthus isn’t known for restraint, this seemed a bit extreme, and perhaps the individual we’ve been dealing with may actually not be who we think it is.
With that in mind, we quickly turned to attempting to locate Malthus. Finding him still in town, we ambushed him at his lodging, and while defending ourselves, discovered that he was actually a simulacrum, melting into snow upon his death. Can’t stop him from getting the word back to Surtova, so things may get interesting soon. Eran approved funding for Ilona to start mustering an army to deal with Pitax, who we believe will be the easier threat to neutralize.