Zg Session 23

Aleith|DM: Autumn 9th, 500 AOV
Aleith|DM: Your train from Bole pulls in early in the morning to King's Station in Flint at 4:47 AM.
Gerald‘ yawns, gracelessly stumbling out to the platform. "So… get some real sleep, then HQ?"
Zane looks out over the city. Groans. "Sweet spirits. This trail runs all over the place."
Aleith|DM: Phyllis has already casts another Detect Planar Energy, but the energy trail’s too muddled here to follow precisely, since it doubles back on itself so much.
Chandrasekhar has been meditating on the train, and even so he still looks pretty peaked. "Probably… wise. The energy's too muddled here to get a decent trace, or I'd go looking while you rested."
Garrett: "Solid plan, the whole sleep bit."
Zane: "Me and Garrett are probably the most mobile search option, especially if we work together. But right now I'm as likely to miss a jump and break my neck as I am anything. I need a real night, or day, of rest before I'll be worth a damn."
Phyllis: "Wasn't the train enough?"
Phyllis: "To rest on, I mean."
Garrett: "I became an officer to -not- sleep in inhumane conditions."
Aleith|DM: When are you planning to head into the office, then?
Garrett: "Guess that's just part of gettin' old, eh?"
[OOC] Garrett: 11
Chandrasekhar: "Humans are fragile, my dear."
Gerald: "I mean I'm good, but it's also like 5 AM and still sleeping time and well…" He shrugs at the other humans.
Zane smiles mirthlessly. "Who was resting?" He gestures to a fresh set of poison pouches hanging from his belt. "Meet at the office at eleven? Fill in Delft, go have lunch, proceed from there?"
Phyllis: "Pahh. I'm used to burning the candle."
Phyllis: "But if you lot need it, sure."
Gerald‘ nods, then heads off from the platform towards home. "Works for me."
Garrett: "We’d just be pissing in the wind while we wait for Delft to show, anyway."
Aleith|DM: After some sleep, some cleaning, maybe some prep-work, shopping, or paperwork, eleven o'clock rolls around and you meet up at RHC HQ.
Chandrasekhar is the first one there, and looks rested. (He is, of course, cheating.)
Zane shows up not long after, leafing through a manuscript and looking much less likely to kill anybody that asks him a dumb question.
Zane: "It's amazing just what sort of things a higher education gets you these days."
Phyllis files in after Zane. "Go on."
Garrett‘ neatened up his facial hair and glides pretty quietly into the office, sipping from a stein.
Chandrasekhar smells oddly of cinnamon, and has a chrysanthemum in his lapel.
Zane drops the manuscript on the desk. Methods of Extricating Warriors from a Variety of Tentacled and Tendriled Monsters. "We lack the nubile halfling bait, more’s the pity, but Colonel Harlock from the Battalion left me this in the post after seeing what sort of monsters we were dealing with."
[OOC] Zane: Itallics y u in the wrong place
Phyllis: "Hm. Would an illusion make do in place of live halflings?"
Chandrasekhar: "Nubile… gracious."
Chandrasekhar: "It worries me that there's even a protocol for…"
Garrett: "I think if you could say 'yes' to that, there'd be an entire industry for the taking."
Phyllis nods at Chandra knowingly. "Well, you've seen similar theses from his school. They're quite very specific."
Zane: "What can I say? When we do it up, we do it up right."
Phyllis: "It's fascinating, even though it's a school I'm not likely to attend anytime soon. The attention to detail, and to the kinetics of the body - "
Phyllis: " - in any case, was someone going to get Delft?"
Gerald‘ walks out of the armory, glances around. "Huh. Good thing I’m used to shitty sleeping conditions and didn't actually *need( to go back to bed if it's this late already."
Aleith|DM: Alright, so when everyone's here, you head to Delft's office. After heading in, he asks, "how'd your trip to the swamp go?"
Gerald: "It was not a great trip bossman!"
Zane: "More questions than answers, but we have a couple of leads. On a related note, I may be taking a vacation to Berz soon. To recuperate from that swamp, you know. Picked up a nasty cough."
Gerald: "I'm mostly just glad depth perception came back before we got back to Flint, that earlier meeting woulda sucked it they thought I was stoned during it."
Garrett: "Don't drink the water."
Zane: "I'm from Berz, Garrett. I'll drink all the water I please."
Gerald: "Oh right now that the suits aren't here, has anyone mentioned anything about a weird possibly undead monsters from a moon running around town since we left?"
Delft: "Not since that incident in Gun Alley at the Fair, no."
Zane: "We think the creatures are from Apet."
Delft: "By the way, nothing else pressing on that front so far, the police have been adequate to handle anything there."
Garrett: "That's both good news and bad news, then."
Delft: "Apet? The planet?"
Zane: "Yes, sir."
Gerald: "Moon, planet, same thing."
Delft: "Strange, I thought that one was supposed to be uninhabited."
Phyllis just stares dourly at Gerald, not wanting to bother correcting him.
Garrett: "I haven't visited in some time so I couldn't say."
Chandrasekhar: "The more you know."
Zane: "There was a lot of astrological symbology that I'm not very familiar with, but some of the others can fill in the details."
Gerald: "Also uh,"
Phyllis: "What else is there to say? Our lead is a description of a suspect leaving the scene - female, tiefling, tainted with energy from Apet."
Gerald: "A geas from a titan technically trumps any orders from Saxby, right?"
Phyllis: "Theoretically speaking?"
Garrett‘ chuckles and takes another sip.
Gerald: "Ya’ll said we could tell Delft back in the swamp."
Delft: "Wait-a titan? One of the Fey Titans?"
Gerald‘ nods.
Delft: "Which one and what did he want?"
[OOC] Aleith|DM: *they
Garrett: "The suspect we’re chasing for the latter."
Gerald: "Uh the swamp snake one, and to kill that thing from Apet that snuck out of the temple ahead of us."
Zane: "Actually I- nevermind, lizards out of the bag now. Voice of Rot has tasked us with killing one of the things that emerged from the temple and seems to be hiding in Flint."
Garrett: "Well, kill or 'banish,' who knows what all that'd mean."
Garrett: "Even odds on kill."
Chandrasekhar: "It seems their interests remain aligned with ours, yes."
Zane: "I would prefer if you didn't tell Saxby about this. She is a political animal at heart, and I will be forced to ignore her orders if she tries to pull us off this case like she did the last one."
Zane: "And possibly throw her out a damned window."
Delft: "I'll ignore that last part. What's this about a vacation to Ber?"
Garrett: "Turns out the temple has a twin."
Chandrasekhar: "It would be appreciated if this /didn't/ make it into the official-" -and he just sort of smiles helplessly at Zane. "-ah. We think we have the location of another, similar temple."
Delft: "Aha. Well, see what you can find out around Flint with regards to Apet in the meantime. If you're coming up empty for leads, I'll have to see about that trip."
Delft: "How've you been tracking that? The ritual you got in the Cloudwood, like with the Bleak Gate?"
Zane: "Similar to it, yes."
Phyllis nods. "And it seems the titan granted the ability to perform it to those of us not already versed in ritual casting."
Delft: "Alright, I'll just make some notes then-constables searched for Apet energy as the temple contained a large amount, and tracked it to Flint. Investigating possible sources-sound about right?"
Garrett: "Perfect."
Zane: "You're a good boss, Delft."
Delft: "I might have to bring up the Titan to the Lord Viscount eventually, but that might be after that trip's been signed off on."
Gerald: "Well I mean…"
Chandrasekhar: "Think it'd be possible to have the harbour guards scan for Apet energy? I'm concerned about our quarry fleeing the city."
Gerald: "…Is she gunna tell it 'no'?"
Delft: "That's why I said the Lord Viscount, not our Lady Inspector."
Zane: "I'll go to the harbor, Singh. Need to check on something in the area anyway."
Gerald: "Oh right."
Chandrasekhar: "We can't be in all places at all times, but I suppose you're right."
Delft: "Harbour's a good start. Where else are you planning to check? Gun Alley at least, to double-check your theory."
Zane: "Harbor, Gun Alley, any other real good places to lay low."
Phyllis: "The Danorian embassy, if only to put my suspicions to rest. … I'm actually curious about Rock Rackus and if he has any involvement pertaining to this case or if he just had a bad shot go unluckily wild."
Phyllis: "The Nettles, I think Garrett mentioned on the train."
Garrett‘ nods. "Lotta weirdos in the brush."
Garrett: "Not the worst place to blend in for that kind of thing."
Chandrasekhar: "Some haunts in the Cloudwood, although I feel like what we’re chasing wouldn't be welcome there."
Phyllis: "Another visit to Cauldron Hill couldn't hurt, given that's where the dead prisoner took the artifacts from."
Delft: "Mr. Rackus, eh? He's over at the jail, here in Central."
Garrett: "I'm absolutely going with you for the 'interrogation,' Phyllis."
Gerald: "Ugh Cauldron Hill."
Phyllis: "That's a good list of options. Are we missing any of note?"
Chandrasekhar: "Hm. What'd he do to get himself put in jail?"
Garrett: "Killed a guy."
Garrett: "By accident, admittedly."
Phyllis: "At Gun Alley. Good intentions, aiming at the same tentacle mawed creature."
Chandrasekhar: "-nevermind, it's been a long- nevermind."
Garrett: "Honestly I wasn't sure if he was still in holding or not."
Phyllis: "Just an unfortunate bystander. I scried the trajectory of his bullet. Straight clean through the beast."
Garrett: "I mean, we were gone a week, so."
Delft: "He still killed someone, although it was by mistake."
Delft: "The dockers are threatening to riot, however, and constantly protesting."
Delft: "Feel free to stop by and chat with him, if you think he's good for it we could probably get him out."
Zane: "Try him, pin him with manslaughter, fine him, let him go. Done."
Delft: "Yeah, that sounds like the best solution on both ends."
Delft: "Oh right. Maybe check in with Dr. Meredith now that you've been to the temple?"
Phyllis: "Ah, right."
Zane nods.
Delft: "That about covers it. Good to have you back in town."
Phyllis: "Since Central's closest, Rock first? Just to see if he has anything pertinent. I think what Zane suggested applies regardless."
Garrett: "Good to be back."
Zane smiles. "Don't worry, you'll be climbing the walls to be rid of us again soon enough I bet."
Gerald: "Naw, the people diggin' up dirt on us like us. Delft'll be okay!"
Zane: "We'll talk about that when we're not in his office, yeah."
Aleith|DM: The Arms Fair is closer than the jailhouse, actually, but those and Xambria's place are all in the Central district.
Phyllis: In order of ascending distance, then. Whatever!
Phyllis: "Anything else, sir?"
Delft: "That should be good for now."
Garrett‘ gives a salute and turns to leave.
Aleith|DM: At the Fair, there’s still some lingering Apet energy in Gun Alley near the stand where the monsters suddenly appeared, but there seem to be to local sources of energy.
Aleith|DM: The first seems to be coming from under the stage, and the second seems to be coming from….the stall selling the badger gun?
Gerald: "Man I'm kinda surprised the fair is still running after all that. Also does the name Kennedy Pottinger mean anything to anyone out of curiosity?"
Garrett: "Where'd you get that from?"
Garrett: "To actually answer though… sort of? It rings a bell but it's not a loud one."
Phyllis: Teleportation, no doubt. A false lead, perhaps.
Gerald: "Letter left in my house saying I killed him as part of some sort of initiation to Kell's gang."
Phyllis: At least with regards to the badger gun. (The stage is where the creatures appeared, though, right?)
Gerald‘ peaks under the stage.
Aleith|DM: Kind of in the middle between the two, really.
Aleith|DM: The source under the stage seems to be coming from some stage equipment. It’s labelled belonging to Rock Rackus.
Garrett: "Congratulations on your acceptance and initiation I suppose."
Aleith|DM: One of the stage pieces seems to be a Ancient sacrificial dagger.
Gerald‘ crawls under it and starts hauling it out for Phyllis to inspect.
Gerald: "Yeah they left me money and everything."
Zane: "Did you do it?"
Gerald: "What about Kaja Stewart? - Ah, naw."
Aleith|DM: The pictograms mostly match up with the other artifacts you’ve seen, though this one doesn't seem to radiate any particular magical energy.
Gerald: "S'why I was in the office all morning."
Phyllis: "That - good find, Gerald, good find."
Zane: "Good."
Garrett: "Kaja is- was the arms dealer."
Phyllis goes to inspect the badger gun stall more closely anyhow, but with low hopes. It's … just how it works, right?
Gerald: "Oooh."
Gerald: "Okay I guess the framing of the … frame kinda makes sense now."
Aleith|DM: No, when you start asking the owners, well…
Aleith|DM: Fildi and Dilfi start getting really nervous.
Zane smiles at the two brothers.
Dilfi: "It's not what it looks like!"
Fildi: "I swear!"
Dilfi: "It's just…."
Phyllis: "Cripes, guys. You have the worst poker faces."
Zane: "Its just…?"
Aleith|DM: They show you a cage hidden near the back of their stall. There's a couple of mutated badgers with tentacles and extra eyes.
Gerald: "Wooooah."
Fildi: "We were trying to make a Mk. II after what happened last week!"
Phyllis: "… How."
Dilfi: "With these guys."
Garrett‘ laughs in surprise.
Fildi: "They were just kinda like this after everything happened."
Phyllis: "Okay. Good to know."
Dilfi: "Do you hafta confiscate these poor critters too?"
Aleith|DM: There’s two pair of sad gnomish puppy eyes staring at you.
Garrett: "-I'm- not gonna."
Garrett: "The animal control guys are."
Fildi: "Awwwwww."
Phyllis has no sympathy for the two, but the thought of confiscating them didn't even cross her mind until they mentioned it.
Chandrasekhar raised an eyebrow at the sacrificial dagger. Now why in the world was -that- there?
Zane was just going to kill them, yeah… The badgers, not the gnomes. Well…
Chandrasekhar: "…goddess. Poor things. What… did you do, exactly?"
Dilfi: "Just…make sure they treat Cthulu and Aylith good, alright?"
Chandrasekhar: "The same thing as before?"
Phyllis: "Not entirely sure what facilities would be best for them. But I'd rather they live and we find out if the condition is treatable. If this happens to anything or -anyone- else, getting a head-start could help."
Phyllis: " - actually, hm." [Thoughtform to try and … re-normalfy them?]
Aleith|DM: Nothing immediately happens.
Aleith|DM: So…what? Flag down a patrolling officer, tell them to report the mutated badgers to Sergeant Sara Lockheart?
Gerald: "Luckily that sounds like Someone Else In Reasearch And/or Holding's Problem."
[OOC] Garrett: absolutely
Chandrasekhar makes sure they wind up somewhere someone can take care of them. …not like that, Zane!
Aleith|DM: Alright. Where to next? The police station to see Rock Rackus, or the University to see Xambria?
[OOC] Garrett: police station!!!
Aleith|DM: Okay!
Phyllis frowns. "No dice, but worth a shot. We'll make sure they're alright."
Aleith|DM: There's a small crowd of dockers protesting outside the police station.
Aleith|DM: The crowd is full of protesters and rabble-rousers, and a dozen chants and slogans fill the air as people call for justice in Parity Lake, help for the poor in the Nettles, freedom in Bosum Strand, and better pay all around.
Chandrasekhar keeps his ears out. Sometimes you hear a good lead, sometimes you hear a quick way to make some people's lives better and defuse a bad situation.
Phyllis twitches her nose at the crowd and makes a note to talk to Stanford again sometime and see what can be done. Especially about the first part and 'justice.'
Phyllis: " - also, hold on, Gerald. You're saying you were framed for something? I was kind of sidetracked by daggers and badgers."
Gerald: "For murder!"
Garrett: "It's okay, we know he didn't do it."
Aleith|DM: A few of the protesters notice you approaching the station and come forward. "Constables! Release that poor man now. He done no wrong!"
Gerald: "S'not really our jurisdiction, we mostly shoot terrorists and monsters. What Parity Lake thing are we pissed off about today though?"
Protester A: "The poor workers!"
Protester B: "Their poor families!"
Protester C: "And those damn factory owners!"
Zane: "Who, Rackus? Technically he did do wrong. However, as a witnessing constable I have recommended he simply be charged with accidental manslaughter since it was a wild shot while trying to protect the crowd."
Protester B: "Well, good!"
Protester C: "You make sure he gets out, he's gonna do great things!"
Gerald: "Oh, same 'ol same ol'. Well for what it's worth not all the owners are assholes, [that guy from the last arc] runs a pretty clean operation and pays fair wages. Thing's are gettin' better, slowly."
Phyllis nods. "Heward's a good one."
Zane grins. He really does look every inch the dumb half-orc muscle. "Look, we know its bad for you all down there. We been there, most of us came from places like it. We aint gonna put the squeeze on a good man any more than we have to. You can believe that."
Protester A: "Alright. We'll hold you to that."
Phyllis would almost chime in, but she's got his stage equipment on her mind.
Chandrasekhar looks, briefly, distant, and frowns, before focusing on the crowd again. "Is there a list of grievances, violations of the code of law of Risur on the part of the factory owners? If so, I can ensure those grievances reach ears willing to listen. The onus should not be on you, that isn't fair. But it is an opportunity to have your voices heard."
Aleith|DM: Several of the protesters look at each other.
Protester D: "You're going in there to talk to Rock, right? We'll start thinking of a list and have it ready when you come back out."
Aleith|DM: The crowd has at least quieted down for the moment as you enter the station.
Zane nods at Protester A. "Looking out for people is my job. ALL the people, not just the rich ones. I know it don't always seem like it, but most of us in the constables are on your side. But we gotta work inside the law. That's the best way to get things done. Not the fastest, but the way to really make it stick."
Gerald‘ heads on inside.
Chandrasekhar nods, satisfied. If the owners are in violation of Risur law, it’ll be his -pleasure- to make sure something's done about that.
Zane: "You all make that list, yeah? Give it to Singh. He'll put those big metal boots right up some backsides, and I'll help him do it. Right now we gotta go see Rock."
Garrett‘ takes this opportunity to slip through slightly-less-noticed.
Aleith|DM: Heading inside, the cops thank you for quieting down the crowd for the moment. They say they’re close to releasing him on bail just to get rid of the crowds.
Aleith|DM: As they show you to his cell, you can see he hasn't exactly been treated poorly. Rock has gotten his own personal cell with some decent amenities, and you find him tapping and humming tunes as he works out possible new songs. Unlike the rest of the prisoners, he's cleanly dressed and has on plenty of jewellery, with no less than eight monocles to choose from tucked into his pockets.
Garrett: "Afternoon, Rock."
Gerald‘ stares directly into Rock’s eyes. "Found your dagger."
Phyllis eyes him up and down for any Apet energy. Or … possibly a few others, if she had the option, but she hasn't actually been exposed to The Dreaming well enough yet.
[OOC] Garrett: does gerald… stare daggers at him
[OOC] Gerald: dohoho
Aleith|DM: You can only choose one type of energy for the duration, but he's got some faint Apet energy lingering about him.
Rock: "Afternoon…." He looks up from his papers. "Oh! The constables from the Fair. Man, it's good to see you again. I hope."
Garrett: "Something like that." He glances at Phyllis.
Chandrasekhar is giving him a level, life-hanging-in-the-balance stare. "Had to push through quite the crowd to get here. Funny thing is, they seemed more upset about you being here than about actually redressing the harms being done to them. A nice piece of misdirection, if you ask me. I wonder what you've promised them~?" There's a friendly, almost playful singsong to his voice, and he leans against
Chandrasekhar the wall, shrugging. "Anyways."
Rock: "What? My fans love me, I guess. What do you mean by promises?"
Phyllis: "While he figures out how to phrase what he means - Got a couple of questions about your travels. As far as the incident at Gun Alley goes, it seems like a pretty open and shut case of manslaughter. You get fined, you get out, you resume your life as normal."
Phyllis: "The dagger that Gerald mentioned is of interest to our case. I'd like to know where and how you got it. I'd also like to know a little more than that, since I can pretty much scry those details, anyhow."
Rock: "Oh. That's better than I was expecting, I guess. Guess I won't be writing no 'jailhouse blues' after all. Long as they know it was an accident."
Chandrasekhar is letting 'promises' hang in the air like a weighty sword for the moment.
Rock: "Oh, the dagger? Found it on an expedition to some old ruin in Crisillyir, which had to've been built over centuries ago. Some Ancient ziggurat of Jiese. The plane of fire, ya know?"
Rock: "It was one of the trophies I got from there."
Rock: "There was a bunch of fire traps, the guys I was with performed some rituals, we stole some giant golden plate, and then I went back to Flint."
Rock: "Didn't much like the attitudes of the people I was working with though, so I declined working with them again."
Zane: "… Well that is unexpectedly useful. Can you get us the names of those people?"
Chandrasekhar raises an eyebrow.
Garrett: "Pretty amazing."
Gerald: "I uh… how'd that get mixed into your stage equipment… hidden under the stage?" Gerald blinks.
Rock: "It's one of my props, man!"
Garrett: "Nothing like a little authenticity to add to a performance."
Phyllis: "People love this guy for the stories, Gerald."
Rock: "Well, the guy that hired me for the dig was a guy named Caius Bergeron, some tiefling from Danor, right?"
Rock: "I first met him after selling him some scrolls from the Malice Lands."
Phyllis nods. "That confirms some suspicions of ours. Anyone else you remember?"
Rock: "Found this burnt-out library full of 'em magic scrolls, started selling them back in Flint, and this guy contacted me offering a better price, and to keep quiet about them too."
Rock: "Kept a few o' them I particularly liked 'cause they had some real deep philosophy written in the margins."
Phyllis quirks an eyebrow.
Chandrasekhar: "Did you ever find out the provenance of the scrolls, or what they were intended to convey?"
Rock: "Lots o' different Linked Portal rituals, mostly."
Rock: "The other team members…"
Phyllis: "To funnel witchoil, perhaps."
Rock: "Another tiefling, Finona? She was the leader. A couple of dwarves, and a couple of other humans. Don't remember their names, sorry."
Rock: "Finona Duvall, I think it was?"
Gerald: "Hmm I feel like that sounds familiar for some reason…"
Rock: "But yeah, those scrolls? They go all sorts a places."
Rock: "Decided to use one some night when I was bored, and ended up deep in some forest."
Chandrasekhar nods. "And the philosophy? Do you know who wrote them?"
Phyllis smirks amusedly. "Well, this explains your bawdy stories. Or at least the kernel of truth in them."
Phyllis: "If I had to guess, I'd say Miller."
Rock: "Followin' the sounds of music and women's voices, I stumbled into a buncha them fey."
Rock: "They fled, and I chased 'em through a silver mirror. Suddenly it was daylight, and up in the sky was…here. Lanjyr."
Rock: "They brought me before the Unseen Court as a criminal, but I claimed my right o' trial by combat, then shot the fey who challenged me."
Rock: "After that, well-it's kinda blurry."
Chandrasekhar: "…as a criminal. Due to trespass?"
Rock: "Lots of sex and debauched parties." He looks at Chandrasekhar. "Something like that? Yeah."
Rock: "Next thing I know, I was back in the woods, and found my gun turned to gold and covered in diamonds."
Gerald: "Is it bad that I can actually believe this really happened now?"
Phyllis: "How do you think Delft feels about us telling him we ran into the Voice of Rot, hm?"
Rock: "Hey man, I don't lie in my stories. They all happened. Mostly."
Garrett‘ tilts his head in acknowledgement. "He’s good."
Chandrasekhar: "I've heard wilder truths, from that realm." Pause. "Do you still have any enemies, within the Court?"
Rock: "Probably? I couldn't really tell you who's who though."
Gerald‘ glances back towards Phyllis, actually seems to consider the question in depth.
Rock: "What’s this Miller guy got to say, anyway? Not sure who wrote it, but it might sound familiar."
Phyllis: "Some early writings that were exhortations against philosophy, some later ones that involved different social structures in search of an ideal society."
[OOC] Phyllis: against hypocrisy*
Rock: "Ideal nations and stuff? Yeah, that might be the guy. There was some stuff like that written on them. Speaking of them scrolls, if you can help get me out of here sooner, I'll owe you guys a free round trip by teleportation. Gotten pretty good at it by now. Once I find the scroll, anyway."
Chandrasekhar: "If the scrolls -are- actually primary Millerite sources, I… that would be like finding an entire new canticle in Vekesh's own hand."
Rock: "I only have the one nowCaius bought most of themand it was only some notes, not, like, whole books or something."
Rock: "If you want to come with me on a fund-raising expedition, we can use the last scroll, and I'll even let you have a quarter of what we find."
Chandrasekhar: "Still! It's an amazing find. A shame- well. No sense regretting the past."
Rock: "Hired a skyseer once to do some divinations, and though the guy said he saw no future in the scroll, I don't trust old charlatans like skyseers. I think there'll be tons of great treasure there."
Chandrasekhar can't help it and barks out a clap of uncontrollable laughter before rapidly regaining his composure.
Chandrasekhar: "Oh, goddess. Skyseers."
Phyllis: "You've been really helpful, we'll … see what we can do. An expedited court date, perhaps?"
Gerald‘ leans back, glances at the rest of the group. "He’s definitely involved, but like, probably innocent? So."
Rock: "Bail, court date, whatever. Long as I get out of here soon, that trip's all yours. As soon as I can find it."
Gerald: "And has no idea what Caius is actually up to."
Phyllis nods at Gerald.
Chandrasekhar: "We'll do what we can. Are you trying to meet some particular deadline, out of curiosity? Or just… not a fan of Risur's finest accommodations?" He smiles, wryly.
Rock Rackus shrugs. "Nope. Something about studying the Ancients, but then I, uh, kinda stopped paying attention."
Rock: "I've got places to be, right? Songs to sing, crowds to impress, mostly the womenfolk…"
Phyllis: "Sure."
Zane: "Any chance that free trip can be to the temple where you found the scrolls in the first place?"
Rock: "Well, it's a Linked Portal scroll, right? Don't got no teleportation circle out there. I can point out on a map though, if you want."
Phyllis produces a map she had laying around.
Zane: "That would be perfect."
Aleith|DM: He marks a rough area in the Malice Lands which…does look around where Pala used to be, yes.
Phyllis: "Any idea where the temple was in Crysillyir?"
Rock: "Over in the desert in the eastern part."
Phyllis: "Fitting."
Garrett: "You've been a big help, thanks for it."
Phyllis: "Alright, we'll get your request through."
Phyllis: "Hopefully we'll keep in touch in the future."
Rock: "I salute you, officers." And he does salute you, though badly.
Gerald‘ returns it, a little more correctly.
Gerald` then heads out.
Zane nods. "Appreciated. Hopefully when you get out of here we can work together to settle things more with the dockers and laborers."
Zane: "Which reminds me, Singh don’t forget the list on the way out."
Chandrasekhar definitely makes a point of stopping by the guys who seemed like they were leading that crowd on the way out, yeah.
Garrett: "If they actually made a whole list in that twenty minutes I'll give 'em points for focus."
Aleith|DM: The list is a disorganized mess when you get it back, with talk of unions, and workers' rights, and houses for the homeless, etc. Sadly nothing on there specifically violates anything in Risuri law, which mostly speaks of changes that could be made.
Phyllis tries to think of what the right channels would be to get that court date expedited. That philosophy could … better organize these thoughts and ideals.
Aleith|DM: Where next?
Phyllis: Meredith Xambria, perhaps? At least just to check in.
Chandrasekhar is happier to have a disorganized mess than nothing at all; it's a place to start even if there's no immediate action to be taken. He does Know A Guy somewhere in the government who sang the Chant with him for a while, a few years back, so hopefully he'll be able to get him in touch with a few people in the workers' movement. It's a start.
[OOC] Garrett: university with xambria yeah
Aleith|DM: When you approach the place, Zane has thrown up another Detect Apet Energy ritual to cover for Phyllis' wearing off soon. The place is radiating some strong Apet energy.
Zane: "Whoa."
Phyllis: "Shouldn't be any surprise."
Phyllis: "… hopefully she hasn't mutated like the badgers or something."
Zane: "This place is crawling with Apet. Just… be ready."
Aleith|DM: Nobody answers the door when you knock.
Garrett: "Oh boy."
Gerald‘ just opens it and walks in. It’s obviously unlocked or broken.
Aleith|DM: Actually, it's not.
Aleith|DM: The door's locked and looks perfectly intact.
Zane: "Garrett, I think this is you."
Gerald: "Oh huh I would have actually bet money on it being open."
Gerald: "You in there, Meredith?"
Aleith|DM: No response.
Garrett: "I just heard it."
Garrett: "Probable cause, that is." [Thievery]
Aleith|DM: Sure. It's not exactly a masterful lock to pick. The door opens.
Phyllis: " - for a moment, I thought you meant you heard her since she's dead."
Zane: "I'll sign off on it."
Aleith|DM: You find signs of a struggle between Xambria and some attacker, but no sign of forced entry. The apartment was locked up, and there's no indication of where Xambria is.
Aleith|DM: Nor is there a lingering spirit.
Zane: "Someone she knew."
Chandrasekhar: "…teleported in, kidnapped her."
Zane: "Or that."
Aleith|DM: There are several trails of Apet energy radiating out from the place, however.
Chandrasekhar: "Can we follow those trails…?"
Aleith|DM: The strongest of which run in a couple of directions-a few to the north, and a couple to the east.
Gerald: "Even if they teleported in… teleporting *other* people is kinda high level magic, isn't it?"
Aleith|DM: They seem recent.
Zane: "Gods there's… tracks all over the place. Most recent ones go north and east."
Aleith|DM: Checking one out over the other?
Aleith|DM: Or splitting up?
Garrett: "Let's split up."
Garrett: "Send a feather if you find something."
Zane: "I'll head north. Bosum Strand is my area."
Garrett: "I'll head east. Everyone figure a place and a pace, three-three let's do it."
Phyllis: "East with Garrett."
Aleith|DM: Alright. One of you heading east casts Detect Apet Energy, and follow the trail. After about twenty minutes, you find yourself ath the back fence of the outer wall of a manor.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis, you recognized the place as belonging to Lady Inspector Saxby: she hosted a party a couple years ago, and the RHC were invited.
Aleith|DM: Looks like it goes over the wall, and then comes back and heads back west, so one trail was coming, and the other was going.
Phyllis rubs her eyes for a few moments, weighing the implications of this in her head. "Garrett."
Garrett: "Yeah?"
Phyllis: "Do you know whose house this is."
Aleith|DM: A guard walks up to you. "Hey, you! -afternoon, constables. Can I help you with anything?"
Garrett‘ was about to say ’no,' and then looks up at the guard. "…(I think I do now.)"
Garrett: "Ah, not at the moment, we were just in the neighborhood and figured 'why not stop in for a cuppa?'"
Garrett: "But I reckon the Lady Inspector isn't home…?"
Guard: "The Lady's at work at the moment."
Phyllis: "We're on the clock. Ignore him."
Garrett: "She does work hard, it's true."
Phyllis salutes. "We're attempting to triangulate some quarry via scrying magic." Her eyes flash green for a moment. "Fanning out from Central."
Guard: "Good work…? And they're in the neighbourhood?"
Phyllis: "Their trail, at least."
Phyllis frowns. "But we seem to have gotten off of it."
Guard: "As long as you stay out of Lady Saxby's property, we'll help if you need it. We already have enough problems here."
Phyllis: "Really, now. That's quite a surprise."
Garrett: "Something happen?"
Guard: "I-nothing, really."
Aleith|DM: Diplomacy? Intimidate?
Garrett: "C'mon now, we've all got the badge. What's the worries?" [Diplomacy]
Aleith|DM: Roll it.
Garrett‘ rolled 1d20+11 and got 6 ( Total: 17.0 )
Guard: "Err, well…" He scratches the back of his head, then leans closer and talks more quietly. "We had a break-in last night and are trying to figure it out. Don’t let the Lady know I told you, she's trying to keep it on the down-low."
Phyllis nods. "Of course. A break-in, though, you say? Is there a room there not sealed with gold?"
Garrett‘ nods along. "Right right, no worries there."
Guard: "That’s the strange thing, a mage swept the place and didn't find any teleportation magic anywhere, but the windows weren't broken or anything either. It was obvious someone'd been in her office and looked around, but nothing was actually taken."
Garrett: "That -is- strange, yeah."
Phyllis: "Very peculiar." Especially given the trail she's seeing.
Aleith|DM: Alright, those of you that went north-Zane, Gerald, Chandrasekhar-the trails stay roughly together down the main roads until you get partway into Bosum Strand. One splits off towards the harbour, while a couple more continue towards North Shore.
Phyllis thanks the guard for his time, then performs a [Wind Words] ritual, if she can find time to, to send a message to Meredith.
Chandrasekhar: "Tch. How many of them -are- there?"
Zane: "I'll take the harbor, you two head to North Shore. I'll catch up."
Gerald: "Alright."
Phyllis remembers the fine print of that ritual. NEVERMIND
Chandrasekhar nods to Zane, follows Gerald.
Aleith|DM: Zane: Heading to the harbour, you find the trail leads you to a pier and then headed out to sea.
Aleith|DM: Checking with Mr. Klim, you find out that a small ship named Dagger set out from that pier just this morning.
Zane: "Any word on where it was headed? Let me guess first though. Bers."
Klim: "Smaller vessel that wasn't carrying cargo, didn't have to file a plan or anything. It did head East though."
Klim: "If you ask around you might be able to find out who hired them, if that's what you're thinking. The captain's a bit of a drunken lout though, so his price probably wasn't that high."
Zane: "Fire and blood. Thanks, Klim. I'll see what I can dig up."
Aleith|DM: If you want to ask around, it'll be a Streetwise check.
Zane is so not trained, but hey what the hell.
Zane rolled d20+6 and got 1 ( Total: 7 )
Aleith|DM: Nope, nothing to go on, sadly.
Aleith|DM: Chandrasekhar, Gerald, the trails you follow north lead you to the Silver Swan, a fancy hotel in North Shore. They lead up to a window on the third floor.
[OOC] Zane: Holy shit y'all, they sailed with Capt. Puffin!
Chandrasekhar raises an eyebrow. "Third floor's too high for me to give you a piggyback ride, so, here goes." Heading in, talking to the manager, flashin' badges, etc.
Gerald‘ heads on up to the reception desk and asks the clerk who’s in the room they spotted.
Aleith|DM: They inform you that a Mr. Caius Bergeron staying in the room, but he's asked not to be disturbed.
Gerald: "Hahahahahah."
Gerald‘ makes sure he does a badge flash too, before asking for the master key so they don’t have to break the door down while apprehending a dangerous criminal.
Aleith|DM: The manager comes with you to the room to make sure nothing untoward happens to one of their customers without a warrant, but he takes you to the room and unlocks it.
Aleith|DM: Well, first he tries knocking.
Aleith|DM: And then there's no response.
Aleith|DM: Even after a couple of minutes.
Aleith|DM: Then he unlocks the door.
Gerald‘ nods towards Chandrasekhar to head in first.
Chandrasekhar does the hurry-up wave after, like, the first minute, heads in.
Gerald` has in gun drawn while slipping in behind him, eyes scanning for any sign of movement for flares of energy.
Aleith|DM: The tiefling lies on the bed, blood trailing from his mouth onto the sheets beneath him. Very dead.
Aleith|DM: The room is in startlingly good condition for the scene of a grisly murder.
Gerald: "You’ve got to be fucking kidding me."
Aleith|DM: A large bureau stands in the corner, and a travelling trunk sits next to it.
Chandrasekhar: "….well, then."
Aleith|DM: The only openings other than the door are two glass-paned windows on the wall. They must be very tightly insulated, because the stench of the dead body didn’t seep out.
Chandrasekhar: "Damn it."
Gerald‘ pushes the windows open with the barrel of his gun. Gunna want some fresh air in here while they start tossing the place for Evidence.
Aleith|DM: Both the door and windows of the room were locked. The desk still has his copy of the room key, and the manager insists that the master key was secure at all times. The windows each have a secure latch with a lock, and the frames are lined with a thread of gold to prevent teleportation.
Aleith|DM: Looking through Bergeron’s possession locates several interesting items. A map of the continent of Lanjyr is unrolled on his desk. Somebody recently drew two stars within circles on the map. You recognize the location of one star as the ziggurat in the swamp that you already visited. The other is in the water off the coast of Ber. Precise coordinates are written onto the map.
Chandrasekhar: "We'll- goddess, damn it. We'll need to go through his belongings. Someone call in evidence. I have a good idea of what happened here. Don't blame yourself." He spares a moment for the poor manager.
Gerald: "Yeah, we don't doubt. There's been a lot of weird stuff happening while on this guys' trail."
Chandrasekhar: "And it looks like they have the same information we have,"
Gerald: "Think we got played by whatsherface?"
Gerald: "Or the mastermind had someone pulling his strings all along."
Aleith|DM: Beside the map sits a book containing notes on the Ancients, but nothing you don't already know. The drawers contain all the journals of Xambria's dig crew, except Xambria's own journal.
Gerald: "Guah, and here I thought we finally caught a break."
Aleith|DM: The wardrobe is unlocked and contains fine cloths, but little of interest.
Gerald: "…Yup her journal's missing too."
Aleith|DM: The trunk is locked.
Gerald: "You know anything about lockpicking, Chandra?"
Chandrasekhar: "I doubt he was the mastermind in the first place. And, uh. I got up to a lot of funny business in Ber but usually-"
Aleith|DM: Checking Caius' body, you notice that his lower jaw has been unhinged.
Chandrasekhar beat. "N- no, not so much."
Gerald: "Hm. Me either."
Chandrasekhar: "I'm sure someone will be able to manage."
Gerald‘ pokes his head out of the door, towards where the manager is presumably gawking at the scene. "Don’t be alarmed! I'm sjust shooting off a lock." And then he points his rifle at the lock, and does so.
Aleith|DM: ….well, I guess that's one way of opening it. Sure.
[OOC] Phyllis: And then Gerald was charged with manslaughter for shooting someone downstairs.
Aleith|DM: There's a variety of coin, gems, and jewellery, plus ten ritual scrolls of Sending. There's a few holes in the scrolls now.
Aleith|DM: But they should still work fine. Right?
Gerald: "You reckon someone else hired the guy that was hiring all the people, and Xambria discovered something and is doin' her own thing?"
[OOC] Gerald: I used the rifle, not the shotgun! Specifically to avoid collateral damage :E
Aleith|DM: Well, one hole through a few of them.
Gerald: "Oh it was just money. And scrolls I guess."
Chandrasekhar: "Or he was being simply manipulated. For all we know, he was a collector of recondite apocryphal Millerite texts."
Gerald: "All our jobs invariably seem to wind up being super complicated, huh?"
[OOC] Phyllis: "Shoulda gone to the Shale branch."
Chandrasekhar wanders over to the body, frowning.
Aleith|DM: You find a gaping hole torn through the soft palate, and that his brain has been completely removed. The body exhibits no other signs of injury. There's a gold ring on his right pinky.
Chandrasekhar squints, kneels next to the bed. "Look at his- dear GODDESS."
Gerald: "Hu - oh."
Gerald: "Wow."
Gerald: "What would you even NEED a brain for? I thought weirdness peaked with the giant snake in the swamp eating all the undead, but I guess not."
Chandrasekhar takes several consecutive deep breaths, stands a little shakily. "…I wonder. Send a feather to Garrett."
Gerald: "I think we sent Garrett to the wrong location. Lemme - yeah, that."
Chandrasekhar: "My suspicion is that this somehow acts as a countermeasure to his… talents."
Gerald‘ walks back towards the window, does whatever he needs to do to get it out to Garrett. ’found caius dead with brain pull out at swan hotel come help'
Gerald: "How so?"
Chandrasekhar: "Just a hunch. I've read some theories, and some… well, Mr. Bietto wouldn't call them 'studies', but that's the next best thing- about what it would take to bind a spirit, or disperse it."
Chandrasekhar: "And since the chirurgeons have come to discover the brain as the organ of thought… well. Let's hope I'm wrong."
Gerald: "Oh."
Aleith|DM: Gerald, can I get a Perception check?
Chandrasekhar: "They thought ahead to anti-teleportation measures."
Gerald: "…come to think of it I can't recall if Garrett's ever talked to someone without a head before."
Chandrasekhar: "So, they clearly were covering their bases."
Gerald‘ rolled d20+11 and got 4 ( Total: 15 )
Aleith|DM: The ring looks like it has an inscription on the inside if it.
Aleith|DM: You can just make out ’Old Bergeron Gold'.
Gerald‘ tilts his head to the side, then nods to Chandrasekhar. "Makes sense. Also something written on the ring."
Aleith|DM: Chandrasekhar, now that you think about it, in the evidence notes, Macbannin was found to be wearing a bronze ring on one of his hands, which also had some kind of inscription on the inside of it….
Chandrasekhar takes the ring off his finger, takes a good look at that inscription. "MacBannin had one too. Not gold. Could be a coincidence but I’m believing in them less and less these days."
Aleith|DM: What did it say again…? 'Overcome Black Arts'.
Gerald‘ spins his pointer fingers around in overlapping circles in the air. "Gears within gears."
Chandrasekhar: "Ugh. Gears."
[OOC] Phyllis: They spin! And the fey don’t like spinny things.
Gerald: "Gears are great! Stocke is made up mostly of gears."
Aleith|DM: Speaking with some witnesses while you wait for the others to show up, some regulars remember that the evening of the seventh, Caius had an animated discussion with a woman who matches Xambria's description. They remember her raising her voice to say something about a 'star map', and he hushed her, then had his bodyguards escort her out forcibly.
Aleith|DM: When Ernst gets there, he manages to pinpoint the time of death as early morning on the 8th.
Aleith|DM: Which explains why there isn't a spirit for Garrett to talk to, as it's already been longer than a day.
Chandrasekhar: "Damn it. I wasn't sure."
Gerald: "Hey Garrett have you ever talked to anyone without a brain before?"
Gerald: Pause. "Physically, I mean."
Garrett‘ looks at Gerald, pause.
Garrett` smiles, decides to forego the joke, and continues. "Not outta recollection. Some with brain damage, but gone?"
Chandrasekhar: "Alternately has someone been traipsing around removing peoples’ brains, and I just… didn't read the papers?"
Chandrasekhar is gonna feel real silly in like three seconds.
Phyllis: "Since summer." Presumably, she's with them now, too.
Gerald: "Huh?"
Gerald: "Oh! Right I remember whatshisface complaining about that case when me and Ernst joined up."
Phyllis: "Different than the ragman."
Gerald: "Yeah, totally gone."
Chandrasekhar: "I."
Chandrasekhar: "Er."
Chandrasekhar: "What?"
Garrett: "Yeah, two serial killers about."
Chandrasekhar: "…well, then."

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