Zg Session 67

Aleith|DM: Garrett: First, you see an image of a nondescript man, sitting at a table, fitting the letter into an unmarked envelope, the one that was delivered to Delft's secretary. Beside him is an opened envelope, postmarked from Drakr and addressed to a location in Bosum Strand.
Aleith|DM: Second, you see Leone sitting at a table writing the letter by candlelight. A closer look than you've seen before, he's sitting there in an undershirt, and you see a couple of several-month old scars: one from an arrow, another a bullet wound.
[OOC] Phyllis: hi zane, gerald
[OOC] Zane: IMA KILL HIS ASS FOR REALZ(tm) THIS TIME *mouthfoam*
Phyllis raises an eyebrow, sitting nearby. "If you're finished, may I?"
Phyllis: Assuming yes, she attempts to divine: the nth time it changed hands, where n is 1 through the max number of images she sees based on her Arcana result.
Aleith|DM: Alright, roll it.
Phyllis rolled d20+23 and got 2 ( Total: 25.0 ) for Arcana
Phyllis: So, the first, second, and third time it changed hands.
Aleith|DM: Alright. The first hand-off is Leone handing a thick stack of letters to someone that looks like a security guard. The guard is then seen dropping it off at what looks to be a post office with Drakran writing on the signs. Good thing you can read it. Seems to be in Mirsk. The third image is of a postman picking it up from the office with a bundle of other mail.
Phyllis: Still more: she's curious about the security guard's whereabouts when he had it. Did they go straight towards the post office in Mirsk, or was it more … circuitous?
[OOC] Phyllis: If I can go again.
Aleith|DM: What kind of image are you looking for exactly for that, or some other kind of divination…?
Phyllis: Its surroundings at certain points in time, like where it was halfway between the journey from Leone's desk to the post office in Mirsk, where it was 1/4 of the way, 3/4 of the way, etc. again tweaking based on number of images.
Aleith|DM: Alright. Roll it?
Phyllis rolled d20+23 and got 12 ( Total: 35.0 )
Phyllis: So, 1/6ths of the way, 2/6ths, 3/6ths, 4/6ths, 5/6ths. Since we've already seen 0/6ths and 6/6ths.
Aleith|DM: Alright. You see him stepping out of what looks like a train station, and then walking down a couple of streets. The 3rd and 4th images look to be the same street, so it seems like it was a pretty straight route. You can see the post office in the distance on the last one.
Aleith|DM: Now that you think about it, that image you saw the first time looks like it could've been inside a train car.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Handing off from Leone to the guard
Phyllis wrinkles her nose. She has other divinations to scry specific locations, but … they need to be static. Unmoving. Vessels are no good.
Phyllis: "He's on a train car. Still moving around the country, I'd imagine. Or wherever that particular railway goes."
Aleith|DM: Drakr has an extensive rail network, even moreso than Danor.
Aleith|DM: Hard to say.
Phyllis: Yeah. We'll … need to get a schedule or something.
Phyllis: Still, better than nothing.
Aleith|DM: Alright. Did you want to look into the address in Bosum Strand before your ship leaves, or do you think you have enough information from your object reading anyway?
Phyllis: Hm. Who changed the envelopes? (They did change, right?)
Aleith|DM: Garrett's description matches the one Delft's secretary gave for the courier who dropped it off.
Phyllis: I mean, was it ever opened? Tampered with?
Phyllis: And working backwards from the courier: who handed it to the courier, who handed it to them, etc.
Phyllis rolled d20+23 and got 3 ( Total: 26.0 ) for ONCE MORE
Phyllis: In that order, at least. Was it opened?
Aleith|DM: You can see the courier picking it up off of a table, a knife in hand; it appears to be the same room Garrett saw earlier. You see a Risuri postman handing it to a different man at the front of a butcher shop which matches the address on the letter's original envelope. The postman picked it up from Bosum Strand's post office.
Phyllis: Is it … standard for couriers to do that? Does Delft know more on the process?
Phyllis: Either way, probably done with reading now. [-75 gp of residuum total]
Aleith|DM: No, it's not standard. Definitely a trick used to hide the origin point.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: clandestine trick
Aleith|DM: Delft figures something like that would probably be standard operating procedure for a secret organization.
Aleith|DM: Anything else you want to check out first, or sailing for Alais Primos?
[OOC] Zane: Nothing springs to mind for me at least
Phyllis: Nothing in a timely manner, though her thoughts are returning back to Ethelyn of Shale and Nathan Jierre.
Phyllis: So … something for when she's back, at least.
Aleith|DM: Alright. You depart for Crisyllir late at night, and it takes you six days to travel to the capital, Alais Primos. You arrive early on the morning of Autumn 8th.
Aleith|DM: Aaaaand all of you have at least passive insight or perception of 20 or higher notice that, while it's not unusual for some Beran migrant workers to be at the docks (there's a few orc and half-orcs, but mostly humans), there does seem to be a single kobold watching you. He's not working, just observing.
Gerald‘ waves in the kobald’s direction.
Chandrasekhar nudges Zane, 'accidentally'.
Aleith|DM: He gives a half-hearted wave back after a few seconds.
Zane‘ sighs. "Gerald. Some days I really do consider drowning you like a retarded puppy."
Gerald: "Oh come on, didn’t you feel bad for him? Poor guy actually thought he was hidden."
Zane: "And it would have been prudent to let him continue to think that, so one of us could follow him later."
Chandrasekhar: "Yes, and we could have granted him the happy comfort of his illusions…"
Aleith|DM: Alright. You've got an address for Joe Hobner's import business, where Delft suggested you proceed next. Cautiously.
Gerald: "Pft why would you let him knowing we know stop you? Let him fail to see how it's done."
Phyllis takes notice, but just keeps him in mind for later.
Zane: "Because overconfident enemies are sloppy enemies. If he doesn't think we see him, he doesn't worry about us following him."
Phyllis: "I should have kept Memory to Mist. Tch."
Gerald: "I reckon he woulda realize we spotted him after we ditch his tail *anyway* and now we don't have put any effort into that."
Phyllis: "Have you considered he could be friendly?"
Zane: "Not remotely, no."
Gerald: "Not based on his reaction."
Chandrasekhar: "And I thought /you/ were the paranoid one."
Aleith|DM: Any plans to confront him, or just ignore him and move on to Joe's place?
Gerald‘ ignoring him, unless he does in fact continue to follow us after being called out.
Aleith|DM: The kobold seems content to stare at your ship.
Zane: "OK, Gerald. Its your job to bag your new friend while the rest of us go to Joe Hobners. Alive, for interrogation."
Gerald: "That’s your speciality though. I can't grapple for shit. That's why I have excessively loud firearms."
Zane: "And yet."
Gerald: "Uuugh fine."
Gerald‘ splits away from the group after a couple of blocks and loops back around towards the docks.
Chandrasekhar: "It’ll be a learning experience!" …once Gerald's out of earshot.
Aleith|DM: The kobold's still sitting there.
Zane‘ rubs his face. "I worry about that boy some days."
Phyllis: When there’s uncertainty, it only means the possibility is like clay to be shaped! If the kobold tries to bolt, the first corner he turns is a dead end, with nowhere to escape. [Inexplicable Narration]
Gerald‘ flips a coin, then shrugs after looking at the result and walks up to the Kobald. "S’nice ship, yeah? One of the other guys is super insistant on taking it out because of the figure head." Gerald gestures towards it with a hand.
Phyllis: So I guess that alleyway, over there.
Kobold: "She's reeeeal pretty." He's….drunk. He giggles.
Gerald: "So what's your deal, friend? Seem a little out of place on the docks."
Kobold: "Some o' my friends work here. I'm hanging out. Terry over there is nice." He points over towards a half-orc unloading a nearby ship. "He's busy right now."
Gerald: "Well hell, if you're just hangin' out would you mind showing me around town? My group ditched me and I've never been here before. Buy you a meal and some drinks for your trouble?"
Kobold: "Sure! I'll just go tell Terry I'm gonna be back later." He jumps up, staggers, and walks off towards the half-orc.
Gerald‘ nods. Pulls out a scope from his pocket and watches them while leaning behind some nearby crates.
Aleith|DM: He heads back after a brief conversation with the half-orc. Mostly a few sentences from the kobold and a couple grunts from the half-orc.
Kobold: "Where to?"
Gerald` stows it away before he gets back, then rattles off an address about a block and a half from where Joe’s place is.
Kobld: "Sure! I'll go find a gondola."
Gerald: "Gondola?"
Kobold: "Faster 'an walking, though there's bridges on the way if you wanna walk."
Gerald: "OH! Right those little boat things that ya'll use like carriages. Sounds fun!"
Aleith|DM: He finds a gondola to hire without much of a problem and gets them to give you a discount.
Gerald: "Nice."
Aleith|DM: Alright. Back to the rest of you. The locals are able to point you in the right direction without much trouble. You cross a few bridges over some canals on your way there before Hobner's import business, which appears to be on the ground floor of his house. Seems that the business pays pretty well from the state of the house.
Zane: "Fancy."
Phyllis: "Ehhhn." She doesn't seem too pleased about being back 'home.'
Chandrasekhar looks like he'd rather not be standing on these paving stones. Like if he could, he'd just float above them, or not be here at all…
Aleith|DM: The man welcomes you boisterously when he opens the door. "Welcome, folks! What can I help you with?"
Zane: "Stover sent us."
Phyllis glances at Garrett. Soul still intact, or was Delft right to be a bit paranoid?
Garrett‘ .oO (He’s fine.)
Joe: "Oh, of course! Come right in." He shows you inside to his office.
Garrett‘ .oO (Well. His soul, at least.)
Zane` heads in and leans against the wall. "Thanks. We’re looking for someone, and we think he's hiding out on a train."
Phyllis: "Came in on a ship with fruit."
Joe: "Alright. I can probably give you some ideas on where to look. Let me grab a map. Would any of like some drinks while I'm up? Water, wine, liqueur?"
Zane: "Wine." A small smile. "Something from the Quital vinyards, if you've got it."
Joe: "Hmmm. Not sure if I have one of their vintages. I'll have to see. Anyone else?"
Ernst: "I'm good."
Phyllis: "I'll have the same, or a pinot noir you'd recommend if you're out of something from Quital's vineyards."
Aleith|DM: He nods and heads off, making a couple of trips before coming back with a couple of maps the first time, then with a bottle of wine and a glass.-not Quital-make, "Sorry, couldn't find one." -and then lastly with a pitcher of water and a few more glasses.
Aleith|DM: He pours some wine for Zane and starts pouring some water for the others while he talks. "So they came in via boat? Do you know the name of it?"
Phyllis: "'The Cold Vessel,' apparently."
Zane‘ sips his wine.
Joe: "Alright. You probably want to check with the harbour bureaucrats and see what you can find in the logs about the Cold Vessel when it arrived and who processed their travel visas. That should narrow down your search on the docks so you can find the people who worked the pier it came in at that day. Hopefully the dockers-er, they call them ’dock workers' here-might be able to tell you more."
Phyllis: "So even if he came in with falsified papers, we'd be able to get a description from the workers who were there? Mmhm."
Zane‘ sets the wine down on the table and sighs.
Joe: "Might be he asked some questions someone remembers."
Garrett: "Just good ol’ fashioned legwork."
Zane: "The strychnine really lends this bottle an extra kick."
Joe: "What?"
Zane‘ borrows someones water, rinses his mouth, and spits into an empty glass. "Strychnine. Someone has just very clumsily tried to poison me."
Garrett: "That seems like a really foolish thing to do."
Zane: "Either that or they really screwed up a batch."
Phyllis glances at Zane, then settles her gaze on Garrett.
Zane: "Joe, why does your water taste like hemlock?"
Phyllis jerks her head at the bottle.
Garrett: "Not while on the clock. And not when in a different nation."
Aleith|DM: He starts, and begins to stand up. "I don’t know what you're talking about."
Chandrasekhar steps -out- of the corner he's been hiding in, but doesn't say anything.
Phyllis: "Not that."
Zane: "Sit down before I bleed you like a holiday pig."
Aleith|DM: And then he bolts-
Aleith|DM: -and crashes right into Chandrasekhar.
Garrett‘ laughs and slaps his knee.
Zane` sighs.
Garrett: "How did you miss him!"
Zane: "We’ve been practicing."
Chandrasekhar steps right into his path, and grabs him by the scruff. Cheerfully: "Word to the wise? Don't try to poison my friend. It doesn't end well."
Ernst scratches his head. "Clumsily enough that I don't have to do anything or…?"
Zane: "Oh no, I'm fine."
Aleith|DM: Thankfully Zane's got poison resistance.
Gerald‘ shove the door open, walking in with the kobald unconscious, reeking of booze, and slung over his shoulder. "…What’d I miss?"
Garrett: "Anyway, Phyllis… yes?"
Phyllis: "I mean, I was going to suggest you read who poisoned it, but I think we have a good idea on it now."
Zane‘ looks at the poisoned wine and water. At Joe on the floor. And smiles. "The best part is, if you don’t answer our questions, I'm going to kill you with your own poisons. I appreciate that sort of thing."
Joe: "Look, uh, can we talk about this peacefully…?"
Garrett‘ smiles and leans back in his chair as he idly clinks a glass full of ice. "He was sweating harder than this glass, it was only a matter of time."
Gerald` shut the door.
Garrett: "Oh! Gerald."
Gerald: "Guess our contact didn’t turn out so well?"
Garrett: "Poison attempt."
Gerald: "That's Funny."
Zane: "Oh hey Gerald." He looks at the kobold. "Good job."
Chandrasekhar: "Nicely done."
Gerald: "Do we have anything without poison in it? Promise him I'd buy him a drink and I'd hate to look like a liar."
Garrett: "Eh, will probably have to whip it up manually, I mean… who lives in a place that has -only- poison drinks."
Zane: "So. Joe. Lets talk peacefully." He pours a glass of wine. "Lets start with 'why are you trying to kill us?'"
Aleith|DM: Intimidate check?
Gerald‘ sets the kobald down next to Joe, goes to rummage through the wine rack.
Phyllis: "I’d like to inform you that Stover sent us. I'm not sure if you're aware, but after a few … incidents in his career, he doesn't take to deception too kindly."
Zane‘ rolled d20+17 and got 16 ( Total: 33 )
Aleith|DM: There’s a bunch of other wines there. He was, in fact, lying about not having a Quital vintage, even.
Joe?: "I was planning to kill any constables who showed wanting to speak with Joe. Didn't go so well."
Gerald: "Hey Zane I found some of Quintal's wine, you want a bottle so we can act like assholes while drinking it???"
Zane: "Most definitely. So you're not Joe. Who are you?"
Gerald‘ grabs a couple and heads back out, Sents one down next to the Kobald, tosses Zane another, then pops off the cork of a third and takes a swig.
Gerald: "Shame we don’t have any of his cheese…"
Robert: "I go by Robert the Black. I was hired to 'replace' Mr. Hobner in the hopes of other agents visiting. Turns out they were right about that."
Zane: "Of course they were. I'm a little shocked they didnt warn you about is in particular, though. Who hired you, Mister the Black?"
Robert: "I was hired by a middleman. I couldn't say who was on the other end of the transaction."
Zane: "Thats fine. I can peel your middleman like an onion and get another link in the chain. Name and location?"
Phyllis: "I'm more interested in where your better half is."
Robert: "Dead. What do you expect?"
Robert: "And I don't have a name for you."
Zane‘ sighs. "You are not nearly as useful as I had hoped."
Robert shrugs. "And you’re not nearly as gullible as I had hoped."
Zane: "I guess everybody is leaving here dissapointed." And he upends the poisoned wine over Robert's face.
Phyllis: "I was about to ask if there was a way to still make yourself useful to us."
Phyllis: "I guess 'wine taster' will have to do."
Aleith|DM: The man starts coughing, but then that turns into a hacking fit, before leading way into convulsions.
Zane: "Well, so much for doing things the easy way."
There's a knock at the door.
Gerald: "Egh. Oh, if I had to guess I'm pretty sure the kobald doesn't know shit either but feel free to take a crack at 'em."
Zane‘ sips from the Quital bottle. "Who is it?"
Chandrasekhar: "Tch/"
Gerald` grabs Robert and drags him into the back.
Aleith|DM: You see a couple of kobolds outside, hands held out wide. "We’d like to discuss with you about the kobold inside, quietly, and both of our bosses."
Zane: "Oh, thats convenient. C'mon in."
Aleith|DM: The kobolds look around as they enter. "You have discovered the assassin?"
Phyllis: "He's taking a nap in the back."
Phyllis nods.
Phyllis: "Unless there are more."
Zane: "He was really bad at his job."
Kobold: "We would appreciate it if you would let our comrade go. As far as we know, he was working alone. Would you be willing to meet with our boss?"
Zane: "I'm not an unreasonable guy, sure."
Phyllis: "Is your comrade the kobold? He's … been pretty harmless, yeah? And the assassin is someone else, surely?"
Chandrasekhar side-eyes Zane ever so slightly.
Phyllis: "Just making sure."
Kobold: "It is as you said."
Phyllis: "Heh. You say 'let him go' as if we were keeping him. I think he just had a bit too much to drink."
Phyllis: "… it wasn't poisoned, too, was it?"
Zane‘ gets the good wine in one hand and the pitcher of water in the other. "Gerald did you poison the kobold?"
Phyllis jerks a thumb in the back, looking at Zane. "Are you going to clean up your mess?"
Gerald: "Naw I just clonked him on the head since he was kinda drink already. Slash some water on his face and he should be fine."
The other kobold waves you off. "No, of course not. If he was actually drinking on the job he would be fired."
Zane: "… Not this water."
Gerald: "Oh was it just a scrap of cloth soaked in booze? It was sort of hard to tell if he was faking it or not."
Kobold: "What’s more ignoreable than a kobold? A drunk kobold, of course."
Zane‘ smiles. "He might want to work on that in the future. Anyway, lets go meet your boss."
Phyllis: "Seriously, we’ve got tracks to cover."
Gerald: "Yeah… unless you're the only one."
Kobold: "Excellent. We will take you to see El Extraño."
Zane: "…"
Gerald‘ kneels down and slaps the kobalds cheeks a bit until he wakes up, then hands him a silver coin. "For the meal." and gestures towards the wine bottle with a nod as well.
Zane: "El Extraño is… here?"
Phyllis: "Well he certainly wasn’t on his pedestal in Ber."
Kobold: "He is wherever he wants to be."
Zane: "Hah!"
Aleith|DM: The kobold wakes up, and after sighing a bit, he accepts graciously.
Zane‘ takes a rag and wipes off the bottle of poisoned wine plus the glasses he touched.
Zane: "Let them think on this for a while."
Aleith|DM: The other two kobolds lead you to a small warehouse.
You find another kobold with red, uneven eyes and finely-tended fleshy whiskers inside. He sits, tiny and cross-legged, atop a stack of massive books taller than he is. He has one small book open on his lap, and smokes a long dragon-motif pipe in his other hand as he reads.
El Extraño: "I know all of your names. Do not be impressed yet. It is not impressive because I did not need my many loyal eyes for that. I work for the Bruse, and he told me your names while we ate dinosaur eggs in his castle. Still, it is not time to be impressed."
El Extraño: "I became interested in this conspiracy that has caused so much trouble, and I knew if I were them, I would kill your spies. Also, I knew where your spies were. Do not be impressed. It is not hard to guess that a former constable would still spy for his country. My eyes watched his home, and sadly they could not save him from this assassin. But then they watched the assassin, and now we have contacted you."
El Extraño: "Leone Quital was spotted on the 28th of Spring in the Cathedral of Triegenes at Enzyo Mons. Do not be impressed that I know you are looking for him. His former associate, the gnome named Oddcog, cursed the man’s name repeatedly while he fitted me for my own mechanical battle suit. It was natural you would seek the Steelshaper at some point."
El Extraño: "We will work together. My eyes will follow you, look for threats and targets around you, and share what they see. If you disagree, my eyes will send couriers to share what they see, so that you don't get upset and kill any of them. You should read this book, so you respect the value of little people."
He closes the book in his lap, then tosses it to you. You catch it, and the kobold vanishes in a puff of smoke. When it clears, he’s gone, along with the stack of books he was using as a stool.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Obtained 1x Codex of the Little People +4
Zane: "And that, my friends, was El Extraño."
Chandrasekhar smiles, despite himself.
Gerald: "Got a whole uh… thing goin' on with his presenatation, huh?" Gerald scratches at the back of his head.
Kobold: "That is exactly how he is. Will we be working with you?"
Zane‘ looks at the two kobolds they came with and nods politely. "The students of war do not forget the value of the kobolds. We would be honored to have your asistance."
Gerald: "Glad I opted for the direct method and didn’t stalk and shoot the guy from the docks now though, haha."
Phyllis flips through the codex, ascertaining its contents. Because of course.
Aleith|DM: They bow slightly. "We would be honoured to assist you on your hunt."
Aleith|DM: Illuminations of children, pixies, and other small people adorn pages of information on critical but oft-overlooked minutiae on dozens of topics: art, food, games, music, fringe political theories, obscure science, and the like. In the hands of its owner, these pages can reveal arcane formula of wizard spells.
Phyllis stashes her offhand tome for -that-. Predictably, she's immediately intrigued.
Aleith|DM: Alright. You've still got most of the day left. Where are you starting your manhunt?
Zane: "So. Leone Quital. Living on a train. Has a fondness for bromago cheese and his families wines. We should probably start with that."
Gerald: "There's… a… hell of a lot of trains here."
Zane: "Yeah. We just want the ones that always onload bromago and Quital wines."
Phyllis: "He could have departed the train by now."
Zane: "Why would he though? It's a perfect mobile base."
Phyllis: "And found more permanent residence. We just know he was on one."
Phyllis: "I agree, just not ruling it out."
Gerald: "Hmm. I guess that's as good a place as any. Head to the cathedral first then begin the investigation?"
Zane: "Sounds good."
Phyllis: "And specifically, Mirsk, a city in Drakr, is one of the stops. So we investigate rail routes he could have taken from the cathedral to there."
Gerald: "Ah yeah that would help narrow it down a bit."
Zane: "There we go."
Three miles from the city center of Alais Primos, a chapel to a minor god of fire and tribulation marks the beginning of a trail up to the peak of Enzyo Mons, an active volcano. Another chapel sits every few hundred feet over the course of a two mile trail that rises a half a mile vertically to the volcano’s rim. There the Clergy have erected a cathedral devoted to Triegenes, the founder of their faith, who they claim ascended to godhood upon death.
A stained glass window above the cathedral’s rostrum is continually back-lit by the glow of the lava in the caldera, and a broad balcony behind the cathedral overlooks that pit of fire. Every month priests hold a ceremony where they cast into the volcano any items believed to be possessed of evil that have been collected by the faith. They also cast in offerings of gold and jewels.
The mountain is not particularly tall in the grand scheme of things, but its obsidian black face stands out starkly, making the rolling green hills around it seem even more beautiful by comparison. Due to the prayers of the faithful it has not erupted in over 700 years.
Zane: "A shame I wasnt here on the 28th. Coulda tossed him in."
Phyllis: "Uh. Him and Grappa both?"
Gerald: "Dang. This place is kinda impressive."
Zane‘ makes a ’balancing scales' gesture.
Aleith|DM: Alright. How do you want to go about asking around?
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Diplomacy or Intimidate?
[OOC] Zane: I'd like to save Intimidate as a last resort if at all possible lol as much as I'm sure Phyllis would love to see Zane dangling somebody over the rail like 'I should warn you padre, this is my weak arm…'
Phyllis taps someone's shoulder for attention, looking honestly inquisitive. "Excuse me, this might be a long-shot, but I'm trying to find someone. They said he was here last spring?"
Aleith|DM: Alright, you ask around a bit. You can 'talk shop' with the priests, so they're a bit more receptive towards you. (( Diplomacy, +5 for being trained in Religion ))
Phyllis: A charm to trace through someone's heart, to start backwards from the answer she wants and to find the words to get there - [Glib Tongue] [Suggestion]
Phyllis rolled d20+33 and got 5 ( Total: 38.0 ) for substitute arcana, +5 Glib Tongue, +5 religion
The priests at the Cathedral atop Enzyo Mons recall that a man threw a metal head into the volcano, and that he arrived and left with a man on a wagon.
Phyllis: "Thank you. You didn't happen to catch which way the wagon headed, did you?"
Priest: "Sorry, just back down the mountain."
Phyllis: "Thank you, all the same."
Phyllis doesn't muse aloud her thoughts of retrieving the head, potentially. Not that it'd have -survived- something like that. But let's not mention that around priests who believe the mountain a place to purge items of evil spirits.
Phyllis returns and relays that information, at least.
Aleith|DM: Alright. Where are you looking next?
Zane: "In a wagon, huh… Guess he wasn't up to walking."
Phyllis: "And I wonder if that's when Grappa escaped his metallic vessel and - well."
Phyllis: "Found his next one."
Chandrasekhar: "I wouldn't be surprised."
Zane: "Sounded like it was during the cauldron incident, but it doesn't matter much in the long run."
Gerald: "I don't even have words for how funny that is."
Gerald: "Definitely worth the detour out here just to hear that."
Phyllis: "Train station. Determine routes?"
Gerald: "Yeah."
Aleith|DM: There isn't a train station in Alais Primos
Phyllis: "Garrett. How do you feel about putting a theory to the test?"
Aleith|DM: Maybe the docks?
Phyllis: Or that! Travel visas, right?
Aleith|DM: And where the Cold Vessel docked and was unloaded.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: whoops messed up the italics there
Aleith|DM: It'll take several hours of asking around and trying to convince people. Streetwise checks? Multiple people can make them, or can roll against DC 15 to aid someone's check for a +2 bonus each.
Zane‘ rolled d20+10 and got 8 ( Total: 18 ) for assisting
Chandrasekhar can be very convincing…
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+13 and got 12 ( Total: 25 )
Phyllis takes a moment to sit in a quiet pastry shop or something and just listen. [Seek Rumor ritual, if applicable]
Phyllis rolled d20+23 and got 11 ( Total: 34.0 ) for +5 to DC though :(
Aleith|DM: That can work.
Aleith|DM: but….
[OOC] Phyllis: but???
Aleith|DM: It fails?
[OOC] Phyllis: o-oh
[OOC] Phyllis: even with assists?
Aleith|DM: Only can assist one person and yours isn’t a streetwise check
[OOC] Phyllis: aha
Gerald‘ rolled d20+17 and got 7 ( Total: 24.0 ) for garrett has a good streetwise score
Ernst helps with seeking some rumors, sure. ; Arcana
Ernst rolled d20+17 and got 13 ( Total: 30.0 )
Aleith|DM: You find out what pier the Cold Vessel docked at on Spring 20th. Now you can narrow down your search at the docks for who worked there on that day and might recognize seeing Leone.
Aleith|DM: It’s getting late, though, so it'll have to wait for tomorrow.
Aleith|DM: Autumn 9th
Aleith|DM: You start asking about the docks after the Cold Vessel…
Phyllis: "This cherry pie is just to die for, hm?"
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Streetwise checks
Zane‘ rolled d20+10 and got 14 ( Total: 24 ) for assisting
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+13 and got 2 ( Total: 15 ) for assisting too, I guess?
Gerald` rolled d20+21 and got 7 ( Total: 28.0 ) for im hachi
Gerald` rolled d20+7 and got 9 ( Total: 16.0 ) for im ice
Aleith|DM: Okay. It takes some asking around (the kobolds help too), but you eventually find some people working on the right pier that day. Leone apparently asked for where he could get some clothes, and they can point you to the district they recommended.
Phyllis does the same as before, this time seeking aid from her familiar and her ears. [Seek Rumor] [Insightful Councilor]
Aleith|DM: Autumn 10th
Phyllis rolled 2#d20+23(1) and got 19 ( Total: 42.0 ) for roll twice take higher
Also rolled 2#d20+23(2) and got 2 [Total: 25.0 (Low), Avg: 2.00]
Total: 67.0, Avg: 10.50
Aleith|DM: Alright. You manage to find the clothier shop Leone visited. After a quick visit, you find someone who remembers helping Leone; he inquired regarding directions to premium wine shops.
Aleith|DM: The other constables and the kobolds can try visiting those wine shops.
Aleith|DM: Streetwise?
Zane` rolled d20+10 and got 10 ( Total: 20 ) for assisting
Gerald` rolled d20+19 and got 2 ( Total: 21.0 ) for garrett-desu
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+13 and got 14 ( Total: 27 ) for do I get to assist again?
Aleith|DM rolled 2#d20+7(1) and got 6 ( Total: 13.0 ) for Ernst, Gerald assisting
Also rolled 2#d20+7(2) and got 1 [Total: 8.0 (Min), Avg: 1.00]
Total: 21.0, Avg: 3.50
Aleith|DM: nope
Aleith|DM: no such luck today.
Aleith|DM: Autumn 11th
Aleith|DM: Time to look around the stores again today.
Phyllis takes a nice sit-down at an outdoor restaurant. [Seek Rumor] [Insightful Councilor]
Phyllis rolled 2#d20+23(1) and got 5 ( Total: 28.0 ) for roll twice take higher
Also rolled 2#d20+23(2) and got 12 [Total: 35.0 (High), Avg: 12.00]
Total: 63.0, Avg: 8.50
Garrett` cracks his knuckles.
Garrett` rolled 1d20+17 and got 5 ( Total: 22 )
Zane` rolled d20+10 and got 3 ( Total: 13 ) for assisting
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+13 and got 5 ( Total: 18 ) for I’m VERY persuasive!
Gerald‘ rolled d20+7 and got 9 ( Total: 16.0 ) for slow motion diving for the salad bowl as it falls towards the floor
Aleith|DM: Alright. So it turns out that Leone apparently never went into any of those shops, but you do notice a ’lodgers wanted' posted across the street from a wine shop called Glazier Charani.
Aleith|DM: Asking with the landlord, you find out that Leone was staying there from the 20th until he left on Spring 28th, saying he was "going to make an offering to Enzyo" , referring to the volcano.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis, you get a nudge that the Glazier Charani received a shipment from the Quital Vineyards on Spring 28th.
Gerald: "…All that effort for something we already knew? Uuugh."
Chandrasekhar: "Such is the way of it."
Phyllis: "We may be able to pinpoint where he went shortly, though?"
Zane: "Baby steps. This trail is beyond cold."
Phyllis: "Let's go ask about that shipment, at least?"
Aleith|DM: The owner of Glazier Charani didn't see Leone, but his description of the man driving the delivery wagon for the shipment, Pginni Quital, somewhat matches the vague description you have of the man Leone arrived at the Cathedral of Trigenes.
Phyllis: "So he probably visited home?"
Zane: "Family. How sweet."
Aleith|DM: Digging through your case files, you do already have the location of the Quital Vineyards from Morgan Cippiano a half year ago. It's a 3-day ride there by horse, or probably a couple of days with your carriage, navigating around any obstacles.
Phyllis: Horseless carriage? Horseless carriage.
Zane: SWAT WAGON (no sirens tho)
Aleith|DM: Autumn 14. The Quital Vineyard and its neighbors thread through rolling hills, often cultivating boutique fruit trees along the tops of ridges. The family homes are old, expensive, and ornate, and blessed by the Clergy. The roads between different estates are dotted with chapels.
Aleith|DM: You already know who to talk to, so this is more a matter of convincing people. [Diplomacy or Intimidate]
Zane: "If I go in there, I'm not gonna be nice."
Zane: "I kinda wanna go in there."
Chandrasekhar can turn on the charm when it's appropriate, even in a place like this, and it's not quite time to play their hand yet. [Diplomacy]
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+19 and got 18 ( Total: 37 )
Aleith|DM: Well, you certainly do charm them, despite being eladrin. That slight Beran accent probably helps. Between bits of gossip and a couple anecdotes about Leone (his magnetism magic can come in quite handy, it seems), It looks like he arrived around Spring 35 with his nephew, Piginni. Leone actually stayed at the next estate over, the Cejakreig Vineyard. A rider arrived on Spring 47 on a near-dead horse ( "the poor thing!" ) and the next morning he left to catch a train.
Aleith|DM: The nearest train station is about a day's ride from here.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: the next morning Leone left to catch a train, specifically
Zane: "And the nephew…?"
Aleith|DM: He's around. Apparently Leone got him to deliver a letter at a dead-drop at a public park near the rail station on Spring 44 while he was making a delivery in Vendricce.
Aleith|DM: Well, he doesn't call it a dead-drop, but you know when when you hear him describe it.
Phyllis: "And theeeeere's the train station. Leads are finally connecting."
Zane: "Probably a pawn, then. So do we investigate the other estate first?"
Aleith|DM: Some of that info was from the other estate already.
Chandrasekhar: "Pull on the threads long enough, and eventually it all starts to unravel."
[OOC] Zane: Oh then fuck it we train stationing
Aleith|DM: Alright. It takes you the rest of the day to get there.
Aleith|DM: Autumn 15th. You're at the nearest town along the Avery Coast line and can ask around about anyone seeing Leone. [Streetwise]
Zane‘ rolled d20+10 and got 7 ( Total: 17 ) for assisting
Gerald` rolled d20+17 and got 4 ( Total: 21.0 ) for hachi-more-than-fiveku
Aleith|DM: Chandrasekhar? Phyllis?
Chandrasekhar goes back to being the kind of person people can let their down around. [Assist]
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+13 and got 15 ( Total: 28 )
Aleith|DM: I think you mean [Roll] and not [Assist]…
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: er what? Streetwise??
Aleith|DM: nope I mean
Aleith|DM: You rolled higher than Garrett…
[OOC] Zane: that plus my assist hits a 30!
Aleith|DM: It sure does!
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: Oh shit okay then. :D
Aleith|DM: You locate a series of railroad workers at the nearest town along the Avery Coast line who can confirm Leone took a train headed west on Spring 49. A worker remembers him getting off in Nalaam.
Aleith|DM: The train workers gossip that there are over a dozen kobolds stowed away in the cargo section, but they don’t think it’s worth the effort to try to get rid of them.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: yes that’s your kobold spy helpers
[OOC] Zane: what are those fuckers even doing for us >:E LOWER OUR DC MORE YOU ASSHOLES
Aleith|DM: They're doing legwork!
Phyllis openly reads her book next to where they're stowed away. Just keep walkin', fellas.
Aleith|DM: Taking the train there?
[OOC] Phyllis: WHY NOT TELEPO - oh residuum is probably more expensive than a ticket
[OOC] Zane: To Nalaam? Hell yeah, we got friends there.
Aleith|DM: Since you have to wait until the next day to catch the train, you arrive there late the next day.
Aleith|DM: Autumn 17. It's a season earlier than when you were last in Nalaam, but it's still quite chilly. The first snows are falling, but the city's archmages have transmuted stones and placed them throughout the city to maintain warmth.
Chandrasekhar: "Wonder if they'll remember us."
Zane: "Not if we do it right."
Phyllis: "I'm with Zane on that one."
Aleith|DM: You start asking around with the rail workers here. People recognize you from articles in the paper (sourced from Ber) about your exploits, and remember hearing about what you did to help clean up the city's 'elite'. Streetwise checks get a +5 bonus.
Zane‘ autopass assists!
Aleith|DM: assists don’t get the bonus…
[OOC] Zane: *flips table*
Chandrasekhar is gracious, charming, a little bit dangerous.
Chandrasekhar rolled d20+18 and got 4 ( Total: 22 )
[OOC] Chandrasekhar: fuck
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Sugar hates everyone
Zane‘ rolled d20+10 and got 17 ( Total: 27 ) for assisting anyway
Aleith|DM: Garrett?
[OOC] Phyllis: DCed and hasn’t come back yet
Aleith|DM: Ah, yes.
Aleith|DM: Someone other than Ice want to roll for him? Base +17
Ernst rolled d20+17 and got 15 ( Total: 32.0 )
Aleith|DM: That'll do, especially with +5
Aleith|DM rolled d20+22 and got 12 ( Total: 34 ) for vs Will
Aleith|DM: However, while you're asking around, Phyllis suddenly freezes up.
Aleith|DM: Phyllis: Something tugs at your senses, and then you see it: the gleam of a gun barrel pointed straight at you from over a hundred feet away. A weighty sense of peril paralyzes you, and you can’t look away as you wait for the killing shot to come.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Stunned UEoNT
Phyllis: "Is this how…?"
Zane‘ will physically tackle Phyllis out of the way of that shot.
Gerald` pauses, scanning the crowd around them when Phyllis comes to an abrupt stop and gets that particular look on her face. "What are you seeing or feeling that I’m not - woah!"
Aleith|DM: Perception check!
Gerald‘ rolled d20+19 and got 3 ( Total: 22 )
Zane` rolled d20+12 and got 10 ( Total: 22 )
Aleith|DM: You can’t see the telltale gleam of a firearm around you.
Aleith|DM rolled d20+21 and got 8 ( Total: 29 ) for Garrett
Aleith|DM: Even that….
Gerald: "For real what's going on?"
Aleith|DM: However, you do notice a few people charging towards you, one of them tossing a black crystal orb at your feet! [Gloombang Grenade]
Zane‘ snatches the grenade and throws it back. [Gloves of Missile Avoidance]
Aleith|DM rolled 3#d20+18(1) and got 13 ( Total: 31.0 )
Also rolled 3#d20+18(2) and got 2 [Total: 20.0 (Low), Avg: 2.00]
Also rolled 3#d20+18(3) and got 14 [Total: 32.0 (High), Avg: 14.00]
Total: 83.0, Avg: 9.67
Aleith|DM: Two of them stumble and cry out! [Blinded, Deafened, Slowed (SE all)]
Aleith|DM: The sniper fires!
Aleith|DM rolled d20+17 and got 17 ( Total: 34 ) for +2 CA, -5 from superior cover (Zane)
Aleith|DM rolled 2d10+38 and got 4, 1 ( Total: 43.0 ) for 25 bonus damage from Distracting Peril
Aleith|DM: 43 damage!
Gerald: "?!" Gerald whirls around in the direction of the gunshot, quickly producing his own musket and attempts to zero in on the weilder of the other gun.
Aleith|DM: Once you’ve got the angle, you quickly spot the gleam of their rifle. Fire!
Phyllis cries out, though that seems to have shaken her out of it.
Gerald: "Got it, Garrett make sure the other assholes stay down!" Half a second to get a proper bead… then sends bullet flying back in return.
Garrett moves in on one of the spies that's down from their own grenade, quickly disabling them.
Zane‘ is not too proud to take out one of the ones crippled by the grenade, running forward and slapping his hands aside before wrapping him in a choke hold.
Phyllis can at least tend to her own wounds quickly enough, fire and fighting spirit returning to her eyes. [Dwarven Resilience? Healing Word? Some combination thereof in this abstracted combat]
Ernst drops down Stocke and his him fire a shot at the sniper to transpose places with them. Can’t let anyone get away.
Aleith|DM: Sure.
Aleith|DM: Between Gerald and Stocke, the sniper goes down after a couple shots.
Chandrasekhar tackles one of the spies bodily- his first concern being for Phyllis, but by the time he's aware of that situation, Zane's got it covered?
Aleith|DM: It's quick and messy, but you manage to take them all down.
Gerald: "Alright, for once I'm actually greatful for that stupid enchantment." Gerald levels his shotgun at the bloodied sniper as he reappears in their midst. "So hey Hi Ob or mercenaries?"
Aleith|DM: Intimidate check to interrogate?
Zane‘ rolled d20+17 and got 6 ( Total: 23 ) for maaaaybe
Ernst gives Gerald a stare.
[OOC] Zane: aw yeah
Gerald: "Answer quick or the Half-Orc’s gunna eat you." Gerald gestures back towards Zane with his head.
Aleith|DM: You've got them handily beat, so that work. [Moderate DC passed]
Phyllis makes sure not to seem fazed by the bullet she just took. Like … it never happened.
Zane: "I am so not gonna eat you. But I *will* cut you to pieces and feed you to the stray dogs in this city. I like dogs."
Aleith|DM: They're with the Ob, of course, and they were sent after you buy a voyeuristic satyr diviner named Krampus Snow, after he discovered your investigation here through his counter-surveillance rituals.
Gerald: "That's not creepy at all."
Phyllis: "… remind me to look into countermeasures."
Gerald: "Where'd Quintal go?"
Zane: "Took them longer than I thought, really."
Sniper: "Who?"
Gerald: "Pompous asshole, likes his wine, works for your organization."
Aleith|DM: They don't know him. They worked with the satyr.
Phyllis just … stares at Gerald. How does he not know how autonomous cells work?
Zane: "So then where's the satyr?"
Gerald‘ figures they probably helped get him set up with an information carepackage and assistant getting to his next location given how much nothing he rolled through with! :|
Sniper: "A tower, half a mile from here." He points in the direction and gives you the address.
Zane: "Thanks!" And he chokes the man unconscious.
Gerald` writes ’reconsider your life choices' on a slip of paper, tucks it into the mans shirt, then turns to the others.
Gerald: "Taking care of this guy that can track us first, then…?"
Phyllis: "You read my mind exactly, Gerald."
Phyllis: "That was eerie."
Zane: "I'm willing to strangle people higher up the food chain, sure."
Gerald: "Hee."
Aleith|DM: Alright. It doesn't take you more than several minutes to get there. How do you want to do this?
Phyllis: "Feel like getting the jump on this guy in revenge? Wizard's eye for a wizard's eye?"
Zane: "I'm assuming he's seen us coming, all things considered."
Gerald: "If you got a good way too. I was thinking we'd probably just do a frontal breech since trying to out stealth a diviner is hard, but you know a lot more about wizarding than I do."
Phyllis: "Fair. Frontal breach with some arcane assistance, at least." She means the [Arcane Gate].
Gerald: "That DOES make the kicking the door down part a lot easier, yeah."
Gerald‘ psyches himself up into one man army mode before barreling on in once everyone’s ready, preparing to mow down anything even remotely in shotgun range.
The satyr is startled when you appear in his atelier out of a tear in space. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what's this now?!" His hands are in the air, wand still on the desk.
Gerald: "Well it turns out we're a hell of a lot harder to kill than you people keep guessing…!"
Aleith|DM: Nothing like a shotgun waving around in his face.
[OOC] Aleith|DM: nothing quite like
Phyllis just retrieves that wand with her [Mage Hand]. "You hired some goons to get us. Why?"
Krampus: "Oh gods! Well, you're spies! What else do I do but send counter-spies to ambush you?"
Zane: "Now we're getting somewhere. Who are we spies for and who told you were were coming?"
Phyllis: "Send better counter-spies, I guess."
Phyllis: "But now you're in this situation. So spill."
Well, he relaxes slightly at the chance to show off. "Risuri Constables, of course. I was just performing general counter-surveillance here in Nalaam. You popped up on my rituals today!"
Krampus: "Apparently. Hasn't been a problem until they ran into you."
Zane: "Counter-surveilance on whose orders?"
Aleith|DM: He looks a bit nervous. "The…Obscurati…"
Gerald: "Well yeah that much was obvious."
Chandrasekhar looks shocked.
Phyllis: "Heh. Terrible surveillance. We MADE this city what it is these days." She flashes a grin.
Zane: "Even more progress. You may just survive this yet. Give me a name."
Krampus: "Alright, alright. I report to a man named Bert Facie."
Phyllis: "If you couldn't piece that together…"
Zane: "And for the final stretch… Where can we find Mister Facie?"
Krampus: "He's not in Nalaam. He's probably Danoran, by the accent, but if I meet him personally, he comes here."
Phyllis: "How can that be arranged?"
Gerald: "…Hey if he runs all the surveilance stuff here he could probably tell us whre Quintal is right? Or at least where he was going."
Krampus: "It's not anytime soon. He arranges the meetings with me."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: It's Quital
[OOC] Gerald: damn my risurian accent :(
Krampus: "Quital? He came through here almost half a year ago. He's operating somewhere in Drakr these days."
Zane: "Think you could find him for us real quick?"
Phyllis tries to look shocked.
Krampus: "Not without the code on his ring. I can't get past the protections on it."
Zane: "Damn. And you were doing so good, too."
Phyllis: "What if we had a description of his surroundings? Moving, as they might be."
Krampus: "Well, indirect questions can work, like asking who Leone met while he was here, but trying to directly divine him runs into problems."
Zane: "More information always helps. Who else did he meet here?"
Phyllis: "Yes, yes, feel around the Leone-shaped shadow."
Krampus: "Me and a couple of the merchants here. They supplied him with some funds."
Phyllis: "What cities does his train car stop at?"
Krampus: "I couldn't tell you."
Phyllis: "What should we do with you, now that you're compromised?"
Krampus: "He also took some of the other agents here with him. Err……."
Krampus: "You probably wouldn't believe me if I said I wouldn't breath a word about this to anyone, would you…?"
Zane: "I dunno, are you lying?"
Gerald: "With as fast as you rolled over as soon as a weapon was aimed in your direction just now…?"
Gerald: "We could probably send him home and pump him for info. Then no one would have to die, which is a win on all sides really."
Gerald: "They're pretty nice when you come in willingly."
Phyllis: "Sending and a portal?"
Gerald: "That'd be my suggestion anyway." Gerald nods to Phyllis.
Phyllis: "I aaaalmost considered a Mark of Justice to kill that peeping tom habit of yours."
Phyllis: "Consider this a mercy."
Zane: "See now you all are going on like that, and I was about to feed him a pouch of ungol dust."
Phyllis: Either way. A Sending to Delft - "Hobner dead, replaced by double. Incoming prisoner. Sending through portal shortly. Have officers ready to receive."
Zane: "Fine, I guess this one can live."
Gerald: "He seems like he could be pretty useful on our side! It's all about that asset flip, right?"
Zane: "We'll see, I suppose."
Aleith|DM: Alright. Delft sends you an affirmative, lamenting Hobner's loss. He'll alert the Battallion Academy
Aleith|DM: When you do actually finish your asking around at the rail enclave, the rail workers in Nalaam vaguely remember Leone meeting up with a group of diverse foreigners on Spring 49, then leaving the following day headed for Trekhom.
Aleith|DM: This time the kobolds buy a ticket, because Drakrans take their trains more seriously.
Aleith|DM: You arrive there after another day.
Aleith|DM: Next session continues on Autumn 19th.

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