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Old 04-15-2012, 03:21 PM
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Arrow Inquisitives - Turn 10

Wireburn, Quinn, Anselm, Durion, Han, Raena, Altus

“Mr Han,” Raena growled, “Omitting information is just as bad as lying outright. I do not believe Master Durion made any threats. He asked you why we shouldn’t turn you over to the watch. You provoked that response by omitting information. And you are the one that threatened to implicate me. ‘Go ahead. I’d then have to ‘confess’ it was all at her behest, no?’” She clenched the teapot threateningly.

“How. Dare. You. You made the threat. I will not tolerate you trying to throw blame on anyone else. You must take responsibility for your own actions!“ Raena stepped forward to swing the makeshift weapon at the changeling’s head, but Altus caught her arm mid-swing.

“No,” was all he said. She struggled against his grip, but his massive arm didn’t even budge. She let out a sigh and stopped resisting. He released his hold and she turned away from everyone.

“Get out,” she said quietly without turning. “Everyone, please. Just go. I need time to process all of this. Return tomorrow at eleven bells, if you will. And Mr Han, if you do not return, I shall consider our association at an end and I shall not endeavour to contact you. If you do return, we shall discuss how we are to proceed, as I will not tolerate threats nor refusal to accept responsibility for one’s own actions. And so help me, if you compare me to your mother one more time, I shall make certain nobody ever finds your body... Now please leave.”

“Fine.” Han said as he collected his things. And shaking his head as he left, he muttered to himself, “Not sure why she thought that was an insult, I liked my mother.” And he took his leave.

Hawksley watched him go, calling out to him as he reached the door:

“Just so you know, Mr. Han: your nap was my doing, mine and mine alone. Ms. Mordaine had nothing to do with it. If you care to discuss the matter at length, I’m sure we can arrange a mutually convenient time for such conversations.”

“Sure.” Han said over his shoulder. “Just leave word at the Broken Anvil.”

He turned to Raena, looking at her for a moment.

“We will also take our leave now, Ms. Mordaine. Take care, be watchful and rest well. We shall see you on the morrow.”

With that, he looked to Wireburn, inclining his head towards the door.

Anselm had not said a word yet and didn’t see the point of doing so at this time. He tipped an imaginary hat at the group and followed the inquisitives out.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:22 PM
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Default Anselm, Wireburn, and Quinn

It was nearly eight bells by the time Anselm, Wireburn, and Quinn arrived at Tavick’s Landing. The young Cannith artificer had a number of friends and relatives that operated various businesses in the area. A few of his best suppliers and buyers could also be found in the trade district.

Rogan Cignac was a favoured buyer that operated a speciality equipment business. He offered various common goods to explorers and adventurers, as well as a range of less than common goods that he acquired from various artificers and magewrights throughout the city. Many of the minor magic items he provided to his clients were commissioned pieces bought in bulk; various scrolls, potions, and ‘disposable’ one-time use bits were fast movers. A few of the more exotic pieces were collected or purchased from his best suppliers. Anselm was one of those he chose to commission special items from.

“I am more than happy to take a few of these things off your hands, Mr d’Cannith,” the jolly merchant said as he pumped Anselm’s hand in greeting. “You have never let me down with your creations, and I’m always happy to do business with you for other items.”

The merchant looked over the collection of merchandise that the trio presented with a careful eye. He made the occasional nod when he examined the maker’s marks, and rubbed his multiple chins a few times as he calculated the values...

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:24 PM
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Default Anselm

Anselm bid the inquisitives a good evening and headed for home. He’d made some money, which helped him deal with the indignity of having his lab broken into again. He made a mental note to get the front door and lock reinforced. Maybe he should start using magic on the entry. He made enough this evening to afford the components and materials he needed...

Overall, it was an interesting day. He’d gotten a chance to know Hawksley and Wireburn a bit better, and made several new acquaintances. Raena seemed to be caught up in much more than she bargained for and the young artificer felt bad for her. From what he knew of the dwarf, Antos Keldoran was a good man. It seemed a bit unfair that his niece should have to deal not only with his death, but with all the strangers arriving and everything else going on today.

He arrived at his flat at nearly midnight. A note bearing the House Sivis Messengers Guild seal was slid under his door. It was from Mardu.
Mr Anselm d’Cannith,

Lady AuJeunotte wanted me to pass along a warning of danger coming from the direction of the Citadel. We don’t have any more information other than that. I hope this warning does not come too late. I have sent word to Mr Quinn and Sir Wireburn as well.

Be safe,

Mardu Tharashk
Unfortunately, it was a little too late for that warning. He wondered how long ago this note had arrived. Would it have made any difference if he’d stopped at home before going to the lab with the inquisitives?

He let out a yawn and promised himself he’d think more on it later. After a good night’s sleep...

There was a knock at his door.

“Anselm? It’s Jora. Are you there?” Jora d’Cannith was a second cousin, a skilled glass crafter, and a good friend. “Open up. We need to talk.”

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Durion

The House Orien courier stood in the rain with his hand outstretched as Durion absently closed the door in his face. The elf was too absorbed in the plainly wrapped parcel to take notice of pleasantries or gratuities. Who would be sending him a package? And who would know to find him here, at Morgrave University? At ten past midnight. Very curious.

He placed the brown paper-wrapped and string-tied box on the small table and examined it closely. A Detect Magic spell only indicated there was nothing magical on or within the parcel. The paper was store-bought, easily acquired in any general goods or packaging seller, though it was apparent from the clean edges and slightly better than average quality that it came from a House Orien Courier station. It was probably wrapped in the station, which meant that someone observed the anonymous sender. He made a mental note to follow up on that later. The string was a little less ordinary, being of good quality and dyed red; it did not run from the rain drops spattered across it. The know was an elaborate affair culminating in a left-over-right double bow. Clearly, whoever wrapped this was left-handed. And apparently had too much time on their hands.

The parcel made no noise in and of itself, though something did seem to shift within when tilted from side to side. It was light, no more than a few ounces, give or take. There was no writing on it at all, and the only indication that it was meant for him was the word of the Orien delivery clerk. He had a clipboard that had papers where Durion scrawled an acknowledgement of receipt. Curiouser and curiouser.

Durion drew a dagger and cut the string, careful to keep the elaborate knotwork intact. He set aside the knot and unwrapped the plain brown paper. There was no glue, nor were any adhesives used to hold the paper in place. Very simple wrapping done very carefully.

The box itself was a small cardboard file box used by the Brelish Army clerks, measuring six by six by twelve inches. He had seen some of the enlisted men in their mobile offices using these to sort orders and requisitions and whatnot. This particular box had been places; it smelled of leather and smoke and blood, and there were scrapes on the bottom from being moved repeatedly over a gritty surface. The edges were only slightly worn, and there were no signs of triggers or the like to indicate it was boobytrapped.

Ever so carefully, he slipped the lid off with the tip of his sword, prepared to duck in case there was an unseen trap of some kind set to go off when opened. He let out his breath when nothing happened. The elf sheathed his weapon and composed himself, self-consciously straightening his uniform before inspecting the contents of the file box.

A pair or worn and tattered gloves were wrapped in tissue paper, and there was a piece of folded paper that appeared to have some writing on it. Everything was stacked neatly atop some old broadsheet clippings and a single insignia patch of the 2nd Army, 3rd Dragoon Magic Reconnaissance Battalion, Company A, "The Black Blades", Durion’s old unit. The elf removed the gloves and inspected them. They were the source of the smells. They were also his, lost during the last battle in which he participated...

The newspaper clippings were ancient, reports of movements and victories of the Brelish Army during the War. They were a couple of decades old. One of the headlines caught his eye; Black Blades Defeat Karrns At Greyfort. Durion smiled despite himself.

There was a handwritten note on the folded piece of paper which read:
Master Beriadon Durion, the Dark Defender of Men,

You are cordially invited to join your fellow officers at:

The Brelish Cavalry and Guards Club
No. 17 Rowntree Tower
Dragon Towers District
Sharn

Please report to the Quartermaster for the rest of your belongings.

You have been sorely missed.

-M
Most curious indeed. ‘M’ again. Twice in less than a full day. Who is this mysterious person? Durion folded the note and placed it back in the box. He held on to the gloves for a moment longer before putting them in the box as well. Whiskey. He needed whiskey...

He would get his whiskey once he had his dress uniform pressed. There was no time on the note. Just the invitation. There would be whiskey at the club. Whiskey and this mysterious “M” character.

He licked his lips nervously and looked around. Nothing had moved.

He took out his dress uniform and laid it out on the bed... well, he corrected himself... pallet, and proceeded to press it and dress it with his minor magics. He quickly donned it and tucked the contents of the box in his standard issue duty pouch. He had a new pair of white leather gloves tucked in his Class A’s and they looked just fine, though not as worn. He replaced them with his old, stained and worn gloves, for they truly were his, he knew without knowing.

His old overcoat and cap would keep the interior dry until he got to the “Brelish Cavalry and Guards Club.”

Perhaps he might find some answers there.

***

The facade of No. 17 Rowntree Tower was quite impressive. Fluted marble columns rose two stories to support an elaborate entablature and pediment. It was classical and formal, without being too pretentious. Stately oak doors painted black and chased in brass opened onto a dimly lit marbled entry hall. The Reception Office was to the left, the Cashier’s Office to the right, and a grand stair wrapped around the hall to the level above. Other doors led off the main hall, no doubt leading to the bar, dining hall, library, and various other recreational rooms.

“May I help you, sir?” asked the middle-aged human at the Reception desk. He wore a black suit, but had his rank and insignia on an armband on his left sleeve. The sleeve hung limp, empty and pinned up. He was a Lieutenant, 2nd Army, 1st Infantry, Company C. He saluted and pushed forward a ledger for Durion to sign in. Apparently, there was no doubt in the man’s mind that the elf belonged here...

“The dining room is closed, sir,” he told the Master, “But you can order food at the canteen. Sergeant Benson is at the taps, this evening.” And with a nod, he returned to the book he was reading.

Durion strode through the main hall and was surprised to see the massive crystal chandelier that was out of sight up until now. It lit up the portraits of various prominent military figures, trophies, and plaques that adorned the walls. The elf wandered into the canteen to his right and was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly classy looking establishment. Deep stained cherrywood wall panels set the backdrop for several black marble tables surrounded by wide-backed leather-cushioned chairs. Polished brass shone brightly in the comfortably dim lighting. A haze of rich tobacco smoke drifted above a few of the patrons, who looked up to see the newcomer. Durion was greeted by the squints and stares of a half dozen grizzled warriors who were young at the beginning of the century. Possibly. Each wore a uniform from a different decade, though none were the current issue.

“What can I get for you, sir?” Sergeant Benson said from behind the immaculately polished bar. He was at least half the age of the youngest officer in the canteen, but his short-cropped hair was salt and pepper, and he face was deeply lined.

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:27 PM
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Default Interlude - The Arrival

The Aesalon wove its way through the towers of Sharn with alarming speed. The elemental airship was small compared to other Lyrandar craft, but significantly larger than the sky coaches and taxis that flitted between the reaching fingers of the massive city. The air elemental that kept the vessel aloft seemed to lazily whirl through the binding struts, working at only a fraction of its true potential as it relied on the manifest zone of Syrania to lift the craft.

The ship’s captain was at the wheel, personally guiding her precious ship through the maze of massive structures as carefully as any sea captain would navigate a treacherous ocean reef. She called out orders to her crew and they responded with the efficiency of a well oiled machine. Each member of the small crew was loyal and hardworking, which made the captain smile despite the narrow course she was navigating.

“Garis! Tell our esteemed passengers that we’ll be arriving shortly,” the captain called out to her first mate as she banked the ship hard to port to avoid an unsuspecting sky coach rounding a tower to their immediate right.

“Aye, ma’am” he grinned as he watched the sky coach passengers gape at the sight of an airship swooping so closely past. He ducked below to carry out his assigned task.

“Captain says we’re coming up to Morgrave,” he said cheerfully after knocking on the passenger’s cabin door. “We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip aboard our humble vessel!”

The door swung open as the Aesalon banked to starboard this time. The woman’s face was almost ashen as she tried to form a coherent reply while clutching to the door frame.

“No thanks are necessary, I assure you,” Garis said happily. “I’ll let the captain know you’ll be ready to disembark as soon as we arrive.” The woman could only nod agreement as she stumbled back into the room with another abrupt change of the ship’s course.

“I’ve informed them, Cap’n,” Garis reported as he returned to the bridge. “I daresay they haven’t enjoyed this last part of the trip. The woman looked quite green around the gills.”

“She’ll live. We were paid to get them here quickly.”

“Indeed.”

The Aesalon arrived at Morgrave University just after midnight. The airship pulled up to sky coach platform at the Commons without preamble or fanfare; a few onlookers stared at the sight of a full-fledged airship waiting in the queue of sky coaches to deposit its passengers.

“Professor, it’s been a pleasure,” the captain said as she held out her hand.

The woman peered down her elegant nose at the proffered hand but declined to take it. She was a beautiful woman, but the expression she wore was less than pleasant.

“Charmed, I’m sure,” the lady said dryly as her companion shook the captain’s hand.

“Oh, no. No charms or enchantments, I assure you,” the female captain replied glibly as she exchanged a firm handshake with the good looking man accompanying the scholar. “I prefer to do things the old fashioned way; with a club to the back of the head.” She winked conspiratorially to the handsome fellow, who tried his best not to smile.

“Ms d’Lyrandar,” the professor said, holding out a small leather purse to the half-elf woman. “Here is the rest of our agreed upon fare, concluding our business arrangement.”

“Thank you,” the half-elf smiled warmly as she pocketed the purse, trusting that the correct amount was within. “Should you need our services again, you can call for us at Lyrandar Tower.”

“Kes, they’re starting to back up behind us!” Garis called from the bridge. The captain glanced aftward to see about a half dozen smaller craft waiting for the airship to move away from the platform.

“Right, on that note, we’ll be off. Mind the gap!” Kes said as she ushered the pair off the gangplank. “Garis, Z-drop, twenty metres! Bring us about to the north of the tower! Let’s move!”

The professor pinched the bridge of her nose as she watched the Aesalon literally drop from view. Her companion shouldered his bag and collected their large trunk.

“Well, we made it here in one piece,” he said hopefully. “Let it go, Reyell. How was she to know?”

“I hate, simply hate flying, Eric,” Reyell said emphatically. “And I am convinced that Kestrel d’Lyrandar is well aware of that fact. No sane captain would dare take an airship through Sharn like that. Now let’s get to our room and get some sleep. I want to be rested for when we see Hawksley tomorrow.” Reyell Alleyne Quinn turned from the platform and strode to the entrance of Morgrave University as if she owned the place.

“Righty-ho then,” Eric Alexander Montford sighed and followed the retreating figure across the Commons. “I just hope the boy is ready for you, dear-heart...”

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:28 PM
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Default Wireburn and Quinn

The Olde Cobbler was quiet by the time Wireburn and Quinn arrived, which was well past one in the morning. The day had been quite busy and full, and Hawksley was ready for a good night’s rest. Wireburn was unburdened by the need for physical rest as such, but he respected his friend’s need for sleep. They were both ready to settle in and enjoy some peace and quiet for a few hours.

“Mr Quinn?” a familiar voice called softly from the shadows of the common room, surprising them both. A woman stepped forward and lowered the hood of her cloak. Ymaine smiled shyly from behind her glasses.

“You left word that you could be found here. I hope I’m not intruding, but I thought you should know that a Professor Quinn from Korranberg University arrived at Morgrave a little while ago. I overheard her mentioning your name to Larrian ir’Morgrave when she met with him. I believe she is looking for you... And this note arrived for you from someone named ‘Mardu’. I thought it might be important.”

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:29 PM
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Default Raena and Altus

Raena had intended to return to to her rooms at Sovereign Tower hours ago. Instead, she stayed at her uncle’s office reading through his notes on the missing children case. The incident with Rhysson and Aujeunotte was fresh in her mind, and she wanted to read up on the whole case. Altus had fallen asleep on the couch, and she was determined to let the man rest.

She had just about finished the file when she heard an odd scratching noise coming from the front door. She looked up at the window set in the door, but there didn’t seem to be anyone there. Dismissing it as her imagination, she went back to her paperwork.

She heard the scratching noise again...

She sighed and approached the door with more than a little apprehension. Raena drew her longsword and hefted it as she reached for the handle.

Lying on the steps of the office was an enormous black wolf with several arrows sticking out of its side. The priestess tentatively reached a toe out to nudge it, and a yellow eye flicked open to look at her, making her start. A soft whine came from its throat, which tore at the cleric’s heart.

Raena stepped back and called for Altus, but the paladin was in a deep sleep and did not stir. Some protector, she thought to herself. She glanced back out onto the walkway and bridge, but didn’t see anyone around. She had no idea what time it was, but it looked like this part of the city was as sound asleep as Altus.

“Well, what am I supposed to do with you?” she said to the shaggy beast. It looked up at her and whined again, trying to rise up on its front legs. Raena brought the tip of her sword around reflexively, intending to defend herself if she must. She’d never been this close to a wolf before, and she had no idea what it was capable of.

The animal stopped its movement and looked at the tip of the sword. It let out a soft whimper and lay back down, still watching Raena’s movements. It whined again, but this time it sounded almost pleading.

“Oh, for Host’s sake, you want me to help you?” she sighed. With one more look around the walkway and bridge, she knelt down to see to the suffering creature. “I certainly seem to be attracting all kinds of interesting visitors today. Let me see what I can do to help you, my furry friend...”

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Old 04-15-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default Han

Maybe it was because he’d had a run in with them earlier, but Han was seeing an awful lot of Watchmen around this evening. Maybe it was coincidence. Maybe he was hyper-vigilant, reacting to the sight of the Watch. Or maybe they were out in greater numbers tonight. One of their own had been killed earlier today, and that seemed to stir the wasp’s nest a good deal.

He’d made it down to the lower levels of the city while changing his appearance a couple of times, just in case. But it seemed the angry wasps were down here as well. He passed no less that three patrols in less than a half hour in an area that normally saw, at best, one patrol a night. Not a good night to be conspicuous.

Han ducked down a narrow passage that led to a rickety old wooden bridge reaching across to the next tower. He was still a half dozen stories above ‘the bottom’, the actual foundations and ground level of Sharn. That’s when he caught sight of the strangest Watch patrol he’d ever encountered.

This was no ordinary Watch patrol. They were all lightly armoured, brandishing crossbows. There were eight of them, moving like a military unit behind enemy lines. Two scouts wearing odd goggles and masks moved forward of the rest in turns, as the others in the team scanned all around them, up, down and all around.

One of the scouts looked right at Han and stopped. He was at least thirty yards away, but it was obvious to Han that the scout could tell he was a changeling. It was those damn goggles. The scout signalled the others, and they began making their way across the wooden bridge towards him.

So much for getting home and having a quiet night in...

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