Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 01

In the previous session the group reached the end of the first adventure of the Zeitgeist campaign, and level 2. In this session we started the second adventure, The Dying Skyseer. It is now 3 months later, and the constables have been occupied in Flint with a local affair: Hana "Gale" Soliogn, an eladrin woman with a history of being held captive as a trophy by a family of Danorans, has since her arrival in Flint turned her hatred against Danor into a hatred of all things industrial. A number of sabotages and murders have been attributed to her, and she is being wanted as a terrorist. Capture has been made difficult by the fact that Gale can fly, a magical ability that had been considered impossible by the rest of the world.

The adventure starts with the constables at the RHC headquarters doing paperwork, including filing newspaper articles on Gale, as they haven't got much more than that to go on. But then their boss, Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft arrives with news of a lead: A young woman has been killed at the Danoran consulate, jumping out of fourth floor window and being impaled by the fence around the compound. The interesting bit is that the fence is too far from the window to have been reached by a normal jump, and the woman deciding to flee through the window suggests she believed she could fly. That could be a connection to Gale!

The Danoran consulate is in North Shore, an hour travel by coach away from the RHC HQ. As it also took an hour for the report to reach the RHC due to lack of magical communication, the constables arrive at the scene two hours after the fall. A group of regular police has cordoned off the area, but the woman has been removed from the fence and moved inside the consulate. As the crowd of gawkers is already much thinned, the constables decide to first question witnesses outside. Then they meet the Danoran chief of security Julian LeBrix, who tells them that it was him who killed the woman. The woman, known to him as Nilasa Hume, was the girlfriend of one of the guards of the consulate. She had brought chocolates as breakfast to the staff of the consulate that morning, and had snuck upstairs while the staff was thus distracted. Julian LeBrix says he followed Nilasa and found her stealing golden forks and spoons and a valuable jeweled egg upstairs. He chased her, and fired his pistol into her leg. But she climbed on the window-sill and so he shot her again in the shoulder while she was jumping through the window.

By examining the body, the consulate, and talking to witnesses the constables could put together a somewhat different sequence of events. Speak with Dead resulted in Nilasa stating that she was killed by "a shadow", and a black figure had been seen by witnesses outside. That shadow had slashed Nilasa's face and also caused some necrotic damage to her head, but somebody had gone to some lengths to conceal that by healing the face wound magically postmortem. It also appears that Nilasa first flew out of the window and onto the fence and was shot afterwards.

A part of the story that the security chief had left out was that Nilasa had chatted at the reception area of the consulate with a foreign doctor, Dr. Wolfgang von Recklinghausen, who was in the consulate to get a visa for travel to Ber. When Nilasa later fell onto the fence, the doctor rushed to help. Apparently Nilasa said her dying words to him, gave him a bundle of papers, and then he also took her necklace and ran away. A coach driver reported picking Dr. von Recklinghausen up and driving him to the House of the Blue Birds hotel, where the doctor disappeared through the back door while the coach driver was waiting for him to come back. The constables were able to get the file the Danoran consulate had with the doctor's visa application.

Another possible lead was information about Nilasa from her boyfriend, who knew that she liked to hang out in the Thinking Man's Tavern and had friends there. He also knew that she was working at the Sechim's Alkahest and Alchemicals factory, and that she was sleeping there. He asked the constables to inform her boss and her friends of Nilasa's death. Nilasa apparently had other connections to alchemists, as a receipt for alchemical items for a large amount of money was found in her pocket, together with a bail certificate showing that she had been picked up in a raid against smugglers and released on bail, paid by Heward Sechim. Nilasa apparently had used an invisibility potion in the consulate, and the door of the consul's office showed marks of thieves tools. But the security chief wouldn't let the constables enter that office.

After taking Nilasa's body to the coroner's carriage, the group left the consulate and went to the House of the Blue Birds to look for the missing doctor. Curiously the hotel manager told them that another policeman with a thin mustache, calling himself Officer Roger Porter, had already been there and searched the doctor's room. As the doctor was nowhere to be seen and a search of his room didn't reveal any additional clues, the group decided to go to Sechim's factory next. At that point we ended the session. 


Sounds like a job for Hercule Poirot!
Actually finding out who killed Nilasa is not even really the main purpose here. (So I think the spirit medium should have asked a different question to Nilasa.) It is more that investigating Nilasa and her link to the fey terrorist Gale is likely to lead to some interesting discoveries and encounters.
I have the feeling something is missing:
On first glance it sounds like suicide, plus the local police is already investigating. So why would they want the players/other department to be involved?
Even assuming a suspicious death, I guess that still falls under the "local police" or a "homicide department", maybe even "foreign ministry"?
The Danorans didn't let the regular police enter the consulate. The Royal Homeland Constabulary, especially the group that worked with Danor to return Axis Island to them, was allowed in. Ultimately the RHC doesn't care how Nilasa died, they are just interested in the possible connection with the fey terrorist Gale. In this world nobody is known to be able to fly except Gale, so even somebody magically gliding onto the fence 40 feet away from a window is suspect of having a connection to Gale. Plus Gale hates industry and the Danorans, so the consulate would be a possible target of hers.
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