Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 06
While the previous session, and the one before that, were both mostly about combat, it was a nice change of pace that in this session we didn't have any combat, and only did advance the story further through role-playing. The session started with news from the police officers who had cleaned up the scene of the previous fight against the dragonborn arsonists Eberardo and Valando and had found the backpack of one of them containing some documents. The documents were about the Danoran consulate security chief Julian LeBrix, showing at what time of the day he would be where, and strongly suggesting a planned hit on LeBrix. The constables didn't want to talk to LeBrix in the consulate and decided to rather later go where the day planner said LeBrix would take his lunch.
So instead they headed out to Goodson's Estuarial Reformatory, a fleet of prison ships run by the wealthy industrialist Guy Goodson in order to raise his social standing as a philanthropist. Earlier in the adventure the constables had found the criminal file of the dead girl, Nilasa, and discovered that she had been arrested in the presence of two criminals, Ford Sorghum and Travis Starter. As their boss had told them to look into Nilasa's connection to the criminal underworld and how illegal weapons and supplies were coming to Gale, the eco-terrorist, that seemed like a good place to start. Eldion even thought of bringing the necessary paperwork in case they wanted to free the prisoners in exchange for information.
Once they knew that Nilasa was dead, the prisoners were only too eager to offer detailed information about her plans in exchange for being released. They hinted that something was going down tomorrow, so time was of the essence. The constables agreed, but separated the two in order to verify that they got the same story twice. The two thieves told them the same story, that Nilasa had not worked with them for two years, but had been meeting them as friends just before the police picked them all up, and had been bragging about a big smuggling deal worth tens of thousands of gold pieces that she was organizing. A ship from Crisillyir would come the next day, two hours after sunset, with a load of stolen magical wands. They would be met by smugglers from the new criminal organization in Flint, The Family. Nilasa's contact to The Family was somebody in Pine Island called "The House Elf", who would get her on the boat with the Family smugglers on their dock somewhere in Pine Island. The two thieves did however not know the exact location of the Family wharf. The constables transported the two thieves to the RHC headquarters and told them they would be liberated if their information was found to be correct the next day.
Next they used their contacts to get more information about The Family. Eldion knew a priest from Crisillyir in Stray River, a quarter where many immigrants from that country lived. While the priest spoke highly of The Family and the "Godfather" Morgan Cippiano, it was pretty clear that the Family is a sort of Mafia-like organization (The campaign setting gives the people from the Crisillyir theocracy an Italian accent and mannerisms). Then the adventure went somewhat off-script when Aria the Spirit Medium decided that the best way to get information from The Family was to find a dead Family member and talk to him. So the first rule of Dungeon Mastering kicked in, which says: "Never say no!", and I let him make a roll whether he could find a dead mafiosi. Having rolled a natural 20 I allowed him to find a recently backstabbed man from Crisillyir; Aria cast the Speak with Dead ritual and asked for the address of the Family Wharf, and as the dead man knew that information and had no reason to hide it beyond death, he told her.
At noon the group went to the restaurant in North Shore where the documents they had found said Julian LeBrix was taking his lunch. He was surprised to see them, and even more surprised when they showed him the documents that suggested that there was a hit planned on him. Nevertheless he wasn't willing to hand out Danoran state secrets on the suggestion of Eldion that it was his knowledge of those secrets that endangered his life. But he did promise the constables some special enchanted bullets to take down Eberardo and Valando with.
All day long the constables had visited various quarters of Flint that were situated around the Flint Bay. To do so they had opted for the fastest mode of transport, an RHC steam cutter that they were able to requisition based on their prestige rating with Risur. Now they returned to the RHC HQ to tell their boss about the upcoming smuggling operation, and Aria requested a fully crewed warship to catch the smugglers. It turned out that this was more than their prestige rating allowed, and they were told to make do with the steam cutter. Their boss, Stover Delft, helpfully suggested that they might want to avoid attacking the smugglers during the handover, because there they would have two groups of smugglers to fight.
There remained another clue to the smuggling operation unexplored, the information that Nilasa's contact was somebody called "The House Elf". No, not the one from Harry Potter. But the fairy tales from Risur told of friendly spirits called house elfs helping with daily chores as long as the inhabitants of the house stuck to certain rules. So "House Elf" was more of a standing expression and didn't necessarily mean the person was an elf. Artus, the only one in the group with a decent Streetwise skill set out alone to Pine Island to discreetly ask around. He found that "The House Elf" was the stage name of a gnomish illusionist, real name Blander Waryeye. As he was already there, he also inquired whether that gnome had any connection to alchemical supplies and potions. To his surprise he was told that Blander had a wife, Danica Waryeye, who had a potion shop next door to her husband. That nicely explained the invoice marked "D.W." that they had found on Nilasa's body for potions and stuff.
On his return to the RHC HQ, the constables now set out to make a plan how to capture the smugglers and their contraband. They didn't want to visit Blander and Danica Waryeye before the smuggling operation (we'll see how that works out for them). So they think it is best to let the Family smuggler depart from their wharf, and capture that wharf during the handover. On the return of the ship they can then ambush the smugglers and capture the smuggled wands. But as it was getting late, we postponed that ambush to the next session.