Tobold's Blog
Sunday, November 06, 2016
 
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 13

In the previous session the constables of the Royal Homeland Constabulary saved the dying skyseer from an attack on Dawn Square, so that he could proclaim his vision of the threat coming from Cauldron Hill. That raised their prestige with the city of Flint, but didn't bring them much forward with their investigation on who was behind the various crimes they had uncovered. So this session was very much about investigation.

In computer games people frequently discuss about the merits of sandbox games versus games in which you follow a story. In Dungeons & Dragons you can have both. So this session was very much sandbox mode, with me just reacting to the various ideas of the players based on my background knowledge of the city and the villains.

Having been somewhat damaged in the Dawn Square battle, the group recovered over night and really started the investigation the next morning with their usual 8 am status meeting with their boss. Their boss commended them for having saved the skyseer, but was a bit puzzled about what exactly was going on. Initially this had been a hunt for the eco-terrorist Gale, but even Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft could see that these reanimated jaguar monsters weren't something Gale would use, and that Nevard the skyseer was a friend rather than an enemy to Gale.

Remember the start of the adventure, where the group investigated the death of a young girl that had died flying out of a window of the Danoran consulate and landing on the spiked fence? Over the course of the adventure the group had found out that the girl, Nilasa, with her dying breath had entrusted a bunch of documents to a foreign doctor who had come to her aid. The group had saved that doctor and received the documents from him. Now another constable (NPC) had analyzed them, and found that they were financial documents showing that the factories that had been damaged by arson had subsequently been bought up by henchmen of Lorcan Kell, a gangster boss. But the money had come from elsewhere. So the constables went to the bank, succeeded a diplomacy check and managed to find out that the money originally had come from Mayor Reed Macbannin. That was their second clue implicating the mayor of the Nettles quarter.

Next the constables searched Parity Lake to see whether only those factories had witchoil in them. But they found that witchoil flasks were hidden in many places where people died, not just in factories with their high rate of industrial accidents, but also in hospitals. So they lay in wait at one hospital where the witchoil flask appeared to be full of captured souls from the dying, to find out who would get the flask. After some hours, in the evening, a gangster from Lorcan Kell's crew appeared and took the full flask, exchanging it for a fresh one. They followed the man to the lake, where in a warehouse he put all the flasks that he had collected in a runed crate and loaded that crate onto a barge. The group followed the barge, and found that under the sixth bridge the crate suddenly disappeared. Searching under the bridge for a secret tunnel, they found instead a rusty iron portal etched with runes. From previous events they knew that with the right magic rusty iron rings could be used as portals into the Shadowfell, the parallel plane of the death. As they didn't have means to go into the Shadowfell, and it would have been unwise to try anyway, they only checked out the warehouse and found that other goods than the witchoil flasks were also smuggled into the Shadowfell the same way.

They then found the previous owner of one of the factories who under questioning revealed that he had been under pressure before by gangsters to either deliver goods secretly or sell his factory, and that they had come back after the arson and threatened him more. Seeing how serious they were and that they were actually offering market value for the factory, he had sold his property and kept quiet about it.

The next morning the group presented this information to Stover Delft, who agreed that they should look into Mayor Reed Macbannin. But first the group sought out Julien Lebrix, the security chief of the Danoran Consulate. Having arrested the two dragonborn arsonists that wanted to kill Lebrix since their last encounter, the group hoped he would be a bit more talkative this time around. But as it was getting late we stopped the session at that point.

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