Note with a huge party with various stories going on it’s tough for one person to catch everything. Please feel free to edit this update, adding or correcting anything that you think will help us down the road when we look back at this to retrace our steps. For example at the end I don’t remember the names of the 2 possible suspects for the clock work kitten,( I think I wrote it on my char sheet but it’s at the shop) and I’m sure there’s other things I missed. If you see something say something even in person if you don’t feel like typing, and I’ll update it right away.
As the Learnéd Order of the Rune made its way back to the city of Corvis after their fruitless jaunt in the swamps, a sense of warmth and happiness came over them as the river barge approached the docks. Everyone was eager to get back home and settle in for a bit of well earned relaxation. However, such was not meant to be. Despite the bold curiosity of some meddlesome dock waifs, all went well until a cart bearing certain delicate items of the ravishingly exotic Lady Hellith Wyldiss, and many bottles of fine wines and other quality goods belonging to his Lordship, Sir Milo B. Forsythe III, wildly darted off unexpectedly. One moment the sound of a large crash could be heard as an odd box dropped off the top of the cart, the next saw the cart dashing down the street the wrong way!
Rushing to the spot where the noise was heard, the Order members saw fine silverware strewn about the cobblestones of the docks being slowing engulfed by a strange green liquid oozing out of an unfamiliar luggage box. Further inspection by Cobb Ironside (under the generous patronage of Sir Milo) found the substance to be not immediately dangerous, and Cobb’s keen eyes, and worryingly selective memory, confirmed that the box indeed did not belong to any member of the order. Explaining that to the local authorities, lead by a Lt. Morton Rorke proved a touch more difficult, especially for Cobb who seemed quite well acquainted with the local watch at the docks and not in an entirely good way either. Fortunately a bit of friendly persuasion, and some gentle reminders of one’s place from Sir Milo, sent the constables on their way and allowed the Order to focus on the bigger problems at hand, namely, the missing carriage and this mysterious box, which still held 2 sealed bottles fully intact.
The Order members split up, some heading back to the Guild Hall, others to canvas the docks for clues, and still others to track down the runaway cart. Questioning the local dock hands proved fruitless, as the simpleton Trollkin stevedores could barely put a sentence together, and no one else seemed to see anything. Upon heading back to the Guildhall it was readily apparent that the cart was indeed stolen as it hadn’t arrived there and messengers confirmed that it wasn’t at Sir Milo’s home either. After a short time tracking the cart, the trail went cold. But questioning around a local dockside pub, known for its popularity with bored highborn youths fancying themselves poets, proved to be more fruitful.
Meanwhile, back at the Guildhall there was a ring at the door. Tending to the door a young servant boy brought back a package for Lady Hellith. The servant described the man who delivered the package as being dressed in some sort of odd costume, powered face, pointy extensions on his upper ears, and a weird stylized cardboard “armor” eerily reminiscent of Lady Hellith’s Warcaster armor. The package was a medium sized box with holes in the top to allow air to circulate through it. It was opened to reveal an adorable little kitten, mewling. Lady Hellith went into the kitchen with it to fetch it a bite to eat when she noticed it acting strangely. The kitten seemed to stutter in its movements, its mewling becoming strangely shaky, almost automaton in nature. Fortunately for Lady Hellith, she noticed this just in time. As soon as the kitten was brought close to Lady Hellith, its head split open and a viciously sharp razor blade mechanism jutted out and started to attack her. Startled, but still quick enough to avoid the attack, Hellith pushed the creature off of her and she and her companions opened fire. The thing was shot by arcane bolts of power and proved both tenacious and resilient; however it was finally brought down by a sound blow from Pewee the Gobber’s wrench.
An autopsy of the body proved even more frightening. Advanced, bio integrated clockwork machinations, of a complexity unknown to anyone in the Order, were found connected to comparatively crude, rudimentary weapon systems, blades and such. Who could have done this? Was it more than one person? Why the seemingly different levels of craftsmanship in one very small, very deadly, package? And who of such means would want Lady Hellith dead, and why?
Another knock came at the door, proving not so exciting this time. A messenger from the noble house of an esteemed shipping magnate brought a letter of invite. Sir Reginald Perkinson welcomed all members of the Learnéd Order of the Rune to sail on the maiden voyage of their newest ship, the Royal Blue Bird. Two special invitations to an exclusive pre-launch banquet were extended directly to Balder Greenhammer, and Sir Milo B. Forsythe III.
While this was going on Cobb Ironside had managed to find and scout out the location of the missing cart in a seedy part of town, and learn the name of the gang who stole it. “The Lone Wolves” led by a Trollkin with particularly large spiky “hair” had the cart held up Inside a raggedy warehouse. A band of thugs had ravaged the baggage and drank up the wine and devoured the fine meats within. Some pranced around with Lady Hellith’s undergarments on their heads, while others wore Sir Milo’s hats, mocking him as some kind of pedo sexual deviant. Cobb returned to the Guildhall with the news and it was decided that the Order should assault the warehouse that night, wasting little time. Along the way, the Order tasked their Gobber associates to try and ascertain the nature of the green substance that was planted in their goods. They were then to meet at the Quad Iron Inn, located near the warehouse where the thugs were storing the stolen cart.
They set out into the night through the city’s winding roads , deeper into some of the less respectable areas. Approaching a house the Gobbers in their company believed a Gobber Alchemist of some renown resided. They were proven right when a explosion blew out the upper floors of a nearby townhouse, rocked the streets below. Coughing from the smoke, a very angry landlady came out demanding that the Goblin Alchemist leave her premises immediately. Jordie and Pewee managed to placate the obstinate landlady down and headed upstairs to speak gobber-to-gobber with the alchemist. Harcourt, the Gobber introduced himself as while wiping the soot of the recent explosion away from his eyes. He turned out to be quite interested in the green solution they had found and offered to test it out and determine its make up within the hour.
The Order carried on through the Merchant’s district when Sir Milo’s carriage rolled into a square where several people were dressed like “elves,” similar to the boy who brought the deadly cat abomination to the Guildhall. In fact, the selfsame boy was there with them. Sir Milo called out to the boy, who came over to the carriage and proceeded to squeal with uncontrollable elation at the sight of Lady Hellith, who was also present in the carriage with Sir Milo. The boy’s cries attracted the rest of his ridiculously dressed fellows, who formed a crowd around the carriage in the hopes of seeing their adored Iosan. Sir Milo tried questioning the boy there about the package and where it came from, but the boy’s mind was elsewhere and could not seem to focus with the object of his adoration before him. The crowd attracted the attention of one of Corvis’ most prolific reporters, Mr. Keve Murdoch, who, smelling a good story, shoved his way up to the cart and began furiously scribbling notes, “the exiled Lord in a carriage at night with a luscious Iosan consort.” This was sure to make an excellent story for the Corvis Evening Post. However, a few choice words, and no small amount of coin from Sir Milo, seemingly persuaded the intrepid reporter too look elsewhere for his scoop, for now.
The delivery boy’s fate was not so charmed as he was brought into a nearby inn and interrogated by none other than Jordie the shy Gobber Investigator. Sadly, the stress from all the onlookers proved too much for Jordie to bear and he was unable to put his interrogation techniques to much use. All they managed to get from the boy was that whomever gave him the package was a woman, local, and of average age, not so young, not so old. His mind seemed to be nearly blank for that period of time. Lady Hellith’s knowledge of the blasphemous spells employed by Human wizards informed her that the boy’s mind may have been erased arcanely or through hypnosis.
Soon it was time for the Order to move on the warehouse and reclaim their cart and missing baggage. Led there by Cobb, they quietly made their way down a disgusting alley, choked with filth, to the main gate of the warehouse. They kept Jordie’s Laborjack beyond earshot so as not to alert the thugs of their presence. Cobb and Peewee slipped around the back of the warehouse locking all of the exits in advance of the assault, sealing the celebrating brigands in their wide open tombs. Once the other doors were securely locked, the main gate was quietly opened and the stealthy Peewee moved inside taking an overwatch position atop the cart, followed by Janos, a Khadorian Gunmage taking aim on the hapless thieves. With little fan fair the group stormed in, Sir Milo firing the first shots without a word, as two thumb sized hand cannon slugs vaporized a gang member’s head, blowing away the Lady Hellith’s underthings he was wearing in a gout of red mist. Before the drunken hooligans could react, another shot clapped loudly with a metallic twang, as the Khadorian’s magelock rifle round found a new home in the heart of another hapless thug. He had been joking around with his fellows, holding one of Sir Milo’s fine silver serving platters next to his now open chest. He died with his eyes open still in shock. With vicious speed the order poured in the warehouse, flashes of arcane fire and shots ringing out. One after another, before any of the thugs could react, they found themselves in hell, mangled bodies, bleeding out above.
It all happened so quickly it was a miracle that anyone of them survived, yet one meekly surrendered at gun point to the Iosan Warcaster, as Jordie’s Laborjack rumbled in. The surrendered gang member said that they were smuggling the crates of green liquid in the Order’s baggage to slip it past the eyes of the guard. He also said that their leader was heading to a prominent horse race the following day. With a quill and the blood of a dead gangster, Sir Milo wrote out a receipt for the damaged, consumed, and broken goods and let the surviving thug know that we would be expecting payment in 7 days time and that he should deliver the receipt to his leader post haste.
With the baggage repacked and loaded on the cart with the help of the Labor Jack and one very shaky, sobered up thug, the Order returned to the Guildhall. On the way, they stopped at Harcourt’s accommodation for word on the green substance. Harcourt had indeed finished with the tests by this time and confirmed that the substance, while not explosive or overtly poisonous, did indeed speed up the adrenalin production to the extent that in most systems the resulting shock would result in cardiac arrest. Thanking the Alchemist for his work, Jordie and Pewee headed back to the wagon carrying the Laborjack and returned to the Guildhall.
Once everyone was settled back at the Guildhall, again a bell rang at the door. This time it was a rather distinguished noble lady, in an elegant dress, bedecked with a large variety of stunningly beautiful (and expensive) jewelry. Stranger still she was seemingly alone. Sir Milo invited her in, of course, and she was incredibly brief, no small talk, nor the courtesies common to a woman of a highborn station. She simply sat down, asked to see “The Warcaster” and accepted a cup of tea from Sir Milo who went to fetch it himself as the servants were asleep by this hour. When Lady Hellith came down to greet her mysterious visitor introduced herself as Lady Jane, a Cygnarian Special Services operative, tasked with the mission of investigating the murders of Arcane Mechaniks in the city. Apparently, every single other Arcane Mechanik in Corvis was dead. They were killed in various ways ranging from traditional stabbings and shootings, to poisonings and drownings, leaving no readily identifiable modus operandi linking them together. As Sir Milo returned with the tea, another individual with Lady Jane slinked in. An impeccably clean, yet terribly uncouth man, dark of manner and short of word, introduced himself as “Vallance”. Lady Jane made it known that he would be assigned to Lady Hellith, to protect her from attempted assassination. Vallance spelled out the terms of his protection, namely, that she likely would not be seeing him and that he would only protect her against assassination attempts, not any other threats to her person or property.
Upon hearing this, Lady Hellith produced the mechanikal death kitten that had attacked her earlier. Lady Jane was intrigued and said that this work could only be done by one of 2 individuals in the city.