Saturday, 30 August, 2008
7th day, Center rule, State of Dominance, 127 FHR
Day of Humility (Continued)
Chryseis is doing paperwork in the barracks when she hears the Narcovi is on her way.
Ekikos is working on his fetish
Ludvik, Zozime, and Eliath are in the Hive, travelling to the site of the second murder.
Ludvik, Eliath and I visited a faction barracks where a Tiefling named Quari the ancient, and a hafling named Defiant Mumrot live. According to Mumrot, the killer turned into a mephit and flew away when startled. Quari says Mumrot was drunk. Mumrot describes the attacker was as tall as Ludvik, with red hair, and wearing a red or green vest. His tale grows grander with each telling.
After some searching, I find a bloody quill in the haystack. Ludvik examines the window for damage, or blood. He sees that the slidebar has scratchmarks at the meet-point; the window might have been forced open at some time. On the floor is a powdery residue. It's some kind of fine grain sand (ground down mineral maybe). It smells burnt. It's very soft and touching it reduces it to ash. Eliath and I part company here. Ludivik and I return to the hard-head barracks to update Chryseis on our news and show her the things we gathered.
In the garrison, Chryseis is waiting for Measure III Narcovi to arrive. When Measure III Narcovi does arrive, Chryseis is called out into the grand hall, where Measure III Narcovi gives he a field-promotion for her great work on this case. Now, Notary IV Chryseis, stands at attention and listens while Narcovi lectures the gathered on the proper drive and verve that a hardhead should have. Narcovi is an empassioned speaker. She says that she wants to reward Chryseis' ability that there are no limits to the job. Once done, she takes Chryseis to the records room to review the evidence that Chryseis had collected and compairs it with the evidence from 7 years ago.
At the barracks, Chryseis informs us that the first murder was of Favor, Believers, on blood boil street in the lower ward. There a note was found on the body. Ludvik identifies the watermark on the paper as coming from the Lady's ward business of Pembrum's Parchment and papers. They're not far from the city courts. When we get there we realize it's the same bunkhouse as where we found Eliath living under an assumed name. Chryseis speaks briefly with the landlady about the murder. As she does, I notice the Dabus at the end of the street. They're acting like they are cleaning out the drain near the edge of the city, but they have no tools and the drains are running well. I call out good-morning when they pass, and one waves back!
We learn from the landlady (Elteva) that Old favor was a kind soul. He was retired, and liked to play backgammon. The door to his room appears to have been either bashed or forced in. The front door may have been open. Elteva admits that, while it is supposed to remain locked, some of the tennants here are not as careful with it as they should be. We search the room. It's been well cleaned, and finding anything is difficult. There are small shiny bits of metal in between two bricks in the wall against which the cot rests. The shiny bits, once extracted, seem to be very delicate and slightly melted (but otherwise featureless) brass disks and small iron rods. They crumble into dust when touched. We manage to get a few pieces into a twist of paper.
Chryseis and I go to visit the Friendly fiend while Ludvik stays for tea. The friendly fiend, friendly as ever, invites us in for tea and cakes. He itendifies the nutshells as material components for a confusion spell. But what we found was not reduced to ash. He believes that we're dealing with some sort of ritual/edrich magic, not arcane magic. The sale of bronze disk and nail-sized iron rods are restricted by code. They are arcane ingredients to befuddle the mind and induce madness. We also learn that ritual magic is often foor the long-lived. The rituals using these goods definitely have a chaotic bent. He identiies the black sand as powdered onyx, which is related to death. Chryseis summizes that the murders are focused on murder/death/chaos. The first murder was for insanity, the second for a circle of death, and the third for confusion. She posits that these murders are to some dark god; much like Torranna the Grey served in our adventure with the Citadel of Fire and missing barmies.
As we're talking, a 5 1/2-foot tall half-elf enteres. He's dressed in Amber colored robes with a silver laminay scarf and silver hair. He asks politely for directions to Blood Gem park. He is also prominently wearing a pendant that depicts a stylized version of the .. um ... city of Sigil's seal. The Friendly fiend tries to disuade the young male from wearing the pendant in the city, as it will attract much unwanted attention. But he is steadfast in his belief that the pendant is a good thing. He acts like a bespotted human!
We learn from the Friendly Fiend that there have been several arrivals recently, all founding a religion dedicated the The Lady. They call themselves the "Lovers of the Lady". It's a bit hard to believe.
Ludvik stayed with Eltiva and had tea. From her he learned that Old Favor was cloven in two by one long bloody gash. There was blood everywhere. There was some jibberish scribbled on a piece of parchment on the body. Something about law trembling where chaos rules. Old favor said he worked for the factol and cared for the barmies as some sort of caretaker.
In return for the lore, we tell the Friendly Fiend about our adventures in BiTopia.
As we leave, we meet up with Ludvik and decide to head to Blood Gem park to see what's going on. We catch sight of the barmy half-elf buying some kind of scented candle from a worried merchant. Chryseis manages to trade a coin with him, and learns that the barmie is from .... Unfortunately, not far from the quickly-closing merchant, we found the barmie. He'd gathered a crowd with his attire, and the crowd was not happy.
We defended the barmie and we learn that he follows Trolen, the prophet, the belover. Trolen was in Extacy yesterday. He then heads out to Blood Gem park. A dabus arrives to brush the area clean. He bumps into Cryseis and acts like we're not there.
Chryseis headed back to Crossguard and the garrison to report what we've learned. Ludvik and I meanwhile went on to Blood Gem park. We see a portal open int eh door of a nearby tennament. A half-elven woamn stepped out. These visitors are creating quite the interst. There are 15 or so gathered in the park. Most of them are human, some elves and a few Asimar. All are dressed the same. Some are begging, some are prophetizing. The prophetizers are also dodging thrown items. Many have small gifts of candy, scented candles, even flowers.
We watch for a time. The hardheads are around watching and trying to stop a riot from happening. Most of the spectators seem divided into either a group intent on driving the Lovers away (or at least silencing them), and the others half waiting for the Lady to arrive. I escort a raccoon or two out of the park, but other than that - we're nothing more than spectators. I half want to stay and see if She does show up. Then again, even my curiosity's not that strong.
Back at the barracks, Chryseis learns from Ismine about Dirk's murder. A dwarf named Caldorn ordered a masterwork Dwarven blade to be made. It seems the blade was stolen then used to kill Dirk. Chryseis writes a note for Narcovi to explain all she's learned thus far.
The next day Chryseis is visited by Narcovi's assistant (Tenskor). There's been another murder. This time it's in the Lady's Ward in the city court. A govenor was killed in the study.