ZEITGEIST: The Gears of Revolution Research and Combat Group 5B




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  1. #1
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    ZEITGEIST

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    Research and Combat Group 5B

    My last Zeitgeist game fell apart - scheduling was mostly to blame, though player burnout, an intra-party fued, and the fact that only one player was /really/ into it all played a part. However, I've gotten another group together, and they're all very well engaged. Fingers crossed that this one goes better!

    Zeitgeist Overview
    Characters
    NPC Roster

    LUMIN HELWYR
    Male Risuri Elf Hunter (Spirit Medium)

    Born and raised in a small town near Flint, Lumin Helwyr has always been just a little strange. A moody and quiet youth, he spent an extraordinary amount of time perfecting the use of the bow. Fifteen years ago, Lumin stumbled upon a corpse behind a tavern in the town, and, inexplicably, he heard it speak in his head; it told him to watch a road near the town, and if he should see a black carriage, to stop it. Surprised and more than a little shaken, Lumin gathered his archery equipment and laid in wait.

    Sure enough, not an hour later a black coach came careening down the road. One shot from his bow spooked the horses; a few more, and the driver checking the horses was pinned to a tree. Several more, and the rest were either similarly disabled or had bolted. Inside the coach, bound up and scared, was a young girl, the daughter of a wealthy Flinter industrialist. She had been kidnapped by members of the Kell Guild, and they were planning to ransom or (failing that) kill her.

    Lumin enjoyed minor celebrity in Flint for saving the girl, and the girl's father recommended him to the RHC. He joined on, and in the last 15 years his mysterious gift for speaking with the dead has helped him to steadily advance, up to his current position as squad leader.

    A few years ago, Lumin was confronted by members of the Kell Guild, who were looking to exact a bit of revenge for their ruined ransom, but at the last minute Doitein intervened and drove the thugs off. Ever since then, Lumin's been harboring doubts about whether he's fit to lead the squad; he feels that Doitein is more qualified and would be better able to handle the job.

    Lumin lives in a small house near the Flint city limits in Stray River.

    Contacts
    Tenin Helwyr (Male Risuri Elf)
    Lumin's younger brother, Tenin is a very devout follower of the old faith, and resents the direction the nation is taking. He thinks that Lumin is abandoning his family and his faith to soak up glory in the big city.

    Karlan Okhotovich (Male Drakran Dwarf)
    An older, relatively recent immigrant from Drakr with a bit of a grim attitude, Karlan is a bit of an oddity among dwarves. A very skilled woodworker, he favors bow and arrow over the guns his former countrymen now hold to, and is more comfortable out in the wild than the average dwarf to boot. Karlan gives Lumin a minor discount on his wares; he helped Karlan find closure after his wife died, which proved to be difficult even for an avowed eschatologist.

    DOITEIN BHIS
    Male Elfaivaran Eladrin Hexblade (Yerasol Veteran)

    Originally from a secretive Eladrin enclave in Elfaivar, Doitein is the son of one of the rare Eladrin Matrons and a very influential member of the Unseen Court. Upon coming of age, Doitein's father, for unknown reasons, asked him to move to Risur and join its military.

    Doitein fought in both the Third and Fourth Yerasol Wars; during the Fourth he fought in a battle on an island with strange magical phenomena called Axis Island. Because of his valor in covering a dangerous retreat in that battle, Doitein gained minor national celebrity and an offer to join the RHC when the war had ended.

    Doitein lives in a small home in the Cloudwood with his wife, and spends his time quietly studying fey magic when not on a mission.

    Contacts
    Ballardo (Male Beran Dragonborn)
    A war buddy of Doitein's, Ballardo fought with Doitein throughout the Fourth Yerasol War as a mercenary. He's turned to some rather unsavory mercenary work since the war ended, but Doitein hasn't handed him in - Ballardo saved his life once, and he feels he owes Ballardo that much, at least.

    Arya Bhis (Female Risuri Elf)
    Between the Third and Fourth Yerasol Wars, Doitein met an elven soothsayer that travelled the Cloudwood, telling fortunes and calling blessings of the old faith on small farms. At the time, he was despondent at the decline of the Eladrin, but meeting her soothed his despair. He fell in love with her and her quiet, understanding demeanor, and after a short courtship (in Eladrin terms), they were married. Though a fruitless marriage, it's remarkably stable.

    JOURDAINE CANTON
    Female Danoran Human Artificer (Technologist)

    Born in Danor, Jourdaine has always had a way with technology. Living in the Malice Lands surrounding her country, she was fascinated with ways to combine the displines of magic and science, and she jumped at the chance to serve her country doing what she loved.

    Jourdaine's biggest job was to help develop a an enormous arcanoscientific weapon. Until that point, her projects had all been defensive or preventative measures, but being selected for this problem caused her to have second thoughts about her country's cavalier attitude toward war. She defected to Risur, and ended up working with Geoff Masarde, developing steam ships for a formerly enemy country.

    Eventually, Jourdaine was contacted by the RHC; her technological expertise and knowledge of the inner workings of Danor, combined with the zeal with which she worked for Risur, impressed the Constabulary. She agreed, in part due to her newfound patriotism, and in part to have easier access to research materials.

    Jourdaine respects Doitein, having read of him throughout the Fourth Yerasol War; she believes he's an honorable warrior. She distrusts Lumin, however; she interperets his insecurities with leading as ineptitude, and recently found out about his issues with the Kell Guild, which makes her wary.

    Secretly, Jourdaine is a fey pepper addict. She first got a hold of the illicit drug for an experiment which required one of its byproducts, but over the course of the experiment she began to use it regularly.

    Jourdaine lives in an apartment complex in Central, where she annoys the other tenants with her continual experiments.

    Contacts
    Elise Morrin (Female Risuri Human)
    Jourdaine's landlady, a crotchety old woman who owns far too many cats. She is a firm believer of the old ways, and regularly harrasses Jourdaine about her experiments - especially the ones conducted on Elise's feline companions.

    Gino Devon (Male Crisillyiri Human)
    A suave member of the Family, Gino would be genteel if he weren't so bloodthirsty. He spends far too much time combing his hair an cracking his knuckles threateningly. Gino is Jourdaine's supplier, both for fey pepper and illicit experimental materials.
    • The PCs, charged with identifying potential threats to the launch of the Coaltongue, scanned the 700-person crowd of cheerers for potential threats before they could be let in to Fleet Square. With some luck, they were able to quickly identify a threat; a trio of Dockers with chips on their shoulders. An unintentional off-hand comment by one of them alerted the constables that their ringleader was absent. By discretely tracking this man down, and then treating him respectfully once they'd identified him, the squad was able to convince the Dockers to leave instead of attempting to assault Governor Stanfield, as they had planned.
    • After the Dockers left and the rest of the attendees filed into Fleet Square, a wheezing man ran up to the checkpoint. One Thames Grimsley, he was looking for the group of Dockers that had just left. Grimsley was working to create an official Docker's Guild, and didn't want their misguided violence to undermine his work. Happy that the Constables had handled the situation, he nevertheless stressed that their grievances were real, and that he'd appreciate that they bring the issue to Governor Stanfield if possible.
    • The Constables' Boss, Stover Delft, introduced the PCs to the King's bodyguard and chief of staff, Harkover Lee. Lee had a personal request; following the banquet aboard the Coaltongue, the King was planning a major announcement. Lee wanted the Constables to keep an eye on the crowd, to better judge their reaction. Additionally, certain guests - Lee nodded towards Duchess Ethelyn of Shale, the King's sister - might need to be watched a little more closely.
    • While the crowd waited for the King to arrive, the Constables had an opportunity to hobknob with some of the guests; Jourdaine approached Geoff Massarde; he was once her boss, as she had worked with him on many of Risur's earlier industrialization projects. He confided in her that it was nice to have at least one person he knew working security at the event; the glares he was getting from some of the other guests (Duchess Ethelyn in particular) were making him a little uncomfortable despite his two rather large bodyguards. Duchess Ethelyn, for her part, studiously ignored both Massarde and - when she realized her profession - Jourdaine, but approached Doitein to request that she be given a room to nap in once guests were allowed on board; she said she was developing a headache, and needed the rest to be ready for her brother's announcement.
    • As Doitein finished his conversation with the Duchess, horns blared, announcing the arrival of King Aodhan and Governor Stanfield. The ceremony proceeded without a hitch; the King smashed a bottle of champagne on the ship's bow and formally named it, to the cheers of all of the onlookers, and most of the guests.
    • Following the christening, the guests - and the PCs - filed onto the ship. After spending the hour taking tours of the ship and speaking with the various guests, a whistle sounded and the crew began to arrange instruments for Risur's national anthem. Jourdaine overheard the King complain about indigestion and the fickle archfey around Risur just as Delft approached her. The Duchess was missing, he said, and he was afraid she might be trying to embarrass the king. He asked for Jourdaine to get the others and to go check on the Duchess.
    • The Constables went down to the observation deck where the Duchess was napping; trying the door, it was locked. Sokana Rell, the Duchess' elven handmaiden, told them the Duchess was still napping, and would be up on deck soon. Noting a concerned tone in her voice, they continued pressing the matter, with Sokana sounding ever more frantic. Finally, the PCs heard a splash through the door, and Doitein kicked it in. The observation deck's windows wide open, they caught a glimpse of the duchess riding away on a kraken, accompanied by some fey creature; Sokana stood over the hastily-cleaned remnants of a ritual as she held an amber rod alive with flame, her eyes the solid black of an Eladrin; and a halfling cook the Constables had seen earlier grinned maniacally as he slashed at Doitein's leg with a cooking knife covered in something unsavory and green.
    Last edited by Siberys; Thursday, 11th April, 2013 at 03:36 PM.
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

  2. #2
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    ZEITGEIST

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    The NPC Roster was updated based on last weekend's events.

    I've also added Episode 2 to the OP. We covered a lot of ground last game; ran the whole Coaltongue fight and denouement, "figured out" the puzzle, roleplayed quite a bit, and got to the walls of the fortress. I think the players were particularly interested in the headless golem - I can't wait until they start to piece things together.

    • After an intense fight, the party was able to both prevent the ship's engine from exploding and apprehend Sokana, all with only minor disturbances to the party above. The only indication to the dignitaries that something was amiss being the service siren the PCs used to summon Massarde after the terrorists had been incapacitated.
    • The constables, patched up after their fight but held out of view of the dignitaries, overheard King Aodhan's speech, where he announced in a years time he would marry a Danoran as a sign of peace between the two nations. Afterwards, they were given a quick private audience with the king, who thanked them for their service. To Lumin, he said he was troubled that his own sister would betray him, and he hoped that Lumin would never have to deal with that from his brother.
    • Life was fairly quiet for the constables afterwards, composed mostly of a few short interviews with journalists and a lot of paperwork at the RHC office, but a week after the launch Kaea, a constable from Group 5A, told them Delft wanted to see them in his office. There with him was Lya Jierre, a Danoran Tiefling and the very woman King Aodhan planned to marry.
    • She had on Delft's desk some model towers and stone rings; a puzzle for the Constables. Each ring had three strings attached to it; could each of a ring's strings be attached to a different tower without the strings ever ever crossing? They mulled it over for a bit, until Doitein suggested they place on of the rings beneath one of the towers. Lya chuckled - technically, the puzzle was unsolvable, but the Constables were smart enough to think outside the puzzle's given parameters.
    • Lya wasn't here to test the Constable's reasoning ability, though. They were to be sent on a very sensitive mission, and it was important enough that Lya thought she should meet with them in person. The squad was to accompany a naval attack on a Danoran island fortress that the Duchess had made after fleeing the Coaltongue the week before. They were to investigate what the Duchess had actually done, and act as representatives of Risur to hand control of the island back to Danor before it became a major international incident. They were also there to act as back-up to another Constable group that would be infiltrating the fortress, in the event that something happened to that group. Additionally, she asked that they should find her cousin, Nathan Jierre, and protect him if possible; she was afraid the Duchess might harm him for being a Tiefling, but he shouldn't be punished for the Duchess' grudges.
    • Doitein remembered the island from his time fighting in the Fourth Yerasol War; it was at the edge of the wild magic zone surrounding magicless Danor, and odd stuff continually occurred there; terrain shifted, spells backfired, and so forth. The Risuri had been spooked, and it wasn't particularly strategically important, so the military had left it to the Danorans.
    • Given their mission and any critical supplies, the Constables boarded the RNS Impossible, a very fast sailship commanded by the young but tactically brilliant Captain Rutger Smith. They were to rendezvous with the rest of the fleet, but in the meantime were briefed with the other Constable group - group 1C, from Shale. Heading the group was Tanya, a no-nonsense half-elf shaman accompanied by a ghostly hound, and her companions; Letmas, a human illusionist; Seven-Foot Dan, an enormous veteran and war-buddy of Doitein's, and Burton, an impeccably-groomed goblin with a surgical set and an unsettlingly quiet demeanor. During the ship's dinner, the Constables planned the next night's mission, and argued the philosophical implications of the Duchess' actions with the captain and his crew.
    • The following night, the Impossible raised black sails and sailed into a cove containing a sea cave connected to a Danoran mine. Letmas would perform a water breathing ritual, and the other Constable group would swim through the cave into the mine, and group 5B would follow when it was secured. Then the two groups would travel together to the fortress, which they would breach; group 1C would then secure the fortress' sea gate to let the naval force in while the PCs stood by in case they were needed as backup. It didn't turn out that way, though; something happened while the other party was swimming through the sea cave. The Constables felt a sudden tug on the end of the leader rope the other group had brought, then it was still for a while, until it started jerking weakly and fitfully. The constables decided to investigate.
    • Swimming into the sea tunnel, the PCs found something terrible; the roof of the cave had crashed down; while it was still navigable, Tanya, Letmas, and Dan had been crushed, killed in an instant by the collapsing ceiling. Though still alive, Burton's leg had been crushed and he was delirious from blood loss. He was rambling something about purple skies and yellow frogs, only snapping out of it long enough to pull one of the constables close and beg him to cut off his leg before the sharks got near. They decided against that, and after tying off his leg they lifted the rocks and swam him back to the Impossible. Now much more lucid, he explained that one moment he was swimming along, and the next he was face-down in putrid mud. He looked up just in time to see an alien vista - a swamp filled with yellow frogs under a purple sky, warmed by a blue sun. Just as quickly as it happened, he was back in the tunnel, the roof caving in.
    • Now the heads of the mission, group 5B followed the tunnel. At the end of it, they found a small cavern. Platforms were arranged all around it, and in the center was a tall spire of granite. Jutting out of it , tusklike, was a protrusion of pure white stone; it looked like it had at one time had carvings on it, but time and the tides had eroded them away. When they stood near it, they heard whispers, as of wind blowing through the boughs of a tree. Nestled into a cleft near the top of this odd construction was a small, coin-like golden plate. It had a design of birds and clouds, and a pattern of dots on it which the PCs quickly determined to be an illustration of the constellation The Eagle, which is associated with the planet Avilona and governs air magic.
    • While the others were inspecting the coin-like object, Lumin noticed out of the corner of his eye a shadow seemed to move. He climbed the platforms to investigate, but his tracking skills seemed to have left him; he could find no trace of whatever it was he had seen. As he was rounding the corner into a tunnel leading out from the cave, he heard a click; looking up, a thin Danoran man stood over him with a pistol held to Lumin's head. Obviously nervous, Lumin was able to calmly reassure him they were there to get the Duchess off the island, and that they were really there to help the Danorans. That's when Lumin noticed this man - who had had introduced himself as Nicolas Dupiers - wore two more of the golden coin-like objects around his neck - one tied to Nem, the shadow world, and another to Urim, plane of metal and stone. He motioned behind him, and the shadow itself moved - no wonder Lumin couldn't track it! - and he offered to command the shadow to guide Lumin and the others to the surface on the condition that they left him alone. He accepted, and Dupiers slinked away.
    • Leaving the mine, the PCs found a mass grave - where dozens of Danoran miners had been buried - and several damaged trees. A little intelligent guesswork, given the Duchess' known allies, and the party deduced the miners had been attacked by dryads. They decided the road might be unsafe, so instead travelled through the wilds of the island. The island's strangeness continued to manifest; a tree spontaneously began to spew fire with no apparent source, and once the entire party experienced what 1C evidently had, taking a single step and finding themselves momentarily in an alien, frog-filled swamp.
    • Partway through their trek, the Constables heard a strangely rhythmic thumping and a metallic grinding; Lumin swore he could hear pained wailing as well, but the others could not. They went to investigate, and found a headless golem golem trudging in a perfectly straight line through the jungle. It's head had been blown off, and it leaked a strange black oil filled with small, white motes of light. It ignored them unless it got within ten feet; if they did it would swat at them until they took a step away, and then it would resume its previous course. Lumin found some of the oil pooling in its footprints, and determined that to be the source of the ghostly screams he heard.
    • The Constables reached the wall of the fortress, and they prepared perform a Passwall ritual and start the hardest part of their mission - infiltrating the fortress.
    Last edited by Siberys; Sunday, 9th December, 2012 at 01:49 AM.
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

  3. #3
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    ZEITGEIST

    Ignore Siberys
    I've updated the NPC Dossier, included a link for last session's report, and created a basic Zeitgeist page with the Trailer and links to important Zeitgeist info (in case my players forget or some third party is interested). I've also inserted quoted versions of each session report and the PC backgrounds in the appropriate posts because the thread's been so quiet.

    I've also heavily modified my site's look which affects this discussion through the colorbox functionality I've added; clicking on the NPC portraits in the Dossier now shows a much larger version of the picture!

    Tomorrow we're playing the labyrinth scene, and I expect to get to the end of the adventure. Then it's on to the Dying Skyseer!

    • Once inside the fortress, the Constables took some time prowling through its streets and getting their bearings. They found that the Duchess' forces were guarding two particular buildings within the fort; a warehouse on the west side of the fort, and a stable in the southeast. However, they decided that taking the lighthouse was a more important objective; the Constables tracked down some guards in an out-of-the-way area, knocked them out, and took their uniforms as a disguise. They then headed down the pier; noticing a crew working on a boat beside the pier, they said they were there to work on it. The soldier at the directing the search of the boat was suspicious of them, however, and attacked the party, blowing their cover.
    • The PCs quickly dispatched the Lighthouses' guards, then opened the sea gate and launched a pyrotechnic signal to the naval fleet. Because they had been fairly careful in how they investigated the fortress, it took the Duchess' forces a little bit to mount an offensive, but the PCs successfully held the pier for the ten minutes it took for the navy to get into the harbor.
    • With allied soldiers mopping up the attackers on the pier, the Constables had a short opportunity to rest. After about a half hour, Captain Smith arrived seeking a report. After the formalities were taken care of, he gave each of the Constables a cigar, but told them to save it for after the mission - they still had to deal with the Duchess, as they were now the highest nonmilitary Risuri group on the island. He also introduced them to some soldiers who were to escort them - Sergeant Glassman, and Privates Waterhouse and Leicombe.
    • Just as Captain Smith finished introducing the soldiers, the Constables heard explosions and gunshots from one of the boats in the harbor. All of a sudden, one of the ships erupted in flames, and a shadowy figure strode across the deck. He slashed at the air with a sword of flame, and the lights all along the sea wall shattered. He then leapt thirty feet onto the sea wall, shrouded in a cloud of smoke, and bolted - excessively quickly - away into the night.
    • The PCs interviewed some of the sailors who had seen the mysterious figure, and investigated the area of the sea wall where he had landed. The sailors spoke of him as if he were some kind of demigod; he was shot three times and didn't even react to the wounds, and his lion-faced shield came to life and mauled a druid who was attempting to cast a spell on him. Doitein was able to identify the magic as fey in origin, and that the figure was probably an Eladrin Vekeshi Mystic given the hand shapes the flames he'd left behind made. Jourdaine remembered an Eladrin warrior that fit the description of the figure; his name was Asrabey, and he was involved in a battle during the First Yerasol War in which he tried to rescue an Eladrin woman from a Danoran general. While the others figured out the "who", Lumin studied the sea wall where Asrabey had landed, and found several spots of blood, confirming he'd at least been injured.
    • As the Constables discussed what to do next, a courier arrived asking them to come to a stable-cum-brig that had been found - the very same stable they had themselves identified as being guarded earlier. The soldiers in charge of it had been notified of the Constable's directive to locate Nathan Jierre, and with several Tieflings held in the ersatz prison, they thought to notify the group.
    • The Danorans were not being particularly helpful, but one man there - the only soldier held in the brig, a scarred man by the name of Leiutenant Hessar Marseine - was at least feigning it. He calmed the other prisoners down, hinting that they might know something, but before he'd let anyone answer any questions he demanded that he be given a pistol, a musket, and a sword, and any of the civilians that wanted to help be armed too. Reluctantly, the Constables agreed, and surprised at the ease with which he got what he wanted, Marseine jumped to helping them. They did not know anything about Nathan's whereabouts, except that he spent most of his time on the island at the towertop observatory in the center of the Inner Fort. Marseine had a key to the door at the roof of the tower hidden in his cell, and another of the prisoners was an architect that could draw a map of the sewers, which lead into the tower's basement. They also knew how the Rebel forces got into the fort; a magic circle was being built in the warehouse the PCs had seen earlier. Everyone was under the impression it was secure, though; that it wasn't points to the invasion having been an inside job.
    • Group 5B began prepping to investigate the warehouse, but as they wrapped up with Marseine, they heard an explosion outside, and yells about a "fire monster" - Asrabey had returned. Rushing outside, they arrived just in time to see him throw a large, glowing glass ball to the ground at the foot of the Inner Fort's wall. The whole street started to shake as iron objects suddenly flew from whatever they were moored to. All around the glass sphere, everything seemed to melt away while the orb stayed strangely solid. In the place of the fortress wall was now a otherworldly jungle, and at its edges visions of other, stranger realities faded in and out of view.
    • Dropping their previous plans, the Constables took off through the alien jungle in pursuit of Asrabey. He ran toward the central tower and the hedge maze surrounding it, and as he leapt over it, the Constables heard a strange, reedy voice curse the fire the Eladrin's feet left behind...
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

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    WotBS ZEITGEIST

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    Tsk tsk. Everyone chases the scary fire dreadnought. Almost no one sneaks around later and goes the safe way.

    (Makes me a little proud, honestly.)
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    The most cinematic adventure path for 4th Edition and Pathfinder.

    Now available - Admiral o' the High Seas, and ZEITGEIST adventure seven, Schism! For Pathfinder and D&D 4e.

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    It's just too juicy... Then they hit the Gillie Dhu. Heh heh heh.
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

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    I've updated the OP.

    My PC's particular course of action necessitated some winging on my part - I get the feeling it was assumed the PCs wouldn't go along with the handoff plan, but Asrabey's evident skill had the PCs cautious.

    As an aside, prepping for The Dying Skyseer has been noticeably more difficult. It's nonlinear nature means I have to prep for a number of possible threads, instead of just what I anticipate the PCs doing next. Hopefully this'll get easier after the opening of the adventure - If I'm lucky, the players will telegraph their plans enough that I can restrict my prep a bit. Add on to that we're taking a couple-week break, and I should be fine.

    • The constables neared the hedge and came upon a strange man beating at a fire at the corner of the hedge with a shillelagh. He seemed covered in bark and leaves. He challenged them, saying their "fiery friend" may have gotten past him, but he would not let them pass to harm the Duchess. They tried to calm him down, to explain that while they wanted to capture her, the Eladrin likely wanted to kill the Duchess. Their pleading fell on deaf ears, though, and the strange fey attacked them.
    • After a short but intense battle, the fey creature fled to tend to the fires consuming its home. The constables moved into the tower; the door was on fire, and blown open from the inside. Bodies of rebel soldiers were everywhere, charred and slashed. They followed the destruction of the tower's winding staircase, and they quietly approached the door to the observatory at the tower's top, and they heard voices from inside. The conversation revealed the Duchess was working with Nathan Jiere.
    • The constables were unable to discern why; listening in on the discussion for only a moment, Doitein burst into the room. Asrabey jumped behind the wounded Duchess, holding his fiery sword to her throat and thelling the Constables not to make a move or he'd kill her. The Duchess, recognizing them as the Constables from the Coaltongue, tried to explain her actions, describing a vision she had;
    • A globe spins on its axis, and a steel ship sets off to war on a sail of shadows. The world passes into night, and blackness grips all of Risur as the stars fall from the sky. The king's eyes turn a soulless white, and he moves as a puppet, his strings pulled by a man who has already died a thousand times.
    • After hearing the prophecy, Asrabey cursed, telling the Duchess to shut up. Whatever her reason, she was a traitor and the Unseen Court did not want the blame for her actions. He swore by his name Varal he would see her executed as a traitor. At this, Nathan, hiding behind some observatory equipment, perked to attention; he explained he'd met a woman by the name Kasvarina Varal on the island months before, with his cousin. At that, Asrabey made the Constables an offer; He wanted a message delivered to King Aodhan that the Unseen Court did not endorse the Duchess, and that they demanded her execution as a traitor. He also wanted a ship with a skeleton crew prepared; he would board it, then release the Duchess to their custody, but he would take Nathan with him - he said he needed to speak with the Tiefling at length, but that he would release him and the skeleton crew upon making landfall in Risur. The Constables reluctantly agreed.
    • The ship prepared and the Duchess about to be handed over, Asrabey reneged on the deal; he slit the Duchess' throat and dropped her in the harbor, then grabbed Nathan and made a beeline to the Warehouse. Once there, he used the ritual circle and disappeared.
    • Over the course of the next day, the Duchess' forces were loaded onto ships and sent off back to Risur, until eventually only the Impossible remained. Near sunset, a Danoran warship, Lux Profectusque arrived with Lya Jierre. The handoff went well, though she was disappointed that Nathan had been captured by Asrabey. The Constables couldn't have done much about it, however, so she couldn't exactly hold it against them
    • Over the next couple of months, the PCs heard that Nathan was now in the care of a nobleman with ties to the Unseen Court, but that they had requested the King not pursue his release; it was as if he was being held in a prison, albeit a posh one.
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

  7. #7
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    I've updated the OP again. The linked page also includes a list of "open leads," for the player's convenience.

    I am really, really liking TDS. That session was one of the very few all-RP sessions I've run, and where other ones tended to fall flat, this one had the players engrossed. We covered a /lot/ of ground in a relatively short amount of time (about 3 hours, where normally a session runs four or five).

    The PCs already have several crack theories. My favorite - Doitein's player is convinced Hennet Rinus is setting off explosions underground, and that these are what's causing the tremors. All because he told everyone to calm down about that tremor that happened as the PCs entered the tavern. They're also suspicious of LeBrix, but they kept failing insight checks, whether active, passive, or secret, to see that he'd be willing to talk under the right circumstances. Maybe the documents'll clear things up? :P

    • Just before 11 O'clock on the first day of summer, the Constables were filing ever more paperwork in their office when they were interrupted by Delft. He explained that there was a death at the Danoran consulate, but the victim had been partially on Risuri land. That meant 5B had Jurisdiction.
    • After an hour-long trip to the Consulate, located in the wealthy North Shore district, they arrived at the scene. The consulate sported a broken fourth-floor window, and forty feet from the building, still red with blood, stood a black wrought-iron fence.
    • Alfred Bellastair, the officer in charge of the crime scene, was waiting impatiently for the PCs to arrive - he was sick of dealing with the Danorans and the crowd of rubberneckers outside the consulate. He filled the Constables in on the basics of the case;
      • Witnesses heard gunfire, saw a woman jump out of the window, and watched as she landed on the fence.
      • A man apparently ran off with some stuff she had been carrying.
      • The body was inside the consulate and was waiting for the Constables.
      • The Constables were directed to speak with the consulate security chief, Julian LeBrix.

    • Before they went inside to investigate the body, the Constables examined the fence and questioned some bystanders. The fence was likely too far for her to have hit naturally; something magical was at work to keep her afloat. Additionally, Jourdaine was able to track down a gentleman who had witnessed the death firsthand - he said that she had landed on the fence first, and then there were gunshots, spaced apart by a few seconds. Additionally, when she'd jumped, she had her arms covering her face, as if to shield it from something. He'd also seen someone or something up in the window, but it was completely black with no discernible features. It had something metallic and shiny, perhaps a gun. Having seen that much, the man had hurried away from the scene, not wanting to get involved.
    • Afterwards, the Constables spoke with LeBrix. He told them he'd found her stealing a valuable antique from the consulate. He'd drawn his pistol, she ran, he shot her leg to hobble her, she kept running, he shot her in the back as she jumped. He was within his rights to do that as a consulate guard, but the gunshot bit didn't match up with what the Constables had heard from the witnesses. They didn't say anything, though, and LeBrix continued describing the thief; her name was Nilasa Hume. She was dating one of the consulate's guards, a man by the name of Braden Sarkin, and had today brought the consulate staff breakfast - evidently, cover for her criminal activies.
    • The Constables then went in to investigate the body and the scene of the crime. Most of the wounds were consistent with what they'd heard so far - glass wounds on the arms, two fence punctures on the abdomen, and gunshot wounds in the left thigh and the shoulder. There was an additional wound on her scalp, though - the partially-healed remnants of a necrotic wound. Additionally, the gunshot wounds appeared to have been inflicted from above after she'd landed on the fence - corroborating the witness' story and contesting LeBrix's.
    • In one of her pockets was a bail certificate from Parity Lake; she was picked up in a contraband raid but was released on bail paid by a man named Heward Sechim. Braden explained Heward owned an Alkahest factory where Nilasa lived and worked. She also had an empty potion vial hidden in her top with traces of an invisibility elixir; creating or possessing such a draught is a crime without the proper permits. Magical scrutiny revealed that her face had recently been affected by healing magic, that she had consumed the invisibility elixir, and that she had been affected by flight magic. There was no evidence of any flight elixir and Nilasa was herself not a spellcaster, so it wasn't clear how she could fly - though it did explain why she jumped out of the window.
    • The Constables noticed then that the consulate staff (Braden excepted) was acting rather upbeat considering the morning's events; after asking around for a little bit, they were able to determine that all those acting strangely had eaten some of the brigadieros (chocolate candies) that Nilasa had brought that morning. They were bought from a tavern called The Thinking Man, and Braden explained that that was one of Nilasa's favorite haunts. Jourdaine was able to immediately determine they'd been spiked with fey pepper, an illicit, euphoria-inducing narcotic.
    • The investigators headed upstairs (accompanied by LeBrix and a few guards). They were allowed to investigate the gallery where LeBrix said the incident occurred, but they were not allowed into the Consular's office - he said important state documents were held there, and that it was unrelated to the case anyway. Needless to say, the Constables didn't believe him. In the gallery, a rug had been moved to cover a bloodstain that wasn't consistent with a gunshot wound, as LeBrix's account would indicate - it looked more like the result of a slash, such as from a blade or a claw.
    • The Constables had Nilasa's body sent back to headquarters for further examination - they wanted to have Lumin question Nilasa's spirit, but did not trust the Danorans. Before leaving, they spoke with the secretary - Tia Jedeau - to see if anyone else had been in just before Nilasa's death. In fact, there had been; she swooned visibly as she described a "dashing doctor with a northerner accent" - he was in to get a travel visa to Ber and had left moments before the staff heard the windows crash outside. His name was Wolfgang von Recklinghausen, and the secretary gave the party his case file, which included his temporary residence (a hotel called the House of Blue Birds) and a few local contacts that were vouching for him. Nilasa and Wolfgang had even spoken while he was waiting for his paperwork, but Tia didn't know about what - she guessed about pleasantries, but she was too busy admiring Wolfgang and studiously ignoring Nilasa to have actually been paying attention.
    • Back at RHC headquarters, Lumin questioned Nilasa's spirit. Guessing she was a Seedist, Lumin was able to get her to answer more private questions she might not have otherwise acknowledged. First he asked her how she had been able to fly; she said it was because of a magic pendant Gale, a wanted fey terrorist, had given her along with several elixirs.

      Then he asked her what she had had been doing on the fourth floor of the consulate. She explained that Gale had asked her to steal documents from the consulate, and she'd been doing that on and off over the past several weeks.

      Finally, he asked what had been taken from her. She said nothing - she had given a bundle of documents to a man she had spoken with inside the consulate - Wolfgang - and then tried to give him her canary pendant as she told him to "take this to Nevard." Lumin remembered that there was a famous Skyseer named Nevard Sechim that lived in the area - who was likely related to Heward. The last thing Nilasa remembered after that was a pain in her thigh - probably the gunshot wound - after which she died.
    • While Lumin was communing with Nilasa's spirit, Doitein had sent for a copy of her criminal file and Jourdaine performed an alchemical analysis of the elixir vial and of the fey pepper lacing the Brigadieros. The police record pointed them toward Goodson's Estuarial Reformatory, a boat-cum-prison floating in the bay, where the two men that were picked up with her - Ford Sorghum and Travis Starter - were being held.
    • Now the early evening, the Constables decided to head to the Thinking Man's tavern. As they entered, a tremor began to shake the city. An orc sailor called "Earthquake!", but it died down quickly and a squirrelly-looking man in spectacles and a scarf stood and told everyone to stay calm - it must have been the ground settling, he said, as Flint had been stable since its founding centuries ago.
    • The Constables, for their part, were getting suspicious looks from all around. Many of the patrons were students and poseur-revolutionaries and thus not keen on law enforcement, not to mention a Danoran technologist with a huge mechanical wolf! The proprietor of the tavern was willing enough to help, though - a hulking man that called to mind the classic image of a pirate, he was really just a former sailor named Tad Hilly, though he did nothing to dissuade any embellishment on his past. He confirmed that the brigadieros had come from his tavern, though he swore up and down that the fey pepper hadn't. When he found they were asking about Nilasa, he directed them to Barb, the head waitress. By all accounts, the two had been close, and that was confirmed when she burst into tears at the news of Nilasa's death. A few patrons looked at the investigators askance at making Barb cry, but that they were gentle in breaking the news - and intent to find her killer - comforted her enough that she directed them to the two groups Nilasa had recently associated with - a group called "The Band" badly playing music in the back, and a knot of "professional students" centered around the bespectacled man that had spoken after the tremor.
    • The Constables spoke first with the group of musicians, led by a long-haired halfling with an ocarina ironically named Jered Lawman. Most of the conversation consisted of Jered insulting the party in bad Rellanic, but eventually, the man with the glasses and scarf interrupted one of Jered's multitudinous quips. He introduced himself as Hennet Rinus, and posed to them a philosophical argument. The constables - especially Lumin - played along (much to Hennet's enjoyment and Jered's displeasure). In exchange for cooperating with his philosophical tangent (centered on the meaning of extent of authority), Hennet offered some information he knew of Nilasa, and prodded Jered until he fessed up, too. Hennet explained the Nilasa had only recently befriended his little clique; he had worked in Crisillyir studying fossils, and Nilasa was trying to contact smugglers working for The Family, a Crisillyiri criminal organization. Once she decided she could trust him, she'd asked Hennet to write a fancy Crisillyiri letter to the local head of the Family, a man named Monsigneur Morgan Cippiano. Jered, for his part, explained that Nilasa had some connections with some brigands in the Cloudwood. In particular, she liked to go to a small druid's enclave in that area.
    • Satisfied that that avenue of investigation had been exhausted, the Constables next made their way to the House of Blue Birds, to speak with Wolfgang von Recklinghausen. Upon arriving, they found a carriage driver waiting impatiently at the door. Named Jack Byron, he had brought the doctor here much earlier in the day - he had bloody hands and was carrying some kind of bundle, saying he was in the middle of a surgery and in need of his tools. Jack had waited for a half hour before realizing he'd been ditched. He had then gone inside and left his information with the hostel staff before continuing on with his driving route. After his shift, he'd come back, and was waiting here for any sign of the doctor - the staff insisted he wasn't there despite being booked for the rest of the week. The staff let the Constables in to Wolfgang's room, which they found empty - he'd evidently gathered his things and left through the back door.
    Will Thibault is a winged, feathered serpent rarely found anywhere except in warm, jungle-like regions or flying through the ether. Due to his intelligence and powers he is regarded with awe by the inhabitants of his homelands and is considered to be divine.

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