I can’t help but wonder what power in the universe I’ve managed to piss off. We get to Port Wheyan and find our contact just in time to find him very dead. Of course we get ourselves, well, myself and Cecily, accused of killing him. After the local “Watcher” showed up and decided to simply lump more accusation on us, we went back to the Explorer’s Guild. After talking it over with Cecily, we went and spoke to Jeddick Bartail. We managed to get ourselves time to prove ourselves innocent. On our way out, a woman I can only assume was his aide warned us to “Beware the Chessmen”. Having been given a document allowing us access to where we may need to go, we immediately went back to the Leather Bottle and straight to Sgt Splint’s room.
Once there, we managed to find much. A note in Splint’s jacket of some form of code, crystals in a glass of wine, the presence of a second person in the room, as indicated by both a second glass of wine and a second set of boot prints. There was also a set outside the door, and a third pair outside the window on the ground. From what it looksed like, whoever had eliminated Splint had done so with a powerful ammount of electricity and then possibly gone out the window. The damage to Splint’s body showed that he had been struck in the chest by the blast and it had finished is path through his feet, charring him completely (an image that still makes my stomach queasy. probably from knowing a few people that have gone that way when the spark caught them. It’s generally not quick, and rarely painless).
Cecily however, did seem able to manage it, and even surprised me by coming up with a way to get copies of the bootprints with something she called McNittle stick all.
So we gather all of this evidence and begin looking it over at the Explorer’s club. Even manageing to find a place to preserve the prints, though removal proves problematic. We also began to examine the package that “Watcher” had opened. It appeared to have been cogs with sigils on them. Quite possible it’s part of a code machine.
About this time, we are greeted by an individual representing an interested party in our party. We are given an invite to his home, a run down looking place by many standards. We are lead in to meet with him, first past his doorman, a man we were to later learn was his hit man as well. He offers us an out, but in doing so, we would be digging further in. During his rather long and insulting explanation, he even tells us outright that he is the killer, but that proving it would be impossible, as he has an alibi and people to support it.
His offer was that we help the Arcanists to “prevent the upcoming Civil War the Senators are bringing to us.” It is during this time that we also find out he is the chessman we were warned against. We did not accept his proposal.
As we prepared to speak with Bartail, we found we had grown yet another tail. Confronting this one, we got semi-straight answers. He would lead us to his employer after our meeting. Meeting with Bartail was a good, but still not as final as we had hoped. While we had much evidence that there was other people involved, we had no proof of who had done what. All we had was the involvment of the woman in the hobnailed boots and some form of powerful magics. Bartail made it clear that, while interested in justice, he had no interest in hanging us if it could be avoided. Since we couldn’t bring him a person that was without a doubt the killer, that still left us. He did give us the option of making an escape, but that would hardly accomplish what was needed. His other option was, while not the most appealing, the better of the two. Join the scouts, go to Fort Everreach and allow time to cool things off while the memory of Splint faded. Much as I had not planned to serve in the military, it seems the best way to settle this. We were given 24 hours to decide.
As we returned to the Explorer’s Guild, we saw the rust colored cloak in front of a potter’s store on the hitching post. Going inside, we requested to return it to it’s owner, and we were lead back to meet with our morning tail. He greeted us and lead us to the tent city. There we met with a lady by the name of Clay. She admitted to being a smuggler and of having an interest in the package Splint was to receive. To what end, I’m uncertain, but as she seems to fit the description of the third party involved in the room during Splint’s death as told by Chessman, she is involved in this intrigue deeply. But her willingness to deal with us on the level makes me reluctant to hand her over. It doesn’t bode well for us that the most honest of the people being dealt with is the Smuggler, does it. We’ve been told that, should we want to meet with her again, to go back to where we found the cloak and ask to return it. The person will lead us to her again. At this point, I’m beginning to think we leave a copy of the real gears with her for safe keeping, as she did show an interest in them, then possibly take up Bartail on his offer. as for the real gears…I’m not sure. But I think Cecily has a plan for them, and I’ll back her play.
And where oin the Name of the Forces did she come up with calling me Nickie?