When Falls the Hammer of Night
Jun 25 20:14:13 Dry|GM: A warm day gives way to a stormy night, which in turn gives way to a gray and overcast morning. It’s late morning, on the day following the lavish dinner at the King’s Table, and the common room at the inn that Bira, Corwyn, Seong, Sissil, and Zekki are staying at isn’t particularly crowded; most of those with early business left before the overcast sky showed any signs of lightening, and the noon rush has yet to come.
Jun 25 20:15:32 Dry|GM: [Place: Common Room at the Full Plate Inn, Sylmore. Time: 10 am. Weather: Overcast and cool outside.]
Jun 25 20:15:37 Dry|GM: [Free to Act: All]
Jun 25 20:16:02 Sissil: Sissil is looking at a still closed letter. “Pardon my brain being full of too much crap lately but… anyone here good at checking a letter out for magical nasties before I open it?”
Jun 25 20:17:17 * Seong “If we can’t find anything wrong with it, I’ll open it.” She sits up, speaking with complete seriousness.
Jun 25 20:18:07 Bira: Bira sets down her mug. “Here, I think I can try something. I have a weird relationship with magic, but maybe…”
Jun 25 20:19:00 Sissil: Sissil passes the letter over. “I’d rather take that chance myself, thanks.” She grins. “I think I know who it’s from and I doubt it’s hostile but…”
Jun 25 20:20:55 Bira: Bira simply squints at it for a few moments, then passes it back. “Nothing magical about it. Just don’t lick it and that should handle any of the other potential hazards.”
Jun 25 20:22:40 Sissil: Sissil opens it as it is handed back, and skims… then laughs. “Hey Seong, your ‘boyfriend’ wants to spar with you again.” She continues giggling as she sets the letter down.
Jun 25 20:23:23 * Seong “The advice ’don’t like it’ comes up surprisingly often in non-sexual terms.” She glances at Sissil. “Weren’t they trying to kill us? I have their dead friend weighing on my conscience, and he wants a rematch?” She sounds sour.
Jun 25 20:24:18 Bira: “There are rather a lot of things that shouldn’t be licked. And I think killing us was more of a side note to the job they were hired for.”
Jun 25 20:25:44 Corwyn: Corwyn is sitting at one of the… loungier seats, legs slung over one of the armrests. She peers up from her sport, pushing up the brim of her hat. “You should take him up on it, Seong. Obviously he’s in to it.” She sits up a bit, hesting her cheek on her palm. “Unless you need a wingwoman or something, in which case I’m sure someone’ll be happy t’ come along.”
Jun 25 20:26:47 * Seong “What specifically does it say?” She seems to ignore the teasing. “Because this is an ambush.”
Jun 25 20:28:02 Sissil: “The short version or the long version?” SHe offers. “The long version was a thanking for treating their dead friend with respect, even though in her case, she’d prefered cremation. That’s from the dwarf. The human you sparred with noted we were the most polite people they were paid to rob, and that they’d like to go with you sometime when it wasn’t hostilities.” She shrugs. “They did a job, we did a job, DOesn’t pay to hate
Jun 25 20:28:02 Sissil: someone for a job.”
Jun 25 20:29:06 * Seong twitches. “It was to preserve the body so they could /find/ her remains to have her resurrected, it had nothing to do with burial rites.”
Jun 25 20:30:05 Sissil: “… Not everyone can afford ressurections. And in this neighborhood…” SHe shrugs.
Jun 25 20:32:31 * Seong “It stands to reason they’ve as much magical items as we do.”
Jun 25 20:32:39 Bira: Bira swallows a bite of the meat pasty she has for breakfast. “I think we should take them up on that. At the very least, we have a few questions for each other.”
Jun 25 20:33:47 Corwyn: “Pft,” Corwyn remarks, rolling her eyes. “I told you to let me creamate,” she remarks drollfully. "At any rate, it might be best to let it go unless one of them comes looking for us. I don’t feel like we’re done with them. Not as long as we’re here.
Jun 25 20:33:49 Corwyn: "
Jun 25 20:34:34 Sissil: “Let me put that anothe rway…”
Jun 25 20:34:56 Sissil: "if I died in this forest, I would hope you had the sense to NOT ressurect me anywhere within a day’s travel of it
Jun 25 20:35:31 * Seong “I think we should meet them. All of us. We’re suddenly in a situation where we need answers.” She rolls her neck. “I’m simply annoyed. Their window for raising the dead has likely passed, they’d need more powerful magic anyway.” She sighs. "
Jun 25 20:36:00 Bira: “Really? I have a pamphlet here somewhere on the benefits of undeath.” she flips open her tome and looks through the folder-like pages near the back.
Jun 25 20:38:11 Dry|GM: A man wearing a dull blue tunic steps into the common room off the street. He glances around, then, spotting the counter, heads for it and takes a seat.
Jun 25 20:40:34 Corwyn: “Oh, GOds, no. Ew.” Corwyn swings her legs forward off the armrest and too the ground, sitting upright. “Why go meet them? What answers could they possibly have about anything? If we want answers, we go talk to the…” she grumbles, looking off to the side. “Alchemist.”
Jun 25 20:41:41 Sissil: “… actually, there is a really good question they could know. Who hired them.”
Jun 25 20:42:18 * Seong points at Sissil. “Life offers opportunities. We can ALWAYS talk to the alchemist.”
Jun 25 20:43:43 Bira: “It would be mostly an academic topic. We’ve done our job, there’s not much call to pursue things ourselves.”
Jun 25 20:47:58 Corwyn: “Why does who hired them matter?” Corwyn leans forward, quirking an eyebrow. “Bira’s got the right of it. Our job’s done. I see no real need to go barking up trees. ANd I’m sure as hell not talking to the alchemist.”
Jun 25 20:49:49 * Seong “So, you don’t care about the impact this substance will have?” She says evenly. She makes a small motion toward the blue-clad man in the corner.
Jun 25 20:51:34 Bira: “It’s not even certain it will have an impact yet.” Bira crosses her arms and nods severely.
Jun 25 20:52:09 Sissil: “HOnestly? I’ts more something to do. I hate sitting around doing nothing, and I was told to get out and see the world some.”
Jun 25 20:52:35 Corwyn: “Oh, I do. I think that man is batshit crazy. But I’d just go handle him before working about who hired those thugs if I was that worried about it.” Corwyn stands up, pulling her hat off. “Cut it off at the source.”
Jun 25 20:53:24 * Seong stretches. “At the end of it, I’ve clearly been guided toward this meeting, and I’d wish my friends there. All of them.” The last bit she adds directly to Corwyn.
Jun 25 20:56:09 Bira: Bira smirks, drains her mug, and sets it down loudly as she stands up. “Glad you count us among them, then.”
Jun 25 20:56:59 Dry|GM: The newcomer rocks on his seat, then stands and starts to make his way over.
Jun 25 21:00:44 Dry|GM: He approaches and stops a few paces away from your table, clears his throat. “Are you Bira Tomedelver, Sissil Frostbreath…” he pauses, his lips twitching slightly into a frown, “…‘Raven’, and ‘Seong’?” He glances to each of you as he says your name.
Jun 25 21:01:32 Dry|GM: He looks around for a moment after he’s done, as though he’s looking for someone else, as well.
Jun 25 21:01:50 Sissil: Sissil turns her focus to the newcomer, as she puts a hand on her blade’s hilt. “Depends on who’s asking.”
Jun 25 21:02:26 Corwyn: “I don’t make a habit of sticking my head where it doesn’t belong,” Corwyn remarks a bit bitterly, crossing her arms. “Stay a-” As the man comes over and asks for them. Her eyes narrow and she places her hat back on her head. “What.”
Jun 25 21:02:46 Bira: “Aye, and you’ve the advantage of us.” She catches his look. “I believe our gnome has taken her dog for a run.”
Jun 25 21:05:09 Dry|GM: He notices that and seems to get a degree more wary. “David Pridemore, Sylmore City Watch.” A chair shifts in the corner; a big man pushes his table back slightly to stand, and moves to stand beside him. “Richard Farrier. Also Watch,” he says. He glances to Bira and nods slightly, filing that away.
Jun 25 21:05:32 * Seong takes an opportunity to pour water into her drinking jug, and swish it around. The tengu kanji on the side glow softly as its magic activates. She takes a long drink.
Jun 25 21:06:27 Dry|GM: The slighter of the two—also, it appears, the greener of the two, takes a deep breath. “We’d like you to come with us.”
Jun 25 21:07:08 Bira: Bira relaxes significantly. “Certainly. May we ask the cause?”
Jun 25 21:07:24 Sissil: Sissil doesn’t relax, per se, but she does move her hand off of her weapon.
Jun 25 21:09:09 Dry|GM: The younger officer tenses slightly. “That’s…” He sounds a bit conflicted, but the more grizzled officer steps in smoothly. “Crime’s been committed. Detective wants to talk to you,” he offers, his voice calm.
Jun 25 21:12:20 Bira: Nodding solemnly, Bira gathers her book and stuffs the last of her pasty in her mouth. “Righff, ven.”
Jun 25 21:13:08 * Seong stands, stretching. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had an undeserved stay in a cell, and I warn you I’m intending to keep it that way.”
Jun 25 21:15:50 Corwyn: “A crime? Please. We’ve already been victims to one, I have no intentions of staying here any longer than I need to, much less for some ramshackle crime I had nothing to do with.” Corwyn rolls her eyes, adjusting her poncho.
Jun 25 21:17:55 Dry|GM: The younger officer looks like he’s not at all sure what to make at that; the older one just eyes Seong for a moment, then nods slowly. “Fair enough.” He glances to Bira and nods as well… but at Corwyn’s comment he shifts slightly, moving a bit back. “That so?” he asks, his voice mildly interested as he regards her.
Jun 25 21:18:53 * Seong “Raven dear, let’s not make the poor men’s lives difficult.” She frowns, then takes another drink.
Jun 25 21:20:22 Dry|GM: The younger one tenses at Corwyn’s words; his eyes flicker to Seong’s as she speaks…, but he doesn’t take his gaze off Corwyn for long.
Jun 25 21:25:04 Corwyn: “…yes. It is.” Corwyn’s eyes narrow, like she’s ready to do what she needs to to get away. She’s tense, but after a moment she sighs. “This is a bad idea, Seong.”
Jun 25 21:25:19 Corwyn: “But sure, why not. One problem after another.”
Jun 25 21:25:30 Bira: “Such is life.”
Jun 25 21:25:38 Sissil: “… My only question would be are we being asked for as suspects, or as otherwise interested?”
Jun 25 21:25:42 Sissil: Sissil’s tone is calm.
Jun 25 21:26:07 * Seong “I’m fully aware of what this is, Raven.” She sounds calm.
Jun 25 21:28:39 Dry|GM: “That’s for the detective to say.” The elder one says… then, after a moment, he sighs, seeming to relent. “We’re just grunts on this one. But I’d think it’d be too early for suspects,” he says; the last comes out as a mumble, but he’s peering very intently at Sissil as he says it. The younger one glances to the more grizzled one; he doesn’t look happy at the ‘slip’, but then, he doesn’t look like he’s that happy to be here at the momen
Jun 25 21:29:38 Sissil: Sissil looks at the obviously more skilled of the pair. “Let’s get this over with then…”
Jun 25 21:31:47 Dry|GM: The elder officer nods his head; he turns and makes for the door.
Jun 25 21:35:54 Dry|GM: The younger officer waits and brings up the rear; as you step outside the door, another few officers who had been loitering nearby—these in full blues—fall in. It appears you have a full escort.
Jun 25 21:38:03 Dry|GM: There’s some walking; twisty streets. No deserted back alleys, though; there’s always some traffic, be it on foot or otherwise. Your ‘escort’ disperses somewhat after it becomes obvious you’re not planning to do anything unfortunate, and your path winds towards the industrial section of the city. The smells here are not particularly pleasant, but as you progress, a faint smell of smoke becomes more and more pronounced.
Jun 25 21:39:26 Dry|GM: At last, your destination comes into sight. A faded sign saying ‘Sterton Alchemicals’ hangs in front of a small, two story greystone building; the smell of smoke is pronounced here, tinged with an acrid, vaguely chemical odor.
Jun 25 21:41:57 Dry|GM: A rumpled looking man stands out in front of the shop, conversing with another watchman; he looks up as you approach, nods to the officers. The elder of your two guides eyes the rumpled man. Some words are exchanged, and then he nods to his men, and they wander a short distance off; you can hear the more grizzled officer speaking to the younger one in a tone of patient admonishment.
Jun 25 21:42:16 Dry|GM: “Detective Sam Raines,” the rumpled man introduces himself.
Jun 25 21:42:31 Dry|GM: [Place: Sterton Alchemicals. Free to Act: All]
Jun 25 21:43:17 Sissil: “Sissil Frostbreath. We were informed you wanted to speak with us regarding something that had gone wrong somewhere in someone’s day?”
Jun 25 21:43:30 Sissil: Sissil’s tone is guarded, but not hostile.
Jun 25 21:43:50 Bira: “Bira Tomedelver. Is Mr. Sterton…” She seems unwilling to finish the thought.
Jun 25 21:50:50 Corwyn: As the building comes into view, Corwyn inhales sharply, clearly a bit unnerved by the sight. Her boasting and antagonistic ways seem to fade until they get closer, at which point she lets out a huff. “YOu
Jun 25 21:51:13 Corwyn: ’ve got to be kidding me,” she mumbles. “Now I know we’re being set up for something. Maybe you were right, Seong.”
Jun 25 21:53:23 Sissil: “… If we are, it started back at King’s Table at the very least.” She sighs. “Alright, what happened so we can try to help you as much as we can, if for no other reason, helping ourselves.”
Jun 25 21:53:42 * Seong “The wheel turns, and a poor man’s optimism is punished. We did nothing wrong, except maybe not warn him enough.”
Jun 25 21:56:01 Dry|GM: The detective eyes each of the party in turn. “Yes, Mr. Sterton is. Quite thoroughly, at that. And you were the last ones known to have seen him alive.” He pauses slightly. “You can understand, I trust, how some might find that suspicious,” he observes.
Jun 25 21:56:59 * Seong "We had just finished a job safeguarding a shipment for him containing a powerful alchemical substance. He repayed us in part with dinner at the king’s table. " She says plainly.
Jun 25 21:57:21 Sissil: “Actually, You should have seen him after we did.” Sissil notes. “You were at the King’s Table, drinking by yourself. He left before we did.”
Jun 25 21:59:11 Dry|GM: He writes briefly at Bira’s explanation, then glances to Sissil. “That’s correct. On the other hand, he didn’t buy me dinner. Pity, too; by all accounts, it was a nice dinner.”
Jun 25 22:00:11 Dry|GM: “And I didn’t leave after him looking like I had a firewasp nest in my pants, either,” he observes, glancing levelly to Corwyn for a moment.
Jun 25 22:01:35 Bira: “The stew was rather heavy on a spice I’d never encountered before, but that’s not surprising. Not encountering the spice, that is, not it being over-seasoned. The food was otherwise…” She babbles a bit further in that vein.
Jun 25 22:03:49 Corwyn: “What. Seriously?” Corwyn scoffs, folding her arms. “The man was clearly an idiot playing with stuff he had no actual idea about, but I doubt I could could cause this kind of chaos. Or, you know, kill him.” Both of those are lies, but she’s smarter than to openly admit what she really felt like doing." Meanwhile, she glances off to the side – at allies, stores, buildings. Everything
Jun 25 22:03:49 Corwyn: around them.
Jun 25 22:03:50 Sissil: “… Sir, if we wanted him dead, we wouldn’t have still been in town by the time your men came looking for us.” Sissil’s tone is sad, but mater of fact. “In fact, we warned him that whoever hired the group that attacked the caravan we were guarding might try something like this. He insisted to be ‘optimistic’”
Jun 25 22:04:58 Dry|GM: He listens intently to Bira for awhile, nodding where appropriate; after about thirty seconds, though, he raises a hand to cut her off. “Alright, alright. Revising my account, it was a very nice dinner. I’m glad for that, at least; a decent last meal is something everyone deserves, and not everyone gets. Let’s cut to the chase, though.” He looks to Corwyn, then to Sissil, and files away notes.
Jun 25 22:06:18 * Seong “The chase being our unjust accusation, I imagine.” She says flatly.
Jun 25 22:06:56 Sissil: “… We’re the last ones you know of to see him alive.” She states. “I grasp that. That does make us a good place to start, I suppose.”
Jun 25 22:08:41 Dry|GM: He nods to Sissil, but doesn’t reply; instead he glances to Seong for a moment. “Both parts of that remain to be seen, Miss Song,” he says levelly, before glancing back to Corwyn, his face taking on an interested expression. “An ‘idiot’… interesting conclusion. Mister Sterton was, it seems, quite a distinguished personage. What makes you call him an idiot?”
Jun 25 22:09:04 Dry|GM: His face is open, unguarded, seemingly legitimately interested.
Jun 25 22:09:30 * Seong “Our avian friend conflates optimism with idiocy.” She yawns. “I can’t say I blame her.”
Jun 25 22:09:57 Dry|GM: His eyes flicker to Seong for a moment, but he waits to hear Corwyn’s version.
Jun 25 22:10:54 Bira: Bira looks like she wants to say things, but in deference to the detective’s professionalism, she waits for Corwyn to speak for herself.
Jun 25 22:17:51 Corwyn: “Too quick to throw himself into something without thinking about it first. Without really looking at…”Corwn groans, rubbing a hand on her forehead. “You don’t have to be dumb to be an idiot, you know. The man had no sense.” She pauses, thinking about her choice of words. “At least that’s what I seemed to gather from last night,” she adds.
Jun 25 22:19:46 * Seong “The man was excited at the applications of this substance of his. I forget what he called it.” Whether she intends it or not, her eyes end up falling on Bira.
Jun 25 22:21:13 Bira: Bira catches the look. “He never actually named the substance itself, I believe. We only know what he was hoping to get out of it.” She flips open her book, then looks up, chagrined. “I didn’t take notes.”
Jun 25 22:21:37 Corwyn: “Dreamstone,” Corwyn interjects. Maybe it was a secret, but maybe being open about it will get them out of here faster. “At any rate, keeping us here for this is about as dumb as he was an idiot. We have no cause for this.”
Jun 25 22:22:07 Sissil: “He didn’t state what the substance was as he didn’t know. It was something that might lead to making dreamstone.” Sissil clarifies as she pauses to look around a moment.
Jun 25 22:22:45 Sissil: “And whatever it was, someone killed three fourths of a caravan and now him to get it.” She concludes.
Jun 25 22:24:55 Dry|GM: He eyes Corwyn for a long moment, arching an eyebrow at her odd choice of words… then looks back to his notebook and jots something down matter-of-factly. It seems as though he’s not going to press that particular point at the moment. At the talk about Sterton’s work, he jots a few more things down. “Mm. We might have some followup questions about that later, but for now the search squad’s looking for anything on that,” he says.
Jun 25 22:25:07 Sissil: “… and given they tried to kill
us in the process…” Sissil shakes her head. “Was there enough to identify the body but not ressurect him? If so, when will last rites be?”
Jun 25 22:26:50 Dry|GM: He eyes Sissil for a moment, frowning thoughtfully. “One last question, then… then I’ll answer that one.” He pauses. “Where were all of you last night, and who can corroborate it?”
Jun 25 22:28:18 * Seong “The inn. The innkeeper.” she says with a deadpan tone.
Jun 25 22:28:29 Sissil: Sissil names a bar, one in the seedy end of town. “I picked up a message from the bartender. I then went back to the inn, where the keep saw me on my way back in, I then slept the night away.”
Jun 25 22:29:49 Bira: “Fast asleep at the Full Plate. Other than the innkeeper, I was sharing a room with Zekki, who is probably not a reliable witness in this case.”
Jun 25 22:30:10 Dry|GM: He nods at Seong; as Sissil speaks, his eyes widen slightly. He nods a couple of times and files a note. “Better you than me,” he says absently. He peers at Sissil again, frowning, but decides not to press that one further, either. Not at this point.
Jun 25 22:30:56 Dry|GM: He nods at Bira as well. “Not particularly. Especially since she’s not here at the moment. On the other hand, I saw that dog of hers. Probably takes a lot of walking,” he says, filing another note.
Jun 25 22:30:59 Sissil: “That said, Sir…” She is respectful as she pulls her hood back. “Do you honestly think I could move around this part of town without SOMEONE taking note of me?”
Jun 25 22:31:08 Corwyn: “Oh. Well…” Corwyn replies, her face reddening a bit. “Not- at my room most of the night. Drinking and then with, uh- one of the barmaid. I didn’t get her name.” She scratches emarassedly at the sid eof her head, looking down at the geound. “Didn’t think it’d be important. I guess that makes this kinda a bit harder.”
Jun 25 22:36:08 Dry|GM: He stares. Blinks. Lets out a breath. “Well then. Do you know the name of the—actually, nevermind. Shouldn’t be hard to find out sooner or later.” He sighs, pulls out a flask from his belt and takes a deep draw. “Alright. Your question,” he says, looking to Sissil. “Resurrection’s not a usual thing. Priests tend to get all pissy about it, and… in this case it’d take some work anyway,” he grimaces.
Jun 25 22:36:38 Dry|GM: “Our, ah, ‘interrogator’ is going to have a go at the corpse after while. As soon as we’ve got the head put back together.”
Jun 25 22:37:17 Sissil: Sissil frowns and nods. “I see.”
Jun 25 22:37:17 * Seong perks up, suddenly. “Whoever killed him didn’t remove the jaw, are you serious?”
Jun 25 22:37:26 Bira: Bira blinks and shakily leans against a crate. “Oh…”
Jun 25 22:38:21 Sissil: There’s a tension in how Sissil moves. “I assume you’d prefer we stuck around for a day or two incase there are mroe questions?”
Jun 25 22:38:36 Dry|GM: “No. They just bashed his head in and set fire to the place. Search team’s been going over the place since 4 am.”
Jun 25 22:39:41 Sissil: “… Warhammer?” She asks without explaining further.
Jun 25 22:39:47 * Seong doesn’t seem as laid-back anymore. “So it wasn’t a professional, it was a thug. The man deserved more.”
Jun 25 22:40:50 Corwyn: “Has anyone scrubbed the place for magic yet? That should’ve been step one.” Corwyn nods, rubbing at her cheek again. “Sounds like the brutes we ran into.”
Jun 25 22:42:10 Dry|GM: He snorts. “Yeah. There’s magic alright; had to get our specialist to sweep the place with a fine tooth comb to disable all the wards; guy said he had a migraine by the time he was done.”
Jun 25 22:42:40 Sissil: “… all those wards, and yet someone got past?” Sissil suddenly looks alarmed.
Jun 25 22:43:35 Sissil: “… and no, if it was the group we ran into, the head wouldn’t be intact enough to reassemble.”
Jun 25 22:44:18 Dry|GM: He looks to Sissil sourly. “Yeah.” He sighs. “Murderers don’t always wear black hats and cackle fiendishly at their doings. Unfortunately. And no, it didn’t look like a warhammer wound.”
Jun 25 22:45:04 Dry|GM: He sighs, glances at the place. “Ugh. Probably shouldn’t be doing this, but the search team’s through anyway. You guys want to have a look?”
Jun 25 22:45:33 Sissil: Sissil frowns. “… If we could, yes. Though I’d also like to ask where we can reach you at if we find more afterwards.”
Jun 25 22:46:21 Corwyn: “Oh right. Alchemist.” Corwyn sighs at her own display of idiocy. “Well, at least he was smart enough to prepare.”
Jun 25 22:46:43 * Seong “Bira, we might need your expertise, I’m sorry to say.”
Jun 25 22:46:59 Dry|GM: “Mm. Tell ya what. If I find anything else, I’ll find you guys. Might need more answers anyway,” Raines grumbles. He takes another hit from his flask, then squares his shoulders, resuming his professional demeanor. “Let’s take a look,” he says, gesturing the way forward. A few of the other officers glances Raines’s way, but no one says anything.
Jun 25 22:47:08 Bira: Bira nods weakly, then steels herself and stands back to her feet. “Yes, that- that’s fine.”
Jun 25 22:52:33 Sissil: Sissil follows wordlessly. She keeps her hands to herself.
Jun 25 22:53:54 Dry|GM: Sterton’s place seems like a fairly standard building. The entrance is a basic storefront, with a bell on the counter; there are some display cases, but they’ve been shattered and are empty. Some broken glass and faint stains of colored liquid remain, but that’s it.
Jun 25 22:57:10 Dry|GM: Behind the counter, another room—a small laboratory room painted a bright, cheery yellow. A stool sits in front of a desk and workstation; it’s stocked with a few reagants, neatly filed away; on the other side of the room, a huge hole has been burned in the floor. You can see a dark room below; above, it seems that the fire has burned through the ceiling.
Jun 25 22:58:30 Dry|GM: Sterton’s bedroom has been similarly partially roasted; the single-sized bed is alright, but a misshapen lump that was evidently once a table lies on the floor. A small bookcase sits in the corner; various alchemical tomes and research notes sit there.
Jun 25 22:59:53 Dry|GM: The upstairs is occupied by a small pantry and more bookshelves; down below, though, is where things get interesting.
Jun 25 23:00:58 Dry|GM: “Watch your step,” the detective calls back, as he threads his way through the firescorched rooms, leading the way down a narrow staircase to a large basement. This, it appears, is where Sterton did most of his actual research.
Jun 25 23:02:30 Dry|GM: It looks rather like a bomb went off. A partially melted metal workstation dominates the room; various arcane circles etched in the floor seem to have contained the worst of the blaze, but the damage was considerable. A chalk outline sits in front of the workstation; ashes and scraps of paper are visible everywhere.
Jun 25 23:02:43 Dry|GM: [Free to Act: All]
Jun 25 23:05:39 Sissil: Sissil just keeps a frown.
Jun 25 23:06:40 Sissil: “… I don’t know enough about alchemy to know what I’m seeing in the scraps of paper…” She pauses, and poitns towards something red. “But what’s
Jun 25 23:07:00 Bira: Bira draws in a breath as she spots the chalk outline, but steels herself again and looks closer at the room. “I see it too, but let me take a look at those notes first.”
Jun 25 23:10:41 Dry|GM: “Hm?” Raines looks at Sissil and Bira sharply.
Jun 25 23:10:49 Bira: “Hmm.” Bira looks over the scraps, arranges them, rearranges them. “It’s a table of… pressure readings?”
Jun 25 23:11:06 Bira: “Zekki might be able to figure more out.”
Jun 25 23:12:17 Sissil: Sissil meanwhile is looking over a red
thing that isn’t totally destroyed
Jun 25 23:12:25 Sissil: She is, notably, smart enough to NOT touch it
Jun 25 23:18:33 Sissil: Sissil starts
carefully clearing out the area around what she is seeing.
Jun 25 23:18:40 Sissil: which is almost immediately UNDER the workstation
Jun 25 23:19:02 Sissil: “Only a freaking alchemist would make one…” She mutters.
Jun 25 23:19:08 Corwyn: “Hmm…” Corwyn walks in behind the others, a hand to her chin as she looks around. If they’re going to get dragged into this, might as well help out. “Defintiely a very well kept lab. Meticulous, just like him…” she looks around, stoppingto look at the circles on the floor. “And he was smart enough to build in failsafes and containment measure. Looks like two didn’t work so well. I
Jun 25 23:19:08 Corwyn: wonder how they were broken…”
Jun 25 23:21:10 Bira: “He kept the lab better than he kept himself,” Bira nods to Corwyn’s analysis. “Which isn’t unheard of.”
Jun 25 23:21:12 * Seong “Let’s see, the wards were intact, the attack was unprofessional, he was dealing with an unstable substance, and some of the containment measures are broken.” She claps the detective lightly on the back. “It’s looking like an accident.” She then takes a drink from her jug.
Jun 25 23:21:29 Corwyn: tap tap against her chin, and she bends down to look at them more carefully. “Wait, no. This one held, somehow despite the immense strain. Gods. I’d almost think this was a lot more complicated than bashing his head in and setting the place on fire…” She pauses for a moment, looking to Bira. “So, I take it no one’s found the dreamstone.”
Jun 25 23:22:00 Bira: The dwarf leans her head back to examine the burns. “I think we may be looking at it.”
Jun 25 23:22:44 Sissil: “Hey Bira? Is this a
book?” She motions to what she’s digging around. Which shoudl nto possibly be a book
Jun 25 23:23:14 Corwyn: Corwyn clicks her tongue, looking where Bira does. “Wow. I told him that stuff wasn’t safe. Pretty shitty waste if that’s the case, but at least it’s out of anyone’s hands. I hope.”
Jun 25 23:23:39 * Seong “I’m of the mind that the dreamstone /exploded/. Either that or someone summoned a devil or somesuch to do the dirty work. The kind that would walk directly here along some other dimension to bypass the wards.”"
Jun 25 23:24:57 Bira: “Mm, my thought as well. The explosion. Warding circle channeled the blast straight up.” she crouches by Sissil to examine the red object more closely. “A book, here? Seems… unlikely…”
Jun 25 23:25:14 Sissil: “Very but…”
Jun 25 23:25:29 Sissil: She shrugs and points tot he outline of what she’s partially removed remains of workbench from around
Jun 25 23:26:08 Corwyn: “One of the wards burned out.I’m pretty sure it just exploded too, but there’s definitely something… I dunno. Unless they really wanted to frame us, just blowing it up seems odd. Unless that really was an accident, but after the trouble getting it here…” Corwyn shakes her head and shrugs. “Well, whatever.”
Jun 25 23:26:34 Dry|GM: “Be damned. Looks like a book,” Raines observes, looking at the thing in disbelief. He looks up at the hole in the ceiling, then back to the… book?
Jun 25 23:26:40 * Seong frowns, all of a sudden. “Course, this doesn’t mean it was purely an accident.”
Jun 25 23:28:54 Corwyn: “Or that all of the dreamstone is actually gone,” Corwyn notes, leaning carefully against a wall. “Could’ve blown up some of it to make it seem like it. And fry part of the building.” Because that’s what she’d do, or at least consider. “Is everything else more or less in place? I feel like you don’t kill a man like this without aim t’ take something. He’s a former scholar and profession.
Jun 25 23:28:55 Corwyn: His wealth of knowledge must be great.”
Jun 25 23:29:20 Corwyn: *professor
Jun 25 23:30:13 Bira: Bira cranes her head to look up the hole again. “It was under the workbench, so it couldn’t have fallen from above after the fire…”
Jun 25 23:30:18 * Seong “I feel like I’m being conned. After all, who WOULDN’T believe that an alchemist blew himself up?”
Jun 25 23:31:15 Sissil: “Which means it was here before the fire.” Sissil concludes. “Is it safe to pick up?”
Jun 25 23:31:37 Corwyn: “Anyone who didn’t know better,” Corwyn replies to Seong. “Lucky us, I guess.”
Jun 25 23:31:57 Bira: “Now that you say that, this feels like… the damage is too small to be dreamstone. The legends are of a substanceo f immense energy. Even a weak precursor should… vaporize a building like this.”
Jun 25 23:32:20 Bira: Bira squints at the book.
Jun 25 23:32:27 * Seong nods to Bira.
Jun 25 23:33:08 Bira: “Given how heavy what we were hauling was, even if it was wrapped in lead there was a lot of mass there.”
Jun 25 23:34:11 Sissil: Sissil frowns as she considers and looks again at the room with a different set of eyes. She’s looking at the floor, in fact.
Jun 25 23:34:20 Sissil: Namely, for places the floor is obviously reinforced
Jun 25 23:40:56 Bira: “Well, the book seems warded, which is logical. Also… glamered? Not a powerful effect, either way. Also, the first ward burnt out, the second lost a lot of strength, and the third is still intact.”
Jun 25 23:41:33 Bira: Carefully, she reaches out and picks up the book.
Jun 25 23:42:08 Dry|GM: Nothing so far. Thing looks scorched—badly—in some places—but it’s not ash.
Jun 25 23:44:01 Sissil: “… This floor.” She frowns and taps it with her boot once. “He built this lab to last. Even the bottom floor is reinforced to the point where I’m more worried about some idiot falling in then the roof coming down on us.”
Jun 25 23:45:25 Dry|GM: “Yeah. He had all of his permits nailed down, did some renovation on the place from what we’ve been able to find,” Raines chips in. He sounds sour for some reason.
Jun 25 23:47:11 Bira: “Mm.” Bira flips the book open.
Jun 25 23:47:58 Corwyn: Cirwyn gives Bira a sour look. She already said that! Oh well, she can’t hold it against her. She begins to walk around the room, looking over things as carefully as she can. “Something just doens’t sit right…” she remarks mostly to herself
Jun 25 23:48:41 Sissil: Sissil again looks the room over, and frowns.
Jun 25 23:48:52 * Seong “Exactly.” She takes a drink, then offers it to the detective.
Jun 25 23:50:41 Sissil: “… Sir, I have a stupid question.”
Jun 25 23:50:56 Sissil: She looks to the detective. “How certain are you that your body is the owner of this place?”
Jun 25 23:51:48 Dry|GM: Raines makes a sour expression. “Hard to say. There wasn’t a whole lot left, after this,” he says, gesturing to the half-melted workstation.
Jun 25 23:51:56 Bira: “‘Dinner did not go as planned.’” She looks up. “It’s damaged, but we have his journal here.”
Jun 25 23:52:14 Sissil: “… Theory: The body isn’t his. It’s one of his assailants.”
Jun 25 23:52:59 * Seong "That may be stretching a bit. " She shakes the jug a bit, still trying to offer the detective a drink.
Jun 25 23:53:27 Corwyn: “Sheesh,” Corwyn remarks as she gets to a shelf that had once held a lot more, then looks back out at the rest of the lab. “Whoever did this really didn’t care what they were doing. If I had to guess, they picked up everything they could find that sounded fflamable and started chucking. I doubt our explosion is the dreamstore.” Which is all the more worrying. “Probably mixed something
Jun 25 23:53:27 Corwyn: terrible by accident. Or worse, on purpose…” She mulls on that for a moment. “If it’s not him, a priest could figure that our pretty fast, couldn’t they? Doesn’t seem like the smartest plan unless it’s some sorta diversion…”
Jun 25 23:53:30 Dry|GM: Raines looks at Bira. “His journal? That… that could clue us in to a lot.” He eyes Seong’s jug, hesitates a moment, then tilts his head and takes it. Because why not.
Jun 25 23:54:56 Bira: “Our dear Raven here reminded him quite strongly of a woman he once knew… who apparently ended badly. A close enough resemblance ot be sisters, it seems.”
Jun 25 23:55:00 Corwyn: Corwyn perks up, turning back around. “Is anything about his dreamstone work in there? That’s the first thing I’d go for, if I knew what I was looking for.”
Jun 25 23:55:06 Dry|GM: He nods to Seong, passes the jug back, and wipes his mouth with his sleeve. “Obliged,” he says. Turning back to Corwyn, he nods. “Our interrogator should be able to decipher that, but… if it’s not him, then where is he? He’s an eighty year old man, needed a cane to walk very far; where’d he go? How’d he get there? Why hasn’t he come forward?”
Jun 25 23:55:35 Sissil: “What did he have that was valuable? His knowledge. They kidnapped him.”
Jun 25 23:55:47 * Seong “Kidnapping is possible. Someone may have desired his expertise, and-” She frowns at Sissil.
Jun 25 23:56:01 Sissil: Sissil smiles at Seong, and bows quietly.
Jun 25 23:56:03 Corwyn: Corwyn tenses visibly at Bira’s comment. “Oh. Huh. Did he give a name?” She gives a bit of a laugh. “If I have a twin out there, that’d be funny.”
Jun 25 23:59:37 Bira: “Unreadable, unfortunately. There is a Baron Eis-something in connection with her…” Bira opens her own tome and starts transcribing some notes. “There are a few names in connection with the research. Mr. Allen, Aska, and the Fourth Treatise.”
Jun 25 23:59:46 Dry|GM: Raines eyes Corwyn for a long moment… then shrugs faintly, turning his attention to Sissil and Seong. “Kidnapped… shit. I… can’t rule that out.”
Jun 26 00:00:43 * Seong “Well, if we can get all the skull bits in one place we can mend it with a spell.”
Jun 26 00:00:54 Sissil: “Then we’ll know for sure.”
Jun 26 00:01:12 Dry|GM: “Yeah. Our guy’s working on that back at HQ.”
Jun 26 00:01:14 Bira: “There is also mention of Rellis’ grand-niece. Lucille?” she looks up at Detective Raines. “Has there been any word sent round to her?”
Jun 26 00:02:07 Corwyn: “HOnestly, I’d think kidnapping – maybe even covering his own tracks – more likely right now. Without that dreamstone here and this whole city not a crater, it seems like the most likely thing. The explosion almost definitely wasn’t that, unless his wards are that good…” Corwyn eyes the detective herself until he shrugs, and then goes back to looking at the shelves. “Well, that’s a
Jun 26 00:02:07 Corwyn: shame. Fascinating, though…”
Jun 26 00:02:37 Dry|GM: He nods, hitting his notebook. “Yeah. Lucille Fletcher; lives at a young girl’s home nearby, under the care of a Delilah Chartreuse. We’re trying to find her; no luck so far, though. Much as I hate to say it, she’s our other main suspect.”
Jun 26 00:04:40 * Seong “I don’t think there’s any ‘Mister Allen’ who lives in this area. The rest of the names, you’ll have to ask Bira.”
Jun 26 00:04:52 Sissil: "Covering his own? No, he wouldn’t have left the book behind
Jun 26 00:05:41 Dry|GM: “That’s assuming this IS a kidnapping,” Raines says quietly. “Like I said. Murderers don’t always wear black hats and prance about cackling.” He shrugs, seeming tired.
Jun 26 00:06:49 Sissil: “While true…” She frowns. “Call it a hunch, but given the old man’s obvious level of skill with alchemy, and what I’ve seen others in that line of work do?” She frowns as she looks about. “We should be in a smoking crater.”
Jun 26 00:07:30 Sissil: “In a knock down drag out fight, given his other wards and protections, the amount of damage here is too small. Something doesn’t add up.”
Jun 26 00:08:56 Dry|GM: “Who says it was a fight?” Raines observes. “He was an old, old man. One good blow to the back of the head and he’s down. Might never have seen it coming before it was too late.”
Jun 26 00:09:20 Corwyn: “I’d disagree, Sissil,” Corwyn remarks, looking up from the shelves. “COuld’ve been forgotten in haste. Left to intentionally throw a trail. It sounds like it’s hardly fully readable anyway.”
Jun 26 00:10:03 Sissil: “I agree it wasn’t a fight… But that leads to another problem.”
Jun 26 00:10:12 Sissil: “Someone had to walk in past the wards your person disabled.”
Jun 26 00:10:13 Corwyn: After a moment she shrugs. “Honestly, whatever. As long as we’re not being blamed, it’s probably not my problem. I do worry about that dreamstone, though.” That much, anyone should be able to guess after last night. “That, I would like to find, assuming it wasn’t blown up.”
Jun 26 00:10:21 Sissil: “That means they already were known to the man, and vetted.”
Jun 26 00:10:48 * Seong “If it took YOU so long to get in, Detective, how did the assailant?”
Jun 26 00:11:15 Sissil: Sissil looks at the walls a moment, thoughtfully.
Jun 26 00:11:31 Sissil: “I assume we’ve checked already for alternate ways in and out of the room?”
Jun 26 00:11:48 Dry|GM: “Either it was someone he knew, who had the key… or someone he chose to let in,” says Raines.
Jun 26 00:12:20 Dry|GM: “Yeah. This place is built solid. He spent a pretty penny to have it reinforced.”
Jun 26 00:12:35 Corwyn: “Brute forcing the wards. One down, another under a lot of strain…” Corwyn thinks to herself, moving to rejoin the others. “Or finding a way to straight up bypass them. I imagine anyone who knows what he was working on isn’t to be fucked with. Could’ve been a lot of ways. They couldn’t been shitty wards too.”
Jun 26 00:12:36 * Seong “Meaning we have an incredibly short list of suspects if this isn’t a con.”
Jun 26 00:13:52 Bira: Bira finishes her notes, carefully closes the book, and holds it to to Raines. “Thank you for the opportunity to help the investigation, Detective. I-” she glances at the chalk outline and swallows, “I hope you find the truth. If you can keep us informed, or if we can help further, I would appreciate it.”
Jun 26 00:15:48 Dry|GM: “Exactly,” Raines says. “This ‘Allen’ character… we’ll take a look, see what we can find on him. Beyond that, though… we still need to find your gnomish friend and ask her what’s going on, and the wagon driver.”
Jun 26 00:16:19 Dry|GM: “Other than that, if it’s not you—and if it’s you you’re either the absolute worst at murdering I have ever seen, or a bunch of godsdamned masterminds—then the niece is the best suspect.” He takes the journal, nods. “If I find anything, I’ll pay you a visit.”
Jun 26 00:16:43 Sissil: “We’ll be in touch. If you don’t mind though, I feel the need to go have a drink.” Sissil sighs softly.
Jun 26 00:17:54 Dry|GM: Raines nods and gives a grim smile. “Don’t blame you. Just, uh… don’t leave the city limits for awhile, okay?”
Jun 26 00:18:06 * Seong offers Sissil the jug. “Still nearly a half gallon of plum liquor.”
Jun 26 00:20:49 Sissil: Sissil grins and takes a swig. A small one. “Come on.”
Jun 26 00:20:58 Bira: “I believe,” Bira pushes herself to her feet, brushing the ash from her hands gingerly, “I will join you for that much-needed drink.”
Jun 26 00:21:33 Sissil: SHe doesn’t hand the jug back as she starts walking. The halfling has purpose to those steps.
Jun 26 00:25:42 Dry|GM:
Jun 26 00:27:26 Dry|GM: Rellis Sterton’s lab has been torched. Is the professor alive, or dead? Is the explosion from his failed experiments with dreamstone, or something else?
Jun 26 00:27:45 Dry|GM: Next time on Hammer of Night: Chasing answers.