Empire Rising

The Hunt is On

Party present: Brek Sturnson, Elihas Ramathustra, and Ragnar Smotson. (Fiona Scarlatti was ill and was played as an NPC by the GM though was run through some solo stuff later to catch up with the group. Totally playing the wife card.)

The Adventure

The party returns to Ceccana and, following inspection by the family priest, are deemed cleansed of their sins. Tohmas Ramathustra welcomes them back into the fold. They are greeted with a fine dinner and finer breakfast. He has leased for them a townhouse near the center of the city that they might use as a domicile during their time in Ceccana as well as the services of a full-time maid. If they have need of a butler, they may request one from his household (this being most likely for dinner parties, in which case he hopes they choose to invite him).

Following breakfast, Tohmas Ramathustra tells them that an informant of his at the Guild of Coin and Trade has told him that a private shipment arriving for Guildmaster Colvino was stolen, the page killed, as the man attempted to deliver the package from the ship to the guild. A mahogany box with a brass latch was being delivered from a ship called the Scarlet Wench, captained by the guildmaster’s son, Captain Colvino (a cultural scandal that the man should name his son after himself). The box contained two items: a velum parchment and a gold amulet. The parchment is sealed with red wax and marked by a very distinctive crest, a two-headed vulture holding an anchor in one claw and a spear in the other. The amulet is more mundane, 3 inches in diameter and marked by concentric circles. If the party should be able to acquire these items, Uncle Tohmas is certain that he can arrange a meeting with the guildmaster. They will split the reward equally and the political gain will be good for all.

Accepting this task as a ready source of income and influence, the party sets out that day, beginning their investigations at the docks. On the way there, Brek Sturnson sees a Skivendian laborer and asks if the man knows his father, Sturn Kelvinson. Though the man does not know him directly, he does know the name. It seems Sturn made a name for himself some months back. A number of taverns have contrived to create an organized sporting event. Taverns host non-lethal pit fights, allowing sponsored combatants to use any methods of hand-to-hand combat they are skilled in (whether it is boxing or wrestling) to best their opponent. Wagers are made, trade goods exchange hands, and the gentlemen of the city see some sport. Sturn was known to be an undefeated champion and a source of pride for the local Skivendians, but after two months of success disappeared without a trace. The laborer suggests they inquire at a restaurant in the south of the city called the Stately Gentleman.

Once on the docks, they find the Scarlet Wench (Captain Colvino’s ship) still in dock, loading supplies for a new voyage. Though the captain is not present, they do speak with the first mate, offering to “make it worth his while” if he should speak to them. He says that he is off duty in four hours and that they should meet at a tavern called the Mermaid. In the mean time, the group takes a rickshaw to the south side of the city and eats lunch at the Stately Gentleman. Elihas’ attempts to draw information from the waiter fail quickly and Brek, being of short temperament and a direct nature, chooses instead to address the entirety of the restaurant, asking that any information on his father’s whereabouts be passed on to him directly. This less civil approach does not yield any immediate results, but a bottle of fine wine is delivered to the table and an invitation to dinner offered for the next day (on the third floor of the restaurant, a most prodigious invitation indeed. Brek accepts and the party makes their way north to meet with the first mate of the Scarlet Wench.

First Mate Roberto tells them the basics of what happened (the same story he told to at least two other groups of investigators). The box was acquired by the ship’s Merchant’s Man, Jocopo. Jocopo delivered the box to an attendant page once they ship docked, a man named Tomo. Tomo was found dead a few blocks away from the harbor with the box missing. The first mate is unwilling to offer them any more information until they make it worth his while. Having drunk the fine wine rather than bringing it along to for a bribe, the party has little to offer him and makes to leave. This does not sit well with the other tavern patrons who had been eavesdropping. It was clear an arrangement had been made and that the party meant to welch on that arrangement. Elihas consents and pays for the man’s meal (twice over) and the party departs, having lost that source of potential information.

The group then goes to the harbor master’s office to look up the manifest of the Scarlet Wench, discovering that Merchant’s Man on the ship is named Jocopo. Gathering information along the docks, they learn that Jocopo lives on the west side of town. The party heads there (except for Brek who heads to a local tailer to buy a better outfit for the next day’s dinner—fortunately for him the tailer has just the thing for a traditional Skivendian suit and after a little haggling promises to have it ready by the next day).

Questioning Jocopo leads to some more specific information…and a few missteps along the way. The box was not listed as being purchased by Guildmaster Colvino but by his head clerk, Ciro. The box remained in Jocopo’s cabin during the duration of the voyage (a cabin that no sailer would have entered on thread of flogging, not that any of them were capable of picking the lock that held the box shut). Jocopo delivered the box to Tomo sure that it had something in it (the weight was certainly more than a normal mahogany box), but he had never been informed on what its contents were. The fact that the party and their patron had this information implied that they were somehow involved in its theft. Jocopo felt this information relevant to the constabulary’s investigation and would pass it on in due course. He suggested they make haste to retrieve the box’s contents in a timely fashion as to prove their innocence.

The party believed Jocopo did not know the contents of the box, but were uncertain if that information was as secret as the Merchant’s Man believed. Questioning his uncle, Elihas is able to learn that the informant was Ciro himself. Given that Tohmas learned of the box’s contents only after it went missing and not before makes them wonder if the man had any ulterior motives or only wished to retrieve the box’s contents as quickly as possible. Heading to the Guild of Coin and Trade the next day, they find that Ciro is no longer at work but quarantined at home with a case of the measles. They are told that if he survives, he should return to work in a few weeks.

Finding out where Ciro lives, they head to his house and see the notice on his door that he is in fact quarantined. Since no one in the party has had measles, they are not so inclined as to break the quarantine to question the man. Brek, meanwhile, heads back to the tailer to retrieve his new suit. The “suit,” while including a nice jacket and shirt, turns out to be a kilt. The tailer swears it is a traditional Skivendian style, but Brek has never seen such a thing. A mountainman would freeze his balls off wearing such a thing. Still, he accepts the tartan, hoping to make an appropriate spectacle of himself with people who clearly pay to see spectacles. So dressed, he prepares for his dinner as his search for his father finally gathers steam.

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