On the first day of Summer in the year 501 A.O.V., Unit 42 found themselves at RHC headquarters, introducing themselves to Reynard, their new teammate, when Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft abruptly interrupted and began telling them of a new case.
He told them that apparently a young woman jumped from the top floor of the Danoran Consulate and impaled herself on the wrought iron fence nearly forty feet from the building. Since half of her is in their jurisdiction, they get to get to the bottom of it.
So, they hopped in a carriage and made the hour long journey to North Shore.
They met officer Ballistair outside the gates and he quickly briefed them on what they knew – girl fell and bled out, but not before someone came along and took something off her body. They needed to see Julian LeBrix to get the rest of the story.
First, however, the constables decided to do a bit of investigating outside the embassy. They went around, asking some people on the street if they had seen anything, and learned about the man with the goatee running down an alleyway, holding a blood-covered bundle of some kind. They learned that there were two gunshots after the girl fell from the window and that there was a man with no face standing in the window. They learned that three men were spotted outside the embassy shouting at each other before taking down the body – one man who was described as tall and muscular, one who was well-dressed, and might have been a nobleman, and one who’s face they could not quite remember.
Next, they went to check on the alley way where the man with the goatee fled. They did a pretty thorough search and found the deed to the Danoran barge, and the necromantically-infused blood. After stumbling for a few minutes, they were approached by a carriage driver, Jack Byron, who told them about the doctor, and his emergency surgery, and how he took him back to his hostel, but was never paid for his services. The unit got the name of the hostel – the House of Blue Birds – and debated whether they should go there first or talk to the Danorans. Eventually, the decided they wanted to see the body, so they went on in to the Consulate.
They met LeBrix, who matched the description of one of the shouting men, and investigated the fence and ground surrounding it while he briefed them from his end. They immediately noticed a hole in his story – he claimed to have shot her before she jumped, and all the witnesses said the shots came after she fell. They decided to check out more evidence before accusing him of anything.
The two things they requested from LeBrix were to see the top floor, where she jumped (something he seemed reluctant to show them) and to talk to the Consular (which he seemed very reluctant to do for them). However, when they hinted at the inconsistencies in his story, he softened up a bit and showed the top floor, but that he did not have the power to introduce them to the consular, and he apologized for that.
As they searched Reginald Battersea talked with LeBrix, to keep his guard down, and the rest of the unit began doing their thing. They located the blood splatter under the rug, from a slashing weapon – not a gunshot – and decided it was time to really lay into poor LeBrix. They showed him how the stories didn’t add up, and that they knew he was covering something up. He looked shaken and asked them to please get the body and go. They could talk to Braden, and some of the staff downstairs if they wanted, but it was time for them to leave the consulate.
So, they went downstairs and talked with Braden for a few minutes. They felt truly bad for him, and took it easy. They learned about the chocolates, and her fascination with Gale. They also learned that she lived with Heward Sechim at his factory, and that she spent a lot of time at the Thinking Man’s Tavern.
They thanked him for being so forthcoming, and dismissed him so they could investigate the body.
They found the obvious wounds – the bullet holes and the fence punctures. After looking a bit deeper they found the wound on the scalp and the healed facial injury, as well as the vial in her top. Here, they were also able to confirm that the gunshots came after she was already impaled, and that she had no inherent magical abilities, so she could not have flown on her own.
Convinced that LeBrix was up to something, they decided to head to the House of Blue Birds and see if they could find anything on the man with the goatee. Next after that was the Thinking Man’s Tavern. As they left, the secretary wished them a cheerful good day. They paused and noticed how happy everyone here seemed to be, and Gareth Carter, the Yerasol War Veteran, said it looked to him like they were all under the influence of fey pepper. On a hunch, their newest member Reynard decided to look at the chocolates, and found them covered with the stuff, as well as stamped with the mark of the Thinking Man’s Tavern.
When they arrived at the House of Blue Birds, they asked the man at the front desk about a man with a goatee. He wasn’t sure who they meant, so they said he may have been carrying something, perhaps a bundle of surgical tools. The man told them that there was a doctor staying, from Barrovia – were they looking for Dr. Von Recklinghausen? They decided that must be him, and asked if he was there. He was not, but the man offered to show them his room. He also asked if they had spoken with Officer Porter, who had already been by to see the doctor.
The constables did not know Officer Porter, and asked if the man could describe him. The man thought about it and said that on second thought, he didn’t really remember what he looked like. The constables were starting to put some things together.
There was nothing noteworthy in his room, so they next decided to visit a police station and ask about Officer Porter. No one at the North Shore station knew of anyone by that name.
They asked if someone there would be willing to take the chocolates and the empty elixir vial up to their headquarters for them to have them analyzed, and they agreed to do so. Next stop was the Thinking Man’s Tavern.
It was busy when they arrived, near dinner time. A small earthquake shook the building, and after a bit of panic, a loud voice from the back of the room calmed everyone with a clearly prepared speech about blizzards and the earth settling. They approached the bar, and asked if anyone there could help them, and they were on a case regarding Nilasa Hume. The bartender pointed them toward Barb.
They were wary to tell anyone about her death, before they had more information, so they played things with Barb pretty close to the chest. They just asked if she was involved in anything they should know about or who else they could talk to. From her, they learned about Nilasa’s relationship with Braden, and seemed to put it together that she was only dating him to get access to the consulate.
She pointed them towards the Band and the Professors, and also suggested they talk to Heward, if they hadn’t already.
Reginald was willing to play along with Hennet’s “assignment”, which delighted the scholar. They were able to learn that Nilasa had been in correspondence with someone named Monsignor Morgan Cippiano, and needed the letters written in Crissyliri. Apparently there was some kind of deal going down, but Hennet did not have to many details about it, unfortunately.
Jerred mentioned that Nilasa had begun getting him in contact with the Cloudwood Brigands, but the constables intimidated him away from that, and got him to admit to planning his own protest, which he said he would not do. Otherwise, he didn’t have much for them at this point.
They were now joined by their teammate Casimiro del Garra, who had picked up a dossier and criminal file on Nilasa, which gave them the names of Travis Starter and Ford Sorghum, as well as the address of Heward’s factory, and that she was recently arrested and bailed out (they had found the bail slip in her pocket, but it didn’t seem to register with them at the time).
Finally, they asked the bartender about the chocolates, and if they were made there. He confirmed it, and said that Nilasa had come in that morning to get them. They thanked him, and decided it was time to head to Heward’s factory.
They got there amid the chaos of the factory protests, and noted that Heward’s was the only factory not being actively protested. The guards at the door let them in, after Gareth flashed his badge, and they were able to locate Heward pretty quickly. Again, they decided not to tell him of Nilasa’s death at this point, and asked some general questions about her, about how he knew her, and about her relationship with Starter and Sorghum, and the nature of her arrest. Heward seemed afraid for her safety, and mentioned how he feared his ranting about the other factories had led her to her admiration of Gale.
At this point, the constables decided it was time they meet Gale in person, and asked if he knew a way to do that.
He said he personally did not, but that his uncle probably could. Casimiro put it together that his uncle was the skyseer Nevard Sechim. Heward gave them directions through the Cloudwood to his uncle’s camp, and they thanked him. Before they left, however, he told them of the threats he had received, and asked if they wouldn’t mind keeping an ear to the ground, in case they learned anything else about that, because it had happened to a few other factories in the area. They said they would do so.
They followed his directions – it was now getting rather late, but they decided to make the trip up to Cloudwood anyway – and made their way through the fog and the humidity. As they went up the mountain, they heard a scream and the sound of hooves running toward them. They ducked aside from the path and watched as a horse ran past, a horse that had clearly broken from a carriage.
The ran ahead, and found a pair of men ducked behind a carriage, teetering on the edge of a cliff. A woman’s scream emitted from the carriage and arrow fire rained down on it from rises on both sides of a switchback. The two men by the carriage saw the constables and screamed for help.
Unsure of what to do, Unit 42 waded into the middle of the fight to try and talk and figure out what was going on. A man on the south rise, with red hair, kept screaming for someone named Morena, and would not stop firing until Raynard took fox form, ran up to him as fast as he could, and physically subdued him. The man called his men off, but the last of his men fired an arrow, killing the last pistoleer, as Gareth made it to the carriage in time to get the woman out from the back. The red-headed man, who introduced himself as Den, explained how these men had kidnapped Morena and they came to get her back. He thanked them for helping, and asked what he could do in return.
The constables explained they were looking for the skyseer Nevard Sechim, and Den told them he would take them there right away.
So, they climbed the rest of the way to the camp, where Nevard was already sitting outside with some of his followers, trying to read the stars through the clouds and the fog. They introduced themselves, and explained they were trying to get in touch with Gale, so they could get information for their case. He told them he could make it happen, but he needed their help first.
He explained that he needed one last vision before he died, and how the only place left in Flint he could do so was Cauldron Hill. He asked if they would bond themselves to him, go with him to Reed Macbannin’s to get permission to go up the hill, and protect him from the spirits of the area while he had his visions, and in exchange he would gladly arrange a meeting with Gale.
They agreed to set out the following afternoon, and asked if they could stay at his place for the night.