After a frustrating meeting with crime boss Lorcan Kell, the constables of Unit 42 had the location of Dr. Wolfgang Von Recklinghausen and only a few hours before their meeting with Gale was scheduled to take place. Anticipating a delay if they went straight to the Nettles, they instead decided to spend their extra time investigating the barge owned by the Danoran Consulate, the deed to which they found in the mud where the doctor dropped it in his escape.
The barge was located in the Bosum Strand, near the mouth of the Stanfield Canal, and watched by two Danoran guards. Though Reginald Battersea warned of the danger of sneaking aboard a sovereign nation’s vessel, the unit decided to investigate up close, and Gareth Carter distracted the guards while Reynard, in fox form, sneaked aboard to check it out. He found no cargo or crew aboard, but did find a log detailing some shipments made up the canal, including mechanical parts and other goods that seemed to have been manufactured in some of the factories in Parity Lake.
With new information, but a bit stumped with what to do with it, the constables headed towards the Danoran Consulate to get lunch, in case they decided to drop by and speak with someone there about whatever they are working on. Instead, the canary left by Gale began to chirp and sing and lead them along the streets of the city. They followed it up to a beautiful waterfall, which most of them recognized as the bridal veil, where they only had to wait a moment before Gale made herself known.
She told them of a trip she recently made to the Bleak Gate where she learned of something being built. She couldn’t get close, but she suspected the Danorans had something to do with it, and so she sent Nilasa to investigate. Whatever she found at the consulate got her killed, and Gale was ready to get revenge, but instead, she let Nevard talk her into giving the RHC a chance to break the case first. She gave them a ritual to track the energies of the Bleak Gate, and a messenger wind so they could contact her if they need to.
Also, when asked about Dr. Von Recklinghausen, Gale admitted she did not know him, but if he had taken something off of Nilasa before her death, then they needed to track him down before the conspirators did. They thanked her for the information, and told her they would keep her up to date, and left, to go to find the doctor in the Nettles.
They arrived to find the church guarded by a man in a dark suit, similar to other men they had seen in Lorcan Kell’s employ. They told him they had been sent by Kell, and he gestured inside the church and let them pass. They entered to find it in total disarray. The floor had been flooded, and after a brief tremor shook the hill they now found themselves under, they concluded the earthquakes must have caused the damage done inside.
They asked aloud for Dr. Von Recklinghausen, and a suspicious sounding voice called back, asking what they wanted from the doctor. Carter explained they had bought him from Kell, and came to get him and take him into protective custody. The doctor peeked around a corner, and asked who they were and why they wanted him. They explained they were investigating the murder of Nilasa Hume, and needed the documents he had taken. He hesitated, but agreed, and at that point the light in the tiny room went completely out, leaving them in the dark.
The doctor screamed in pain, and when Carter was able to light a sunrod, they saw a bloody-black gash across the doctor’s face, and found themselves surrounded by several dark cloaked attackers. As they fought them off, they learned that the shadowy man, who they had guessed was also posing as Officer Porter, was also in the room, but was able to blend with his enemy’s shadows, where they couldn’t harm him. He spent the first part of the combat attacking the doctor, but after the unit very quickly dispatched of his backup, he began to detach and start to run from them.
Victor Bays was in the best spot to chase after him, and made it all the way to the entrance to the church before he realized it was blocked by several iron bars preventing Bays from getting outside. He could see from inside that the shadow man had taken the look of Officer Porter again, and was speaking with another man. There were three carriages outside, and almost ten more armed men. Bays teleported his meerkat familiar Daisy underneath one of the carriages to listen in on the conversation.
After a minute, the other man dispatched two of the carriages and Officer Porter. He telekinetically lifted a metal folding chair and a tray of cheese and wine from the carriage, and sat in front of the door to the church and announced to the unit inside that he needed the doctor and the documentation he was carrying, and that they had one hour to produce both.
At this point, Von Recklinghausen explained what had happened the night of the murder. He had been there to secure a travel visa, and when he was on his way out, the girl flew from the window and impaled herself. He had rushed over to tend to her wounds, but instead she gave him the bundle and her pendant, and told him to “get these to Nevard”. He didn’t know who Nevard was, but he said he would give the documents to the constables if they could get him to safety. They agreed, and he recovered the bundle from a hole in the ceiling, and Battersea began scouring them to learn whatever he could.
He learned that Julian LeBrix had begun an investigation into some inconsistencies in the Danoran accounts and factory inventories. He had made a detailed list of what these missing items were and where they were going – to some sort of large construction project. This list seemed to match up relatively well with the list the Reynard found in the barge’s log.
The documents also mentioned that when LeBrix had done an inspection of the factories, he had found small vials of a mysterious black substance, which Dr. Von Recklinghausen confirmed to be witchoil, that could be used as an energy source, but required to souls of recently deceased persons to work. Finally starting to grasp the scope of the conspiracy, the constables decided they needed to get these documents, and the doctor, to headquarters, and started searching for an alternative exit from the church.
They found a small tunnel underneath the latrine which led to the street outside the church, where they could see the man outside. They waited for a minute, trying to decide what to do when one of the carriages returned. A blindfolded man was dragged out and pushed to the ground in front of the man, who now introduced himself as one Leone Quital. The blindfolded man was Braden, Nilasa’s boyfriend from the consulate, and Quital told them he would kill the kid if they did not hand over the doctor and his documents.
They could not give in. They had made their decision, and they were determined to stick with it. Quital killed Braden.
They sent Reynard, in fox form, with the documents to RHC Headquarters. She was easily able to slip past Quital and his men by herself, but the rest of the unit would have a more difficult time doing so. They decided to one-by-one try and slip out around the corner, staring with Casimiro del Garra, then Carter, Bays, Battersea, and finally the doctor. Before they left, the doctor handed Carter his rapier, as a thank you for their effort in keeping him alive.
Del Garra easily made it around the corner, but, as they expected, Carter was unable to slip through quietly enough, and Quital’s men spotted him almost immediately. They sprinted away, and Quital sent three of his men chasing after them through the Nettles.
Battersea shot an awning down on top of one of them, knocking him out of the chase. When the doctor stumbled, Carter grabbed him and pulled him along with them while Battersea and del Garra found a small alleyway to duck down. The two pursuers, confused, had to split up, and only one of them chose the correct direction to go. The last was taken down by a group of Nettles children, who saw the doctor running for his life, and the group was free.
They quickly took the doctor to RHC Headquarters, where Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft let them know he had already submitted the documents to be analyzed. He then informed them of Nevard’s Rally the next day at Dawn Square, and suggested it would be in everyone’s best interest if they were there to keep the skyseer safe.
Now, they only had to figure out how to be there, and at the smuggler’s meeting they had learned about though the Waryeyes, at the same time.