Zeitgeist Chronicles

Session 11 Summary
The Dying Skyseer

The morning after Unit 42’s escape from Leone Quital and his men, they discussed what to do with their time before the skyseer’s announcement. Gareth Carter, Reginald Battersea, and Casimiro del Garra chose to spend the morning properly equipping themselves – it had been a while since they had had some rest and a chance to get some new equipment. But, Reynard wanted to check out Dawn Square for any suspicious activity and Victor Bays agreed to join him.

When they arrived, construction of the stage had just completed, and the crowds had not quite arrived, so they were free to investigate whatever they wanted. Specifically, Reynard was still a bit jumpy about the dragonborn arsonists they had run across and wanted to make sure there were no firegems scattered around anywhere. They found nothing of the sort. Reynard shifted into fox-form to chat with the local wildlife and learned from a helpful chipmunk that nothing strange had been going on, except for a strange smell in the air – like burnt engine grease.

Meanwhile, back at RHC headquarters, the others heard their fellow constable Carlao bring a report to Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft about an uneasy feeling near Dawn Square, and some reports of a strange smell, like burnt engine grease. Delft recognized this description from Unit 42’s reports, so he asked them to check this out, in case something was going down.

They stopped by Dawn Square to pick up the rest of their team, and headed toward the warehouses. After a quick use of Gale’s Detect Planar Energies ritual, they were able to follow the shadow trail to a nondescript warehouse that had two of the doors barred from the outside. They chose to remove the barricade and go through one of those doors, instead of the unbarred doors on the other side.

When they entered, they found a group of technicians working in a caged in lab. The technicians seemed quite surprised at their appearance, and ordered their bodyguard – a huge, lumbering golem powered by witchoil – to attack while they made their escape through a rusted iron ring in the floor.

The fight ranged all over the warehouse, and though the golem was tough, Unit 42 proved tougher, and though Carter was unconscious when the monstrosity went down, the rest of the group easily finished it off and revived their leader.

With the golem down, it seemed the technicians could no longer teleport away, and the constables were able to corner them, though they got no real good information from them. They were, however, able to gather up their documents, and learn of the experiments on the jaguars, as well as find a hand-written note. Confused, they turned this evidence in to the RHC, and made their way back to Dawn Square.

They had a few more minutes before the skyseer would arrive and make his announcement, so they decided to do one more cursory look around. Everything seemed normal enough. There was a group of druids set up near the stage, and just to be safe they asked them to move their stuff away. The druids remained silent, and shook their heads at the constables.

They asked again, and again the druids silently refused. So, Carter approached one, and saw it had a mask over his face. He forced the druid into his wagon, and when he did so, the mask fell off, revealing a skeletal face underneath the robes. The unit had uncovered the attackers.
The fight with these skeletons was quick work for the seasoned Unit 42, however, and as they finished off the last one, the skyseer walked by and nodded approvingly. He made his way up to the front of the stage, and as he did so a small child brought a folded up piece of paper to Carter, and told him that “a shadow man told me to give it to you.” Carter read it, and contemplated its meaning.

The skyseer began, but before he got very far into his speech, there were screams from the crowd as a pack of skinless, dripping jaguars charged from the fountain behind the stage. Before the constables had a chance to react, they were upon the skyseer and he was down where he stood just moments before.

The jaguars proved much tougher than the skeletons, and by the end of the fight, the constables, the skyseer’s body and the stage he once stood on were all covered in a thick layer of viscous, black witchoil while a horrified crowd looked on. The jaguars were defeated, but Nevard Sechim lay dying.

He called out for Casimiro del Garra, whom he knew had a connection with nature, and placed his wrinkled hands on the shaman’s forehead, projecting into him the vision he had received. As the dying skyseer left them, Unit 42 was left with more questions than answers.

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Session 10 Summary
A Conspiracy Discovered

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.

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Session 9 Summary
Burning Buildings and Bloody Beatings

After their harrowing night on Cauldron Hill, the constables of Unit 42 raced to Heward Sechim’s factory, at the behest of his uncle, to find a pair of dragonborn and their minions setting up firegems around the perimeter, prepared to set them on fire. They ran up to stop them, and found themselves in the middle of an inferno almost immediately.

The dragonborn down below (they would later learn his name was Eberardo) stood toe to toe with Gareth Carter while the dragonborn above (Valando) dropped a wall of flame on top of their cart, igniting it and the surrounding buildings in explosive flame. The rest of the fight was quick and the constables eventually chose to let the dragonborn run away while they knocked over a nearby water tower to stop the fires rather than risk their own deaths.

Reynard, Victor Bays, and Carter had all gone down at one point or another during the fight, it was early in the morning, and the constables were exhausted. They decided to get some sleep now and return to the office and see what leads they had left to follow.

That morning, the 3rd of Summer, Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft told them how the fires had only gotten worse over night. The riots in Parity Lake were increasing in number and violence, but commended them for the work they had put in.

They first decided to interrogate the gnomes from the day before, and with little bargaining, they got everything they needed from them, in exchange for letting them leave the city and never returning. They learned the location of a ship called the Sylvio and the name of the captain, Deorn Feldman. They had until tomorrow night after sundown to go stop that.

Next, they decided to finally follow up with the contacts Dr. Von Recklinghausen left at the House of Blue Birds. First on the list was Dr. Barnaby Camp.

They met up with Dr. Camp at his surgical theater. He was a bit reluctant at first, but when the constables asked about Officer Porter, he calmed down a bit and showed them a letter he had received that very morning from Dr. Von Recklinghausen. It was still rather vague, just asking for help getting to Ber, but validated the unit’s next move of talking to Dr. Kindleton. Camp agreed to pass along any new information he received.

So, they headed to Pardwight University, where they met Dr. Lynn Kindleton as she was dismissing a class. They asked if she had heard from Dr. Von Recklinghausen, and it was very clear that she did not want to talk about it. She was a terrible liar, and the constables told her very firmly that the doctor was in trouble, and they needed to find him as soon as possible. She still seemed reluctant, so Reynard threatened Dr. Kindleton. She finally gave in, and explained the parcel system they had been using to pass goods to him in the Nettles.

The party decided to set a sting operation, where they would wait until a new child picked up the package, and follow them back to where they delivered it. It took almost an hour and a half, but their wait finally paid off, and they set out after the wandering youngster – Reynard and Casimiro del Garra close behind him to remain stealthy and Carter and Reginald Battersea farther back to remain undetected.

About fifteen minutes in to their tail, a strong gust of wind blew through Battersea and Carter. Gale delivered a message, letting them know she wants to meet, and for them to speak a time to set that up. They said five o’clock in the afternoon, and a small yellow canary stayed behind to follow them.

Ahead, del Garra and Reynard continued on. However, a few minutes after that, they were approached by a man bouncing a leather football, asking if they had a few minutes to talk. They were hesitant, and did not want to lose their lead, but they agreed, if he would walk with them. He explained that he was a representative of Lorcan Kell, and that his boss had information on the whereabouts of the northern doctor, if they wanted to listen to what he had to say. They asked if they could do so later, and the man agreed to meet them at the Thinking Man’s Tavern, but that he, and his boss, would not wait long.

They followed the child to the Nettles, where he dropped the package off with a carriage driver in return for a small pouch of something. They decided to follow the carriage driver, and it made a stop at a tenement building where two men in dark suits got out an went inside. Reynard stealthily made his way to the window to listen in, and heard three men inside rummaging through the package, talking about Lorcan Kell, and how they didn’t want to be caught stealing this stuff, but that their meeting was in a hour, and they were very hungry.

The group had a decision. Wait here for an hour, and miss the meeting with Kell’s man, or go and meet him. They chose to head back to the Thinking Man.

When they arrived, Thames Grimsley was deeply involved rousing some other men in the bar, shouting about the fires in the factories and workers’ rights, but the docker never saw the constables and they immediately made their way to their contact, who was sitting in the corner by himself.

He asked them to follow him. He led them past the burning factories and the riots into the winding heart of Parity Lake. They almost immediately saw through Kell’s ruse in the alleyway, and his men good-naturedly apologized for the trick, but warned them not to take their meeting with the boss lightly.

After a quick inventory of their things, they let the constables inside the theater, where they were ushered to the single box seat where Lorcan Kell was waiting.

He greeted them and began to talk at them. He knew they were looking for the doctor. He had him in hiding and was waiting for the right opportunity to make some money from this arrangement. The constables could have him for one thousand gold pieces. Kell made it quite clear that this was not a negotiation, it was the only offer they were going to get. They hesitated, and he told them to watch a show with him while they thought about it. He asked his man, Rufus was his name, to put on a comedy.

The constables were appalled by what they saw. But, knowing they were out-manned, they could do nothing. Kell told them, his men knew they had several thousand gold worth of items on them, and all he needed was one thousand of them. He would let them walk, with specific directions to where the doctor was. With no other choice, and extremely angry, Unit 42 agreed, handed over the amount, and left.

The directions they received were to a small abandoned church in the Nettles. They would just have time to go get the doctor and make their meeting with Gale

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Session 8 Summary
A Night on Cauldron Hill

Wraith

After their meeting with Mayor Reed Macbannin, the constables of Unit 42 headed back to Nevard Sechim‘s henge, to pick him up and take him to Cauldron Hill. The journey from Cloudwood to the Nettles was uneventful, though they only returned to the mayor’s manor about an hour and a half before sundown.

They climbed the slopes of the mountain until they made their way to the top, where they scouted for a good location for the skyseer to do his thing. They found a ring of stones, which would be easy to fortify, and began to prepare. They circled the camp with the goat blood. They set up snares around the perimeter of the camp. Gareth Carter did some nearby scouting to get the lay of the land, and found a small, cracked cauldron half buried in the ground.

Soon, night was about to fall, and the skyseer recommended they hunker down, and do their best to keep warm.

A blistering chill fell upon the group as the wind from the ocean blew gales of icy daggers at them. The chill nearly took Casimiro del Garra, but the shifter was able to barely hang on. Then the monsters came.

Hundreds of writhing, wailing, slithering, creeping monsters approached the camp, and as they located the blood, began forming a huge tornado of nightmare around the Unit. The otherworldly wailing began to erode their sanity, and each member did what they could to keep the awful sounds out of their heads. Del Garra stuffed dirt and rocks in his ears, Carter tried to remember the Yerasol Wars and rely on his own physical resolve, Victor Bays began chanting prayers to any god that would listen, Reynard sang softly to herself, and Reginald Battersea wrote a thesis paper in his head titled “The Implications of Technology for Field Officers of the Royal Homeland Constabulary.”

It was the most miserable night any of them would ever experience.

Just after midnight, an apparition formed in front of the unit. A red curtain floated above them, and from behind the curtain stepped the form of Nilasa Hume. Gareth Carter tried to say something to her, but she shushed him, and warned them that her killer was coming.

Then an instant later they were transported down the mountain and across the harbor to a burning factory, attacked by a pair of fiery dragons. As they factory burned, a sign reading “Sechim’s Alkahest and Etchings” fell from a wall and began to turn to ash.

The unit returned to the mountain, and Nevard pointed toward Jiese, burning bright red in the night sky. Before he could speak, however, a bright light erupted from the other peak on the mountain, and the constables could see a shadowy figure as it launched the newly cracked sunrod toward their camp. The monsters surrounding their camp immediately went on the offensive, and attacked the constables.

Raynard and del Garra immediately dove for the brush nearby. Bays launched the sunrod away with his mage hand, sending several of the creatures with it. Battersea and Carter prepared for a fight.

It was quick, and bloody. Bays spent most of the combat dominated by a spectral hag, who latched on to his back and directed his actions, occasionally rewarding him with a kiss from her worm-filled lips. Battersea was harassed by a cackling, legless torso that tried to clamber up his body, preventing him from using his firearms effectively. Carter was followed by a floating apparition of death, which dropped shroud after shroud on him until he was finally knocked unconscious by a vicious swipe from a shadowy scythe. Raynard and del Garra spent the encounter running from a ghostly lion with a mane made of thousands of tiny snakes, which would all bite at once if the lion got too close.

And poor Nevard was surrounded by dozens of creatures, but saved when the hag used one of Bays’ abilities that wiped the mountain clear of most of the weaker spooks. By the end of the combat, the constables were bloody and exhausted, but alive. Nevard calmly suggested they head back down to Macbannin’s, and that the constables might go check on his nephew’s factory, if they had the time to do so.

They stopped at the mayor’s long enough to get purified from the magic on the mountain and explain what happened up on the mountain to a group of excited night watchmen. With Macbannin’s help they diffused the situation, and got in a carriage and headed to Heward Sechim’s as quickly as they could.

When they arrived, they found a pair of dragonborn directing some men to place firegems around the edge of the factory, clearly about to commit arson. Reynard and del Garra sneaked up to the criminals to get a better look, and signaled to the rest of the group to follow, but Gareth Carter is not as sneaky as some of his partners, and gave away their presence. As he slowly approached the dragonborn, apologizing for being late for the job, the rest of the unit prepared to get the drop on the arsonists.

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Session 7 Summary
The Prisoners and the Waryeyes

Unit 42 woke up at Nevard‘s Henge on the morning of the 2nd day of Summer in the year 501 A.O.V. with a few solid leads for their case. They had the names of two of Nilasa’s accomplices (Travis Starter and Ford Sorghum). They had sent the vials of fey pepper and the used elixir of invisibility to the arcane lab back at RHC headquarters. And they had a promise from Nevard to connect them with Gale if they got permission from Reed Macbannin, mayor of the Nettles, to let them up on Cauldron Hill for a night of skyseeing. They were ready for another productive day.

They met up with their boss, Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft, and ran him through the leads they had followed and what they intended for that day. He nodded in satisfaction, and agreed to help make an appointment for them to meet Macbannin that afternoon. He also gave them the results of the tests they had run on the elixir and the fey pepper, which pointed towards Pine Island. With another day the lab could pinpoint the exact shop. They also got a location on Starter and Sorghum, at the Goodson Estuarial Reformatory, which also happened to be in Pine Island. They decided to kill two birds with one stone, and head that direction.

They arrived at the floating prison at about 11 o’clock and arranged with Derek Goodson to see the two men, in separate rooms, so they could get their information and corroborate it immediately. They thought about using a good-cop-bad-cop strategy, but Reynard was the only member of the unit who was trained in interrogation, so they decided he would play both parts, and just shift into his hybrid fox form for the bad-cop parts.

It was pretty unnecessary. He cracked Sorghum almost immediately, and even agreed to see about letting in some of this lady friends in exchange for the information. On a sheet of parchment, Sorghum wrote down what he knew – Nilasa had bragged about a job for some family from Crissilyr, and had mentioned an accomplice for the job named the “House Elf”. He didn’t know much more than that.

Starter wasn’t as easy to crack, but he was more willing to work with the constables when they agreed to see about letting his son visit. He also described the job Nilasa bragged about, and added that it was for a cache of wands stolen from an eldritch repository, and the exchange would take place on the evening of the 4th.

Armed with this new information, the constables decided to scout the streets for their drug dealer, and then maybe look up this “House Elf” afterwards, if they had time before their meeting with Macbannin. An hour later, they had a name: Danisca Waryeye.

They tromped up to her shop and found it, and another small shop, situated off from the main row of buildings. Out of curiosity, they checked to see what the other shop was. As luck would have it, the sign outside read “The House Elf”. Startled by this good fortune, they decided to pay Danisca a visit.

Inside the shop, after speaking with the guard outside briefly (also where Casimiro del Garra‘s owlbear had to stay, because he was too big to fit inside the shop), they found a variety of healing potions, as well as more commercial “Love Potions” and “Elixirs of Luck”. After looking about for a bit, Danisca emerged and asked what she could do for the RHC. After a few pleasantries, and asking about Danisca’s relationship with Nilasa, the unit leaned on her pretty hard, saying they knew she supplied the fey pepper and the elixir she used that got her killed at the consulate.

When they refused the water she offered, she began casting a spell, and combat ensued!

They were able to get the drop on her and took her down pretty quickly. As she fell, she screamed for her husband Blander. The guard outside the door slowly backed away and left the scene, not wanting to get into trouble with the RHC.

Casimiro went down the hallway to investigate, and triggered the dreaming dust trap as he opened the door to the lab, but quickly shook off the effects. Almost immediately, another gnome burst through the back door, led by a pair of large, angry badgers, and immediately knocked Casimiro back into the hallway where the animals were able to pounce on him.

There was a brief tussle with the badgers, just long enough for Blander to realize he was outmatched, and he ran for the door again, narrowly avoiding a sneak attack from Reynard, and sprinted into his own workshop.

Victor Bays, Gareth Carter, and Reginald Battersea chased after him while Casimiro stayed behind to restrain Danisca and Reynard decided to run around to the other side of the building. Inside the magician’s workshop, the other three quickly climbed the catwalks to get a better view. Gareth nearly fell victim to one of the drowning tanks, but all were able to avoid the trapped floor of the workshop. When they couldn’t find the gnome inside the workshop, they decided to cut their losses and head back to get Danisca.

That was when they ran into Blander outside the theater, running for his wife. They surrounded him and Casimiro’s spiritual companion knocked him unconscious.

They deposited the gnomes’ bodies at the local police station, and asked if they would mind taking them to RHC headquarters so they could question them later. The police agreed, and Unit 42 headed toward the Nettles.

They arrived around 2 in the afternoon, and made their way through the slums, and up to the extravagant mansion of Reed Macbannin. As they arrived, Macbannin’s butler approached and told them it would only be a few minutes before Macbannin was ready for them, and offered refreshments if they wanted them. Gareth Carter recognized that the butler had a soldier’s posture.

They agreed to wait. A few minutes later a messenger came out and lit a cigarette, which they immediately identified by smell as leaf of Nicodemus, and gave a short rhetorical speech about the suffering of the people in the Nettles, and how he’d give anything to help them from it. They agreed, shook hands, and the messenger rode off as the butler came back out to take them to their meeting.

As they described to Macbannin what they needed, he frowned. But, after a bit of consideration, he grinned and agreed to let them take the skyseer up Cauldron Hill, and began going through all the precautions they would need to take (rusted iron amulets, goats blood, fire for warmth, etc.), and said the only condition was they had to come back through his manor on the way home for cleansing. They agreed, and went off to pick up Nevard from his camp.

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Session 6 Summary
Death at the Danoran Consulate

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.

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Session 5 Summary
The Case of the Farmer's Daughter

With the duchess Ethelyn of Shale defeated and stripped of her title, it was up to Unit 42 to fill out all the paperwork resulting in their adventures on Axis Island. The next six months were less than exciting, despite worker relations problems in the city escalating, political strife, and the occasional minor earthquake (which Flint had never been known for before). The leaders of the city were busy trying to solve these problems, which left constables like Unit 42 to sit behind their desks until a proper case came across it.

In the winter, at the end of the year 500 A.O.V., they finally got one.

A wealthy farmer named Thoman Van Meter had contacted the RHC via animal messenger to let them know his daughter Jessa had been kidnapped. She had gone out for a walk that morning, despite Thoman’s insistence she not go out alone, and an hour later he received an animal messenger of his own telling him that his daughter was safe, but that more information, and demands, would be coming soon.

When the constables showed up at his farm, they were a bit in awe of his wealth and the size of his property. He explained to them that he had many enemies. He had been pushing for other local farmers to switch to steam powered equipment to make their jobs more efficient, and those opposed to the technology had been very vocal in their dislike of him promoting those new techniques. He also said the farms were a haven for brigands and thieves and Lorcan Kell’s men had been seen around his farm more than he would prefer lately.

Finally, he said she liked to play near an old grain silo, about a quarter mile from the house, and that would probably be a good place for them to start their search.

They trekked the quarter mile on foot, and as they approached the silo they noticed two large, furry creatures sitting at the base of the old structure. Casimiro del Garra immediately identified them: dire wolverines. They seemed to be playing with each other, rolling around on the ground. And in between them was some kind of small, fuzzy object.

Del Garra decided to try to approach the beasts carefully, sneaking up behind a rock, and then slowly walking towards them, with his arms out to show he meant no harm. The wolverines were in no mood to play with him, however, and bristled and growled as he got closer. He saw the object between them was a small, stuffed bear, which was missing a button eye.

The rest of the unit approached behind him, and ultimately del Garra’s attempts to calm the animals failed. They charged at him, and the rest of the constables jumped in to help their friend. The fight was quick and vicious, and the wolverines ended up dead at the base of the silo. A quick search of the area also turned up a note addressed to two people named Neville and Marie, giving directions to the farm from a small put in Parity Lake, and a warning not to tell the boss about this side job. It was signed by a man named Renard. They also found several small casks that once held beer, which were all stamped with the crest of Patrick’s in the Pine Island district. They decided to follow these clues before returning to the farm house.

They started in Parity Lake, where they tracked down Renard to the small pub in the note, and they found him sitting at the bar, reading a large book on Eschatology and drinking a glass of wine. A small earthquake shook the bar as they approached him, and before they had a chance to talk Renard asked their opinion on the dockers’ theories about the earthquakes – did the constables think they were a physical manifestation of the fissures dividing the social classes and cultures of the city, literally tearing it apart?

Reginald Battersea answered that it seemed a bit far-fetched, rather superstitious, and Renard agreed, and when asked about the book he was reading he said that eschatology was interesting to read about, but probably a bit impractical to spend too much time worrying about. Satisfied that the constables played along, he asked what he could do for them.

They explained their assignment, and that they had found a note he had written to the kidnappers, and he admitted to writing it. He seemed worried, because he had received an animal messenger from them saying they were trapped, but hadn’t heard anything else. He also mentioned Neville’s sister in Pine Island might have more information. So, they took Renard into custody, and he allowed it on the stipulation that they give him protection from Lorcan Kell, his boss. Then they made the trip across the bay to Pine Island, where they found Neville’s sister Shera at Patrick’s bar.

She acted depressed and was glad to hear someone was looking for him, even if they were looking for him to arrest him. She said she had also received an animal messenger from him, that he and Marie were holed up in some kind of tomb on the farm, hiding from something, but that she had not received one in about an hour – right before the last earthquake. The constables promised to find him, and asked if she wouldn’t mind going to the RHC headquarters with them, in case another animal messenger were sent her way. She agreed.

They left her and made their way to the Van Meter family tomb, on their property. When Gareth Carter kicked the door in, they noticed several things all at once.

One, the tomb had recently been shaken by the earthquakes, and looked ready to topple in on itself at any time. Two, they heard a whimpering, crying sound from behind a door on the far side of the room. Three, there were two bodies lying on the ground, mangled. And four, there were about eight undead creatures up and walking in the small tomb. The constables fought off these monsters quickly and decided to push on into the other room without resting – though Victor Bays decided he needed to take a moment outside the tomb to be sick, after seeing all the zombies exploding and the mangled corpses on the ground.

When they entered, they found the spirits of Neville and Marie standing over a large coffin, shouting at it. The whimpering they had heard was coming from inside the coffin, and they quickly guessed what had happened here. The kidnappers had brought the kid here to hide from something (perhaps the dire wolverines), and sent out animal messengers to Renard and Shera to let them know where they were.

When the most recent earthquake hit, it shook loose a connection to the Bleak Gate, animating the corpses in the coffins in the first room, who attacked the kidnappers, and killed them. Jessa must have run, and hidden in the coffin. Then, the connection to the Bleak Gate caused the spirits of the kidnappers to rise, though still partially in the Bleak Gate, so they were unable to interact with anything that didn’t belong to them (they could use their own weapons, but could not open the coffin that Jessa was hiding in).

They fought through the spirits, which was difficult because they could phase through the walls with their insubstantiality, and after regaining his connection to the real world, Neville tried one more time to get to the child before Constable Carter knocked him down and killed his spirit.

They comforted the child by giving her back her stuffed bear and took her home, where her dad was thrilled to have her back. He promised to put a good word in for them with their boss.

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Session 4 Summary
The Vakeshi Mystic

After successfully opening the seagate for the Risurian forces and then defending the lighthouse long enough for their ships to break into the harbor at Axis Fortress, Unit 42 had little time to rest and recuperate. They soon saw the R.N.S. Impossible sail through the sea gate and dock close by, and Captain Rutger Smith climb the switchback to where they waited, cigar box in hand.

He was dismayed to hear that Unit 23 was killed in action, and promised to send someone to find Burton where he had been left behind. However, he complimented Unit 42 on exceeding expectations once again, and shook hands with Gareth Carter in a show of mutual respect. He handed out expensive cigars rolled with Leaf of Nicodemus, but instructed them not to light them until the Duchess was captured, and explained that they believed she was holed up in the keep inside the inner wall. It would now be up to Unit 42 to extract her, since the other team was gone.

For their efforts, Smith offered to send a small unit of soldiers along, and the constables readily agreed. They met their new charges: Sargeant Glassman, Danny (a young kid recruited only weeks before being sent to retake Axis Island), Papa Carl (an older man, who got bored of his farming life), and Henry (a competent, but quiet soldier).

At that very moment, the hull of a nearby ship erupted in flames.

From their vantage point, on the lighthouse, the constables could see the smoke-wrapped figure as it leaped from ship to ship, leaving chaos and fire in its wake. Almost as soon as they could process what was happening, the figure had jumped over the walls and disappeared into the fortress. The Captain cursed and the constables followed him down to the wreckage to see what they could find. And what they found wasn’t pleasant.

There were charred and bloated corpses strewn about the ships and the water nearby. Fiery hands raised from the deck of the ship, trying to burn anything they could get in their grasp. Quickly, the constables began their investigation and were able to surmise a few things.

The magic was clearly fey in origin, Victor Bays noted, and made by a very powerful warrior.

Reginald Battersea added that he remembered hearing of such a warrior, who fought in the First Yerasol War, trying to rescue a Danoran noblewoman from captivity, making a legend of himself in the process.

Asrabey Varal, Gareth Carter confirmed. If that was who they were up against, they were in a lot of trouble, indeed. A chill ran through the constables, despite the fire blazing around them, as a courier approached.

The courier was there to tell them they found a makeshift brig in the stables, and there were several tieflings among the prisoners. The constables took this opportunity to see if they could find Nathan Jierre, and followed the young man to the brig. When they arrived, they learned the prisoners were not speaking, under the orders of a man named Marseine. The constables approached him, and he told them he would only help if they would arm his men and set them free.

At first, they hesitated. So, Marseine sweetened the deal by telling them he had information on the duchess’s whereabouts. Again, they weren’t sure, so they asked what he planned to do if they released them. He told them his plan was to join the attack, and get back at the duchess’s troops for stealing his home away from him. They finally relented, arming each of his men (ten in all) with a sword and Marseine with a pistol, under the condition that he and his men come with them to find the duchess. Marseine agreed, and even told them of the hatch at the top of the tower they could climb through (though, they did not appease him enough to offer his key to get in).

Marseine took them around the fortress, and when they got to a good position, near the wall, he and his men turned on the constables, and attacked them. It wasn’t much of a fight, even as exhausted as the unit was. His men were all dispatched quickly, and Marseine not long afterward. At that moment, Asrabey Varal made another appearance.

The eladrin knelt at the base of the inner wall and pulled out a glowing orb. The landscape quickly began to shift as his immurement started its magic. The constables saw him charge through towards the keep, skipping over the hedge maze as he went and again leaving a trail of fire in his wake. They saw the magic shutting down and quickly followed through behind the eladrin, making sure to grab the orb on their way.

When they got to the other side they found themselves stuck. The maze was on fire, and their soldiers couldn’t follow through or risk burning alive, according to the overly-honest Glassman. The constables sent them back, and decided to brave the hedges, and get to the duchess as quickly as possible. As soon as Gareth Carter entered the maze a fey voice could be heard over the crackle of the fire. “I wasn’t able to stop your fiery friend, but I will stop you!”

The fight with Gille Dhu was quick, but frustrating for the constables. He constantly kept them tied down with the vines from the hedges, but Casimiro del Garra and Reginal Battersea were able to use their maneuverability and range and Unit 42 was able to get past the fey creature. Now, all that was left was the keep, the duchess, and the fiery Asrabey Varal.

Taking Marseine’s advice, they scaled the side of the tower and Reginald was able to easily pick the lock on the hatch at the top. They slowly opened it and heard the end of a conversation between Asrabey, the Duchess, and Nathan Jierre. Just before the eladrin was about to kill the Duchess, Gareth shouted at him to stop and the constables jumped down onto the top level of the keep, looking down on the eladrin and his quarry. They parlayed with Asrabey for a few minutes, ultimately finding his demands unacceptable, and he quickly fey stepped into their midst, trying to take them out, despite his own fatigue.

Unit 42 found themselves completely outmatched, and without their more powerful abilities, they had no way to slow down the eladrin. While Asrabey’s lion-crested shield chewed on Gareth, Asrabey twirled through the rest, dealing fire damage on top of fire damage, quickly wearing them down.

The Duchess called out to the constables to heal her so she could help fight, and Gareth jumped to the lower level and used his training as a Yerasol War Veteran to get her back on her feet. She unleashed a powerful psychic attack on the eladrin which temporarily banished him into the Dreaming, leaving them a few seconds to run for their lives.

They scrambled down the keep’s stairs while the Duchess occasionally stopped to hold off Asrabey, each time sending him back to the Dreaming, until they reached the still-flaming hedge maze. They each tried to run through it the best way they knew how with the angry warrior hot on their tail. Finally, just as Asrabey had charged into the maze to kill the Duchess she unleashed a final psychic blast, sending him back to the Dreaming for good, and giving them time to finally rest.

The Duchess surrendered herself to the constables, as she was completely exhausted from the fight, and quickly explained Nathan’s role in her arrival on the island, to which the tiefling requested asylum from his aunt and his home country. The constables were willing to grant it, and when they saw Lya Jierre’s ship come in to port that evening, after the battle had been won, they hid Nathan in the lower levels of the Impossible while they signed her treaties and accepted the invitation to her wedding to the King.

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Session 3 Summary
The Island on the Axis of the World

Lighthouse

After the incident on board the R.N.S. Coaltongue, Unit 42 of the RHC became minor celebrities in the city of Flint. Newspapers tried to get interviews, people stopped them in the streets to thank them for saving the king, and the RHC took notice of their resourcefulness.

But, there was still work to do. The Duchess had escaped, and had taken her fleet, along with all the soldiers she had that were loyal to her, and took over Axis Island, a Danor-controlled island on the edge of the Yerasol Archipelago. It was an act of war, but neither side wanted to go. So, an agreement was made. Lya Jierre, the Danoran Minister of Outsiders, gave King Aodhan and his navy, led by Captain Rutger Smith of the R.N.S. Impossible, three days to retrieve his sister and hand the island back over to Danor before she would be helpless and unable to convince the council in her homeland to not go to war against Risur.

The King summoned his most battle-tested squad of constables, Unit 23, and for backup, he sent the newly famous Unit 42, as they were the last to see the Duchess alive, and might catch something others would miss. Plus, they had proved themselves capable, and because of their interaction with Geoff Massarde, Jierre was more comfortable asking them a favor – rescue her tiefling nephew Nathan from whatever fate the Duchess might have in mind for him.

She met the unit, along with Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft, to brief them on the mission and offer her assistance, in the form of information to help them get into the fortress once they made it to the island. The briefing was rather simple. They were to join Unit 23 on the Impossible, follow them into a sea cave, in case something went wrong, and make their way across the island to the backside of the fortress. Then they would wait, while the other inspectors sneaked through the fortress, opened the sea wall and signaled the fleet to move in. Once the battle was over, they were to interrogate the Duchess and look for Nathan Jierre before handing the island back over to the Danorans.

That night, they boarded the Impossible, talked philosophy with Captain Smith (specifically that of the famous thinker William Miller), and got to know Unit 23 – Tanya the half-elf shaman, Letmas the human illusionist, Seven-Foot Dan the human fighter, and Burton the halfling rogue. Right away they hit it off with the gregarious Seven-Foot Dan and enjoyed the illusions and imitations of Letmas. A good evening was had, and the two units were even able to get a bit of shuteye before they made it to Axis Island.

As fun as Unit 23 was on board the ship, they were just as serious when it came to doing their job on the island. They were professional and efficient as they marched to the sea cave and set up their rope system to swim to the other side of the tunnel. They quickly explained that after they made it across, Burton would swim back to get the others, and dove into the freezing water.

The group waited for a few minutes, and suddenly there was a violent shake in the cavern – and earthquake. The rope that Unit 23 was trailing behind them started jerking and then went completely still. After a minute of planning, Unit 42 jumped in after and followed the rope until they came upon Burton, his leg trapped under a rock, screaming in pain about yellow frogs and purple skies. When they swam up to him, he demanded they cut off his leg and free him. Instead, they levered the rock off his leg and got him back to a safe spot before going back for the rest of his group. They found the hand of Seven-Foot Dan sticking up from under a pile of boulders, lifeless. There was no way they could have survived this cave-in.

Burton told them to go on, complete the mission, and send someone after him when the fortress was retaken. They did as he said, and went off through the tunnel.

When they emerged on the other side, they found themselves in a large cavern. There were makeshift docks built around its edges and a large column of stone rose up in the middle, displaying a large golden coin. The constables immediately decided to climb up and get a better look at the coin. As soon as Gareth Carter touched it, a shadowy figure struck him on the back of the head.

A small fight broke out which saw the constables defeat the shadow elemental and a small earth elemental while a man fired his pistol from far above (and Carter learned that the coin allowed him to jump around the room with ease), but as soon as the elementals were destroyed, the man, who introduced himself as Nicolas Dupiers, surrendered and tossed his gun down.

He explained that he was the mine foreman and when the Duchess’s forces made their way onto the island, he hid here with two other coins so nobody would get them. The constables took the two other coins from him and divided them among themselves (Carter ended up with a coin that gave him resistance, Casimiro del Garra with a coin that gave him darkvision, and Reginald Battersea with the coin that let him jump easily). Dupiers told them how to leave, and wished them luck taking down the Duchess.

They came out of the mine on the opposite side of the mountains from the fortress and slowly made their way over. This is when they started to experience the truly strange effects of the island. Flame gouts, wandering colossi, and mystery swamps filled with yellow frogs all caused them consternation, but none deterred them from their mission.

They made it to the back of the fortress and used passwall to get in. From there, del Garra scouted out a path for the others to follow, and they slowly made their way to the harbor (after passing a building with a teleportation circle), where they swam across to the lighthouse to see how they would get up and open up the seagate. When they got there, it was heavily guarded by a mage and several soldiers. They opted for a rather bold approach and started with a surprise round from the water. Battersea used his jumping abilities to fly around the wall and Carter was nigh invulnerable with the resistance he had, and the fight was pretty quickly over. They set the seawall to open, and then prepared to defend the tower.

Two waves came at them. The first was easily dispatched by igniting a few barrels of firedust, which Battersea had strategically placed across the wall. The other wave was much more difficult.

While Carter held a bottleneck, Battersea and del Garra took shots from above. In the end, the attackers were able to get past Carter, but not long enough to close the seagate, and though both del Garra and Battersea were knocked down during the fight, they both got back up and Unit 42 held down the lighthouse long enough for the fleet to breach the seawall.

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Session 2 Summary
The R.N.S. Coaltongue

Almost exactly a year after rescuing Geoff Massarde from Edrea, and saving him from being handed over to the Unseen Court, the tiefling put the finishing touches on his biggest project – the R.N.S. Coaltongue – and determined it was ready for its maiden voyage. He alerted King Aodhan, and the king had his second-in-command Minister Harkover Lee arrange for a party on board the ship for all of the dignitaries he could muster where he would christen the ship and make a big announcement that would shape the future of the nation of Risur.

Massarde only had one request. He wanted the constables that rescued him, Unit 42, to work security, as a way to say thank you to them for their help. The king was more than happy to grant that request, and the party was planned for a spring Star Day evening.

The constables of Unit 42 were given a simple assignment: watch the first check point, and don’t let anyone across the bridge to the docks that would disrupt the king’s special day. With the number of people in town for the occasion, as well as the regular denizens of Flint, this would be no easy task, but RHC officers are trained for this sort of thing. They set up at the first check point and got to work.

After a bit of investigation, Gareth Carter learned that a man named Dafton was working the crowd. Dafton was an old war acquaintance of Carter, and the swordmage knew that if the docker was here, he was ready to start something. He gave a description of Dafton and his closest associates to his partners and some local police, and they quickly rounded up two of them and convinced them this plan was not worth their time.

But, they never saw Dafton until Thames Grimsley, another docker, pointed him out to them as he was crossing the bridge. The constables went in to action, and were able to round up some local police to help them surround Dafton and his remaining ally on the bridge. They outnumbered and outsmarted him, and Dafton knew he was beaten. He complied, and let the officers escort him away peaceably.

Grimsley thanked the constables for handling the situation so well, and asked them to give a message to Governor Stanfield about workers rights and pay.

As the dignitaries started showing up, Unit 42 got a chance to do some high-level mingling. They met Captain Rutger Smith of the R.N.S. Impossible – a real treat for constable Carter. And Casimiro del Garra was reunited with an old friend from Ber, who introduced him to the king’s sister, Duchess Ethelyn of Shale. The duchess graciously asked him to escort her down to a room where she could take a quick nap before the party began, and del Garra happily led her and her handmaiden downstairs.

Meanwhile, constable Reginald Battersea struck up a conversation with a young technician named Fitzcairn, who gushed as he described the ship and all of its intricacies. He was especially excited to talk about the capacitor and the brand on the main deck, and how, even though it was not fully calibrated, it was completely operational. Battersea took note of that before they began their official tour of the Coaltongue.

Along with Massarde, who was eager to spend more time with his rescuers, Unit 42 was shown the entire ship, and were interested in spending extra time in the boiler room, making sure everything was working properly. Battersea took extra care to learn how everything could be sabotaged, to make sure he was able to do his job properly.

After the tour, they went back up to the top to start the party. The band got warmed up, the halfling chef brought out tray after tray of food (to which the king laughed about and complained of indigestion), and even Assistant Chief Inspector Stover Delft seemed to be enjoying himself.

Just before the band began to play, Delft asked the constables to get the duchess from her nap. It wouldn’t do to have the king’s sister, already a vocal detractor from his progressive, technological plans, absent at an event such as this. So, they headed back down to check on her.

When they knocked on the door, all they heard in return was the handmaiden telling them they needed a few more minutes. They waited for a minute and knocked again. Again, the handmaiden told them to wait and del Garra heard a window open inside the room. Constable Carter lost patience and started trying to knock the door down. At this moment, the Risuri national anthem began playing on the main deck above them.

Before they knew it, the handmaiden had teleported past them and ran downstairs toward the boiler, leaving fire sprites in her wake to block the constables’ pursuit. The halfling chef ran around the corner, dagger in hand, to block their other path, and the handmaiden made it to the furnace, threw in her amber rod, and latched it shut, then directed the engineers to start shutting off the release valves.

The constables made quick work of the sprites and the halfling, but it took them a few rounds to get downstairs, and when they did they had their hands full with the engineers’ huge wrenches and the handmaiden’s spellcasting. They had a hard time focusing on fixing the boiler during combat.

As the boiler room started to fill with a searing steam and the constables were wearing down with fatigue, Battersea had the idea to redirect the energy into the capacitor and fire off the brand up top. Victor Bays finished off the last engineer and he and Battersea ran as fast as they could to the main deck, where the anthem was still playing, picked up Massarde to help them calibrate the brand, and, after del Garra and Carter bought them a few seconds by reopening the release valves, they fired off the brand, giving everyone on deck quite a show at the end of the anthem.

Delft was beside himself, but after Massarde explained what had happened, and the constables revealed the duchess’s betrayal, the king spoke up for them, and thanked them just before making his big announcement – he would be married to a representative from the nation of Danor.

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