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Magnimar Special Investigations Unit One (Inactive)

Game Master Nazard

A serial police drama set in Magnimar - unit One.


1,601 to 1,650 of 2,474 << first < prev | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | next > last >>

As they walk to the shop where the witnesses are, Heward is quietly happy. Things seem to be smoothed over with the Bazaar guards. There's some cooperation, even a little progress. Things are looking up. The captain will be pleased.

Khismia's first speech to the witnesses hits him like a body blow. His eyes narrow and the muscles clenching his jaw bulge. He's tempted to arrest her on the spot. Hells, he's tempted to run the whole lot in to the station. Three dozen Watchmen and it would be done. The Princess didn't have the manpower for a real fight. It hardly matters that it wouldn't be politically smart nor that the captain wouldn't be pleased. It would be worth a week's pay to see Khismia stewing in a cell.

He does have the presence of mind to keep his jaw clenched and silent and he's grateful when Wizzo speaks up. Good man. That's the only course left to us. He's a little surprised when the sergeant deftly directs the witnesses back to Khismia. That may salvage something for us.

In the short interval while Khismia leads the vendor away,but before she speaks with the witness, Heward quietly compliments Wizzo. "Nice work. You salvaged that as best you could. I was ready to hit her and try to run the whole lot in."

As Khismia talks to the vendor, Heward motions for Wizzo to stay quiet and tries to listen. He stares angrily at Khismia and the vendor.

Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11

Nazard:

Spoiler:
While staring angrily, Heward will try to memorize the face, build, clothing, trade tools or anything to identify that witness. Frustrated and unable to hear, he'll try the same with as many of the others as he can.


Perception: 1d20 + 6 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 6 + 2 = 16 fav enemy

"Hey there, Law, a thought just hit me. To complete their investigation, the princesses will have to leave the market. Won't they?"


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Right," says Calatin, struggling upright after examining the wizard's remains. "I shall need this body for further examination. Can this be arranged, please?"

He looks round for a snack vendor. This is hungry work!


Awgin wrote:


"Hey there, Law, a thought just hit me. To complete their investigation, the princesses will have to leave the market. Won't they?"

Heward nods and keeps listening.

Calatin. Khismia said the wizard was ours.


Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

Sgt. Wizzo cranes his neck to listen, smirks at Heward, then says loudly, "Well, I think we're done here. We don't want the Watch to interfere with a Bazaar matter. We'll just take out wizard corpse and leave them to their justice."

He heads out of the building.


"So would you like my team to clean up, Sergeant? We can handle the body."

If he says yes, Heward turns to Khismia, "With your permission of course."


Wizzo doesn't even respond on his way out the door. By the time the rest of you get outside, he's already climbing up onto his horse and heading off.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Heward Wallas wrote:
Calatin. Khismia said the wizard was ours.

The wizard is not a citizen of the Bazaar. Doesn't mean the Princess is willing to release his body. She wants to identify him and find out who's behind the attack on her domain.

"None of these remains leave the Bazaar of Sails without the Princess's approval," she repeats stubbornly. She glances at the security men guarding the scene, and they straighten up to look more vigilant and threatening.

Still waiting on the "runner" so she can get new orders and agree to anything. He must have stopped for lunch somewhere.


Awgin walks around the area that the attack occured. He studies the layout of the market for lines of attack and lanes of retreat. If he's hunting something, he is just as concerned about his ability to escape as he is his prey's ability to run. He's just as concerned about his prey's ability to sense the ambush as he is his ability to target his prey. In short, he's trying to figure if this was professional and how well planned it was.
"Calatin, what direction you think the spell came from? How noticeable would the spell-caster be when casting the spell?"

Not sure what kind of roll that would be (perception, survival, Int) so here's a d20 roll and I can plug in the modifier once you let me know.
1d20 ⇒ 13


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

Calatin puts his head on one side.

"It was an area effect spell, those generally explode from a central focus in all directions, so it is a bit hard to tell. The relationship between the victims' corpses and the spellcaster's one is possibly about that when he cast the spell, given that he's only got one defensive wound... didn't really have much time to do anything before concerned bystanders chopped him up, so I'm guessing he didn't move much either. As for noticeable, yes. You can cast covertly, but it tends to be harder, and we have the evidence that he was noticed and that right quickly."


As the others are examining the scene, Captain Eldusstas returns.

"Where is Wizzo?" is his first demand, looking about. Upon finding out that he's gone, the Captain visibly relaxes and smiles, though frowns once again upon seeing the MSI people still poking about. He calls Khismia over and Heward as well, though his voice carries well enough to be overheard by the locals. [b]"You are the leader of these Special Investigations people? Good, you can hear what the Princess has decided. We have confirmed with our sources that for once, Wizzo spoke truth and there was another attack by wizard recently at Castlegate, and the Princess is not so focussed on her own domain to ignore a possible threat to the city at large. Clearly, you need to investigate this attack in some manner, and as such, the Princess is willing to release the body of the wizard attacker to you, provided she is kept informed on all discoveries you make. To that end, Khismia here will join your investigation to be the Princess' eyes and ears. Khismia, you will assist them as you see fit, and report to the Princess if there are any further threats to the Bazaar. If there is a bigger plot here than once wizard attacking some Bazaar citizens, it needs to be stopped for the good of all."


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

"As the Princess wishes," Khismia nods to Eldusstas. "What of the victims? A fruit vendor told me the dead are customers, not merchants. He was also the only witness to step up and volunteer information; I promised him a discount on next month's fees to encourage others to talk. If the Princess is not willing to grant the boon, I will make my word good with my own coin." She takes the Captain aside to point out the vendor who gave information, as well as to give him the witness' testimony for the Princess' ears.


The Captain listens, nodding. "That is...unusual thinking, though I doubt the Princess will disapprove. Let's try not to make a habit of it, though."

Pulling her aside further, he whispers,

Khismia or PerceptionDC 20:
"Khismia, you have probably heard the stories that the Watch is all untrustworthy and corrupt. While some of those stories are necessary propoganda to secure the Princess' rule over the Bazaar, it isn't all complete truth. Don't trust Vic Wizzo, however. Not that one. Help them as they need, and in the end, we'll let it be known that the Watch needed our help to solve one of their own mysteries."

When he's finished with Khismia, he orders his men to start herding the witnesses into one of their wagons. "The Princess herself wishes to here your tales of this incident. You have all been granted an audience." There is much muttering and whispering among the witnesses at that statement. Once they've been loaded up,the Bazaar security forces carefully loathe burned bodies into another wagon. "If we find evidence that any of these victims are not citizens of the Bazaar, we will release their remains to you. Khismia can assure you of our good faith in this matter."

Any Sense Motive check against that last statement just tells you that he seems completely sincere in his promise (so either he's telling the truth,or his Bluff check was so high, you can't possibly make the DC).


Calatin ab'Halla wrote:

Calatin puts his head on one side.

"It was an area effect spell, those generally explode from a central focus in all directions, so it is a bit hard to tell. The relationship between the victims' corpses and the spellcaster's one is possibly about that when he cast the spell, given that he's only got one defensive wound... didn't really have much time to do anything before concerned bystanders chopped him up, so I'm guessing he didn't move much either. As for noticeable, yes. You can cast covertly, but it tends to be harder, and we have the evidence that he was noticed and that right quickly."

"So the mage did not plan an escape. That suggests that, for whatever reason, he wasn't concerned about the consequences. Either he was a lone crazy or a zealot with an organization behind him."


Nazard wrote:
"You are the leader of these Special Investigations people? Good, you can hear what the Princess has decided. We have confirmed with our sources that for once, Wizzo spoke truth and there was another attack by wizard recently at Castlegate, and the Princess is not so focussed on her own domain to ignore a possible threat to the city at large. Clearly, you need to investigate this attack in some manner...

This is closer to the game Heward expected to play today. He's ready with a practiced answer, "We are grateful for the Princess' interest and will of course extend every courtesy to Lady Khismia on her behalf.

***

Nazard wrote:


When he's finished with Khismia, he orders his men to start herding the witnesses into one of their wagons. [b]"The Princess herself wishes to here your tales of this incident. You have all been granted an audience."
There is much muttering and whispering among the witnesses at that statement.

"Pardon me, sir. May one of us attend this audience? In the interest of furthering the investigation the Princess is so interested in?"

If the answer is affirmative, Heward will ask for a volunteer from the team. If no one volunteers, he'll volunteer and tell Awgin to get the team and body safely back to headquarters. He'll also tell the team about the other wizard attack, if they didn't hear Wizzo, and ask them to look up the file. If someone other than Calatin volunteers, they can go. Calatin's got coroner duty.

Nazard wrote:

"If we find evidence that any of these victims are not citizens of the Bazaar, we will release their remains to you. Khismia can assure you of our good faith in this matter."

Heward wonders at how much good faith Khismia has, but tries to remain impassive. "Lady Khismia may accompany the wizard's body back to our headquarters to witness the examination there, if she wishes.

****
Loved this reprimand
The Captain listens, nodding. [b]"That is...unusual thinking, though I doubt the Princess will disapprove. Let's try not to make a habit of it, though."

and this Freudian slip
...the Bazaar security forces carefully loathe burned bodies into another wagon.


The Captain's response to Heward's request to join the audience is a flat, "No" followed by promises that Khismia will be relayed any useful information they uncover. Heward is promised an audience with the Princess, however, should the investigation be concluded in a satisfactory manner. What constitutes a satisfactory manner, however, is left decidedly vague.

So with the witnesses escorted away, and all but one body loaded up and out of reach, what's the course of investigation? :)

Those are more Auto-Correct issues than Freudian slips, but they are funny.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Heward Wallas wrote:
Heward wonders at how much good faith Khismia has, but tries to remain impassive. "Lady Khismia may accompany the wizard's body back to our headquarters to witness the examination there, if she wishes.

"Oh no, Your Lordship, Prince among Watchmen," she protests, folding her hands in the Garundi fashion and lowering her head in a mocking bow, "I have no interest in sitting in a closed room watching a fat man undress a dead man. I am not a simpleton, to be shoved aside and have my mistress kept from the investigation in so obvious a manner."


Heward is not surprised by the captain's refusal. He'd rather expected it. He decides he'll just have to settle for tracking the witnesses down on his own. Better to just let it go.

Khismia's reason for declining to witness Calatin's examination is a surprise. As far as he's concerned right now, Calatin's examination is the investigation. Everything hinges on that, except maybe .... I suppose she can tag along when we look up the file on the other attack.

"Anyone? Is there any more to be done here? Any other ideas?"

Assuming their answer is "No" to more to be done here. "Back to headquarters then? We'll meet in Calatin's lab in an hour. Awgin, can you have Mrs. Brigglespan pull the file on the Pater Willards killing near Castlegate? And find out where Myelin Veers is. I'm going to walk back. I need to think about what I'm going to tell the captain. Khismia, you may have my place in the coach if you wish."

Nazard:

Spoiler:
If he gets a moment alone, Heward wants to offer some street urchin a couple coppers to follow the wagon with the bodies and find out where they are taken. One copper up front. Two more when the kid delivers the information at MSI headquarters.


Heward:
It's easy enough to find such an urchin willing to follow a wagon for some easy money. The boy snatches the coin, makes it disappear faster than a stage magician, and scampers off to follow the wagon.

District C - MSI HQ - Everyone - 14 Rova, 12h30
The carraige ride back to MSI (with the slashed body stowed underneath) takes about twenty minutes to return up the escarpment and back to HQ, where Khismia is greeted by Mrs. Brigglespan and offered tea and refreshments.

Heward, who perhaps forgot about dealing with the three-hundred-foot climb, straggles in a bit out of breath a quarter hour past time (unless he decides to flag a cab once the rest have left in the carraige).

A runner from the Pediment Building arrives soon after with the Willards file. The Watchmen on hand reported that Myelin Veers (who is currently a resident of a Pediment Building holding cell) attacked Pater Willards with a magical bolt of energy in an apparently unprovoked attack. Witnesses report that the wizard suddenly screamed and cast his spell. Nobody remembered if the wizard and cutler had spoken before the incident. Veers' statement records that he was heading out of the gate for an afternoon stroll in the countryside when he saw the cutler suddenly drawing several large knives from his tray and prepare to throw them at him. "It was something in his eyes...some wild hatred...I could tell he was going to kill me, and all I remember doing was what I learned at my magical defense class at the Stone...if the other guy is down, he can't hurt you. I didn't even think, I just cast. I don't know why he wanted to kill me, but he did, I swear it!"

Presumably Calatin is there in the briefing room (with the refreshments and lunch) while the report is read, and then heads to the autopsy room.


"See! I get this. That makes sense to me. Get him before he gets you. What I don't get is why would these civilized people think like that?" The way he says civilzed makes it clear that it was not a complement. "They were both in public with guards nearby. Why not run? Nothing here suggests that they been fighting their whole lives or that they've had more than basic fighting training. I suppose if I could blow somebody's head to mush I would, but these people aren't me. They are not like me at all. Right, Calatin? Why would one of you people do it?"


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Um. I think they did say something of the sort in combat classes, although that wasn't an area in which I had any interest. I think it stemmed from some places where mages are not popular and had to be on a hair-trigger to defend themselves.. and that if you do want to defend yourself from harm by using magic, you need to get it off fast before anything happens that could disturb your concentration on your spell. If you train that way, it might happen instinctively when you feel threatened, just as a mundane brawler might throw a punch or draw a blade almost without thinking about it when attacked."

Cramming the last couple of mouthfuls in, Calatin arose.

"Anyone interested in the examination, or would you all rather I came back in a couple of hours to tell you the results?"

And off he waddled to get on with the necessary business of corpse-examination


"Calatin, would you rather stay a moment to hear what Khismia has to say about today's incident?"

Heward turns to face the Keleshite. "So what did the witness tell you?"


Edits don't take. Hmmm.

Nazard, who filed the report? Watchmen on the scene? What does Heward know about any of them or Wizzo? (My questions about city and Watch size in the OOC thread are a carefully laid trap.)


None of the names on the report are more than passingly familiar, as the Castlegate wasn't on Heward's regular beat. Sgt. Wizzo is a bit more well-known within the Watch as being quite unpopular in any of the Summit districts, but he gets amazing results in Underbridge from his contacts there. I keep forgetting that Heward was actually a Watchman, and therefore should know some of these background details. Of course, anybody can attempt a Knowledge: Local check to "know" things about Sgt. Wizzo (or anybody you meet for that matter, just some people who aren't particularly noteworthy are going to have insane DCs to actually know anything).


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

Khismia seems unfazed by the fact that she just spent twenty minutes sharing a carriage with complete strangers in utter silence; she certainly didn't offer any small talk. She's not here to make friends, after all. She responds coldly to Mrs. Brigglespan and shows no interest in tea and refreshments.

Heward Wallas wrote:
Heward turns to face the Keleshite. "So what did the witness tell you?"

She shrugs. "There was a robed woman who brushed past the assailant just before he started killing people. She didn't respond to the vendor's calls; kept walking as if the crowd weren't there."


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Of course, Heward," says Calatin obligingly, sitting down and looking to see if there's any food that he missed.


So I need Heal and Perception checks from Calatin and anybody else assisting him.


Heward stares at Khismia. "That was it? Did they tell you anything else, a description of the woman? Anything more about exactly what the wizard did in the moments leading up to the attack?"

Nazard, any mention of a woman in Willard's file?


No mention in Willard's file.

We kind of skipped any further questions once Wizzo overheard about the robed woman. Assuming Khismia would have continued on for details like that, all she got was that she was wearing a grey robe and had a stern though ordinary face. The hood of the robe covered her hair and ears, but the vendor believed her to be human.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

"I asked more questions but got no more answers."


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Does any known organisation wear grey robes?" asked Calatin. The Stone regulars tended towards a dark red, although there wasn't a set uniform; while many religions mandated certain colours for their clergy.

Rolls as requested:

Heal check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20

Perception check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Calatin ab'Halla wrote:
"Does any known organisation wear grey robes?" asked Calatin.

Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15


Khismia can't think of many organizations that use specific colour robes, though the Church of Pharasma clergy do tend towards grey robes.

Once Calatin gets the body stripped, he can begin examining the injuries. Everything appears as expected, and Calatin can trace the likely order of the injuries to determine that the man was basically butchered to death. But then he finds one injury that defies explanation - a small nick on his right upper arm, made by a much smaller blade, a dagger instead of the Bazaarans guard's scimitars, nearly obscured by the gaping slash delivered as the wizard tried to defend himself.


Before Calatin completes his investigation:

"So we've got two attacks by wizards in different parts of the city. Maybe some sort of mistaken self-defense. We've got a woman in grey. We can check to see if there have been any more attacks that we don't know about yet. We can interview Veers, the wizard in the Willards case. Calatin's working on this wizard's body. It would be good to put a personality to the corpse. We can interview family and friends. Anyone got anything else?"

Grey robes Know (local) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Heward Wallas wrote:
"Calatin's working on this wizard's body. It would be good to put a name to the corpse.

Heward:

Captain Ilar Percival wrote:
"Good afternoon, folks," he starts once everybody is seated. "I have a new case for you, and it may be a sensitive one right from the get go. A young wizard, a, ummm..." he pauses to reference a scroll that Timmins has placed in his hand three seconds earlier, "Zhaul Datedy, for some unknown reason, murdered five seemingly-random pedestrians with fire magic, and may have killed more if he hadn't been stopped and killed himself."


Fixed that. Thanks, Joana. How did the captain get an ID on Datedy so fast?


That's an excellent question. :)


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

Calatin wonders if the small dagger wound was used to introduce a substance into the poor wizard.

Lacking a mass spec, I guess an Alchemy roll is in order:

Alchemy check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22


Unfortunately, without a substance to analyze, Alchemy isn't much help. A detect poison might, if he has that spell prepared.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

He doesn't, so he curls up with his books and makes the necessary preparations and meditations to cast it.


I'll use the above Alchemy roll for your analysis.

Calatin casts his spell and while he doesn't detect poison from the body itself, there is enough residue on the man's sleeve to analyze. He has to scratch his head for quite awhile, as the poison doesn't register as anything he's ever heard of before. He has no name to place to it, but he can determine its effects, which give him pause. A nasty poison, and so specific, aimed at people like himself, those who cast arcane spells. Someone who doesn't cast such spells would find himself completely unaffected by the poison, but those who do and fail to fight off its effects suddenly find those around themselves plotting their immediate murder. The paranoia and hallucinations would be so strong, the victim could not help but believe the people around him were about to attack him with lethal intent. The poison also instills a "fight" instinct, rather than a "flight", if the victim were not already predisposed to violent responses.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

Nasty thinks Calatin as he writes up his notes (in, of course, his usual academic style, more akin to a paper for publication in Arcane Proceedings than the police report it's supposed to be!). He tidies up his workroom and goes to look for the others.

"I can tell you," he begins when he finds them, "How normal law-abiding spell-chuckers were turned into ravening monsters, but not by whom or why. It seems that someone administered, by means of a scratch, a noxious substance that induced severe paranoia and hallucinations along with a violent response such that the victim is convinced that he is in danger of imminent attack and that his only recourse is a pre-emptive strike. The interesting thing is that it only affects those of us who are arcane spell-casters... anyone else would not notice a thing."


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

Khismia raises an eyebrow. "Then that makes you a liability." She turns to Heward. "The wizard has to stay quarantined. If we get close to whomever is behind this, he will be the obvious weak link. They will not have to lift a hand against us, if they can incite your own underling to kill us all."


Garidan lowers his gaze at Khismia. "That would make me a liability also. Are you planning on quarantining me as well?" the giant Shoanti asks challengingly, crossing his arms.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

She shrugs. "I have no authority to do anything. But I am smart enough to stay away from anyone who could be so easily compromised. If your commander wishes to let you put the whole team at risk, it is his prerogative."


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"So what do you want me to do?" asked Calatin. Not the most energetic of souls, he still didn't fancy just sitting out the investigation. If nothing else, this had got him curious!

"I never heard of any such substance during my studies, but someone at the Stone may have some information. Alchemy and poisons wasn't a particular interest but Professor Loveday worked in that area. I perhaps should consult her on this... now the substance is know it might be possible to formulate a defence."


So are people splitting up again? There's been mention of going to the Stone, and going to question the captured wizard from the first attack. Any other destinations in mind?


Heward ponders this information. He looks at Calatin and Garidan. "Neither of you goes anywhere alone." Then he addresses Calatin, "Would Laya be at risk too?" he asks. Then he follows up with, "Can you test Veers for this stuff somehow?"

Things to do:

  • The Stone.
  • Question/Test Veers?
  • check files for other attacks
  • report to Percival
  • question both wizard's family and friends
  • canvas both attack areas for more info
  • Anything else?

Heward is going to want to keep the unit in groups of at least three. Arcane casters are gong to need escorts. He'd rather report to Percival alone, but if anyone wants to come along I'll rationalize it.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"All right, Heward, if that's what you think best. As long as whoever goes with me is prepared to take the risk...". Calatin looked around for food.

"Probably best if I go talk to Veers, and try to find out if he too was affected by this noxious substance. Where is he at? I can then go on to the Stone and consult Loveday or anyone else who may be of help."

His rummagings turned up two ginger biscuits and a rather battered looking pork pie. He began to munch the pie.

Tylluan flapped in, having absented himself whilst Calatin conducted the autopsy, and fixed his master with a baleful eye.

"Oh, all right," said Calatin, rathe muffled, and fed the owl a ginger biscuit.


"Awgin, will you stay with Calatin? I'd do it myself, but I should report in to Percival. Garidan, you're with me. Lady Khismia, I'll be reporting to my captain and checking our files for other magic related attacks. You may accompany me or Awgin and Calatin. Laya, You also may choose."

[ooc]I'm assuming Laya is "safe."

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