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Magnimar Special Investigations Unit One (Inactive)

Game Master Nazard

A serial police drama set in Magnimar - unit One.


1,851 to 1,900 of 2,474 << first < prev | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | next > last >>

Heward and Phillip - MSI HQ - District C - 9h30 - Rova 15, 4710 AR

Heward and Phillip deal with the unpleasant job of dragging the half body into Calatin's morgue, then make their way below to the cells to question Robal and Pip.

Pip has stopped screaming and reduced to sobbing by the time you clean up and arrive below. Robal stares blankly at the bars in front of him.


Awgin glares at Khismia from across the carriage. He leans in a bit to speak. "The way I see it we can either not like each other and get in each other's way or we can not like each other and work together like professionals. It matters not to me, so I'll leave it up to you."


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

She shrugs. "I see no reason for personal feelings to come into it at all. I have worked with many of your kind in the Bazaar and have found them to be extremely efficient: quick to do what must be done and unlikely to be paralyzed by doubts and qualms. The Princess appreciates such an attitude. I trust you will find me the same."


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Why quarrel?" asks Calatin, mildly. "We all have a job to do. Let's get on with it. Have either of you visited the Stone of the Seers before? Been inside, I mean."


Before interviewing Robal, Heward fills Phillip in on what we know so far in the grave robber case. He concludes with, "What we really need to find out is where this crypt is and what happened to Mig. We'll need to check the crypt and alert the Watch in the district nearby. "

"These guys are really touchy. Pip is ready to lose it at the drop of a hat. How are you with people?"

****

Going into the cell, Heward makes introductions, "Robal, Pip. I've sent our healer Laya to her sister Pharasmin to see what they can do to help you. This is Phillip Hargreaves. He's going to be helping us find and kill these flying heads. He'll be asking you some questions."

Joana summed up the vargouille situation nicely.

Heward envisions a walk or ride to the cemetery after finishing the interview and meeting up with Laya again. He plans on pleasantries during travel.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Heward can easily tell that Phillip is not at ease dealing with what remains of the dead man... but though his skin blanches, he manfully carries out what is requested of him. He listens attentively as the Sergeant fills him in on the case at hand, querying a point or two here and there - though mostly happy to be talked at.

To the question posed he replies "Aye, I've a fair way with them." pausing to mull over his thoughts before adding "I'll see if I can tease out what you're after..."

Just before entering the cell, Phillip stops a moment. Bringing out his deck of cards he shuffles them a couple of times while muttering under his breath. Casting aspect of the nightingale He then stows the cards away looking to Wallas with a brighter smile and sparkling eye merely stating "Calms my nerves..." by means of explanation.

When brought into the cell, Phillip stands before the bars and looks over the two of them before approaching Robal and standing directly in eyesight of the blank man's stare. Speaking at a low ebb and warmly so only Robal can hear "I heard what happened to your friend... hell of a thing." jerking his head towards Pip "Shook up your other mate too... but here's the thing. What did this to your friend is still out there, and it's likely to keep to doing what it did to your fr..." trailing off and letting Robal finish the thought. Phil jerks his head at Wallas "Now looks to me like that fellow is your only hope here. He needs to know where you found it, so he can go track it down and destroy it before it kisses any more of your kin... So do yourself a favor Robal - fill me in"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 7 + 2 + 4 = 31 +2 from Aspect of the Nightingale, +4 from Inner Beauty... got to impress the boss first time out ;)


Robal nods blankly, still staring off into space. "Magnimar Memorial Gardens, Cobbers family tomb. Supposed to be haunted, but Mig just said that was to scare people off so there must be good stuff just sitting in there. Guess he was wrong, wasn't he. That thing was there. Kissed all of us and when we could move again, we ran home. Couple hours later, Turgo's hair fell out, then the rest of us. When Turgo and Pip started growing tentacles, we really started to freak. Mig ran off and hid somewhere, don't know where exactly, Rag's End someplace. Pip tried to cut his off - what a mess. Blood everywhere. We're both going to...to turn, like Turgo did, aren't we? We're dead men."


"Not dead yet. Like I said, Laya's gone to the Pharasmin. If there's a way they can help, I'm sure she'll find it."

Of course you might not like what the Justices have to say about grave-robbing. Ironic, saving you to stand trial.

Nice roll Mark. Heward's impressed. I won't even try to aid another on the diplomacy.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Calatin ab'Halla wrote:
"Why quarrel?" asks Calatin, mildly. "We all have a job to do. Let's get on with it. Have either of you visited the Stone of the Seers before? Been inside, I mean."

"No," Khismia replies flatly. "I have never had reason to go."


"Me either. I expect it to be full of books and wizards, though."


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

"And every wizard a possible killer," Khismia remarks darkly. "No doubt, most everyone there will be wearing robes. It is the perfect hunting ground for the woman in gray, and the perfect place to hide."


Awgin brightens up a bit. "Then I'll have something to do while Calatin looks at books"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phil can't help but take a half-step back when Robal reveals that they'd all been kissed. He presses the man "Aye, if there's anything that can be done it will... but someplace in Rag's End ain't gonna cut it. Think man, where would Mig be headed if he wanted to lay low?!" raising his voice so Pip can overhear as well and potentiall chime in with any opinion he might have on the matter.

I've assumed that the first Diplomacy will hold for the conversation? - if not then here's another roll 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 7 + 2 = 11... to which I repeat, I hope the first Diplomacy holds ;)


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"Books and wizards is a good guess, Awgin. The whole place is build around a central library that extends both up and down, and that's where you find most of the mages. They don't normally let outsiders in, but if you are with me there shouldn't be a problem. Naturally the administrative officers are in one of the wings, anyone can go there to make an enquiry. Oh, and there will be a lot of robes. All colours. There's never been much of a tendency to uniformity. Some schools go for colour-coding, you know the sort of thing. Different colour robe depending on where you are in your training, or what your specialty is. Not the Stone, though. Bunch of individualists..."

Calatin chatters on happily, it's clear he's fond of the place.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2
Awgin wrote:
Awgin brightens up a bit. "Then I'll have something to do while Calatin looks at books"

"While he looks at books, you will be looking at him," Khismia retorts. "Did you not hear your commanding officer? Your sole task is to stand and protect the wizard, not go looking for trouble."


"He can't make me do anything and neither can you. I'll do both."


Awgin, Khismia, and Calatin - Stone of Seers - District E - 9h50 - Rova 15, 4710 AR

The carriage comes to a stop outside the majestic Stone of Seers. The impressive stone ediface rises up from behind stone walls and a small grassy garden, opposite the Seerspring Gardens themselves across the street. A few students lounge about on the grass in the early morning sun as the three of you make your way up the broad stone stairs, past the statue of Master Leis Nivlandis, the school's founder, and inside.

Small offices belonging to registrars and other administrators line the side of the grand foyer, some of their doors open, others closed.


Female Halfling Bard (Archivist) 1

Nazard:
Laya breathes in deeply as she enters the cathedral. She greets the acolytes and priests just as warmly as they greet her. "I've actually come here for a bit of assistance," she says. "MSI has had a spot of bother with some grave robbers. One was infected by a creature called a vargouille. That one's dead now, but we need to know if the others are infected in order to make sure the infection doesn't spread. Is the cryptmistress available?"


Heward stands behind Phillip and listens intently.

So where's Magnimar Memorial Gardens? What's Robal say to Phillip's follow-up?[/ooc]


One Diplomacy roll needed per tactic, which is usually one per conversation.

Robal thinks and thinks for awhile. "Well, I remember him saying something about a warehouse, but I was never there, so I don't know exactly. Might cut down on how much of the End you'd need to search, though."

He gives you a few city blocks within Rag's End where you might find Mig's warehouse.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip nods "Hang in there man" before turning to Wallas to see if he had any further questions...


Heward shakes his head "no".


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Moving out of the cells so that their speech is not overheard by the prisoners, Phillip presses Wallas "What's the forward? These poor bastards could be turning anytime soonish, and we've a lead on where their kinsman holed up... we've got to get eyes there sharpish and see if we can savvy him out."


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

Waiting to follow Calatin's lead. Khismia intends to follow Heward's orders and stick close to the wizard.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"That is the main administration office," says Calatin, pointing. "Now, what did we want to find out? Sorry - I have been thinking more about the research I want to do, for both our cases, and it's quite escaped me! Do you want to deal with it while I get on, or shall we all stick together?"


"We're looking for any possible connections between the attacking mages and/or their targets. So we'll need lists of classes they took and who taught them, classmates and roommates, and staff for the time that they were all here. Also, if possible, we should interview anyone here who knew them."


Just enough time for one quick update before students arrive...

Laya:
The acolyte nods and takes Laya to see Cryptmistress Pierce. A matronly woman, she looks like the kind of person who expects to be obeyed and usually is. Her greying hair is pulled back in a tight bun, held in place with ivory needles, and her grey robe is spotless, the hem in perfect condition. Age has placed many lines on her face, but they only enhance the regal handsomeness of her features. She looks up at Laya's polite knock.

"Come in, Laya, is it not? How may I assist you this morning?"


Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
Moving out of the cells so that their speech is not overheard by the prisoners, Phillip presses Wallas "What's the forward? These poor bastards could be turning anytime soonish, and we've a lead on where their kinsman holed up... we've got to get eyes there sharpish and see if we can savvy him out."

"Good question. We need to check the tomb and its area and Rag's End. I don't want to move on the tomb without Laya. It would be good to talk to the Cobbers family too. If this head was left in there on purpose as a guardian, they might have other nasties lurking inside."

"Rag's End is too vague. About the best we can do there is warn the district Watch office. Maybe they could do a door to door along Warehouse row, but you could hide a griffon in some of those old buildings. It will take days to go through them all."

"What do you think?"


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip mulls a few moments before responding "Since you're for the temple and Laya first, give me a shot at canvassing Rag's End. It's a longshot I'll find sign, but worth a punt. If I ferret out the hidey-hole I'll set the local flatfeet to watching while I come fetch you; if I don't I'll rendezvous with you at the tomb?"


Female Halfling Bard (Archivist) 1

Nazard:
Laya peers into the room and then walks slowly in, gazing at the walls and the Cryptmistress's desk. She smiles. "Cryptmistress, I've come with a request from Magnimar Special Investigations. We have a pair of tomb robbers in our custody. A third one was infected by a creature called a vargouille that was dwelling in the tomb they tried to rob. He transformed into one of these creatures and that creature is now dead. However, we have no way of knowing if the other two are infected or how to treat them if they are. It's beyond my ability, I'm afraid. I figured you and your acolytes would have the most experience with this kind of thing and would know what to do. We don't know how much contact they may have had with other people before coming into our custody, and we need to curtail any possibility of this infection spreading."


Laya:
The stern-looking woman's face grows even harsher, though clearly not at Laya. "Tomb robbers, are they? Some might think they deserve what they get, but a city does not. A vargouille, you say? Are you certain?" Her voice trails off slightly, but then she refocuses on the halfling. "Chances are if you have to ask, they aren't infected. The early signs of infection are pretty constant. Hair falls out, tentacles grow out of the scalp, then the mental faculties drain away. A spell to remove diseases or curses will end the transformation, though any existing damage is already done and has to be repaired with additional magic. Sunlight will pause the transformation...MSI? You work for the Watch now, don't you? I thought i'd heard a rumor. Oh dear, you probably have those miserable wretches locked away in the darkest dungeon you possess, don't you?"


Female Halfling Bard (Archivist) 1

Nazard:
Laya nods. "It is the darkest, yes, as it's the only one we have at our unit's facility. So it's also the bright--" She trails off as the Cryptmistress's meaning sinks in. "Oh. We should move them somewhere sunnier."


Laya:
"Indeed, and as soon as possible."


Calatin, Awgin, & Khismia - Stone of Seers, District E - 10h00 - Rova 15, 4710 AR

So, the three of you go to see a registrar. After the initial presentation of badges, the registrar is quite helpful (far more helpful than Calatin remembers them being while he was a student). He takes down all the information that the group is wanting and asks you to wait in the main foyer while he retrieves and copies the paperwork for you. He closes his office door and quickly heads off down the cavernous hallways to the records rooms.

You have a bit of time to wait or do stuff. Normally, Megan tends to post only once a day and Calatin is the driver here, so I may skip to action as he directs. Until then, feel free to continue the conversations, or if Awgin wants to sneak off, all power to him! I'm sure Heward will get an earful when they join up again.


Phillip Hargreaves wrote:
Phillip mulls a few moments before responding "Since you're for the temple and Laya first, give me a shot at canvassing Rag's End. It's a longshot I'll find sign, but worth a punt. If I ferret out the hidey-hole I'll set the local flatfeet to watching while I come fetch you; if I don't I'll rendezvous with you at the tomb?"

"I don't want anyone hunting these things alone. Its scream froze me for just a few seconds, but long enough for a kiss. Take this, ~hands Phillip his (Heward's) MSI badge~[b] see if you can get some help searching. If you can't, just alert the district commander and meet Laya and me. The regular Watch isn't used to us yet, so you might get some guff. "

Awgin and Khismia. he law of unintended consequences strikes again. Heward didn't mean to blunt anyone's investigative vigor. Certainly didn't mean you were to be bodyguard 'bots.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Phillip flashes a wry one-sided smile at Wallas with a slight sparkle to his eye "Oh aye, I'll be right careful Sergeant... I'll be seeing you in one piece and sharpish if I've the luck of the Sczarni..." With that Phillip takes the badge and briefly goes back into the cells, getting as close a description of Mig as he can from the detainees. Height, weight, build, clothing, hair, disposition - so as to help with his attempt at flushing.

Unless challenged, he then makes his was to Rag's End with Wallas' badge securely stowed out of plain view in a pocket.


Female Human (Keleshite) Rogue (investigator) 2

Khismia waits and doesn't speak unless spoken to. She's on duty and not much for small talk even when she's not. If you need a Perception check or anything from her, feel free to roll it to move things along. She's following Heward's orders to the letter: protecting Calatin is her priority.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

"I appreciate your efforts," Calatin tells the registrar. "I also have some research to do, so perhaps you could have someone message me in the library when the information we have requested is ready..."

And so off to the stacks. Possibly the first time you have seen Calatin move with enthusiasm... His researches are wide-ranging covering both the 'mage-poison' and people in grey robes who might have a grudge against wizards and information about vargouilles, how to cure their victims, and how you install one in the first place...

And my player has an all-day job interview tomorrow, no knowing when/if I shall get online...
]


Awgin has no desire to sneaking around mage land. It's rumored that if you're caught they give you over to the necromancer grad students for experimentation.
Awgin continues to dog Calatin's footsteps.


Phillip Hargreaves wrote:

Phillip flashes a wry one-sided smile at Wallas with a slight sparkle to his eye "Oh aye, I'll be right careful Sergeant... I'll be seeing you in one piece and sharpish if I've the luck of the Sczarni..." With that Phillip takes the badge and briefly goes back into the cells, getting as close a description of Mig as he can from the detainees. Height, weight, build, clothing, hair, disposition - so as to help with his attempt at flushing.

...

Heward's eyes narrow. "Thieves' luck won't protect you from these vargoiulles. That badge ought to let you grab an ordinary Watchman to help. Hunt with a partner or don't hunt at all. And for the city's sake, tell the district commander first. He's got to get the word out to his men on the street."

Nazard, In what district is Magnimar Memorial Gardens? More unintended consequences, I thought Mrs B would just send a runner instead of going herself. Didn't mean to take her off post.

Heward grabs a quill and sheet of parchment from Mrs. Brigglespan's desk. He sits down in her chair and begins writing out a message to Captain Percival. Covering the vargoiulle threat.


She is sending a runner, but where do you think she gets them from? There's a messenger service down the street. As Heward sits down in her desk, he sees her crossbow, still loaded, hanging from a special hook on the underside of her desk. The bolt is pointed at the door, and he imagines the thin wood of the desk facade would do little to stop the bolt. The area under the desk is much cooler than the rest of the room. There's also a small pouch hanging within easy reach. By the time Heward has finished writing his letter, he hears a throat clearing behind him, and...

"Can I help you find something, Sergeant Wallas?" Mrs. Brigglespan asks in mock severity.

Magnimar Memorial Gardens is in Vista, so District C.


Calatin research: 1d4 ⇒ 1 hours.

With the library to help him, he can't possibly fail the DCs to learn about vargouilles. Remove disease, remove curse, or break enchantment will all cure someone infected by a vargouille. Sunlight or a light spell of third plus level will pause the transformation, which typically takes between 4 and 24 hours to run its course.

Vargouilles can spread their taint quite easily and as often as they wish, making an epidemic very likely, especially in a place such as Rag's End. Assuming a very modest infection rate of only 10 people in the first night, that would make for 22 vargouilles by tonight, 220 by the next night, 2,200 by the 17th...Calatin's idle figures quickly run cold as he realizes the entire population of Magnimar could be vargouilles in a little under a week.

I'm spoilering the rest of Calatin's research in case his findings change his decision to research the other topics.

Research about arcane inebriant:

Time: 1d4 ⇒ 3 hours
Knowledge: 1d20 + 20 ⇒ (4) + 20 = 24
Alchemy: 1d20 + 6 + 20 ⇒ (8) + 6 + 20 = 34
It takes Calatin several hours to find a single obscure reference to arcane inebriant, in an ancient tome on the war between Geb and Nex. Used by Geb to infect the non-undead magic users of Nex, it was quite devastating until a simple innoculant was discovered easily made from herbs - at least, herbs local to Geb. A great stealth raid was conducted whereby the wizards from Nex stole a stockpile of this herb and were able to cultivate it locally, neutralizing the threat of the inebriant poison. Alas, Calatin doesn't recognize the herb as anything to be found locally, though small quantities might be for sale in some of the more exotic shops in Magnimar.


Nazard wrote:

She is sending a runner, but where do you think she gets them from? There's a messenger service down the street. As Heward sits down in her desk, he sees her crossbow, still loaded, hanging from a special hook on the underside of her desk. The bolt is pointed at the door, and he imagines the thin wood of the desk facade would do little to stop the bolt. The area under the desk is much cooler than the rest of the room. There's also a small pouch hanging within easy reach. By the time Heward has finished writing his letter, he hears a throat clearing behind him, and...

"Can I help you find something, Sergeant Wallas?" Mrs. Brigglespan asks in mock severity.

Magnimar Memorial Gardens is in Vista, so District C.

Heward starts. "No ma'am," he says as he twists to see her. "I'm just writing a note to the captain about these vargouilles. We're going to have to notify all the district commanders to look out for these things. Even if we track down Mig and the first one -- there's no telling how many people it may have kissed already." The Watchman shudders. "I don't want anyone else to end up like Turgo."


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Upon the walk through to Rag's End, Phillip almost compulsively keeps running a hand through his mop of hair and waggling his fingers to keep them loose. He'd heard the Sergeant's words and they'd been plain enough... but the sight of the constabulary can cause some mouths to close... Delaying the final decision until he was closer he began turning the blocks identified over in his head. Phil tries to see if his little grey cells might remember some useful details...

Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Are the warehouses in a commercial / industrial / residential area? What is the street vendor / beggar density in Rag's End? Are we talking legitimate businesses, or more questionable trades? That sort of stuff.


Rag's End is a mish-mash of the three. Not a lot of legitimate businesses down there, other than those necessary for the denizens to meet their daily needs. Lots of really sketchy brothels in Rag's End, and it's the premier spot to score drugs. Much of Rag's End is under the thumb of slumlord and drug kingpin Jaijarko. There aren't many in the way of beggars or street vendors, as there aren't many in Rag's End who have spare coin to give away, and street vendors tend to get rolled for their day's sales. Of course, there are always a few, and many of the city's beggars work elsewhere, but come back to Rag's End at night to sleep in doorways and abandoned buildings, so at night, the density of "disposable people" is quite high.


Male Halfling Inquisitor of Calistria (Heretic archetype)

Formulating a plan as he strides, Phillip makes for the blocks that Robal pointed out. He keeps his eyes open for inquisitive faces as he walks...
Perception: take 10 for 18
...and especially looks for the sorry ones that have naught to do of a day than sit and gaze outwards. He focuses on the area within the hot zone approaching those that he can see to inquire after a man of Mig's description. To the destitute the story he proffers is one that Mig owes him some gambling debts, small change enough but still worth chasing... if they can guide him to the man then he'd cut them into the action...
Diplomacy for gathering info: 1d4 ⇒ 3 hours and 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

Phillip does not seek out a watchman by design, but he would approach one if he saw one on the beat or at a post.


Phillip wanders the slummy streets of Rag's End for a few hours. He gets a few hits on the name Mig Tanris of people who've heard of him, and nobody seems to have trouble believing that the man would have run up some gambling debts, but none of them have seen the man within the month. He gets a few suggestions of "over that way" or "a couple blocks over", but nothing that really helps him narrow down his existing 'hot zone'.


Some pinpoints on the timeline, by person, so we can keep things straight:

Heward: 10h10 by the time he finishes writing his note to Percival

Laya: 10h20 at this point in time with her conversation with the crypt mistress

Calatin, Awgin, and Khismia: 11h30 when Calatin finishes researching the vargouilles

Phillip: 13h00 when he finishes canvassing the area in Rag's End


Female Halfling Bard (Archivist) 1

Laya makes all haste back to MSI headquarters.


M Human Wizard (Divination School Specialist)/2

Calatin will share what he's discovered about the vargouilles with Khismia and Awgin.

He would like to continue delving into the arcane inebriant - if the other two want to bolt off to spread the word about the vargouille threat to Watch and Princess, he'll stay put here and not go wandering around.

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