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"No, my dear," Mrs. Brigglespan replies. "I have no word from the City Pkanners' Office at all. If I'm not overstepping my bounds with a suggestion, those municipal bureaucracies always need a firm, hands-on approach if you want anything out of them. They have sixteen things on their plate that will always be more important than your thing until you make yours the most important, or as my husband used to say, 'Take their plate of other stuff and dump it over their head!'"
She grins fondly at the memory.
So it seems like Eudonius is staying with the body, and the others are going to find Tiberius, or is somebody going to the City Planners' or Guards and Wards?
Mrs. Brigglespan's Knowledge (Local) roll: 1d20 ⇒ 17 plus unknown modifiers :)
"Hmmm...people to avoid? I believe there are only two or three workers at the City Planner's office. Ms. Rumblemountain is in charge of that department, and she has an architect and a file clerk, if I recall. The Council of Ushers managed to slip its creation into some budget fifty years ago, but it never really got proper funding, and it's more as a tax grab for new construction than anything. As for Guards and Wards, they are a private security company, with mundane and magical services. As I recall, they've always co-operated quite well with the Watch, so I wouldn't expect you to have any problems, unless of course they were negligent, which is unlikely. They have a good reputation for providing quality services, though they do tend to over-hype what you're getting from them. I believe a couple of the abjuration professors from the Stone moonlight for them, creating their magical wardings."
Mrs. Brigglespan directs Simza to take the carriage around back, as there's a back door which leads straight to the morgue. However, as she's doing that, Koraq walks in with the body over his shoulder. Mrs. Brigglespan takes one look at the burly half-orc carrying a body, and suddenly there's a loaded crossbow out from under the desk and pointed at Koraq.
"Who are you?" she asks firmly.
"Will you be wanting the carriage?" Mrs. Brigglespan asks. "We don't have a driver, but perhaps one of you could handle the reins?"
The HQ has a fully equipped alchemy lab, enough to grant a +2 circumstance bonus to Craft (Alchemy) checks, and a well-equipped exam room, enough to grant a similar bonus to Heal and Perception checks to examine bodies for cause of death and other clues. Please have a look at the investigation mechanics in the Players' Notes document on the website, as it contains information about how to use Perception to find clues, and bonuses and penalties that can apply, as well as use of "helping" skills.
It takes just a few minutes to deposit your gear in upstairs rooms of your choice. When you come back down, Mrs. Brigglespan has two small baskets of sandwiches prepared, one for each group, "Since you missed the pastries," she adds to Grigory with a grandmotherly smile.
Mrs. Brigglespan laughs. "Oh, I can tell you are going to be a heap of trouble around here. You remind me so much of my dear late husband. He would have liked you a lot."
She returns the crossbow to its spot under the desk. Phillip can't help but imagine it pointing straight up his lap, and the thin wood of the facade of the desk would likely do little to stop its flight.
Mrs. Brigglespan, crouched over the mess of cards in the process of retrieving them from the floor, looks up in surprise as Phillip returns. "Oh I do hope that boy hasn't sent you packing already." she says, handing him the deck.
She returns to hr place behind the counter. Her loaded crossbow still sits on it, ready at hand should she need it. A palpable chill emanates from the readied bolt.
While it would be nice to role-play every minute of every day, I think we can assume that people have introduced themselves to Khismia off camera, just like we can assume that other details you insist never get mentioned, like personal details and things about each other also were presented. We don't need to rehash all that stuff in game because we can just read up on it in people's backgrounds, but I find it strange that you keep insisting that nobody in the entire building ever talks about themselves, or even to each other, if it doesn't happen in the game thread. Unless people explicitly state that they refuse to talk to Auriel or Khismia or anybody else, or ever tell them anything, why not just assume that friendly people are being friendly when we're not looking?
Mrs. Brigglespan lowers her own bow once Khismia lowers hers. As Khismia unilaterally declares that the two remaining robbers should be summarily executed, Mrs. Brigglespan gives Laya a bemused grin and asks, "Really?".
Mrs. Brigglespan turns back towards the front office, giving her bow a heft and Phillip a knowing smile, before leaving the group to their own devices. "Have fun," she whispers to him as she passes.
"And what, pray tell, would ever give you the foolish notion that I am a fine lady?"
She chuckles. "You could say I've been married to the Watch almost all my life. My husband was a Watchman, and I know Captain Percival well. When he asked me to help out these raw recruits such as yourself, how could I turn him down?"
"He's currently in with the others interviewing three gentlemen the Pediment Building sent over this morning. Perhaps it would be best if you would wait here until they are finished. In the meantime, I would love to hear some stories of life on the high seas, unless I mistake your accent."
The lady behind the desk gives the young ex-pirate a stern glance as she takes the note, though not without humour in her eyes. She reads it over carefully, chuckling to herself. "Trust Ilar to send us what we need before he can know we need it." She hands him back the note. "I'm Mrs. Brigglespan. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Hargreaves."
As everybody except Calatin (who's still going strong) is finishing their breakfast, Khismia is led into the conference room by Mrs. Brigglespan. Breakfast is finished and cleared away as the group updates (or doesn't, as the case may be) each other on what was learned and not learned the day before, and on your plans. As you discuss, Mrs. Brigglespan knocks on the door.
"Pardon the interruption, but there are three gentlemen here to see you. They wouldn't tell me their business, just that the Watchmen at the Pediment Building sent them to MSI. Shall I show them in?"
"Oh, dear, dear child," Mrs. Brigglespan says, this time with no twisting on the word, "what ever gave you the idea that you're a horrible disappointment? And who is this 'he'? My dear, nobody expects you to beat somebody with their own arm, and nobody expects you to change who you are. Such funny ideas you seem to have of the Watch, like it's some cold, heartless group of people solely out to ruin people's fun! There are bad people out there, Auriel, and I don't mean your regular pick-pockets and cut purses, I mean really bad people, like the man you just captured. Nobody wants to make you into a soldier, but some threats can't be thwarted with some flashy moves or soft words, and not liking violence doesn't protect you from it."
She puts an arm around Auriel. "Facing death can be scary. You have friends here who would like to help you get through what you experienced, but they can't because you won't let them. Besides, child, it's not like everybody else was sitting back at their ease while you were given the dangerous jobs. From what I read in those reports, you were the one who decided to go off on her own to guard the back door of the jeweler's, and you who decided to position yourself alone amongst the party guests. Hard as it may be for you realize, you do have a team, and things tend to go better when you start acting like one." She gives Auriel one last squeeze, then straightens up.
Then she rounds on Heward. "And you! Could you back down any faster? Maybe you have the balls for this job, maybe not, but if you cut them off yourself at the first opportunity, you certainly won't! Don't let these people walk all over you like that!"
"As for the rest of you, you will do as Sergeant Wallas instructs, or you'll answer to me for it! And as for leaving people alone..." her glare coming to rest on Awgin, "Take your own advice. Taking a young woman who is clearly distraught and hurting into your bed for some drunken conquest? Consider yourself lucky I don't turn you over my knee! For shame, sir!"
She instantly composes herself, her pleasant smile returning quickly. "Now, I came to see who wanted tea. Anybody?"
"Time. Timing. Strange things, in many ways," Mrs. Brigglespan says from the threshold. "I remember, must be ten years ago now, seeing a clock, I think it was called, from Alkenstar. Amazing thing. Little mechanical arms moved to indicate the minutes and hours. Inside were gears and springs, every one moving in perfect harmony to drive those arms, even components that were completely unlike the rest had to work together with the others. One little bend in a gear tooth or spring coil, and the thing would grind to a halt. The whole thing...dead. Quite a marvel to see it in action."
I always hate to advertise downtime, but on the other hand, I hate for PCs to "waste" a bunch of money on item crafting if the next adventure starts before you're finished. Of course, unless you get captured or are on all-night stakeout, your living situation will always allow you the option of "working while travelling" as proscribed in the rules, where you can get two hours worth of work done, so it's highly unlikely you'll ever be interrupted enough to lose your progress. I'd say, tell me what he's brewing in what order, and I'll stop you if you run out of time completing everything. The next mystery's start date is fixed.
Mrs. Brigglespan does raise an eyebrow when Garidan comes to her with his requisitions. "I know you're probably not totally up on the politics of an organization such as the Watch, Mr. Hawk Dancer, so I'll let you in on a little secret. The trick to getting money out of somebody else's budget is a lot like making frog soup. If I send this to the Pediment Building, you'll probably get it all, but you'll also get somebody in a suit coming over to see what on earth you need it all for, and the next time I requisition this stuff, I'll get the response, 'Have you used it all up already from the last time?' and I'll get another fellow in a suit coming to check up on us. However, if we request some of this, say, the two 'kits' you think you'll use most often, that won't raise any eyebrows, so in another week, I can request the same stuff plus a bit more, maybe another two of these kits, and still, no suits. Turn the heat up a little bit so the frog doesn't know what's happening until he's already soup. Does that make any sense?"
"I don't know, my dear. Al I can suggest to you is this: if you need a reason to keep going, I think you already have it. Sure, let the others do it out of a sense of duty, or curiosity, or devotion, and you...you focus on making as many small and insignificant differences as you can. Make a beach, Auriel, one grain of sand at a time. It could be that that's the purest and most noble reason of all."
She pats Auriel on the hand and stands, putting her dishes in the sink. Returning, she puts her hand on the crossbow and slides it over to Auriel. "And as for this...keep it. I suspect you'll get more use out of it than I. After all," she pauses to laugh, "what am I going to do with a once enchanted crossbow at my stage in life?"
"But is that why you're really here, to get famous for saving people? The Hero of Magnimar, perhaps? You know those people were saved, I know those people were saved, but even if I didn't know, they would still have been saved. The world is filled with adventurers, looking to make their bones off the troubles of others. Sure, they dress it up with ideals of good and nobility, but if there are no troubles, they die in obscurity. Would the Sandpoint Heroes have been heroes if there had been no goblin attack that day? And individuals likes those who actually have the opportunity to affect the world on such a large scale are exceedingly rare. Maybe that'll be you, too, someday. But right here, right now, you are in a position to make an actual difference in the lives of real people. Quietly, behind the scenes. You won't be popular, you won't be famous, you might not even be known, but you'll be able to dangle your grandchildren on your knee and tell them how the world they know came into being because of your actions. And that's really the only reward or recognition anyone needs."
"Come. Men like to drink, but they never pick the right beverage."
Mrs. Brigglespan picks up the crossbow and leads Auriel towards the kitchen where she begins the brewing of a nice cup of tea.
As it boils and steeps, she sits Auriel down with a small plate of sweets. "You're worried that you haven't made a difference tonight? That things are just back to the status quo? Surely, you must be able to find some good that came of tonight's events."