Monday, January 30, 2012

Play Report: Mysteries of Jzadirune Session 1

It was a slow day at the offices of Inspectors Holmes and Raske, it felt like weeks since any leggy dames had come through their door complaining of a dead-beat husband or missing heirloom. D.I. Asgeirr Raske handed a date to the golden-furred monkey perched on the edge of his desk and examined the note it proffered him.

He looked over the paper at Holmes, “Looks like the Golden Galleon needs some errand boys…something about additional security for a shipment. Why are we even looking at this stuff, we should be out chasing Crimson or some other villain.” Holmes grunted an unintelligible response, tapped out his pipe, and headed for the door.
“It’ll pay the bills…you coming, Raske?” Lenny, their assistant and discount bone-merchant, quietly followed Holmes out the door. Raske burned down one more cigarette before grabbing his coat and hat to follow them, the monkey, a black-scaled adder, and a large gyrfalcon trailing along behind.

Holmes and Raske, met up with Mosin Zahad, the paymaster for the Galeon to procure the shipment in question, a crate of vanilla ordered by an up-town bakery. Raske argued rather considerably over the price before settling on 50gp, while Lenny set to work preparing their “security”…a quintet of animated and none-too-fresh-smelling zombies and a fake papers identifying the crate as a “parts” shipment from the Legion of Evil’s necromancers.

Hiking up the Promenade from the docks to the Wafts, the district selling fine-smelling specialty goods, was long, but uneventful. Raske stopped several times to admire the ladies, all of whom seemed oblivious not only to his presence but also to the small squad of undead following him, and to examine the days broadsheets. “Look at this Holmes!” he said, pointing to a headline with a jovial flourish. “That fool Saint-Demain has failed to catch Crimson again! I promise you, it won’t be long before the crown calls us in, and then we’ll show that puffed-up windbag how real detectives do it!”

They reached the bakery and Lenny stepped in to complete the delivery. Outside Raske’s hawk, Orm, noticed a number of winged, simian creatures in sailor’s outfits perched on the roofs nearby. Orm screeched a warning as the creatures dove en masse into a nearby alley, brandishing knives. Raske raced around the corner, drawing his dragon pistol, to see the winged sailors descending upon a tattooed and mustachioed dwarven slave standing guard over a richly-dressed merchant. Firing a warning shot at the creatures, Raske rushed to the heroic defense of the two men.

Lenny sent their undead minions charging into the fray as a pair of the creatures broke off from the main group to intercept Raske. The first was dispatched easily, tricked by Raske’s magic into handcuffing itself and summarily fleeing when it had realized its folly, while Holmes stepped in to engage in fisticuffs with the second. Just as the fight was turning their way, a massive, lumbering, rust-bucket of an ironborn careened off of the roof, crushing one of the monkey-sailors under its great weight and destroying a crate, sending a thick cloud of baker’s flour into the air, obscuring the melee.

When the cloud subsided, Holmes and Raske found themselves facing the ancient iron behemoth, three unconscious sailors bloodied at its feet, and a swarm of Peacekeepers rushing into the alley behind them. At the sight of the cops the construct burst through a side-door into the bakery, overturning and wrecking several cases of donuts and pastries, much to the dismay of the cops, in its rush for the front exit. This was to no avail, as the thing tripped over one of the Peacekeepers just beyond the door and sprawled helpless on the pavement.

After Holmes and Raske had sorted out the whos and whys of the situation for the leader of the Peacekeeper force, a shifty-looking lady by the name of Irini, and paid the baker for the damage to their shop and inventory (and indirectly claimed ownership of the construct in the process), the merchant, one Cathcalen by name, offered to hire the two. It seemed that one of his servants, a journeyman by the of Galead, had gone missing while on some errands the day prior, and, more distressing to the merchant, many of Cathcalen’s contracts had been lost with him. Raske and Holmes, along with Lenny, the construct, and the Peacekeeper Irini, agreed to search for the missing boy for the price of 300 gold sovereigns per day, plus expenses, with the added promise of hazard pay to the sum of 150 gold pieces per day should any fighting be required.

As the Peacekeepers took custody of the sailors, Raske and Irini interrogated the one that seemed to be in charge of the group, learning that they had been hired by a Minotaur down by the docks to steal several jars of Royal Jelly from the merchant. Once they had this information, Raske retrieved his manacles from the chained one, and they all headed off to meet their new employer at the Roasted Grouse Inn, but not before Holmes and Raske had taken a smoke break.

At the Inn the party learned what they could from the merchant about his missing journeyman and collected their initial retainer-fee of 150 gold. The monkey, Pansen, made a rather indecipherable sketch of the missing man, but the key details, his thick black beard, white Amnian-style robes, and dark hair were recorded at least somewhat faithfully…at least enough that Raske was able to correct it later.

Taking Cathcalen’s dwarf slave, Cindry by name, with them, the group took the train down to the docks to see if Galead had met with the people of the Golden Galeon Trading Company as he had been ordered. At the Galeon, they found an auction of vanilla beans going on, with individual beans going for such ludicrous prices as 5 gold a bean, if not more. Pansen procured a hefty purse from one of the nobles in the crowd. Meanwhile, Raske and Cindry met again with Mosin Zahad, learning that he had met Galead the day before, but that the boy had not appeared for their follow-up appointment that morning. The party thanked him and decided to go ask Madame Phaedre, mistress of the Court of Night-Blooming Flowers (Holmes’s favorite brothel), if her girls had seen anything of Galead.

On their way out Raske was accosted by an old gypsy woman telling fortunes on the street-corner. Not wanting to be impolite, he paid her one silver fee and listened to her rather bad performance. On their way out, his snake, the adder that is, not the one in his pants, deprived the old gypsy of her purse, netting the group 19 gold coins and a pair of magical scrolls (sleep and hypnotic pattern).

Before they had walked not more than ten paces more, Cindry caught upon an idea and asked Pansen to break into the Golden Galeon offices and procure their half of Cathcalen’s contract. Pansen was quite excited at this idea, and dashed into the building, a whirring blur of nigh-invisible fur. A monkey monk. A skill monkey. A ninja. The monkey slipped into the office unobserved, picked the lock on the drawer where the contracts were kept, and absconded with the document before anyone could see him. All witnesses that might have been died, but since there were no witnesses no murders had to occur. Or so Pansen ensured Raske when he delivered the document.

Tucking the contract safely away, the party headed for the Street of Silk Flowers and the Court of Night-blooming Flowers to speak with the madame. Raske got rather distracted along the way, turning over the fat purse that Pansen had acquired to a pale-skinned maiden, no maid really but she played the part well. Raske, Pansen, the courtesan, and the snake adjourned to an upper room to do what a man, a woman, a monkey, and a snake do.

Roughly an hour later, or so it must have been according to Raske’s reckoning, the man and his familiars regrouped with the party, who explained that they had learned much concerning Galead. That he had been often to the Street of Silk Flowers to meet with one girl who was a particular favorite, that he had a friend, Gil by name, who made arrangements for their rendezvous, and that Galead had last been seen going off with Gil and the girl for a tryst in a garden somewhere.