Fireborn: Dark Phoenix

Another abandoned scrap of paper, ripped in two and crumpled, its contents slashed with ink
Frostheim - 14 - Rastok

Quietly thoughtful – even anxious – as his companions reasoned how and why they ought to break into the cigarillo factory, Rotis had slipped away to be alone. The following scrap of paper may have been found, scrunched-up and discarded with slashes of ink through the entry of the 12th, later on that day.

Attended lecture; like a Pengold’s 1921, my Mistress. Redeeming qualities that parallel the 1919 Grange of your own political aphorisms, but crass to the discerning intellectual palate: 11th Frostheim. Neither sympathy nor pride will fill Croc’s peoples’ hungry bellies, nor cure them of their ailments. Subsequently I attended once again to Doctor Raykov’s muddled office; I trust you’ll find my system better-suited to your tastes.





: 12th Frostheim.

Of course, the truth was just as you had circumcised; the evidence of Blackscale craftsmanship concealed within: 13th Frostheim. Mistress, I wish simply to report the delightfully incredulous expression the discovery did enlist upon Jaxar’s visage. Further, too: Marius employed that I should share my knowledge of Drakarik script, confirming your suspicions. No further proof of Radomir’s adeptness with the Art, however.

Mistress, I must concede distress: 14th Frostheim. I cannot refute the reasoning that we have to strike at once upon the factory, nor that as a group we do ensure that no vital evidence will be neglected. But I must insist that I can only Solicit the Truth alone, it is the done thing.

.
Thank you, Mistress.

As I consider your proposal, I sit here with the white-striped bijou resting in my palm. I can only speculate as to its ultimate purpose. Much else appears clearer to me. Transarbinan meddling in local affairs is indisputable. In seizing your rightful property, Aziz Farukan will have established a line of supply from Trynsham to the sea and to home; that his fellow Transarbinan, Jacomelli, had anticipated still the arrival of stolen goods after the capture of Trynsham points only towards collusion between Transarbinan entities and the brigands in Trynsham. The productive alliance between Lord Acropolis and the state – evidenced by his tremendous output of patents, fruits borne by the excavation of Blackscale artefacts no doubt – may have qualified a threat (or, at least, stirred interest) to the Scientological supremacy of the League. Indeed, a letter to Jacomelli betrayed the paranoia of ‘enemy spies’ within Arcopolis’s lavatory.

Following the subsequent relocation of all Agropolis’s operations to Trynsham came the invasion. So there is no doubt that this was the prompt – the arrival of something, some precious artefact, prompted the attack. I must carefully scour the lavatory for lingering traces.

The mole, of course, was the Lord’s Arkalian wife. Further, I’ve little doubt that this Solarian ‘holy site’ was discerned from the spoils of Trynsham. Perhaps it is Birrensland itself, ultimate source of the ancient treasures. Supposedly, we shall know soon enough.

The Truth beckons. Jacomelli was a vociferous ally of my destitute kin, and a letter to him spoke of ‘Seekers’. I sense a potential connection to the ‘Strugglers’ who had threatened the lav, due to the intention to purchase slaves. After tonight, I shall resume my investigations with the utmost diligence.

I will break nothing but the veal that obfuscates the Truth from you, my Mistress.

Your devoted, ever-faithful Rotis.

END JOURNAL

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Investigating the Items
or, "A Strange Tale of Mechanism and Mystery"

[Detail to be filled in later; in the meantime, APs]

APs: 4
AP Total: 23

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Seeking the Seekers
or, "The Mystery of the Vanishing Paretian"

Despite a shaky start (with Rotis shooting one as a demonstration of their seriousness), the party made the friendly acquaintance of a gang of “Sewer-Rats”, led by the kobold Croc. After showing off their Elven magical healing friend, providing bread, ale, and mechanical assistance, and doing a few other favours about town, Croc’s gang was highly willing to do business with you.

it turns out that they knew Silverio Giacomelli reasonably well. (Or at least, had met him and done work for him). Specifically they had been paid to keep an eye on the postal depot to alert him to any deliveries to his depot box number; and on the Laboratory at the University with which you’d already become acquainted. They further added that they had burgled the place at the behest of an ork calling himself “Cobra”, who’d been staying at the workhouse attached to the Kagano Cigarillo Factory in Rastok, and apparently working as a caravan guard.

This “Cobra” was seen at times talking to the air in a foreign (but North Encyronian) language; and his little gang all appeared to be guards. Despite an offer to pay handsomely for particular items believed to be in the laboratory, Croc’s gang were suspicious of the unknown foreigners and decided to send a terminally sick kobold to meet them, with a bag of rocks instead of most of the stolen goods (with just one or two pieces to create the right illusion instead). However, the bag that Cobra gave the kobold in exchange contained not gold but brown powder, which caused her to undergo near-instant seizures and death within moments. The hidden gang members then retreated fast with the remainder of the goods, some of which they pawned for cash around town.

Meanwhile the other half of the party conducted investigations showing that a red-handed woman called “Vittoria” had been hunting Silverio, had made a scene at the depot demanding his name and address (apparetly a failure, but she found him quickly after that regardless). She had also been seen at the Laboratory, and Silverio had warned Croc’s gang that she was a witch who could kill a dozen men with a glance, and to stay well out of her way.

However Vittoria hadn;t been seen around town, possibly since a fire at the Laboratory that seems to have caused its near-complete shutdown. Silverio’s neighbours and Landlady proved helpful to Jaxar, in the guise of a journalist, and Silverio’s post was bought for an exorbitant sum.

However, when his post was found to contain a shipment of stolen artifacts from an inside-man at the Laboratory, it was generally agreed that it was well worth the price!

Two other artifacts might be possible to buy from Croc’s gang, though for the even more exorbitant price of 5 guilders each.

Doctor Raykov’s been busy, it seems, organising some other journalists to find clues and leads as well; it seems smoke was recently seen on the Skyhorn, and the Solarians in Arkalia have said that the New Urgenese have destroyed the shrine there as revenge on their own rebellious populace who recently rose up to try to seize the Shephame Valley to ensure that Unity can prevail there (as it did in days of yore). They have, however, revealed that ‘Queen’ Ioanna now possesses one of the five Tablets of the Sun, and further that she has had a revelation sent by Solaris that will soon ‘prove’ the righteousness of their cause.

He has also given some warning that the police, aided by the military, have begun showing an interest in the recent events in Rastok; he pondered that perhaps word had got out of Shephame about the crate and the theft, and that the locals had begun (belatedly) joining the disparate dots. Raykov recommends hurrying to avoid conflicting directly with the Authorities… though he also pointed out that coming clean to them, albeit belatedly, is also an option, though a risky one.

In the meantime, apparently someone at the aforementioned Cigarillo factory has begun asking questions about a blackscale seen around town, prompting Marius to dye himself dark-brown instead. The man who’s enquiring is called Scarface; though whether that’s a descriptor or just a nickname isn’t yet known.

Finally, Aethel’s lecture on slavery and morality was pretty well received by the student body, despite some heckling. A small group of particularly interested students seemed, to judge by the way they insisted Aethel took a copy of Yedevan Galos’ seminal “Manifesto of the Workers” to be Collectivists (or sympathisers thereof); presumably not the safest political affiliation in a Monarchic nation. Whether they might be of use, though, is another matter.

APs: 6
AP Total: 19

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The Road to Rastok
Or, "The Case of the Undelivered Postmaster"

After arriving, and making contact with Adriannos Tsatsos’ Uncle, a Doctor Anton Raykov, a sociologist at the university and a part-owner of the local newspaper – with the remainder presumably owned by Perspective Media, the international news agency for whom Tsatsos’ investigation is being conducted.

Taking the serial numbers from the long-lost crate, which the New Urgen authorities never had access to and thus had never followed up on, Rotis was forced against his will into a crate and delivered to the postal depot until after dark, whereupon he was able to sneak carefully out and locate customer payment details to find who’d hired the post office box that the crate would have been delivered to, had its contents not been found to be Lord Apargopolous’ stolen equipment. This led to the address of Silverio Giacomelli, a Transarbinan from the Paretian Emirate (#6 on main map); but the place was in great disarray and neighbours spoke of him leaving in a hurry in the last few weeks. Also mentioned were an altercation with another neighbour who owns a bakery (she owns slaves, he disapproved); an angry landlady called Luiza; an enigmatic woman with a parasol and red gloves who’d been asking around about Silverio shortly after he left; and (from the party’s investigations) someone, probably a kobold, had been in the house when Radomir and Jaxar broke in.

The King Fillipos Theoretical Science Workshops and Laboratory was in some disarray after a robbery several weeks ago; a fire about a fortnight ago; and a Struggler terrorist threat against the staff thanks to the labs’ budget request for a slave, which roused the more liberal student body to protest and turn it into a popular scandal. The place seemed to have been emptied; apparently the staff have been relocated as well for their own security. Guards were posted around the abandoned laboratory, but that didn’t stop Rotis entering and finding a forgotten accident record sheet.

Meanwhile, Aethel has arranged to give a speech about Elven culture and impressions of Uruk culture, and denouncing slavery, in the hopes of making some contacts amongst the liberal students who might be able to give more information; and Marius has been alternately helping Aethel, and looking around the Campus for library research materials and lab space that might be accessible (legally) should the need arise.

The following AP earnings include the two that were granted during the session.

AP: 4
AP Total: 13

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Murder on the Mountain
Or, "The Dishonourable Acts of a Rogue Soldier"

After a brief pause at the base of the nearby cliff under the Solar Tomb’s plateau so that Rotis could seek out a particular stone with a white stripe that he said he needed to find, the Survivors encountered a trio of soldiers coming back down the path. One appeared intent on something, and his two companions seemed angry and inclined to drag him back up the mountain again. When they attempted to do so, taking advantage of his pause as he spotted the Survivors around a corner and muttering something to himself as Radomir approached.

But then the soldier stabbed one of his comrades through the neck and knocked the other out cold with a blow from his rifle, damaging it in the process. Then he advanced menacingly on the Survivors.

The brigand was swiftly subdued, with the help of a dynamite-wielding soldier on the clifftop and a pair of the ascending, rival soldiers who came back to investigate the gunfire. He leapt from a cliff and, according to Rotis, took off like a firework (after Radomir, Jaxar and Cano had been subdued themselves, almost fatally).

In the interim, it seemed the man with the single red glove had a skull made of metal and was very resilient to damage…

Now all that is left is to descend the mountain… slowly, with many injured in tow… what could go wrong?

Oh, and the Solar Tomb doesn’t appear to have exploded despite a battle evidently taking place around it.

APs this week: 3
AP Total: 9

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Marius' Conversation with Tomaz Jnr.

Here follows what Tomaz Jnr. said when Marius attempted to question him about the stolen items we recovered from the train. His words are in bold. Any pertinent details, replies or theories are not in bold. (This will appear as and when I or anyone else get round to typing them

“I hear some madman’s going around hunting everyone on that train.”
“That’s rather why I’m here”
He looks at you, and for the first time there’s a hint of suspicion. “Did they find my father’s stolen objects?”
“And… were they…” he pauses. "No, I suppose it doesn’t matter, none of my business!

“So you’re ‘seeking’ them too?” he says, with odd emphasis.

“I don’t especially care, I’m just curious what was going on. But if I’m not already a target I don’t plan on making myself one. When Father heard from a constable that two orks had been seen running towards the town in the middle of the night, he was furious, and demanded they arrest “the society men”, said it’d be them. He was very sure… I don’t know why." He sighs. “Maybe he just assumed I’m a naive fool whow as played by his enemies. Maybe I am, who can say…”

I should make a confession. Part of the reason I invited you… by which I mean, the Society… was because my Father didn’t like it. I don’t quite know why… maybe he was afraid of infiltration somehow."
“I might always wonder. Even though, at least, it wasn’t the robbery that prompted those terrorists to invade.”
“Ever heard of Seekers? Or Krakens?” he suddenly adds, another non-sequitur.

(You’ve heard the name Krakens. Something piratical in Kitantha’s sea, you think. Seekers means nothing to you.)

“It was before I went to University. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but once I came across the Krakens later I started realising my Father… wasn’t the philanthropist he claimed to be. I think he was invovled with some very shady characters… and I think at least some of his fortune came from the military. He was friendl;y with a lot of senior soldiers in Shephame, I could never work out why considering he’d never been in the Army…”

“All I know is, I’m not going to get involved. He got regular crates of deliveries from overseas… I think some were from Korakova, others from the Empire.” He looks at you. “I don’t know why he was so interested in you after he sent those other two packing. I wondered if I’d unwittingly given a cover for some clandestine meeting or another. But I guess you’d not be questioning me if that was the case.”

He nods, and pauses. "Does the word “Vindicator” mean anything to you?" he asks.
“Father mentioned it once, while talking to himself. I didn’t hear the context, it was only the way he flinched and looked at me as if he was scared, that made me take any notice. I think it was connected to his work somehow.”

He shrugs. “I don’t know much. I didn’t dare try to find out; he was on the verge of cutting me off from my inheritance entirely.” He pauses. “And he is… maybe was… my Father. If my suspicions were even half correct… I’d rather not know.”

He pauses again. “Did he ask you anything?”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I… can’t imagine him taking that rapid a liking to you unless he thought you had something he wanted.”
“Not his way.”

Who knows, indeed. What my Father was involved in, I don’t know, but I think it was dangerous. I’m… not a brave man, I don’t think. I don’t want to get into danger like that. Hell, I fled on the first train out of there when I heard there was a bomb threat."

“That Rotis fellow… I think he’s involved in this somehow.”
“He was here maybe an hour or two before you arrived?”
“Must’ve been the other kobold on that last train.”
He nods. “His mistress… Korakovan, I believe? Often mentioned but always at a great distance from events?”
“Don’t trust wizards. An axiom to live by.”
“Folks in Trynsham used to think he was mad. That depot used to be huge and bustling; then slowly all the money and employees drained away, and there was just Rotis left doing everything.”
“About the only thing they seemed to deliver was Father’s crates. People in town thought Rotis must be mad to stay there. Well… loyalty is a form of madness, I think. But something doesn’t add up about Lady Gray…”
He shrugs. “Too much speculating, I think. I should let you get back to your bunk. If I think of anything, I’ll let you know…” he pauses. “…if you find out what happened to my father, well… I’d like to know. What sort of a man he is, or was. I just… I should know. Even if I don’t want to.”

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From Shephame to the Zarinsk 6th to 11th of Leaffall
Exert from `The Life of Ethel the Elf: A New Translation’ by Tolstorc

Session 3:

• We visited the hospital. Jaxar and Æthelþior showed no signs of any rashes or itching which the Doctor seemed worried about.
• We found that one of the coin-like metal fragment hosted a depleted form symbol and bore the eleven character for vindicator.
• We gather supplies and travel to Zarinsk; the last town before the Skyhorn

On the afternoon of the 6th day of Leaffall I visited a Uruk Hospital with native companions. Seemingly the violent and unnatural nature of their society necessitates most settlement having large structure dedicated to the healing arts. Such places can be identified by a dual snake symbol. Curiously these snakes have nothing to do with healing; they were chosen because their uniqueness prevent any confusion with other symbol used by the Uruks!

The object of our visit was to determine if we had been infected by the dangerous moulds that Jaxar had identified. An Uruk physic cleared us and told us to watch out for itchy rashes. We inquired as to the fate of the two military personnel but were able to tell us more than that they had been kidnapped. Rotus was able to persuade the one of the hospital staff to lend him some documents; this detailed that the two men’s prognosis was kidnapped; does this mean that the hospital was involved somehow?

Radomir, Marius and Rotis acquired supplies for our journey to the Skyhorn. It seems that Marius and Radomir have used many of their money disks; perhaps I should find some way to get some myself? A pity I do not have enough time to visit the Talrais temple before we left.

Rotis is an interesting creature and know a great deal about symbology. That evening we were able to identify a form symbol amongst the Elven artefacts that Lord Folpodopolos (why do these manamals have such preposterous names?) had in his keeping. It looks like the symbol was once more powerful and has been drained either though age or over use. The object hosting the symbol has the elven character for vindicator scribe upon it? I am still pondering the meaning.

The next morning Marius visited Lord Apopdopaous’ Son and then we headed out for the Zarinsk, the town at the base of the Skyhorn. The journey was some 160 Uruk `Kill-o-me-ters’ and took us four days. The only palatable food was Uruk bread; the others feasted on fleshy-stew. The practice no longer shocks me.

We presented our paper at the army station and were given permission to ascend the mountain. Apparently some of the Warriors of New Urgen would be following us in the coming days. We were warned that we might encounter rebel terrorist of the journey. Hopefully they will respond to some reasonable arguments. If not, I feel safe in the company of the warriors Jaxar and Cano, and with explorer Radomir and his great arsenal.

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Shephame 5th and 6th of Leaffall
Exert from `The Life of Ethel the Elf: A New Translation’ by Tolstorc

Session 2:

• The murders appear to be related to people we meet on the train: are we target by association?
• The metal fragments were host to some kind of deadly mould which Marius killed.
• Two of the soldiers we travelled were admitted to the hospital. They later disappeared.
• We acquired the papers required to travel up the Skyhorn

On the 5th day of Leaffall Rotus acquired a `noose-pay-per’ detailing the event significant to the people of Shephame. It seems as though there have been are series of `Murders.’ More worrying it seems that the victims were our companions on the train journey. We decided to visit the police station and report that we might be targets. He Police assigned two officer to watch over us.

Later that day I visited the Temple of Urakan and Kitantha. The priests of Urakan were very closed minded and struggled with the concept of `before the Uruks.’ The priests of Kiatanther seemed far more open in their beliefs and they even practiced some primitive forms of meditation. Uruk beliefs are as complicated as our own; but it seems that they are happy with contradictions that the rigid teaching imposes. This gives them the clarity that our nebulous faith fails to provide. It is however deeply intellectually disappointing and any truth are well hid.

Marius, is by all accounts a power Alchemist and used is knowledge to study the metal fragments we had acquired. He was not able the determine the nature of the material; thus It seems more likely that the fragments are Elven in nature. The lustre of the material reminded me of Maythildae’s `Dawn of Life’ in Yalan Temple.

Marius used a scying device see the individual creature that made up the mould! They were rectangular. I have head tales of such small creatures, but I never thought they would be so easy to see. What a marvel!

My sudden respect for Manamals was quick dashed when Jaksar claimed that the mould was deadly and might constitute some kind of terrible weapon. I checked us for any sign of an infection but found none. Marius destroyed the mould safely.

We learned from the paper that the two of the solider that accompanied us on the train had fallen ill and had been taken to the `horse-petal’. Then they vanished. Perhaps they had been infected with the mould?

I visited the Military based and acquired the necessary paper to visit the Skyhorn. I persuaded the others to travel with me.

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The Shephame Murders
or, "The Suspicions of Jaxar Tilton"

And thus the civilian victims of Trynsham, with a pair of burly policemen in tow, had a brainstorm amongst themselves and came to the conclusion that the murders must be in some way related to the strange mould that had begun growing on some of Lord Apargopolous’ stolen artefacts, which Jaxar recognised as similar to a potentially deadly fungus after Marius’ studies of it were concluded. It was noted that two of the latest believed victims of the enigmatic Solarian Extremist prowling Shephame, hunting down those who’d escaped on the last train from Trynsham, were hospitalised “due to their ordeal during the escape”; the hospital later revealed, perhaps unwittingly, that they had been kidnapped from their ward in an incident that also caused injury to their police guards – and that the pair, Sergeant Iosef Alvarov and Private Vladimir Ladek, had been injured in an accident while unloading the train.

Aethel persuaded a Doctor that the party were worried about unspecified infections “just in case”, and was rewarded with being told to watch out for unusual skin discolouration (and to come back to the hospital right away if any was found, while being assured that it was “totally safe” and “nothing really”).

While worries grew about whether the roads south were in good enough condition to allow people to leave Shephame or whether much of the poulation was truly trapped, the Survivors of Trynsham gathered their things, purchased mountain climbing supplies and weapons, and set off towards Mount Skyhorn, aka “The” Skyhorn, seat of one of the holiest sites of the banned religion Solarianism. While this appeared to be Aethel’s quest in coming to New Urgen at all, Radomir Zheng likewise seemed eager to explore the area; and with a murderer prowling the streets of Shephame, and worrying hints of the Survivors’ identities and involvement with the train starting to appear in the Newspapers, nobody disagreed with a climb up a remote mountain. Thus it was that you all arrived, on the 11th Leaffall, at the town of Zarinsk at the foot of the Skyhorn. The path up its flanks is nearly 40km in length, winding around the mountain’s long slopes several times to avoid such obstacles as sheer cliffs and avalanche-prone scree slopes. But 5km up, at the peak, lies one of the holiest places for Solarians.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find Enlightenment there after walking the Pilgrim’s Path…

APs: 3
Total APs: 6

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An abandoned scrap of paper, ripped in two and crumpled, its contents slashed with ink
Leaffall – 5 – Shephame

Fled Trynsham 30th Midautumn; township sacked; Lord Acropolis remains vis-à-vis with militants i.e. hostage or dead. Mistress will not be pleased. Lobby brass will most certainly not be polished by the 7th, most irritating.

Regular timetable regressfully suspended under extraordinary circumstances, 5th Leaffall 1932. Signed: Postmaster Rotis.

Mistress says: idle hands have little need for fingers. With foresight I had packed my books; shall recommence my studies of the Art. Re: purported ‘sale’, investigate whereabouts of Gregor Acardi (& Magistrate Sorat). Last I’ll hear indeed.

[A crude diagram follows, attempting to connect several lines of thought, with names and descriptions connected with arrows]

3 x atypical parcels arrive, Syldovan serial codes (17/Midautumn) → First collected (27/MA) → Remainder placed with other unclaimed goods under police protection from repossession, discovered to be bombs (29/MA) → Likely collected now. (If passing through Syldova, visit post depot apropos of point of origin.)

Acardi trespasses gormlessly unaware of ongoing operations, somehow obtained keys (22/MA) → Met with Magistrate, transferal of contracts ensuring protection of lease for one decade (23/MA) → Met with Magistrate, sale (mistakenly) deemed valid; locksmith’s services charged to GSCS account; surrendered keys to constabulary (29/MA) → Locksmith summoned again, charged to GSCS account; fulfillment of service unclear, retain receipt for charge-back if necessary (30/MA).

Lord Acropolis’s belongings stolen (Night of 28/MA) → Crate dumped via rail-yard door. Delivery slip to City of Rastok Royal Postal Depot, however delivery unpaid; resolved to personally fulfill consignment in final fulfillment of duties (04:27 ± 00:03 due to dressing, brandishing paper-knife etcetera, morning of 30/MA) → Crate surrendered to police, stolen goods discovered inside; crate thoughtfully brought aboard train by the Hidden (took him for a layabout) → In the interests of returning what were deemed the most valuable and irreplaceable goods to their rightful owner, the following articles were removed from and taken into care:
[What follows is a thorough inventory of the items left behind in the crate and those taken by the five refugees. They are consecutively signed ‘Postmaster Rotis’ until, several items down the list, one of the signatures is soiled by a large splash of ink and (was subsequently) angrily crossed out).]
The remaining laboratory equipment was abandoned along with the carriage (30/MA).

Many irregularities in aforementioned sequence of events:

Observation 1: Only the National Rail Company is/was in possession of a key to the rail-yard door.
Observation 2: Two vigorous constables could move with neither agility nor haste while transferring crate to station; two Uruk had deposited the crate in depot. Uruk could not have carried the crate over a wall. Must have passed through other property or entered train-yard via public access.
Observation 3: Upon alerting the police that night, no patrols observed guarding public access to rail-yard; however, nightwatchmen likely on duty inside Rail Company buildings.
Coralline 1: Thieves exploited police incompetency and entered train-yard via public route, or permitted unmolested passage through Rail Company property.

Observation 4: Crate packed with unimportant laboratory apparatus (given risk); Elven artifacts of presumed interest few in number. Clumsily deposited, damaging some contents. This despite difficulty in transporting crate and risk of discovery.
Coralline 2: Thieves were acting under vague instruction and neither knew their precise charge nor its value (hence lack of care).

Observation 5: Invading brigands control Trynsham; thefts unnecessary if they desired stolen articles.
Observation 6: Efforts made to relocate/hide stolen goods despite neglect; stolen articles desired by someone (e.g. not mere ‘distraction from advancing paramilitary’).
Coralline 3: Brigands not also responsible for thefts; that would be stupid. Ergo, thefts unrelated or instigated by other party with foreknowledge of invasion.

Observation 7: Crate consigned to Rastok Royal Postal Depot, shipping unpaid; would not have been shipped by Grey’s Secure Courier Service.
Observation 8: No attempt made to hide crate among other goods in the depot; crate not ‘disguised’ as it were.
Coralline 4: Crate was intended to be forwarded privately, either by Rail Company or illegitimate new ‘owner’ of depot one Aziz Farukan. OR thieves did not think to pay shipping fees but only an idiot would think that.

Thus, I humbly believe I will be able to demonstrate attempted fraud and conspiracy to steal your rightful property, Mistress. However, as Postmaster General I intend to fulfill my remaining charge to the best of my capacity id est return of Lord Acropolis’s belongings. In journeying to Shoeshine with my fellow refugees following detachment of our carriage, there arose smoke from approximately where the carriage had been abandoned; lamentably, the apparatus is likely destroyed. This may have been intended by the brigands to eliminate the contents of the crate; burning the carriage would achieve little else. I fear the viscous glowing cloud hanging over the valley was a portent; dark forces seeking to stabotage my responsibilities, but I will remain steadfast Mistress. Happily, I appear to have an ally in this endeavour to return the Lord’s possessions.

From Shoeshine we journeyed to Kadakarkov, and then to Shephame however this train did not agree with me either. Although I was able to develop a technique for monetary exchange and discover your lawyers there they were of no assistance; I also do not like these. Indeed, I currently dislike: cities, smoke, smog, trains, Trynsham, lawyers, being touched, gentlemen who proselytize misguided views, fellows with no business sense, My Family, Zo.

Nonetheless, I will persist. My fellows appear capable and wish to meet with you following a detour via the tomb at Starfall peak. One of them in an Elf, Mistress. They will be my escorts, and I believe you will like them. I myself currently like: sensible Uruk with a sense of duty, Elves with a pendant for Magic, gentlemen with initiative, Zoe, Grandfather, Kakko, Pengolds 1919 Grange, The Art, Magic, Lady Syri, my Mistress.

I will write again soon. Your humble servant,
Rotis.

END JOURNAL

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