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.
AP Total: 19