In The City Of Towers

Episode 3: The Game is Afoot

A Brotherly Reunion

The party decided to help the Sharn City Watch solve the case of the myserious cat burglar dubbed “The Cyran”, who preyed on the rich and famous of Sharn. The Cyran always left a gold coin minted in Old Cyre at the scene of his or her crimes, and recently these coins had turned up at the site of several robberies that also included murder.

The party inspected the scene of the most recent crime: The dwarf Burok D’Kundarak had been murdered in his manor home. While inspecting the scene, the heroes met Chief Inspector Lestrade of the Sharn City Watch at the scene, who was happy to follow the party and answer questions as they investigated.

  • On the scene of Burok’s murder, they found that the locks had been forced with a crowbar, the culprits had left unusually deep footprints, and had scaled the walls with metal tools. His axe handle had been poisoned with Sassonne Leaf, a toxic plant that grew only in old Cyre. A heavy bar had been removed from the back door, and the rear gate had been used as an exit. Versifer determined that the culprits had been seen leaving through the rear gate with a heavy cart. Fargrim noticed a small brass washer near the footprints of the criminals. Zwolf pocketed it.

While the group was en route to the second crime scene, the Sharn watch patrols of the upper levels suddenly seemed to have vanished from their presence. Shortly after noting the absence of the police, the party were ambushed by a band of halfling snipers from the Boromar Clan commanding flying drakes. A battle along the high walkways ensued. Though the initial surprise attack was effective in rattling the party, they quickly rallied and put their enemies to the task. Versifer even went to far as to grab a flying glidewing as it swooped at him, and tricked the beast into flying him up to its master, a sniper high above. Versifer’s mental attack sent the unhappy fool tumbling to a pair of broken legs below. Kado urged his friends not to kill their attackers, but the bloodthirsty Zwolf did not listen, and shot one of the snipers dead. Despite Kado’s efforts, that enemy did not survive the battle.

  • After that, Versifer and Gaius determined that the Sassonne leaf poison had come from a poison supplier in lower Sharn – and that he had recently sold a stock of it to a member of the Vandergraft Family. Using Versifer’s Vandergraft Signet ring to convince the foolish man that they were themselves from the family, they convinced him never to speak of those events (and hand over some complimentary poison).
  • The party moved on to the scene of second most recent crime: there had been a break-in and robbery in the mansion of a city councilman, in which no one had been harmed. The locks had been deftly picked, and Fargrim deduced that the culprit had used a grappling line to enter from an adjacent building. It was determined that this particular councilman had been vocal in his opposition to the City’s funding of the arts. Fargrim found a strand of yellow rope near where the grappling line had been hooked.
  • The final crime they investigated had happened one night before the one preceding it: the murder of a wealthy professor at Morgrave University, a collector of exotic artefacts. She had been murdered and apparently tortured in her basement. All the locks were forced by crowbar, and the same marks of climbing tools were left on the walls. Her Majordomo revealed that she had received some time ago a very heavy crate which she guarded carefully. This crate was sent away the night before her murder – to her correspondent, Burok D’Kundarak – the latest victim.

The party, led in hypothesis by Versifer, reasoned that there were two groups of criminals at work. One was the Cyran, who did not harm victims and used subtlety over force. The other culprits were heavier, used poison and climbing tools rather than grappling line, and murdered those they robbed.

Here, Inspector L’Estrade expressed his agreement, and revealed that he knew that the Cyran had always marked his token coins with a special arcane mark. Fargrim quickly determined that the coins left at the murder scenes bore no such mark. L’Estrade revealed that he had been attempting to track down the Cyran based on a similar brass machine part to the one Zwolf had – one he had found at the scene of the first murder. L’Estrade said that he was satisfied that “The Cyran” had been cleared by the party’s evidence of the murders, and theorized that the murderers were connected to the machine parts.

The machine parts led the party to the mansion of the Baros Brothers, owners of a number of machine works in the Cogs and notorious harbourers of criminals, deeply involved in gang activity. The party presented themselves at the gate as agents of the watch, but were rebuffed by the surly gatekeeper. Angered, and on the scent of fear, the party infiltrated the property. Breaching the gate was little trouble. Zwolf snuck up and observed the gatekeeper entering a secret passageway inside the mansion. Working as a team, Hadari and Gaius disabled the elaborate warding traps around the house, which Fargrim spotted with his Dragonmark. Zwolf and Kado made short work of the two surprised guards inside. Soon, the party was climbing the stairs to the secret chamber.

In the secret chamber, they found the doorman speaking to the two Baros Brothers. Versifer clouded their minds, and soon the three were in a vicious brawl. The doorman was knocked out by the two brothers, who were in turn dispatched by Gaius’ deadly blade and Kado’s brutal beatdown. Under interrogation, the surviving brother revealed that the crate had been claimed by the Vandergrafts, by a small group overseen by Hand.

Then the party was ambushed by the group who had been behind the murders: Zwolf’s former comrades! Most of the Crimson Omega Squad, led by the deadly Ein-3, attacked. The battle was bloody and desperate – and none the better when a mysterious masked elf appeared, bearing a grudge against Hadari and fighting alongside the warforged assassins. At first, the enemy scored significant blows against the crucial Versifer and against Gaius and Zwolf as well. The battle began to turn when Fargrim surrounded the enemy with a cloud of acidic gas, and Hadari used his Jutsu to trap their legs in stone inside the cloud. In the end, the party won the day, managing at last to land a killing blow against Ein-3 just in the nick of time. Seeing their leader dead, the two reminaining warforged fled the scene – though Kado grabbed one as it fled and impaled it with his Tangat. The retreating warforged bitterly cursed Zwolf and his comrades as cowards and traitors. The mysterious masked elf had vanished even sooner, losing its weapon in its haste to flee.

The heroes searched the mansion, and found signs that a crate had once been stored in the basement below, but no sign of it remained.

The party returned to the Broken Anvil and told their tale to an overjoyed representative of Darok, and Sergeant Pepperhammer. Their reward for avenging the Kundarak murders and uncovering the Vandergraft’s involvement was substantial.

But there was one detail that Sergeant Pepperhammer found very troubling indeed; The Inquisitives of the City Watch had flatly refused to send anyone to help the mercenary investigators – and there was certainly no inquisitive named “L’Estrade” on record.

Comments

The reward was substantial, eh? How substantial are we talking?

Episode 3: The Game is Afoot
 

The reward is posted in the forum thread called “ii: Second Story Work” – I bolded the treasure and gold at the bottom. I think it works out to about 225 gp for each of you.

Episode 3: The Game is Afoot
Epicurus

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