Sewers and Servants

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We were down one player this week (Floquert) for our Zweihänder game, and were again playing online due to the current situation. The announcement of the UK being put in lock down was made whilst we were playing, so I guess we’re going to be using a lot more of Roll20 in the foreseeable future. Eva continues her story.

The following day, we managed to get back into the city with our collection of ill-gotten books, though there was no sign of Floquert. I spent most of that day reading through the books to try and get a rough idea of their content. The collection consisted of what was obviously a diary, three accounting ledgers and four books. One of these, a play called “The Duke of Night” turned out to be another code book.

The diary was mostly written in Lubechian, and was mostly in plain text. It didn’t contain much of interest, mostly the day to day affairs of Elias Svim, but gave some insight into his sense of humour – most of it seemed to revolve around other people getting hurt.

Two of the ledgers were pretty standard, and seem to be split entirely by chronology. The third though overlapped the other two in time period, and seemed to cover non-standard accounts. Maybe about 20% of his business was off the standard books.

The following morning we took the books to Victor Hoffman at the Green Dragon, who had heard about some commotion down in the docks, and was impressed that we had returned with the books. However, he wasn’t certain that he wanted us reading through them, so took them off our hands and told us to come back in five days after he had heard back from Baron Schenfeld.

That gives us a few days to play with. Djarin and Calthar have managed to get some mercenary work guarding some builders from a ‘crocodile’ in the sewers, whilst I have found a job working as a scribe at the castle. I’m hoping that I might be able to discover something of use there.

I spent the day working for a rather officious woman named Katherine Klinevolt, who is the senior maid in the castle. She spent most of the day wandering around and looking to find fault in the work that everyone else had done, with me following her around and taking notes.

By the time I returned to the inn, Djarin and Calthar were heading out for their night shift. We had spotted Floquert, and he seemed to be avoiding us, but at least he wasn’t dead or worse.

I spent another day following around Klinevolt. The entire household seems to be on edge, and I’ve heard mention of the young miss. I assume that she is the Baron’s mistress, and the staff seem concerned about upsetting her.

Klinevolt does not seem to be a very friendly sort, but by now I have a pretty good idea of the layout of the castle. I did hope to run into the House Mistress Veronica Skalton, who had been a friend to Lady Annette, but no such luck.

I spent today doing some real work, making copies of some of the household accounts. Amongst the usual things were some out of place items – things which were probably expensive gifts for a young lady, including very expensive clothing. These purchases were quite recent, and the Baron seems to be smitten by his new mistress.

On return from the castle, as I was taking my evening meal at the inn, a man sat down next to me. He was middle aged, and quite handsome and well spoken. Actually, I must admit that he was really well spoken. He was well dressed, and had a bit of a Sanhasian accent which reminded me somewhat of home.

He asked for my advice, which I tried my best to give. The gist of his question was whether it was right to break the laws of men in the pursuit of fighting heresy. I wasn’t sure how to answer. I mean, obviously it is, but I wasn’t certain of his actual intent – whether he was trying to trick me into admitting something, or was truly seeking wisdom.

Player’s Note: Eva is not very charismatic, and lacks a lot of social skills. Thinking about it, I think playing her as socially nervous would fit the character well. She’s intelligent, but awkward in dealing with people. In this case she failed her checks to understand his motives, and failed again when I spent a fortune point to get a re-roll.

In the end, I told him that it depend on the severity of the heresy and whether the heresy was deliberate or due to lack of knowledge, and I think I managed to back my arguments up with the right quotes from religious texts. As I write this though, it occurs to me that the sort of questions he was asking were directly out of the seminaries I attended decades ago. It’s almost as if he was testing my knowledge of the God Emperor’s teachings.

At the end he thanked me, and gave the name of Bernado. The last thing he said was strange – Choose your friends more carefully. The fat one was noticed, but don’t worry, it’s been dealt with.

I assume he was referring to Floquert, so I wonder what he has been up to.

My two companions returned this morning after their final night in the sewers. Apparently they did run into some beast – though had carefully arranged a barricade and traps so didn’t actually meet it. From their rather poor descriptions, it seems to have been large, four legged and spat acid. From that description, and lacking any description of footprints, they expected me to identity it! A basilisk maybe? I’m not sure.

Anyway, we headed to see Victor Hoffman, and fortunately he had received word from our Baron and was happy to work with us. He was now willing to let me help in decoding the hidden parts of the diary.

There are definitely things going on behind the scenes with Elias Svim. A number of names stood out:

Harold Olafson
Dietrich Meinz
Isabel Requet
Arlene Vanveer

Apart from the last, they are all merchants. The last is a town councillor, and they all seem tied up with Svim’s schemes in some way. From what I can tell, all will be at a party at the White Orchid next week, so that might be a chance to find out more about them.

Whilst on the subject of parties, it seems that Calthar has an admirer. She has received a ticket to the opera, courtesy of a Stephana Roshu. The invitation is to see The Night of Blood, and she is to go alone.

Anyway, the others are considering more work and possibly going out to the mine to see what is happening there. We have heard problems about it a couple of times now, and though it may be unrelated to our mission, it may also be of interest. I need to decide whether I want to go out on a potentially dangerous expedition.

Samuel Penn

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