The Circlestone Injustice Episode 14: After Hours
“Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night." - Rupert Brooke
22 - 23 Elient, Luskan The Stoners, having spent the best part of the day resting and recuperating come together in the dining area of One-Eyed Jax. They discuss their various ‘adventures’ since entering Luskan and eventually, after a good meal and some decent booze, start to drift off to bed.
That is except for Connor and Remy. Connor decides that it is time to “tie one on” and see what the Luskan nightlife has to offer. Remy decides that that sounds like a sterling idea, and the to remain in the bar, Connor drinking and Remy chatting. Connor then decides that he wants to check out the Upstream Span, the bridge that carries the Coast Road over the River Mirar; he also fancies a swim! So off they head, into the night.
With their companions all in their beds, the intrepid duo finds itself skinny dipping in the shallows of the river, under the impressive span of the bridge. At some point during their watery sojourn they here the sound like a sharp, muffled thunderclap. As they climb out of the chilly waters, wondering what ti might have been, they notice a familiar figure moving away from Jax. It is the same individual Remy had followed earlier in the day, the person he had thought was Plussa Xange, but who had turned out to be a young man. Connor also notices an orange-red glow coming from the direction of the city’s centre, on the other side of the river.
Intrigued by both the young man and the glow, the two decide that sleep can wait and they decide to follow him. Connor throws a spell over them both and they move with impressive stealth through the quiet streets of the small hours, easily following in the footsteps of their quarry.
In their beds, Anahita, Jonathon and J’Wi stir, and dream of thunderstorms … Maena, reading over her religious texts, hears the deep boom and finds a sense of unease growing.
Remy and Connor find themselves led back to the squat, down-at-heel house in the pauper’s quarter that Remy and J’Wi had investigated the previous morning. The man enters and the two pals go into espionage mode. They sneak around the back of the building and while Rembrandt holds him up, Connor breaks into the house through an upstairs window.
In the room, he discovers two desks, both with copious paperwork scattered across their surfaces, and a locked wooden travelling-trunk. Apart from a brief moment of tension, when one of the occupants of the building came into the room (and Connor hid under a desk), the infiltration goes smoothly, that is until the Shore Patrol, Luskan’s particular version of a city watch, arrives on mass to storm the building!
Keeping their wits about them, the intrepid burglars escape with a stack of papers and the locked box. They manoeuvre themselves back around to the street in front of the building in time to see various officers of the Shore Patrol entering the building and then arresting and removing various occupants, including Plussa Xange!
Back at One-Eyed Jax a similar scene is developing. Patrons, including Maena, Anahita, Jonathon, and J’wi are being woken by sharp raps on doors, or not-insubstantial kicks to rumps (depending on the amount of privacy afforded by their lodgings). Eventually, after 20 minutes or so of waking and gathering, the entire population of One Eyed Jax finds themselves gathered in the dining hall. There a senior member of the Shore Patrol, introduced as the Vice Admiral, explains that there has been a serious incident and that all across the city, in an attempt to investigate this, and apprehend any persons who might have been involved, Shore Patrol are following up on various things, including interviewing all those passing through Luskan. The officers then proceed to interview all the guests, checking their entry papers against those they hold in their records. Maena is fascinated with this senior officer who seems, to her Elven sensibilities, to quite possibly be of Drow extraction.
Eventually it becomes apparent to the Vice Admiral that Rudyard is hiding something and that the PCs are connected to him in some way, and they are all escorted to the Central Brig and Court, headquarters to the Shore Patrol.
There the PCs are questioned about their relationship with the Stanipavels. Eventually they are asked to consider remaining in Luskan for another 36 hours, to aid further with inquiries. Their reactions to this request are mixed. They are also asked as to the whereabouts of their two absent, but logged, companions, one Rembrandt and one Master Beatenpath …
In fact Remy and Connor are wondering how to avoid being spotted by the increasingly frequent Shore Patrol officers who are starting to walk the streets when one of the street urchins that Remy had met the previous morning appears at his side and states, with baleful eyes staring up at the giant Tortle, “My sister is sick.”
Remy, seeing an opportunity, asks the child where her sister is, and on discovering that the girls are living in an old cellar under an abandoned warehouse, not too far from their current location, decides that this might be the perfect place to stash the papers and box they have acquired.
He lets the girl take him by the hand and she leads the two friends through a maze of alleyways and down into a derelict cellar. Connor notices that the stairway down, and indeed the first room they arrive in, are both festooned with long strips of material, rags that reach from the ceilings to the floor. He also notices that the rags are arranged in such a way that it is almost impossible to move through the space without having your view obstructed by them, or indeed without having to push your way through them.
The tiny girl takes them through a first room to a door which leads to another space, and more rags. She then goes to another door and opens it, giving them an somewhat obstructed view into a very dark room, around the edges of which appear to be little bundles of rags.
The girls asks Remy and Connor to enter the room. Connor feels a compulsion to enter the room and try to help the ailing waifs he anticipates finding in there. Remy is not so motivated and begins to wonder at the whole experience …
And so, we leave the group in two separate, but strangely similar predicaments. Will they stay and offer aid to their hosts or will they try to extricate themselves from their situations?