The Collected Arcana of Breland was the best place to find obscure texts. Unfortunately, students were only allowed into the huge network of vaults with miles of towering bookshelves if they carried their professor's signature. Thia had been there twice before, on similar research errands. This time she didn't have a permission slip though. Still, on she went, up the stairs to the two large winged doors that guarded the entrance to the main lobby of the library. To get inside, she'd have to sneak, or talk her way past the librarians or maybe find another way?
Brother Kobe was silent for a while. Then he said, his voice thick with sadness: "Teegan, another elven boy of seven years went missing a week ago, near the Northern Encampment. A week later, we heard that closer to the Eastern Fields, a human girl , Serena, seven or eight years old disappeared. I don't know whether orphans within the city are missing too. I don't want to think who might have taken them, but what could calm Artemis for now as that Teegan hasn't been found yet, meaning he's likely still alive. I hope the same can be said for the others. Unfortunately, the guard is of little use, particularly with regards to the orphans. That's why I hoped you could help."
The gnome turns around to Arc, and, thanks to the step ladder, was able to look him directly in the eye. "Fitzgerald. Elias Fitzgerald. I maintain the building in as good a shape as possible, given my budget. How can I help you, you don't look like you rent an apartment here?"
The gnome's manner of speaking is very fast, but deliberate, and his small intelligent eyes are clearly scanning you for any more information as to the reason for your unexpected presence.
Arc doesn't immediately answer his question, instead staring bored into the gnome's eyes looking for any obvious ticks that he's read about. As he does, he uninterestedly speaks, answering each question, "Yes. I never said you were snooping. And those last two question contradict your 2nd answer."
"Sir, I insist you tell me your name before we continue this. And frankly, I don't like your tone. I don't really know Mr Krull that well. I found the packet outside of the building and thought I'd bring it up to his apartment. That's all I did"
Arc shrugs, "Arc. And frankly, I don't care about my tone. Thank you for the information. Please take care." Arc will then go to the front of the building and look for signs, as unlikely as they may be, of the package being delivered or where it came from.
Stepping outside of the building, Arc quickly finds a small pool of blood, where the package must have stood. Looking around, he finds dusty bootprints on the steps leading to the door, but none of them seem to stop before the small pool of blood. Looking out from the spot just before the pool of blood, Arc sees a small alley twist away to the east, and a broader street facing south. The small alley would be dark at night, which might make for an easier approach to anyone who wished to remain unseen. Maybe heading there, Arc could find some more clues.
Arc sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose, muttering under his breath, "I swear, by the creators, I'll be grey before I get any real work done." With one last sigh at his own situation, he sets of into the alley way, looking for clues to get this over with.
"Of course." Kerrigan nodded, "I'll let you know if I find anything. With any luck I'll be bringing those kids back the next time I come by."The smile that she offered is was supposed to be reassuring, but if felt more like a grimace to her.
After departing from Brother Kobe, she'll keep an eye out for the kids who had been playing with Alathea before she disappeared, to see if maybe they saw something they didn't know they saw, or could give her any more information.
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"All will become equal now" | "Cause we're going to shout it loud, even if our words seem meaningless. It's like we're carrying the weight of the world"
Marzira - Half-elven way of the Cobalt Soul Monk | Eberron tales: Alpha Marilena - Human warlock | New Udros Kerrigan - Kalashtar druid | Union
Kerrigan walks through the encampment for little more than ten minutes, before finding Colyn and Teley, the halfling and elven boys that Alathea was playing with before she disappeared. The two kids looked hungry, but more shaken by the recent events, rather than their general situation. With big eyes, Colyn timidly asks Kerrigan: "Are you going to find Alathea? I know we were s'pposed to look out for her, but she was just gone, like that...". At that, the boy broke out in tears over the guilt and his own imagination of what terrible things could have befallen their sweet playmate.
Teley meanwhile remained quiet and avoided looking at Kerrigan, letting the other boy do the talking.
As Arc approaches the alley, he sees the filth of the Forge clogging up the side gutters, and tracks from wheeled carts and and several footprints are visible in the mud on the cobbled road. Looking in particular into hidden niches and dark crevices, you find a little booklet of matches, with two of them burnt and some ashes on the ground, a wrinkled newspaper that someone waiting here might have read in another corner, and an applecore and spit out seeds in the third. Looking at the steps of the Foreman's tenement building, the first corner gave him decent cover and a nice view, but approaching the steps, he'd have to cross into the bright light of a nearby Everlamp. From the second corner, he'd be able to approach the building almost perfectly unseen, but he'd have no sight on the steps, since he would be standing at the same side of the road as the building's entrance. The last corner had a decent sight of the building, and was unseen from three sides, as the Everlamp at the end of the street was broken, and would have been dark in the early morning. Hrm... Three possibilities, three tracks. If he chased them all, he'd waste valuable time. He needed to be sure, or as good as.
Arc takes a moment to ponder his possibilities, but eventually decides on following door number 3. It'd make sense that the perpetrator of this wouldn't want to be seen, not to mention it's a decent view.
As Thia climbed the stairs, her eyes beamed at the large winged doors of the main lobby. It still awed her just as much as the first time. She'd pause in front of the doors for a moment to take a deep breath, rocking up from her heels to her tippy toes and back down on her heels again before realizing she didn't have a permission slip. "Awe f..." she'd huff under her breath, crinkling her nose at her own absentmindedness this morning. Thia would take a moment to investigate her options.
So, he'd follow the trail of the apple and the broken street lamp. Maybe it was broken only very recently, meaning that the deliverer himself could have done it. As for the apple, that was an easy one, the apple core was still reasonably fresh. Must have been someone close by who bought the apple, no one takes an apple with them for miles before eating it. Arc would have to check and see with the apple merchants within a couple of blocks, and hope that they remembered a customer in the early hours of the morning...
After waking up in the morning and performing his morning grooming routine. Going downstairs to enjoy a light breakfast. Sitting at the same part in the bar. Noticing the same warforged sitting motionless in the corner. Paying for his meal he puts an extra ten gold on the bar counter. Milo talks To the bartender “The pie last night was quite good, but you think we could manage something a little more exquisite for the patrons tonight?”
The bar keep's eyes widen in joy at another large tip from this boisterous halfling. "My yes, with this I can get the best ingredients in town. What would serve, sir?". Milo notices the glint of greed in the man's eye, and a willingness to keep his lucrative patron in good spirits. He also notice however, that the bar keep gives no second glance at the warforged resting in the corner, suggesting that they might very well have an arrangement worked out already.
Thia would play off as she forgot something, because well, she did, and begin shuffling through her bag as she walked off. She knows this could cost her some time but wanted to be prepared just in case. Thia would look for one of her favourite study spots a short distance outside the library to "take some notes". She'd plop herself against a wall, lay out her notebook and pull out her calligraphy tools. Taking a breath to steady her hand she'd attempt to copy the writing of her professor as close as possible. Considering how often she has read and had to interpret his notes, she was hoping she could pull it off.
Deception (Dexterity): 3
With that done she'd take a moment to gather her belongings as she always does after studying. This time she would pack up her notebook with the note inside her bag. Thia would make her way back to the library stairs, this time making her way through the doors.
“Whatever is fresh, a salad, the new slaughter from the butcher... and maybe a cobbler for dessert. I want a nice evening with nice entertainment for everyone. That means that warforged musician over there gets a bonus and a fine wine. One more thing, I will need some receipts for everything purchased. I’m a philanthropist... not a fool. Spread the word, you’ll make plenty of profits of the extra customers. Don’t feel compelled to try and skim from me” Without waiting for a response from the bar keep, Milo hops down and heads for the door.
Heading into town, he will head towards any sort of orphanage or poor house.
(persuasion: 920, rolled twice if advantage given for the amount of gold)
Thia knew that the slip didn't look great, and if studied closely, she'd fail to get past the librarian. But maybe, if she just waved it at them from some distance away, or if someone she knew was at the desk, she might be able to get in regardless. Passing through the huge doors, Thia was hit by the cool air of the main hall and the smell of hundreds of oil lamps that kept the gigantic bookshelves illuminated. She always liked the sight of the vaults with the vast amount of knowledge in the millions of books here, it made her filled with a sense of awe and made her think of the numerous generations of scholars in this very place before her. The voice of the librarian at the reception desk rudely brought her out of her imaginings.
"Thia, welcome. What are you here for today?" She smiled and thanked her lucky stars. Thaddeus was at the reception today. He was elderly and rather short sighted, but had seen her here on her last visit and had enjoyed helping her in her research. Clearly, he remembered her.
The bar keep fidgets hurriedly for a pencil to scratch the instructions onto a slip of parchment, before being left dumbfounded at Milo's quick exit. Leaving the tavern, he finds himself in the middle of the Forge by morning. He could hear the distant humming and thrumming of large machines used in the nearby factories, bellowing forth their black smoke. The streets themselves were empty, apart from a few vendors and a boy who offered to shine his shoes. Strange, although this was a residence district, he saw almost no kids out playing in the streets. He would have to ask about that if he found any orphanages.
Turning a couple of streets, he passed a farmer from the Outer Ward selling his wares, and a teenage human girl, sitting nearby on a large pile of papers. As he passed her, she looked up to him and asked "The news of the day sir?". Her clothes were dirty and she looked like she had been sleeping rough the last few days. As he got closer, the smell confirmed his suspicion.
“Sure thing lass, what’s your name? How much does the news of the day cost anyways?” Taking the paper and paying one gold despite whatever the girl told him the cost. “Maybe you can help me. I’ve been around a couple of times, but no means a local. Why are the streets so empty? If I wanted to stop by and be assist some people down on their luck, where would I go? Is there a poor house or an orphanage around?” While listening to her response, Milo will skim the headlines.