The party arrived in the House of Blue Birds and spoke with the lady at the reception desk, from whom they were able to confirm the cabby’s story about a man with blood on his hands entering, grabbing something from his room, and leaving via the back door just an hour or three beforehand. Curiously, a Flint police officer had already come by to ask about the incident, and had already gone up to the suspect’s room to collect evidence. Dark of hair, with a pencil-thin mustache, his name was Roger Porter, but the party would later discover that no local department employed a man by that name.
“Porter” had already cleaned out much of the suspect’s room, but there were still clues to be found. Records at the front desk identified the suspect as Doctor Wolfgang Von Recklinghausen, a scholar of medicinal studies and healing magic hailing from a minor country in the Malice Lands called Arrovia. The information they had on him (meant to establish a line of credit) included two local references:
- Barnaby Camp, a former teacher of his, and a practicing surgeon.
- Lynn Kindleton, a former fellow student, now a biology professor at Pardwright University.
They also talked to the cleaning lady, Mary, who went through the Doctor’s room earlier and found a rag with an odd black stain on it. The party took a closer look, determining that there were two distinct substances there. Hugo identified the first was a black substance that seemed to be burnt engine grease, and Qiyet Outrunner determined the second was a kind of oil commonly used to maintain a sword, or other metal-bladed weapon.
After stopping for lunch, they sought out Dr. Camp, who bristled at being interviewed twice about his connection to Wolfgang (Porter had already visited him), but informed the party he had no knowledge of his former student’s whereabouts. He did mention that the man had come to Flint rather suddenly, and his letters of late had cited some kind of marital trouble. Von Recklinghausen had expressed an interest in traveling to Ber, and so the party traveled up and down the shores of Pine Island, hoping to catch him boarding a boat… no such luck.
The other contact, Professor Lynn, had a similar dearth of information, but she reeked of unshared secrets – much of the party suspected she and Wolfgang had some kind of romantic history (illicit or otherwise) that she wasn’t sharing. As most of the party dined on elven hibachi later that evening, Enna returned to Kindleton’s office, hoping to follow her home on the off chance she was hiding the doctor there… instead, as they neared the Professor’s apartment, Officer Porter could be seen waiting outside the building. Enna decided that letting this impostor get a hold of Lynn would only end poorly, and so launched a series of attacks at the man through her eagle spirit, driving him off and scaring Ms. Kindleton into fleeing up the street, eventually taking refuge in the hospital she lectured at sometimes.
2nd of Summer
Arriving bright and early at the RHC office, the quintet were called to gather by a rather annoyed Stover Delft. Citing the party’s failure to do what “even wet behind the ears adventuring types” knew how to do, he procured two items from his desk drawer that the morgue had sent him, recovered from Nilasa’s body before the proper autopsy was performed. The first was a potion vial, containing traces of what Hugo found to be an elixir of invisibility (highly illegal for civilian use, for obvious reasons). The second was a bail certificate from the Parity Lake police station.
The party split up here, a few members finding Jane Doe in the Nettles for possible leads on shady apothecaries who’d be willing to brew illegal potions for extra cash, while the others went to Parity Lake to retrieve Nilasa Hume’s criminal file. The latter clue directed them to her current address: a factory owned by Heward Sechim, devoted to mixing acids of various types.
Nilasa had been like an adopted daughter, but even so, Heward had no idea what Nilasa was doing in the Danoran consulate that day. He did know that she had some fey sympathizer friends, and suspected she was trying to get into the good graces of radical activists like Gale. Nilasa kept her dealings with them a closely guarded secret from him, but Heward’s uncle, Nevard Sechim, was a skyseer of great renown and universally respected by primalists. He bid the party to visit the old man in the Cloudwood, and perhaps he could help them get into contact with Nilasa’s friends.
Before they could investigate this farther, a tragedy unfolded in the streets of Parity Lake, right in front of the party: two daring scoundrels in red scarves accosted a stagecoach, knocking out the driver and robbing the woman inside, even kidnapping her baby! All five of them charged after the dastardly duo, and only Enna stopped short of the building they chased them into, smelling a trap…
They’d been led onto a stage, and the curtain raised to show a whole audience of gun- and crossbow-toting patrons, weapons leveled at the party. A scarred man in a top hat clapped sarcastically from a box seat: the Duke of Slaughter himself, Lorcan Kell. He laughed at the party’s carelessness, and got straight to business after inviting them to his balcony to watch a “comedy.” His men were hiding Wolfgang, and he’d heard the party was looking for him… he’d give the RHC the location if they paid him a tidy sum.
The party refused, and he had a docker pushed out on stage, drunk out of his wits, and about to be beaten bloody for the entertainment of the Theater of Scoundrels. Bitterly, they paid him all the coin they had on them at the time, leaving with the location and the time to find the Doctor, but without their dignity intact.
Arthur Pierson Stopped by a tavern to pick up his friend, Baern, asking him to guide them out into the Cloudwood, toward Nevard’s henge. Just before arriving, they came upon a carriage with a handful of armed pistoleers defending a woman inside the vehicle, screaming for help. The constables sprang into action, racing up the switchback trail to dispatch the axe- and bow-wielding bandits while pulling the woman out of the carriage before it slid off a muddy cliff. In the chaos of battle, the gunmen pulled her away into the woods, but it was revealed later they were Lorcan Kell’s men, kidnapping the girlfriend of the bandit’s leader (likely because Kell was trying to eliminate the competition).