CSI, the D&D Edition

This adventure was based on "Mightier than the Sword" by Willie Walsh from Dungeon Issue#29

<DM> If you recall, we last saw our merry band of adventurers in conference with the Baron. The following day, (28 February, 976) a messenger delivers the following invitation to their house in Byrne:

From: His Excellency Sir Stephen Wingate, Baron of Stafford,
To: His loyal subjects Mialee of the Elves, Flint Deepdelver and Mordin of the Dwarves, Jozlan, servant of Thor, and Icarius & Pengo Strongfoot of Byrne,


You have offered unceasing and unselfish service to this Barony since your arrival in Byrne, and have successfully restored the baronial treasure to its rightful place, and have earned the respect and trust of the coronet therewith, it is our desire to present you to His Highness King William at the Royal Court 2 days hence.

(Given the short notice, we will indulge those of you who may be otherwise committed on said day. )

Those who wish to accompany us will be at our palace gate at the 10th hour of the clock on the second day of March.


<DM> With Pengo still fully engaged in his exercise regime, Jozlan in devout meditation, and Mordin off drinking somewhere, Icarius, Flint and Mialee decide to accept the invitation of the Baron....

<Mialee> Party time. :)

> Mialee gets herself ready to meet the King.

<Mialee> Going to see the King involves a road trip, or is he coming to town?

<Mialee> Anyone? :)

<DM> Your invitation is to the Baron's palace, I guess you'll find out when you get there.

<Mialee> Right.

<DM> The next morning dawns bright and clear, and you all memorize your spells, and make yourselves ready

<DM> The hour of 10 o'clock approaches.

<Mialee> And, apparently, passes... :)

<DM> Are you heading for the palace?

<Mialee> Certainly. (01:02 PM)

> Mialee heads out the door. (01:02 PM)

> Icarius follows

<Flint> Flint follows.

<DM> Paulinus greets you at the gate of the palace, and ushers you inside. As you walk, he explains:

<Paulinus> Since you have been so helpful in returning the treasure of the Baron, and in returning the 'Tiny Chest', we will now be able to meet our tax obligations to the king. The Baron has invited you to accompany him to the capital city of Kendall, and in return for all the help you've given to the barony, he would like to bring you along to his audience with King William.

<Paulinus> This is a privilege given to few.

<Mialee> We're honored, of course.

<DM> Paulinus leads you into the palace, and up a series of stairways. Near what you believe to be the outer wall of the palace, Paulinus stops in front of a large stout wooden door, banded in iron. He pulls a large brass key from his robe. He mumbles something under his breath, and you see a brief flash of light surrounding the door, before he inserts and turns the key, and the door swings open... into thin air!

<Mialee> That's a neat trick.

<Icarius> indeed

<DM> About 15 feet away, you see a round turret of about 20 ft diameter, extruding from the palace wall a floor below you, and attached with a buttress a floor above you. With a wave of his hand, and a few words spoken in an unintelligible language, the air between you and the tower shimmers, and a drawbridge appears.

<Paulinus> Come. It's quite safe, I assure you.

<DM> He leads the way across, and fishing another key from a pocket in his robe, he first touches the door, and then uses the key to open it.

<DM> I presume you're all following him???

<Mialee> Yes, of course.

<Icarius> yes

<Flint> Yes.

<DM> On the far side of the 18 ft diameter roundish room, you see what looks like a solitary jail cell. In the walls of the cell you can see two rows of small holes at heights of 2 and 4 feet from the floor. There are also small holes of about 4 inches in diameter in the ceiling of the cage.

<DM> There are 3 chairs along the wall on the near side of the iron bars. You can also see an arcane symbol made of intricate stonework in the floor of the cell, measuring about 4 feet across.

    /   o   c  \
  /     o       c\
 |  _   o         |
 | <_>  o         []
 |      o         |
  \     o-o     c/
    \_________ /

<Paulinus> Stephen will be along shortly, and we'll be on our way. Meanwhile, let me explain something about which you may or may not have knowledge.

<Paulinus> As I'm sure you know already, there are several different means of long-distance travel known to those with arcane and divine power. Included in that list are everything from the flying carpets favored among eastern mages to brooms given the power of flight by certain witches and warlocks.

<Paulinus> Even faster travel is possible using the Astral and Ethereal planes to take a 'shortcut' from one place to another. Extraplanar travel comes with its own special dangers, of course. Some spells even exist which give the the most powerful wizards and clerics the ability to teleport TO anywhere, FROM anywhere on the prime material plane of existance, instantaneously.

<Mialee> Right.

<Paulinus> What you see here is another example of one of these means; a transfer portal. Those with the requisite knowledge can use these to travel instantaneously from one portal to another.

<Paulinus> The power needed to utilize these portals is small, and thus available even to less experienced practitioners of the Art.

<Paulinus> The primary restriction is that in order to travel to a given portal, the traveler must have been physically at the portal to be traveled to prior to their attempt to transfer there.

<Paulinus> This is necessary, because each portal is created with its own aura and alignment, and the spellcaster marks the location to which they are traveling by attuning to its unique resonance.

<Paulinus> In a sense, each portal has a sort of 'Intra-Planar address', (or IP address for short ;) which the spellcaster can use to identify and move to a given portal, much like a street address is used by couriers to find their destinations.

<Paulinus> The other limitation of this means of travel is that these portals are very rare, being rather difficult to create. I myself do not even have the knowledge to do so, though I would very much like to gain that knowledge, since this type of travel has always been a special interest of mine.

<Paulinus> But perhaps I am rambling on unnecessarily. Have you yet had the opportunity to acquire the 'Transfer by Portal' spell for yourselves?

<DM> To Icarius he says:

<Paulinus> It was next on the list of spells that I was going to teach you, when the opportunity emerged for you to join this company, and we've not had the chance since.

<DM> Speaking to Flint, he says:

<Paulinus> I've heard that there is a similar spell know to those who gain their power through divine means.

<Mialee> Yes, I have it, but don't presently have it memorized. Oh, good, good. It is a useful spell to know.

<Icarius> Yes, I have learned the transfer by portal spell, but alas it's not currently memorized

<Paulinus> That's ok.

<DM> Paulinus unlocks the cell, and leads you inside. Step over here and place your hands on the stones in this cell. Can you feel the aura?

<Flint> I do not currently have it in memory.

> Mialee does so, and nods.

<Mialee> (I assume I feel it, anyway, correct me if I'm wrong ;) He places his hands on the roundish symbol on the floor Yes, Mialee, you do feel something.

> Flint attempts to sence the aura.

<DM> Each of you feeling the stones can feel a certain tingling sensation, similar to, and yet different from a sensation at least one of you has felt twice before. (Once under the fortress of Karak, and once in the Keep of Adlerweg.)

<Flint> sence>sense

<Mialee> At the portals there, I presume. Yes

<Paulinus> Remember that particular sensation, and memorize the pattern that you can feel, and you will be able to return here from any like portal in the world.

<Paulinus> Any questions? he asks.

<Mialee> Even portals created or held by our enemies?

> Mialee focuses on the sensation and memorizes the feeling.

<Flint> act/ attempts to memorize the sensation.

> Icarius does too

<Paulinus> Yes, you can, but be aware that portals made of a different alignment than your own can cause extreme discomfort, and pain

<Mialee> Well, any ship in a crisis.

<DM> Paulinus continues:

<Paulinus> This is one of the most carefully kept secrets in this city. As I'm sure you can imagine, an unprotected transfer portal in the heart of the palace could present a serious threat to Stephen and his family, so the very existence of this portal is known only to his most trusted friends and subjects. Your noble and scrupulous service has earned you that trust. In fact, most of the palace staff believe this to be nothing more than a special treasure room.

<Paulinus> Of course, as you can imagine, this portal is protected by many defenses both magical and mundane, in order to prevent the unnoticed arrival of enemies. Some of them are fatal, so it would be advisable to be certain that I am expecting your arrival, in the event that you find the need to use this particular portal.

<Paulinus> As I said before, this is a closely guarded secret, and few know of its existence, but kingdoms have fallen because of the betrayal of trusted associates, and Stephen is wise to doubly guard this portal against unauthorized use.

<Mialee> An honor indeed.

<DM> Paulinus shows you two maps:

<Paulinus> I'm not sure how widely traveled you are, so I thought I'd show you where we are planning to go today.

<Paulinus> The first map shows the area around the north-eastern shores of the Sea of Gearnat. Located near the SW edge of the Bay of Kendall is the Royal City of Kendall -- the capitol of the Kingdom of Mercia.

<Paulinus> The other map is of Kendall itself.

<Paulinus> Kendall is a large city, fraught with peril for the unaware and unwary. I'm not sure what experience you all have had in cities, but I would caution you that as civilized as it may seem, there are many dangers lurking in the back streets of Kendall. Just about then, you hear some voices outside the room, and the baron and his aide Lord Darcy walk through the door. Greetings my friends! says the baron. Are you ready to meet your King?

<Mialee> A little nervous, my Lord, but yes. Paulinus explains: Since you have never been to the portal to which we are transferring, I will have to carry you all along. This is a bit of a strain, even for me, so I would ask that you please remember this portal, so that you can return to it on your own. It's just as well that your compatriots didn't come along, because then it would have taken 2 trips for me. Once you're all inside, he turns and locks the cell door. Stephen jokes: Paulinus is the only person in the Barony who is allowed to lock up the Baron!

> Mialee smiles. Paulinus stands in the middle of the stonework seal and instructs you to gather round him. It is essential that you have physical contact with me, and each other, so each of you must take hold of my arm and that of someone else.

> Mialee does so.

> Flint does also.


<DM> Darcy grabs Stephen's arm, and Stephen holds Icarius' Paulinus speaks words of power, and you all feel a swooning, falling sensation, and grayness covers your sight. The feeling lasts for 5 seconds or so, and you feel solid ground rise to meet your feet again.

<DM> You blink and look around you, and see that you are in a small square room (30 ft across) with a high ceiling and a stone floor. Arrow slits spaced evenly around the room at intervals of 3 feet provide the only light in the room. On the far side of the room is a large ornate woven rug.

<DM> You notice that there are iron rods sticking out from the walls near you, with round balls at their ends, forming a semi-circle around the area that you appeared in.

<DM> Paulinus swoons against you, and Darcy and Stephen support him, and lead him to a chair near the wall.

<DM> There is a young man in a robe in the corner of the room furthest from you, in a guarded position, pointing a wand at you. There is a bell-pull on the wall behind him. However, he seems to recognize the people you're with and relaxes, a look of concern crossing his face.

<Narem> Master Paulinus! he cries. Are you alright? He sticks the wand inside his robe and hurries over to the chair Paulinus is sitting in.

> Flint attempts to memorize the aura in the room.

<Mialee> I'm afraid hauling all of us along was a bit tasking.

> Mialee also attempts to memorize the room's aura.

<DM>Flint succeeds, as does Mialee.

<Paulinus> I'll be fine in a few minutes, lad, Narem, isn't it? Have you a bit of brandy? I think it might fortify me a little.

<DM> Meanwhile, Stephen speaks to you in a half-whisper:

<Baron Stephen> I've traveled with Paulinus this way many times, and this is the first time that he's had an adverse reaction that I've ever seen.

<DM> Overhearing, Paulinus answers:

<Paulinus> Ahh, Stephen, it's just the number of people, you see. I've never taken so many at one time before. I'll be fine in a few minutes.

<DM> Narem has meanwhile produced a glass of brandy from somewhere, and given it to Paulinus.

<DM> As Paulinus sips on the brandy, Stephen speaks to Narem:

<Baron Stephen> It looks like you were expecting our arrival. Have you had many people dropping in like us?

<Narem> Mi'Lord, with the King holding court, it's not unusual for this portal to see more use. The Masters of the Academy station one of us journeymen here as an additional safeguard against uninvited guests.

<Mialee> A wise precaution.

<Icarius> yes, quite prudent

<Paulinus> Ok, I believe I'm ready to go on. Sorry for the inconvenience Stephen.

<Baron Stephen> Think nothing of it, my friend.

<DM> Narem steps onto the area rug, indicating that you should all join him.

> Mialee does so.

> Icarius follows

<DM> Stephen and Paulinus and Darcy immediately follow him.

<DM> When you step on the rug, you're surprised to feel it move slightly under your feet, as though it were a raft floating on a lake. Narem whispers something under his breath, and the rug begins to drop through the floor!

<Mialee> Another neat trick.

<DM> You soon see that the rug covered a hole in the floor, through which you are descending.

<DM> Everyone Roll d20-5 under your Constitution.

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d20-5 -> 4 - 5 = -1

*** Roll by Icarius: 1d20-5 -> 19 - 5 = 14

<Mialee> I think that's under. ;)

*** Roll by Flint: 1d20-5 -> 7 - 5 = 2

<DM> You're feeling a bit queasy in the stomach, but you manage to keep your breakfast down.

<DM> As you float downward, you gaze about, and see that you are in an empty tower of stone, lit only by the daylight coming through slits in the walls. There are occasional banners hung on the walls. At last you reach the floor 50 ft below. The round room with you find yourself in is also barren of furniture, but there is a stairway leading down at the outside edge of the wooden floor. Stephen, Darcy and Paulinus head for the stairs. Paulinus thanks Narem for his assistance.

> Mialee follows.

<DM> Narem steps back onto the rug, mumbles something, and it begins to rise into the air again.

> Flint also.

<DM> You descend the stairs and find yourself in a large vestibule, approximately 60ft across. There is another staircase leading up directly across from you.

<DM> You see two sets of large double doors, one to the left and one to the right. The doors to the right are massive hardened oak with steel bands. The doors to the left are also massive oak, but are much prettier, with swirling designs of gold inlay, highly lacquered.

<DM> Paulinus explains:

<Paulinus> You are in the Royal Academy of Magic and Alchemy. This is where many youngsters in the art are trained. It is also the greatest magical braintrust in the kingdom. I served for a few years as an instructor here, and still have many friends in the faculty. That is, in fact why I am still able to take advantage of the portal here. It is certainly not the only portal in Kendall, but it is the safest one for me to use, and convenient.

<DM> Paulinus leads the group through the doors to the right, and out into the street. There is a carriage waiting at the curb, and Stephen, Darcy and Paulinus step into it. There is plenty of room for you all as well.

> Mialee gets in.

> Icarius hops on board

> Flint grumbles and climbs aboard.

<DM> The carriage winds its way through the confusing labyrinth of streets for about 15 minutes, and finally approaches a very upscale-looking inn called The King's Arms.

<Baron Stephen> This is where I normally stay when I'm here in Kendall. Needless to say, you are my guests here today, so don't fret the expense.

<Baron Stephen> As he dismounts the carriage, he adds: Our audience with King William is at the 15th hour of the clock, so we have time to rest and freshen up a bit. Please be ready to go at the 14th hour.

<DM> With that, he climbs the stairs, with Darcy following. Paulinus waits to see if you have any questions.

<Mialee> I have none.

<Flint> Nor do I.

<DM> Paulinus heads up the stairs.

<DM> You look around the room, and are again taken aback by the luxury you see here. The tables in the common room are covered with fine linen. There are crystal candle holders on the tables.

<DM> There is a dwarf tending bar, perhaps the most neatly dressed dwarf you have ever seen in your life, with his hair and mustache neatly trimmed.

<DM> Waiters scurry around the place, pampering their customers.

<Mialee> Hm. This is a little fancy for my tastes.

<DM> So it would seem you have about 4 hours to spare.

<Icarius> it's 11:00 ish?

<DM> yes

<Mialee> Do we want to just wait here or see a little of the city?

> Icarius asks the barkeep if there's any interesting sites nearby

<Barkeep> Well, sir, the city has just about any sort of interesting sites there are to be seen. What's yer fancy? What are ye interested in?

<Mialee> Something fairly close at hand, as we have to be back here in just a few hours.

<Icarius> I'm interested in everything. We have 4 hours to kill for now

<Mialee> Perhaps we could just go for a stroll. Or we could drink and eat until it's time to go.

> Mialee grins.

<DM> Many folk like to wander the warf district, and I'd say it's not too dangerous this time of day, if you like sailing ships.

<Icarius> sounds scenic

<Mialee> That would a a sight; I've not seen any sailing ships recently. ever? :)

<Icarius> yes, I'd like to take a stroll through there as well

*** >> Mialee >> oh sure, you've seen them before.

<Flint> Greetings friend, I am Flint of the DeepDelver clan.

<Barkeep> Greetings, cousin. It's been a long time since I've seen the mountains.

<DM> BTW, the Kings Arms is the sort of L-shaped building off of Nun Street right below the red backwards C

<Flint> Where are the wharfs from here? The lady would like to see the ships.

<Mialee> To the west, looks like, and not more than three or four blocks.

<DM> (recall that the map is upside-down see the key:) The Wharfs are only a few blocks to the East. and run north for half a KM

<Icarius> lets go wharfing then

<Mialee> OK, let's head east and see the boats. :)

<DM> Ok, you head toward the wharfs, and find that it is indeed just a few blocks.

<DM> Walking north on Nun street, you see many ships at anchor inthe harbor.

<Mialee> I guess we'll just stroll around, look at the ships, see what people are doing around here, that sort of thing.

<Mialee> Killing time. :)

<DM> the docks are very busy, with sailors loading and unloading. This city so far seems to be very nice, and you see evidence of a lot of commerce.

<Mialee> Good thing Pengo's not here; he'd probably be trying to pick some pockets.

<Icarius> :)

<DM> It would certainly be a target-rich environment for Pengo. :)

<Mialee> Any shops or anything along the wharf?

<DM> Oh, there are shops upon shops.

<DM> You manage to kill a couple of hours, but don't get much further north than craft street before you figure it's time to get back .

<Mialee> OK, let's head back then. :)

<Mialee> We'll have to have a look at those if we have time later.

<DM> Many in this district are maritime related.

<Mialee> We should get back though, get a drink and a bite to eat, and freshen up before our appointment.

<DM> You see huge silos too.

<Icarius> yes

<DM> Ok, you make it back to the King's Arms by 14:00

<DM> err,, 13:30

<DM> so you have time to freshen up. :)

<Mialee> :)

> Mialee asks the barkeep if there's someplace she can go to do that.

<Barkeep> (Hollering)Bartholomew, please show these gentles to their rooms!

<DM> A young man comes out of a back room, and shows you to your rooms on the 3rd floor.

> Mialee is surprised.

<Mialee> I didn't know we had rooms. :)

> Mialee goes into her room and tidies up.

<Barkeep> Yes, ma'am, courtesy of Baron Stephen

<Mialee> He's a kind man.

<DM>Flint, Icarius? going to your rooms, or hanging out at the bar?

> Mialee finishes cleaning up and dressing in her best, then returns to the bar to await the Baron's return.

<Icarius> I'll hang around the bar, listen to gossip

> Flint orders a mug of ale and hangs out at the bar.

<DM> The conversation is low-keyed in this establishment, but you do hear some men at a table talking about goings on in the city. One particular outtake is I don't understand all the fuss over the death of a commoner

<Icarius> hmm

<DM> Well, his companion replies, It's the guilds... they've stirred things up

<DM> The baron and his entourage arrive precisely at the 14th hour of the clock.

<DM> They greet you again, and lead you out of the inn, to where the carriage is waiting for you.

> Mialee follows.

> Icarius hops in

<DM> The carriage rumbles over the cobblestone streets.

> Flint follows. > DM imagines Flint chasing the carriage. Hey! wait for me! :D

<Mialee> I was doing that too. :)

<DM> Along the way, the driver detours around a crowd of people scuffling in the street. They are shouting, and pushing, but the only words that you can make out are 'tradition', 'progress', 'quill' and 'steel'.

<DM> It is not very long before you see the walls of the palace. At the gate, the guards who seem to be expecting you, and wave the carriage through.

<DM> At the main door of the palace, there is a page waiting to lead you inside.

<Page> Hello, m'lords, m'lady. I'll be guiding you to the King's audience

<DM> chamber.

<Mialee> Thank you.

<DM> Inside, you stand for a moment and gawk at the opulence. The high stone walls are covered with tapestries and festooned with beautiful silk hangings.

<DM> Gold and silver chandeliers hold hundreds of candles, which are currently in the process of being lit by servants.

<DM> The page leads you up a long staircase, and pauses at a great huge door to speak to the guard standing there.

<DM> The guard opens the door, and holds a hushed conference with the herald standing inside. The herald greets you quietly, and tells you it will only be a moment more.

<DM> Meanwhile, the guard asks you to remove any weapons you may be carrying and leave them with him. Darcy and Stephen immediately divest themselves of their swords and daggers.

> Mialee follows suit.

> Flint makes a small pile.

<DM> After a few minutes, there is a blast of trumpets, and the herald raises his voice and announces the presence of the baron:

<Herald> His excellency Lord Sir Stephen Wingate, Baron of Stafford.

<DM> The doors swing wide, and you see a red carpet leading up the Great Hall toward a throne at the far end. Stephen and Paulinus and Darcy walk slowly and ceremoniously towards the throne. They stop 20 feet short of the throne, and bow deeply. The hall is filled with many people, you figure there to be at least 75.

> Mialee swallows.

<DM> There are 20 to 30 men at arms standing around the perimeter of the room and. The rest of the hall is filled with courtiers, merchants, and others in nondescript dress. The most notable person in the room, of course, is the man sitting on the throne at the far end of the room. Regal in bearing, even sitting down he seems to tower over those around him. There is another throne, presently unoccupied, to his right.

<DM> The herald urges you to go forward, in a tight whisper

> Mialee does her best to imitate the way the Baron proceeded down the carpet.

<DM> The King greets Stephen warmly.

> Mialee curtsies deeply when she stops before the King.

> Flint bows.

> Icarius bows

<DM> After a few minutes exchanging pleasantries, Stephens says to the King:

<Baron Stephen> Sire, I would like to introduce to you three of your loyal subjects.

<Baron Stephen> They and their companions have been an incredible help to me over the past year or so.

<Baron Stephen> Their heroism, commitment, and sagacity have removed several threats from within my borders. In fact, without their help, I would have been sorely pressed to recover the tax revenue that I present to you today. Their tenacity and adroitness make them an incredible asset to the crown.

<King William> The King smiles and says: That is high praise indeed, coming from you Stephen. With their talents, perhaps they could render me a service as well. He cocks an eyebrow and looks in your direction.

<Mialee> We would be honored to be of any assistance, Your Majesty.

<King William> Good! Good! That is excellent. Let me explain my little problem. As I'm sure you know, there are many guilds large and small operating within this city. I won't go into the philosophical questions of their origins or purpose for existing, but accept them as a fact of modern life.

<King William> They form part of the economic machine that keeps the city (and the Kingdom as a whole) running smoothly.

<King William> Most of the time they get along together rather well, but occasionally there is strife between them.

<King William> We have a little situation here. From time immemorial, the members of the Guild of Scribes have used goose quill pens to pursue their art of writing.

<King William> Typically, local poulterers supply penmakers with goose quills to be made into pens, and the pens are sold to the scribes. You are people of letters yourselves, and I'm sure you've noticed that quills, though cheap, have their inherent disadvantages.

<King William> They tend to scratch and split at inopportune moments, thus turning writing into laborious art.

<King William> In fact, this very difficulty may be responsible for the rise of the Scribes' Guild to begin with.... but I digress.

<King William> There was a man living in this city named Callery Frickard, who was a pen maker by trade.

<King William> I'm told he made a fair living buying quills from local poulterers and fashioning them into pens for many scribes in the guild.

<King William> He was apparently a man of a curious and inventive nature, and reasoned that if pens could be made more trustworthy, more people might buy them.

<King William> This fellow managed to devise a new type of pen with a metal nib. They were apparently much more dependable than a goose quill pen, and being metal, would last virtually forever. At first blush, this might seem like a great thing.

<King William> Surprisingly, it was the Scribes' Guild who first objected to these new pens. They actually petitioned me to outlaw the use of these Frickard pens within the city limits.

<King William> Their rationale was that these new pens would make hand writing too easy, encouraging people to try to scribe their own documents.

<King William> This would surely, according to the Scribes' Guild, cause quality to degenerate, and the 'Art' of writing would suffer greatly.

<King William> A counter petition soon followed this one, coming from the Ink Makers Union. I suppose they felt that the more people with pens in their hands, the more ink they would sell - a reasonable presumption, I'm sure you'll agree.

> Mialee nods.

<King William> Naturally, the Poulterers Association threw their support in with the scribes. After all, the loss of demand for goose quills would obviously cut significantly into their profits.

<King William> On the other hand, the Federation of Paper Manufacturers came out in support of the Ink Makers' Union and the the new pens, based on the increases in the amount of paper they expected to sell once these new pens became widespread.

<King William> It wasn't long before half of the guilds in the city had sided with one faction or the other.

<King William> Now you may think this is a sort of silly thing to squabble about, but I assure you, to the tradesmen who make their living in this city, it is serious business.

> Mialee nods again.

<King William> Unfortunately, the two factions have been escalating the argument past the normal diplomatic avenues.

<King William> The city council is split down the middle on the issue.

<King William> A fortnight past, an ink factory burned to the ground, and a month's worth of ink was destroyed. Needless to say, the Ink Makers' Union blamed the anti-Frickard faction.

<King William> Ten days ago, in the dead of night, a number of geese were wantonly slaughtered on a farm outside the city and masked men terrorized the farmer and his family. Naturally, the traditionalists have blamed the pro-Frickard faction for this.

> Icarius nods

<King William> There have actually been violent clashes in the streets, and the City Guard reported a near-riot the other day.

<King William> This came to head four days ago when Callery Frickard was found murdered in his bed in a room above his shop on Merchant Street.

<King William> The fighting stopped for a time as both parties came to me requesting action on the murder of the pen maker.

<King William> It wasn't long though, before accusations started flying back and forth. Both sides claimed that the other had done the dirty deed.

<King William> The city guard has sealed the house, but they have as yet been unable to determine who the murderer was, or which faction he belonged to.

<King William> Perhaps they are too close to the situation.

<King William> The two factions are clamoring for an answer. In order to calm this situation down before things get totally out of hand, I need someone to solve this murder. It must be somebody impartial, who has not yet been embroiled in the debate, which leaves out most of the people living in this city. What say you? Do you think you can help solve this mystery?

<Mialee> I think we can help, Sire.

<Mialee> Certainly we will do our best to try.

<King William> Marvelous!

<DM> The king gestures with his hand and two men step out of the crowd. They are wearing the tabards of the City Guard.

<King William> These men, Gadral and Mimfred, will act as your guides to the city. They also happen to represent the two factions. They have assured me that they will refrain from any contention while acting as your guides for this investigation.

<King William> Furthermore, they are sworn not to discuss the details of the case with you, to prevent any bias from creeping into your investigation.

<DM> The King snaps his fingers and a man to his side hands you a large iron key on a wooden fob. Branded into this fob are the words "No. 3 Merchants' Court".

<King William> You can send a message to me through these two men, if you need to.

<Mialee> Thank you, Your Majesty.

<Icarius> thank you

<Mialee> [Woohoo -- CSI: The D&D edition] ;)

<Icarius> :)

<King William> One more thing... Rumor has it that there is some group calling themselves the Citizens for Action that has decided to take the law into their own hands. So far, they haven't caused any harm that we know of, but the last thing I need is a vigilante group out roaming the streets. Please solve this before they cause any serious trouble.

<Mialee> We will do our best.

<King William> I would expect you to be able to wrap this up in a few days. Meanwhile, I believe Stephen has set you up with accomodations?

> Mialee looks to the Baron.

<Mialee> Yes, he has.

<DM> Stephen nods.

<Baron Stephen> Of course

<King William> Good then.I'll expect your report within the week.

<Mialee> You shall have it, Sire.

<DM> Stephen bows deeply, and says: Thank-you, Sire and walks back down the carpet toward the door.

> Mialee follows the Baron.

<DM> Paulinus and Darcy follow.

> Flint follows.

<DM> The audience seems to be at an end.

<Icarius> shall we get started then?

<DM> Mimfred and Gadral also follow you out.

<Mialee> Clearly the first stop, after retrieving our equipment, is to visit the crime scene.

<Flint> yes.

<DM> Mimfred asks:

<Mimfred> Would you want to start this evening, or shall we pick you up at your inn tomorrow morning?

<Mialee> Hm.

<Mialee> How long until sundown?

<DM> It's about 17:00 now. The sun will set within minutes.

<DM> well, within an hour

<Mialee> Then let's begin tomorrow morning.

<Mimfred> Very good, Ma'am.

<Mimfred> Shall we pick you up at the 9th hour then?

<Mialee> Yes, please.

<Mimfred> We'll see you then.

<DM> They both give Stephen a little bow, and walk away.

<Mialee> I suppose for now we should return to the inn, have a good meal, and get some rest.

<Icarius> yes we should

<Flint> Very well.

<Mialee> Let me know when we're back at the inn. All I plan to do there is eat a nice meal and go to bed.

<DM> Any change in spell lists?

<Mialee> Yes... one moment.

<Mialee> Replace my Jump with a Transfer By Portal.

*** >> Flint >> you do know that you have access to Cure Serious Wounds, now, right?

<Icarius> replace 1 of my web with invisibility... may be useful

<Mialee> Good idea.

<Flint> replace know alignment with Cure Serious Wounds.

<DM> Great.

<DM> Next morning, Mimfred and Gadral are waiting in the lobby for you when you come downstairs.

<Mialee> Good morning, Mimfred. Gadral.

<Icarius> to the crime scene?

<Mialee> Yes. Let's take a look.

<Icarius> lead on men

<DM> You notice that Gadral has a tiny feather embroidered into the collar of his tabard.

<DM> Looking at Mimfred's, you see a small metal pin in his collar, which looks strangely like the end of a pen.

<Mimfred> Very good, then, we'll be walking, if you don't mind.

<Mialee> That's quite all right.

<DM> They lead you through the streets of the city, North to the Street of the Gods, west to the Street of the Silk Merchants, then North again.

<Flint> That's the best news I will probable hear today.

<DM> You are again impressed with the size of the city (certainly the biggest one any of you has ever been to), and the _busi-ness_ of it.

<DM> It is bustling with activity.

<Mialee> A nice city you have.

<Mimfred> Thank-you!

<DM> Gadral keeps his mouth shut.

<DM> As you walk through twisting city streets, Mimfred makes small-talk:

<Mimfred> Is this your first time in Kendall?

<Icarius> yes it is

<Mialee> It is.

<Mimfred> The city is unofficially divided into several 'districts'. The place we are going is referred to as the Mercentile district by most residents in the city.

> Mialee nods.

<Mimfred> Each district has its own flavor, but that doesn't mean that any given activity is restricted to that district alone.

<Mialee> Byrne is arranged similarly.

<Mialee> Although on a smaller scale.

<Icarius> much smaller

<Mimfred> I'm sure you've seen many shops and businesses all over the city.

<Mialee> Yes.

<DM> They lead you north from the Street of the Silk Merchants into the dense labyrinth of buildings and shops, thorugh twisting alleyways.

<DM> merchants are hawking their wares, and people are moving about.

<DM> There is a house standing on it's own in the lower right quadrant. That is the house that Gadral and Mimfred lead you to. The neighborhood is nicely kept up, with various shops around the court.

<DM> You arrive at the door to a shop.

> Mialee unlocks the door using the key provided by the King's man.

<DM> There is a sign over the door with an icon of a quill feather.

<Icarius> lets examine the outside first

<Icarius> signs of entry, etc

<Mialee> All right.

> Mialee begins by examining the door.

> Icarius walks around the house looking at the ground, doors, and windows

<Mialee> And of course the lock.

<DM> It's of stout wood, with a tiny window in it at (human) eye level

<Mialee> Any evidence of the lock being tampered with or the door otherwise being tampered with on entry?

<DM> What's interesting about the house is that it's one of the few in the neighborhood that stands on its own.

<Mialee> Seems like a sign of a wealthy man.

<DM> No tampering evidence on the door or lock.

<Mialee> Do you see anything, Icarius?

<DM> There is a big window on the front wall to the right of the door.

> Mialee examines the window.

<DM>Icarius didn't see anything out of the ordinary as he walked around the house.

<DM> It's somewhat dark inside, but you can see a counter on the far side of the room,

<Icarius> ok lets go in

<DM> and a curtain, and another door.

> Mialee unlocks the door and opens it.

> Mialee looks inside without stepping in.

<DM> The key does indeed open the front door to the house.

<DM> The room you see is a 15'x 40' space, with a long counter opposite

<DM> the front door. A long window of dusty paned glass looks back out onto the street.

<DM> A curtain at the left end of the back wall is parted, revealing another room beyond, and some stairs leading up.

<DM> There is a doorway at the far end of the room.

<Mialee> Any dust or footprints or anything like that?

<DM> There is dust on the floor, but you don't see any distinguishable footprints.

<Mialee> OK.

*** Roll by DM: 3d100 -> 94 + 80 + 64 = 238

> Mialee looks to see if there are any objects in the room.

> Mialee steps inside to look around.

<DM> Nothing other than the counter.

<Mialee> Hm.

<DM> There are many quills and bottles of colored inks on display on the counter.

<Mialee> Feather or metal nibs?

<Mialee> And has the display been disturbed in any way?

<DM> You don't see any of the special Frickard steel-nibbed pens on the counter.

<DM> The display looks like it normally would for a shop in operation.

<Mialee> OK.

> Mialee looks through the doorway without stepping through it.

<DM> Which doorway, the curtained one?

> Mialee looks at the curtain first.

<Mialee> I actually meant the other doorway though.

<DM> The curtain is partially open, revealing a stairway going up, and a large room to the right.

<DM> The door in the far corner has a yellow 'X' drawn on it, in yellow chalk.

<Flint> What does the yellow X mean?

<Icarius> and the yellow arrow

<DM> Umm, that's for me to know and for you to find out. :D

<Icarius> let's examine it :)

<Flint> Gadral?

<DM> but the arrow seems to be drawn in chalk too.

<Mialee> Ah, you said 'doorway' before, I thought that meant a doorway, not a door. :)

*** >> Flint >> It occurs to you that this is the same type of chalk used to mark up construction and renovation sites.

<Mialee> So there's a yellow line chalked across the floor?

<DM>Mialee, on the floor under the curtain on the lefthand doorway, yes.

<DM> There is a DOOR on the righthand end of the room, with a chalk 'X' on it.

<Mialee> What about the yellow line right down the center of the room?

<DM> also a chalk line.

<Mialee> OK.

> Mialee examines the door with the 'X' on it.

<DM> It's unremarkable other than the 'X'

> Mialee opens it.

<DM> it's locked.

<Icarius> does the arrow point to anything?

<Mialee> Looks like it points out the window. Is there anything outside of interest?

<DM> The arrow points to the wall under/next to the window.

<Icarius> ok

> Icarius examines the window

<DM> just the street.

> Mialee casts Knock.

<DM> you can see through the slightly dusty window to the street outside.

> Mialee waits for Knock to do its thing. ;)

<DM> You hear a faint 'click' and the door swings slowly open.

> Mialee looks inside.

<Mialee> (without entering)

<DM> In the NE corner of this room is a small oil-burning stove, with a kettle sitting on it.

<DM> Along the far wall of the room are a small table and two chairs. A teacup is upended on a clean saucer, but otherwise the table is bare.

<Mialee> Any sign of disturbance? Footprints?

<DM> actually the table is along the wall to your right.

<Mialee> Hm, the Xes and arrows continue.

<DM> You don't see any sign of disturbance.

> Mialee enters the room and examines the floor where the arrow is, as well as the wall it points at.

<DM> It points to a blank wall. there is nothing on the wall.

> Mialee examines the door in the west wall.

<Flint> What is the URL again?

<Mialee> http://homepage.mac.com/thomascompter/Mercia/Kendall1/cfhouse.html

<DM> There is nothing remarkable about that door either.

> Mialee opens it.

<DM> You see a spacious workroom. A long, roughhewn bench rests against the south wall. A shorter, more polished worktop is to the west. Near the northern side of the room is a large pile of sacking.

*** Roll by DM: 3d100 -> 18 + 64 + 24 = 106

<Mialee> Any sign of disturbance here? Footprints?

*** >> Flint >> You hear a muffled noise from the room above room D... a footfall, perhaps?

<Mialee> Hm?

<DM> No sign of disturbance here, per se.

<Mialee> Per se?

<Mialee> And what's that about a footfall?

<Flint> Someone is upstairs.

<Mialee> This place is supposed to be sealed.

*** >> Mialee >> that was an oops.

*** << Mialee << Ah

<Mialee> We need to get upstairs.

> Icarius examines the sacking

<DM> The pile of sacks contains a large quantity of feathers and lint.

> Mialee heads for the stairs, retracing our path back to the curtain and through it.

> Flint heads up stairs.

> Mialee follows Flint up.

<DM> The stairs rise to a wide, spacious room with a fireplace set into the wall to the east. Two armchairs flank the fireplace with a brightly patterned couch between the two. A small cupboard stands beside the fireplace. Two doors lead east and south respectively.

<Mialee> Any idea where the intruder is?

<Mialee> Are either of the doors open?

<DM> You don't see an intruder.

<Mialee> Any footprints?

<DM> No, neither door is open

<DM> no footprints.

<Flint> Which area is above the room where we heard the footstep?

<DM>Flint, you heard the footprint from above the room on the east wall of the house.

> Mialee examines the door to the east.

> Flint opens the east door.

<Mialee> So, what's in the room to the east?

<DM> Anyway, when you open the east door, Flint:

<DM> The room is about 15' wide and 30' long, with the back of the chimney from the other room clearly visible against the west wall. You walk in and surprise 4 people in the room. There is a man in a robe with an ornate mantle, a rough looking man in an ink-stained smock holding a screwdriver, a homely man in home-spun trousers with a crowbar in his hand, and a woman in non-descript attire holding an ordinary hammer.

<DM> They look like they are searching the room as you walk in.

<Mialee> Hey!

<DM> Your turn: Segment 1
Spellcasters, what will you cast (if anything)?

<Mialee> Magic missile.

<Icarius> sleep

<DM> Who are you casting the MM at, Mialee?

<Flint> nothing.

<Icarius> capturing them would be best

<Mialee> The guy in the robe.

<DM> They immediately break for the window, where you notice there is the top end of a ladder sticking up over the windowsill.

<DM> BUT--

> Mialee wonders how Icarius didn't see the ladder.

<Icarius> me too :)

<DM> timing is everything. :)

*** Roll by DM: 2d4 -> 1 + 2 = 3

> Mialee wonders what the 'BUT' was for.

<DM> BUT -- before they get very far, three of them drop from the effects of Icarius' sleep spell.

<Icarius> sweet :)

<Mialee> Which one's still up?

<DM> the man in the robe staggers back, clutching his chest.

<DM>Mialee, roll damage on your MM

*** Roll by Mialee: 2d4+2 -> 3 + 1 = 4 + 2 = 6

<DM> He crumples to the ground, breathing heavily.

<Silas> Please! Please don't kill us! We meant no harm!

<Mialee> Flint, tie them all up.

<Mialee> Who are you, and why are you here?

> Flint binds the prisioners.

<DM> The man in the robe, about 45 years old by appearance, speaks up:

<Silas> My name is Silas Philbin, and I am a member of the Scribes Guild. I and my friends here were simply trying to discover the truth of the matter of the killing of freeman Frickard. Good citizens that we are, I'm afraid our impatience in the face of the slapdash effort made by the powers that be to solve this murder have made us overstep the boundaries of good sense.

<Icarius> your partners don't look like scribes

<Flint> Gadral - Get the city guard.

<Gadral> Sir Dwarf, we _are_ the city Guard.

<Mialee> Overstep the boundaries of good sense? You've violated the scene of a crime, possibly damaging evidence.

<Gadral> These miscreants must be taken to the City Guardhouse. They are certainly guilty of breaking and entering, and who knows what else.

<Mialee> Yes. Can the two of you take care of that while we inspect the scene here?

<Flint> Then get reinforcements to take charge of the prisioners, you will stay with us.

<Mialee> Or that. :)

> Mialee searches the prisoners.

<Gadral> Yes, we can.

<DM> The young lady is looking very nervous. Oh please, I don't want to go to jail! Please let me go. I'll never do anything wrong ever again, I promise! Oh I _knew_ this wasn't going to turn out well.

<Mialee> I'm sorry, but our duty prevails upon us to treat this with all due seriousness.

<DM> Other than a couple of screwdrivers, and a crowbar, you don't find anything of interest.

<Flint> Start talking or you will spend a long time in jail.

<DM> The rather odorous fella says:

<Karl> My name is Karl Geldimple. I'm a poultry farmer. My farm is about 10 km outside of the city. A fortnight past my farm was raided, and half my stock of geese were slaughtered and burned. I want to solve this murder to stop further terrorism of my family.

> Mialee waits to hear from the others.

<DM> The man in the smock admits:

<Undle> My name is Undle Parwicker. I work at Potbelly's Ink Shop. We make the best inks in the city!

<DM> His face brightens with pride a bit at that, and then quickly returns

<DM> to the sullen scowl.

<DM> The scribe says:

<DM> We've decided to put our differences about the utility of Frickard's

<DM> new pens aside in order to solve this mystery, and hopefully put the

<DM> strife between us in the past. We wish nothing more than a peaceful

<DM> resolution to this controversy.

<Icarius> that's refreshing to hear

<Mialee> Unfortunately, by entering this house illegally you've all become suspects in the murder.

<DM> the girl whimpers.

<Mialee> Who is the young lady?

> Mialee looks at her.

<Icarius> it's too bad your fellow guildsmen don't feel the same or there wouldn't be such a problem

<Janet> I'm Janet Morellian, and I'm a clerk at the paper mill off Immigrant Street in the plaza district.

<Flint> And this sudden unity is a little suspicious.

<Mialee> Until the crime has been solved, you'll all have to go to jail.

<Mialee> Indeed, Flint.

<Mialee> A clerk?

<Mimfred> I'll go get some of our fellows.

<DM> He heads for the stairs.

<Mialee> Janet, you're just a clerk?

<Janet> yes. I process orders for the paper, and handle some billing

<Mialee> How on earth did you get involved in this?

<Janet> I-- I thought that this controversy was getting out of hand. I didn't want to see anyone else get hurt.

<Mialee> Uh-huh.

<Mialee> Who's idea was this little expedition?

<DM> The scribe speaks up.

<Silas> That would be me, I'm afraid. I though that perhaps we could find some evidence that the city guard had missed.

<Mialee> That's our job.

<Mialee> Have any of you heard any rumors about what happened?

<DM> from the street you hear a muffled yell: Hey you! come back here!

<Icarius> oh joy

> Mialee looks out the window.

<DM> you see Mimfred running around the corner.

<DM> The man in the smock interjects:

<Undle> We don't need no outsiders' help. We can figger this out ourselves. Heck, if we can't, what's the sense of... oh, nevermind.

<DM> He scuffs the floor with his foot.

<Mialee> Hm.

<Mialee> What's the sense of what?

<Undle> What's the sense of having a city guard, is what I meant, if they can't solve a murder.

<DM> Gadral bristles a bit at that, but holds his silence.

<Icarius> or a breaking and entering, eh?

> Mialee chuckles.

<DM> Undle scowls

<Mialee> What did you people do when you came in this room?

<Mialee> I need to know what you've disturbed.

<Icarius> and what you found

<DM> Janet pipes up.

<Janet> We didn't disturb anything. We only just got here when you burst in.

<Janet> (Mumbles) I didn't think I was such a fainter.

<Flint> Who was outside still?

<Mialee> Fainter?

<DM> they look at each other. They say nothing.

> Mialee holds up her hands and starts muttering as if she's going to cast a nasty spell.

<Flint> You can answer now, or under torture.

<Janet> Well, I was alarmed when you came in, but I didn't think I'd faint. That's embarrassing

<Icarius> if you'd like we can leave you and Gadral alone until you decide to talk

<Mialee> Hah. She thinks she fainted, Icarius. :)

<Silas> Look, We were in this alone

<Mialee> Sure you were.

<DM> You hear a bit of chanting out in the street.

> Mialee listens.

<DM> sounds like 10-15 people, droning as if at a funeral.

<Flint> Don't you know better than to try and lie to a cleric?

<Karl> (chittering) L-listen, sir Dwarf, I don't want you invading my head, or nothin. I don't know who was outside - I never saw him before.

<Mialee> So there was a fifth person, then.

> Mialee turns to the scribe.

<DM> Silas scowls at Karl.

<Icarius> how do you know it was a 'him'?

<Mialee> You said you planned this. Who was it?

<Silas> I tell you we were alone!

<Mialee> I don't think you're smart enough to plan a birthday party, let alone this botched job of a break-in. Who really planned it?

<Flint> And I say that is a lie.

<Silas> (Insisting) I planned it, and only the 4 of us were involved. No one else!

<Mialee> Right.

<Flint> Another lie.

> Mialee takes Janet by the arm and leads her out into the next room for a private chat.

<Silas> I know it was a hare-brained idea, but someone has to solve this murder, or the hells are going to break loose in this city, and it's just not worth it over a silly pen!

<Mialee> We'll be back shortly, gentlemen. And you three.

> Mialee asks Janet, in private:

<Mialee> Look, it's pretty clear you're just along for the ride on this. After all, you fainted at the first sign of trouble.

<Mialee> Tell me what we need to know and you can go home.

<Mialee> But you need to tell me everything.

<Janet> W-we were sworn to secrecy! I can't tell. I can't!

<Mialee> You need to tell me the truth, or you're going to spend the best years of your life in a dark, damp cell.

<Janet> Silas told me that it was better that we didn't know who else was involved, because it could get them and us in more trouble.

<Mialee> Go on.

<Janet> I didn't know the man and didn't ask who he was. He was just going to be a lookout. He sure didn't do that very well, did he?

> Mialee continues to interrogate the female prisoner.

<DM> Janet pouts.

<Mialee> What did he look like?

<Janet> He was slim and dark in hair color, umm, there isn'tmuch else I remember. We didn't really even meet officially. I just saw Silas talking to him briefly the other night when we planned this.

> Icarius twiddles thumbs

<Mialee> What did you mean by 'more trouble?' What kind of trouble were you already in?

<Janet> I wasn't in any trouble. Until now. I just meant that the fewer people that knew who was involved, the fewer people that would know who to rat on.

<Mialee> I see. Do you really think Silas planned this? Is it possible the other man did?

<Janet> Silas has been the leader of our little group as long as I've been involved. The other man was only involved at the last minute. In fact, Silas had to press pretty hard to make him come at all. It seemed like he didn't really want to get involved.

<Mialee> Okay. We're going back in to join the others now. But I expect you'll be going home soon.

> Mialee returns to the others with Janet in tow.

<Janet> thank-you kind elf!

<Mialee> Flint, I think you and our scribe here should step out for a private chat.

> Mialee whispers to Flint for a bit first.

<Mialee> Have a nice chat.

<Flint> Let's go Silas.

<DM> Silas sulkily follows Flint out the door to the other room.

> Mialee watches the other prisoners.

<Mialee> What is this room, anyway?

> Mialee looks around a little.

<DM> You see a bookcase, and a large bed.

<DM> the bed is stripped bare of bedclothes, but

<DM> A large, roundest stain about 2'down from the headboard is mute

<DM> evidence of the violence committed here.

<DM> A window overlooking the alleyway stands open.

<Flint> All right Silas, I know you've been lyiing to me. Start telling me the truth, or I'm going to take it from you with magic.

<Icarius> we thought you disco'd, the DM is scrounging for food right now

<Flint> No, chat on the web side has a really slow interface.

<Icarius> ah

<DM> Silas responds:

<Silas> I've told you everything that we've done. I've not held anything back.

<Flint> If he is scrounging for food, I'm going to restart the system to see if that will solve things.

<Flint> Never mind.

<Silas> Go ahead if you think it will help

<Flint> You had a fifth man outside.

<Silas> he's not important. he was just a lookout.

<Flint> He was more than a lookout.

<Flint> He was very important.

<Flint> I hope you have someone to take care of you after we're done.

> Silas denies it with his eyes.

<Flint> If I have to rip the truth out of you there won't be anything left of your mind. You will sit there and drool.

<Silas> No, I swear this whole thing was my idea,

<Silas> and I planned it all.

<Flint> How did you bring together the different factions?

<Silas> I was in a tavern several days ago, and overheard Undle and Janet talking.

<Silas> they were decrying the violence, and since that was my opinion too, I asked to join them...

<Silas> I told them that since the Authorities were getting nowhere, that perhaps the citizens should take charge.

<Flint> Then what happened?

<Silas> I thought there must have been a clue left around here someplace that would lead us to the killer, and end the confrontation.

<Silas> The building had been shut up for days, with none of the guards going inside

<Silas> So I figured they had given up on really trying to find the killer.

<Silas> That was when I decided to try to find the evidence myself.

<Silas> Undle and Janet were in agreement.

<Silas> Karl was the last to join us.

<Silas> he was terrified of the people that ransacked his farm a couple weeks back.

<Silas> and wanted desperately to end the senseless violence

<Flint> What else?

<Silas> That was really it. We thought that we could find something in the house here, but you all caught us before we found anything.

<Flint> Your still lying to me. You have left out any memtion of your so called lookout.

<Silas> <sigh!...>

<Flint> Look into my eyes.

<Silas> He was just there to warn us if someone came snooping around after

<Flint> Do you feel the pressure building in your head?

<Silas> we entered the house. I guess we didn't think about the possibiliyt of someone being in the house BEFORE us.

> Silas shuts his eyes tightly.

<Silas> No! No pressure!

<Flint> Fine, if you want it to hurt more just keep resisting.

*** >> Flint >> a psionic Dwarf? :D

<Flint> The church has a place where we will take care of your mindless body.

*** << Flint << :)

<Flint> Your only hope is to freely tell me the complete truth before I rip it out of your mind.

<Silas> I've told you everything I know. I swear.

<Flint> I don't believe you.

<Silas> I'm sorry-- there is nothing more to tell.

<Flint> Is the pain becoming worse yet?

> Silas looks nervously about

<Flint> When it hits, it will be like the great blow of a hammer.

<Silas> uhh,, n-no, not yet

<Flint> That's too bad, it will do more damage the longer it is before it starts.

<Flint> I see by the lines in your forehead that you do feel the pain.

> Silas looks at the dwarf quizzically

<Silas> No, really, it doesn't hurt.

<Flint> another lie?

> Silas begins to wonder if this dwarf is delusional, or if he really is in pain, and just can't feel it.

<Silas> :)

> Flint begins casting

> Silas gulps

<Flint> Confess

> Silas blurts out that the man in the alley was a low-level druid from a nearby forest, who was asked by his superiors to find out what the whole hullabaloo was with the pens.

<Silas> After Frickard was killed, he joined us to find the killers, but really didn't want to get involved, because that would go beyond the scope of what his superiors told him to do.

<Silas> and anyway, it wasn't really his affair anyway, he said.

<Silas> and that is really all there is to it.

<Silas> honest.

<Silas> really

<Flint> Very well.

<Flint> Let's return to the others.

> Silas follows you back into the bedroom.

<Flint> What is the situation in the room?

<DM>Icarius and Mialee and Gadral are watching over the prisoners.

<Icarius> any thoughts, flint?

<Flint> Let's turn the prisioners over to the city guard and continue.

<Icarius> we should check out the forest druids at some point

> Icarius searches the room

<DM> The room is about 15' wide and 30' long, with the back of the chimney from the other room clearly visible against the west wall. A window overlooking the alleyway stands open. the bed is stripped bare of bedclothes, but A large, roundest stain about 2'down from the headboard is mute evidence of the violence committed here.

<DM> A bookcase in the northwest corner of the room holds several tomes on pen-making and the art of calligraphy (total value 60 gp). A rounded stone paperweight holds down bills of sale and receipts for purchases made recently from the Goose Breeders Association. A scrap of paper holds the cryptic message: 'Records 9-12' Under the bed you find a loose board.

<Icarius> ah

> Icarius checks under the board

<DM> You lift out the board, and see an iron strongbox hidden there.

> Icarius pulls out the strongbox and examines it

<DM> It's made of metal, and has a lock attached to a hasp.

<DM> Where's that knock spell when you REALLY need it, eh? ;)

<Flint> Let me show you the dwarven version of a knock spell.

<Icarius> hehehe

> Flint uses his axe to remove the lock.

<DM> Gadral clears his throat.

<Flint> Yes Gadral?

<DM> the lock is smashed off, and silver pieces scatter all over the room.

<Icarius> nothing besides coins?

<Gadral> I believe that belongings of the deceased should be left whole until the proper authorities decide what to do with them.

<DM> That's all that you see.

> Icarius searches the box for a false bottom or other compartments

<DM> You don't find anything.

<Flint> Gadral, see that the coins are secure until they can be turned over to the heirs of the estate.

> Icarius looks through the pile of receipts for anything odd

<DM> Gadral gives Flint a look

<DM> A rounded stone paperweight holds down bills of sale and receipts for purchases made recently from the Goose Breeders Association.

<DM> A scrap of paper holds the cryptic message: 'Records 9-12'

> Mialee looks on the back of the 'Records' paper.

<DM> nothing there.

> Icarius shakes his head in disbelief

<Mialee> Records 9-12... hm.

<Mialee> We need to see if there's a file box or something here.

<Mialee> Where is the scrap of paper?

> Icarius looks through the books checking for fake books, scraps of paper, etc

<DM> it was on the bookshelf in the corner of the room

> Mialee examines the bed and the bloodstain.

<Mialee> Anything interesting about it?

<DM> not interesting, just yucky.

<Mialee> :)

> Mialee looks at the paperweight. Is it just a paperweight? :)

<DM> it is fairly round (the bloodstain)

<Mialee> Any damage to the bedding, other than the stain?

<DM> it's a stone, really. Smoothed over

<DM> a small hole in the center of it.

<Mialee> What size and shape is the hole?

<DM> in the center of the stain, that is.

<DM> small, about the size of a copper piece.

<DM> or smaller

<Mialee> Shape?

<Mialee> Trying to figure some stuff about the weapon.

<DM> as though something round was poked through the matress

<Mialee> Round. Interesting.

> Icarius checks under the mattress

<DM> well, round and sharply pointed

<Icarius> is the hole at the bottom of the mattress as well?

<DM> the stain doesn't reach the underside of the mattress

<Mialee> How about the hole?

<DM> nor does the hole.

<Icarius> so killed from above

> Mialee takes a quill and gently slides it into the hole, to judge the depth of the hole.

<Mialee> [Sheppy watches too much CSI ;)]

<DM> Remember, this is not a sealy posturpedic, the mattress is just a cloth bag stuffed with stringy stuff.

<Mialee> Ah, true.

<Icarius> :)

<Mialee> OK.

<Flint> Is the hole in the center of the mattress, or more twords the head of the bed?

<DM> probably not straw, but maybe wool?

<DM> the hole is more toward the head, in the middle of the stain.

<Flint> is the stain dried?

<DM> yes

<Mialee> I think I'm ready to look at other rooms now.

> Mialee wanders back out into room E and looks around.

> Flint lies down on the bed.

<DM> A wide, spacious room with a fireplace set into the wall to the east. Two armchairs flank the fireplace with a brightly patterned couch between the two. A small cupboard stands beside the fireplace. Two doors lead east and south respectively.

> Mialee opens the cupboard and looks inside.

<DM> the bed is fairly comfortable.

<DM> Gadral goes 'ughhh'

<Flint> Is the bed hard as a board , or does it sag in the middle?

<Mialee> Heh.

<DM> it sags a bit.

> Icarius asks Gadral if the body is still available

<Mialee> We're still waiting on the guards to come get the prisoners, right?

<Flint> Then this is a fake murder scene.

<DM> Gadral says he's not sure, but he can find out for you.

<DM> right, Mialee

> Mialee hears Flint from the other room and asks what he means.

<DM> in fact, just about then, Mimfred comes up the stairs, leading 3 other men.

<Mialee> (while looking in the cupboard in the next room) > DM is anxious to hear Flint's reasoning as well

> Mialee is eager to hear what's in the cupboard. ;)

<Flint> The blood should have pooled at the low point of the bed. Not spread evenly around the wound. That would have required it to flow uphill. The DM apparently doesn't watch ENOUGH CSI. :)

<DM> I don't watch CSI at all. :)

<Mialee> Well, it sags when you lay on it...

<Mialee> Although it would have been sagging when the victim was on it, too.

<Mialee> Hm.

<Mialee> :P

<DM> ok, so the hole wasn't RIGHT in the middle of the stain. But capillary action would have drawn some of it up the mattress.

<Mialee> :)

<Mialee> OK, I think that's the DM telling us to shut up, it's not a fake murder scene. ;)

<Icarius> i think we should take a sample of blood back to the lab and do a DNA analysis to make sure it matches

<Mialee> ROTFL

<Mialee> I've been having to force myself not to dust for prints. :D

> Mialee is apparently having trouble opening that cupboard. ;)

<DM> The cupboard holds a crystal decanter, six matching glasses, and a quantity of spoiling foodstuffs.

<DM> Four inexpensive plates and some cheap cutlery complete the contents.

<Mialee> Anything in the decanter?

<DM> Some wine

<DM> The wine in the decanter is worth 5 gp, the decanter itself maybe 20.

<Mialee> Not going to plunder this guy's house.

<DM> The fireplace is cold and disused. A skillet and some cookware indicate that Frickard used it for cooking as well as heat. The fuel seems to have been wood, judging from the ashes. Only one of the armchairs seems well used; the couch and second armchair still retain their bright patterns.

> Mialee looks under the chairs and their cushions.

<Mialee> Any fireplace tools? A poker, anything like that?

<DM> yes, you see the usual tools - a poker, a dustpan and brush. and tongs

<DM> Nothing under the cushions strikes you as odd.

> Mialee examines the poker. Could it be the murder weapon?

<DM> It's possible, though there is still ashes on the point.

<Mialee> So it's roughly the right shape and size?

<DM> the poker could have made the hole in the mattress.

> Mialee pokes through the ashes to see if there's any sign of anything interesting getting burned other than wood.

<DM> nothing in the fireplace but ashes.

<Mialee> OK.

> Mialee examines the door to the south.

<DM> It's an ordinary looking door.

> Mialee opens it.

<DM> It has an X on it.

<DM> This chamber is bright and airy, but it seems to have been out of use for some time even before the pen maker was killed. There is no furniture here, just dust. Chalk marks on the floor divide this room up into smaller areas.

<Mialee> Any disturbances in the dust?

<DM> None that look recent to your non-ranger eyes.

> Mialee waits for the map to update.

<Mialee> There we go.

<DM> refresh

<Mialee> Hmmhm.

> Mialee wanders downstairs to look in the room behind the curtain.

<DM> on the ground floor, You see a spacious workroom. A long, roughhewn bench rests against the south wall. A shorter, more polished worktop is to the west. Near the northern side of the room is a large pile of sacking. there seem to be chalk marks in this room too: one bisecting the room, and an arrow pointing toward the north wall, and an 'X' on the door in the NE corner. There is also an arrow pointing west toward the staircase.

<Mialee> Anything on the worktop or bench?

<DM> On the rough-hewn bench you discover a collection of sharp knives and other tools, probably worth 50 gp total. Small pieces of wood have been chipped and scored from the worktop here, perhaps over a period of years.

<DM> The smaller bench is smooth and polished, with four large stones sitting on it.

> Mialee examines the stones.

<DM> Careful inspection of the stones reveals a portion of a feather stuck

<DM> to the underside of one of them.

<Icarius> hmm

<Mialee> Are the stones otherwise the same?

<DM> yes

<DM> they are just smooth stones.

<DM> about the size of your fist.

<Mialee> Similar to the paperweight upstairs?

<DM> exactly

> Mialee opens the door to C.

<DM> This room contains a low table, with a number of bottles containing different colored powders. You see black, red, blue, and yellow powders. Also on the table is a shallow clay pan, the inside of which is stained green.

<DM> The outside of it (it's natural color) is brown

> Mialee searches through the stack of sacking.

<DM> You spend about 10 minutes searching through the contents, and uncover some 1" sections of steel piping about a quarter inch in diameter.

<Mialee> Hm.

<Mialee> It's very strange that there don't appear to be any metal-nib pens in this building.

<DM> Mimfred asks: Shall I send the prisoners off to the guardhouse, now?

<Icarius> odd indeeed

<Mialee> Yes, please, Mimfred.

<Flint> Did you catch the other one?

<DM> He issues some terse orders to the other three men, and they lead the 4 prisoners out of the house.

<DM> No, the fellow was too quick. He looked suspicious, and as soon as he saw me, he broke and ran.

<DM> I lost him in the back streets.

> Mialee contemplates the chalk lines.

<Mialee> Were the chalk marks here when the body was discovered?

<DM> hmmm,

<DM> You know, I believe they were.

> Mialee looks around at them to try to judge if they were put on before or after all the dust settled in some of the dustier rooms.

<DM> no one paid them much attention, because the murder was thought to be more important.

<DM> it looks like they were put there more recently.

<Flint> It looks like the chalk used to mark out construction changes.

<Mialee> But these marks don't appear to make any sense in that regard.

<DM> in fact, as you look more closely, you see some scuff marks in the dust near the chalk marks.

<DM> you can only really see that in room F

<Mialee> So these marks are recent.

<DM> it would seem so.

<Mialee> Hm. The only door in the house that doesn't have an X on it is the one into C.

<Mialee> The line going up the center of the stairs, is it only on the flats, or is it on the vertical parts of the steps too?

<DM> only on the flats.

> Mialee checks to see if any of the steps are loose or anything like that.

<DM> no, they are all firm.

<Mialee> These chalk lines are fascinating me.

<Icarius> very confusing

<Mialee> How many of the 1" bits of quarter-inch pipe are there?

<DM> about a dozen.

> Mialee stands in B and looks at the ceiling.

<DM> You see some joists and the floor above.

<Mialee> Hmmmm.

<Icarius> can we check the unexplored rooms?

<Mialee> I think we've explored them all now.

<DM> yes, you've seen them all.

<Icarius> oh, ok, my map wasn't refreshed :)

> Mialee idly wonders if there's any significance to the fact that there are roughly as many bits of pipe as there are arrows on the floor.

<Mialee> Probably not.

*** >> Mialee >> probably not. :)

<Mialee> They yellow powder in C... is it the same color as the chalk?

<DM> no, not exactly.

<Mialee> Hmmm.

> Flint examines the powders closely.

> Mialee looks to see if the counter in A is movable.

<DM> The counter is not moveable. It is attached to the floor

<DM> the powders are colorful.

<Icarius> what colors?

<DM> You see black, red, blue, and yellow powders.

<Mialee> I'm running out of ideas. :)

<DM> although in later years, these particular shades would be known as cyan, magenta, and...

<Mialee> Heh.

<Mialee> Was he making ink?

<Flint> Why would a pen maker have ink making supplies?

<Flint> Or did he have a partner in the ink making guild?

> Mialee looks at the bits of pipe more closely. Any interesting characteristics? Marks or discoloration? Tool marks?

<DM> no marks, they look like they were cut with a very fine saw.

<Mialee> Hm.

<DM> there is a seam, of course.

<Mialee> Mm.

<Icarius> from when it was cast?

<DM> the tubes were formed by bending the steel around a rod, or something.

<Flint> Parts for his metal pen?

<Mialee> That's what I think.

> Mialee examines the sacking itself. Anything interesting about the material?

<DM> no, just plain burlap

<Mialee> Maybe we need to go talk to some folks at the guilds.

<Mialee> I just don't know what else we can do here.

<Mialee> Wait a second.

> Mialee goes back upstairs to the bedroom.

> Mialee compares the handwriting on the 'Records 9-12' note with the writing on the receipts for goods sold.

<DM> It matches, and for the first time, you notice that there might be another mark on the scrap of paper.

<Mialee> Did the victim write this, or is it something someone coming in to steal something brought with them as a reminder what they were after?

> Mialee looks at the other mark.

<Icarius> good thinking

<DM> perhaps it was because the quill was running out of ink that you didn't notice the 'PM' after the Records 9-12.

<Mialee> 9-12 PM?

<DM> but now that you look again, it definitely looks like Records - 9-12 PM

> Mialee asks Mimfred if there's a records building in town.

<Mimfred> All the official records are kept in the City Library.

<Icarius> hmm

<Mialee> Anywhere else that might be a meeting place that might be mentioned as 'Records'?

<Icarius> the guilds would have record rooms, no?

<Mialee> Hm, that could be too.

<DM> Hmm, not that I know of.

> Mialee wonders if 9-12 PM means 9 AM to noon or 9 PM to midnight. :)

<Icarius> i was wondering too :)

<Mialee> I presume 9 AM to noon.

<Mialee> What time is it now?

<DM> It's about 2PM

<Icarius> do we know an approximate time of death, Mimfred?

<Mimfred> If it WERE referring to the Library, it would be 9-12 noon, since that is when the records are available for public viewing.

<Mialee> I think we need to go to the library. I presume we can get access to the area where the records are kept even though it's outside those hours?

<Mimfred> I'm not so sure of that. They are pretty conscious of their rules. I can try to convince them, of course.

<Mialee> Given the importance of this matter to His Majesty, I presume something can be arranged.

<Mimfred> Perhaps if they know you're on the business for the King, it might sway them a bit.

<Flint> I can convince them. :)

<Mialee> Down boy. :)

<Mialee> Let's go. We need to see what we can find out.

<Mialee> (as we leave, when we leave, I'll lock the door behind me).

<DM> Follow me, good gentles.

<Mialee> And we need to take that ladder with us and ditch it somewhere. :)

<Flint> You didn't just say Down boy to a Dwarf, did you? :)

<Mialee> Me? Never.

> Mialee follows Mimfred.

> Icarius follows

> Flint follows

<DM> Mimfred leads you back to the Street of the Thinkers, and east to the intersection of Pimp Street.

<Mialee> Pimp St? :)

<DM> Along the way they explain:

<Mimfred> The Library holds not only great literary works, but all the official records for the city. " It is a huge repository, which no one truly knows the extent of. Scribes work there who have their particular area of expertise, and know how to find certain records. Of course, they expect to be paid for their efforts, and the speed with which they find the information you're looking for may well depend on how much silver passes their palms on the way to the records section.

<DM> As you approach the Library, which sits on the SE intersection of Pimp Street and the Street of the Thinkers (remember the map is oriented with south to the top of the map), you see that it is an enormous structure, sprawling out along the street. It is three stories high in some places, and two stories high in others. At first it looks a little shabby, but if you look closer, you can see that the building was once full of grandeur. Inside, in a large foyer, there is a large desk with a large man sitting behind it. He looks up and smiles:

<Librarian> May I help you? (with a thick brogue)

<Icarius> do you keep track of people who use the library?

<Mialee> Well, more to the point, who accesses the records.

<Librarian> Not officially, no, but I keep fair track of the comings and goings around here.

<Icarius> I'm glad you take pride in your job

<DM> he smiles broadly

<Mialee> Indeed.

<Mialee> How many people came in to look through the records today?

<Icarius> we'd also want to know about the day of the murder

<Mialee> Yeah.

<Librarian> Which murder would that be?

<Icarius> the pen guy

<Mialee> The penmaker.

<Mialee> [Sheppy can't remember his name :)]

<Librarian> Oh, yes I'm familiar wit' poor Mr. Frickard, rest his soul. He's been a visitor here quite often in the past few months. He mostly wanted to see the records in the genealogy section, ye know, wills, birth and death records, etc. I believe he was constructing a record of his ancestors and relatives.

<Mialee> Was he here the day he died?

<Librarian> I can't say that fer sure, 'cause from what I understand, they're not sure exactly which day he died.

<Mialee> When was he last here?

<Librarian> Oh, I'd say about a week ago. But you also asked who else had been here today. As it happens, there WAS another group in here this morning.

<Mialee> Who?

<Librarian> And as strange a grouping as I'd ever seen.

<Mialee> How so?

> Mialee whispers to Flint and Icarius, "About a week ago, sounds roughly around the time he died.

<DM> There was a scribe, registered with the Scribes' Guild he was, so there was no question of his getting access, but he had a farmer and a workman of some sort and a pretty little lass with him. A strange group, that one.

<Mialee> Hm.

<Mialee> That's most interesting.

<Mialee> Do you know what they looked at?

<DM> Aye,their particular interest was in deeds and leases and wills and

<DM> other such legal documents.

<Icarius> there were only 4? not 5?

<DM> Yes, just 4.

<Mialee> Do you know any specifics on what documents they reviewed?

<Librarian> Well, no, not exactly. As I said, the one was a registered scribe, and as such, he didn't require an escort, as most folk do that want to look at the official records.

<Icarius> or would they have paid one of the scribes here to help them?

<Mialee> Hm.

<Icarius> we could send flint to do some more interrogating while we look through the records

<Mialee> Yeah, that might be a good idea. Clearly they're still not telling us everything.

> Flint quietly places 5 GP on the desk.

<Flint> Surely someone here knows what records they examined.

<Librarian> Well, ahem.

<Librarian> It turns out, they were also interested in Mr. Frickard.

<Mialee> Indeed?

<Librarian> I don't know exactly what they were wantin' to find, but they looked at the deed to his house, and the records of his family.

<Mialee> Interesting.

<Librarian> I suppose they wanted to confirm if he owned that house free and clear.

<Icarius> lets take a look at them then

<Mialee> Yes, we need to see those documents.

<Flint> I think we better look at those records ourselves.

<Librarian> Well, the record section is only open from 9-12 each day...

<Flint> Why would it matter if he owned the house?

<Mialee> Sir, I understand, but we're on urgent business for the King. Otherwise I assure you we wouldn't insist.

<DM> at a glare from Mimfred and Gadral, he continues...

<Librarian> ..but of course, I'm sure you're on official business, so...

> Icarius smiles

<Icarius> thank you

<Mialee> Thank you, my good man.

<DM> He pulls on a bellpull, and you hear a distant ringing.

> Flint places anouther 5 GP on the desk.

<DM> after a few moments, a scribe approaches.

<Flint> We appreciate you assistance with the kings business.

> Mialee nods.

<Librarian> This is Farlen, and he will show you to the stacks where the offical records are kept.

<Mialee> Thank you again.

<DM> Farlen gives a curt bow, and says: "This way, gentles

> Mialee follows.

<Flint> Can he also show us the records the other group examined?

<DM> he leads you through several rooms of huge stacks overflowing with tomes, scrolls, and other paper and vellum stuff.

<Farlen> What is it exactly that you would like to see?

<Icarius> records on the deceased's houe and family history

<Mialee> We need to see records about Mr. Frickard and his property and family.

<Farlen> Very good. This way.

> Mialee keeps following.

<DM> He leads you back to a stack, and pulls out a huge tome and lays it on the table.

> Mialee looks at it.

<DM> This is a record of deed for Mr. Frickard's house, showing that he owned it free and clear of any legal encumbrance.

> Mialee reads it to see if there are any interesting details.

<DM> No, you can just confirm what the scribe said.

<DM> There are another bunch of scrolls laying about the table. Farlen remarks:

<Farlen> These scrolls are the other materials that the earlier group looked at. They are mostly genealogical records.

> Mialee starts reading them.

> Icarius makes a list of the properties previous owners

<DM> How much time will you spend looking at the records, and what are you looking for?

<Mialee> We're not sure what we're looking for... although...

<Mialee> Is there any information of previous structures on the site, or of any construction?

<Mialee> At that location?

<DM> Farlen indicates that to answer that question would take an experienced scribe several days to uncover.

> Mialee thinks aloud...

> Flint hands him 5 gp.

<DM> Everyone please roll 1d20 under your Wisdom.

<Flint> You look like an experienced scribe.

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d20 -> 19

<Mialee> Bah.

<Mialee> It's possible that the markings on the floor are indicative of someone looking into a past structure's position or orientation in an attempt to locate something on the property.

*** Roll by Flint: 1D20 -> 10

*** Roll by Icarius: 1d20 -> 11

*** >> Flint >> genealogy -- did Callery Frickard have a family?

<Icarius> they had a hammer and screwdriver and the like

<Mialee> Yes.

<DM>Icarius finds that the property passed to Callery from his father.

<Mialee> That's a good point.

<Mialee> I think that's exactly what this is. Something has changed that's making it harder to find something on the property.

<Flint> Who are Callery's heirs?

<Mialee> If we can find out some details about the history of the building or of Callery's father...

<DM> So what are you looking for in the records?

<DM> Be as specific as you can.

<Mialee> I'm starting to think this murder was over family money rather than having anything to do with pens...

<Mialee> So...

<Mialee> We need to know who isn't getting an inheritance they think they might deserve, and where that money might be that someone would break into the house to find it.

<Mialee> I suspect that our fifth burglar may be a relative out to get what he thinks is his.

<Mialee> But what do we need to look for in the records....

<Flint> I'm looking at the genealogy scrolls to get a detaild picture of his family and heirs.

<DM> Ahh... HA!

> Icarius perks up

<DM> After about an hour and a half of poring over the scrolls, you assemble this:

<Mialee> Hm. No heirs, apparently.

<Mialee> DWH?

<DM> Died without Heirs.

<Mialee> Ah.

<Mialee> Hm. So the only suspects we have from this list, really, are Donald Coldwater and Frederick Coldwater.

<DM> And of course, there's a typo there. in the far left column, Namby Grincake and Sara Blundil should have /emigrated/ also.

<Mialee> Can we find out where Donald Coldwater is?

<Mialee> That's someone we need to talk to.

<Farlen> That shouldn't be too hard.

<Mialee> Any help would be appreciated.

<Icarius> the robed scribe was named Silas, no?

<DM>Icarius, yes, the scribe was named Silas

<Mialee> We also need to look into construction changes on the site of the family home. I think that may be quite important.

<DM> Farlen disappears for a few minutes, and then returns.

<Mialee> Yes, although I suspect it's a coincidence in this case...

<DM> The last known address for Donald Coldwater is #1 Colton Close.

<Mialee> Here in Kendall?

<Mialee> Last name?

<Mialee> (I lost my scrollback :)

<DM> Silas Philbin

<Mimfred> Yes, it's in a rather disreputable part of town, over in the Marsh district.

<Mialee> That's interesting too.

<Mialee> Farlen, you've been very helpful. Could we ask you to look into the construction history of the site? Find out what other buildings might have been there in the past, or if there's been any substantial remodeling of the home, and if so, when?

<Farlen> Certainly.

<Mialee> I know it's a lot to ask, but it could be important, and of course we would gladly compensate you for your time.

<Mialee> Thank you.

<Farlen> Absolutely

<Mialee> While he works on that, I think we should pay Mr. Coldwater a visit.

<Mialee> Although it's probably pretty late now.

<Icarius> the later the better

<DM> It's getting on towards 16:00

<Mialee> Mimfred, would it be possible to have the Frickard house guarded?

<Mialee> It sounds odd, but if there's something of value hidden in the house that people are breaking in to steal...

<DM> Yes, Ma'am, we'll have a contingent sent over there.

<Mialee> Thank you, Mimfred.

<Mialee> Shall we visit Mr. Coldwater now, or wait until morning?

<Icarius> how much money was in the strongbox?

<Gadral> It would be about a 30 minute walk to get to the Close

<Mialee> I suspect we should do it tonight lest he disappear.

<DM> 254 silver pieces

<Mialee> That's not much.

<Mialee> Certainly not worth a murder.

<Icarius> not enough to kill a man

<Flint> 254?

<Mialee> If one of you could escort us to the Close while the other arranges for guards for the house, we would surely appreciate it.

<DM> Gadral snorts: "Ye've not spent time in the Tenderloin district, then, eh?

> Mialee chuckles.

<Mialee> Rough area?

<Icarius> we haven't spent much time in any district

<Mialee> 254 sp isn't enough to justify a huge scheme like this.

<Mimfred> You might say that. The Marsh district is probably the poorest area of town, but the Tenderloin is undoubtedly the roughest.

<Mialee> All right, let's go.

<Mimfred> I'll run to the nearest guardhouse and get a contingent over to the residence, while Gadral shows you to Colton Close.

<Mialee> Excellent. Lead on, Gadral.

<DM> Gadral leads you down Pimp Street to the Street of the Gods, and west from there. You marvel as you walk at all the temples and churches which line this street. Virtually every religion known to all the peoples in the kingdom must be represented here.

<DM> Gadral hangs a left at Carter street, and then into the maze of alleys and passages to the southwest.

> Flint takes note of the location of the temple of Moradin.

> Mialee keeps following.

<DM> http://homepage.mac.com/thomascompter/Mercia/Kendall1/images/slum1.gi

<DM> f

<Mialee> Is that the Coldwater place?

<DM> Yeah, the circled house is the one that Gadral leads you to. Colton Close seems to be a septic tank with doors looking into it. The central square traps rubbish and dirty water, making the Close a slum where disease and premature death must be commonplace. This looks like the place where the very dregs of city life live, and only because they have no means of escape.

<Mialee> Do we knock, or just barge on in?

<DM> Gadral points out that Mr. Coldwater has done nothing illegal that we know of

<Mialee> A good point.

> Mialee knocks on the door.

<DM> When you knock on the rotting wood of the door, you hear a mumbled 'Just a moment!' from inside. You also hear dogs barking.

<DM> They sound like BIG dogs.

<DM> A few seconds later, a crossbow bolt rips THROUGH the door, and...

*** Roll by DM: 1d20-5 -> 8 - 5 = 3

<DM> misses you by a mile

<Mialee> He's done something illegal now.

<Mialee> Flint, open that door. :)

> Mialee draws her sword.

> Flint kicks the door down.

<DM> The door splinters, and falls apart

> Mialee surges into the room, ready for a fight.

<DM> Round 1:
Spellcasters, what will you cast?

<DM> Initiative:

*** Roll by DM: 1d6 -> 5

<Flint> ........... Flint charges in.

<Mialee> Melee.

<Icarius> sleep

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d6 -> 5

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d6 -> 3

*** Roll by DM: 1d6 -> 3

*** Roll by DM: 1d6 -> 6

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d6 -> 5

<Mialee> Shucks. :)

<DM> another bolt flies at Mialee

<DM> .20

*** Roll by DM: 1d20 -> 17

> Mialee dodges it like Neo.

<Mialee> [Sheppy wakes up]

<DM>Mialee catches it in the shoulder.

*** Roll by DM: 1d4 -> 4

<Mialee> Ow!

<DM> 4 hp damage.

<Mialee> Does the guy fit the description Janet gave me?

<DM> you see a disaster of a room.

<Mialee> Disaster?

<DM> this is really a dirty hovel.

<Mialee> Ah.

<DM> Trash is spread all over. ducking around a corner into the next room, you see a man (that does NOT look like what Janet described)

<Mialee> Hm.

<DM> with a crossbow.

> Mialee follows the guy, sword ready for action.

<DM> two huge dogs (which in later years would be known as rotweilers) attack

<Mialee> Oh.

<DM> blocking the door.

<DM> doorway.

<Icarius> did my sleep do anything?

<DM> ahh, the sleep.

*** Roll by DM: 2d4 -> 1 + 3 = 4

<DM> The dogs bark like crazy, and then suddenly lie down and start snoring.

<Icarius> that's better

> Mialee chases after the guy with the crossbow.

<Mialee> Someone dispatch those dogs.

> Flint charges after the man.

<DM> Gadral calls out: "try not to kill him if you can!

<Mialee> We'll try... we need him alive.

<DM>Mialee rounds the corner into the next room, and faces yet another crossbow bolt coming in her direction

*** Roll by DM: 1d20 -> 10

<DM> it misses, and the guy whips out a sword and dagger. after dropping the crossbow giving you clear shots at him

<Mialee> Is he in a spot where I could web him?

<DM> you could web the entire room.

> Mialee does so.

<DM> but not until next round

<Flint> Casting

<Mialee> Oh, okay.

<DM>Flint you are charging this round

<Mialee> I presume I used up this round chasing after him?

<Mialee> Or can I take a whack at him? :)

<Flint> Okay.

<DM> Both can attack

<DM>Mialee doesn't have to Flint does

> Mialee attacks.

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d20 -> 6

<Mialee> Oof.

<Mialee> If Flint went in, that'd have ended the Web attempt, so... :)

<Flint> striking for subdual damage.

*** Roll by Flint: 1D20 -> 17

<DM> Well, believe it or not, that hits, since this guy is in his undershirt, and little else.

<DM>Mialee's I mean. Flint's too.

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d8 -> 4

*** Roll by Flint: 1D8 -> 2

<DM> Round 2:
Spellcasters, what will you cast?

<Mialee> Levitate. :)

<Icarius> nothing

<Flint> Hold person

<DM> ok.

<Mialee> Hold person is better than levitate, shucks. :)

<DM> lessee, Mialee was in close combat with this fella, and then stopped and started casting....

*** Roll by DM: 1d2 -> 2

<DM> Initiative:

*** Roll by DM: 1d6 -> 1

*** Roll by Mialee: 1d6 -> 6

<DM> He swings at Mialee, and gawks as his swing swishes under her feet.

<Mialee> Wait, I was trying to levitate HIM. :)

<Mialee> But oh well.

<DM> OH!

<DM> sorry you didn't say that.

*** Roll by DM: 1d20 -> 16

<Mialee> I thought it was obvious. Didn't occur to me I could levitate myself. :)

<Icarius> :)

<DM> I always assume that you are levitating yourself unless you specify otherwise.

<Mialee> OK.

<Mialee> I guess it's Flint's turn. :)

<DM>Flint cast a spell, I'm checking to see if he saved.

<DM> he didn't, and is held fast

<Mialee> Excellent.

<Mialee> Do we have something to bind him with?

> Icarius searches the room for rope or similar

<Mialee> Do we have any on us? :)

<DM> You find some rope with a dog collar attached.

<Mialee> Heh.

> Mialee ties up the prisoner.

<Mialee> Now to find out what his story is.

<Mialee> Flint, feel free to question him while I search this place.

> Icarius searches too

> Mialee starts searching the house.

<DM> You find a very messy place. There are remains of a meal on a table in the outer room, where the dogs are still snoring, BTW,

<Mialee> Nobody killed them?

<DM> a set of leather armor.

<DM> Not that I saw.

<Mialee> Or tied them up?

<Flint> No.

<Mialee> I don't really want to just kill some sleeping dogs.

<Mialee> But something needs to be done...

<DM> Gadral grabs some rope and collars the one and ties it to the furniture. He looks around for some more rope.

<DM> Pinned to the wall an almost identical copy of the family tree recently researched by you.

<DM> On a table in the back room is a rough draft of plans identical to the chalk marks in Callery Frickard's house;

<DM> You also find some builder's chalk, and six of the expensive steel-nibbed pens in a wooden box under the bed.

<Mialee> Ah-ha.

> Mialee collects those items as evidence.

<DM> Gadral finds some leather straps, and improvises another leash for the second dog.

<Mialee> The chalk is the yellow color, right?

<DM> Yes the chalk is the yellow color.

<DM> Meanwhile, the Hold Person wears off, and Coldwater starts screaming:

<Coldwater> Frickard didn't deserve that huge house all to himself! He lived in wasteful luxury while others more deserving were left wallowing in filth! He could have USED that house for something!

<Icarius> case closed :)

<Mialee> For what?

<DM> He rages on about how Frickard deserved what happened to him; how he unjustly lived in comfort in a house he didn't even make use of properly

<Mialee> How should he have used it?

<Icarius> what was the proper way to use it?

<Coldwater> I could have made some MONEY with that house! You know what rents are around here? The landlords are the fattest cats in town! I'd have made some great little tenements with that place.

> Mialee shows him the rough plans and asks what that's all about.

<Mialee> Ugh.

<Coldwater> See? See? I could have fit 6, maybe seven apartments in there!

> Mialee looks around to see if he can find anything that might be the murder weapon.

<DM> Gadral shakes his head.

<Mialee> This is why you killed him? Over apartments?

<DM> well, there are 2 crossbows laying around

<Mialee> True.

<Mialee> I think, Gadral, we've found our killer.

<Mialee> And it certainly does appear to have nothing whatever to do with the pen business.

<Icarius> what about the others?

<Coldwater> He didn't deserve the life he had, the little weasal!

<Mialee> Yes, why did you send that motley crew to the house?

<DM> Coldwater looks dumbfounded.

<Coldwater> What crew?

<Flint> They should be questioned by the regular athorities and then stand trial for their crimes.

<Mialee> It sounds like they may have been there for exactly the reason they said.

<Icarius> then why were they at the library so soon after the murder?

<Mialee> We should ask them that.

<Flint> Coldwater - Why didn't he deserve that life?

<Mialee> Gadral, I think we need to all go to the jail with Mr. Coldwater here, stuff him in a cell, and have another chat with our other guests.

<Icarius> sounds like a plan

<Coldwater> He never left the city to defend his country, the little weasal. He never took any risks, he never put his life on the line like I did!

<Mialee> What risks did you take?

<Coldwater> I was a SOLDIER! I fought in the King's army.

<Coldwater> And this is how I'm repaid. to Wallow in filth to the end of my days.

<Flint> So you killed him?

<Mialee> Well, the King will be taking care of you from now on, I wager.

<Icarius> hire a maid

<DM> You see a rather wild look in his eyes.

<Coldwater> He didn't deserve that house" he mutters. "_I_ Deserved it

<Flint> How did you kill him?

<Coldwater> I put a quarrel straight through his measly heart.

<Flint> Bingo, Confession - Case closed.

<DM> Gadral interjects: We should really get him to the Guardhouse.

<Mialee> Yeah. Let's take him to the jail. Lead on, Gadral.

<Flint> Let's go get a drink.

<Gadral> I'll send someone back for the dogs.

<DM> as he leaves, towing Coldwater along

> Flint follows.

> Mialee follows as well.

<Mialee> We need to talk to the four musketeers.

<Icarius> :)

<DM> Gadral leads the way to the nearest guardhouse, meeting Mimfred along the way.

<Flint> They were not telling us everything, but they are not the murderers.

<Mialee> Yeah. I do want to know the real reason they were there; the tools and the record search can't be a coincidence.

<Mimfred> Whoa! what have we here? Have you caught the scoundrel?

<Mialee> Yes.

<Flint> We have no authority other than to solve the murder.

<Mimfred> Excellent!

<Mialee> That's true, Flint.

<Mialee> We've done what was asked of us. I just like to be thorough.

<Mialee> But no sense taking over the guards' jobs.

<Icarius> she's right.

<Mialee> :)

<Icarius> you're both right

> Mialee outlines the evidence and what Coldwater said for Mimfred.

<Mimfred> Yes, they'll be questioned in the presence of theose who can tell if they're lying or not. You needn't worry on that score.

<Mialee> Excellent.

<Flint> They may have taken the tools assuming the plans were for a prior construction job and not a future one.

<Mialee> Possibly.

<Mialee> A message should be sent to His Majesty to let him know the murder has been solved.

<Mialee> I suppose we should go find the Baron and have him attend to it.

<Mimfred> That shall certainly be done. Can you find your way to your inn, then? I'd rather not leave Gadral by himself with this scoundrel.

<Mialee> Can we? :)

<DM> You certainly can, if you stick to the big streets. :)

<Flint> That would be best, although you might want to rephrase that.

<Mialee> Very well.

> Mialee heads out to return to the inn.

> Flint follows.

<DM> You arrive safely at the inn, and find the Baron and his entourage in the dining room, enjoying a sumptious repast. (It's about 18:00)

<DM> He welcomes you and invites you to join him.

<Flint> That's what I like, an adventure that fits between meal times.

<Baron Stephen> Tell me of your mystery -- any leads?

<Mialee> The mystery has been solved, My Lord.

<Mialee> Flint :)

> Mialee explains what we've discovered.

<Baron Stephen> Astounding! You good folk never cease to amaze me. The King will be well pleased.

<Mialee> He will be more pleased that the murder has nothing to do with the pen nib issue.

<Baron Stephen> Tomorrow we will have another audience with him, and tell him all about it.

<Mialee> That will help ease tensions, I expect.

<Baron Stephen> Yes, I'm sure it might.

> Mialee orders a meal.

<Icarius> yes... though some guilds will still resist the march of progress

<Mialee> That's true.

<DM> You pass the evening in pleasant conversation, and rest easily though the night.

<Mialee> Ahhh... I feel easily rested.

<DM> The next morning, you're gently awakened by the inn staff, who inform you that you have another audience with the King in 1 hour.

> Flint prays for spells in the morning.

<DM> Any changes in spell lists?

<Mialee> Same list, just recharged.

> Mialee tidies up and readies herself for the audience with the King.

<Flint> no changes.

<Icarius> drop 1 of my sleep in favor of teleport

<DM> You mean Transfer by Portal, I assume. Not quite a teleport

<Flint> Woops

> Mialee goes downstairs and waits for the carriage.

<Flint> replace Remove fear with transfer by portal.

> Mialee sits and sips on a beverage while she waits.

<DM> You make your way to the audience with the King as you did yesterday, in the company of the Baron and his staff. This time though, there is no crowd in the throne room. The King thanks you for your service, explaining that under intense interrogation, the 4 people did turn out to be exactly what they claimed.

<King William> They'll have to pay for their crimes, but those crimes are not as serious as they might have been.

<King William> As to Coldwater: Our laws state that the next-of-kin inherits all the deceased person's property unless a will has been filed naming others as beneficiaries.

<King William> If no heir comes forward within one year, the property goes to public auction, with the proceeds going to the city treasury. Apparently Coldwater thought he could make a great deal of money by subdividing the house. Of course, he had no money for the construction, but apparently that never entered his fevered mind.

<Icarius> :)

<DM> The revelation of the murderer should soften the confrontation, I hope, and since the secret of Frickard's pens died with him, I guess the rest is a moot point.

<Mialee> Sad.

<Icarius> disaster averted... for now

<King William> Nevertheless, I am grateful for your help in averting a crisis.

<King William> As a token of my appreciation, and as a retainer for future service, I'd like to present you with this 3000gp.

<Mialee> Majesty, that's not really necessary. It was a privilege to serve.

<DM>Mialee feels the spirit of Pengo Slapping her up side the head.

<Mialee> :)

<DM> After a few more pleasantries, you are dismissed. As you leave the palace, the Baron asks you:

<Baron Stephen> We shall be returning to Byrne now. Will you join us, or would you rather stay in Kendall for a time?

<Mialee> Is there a portal here in Kendall we could make use of to travel back and forth?

<Paulinus> I can leave word at the Academy to allow you to use it once to return to Byrne, but I cannot offer anything beyond that.

<Mialee> I think perhaps we should return to Byrne and our comrades.

<Mialee> Although surely we will wish to return here to explore further.

<Paulinus> As I said before, I'm sure there are others here, but I'm not sure of their whereabouts.

<Mialee> But we can travel by more conventional means if need be. :)

<Flint> Yes.

<DM> You make it back to Byrne without further incident, and by nightfall you arrive back at your cozy little house.

<DM> Congratulations!

<Mialee> Woohoo :)

<DM> In addition to the 3000 gp, I'm adding a bonus of 3000 xp, so your total experience for this is 6058xp

<Mialee> Wow.

<Mialee> I divide that in two and add it to my XP for each class, right?

<DM> Well, that's 6058 for all three of you.

<Mialee> Oh, duh.

<Icarius> nice

<DM> So Mialee gets 1010 per class, as does Flint

<DM>Icarius gets 2019

<DM> plus his bonus of 202 to be 2221 total.

<DM> just enough to push him over to the next level.

<Mialee> No level up for Mialee today. :)

<DM> Not today, I'm afraid.

<DM> Congratulations, Icarius, you're a 5th Level MU. :)

<Mialee> Woohoo :)

Thus is the mystery solved!

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