Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Necromancer's Legacy - part 43

Azela, Kael and Zantana start to lay out their plans for the future, but they are disturbed by some commotion from downstairs. Zantana head to investigate and discovers a group of city guards asking for two persons matching the desciptions of Azela and Kael. She confronts the guards in the stairs leading to the rooms and they ask her to step aside as they have come to search the Place for two suspected murderers. Playing out her role as a noblewoman, Zantana admits that the descriptions matches her two servants but that they certainly aren't involved in any such matters. While the guards clearly do not want to make enemies among the nobility they nevertheless insist that Zantana and her servants accompany them to the court house to clear the matter.

As the time is late much of the city is quiet. The guards take them to a side entrance to the court house and introduce them to the constablos - the local judge. Zantana is quick to complain about the late hour and the lack of subtlety in the proceedings, accusations which the judge seems unprepared for and makes a rather poor excuse by blaming it on the guards. They learn that Fusus - the merchant who tried to swindle them of their goods - has been found dead in his home, and witnesses has placed two persons matching Azela and Kaels descriptions at the scene. The judge wants them to remain in the city until it can be arranged for a diviner to discern their innocense, but having a mage examine their minds is perhaps the last thing any of the three want at the moment. Zantana thus convinces the judge that they have urgent business in Miramasa and, as not to delay them further, she offers to visit the court there as soon as they arrive. The judge eventually agrees and after some paperwork is cleared the three leave, but they do not head for the inn but rather decide to immediately try to find who is behind the slander.

Kael ventures alone back to the house of Fusus to try to look for clues there, while Zantana and Azela head back to the court house to see if the judge has any files on the source of the accusations. The two manage to silently enter the building and finds the judge sleeping in his chambers next to his office. Going through his papers, Zantana finds the descriptions rather formal - details likely dictated and memorized rather than seen in person. However, there is no reference as to who made them and given the only person likely to know is sleeping in the next room they decide to act fast. They sneak into the bed chambers and place a dagger at the throat of the sleeping man. Removing heir veil, the judge finds himself looking into an undead face and with his life as stake he readily reveals that the case is a personal favor to one Barbuca, a powerful crime lord within the city. After stating that he better leave the business be the two women head silently into the night.

Meanwhile, Kael is making his way to Fusus' house, but realize he is being followed. An attempt to ambush his stalker fails and he ends up chasing the person through the streets. With his undead fortitue and tactical cunning Kael eventually catch the man who quickly realize fighting is futile. A small bribe from Kael ease his worries and he helpfully explains he's been hired by a man called Barbuca and agrees to show Kael to his residence. Satisfied Kael release the man and after a quick but fruitless search of Fusus' home he returns towards the inn.

Zantana suggests the docks would be a good place to look for more information about Barbuca, but she is badly dressed for such an excusion and thus Azela go there alone. However, a lone woman in the middle of the night can attract the wrong attention and three large men, presumably sailors, take an interest in her. She tries to put them to good use by offering them money for taking her to Barbuca, to which they agree. Not very surprisingly, they prove to be less than trustworthy and attempt to overpower her as they walk through a silent alley. Her undead condition make her insusceptible to damage so despite suffering a knife in her tigh she easily outruns her opponents and decides returning to the inn is her best option.

Meeting up, the undead discuss their findings and conclude that to be able to work unhindered in the city they need to change their disguises. They intend to leave the city in the morning to switch clothes somewhere along the road and then return again and purchase a secluded warehouse to use as a base of operations. At sunrise they set their plan in motion and after successfully acquiring a suitable location next to the city walls they set out to learn more about the city, its defences, wizard house and, not least, Barbuca and the underworld.

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