The small group consisting of Yanika, Zaela and Helix moved further through the market as they talked. Eventually reaching one of the taverns, “the snoring dragon” and sitting down at one of the tables outside. The walk had made them all hungry and thirsty, and this was one of their favorite places to grab a quick bite in the morning. As they waited for the waitress to take their order, Yanika continued her story. “So after the meeting with the giants, we went to check on Kayne, as he had never shown up that morning. We found him still sleeping at the inn he stays at, and found a package that had been delivered for him, which contained a leather jacket made of human skin”. Yanika shivered as she thought back to the gruesome discovery, which had been sent to Kayne as a present from Brand. “This led to a further discussion on how to deal with Brand. Kayne and me agreed that killing him is a good idea, but Spade wants to investigate him further, as he thinks something is off with him. In the end we decided to deal with him later as we still have plenty other things to do.”. The waitress, a young pretty blond girl, came to the table to take their order. Yanika smiled softly at her as she ordered a mug of beer and some cheese and bread, then waited to continue with her story as Helix flirted with the girl.
“Aitlas made us a dose of Mirrorsheen to see if we could learn something from a vision, which succeeded this time around. We saw a huge cave, covered in darkness, with a dark figure beating the wall with a pickaxe in one hand, and holding a bloodied dagger in the other. This suggests that the two things, the earthquakes and the disappearances have something to do with one another.” She leaned back in her seat, as she looked at her two friends. “After that we went to the building site to have a talk with Dagmar, the buildmaster. He is going to give us a record of all the people who have disappeared and told us Marin was the last to disappear. He also informed us of the bad sulfur smell in lab B, which made Majid and Zebular run off immediately to investigate. Dagmar then informed us that there is something wrong with the locks of the member’s entrance. They are special magical locks, but they are often unlocked in the morning, even though he locks them at night.” The girl brought their food, and while Helix expressed his thanks very thoroughly, in an almost lyrical way, Yanika grabbed a piece of bread and stuffed it in her mouth. “The rest of us went to check the locks first, which seemed to be in perfect working condition, so they might have been opened with magic. So next we checked the main hall and found some rose petals swept up in the rubble. Roses are rare to find here and it’s not something you usually find at building sites, but having no idea what to make of it, we moved on to the backstage area where Marin disappeared. We didn’t find much though, it seems like he disappeared out of the blue, leaving his gear behind. We did find a spot on the floor that had been affected by the acid we use to clean and disinfect, but no idea if that has anything to do with it.”. She took a bite of the cheese and bread, not wanting her food to go to waste, or rather, be stolen by Helix as she talked. She swallowed it down with a sip from her beer before continuing.
“Not finding any other clues there we went to check on lab B, Majid and Zebulor. A quick magical check of lab B revealed a faint necromantic aura, which might suggest the presence of a ghost, which would explain the smell of sulfur. It took some effort in trying to persuade or intimidate the ghost into appearing, but most efforts failed, though Both Kayne’s and Spade’s efforts did convince us that there was a ghost at work. In the end I managed to persuade it to appear and talk to us. I turned out not to be Nathan, which I had thought, but some beggar called Brom who had happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time 15 years ago. He couldn’t tell us much except for sometimes hearing faint music playing and a dark figure appearing at night. We decided to arrange a funeral for him, so maybe his spirit can find some rest.”. Zaela smiled and nodded, she could definitely appreciate that gesture of kindness and decency. Few beggars had family or anyone taking care of them, and too many just ended up dead in the streets, alone and forgotten.
“The last place we went to check out was the pantry, due to a mentioned vermin problem. We talked to the guy in charge there and he says it must be rats because there is no sign of burglary, even though bottles of wine had been disappearing. He had found some rose petals too, which is weird. A quick check revealed that the lock had been tampered with, so someone must be stealing food and drinks. It seems someone is using a master key to get access to the building, and the pantry.”. She picked up the last of her bread and cheese and wolfed it down quickly before finishing her beer. Her face showed some disappointment at the empty plate in front of her, for some reason she felt more hungry than usual. A pleading look at Helix got him laughing. “I will get us some more food and drinks, gives me a chance to flirt with the girl a bit more.”. Yanika smiled in thanks as he got up to find the waitress. Once he had placed their new order and had returned to the table, she resumed her story. “So with the investigation done here we decided to split up and do some other groundwork. First thing was checking the dwarven text we had finally managed to translate. It talks about the dwarves building a temple somewhere in the mountains, under charge of a dwarf named Faedorch, who betrayed the rest of the dwarves in the end. I assume this has something to do with the earthquakes and disappearances, but without more clues, we left this for now.”.
“Majid, Kayne and Ace went to take a rest, not having slept much, while Aitlas and Zebulor went to arrange a funeral for Brom. In the meanwhile Spade and I went to check Marid’s home for clues. While I don’t fully trust Spade due to the entire Brand business, I do like working with him, he’s smart and professional. Talking to Marid’s wife taught us a few things, like the fact that not just people have been disappearing, but also tools, and that he felt watched the day before he disappeared. Marid also seemed to be popular with women, which also might have something to do with it. Spade and me agreed we need to go through the list of disappearances and double check the people and their professions.” Yanika paused a moment as the second round of food and drinks was brought to their table. She smiled softly at the waitress and winked at Helix before picking up some bread and cheese and munching it down. “After the talk with Marid’s wife, we went back to Ravan Dox to ask him some more questions, such as why the exhibition is closed off. He told us a few interesting things. The exhibition is closed off because it is a delicate piece of machinery for which he flew in a specialised crew, who apparently never showed up, even though their airship -the Gearhead- did. He’s also not happy that he was forced to quickly finish lab A so that Estar could start his work. When we left again, some fire giant mercenary named Karstak approached us in the streets to warn us to stop the investigations into the disappearances, which gave Spade and me the new theory that someone in the guild, maybe even Estar, might have something to do with it. When Ace and Zebulor showed up again, we convinced them to go and pick pocket Karstak to see if we could find some more information. It didn’t go all too well as Zebular was caught, but an intervention by Aitlas and some quick thinking by Ace saved the day. All they got though was a silver amulet of elven design. The only elf we know is Ravan Dox’ daughter, Marissa. Maybe she is involved somehow?” Yanika brushed her fingers through her hair as she looked at her two companions. They had all finished their new round of food and dropped some coins on the table as they got up to head back home.