"So, you see Sergeant, there isn't any commonalities in the two cases," Dahlia explained. "They're two different people." She watched him closely, not only for unexpected violence, which she anticipated, but also for signs of acceptance or refusal in his expression.
10:38, Today: Black Dahlia rolled 19 using 4d6 with rolls of 4,5,5,5. IQ check
Post by vladtaltos on Jan 23, 2015 10:29:13 GMT -5
As the cold reality of your logic seeps into the sergeant’s brain, he realizes what you say is the truth. It’s clearly written in the turmoil on his face.
"Okay, so The Halo Killer is still out there." He adds, with a sigh, "looking for more victims. Perhaps our presence in The Maze has prevented further murders."
He’s silent for a few moments. Then: "Oh, something happened while you were gone. Remember the magistrate’s bodyguard, the one that pushed Reaper off the balcony?" You do, of course. Reaper was an Azzuri, a colleague of yours. He met an untimely end at the magistrate’s house that fateful night.
"Well, he spilled the beans, finally. He was tipped off Reaper would be there, and he waited for him. Knew the whole plan. Some ale and ego made for loose talk late one night at a tavern. One of my men overheard him."
It’s hard to tell if it’s a knowing smirk, or a twisted look of concern, on his face now. "Where could he have gotten that information?" It’s a rhetorical question, of course. "You’ve got a problem in your guild. A big problem."
Last Edit: Jan 25, 2015 11:12:08 GMT -5 by vladtaltos
"Yes, I had that feeling myself when I heard the news of Reaper’s demise." Dahlia really didn’t want to have a discussion with the Sergeant about her feelings on the matter. There wasn’t enough evidence to point a finger at any member of the Azzuri. Until that time came, she would keep her thoughts to herself.
"Unless there’s anything else, Marcelli, I have to be going." She would leave if the conversation was over, and proceed to Andreas’s apartment.
Post by vladtaltos on Jan 27, 2015 11:37:02 GMT -5
"All right," Marcelli says, "I suppose there wasn’t anything done purposely to insult us. But know this: there’re guards that haven’t taken kindly to the stories in the rags. Men with swords and foul tempers don’t like being called incompetent buffoons, Maria."
You leave the sergeant and head to Andreas’s apartment, where you learn he isn’t at home, but at a small book and scroll shop down the block. You find him there, next to one of the aisles, gazing at a massive book that rests on a reading pedestal. Engrossed in what he’s reading, he doesn’t notice you.
Post by vladtaltos on Jan 29, 2015 10:56:39 GMT -5
Andreas jumps, and his reading spectacles jump with him. When he turns to you, they sit crooked on his face---the right arm sits over his right ear as usual, but the left arm dangles down at his jawline. "Maria! Don’t do that. I really don’t like that, you know."
After a few deep breaths he gathers himself, closes the book and turns his attention to you. You describe the effects of the prototype spell as he adjusts the glasses on his face. He motions toward a couple of deep, plush chairs along one wall in the shop and it's there you sit.
"It allowed you to see through the eyes of your dog? Very peculiar." He mumbles, thinking over the spell’s components. "Maybe a little less bat wing juice, and more powder from a griffin’s egg? No, yes, I don’t know, maybe."
After much internal debate, babbling, and head scratching, he says, "I’ll have to go back to my workshop and do more experiments but it sounds as though the essence of the spell allowed you to do what it was supposed to do. Still, if I’m to ace my final exam..." He lets this thought fend for itself.
"Andreas, I need to know something," Dahlia says, cutting to the chase. "What’s happened since I’ve been gone? What’s the word now on The Halo Killer, especially?" While she was interested in the magic Andreas had given her, she was more interested right now in current events.
"Also," she handed him the rune-covered rock, "something to further whet your magical appetite. Please investigate this and discover what else it does besides provide a focus. I’m curious if it may have something to do with the side effects of the potion you gave me."
"There haven’t been any murders since you left, or at least nothing reported...Hey, you’re not The Halo Killer, are you?” He laughs slightly, in the restrained manner of an academician telling a joke. "As far as I know, nothing else has happened."
He then says something that supports Marcelli’s treatment of you. "On your return, and the hoopla that surrounded its aftermath, one writer speculated that The Halo Killer had been apprehended, that that was the man you caught. Of course, the stories the children told didn’t support this idea. Their methods were different."
You hand Andreas the rune-covered rock and ask him to investigate its properties. He’s visibly elated at the request. "Absolutely, I’ll look into it." Responding to your speculation, he says, "I’d be surprised if it’s a side-effect of the potion, but one never knows. It may take me a couple of weeks to complete your inquiry, I do have my studies and everything. But, if you’re patient, I can find out."
Undoubtedly, you’ll be given another assignment by Azzuri brass before Andreas can complete your request.
The thought of having to wait a fortnight or longer didn’t appeal to Dahlia, but she felt she had to know, without a doubt, what other properties were within the rock. "That’s fine, Andreas. Go ahead and look into it. The wait is fine."
There were still some things troubling her. There was an informant in the Azzuri, tipping off marks; the new mayor was vowing to bring an end to her guild; and of course, there was The Halo Killer, a serial killer causing additional strife. Lots of problems. Why did she ever come back to all of this?
There was nothing else to do but take it all step by step. She’d keep alert and deal with whatever came her way.
Andreas gives the rock one long look before dropping it into a pocket of his baggy trousers. "Don’t worry, Maria. I’ll find out what it does." He smiles. "And I won’t even charge you."
Your business with Andreas concluded, you look around the book and scroll shop. There are stacks of books weighing-down shelves, and cabinets under lock and key filled with scrolls. Perhaps a stroll around the shop will interest you, or you can head back to the Temple of Mercury, to see if Beludron, the High Priest, has any information on the Man-in-Gray.
"Thanks, Andreas," she said, standing. She gave her friend a hug goodbye, and left the shop. Normally, she would be fascinated to walk around the store and see what they had to offer, but impatience came upon her suddenly and overwhelmingly. It wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened. She couldn’t explain it, and didn’t particularly like it. The need to move, she felt it deeply, profoundly. Keep moving. Maybe it was a side-effect of her profession.
She walked back to the Temple of Mercury. She’d look for Beludron or Anton, to see if her investment was well placed.
Anton leads you deep into the maze of corridors under the Temple of Mercury. There, he introduces you to Beludron, who’s seated inside an office overcrowded with books and scrolls. The small chamber reeks of incense.
Anton leaves, and Beludron begins. "Why don’t you tell be something of your experience with this Man-in-Gray."
As you relate the events of your adventure, you notice Beludron glance at an open book on his desk periodically, while stroking his salt-and-pepper goatee.
When you finish: "Your encounter with this Man-in-Gray is similar to some old myths chronicled in the lands north of here, particularly those in Eire and Albion. His name is Penzwyth. In the religious traditions indigenous to those lands he’s regarded as a saint, and appears when someone’s been unjustly killed under the auspices of the law. He’s purported to be a righter of such wrongs."
The High Priest shrugs. "That’s what I’ve been able to find out. I will also note that those who serve him, by clearing the name of the wrongly convicted who’ve been put to death, receive something that’s called the Grace of Penzwyth." He pauses: "There’s no mention as to what that may be."
<Do note on your character sheet that you now have The Grace of Penzwyth.>
<And unless you’d like to follow-up with additional questions, this will conclude this chapter.>
Dahlia listened with interest and curiosity to Beludron’s research. She was the recipient of a saint’s boon? There were first times for everything. Curious that it was a saint of a foreign land, and that this saint was, seemingly, unknown in Florence. What did that say, if anything, about her own people’s deities?
Well, she was no theologian. She’d leave that for others to mull over. For now, she’d get some rest, and look after the strange creature she had somehow adopted. Dog. She really didn’t like dogs, but she was beginning to appreciate Dog’s unique abilities.
She left Beludron, Anton, and the Temple of Mercury. In the downtime between now and her next assignment, she’d listen closely to her associates, should she have contact with them. She’d been betrayed by a mole, and Reaper had been killed due to the information leaked by that same mole. She didn’t think she was any closer to learning the identity of that person now than she was at the start of her last assignment. That bothered her.
You don’t have too much contact with your associates in the Azzuri, but in your weekly meets with Scarpetti, you learn one of your colleagues, Fang, is laid-up in bed with multiple broken bones. All indications point to him being the victim of a set-up, but the details are still sketchy.
Too, The Halo Killer has struck again. This time it wasn’t in the Maze, but two blocks away. The victim, again, was a prostitute.
In the time between your return from the Ciminian Forest and your next assignment, a pesky reporter from one of the weekly news scrolls has made his presence known to you, wanting a lengthy interview with you that not only details your heroic efforts at saving the lives of the abducted children by the crazed killer you brought down, but also goes into your personal life. So far, you’ve eluded him and brushed him off successfully, but he seems very persistent.
* * * *
This concludes Chapter 2, wherein Black Dahlia uncovered the real culprit behind the missing and murdered children, and cleared the name, posthumously, of Paolo Ruminoff, the man that was wrongly accused, convicted, and executed in those slayings.
This earned her some renown in Florence, but also made her some enemies within law enforcement. Still, questions remain regarding the identity of the mole that’s jeopardizing Azzuri operations, and the killing spree of the serial murderer dubbed The Halo Killer.
You have earned three experience points for winning combats and one karma point for discovering the real identity of the killer behind the missing and murdered children. This gives you 11 experience points. You can update your character sheet in time for the next chapter, which will begin in 7-10 days. The items you picked up at Cristiano’s can be used in the next chapter.