Flocktime, 1st ten-day
After a long and rather unexciting trip home from Angbadur, the party finally smiled as the walls of their home city came into view. In the twilight of dusk, they entered through Northgate. While passing by Tomes, Diego saw a Nightwatch patrol beginning their shifts and asked them to let Lt. Morcom know they were back in town.
Though the streets were thinning out, many recognized the heroes and pointed or whispered to one another. A few of the shiftier characters retreated into alleys and doorways as they passed through the city. Leaving the walled city through Westgate, they soon saw home.
The first part of the next day was spent reporting what they had learned to the various leaders in Hawkmoon. Diego made a trip to Hawknight Citadel and met with Alidar Farrian, reporting on the party’s encounter with Vordekai and information from Daval about the existence of Argent in Hjalmar. Brost met with Amatheon Pentraith and informed the high priest of all that had transpired. Elias met with Loremaster Theodosia where he also informed her of the recent events, and Torra did the same with Guthrim Haraldson.
Torra received news that the shaman of Nollinswood, Duana, had been spending less and less time in Hawkmoon, and that Guthrim was concerned that she would eventually leave the circle without a shaman. Elias was told that someone resembling him had been seen out carousing in the seedier parts of Coppers.
They spent the rest of day unwinding and rejoining city life. Brost spent much of the afternoon at Mathymna’s Bathhouse, while Diego chose to spend the early part of his evening at the House of the Red Lanterns. Elias sought out the lizardman Souf to have Souf keep an eye out for someone pretending to be him in Coppers before realizing that Souf seemed to fear being out in Coppers (or anywhere) at night.
That night the party ended up at the Greenbriar Inn as they do most nights in town. Sometime during mid-night, the Captain of the Nightwatchmen, Alesta Garmonde entered the Greenbriar with Lieutenant Brandec, and demanded that the party follow her. Once in the night air, somewhat confused and befuddled, they began questioning the Captain.
There had been a murder, of Daywatch Captain Laertus at the Gates market’s business office. Laertus had been found at the center of a pentagram in what looked like a ritual killing. However, Garmonde was not so sure. She explains that while she trusts Brandec not all of her men “have their first loyalty to the city”. While she is the equal of at least two men in combat, the evidence at a crime scene is quite a bit less hardy. The party is to wait outside the offices with Brandec and allow no one through that Brandec doesn’t allow, even other nightwatchmen.
A short time later, Loremaster Theodosia shows up at the office, led by Lieutenant Morcom. After a quick greeting and a roll of the eyes by Morcom, Theodosia is allowed inside. Later Captain Garmonde and the Loremaster finally exit the building. She directs the small contingent of nightwatchmen who had been gathering to clean up the area.
Walking back to the Westgate, Garmonde and Theodosia let everyone know that they felt this was a Veiled Society job, obviously Laertus had gotten too close to something and needed to be taken out.
The next morning, Ondath presented the party with an invitation to tour Shortstone Wines. Taking the strange gnome up on his offer, the party arrived at Shortstones in the early afternoon. After a minute or two needed for Fosdike to unlatch and unlock the door, they were allowed inside. The relatively tall gnome seemed shaken and nervous as he showed the party around the main building. Once the tour was completed he explained the reason for the invitation. House Vorloi offered him 10,000 gold for the winery – “why, the building alone is worth more than that”, and when he refused all the trouble started happening. The Vorlois blacklisted him with the local vinters, and he began getting nightly visitors from “unreputable masked men”. Not that he’d ever imply that one of the great houses of Hawkmoon had anything to do with unreputable masked men, mind you. Captain Laertus was investigating the threats, and now he’s dead.
In short, Fosdike would like to sell the entire winery to the party for the same price the Vorloi’s were willing to pay, 10,000 gold. Since they are well known for dealing with unreputable masked men, and they are, after all, local heroes. Fosdike explains that it would be his last kick in the shins to the people who made this last month hell for him. It would give him great satisfaction and enough money to start over again in Ilminaris.
Though Diego, Brost Torra and Elias seemed interested in the offer, it was Ondath who spoke first once they got back home. With a new glint in his eye, he laid out the case that the apartment was too small for heroes of their stature. He reminded the party of the large library, the secret laboratory and teleportation chamber in the winery, and the fact that he would have quarters within the building, and not have to run up from Groveside whenever he found out they were in town.
He also explained that Master Zadormere had a small orchard, and that he himself had been responsible for overseeing the Master’s holdings. In that time, he had made contacts with the Bank of Hawkmoon and could speak to his friend Nordin about a loan to finance the purchase. Agreeing to let Ondath pursue this, the four of them turned their attention to other matters.