Pauline Greyvine’s treatment has been sufficiently expensive that the Church of Morrow has need of additional funds. Prelate Daltry agreed to Sister Helga’s request to hold a fundraiser for the church and Sister Helga arranged for an evening of dance, gambling, and drink to entertain the followers of Morrow and any others with coin.
The fundraiser was a success, although the Prelate would not have been pleased by some of the things going on in the back rooms. Some Kalipurians were thrown out at gunpoint for cheating, but the incident did not disrupt the festivities overmuch. Apu made the acquaintance of a delightful lady by the name of Bellinda, and spent most of the evening in her company.
The next morning, Apu returned to the new guildhall to discover Natalia, Opifera, and Sister Helga arguing about if Opifera should go to an utterly disreputable tavern known as ‘The Bowels of the Earth’ in hopes of finding Ano and Toad, who have been missing for two days. This was a completely horrible idea- even at the best of times, the Bowels is a dangerous place. During New Moons, the extreme low tides mean every sailor in town is ashore and looking for entertainment- or, having run out of coin, are looking to gain additional funds or entertainment via the most direct means on hand. It is a time when it is very unwise for attractive women or people of wealth to go near the docks alone.
Such measures were unnecessary. Apu performed a minor ritual that sufficed to determine the current location of Toad, and the Troubleshooters (formerly of Bell Row) set off to retrieve him. He turned out to be recuperating from a severe beating and near-drowning in the company of an trollkin clan the Troubleshooters had assisted some months earlier. He and Ano had been investigating the disappearance of many dead bodies in Hospice and the Chatterstones, but had not thought to get in touch with Noatam and ask what was going on. Toad does not seem to have realized that Noatam is a Necromancer, despite the cadaverous canine who accompanies him. I don’t think Toad had realized the dog is dead- maybe he thought it had an epic case of mange and scabies. Toad was healed of his injuries and left to sleep off the exhaustion. (see toad log)
After a brief rest, Apu employed the same minor ritual to locate Ano, who turned out to be mooching meals at a soup kitchen. He put off explanations of what he and Toad had been doing for later. (see The Fall in Ano’s Reflections)
As we departed the soup kitchen, an assassin tried to shoot Natalia from a rooftop, and discovered that shooting at a friend of a Wizard is only slightly less foolish than shooting at the Wizard. Natalia took the attempt on her life personally, immediately running down the alley in pursuit. Opifera and Sister Helga ran after Natalia, while Ano and Apu followed. Natalia found fresh blood on a ladder, and spotted a man with a slung rifle fleeing down the alley. She gave chase, with Sister Helga and Opifera right behind her. Not being as fleet of foot or as skilled with arms as my companions, Apu gave chase at a more deliberate pace, trying to figure out why someone would try to assassinate Natalia. Of the Bell Road Troubleshooters, she is far from the one with the most enemies.
After a moment, Apu realized that conjuring a wolf and commanding it to track by scent, while employing a Trace spell to keep track of the position of the canine, might allow him to follow the assassin while remaining out of sight. He succeeded in the conjuration and the trace, and decided to conjure two more wolves in case the assassin shot the first one.
Apu eventually caught up with Sister Helga and Opifera, who had lost sight of Natalia, and then Natalia, who had lost sight of the assassin. The wolves led the Troubleshooters the docks, where the assassin had embarked on one of the few gondolas still in operation during the new moons. When he saw us, he aimed for a moment, and then remembered what had happened the last time he shot at us, and then tried to conceal himself as much as he could. He did not hide well enough, and Natalia put her shot into a very tender bit of his anatomy.
After dismissing the wolves, Apu drew upon his powerstones to grant Natalia and Opifera the ability to walk upon air. They walked to the gondola, bound the assassin, and instructed the gondolier (who was quite terrified) to return the boat to the dock, which he did. A brief search of the assassin revealed a very nice rifle, some Urgoloan coin, and a wanted poster with a reasonable likeness of Natalia. He seems to have been some kind of bounty hunter.
The assassin is currently in Suspended Animation, stored in the basement.