Continuing with our Dusk City Outlaws adventure. See Part 1.
Night 1: Legwork Scene
A letter appears under Violet’s door. Janos Zakharin, an exile from Vladov, is consulting for Lady Malindra as an “expert” on reconstruction of the Silver Chamber. He had a reputation as a tyrant back in the Vladov Empire before its fall and he is hated as a traitor by the Vladov community and the Circle in Dunhaven. Pyotr has found some evidence that Zakharin may have had the panels stored in Dunhaven for a good while. Zakharin is an older man with long white hair coming to a widow’s peak and a haughty manner even though he is
Pandora gathers the gossip among high society, learns the names of a few notable guests, including Lysa of Rotwood, a priest of the Silver Judge, who will be blessing the new exhibit; and Manfred Willoughby, an art historian who will be certifying the authenticity of the panels, and get one hour of private viewing before everyone else on the day of the unveiling.
Emilia checks out the entertainers that have been hired for Lady Malindra’s party, trying to establish who can be bribed into covering for the crew. Pandora and Violet come along for backup. Emilia gets a good sense of who is going to be helpful, including a few Vladov refugees; she finds four that are going to be particularly useful, and four that are going to be difficult. They are all dressed in different uniforms matching the theme of the location where they are posted.
Violet cases Janos Zhakharin’s warehouse in unclaimed territory on the waterfront. Emilia helps her by playing drunk to distract the guards. Violet sneaks in and finds a rather empty warehouse but she does find ledger books in a small office, showing evidence that a lot of Vladov artefacts, including the panels, were held here while Zakharin gradually sold them off. Zakharin is in the process of shutting down his operation here.
Day 2: Planning Scene
The crew meets at Pandora’s cozy apartment. Pandora is interested in creating a decoy plot that will be leaked to the Van Der Greaves, possibly framing Lysa of Rotwood as wanting to publicly accuse Lady Malindra. The crew agrees that they will need to investigate Lysa of Rotwood and her motivations.
Violet wants to confront Janos Zakharin and apply pressure (blackmail or threat) to get information from him.
Pandora creates a detailed fake identity as a priest of the Silver Judge, which will make her less conspicuous among slums and commoner districts. Rotwood itself is a slum.
Emilia has been to the Van Der Greaves estate before so she remembers the layout and some of the security measures. There should be two groups of five guards milling about the estate, and six more guarding the Silver Chamber. There is also an alchemical mist veiling the entrance to the Silver Chamber and causing anyone crossing it to become sluggish for five hours unless they get the antidote, which Lady Malindra keeps in a locked drawer in her study.
Night 2: Legwork Scene
Pandora visits Lysa of Rotwood as Mother Teresa, a small parish priest relating her flock’s concerns with Lady Malindra’s acquisition of the Silver Chamber. They meet in Rotwood at Lysa’s church after her service. Lysa reacts with anger, she seems to have faced the question several times before,
Violet acquires a sharp Vladov knife, then goes to case Zakharin’s manor, with Emilia as lookout outside, busking. There are five guards on duty about the estate, which Emilia distracts with a troupe of actors staging an impromptu play — but a passing City Watch sergeant does notice that Emilia is purposely distracting the estate guards.
Violet successfully sneaks in and rifles through Zakharin’s papers in his study. She finds that he has been getting threats from the Circle, no longer veiled but pretty open, and he’s preparing to leave the city. He doesn’t seem to have any connection with the Church of the Silver Judge. Violet leaves the knife and some blood on Zakharin’s desk.
She also finds some information about the strong adhesive that was used to secure the panels. The panels were brought in in two bulky boxes, nothing particular about them. The panels are coated with natural silver that was allowed to get a patina that is considered important by the Church. Lady Malindra has hired an alchemist, Naomi Lee, to strip the tarnish and seal the shiny silver under a permanent lacquer, the very next day.
Emilia knows Naomi Lee and tries to convince her to skip town for a few days rather than execute the commission, but in vain; this would be too hard on the alchemist’s career. But Lee does supply just the right compound to dissolve the adhesive, and agrees to mix up some coating that will disguise the panels.
To be continued…