This is a publicly-viewable record of the story so far.
12 Halli 2000
The Wings of Salvation receive an urgent summons from none other than the Wylmarn Ambassador, Xiroth Duskwatcher.
On arrival, they are made to wait in a separate parlour for a time. Someone notices that they are being observed from the other side of a thin wall.
The Wings meet Duskwatcher in her office, where her head of security Duensel Stormwind is standing by. Duskwatcher has a pest problem in the kitchen, and offers to pay the party to handle it. They accept.
Solace and Tetra notice that the rapier displayed on the wall is an illusion, but initially make no comment. They also notice that Duskwatcher is using a minor illusion to provide makeup and make her look less tired.
In the kitchen, the party discovers that the pests are, in fact, mysteriously invisible dire rats. With the help of some flour and a mending spell, the rats are dispatched and the kitchen none the worse for wear.
No one in the party decides to peek at the cook’s mail, but Verdad leaves a tract behind.
Confronted with the rats, Duskwatcher pays the party a bonus and suggests that she may have more work for them in the future. Tetra insinuates that this was a test, and Duskwatcher does not directly deny it.
14 Halli 2000
The Wings of Salvation are summoned back to Duskwatcher’s residence.
Tetra asks about the sword on display. Duskwatcher claims that it is not missing at all, and that the display sword is merely a ruse to distract thieves.
Duskwatcher states that Kehzer Murnig, a wealthy gnome, has obtained a book that was stolen from the Duskwatcher Inner Archives. She also claims that Murnig will soon be requesting the assistance of the Wings of Salvation in handling a pest problem. She asks the Wings to discreetly retrieve the book and destroy all copies, and provides a description. She states that the book is written in Ancient, and is from around the time of the Apocalypse. It is rare, valuable, and potentially dangerous in the wrong hands.
She can’t retrieve the book herself because Murnig is a close friend of Mayor Bunane, and the disruption could badly impact ongoing trade negotiations with Rogent.
She offers a fairly large payment. The Wings accept the commission, though the contract is purely verbal.
15 Halli 2000
Tolles, Lazuli, and Solace scope out Murnig’s horrifically tacky mansion. While checking out the exits, Tolles overhears a commotion inside. The group observes a messenger departing from the mansion post-haste.
16 Halli 2000
The Wings receive a message from Murnig in the morning, requesting their assistance in handling a pest in his basement library. He complains that it smelled musty, and that he ran away from something that tried to eat him.
The library is clearly an older construction than the gnome-sized upper floors. The Wings realize that the library foundations likely predate the Great War fifty years ago, and that such libraries typically would have an adjoining study. There is no study.
A brief examination of the library leads to an encounter with an invisible monster of some kind.
Lazuli tears the creature apart. After its death, the Wings identify it as a phantom fungus — an ambulatory, predatory mushroom that is invisible until death.
Cog’s spell to locate the valuable book fails. Tolles locates a hidden door to the missing study — which is lined in back with lead, likely blocking Cog’s spell. Something in the study smells… rotten. The clerics sense the presence of undead.
The study has four alcoves, with locked doors. Lazuli accidentally disarms a javelin trap (into herself) on entering the room. Two of the alcoves are filled with vargouille, monstrous undead flying heads, and one headless body. One is empty. One contains Drusilia Decker, a seriously ill half-elven Moil investigator.
Solace and Verdad easily hold the vargouille at bay with their holy presence, while the others vanquish them. The brain-in-a-jar also in the room is more formidable, mind-controlling Lazuli into injuring Tolles until Solace manages to put her sword through it.
Decker mentions that Murnig was under investigation for tax evasion on several bribes that he took.
In the aftermath, Tolles helps Decker leave unnoticed (so that she can be prevented from becoming a vargouille herself). Tetra takes possession of the book (see its contents here) and the three copies. Lazuli carries out the headless body — Decker’s partner — in the hope that he might be resurrectable. Murnig gapes at the scene, panicking, while his single gnome guard gives him the side-eye.
The Wings of Salvation take Decker and the corpse to the nearest police station, where Decker receives clerical treatment and the adventuring party is debriefed. The phantom fungus is incinerated.
Later, the Wings of Salvation receive a message from Seebo Beren, Master (Absent-Minded) Alchemist, who is trying to find his missing invisble rats and phantom fungus.
Solace and Laz visit the Temple of the Balance with a copy of the Record of the Last Eclipse. Father Tosscobble presumably makes a copy out of sight.
17 Halli 2000
Tetra runs an errand in the early morning, which goes awry.
The party meets with Ambassador Duskwatcher as agreed, and receives 7500 GP for their trouble.
Drusilia Decker visits, looking a lot healthier, and mentions that she owes Tolles a favor. Her partner, Zurrao Oathfire, has been raised at Murnig’s expense. Decker expresses interest in getting to know Lazuli better. Tolles suggests that the three of them go out drinking some time.
The Moil Gazette reports that Mayor Bella Bunane has definitely stated that any friendship she had with Murnig is “over.” Dimble Knackle, CEO of the Forge and Mill Engineering Company, has stated that they are “re-evaluating” their support of Bunane in the upcoming elections, depending on the depth of Murnig’s crimes and Bunane’s associations with him.
18 Halli 2000
Ambassador Duskwatcher sends a message, requesting a meeting with the party for a new commission on 22 Halli.
19 Halli 2000
The Moil Gazette reports that trade negotiations between Xiroth Duskwatcher, and Amaryllis Greenbottle (Rogental Ambassador) are moving forward. The question of how exports of magical items, tomes, and artifacts from Wylmar (particularly via smuggling) has been resolved in Wylmar’s favor, with much heavier penalties for anyone caught doing so.
Tetra and Solace, working together, successfully translate the first part of the Record (available here). They then destroy all the other copies that the party has on hand.
20 Halli 2000
Mayor Bella Bunane sends the party a message, requesting a meeting.
Various party members go shopping.
21 Halli 2000
The Wings visit Mayor Bunane. She offers to pay then 5000 GP in exchange for evidence that she was not involved in Murnig’s plot. The party persuades her to increase her payment to 6000 GP.
The party reads her list of official visitors, but don’t find anything too unexpected.
The Wings contact Thelma Murnig, Kehzer Murnig’s cousin. She’s in the textiles business, and profoundly unhelpful. She states that she hasn’t been talking to Murnig for years, and makes a mention of “ladies at parties” before slamming her door in the Wings’ faces.
The Chief of Police meets with the party as well. He shares some information about Murnig’s known associates, which includes numerous creditors and some… lady gnome escorts. Murnig seems to have been short on real friends. Murnig had invested in both Greenbottle Transport and Forge and Mill Engineering.
At the Low Market, numerous rumors and variations of the Murnig story are flying around everywhere. There is no particular word about the Record. However, Tolles, Tetra, and Verdad hear about another book, “Artifacts of Mind and Magic,” supposedly written by an early Dwarven artificer.
They manage to contact Ellivalen Greenmeadow, a book-dealer that Murnig purchased curios from. While she insists that she doesn’t deal in artifacts like the Record, buying a couple of trinkets convinced her to mention that the “Artifacts” text was purchased by a human disguised as a warforged. She also informs the trio that she had heard that some “warforged,” perhaps the same person, was purchasing a number of expensive crafting supplies, and asked for the bulky ones to be dropped off near the Ghost Yards.
22 Halli 2000
Ambassador Duskwatcher charges the party with determining who was involved with Murnig in the theft of the Record. She’s interested in anyone who may have helped steal or transport the book, or have been asked to help translate it. She doesn’t want the Rogental police involved, as that spreads information about the Record. She’s worried that the Record resurfaced because copies had already been made and stored elsewhere. She is, unsurprisingly, suspicious of the Order of the Open Mind.
Duskwatcher pays the party a retainer of 2000 GP to start, with a promise of 15 000 GP for the results of their investigation.
Tetra, Laz, Cog, and Solace pay a visit to Moil University. They meet with Torrenna Jarret, the Dean of the Languages and Linguistics Department, and an expert on the Ancient language. She immediately understands a cypher prepared by Tetra based on the Record, but says it is not familiar. Her student also figures it out, but says much the same. Dean Jarret claims that there are few other people in the city with the knowledge to puzzle out this kind of Ancient cypher, except some priests of the Balance with whom they collaborate. [Note: not sure which day this happened on, please correct if it was a different date]
After being friendly with the police station secretary, the party gets access to Murnig. They interrogate him under the influence of a Zone of Truth. He refuses to admit who he was working with, apparently out of fear, but does mention that he “helped facilitate transport” of the Record across the border of Wylmar. He was supposed to be paid — partly in kind, with the original of the Record.
Late that afternoon, Tolles and Cog visit the Order of the Open Mind at their building in the Warforged District. They meet Antinua Werd, the de-facto head of the local branch of the order, necropolitan, necromancer, and High Priestess of Altenn. She is intrigued by the Committee on Improved Programming, and sees a possible opportunity to work together. She is concerned by the Murnig incident, and worries about its effect on popular opinion regarding undead. She claims to have no particular knowledge about the incident, though she states that the undead creatures used are not readily controllable onces, and she wouldn’t allow a member to keep them in the Order’s building.
Tolles and Cog spend a little while at the Minority Sentients Support Group, where Cog invites the sole warforged attendee (Piston) to join the CIP.
After Cog leaves, Tolles does some sneaking around. He overhears the grumpy human who let them in cast a sending spell: “Just get him out of the way, dammit!”
Meanwhile, Solace and Tetra pay a visit to one of the guards who keeps an eye on one entrance to the Ghost Yards (more to keep bad things out of the city than to keep regular people out). He’s happy to chatter, and mentions a group of halflings who came in with a big dog, and a lich who supposedly lives deep in the Ghost Yards.
Tolles, Laz, and Decker go out for a drink or two. Decker has to leave early when she receives an urgent work-related message.
Meanwhile, the party gets everyone back together to plan. Someone realizes that the grumpy human’s message may have been about Murnig. Solace and Tolles rush to the police station, but they’re too late: Murnig is already dead. According to the police chief, he was stabbed twice — once in the eye — and the perpetrator wasn’t seen, though there are traces of illusion magic at the site. He shared the information in the hope of getting some help from the Wings’ investigation.
23 Halli 2000
The Wings of Salvation gear up for a visit to the Ghost Yards. Laz is called away by some urgent business on the visiting Sophronous.
Passing the shanty-town outer perimiter, they eventually reach the utterly uninhabited parts of the Ghost Yards. Tolles is attacked by a possessed set of clothes, which Solace handily destroys.
The group turns north, to investigate the possibility of connections to smugglers. They eventually reach a road into a blocked-off party of the yards, which is guarded by a very large dog and a trio of stubborn halflings. They refuse to move, stating that they are in debt and even if they perish, they need the money. They are eventually persuaded to leave their post by a payment of 2000 GP.
Inside the rubble-surrounded area, the party discovers a cleared courtyard. One of the buildings is occupied — by a swarm of zombie rats and a quell, a ghost with a particular hatred of all deities and their servants. Solace and Verdad are cut off from their divine support, but working with Tolles and a bunch of magic missiles the group manages to take them out. Inside, they find a shipping crate (mostly empty, but with some raw materials and empty alchemical containers), a work table with a few diagrams on it, and a metal box that is about five feet square and three feet tall.
They also find a skulking cyst hiding behind the metal box, which splatters against Tetra’s mage armor before being turned and skewered.
The box is steel, with a single slot in the top and arcane, Illumian-style runes engraved on two and a half of its side panels. The diagrams on the table match the incomplete inscription on one side. Tetra notes that the runes indicate some magic from the school of abjuration.
After a circuitous barrel chase, Laz rejoins the group and helps them haul the box surreptitiously out of the Ghost Yards. A closet in the company’s headquarters is lined with lead, and Laz pops open the box. It’s filled with arcane engineering and some kind of artifact coin — “shadow” and “illumination” are written on opposite sides in Ancient.
Koren Ederat, a young (half-vampire) necromancer-in-training, visits the Company ostensibly because he’s interested in the adventuring career path, but also because he’s worried that Elric Smid, a tempermental wizard at the Order of the Open Mind, is up to no good.
Later that evening, the group visits Father Tosscobble at the Temple of the Balance. He mentioned that Tharivol Galanodel, one of the younger clerics but an expert in cyphers and translations, has been working on translating “a particular text.” He confirms that the coin is holy, but does not recognize it — it wasn’t stolen from the Temple.
When the Company goes to meet Galanodel, it all goes wrong. Gimbal, a warforged known to Cog as having been a member of the CIP, attacks Galanodel — fatally wounding him. The company responds in turn, badly damaging Gimbal before the warforged manages to teleport a short distance away. The group finds evidence that Gimbal didn’t make it far, or alone. In Galanodel’s alcove, the party also finds part of the translation of the Record (see here).
Father Tosscobble tries and fails to raise Galanodel. The incident is reported to the police, who are now also looking for Gimbal.
Tolles (with the rest of the group as backup), sneaks in to Smid’s office, and relieves him of evidence associating Smid with Murnig, as well as diagrams showing the design of the mysterious box.
The group informs the police about what they have discovered regarding Elric Smid. The police chief mentions an intention to hold a raid on the Order of the Open Mind.
The Company reports to Bella Bunane, including the text of the letter that Smid wrote to Murnig. She is satisfied, and pays the party the agreed-upon sum of 6000 GP.
Cog warns the warforged community about Gimbal.
Upon examining the documents Tolles retrieved and studying the mysterious box, Cog and Tetra conclude that the device is currently far beyond their current ability to duplicate or complete. However, the abjuration-based effect is clearly a powerful one, drawing on the magic of the Coin, and seems similar to a combination of an atonement spell and an intensely powerful curse-breaking effect.
The Wings meet with Ambassador Duskwatcher. The party largely tells the truth, but omits the Coin they discovered. She is noticeably worried by the description of the box they found. She pays 15 000 GP, plus a bonus of 1000 GP for turning over the box they found in the Ghost Yards.
The party goes shopping.
Decker pays the party a visit. She informs them about a trio of (murdered) smugglers who were picked up by the police, and are about to be extradited to Wylmar. She also warns them to be careful about working with Duskwatcher, and that she never gave them this investigative report.
The party visits the station, and interrogates Jahvesh Wintershade (the smuggler who was raised) and speaks with the corpses of his dead companions. Wintershade claims that they used to do some “direct sourcing” work for Murnig. They hadn’t worked with him for a while, because he hadn’t been paying his bills. They wouldn’t have taken their last job from him, about four months ago, and just before the new year (probably during Makur 1999) if they hadn’t been paid up front. And paid very well. The package was large, like an oversized coffin, and heavy. Wintershade didn’t see who killed him, and follows a policy of not looking in the packages.
Interrogating Wintershade’s companions suggests that they were killed by a stealthy warforged or someone else covered in metal. The only clear clue about the package was that it contained, “Wood and steel, leather and paper and magic.”
The Wings receive an explosive letter. Sister Solace was seriously injured. She thinks that the handwriting may match that from the diagrams for the box, implying that the writer may have been Elrin Smid.
An incident occurs on the Moil-Unzedhol rail line operated by the Forge and Mill, which Tolles hears a rumor about.
Tetra arranges for a meeting with Mardnab Turen, a Forge and Mill representative, on 31 Halli.
Tetra, Tolles, Laz, and Verdad fly around.
A kobold named Ixen pays Tetra a visit.
Laz kills a few rats for pay, in order to start paying back some debts.
Laz kills more rats.
Tolles finds little further information about the Forge and Mill incident.
Cog pays a visit to the Warforged District.
Tetra, Laz, and Tolles start a campaign of flying for street urchins.
An anonymous admirer leaves Laz a message and a pair of roses, and a suggestion that the party should get better locks.
Tetra and Tolles meet with Mardnab Turen, the representative of the Forge and Mill. She’s suspicious of their credentials, and they don’t get very far.
The Wings send a message to Mayor Bunane asking if they can help with the Forge and Mill “incident” investigation.
Mayor Bunane replies, stating that the F&M issues are out of her jurisdiction, but she’s be happy to give the F&M their reference.
The Wings send a message to the Forge and Mill offering their services.
Tolles manages to convince an Airshipyards police station officer to part with some information about the incident. It occured on the line between Moil and Unzedhol. It was a theft of some kind, though the officer didn’t know what it was. The F&M has spent some effort (and money) to keep it quiet.
The party buys new locks for their place — and gives the landlady a key.
Tetra starts casting alarm on the house as a matter of habit.
The Sophronous is back in town. Wren and Gannet are not; Jaeger mentions that they are on a side-trip in Mynythe, but are expecting to rejoin the ship. Laz gets distracted chit-chatting with Jaeger.
The party goes grave-digging. Sister Solace’s speak with dead uncovers that the Steel Coin adventuring party was paid by a human wizard (enough not to ask questions) to capture or kill (preferably capture) the Wylmarn Ambassador. Said wizard had a sharp nose and was always irritated.
The Forge and Mill Engineering Company returns the Wings’ message, and requests a meeting on 43 Halli, to which the party agrees.
Tolles visits the train station, and asks around. Nothing seems out of order.
Tetra visits the temples of each of the “extreme” gods — Ur-Tel (LG), Turmak (LE), Dervit (CG), and Urna-Dolna (CE), and obtains a copy of their holy texts. (Only Ur-Tel and Turmak actually have codified holy texsts.)
Ilde, a dwarf and a friend of Cog’s, shows up on the Wings’ doorstep, distraught. Her partner, Peris, a warforged, has disappeared. No one can find any trace of him.
Peris has a necklace that Ilde made and gave him, which she was able to describe to the party in the event that they try a locate object spell. The party pays the police the relevant bribe to look into his disappearance.
Inquiring around discovers that another warforged, named Bell, disappeared in the previous week.
Decker and Laz go out on a date, which goes reasonably well. Decker mentions that she was raised by a single mother.
More carefully inquiries by Cog uncover than more than just Peris and Bell are missing. Warforged have been disappearing for at least the last four months, and possibly longer. It’s difficult to get more details, because disconnected warforged, with few friends, appear more likely to be among the missing.
Peris is the first member of the CIP to disappear suddenly in this way.
Cog searches for Brom, the leader of the Daylight Construct. Cog fails to find her — she may not be in Moil at the present time.
Decker and Laz go on a second date.
Decker leaves a rose and a note for Laz.
Tetra successfully translates the remaining section of the Record (see here for the full text), and shares the information with the party.
Another thing happens.
The party meets with Agda of Clan Jolderdruthe, the Chief of Security for Forge and Mill.
She explains that a shipment of valuable alchemical reagents and magical devices was stolen. It was part of a larger cargo-only train. The train was damaged or sabotaged, and the entire crew was knocked unconscious. Only the most valuable cars were ransacked. Although the reagents and materials were in the last two cars (for safety, in case something went up in flames), the cars were not cut off from the train.
The most valuable part was a large quantity of enchanted manure (provided by Seebo Beren) for some experimental mushroom farms. The previous theft was on the Rogent side of the border, on the Moil-Unzedhol line.
Agda offers 20k GP for joining security on the next train, plus 20k for preventing another theft or finding who was being the original one, the price of second-class tickets, and “reasonable” expenses. With persuasion, she throws in a couple of cloaks of resistance.
She notes that she does suspect that F&M has a leak that allows the thieves to target that particular train.
The next train is combined passenger and cargo. The head of security for that train is a human named Alan Belgarde. The party discussed the detailed security with him, which includes his more heavily armed guards and glyph of warding cast on the cars.
The party agrees, and accepts the 20k GP advance.
Tetra sneaks out to visit the Temple of Turmak in the early AM. Tolles catches her at it, and joins her. The sermon focused on when deception was acceptable, and when it betrayed a lack of direct power, and how to work within the system to advance one’s own agenda.
Tetra reveals that she has obtained a prophecy written by the followers of Turmak (see here).
The party does some more shopping.
The party discovers that a few items being sold in the Low Market that could have been stolen from the missing shipment. However, it’s ambiguous whether these were actually from that theft. There aren’t enough to account for nearly the full shipment, and none of the manure is being sold at all.
Tetra pays Ixen a visit.
Cog holds the CIP meeting. Cog confirms that no one from the CIP is missing, and people are warned to be careful and look after their less-well-connected friends.
The F&M train leaves from Moil for Unzedhol, with the Wings of Salvation on board. Tetra regularly casts alarm on the controlled freight cars.
Verdad bunks with Cog.
Tolles observes a sketchy halfling who’s reading a newspaper. The halfling is not very friendly.
The train has a stop in Embil.
The party realizes that maybe a recently stolen airship (reported in the Moil Gazette) could be behind the theft. Laz starts watching the skies regularly.
Tolles checks out the halfling’s compartment, and discovers that he is Beau Leagallow, a businessperson working for Forge and Mill.
Laz plays cards with a couple of the train guards.
Verdad gets escorted back to his compartment for excessive proselytizing.
Tolles has a brief chat with Leagallow (including introductions with his real first name).
At 2 AM, Tetra’s alarm is activated. The party catches Beau Leagallow listening in on the connection to the first of the controlled cars, apparently hoping to overheard the password.
Tolles confiscates Leagallow’s lockpicks, and Alan Belgard (head of train security) wakes up to figure out what’s going on. Leagallow states that there is “morally reprehensible” cargo on board, and refuses to say more aloud. He seems to assume that the party knows what’s going on.
The train stops in Vermeadow.
After resting, the party gets information from Leagallow via mind-reading and telepathic magic while pretending to interrogate him in front of the train guards. He says that F&M is shipping warforged back to Mynythe, against their will.
The party manages to overhear the password for getting past the glyphs of warding while Laz is playing cards with the guards.
Tolles steals a map of the Mynythe/Rogent border around the train line.
After further interrogation, the party learns that Leagallow is working with Brom, the leader of the Daylight Construct. The train guards know nothing of this.
A locate object spell to find Peris’s pendant fails.
The train stops in Penolhelm.
The train engine suddenly stops working, and someone throws the emergency brakes.
The Wings of Salvation meet Brom, who is personally leading the Daylight Construct’s band in an airship raid on the train. She is being assisted by Wren and Gannet, a pair of raptoran friends of Laz. Wren would obviously prefer that nobody know he was there. The warforged are also being aided by Nyeldav Rustveil, an Illumian Wylmarn wizard, who was blatant enough about his name and relations that it’s almost as if he wants to be disowned.
The Wings manage to make it look like they’re helping fight off the Daylight Construct while being as ineffectual as possible. During the fight, they confirm that the cargo of . Brom informs the party of the location of a cache of old Mynythe dragonmarks (their currency) which she offers in thanks — and in hope of future assistance.
Brom indicates displeasure when she learns that Gimbol — who supplied the airship — had killed people to get it.
She then knocks out the rest of the party to ensure that their cover story remains intact.