Zeitgeist

Digging for Lies e8
Episode Eight

A drunken Taura has been invited by Tiffany One to Cala’s House to play Ring of Fire. Cala interrogates her about her relationship with Christian and when she notices the Statue of Baphomet that Cala has been keeping under a cloth on the sideboard, is unceremoniously thrown out. The party breaks up fairly quickly after that.

Gathering for a train trip to the jungle where Doctor Zambria’s ill-fated expedition met their end, Walker almost misses the train due to an encounter with an Otyugh – a sewer-dwelling creature which lives on refuse and faeces. Walker doesn’t smell so good, despite spending most of the night in the shower. Christian uses a spell to change the smell to that of garlic. An improvement. Just.

In the jungle, the team find a ziggurat stuffed with traps reset by ancient mummies, almost certainly from the Ancient Goblin Empire. They also find the area where the three artefacts came from, and the use of Goblin Technology throughout the complex causes Walker to recall more of his previous life, and Sorvad to recall that his father once had a Goblin Safe which he told Sorvad contained his birthright… yet after his father died, when opened the safe proved to be empty.

As well as the source of the artefacts, the ziggurat contained a breach to another dimension, filled with creatures. When disturbed, the creatures attacked. Despite using his Badger Gun to defend himself, Christian was pulled through for a moment into the other dimension, where he saw thousands of the creatures. Although the creatures were destroyed and Christian returned safely, the attack has left him with a vulnerability to psychic damage.

On the opposite side of the temple, the team found a room containing maps representing the seals. And using the map, they found the location of a third seal.

It’s location? Directly beneath the main RHC watchhouse.

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Digging for Lies e7
Episode 7

- Back to duty
- Another Day, Another Corpse
- The School of Magic
- Defending the Amulet

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Digging for Lies e6
Episode Six

- Talking to Corpses
- The Tall Tales of Rock Ruckus
- Of Dams and Digs
- The Summoning of Sharks
- “It’s another Portal. Like in Mayor MacBannin’s House”

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Digging for Lies e5
Episode 5

- Identical Handwriting and Plagiarism
- Dr Zambia and the Blue-eyed Monster
- “We’re just too different. It would never work.”
- A Conversation with Senior Constable Evergreen
- The Body in the Basement
- The Dead Past

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Digging for Lies e4
Episode Four

- Behind the Scenes at the Museum
- Doctor Zambia and The Lost Expedition
- Sword / Staff / Amulet
- What Sorvad Found in McBannin Manor

With Sorvad and Cala going through the documents found in Mcbanin Manor late into the night. Tiffany 1 returns home with Not-Christian and Taura. All of which are highly intoxicated with alcohol. Amongst the disruption Cala notices that Taura is refering to Not-Christian as Talfryn.

- A Daylight Excursion to Cauldron Hill

Before Heading to Cauldron Hill with the enchanted staff, Christian heads into the RHC headquaters early to speak with Snr Constable Evergreen. Christian confides in Evergreen and offers information on his team and particularly Snr Constable Walker in return for information and maybe a place on his squad or any secret activities he may have going. Evergreen stresses the importance of keeping the RHC at the top of the food chain and to keep things between them a secret. They agree to meet the following morning with a clearer definition of what the other wants from this new found alliance.

After the team meet at Cauldron hill, they make their way to the top to the point at which the earlier found tracks disappeared and before they knew it nasty horrible creatures descended upon the all and battle ensued.

- Beyond the Bleak Gate?

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Digging for Lies e3
Episode Three

Sorvad Heron didn’t sleep well. Opening up his stash of fey pepper, he smoked until dawn.

Walker didn’t sleep well either. The dreams were worse. He stayed up most of the night, covered by thin sheets as the sounds of Bosum Strand made their way through the thin walls of his apartment.

The next day, Sorvad came to the RHC Watch House and asked Brian Cutpennis to pass a message to any of the team that he would be in Mary’s Cafe at 9:30am, and could they meet him there?

Cutpennis passed the message on to Walker, who seemed to not pay any attention at all. Calaqueia Ravenhorn, later, was more responsive, while Christian didn’t show up for work at all.

Cala met Sorvad at the café, where he passed on his plan – if he were suspended from the RHC, he could be their man on the inside in criminal society. Cala remained noncommital. “Did Walker get the message?” asked Sorvad. Cala replied that he had. “Then where is he?”

Walker, on his own, had returned to the Thinking Man’s Tavern, a bar where he had once talked about the philosophy of qualia in order to obtain information. This time he wanted to talk about the philosophy of justice.

Buying whisky for one of the local philosophers and giving him a platinum piece – six months salary for the man – Walker asked him: If you knew someone had made a terrible, terrible mistake, had attacked people, had lost part of his soul to the Bleak Gate and was becoming less and less human – and you had the power to stop that – what would you do?

The philosopher replied that he’d have a talk with the individual concerned, try and stop them moving further down the path towards darkness.

“But what if you knew it was too late?” asked Walker. “What if this person had already fallen too far?”

The philosopher avowed that he’d cut off contact with said person, and get as far away from them as they could.

“And if that wasn’t possible? If it was someone close?”

The philosopher had reached the end of his knowledge. Walker gifted him the rest of the bottle as he left.

Visiting the Evidence Room back at the station, Walker took something from the locker and concealed it in his coat; then returned to the Thinking Man’s Tavern, where he engaged Thames Grimsley and two Dockers in a high-stakes poker game. A game which he deliberately lost – but not before checking with Thames that the person he was losing four hundred odd gold pieces to was a good man.

As they played, Walker discussed the morality of justice with Thames – who was the worst man in the city? With some prompting, Thames admitted that Lorcan Kell would probably be described as such by the majority of the populace – but that he himself held things like Health and Safety as being more powerful than that. What would happen, asked Walker, if the worst man in the city was eliminated tomorrow? Someone would take their place, said Thames.

But not someone as bad, with such power for evil, Walker said.

With the last of his money gone, Walker left the Tavern.

Almost ten minutes later, Cala and Sorvad entered the Tavern to find it almost empty. The high-stakes poker tables were empty, and all the Dockers gone, as were Walker and Thames. The barman pointed them out the door.

Walker strode through Lorcan Kell’s territory to the theatre where they had met before, ignoring the armed thugs on every roof. Soon he became aware that someone was following him, and grabbed them. It was a Docker. Thames had told him to follow Walker.

Soon, Walker was in front of Kell’s Theatre. Thames Grimley was already there, together with a dozen Dockers. He again tried to talk Walker out of entering the theatre. “It’ll be suicide. And we need you.”

“I’m nothing without my team. Cala. Christian. Sorvad. Gladness. They’re the people who really make a difference. I’m just a name people put to the police.”

Unable to talk Walker out of entering the theatre, Thames accompanied him within.

Into the middle of the tense standoff outside between Dockers and Kell’s Men, Cala and Sorvad arrived, quickly pushing their way through into the theatre. Just in time to see Walker raising his gun towards Kell, having breakfast on the stage.

Cala threw herself at Walker, grappling him to the ground and knocking Ignis from his hand. Landing on him, she felt something break and the dark viscous substance in the flask he had retrieved from the Evidence room bled out upon his coat as it broke.

Witch Oil.

While Sorvad calmed the crowd down, Walker raved and ranted. He wanted to die, he’d had enough at last, he wasn’t making anything any better.

Several of Kell’s thugs slipped in blows as Cala dragged him from the room to a place of safety. After they left, Thames put the four platinum pieces that Walker had lost onto Kell’s desk. “As a peace-offering. To forget about this.”

In a warehouse a safe distance away, Cala, cleaned off the Witch Oil from Walker’s coat – not enough remained to store his soul now – and he started to calm down and tell his story.

Walker was one of the Reincarnate. Outside the walls of Alais Primos four hundred years ago, he found himself in battle against the god Srasama herself. As he hit her, he looked into her eyes for a moment before they were drawn apart in the battle. Soon afterwards, she died. He doesn’t know if it was his blow that killed a god, or simply one of many.

Whichever it was, since then Walker has led a dozen or more lives.

He doesn’t remember much from each life – flashes, a moment here, a few minutes there. Sometimes enough to help him out in a pinch. And each time he re-incarnates he knows a little less. He’s not even sure who he is any more – all that he knows is that each time he passes through the Bleak Gate he leaves a little bit more of himself behind.

Knowing that Witch Oil would trap his soul before it could reach the Bleak Gate, Walker wanted the cycle of life and death to stop one last time, doing what little good he could on his way to his final death.

One more thing slipped out. A memory from his most recent life. Walker knew Jann Heron.

Sorvad’s murdered father.

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Digging For Lies e2
Episode Two

Tracing the staff which disgorged monsters back to the Munitions Store which sold it, the Special Crimes Unit were attacked by the shopowner, together with a set of mechanical guns which unfolded themselves from their crates.

The owner, Kaja Stewart, was taken into custody, and interrogated by Constable Sorvad Heron, and Junior Constable Christian. During the interrogation, Sorvad was once more unable to control himself – a consequence of leaving part of his soul in the Bleak Gate. Sorvad struck the prisoner with the staff no less than five times in an attempt to get her to reveal whatever information she held. Christian witnessed the entire incident.

Kaja went to see Senior Constable Evergreen, and was in his office for some time.

Walker, returning, found that Kaja had spoken with Evergreen. Suspecting some collusion between them, he went up and confronted Evergreen in his office.

“Why did Kaja Stewart need to see you?” he asked.

Evergreen responded by quoting the rules and regulations back at him. Every prisoner was entitled to see a Senior Constable if they were assaulted while in custody. Few took this offer up, but the rules were there.

“If I’d wanted to quote rules and regulations, I would have bought Ms Ravenhorn.” Silence for a while. Walker moved to fill it. “I was a street Constable first. I know that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, things happen that shouldn’t.”

“So was I.”

“Street Constables share. Level with me.”

Evergreen quoted regulations again. Walker was getting nothing. “You’re not the man I thought you were,” he said to Evergreen, and turned to leave.

As Walker placed his hand on the door to open it, Evergreen said: “You were.”

Walker paused there for a moment. Then left the office.

Walker stalked down to the squad room. The team were all there. He looked at each of them in turn, and said as he did so: “I need to know each of you had nothing to do with harming Ms Kaja Stewart.”

“No,” said Cala emphatically. “I wasn’t aware of anything.”

Christian, too, denied it for a moment. “No.” Then: “Yes. Sorvad hurt her.”

“It was an accident,” said Sorvad. The room was quiet as Christian said “You don’t accidentally hurt someone five times in the course of a minute.”

Sorvad handed over the staff to Walker. Dried blood was on the end of it.

All eyes were on Sorvad now. “I’ll take this for the Evidence Locker. I need you to take a weeke’s leave, Mr Heron.”

“Can I explain…”

“No.”

Silence.

“Now, Mr Heron.”

Sorvad gathered his things and left the office. Cala followed.

“Take the rest of the night off, Mr Christian.”

Christian left, leaving Walker alone in the office with his thoughts.

Cala and Sorvad went to the Cloudwood, to try and find answers to the thing that had possession of a piece of Sorvad’s soul from the Skyseer Heward Sechim – but they arrived to find a camp in the throes of grief. Sechim was dead.

But this wasn’t necessarily the end of him being able to advise them. Using a Spirit Medium, Cala and Sorvad questioned Sechim. They were able to ask him three questions. What had happened to Sorvad’s soul? Could it be retrieved? And who was behind it all?

Sechim responded that Sorvad’s soul had moved on from the Bleak Gate and was now being held in the hands of others – the Obscurati, a previously unknown player in the game.

In The Red Melancholy, Christian got talking with a young Minotaur with a red ribbon between her horns – Taura, dressed for her date with Cala. With Sorvad and Cala away at the Cloudwood, Taura was all alone at the Red Melancholy. Christian proceeded to console the stood-up Minotaur and a game of Ring of Fire ensued. What happened afterwards remains to be seen.

Back at the station, Walker emerged from the Evidence Room, closing and locking the door behind him. He walked past Senior Constable Evergreen’s office – pausing for a moment outside the door, the lamps still lit within – then continued down the corridor to the bathrooms.

Inside the bathroom, Walker looked at himself in the mirror for a long time.

Then he took the staff from his coat, and began to wash off the dried blood.

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The Dying Skyseer e9
Episode 9: Internal Affairs

+ TRANSCRIPT + CHRISTIAN + EYES ONLY +

With Mcbannin Manor swarming with Internal Affairs officers and many other important figures, including Margaret Saxby. Sorvad Heron saw a ghost-like form of himself beckoning him toward a shed in the garden of the manor. After a few attempts of entering what the team believe to be a way into the Bleak Gate they are forced to retire to the manor.

Each constable is told that they will be investigated by Internal Affairs regarding the shooting of Maurice Foster.

Cala, Walker, and Christian went for a drink with Stover Delft at The Red Melancholy, during which Delft revealed more details about the mysterious death of Christians father, Talfryn Christian Both Delft and Christian’s father were investigating peculiar cases of murder and smuggling. They were going to meet an informant in The Nettles and as plans were about to be revealed about something being built they were ambushed by mimics. Delft left Christian’s father behind and escaped. Delft agreed to set up a meeting with Telver, the head of security at Mcbannin manor for 3pm the next day.

After the interrogation the team meet with Stover Delft in The Red Melancholy. Delft told the team that no one will lose their badge – but that the task force only were to take the next day off, after which they would be assigned to different cases. The squad decided they still had 33 hours to Crack the case. Delft also explains that Telver is in an abandoned warehouse in Bosum Strand. Christian and Sorvad went to the warehouse to check it out, while Walker and Cala, anxious for answers, kidnapped the manager of the warehouse where they found the Golem and portal to The Bleak Gate.

At the warehouse Christan and Sorvad meet [[Sokna Rell] who reveals herself to be a friend of one of Talfryn’s old contacts. Both prisoners were being interrogated forcefully. Using the knowledge they gained over the course of the interrogation and what they knew already the squad pieced together the following assumptions:

The Danorans lacked a power source for there doomsday weapon, and were investigating the applications of Witch Oil, which can be immensely powerful but hard to acquire. They manage to somehow produce it in large quantities and now only need to charge it with souls of the dead. A deal is made with Malach Industries to put quantities of witch oil in factories with high fatality rates – and to increase the production of the oil Malach Industries began to deliberately cause deaths.

This entire operation was being overseen by the necrotic being who attacked the party in the Nettles and by the use of a Sun Rod on Cauldron Hill.

The team believe this being to be Christopher Saax, an ex RHC agent, but don’t know much else about him. After the oil is charged with souls, Saax moves the oil through the Bleak Gate to the portal in Mcbannin Manor on Cauldron Hill where no one can detect them.

The party snuck back in to Mcbannin Manor and worked out how to go through the portal, using medallions retrieved from the house. Within the Bleak Gate itself, they discovered a facility dedicated to the production and refinement of Witch Oil, guarded by men and Altered Jaguars. They also found Mayor Mcbannin, talking to a man they believe to be Saax. Saax tells the party that he will come quietly and that he can’t stop them. Mcbannin orders him to kill them but Saax refuses having already been bested by them in the Nettles.

Saax tried to convince the group that he was working for the good of the people – and also offered Sorvad a chance to learn more about the Bleak Gate and its power. Sorvad refused the offer and Saax activated one of the machines in the building and escaped, but not before telling Walker “It was very good to see you again.”

The machine began to overload, which would cause an explosion large enough to breach the tanks and flood Parity Lake with Witch Oil. The party managed to prevent this and arrest Mayor Mcbannin.

With plenty of new evidence of Mcbannin’s guilt the party are not split up, but are told that someone else would take over the case of catching Sokna Rell.

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Episode 8: Closing the Case

After not a lot of sleep the team gathered at the watch-house.

After interviewing both scientists that were arrested at the Malach Industries warehouse, the team discovered that the captured men were far more scared of the consequences from their bosses than anything the RHC could charge them with. Ultimately a dead end. The team did find what is believed to be the corpse of Julian LeBrix in the morgue after discovering he had missed his parole appointment. The body had been skinned and dumped in Parity lake.

Walker and Christian went to where LeBrix had been staying and found it had been untouched for some time, leading them to believe that he had never returned home at all after being released.

During this time, whilst the team were going about their business Sorvad awoke… After a very disturbed and broken sleep… Looking at his time piece realising that he was very late for work he stood… He could hardly keep his eyes open. His mind was rocketing around being pulled from light to dark… He needed to get to work. He looked down at his small paper wrap of Fey Pepper. Was this the only answer ‘For now, until I find the answer, this will have to do’ He dabbed and licked his thumb.

On his was to the office he bumped into Cala. Sorvad than reminded Cala of her promise to attend the spirit medium with him. They made haste to the Hotel where Nevard was staying as advised by Neverd himself. In room 107 the spirit medium new at once that Sorvad was under the influence of something. This Sorvad admitted much to Calas surprise. The session was not as rewarding as Sorvad had hoped. There were too many spirits for the medium to make contact. The spirits were also desperate for knowledgo of something they called Witch Oil, information which both Sorvad and Cala regarded as classified. Sorvad and Cala then took the Spirit Medium back to the HQ and then provide an escort back to the Cloudwood.

After Cala attended to some personal business, visiting her sister and Battlemistress Betha Splinterhoof the team went to question Malach Snr. After a lot of stonewalling, the team finally got to speak with him. Surrounded by lawyers, the team were unable to pin anything on him, and Malach Snr. left the team with a promise to investigate the portal to the Bleak Gate in his warehouses. But he knows that he’s being watched by them…

The team then decided to do the letter drop suggested by one of the Dragonborn siblings captured during the arson attempt. They discovered that there was a connection to one of the guards at Cauldron Hill.

The team visited Mayor Macbannin’s mansion, where they found the man engaged in a game of high-stakes poker. Walker and Christian joined in the game, while Cala and Sorvad went to investigate the Mayor.

It seems Walker has an affinity for gambling, and he lent 8PP to Christian to be either returned in its entirety within a week, or to be exchanged for a favour of Walker’s choosing within a year and a day…

Luck was with Christian, and he returned the money a few hands later.

Walker continued to play poker, while Christian went off to investigate the mansion. Coshing one of the staff over the head in the belief that it was only a matter of time before conflict was inevitable, Christian hid the unconscious body in the shrubbery.

Soon, it was discovered that two members of staff were missing, and Christian left with another member of staff to search the outside of the premises, who he also attacked in an attempt to knock unconscious. This second attempt failed, and picking up a small statue the man attacked Christian with it, drawing blood.

Christian came running back into the main hall where everybody was congregated screaming “He’s gone mad! He’s trying to kill me.” Seeing his fellow constable under attack, Walker demonstrated his expertise with a firearm by putting a bullet through the attackers brain.

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The Dying Skyseer e7
Episode 7

The sixth day of summer has arrived, and all of the SCU have arrived back at the Watch House after a good night’s sleep. All except for Sorvad Heron, who hardly sleep at all , spending most of the night awake and staring at his recent purchase of Fey Pepper.

Calaqueia Ravenhorn asked Walker to sign a piece of paper, which he did without looking at it, as usual.

At the Watch House the guys started to talk about the previous days finds. Christian gave the book containing the Detect Planar Energy ritual to Sorvad, who told everyone that it was a way of detecting portals to other planes of existence – including that of the Bleak Gate.

Using the ritual, the party found their way to a Malach Industries Warehouse, with a portal to the BLeak Gate open inside.

Investigating via an access ladder to the roof, they were able to see an open portal within a caged area inside the warehouse, and a large mechanical Golem in the middle of the room, motionless. Christian called for the Marines, meeting them by the main door as everyone else paused on the roof by a skylight

Christian gained access to the warehouse with smooth talking about a pending assault, as a result of which he learned that safety precautions were essential within the warehouse, the same ones that must be used at the Manor Reservoir. However, Christian’s ability to fast talk soon came to an end, and he called to Walker “Just shoot them already!” Walker obliged, and the battle was on.

As the rest of the team descended from the roof, Cala noticed that Sorvad seemed almost mesmerised by the portal.

While Walker sniped from the raised walkway with his Ragnarok Pistols, Cala quickly jumped on to the Golem’s back, slowing it by feeding her Berian Salt Block into its engine, slowing it down. While the team engaged the Golem, the scientists within the caged area set light to a stack of papers, causing Sorvad to snap out of his trance and sprint towards the burning paperwork.

Sorvad was able to save 90% of the paperwork, but one of the scientists escaped into the Bleak Gate, closing it behind him.

The battle won, the Golem (made from Goblin steel) was taken to Vince Gritting at Heron R&D for analysis.

The papers Sorvad saved contained notes on a Jaguar whose blood had been replaced with the same sort of oil which flowed in the Golem’s constructed veins, together with correspondence to Malach Industries regarding the warehouse. The altered cats was being held within The Bleak Gate and awaiting to attack at the agreed time and place.

The team had over the Dawn Square prior to the rally to check the security arrangements. They meet up with Peter Slackjaw, the officer in charge.

At 16:30, both Sorvad and Christian felt a great arcane presence building as a portal was opened to The Bleak Gate, revealing a force of Altered Jaguars and the undead, there to kill Nevard Sechim before he could deliver his final Vision.

After the creatures were defeated, Nevard delivered the last prophecy to the party and the few remaining people in the square:

“A figure stands upon cauldron hill looking over Parity Lake. Controlled by others, when examined more closely the shadow moves independently from the figure. The King chases the figure into Parity Lake by separating the shadow from the figure’s body, but it’s too late as the Cauldron shatters killing thousands.”

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