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When we last left our intrepid heroes, they had split up to pursue separate leads. The Origamis and the De Mers wanted to head to the Pig and the Potion to try to find Getha's nephew while the Violettes headed home for Evelyn's nightly beauty treatment. Both of these things were extremely important, naturally.



The Violettes arrived home to discover a note on their front door, the elaborate "V" of their family crest crossed out with what looked like blood. Knowing a death threat when he saw one, Steven got Evelyn inside, locked the doors, and went to inform the City Watch about the death threat. The captain said he'd look into it (he even examined the paper magically, using a wand, which took him a painful amount of effort to do, though he found none) and increase patrols by the Violette house. Then Steven went to a local tavern/hiring post called the Broken Blade, which sold mercenary services alongside ale. Harkon, the proprietor, heard Steven's request for guards for his house and fixed him up with people for both day and night shifts for the next tenday. Two elven bladesmen departed with Steven that very night to commence the night watch.

Evelyn remained in the hands of the Violette's sole servant, Molly, who was doing her and her mother's nightly beauty treatments, so Steven went to speak to his father about the threat. The senior Violette said that, for once, they had no outstanding debts, and had offended no one of dire import, though he appreciated his son's dilligence in protecting the family.

A little later that evening, one of the guards called to Steven and informed him that there was someone watching the house, and had been for hours. Steven pried Evelyn out of her scale scrubs and lotion applications to come with him to confront the man. She froze him in place with her very effective spell of Margul (the dreaded freeze) so he couldn't run while brother and sister cut off his escape routes and questioned him. The spell did not last for long, and the watcher was indignant of why they'd accosted him. Evelyn was very tempted to cast a spell of charming over him so he'd answer her questions, but realized at the last moment that their guards were still watching them vigilantly (they'd been warned to stay back, in case someone made an attempt on the house). So instead Steven and Evelyn questioned the man with naught but their wits and native suspicions. The man claimed, loudly, that he was an architect who'd been studying their home as an example of dragon-influenced architecture. He had some fair drawings he'd made to prove it. When asked why he hadn't bothered to knock on their door and ask, he claimed that he did not wish to be "influenced" by the inhabitants of the house when he made his drawings.

He seemed eccentric, if sincere, and reluctantly the Violettes let him go.

The next morning, very early, there was a knock on the kitchen door. Steven answered, looked down, and found Kip, one of the urchins they'd met in the Dock Ward market last tenday.

Ragged and stinking as always, Kip asked, "Is the nice lady here?" Steven thought about that question carefully. "No," he replied, with sincerity.

Kip clarified about "the purple lady that held me when I hit my head on the wagon in the market," which Steven did recognize. He let Kip in and talked to him. The boy said that his friends had been disappearing - not entirely unusual, given the life of a street waif in Waterdeep, but many of them had gone missing in a short time. Several had disappeared after going to work for "Snail," a sewer entrepreneur Steven remembered from their adventure with the wemic. Kip was also worried because it was only the smallest kids who'd gone missing, and he was worried about the "red haired little man" (Garden Origami) too. And since Evelyn seemed to know him, Kip thought they could help him and his friends.

Eventually Steven decided to take Kip in as Molly's helper (the long-suffering maid only uttered a patented long-suffering sigh at the news that she would be required to teach a dirty street urchin about house cleaning) while he and his sister went to discover the reason for the disappearing kids.

Meanwhile, while the Violettes were dealing with death threats and urchin-mooching, the Origamis and the De Mers were traveling to the Pig and the Potion, which was not in the best neighborhood. On the way there, they were attacked out of a dark alley by a gang of six footpads armed with crossbows and daggers. Most aimed for Charissa, and both her and her brother were hit. Garden retaliated with a handcrossbow bolt tipped in sleep poison, and knocked one of the footpads out. He called out that he'd already killed one, and would the others court death by trying to press their attack? One of the footpads hissed to another that they were getting paid well for this, so carry on, and they attacked again. William cast a spell of slumber, which took the rest of them down neatly (he was very pleased at the tidy bit of magic). Shandri healed Charissa as Garden rifled the bodies. They took their silver and copper, and also found some Gond bells (brass bells used as currency in Gond's temples, though they also had some intrisic value).

Shandri and William went to go find the local Watch station to inform them they'd been attacked while Garden woke up one of the miscreants to interrogate her. She was fairly closed-mouthed, but he did find out that her gang had been hired by a masked and hooded man who'd paid them to kill Charissa. Wanting to put a little fear into the underworld, (Garden had bluffed her into thinking all her sleeping companions were dead) Garden hissed in her ear that he was, "Roof Runner." The woman blanched, whether from recognizing his name, or recognizing the fact that he wanted her to recognize his name and would probably be put out if she didn't react, and ran.

The local Watch captain, Largo, was a loud and belligerant man who was annoyed at being dragged from his cozy station to bring in miscreants, was loudly irked that there was one less body than was promised, but pleased that he didn't have to do any investigating or listen to any whining from the thieves. He had his men stack them up in a cart and hauled them off to gaol.

The group proceeded unmolested to the Pig and the Potion and took a quick look in the alley, only to discover the dead and now-rotting corpse of Getha's nephew. Garden went to both inform the Wands' household (specifically the kitchen staff) of the lad's death, and also stopped by the Watch station to tell Captain Largo that there was a properly dead body in need of being collected outside the tavern. The kitchen staff was saddened by the news, while Captain Largo was just irritated. But it seemed irritation was more-or-less a permanent state with him.

Charissa, William, and Shandri went into the rowdy Pig and Potion and talked to the barkeep (after sliding him a couple coins) about Getha's nephew (whose name, they learned, was Trey). The barkeep said he'd been talking to Father Geb the last time he'd been in here, and nodded over to a table against one wall. Father Geb was dark-haired, dressed in dark, non-descript priest's robes peculiar to no specific god, and was apparently doing a brisk business in palm reading, deck reading, and possibly acting as a bookie. As he elaborated on someone's fortune, William decided to see if he could get information out of the man. So William and Shandri approached him, William acting as the subject, and Shandri vaugely implying that William had a girlfriend he wanted to impress. Father Geb put on a good show, but when Shandri worked Trey into the conversation, Father Geb didn't seemed fazed at all. Charissa was tired of this ruse, and so they had Father Geb come outside the tavern.

They wanted to show him Trey's body and see if they could get a reaction, but Garden's work to Captain Largo had already produced results, and Trey's body was gone. Father Geb said Trey had needed to get out of town quickly, and had told him the name of a man who occasionally helped people in that predicament, a sewer opportunist called Snail. After the night before last, Geb hadn't seen him. Charissa was certain he was lying, and wanted to apply some force to make him talk, but they were in the street of a busy tavern district, and none of them could detect any active lie in Father Geb. Frustrated, they had to let him go (he had been almost nauseatingly cheerful and friendly throughout, but they certainly would never buy a used horse from the man). Shandri had been very quiet and subdued, and once Father Geb was out of earshot, mentioned she'd seen part of a holy symbol he was wearing - it was Beshaba's, the goddess of bad luck and accidents.

Almost as one the group went to a gambling hall to make an offering to Tymora (a.k.a. playing a game of chance) to ward off any bad luck from a devotee of Lady Doom.

And so, our story continues...

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Timothy
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