Episode 3 - Oubliettes

A couple of days have passed; NeVaga spent some time working her Scraver contacts, and Dame Aquilegia received the monthly report from her holdings on Cadavus.

NeVaga goes back to see Volkoln Nolent again to discuss the possibility of exposing the Port Authority Guild’s murder of at least one Amalthean novice. Volkoln likes the idea and says he will put her in touch with Boss Alzbeth Sumitomo, who works for Director Draqua jo Lash.

Aquilegia gets a verbal report from Sgt. Morhan in addition to the Seneschal’s written report; he was on the patrol that encountered Muster Chainers and establishes that the Musters were using a Runt lander that would only have enough range to reach nearby orbit. After commending Sgt. Morhan and sending her return mail with him, Aquilegia speaks of the Muster matter to NeVaga and asks her to keep her ears open for any reference to the operation.

A few days later, NeVaga heads out for her meeting with Boss Alzbeth Sumitomo just outside the Agora. She tells her about the incident in which at least one Amalthean was killed, and asks for help in gathering information on the Port Authority’s involvement. Next, she goes out to the area in the Agora where the Amalthean mission had been located and asks a bit about the three Amalthean novices disappeared, Paulo, Sarafina, and Julius. She hears that they were accosted coming out of the apothecary’s shop, captured by a group of half a dozen large men in dark greyish robes and thrown into a brute cart — which can’t have gone very far. Julius was found dead a few days later but Paulo and Sarafina are still missing.

Meanwhile, Aquilegia speaks to friends and neighbours of the mission, giving news of Deacon Mokira and the patients who were transported, and finds out a bit about what kind of people the novitiates were. All three were well liked. Julius was a serf working in the Decados shipyards in Novgorod, heavily scarred from his time at the shipyards, while Paulo and Sarafina were peasants from the Imperial city.

NeVaga pokes around the area from which the novitiates were abducted, looking for a good place where the cart might have been taken. After a good deal of scrutiny, she locates a suitable building with good means of egress and large back entrance — and an aura of depression and gloom. She spots a silhouette coming out, wearing grey robes and an insignia of the Oubliette Guild.

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She decides to sneak in to take a look. She finds herself in an extensive, well-guarded Oubliette facility, a terrible place filled with despair and terror, when many prisoners appear to have been forgotten. At the bottom, she sees a young man and woman she suspects might be the Amalthean novitiates; concerned that there might be devices to monitor them, she remains hidden. Next, she goes to examine the offices but is unable to find any information about the prisoners. It looks like they have not been visited since they arrived.

NeVaga slips back out — not so easy in a place guarded more to keep people in than out — and meets back with Aquilegia to report on what she discovered. The two spends the next day going over the layout of the Oubliette facility and Aquilegia devises a plan for a quick assault to free the two Amaltheans. However, they will need reinforcements.

NeVaga returns to speak to Boss Sumitomo, who has been asking around and found much the same description of the novitiates’ abduction. In addition, however, the Scraver Boss learned that for several days the Oubliette hid from the Port Authority the information that novitiate Julius had suddenly disappeared from their cells without a trace. The information only came to light when his dead body was discovered in the harbour, leaving the Port Authority and Boss Mortensen furious. Now the Oubliette and the Authority are holding on to the other two prisoners; they were meant to be released soon after the first “message”, but now no one wants to take responsibility for the death of a cleric.

Boss Sumitomo suggests that the Scraver cannot intervene but would be well served if the Baroness Masseri could be persuaded to extract the Amaltheans and let the whole story become public knowledge, hurting the Port Authority’s standing. NeVaga says that she may be able to take that problem off the Scravers’ hands if Boss Sumitomo will help her locate a team of half-a-dozen mercenaries.

Aquilegia is less than delighted by the presence of the Muster, given the recent raid on House Masseri’s serfs, but agrees as long as there are no Chainers. They meet Sgt. Jake Wilkenson and his team, and agree to a bloodless assault with no weapons but frap sticks, though as bodyguard NeVaga gets to keep her kraxi knife. Aquilegia also brings Sgt. Morhan to assist her, as she does not trust that the Muster will suffice.

In a swift and well coordinated assault, Aquilegia leads the group in a successful rescue mission. Without being too blatant, she makes sure that anyone who wants to know will understand who did this. There are a few bumps and scrapes, and NeVaga has to knock out an overly bellicose Oubliette who was attacking the baroness, but it’s a clean operation and the Amaltheans are recovered safely. However, they find no indication of who came to remove and kill novitiate Julius before.

Aquilegia tells Sgt. Wilkenson that should he hear of another, earlier and more discreet Muster visit here, she is willing to pay well to know who commissioned it. She takes the rescued novitiates back to the Cathedral of St. Maya to get treatment. The two don’t even know where they have been held, or why. Aquilegia does her best to make sure that this does not escalate violence in the Agora, but informs Bishop Demijanik that the Church should stay out of guild wars.

Meanwhile, Boss Sumitomo tells NeVaga this needs to get better publicity…

Epilogue:

  1. House Cameton steps in to provide security for the new Amalthean mission to the Port Authority.
  2. The Universal Church seizes the minor Port Authority assets on Cumulus Station.
  3. A Temple Avesti Inquisition is called to patrol the Agora with the expressed purpose of ending the conflict between the Authority and the Scravers.

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