Tiber glances at the now cool pile of detritus
Gaius makes his way back to the abandoned hab block in the nether reaches of the hive. And finds the tech-priest still chatting with his servo skull.
Gaius clears his throat and steps forward
Tiber glances towards the Arbitor
Gaius: "My contacts proved less useful then I had hoped, they only know as much as the Inquisitor said. However, as I said over comms, I was able to convince some of the local dissadents to point me towards the sable trade, and someone or something called "Zax"
Feljin J. leans against the wall, cane in hand.
Yusef puts a hand one the whip hanging at his belt. "That's not much to go on. Did they give you any idea over where to start looking?"
Alexia enters the room in time to hear Gaius's statement.
Gaius: rolling starting wounds
Tiber scratches his head and shrugs
Alexia: Unsurprising- it would seem that our subject cut ties with his family and business associates in the last weeks of his life.
Also rolliing starting wounds
rolling 1d5 +9
Tiber: "I'd like to get into his residence. For research."
Gaius: "Agreed, it may not be to late to save question him"
Alexia: I still have contacts working on several lines of inquiry, but by all appearances whatever contraband our subject was dealing in, he wasn't shipping it in from off-world. Not by himself, anyway.
Gaius: "If he didn't have it shipped in for him, he likely acquired it locally on a whim. That means if we can find these smugglers they are likely to have more of these xeno filth on hand."
Tyruss seems to be intently examining his servitor
Tiber: "The smugglers themselves will have a very tenuous connection to the Nobs on high. They'll use gangers as go betweens more than likely."
"Do we know where he lives?"
Alexia: Yes- no matter how hard a man tries to cut himself off, the tax collectors always know where to find him.
Gaius: "Never have I heard such truth"
Tyruss 's mechadendrite is intently observing the conversation, looking from adept to adept as they speak.
Tyruss wonders what "tax" is.
Gaius: rolling my divination
Yusef looks to Tyruss, "What about the xeno item in question. Do you know of such a device?"
Alexia: By popular account, the man was hemorrhaging money, but no registered paper trail as to where.
Tyruss 's mechandendrite looks at Yusef. "I know nothing without seeing."
Alexia: (+3 to Ballistics skill, -3 Agility)
Tyruss: There are many poisons and forbidden technologies that can cause madnesses of varying degrees
Gaius: "Then we should endevor to seek out this man and his strange device, we have a location, we need only depart"
Tyruss: perhaps if we were to see the remains of one of those killed…
Tyruss 's mechandedrite looks up and down Yusef's person.
Malc (GM): ?
Gaius: (rolling fate)
Callixtus: I was always told to follow the flow of money. The lordling has been, as Alexia says, spending freely into the Sable Trade. Perhaps keeping an eye out for another large expenditure might be wise.
Yusef: "Exposure to the immaterium, has been known to cause similar symptoms as described in the briefing. It's possible these artifacts have been tainted with its power."
Gaius: "Speculation gets us nowhere, we should depart with haste before we've another dead noble."
Callixtus pushes off the wall, hefting up his cane. "Back into the teeming throng.."
Tyruss releases his servitor and it hovers near him ready to leave.
Tiber nods and adjusts his clothing
Alexia: Rather than draw attention to ourselves, I recommend we approach this in the financial front.
His finances were very publicly a mess, he'd cut off anyone who would have been able to make heads or tails of his affairs. We could enter under the pretense that the Administratum is contemplating seizing his assets.
Tiber straightens his hair a bit with his hands and turns the outer most layer of clothing inside out, presenting a slightly drabber shade of dark green
Alexia: (Fate Thing)
Callixtus smiles at Alexia's suggestion, his posturing tightening, lips pursing tight and left brow arching. A hint of an auditor's smirk on his lips. "I like it."
Callixtus rolls Common Lore: with -2.5 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus rolls Common Lore:Underworld with -3.6 additional degree(s) of success!
Yusef rolls Awareness with -3.1 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius rolls Scrutiny with 3.7 additional degree(s) of success!
Yusef rolls Common Lore:Adeptus Astra Telepathica with -1.1 additional degree(s) of success!
Yusef rolls Interrogation with 2.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius rolls Common Lore:Adeptus Arbities with -4.9 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia: I can draw up some very convincing documentation for the occasion.
Malc (GM): After some time walking through the twisting layers of Hive Desoleum Alexia guides you to a small chapel near the manse of house Guljian,
Tyruss rolls Awareness with -0.8 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius rolls Awareness with 1.9 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius surveys the surroundings, looking for any signs of danger, or suspicious details
Gaius: "We could attempt the official entry as Lady Alexia suggested, or perhaps we could try something less forward."
Gaius smirks and removes a multi-key from a pouch on his belt
Alexia raises an eyebrow "You assume that deviates from standard procedure."
Gaius: "With the emperor's blessing I have not fallen under the gaze of the tithe collectors yet"
Callixtus rolls Deceive with -0.7 additional degree(s) of success!
Malc (GM): It is clear at a glance that Guljian's manse has seen better days – Crumbling stonework and tarnished plasteel show a shocking degree of neglect.
Yusef rolls Athletics with -0.9 additional degree(s) of success!
Tyruss looks at the Chapel for some time before saying
Tiber rolls Scrutiny with -1.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Tyruss: This Chapel bears no Machine Spirits focused on security.
Malc (GM): Two lumin-globes, one flickering intermittently illuminate the large arched doorway, which houses a set of heavy wooden doors inlaid with elaborate carvings of mythical wasteland beasts from Desoleum's most ancient legends. A short flight of broad steps leads to the doors, each set with a knocker cast in the form of a coiled serpent.
Alexia rolls Deceive with 3.3 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus appears to have adjusted his attire slightly to more readily appear as a random staffer in an audit team.
Gaius: "Guess I'll be your official escort"
Alexia: I'm honored, Arbiter
Gaius removes his helmet, carrying it under one arm while slicking back his salt and pepper hair with the free hand and winks at Alexia
Tiber: "I will sneer convincingly at impertinent lines of questioning."
Gaius places his free hand on the pommel of his maul
Tyruss stands off to the side, observing.
Gaius looks to the others and gives a shrug
Gaius turns slams his armored fist against the door a number of times. then waits
Callixtus positions himself behind Alexia to the right slightly, hands clasped behind his back, glasses slid down toward the end of his nose.
Malc (GM): The knock echoes in the empty halls behind the door.
After several interminable minutes you hear faint footsteps behind the door
Tiber glances at any nearby windows for movement,
Malc (GM): The door cracks open revealing an old butler in moth eaten finery.
Gaius returns his hand to his maul as he hears footsteps
Yusef finds a seat in the chapel and sits down, and begins fidgeting with the clasp on holster of his las pistol.
Brym Nidi: Hello, the master is taking no visitors today. We ask that you please return at a later day. Good day.
Callixtus rolls Awareness with 0 additional degree(s) of success!
Malc (GM): He pauses, waiting for you to leave
Alexia holds up the documents to the partially opened door.
Alexia: Unfortunately, your master does not have that luxury today.
Brym Nidi: What is this? We dont need anything. We have regular agreements with merchants
Alexia: You master is severely delinquent in his tax obligations to the Imperium.
Callixtus narrows his eyes at the old butler for a moment and then turns his head to the side, his hand scratching at his ear. Over the microbead he whispers Unnatural anxiety and nervousness. His is hiding something.
Gaius subtly moves to the side so as to simultaneously offer the butler a clearer view of Alexia, but also to position his armored foot to prevent the door from closing
Alexia: We have authority to enter the premises and perform an accounting of the contents, and seize an required records for additional auditing.
Brym Nidi grabs the documents and examines them
Brym Nidi 's mouth narrows with concern
Brym Nidi: The master is unwell but you may enter. I will ask him to see you.
Alexia holds up her hand.
Alexia: I must insist that you remain here.
Brym Nidi pushes open the massive wooden door and ushers you into the barren entry hall. The hall is barely illuminated and only a few guttering candles cast a feeble lights from the brass chandeliers above.
Brym Nidi: Please follow me
Tyruss follows the group in
Callixtus remains behind and slightly right of Alexia.
Brym Nidi leads you down a hall into a large dusty welcoming room filled with paintings and ill-kept trappnings of finery.
Gaius enters the hall, surveying all the exits from the room
Brym Nidi: Please wait here, I will fetch the master.
Gaius rolls Awareness with 3.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber follows after the group, a certain lightness to his step
Gaius whispers to the others "He seems nervous about something"
Tyruss rolls Awareness with -3.8 additional degree(s) of success!
Brym Nidi dissapears down the hall towards a spiraling staircase leading to the upper stories of the manse
Alexia: "So when I tell him not to run into the house, and everyone else has large weapons, how does he still manage to run into the house without incident, I wonder."
Alexia murmers to herself.
Gaius: "I didn't wish to cause a ruckus"
Gaius removes his auspex and begins scanning the surroundings
Gaius rolls Awareness with 0.1 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius gives the device a slightly smack on the side, sighs and puts it away
Callixtus: Oh… I guess I could have cut his hamstrings. But somehow that seemed a tad out of character, don't you think? Swashbucklers and Auditors Incorporated.
Tiber glances around the room, looking for anything out of place
Gaius taps callixtus on the shoulder and gestures with his eyes towards the second floor balcony
Tiber rolls Scrutiny with -5 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber licks his thumb and starts rubbing some of the paintings
Tiber finds some knickknacks whose authenticity he establishes by biting
Tyruss rolls Awareness with 2.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia rolls Awareness with -0.3 additional degree(s) of success!
Yusef rolls Awareness with 3.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus looks around the room, pausing at an empty display case. "All of the usual markers of nobility, the little touches and trappings… They aren't here. Perhaps the lordling has been selling is possessions to fund his habit?
Gaius: "Must be an expensive habit"
Malc (GM): After perhaps 10 minutes the servant returns with hurried steps
Brym Nidi: I'm sorry, the master is much to ill to have visitors today. You must leave immediately. Please return tomorrow and perhaps he will see you.
Tiber: The butler motions towards the door rapidly
Gaius: "You are in luck good man, we have, by chance, a Chirurgeon with us"
Tiber steps towards the butler and smiles, "I'm sorry I missed your name."
Tiber rolls Charm with 1.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Brym Nidi: Uh… erm.. Brym. Brym Nidi. I'm sorry but we'll summon our own Chiurgeon. I really must insist that you leave.
Brym Nidi motions for the door again
Alexia: I'm afraid you don't understand…your master does not have that option. Failing to meet your tithe obligations is a direct offense against the Imperium.
Brym Nidi opens his mouth to retort…
Alexia: As ill as he is, I can imagine he may not be up to visiting with us directly.
Malc (GM): A bloodcurdling scream echoes through the manse
Alexia: As a courtesy to his position, we can perform the audit without his presence.
Tyruss steps forward, mechandendrite examining Brym
Tiber dashes towards the spiral stairs
Brym Nidi turns and runs for the stairs
Tyruss: I'm am happy to bring health to your master
Gaius swings his helm onto his head with one motion and removes his maul from his belt but does not activate it
Yusef unclasps his las pistol and follows the others up the stairs.
Gaius Sprints towards the stairs
Malc (GM): You see several other servants who had been waiting in the wings also dashing for the stairs.
You follow the rush of servants to a study on the third floor and push through the doors into the room. Before you stands the older man in armor that some of you saw earlier in the waiting room.
The study before you is a scene of chaos: embossed books and fine quills are strewn about haphazardly, while parchment, ink, and lamp have been knocked from the desk, leaving only a small black orb sitting atop it.
Tiber rolls Scrutiny with 3.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus rolls Awareness with -3.1 additional degree(s) of success!
Malc (GM): Kneeling on the floor, a man in ripped and shredding finery screams and babbled incoherently as he claws at his own face- his lips are ripped to tatter, and blood sreams from numerous cuts and dears across his face. Lying near him is a bloodly letter opener and two pulped white globs – his eyes.
Callixtus can't see jack from where he is standing.
Tyruss rushes towards the man and begins examining him
Alexia follows cautiously.
Gaius: "This is now a crime scene under the authority of the Adeptus Arbities, all servants are to leave the room, but not the house"
Malc (GM): The servants back away from the door as a group horrified
Tiber glances at the others, "We should look to securing that orb, for tax purposes."
Malc (GM): The old servant in armor speaks
Sank Strenwell: Who are you really?
Sank Strenwell 's eyes narrow
Yusef moves over to the desk where the orb sits and looks at it.
Callixtus stands at the door, looking at each servant. "Do not leave the house. Your presence is noted and should you leave, the audit will follow you and your kind unto the seventh generation."
Tyruss rolls Medicae with -0.3 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber glances over at the armored guy and assumes a friendly demeanor
Tiber rolls Charm with 0.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia pulls out her Picto-Recorder, and captures a video of the scene.
Callixtus rolls Deceive with 2.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Gaius: "I assure you sir, this armor is not fake"
Tyruss: You should be happy Lans, this is a great opportunity to replace the weak flesh eyes with a gift of Machine Spirit imbued eyes.
Well done removing your own eye, sir.
Gaius: "Yeah normal crazy might have stopped with the first eye, takes real dedication to get them both…."
Malc (GM): The ragged noble screams out "The orb! The orb! It has showm me the forgottin kingdoms and cyclopean cities of history! Laughing gods in the dark and collections of pain!"
Gaius: "mmm hmmm"
Gaius removes his helm and places it over the orb
Tiber: "As we tried explaining to my dear friend Brym," he pauses as Lans interrupts,
Gaius: "lets just cover that up"
Yusef rolls Scrutiny with -3 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia makes sure to swing her recorder around to get footage of the eye, but does not look at it directly herself.
Tyruss attempts to calm the man with a medicines from his servitor skull.
Tyruss rolls Medicae with 5.9 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber makes his way over to Brym and reassuringly puts an arm around his shoulder and tries to usher him towards the other servant
Tyruss gently places Lans on the floor and begins to examine him thoroughly.
Gaius walks back over to the armored man, leaving his helm covering the orb
Tyruss: I will attempt to stabilize him.
Tyruss rolls Medicae with 5.8 additional degree(s) of success!
Malc (GM): The noble
Gaius: "So besides the maddening orb of unknown, but doubtlessly heretical origins, is there anything you'd like to add to this situation sir?"
Malc (GM): The noble's speech slows and his body, ceases to wrack itself with convultions as the tech priest's tonics work their way through his system.
Sank Strenwell: My master has been unwell for some time, perhaps a year or more but only recently did he descend to this level of madness.
Gaius: "How recently"
Sank Strenwell: Perhaps the last two weeks or so.
Tyruss rises from Lans and says
Sank Strenwell sifts through the papers on the floor
Tyruss: It's clear that this man is not using any chems. He is however singularly focused on this orb
Gaius points towards the papers
Sank Strenwell lifts a small book with a blue leather cover from the pile of papers and hands it to Tiber
Sank Strenwell: This is my master's journal.
Tyruss moves towards the orb and begins to examine it.
Alexia: You certainly have a way with words, Arbiter.
Callixtus moves through the room with the servants now gone to their rooms. He appears to be studying the room, its contents, artwork, etc.
Callixtus rolls Awareness with 2.4 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia Alexia puts away her recording device, and walks over to examine the strewn papers.
Tyruss: How long has this orb been in the household?
Alexia rolls Scrutiny with 3 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber takes the book from Sank with the appearance of earnest solemnity. "This will go a long way in helping matters."
Gaius returns to the orb and retrieves his helmet doing his best to avoid even glancing at the orb
Sank Strenwell: I've seen the orb several times before today over the past six months or so. I don't know where it came from or how long he's had it though. It always made me sick to my stomach to be near it
Sank Strenwell signs the aquila
Tiber opens the book in the middle and starts thumbing towards the most recent entries
Tyruss rolls Forbidden Lore:Archeotech with -3.6 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus picks something up from the side of the room, turning it over in his hands.
Malc (GM): As you approach the orb you can tell that it makes no noise but there is a perceptable thrum of power. The device is obviously of some xeno manufacture
Tiber: "Very interesting. Tell me sir, what can you tell me about what he's mentioning here? Going to the underhive alone?"
Sank Strenwell: My master slipped out several times by himself. I did manage to follow him once to some seedy underhive business called The Screaming Wheel
Gaius rolls Common Lore:Underworld with -3.3 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber: "The Screaming Wheel, a charming establishment I'm sure. Did you just see him enter or did you inquire further?"
Gaius: "Can't say I've heard of that establishment"
Tiber rolls Common Lore:Underworld with -1.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia furrows her brow slightly, and begins to collect sheets of paper.
Gaius walks over to Tyruss
Malc (GM): The noble mutters to himself "My collection. Mycollection!" before seizing violently
Callixtus walks over to Alexia. "Appears he was less than happy with his oath cog. Rather disturbing." He offers it to Alexia.
Malc (GM): Lans begins muttering some unknown tongue that grates at your ears with it's unfamiliar pronunciation.
Gaius whisper to the tech-priest "Do you think this orb is safe enough to secure, or do we need to arrange to have it retreaved"
Tiber glances back at the book then down to Lans, speaking a bit louder to see if the noble reacts he asks Sank, "Did your master mention to you at all the Pale Child?"
Sank Strenwell: I've never heard of it before today
Tyruss looks to Gaius, I'm uncertain, I have never seen a device like this before. Clearly it should be destroyed at once.
Malc (GM): The noble seizes violently again, biting his own tongue as a shower of blood erupts from his mouth. He laughs, gurgling blood filling his mouth, and expires.
Tyruss examines the noble again.
Sank Strenwell signs the aquila and backs away from his former master
Gaius: "That is… unfortunate"
Tyruss Muttering in tech, he examines his servitor skull.
Sank Strenwell 's eyes dont leave the corpse
Tyruss: This should not have been possible. He was heavily sedated.
Sank Strenwell: Over the last four months Master Guljian's behavior has been changed the most though it's been happening for over a year. He has neglected his affairs and often locked himself away in his study for hours on end, refusing to be seen and even going days without eating
Alexia looks up. "Has he taken any visitors at all in the last few weeks?"
Tiber pockets the book with a gesture as he tries to bring Sank and Brym in closer, speaking with deference, "Is there anyone we should contact? Other Nob-ility he may have had acquaintances with before or after his behavior turned?"
Sank Strenwell: No, none at all
Tyruss: Does you master have a collection of items? Items that are new to the household?
Gaius bends down and searches the nobles body
Tyruss examines a few dataslates around the room.
Gaius digging around in pockets, and running the auspex over the corpse.
Sank Strenwell: I havent seen anything similar to this object. Nor do I ever want to see it again
Tiber nods repetitively, "Understandable."
Gaius removes a few scrapes of crumpled paper from the pockets of the dead noble, and walks over and places them in Alexia's hands
Alexia adds the paper to the pile she has been collecting.
Tyruss: Your master whispered something about his collection before expiring. We will need to study this manse.
The dataslates provide no clues.
Tyruss rolls Tech-Use with -3.2 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia looks up. "Can I have a look at them?"
Tiber takes the book back out and leafing through the earlier parts, trying to collate 4 months earlier when things got bad, and then up to a year when things were less severe
Tyruss hands the dataslates to Alexia with chirp-click-click,
Alexia rolls Tech-Use with -1.5 additional degree(s) of success!
Callixtus continues his walking of the perimeter of the room, looking for this and that.
Callixtus rolls Awareness with -2.3 additional degree(s) of success!
Tiber rolls Scrutiny with -1.9 additional degree(s) of success!
Alexia Alexia fiddles with them for a short while, then shakes her head and adds them to the satchel of papers, just in case.