Real date: June 9 /07
Game date: 3rd day, center rule, state of delirium, 127th year of factol Haskor’s reign.
“The Guardians are much like the Harmonium without their offensive goodness.” – Priestess Linni.
We met up with Ekikos at the Gatehouse and turned our attentions to trying to find our friend Eliath. We had not spotted him in the lines of barmies waiting to enter the Gatehouse, and so we questioned the berks around the line. A man promoting the “weary spirit infirmary” did not recognize Eliath’s description, nor did those giving food and water to the weary.
Ekikos stopped the body collectors cart and asked for their help. He was directed to speak to the youngest of the group, Tom. After some jink passed paws, Tom admitted to having seen someone who matched Eliath’s general description some four days ago off Laughing cat alley. The body had no marks of violence upon it. They dropped off the body at the Mortuary. Tom admitted to having collected quite a few bodies without signs of disease or violence, and he admitted it was odd; but this was the hive—where death is a close neighbor to everyone.
A dustman came up behind us and demanded to know if we were enjoying the show. Her sarcasm was sharper than a knife. As we talked she became more amenable. She was sorry to hear about Eliath’s disappearance; but she didn’t know the man nor recognize the description. She also told us that she’d noticed berks dying without a mark on them over the past few weeks. She told us to meet her at Zeroes, an alehouse in the Hive—just outside the Marble District. She said she regularly goes there when she gets off duty. Her name was Derioch Dysaro.
Not completely willing to trust the Dustmen, we made our way to Rag picker’s square through the headwaters of the ditch. Unfortunately, in our journeys, we stumbled into coffin smoke. It hit Ekikos hard and he began coughing violently. We stumbled about and found ourselves in Mortuary square.
We watched a zombie shamble past and begin raking up dead razor vine leaves. He had pallid green skin and no eyes, and thankfully paid us no mind. With Ekikos’ help we found Arios’ flophouse and pounded on the door. The proprietor claimed we were good for a day. The place smelled odd, but was in decent repair. He took us upstairs. Each room had 2 cots, no pillows and flat mattresses.
I snuck out to find out what the door-banging was all about ½ an hour later and saw a gith come in. I snuck back to our rooms, leaving the new visitor in peace. Outside the window in the night was an argument in lower-planar common. Occasionally we heard people moving around downstairs, but otherwise it was a quiet night.
By morning Ekikos had fully recovered. We get our bread, a more-than-day old piece that takes more gumming than chewing to get it down. We leave and the proprietor quickly locks the door behind us.
In Rag picker’s square we find a merchant who knew Eliath as a trader-bagman who’s not been here in a while. The Ragman’s heard stories about berks turning up dead and he tries to sell us some skree about a fiend who’s a governor who’s learned how to take souls from those that won’t be missed. With each soul he gains power. The Ragman’s certain this fiend will challenge the lady when he’s strong enough. Ludvik cuts through it quick enough and pays him anyways; promising to pay more for the dark.
We headed back to the Mortuary. This morning we meet Mr. Post. He’s a zombie who walks along the Mortuary’s edge. There are dozens of post-bills pinned to his body. In the Mortuary everything seems to be made of black granite. Symbols are carved everywhere. We cross a large open area to a set of guardhouses at the bottom of a great stairway. A guard takes us to the atrium to wait, warning us that “only the dead rest here”.
The atrium has 4 dustmen standing in it. They don’t say anything to us, just stand there. Nice job if you can get it, I guess. We met with a human woman by the name of Torranna the Grey; she’s responsible for admitting the unknown bodies from the hive. Unfortunately for us she remembers Eliath’s arrival some 4 days past. He was cremated within a day. She also remembered there were no signs of violence upon his body; just like the body collector Tom had said.
We decide to keep looking rather than have his name inscribed in the dead book. As we leave we pass a funeral procession.
Our next stop was laughing cat alley. We ask a lot of questions, but other than a general sense of unease (I guess we were too close to the Chaos district) we didn’t learn much. At the mouth of the street we meet up with some Chaositechs who thought the best way to find the killer of the unnamed by attacking all strangers in his area.
He had baroque-style armor and carried a 2-handed serrated sword. Behind him were more berks. Before we could state our case or even turn around, we were surrounded. Ekikos, Chryseis, and Ludvik met the threat bravely, and shortly after Ekikos fell with a horrible wound to his side, the guy in armor stopped attacking and laughed in pure joy.
He was hard to understand mixing his words and speaking his words out-of-order; but I think he said that he found Eliath at the alley-mouth. He’s found a lot of berks dead in the same way. His name is Morchigarz and he made us promise that, should we find the murderer, we’d let him know and he’d deal with the problem. I have no difficulty believing he would; but I do worry about all those he’ll injure between now and then.
After he and his mates left, a woman with a tray comes out and offers us refreshments. Ekikos gets freshwater, Ludvik gets something citrusy, and I get salt water. What do you expect; it’s the Chaos district after all.