Previously, the heroes found themselves in Kingsport and where James’ mother Jeanne had been tricked into an assassination attempt on the day master, a powerful member of the Steady Hand, the Kingsport guild of thieves. James was tasked to find out why his mother had done what she did if he had any hope of saving her life.
As the heroes secured one of the last remaining rooms at the crowded Careless Wanderer, some people came to visit with some requests. Dame Miranda was concerned with the invasion of orcs in the north-west, asking Quentin to investigate on his way back to Beauclair, while Lady Annabella approached Emrys with a request to help her with a young lord who had been bothering her as she had been asked to officiate the annual royal angling competition.
And last, Luca was visited by his otherworldly patron in the middle of the night. His patron congratulated Luca with Atilesceon’s defeat and reminded him that the goal was to find the Mad God. He was promised the answer to one question, and he chose to learn that his patron’s name was Aurion.
Second Day, First Ride, Autumn Red, 1262
(Silvermoon in high sanction. Bloodmoon is waxing. Darkmoon is waning.)
Luca was the first one to wake up, hearing the muffled chatter of different guests at the inn getting ready for breakfast downstairs. He decided to head downstairs make sure that breakfast was arranged for everyone before Ramsey ran out of food.
The topic of James’ predicament came up again, and it was decided that it would be best to prioritise the safety of Jeanne over any other requests that the heroes had received since arriving back at Kingsport. Quentin made an elaborate vow to stand by James and his mother, which went to illustrate the different worlds the two men had been raised in.
A recurring question was how Jeanne had gotten a hold of a jewelled dagger, much like the one that James was carrying, and who had provided it to her. James explained that it was a woman that his mother had befriended, a fellow Silesian by the name of Kalina, who was also a member of the guild James belonged to.
As Durham brought a cart of food up to the room and Astrid finally could be arsed to raise her head up from her pillow, the conversation turned to finding out more information about Kalina. James and Emrys would visit one of James’ childhood friends who was also affiliated with the guild, while Luca and Astrid would visit The Ship’s Head, a bar in The Salt where Luca was familiar with a gossip of a bartender named Coraline who might know a few things.
Quentin was a stranger in the city and therefore could not tap into any of his connections to find out more about this Kalina, and so he decided to go and talk to the representative of the Sheridan Trading Company in order to take care of a few personal matters.
After breakfast James and Emrys headed towards Chiselton, the western part of the Northside ward where Dick, James’ childhood friend and fellow guild member, lived in a loft above a small establishment that cooked food for the workers in that area. They found the kitchen was open, with two cooks slaving away while the two heroes made their way up to the loft, which they found locked.
Upon investigation, James found that the lock was trapped with a small needle, which he disabled. He easily opened the lock to find that Dick had likely not been there for a few days. One of the cooks managed to confirm that he had been absent, and that before his departure Dick had been practising horseback riding.
In the meantime, Luca and Astrid made their way to the Ship’s Head where the found more anglers getting together to prepare for the upcoming competition. The weathered bar was dark and already full of people drinking from mugs of foamy beer. The two heroes took a seat at the bar and patiently waited for the red-headed bartender to notice them.
Coraline was a woman with a sharp tongue and an eagerness for news and gossip. Luca asked her whether she knew a Silesian woman by the name of Kalina and if there was anything Coraline could share about her. Coraline said she wanted to trade information, and Luca ended up telling her about a representative of House Blackwood bullying the handmaid to the queen in order to get an advantage on the other competitors in the annual angling competition.
Coraline seemed satisfied with the payment and shared that Kalina was a dangerous person consorting with dangerous people, stealing cattle and horses. Another thing she had heard was that Kalina had lost an expensive, bejewelled dagger in a game of demon dice at The Hoxton when she ran out of coin a few rides ago.
Quentin’s first stop was the Library of Ioun in Ravensbourne, which he found to be closed. A well-heeled gentleman informed him that Lord Caedmon Bromley held services every last day of each ride and that the library was open to the public then. Quentin decided to make his way to the office of the Sheridan Trading Company in the hopes of getting some help in his endeavour.
When Quentin arrived at the small office in the western part of the docks he found a soberly dressed, well-groomed man in his middle years named Caius of Lynnecombe who surprised Quentin by being fluent in Beauclairois. They spoke about Quentin’s stay at the Careless Wanderer and his desire to gain access to the library. Caius promised to pay for Quentin’s stay in the inn, and wrote him a letter of recommendation in order to gain access to the library, to be handed to the librarian, a man named Raedelus.
The conversation turned to Lord Gabriel Valois-Antille, the Steward of Kingsport. Quentin learned that the Lord Steward was Beauclairois, from a small house in the eastern part of his homeland who had married into the royal family. He also learned that the Lord Steward had been rubbing many of the noble houses the wrong way and that it was causing some political unrest.
When the conversation came to an end, Quentin walked back to the Careless Wanderer, bumping into Luca and Astrid on their return from The Ship’s Head.
Emrys and James walked from Chiselton to The Bridle, an area of the Northside ward dedicated to the Kingsport Manège, a market dedicated to buying and selling cattle and mounts. There they hoped to bump into Silesians, who were well known to be valued for their knowledge of horses and mounts.
They struck up a conversation with a jovial, mustachioed Silesian named Mirek, a horse trader who did a lot of business at the Manège. Quickly it was revealed that he knew both Jeanne and Kalina. Mirek knew James’ mother close enough to have heard of James and seemed genuinely pleased to meet him.
Mirek explained that he met Jeanne and Kalina on one of the regular get-togethers that they held with other Silesians, on the fields in the river bend outside the Brown Gate. Silesians would regularly spend time together to speak in their native tongue, share a drink and tales of their home. As he lead the two heroes out to the field, he described Kalina as a tall, strong woman with a pointed nose and brown, half long hair. Kalina didn’t always make it to the gatherings, but Jeanne was a regular attendee.
Mirek never liked Kalina much, describing her as a gambling junkie with a vicious streak. He also described the jewelled dagger she owned. He didn’t know where Kalina was, but offered to find out more, seemingly genuinely concerned with Jeanne’s well-being. When he asked James where he could find him, he suggested talking to Wojciech, the stable hand at the Careless Wanderer, who also occasionally attended the meetings.