Adventures of the Night Swords!

Move 230

Murder Most Foul

The Chelish Embassy in Korvosa
The 16th day of Lamashan, 4713 AR – night
 
Your initial encounter with the Ladies Vourne is a bit tense, but Akorian is able to talk them down from the precipice of violence. Janivan departs then, intending to keep unwanted inquisitors at bay, while Isandra decides to tag along to see what you are up to. Neither woman seems particularly hostile. Rather they seem to suffer from a boredom well known by the idle rich, and are on the lookout for something interesting to do this night.

Once Janivan is gone, Akorian subtly twists a blend of light and shadow across himself, and becomes the virtual twin of the young Embassy chaplain, clad in full Asmodean regalia. Then he gallantly takes Isandra by the arm as if giving Her Ladyship a tour of the more private areas of the Embassy. Sanaya, Evelyn, Igmar and Omari pull up the hoods of their dark cloaks and follow along, now looking for all the world like a coterie of silent acolytes attending to their dark lord and master.

Once past the priest’s chambers, you enter into a private library piled high with books. You on head through without pausing, and enter the room beyond: here you find a private bath that boasts a huge brass washtub. Like the library, the washroom is deserted as well. The room beyond this is a comfortable lounge, paneled in dark tones, and possessing of a fully stocked bar. You move on quickly, and enter the last room in succession: an inner foyer that is largely empty, save for a set of stairs that climbs to the building’s second floor. You enter, shut the door behind you, and climb the stairs.

The room at the top is yet another comfortable lounge area, decorated in dark Vudran mahogany. As you enter, you hear a sudden, girlish laugh, and hear muffled voices in the hallway beyond.

Akorian gestures to the others to remain silent, and creeps forward. He listens at the door, and hears more laughter. Then a key is fitted in a lock, and a distant door is heard creaking open.

“This way, my pet. Quickly.”

“All right, Borgan.” Akorian eases the door open, and sees a long hallway lined to the left with doors – his map suggests they lead to spare bedrooms for Embassy guests, and are currently unoccupied. He sees a young Chelish lord and one of the ladies from the party downstairs. The back of her dress is already partly undone. She giggles once more, and the door is shut softly behind her.

“This way.” Akorian leads the way once more with the others following behind. As you pass the door containing the amorous couple, more laughter is heard. Then you are safely at the end of the hallway, and Akorian pauses for a moment to examine the wall there. At first glance it is bare and unremarkable.

“Ah. Here.” He presses a loose piece of brick, and a secret door slides silently inward. A dark, dusty corridor is revealed, leading ever deeper into the bowels of the manor house. You file inside, and Omari is careful to shut the door behind you. Akorian then summons a globe of witch-light, and you follow the tunnel about 130’ to the west. You suspect you have traveled almost two-thirds of the way across the length of the entire manor.

Another secret door is found at the end of the tunnel, and its opening latch is discovered. You let your witch-light fade and step next into another guest lounge – this one cluttered with chairs and sofas. It is well lit, but unoccupied as well. Another door feeds onto a short hallway that opens onto a long gallery that overlooks both the Garden of Earthly Pleasures and the banquet hall. The murmur of the party below comes to you quite clearly.

Luckily the gallery is currently unoccupied. You gaze across the wide chamber, and see that the stairs to the floor above are blocked by a velvet rope with a sign saying “Do Not Enter.” You peer at one other for a moment, and Evelyn offers up a devilish grin. Then you creep across the gallery to the stairs, and slip past the rope and sign. Moments later you creep up to the third floor, and stand in a vast, dark and cluttered space. This is the attic of the manor house. More witch-light is summoned, and you see row upon row of old crates, dusty furniture and other, less identifiable items piled high for as far as your light can reach.

“This way. Come on.” Akorian leads the way onward, to the north. You soon find a locked door that leads to a separate chamber. Akorian tries his key, and you pass this way as well. The room beyond is similar to the main attic chamber, save that the things here are older and much, much dustier. A third secret door is discovered (thanks to the map you were given) and opened. The small chamber beyond is empty, and very dust-strewn. Even a cursory look on the floor shows that the dust in here has been recently disturbed, however. On the northernmost wall stands a pair of double doors made of flat grey metal. You close the secret door behind you, and approach the strange doors.

“How odd.” Sanaya’s skin crawls as she gazes upon the gray metal. To her eyes the surface of the doors is moist, and reflections from your light make strange shadows seem to writhe within the metal.

“I think I understand how these doors work. You can’t open them the traditional way, but…” Akorian channels a bit of his magic into the metal of the door without touching it, and suddenly……. SNAP…….. The doors are replaced by a bright, shimmering glow that hurts your eyes when you look at it.

“Its a Portal!” Akorian says. He cannot quite take his eyes off the light. “If we step into it, we will be transported somewhere else. Where, I cannot say.”

Isandra cannot tear her eyes away either. “It’s beautiful.” The smile on her face is almost manic.

You talk things over for a bit, and then Sanaya cloaks herself with an invisibility charm, and steps through the Portal with her magic rope tied about her waist. Her skin prickles, and her stomach flip-flops. But then she is ELSEWHERE. A long corridor extends from the shimmering field of light, which now stands at your back. The walls, floor and ceiling of the hall are paneled in gray wood, including several empty alcoves along each wall. The only obvious source of illumination is the glowing portal at your back.

As she stands here, Sanaya sees shadows that seem to dance at the corner of her eye. Soft, barely audible whispers are heard, although no one else seems to be present. At the far end of the hall (about 100’ distant) you see another set of gray metal doors.

It is a distinct relief to step back through the portal, and return to report what you have seen.

Meanwhile: Kymrych “listens” intently to Akorian’s running commentary on what is going on. Sanaya has just stepped back into the room from wherever the Portal took her, seemingly unharmed, when a piercing scream is heard across the room. He and Jayne turn to look in that direction, and see a crowd gathering at a table near the far end of the room. Kymrych scowls, and whispers to Talathel and Jayne to stay put. Then he heads on over by himself, and makes his way carefully through the crowd.

“Oh, how terrible.”

“What’s happened?”

“The Ambassador. I think she’s fainted.”

You pause about 15’ from the cluster of people gathered around the still form of Paracountess Mayal Jeggare. Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the people of Korvosa lays upon the carpet, unmoving. Both General Vourne and the Hellknight you saw earlier kneel over the body. Even as you watch the Hellknight stands up from beside the countess and gives off a dour look.

“She’s dead. Poisoned. I’d say a dose of dark reaver powder is to blame. But I can’t be certain.”

A low murmur runs through the crowd then, followed by an excited babble. Moments later orders are shouted, and marines summoned. It seems likely, you decide, that the party is over….

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