Mortimer is standing in his office, looking out through one of the large arched windows. The morning sun is brightly illuminating the spacious room, dust particles are slowly dancing in the light. The party is anxiously standing, waiting for Mortimer to speak.
“Given half of you have bounties on your heads, it is in your best interest to help me resolve this issue.”, Mortimer stated in a firm voice.
The tall man moved back to his desk, picked up a newspaper.
“Your faces are on the second page.”
The newspaper reads: “Conspiracy! Simic sabotage Golgary farms. Azorius custody suite breached. Suspects at large!”. Below the title four pictures are printed, you recognize Linda, Wataru, Rozhe and Shinigami.
There is a bounty of 200 zinos for Linda and 10 zino bounty for others.
Below that, a subtitle reads: “Guildpact Chamber session planned for Azorsday!”
“We have three days to unravel this conspiracy. Since I am linked to Linda, I may not pull my contacts from Azorius for help. We need to find someone indifferent, but eager to take over the investigation from Tamid Luade. Any ideas?”
“I know a hussar in Azorius. We could ask for his help.”, Rozhe stepped up.
“Start with that. And keep your heads down.”, Mortimer gestured the group to leave.
“Rozhe! Where have you been? So how did the investigation in Blistercoils went?”, a middle-aged man with Azorius uniform stopped mid-way through a doorway.
“Uh…”, she looked at her group, realising that she had sidetracked from what Eroan ordered her.
“They had resolved the issue before I arrived, there was an experiment at Sullemand’s. In the aftermath of it elemental creatures were released into the streets.”, Rozhe recalled events from four days ago.
“You should have reported this to me as soon as you got the information!”, Eroan scolded the young elf.
“So, who are your friends?”, Eroan looked over to other girls and the towering loxodon.
“We, um, we are working together…”, Rozhe paused, “Actually we got into a tad of a problem… Could we talk inside?”
“I am on my way to work”, he was still holding the door to his house, “It better be important.”, he said as he opened the door widely gesturing all of them inside.
They sat around a firm wooden table, light was pouring in through a few bright windows. The northern wall had a huge painting of a blue lake with many small islands, which covered the huge gap between the two doorways. While others gazed at the intrinsic details of the painting, Rozhe explained to Eroan what has happened to them over the last few days.
“… and we suspect that Tamid Luade is corrupt and is trying to escalate this to a cross guild feud for his gain.”
“That is quite a claim.”, Eroan shook his head, “If what you say is true, I need to inform arbiter Beros.”, the man stood up from the table and opened the door leading outside. “Let’s meet after lunch. During that time stay away from arresters and find at least some concrete evidence that would confirm your words.”
Group returned to the street and watched the uniformed man walk away towards the towering pillars of New Prahv.
“How do you think we could get some concrete evidence? It is not like we could charge in Tamids office and get a confession out of him…”, Nai fiddled with one of her knives.
“We can send him an invitation to a party, and when he comes, we can kill him!”, Shinigami, who surprisingly stayed quiet for all this time, smiled dangerously.
“That might not be the worst idea”, Katrille spoke up, “Not the killing part, but what if…”, Vedalken described a scheme in detail, where they would lure Tamid Luade out of his office on false promises that the remainder of the team had somehow tracked Linda Moisuz, and they plan on revealing Tamids conspiracy.
“We will place an ambush in one of the rentable Simic laboratories, I know one in particular that has a discrete entrance.”
Group decided on the final details, though had to constantly remind Shinigami that killing Tamid would not solve the issue and that they needed him alive.
“I will take care of the message.”, Nai suggested, “And I will follow Tamid to see what he is up to. Let’s meet in the laboratory.”, she split of the group and disappeared into an alley.
“Well, we have to prepare the laboratory.”, Katrille gestured to follow her.
“Tamid left New Prahv after receiving the message. I followed him to the docks in the middle of the Sixth Precinct. For a moment I thought I lost him, but then he came out of one of the shacks with a suite of cloaked figures. Six of them in total are coming.”, Nai reported as she rushed into the rented laboratory.
“Remember, we need him alive.”, Wataru repeated staring at Shinigami.
“You promised I will be able to play with him a little!”, Shinigami pouted.
“After we talk with him!”, Wataru grunted and walked away to hide behind a large bookshelf.
The remaining group members also concealed themselves in various places throughout the laboratory, only Katrille sat down behind a table and interlocked her slim long fingers in contemplation. She fixated her eyes on the entrance.
In a moment steps came echoing through the corridor.
Tamid Luade stepped in through the doorway. He locked his eyes with the pale Vedalken. A crackling bang startled Tamid. Shinigami balancing on a tight rope above the doorway has just shot an eldritch blast into a thick mist that was forming in the doorway.
“Ambush!”, Tamid exhaled as an arrow struck his chest.
Chaos befell the laboratory. Thick patches of mist that seeped in through various cracks morphed into cloaked figures armed with daggers. Nai reloaded her weapon commanding others to pin Tamid. Shinigami vaulted down between Tamid and the doorway, blocking the exit. As she turned to mock the chubby human she felt an icy grip on her mind. A vampire emerged behind her and sank his teeth into her flesh. She felt life draining away.
Wataru ran from behind the bookshelf, he tried to reach Tamid, but a figure blocked his way. He exchanged blows with the cloaked man.
Rozhe released an arrow at a creature that appeared behind Katrille. Her arrow shattered against a stone wall, and the slim creature put his dagger against sitting Vedalken’s throat.
Nai quickly shifted her aim from the doorway towards Katrille. Her arrow gave enough of a distraction that Katrille could free herself and sink a handful of magic missiles directly into her assailant.
Rozhe kept her distance and fired arrow after arrow. Wataru hammered through two creatures standing between him and Tamid, who now was lying in a pool of his blood.
Shinigami fought with the vampire, who now was pushed back into the corridor.
Wataru got to the lying Tamid. The arrow struck an artery, he was unconscious.
“By the Angels”, Wataru laid his hand on the chubby human. Light from his palm entered Tamid’s body. Human inhaled sharply and his eyes shot open.
Before Wataru could do anything else, Tamid’s body became a thick mist and flew into the drain.
At the same moment, the vampire turned and ran from Shinigami. Shinigami without a blink ran after.
Meanwhile, Nai was standing next to Rozhe, in front of them, a human was kneeling. He had a deep wound on his shoulder. Nai held her sword to his neck. The human was scared.
“Speak! Who sent you?”, Nai pressed the blade to his skin.
His eyes jumped across the chaos of the laboratory.
“Don’t, please…”, his eyes went white and his body started trembling. Blood gushed out of his mouth and he collapsed.
“What the…?”, Nai was cut short by curses coming from Wataru.
Wataru held a drainage grate in his palm, his face was unreadable.
“Tamid escaped.”, he pointed at the doorway, “Shinigami is running after the vampire.”
“Quick! Follow them!”, Nai ordered sheathing her sword.