The heroes returned to Lookout Point and discover that Ivan’s adopted parents have been kidnapped!
The delivery for the Poop deck had been delayed, and thus after a couple days, Alieris sent a runner to see what was wrong. The runner reported that the house had been ransacked, as if the attackers were looking for something but unable to find it. There was blood on the floor by the table but no sign of the Sokolovs. Also, the staff reported no sign of a note or ransom demand.
Yesterday, a note was delivered to Lookout Point for Ivan. It says:
“We have your parents, surrender to us what is ours by noon in four days or they will hang from The Needles. Oh, and in case you are as stupid as you look, we want the Keys. Bring them to Starcross Library and leave them with Stefan. Your parents will be returned the next day. We shall not meet.” it is signed the Stygian Brotherhood.
The heroes made haste to Starcross library, but were refused access. It turns out that allowing Traaver stay at Lookout Point, made them guilty by association after he had tried to kill a Scrollkeeper as described in an earlier report. This meant they were barred from the library until they were rid of him. They asked to speak to Stefan, who after some time did come to the door.
He explained that the kidnappers had offered the Library a translation of a book meant to have come from Earth-Heart City, with a promise of the actual book when the keys were delivered. The Scrollkeepers could not pass up on this opportunity. After some conversation in which the heroes tried to convince Stefan into accepting a different offer, so they could find they kidnappers, they finally relented and handed over the keys – as the other outcome would have involved ivan storming the Library, which would have caused all sorts of problems of its own.
Stefan vanished with the keys, and Caelor decided to disguise Nava as a different dog and send him into the Library to find Stefan and hopefully witness the handing over of the keys to the kidnapper(s) and be able to follow them to gauge the location of their base.
Edwin volunteered to stay and keep watch for Nava as the others went to Stillwater, to seek evidence as to the events surrounding the disappearance of Ivans parents.
At the Sokolovs’ home Caelor managed to find several clues:
- The blood on the floor wasn’t human
- There was a small amount of black material torn and caught on the latch of a door
- Som long hair was found which again wasn’t human
- An arrowhead was lodged in a wall in the kitchen
- Two guards had been killed, and they had not had time even to draw a weapon. Footprints a couple yards away suggested a woman, or someone of a light build
They stayed over at the brewery and travelled back to Starcross the next morning, after ensuring the staff didnt disturb either the house or the place where the guards were killed.
Meanwhile Edwin entertained himself with some of the ladies of Starcross while looking out for Nava, of which there was no sign. The next morning they regrouped at the cafe where Edwin had stationed himself the day before. After discussion they realised it may be longer than they expected to see any movement from the kidnappers, given the timeline they had suggested in their note. Edwin investigated the arrow head and discovered it was made of Black Iron, and in addition to a makers mark it had strange runes upon it. Caelor resolved to investigate the runes to determine their origin, and while he was doing this they took shifts keeping an eye out for Nava.
A messenger handed them a note and then walked off into the busy throng of cityfolk. The note read “Thank you for the keys. Ivans parents will be returned home tomorrow. Undestand that your actions in staking out the Library will have consequences”
Eventually, Littleclaw spotted a dog that looked ‘out of place’ in the street, and when he called him, Nava came over. It was realised that in the haste to disguise the dog, Caelor had forgotten to tell the others how he had disguised him. caelor managed to determine the likely location of the kidnappers from the information Nava communicated.
The next day the heroes sent Littleclaw to Stillwater to find out how the Sokolov’s were and what had happened. When he returned it turns out that they were taken by a tall slender very pale kidnapper, whom his father said was a Shayakar. They were overpowered and hooded. they remembered being carried, placed on a boat, and taken to a place which stank of fish. They were fed and allowed to drink, and after a few days hooded again, put onto a boat and returned home. At this point Littleclaw noticed Ivan’s fathers hands were bandaged, and he was told that the Shayakar had cut off each of his little fingers due to the heroes staking out the library. Littleclaw made sure their staff were on hand to keep them comfortable and returned to Starcross.
Meanwhile, Caelor had taken the arrow to a weaponsmith, who identified the makers mark as belonging to Chind who operates out of Fortune in the Freelands. Ivan asked for his Greatsword be melted down and use to make a maul – if there was any spare white silver it was to be used to make a Rrka for Littleclaw. The weaponsmith said it would take 2-3 days to complete.
When Littleclaw returned the heroes resolved to assault the kidnappers base, as he did not have his greatsword, Ivan fashioned a makeshift maul out of a section of tree trunk and the heroes prepared to set off.