The Journals of Marcus Torenson

Day Five

Wake. Prayer. Minor earthquake. Breakfast. Dire rumours: King of Thieves missing for days. Ivo had contact with his Engineer friend and wants to go ‘claim’ some spare parts, or at least investigate. Baroness agrees and we head out to walk to warehouse. Large pile of bodies next to road. Looted.

Mantis Guard are trying to maintain order, questioning a pair of men in Al-Malik livery. Armed Al-Malik retainers (plus nobles?) appear round corner. Challenges shouted. Two men being questioned look… satisfied (Ambush?). Lead Mantis Guard into trap?. Fighting ensues. Mantis losing. Baroness shouts for Mantis Guards to fall back. They turn round, then ignore us. Baroness shouts “Terek! Shoot the noble!” but listens when I suggest this could provoke an incident. Instead she orders Terek to shoot one of the armed Al-Malik retainers, then demands they desist. Appeals to sense of fulfilled justice. The Al-Malik disperse. Baroness goes to question Mantis Guard. I have minor dispute with Baroness over forms of address (Brother vs. Canon). A Scraver approaches. She says she is seeking the Baroness Allessandra Decados. Baroness admits nothing, and asks why. Scraver says she has heard Allessandra is looking for an archaeologist. Peasant runs past screaming that the sky is falling. Minor earthquake. A junior Reeve approaches Ivo and the Scraver, whispering to each in turn. Scraver offers her services as an archaeologist once more. Baroness comments on her trip to badlands and we argue again. Haggling, the Baroness agrees to hire the Scraver. As part of payment, the Scraver demands some of the Church’s share of salvage! We argue while walking. Loathsome Scraver!

Arrive at ore-processing district. Muster soldiers pass. Scraver takes her leave. We continue to Processed Ore Warehouse 1, which is surrounded by shady types. I note that we have arrived, but Baroness says we want 77, so we move on, followed by one of the shady people. Baroness waits, and asks if we can help. He doesn’t answer, and walks off. We move on, heading towards alien slum area looking for places to hire vehicles. Question Baroness over warehouse and point out that we’re going the wrong way. Vehicles in short supply and many looted and damaged. We return to the inn. Messenger approaches Baroness at inn with a sealed scroll and two thugs guarding. She adjourns to her rooms to inspect the scroll, along with Ivo. I bicker with the Scraver. Baroness returns and informs us that we are invited to dinner with Count Gilgar. Ivo professes prior engagement, Guild business. Baroness sends acceptance of dinner and escort there. Time passes.

Well-dressed Mantis Guard arrives and asks Baroness to assist in enquiries over battle in streets earlier. I accompany her with the guards. We arrive at office and are presented to Baron Kohl von Heller. Drinks (tea) are served. Kohl asks about Al-Malik attack on Mantis Guards. Baroness recounts events, saying possibility of ambush or Al-Malik called for assistance. Also comments that she noticed the style of fighting/injury from previous Mantis corpse. Kohl scoffs at suggestion of moon falling and suggests Saladin Al-Malik is up to something. Inciting trouble, profiting from troubles, etc. Kohl surprised by note passed by aide and must leave, saying “Duty calls.”.

We return to the inn, freshen up and head to Count Gilgar’s manor. Servants bring us to the Count, who is in a wheelchair pushed by a servant. Before dinner, drink. Count tells us that the Guilds have seized starport and plan to allow only Guild representatives to leave the planet. Small talk over dinner. Nostalgia over pre-cataclysm Pandemonium. Count says major Gilgar manor is in badlands, with Duke Gilgar (his father) staying out there. Recent events have cut communication and the count asks if we could bring the Duke back to the safety of the city on our trip, along with his chattels and possessions. Baroness agrees and in return prompts (subtly) for assistance in finding parts for her ship. She offers hospitality on ship to Count, who declines. Small talk. Escorted back to the inn, through riots over Guild seizure of spaceport.

Scraver at inn, asks for private talk with Baroness, and they go off. Ivo tells me of Guild plans to usher all their representatives off-planet. Baroness returns with Scraver. I remember that the Shrine of St. Hecla is within the Gilgar manor. Could be minor pilgrimage? Ivo goes to his room. Baroness goes to bed. The Scraver advances upon me, and starts suggesting carnal pleasures to me. My reasoned arguments fail to foil her, so I’m forced to resort to chanting prayers and singing hymns (Oh Holy Flame!) to drown out her sinful suggestions and try get rid of her. Baroness returns, and I excuse myself to conduct prayer for the evening. The Baroness interrupts mid-way through, demanding my presence, as we have been asked to go immediately to see Count Sharm.

We go. Large gathering of nobles (including Don Marchenko). Count Sharm is ranting, asking what’s going on and demanding that nobles deal with the problems. He says the moon is not crashing into the planet, and picks Ivo out of the crowd as an Engineer to back him up. Who is behind attacks on Mantis Guards? Says deals with Guilds in order to leave are treasonous. Baroness talks with Kohl about the smuggled tech parts. Ivo tells all. Kohl leaves. Damned Scraver keeps following me and won’t leave me alone! Dressed sinfully, too. We circulate amongst the crowds. Crowd disperses after a while. Saladin Al-Malik stays behind at request of Count Sharm. Leaving the manor, we see a starship come down from the sky towards the spaceport. We return to the inn. Evening prayer.

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