Sunday, January 23, 2011

Captain Fouquet; Chapter 1.3 'The Fire Bird' cont...

This game was played on 13 January. 2011.
Present were; Jan, Oleg, Palle, Goeg and Rasmus!!!

The game continued when Misteline and Marmaduke returned to Misteline's apartment where they found Silas who had come looking for his two associates Tom Hurdigrip and Gerald Mosscramp. Neither man had reported back to Silas and he had become concerned as to where they were. Misteline had nothing to tell Silas as he'd not heard from the men since he set them to work. Misteline then proceded to tell Silas what had taken place in the courtyard and how Rufus had come to be imprisoned. Since there were no other witnesses to the duel between Rufus and Franco besides Bagangelo, and since Bagangelo had subsequently been challenged to a duel by Captain Fouquet, Misteline proposed a contingency plan which involved paying some one who might be seen as a credible witness to play such a part. No stranger to respectable clients with large gambling debts, Silas agreed to the merits of the idea and promised to look into it.

Having agreed on their (illegal) plan of action, the three men decided to go to Mossmoore's Restaurant and Social Rooms on Cobblemoss Court, but only after first stopping by the Gentleman's tailoring establishment Van der Viir's to pick up some respectable clothing for Marmaduke. Misteline and Marmaduke went on ahead whilst Silas stayed behind to lurk in the courtyard and see if he couldn't catch some sign of Tom or Gerald. The courtyard was deserted however, and eavsdropping only told him that in one house (the Turnbull's) there was an argument in progress, but not apparently about anything of interest. Silas joined the others and Marmaduke was kitted out in silken undergarments and a plain but well cut outfit of martial design (in black and red). Properly attired the three companions made their way to the restaurant where they ordered food. Silas and Misteline enjoyed a well prepared White Fish whilst Marmaduke tucked into mutton dressed as lamb. Musical entertainment was provided by a small ensemble playing chamber music composed by the illustrious Jacoob de Vert.

Whilst waiting for their food to be served, Silas caught sight of Mister Devar Lockmyrtle, a respectable client of his, who just so happened to be in debt to the tune of 2,000 Crowns. Lockmyrtle saw Silas approaching and to the amazment of his companion Lady Witherspoon, grew some what agitated. He readily agreed with Silas that he would come to the Lotus Flower, the very next day, and there was no need to send any one to help him. Silas returned to the table where his meal was being served. During the course of their desert, several new patrons arrived from the Sun Theatre, including an old friend of Misteline, the actor and poet Alastair Heatherwax. Alastair sat with the companions and entertained himself at their expense for a while, especially Marmaduke chewing mutton whilst looking some what out of place in his painfully new clothes.

Whilst glad times were happening in the Armorial Quarter, Rufus was transferred by armed guard to the city's most formidable (and comfortable) gaol, the Bastion. Here he met an old man named Sir Walter Heraldlamb who had been convicted of debt and corruption twenty years ago and then left in the Bastion to 'rot'. Rufus quickly learned that life in the Bastion, for those who had money could be very lenient, and Sir Walter lived in relative luxury for some one who was supposed to be rotting. Arrangements could be made for food to be brought from outside the prison, visitors were allowed, including women, even prostitutes though not at night unless the woman was a wife in which case she might live with the gentleman so long as she desired. Sir Walter had already eaten but he gave his scraps to Rufus since it was too late to get anything else to eat. It was all a far cry from Mossmoore's where the chamber music had ended and a dancer named Salomé was performing with a snake, to the accompaniment of a Gypsey band. Full of wine and good food, Misteline, Marmdaduke and Silas each departed for home.

12 Marts. 1625.

Marmaduke awoke earliest but he was too slow to see the duel between Anton Fouquet and Bagangelo. He arrived just as the smug and chuckling Captain departed the field of honour, leaving behind him his two seconds to watch the progress of the horribly disfigured artist. Marmaduke pressed closer and saw that Fouquet had made three distinct cuts to Bagangelo's face and as a surgeon attempted to help the poor man, Bagangelo was kicking and screaming in pain. One cut had opened the bridge of his nose, another had lopped off an ear and the third had cut across both lips. Feeling some what sick, Marmaduke retreated from the grisly spectacle and met Silas who had arrived on a horse, accompanied by Tom and Gerald.

Silas paid scant attention to the wounded artist, as he had become aware of Fouquet's seconds, one of whom he was sure he'd seen some where before. He turned to Gerald and told him to stay close to the man and find out who he was. Marmaduke decided to return home and tell Misteline what had taken place, but Silas remained and noticed a fancy carriage off behind some trees. The carriage had no livery, but its presence was enough to pique his interest. Sending Tom to find the debtor Lockmyrtle and bring him to the Lotus Flower he himself followed the carriage back into the city and to the house of a notable member of the Royal Court, Sir Isambard Goatroll. Not familiar with Sir Goatroll Silas was unable to see if the man who climbed from the carriage was indeed the same man, nor did he recognise the lady in fine clothes who accompanied the man. Both were welcomed to the house by the staff as though they were well known, and no one exited the house to greet them. Silas returned home.

Maramduke returned to Misteline and told him what had taken place. Half way through their conversation both heard terrible screams coming from the tower abode of Anton and Anaïs Fouquet. Looking out the window, Misteline saw Meg Plum with three of the Cutlerstub children in the courtyard all looking up at the tower. Misteline decided to go to the apothocary Nicholas Rungate again and ask him to keep an eye open for any one who might be buying the same kinds of compounds as Captain Fouquet. Rungate promised to do this, but expressed doubt that such questions would lead to credible answers since a lot of people bought charcoal and stone salt. Misteline shrugged and inquired whether Rungate might not know of an accomplished surgeon, to which the apothocary replied in the negative.

Misteline went to Milners Lane to see Doctor Hamshank and ask him if he knew of a good surgeon. Doctor Hamshank did and promised to send a message to the surgeon to go and see to Bagangelo's wounds. Misteline then returned to the Friars Gate courtyard where he met and fell into conversation with Mrs Crimpstock and Meg Plum.

Devar Lockmyrtle was shown into Silas's room, sat in a chair and offered a glass of mediocre wine. Still trembling with fear he listened as Silas put forth the proposition where by Lockmyrtle, in exchange for leniency with regards to his debt, would stand forth as a respectable and upstanding citizen and testify that he was a witness to the duel between Rufus and Franco and that the duel had been fair and straight foward. Lockmyrtle agreed.

Once Lockmyrtle had left, Silas pulled on his coat, ordered forth a fresh horse and rode to the Militia offices in the harbour quarter. Here he met with his cousin, Axelrod Underhand whom he had helped install in the position of Captain of the Harbour Militia when he himself had been promoted to Tax Collector (see previous campaign). Since Axelrod largely owed his position to Silas he allowed him to look over the files pertaining to goods imports and Silas subsequently found that Sir Isambard Goatroll was a major importer of gin.

Sometime around midday, Rufus was briefly visited by Marshal Quartermoon who asked if all was well and if Rufus was comfortable and if he shouldn't find himself a servant to do for him? Rufus replied that he wished to speak with Misteline and before leaving Quartermoon told an aide to see to it.

Mean while Misteline and Marmaduke had run into each other in the courtyard and they decided to go and see if Bagangelo had returned home yet. On the way they happened to notice a distinct and bloody hand print on the upper window of Marcus Feathergate's house. Misteline immediately sent an urchin to fetch the militia and whilst he was waiting for the authorities to arrive, the artist went to see Hilda Grimbleflax and spoke with her for a while about 'doing something' about Anaïs Fouquet who it was assumed must be very upset about the duel.

Several Militia guards arrived shortly thereafter and Misteline pointed out the hand print. At first the guards were indifferent, but Misteline persuaded them to break into the house, and (by providing a small contribution to their purses) to take him with them. Within the house they found a mass of old furniture covered in dust coverings, and clear tracks from the doors to the staircase, and upon which they saw another bloody hand print. Upstairs they found the body of Marcus Feathergate.

Feathergate had not been dead for long and whilst the Militia guards searched for lucrative evidence, Misteline examined the body. He found the cause of death had probably been a large wound to the upper head consistent in character to the wounds suffered by Molly Cutlerstub. Most of Fathergate's face was a bloody, blistered mess, with everything burned away above his nose and a sizable wound in his forehead. Judging by the state of the bed, Feathergate had lain dying for more than two days. The Militia guards were not interested in the corpse except in as much as it wore a purse containing 200 Crowns.

Misteline examines the corpse of Marcus Feathergate

Having examined the body, Misteline then turned his attention to the room, plucking papers at random from the writing desk, before noticing two wooden chests. The militia opened the larger, only to find it contained clothing and articles of everyday use whilst Misteline dropped the smaller, locked chest out of the window to Maramduke who deftly avoided the attention of the distracted Militiaman guarding the back entrance to the house. Not long after this, a some what irate Captain Shallowsack arrived and had Misteline escorted from the building.

Misteline and Marmaduke returned to Misteline's studio to examine the contents of the small wooden chest, and as they did so, they noticed a stranger in dark armoured clothing watching proceedings from the archway of Captain Fouquet's tower. Shortly after the chest had been opened, Silas, and Tom, arrived and the three companions examined the neatly stored rolls of paper which were stored inside the chest. Each roll was tied with a wax sealed ribbon and upon breaking the seal, each roll proved to be a seperate cargo manifest of materials of war. Each manifest was dated and each was listed as the cargo list of a single ship. In the early papers the ship's name was always 'Molly Carbuncle', but in later papers a second ship 'Scarlet Jane' was named. The earliest paper was dated 1602 and the last was dated 1624. Seen as a whole, the chest documented the movements of enourmous amounts of war material.

A letter then arrived from Marshal Quartermoon it read;

"Have spoken with your friend, he needs a servant"

Rufus in the meanwhile was served with a summons to a Court of Law, on noon of the 15th of Marts.

Marmaduke eventually tracked down the crest used on the seal and printed at the head of each roll of paper in a book of contemporary heraldry from Misteline's private collection of books. It belonged to a small trading house called Treadstone. Silas recalled the name vaguely from his days as the Militia captain charged with maintaining customs and excise on the River Weyr. He decided to return to Axelrod Underhand's office and left with Tom.

Misteline and Marmaduke departed to speak with the lawyer Nathaniel Pennyfork, but diverted first to hire a man servant at the market. Whilst Misteline was hiring Horace Nuvel, Maramduke noticed they were being followed by the same man in dark armoured clothing whom they had noticed lingering in the Friars Gate courtyard earlier. Maramduke attempted to watch the man clandestinely but the man realised he had been observed. He moved further away but kept Misteline and Marmaduke in sight.

As the sun was dying in the sky Silas and Tom returned to Axelrod's office only to find he was not there. Silas bluffed his way past Axelrod's secretary to gain entrance to the archive room, but Tom ruined the effort by knocking the secretary out cold. Silas found a folder marked Treadstone, but within was only a single legal document stating that all papers pertaining to the House of Treadstone had been removed on the orders of Marshal Leander Quartermoon.

Rasmus made a rare appearance


Grimsby Mariner said...

excellent stuff. Is there a novel in this I wonder?

moif said...

Well, never say never I guess, though if I ever were to write a novel, I would only use Takshendal as a source of inspiration as opposed to the setting of a story. Too many elements of the games are aimed at us as players. It would be gratifying to actually write a novel instead of alway just dreaming about it.