Friday, May 27, 2011

Captain Fouquet Chapter 3.1 'The Sot'

This game was played on 25th May. 2011. Present were Jan, Oleg, Goeg and Palle.

Rufus and Marmaduke returned to Misteline's studio with the news of the Sot having arrived in Serrenisma, but this had little direct impact as the companions debated what their next course of action should be. The fact that so many people seem to have disapeared was a primary cause of concern so it was decided to go to the market and investigate Horace Nuvel.

Stopping by the Red Fox to order some food to be delivered to Misteline's studio, Misteline, Rufus and Marmaduke made their way to Adam Fieldsack's stall at the market where domestic servants could be hired. Fieldsack remembered Misteline well, and had a vague recollection of Horace but had no idea where he'd come from or where he'd gone to. As he recalled it, Horace had arrived only moments before Misteline had come looking for a man servant. The companions began to grow suspicious and wondered if Horace was a spy. Misteline recalled Marshal Quartermoon had advocated he hire a man servant for Rufus.

Fieldsack offered the companions the services of a broad hipped maid servant named Mathilde Mantlehart, but the three men declined the lady's services and returned to the Red Fox. Along the way they noticed the dark stranger who had identified himself as the journalist Julian Keenkettle, following them at a distance. Rufus offered to chase and kill the man but Misteline decided this would be imprudent as there were many witnesses about. They entered the Red Fox instead which was almost deserted and after listening to Hilda Grimbleflax lament the appalling effect the news of the Sot was having on her business, they returned to Misteline's studio where Misteline made a sketch of Julian Keenkettle.

Seeing this sketch the Faustini brothers who were present urged Misteline to sketch them too, which Misteline duly did. Once this was completed, the Faustini's set about making dinner in the kitchen whilst one of their number was sent to fetch Giancarlo.

After dinner Rufus went to check on Luigi and found he was missing from Rufus's apartments. He searched in the Red Fox and with the prostitutes but it wasn't until he stepped on onto the baloney at the rear of the building that he heard Luigi's unmistakable laugh. At first it sounded like it was coming from the Cock-a-doodle Club but when he went to find out, Rufus realised the voice was coming from an upper window of Marmaduke's house. He decided to let matters rest and returned to Misteline's studio where the group sat waiting for night to fall.

It had been decided that some kind of assertive action was called for and the decision was taken to break into and examine the Cock-a-doodle club because it had been suspiciously empty for a few nights. As soon as it was deemed dark enough Misteline, Rufus, Marmaduke and Giancarlo made their way to the back entrance of the club. As they stood below the upper window of Marmaduke's house, Misteline and Rufus became aware of Luigi's laughing voice accompanied by Ivy Gurdlecat's "Oh you naughty boy!"

Marmaduke did not notice this however and neither Misteline or Rufus chose to draw attention to the lovers. Marmaduke even discovered his door was barred from the inside but still he remain ignorant. Misteline listened at the back door of the club and heard the unmistakable sound of furniture being moved which he concluded was some one within blocking the rear door. Misteline and Rufus then quickly redeployed to watch Garnet Street from the corner of the Red Fox, leaving Marmaduke and Giancarlo to guard the door. This move failed to take Giancarlo's nature into account however and as soon as Misteline and Rufus were gone, Giancarlo urged Marmaduke to agree to picking the door lock. Marmaduke readied his crossbow and agreed. Giancarlo picked the lock and then kicked in the door.

The door only opened a few inches before it struck something heavy blocking it. A voice within shouted "Oh, oh, they're trying to get in!" at which point Giancarlo moved around to the rear of the building and peered through the window. He was immediately shot by a crossbow bolt and fell to the ground cursing. Marmaduke moved to his side, taking care to cover the window with his own crowssbow. He saw straight away that Giancarlo was seriously wounded.

Watching from the corner of the Red Fox, Rufus saw two men exit the front door of the Cock-a-doodle club. he signalled to Misteline who was looking back into the courtyard trying to figure out what was happening to Marmaduke and Giancarlo and then as two more men emerged from the club, the first two began to run towards the Red Fox. Rufus fell back to the darkness of the Red Fox's entrance.

Marmaduke ran towards Misteline's house to fetch help from the rest of the Faustini brothers but then as several of them emerged, he turned and ran towards the Red Fox. This led to the Faustini's confusing him as Giancarlo's assailant and Allesandro and Franco chased after Marmaduke with drawn swords whilst Ronaldo knelt by Giancarlo. Misteline managed to shut the Faustini's up and told them to go back to Ronaldo. Out in the street, the first two men from the Cock-a-doodle club were peering into the darkness of the entrance whilst covering their identities with hats and cloaks. Both held drawn swords. They seemed to hesitate then drew back out of sight.

Misteline climbed up on the balconey and as he did he saw two men confrontng Ronaldo, he quickly realised these were the remaining two men from the Cock-a-doodle club and he shouted at Allesandro and Franco to assist their brother which they quickly rushed to do. The two men who had withdrawn from the entrance of the Red Fox now rushed forward and tried to catch Rufus by surprise. This failed and Rufus quickly dropped the first. The second however ran up the stairs and tried to engage Misteline, but Rufus rushed after him and for a moment the three men fought with the unknown enemy tackling Misteline with one hand, and Rufus with the other.

Marmaduke moved to the fence behind the Red Fox to cover the heaving fight around Giancarlo but in the darkness he could see very little and had no clear shot.

On the balconey, Rufus was pressed back long enough for his opponent to move to a more advantageous position. This spared Misteline. The two men were almost equals, but Rufus had the edge (and the longer blade). After several parris and thrusts, he caught the man in the shoulder and as he went down, he gave him a stunning blow to the head. Misteline, watching, noticed the first assailant get up and flee, but decided he was unlikely to be able to catch him.

At this point, and to Marmaduke's amazement, Luigi and Ivy Cutlerstub, both in night clothing, appeared from the rear entrance of the Cutlerstub residence and peered at the fighting men. Marmaduke shouted "Mother! How could you!?" and Ivy yelped and fled back indoors. Luigi payed no heed to this, but with his sword in hand, he dashed into the fray. Marmaduke may have considered shooting him, but didn't.

The fighting was over in seconds and by the time Rufus had reached them, Ronaldo, Alesandro and Sandro were dead, Giancarlo was dying and Luigi was seriously wounded in the lower abdomen. From his vantage point, Misteline noted that Anaiis Fouquet had witnessed the fight from atop the gate house.

Whilst Misteline did what he could for Luigi, Rufus told Marmaduke to grab the prisoner from the balconey, and then fetch a doctor, which Marmaduke did whilst Rufus ran off to get help from Marshal Quartermoon. Marmaduke left the prisoner with Misteline and then went to find Doctor Hamshank. Hamshank was at home and came readily enough, though he was not happy about it. He examined Giancarlo and said there was nothing he could do, then examined Luigi and said he might survive if he was lucky. He then took his leave just as a slightly drunk Robert Ladlevane arrived on the scene, on his way back home.

Marmaduke, Robert Ladlevane and Franco moved Luigi, the prisoner and the dead Faustini brothers into Misteline's house. Whilst Pietro stayed, weeping, by the dying Giancarlo. Luigi and the prisoner were taken up to the studio whilst the dead brothers were laid out on the kitchen floor. Whilst this was going on, Misteline sloped away to Garnet Street and found the door to the Cock-a-doodle Club still open.

As he ran along North Wall Street Rufus heard a horse coming up fast behind him, he whipped around drawing his rapier as he did and was just in time to parry a blow aimed at his head. He almost managed to dishorse the rider but the horseman held on fast and galloped on down the road. Rufus ran after him for a short while but it was useless. The man on the horse got away and Rufus never got a clear look at his face.

Inside the Cock-a-doodle Club, Misteline found evidence that some one had been using the club for an unknwn period of time. Furniture had been moved about and several empty wine bottles and the remains of a light meal were still standing on a table. The rear door had been barricaded by heavy furntiure. Locating the cellar, Misteline then checked below. He found an ample supply of wine in the first room, and a locked door. He tried to pick the lock with his dagger but succeeded only in breaking the tip of his dagger off in the lock. Rather than carry around a broken dagger which might identify him, should any one discover the tip of the blade in the lock, he then dropped the dagger and left it on the floor.

The upper storey of the building showed more signs of habitation. In the rear bedroom a table by the window contained yet more wine bottles and a note book. Misteline took the note book and scarpered, but as he was leaving the club he bumped into a Militia night watchman who asked him what he was doing. Misteline shrugged and muttered but the guard realised what the building was and having drawn a mistaken conclusion about Misteline (but not that mistaken) quickly departed. Misteline breathed a sigh of relief and returned home.

At the Citadel, Rufus found the gates shut so he hammered on them until a guard opened a shutter high above him and gruffly asked his business. Rufus tried to explain that there was an emergency and he needed to speak with Marshall Quartermoon, but the guards told him to be off. Not to be put out Rufus tried one of the other gates, but with a similar result. Disgusted he returned to Friars Gate.

Misteline examined the prisoner and found there was something unusual about him in that his moustache was hanging from his face. It transpired that the prisoner was the man who called himself Horace Nuvel, and almost certainly the drunkard with eel whom had been sighted in the Red Fox. Misteline realised that if Horace was working in some official capacity, then taking him prisoner and killing his companions might be seen in a poor light. He set about writing a letter to Leander Quartermoon at once;
To Marshal Leander Quartermoon

Some people had been occupying the Cock-a-doodle Club. When disturbed, one of the shot Giancarlo Faustini of Castelopea, killing him

They then attacked the other Faustini brothers, Rufus and myself. Rufus over powered one who proved to be the man who had mascaraded as Horace (the servant that I had hired for Rufus). I thought he had been working for you, in which case you should reclaim him. You may wish to take him into custody if he was not working for you. Do you have any advice? Two were killed, one escaped. They appear to have come from Serrensima.

Misteline Magnifico

Rufus returned and was informed about Horace. He examined the unconsious man and confirmed his identity, then together with Marmaduke, he examined the two dead men who wore good clothing, but had no distinguishing marks beyond a purse of coins from Serrenisma. Misteline bought some Laudanum from Doctor Hamshank and gave Horace a dose. As he did, Horace revived from his stupor long enough to peer about the room and tell every one they were under arrest in the name of the Lord High Steward. After this, there followed a discussion as to what to do with the bodies and Marmaduke was sent to fetch the wagon, which he duly did.

Misteline took the samples of black powder he had stashed in Rufus's studio and walked to the Citadel. Along the way he became aware that the man calling himself Julian Keenkettle was following him, accompanied at times by an urchin. Misteline hastened on and upon his arrival convinced the Militia guards to accept the letter he had written for Marshal Quartermoon. As a precaution he also handed in the parcel containing the samples of black powder. He then asked if Marlowe was present to which the guards told him to wait. An uncomfortable hour passed with Misteline growing ever more wary. Every so often he spied Julian Keenkettle lurking in the distance and dared not leave the proximity of the Citadel. Eventually his patience paid off, a door was opened and Misteline was pulled within...

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