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Second letter to Yanika: Guard trouble

My dearest friend,

I am afraid my second letter has to start with a warning for you. We have spoken with the admiral of the fleet and she is not happy with you sneaking on board of the Western Gale, so expect to be scolded for that when you arrive back in Himmin. How we got to talk to the admiral you ask? Well that is part of the story I’m about to tell.

The first of the trouble with the guard started when we woke up the morning after dealing with the ghost of Alabaster Grimm. We woke up to the sound of, well, not much really. The construction on the house had stopped and there was a notice on the door that the Ace and spade had been temporarily closed by the new head of the guards, Alexi Garadin, pending an investigation. I think for the first time since I’ve met him, spade is wishing that Emine was back in charge of the Skyrifles. I accompanied spade to the guardhouse to have a chat with this Alexi, and oh boy did that go well. He told us that he wants to restore order to the city, something he claims Emine has neglected to do, but it all sounds like a personal vendetta against Spade. I don’t know, I’m not always the best judge of characters, but this man really feels like a corrupt official. Some threats were exchanged and then we headed back to the rest.

While spade and I had been out, the rest had gotten a visit by an old wizard named Ovik. I think you’ve mentioned him before? He wanted to hire us to find a druid grove hidden in the Racks, because the druids there have a spell which he doesn’t know yet and would like to add to his book. A spell that, you’ll never guess, allows you to change the environment with illusions, as such hiding their grove. As we’re not allowed to conduct any business at the moment, Spade suggested doing it as a service to a friend. After all, Ovik is willing to perform the vision ritual for the group, the one he was going to teach you.

So we went looking for this hidden grove, but how do you find something like this? We started by asking around, which got us the information that the grove apparently has been here for a very long time, and it got us some falls leads, like a street with a weird vibe to it. We went to check it out of course, and yes, the entire street does have a very creepy vibe to it. Spade noticed some small cracks in the ground, with fog from the black maze seeping through, which explains the unnatural vibe hanging over the place.

I suggested looking for places that people avoid subconsciously, as it is an illusion keeping people away, which got more results, but not because it keeps people away. But more on this later. We first stopped by Ace and Spade’s old office, and unsurprisingly, it has been occupied by now by some half-orc named “Spade” who’s started a detective agency. And your friends showed a bit of their low side here. He wasn’t able to help us with the druid grove and as a result, the rest wasn’t very friendly to him. I would think that people who grew up in the Racks and managed to start their own business there and work themselves up from there, would be more supportive of others trying to do the same. Spade at least seems to understand this, as he hired the guy to take messages for us.

After this little debacle, which I scolded them for a little, we resumed looking for the grove, and then almost by accident found it. It’s not a place that people avoid though, rather a soup kitchen that attracts quite a few people in the Racks. Suddenly everyone turned into philanthropists, offering money to the people running the soup kitchen to help them out. While I waited outside, most of the others went inside and figured out that this actually must be the place we were looking for, and they weren’t too happy that we went looking and actually figured it out. With a job well done, we headed back to Ovik to inform him.

And then the trouble with the guards escalated. Spade and Majid went to investigate Alexi and his sister, Straga Garadin, and followed her to the Racks, to Brand's former hide-out of all places. Which now has been occupied by a new gang and their leader, Ardell. In the meanwhile, the rest of us went to talk to the giants about payment for closing the gates in the black maze, but this turned out to be a problem. Harald Frode had also heard about the Skyrifle investigation and that meant he couldn’t offer us any jobs. He is willing to pay us back afterwards, once our name is cleared, but he can’t hire us because that could cause a diplomatic incident between the districts. He urged us to solve the issue between Spade and Alexi, so things can go back to normal.

The next morning, while the group was discussing selling the plans for the device to close the gates, five guards of the Stormrifles, Alexi’s personal guard, showed up with a search warrant. Things really started escalating. Not being able to stop them, they started going through the place and they of course found the stash of things Kayne had hidden beneath the floorboards. One of the things being the orb from the crocodile. A discussion broke out between the guards and Kayne, which I managed to diffuse a bit by asking the guards if they had any evidence that this was actually a stolen item, which they needed to get from the guardstation. But at least it stopped Kayne from killing all five of them on the spot. Majid decided to be a bit difficult though and got himself arrested.

In order to solve all these problems, we went to talk to the Guildmaster, to see if he can interfere in the investigation, but he said that the only person who could possibly do something about it is Helene Corvix, the admiral of the fleet, as she is the highest authority in the city. So we went to her skyship “the Cursed Raven” to have an audience with her. She listened to our story and agreed that this sounded a lot like a personal vendetta, so went along to see Alexi. In the end, after much discussion back and forth, and because it wasn’t a clear cut case, she put one of her own guards on the investigation, and restored Ace and Spade to operational business, and freed Majid from the prison. This is also where we learned that she is not happy about you sneaking onto the Western Gale, but maybe she’ll forget about it by the time you get back, and you have saved the entire mission from disaster.

The only other thing of note that happened is that Kayne got a visitor in the middle of the night, to offer him a business deal. He was told that Mesanna had been lying to him all this time, but Kayne rejected this. He didn’t tell us much more.

Your friend, with love


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