The one with Estar’s fall from grace

Three weeks had passed since the final encounter between the merry band of adventurers and Brand’s Red Eyes Gang. The gang had been destroyed, and Brand, now turned into a Slaad, had escaped back into Limbo, the plane of pure chaos. It had been a quiet three weeks and the festival of The Three Brothers was only a month away. Nothing much had happened in that time, and all of the adventurers had kept themselves busy with their own business. The only major news having been that a new gang had seized the territory left by the destruction of the Red Eyes’ Gang, a gang called The Black Fang, led by one Ardell. Yanika had spent most of the time crafting a magical cloak for herself and doing some investigating into the dead gods Arysia and Edon, the latter not having yielded any results. Interspaced in this she had spent time on Emine, and it was the captain of the Skyrifles she was currently talking to, recounting that latest in news of her adventures.

“So the job had come in through Ace and Spade, as per usual. Thyra, a priest from the temple of Belenus, had come reporting one of her acolytes missing, a young girl named Samra. And Spade had accepted the job in return for 500 gold worth of temple services. I should really have a talk with him about doing things for store credit. it’s all nice and well, but it doesn’t really pay the bills you know. “

Emine smirked a bit as she sipped her wine and nodded. She of course knew who Spade was, him having worked for her Skyrifles for some time.

“Anyway, back to the story. So we accepted the job and first went to the girl’s place of residence in Hillside Rise. On the way we passed the mining companies in Gold Gulch, where a huge argument was going on between the mining company on one side and the metalworkers on the other, as apparently the price of metal has gone up exponentially over the past week. Apparently a new company has moved in that’s making golems with the goal of using them as some sort of city watch? But again I’m getting distracted. So we arrived at the apartment, which is located in a townhouse belonging to the temple of Belenus, and first talked to one of the other residents before looking at the apartment itself. The only useful piece of information he could give was that there had been some commotion in a tavern up the street a few days ago, but otherwise he didn’t know anything.”

The story of the investigation of course had Emine’s full attention, as this was so close to her own sphere of work.

“The apartment was a bit weird. It was obvious that this girl came from a rich background, probably the daughter of one of the nobles or rich merchants in town, and held very little of interest except for an operator manual for skyships, and a bunch of diaries. A very interesting note of the diaries was that she knew Monty, the skyship captain of the skyship that exploded a while back. We split up at this point, with Ace, Zebulor and Spade going to talk to the girl’s parents, and the rest of us going to check what the commotion at the tavern had been about.”

Yanika stretched and leaned back in her seat, picking up her cup of wine and taking a sip as she looked at Emine with love in her eyes. The wine was quickly followed by some bread and cheese before she continued.

“The girl’s parents couldn’t give much more information about their daughter, except that apparently Samra had to do community service when she just started in the temple, and Monty had been one of the people she had to help. They were also the ones who informed us about why the prices for metal had gone up so much. In the meanwhile, the rest of us learned that the commotion had been caused by none other than Estar! He had come to the place to have a meal and had been recognized, and Estar being Estar, had started entertaining. After coming back together we first decided to have a talk with Estar. He told us that he had been in that neighborhood because he had been looking for a friend, and he did not know anything about any Samra, but Majid felt that he was lying about this. Ace read his thoughts and found out something about a warehouse in the docks.

She brushed her fingers through her long hair and sighed softly. While having someone in the group who could read minds was obviously an asset, Yanika didn’t know how she felt about it. The fact that Ace could do it so subtle that no-one could see her casting the spell, also meant that she could try and read any of the group’s minds, and that was something she didn’t want to be subjected to.

“So as we had no evidence that Estar was involved in this, even though he was suspect, having known both Monty and having lied about knowing Samra, we decided to split up again and see if we could find some proof. Kayne, Majid and me decided to backtrack Samra’s last steps before disappearing while the rest went looking for the mystery warehouse. And I’m sad to say that while the three of us did well in following the tracks and figuring out that Estar was behind kidnapping her, by asking around and following tracks, the rest did it the easy way by finding the warehouse pretty easily, and inside, finding Estar prepping a skyship to leave town. Long story short, he had kidnapped the girl because she knew some details of his life that he didn’t want anyone to find out, and was going to set her loose in the next city. She had learned of these things by taking care of Monty and had written them down in her diary. In the following interrogation he confessed to having killed Monty, by rigging the boiler of his skyship, and of accidentally killing Nathan all these years ago in an argument. He had struck him, and Nathan had fallen, hitting his head on something. In panic, Estar had overloaded the experimental skyship engine and destroyed the old Guild Hall in the process. He confessed all of this to Safina, the elven woman he loved, who promptly left him, as well as to Monty, who told Samra. After that we delivered Estar here and the girl to the temple.”

She smiled at Emine and finished her drink. She had given a short statement about all of this to the skyrifles already but had wanted to give her full statement to Emine herself, leaving out none of the details. She not just loved telling the stories of adventures to her love, but also could not miss up the opportunity to spend more time with her. She filled her in on the sob story Estar had told them about his youth and the apprenticeship with Nathaniel, Nathan’s father. And how she thought that Nathan was not dead at all, rather that he was the noble with the skull mask. After she finished the story and told her all the related information, she fell silent for a moment and looked at Emine, not sure what to do next. Technically the captain was still on duty. Emine noticed the hesitation and smiled.

“I would love spending more time with you right now, but I’m afraid I still have work to do. Shall we meet later tonight for dinner?”

Yanika smiled and nodded, getting up and putting on her brand new cloak again.

“Later this evening then, i look forward to it!”

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