Having taken the Dove from Messin City to Tallisport you have travelled with a very fair wind you have arrived in the Imperial City a little under a week after you landed.
You arrived you were met Baron of Shady Pines, Theodore Vargus – High level Diplomat and IA operative. He has been assigned to be your IA liaison.
Gith Ambassador J’kay has been taken in by the Imperial Foreign Office, the Empress has later endorsed your actions in Messin wherein you offered sanctuary to the ~100 surviving gith now led by your old comrade V’llor Hun.
You received a pro forma introduction in the throne room but were later greeted very warmly by the Empress Sybilla Molfinos in her personal residence of St Michaels Tower. There she set you to the task of finding your adversary former Inquisitor Jeremiah Covax, discover the purpose of his machinations and disrupt them as necessary.
o Donovan Hallberis, head of Imperial Security
o Thoros McIntire, Ravener, Queens Bodyguard and head of the Empress Own
o Fenn Codringer, Head of IA
o Theodore Vargus, Baron of Shady Pines (Your IA liason)
o William Comraty, Prime Minister
Other key members of the imperial Cabinet:
o William Kacey High Marshall and Master General of the Ordnance
o Thomas Sackville lord of Buckhurst – Head of the Foreign Office
o Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Liselle Secretary of the interior
o Magister* Theremis the White*, High Councillor
The seat of the inquisition was based in the Hall of Truth an adjunct to the Grand Cathedral. The small walled complex included the Inquisition Hall (with a small Library), a small but luxurious Vicarage of the Grand Inquisitor and a number of guardhouses.
o On New Year’s eve, during the traditional masked ball it has been completely burned down with 17 bodies found among wreckage so far, some with signs of violence.
o A number of other inquisitors were also murdered on the same night.
o The other stronghold of the inquisition is about three week’s travel from the capitol.
You interrogated father Eduardo Rabbih, personal confessor to Jeremiah Covax and his friend of many years. He was taken into custody due to a standing order to arrest all inquisitors. You ordered his release and reversed the order, though details of all inquisitors found in the City are to be forwarded to you.
You searched the burned Hall of Truth but found nothing new. It seems certain that foul play was indeed involved and at least some of the dead were murdered before the fire was set.
In the lodgings of one of the slain Inquisitors, a Deacon Albert Sylvio, you found notes on an investigation he was conducting into the Inquisition. His notes revealed the following:
o He has seen a suspicious meeting between one of the Inquisitors, a Father Darrus, and a person in a coach bearing the crest of Mannerberg.
o Notes that he (Sylvio) recently follower Father Darrus to a fine (though located in a shady part of town) establishment belonging to a Mr. Greenstreet – an underworld figure.
Your formal appointment as Inquisitors took place, with Caleb named the New Grand Inquisitor.
IA was notified of an Inquisitor by name of Deacon Sullimiah Verrus hiding in the city, making plans to escape quietly. You captured him without difficulty. After interrogating him you believed that he was Innocent and set him free, releasing him from his vows but inviting him to re-join the Inquisition when he is ready.
You went to Greenstreet’s establishment. After a night of dicing and drinking you found out that:
o Father Darrus did indeed have dealings with Greenstreet, however he has not been seen there in months. Other inquisitors had dealt with Greenstreet some three weeks ago.
o The inquisition had bought out the debts of Marquis Fairgarden, and aide-de-camp working for Marshal Menno Coheroon, the head of Imperial forces in the East, the largest imperial standing army.
o Fairgarden was not aware that the Inquisition has bought up his debts and Greenstreet encouraged him to borrow more heavily and eased him into other fashions, whilst representing the inquisition’s men as his own.
o You agreed that you owe Greenstreet a favour but you drew the line at paying him money…
You made inquiries into Albrecht Detwailer, Barron Mannerberg. A prominent noble with a reputation for caring for his city and people and for being courteous, open handed. He is known for his faith and strong morals and for not indulging in the vices that often come with aristocracy. He is a man who inspires loyalty.
You set off for Mannerhill House the residence of Albrecht Detwailer, the Baron of Mannerberg. You came up with a ruse to test the Baron’s Loyalty.
You arrived at Mannerhill House. Though your ruse was sophisticated the Baron must have seen through it straight away. He was smart enough to deal with a fake Covax in just the right way to avoid suspicion. He poisoned you then attacked, and was killed in a short and furious fight with him, his retainers and two members of the Black Talon elite troops. Though most of the household staff fled you brought them back and ordered them to remain at Mannerhill.
The Baron had two sets of prisoners: Ludmilla the Baroness Starbreeze and her daughter Martha, aged six, and an Edgar and Sandra Harkness, commoners held in the dungeons. After some questioning you worked out that the prisoners had something in common. The Baron Starbreese is a General on the staff of Menno Corehoon, the Grand Marshall of the Imperial forces in the East, and Edgar’s brother Horace is a Sargent leading a small platoon of mounted messengers.
The Baron managed to burn most of his incriminating papers… However, you also found a cryptic letter from Covax himself. Make sure you read it in the media Library!
You return to the Imperial City with the erstwhile prisoners in tow. Following a cryptic clue, overheard by Baroness Ludmilla Starbreeze, you tracked down a young highly placed Imperial bureaucrat – Valerio Dansenni. He killed himself rather than be questioned and among his possessions you stumbled on a wooden document box – which incinerated as soon as you touched it. You are certain that he was somehow involved in *Covax*’ conspiracies.
You have spent the day with Theodore Vargus, your IA liaison, discussing the details of the case, specifically * Valerio Dansenni*. He was a mid level clerk in the FO but, like Vargus, he also had a role in the Imperial Intelligence. Dansenni was one of the clerks responsible for passing messages to the Great Web which, following The Event at Messin City, is the Empire’s main system of covert communication. You had surmised that Dansenni altered the message sent to Marshall Libovitz, the head of Imperial forces in Cintra and one of the two main Imperial forces in the east (the other being commanded by Coheroon himself. (see also this message in the media library)
After much investigation you concluded that Dansenni would not have been able to alter (or even read) the message itself but that he probably changed the footer of the message. a low level clerk noted at the time that the footer seemed surprisingly long. Dansenni had intimate knowledge of the Great Web and imperial procedures. Though he should not have been able to read the message itself it’s general contents was well known in the FO/IA circles.
It is now the evening of the 13th of January. There is an Imperial cabinet meeting scheduled for the afternoon of the 14th, where you are expected to lay out the conclusions of your investigation to before the full cabinet and the Empress herself. You will also be expected to analyze the situation within the Empire, the impact (if any) of *Covax*’ machinations and suggest your next policy.
You know that the role of the Inquisition has not been well defined and that you are seen as outsiders by many. You are sure that your unprecedented level of access to the highest levels of government must rub many in the cabinet and outside the wrong way, given that they can trace their imperial lineage for centuries and have labored for decades in the service of the Empire.
You feel under pressure to demonstrate your worth.