Lelouche returns to the group on the rooftop by the piers. Orik, Falx, and Jansen are watching for any mysterious characters entering or exiting the dry dock. Lelouche shares his experience within the structure with the group, and realizes quite quickly based on their questions that he needs to return and look more thoroughly. After discussing the possible things to check for with the group, he begins to head back down to street level. Jansen blesses him in the name of Pelor before he climbs down.
Lelouche climbs back down and heads inside the dry dock, finding it even easier to invisibly slip past the guards out front this time. He finds the area inside just as he left it, and heads directly for the office. The man that had been writing a letter the last time he was in the office had apparently left, leaving the room open for investigation. Thumbing through the manifests in nearby drawers, he finds no records of the ship currently docked, judging by the dates listed on the reports. He picks up a nearby paperweight which falls into his invisibility at his touch. Heading out of the office, he walks toward the ship. Seeing the guards handling off-loaded crates still, and some others moving around completing their tasks, he throws the paperweight onto the upper deck of the ship. He shouts out “WHAT WAS THAT? SHOULD WE LOWER THE SHIP?” and scuttles behind a few boxes to watch the confusion unfold.
Two nearby guards move to the ship to investigate the noise. One is sent to lower the ship, while the other looks inquisitively around for the source of the noise. The ropes are shifted on a nearby tie, lowering the bridge onto the ship. Lelouche follows the two guards as they walk onto the deck. The bridge creaks as he walks across it, but the guards seem to shake off their curiosity, seeing no one around. One of the guards walks the deck and finds the paperweight. Picking it up, he asks how the item was missed and whether it was cataloged. The guard he addressed assures him that it wasn’t there before, and couldn’t have been missed. The superior guard tells him to go and get the guard captain immediately, which he heads off to do.
Lelouche is left on the upper deck with only the one remaining guard. He sees a door heading down to what he assumes is the lower deck, but the guard is standing near enough to the door that he is unsure he can get in without being noticed. He slams his arm down on the wood of the high deck as a distraction, causing the guard to look away for long enough to slip into the doorway and close it behind him. Listening through the door, he is positive that he hasn’t been detected so he heads down the steps, lighting a candle from his bag on the way down.
He finds himself in the lower hold of the ship, and finds it completely empty. There is evidence of objects being recently moved from the area in the dust on the floor. There seems to be no sign of arcane intervention that he can see, but he does not want to give up his invisibility to make a more thorough check. He hears footsteps above him, and recognizes that the guards are all on the deck, and escape would be difficult at this point without a distraction. Glancing around, he finds an especially splintered part of the hull and uses his candle to light a fire in the ship. It begins to spread as he moves away and toward the steps.
Listening carefully, Lelouche hears the guards yelling as they notice smoke exiting the door above. The door above opens and the guards begin heading into the lower decks, but Lelouche uses Fey Step to teleport outside of the ship, making his way to the off-loaded crates as the guards attempt to investigate the smoke and get the fire under control. Lelouche investigates an open crate, finding a damaged cannon piece that appears to have been ripped apart, possibly by an explosion like the man writing the letter had described. Realizing that the issue with the fire is getting out of control as the guards exit the ship, Lelouche calmly heads out the front gate, seeing the Eros Alliance guards outside keeping the peace while the Western Bank guards are yelling for all remaining guard to call for the fire guard before it spreads.
Lelouche heads back again to the rooftop to meet with Falx, Orik, and Jansen. He extends what he learned to the group, who express disappointment that they seem to have discovered nothing of use. The dry dock tarps begin to ignite as the guards exit the structure. Falx watches carefully as a large group of guards are being ordered by one man in particular, who seems to be the guard captain. He keeps an eye on the man as the chaos brings some of the curious townsfolk, who are ushered back behind a line of guards and told to return to their homes and businesses. The tarps begin to fall as their lines are burned away. Orik begins laughing at the chaos and screaming taunts at the guards below. One of the guards notices him and runs off. Falx attempts to convince Orik to stop by threatening him with his scythe, but Orik ignores him completely. Falx and Lelouche head off the roof the get away from the group.
At the end of the alleyway leading back to the main road, Falx and Lelouche find themselves behind the guard barrier. Falx plays dumb as a guard grabs him and Lelouche by the shoulders, telling them they need to get behind the barrier. They are pushed through the line into the crowd of townsfolk. They move to a high vantage point on a large rock, and Falx continues to watch the guard captain as he orders groups of guards to secure the area.
After a bit of waiting, Jansen and Orik head off the roof and find themselves in the alleyway. Guards come to the entrance to the main road, spotting them. One guard calls over the captain, who calls for more men as he approaches. From the back of the group, the captain shouts that they will be taken in for questioning. Orik declares that he was just watching the fire, but the captain cites the suspicious nature of them being so close to the area so quickly after the fire began, and says that he believes they may be involved. Jansen attempts to tell Orik that there is no need to fight, saying they should either run back to the rooftop and attempt to escape that way, or go in for questioning peacefully. Orik responds that he didn’t do anything and he refuses to back down in any way.
Jansen speaks up, attempting to reason with the guards as they approach. He tells them that he saw the fire and came to watch. The guard says he has a report that they were on the roof in the minutes directly proceeding the fire, laughing at the guards below, and it is too much of a coincidence to not bring them in. Back on the main road, the dry dock tarps begin to fall and reveal the entire structure. Falx and Lelouche watch from their vantage point while Orik and Jansen see it from the alleyway. Orik decides to make a move while the guards are distracted by the sudden noise.
Throwing Jansen over his shoulder, Orik rushes directly into the group of guards. He puts his weight into a hit to a guard on the left, launching him into the wall of the alley, then pushing past the remaining guards. Breaking through to the main street, he rushes past the guards that are standing watch by the dry dock entrance. Before they can shout at him to stop, he dives off the dock, disappearing with Jansen in the dark waters below. They swim as far as they can to the west, away from the dry dock, under a number of other structures over the water.
When they resurface, they are far behind the line of guards blocking the townsfolk. They find a nearby rigging to climb up to street level, and disperse to stay out of sight. Knowing that he is quite recognizable, Orik grabs Jansen and tells him to follow him to the inn that they stayed in when they first arrived. They head through the tavern and into the inn in the back, paying for a single room. Orik heads out for a moment and buys four mugs of ale, carrying them back to the room. Jansen tells him that while he usually wouldn’t condone it, Orik has earned it tonight.
Falx and Lelouche realize that Orik and Jansen are probably hiding out somewhere, but they can’t know where and should probably attempt to find them when things calm down a bit. Falx continues to watch the guard captain as the dry dock burns. After a long while, the fires die out and the guards begin to disperse along with the crowd. The guard captain is standing with the remaining guards in front of the dry dock for a while, speaking just out of hearing distance for Falx.
Orik falls asleep quickly, snoring in a manner you might call “cute” for a Dwarf. Jansen heads out to look at what is happening on the street. The guard captain dismisses himself for the night and heads down the street to the west, leaving the newly arriving guards to their morning shift. Falx and Lelouche watch as the captain passes by them. Falx notices how tired the captain looks, watching him walk a bit down the road before he starts to follow with Lelouche. As Jansen leaves the tavern, he turns his head away from the approaching captain, managing to not get recognized. Falx and Lelouche meet up with Jansen as they pass the tavern a few moments later.
Following from 50 yards, the three adventurers watch as the guard captain heads down an alley to the south. Turning the corner, they don’t immediately see him, so Falx runs ahead and sees if he disappeared into the market. Noting that he couldn’t have gone far enough in to not be spotted, Falx turns back and heads into a tavern in the alley, Lelouche and Jansen following him in. The tavern is full and lively, with citizens telling their own individual accounts of the fire and how they think it started. The general orders a drink and sits at the bar.
Falx and Lelouche order drinks and sit with Jansen at a nearby table. Falx approaches the guard captain, asking if he’s had a rough night. The general opens up a bit, saying he was stationed at the fire and doesn’t really want to talk about it at the moment. Falx buys him a drink, asking about his work in general, and the man opens up a bit more, thanking him for the drink. Falx sees him nearly finishing his cup and orders another, telling the barkeep to keep them coming on his tab. After a bit of silence, the captain asks Falx what he thought of the fire. Falx talks about the boat owner being potentially upset about it, and the captain makes a quip about the owner being informed if they weren’t already aware already. He adds that it isn’t his job to keep track of that, and he seems thankful for this fact.
Falx asks how he became the guard captain, and the man goes into a bit of a story about the separation of the armies in Eros and how the Eros Alliance was formed as well, citing that when the armies were split, there was a small rebellion formed by members of each army that didn’t like the idea of being separated from their brothers in arms, so they formed a separate army that aids in kingdom-related issues only and can not interfere with anything related to the three subsections. He calls the alliance members “pansies”, saying that you have a duty to where you come from, and it’s stronger than blood.
Noting that the captain seemed to have stopped talking, Falx asks about Whisper, and a possible connection to the arson. The captain slams his drink down on the bar and tells Falx that the conversation is over. Falx feigns ignorance, and the captain responds by throwing both of their drinks off of the bar and grabbing Falx by his collar, demanding he tell him what he knows about that fire. Lelouche attempts to cast Instant Friends on the captain, but it fails. The captain immediately drags Falx over to the table where Lelouche and Jansen are sitting, throwing him onto the table and pointing to Lelouche. He sees Jansen after a second and recognizes him, squinting a bit before uttering “You…” and shouting for more guards. Two guards in the corner stand up and after a second, four more rush in from outside.
The guards grab the three adventurers by the arms at the request of the captain. Jansen asks what the captain is doing. The captain announces that they are to be brought in for questioning, particularly Jansen who is believed to be involved in grand arson. Lelouche claims that he has nothing to hide, and adds that he thinks the guard captain is a sexy man. The captain is not swayed by his words in the least.
The guards pull them out onto the street. They do not put up a fight, and are brought to a holding cell within Port Giles. While being booked, the crime claimed is “grand arson and a possible connection to the bandit Whisper”. Their personal items are put in chests in a small room, then they are placed within three separate holding cells within one room. Lelouche’s metal bracers are left on him, as no way to remove them can be seen.
Jansen expresses his discomfort with being in jail for the first time in his life. Lelouche begins to meditate and Falx begins to nap as Jansen considers his situation. They stay in their cells through the night, planning on clearing their name in the morning. In the morning, they are given basic meals and told they will be processed shortly. Orik, still in the inn, waits up to find Jansen is nowhere to be found. He heads down to the bar and orders a breakfast and two ales, taking his time to enjoy them. Finishing his meal, he heads outside and notes about how beautiful the day is. With nothing in particular to do, he heads to a local blacksmith, casually strolling through the marketplace. He asks for his weapon to be polished, and the blacksmith does so while Orik waits, charging him three silver pieces.
Admiring his newly polished hammer, he heads down to the pier again to another nearby tavern. On the way in, he notices a guard look at him strangely, but he just side-eyes the man and heads to the bar without a worry. He orders a whiskey from the bartender, and turns to the door to see two more guards, one pointing at him and the other being sent off. Realizing he may be noticed from the night before, he bribes the barkeep 10 gold pieces to hide him in the cellar. The barkeep rushes Orik down the steps behind the bar, locking him in the barrel cellar. Orik attempts to listen to the sounds in the bar above, but can’t make out anything specific over the general crowd.
After a minute or two, some noises in the tavern above become clear. Guards enter, demanding to know where a man matching Orik’s description is. After a long moment of silence, an old man’s voice can be heard beginning to explain that they saw him, but the bartender interrupts him to tell the old man to shut his mouth and stop telling tall tales. After the sounds of a short scuffle, the door to the cellar opens up and the barkeep can be seen being dragged by his collar by two guards. The barkeep is thrown to the side and the guards begin to head down the steps. Orik gives himself up, joking with them that they found him, and they win a beer. He laughs as they drag him upstairs, citing the same crimes as with the others. Orik continues laughing as they bring him in and put his personal items in the side room. The guards place Orik in a holding cell in the same room as the rest of the group, who can hear him laughing long before he comes around the corner into their room.
The commanding officer demands to know if there are any others involved in their actions. Orik jokes with him that there are dozens, but it’s clear he’s being facetious. The officer turns to the others and repeats the question, citing that if they give up information, the court will go easier on them. Lelouche feigns ignorance while Falx denies the claims and says that he will wait to speak to the general.
0 EXP from battle + 300 EXP from role-play = 300 EXP total (14500 EXP total)