The adventure begins HERE!
The airship Diplomacy was a monstrous sky vessel build for austerity’s sake. The ship was ideal for maritime parades and impressing visiting dignitaries. It had been built with a gigantic passenger cabin, comfortable leather sofas and a complete bar all enclosed and bulletproof. The crew were renowned for their impeccable customer service and when the Diplomacy was sailing over the city, her brass and gold ribs glittering in the sunlight, every child on the street would chase her shouting and waving hello. She was a gentleman’s carriage.
She was also as subtle as a brick through a window.
Since mid-morning the house staff of Mayor Perryn had worked tirelessly to ensure that the airship was sky worthy, a task frequently complicated by an unusual collection of street thugs monitoring their every move. The Meiville constable was aware of the situation and had patrols minding the affair, but so far no one had done anything unusual apart from hovering around hospitality staff and crowding street corners.
Nym gazed out the window, it was a glorious late afternoon in Meiville, and the sight of the Diplomacy hovering over Port Twain was breathtaking. She fumbled a moment with the strap of her leather holster before securing in the pistol she had been given for the journey.
She was frightened and exhilarated as she prepared for their trip to meet the woman called TriAnna. The name felt familiar to her but she could not connect with it in any meaningful way, certainly not as one would connect to a mother. She was apprehensive realizing that she might at last be able to understand what was happening in Meiville.
What she failed to understand, however, was why they all needed to be so heavily armed traveling in an armored coach?
She looked at Amos quizzically as he tightened a holster onto his hip.
Perryn seemed to read the mood of the room and interceded, ” The second that I called for that coach to be prepared every hired man and ruffian in the Stevenson District came crawling out of the woodwork. Nym’s had eyes on her since she arrived. Certan people have always been curious about Marcel’s disappearance.” he said rather flatly, pouring himself a snifter and sharing the view.
“It would have taken ages to cover up his existence, but TriAnna was able to help some in that regard. A little memory trick, for the community good, really. No one would sleep again if they could fully remember that night.” Perryn lost himself in thought for a moment, staring out at the peaceful bay.
“What happened that night, Mayor? What is it everyone needs to forget?” Nym asked, intrigued.
“Oh, my dear. There are some things TriAnna must explain to you. I’m afraid even I don’t know the full truth of it.” He took a drink from his snifter, savoring the flavor of the brandy.
“After Alexi was found…as he was…and Emily was gone, people wanted answers. The young man’s body was found in Marcel’s shop so it was natural for the family to want to speak with him.” the Mayor took another sip of his brandy.
“They had arranged a meeting time after the funeral, to discuss events. Marcel knew very little but did not want to disrespect the wishes of a grieving family. When he didn’t show for the meeting, the Cartons assumed that he had something to hide. And when he disappeared it confirmed it for them.” Perryn seemed to tire of the spectacle of the Diplomacy and crossed the room to close the curtains.
“But why didn’t Marcel come to the meeting? He didn’t have a hand in Alexi’s death?” Nym sat down on a parlor chair, straightening her skirts. She had decided to open her satchel and look for her notes.
“He went to Lys, I believe.” The Mayor said, surprised at the clarity of his memory. “Somehow TriAnna had managed to send him a letter. Her father had died and there were strange things happening there. It wasn’t like Marcel to miss an engagement, especially one as dangerous as this one with the Carton family. So I must imagine it was urgent.”
Nym rummaged through her bag looking for TriAnna’s letter. She was removing papers and objects as she searched her satchel and putting them onto the parlor table. Without thinking she removed the object known as the Apport Sextant and haphazardly sat it on the table as well.
“Well, Now!” Perryn said, “That is a curious object to have in one’s handbag.”
Nym, realizing what she had done, tried to retrieve it but it was already in Perryn’s hands. He turned it over as if inspecting it, and then seeing Nym’s concern and surprise, handed it back to her.
“Best to keep that one safe and hidden, Nym… And get it back to Marcel’s room as soon as you are able. Bad things follow that piece, and bad people.” He raised an eyebrow in absolute seriousness, before returning to the bar to discard his glass.
Nym looked to Amos as she put the Apport Sextant back into her bag.
Mike made a final inventory and announced that it was time for their departure, “Everyone, stay close and follow me. We are safe until the tunnels, but then everyone will need to be quiet and at the ready.” He gave Nym a reassuring smile.
“Tunnels?” Amos asked.
“Meiville has been plagued with corruption and mob involvement since they lay the first stone, Amos,” Perryn said. “The mob has kept hands deep into the pockets of the local government for years. Before the Absinthe Wars this house was used for trafficking and Gods only know what else. The tunnels are old, but they will get to the Envoy”
“The Envoy? But what about..?” Amos asked, keeping pace with Mike as he lead them down a strange hall.
“Decoy.” Perryn said with a wink. “The Envoy is fast and stealth, and we will need both where we are going.”
The group filed into a small chamber that was darkly lit and crowded with boxes and sundry from the kitchens. Mike summoned Amos to help clear the path to a small door hidden in the clutter.
“The Celestial Heliograph appears to be above Meiville, but it’s actual location is a bit trickier.” Perryn smiled.
“I’ve been there,” Amos said. “It’s directly above the city.” Amos continued to move and sort boxes.
“So it seems, but it’s actual location is sort of …an in between. A pocket in the ether, if you would.” Perryn pulled a large metal ring from his pocket and began searching through metal keys. A small, thin door was now accessible through the storage and the metal clanking of the keys echoed off the walls.
“Seemed normal enough to me,” Amos said, then blushed, “though I was a bit…foggy.” Nym smiled knowingly at him.
“Ah, yes!” The Mayor said, finding the key. He turned and gave Amos a knowing grin, “I imagine it would have seemed nothing more than a lucky accident -harpooning yourself to a national treasure. But never underestimate the intentions of the woman inside that contraption.” Mayor Perryn pointed toward the sky.
He turned the key and the door sprung open with a painful creak.
“She is full of surprises.”