After Luce and Anubis confronted Gracas in the street, he took off in a hurry. Despite Luce’s cries of “Get Him”, Anubis decided it wasn’t worth it. Mystified by the events they had seen, Anubis and Luce returned to “The Sandpiper”. The night was getting on, so they decided to turn in, as did Daniella. Crinn had a few more beers at “The Old Transom” and eventually made his way home. The next morning the group met to discuss their plans for the day. Eventually it was decided that Crinn and Anubis would go searching for Freddy Ogutu, while Daniella and Luce would spend the morning shopping.
Crinn and Anubis headed down to the ferry station, where they were informed that they would need special authorization to visit Hally’s Island, and that Ogutu was likely not there anyway. His ship, “The Porpoise”, was at the shipyard on Hally’s undergoing repairs, but its captain was probably somewhere in Marvey. Looking for information, they headed back to “The Old Transom”. While Anubis waited outside, Crinn asked the bartender about Ogutu’s location. With some surprise, he discovered that Ogutu, a tall, lank, ruddy-skinned man with a long jet-black ponytail, was right there in the bar. Ogutu told Crinn that he had two fine rooms where the party would be comfortable, but that he was not planning on leaving without one of his crewman, a man named Vickers. Vickers was a crack gunner, and one of the only men capable of handling his largest new magical cannons. Ogutu felt a loyalty to Vickers, and he would not just let the man be hanged by the Royal Navy. He hinted that he and his men were working on a plan to help Vickers, but that if Crinn could find a way to secure the man’s release, “The Porpoise” could leave straightaway. Ogutu said that Crinn might inquire with a man named Captain Johns about Vickers’ situation, but Ogutu claimed to have no luck bribing the man. Ogutu also said he felt it was odd that a sailor would be hanged for the crime of desertion, since usually such men were simply sent back out on dangerous missions as punishment.
Armed with this information, they headed for Fort Jeunise, Anubis in his dress uniform. There he spoke with Captain Johns, who said that Vickers was being hanged for the crime of desertion, a harsh sentence, but one which was on the books. There had been an official court marshall, and evidence was presented. A man named Bandon, the only other survivor of the wreck of Vicker’s ship, had produced a ship’s log which showed that Vickers had not been counted among the crew up to three weeks before the ship was burned by a Baazdeener vessel. Johns further noted that Vicker’s execution had been delayed indefinitely because of information that there was a plot to free him from the gallows on the day of the hanging. Johns felt the whole thing was fishy, but there was nothing he could do. He suggested that maybe Anubis try to find out more from Vickers himself, since only some mitigating evidence could force the reopening of the court marshall and exonerate him of his crime. Upon further inquiry, Johns revealed that the kind of authorization required to see the prisoner, Form 634, could be bought from a local crime lord named Lanny Devilface, who tended to hang out at a pub called “Johns-a-Bleeder” on Sable Island. He noted that this kind of information was not lightly given. At the end of the interview, Ochs invited the captain to have dinner with him at the Sandpiper at 6:30pm.
Meanwhile, Daniella and Luce visited “Zabreel’s”, an alchemical bookshop. Daniella picked up a rare pre-Sarichean book, a primer on Old Drachonic, and some additions to her collections of alchemical substances. Luce dropped a load of cash on a Tome of Understanding +1, a Tome of Intelligence +1, a Beaker of Chemical Intensity, a book with some information about forest plants, and some alchemical ingredients of her own. Next they visited Apex Jewelers, where Luce picked up a fine pearl necklace and some pearl earrings for her mother. Daniella also picked up some pearl earrings. The bookshop called Brooks wound up having very little of interest, but a final stop at Langosian’s was fruitful. Luce picked up an Everburning Torch, and later she informed Crinn about a Cloak of Elvenkind and a ring called a “Filcher’s Friend”.
The group met up back at the Sandpiper at 11am. Everyone shared information, and it was decided that Anubis and Crinn would head to Sable Island for an interview with Lanny Devilface. They took the ferry to the island and went into the bar, a pretty rough-looking place. Crinn, in his best underworld brogue, inquired with the bartender about illegal papers, and soon Devilface made his appearance. The man was missing half the right side of his face from chin to ear, quickly answering any questions about the origins of his name. After some intense discussion, the gangster produced the necessary documents, but Crinn and Anubis had come without enough money to buy them. Crinn was able to talk his way out of any confrontation, lying about Vickers having stolen from Crinn’s “employer”, and he said he would return in two days with the money, 1200 gold. Lanny said that was fine, but that he would be keeping an eye on Crinn. He also said that Crinn should tell whoever told him about his business selling government documents to keep it under their hat. There was an implied “or else”.
Once back in Marvey proper, Crinn and Anubis made a beeline for “The Old Transom”. They told Freddy Ogutu about their progress so far, and that the hanging had been put off indefinitely. Ogutu was alarmed to hear this, since it likely meant that his crew had been penetrated by Royal Navy informers. Crinn and Ogutu negotiated for the price of passage aboard “The Porpoise”, and Ogutu said that if Crinn could arrange for Vicker’s release, he would charge nothing – but that if they had to make a quick getaway without Vickers, the price would be 650 gold – including 5 passengers, dunnage, birds, lynxes, a partridge and a pear tree.
While all this was going on, Daniella was called on by Lieutenant Gracas, and they took a pleasant walk to the circus (with Harold in tow). At the circus Daniella inquired more into Gracas’ background, noting that it was odd for a son of that wealthy clan to pursue a career in the military. Gracas said that as young man, he wanted nothing more than to escape his family and the pressures of his inheritance, and that that’s what led him to the Navy. As they sat waiting for the circus to begin, several harlequins did a low-brow performance which was almost entirely directed at the reputation of the Duchess of Courtenay and her daughter, as well as the Queen herself. The performers did everything from smear Mariana’s chastity to ridicule her mother’s competence, and they appealed to the “nascar dads” in the audience by questioning the leadership abilities of any female ruler, including the Queen. Gracas seemed unimpressed by this display, and Daniella noted the oddity and virulence of the show. Eventually a large troupe of contortionists and tumblers in black and white checkered outfits put on an amazing performance. After this there was the usual animal show, an appearance by the foot-and-a-half-tall man, and a finale featuring trapeeze work – all punctuated by a large blue explosion that shook the entire tent and elicited shouts of delight from the audience. Daniella immediately identified the source of the explosion as Kadamb, or gunpowder, and suggested that this same substance might have application in weaponry. Gracas seemed impressed by her display of knowledge and promptly asked to have dinner with her at the Sandpiper. She accepted.
Lucia had also gone to the circus, and as she was wandering the public square she noted a cage wagon with a number of sea lynxes. They seemed poorly fed and two appeared sick as they paced in their cramped quarters. She bought her circus ticket and inquired about the owner of the circus. The ticket-taker said his name was Abel Bunting, and that he was in trailer D5 behind the tent. Lucia went to see Mr. Bunting, and he informed her that the lynxes had been purchased by two wealthy ladies, Mrs. Dorothy Hammond and Mrs. Rebecca Seeshawn, for the exorbitant price of 25 thousand gold. He believed they intended to turn the Lynxes into coats. After reproaching the man for his ill-treatment of the animals, Luce inquired further as to how Bunting might have come upon such animals so far from their native habitat. Bunting said that the circus had received the animals as a gift from a man who had befriended some of his performers in the Sudenwield. This had occured in the days when the circus was just forming, probably over a year ago. After her interview with Bunting, Lucia also went to the circus and enjoyed the show.
By 4pm everyone had returned to The Sandpiper. Lucia penned a letter to Dorothy Hammonds inviting her to dinner at “The Palm Court” at 7:30pm, and particularly mentioning Mrs. Seeshawn. A messenger boy soon returned with an acceptance of the invitation. Everyone traded information and retired to their rooms to get ready for their respective dinner appointments. Crinn prepared to go out searching for the man named Bandon.