The night is full on and time is ripe for Ragnar Grimfang and his pack to take to the streets of Myrrhn.
“War,” said Sildus, looking up from the list.
“Really?” said Murith. “A genocidal cult based on ideas like culling the weak from the mortal herd and the divine right of the powerful wants war? I never would have guessed that meself.”
“–it’s true,” said Sildus, colouring a little.
“It is,” I said, stepping in before Murith could continue to upbraid Sildus. “Why these people though? I don’t see the Watch Marshall, the Gate Captains, or anyone high up in the smuggler’s guilds. Those are people could provide the easiest access or assitance for any invasion or raid by devout forces. In fact I don’t recognize a lot of these names. What does a nobody like Madrinpo have in common with Lily Gemarkand?”
“Well?” said Sildus, shooting an acidic glance at Murith.
Murith shrugged. “These people have to have something in common. It will take a lot of detective work, but I will find the common linkage between them. This will require careful analysis and a strong work ethic.”
“Knowledge,” said Git, leaning over the list.
“Yes, knowledge too,” said Murith. “I know this city in and out. I know the criminals. I know the citizens. I–“
“Knowledge and… access,” said Git, looking up from the list. “I recognize quite a few of the names on this list. Some of them are my colleagues.”
“What kind of knowledge?” I asked, ignoring the you’re-not-so-smart-now look that Sildus shot Murith and the return glare.
“Magical stuff… trinkets and enchantments seem to show up,” said Git. “A few of my rivals are here, but no one who deals purely in alchemy. I wasn’t approached. This guy also deals in antiques. This woman sells Elven wines and dyes. This one lectures on history…”
“So we’re dealing with something old?” asked Renoit.
“Old and elven perhaps?” said Murith.
“Where do I know this name from?” Git asked Murith.
“He’s an architect, he built the arch on the long span and designed the new addition to the bell tower on Tallowglass,” said Murith.
“He’s not the only architect on the list,” said Renoit. “These two own estates near mine. I also see the name of a lecturer on magical theory.”
“Where does Madrinpo fit in?” I asked.
“Kamesin Greeneyes was considered a maverick among his people, wasn’t he?” asked Murith.
“So, he traveled the world finding useful lore if I remember correctly,” said Murith. “A priest of his could easily have knowledge that the Devout want, or access to people that they want to coerce.”
“That must be why they want Madame Glorianna then.” I said. “She has access to all kinds of clients.”
“Let’s leave access aside,” I said. “It is important, but not much of a clue. That leaves us with history, Elves, architecture, travel, and magic.”
There was a long pause while everyone thought. Then Git groaned.
“Do you remember when we stumbled across that old elven place under the North Docks?” he asked.
“How could I forget?” I asked. “You nearly had us all convinced that we would be rich if we could find a way-seal–“
The ways were an ancient series of portals that the First Empire, the dominion of the Aven after they humbled the Gods and before they made war among themselves, used to travel all over the world. They were mostly haunted and broken now.
“Oh,” said Murith. “Travel. Elves. Magic. They want to use the ways. This is bad Ragnar.”
I could only agree.