Marcus’s team recently confiscated four large horse statues in a smuggling bust. He believed an unknown enemy would attempt to reclaim them and destroy the safe house where they were stored as had happened after three similar busts. The party examined the statues for tracers or other magical effects. Finding none, Theadras alarmed two of the statues and the party set watch over them in the stables of Berovian Manor.
Near nightfall, Ignax and Hannah felt a large thump and saw clouds of dust pouring out of the area where the statues were hidden. The alarm spell alerted Theadras and he and the others rushed for the stables from their positions watching other parts of the manor.
Hannah found one statue completely destroyed and the others damaged. One guard was dead. Another guard pointed the direction the perpetrator had escaped. Some of the party ran with the guard after the attacker while others left to warn Aeskillian of the attack in progress or remained to guard the statues, the dead guard, and an unconscious bound Kenku found in the wreckage.
As the group separated, the surviving guard spouted an archaic challenge, transformed into handsome half-elf in black leather armor, and attacked the three adventurers still with him. His ally, a small black dragon-like creature, poisoned Cotter, knocking em out. Ignax, in dire wolf form, was able to knock the half-elf down and Gorg-nik unleashed a flurry of blows until half-elf and dragon vanished in a puff of mist. The newest members proved their worth.
In the aftermath, the party woke and questioned the bound kenku. The process was difficult, given the kenku method of communication by imitating sounds, but the party was able to determine that the kenku was delivered against his will although the exact reasons are still unclear. They also found eight sketches of various people, including Marcus and Aeskillian.
There were 8 sheets each with a name, most with sketches of the person named:
- Any Corelli – Good likenesses of Marcus, his uncle, and his younger brother
- Aeskillian Berovian – Adequate likeness – a second note added after the drawing was made * states “ Kidnap if possible but only useful if he can still see and talk. ”
- Kon-Thok “The Blue” – no image, drawing simply says “blue dragonborn” beneath the name. A separate hand promises “ If you’re unlucky enough to draw the Blue, you’re obviously a dead man anyway but we’ll cover a full resurrection if you take him with you. And a big bonus if you can find a way to bring his claws to us. ”
- Jager Sorenson – human male northlander
- Bridget Sorensdottir -human female northlander
- Ella Steelwright – Dwarven female
- Byron last name unknown – male human
- Lauraine Seastrider – Half-elf female in a nautical tricorn
Aeskillian recognized the Blue as the name of an investigator in the Kolos Jamorda City Watch, something to do with organized crime.
Aeskillian also recognized Ella Steelwright as Marcus’s counterpart in the Dwarf Stronghold, responsible for their own internal anti-smuggling efforts. She and Marcus have coordinated efforts in the past.