Alchemy, Religion, and Murder

It got quiet after we became heroes of the city. Well, magically speaking, at least. We had time to go back to our studies for a little while. Dalish finished up our paperwork and we could breathe new air every morning. It was refreshing to not explode every hour. That was such a strange experience. And meeting a Goddess? Not that Remy believes it, not yet, anyway. I am learning more each week, going to Sunday services, and watching the sun rise and set each day. It’s peaceful and nice.

The magocracy can’t get enough of us, though. All these political mages come banging at our door. Join our party, no ours, we’ll give you access to power, to spells, we can fix the world, we can fix everything. UGH! I’m just thirteen, and I could care less about all their agendas, or their power, or their stupid spell books that I can’t use. No way I’m going to be a figurehead. Not for my family, not for them.

I did get to work on my alchemy lessons a little. With Gerhardt’s help, I figured out how to make a healing potion! I’m so excited, but they do take a while to make, but at least we can still get supplies at the school, when we have time to go back there. Dalish still has to be there, working with Rictus. Oh man, I’m so glad I can’t do that type of magic!

After a few days, Remy gets over himself enough to ask me for a conversation. He sorta apologizes, but says he still isn’t sure about the Dawnmother’s intentions, or the real cause of the old war. He wants me to try and teach him the fae language, and go with him back to the forest to see if the fae will talk to him. He wants to know what they think about the old war. And he doesn’t want me to tell the others. Not yet. I tell him that we can’t go walking into the forest alone, what if we get killed? We have to tell them we’re going at least. I’m also not so sure about teaching him the language, I don’t even know how I know it, but I’ll give it a go when we have time. After that conversation, though, he fell deep into his magical studies, working on that wierd blade of his.

Klyce wanted to go back to school and find another spell or two. Everyone babbles on about flying, polymorph, fire shield, or hallucinatory terrain as we go. Once there, we decide to take a closer look at the courtyard between the buildings. Maribeth notices that there are different species of grass in certain spots, so I lift her up to get a better look.

She says the grasses form runes all across the courtyard. She copies them down and then highlights them with little sparkling lights so the boys can see. Klyce climbs up the main hall to take a look, and notices they’re from the transformation school and seem to have something to do with acceleration. So, he climbs down and walks them in order and a spell called Plant Growth appeared for him to write down.

Once they all get it down, they continue to look around. The sidewalks seem oddly uniform, but they can’t get anything from them. There’s a big tree in the corner, and when they start investigating, they find abjuration, necormancy, and a very odd geometric design to the limbs. Eventually, Dalish casts Identify, and discovers it is the Keystone for the school’s protective magics.

Walking around the area, they notice the benches have equations, or parts of equations, that seem similar to the tree’s design. They walk out the patterns and find a glyph on the theatre’s wall. It seems to be a glyph of warding against unauthorized folk. We try to find other ones around the other buildings, but this seems to be the only one that matches the pattern. Frustrated, we pack it in for the day.

A couple weeks later, Remy calls us all together to have a party. Gerhardt finished his potion of longevity, and Remy is back down another ten years. He looks like Maribeth’s age, now, and we go out to celebrate in the Petals. It was a lovely evening, and we all got to relax and talk about nonsense.

The next morning, however, things got back to our normal. The floating pool up at the 30-something floor was bright crimson in the dawn light.

Maribeth tells the doorman, who notifies a constable. We volunteer, as official investigators, to go take a look while he waits for them. Once he recognizes us, he gives us a key and Maribeth and Remy head up while I go fetch everyone else. By the time we all get up there, Maribeth is going through the dead man’s mail and Remy is studying the body with a knife in its back. Dalish uses magic to turn the corpse over, but there are no other wounds. The knife has weird magic, an octagonal handguard, intricate wrappings, and a small tag attached to the pommel. Dalish tries to understand the writing on it, but it’s some sort of code.

Maribeth says that, according to his mail, the dead man is a researcher, and someone he worked with was very concerned about what they were researching. Saying they had gone too far, and it was affecting lives. He was planning on coming forward and hoped Artemious would, too. That one was signed Killcannon. She said there was also a butcher receipt for beef, pig, pig’s blood, and organ meat. Way more than a man living alone would need.

Just as Remy is suggesting that maybe this isn’t our concern, Inspector Poissant arrives, and suggests we take point. The writing on the tag is Chinese, and they live in the south end of Brooklyn. The butcher shop is also down there. We suggest that he takes over the scene, as his people are much better at crime scene investigation, and we would head off on the leads. He agrees and we head to work.

When we ask at reception for Killcannon, the receptionist says he’s not on record there, and neither is Artemious Finch. There are two other Finch men here, though: Daniel in Records, and Uriah in the Hall of War. She directs us to those departments and we head up. Maribeth, Dalish, and Klyce head for the Hall of Records and Remy, Gerhardt, and I head to the War Department.

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