We arrive in Ostia only two days ahead of schedule, but better than not. The captain gets us past the dockmaster and we head into town. Remy tries asking after a nice in using French, but gets sent to a seedy area. We head back and I ask in Spanish, and we get directed to a nice little inn where we secure three rooms for two nights. I send to Philomena to tell her we’ve arrived, but get nothing back. I send to Maribeth as well, and still get nothing.
In the morning, we have a nice breakfast and then head out to buys supplies at the market. Proper clothes for Dalish and some bags and food. Remy has gotten a couple suggestions from our innkeeper, but neither one pans out as having been visited by Philomena. So, we head into Rome proper. Gerhardt casts a spell on me so I can speak Italian for a little while, and we eventually find a nice leather shop where she visited a few weeks ago. Looking around that area, we also find a wine merchant she bought four bottles from. Gerhardt has to keep casting tongues on me, as we search all the fancy inns in the area, but no dice. At the last one, I inquire about a tour guide, and they send for Jean Carle. We get rooms for the night so he can take us around in the morning.
That night’s sending to Maribeth gets a reply saying we are all in a Lot of Trouble, like we didn’t already know that when Dalish showed up. Nevermind, though, at least Maribeth is okay enough to reply this time.
Jean takes us on a tour of Rome as we explain about our missing friend who was supposed to meet us. We visit a lot of fancy places and cool old architecture. We get a few blips of having seen her a few weeks ago, but nothing recent. Jean tells us that the countryside has gone mad over Wizards. He says they’re turning them into slaves out there. Not that Rome would ever do such a thing, but the Kingdom of Sardinia is another matter. When I ask him where a family might take an ill relative for healing, he mentions some hot springs to the northeast, but it’s across the border into the kingdom. He says there are also a few noble manors just outside the city they might have stayed at. When we try to pay him at the end of the day, he demures. Seems a bit suspiscious to me, but maybe it’s part of our room rate.
Back at the inn, we decide to visit the springs the next day. Remember, no magic and no killing. I try another sending, but get nothing. Nat scries on Philomena’s dad, and this one goes through. She sees a dark room with candles, but no windows. Her mom is lying unconscious on a bed with her dad sitting next to her. He is dripping a teal liquid into her mouth, but there’s no reaction. When Nat tells me this, I immediately send to him, asking where they are so we can find Philomena and rescue them. He gets angry and says we should just leave, find her and get out of Italy. We go back and forth a few times because we can’t find her if we don’t know where they are, but he’s just as obnoxious and stubborn as his daughter.
Late that night, Dalish comes knocking on our door. Seems the boys all got stabbed at. Aranea killed the one who attacked Remy and Klyce knocked the other one out. That one is carrying a note with our address on it, and one other. He’s also carrying some poison, which Remy takes. We wake him up and I have a conversation while Klyce menaces him. Derudio hired them to watch for people asking about Philomena, and then kill a few of any such group and get information from the rest. He’s supposed to leave a note to say he has information in the trash by a particular fountain. His contact will then meet him and pay him 1500g for good info. Perfect, now we have a lead. We send this idiot away with his life after he pens us a note, dispose of the other body, and set a plan to use this as a trap and to check out the other address.
Next morning, with Remy disguised at the cutthroat, we go drop the note in the right place, then head to check the other address before the meeting time. The innkeeper is in quite a state. He is so pissed at Philomena, who has threatened him if he touches her things, but hasn’t been back in three weeks. We pay him 40g and promise to remove her things. Heading up to the room, we find it ransacked, and occupied. A young woman named Karina Giovanni is searching the room for information she says Philomena stole, that could save her ill uncle.
We give the room a look and notice it’s been searched several times before. Nat finds a hidden safe and a burnt bit of map. Karena opens the safe and inside we find a bag and a letter to Klyce. She says sending isn’t secure, and isn’t sure where to go. She’s going after the people who are after her, hoping to get more information. She requests we find her quickly, since we won’t turn back. It seems to have been written around the same time as the various merchants last saw her. Karena says she knows a shop where the paper might have been purchased.
We head to her house, so she can make arrangements for her uncle and we can leave Philomena’s baggage. During the walk, she tells us that Philomena and her family seemed to have been friends with Duridio and had stayed with him. But for some reason, stole his research and left. Remy warns her that hanging out with the likes of us could be dangerous, but she’s nervously determined, so we introduce ourselves around.
Over at the paper shop, we find that Philomena did stop here for paper and a few maps. She seems to have pissed off every merchant she spoke to. He finds her receipts and says she got a Northern Italy map and a Southern Italy map. Great… But at least we know the burned map matched the one she got here. Suddenly a bottle bursts through the window, explodes and tosses fire all over the room. Nat starts tossing magic at the guy who threw it, while Dalish tries to douse it with a rug. I work simple magics to contain the blaze while the others get water and sand to douse put it out. The shopkeeper, grateful the whole building didnt go up in flames, gives us the two maps of Italy before we head back out.