Vigiles Orizon

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A Chance Encounter
In Which our Party Slips the Knot on some Red Death skags.
Another dead-end assignment. The Quaestor has asked me to keep an eye on a few new recruits. I’m not one to question Miss Severus and, speaking square, I’ve got a healthy dose of respect for what the lady is trying to do in this city, but why does she have me putting together the pieces on these gleaming pips? They wear the badge, sure, but I don’t think I’ve so much as seen any of them in the mess hall – just one of their half elves studying away with a miles away look in her eyes. I tried to talk to her but she didn’t even lift up that pretty head – guess she’s seen some right glooming stuff out there, maybe I shouldn’t complain so much about this little tail-and-write gig.

So, where to start? Not much on their pasts. Physical descriptions of the Half Orc, Gork Bork, peg him as an Outlands tribal, probably wandering around the planes hunting game and wondering what that big mountain and doughnut in the distance was. He’s pretty articulate for some Clueless from the prairie, though. Maybe there’s more to him.

The one Half Elf – the prettier one – she’s new, too. Registered to a real nice kip out in the clerk’s ward, rent of about 25 fat golden pieces of jink a month. I’ve talked to the landlord but he’s not rattlin’ his bone box about who’s been paying the rent. Smart man, uncovering those darks to the police isn’t great for business. Only said that he’d never seen her in person. I’ll believe that. I don’t know if she even knows what rent is. Clueless as they come about the City, but not a Prime. Something else.

The Fox is an absolute mystery, as the name would suggest. I sent a few rooks out to Prime infested kips and bowsing kens and didn’t get so much as a peep on him. Hasn’t got much of a name for himself, but I’ll keep digging. Nobody who calls himself “The Fox” can go long without spillin’ his tale to somebody. Maybe I’ll check up with the whores.

Other Half Elf, Byrony, is the most cop of them as far as I can tell. I’ve seen her around the bosses, and she’s got what most the officers around here who carry the badge for more than two paychecks has: respect. Not like a kiss ass – Harkin wouldn’t tolerate that – but she’s got a clean nose. I give it 50/50 whether she guts it out and sticks with us or finds some tower to disappear into working for the Frat boys.

Harkin gave me the tale on how his little squad met after I told him Julia was looking into his band of rough cutters. It sounded like a slaad-story the way he told it, thought he might be holding out on the Quaestor. Turns out they, while mostly unarmed, brought-to-circle a band of Merykillers looking to put a wing of our prisoners in the dead-book. Public relations , politics. If our prison can’t keep a few berks lifted off the streets safe what good is paying taxes to the Vigiles anyway? They turned tables on these Red Death zealots with a few well-placed spells and, get this, a piking Cocatrice corpse. Wouldn’t have believed it out of Harkin’s own mouth if he didn’t have the poor sodding dwarf moved into his office as corner decoration. Says no matter how bad he feels it always manages to cheer him up. I can see why the man has a soft spot for these weirdos. Resourceful at the least, I’ll give ‘em that, and in The Cage that’s the Djinni’s share of keeping yourself out of the care of the Dustmen.

What else is there to say? They must have all been a little aimless or desperate for the jink. Harkin offered ‘em all jobs and then, just like that, he’s got himself his own personal little group of bloods outside Julia’s wrought-over hierarchy. Wasn’t long before he gave ‘em their first job. Julia thought the old drunk was crazy for not running them through training, but he must figure they can handle themselves. And why not? They survived a Mercykiller ambush and even picked themselves up a massive rodent who, far as I can tell, only manages to speak in break-teeth-tongues. He’s the real mystery, along with why Baron Ravenloft had enough of a grudge to make us lock up something like that. Anyway the first job sent ‘em out of the city and into Excelsior. Had to do a fair bit of leg work myself going there and getting the story on everything they did. Maybe I can get the boss to cover the tab I racked up at Gillian’s bowsing ken. Yeah, when the Lady speaks.
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Anchoring the Gate Town
Saving a City with Vice, Violence, and Simple Luck
I don’t know what got Vale all foamed up and narky, but I’m going to personally make sure every damn receptionist down at the Precinct knows not to let that prissy, mincing little elf cut the line again next time he’s got a complaint from his precious ( and crooked! ) little Guild of Celestial Traders and Services he wants our officers to solve. The iron pair of zills he has keepin’ mum on the portal he sent this crew through even after I flashed my badge and invoked the Quaestor – I think he likes the Vigiles when we’re lending a hand, but I can tell we don’t scare him much.

So the trail runs cold on these berks Julia is all riled up about having me play familiar to so I hit the streets to get the word on a portal out to Excelsior. I shake the info out of Deneth, a paladin with a dirty halo checking out the ladies over at Zero’s Alehouse. I agree not to take in the jinkskirt he’s looking at buying for the night for a prior theft if he’s willing to get me near the city. A quick jaunt over to the temple of I-Don’t-Care-What and a wave of a holy symbol leaves me on the side of Mt. Ecstasy, which I wanted, but the bastard didn’t bother to mention I basically had to climb the whole piking mountain – Excelsior wasn’t even a dot on the horizon. Hope he catches something nasty off that Tiefling whose company he paid for.

Anyway – I spend a day getting the Sigil worked out of my lungs trekking up this mountain and it doesn’t take long for me to stumble up and on their handiwork. There is a smell like a burnt drawf beard on the air and I make out the husk of an Azer and some lower planes petitioners who were lookin’ kind of tired in a dead sort of way. No way to know for certain that it was Harkin’s bloods that sent the petitioners back around for their second death but between the warhammer imprints and the blue-burn of eldritch energy I was able to make a pretty good guess. Didn’t bother putting a chalk outline around ’em, though – the day was wearing thin and I needed a drink and a bite to eat. Real shame about the Vigile bodies that accompanied this crew overlooking the trail up to the city – some of these kids had real potential.

The pooches at the gate give me some trouble, but I’m used to that from my pre-law-and-order days. I try to look official and drop the right names of the right clerics who worship the right Ivories and eventually they let me in, but I feel their eyes on me the whole way down to Gillian’s. This town’s all wrong. Too quiet and soft somehow, like you’ll blink and it’ll vanish. There is a tension in the air nobody seems to want to acknowledge, and from how empty the streets are there wouldn’t be many around to yap about it anyway.

The peery feeling drops away once I’m in the Jack of All Trades and I’m so happy to be in a place that don’t feel like it means to slip out from under me that I don’t even complain to Gillian that her ale’s watered down. She’s a good woman – beautiful Sylvan elf getting close to her end-of-wanderlust stage of life, but when she was younger she was one of the sharpest tongued touts in the City of Doors. We go way back, Gillian and I, so she’s happy to drop the dark on these bloods who flash the badge. She talks like the one, the Fox, barged in saying he works for the high-handed Harmonium wannabe who has been turning the town strange. Not the slickest move, but I guess he drank his way out of ending up on the wrong side of Gil’s letter opener so maybe he’s got more wisdom than cleverness. She’s past hope for herself and this little bowsing ken she’s poured all of her jink into and it’s a damn shame, but she’s not much one for despair – she even speaks with a lark about these cutters trying to save the town. They’re trying to introduce a little vice to anchor the place while trying to get at the man in charge – ambitious, but not quite along Vigiles guidelines. Maybe this is why Harkin didn’t train them in.
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