The Barrowbrook Frontier

13 October 343

Each member of the party found his own way to Mistwick for his own purposes on this day. It was then that they heard the rumors of a demon attack in the town the night before. The day was unusual; the city watch had doubled its numbers and Rook met with some suspicion as he entered the town. It seemed that everyone they met was talking about the disaster in the bazaar and the goblin hero who had defeated it.

Correctly surmising that this must have been Mendelbrot, Abel and his new dwarven ally Balmonte went to the curio shop to ask what the story was. When they arrived, they found Mendelbrot in an unusual state of disarray, searching through the piles and stacks of his wares for…something.

The “demon,” Mendelbrot explained, had in fact been a shadow-thing, a figment, an illusion, designed to draw him away from his shop while parties unknown breached the perimeter and stole something of great value. How this was done, exactly, remained something of a mystery to him.

It was Abel’s thinking that uncovered the start of the trail: a belt, sold to Mendelbrot a short while before proved to have a lurking single-use spell contained within it. The spell, a powerful dispel magic, had caused Mendelbrot’s security to go dark just long enough for the thieves to enter and retrieve what they were after.

Mendelbrot suspected Ozymandias, a competing magic dealer living in the same town. However, he couldn’t prove it. Moreover, Ozymandias had powerful friends; moving against him directly would be imprudent. Finally, Mendelbrot suspected that Ozymandias had used hired help to perform the theft.

Mendelbrot’s pacifistic nature, as well as his general desire to keep a low profile, prevented him from tracking down the thieves himself. However, he had a ready ally in Abel, who needed to borrow Mendelbrot’s lyre of building to effect repairs on his keep in Reedshire. Find the names of those responsible for the theft, Mendelbrot offered, and he would permit the use of his lyre for a single day.

Mendelbrot, using one of his myriad powerful magical items, produced a sketch of the one from whom he had bought the belt, and the hunt was on. Abel took the sketch to the upscale bars in town, while Balmote, Kor and Rook each searched in their own way.

Balmonte found nothing. Abel was successful in tracking down the red-headed seller, but he provided little in the way of useful information: the belt had been retrieved from the Zardoz-K a few days before, far to the south in Kirkhill Downs. His adventuring allies corroborated his story, leaving Abel somewhat in the dark as to where to go next.

Rook’s investigations led him to a semi-doppleganger of the red-headed adventurer, a man named Milligan, who worked as a laborer on the city wall. Rook and Kor tracked him down and exchanged words, and discovered that he was affiliated with the West End Gang, one of the thieves’ outfits in the city.

The day drew to a close with the party facing more questions…

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