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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:30 am 
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The boy vanishes into the crowd, not quite understanding the purpose of the radio he'd slipped into his pocket...

--------------

The Pandions, as it happens, are not complete strangers to undercover work. Vanire manages to arrange a squad of large, muscular 'workmen' at surprisingly short notice.

Arkady: Alertness: +1 Roll: +1 Total: +2
Felix: Alertness: +2 Roll: +1 Total: +3
Nate: Alertness +4 Roll: +1 Total: +5


Arkady and Felix don't notice anything particularly odd about the 'workmen', but Nathan thinks that their military bearing and their habit of paying close attention to possible avenues of attack might let anyone who pays attention to them notice that these are far from ordinary workmen. Your average man-on-the-street probably won't notice anything odd about them, but a thief who's looking out for an ambush and expecting trouble might just spot what Nathan did.

--------------

The radio pays dividends very soon; the Terrans just get back to their truck when the conversation begins:

"Any luck?" As before, the voices are distorted enough that it's impossible to tell whose voice it is except from the words spoken.

"What's it to you?"

(brief silence)

"Okay, okay, yeah. They're there, all three of them. And they're looking for you."

"Seriously?"

"Seriously. They had this list of poisons they wanted to get."

"Hmph. Pass it here, let me see."

(brief silence)

"...do you notice something about this list, boy?"

"Well, it's on very fine paper, guv. I wouldn't mind getting hold of some more of that myself..."

"Not the paper, lad. The actual contents of the list. Anything odd?"

(longer, more contemplative silence)

"...that one's not a poison?"

"Oh, it is, lad. It's a very rare, very powerful, virtually untraceable Rendorish poison."

"...huh. Then... I don't know."

(the sound of a slap)

"Ouch!"

"Think, boy. Think."

"Ummmm...."

"Except for Darestim, every single thing on this list can be got in about ten minutes in this city if you know the right places to go. Half of them are legal. I mean, you can just walk into an apothecary and buy them straight over the counter. And then there's one, fabulously rare, untraceable, uncureable poison that you can't even get in this country. Does that help?"

"...the rest are just to hide that one, aren't they?"

"Almost certainly." (the sound of paper being folded) "I want to know what they really want Darestim for. If possible, I want to know that before they see me. However, they have piqued my curiousity. I do want to see them. But make them work for it. You know the drill, lad."

"Sure, guv."

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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:45 pm 
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"Hmm..." Felix sits back, deep in thought. "Not sure if this made our job easier or more difficult."

He turns to Vanire.

"Do you have any knowledge of the mob bosses of the city? If we can narrow down who he works for it could give us an advantage going in."

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:36 am 
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Quote:
Retroactive rolls: Figuring out the radio disturbances

Over the past few weeks, the Terrans have been putting significant effort into figuring out the sources for the odd radio disturbances that they were previously picking up.

Felix: Engineering: +5 Roll: +1 Time (weeks): +5 Total: +11
Nathan: Engineering: +2 Roll: +2 Time (weeks): +5 Total: +9
Arkady: Engineering: +5 Roll: -1 Time (weeks): +5 Total: +9


At first, the Terrans discovered little new. There were several sources of radio interference, at different intensities and distances, in different directions, and they most maddeningly weren't consistent.

It was on the fifth day that they noticed something interesting, though.

The Terrans had been going through the castle, carrying directional antennae, trying to pick up the same source from multiple directions and figure out where at least one of the things was sitting, in the hope of perhaps going there and taking a look at it at some point. (Early results showed only that the things were frustratingly mobile and tended to cut off suddenly and without warning). Somehow, Felix had managed to identify a single source of radio noise well enough to tell it apart from the others (it had a slightly higher frequency than average, and didn't seem to be moving particularly fast to either side); Arkady and Nathan, carrying directional antennae, stood on the tops of Count Radun's north and south towers, respectively pointing their antennae in the direction of the source.

It was only when Arkady and Nathan's antennae started moving towards each other that the pieces clicked together; the source Felix had picked out wasn't high-frequency. The higher frequency was a Doppler shift, showing that the source was moving towards Castle Radun at a significant speed, fast enough that no-one would even have time to shout a warning before it hit the castl-

And then the noise source was past, its frequency now slightly lower than average as it vanished into the distance. Whatever it was, it had been invisible, inaudible, intangible, capable of moving at significant speed through air and the solid stone castle without causing so much as a breeze or stirring so much as a grain of dust. Had it not been for the radios, they would never even have known that it had passed through.

On the ninth day, Arkady suggested setting up a radio transmitter in one of the rooms, playing back the recorded (previous) output of one of the noise sources, to see whether the other noise sources responded in any way. Twenty seconds after being turned on, the transmitter was struck by lightning from a cloudless sky, which somehow contrived to hit indoors. There were no injuries. The experiment was abandoned.


--------------

Vanire shrugs. "Rumour has it that a lot of the crime in the city is somehow organised, but how it is organised is a well-kept secret. It's not like they register for taxes or anything. I doubt there's more than one, though - or if there are, relations between them are amicable. We haven't had thieves turning up mysteriously dead, at any rate."

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Arkady comments: "The royal authorities might object to a gang war. Being on that idea, how much would this head thief be objecting if we politely walked through his door with a squad of muscle? I do not want to play games with that boy if I am not having too."

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:40 pm 
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Vanire nods. "The Royal Authorities under the Primate would probably only object to a gang war if they were personally threatened, but we Pandions would certainly object. That might be enough on its own to keep them off each other's throats. As for walking in... he'll almost certainly have his own muscle in his lair. If he has them ready in entrenched firing positions, with Lamorkian crossbows... then even a Pandion in full armour would be in trouble. Anything short of that, we could probably handle, but he might just feel the need to put on some sort of show of strength."

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Arkady considers, then says "Then perhaps one obvious knight, or one who can reveal himself in private. If your order is enough of a threat for them to be taking you seriously, they will be thinking twice before attacking an envoy."

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 Post Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Felix sighs.

"This is a delicate situation, but if they can provide what we need then it'll be to our immense benefit. If we can't come up with a plan I say we just brute force it. Demand to see the boss, say we know he must be interested in meeting us after our obvious ruse and tell him to take us so we can tell the boss the same thing we told him."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:57 am 
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"I'd recommend a less-obvious Knight who can reveal himself in private," says Vanire. "Officially, I'm reluctant to give the Primate any reason to claim that the Pandion Order is negotiating with thieves. He'd find some way to use that against us. But yes, if they have any sense, they will take our Order seriously, and they will think twice about attacking one of us."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Arkady nods, and turns to Felix. "Our RDFs are more efficient now; perhaps we can try to be...find the hideout before lunch. If we fail, we can go eat."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:17 pm 
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"If we go to check it out and fail, odds are good we'll be spotted by a lookout and that'll make things awkward down the line," Felix says. "If we go to look it'd be better if we ignored the lunch and just kept looking, but that hinges on us actually finding the place."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:31 pm 
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"We could probably narrow the search down to a few blocks at most by taking a quick trip around the city in the truck and taking a bearing on the direction the signal is coming from. From there, we do the same thing around those blocks to narrow it down to a building. Then we walk in. Simple, effective, and likely to only take an hour or two at most, leaving us lots of time to get to lunch. If we run a little late, we invite this crime boss to join us."

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:55 pm 
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Arkady glances towards the city, then says "If we could track that gremlin from the walls of the castle, we can probably find the right tenth of a hectare the same way from here. Sir Vanire: do you have a map of the city?"

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 Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:29 pm 
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"Better idea. One of us stays here. Two others take both the trucks out and drive in different directions around the city instead of just one," Felix says. "We can triangulate the position using three scanners that way instead of just driving in a circle trying to pinpoint it using one tracking device."

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 Post Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:57 am 
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"I do have a map," says Vanire, looking through his desk. "Somewhere around here... maybe... um... ah, here it is."

He pulls out a map which... appears to be more a sketch showing the streets and major landmarks than anything a modern cartographer would accept. You could find your way around town with it easily enough, but the scale's a bit inconsistent to say the least.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:52 am 
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Felix: Universal Gadget: Drone With Reciever And Camera Upgrades

Adding new upgrade: Transmitter

Engineering: +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4 Roll required to complete the task within an hour: +2 Time taken: Fifteen minutes


On seeing what passes for a 'map' in this world, Felix mutters something under his breath and heads out for the truck. Rummaging around in the spare parts, he pulls together a few bits and pieces and quickly puts together a small, remote controlled flying drone. The battery should be good for a couple of hours, the camera can pivot to face either forward or down, and the transmitter/receiver combo allows him to both control it remotely, and use it to try to track down the radio held by the thieves' guild.

And there's plenty of time before lunch to use it, too, if they want to give said guild a surprise.

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