At our heroes request, all the guests and staff of the hotel were brought out into the garden. There was drawn a large circle on the ground so that everyone could be hit with a zone of truth spell by Rook.
So that was effective. But on receiving follow-up questions, he held his mouth shut and seemed to be forcefully resisting saying anything else. As Jack moved closer, this turned out to be a ruse, and some form of red lightning struck out at him. He managed to step back in time and went for his axe, but the janitor stepped sideways into the ethereal realm. Surprising, for a person in overalls.
Muruin seemed even more troubled now than earlier, which was a tall order. She pulled them aside and said that she would not talk about the contents of the vault, but if the four of them found a small cylinder with magical marking, they had to handle it with care, because if broken the hotel would not be there in a minute. In fact it would be turned to dust.
“Now find that bastard.”
They had to move fast, and went running for the six rooms whose keys had been stolen. Spreading out for efficiency, they started kicking down doors. Jack’s room was empty, but he noticed a piece of new wallpaper that on closer inspection covered up big splash of blood that had seeped into the wall behind. Dink found a hidden path behind a closet, and called for Jack to join him in exploring it. It seemed to connect a number of different rooms on the floor and the floor above. The were held up at one, listening at what seemed like a planned attack on Kendrin Feldarr during the day.
Meanwhile, Rook and Celendril headed for the floor above to check the two rooms there. Rook noticed his door was already open, and stepped silently inside to find a woman in hotel attire rummaging through various weapons, alchemical ingredients and odd tools on the bed. He startled her, but before anything else could happen, she asked him to help her look for a coin, which he found impossible not to do…
Celendril, meanwhile, could not get his door open, and went back to Rook for help. Slightly confused by the situation, Rook and the woman convinced him that the coin belonged to the janitor and would help them chase him down. When they found it, the woman just told Rook to burn the bed and stepped into the ethereal realm.
Rook went to find matches. Celendril ran down to find Jack and Dink, who just stepped back out of the hidden passage. Dink ran for a bucket of water as the other two tried to stop the firbolg. Words did little, so when Dink came back he just drenched Rook. This seemed to annoy the latter, but before that came to anything, the charm went away suddenly.
Our heroes needed some minutes to sort through what just happened. The woman had only given vague hints as to why the coin was important, but had mentioned the vault, so they ran for it. And indeed, sounds of fighting were coming from the cellar floor. A bellhop guard was preventing the others from entering the vault room, while beyond another one was closing the vault itself. The first one was by the shouting of the other guards clearly under a spell.
There was no fight. Jack knocked the blocker out, and Dinkabick threw a hold person on the one by the vault. Rook, somewhat angered by earlier, walked up to her and swung for her head.
As she hit the floor, horns grew out of her head and wings sprouted from the back. Dink recognized it as a succubus. Celendril stabilized it. They searched it’s pockets, finding some strange, small idols which Jack bagged, and the coin from earlier. But also the missing keys, just as Muruin came rushing down the stairs. She snatched them and opened the vault. All the boxes inside were open except for one.
They held the coin up to a large, circular depression on the hatch, and it opened. Inside was a small cylinder, covered in blue runes on the outside. Muruin breathed a sigh of relief, and closed the box. Signaling to the other bellhops to lift the lockdown, she stood for a while and looked between the coin the succubus had carried and the demon itself. She would not say anything more about it, but Dink got a long enough look at the cylinder to know the runes were tied to the plane of water, and that the cylinder therefore likely contained or constrained some form of powerful fire spell or creature.
Muruin wanted them out of there now, so took them to her office and tossed them a generous bribe of 250 gold to keep silent. Our heroes asked some further questions about the attack, getting confirmation on that the attack by the pyromaniacs had been a hit aimed squarely at a group attending the concert and not the club or hotel. And by all accounts the band was fine (Jack did not betray any emotion), and had left with a high-ranking member of the Summerstone family.
They got little else out of her beyond an assurance that she would square things with Nalskrr, and before long they were out on the street outside.
Jack mentioned that he had seen a large splash of blood on the wall in the room he searched. They went back to Red Larch.
The morning after in the Singing Sword, they were in for a nasty surprise as the somewhat dimwitted members of Constable Harburk’s posse had left a coffin in the lobby. Kaylessa had been given a note about it, but refused to hand it over until they removed the cursed thing from her hotel. They carried it out into the alley.
The note explained that this was the rat-eaten remains of Larmon Greenboot, found two Jack examined the remains. The body was half-eaten by the rodents, but he could still pinpoint the a number of wounds received before death: Slashes left by a blade (sword or axe) which seemed by all accounts to be the cause of death, some light blunt trauma, and burns left by electricity.
They took the body to Imdarr Relvaunder to get a speak with dead cast. The man claimed to have seen worse, and started lighting incense. Our heroes prepared five questions.
The somewhat loose jaw of the body tensed to (false) life as Relvaunder cast the spell. Information was delivered cryptically per the spells standard, but by the fifth question they had something. Some pirates had been hunting him, and killed him at something called the Rat King Court. Apparently because he knew to much. And he put the blame for it all on a bat-shit crazy water genasi.