The group all chose to accept the invitation of Fredrick of Jarlsburg, and met at his estate. He told them that after months of consulting Star Charts for inspiration, he had refined what needed to be done “to prevent something simply dreadful” from happening. He had found that he needed to assemble the five heroes, and send them off to talk to Jonathan MacBride. Fredrick wasn’t very forthcoming in additional information or details (likely because he didn’t have them himself).
The group met the next morning at the location of MacBride’s practice, and introduced themselves. MacBride seemed baffled at first, but eventually discerned that they were looking to stop something bad from happening, and that it may or may not involve Syrneth Artifacts. He suggested two possible avenues of investigation: look into the shadier side of the city, by talking to a contact of his named “Bones”, or look into the people most involved in the Syrneth scene, the Explorer’s Society. The group decided to not limit themselves to just one option, and proceeded to split up and follow both trails.
Avillynne, Scarlett, and Liam went to seek out “Bones.” They found her in a residence adjacent to the wall, outside in the shantytown of the Verzweiflung. She said she could call in a few favors, but that she’d need the heroes to look into maimings and disappearances of the poor, likely caused by Kobolds. The group spent a few hours gathering information, and eventually found a tunnel, which turned out to be the kobolds’ den. Armed with a single torch cut from a nearby tree, the group ventured downwards. Inside the tunnel they found bones, both animal and human, strewn around and occasionally hanging from strings (hopefully it was just string). At the end of the tunnel, the group was confronted by the glowing yellow eyes of kobolds, and a shadowy presence that seemed intent on trying to douse the light. Scarlett barely managed to save the torch from being extinguished, diving as the shadow lobbed one of its kobold minions to smother the fire. Liam laid to rest a few of the kobolds, and Avillynne assisted, then took a swing at the shadow-creature. Her panzerhand was briefly bathed in a white light, and the monster shrieked, and fled out a crack in the back of the tunnel. After going to investigate the remains of their den, something shiny caught Scarlett’s eye. She started digging at the wall, and eventually dislodged a Dracheneisen Armguard of impeccable workmanship. Upon return, “Bones” patched up their wounds, and told them that she had heard of a possible delivery taking place the next day, at sundown, at the Heart of the Drachen Cathedral.
Dimitri and Ksenja, on the other hand, went to the Explorer’s Society Chapter House. There they spoke with Madeline du Bisset, with whom Dimitri became quite smitten, despite a certain lack of social niceties. She pointed the pair towards several people who the Explorer’s Society consider smugglers in Syrneth goods: Alberto Constanza, Gerault Gilbetine, and Stefan Heilgrund. Gerault they found at his store, specializing in the sale of Syrneth artifacts which he claims to have retrieved personally from digs around the world. Stefan’s warehouse manager spoke politely with them at first, but as the implication that they thought Eisenfurst was involved in smuggling grew more apparent, the manager became angrier and angrier. Alberto invited the pair into his dwelling, the House of Twenty Doorways, and offered them tea. Despite insisting, the two turned down the tea offered to them in a silver tea set Alberto proceeded to ask their intentions regarding the possible delivery the next day, and the two equivocated, trying to dance around and not offend the old man. Unfortunately, they did offend him, and only after they offered to take care of the delivery did he share with them the information that a shady character staying at a manor in the South of Freiburg would be receiving a delivery the next evening.