Ian and Maur were dropped off at the north end of Limit Street, with Gideon making plans to take the growler on to Value Lane in North Market to meet with Darthalis Temester at The Book Wagon to see what he had managed to find out about the mysterious Methul Watcher. Ian and Maur were to watch Itelstein’s house until Gideon returned.
Darthalis had not been able to identify exactly who Methul Watcher was, but he surmised that it may be an anagram for someone else. He made several iterations of the name, researching each that pointed to a specific individual in the city, putting everything in a nice, neat little package (see Darthalis’ Notes on Methul Watcher) for Gideon to look over.
Gideon also inquired about any information regarding Helmut Itelstein, with Darthalis mentioning that he was the High Priest of the Temple Observatory of the Watcher of the Skies in the Temple District and that there was a large telescope located at the temple which had recently been trained on The Spire. He wasn’t sure if this meant anything, but it was certainly interesting.
Unsure what to make of everything and figuring he would just have to wait for Methul Watcher to make another move before figuring out who he was, Gideon quickly made his way to join up with the others at Itelstein’s house.
Meanwhile, Ian and Maur approached Itelstein’s house, noting the entire street was clearly a residential neighborhood on the edge of the Temple District and North Market, likely homes to many well-paid temple workers and priests of the area. The yards were well manicured and kept, many having ornamentation and fountains. Arriving at the address of Itelstein’s they couldn’t help but notice that it seemed to stick out from the others in that it was seemingly bar of ornamentation and rather spartan in comparison, but still appeared to be a nice house. It was a modest sized two-story building with a ground floor of stone and a wooden second floor with a pitched roof of moss covered cobbles, much like the others along the street. It had a small front garden with a low stacked stone wall about it. The property was flanked by similar houses, but a large three-story warehouse loomed behind.
As the pair approached, they noticed a muscular robed man carrying a wrapped package approach the front door. After a moment, a similarly robed woman answered the door, letting him in. At least they knew now the house wasn’t abandoned.
With Ian keeping an eye on the street, Maur decided to walk up to the house to have a look around. Making a circuit about the house, peering into windows, he eventually found himself looking into the kitchen where he saw the man emptying fresh food from the package and preparing lunch. He placed the food on a serving tray and promptly left the room. Maur was able to see him cross the house, taking the tray of food upstairs.
Coming around to the front, Maur caught Ian trying to pick the lock on the front door. With people occasionally walking by, Ian was constantly interrupted, having to stop and hide for a few moments as they passed by, he eventually managed to get his pick stuck in the lock. With Maur’s help, he was able to dislodge the pick, damaging it in the process.
By this time, Gideon arrived and again they had a look around the back yard. They noted a few bar spots in the yard where it looked as if items had been stored for a while but were now gone. They finally decided to send Ian climbing up the back wall to a second floor window, with instructions to secure a rope and toss it down to them.
Ian climbed the wall, fortunately to find the window unlocked. He found himself in a large bedroom. The bed was made and looking about the room, as the others climbed up, he couldn’t help but notice that it seemed no one had slept there in a few days and that some articles of clothing were missing, as if someone had packed up and left for a trip. Various personal effects remained, so it didn’t appear abandoned.
As Gideon and Maur climbed into the room, Maur heard a distinct bump come from the wardrobe. He and Ian inspected it, only to find a rack of robes and similar clothing, but looking closer, they saw the outline of what appeared to be a secret door at the back of the wardrobe.
Spinning about, their attention now drawn solidly to the wardrobe, the woman quietly waiting out in the hall carefully opened the door, and began sneaking towards them. Gideon acutely sensed her presence, noticing her out of the corner of his eye.
It was Jamilla Nox, a member of the Fate Weavers, and after a brief exchange, they convinced her they were only there to check on Phon’s well being (who they now suspected was hiding in a secret room behind the wardrobe). Not being an evil woman, but still cautious, Jamilla called out to Menaster Orrund to open the secret door and let them see Phon. The secret door in the wardrobe opened to reveal another bedroom beyond.
The room was windowless and Phon Quartermain was laying on a bed in the corner, obviously drugged with the Akori Blossom. A tray of uneaten food sat on a nightstand. In the opposite corner was a chair and table with many papers and drawing s spread across it. Menaster stood at the door, his hand on a holstered dragon pistol.
Jamilla then pointed out that Phon was safe and well cared for. She also shared the following information with them:
Helmut Itelstein is a high priest of the Watcher of the Skies and gains great prophetic insight from his deity, but that such visions and portents need interpretation.
Some of these visions he is able to interpret himself, but for others he relies upon the Fate Weavers to help him and that this relationship has lasted for several years.
Some of the prophecies he has received he has kept secret from the main Fate Weavers group, but has confided them in Jamilla and Menaster.
Two of these prophecies involve runebearing children 1.) that if Itelstein were to ever have a child, it would be a runebearer, and 2.) that runebearing children would bring about the doom of the city.
Itelstein is the founder and leader of a seditious group known as The Republican Movement.
Itelstein loves the city of Ptolus and has taken it upon himself to save the city from the runebearers. To accomplish this, he has sought them out and had then killed.
He first had the children kidnapped and killed by hired thugs. Later, he was able to determine which expectant mothers in the city were carrying such children and had those women murdered before the child was born.
Jamilla insists that Itelstein is not an evil man, and that though what he has done is dreadful, it has been necessary to save countless other lives, since it stops the destruction that these runebearing children will bring to the City and perhaps the world.
Itelstein’s wife left him when he refused to have children. He never told her the reason why.
Itelstein grew lonely following this and had several affairs. Most recently he was with Phon. He broke off the relationship, but later learned Phon was pregnant. He hired Torridan Cran to have her killed so she would not bear his child.
The party stopped Torridan’s men from carrying out this assassination.
Upon learning that Phon had been saved and was now being guarded by the party, he hired The Vai to kill them, hoping to pave the way for Torridan’s men to get to Phon. Again, this was justifiable to Itelstein, since he saw the party as hindering his efforts to save the city from destruction.
When this failed, Itelstein switched hsi attention to focus all his efforts on building his Republican Movement. He has sold much of what he owned (explaining the many items missing from his yard and house) to fund this organization.
Later, Itelstein learned that Phon was back at home with her parents and simply went there and brought her back. According to Jamilla, Phon came willingly.
Itelstein contacted Jamilla and Menaster with instructions that he would be leaving the city for a few months to visit other Republican groups throughout the Empire. During this time, they were to take care to provide Phon with the utmost comfort and care and to kill her baby when it is born. Phon was to be told the child died son after being born.
The party, naturally, opposed any harm coming to Phon or her child and after all attempts to reason with the two Fate Weavers failed, Ian lunged at Menaster with his short sword. Menaster drew his dragon pistol and fired. A short melee left Menaster down, bleeding to death, and Jamilla disarmed and surrendering to the group.
They allowed her to revive Menaster with a healing potion, and she then showed them the drawings on the table. These were detailed blueprints of the Administration Building, The Imperial University and The Holy Palace. Several notations on the drawings indicate methods to infiltrate the buildings or blow them up.
At this, Jamilla mentions to the party that she fears Itelstein has gone past being just a leader of a seditious group trying to influence the masses through words, but may be willing to take more radical actions and seek to topple the noble classes through violence. She says that she now believes that it was obviously their destiny to come here to save this girl, but perhaps a greater hand is now at work and that the party may be destined to stop Itelstein from causing serious harm. She fears he may now have grown blind and crazed with his ideas of making the city free from the Empire and could be planning something diabolical.
She leads them downstairs to Itelstein’s office, where she shows them Helmut’s Desk filled with his notes on varied prophecies and visions.
The party then allows her and Menaster to leave, but before they go, Jamilla stresses that Itelstein will not be back for at least a couple months and that he will not be aware of what has transpired here until he comes back. She and Menaster will both be long gone from the city by then.