Lupin bursts into the marquee and immediately staggers back out with a mouthful of smoke, coughing and hacking. He starts slashing at the sides of the marquee to let the smoke billow out faster.
Mercutio and his greatsword buddies round on the demigrph, who has corned Amalie, the lady in waiting who proposed the maze race. The engage it in combat, which looks like it could well be long and bloody.
Thess has a dream sequence.
Lupin makes a second attempt at entering the marquee as the smoke thins out, he finds the corpse of Giselbert and then the prone form of Thess, whom he drags out of the marquee.
Mercutio bravely leaps onto the demigryph, trying to tie his shirt around its head to block its vision, as he is familiar with this practice to pacify animals. After a struggle he succeeds, and the demigrph is subdued. He leaves it with the greatswords and begins a supersonic sprint towards the marquee.
Thess has another dream sequence.
Lupin rouses Thess with a healing potion as Mercutio arrives panting on the scene. The party then CSI’s the scene with Lupin loudly protesting as to how badly they have fucked it. They find that the jade mask has been stolen, but nothing else. Mercutio finds some footprints heading into the marquee near a small cut in the back, he bribes the gold wizard with a stolen golden plate to make a cast of the footprints – which are humanoid but not quite human in shape.
Lupin and Thess investigate a smell which a guest recognised as being similar to that which she had smelled outside the rhinox cage. After much searching, they eventually find a small hole – just large enough to accommodate a crouching adult – cut into one of the border hedges. A number of protruding branches and leaves in the hole have been smeared with a foul smelling paste. Lupin tastes the paste, and gets a hint of something unfamiliar alongside the all too familiar taste of dung.
The body of the zookeeper was found torn to shreds, giselbert’s body was found to have puncture wounds that matched the cheesey wounds found on the dockland victims. Amalie hands over a throwing star she found near where the demigryph fight took place, and Mercutio investigates the subdued demigryph and finds a puncture wound with the telltale signs of the same poison. The party also finds the smokebomb casing discarded in the marquee.
The guests begin to filter out, with baerfaust returning to berate von Kaufman for using amateurs instead of his own men for security.
As the PCs arrive back in the docks, with the rain starting to beat down, they are greeted by Frederick Grosz, who has been lying low. He pays the party to escort him out of the city as he still fears greatly for his life. They agree, and the escort is suspicious but uneventful.
The party agrees to keep watch throughout the night, as their next appointment with von Kaufman was at midday.
After a brief nap in the morning, Lupin is accosted by a man in the street looking for Hans Muller the knacker, who didn’t turn up for a meeting. Lupin didn’t give enough of a shit to remember the details, but just enough to send Mercutio into a panic when the meet up. Lupin and Thess go to meet von Kaufman and Mercutio sets off to find Hans.
Von Kaufman seems upset, but still pleased with how the PCs handled themselves. When quizzed on his confrontation with the witch hunter, he admits that she accused him of knowing about the black hood, but professes that he knows nothing of this character. He also heavily implied that the behaviour of Baerfaust was very suspicious, leaving immediately prior to the happenings at the menagerie.
Hans’ house is empty and Mercutio breaks in, after tearing the place apart he finds traces of the substance smeared about. Talking to Hans’ workmates they immediately identify it as quicklime.
The three meet up and go to see Luminary Mauer. Mauer is very excited by the footprint and immediately begins talking about skaven and how he was right all along. He believes the cheesey wounds to be the work of what he calls a “crying sword”, a typical weapon of the mythical ratmen. His only other assistance in the matter is mentioning the skaven association with places humans rarely go, and finding the number 13 sacred. He asks the party to bring the effigy back to him should they find it, so that it can be destroyed. He also warns that it could be dangerous to the touch.
The party decide to go down into the sewers, on the hunt for skaven. Inside they find footprints similar to those found at the marquee, as well as another throwing star and more of the quicklime.
Finally, they approach Baerfaust, who after some convincing and much complaint of being understaffed agrees to send a patrol into the sewers.