New Gambles, Debts, and Agreements to note:
The Meister of Grooms has agreed to provide fine hunting dogs, horses, and prey animals for the hunt. Recommends I speak to the Alder Groom for suitably well appropriated prey humans.
New leads on the Faro case, recap/update of old leads:
Duke’s Mask is now a knife, returned to his possession
Faro’s memories were scrubbed, and his skin was removed, likely a patsy
Obsession with Deathstone, underground likely external. Orders from demon? Or his domitor?
Faro is/was two steps toward a blood bond with me.
Faro has escaped or been kidnapped/killed while within my custody. Was unable to answer a Summons, yet none of my servants or wolves saw anyone come or go. Obfuscate doesn’t fool wolves, leaving our culprit in a very elite subsection of our population.
The Chimera was actually the Meister’s product, and his client likely won’t pay for it considering how many people know about it. We kidnapped Ivan, commanded him to tell us who he told about the incident (Elias, Theon, and anyone else invisible and near enough to hear, probably too damn many), erased his memory, commanded him to sleep, and brought him back to his scheduled appointment a bit late. It was sloppy work. Sloppier still that I assumed my mostly bonded Faro would stay put.
He’s either kidnapped or dead, because I doubt he could have escaped. My pack and my staff knew that my guest was note allowed to leave the premises, and with a blood bond that strong, I’m not sure he would have wanted to. Besides, an attempt to summon met with nothing. More likely that he was staked and kidnapped, even more likely still that someone killed him. I was on the right track, but they covered their own tracks too well. None of the animals or servants saw anyone come or go.
My progress on the Duke’s investigation is ruined. I’ll put a note out to the rest of the Archons and ask them to keep their eyes open, but my one chance to prove myself to the Duke is ruined, completely. The Duke is going to know, and I’m sure he’ll be much less enthused about attending the hunt. It’s going to end up being a disaster, and I’m going to be ruined. Probably.
My leads are now slimmer than they have ever been. I’m down to the few people at Elysium who seemed genuinely upset at what was happening to Faro, and I doubt either were his killer. I also doubt either of them are going to be willing to talk to me. A better option would be to talk to the Priscus, see if he’d be willing to divulge which kindred know enough of the Lordly Words to erase Faro from existence so thoroughly.
It’s only failure if I allow my attitude to defeat me. Alder Ovidius fed Ivan a cover story about the Chimera going berserk and tearing up the place, before running away. The Meister has relocated his pet, and ruining a small clearing of trees to provide the scene for the cover story certainly helped me blow off steam. I cannot give up, and I cannot let the Duke down. These are the nights that will make or break my place in the Invictus. Centuries of steadfast service to the Reeve and I’ve never managed to receive so much as a Lordship. I will not let one little assassination ruin my investigation. The removal of Faro shows that I was on the right trail, and someone was scared enough to break into one of the most heavily guarded havens in the city to cover that up.
Whoever you are, I am coming for you. And when I find you, I promise, I’m going to do my best to bring you in alive and unharmed. What the Duke and the Judex can come up with for you sounds much, much more entertaining.