We explored the buildings on the homesteader’s block.
We entered what was once a lawyer’s office. I found some quills and a new-fangled fountain pen that would work with a little polishing and some fresh ink. I put these in my pouch. I also took out my journal and made notes of the hieroglyphics the creatures had scrawled on the walls. The blacksmith found a journal documenting incredibly, painfully complex magical constructs. The front half of the journal was carefully written, with neat sketches that were later inked. The third quarter held similar content, but with increasing hurried messiness. The final quarter of the book was filled with the word “why” finger-painted in blood, over and over. We found a safe and managed to get it open. Inside were the lawyer’s files. We decided to close the safe and come back later to explore the files.
We went next door and found what had been somebody’s house. I found a crystal inkwell, which I stuffed in my pouch. There were also some drafting tools. We went to the back room, but it was locked. The key from the lawyer’s office worked, and we realized this was the lawyer’s house. Inside was a very nice bedroom set and some clothes. The bounty hunter pulled down a metal clothes rod and shook it. A key popped out.
We went into a shop opposite the lawyer’s. It looked like it had been a printing shop, but the press had been dismantled – probably for the metal. There were some 1-page newspapers on the floor. I glanced at the headlines and gathered papers to read later. They were all from 80 years ago. The headlines said, "Number of Neverborn and Undead Attacks on the Rise, "Downtown Malifaux Overrun, “Curfew Instigated,” and “Mysterious Steam Whistles in the Night.” Guild representatives were quotes in the articles, saying, “The Guild can only protect you if you protect yourself. Don’t leave your house after dark,” and “We don’t know where these steam whistle noises are coming from, but if you hear them outside your house, do not engage them.” I found a newspaper from three years before the others. The headline read “Albus Grand’s Wonderful Devices.” It said Albus Grand had developed a new source of power. He told the paper it was a very large device but he hoped to get the size down. He said it generated enough power for a lifetime of use by an average manufacturing company. From the sketches in the paper, I recognized parts of the devices from the journal we’d found.
The next building was a stone structure. It said “Library” above the door, and it was covered in runes – counter-spelling runes, warding runes – intricately worked into the filigree and stones in such a way to hide them from the general public. For the most part, the building and its contents were untouched, unlike the other buildings we’d been in. The homesteader and I looked at the books. The contents seemed pretty standard for a library. The bounty hunter looked for hidden doorways but found nothing. The rest of us looked around. I noticed there were runes carved on the stone on the inside of the library, spelling out map coordinates. On closer inspection, someone had used the Dewey decimal system to create a map of the library. I found the books with the corresponding Dewey decimal numbers, but I didn’t see anything special about “Animals of the African Savannah” and the like. I called over the blacksmith, since he seemed to have a knack for opening locked places. He opened the “Animals” book, and it was actually about magic.
[12 books with false titles and covers:
- Society of Magical Exploration – charter, refuse to accept the Guild’s dogma of what is and is not proper magic – magical theory for practicing magic within Malifaux only – some pure belief in Malifaux as an environment participating in the magic
- compilation of writings from the members on their various contributions
- small journal from Albus Grand – during his sliding into insanity phase – little bit of wisdom, lots of rambling about Neverborns and their connections to soulstones
- effects of soulstones of various creatures in Malifaux – zoological
- treatise on neverborn environs
- treatise on gremlins and what they know about soulstones
- text on necromancy
- written by an individual caled only Victor, more anti-Guild rhetoric. Dated within last 20 years.
- locations of power in Malifaux – ley lines, concentrations of soulstones, lot of places that didn’t have anything to do with soulstones but were still focus of power
- treatise on madness and magic written by then-head of the asylum. certain wards of the asylum would spontaneously develop magic. the more insane a person was, the greater connection to magic they had, according to him.]
At the post office, I grabbed some blank pages to supplement my journal. We also found some letters of interest, regarding the society of Malifaux’s elite prior to the breach closing. In particular, there were notes about an almost mythical woman named Eloise.
In the next house, in the closet, the bounty hunter found a chest under some loose floorboards. Inside, he found a locked journal and a pistol.
Next we went into a city building. It looked like it had been sacked by people, not creatures. We found additional information about Albus Grand and Eloise.
I realized I hadn’t checked in at the gate for three days after being knocked unconscious. I sent the boy Jesse to the gate with a note explaining my injuries and absence.
The bounty hunter wanted to know where Malifaux’s elite held their society events, so we went back to the library for the night and pored over the letters we found at the post office to try to ascertain where the parties were held. We identified five venues.
[library, asylum (closest except barn – 1/2 mile north), barn of doom (closest), warehouse over by the docks (farthest), holdings of member Victor about a mile due east]