It’s the first day of a hot and humid summer in Sharn, and our band of heroes is cooling their heels at the local chapter of the Slayer’s Guild, waiting for adventure to find them. And find them it does in the form of Ricneiros d’Sivis of House Sivis, the gnome head of a House Message Station. One of his fellow gnomes has been slain in the night, and a private message for a wealthy client was stolen. Because he doesn’t want to involve the Sharn Watch, he offers the party 150 gp each to solve the mystery and recover the message for him. After they negotiate half of their payment to be given to them up front, they set off with him to the station to investigate the scene of the crime.
En route to the message station Phalanx presses Ricneiros for more details. The gnome reveals the client is a dwarf merchant named Ricfire Warstout. Warstout has asked for as much discretion as possible in the handling of this matter, but will not be irreparably harmed if the contents of the message get out. When our heroes arrive at the message station Ricneiros leads them to the Sending Stone room on the third floor. Once Ricneiros learned of the murder he’d posted two guards on the room to keep anyone else from learning what had occurred, and to preserve the scene until someone was brought in to investigate. Inside the center of the room is dominated by an ornate wooden table upon which rests the Sending Stone, s large crystal orb upon a silvery metal base. Over the table slumps a dead gnome, a large wound in his back and his throat slit. A pool of blood surrounds his feet, in which appears a single pristine footprint. The dead gnome clutches a quill tightly in his hand.
The party enters the room and sets to work learning as much as they can. While Wynk examines the body (after a moment he somberly pronounces “He’s dead.”) Rin and Nuline check the room for clues and Phalanx continues to question Ricneiros. Noburo, as usual, simply observes in silence. Nuline determines that the footprint is perfectly placed in the blood, and there are no other footprints in the room. Unnoticed by most, Rin swipes the quill out of the gnome’s hand. He sees that it’s tipped not in ink, but with blood. Wynk begins a clumsy shuffling dance around the room, waving his dried lizard totem and chanting to his great god Bolpup to revive the victim. Ricneiros explains to Phalanx that the locks on the doors can only be opened by special magical medallions, and only twelve gnomes working at the station have one. Rin and Nuline then examine the locks, and Phalanx looks over the wounds on the body. He determines the wound in the back was made by a short sword, while our own Dynamic Duo are unable to open the arcane locks with conventional means.
After a brief discussion, the party splits up (NEVER SPLIT THE PARTY!) to find more information. Rin and Nuline head down into Lower Tavick’s Landing to slap around some street sources, while Phalanx, Wynk and Noburo walk to Warstout’s offices to determine what they can there. The three come away with little however, as a stern dwarf matron informs them that Warstout is not in the city and sends them on their way. The stealthy rogues have more success, digging into Warstout’s dealings and learning about his business rivals. There’s the warforged merchant Victasys Ironbone, the mysterious ship captain Seahand Gravewalker, and Finlone Dragonston, another dwarf merchant. Nuline and Rin decide to return in the night and examine the offices of these three. In the meantime they head back to House Sivis message station to join the others in questioning several of the staff.
Ricneiros has gathered together the three gnome clerks who were working the previous evening and the ten remaining gnomes who carry the medallion keys. Most of them have no knowledge of the night’s events, and none of the medallions appear to be forgeries or to have been tampered with. Phalanx and Nuline are able to learn the most from Otirry Silversgleaming,the clerk who discovered the body of Jamtlin Gentleharp in the Sending Stone room. He tells them he arrived for his shift as usual that evening, and nothing seemed amiss until he went upstairs to see if Jamtlin needed anything. When he got to the Sending Stone room he saw that the door was ajar, something that shouldn’t be. Then he went inside to discover the dead body. His next action was to have his fellow clerk Johak summon Ricneiros, and the party already knows what transpired from there.
At this point our intrepid heroes hatch a clever scheme to lure out the thief. Rin drops his usual facade and assumes the form of Jamtlin, the dead gnome. The party walks him through the message station to let the other gnomes get a good look at him, and then escort him to Jamtlin’s home. They’re more than halfway there when a gang of Dhakaani goblins ambush them. It’s clear the goblins are after Rin/Jamtlin, mobbing the heroes and heading straight for the shapeshifter. But our bold band of battlers will not be deterred, and handily defeat the hobgoblins and their minor minions. They scoop up one of the Dhakaani chainfighters and hustle out of their before the Sharn Watch arrives on the scene.