Name: Manuel “Jacketman” Jacket. Goes by “Max Everyman” to people he doesn’t know.

Description: Your chaperone is a man in a plague-doctor mask, with ovoid goggles on. Based on his morphology, you know he isn’t a mainline race. He is fully covered and wears gloves and deep rainboots. He carries an umbrella which you believe (and know, based on your item) is tainted. he is yours, and you are his.and the company owns him like your district owns you. you are forever part of your history – as am I" – Chaperone.
You can see his jaw. He is either physically deformed or inhuman. He has pale skin, clearly isn’t a sunbather. His bone structure is not a primates face, instead sticking out into a snout-ish end. You see that jacketman has a lot of weird, half-shaven hair – like a really patchy beard. He has elongated front teeth, both top and bottom… almost twice as long as his other teeth.

*Knows me as Trinket-Man
*Seems very superstitious.
*Claims that the Ratfolk and the demons have some sort of racial guardian or deity.
*Knows a lot of the rules of the Consortium
*Has said that he doesn’t tell me things about the Consortium for my own safety
*Used to be a famous chef in the Temple District.
*Originally a half-elf. It seems that the disease has helped increase his lifespan.
*Cares a lot about family. Has a daughter named Gweneviere

Conversation 1:
Jacketman:“You free?”
Pearce: I stick my head out to make sure no one is outside and then close the door before I say yes
Jacketman: “Alright. How did you sleep? You were pretty sick yesterday.”
He has something with him. He places it gently on the floor near your kitchen. Its a package.
You don’t recall being sick.
“Well, I assumed. Lotsa sleep talking. The person who birthed me was always sleep talking when it was sick.
Jacketman nods. “Brought you some dinner. Meat Gravy and cheese curds over flatbread.”
Pearce: “Ah. Is that why you took the item first? That seemed unusual.”
Jacketman:“Didn’t want to impose. You were sort of out of it.”
Pearce: "Oh. Well thank you. I hope you didn’t keep it long. It’s a bad one. " I say with a shiver. I go and get his packaged food and open it
I also knock some junk off of one of the chairs and offer him a seat before I take one myself
Jacketman: He takes a seat, and idly touches some of your objects. "You are quite the collector – of everything. Hah hah hah. " His laugh sounds a little like the Count from Sesame Street. Long pauses between laughs.
Pearce: “Oh. Uh. Yes. Bad habit. Oh. I should offer food! I go to the kitchen and see if I have anything”
Jacketman: He has already produced a small bowl with some of his flatbread stew in it.
“Lets talk.”
“Are you happy with your work for us?”
Pearce: I retake my seat. “Happy? Sure. Most of the times. Some of the items I retrieve are… bad but I find a lot more interesting things this way. Also the pay doesn’t hurt.”
Jacketman: “We have had a few losses, recently. Not from you, of course, but its hurting our name… recognition, amongst reclamation groups.”
Pearce: “Was it an alchemist named Reva?”
Jacketman: “If I knew, I wouldn’t say. It isn’t proper.”
Pearce: I just shrug. “Fair enough. Odds were slim anyway”
Jacketman: “We have had some in our group recommend you for promotion. Put you in a whole different category of reclamation. Small pay increase, but you’d get… help, and I know how much you like new things to touch, hah hah hah.”
“They would be loans – objects we possess to help field agents acquire more objects. Then they are returned.”
“Do you feel like you are capable of that?”
He switches his seating a little. “I mean, would you want more challenging work?”
Pearce: “Do I have to teach the rookie how to deal with this stuff or does he just help me get the items?”
Jacketman: “What rookie? You get… items of interest. Not an employee.” “Anyway. Before they make their decision on who fills in for our missing agent, they have put a task out for several of those within our organization.”
“The artifact you recovered was stolen, and the one carrying it was killed, violently. If you can find and retrieve the crossbow, you will almost certainly get the promotion.”
Pearce: “It was stolen again?”
Jacketman: “Yes. From us.” “We are trying to keep the word down, as this could severely hurt our group if made public. We need it swiftly returned.”
Pearce: “I told you that thing is bad. It might’ve just killed the guy itself. It’s delicate”
Jacketman: “I know. And I passed on what you said to him. But he is dead and it is gone.”
Pearce: Pearce sighs. “Fine. I’ll get it back again. I’m not a fan of multiple people being put on the same case”
Jacketman: “Here is the address the body was discovered at.” He hands you an address. You immediately recognize it as the Hostel.
Pearce: “Don’t blaim me when I end up injuring another agent”
Jacketman: “Oh, about that. I may be the one distributing this information. And I may be giving you a significant lead. May be. Hah hah hah. Information business is full of maybes.”
Pearce:“Ah. Speaking of info” “What was with the coin?”
Jacketman: “Read the stones and wrote it down, same as everyone.” He references some oddball fortunetelling stuff every once and a while.
“Did you kiss her?”
Pearce: Well tell your stones to stop being so cryptic
I did not. I also wasn’t kissed
Jacketman: “Well… not that you know, am I right? Hah hah hah.”
“Hah hah hah. I have to go. Remember to eat all of that, it won’t last overnight. Too moist.”
“If you have problems, let me know, but not for a few days.”
Pearce: “Oh. Should I hold off on retreiving the object then? I am NOT holding onto that thing”
“Unless I get a hefty bonus”
Jacketman: “No, no no… I mean, retrieve it, and then immediately call me. Don’t call me for a few days unless you retrieve it. In a few days, if you have trouble, use the book and I’ll show up.”

Conversation 2: 7/29
Jacketman asked about Patricia, had a plaster mold. Claims Patricia owes Jacketman’s group a lot. Asked to recover what she has. Offered 1000 g for a stone with a hole in it, 200g extra for a glass thimble. Warned not to look close or shake violently. If I fail in the next three days Jacketman will contact her and tell her to pay back or be targeted. Gave Jacketman Patricia’s address and warned him about her. Jacketman addressed my disease and said it would change me, said he sold information about a cure. Said Patricia was the enemy. When offered him food saw his face. Most likely part of the rat race. Said that I can offer unpriceable things to the society in order to get info/things.
Conversation 3: 8/16
Jacket: “Delivering some food for you, friend.” “Thank you, friend.” He waddles in. He is wearing weird oven-mitts and carrying a hot casserole. “You seem different. Decided not to embrace change, friend?”
Me: “That’s part of what I wanted to discuss. Is this because of my payment?”
Jacket: ""Couldn’t say, and I wouldn’t if I could. I can say it wasn’t something I orchaestrated."
He sniffs the air. “You have figured out my deformity, friend?”
Me: “I have a pretty good idea. I’ve spent a lot of time recently around similar people”
“Wasn’t going to bring it up until you wanted to”
Jacket: He removes his plague mask. You see that he is fairly hairless, but his stubble up and down the sides of his face and neck reveal the reason. His face-shape is far too snoutish to be human, and the eyes are dark and swollen. “Gets stuffy. Ask your question, friend, but if I can’t share something it isn’t because I dislike you at all.”
Me: “Others of your kind have said I smell. Do I smell more than the average person?”
Jacket: “No.”
“You did a short time ago, but whatever you have done has masked your scent. At least to my nose.”
“Its stuffy today… probably the mask.”
Me: “Did they tell you anything about the cure they were going to give? Do I normally get some sort of sign that the transaction is complete?”
“This just sorta happened”
Jacket: “I’m sorry, but as I wasn’t involved, I have no idea. I don’t know the business outside of a very narrow window.”
“If someone had the capabilities to solve this without your involvement, he or she could have collected the payment, yes.”
Me: “I see. In that case, do you know of the surgeon that was running around the blue poles sewers?”
Jacket: “If I did, and I cannot say I do, what would you want to know about this person I may or may not know?”
Me: “He said he took my soul, and he claimed I was the father of some child. Had me name a small creature”
Jacket: He reacts, but his alien features mask his feeling.
Me: “I take it that means something to you”
Jacket: “It is disturbing. That is all. I dislike people involving children in their dealings.”
Me: “I have no idea what’s going on but am I in any danger? I had reason to suspect that my life and that child might be linked”
Jacket: “While I wear a plague mask, I am not a doctor, friend. Nor am I myself a practicer of forbidden things. Would you like me to make a conjecture, or are you searching for absolutes?”
Me: Conjecture is fine
Jacket: “All children are linked with their parents. It is how life works. Perhaps what is at risk is your view of yourself. If your life were not coupled with the child, you would have no qualms over killing it. That may offend, but inside I think you know you would have cared nothing for it. Perhaps that is why allowing it to die would risk your life – perhaps it is a moral issue.” “No child is a burden, friend, although many are mistakes. I encourage you to pursue this as neither blessing nor curse – just life being its usual, bizarre, unpredictable self, and you now having someone who can pass on your teachings into the future.”
Me: “Maybe in the future. But for now I can not live down there and she will probably not be able to live up here”
DM: You can tell something about his appeal is coming from personal experience.
Me: “Jacketman how far does you usually go down there? Would it be possible for you to go to the bluepoles?”
“If she exists down there. I need to know” “how far do you usually travel down there”
Jacket: “Don’t assume I travel down into the undergrowth.”
Me: “Oh. My mistake”
Jacket: "We may have the same disease, they and I, but we are not alike. They choose a life of either insanity or meditation. I choose neither – I do not hide from the world, I do not kneel to this “Ratman”.
Me: Damn straight you shouldn’t
Jacket: “Your daughter is alive, but she is not in the Blue Poles. Saying that is too much, but you have earned at least that shred to go off of.”
Me: “Will she be happy where she is?”
Jacket: “I cannot say. She will likely be used as a bargaining chip to blackmail you.”
“She will likely end up killed.”
“Wicked people, eh? Killing a baby to prove a point.”
Me: “Sigh. Indeed”
Jacket: “You aren’t going to take care of her, are you? Either way – save her or not, you do not want the responsibility.”
Me: I have no intention of killing her if that’s what he’s afraid of
If she is really a chip that will be used against me then I will have to find her and figure out where to go
Jacket: “Right. But you won’t care for her. You will shirk her off to someone else, put her in an orphanage.”
Me: “I don’t know. I can’t just put her in a normal orphanage if she can be used against me.”
“Jacketman my place is not safe for a child”
Jacket: “I know.”
“I couldn’t get your lock open. Did you change it?”
Me: “I did. Someone broke in a couple of days ago. Had to upgrade.”
Jacket: “It was Patricia. She was looking for a way to frame you for some great error on her part.”
“She failed.”
Me: ""Speaking of which. You can ignore the address I gave you. She seems to have vacated it"
I go and pull out the thimble
“Couldn’t find the stone”
Jacket: “The stone is the important part – the irreplacable part. I have a secondary assignment for you.” He sits up straight. “Rescue your child and I will help care for it. I will move in with you, permission granted.”
“You will be able to be the father, and I will pose as a housekeeper for the first few years. I can work from the home in a limited fashion.”
Me: Hmm. Let me consider it. It couldn’t be here. There isn’t enough room
Jacket: “You should know that this disease often renders males sterile. I am unable to have the family I have always wanted – at least sort of.”
Me: “If you want to be her father you can. I trust you more than most”
Jacket: “You may have been infected enough to lose that ability as well. I cannot know.”
“Why do you trust me? I feel honored you do so.”
Jacket: “You’ve revealed info to me you’ve stated you shouldn’t. And even if it’s proffessionally you’ve stated we’re both here to back the other up. You also haven’t mugged me”
“Rare qualities”
Jacket: He gestures to your apartment. “Mugging you would take all year. You are the packrat, not the rat! Haha!” he laughs, a chittering laugh.
He stands up suddenly.
“The Enemy approaches.”
Me: I draw my sword?
Btw I assumed I closed my door and locked it
Jacket: The Jacketman seems to blend into a shadow – he is hard to spot.
He turns to you. “There are benefits to being like us, you know.” He removes the oven-mitts, and you see his fingers. He has a weird bone-mount on his fists – like a natural brass knuckle.
Me: “Woah there. No need to go out fighting. Whose coming?”
Jacket: “Something you cannot reason with. The black things from the deep, what are commonly called Demons.”
Me: “They’re coming in here?!”
Jacket: “They are hunting you.”
Me: “You wait till NOW to mention that?”
“You lead with ‘oh btw demons are after you!’
Jacket: He glares at you, and you know he is furious. “Do you believe I would have kept this from you? I help you, risk my career and life for you, and you think so little of me as to hide that? I don’t know what the Demons know, but when they got close, you started reeking of them.”
Me: “Oh. Well how was I supposed to know how your nose worked?!”
Jacket: “He holds up his hand, and stays completely still, silent.” He glares at you, nostrils flared. You see he is breathing quickly.
“I’m sorry… when you stink of them it makes me furious…”
“Take my demeanor with a grain of salt. I didn’t know any of this would happen.”
He lowers his hand.
DM: Very suddenly you feel as if you’ve lost a friend, and its Jacketman’s fault. You believe he has killed someone important to you, but you are aware that that is an irrational, intrusive thought.
Me: “Something is messing with our minds. This is not good”
Jacket: “Its… its not that.”
“We are… my kind exist to fight… to fight your kind.”
“In the past, long ago…” he breathes deep.
Me: "Pearce half sighs/half growls “I’m not human anymore am I”
Jacket: “Long ago, when the City had a name and a reason, the different species of man fought because it was right. The gods were loud and made it so – fighting was right. But one by one, the gods left the races, for they too had lives and all lives end.”
He is breathing easier. You are relaxing a little bit.
Me: Are the demons still coming?
Jacket: “No. It was slain, I think.” He continues. “Well… whatever I am, and whatever the Demons are… I think we are new. And every race… every race has a protector God.”
“The only gods left, perhaps… "
Me: “That gear god?”
Jacket: He looks shocked.
“Yes. The Ratman: God of Gears.”
And… I am guessing, at least… the Demons have a god as well.
Me: “Yeah well I’m not a fan of their clergy. Stole my soul”
Jacket: And you… I think he will find you.
“Oh no. You have a soul. But it isn’t one of man.”
Me: “I had a soul of man at one point!”
I think
Jacket: “Friend. I think you are becoming a Demon.”
Me: “Well. That is a shitty cure”
Jacket: “I don’t know what happened to make you this way.”
Me: “what are the odds our society made me this way?”
Jacket: “Zero. They do nothing – they are facilitators. It would be like saying ’speaking is responsbile for lying.”
Me: “Great. Can ‘ratmilk’ make someone a demon?”
Lots of that going around now a days
Jacket: “What is that?”
Me: “Also goes by incubus milk. Supposed to be a cure for the … rat infection”
Jacket: “I honestly don’t know anything about that. I didn’t think it was curable.”
Me: Well apparently the cure is “become a demon” if you’re still looking Pearce says sarcastically
Jacket: He smiles.
“I have to go now, friend.”
“Thank you for the chat.”
Me: “thank you for the info and the casserole. Glad we didn’t go crazy and kill each other”
Conversation 4:8/22
Me: “Who is it?”
Jacket: “Brought some hotcakes with beer gristle.”He enters the room, small bundled glassware under his arm. “Good morning. Did you find something?”
Me: “Not really. Sorry to call you in again on short notice but this is sorta important”
Jacket: He sits down. Looking at the floor below the chair.“You were cleaning up something here.” He sniffs. “Hollowberry…”
Me: “Not important” “But yeah probably don’t want to get close to that. Highly addictive apparently”
Jacket: He shrugs. “The change alters my body. I am no longer at risk from diseases and mundane health issues.” "We have our own problems, though… " he removes his mask. “Its easier to breath. Do you mind?”
Me: “I do not. Now the reason I’ve called you down here. Someone or something claiming to be the ratman came to the surface today”
Jacket: His nose bristles. That is not something you’ve seen a semi-human face do before.
Me: “I had a similar reaction” “sorta”
Jacket: “I didn’t know the ratman was real, honestly.” “A real person showed up?”
Me: “Well it was a heavily armored man who moved via a gigantic swarm of rats”
“I don’t know if he’s the real deal but the way he controlled the rats was… not normal”
Jacket: “Apparently… was anyone hurt?”
Me: “Not yet. That’s why I’ve called you here. He wants Patricia and if we don’t give her to him he’s threatened to kill hundreds of people” “Jacketman that could very well start a war”
Jacket: “No really a war. Does the city seem capable of defending itself? It almost tore itself up 15 years ago at the hint of war.” “Give him Patricia.”
Me: “That’s the issue. Patricia has gone off the grid”
“My day job is getting a manhunt for her but we need info”
“And if the society is going to hire an assassin now is the time”
“Or loan me some gear”
“Honestly I don’t know what they can/will do but I’m exploring every possible avenue to help this succeed”
Jacket: “That is something I can do, but we have to have collateral for this risk. You will receive it back as soon as they do.”
“Otherwise we end up having aided the enemy, given them our tools, and hurt the business. I can’t do all those things, so what can you offer as collateral?”
Me: “The only collateral I’m willing to give is gold which I doubt they’ll be interested in”
“If we can’t get gear then they can at least help us with info right? Nothing falls falls into enemy hands then?”
Jacket: He shrugs. “What info would help? I can make a case for this, but there are rules in place to stop this exact thing… intervention into these kind of problems.”
Me: “Where she is. We need to track her down to prevent a war.”
Jacket: "I can tell you where she is not.
“We know she didn’t go back to the Temple. They are looking for her.”
Me: “Oh. Another note. Every surface dweller was banned from going under”
“Or else the Ratman will retaliate”
Jacket: “I can’t do anything with that information. That needs to be made public.”
Me: “Sigh. I know. I’m just saying… my daughter might have to wait. I know you’re invested in her but I can’t risk a war” “I thought you should know” “Assuming she’s down there”
Jacket: “Thats… a frightening truth.” “There are some who could go down there.”
Me: Probably. The point is I can’t. So you’ll have to be patient"
“Anyway. Third topic”
“Some extra people have been snooping around my apartment. Be extra careful when coming and going”
“Not sure what their purpose is but they might try and follow you or worse”
Jacket: “Anybody specific? Man, woman?”
Me: “Some halfling woman with a viola … named viola. Although I don’t think she was alone. Try to take a battering ram to my door and halflings aren’t the strongest”
Jacket: “Good to know… you spoke with her?”
Me: “I’ve spoken with her before. Tried to buy her viola to add to my collection. She refused and then spent several hours trying to get into my apartment”
“Which I might take as … flirting but I don’t think people flirt with battering rams”
“She gave lame excuses each time”
Jacket: “So… you mentioned earlier about items.” “Something came on the market this morning… a request for about two thousand gold. They were selling something interesting.”
Me: “What is it?”
Jacket: “They are selling Patricia’s location for 2k. Well… yes, thats what they have on the market. But this seems odd. The Temple is looking for her.” Jacketman freezes. “Tell no one I said that. I’ve violated an oath.” He stands up.“I must go now. There are prices for this kind of slip.”
Me: “Woah woah.” “Look if you need to pay a price I can maybe help?”
Jacket: “How can you help?”
Me: “I don’t know. I said maybe. I don’t know if you can even say what the price is”
Jacket: “A soul.”
Me: “You’re telling me they’re going to take your soul for breaking an oath?”
Jacket: “There are costs associated with doing business that I do not talk about with you. For your safety.”
Me: “Look. I can give you a soul. It’s a long story but who it belongs to I don’t know”
Jacket: He pauses. "Alright. You do that and I will try and help you. There have been a number of large-ticket items floating around for sale lately. I can sell you access, for that soul in your posession… " “The group I work for curates the production line of some basic… magical… weapons for use in smaller gang warfare. Given three days maximum, I can acquire special items for a quite steep price.”
“I can only sell in small batches, but you are welcome to one as proof of our trust.”
Me (after asked to sum up what I requested): “Ummm I guess hire the assassin if you were planning on it already. Stall that info on her whereabouts if you can? I’ll contact you tomorrow if we decide to buy it and/or I find collateral”
Jacket: “There is -” he pauses, and sniffs the air. He stands up slowly. His nose twitches.
Me: “Is it the stupid halfling again?”
Jacket: “I thought we understood each other on privacy during these meetings. Do you have a woman over?”
He starts walking toward your bedroom.
Me: I unlock the door for him
Jacket: He is sniffing around the bedroom. “I smell a woman… something is odd about her.” Where is she?
He looks around. “Your bed is empty, I don’t see anyone… its such a strange smell.”
Me: "I had company earlier
Jacket: He nods. “Ah, well…” “I apologize. I am not sure what that was. Something about her smell is very potent to me.”
Me: “Oookay? I’ll take that as a compliment and pass it along? Saying it was an associate of course”
Jacket: “No… I get a bad feeling about her. Just a feeling. You ever get those? Hunches about strangers.”
Me: “Sigh. I do”
Jacket: Jacketman turns to you. “Be careful, bargaining souls. It can corrupt even the gentle.”
Me: “pretty sure I’m already corrupted. Thanks though”
Jacket: “Don’t you die. Your daughter shouldn’t do it alone.”
He makes for a hug. Its awkward. “I must go now, friend. Enjoy breakfast.”
Conversation 5: 8/24
Me: “This is impressive. Also good afternoon neighbor.”
Jacket: “Thank you. I suppose you might want to know, before I became… what I am, I was a cook. Famous, actually. My heart has never been in espionage.”
Me: “Oh. Interesting. Did you work in the mids?”
Jacket: “No, no… Temple, actually.”
Me: “Never been. Heard they’re pretty strict over there”While we’re making small talk I’m looking for rats.
Jacket: “Exactly. I actually became infected sneaking out of the district. They expected me to keep food tepid and tasteless. I wonder if the old ways of sneaking out of the district are still open. I never much cared for the sewers.”
Me: “There are ways to sneak out and into the district besides the sewers?” I’m trying to act casually as I look behind shelves and in cabinets “Wait. Don’t answer that”
DM: You catch a rat eating some of Jacketman’s… fluffy… green paste. Some kind of food ingredient. There are no labels in his spice cabinet. You grab it easily.
Me: “Is this a pet?”
Jacket: “… little insensitive, don’t you think?”
Me: “Hey. I’m just asking before I kill this thing”
Jacket: “Do it outside. Don’t want its blood all over everything.”
Me: “Sure. Give me a sec” I go outside, draw my dagger and kill it
DM: It dies.
Me: I throw it away, clean myself up as much as possible and go inside. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you but I have reason to suspect someone is using rats as spies”
Jacket: “Good to know. Find out who and we can sell that information, by the way.” He looks at you curiously. “Its something you can do. If you are interested. Just… make sure, beyond doubt, it isn’t a lie. Trust me on this.”
Me: “Sell the info? I’ll leave that to you. You’re more versed in the politics”
Jacket: “There was some construction at some point in the lost histories of the city. An old tunnel deep underground extends from the Temple… specifically, the base of the slave quarter cantina all the way to some tower in the docks. We dumped trash down the hole until I fell in one day… found the tunnel.”
Me: “If they haven’t found it, that might be the only way into the city. I only ever told one person about the tunnel…”
Me: “That sounds extremely unfortunate”
Jacket: “If they haven’t found it, that might be the only way into the city. I only ever told one person about the tunnel…”
Me: “Please tell me it wasn’t Patricia”
Jacket: “Before her time. I was… oh, fifty when I escaped.”
Me: “Oh wow. You look good for your age”
Jacket: “Not really sure how old I am now. Stopped keeping track of time after escaping. One of the perks of being one of us half-breeds. Pure-rats, the ones that don’t look people-y, die much sooner. Being half-blooded gives us perks.”
Me: “Speaking of pure rats, I found my daughter”
Jacket: “I heard.”
Me: “You did?”
Jacket: “Pearce, I bent a rule, and it may come back to bite me later.”
Me: “Max I’m out of souls to lend you”
Jacket: “A cryptic request was on the network. For the identity of her father. I… sold it. Here, since it was your information, I’ll give you the gold, but I only did it out of a hope you would get to meet her. I know it was a risk, but… I had to do it. I can’t let a family get broken up… not again.”
Me: “Keep the gold. That’s your job. I don’t pay you for items I retrieve”
Jacket: He nods. “Thank you. I rarely act without a lot of thought, but… she deserved to know.”
Me: “She did. She seems to be doing well. She’s an emissary. I don’t know if pulling her out now is something we can do”
Jacket: “And even if we could… does the surface really seem like a better life?”
Me: “I didn’t know they aged that quickly. I thought we had months at least. Bringing her up here was your request remember. You were the one who said she wouldn’t be happy”
Jacket: “I thought she was being tortured. Neglected. Apparently she was given an education and purpose. My information is either wrong or outdated. They offered to let me in, you know.”
Me: “Do you want to take the offer?”
Jacket: "To join them. I knew life’d be easier, but… this is my city. I was born here. I have family here… " he pauses. “I guess. I wouldn’t take it, no.”
Me: “you at least have a friend” I say as I raise my mug
Jacket: He raises it. “I need to ask you for a personal favor, Pearce.”
Me: “Ask it”
Jacket: “I… left my wife and daughter in the Temple district. But that was many years ago. My wife is likely long dead. But my daughter… Please find her. Just… to see if she is doing okay.”
Me: “What is her name? Again. I hope it’s not Patricia”
Jacket: “No, no. Natively, I am a half-elf, although I believe only my elven heritage remains. I still think like a human, but… I guess that was insensitive. Her name was Gweneviere.”
Me: “What do I care? I’m a demon now apparently”
DM: His pupils narrow. You didn’t realize his eye was 90% pupil until they suddenly narrow. You both suddenly have a moment of tension, where you each receive the impulse to smash your mugs at each other. You are aware you both seriously considered it.
Me: “Wow we are easily triggered”
Jacket: “About that… I need 300 gold, and I cannot imply why.”
Me: “I’ll get it once were done, it’s at my place”
Jacket: “Listen, there is something on the market, some information important to what is going on. A recipe nobody has yet. An alchemical recipe, no magic involved.”
Me: “For what?”
Jacket: “If we get it, we might be able to avoid what is going on. It also means that somebody knows that you half demons exist. And is attempting to monetize it.”
Me: “Well makes sense. I’m still convinced I became like this through Reclemation”
Jacket: “You haven’t had any involvement with the demons besides that? You’d need to get… secretions… on you. Sweat, slobber, drool… nose drippings. Spiritually charged. Probably in a state of euphoria.”
Me: “I slipped in some sewage water. I wasn’t euphoric at the time”
Jacket: “That is how you got the rat disease? Or the demon one?”
Me: “I got the rat disease because the fuckers bite hard. I only noticed the demon one after I fell into some sewage. I assumed I just didn’t notice till then because I was damp. But if I ran into a euphoric demon I didn’t know it”
Jacket: “Alright. There is always the possibility it was a half-demon, and I wouldn’t know what forms those appear.”
Me: “Wait. So I can infect others by being sweaty and happy?”
Jacket: “I am guessing here, Pearce. Trying to reason it out.”
Me: “Well I’m working on trying to cure that. So hopefully that will sort itself out”
Jacket: “Okay. Will you try and find my daughter, if possible?”
Me: “I’ll try but Max. Just a name in a entire district I’m unfamiliar with… I don’t know if I can. I do promise I will try”
Jacket: “Max?”
Me: “Well if I have to call you Max in public, I’m gonna call you Max in private”
Jacket: “Oh. Right. No, that was a fake name. I saw you with a stranger. It happens re-actively. You can call me Max, sure. But I do need some kind of name. If that ever happens again, just call me… eh. Max, find, its stuck like old milk.”
Me: “I can call you Jacketman in private if you’d prefer? Or you can tell me your actual name?A last name might help find your daughter actually”
Jacket: "Last name is Jacket. First name is Manuel. I’m not very creative. It was what was on my outfit in the Temple. “Jacket, Man.”
Me: “Wow. No you’re not” I say with a laugh
Jacket: “I wanted it to be easy for her to find me. I waited at the entrance of the tunnel… in the docks… for weeks. They never followed. I don’t know if anyone knew where I went.”
“And there was no ladder out on that side. I couldn’t go back. So I kept that name around. It was a risk, but… I wanted them to know me if they ever found me.”
Me: “By the way. I actually had other reasons for coming here. We can’t use my place for further meetings. I have a guest staying”
Jacket: “Ah. I thought I smelled her.” He makes to fistbump you. “Nice. Okay. I am only really around here near noon… its too bright out.”
Me: “Also. Now that I know where you live. I know someone who can help reinforce your locks. Can never be too careful. Do you want me to have him stop by? I’ll need a key to your place for a day but it shouldn’t take long”
Jacket: “Is it you?”
Me: “…. It might be”
Jacket: “I only trust you in my apartment. Please don’t let anyone else in, even your gal, alright?”
Me: “I have no intention of bringing her in here. But yes I can reinforce it”
Jacket: “I’ll have a key made. Should take a day.”
Jacket: “Also… if you don’t mind… don’t read my diary, alright? Don’t snoop, please.”
Me: “Manuel I have no intention of going through your things. Just come in and reinforce the door”
Jacket: “Alright. That is fair.”
Me: “Anyway. Found the crossbow. Guess who has it?”
Jacket: He nods. “I’ve known for a while. She was offering it on the market, and specifically requested you not be informed. Along with its original owner.”
Me: “That… she…. GAH! So is that job canceled?”
Jacket: “Well, no. You are still hired by my company to do what I have asked you to do. We still want vengeance. But if that fails, we will still take a profit.”
Me: “Also that means she knows I’m in Reclamation? How the fuck did she find that out?”
Jacket: “No… she blacklisted people in the Mids. Virtually everyone who knew her name. Some people don’t trust our network. She was doing this to mock my group.”
Me: “Ok well if you see her do not track her or engage her in any way. She’s even more dangerous”
Jacket: “She is selling her location, Pearce. I think its a trap.”
Me: “Can you do that? I thought you flipped out about souls the first time”
Jacket: “I already bought the information. That is why I can’t pay you.”
Me: “What?! Manuel if it’s a trap you don’t buy it. That’s how that works”
Jacket: “No. Here is the thing. My organization would know if she lied on the place and time. I can’t go into details. She will be there.”
Me: “…. when is it? And where”
Jacket: “Which gives you an edge. Two days from now. Its why I’ve acquired…” he pauses. Moves to the back of the room. These five bottles of fine brew. Four are regular bottles of expensive cognac. This fifth… its highly poisonous, but tasteless."
Me: “You want me to try to poison her?”
Jacket: “No. I want you to borrow these objects… for the purpose of acquiring the crossbow. I would never ask you to hunt another client for personal means – say, depriving a father of his daughters very brief time in this city.”
Me: “Does that poison kill or just hamper?”
Jacket: “I can’t know. It might kill her, it might just hurt her. But it gives you an edge you wouldn’t have otherwise. Which, as a representative of the Consortium, would want a reclaimer to have access to.”"
Me: “I appreciate this. I owe you big time. The city owes you big time”
Jacket: "This is business, Pearce. " he looks at you expectantly.
Me: “Well of course Jacketman. A very wise investment”
Jacket: “Thank you.” He softens. He gives you an address. Its a warehouse in the Docks, long overrun by demons. “I have something else. This… this is a loan. I need it back. You have a new friend who uses knives, don’t you? This is for him. There was an order passing through from the Temple for a dozen or so knives like this. We managed to… acquire two. Here. Remember to return it. This is to help accomplish the goal, though. You can tell him whatever you want, just make sure you get it back afterwards.”
Me: “Thank you. You take it easy friend. You’ve done your job. I have a lot of preparations to make. And kill any rats you see”
Jacket: “Certainly. Have a good afternoon. Oh… here.” He passes you a paper bag. Some leftovers from my dinner last night. Sorry, I wasn’t expecting a visitor."
Me: “You do realize you don’t have to feed me right? I’m starting to think I owe you a lot for this gourmet food from a famous chef”
Jacket: “Nobody I’ve ever met who knows what I am has taken my food. Its an honor to be appreciated.”
Me: I go retrieve his money
Jacket: “I’ll get the information and come back to you.”
Me: “Just remember I have a guest”
Jacket: “Come visit me later tonight, alright? As late as you can.”
Me: “Can do”

Conversation 6: 8/29/2016
Me: “Anyone in here”
DM: The shelves are broken, ingredients spilled everywhere. It reeks of urine.
Written on the wall in tomato bisque is the phrase “leave our city freak”. Jacketman walks up behind you.
Jacket: “It was bound to happen. Its why I moved in under you, actually. Last place was vandalized as well.” He hands you a slip of paper. “This is for you.”
Me: Pearce let’s out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad you’re not injured. Let’s go inside”

Pearce see’s him without his mask and avoids the pull to intimidate him. Instead he tries to clean up before realizing most of it will have to be trashed.
Me: “This is inexcusable. I’m gonna talk to the landlord. We need a guard outside”
Jacket: “No. A guard draws more attention to my presence. I was here because people hadn’t recognized what I am. Now that people can see rat-folks wandering around, this is more likely to happen.”
Me: “Well I’ll reinforce the door. They won’t get in again”
Jacket: “They will, Pierce. They don’t understand it any more than you do.”
Me: “I don’t know what to say.”
Jacket: “Perhaps I could sleep in your apartment tonight… in a closet so I don’t disturb your lady?”
Me: “Let me go talk to her. I can’t see her saying no”
Jacket: “Sure. I’ll just… oh no… No no no no…”
Me: “Did they take the diary?”
Jacket: “They burned it. I have been writing to my daughter… every day. For 15 years. They burned it.”
Me: “I’m so sorry Jacket”
Jacket: “There isn’t a way to fix what is lost and broken.”
Me: “Jacket wait. Don’t do anything drastic ok? I know things look bad now but give it some time”
Jacket: “Right. I just need to focus on business right now. I lost a lot of money helping you, and I will need to make that back. Please try and get us a score soon, Pearce.”
Me: “Will do. Come to my place at dawn. You’ll be able to sleep there.”

Conversation 7: 9/27/16
DM: You enter. Jacketman is talking to a child.
Me: “Oh. Sorry. Didn’t mean to interrupt”
Jacket: He stands up awkwardly, and says “Daddy has to go for a bit…” And pulls you outside the apartment. He lifts his mask and smokes deeply from his pipe.
Me: “Jacket why do you have a kid in your old apartment?”
Jacket: “Somebody is trying to manipulate me. Somebody who knows who I was. Whoever it is expects me to believe my daughter hasn’t ages in 10 years. I come home and this little girl is there saying she has always been there. Saying she is my daughter.”
Me: :…. what. I know you half elves age a little slower but that seems impossible"
Jacket: “And what happened to the mess? My apartment was trashed. Somebody… undid that. I’m being messed with.”
Me: “That was me actually. You said you were done with it so I was gonna use it. That’s why you gave me your keys”
Jacket: “Then where did she come from? And… Pearce, I don’t remember walking here. How did I get here?” He stops. You see sweat and fear on him, in his voice. “I was across town. Then I was here. I didn’t walk.”
Me: “Ok. We need to go inside and remain calm”
Jacket: “I can’t leave the… thing… alone. Who knows who or what she is working for.”
Me: “Forget who she works for, we don’t even know who she is. What she is. Ok. We go in. Act calm. Tell her to go wait in a room. We don’t need you panicking in the middle of the street. We’ll sort this out”
DM: He goes in, you hear brief discussion, then light crying and a door shutting. You are let in.
Me: “Please don’t tell me you insulted her”
Jacket: “Of course not. Whoever is paying her is happier believing I believe her.”
He seems paranoid.
Me: “Look. I’ll be right back. I need some things from my house. Why not see if she remembers the past. How much she remembers.”
Jacket: “No. Damn it, Pearce. Be real with me for one god damn moment. You have an idea what this is and your suspicion has to do with something in your apartment. Don’t hide this from me … please. Not this.” He starts tearing up. “I can’t.. fight this.”
Me: “I… Look. I’ll bring what I’m suspicous about ok? Just stay calm and don’t do anything rash for 2 min while I go get it”
DM: He doesn’t say anything. He watches you leave through the reflections in his glass.
Me: I go outside, close the door, and run up and go get his diary.
Jacket: “How did…. how did you fix that?”
Me: “I used … magic, new magic for me. I need to read the last page.”
Jacket: He looks suspiciously at you. " Nothing is new under the sun. "
Me: “Don’t look at me like I was trying to screw you Jacket.”
Jacket: “I know. This is hard. We are both in intelligence.”
Me: “We don’t even know if this is involved. That’s what I want to check”
Jacket: “I just… I… I got overwhelmed. I built this wall in me and this was it. The one thing that could destroy that Wall and make me feel like it just happened.”
Me: “Look. I will help you figure out what’s happening. I swear it”
Jacket: He pauses. “Read the last page out loud.”
Diary: “Today was her birthday. She was alive and well and in my home place. I am a good father. She is a good daughter. We will be together forever.”
Jacket: “What… did… you…. do?” He whispers at the door to the other room.
Me: “I…. it…. THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! It was just supposed to repair it!”
Jacket: He turns to you. “Not you.” He stands up. “It’s time I fight my demons, Pearce. Leave the room. Leave the sword. I’ll return it. Don’t lose trust in me. This is for the best.”
Me: “Jacket you can not do that. This isn’t right”
Jacket: “Pearce, I know you believe in good and evil. But tell me you are certain that is my daughter. If it isn’t, it is a threat to us both. It knows things, Pearce. About a lot of things it cannot possibly know. You do it. You go in there and talk to her and you tell me what to do.”
Me: I enter
Daughter: She is loudly fake crying. She stops when you enter. “You aren’t daddy.”
Me: “I’m a friend of your dad. He sent me in here to give you a check up. Are you feeling well?”
Daughter: "Yes. I am well. You may go, it’s okay, daddy said I should never trust strangers. "
DM: She hasn’t blinked.
Me: Ok. silent prayer time. “Samantha. I really need you to answer me. Did you create Jacket’s child. Did you make that book come true. Really really need the answer. It doesn’t seem natural”
DM: Samantha tries to enter and use your mouth. The child has moved not at all. It’s legs are completely stiff, it’s made no motion, it’s legs hang off the bed like sticks.
Me: “Did. you. create. the. child.” I whisper
Sam: “I don’t know. I fixed his book to have a happy ending! Is it my first big miracle? I brought his daughter to him!” You say out loud.
Patrick: I did this. Dear god. fort save to not vomit? I fail. I just. This. Is so messed up. Wtf do I do?
Me: “We need to have a very serious talk later. This… this isn’t … just… no”
Sam: “I’m. S… okay, later.” You feel a warmth that at the moment makes you a bit furious…. you feel that leave a bit and regain your faculties
Patrick: I don’t know what to do. This is all kinda of messed up. Does this thing have a soul? Is this thing alive?
DM: She isn’t moving. No motion is going on that you would see as breathing.
Me: “Ok. I’m going to go talk to your daddy. You just be a good girl”
Daughter: “I’m that, Pearce. I’m a good girl.” She says. As you walk out. You had not given your name
DM: Jacketman is chopping carrots. Lots of carrots. He moves on to asparagus. He moves through tomato’s. He is chopping then, and the sliced parts fall to the floor in a big heap.
Jacket: “Daddy has to be a good daddy… no, that isn’t… that isn’t me….” He babbles an argument you only half hear.
Me: “Jacket. Can you hear me? I need you to leave here. If you come back is you decision. I don’t blaim you if you don’t. Just leave”
Jacket: He looks at you, knife in his hand. “You know what she said to me, when I came to?” He has a look in his beady, rat eyes. “First thing I heard from her mouth? ‘Look daddy, I’m not dead anymore.’ She knew. She knew in some way she isn’t her. And she knew…. something I didn’t. She knew my daughter was dead. And I need to bury that memory. I… I’m not a fighter, Pearce. I need you… to hold her still.”
Me: “Just leave Jacket. None of this was your fault.”
Jacket: “Pearce. Please. Let me finish this… if this is being used, I need to be strong enough to survive. Even one person learns. I need to be able to protect myself. I need to be less… me. Please don’t tell me you know what is best. You don’t. None of us do. This city manages to hollow every one of us out. Let me do this.”
Me: “Jacket your daughter was your last connection to your old life. I won’t let you kill that”
Jacket: “Then kill me. Because I cannot be a father to that thing, and if you don’t kill her, I will.”
Me: “You need to leave so I can do it Jacket. That’s why you need to leave”
“You don’t want to hear this”
“You don’t need to see this”
“This isn’t your daughter”
Jacket: He grabs his mask. Throws it on the ground. He stands up with his gross half rat face showing, and walks out the door.
Me: “Forgive me Samantha for I’m about to sin”
Patrick: I draw my sword and enter the room. And I’m not roleplaying this. Not this.

Conversation 8: 12/16/16 – Log
Jacket: “Got some work for you, friend.” He says on entering
Me: “Isn’t there always. You been ok? It’s been a long week”
Jacket: “Yep. Lot going on I can’t talk about. Hope you don’t have any work with – hah, almost said. Anyway, the higher ups have something they need your particular expertise for.”
Me: “That is why they pay me. What do they need?”
Jacket: He places three separate stones on the table between you. “Allegedly you are a whiz at identifying murder weapons. Which of these was used to kill someone recently? I’ll leave the room if need be.”
Me: “… who told you that?”
Jacket: “That I can’t say. If you can’t. It’s all well and good. But I can’t share my source.”
Me: Pearce frowns “Fine. Leave the room. And do me a favor and don’t spread that info”
DM: He heads to the chamberpot room. You quickly identify a rock as the weapon used in what appears to be some kind of stoning. It is an older woman in a crowd who scores the killing blow on the tied up halforc. You recognize neither.
Me: I point out the stone
Jacket: “Thanks. I knew you were the man for this job. I won’t ask how you know.”
Me: “Glad to be of service. I do have a favor though. Can you find any info about an alchemy lab or a magitech printing press going on sale?”
Jacket: “Yeah. One of the old magitech printing press? Those are hard to come by. I do know of one that was recently put on market, but it’s going for a thousand gold, and even then needs repairs.”
Me: “If it’s still for sale I’ll buy it”
Jacket: “Gather your gold. I can have it repaired for an extra 300”
Me: “Done. Can you have it put on hold for a few days? While it’s getting repaired perhaps?”
Jacket: “Let me know when you want it delivered, and where.” Jacketman adds. “It is a large device… correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t know much about them?”
Me: “I’m not well versed in them that’s true”
Jacket: “Well, they are about half a room in size, and require a steady supply of oils and lubricants to keep functional. As well as alchemist’ fire.”
Me: “That’s partially why I wanted an alchemist desk/lab as well”
Jacket: “Ah. Well, I can prod around, but I imagine a full setup will cost you quite a bit. Do you have a location sizable enough for both?”
Me: “That’s why I need a few days. Working out the details for that”
Jacket: He sits anxiously. "Have things settled around here? Feel safe again?
Me: “… Not really. I’ve made a few enemies this past week. How about you? Been safe? Oh! Do I stink?” Pearce kinda poses.
Jacket: “As safe as can be said. I want to let you know – you should stock up on preserved foods and alcohols.” He sniffs. “No… no you don’t. What changed?”
Me: “Found a cure”
Jacket: “Willing to sell it?”
Me: “It’s not something I could reproduce sadly”
Jacket: "Hmm. " He leans forward, a little anxiously. “War is coming, by the way.”
Me: “Yeah. I got that from your last statement”
Jacket: “Well, good. Then you should know the sides may not favor us allies. But that doesn’t mean we need be enemies.”
Me: “What ARE the sides?”
Jacket: “I can’t tell you. I’m sorry. Just that we may not be on the same side.”
Me: “… I don’t suppose I could convince you to turn then?”
Jacket: “I wish I could, friend. But I’m in a little too far now. I won’t actively work against you, you are a valuable resource, but I may have certain… problems… helping so candidly soon.”
Me: “I’m not gonna say I understand but you have my sympathies”
Jacket: “I wanted to thank you for what you did for me… the other night. That was not what any of us wanted.”
Me: “… Even if we become enemies I will honor my promise if you ever find out. I owe you that for my part in that”
Jacket: He nods. “I won’t betray you. Haven’t yet, don’t plan on starting. I’d shelter you at personal risk if I thought you’d actually listen to my advice to stay put, but I know you. I know your methods at least in theory. You won’t just hide, will you?”
Me: Pearce laughs “Kinda hard to say when you don’t know what’s gonna happen but probably not”
Jacket: "Just prepare. If you have allies, make sure they are armed and know the basics of preserving themselves during war. "
DM: You see Samantha out of the corner of your eye. She is peering into the mirror, and when you notice she makes a ‘shoo’ hand gesture to Jacket.
Jacket: “Well in that case I have some late night visits to make. Jacket always know that you are safe here”
DM: He stands up quietly and leaves the room, disappearing into the night.

Conversation 9: 12/1/16 – Log
Jacket: “Lets hurry.”
Me: “What is happening?!”
Jacket: “Something happened to the moon. All the lights in the city have gone out.”
Me: “So a mob decided to attack you?”
Jacket: “No, they decided to attack you. When looting, who do you think has the more valuable stuff? The person with the best lock. I came here to help you.”
Dm: You know he is a lot more scared than he is trying to appear, but he seems to have genuinely came here to help you.
Me: “Get in.”
DM: He enters and the door is locked
Sam: “Pearce… wake u- oh.”
Me: “There are riots in the street”
Jacket: “Here young lady… do you know how to use one of these?” he reveals six wands strapped under his cloak.
Me: “What spells are in those?” Pearce is wide-eyed
Jacket: “Three are fireballs. One Pass Without Trace. One Cure Light Wounds. And one… in case we lose.”
Me: “Wow. you weren’t kidding when you said you were prepared”
Jacket: “Remember it. Do you know how to use these?”
Me: “I’m ok with em”
DM: He passes you a wand of fireball and casts pass without trace on all of us.
Me: “Where are we going? This is the safest place I know of”
Jacket: “My home.”
Me: “Why?”
Jacket: “Would you rather stay here? I understand if you want to defend your homestead.”
Me: “I mean I’m ok going if there is a reason but if people are randomly looting this place is just as good as the next”
Jacket: “My place is not where people usually go.”
Me: “Well if we’re going I need to get Bell and Thomas, and my gear”
Jacket: “Its fine… my place is with us right now.”
Me: “… what?”
DM: He places one of the small, bowl-like rocks on your table. He affixes a small glass object to the end of it.
Me: “Are you about to teleport somewhere? I still need to get my stuff if we’re about to teleport”
DM: Five minutes later, everyone is in your apartment with a bunch of things. Ratman has done something to the rock. He opens it and disappears.
Jacket: “Follow my lead.” before he goes.
DM: You follow. When you open the tiny door you feel yourself shunted, body and inventory, into another space. You are in a cottage sitting in a valley. You see grass and trees everywhere. An older man is rocking in a chair, you don’t recognize him. The old man is not blinking or breathing.
Jacket: “Into the house. Ignore him.”
Me: “Jacket where the fuck are we”
Jacket: “Its… like a memory. I can’t really explain it. A long time ago, people had the magic to preserve memories forever, and revisit them. He isn’t real… none of this is. Its just a scene someone wanted to remember forever. I live here, now.”
DM: Samantha seems uncomfortable. You activate your telepathic ability.
Sam(Telepathy): I can’t be here and the library. This is too far removed from… reality.
Me(Telepathy): Do you sense anything wrong with the area?
Sam(Telepathy): It feels lifeless. Like we are all that moves and lives.
DM: You notice this house seems similar in style to the one saw in the tower tonic trip.
Me(Telepathy): Well that matches what he said. Let me scope it out. You stay here with Bell
Sam(Telepathy): Okay. Should I pretend to be a normal person?
Me(Telepathy): Yes. Unless you’re threatened.
Sam(Telepathy): Pearce, I wanted to tell you something.
Me(Telepathy): Go for it. No one can hear us
Me: “Coming Jacket. Let the kids stay out here for a sec”
Sam(Telepathy): The reason I woke you up…. the books ran out of words. They don’t have any words in them right now. None of them.
Me(Telepathy): What does that mean?!
Sam(Telepathy): I don’t know! It happened at midnight.
Me(Telepathy): Well… Ratman is a magical construct kinda right? Maybe whoever is doing this shut it down? But the wands still work?
Sam(Telepathy): Shut down the library? How is that possible?
Me(Telepathy): I don’t know! You know more about it than I do
DM: The house is full of various nicknacks, all of them magical. Jacket covers them up with blankets.
Jacket: “Don’t touch anything.”
Me: “That’s fine. Your property as far as I’m concerned”
Jacket: “Its best to pretend none of this is extremely valuable… don’t tell your friends any of this, alright? Its between you and me.”
Me: “I mean. You took them into a magical memory house thing. I don’t think that’s what’s on their minds”
Jacket: “Right.”
Me: “So any idea what is happening? Who is rioting? I doubt people just decided ‘hey the moons out why not go thieving’”
Jacket: “Lets have the others go and rest in the bedroom… you and I need to talk.”
Me(Telepathy): Sam. Is it ok if we’re here? Should we be out there helping?
Sam(Telepathy): I don’t know. I don’t know what is going on out there. The books are silent and I’m in a rock.
Me(Telepathy): I mean we did agree to help those. What about your followers? Are we helping them here? Can you help them outside?
Sam(Telepathy): No… I need to leave. I need to be out there with my people.
Me: “Jacket. I know you brought us here as a favor and I can’t thank you enough but I need to leave. I… we need to go help calm the city. We can’t just sit while it’s like this”
Jacket: “The passage is open. Just go open the door.” He says flatly. “Take your friends with you. I have obligations here. Protect this stone, please. I need a safe place to emerge.”
Me: “I understand. It will be done. Guys. I know we just got here but we need to go back. Thank the nice man for his hospitality and let’s go”

Conversation 10: 5/24/17 – Log
Me: “Your ability to get exotic food never ceases to surprise me. Come in” I gesture for him to enter and then close the door. Once inside I go digging around my endless junk to pull out Lucky’s staff. “This. Is an immovable rod. Interested in selling it?”
Jacket: He examines it carefully. “Yes, I think I can sell this. What are you looking for, for it? Gold or something… more interesting?”
Me: “Define interesting”
Jacket: “You know how it goes. People put exotic things up to auction, and ask for something else in return… information, objects, spells.”
Me: “I do have topics I want to discuss. What do you know about a group called the Friends of Man?”
Jacket: “You know how my business works, Pearce.” He says.
Me: “Look. I’m not gonna buy blind intel. You tell me what you know without going into details and I’ll consider buying it. I’m interested in the Friends of Man and ‘conduits’.”
Jacket: “How are you defining ‘conduits’?” Jacketman asks carefully.
Me: “Anything or anyone that can open a portal”
Jacket: He shifts. “I know of a few groups experimenting with that magic. We know of one that has mastered it, but uses it in a… special capacity, excluding its more attractive uses.”
Me: “I see. How much is it to know who they are and get in contact?”
Jacket: “I am afraid I can’t help you get in contact with them. This information is, after all, not over the table.”
Me: “Okay. How much to know who they are period”
Jacket: “300 gold. It is a well known, but often misunderstood secret.”
Me: “Done”
Jacket: “The Temple District’s religious practices revolve around the concept of saving ones soul from destruction – effectively from death. According to a source, this is done through an arcanotechnological portal that people physically go through, exiting Gallows permanently. According to the religion, they go to the Inbetween, or the Afterlands – differing terms for the same place. Some kind of pocket dimension.”
Me: “Hmmm. Noted.” I hand over the money. “Next I have a proposition. Are you aware of defects in magical items? Items people might claim are cursed? I would like you to loan me some of those objects. I think I’ve figured out a way to remove the defects but I need test subjects. If I succeed you get the improved items back for free. If the items are destroyed I cover the cost. And before you ask, I will not reveal how”
Jacket: “I can probably find a candidate for you to test on.”
Me: “Good. Last question… what do you know of a man called ‘Bear’. He contacted me. Wants to get in touch with the Reclamation”
Jacket: “I don’t know much. He pops up every once and a while for some minor crime, but he doesn’t seem to be terribly busy… I believe I know where he has been slumming it lately.” Jacketman scratches his chin.
Me: “Well do you want to meet him?”
Jacket: “Why doesn’t he work through you? You are a representative.”
Me: Pearce just shrugs “I told him the exact same thing. He doesn’t believe I am.”
Jacket: "Can you vouch that he is actually buying or selling something?
Me: “… I’ll vouch for him”
Jacket: "Alright. Act as the middleman and set up a meeting. "
Me: “Will do. Next time I summon you expect him. Sound fair?”
Jacket: “Alright… very well.”
Conversation 11: 10/5/17 – Log
Jacket: “They kicked me out.”
Me: “The Reclamation? Why?”
Jacket: “They found out I didn’t charge you for some of the information. And they kicked me out. They took almost everything I have.”
Me: “I-I’m sorry Jacket. I don’t even know what info they’re referring to”
Jacket: “Back with Patricia. I don’t blame you. Look, I just… I want to help.”
Me: “Well. I got good news and bad news, and more bad news. Bad news. We’re about to be invaded by a foreign military force. More bad news. I sold you a piece of equipment we need to fight them. Good news, we’re still friends”
Jacket: “That is some bad news, Pearce. I can’t get that back in any easy way.”
Me: “Well if they sold you out, why don’t we sell them out? Do you know where they keep magical gear?”
Jacket: He shakes his head. “Its not that easy. Its stored in… so imagine that Gallows is a closed book laying on a table. Imagine Gallows is a page of a book, laying on a table. When the book is open, we can read the words. That is where we live… that is where Gallows is. Imagine that Gallows is fresh ink, drying on a page of a book. And then the book is closed. There is now a ‘splotchy, inconsistent’ copy of that page…. our city… Shadow plane. Familiar with the concept?”
Me: “Shadow… yes I know the concept. Dark things are associated with that place Jacket. Really dark things”
Jacket: “I will keep that metaphor going then. So that inconsistent copy of our city’s page is a place we can easily travel to. Its not like a new page in the book of ‘all places’ – its just a bad, dangerous dimension that mirrors this one. So, I have no means myself of really going there on purpose. That was… again, they took everything. Do you know anyone… any way, really, we can get there? I can probably guide us to them if we can enter, but I have no means of doing that.”
Me: Pearce looks back at his door. “Fuck.”
Jacket: “Your friend? The halfling girl?”
Me: “No. The necromancer she’s guarding. I’m certain he’s familiar with that plane”
Jacket: “Oh. Maybe he will work with us?”
Me: “Jacket. Is there … any force controlling the shadow plane?”
Jacket: “Yes. There are things that live there – monsters of various sorts, and my employers. But ‘control’ is the wrong word. They are just in power in shifting place.”
Me: “Who are your employers?”
Jacket: “I don’t know. They are like grey, tall figures in a strange place. They aren’t…. I don’t know, really, what they are. They called themselves Reclamation. They said I could work for them or they would eat my soul forever.”
Me: “…”
Jacket: “Look, they will kill me if they see me there again. And they will, in all likelihood, eat my soul forever… I don’t think they use anything like exaggerative speech.”
Me: “No. No I don’t think they do”
DM: Pearce hears a slamming noise in his apartment. When he opens his door a chair has been knocked over. Viola is standing nearby laughing wildly as Harrison continues to moan. Pearce tells her to knock it off before closing the door.
Me: “Give me a few minutes. I need to go confirm some things. You can wait inside if you want”
Conversation 11: 10/5/17 – Log
Me: I let out a huge sigh. “That was horrifying”
Jacket: “We… well, that isn’t good. I think they know you now.”
Me: “A necessary price”
Jacket: “Yeah. Invisibility only works once. They don’t really need senses beyond the start – its that first glimpse that is so hard for them. We got it, though.”
Me: “We did. And I need you to hold onto it until tomorrow”
Jacket: “I can do that”
Me: “I have a place you can stay. I own it and it’s hard to trace back to me. They’ll let you stay as long as you want. Just let them know I sent you.”
Jacket: “Oh. Great, Tito hasn’t been enjoy me.”
DM: You give him the address of the tenement build Piggabrick owns.


Gallowsbird (2016) Random11 Random11