Whilst aboard the airship Mellifluous, en route to the city of Ravenrock and the Anniversary Ball, Saigo was asked to help the founder of the Quicksilver Trading Company discover the truth behind a mysterious death in the bowels of the ship. Little did Windle Crankshaft know that the nagaji was actually an assassin sent for vengeance due to the QTC’s abuse of his native lands. Seeing little opportunity to carry out his mission at that moment he took on the investigation, and was soon joined by fellow mercenary security officer Lakshi the varana gunslinger, and her peculiar tagalong/charge Darlock, a Strix emissary. The trio quickly established that the death was likely not accidental, considering the finger marks around the woman’s neck and the fact she was sealed inside a barrel. Careful examination revealed a long stiletto knife and a wand of Sending in the half-full barrel. They later learnt that the victim was Margaret Parry, the Head of Housekeeping, and her ring of keys was missing.
Meanwhile, Kirioto the wood elf stowaway was making friends with a noble upstairs by tripping him, spilling wine and beer on him, and then stealing his purse. His Lord Barnaby was not best pleased with the first two actions and swore an oath of enmity against the rogue. This was mostly ignored whilst Kirioto scoped out the high elf Princess Zelda Farseer and her father King Alarandel Farseer, who he hoped to meet in private and stab with his dagger in the biblical and literal sense respectively. With no further opportunity to rob wealth or virginity available, he followed the peculiar group leaving the room down to the laundry room, where he was rebuffed due to it being a crime scene. He then proceeded to the lavatory to clean his shirt of summerwine and listen for any gossip.
Attempting to clean up the room, the party decides to seal the barrel up again and carry it to the medical room, where at least it would be more at home. En route they are challenged by Kirioto as to why they are carrying a barrel around the ship, a challenge which two thirds of the group met well. As the jig was up, Saigo decided to enlist the help of the querulous elf in finding the real killer, because murdering someone else whilst on the job is frankly unprofessional.
Upon returning to the avuncular gnome Windle Crankshaft, the party learnt that the wands of Sending are standard equipment for QTC ships, and that only two were on board. One was in the hands of Windle himself, whilst the other was held by Felorian Loamheart, the Head of Engineering. On being questioned, the half elf nervously took the party to his private quarters with the accompaniment of two hulking bodyguards. The half elf was relieved to learn the party was merely curious about the wand of Sending, and was happy to show them the second wand for the ship, meaning the one they were holding had come aboard separately. Whilst the wands themselves were extremely common and mass produced, the group petitioned Felorian to try and identify where the last message had been sent. Through some advanced Spellcraft (his speciality), he was able to determine that it had most likely come from the direction of Ravenrock, though there was no way to be absolutely certain.
Further questioning around the ship shed more light on the curious goings-on. Milly Goodwife, the distraught deputy Head of House, provided a written list of Margaret’s soiled clothing route, which Saigo and Kirioto followed to the boiler room. Ernst and Bernie, the immolation extrapolation engineers (coal shovellers and occasional imaginary wizards) had seen a young probably-human redhead poke her head around the door, which was the only distraction in a fulfilling day of fossilised carbon transportation. Lakshi and Darlock spoke to Rupert Smythe, Chief Butler, to chase up a lead on a missing waitress uniform. As dinner was about to be served, Rupert assured them that he could round the waiting staff up after this was finished. When Kirioto and Saigo burst into the room with news that the party were looking for a redhead.
As a crowd gathered to hear a speech by Windle, the group spotted the only redheaded waitress lurking near the stage. As Kirioto dodged through the crowd, Saigo barged through, Lakshi clambered over, and Darlock flew, Windle had just enough time to utter “What the bloody hell is happening over there?” before a strange gas burst from the microphone stand, felling him in seconds.
As the crowd starts shouting, the party readies for their first martial confrontation.