Between jobs at Banu’s, Flurm approaches Mallinia and explains that he has a private message for her. The bounty hunter has been keeping a close eye on the bounty boards with regards to the crew. After their successfully faked deaths, the bounties were all removed the boards. However Mallina’s bounty has recently reappeared and with an increased price on her head.
The crew contacts Aris and says they will take the job about the missing heir. They load up the ship and head to Arkania, leaving Embro behind to assist Banu with tasks around the Villa. Learning more about the job during their trip, the group is tasked with locating the missing heir to the noble house Sephiroth, one of the oldest and wealthiest houses on Arkania.
Upon arriving, Lord Sephiroth greets the crew and explains that his wife recently passed away. His son and heir, Allin, has been missing for over two days, which is unusual for him. Lord Sephiroth suspects the rival house Nalju may have something to do with his disappearance. He hasn’t had much time to investigate the disappearance himself, as he’s been preparing for some kind of move by the Naljus to take advantage of the grief and confusion, so he’s instructed the estate staff to be cooperative with the crew’s investigation.
To begin the investigation, Ney and Mallinia head to the son’s bedroom. Everything has been cleaned up by the maids, as they didn’t initially realize Allin had gone missing and went about their daily routine the morning he vanished. At first glance, everything appears to be in normal order, a spotless room for Arkanian nobility. Upon closer examination, Ney notices one of the books on a shelf is not in alphabetical order like the rest. It’s a book about hunting dorsalopes. Mallinia checks the closet, and finds a handwritten note sticking out of the pocket of a jacket. The note says, “We’re ready. See you next Tuesday.”
Utut goes to the servant quarters to question the maids who clean Allin’s room. They answer Utut’s questions, explaining that the son is a slob, and there was nothing out of the ordinary in his room on the morning of his disappearance. It was the usual mess. Asked if Allin has any people on the grounds that he is close to or interacts with regularly, the maid explains that he mostly keeps to himself and doesn’t socialize with the hired help.
Tiro heads to the security station and meets with the captain of the noble guards. The captain explains that there should be adequate coverage by security cameras to track down Allin’s last known whereabouts on the property, but the footage has not been reviewed yet. Tiro sits down at the security terminal and gets to work. After getting familiar with the system and scanning the footage, Tiro locates footage of Allin departing on horse the morning of his disappearance. He has four of the noble guards with him and they have hunting equipment with them (including guns) as they depart from the stables.
The crew asks that a staff meeting be called with all the guards to find out if anyone has seen the guards who were seen leaving with Allin in the security footage. The guards are not among those present and nobody has seen them since. It did not raise suspicion because guards come and go regularly, and the four who went with him all live in the same room, so nobody noticed they hadn’t returned for two nights.
The crew asks about Allin’s habits and friends, but nobody speaks up. Realizing that the guards might not speak as openly in front of Lord Sephiroth, Utut asks him politely to leave the room. With their master gone, the guards open up about Allin. They explain that he’s generally a disrespectful spoiled jerk, though he’s young and could still change for the better. While nobody particularly likes the person he is right now, they all do like and respect Lord Sephiroth. Considering the hardships the Lord has gone through recently with the death of his wife, the departure of his other son, and now the disappearance of his remaining son and heir, the staff do truly hope for Allin’s safe return, if only for the sake of their Lord.
Asked about theories as to what may have happened to Allin, the guards offer several theories: He may have run off with a woman; Could be passed out drunk at the local bar; Had a hunting accident; Crossed the Nalju’s and was captured; or was killed by the guards he went hunting with who were fed up with his abuse.
With their questions answered, the group heads to the stables to speak with the stablemaster. He doesn’t have much more information, but does confirm five horses have been missing for a few days, but there’s no sign that whoever took them planned for an extended departure. The crew asks to borrow horses to head out in search of the missing heir and guards. With some getting used to riding on horseback, they mount up and depart.
Utut uses his expert tracking skills to follow the trail for some time. The tracks lead deeper and deeper into the forest, directly toward the territory owned by the rival house Nalju.
Eventually, the group does head to far onto the rival’s property, and find themselves ambushed by a group of a dozen Nalju guards and a noble. Rogor Nalju insists they return with him to face his father, the Lord Nalju. Rogor points out that the group ventured into Nalju territory soon after a sighting of Sephiroths, and believes they are working with the rivals. Ney admits they were with Sephiroths, leading Rogor to feel more confident in his accusations.
With the Nalju estate many miles away and darkness falling, the noble decides to set up camp for the night before making the rest of the trip in the morning. The Naljus set up camp, and keep the crew members under close watch and guarded in a single tent.
As the night gets later, some shouting and sounds of blaster fire erupts. Chaos quickly breaks out as the camp finds themselves under attack! In the commotion, the crew slips out of the tent and begins to escape, but they are spotted by Nalju guards. Torn between firing upon their fleeing captives or their attackers, the guards are uncertain what to do.
Meanwhile, Utut attempts to grab their nearby horses to assist with the escape. One of them is scared off by the blaster fire and starts to run off. Ney tries to grab its reins, but is trampled and injured as he fails to corral the wild horse. Utut tries to move the horses he did get under control towards his crewmates.
As the battle unfolds, the Naljus are being overrun. Two of the attackers manage to approach Rogor, club him over the head, and start to drag his unconscious body away. Tiro tries to reach them before they get away with the noble, but he doesn’t make it to them in time. With their leader captured and several of their colleagues dead, the remaining Nalju flee. The attackers hop on some landspeeders they had stashed nearby in the woods, and escape with the captured heir.
Having cut through the woods and brush on the landspeeders, Utut is able to track the attackers to a valley several miles away. The group is able to sneak up and get a good view from above. Tiro uses macrobinoculars and sees guards from both houses working together to guard the camp. He spots Rogor exiting a cave located down in the valley. Tiro also finds a natural rock formation on the side of the cliffs that allows the crew to climb down the valley from behind, circumventing the heavily guarded narrow entranceway leading down into the valley.
One they’ve carefully descended down the cliff and into the read part of the valley, Ney causes a distraction by tossing a grenade into a box of flares. The explosion knocks down some troops and draws their attention. Allin emerges from the cave to see what the ruckus is all about.
Mallinia uses her datapad to record an image of the two noble sons together and sends it to Lord Sephiroth, saying that they’re working together. Lord Sephiroth doesn’t believe his son would work with the enemy, and says he needs more proof to believe it. Mallinia convinces Lord Sephiroth that he needs to grab several of his guards and get there as soon as possible to see for himself.
While waiting for Lord Sephiroth and his reinforcements to arrive, the crew attacks. Realizing they’re under attack, the noble sons both go back into the cave. With the element of surprise on their side, the crew is able to take out several of the guards.
Lord Sephiroth arrives as the remaining guards surrender. The crew explains that both of the noble sons are in the cave and seem to be working together. Lord Sephiroth calls out to his son, who exits the cave upon heading his father’s voice. Allin blames Rogor for kidnapping him, but Rogor denies it and points the finger at Allin. The crew explains their theory, but don’t have a lot of evidence to back it up. There are three different people telling three different stories and Lord Sephiroth doesn’t know who to believe.
Ney sneaks into the cave and finds some furniture and a data pad. Although the data pad is password protected and he cannot immediately access it, he suspects it could hold the evidence needed to implicate the sons. Ney exits the cave where the discussion is continuing.
Frustrated that the truth is not coming out, Tiro points his gun at Rogor and threatens to shoot him unless he comes clean. Rogor relents and reveals the scheme: He and Allin plotted together to fake their kidnappings and start a war between the two houses. During an ensuing battle, they were going to kill their fathers and make it look as if their deaths were part of the fight. With the fathers out of the way, they would each inherit control of their respective houses and end the fighting. Once the fighting ends, they would unite their two houses in an attempt to dominate the planet together.
Lord Sephiroth is shocked by this revelation and asks Allin if it’s the truth. He reluctantly admits that it is true, and apologizes to his father. Lord Sephiroth orders the guards to arrest them. As one of the guards passes Ney, he bumps into him, knocking the datapad onto the ground and smashing it to bits. Lord Sephiroth thanks the crew for revealing the truth, as painful as it may be.
Back aboard the ship, Aris confirms a job well done and pays the group. While the outcome wasn’t the happiest for Lord Sephiroth, he realized he never would have suspected his son and discovered the truth had it not been for the effective work of the group.
XP Awarded: 25 XP
- Thorough estate investigation: 10 XP
- Sending evidence to Lord Sephiroth and convincing him to assist: 5 XP
- Getting the heirs to reveal their entire scheme: 10 XP