Flynt seems to be doing okay with the local barmaids but he feels that he needs to lift his game and that it’s time to step up to barmaids.
A new case has surfaced and this one promises to have a reward. Money, even! A prized pedigree hunting dog has gone missing at a critical time. Big deals are being done and the dog’s owner is hoping that by sealing a siring deal will be a step up into high(er) society.
HOLLY SMYTHE is a middle class lady who has her eye set on a hyphenated surname, the more hyphens, the better. She is a lovely lady and has never been married.
Hendash is socially unaware and offensive in an upper class, off-handed way. He refers to Dwarves/Dwarven culture as “low lifes”, not realizing it’s offensive.
SCENE OF THE CRIME – Smythe farm
Holly Smythe looks to be doing well for herself on a sprawling semi-rural property. We meet her at the kennels, slightly apart from the main house.
Holly is wearing riding boots and jodhpurs, looking every inch the Lady of the Manor. Holly Smythe can be easily identified by her hair. Big and blonde, like Farah Fawcett. She holds herself very firm, noble, possessed.
The party meets Holly at the fence and immediately certain members of the part strike trouble. This part of the fence has no gate and it is a little taller than Flynt . . . problematic when one is trying to impress the womenfolk. Not a problem for Flynt though, he is in very good condition.
B: “I’m here to recover your dog.”
HS: “Dragon! Yes, thank you. And these are your colleagues?”
B: “This is Hedges, and these are my … associates.”
K: “Dragon? That’s an unusual name for a dog.”
HS: “Yes, it’s due to his physical prowess.”
K: “Much like my friend Flynt here! (wink wink)
HS: “I’ve heard a lot about you, Benson.”
B: “Excellent! Who did you hear from?”
HS: “From Lord Braithwaite.”
B: “Ahh, Snowball.”
HS: “Well, I heard from some of his people. Yes, it was much talked about after connection between Lord Braithwaite and Phillipa came out. Let’s have a look at the kennels.
One particular stall in the kennels is more luxurious than the others.
Benson attempts to DISCERN REALITIES and rolls a 10 = 3 questions
1. “What happened here recently?”
There has been cleaning here, including sweeping, which could make it harder to find clues. The hinges look new and there is splintering of the wood surrounding them.
2. “What is not as it appears to be?”
The gate to this stall looks like the screws have been replaced recently. It has been damaged and repairs have been attempted.
B: “What’s happened to the original gate?”
HS: “Original gate?”
B: “Here, where the hinges are.”
She notices it for the first time
HS: “It could be TOMORTH or JONDRY”
B: “Do you get along with them?”
HS: “Well, I pay them, if that’s what you mean? Sometimes Tomorth forgets his place … thinks he is part of the family.”
3. “What here is useful or valuable to me?”
B: “Hedges, what do you think?”
Hedges ambles over, plops his face onto the ground and wanders two stalls down. The dog in this kennel has something on his paws.
B: “Can we take a look at this dog?”
HS: “Starfire! Sit!”
K: “Oooohh, good name!”
Benson inspects the paws of Starfire while Kemi starts plucking some smooth adult contemporary jazz, attempting to set some kind of mood.
Flynt takes this opportunity to liberally spray on some of his home-made cologne, “Chandelier.”
Starfire’s paws are covered in reddish brown mud, which is not from around here.
B: “Have you taken these dogs out?”
HS: “No, I haven’t. What is that?”
Benson takes a sample and checks it with his Ooma ape-like sense of smell. It has BLOOD mixed with the mud. There could be more than one type of blood. Best guess: dog and human.
Holly Smythe says there is a creek nearby that might account for the mud.
The group decides to talk to the servants.
TALKS WITH THE HELP
B: “What was the dog’s last meal?”
K: “These are nice digs! Do you have a spare kennel for Benson?”
Benson ignores the jibe … this time while Hedges just snorts and laughs.
HS: “The deal with the Hollermans is very time sensitive. If I can’t fulfill, they will go with a competitor, the Ravensons.”
B: “Where do they live?”
Holly Smythe points to the noble part of town.
Tomoth is walking around the kennels like he owns the place. He looks way too clean for someone who is meant to be a cleaner.
Jundry looks very dirty, but very much salt of the earth.
B: “I just want to see the bottom of your shoes.”
T: “Why do you want to see that?”
Jundry attempts to show the bottom of her shoes, using Flynt as support. Bother her shoes are cleanish, while Tomorth is quite clean.
B: “Who repaired the door?”
At this point Kemi decides it’s time to be CHARMING & OPEN…
K: “What do you wish I would do?”
T: “I wish you would get out there and find out who did this? When my . . . mistress goes up in the world, so do I.:
Jundry took it upon on herself to fix the gate.
J: “When I worry, I clean.”
Sensing an opportunity, Flynt tries to make her feel better and succeeds in calming her down (6+4) = 10
F: “The ol’ ‘Charm and Calm’.”
B: “Do you guys suspect anyone?”
J: “Well, the kennels, … well, people might not want it to happened, but how did they do it?”
T: “The Ravensons, but also the forest is also a dangerous place.”
TRACKING WITH HEDGES
The party follows the trail towards the stream. It is very lush and ends up near the stream. The stream is not that wide but it is deep and the water is fast moving. Some of the mud on the bank is redder than the rest of the mud.
Benson attempts to DISCERN REALITIES and is successful (10) > [+2 Wis] = 12.
1. “What happened here recently?
There was a struggle here recently. There was lots of activity and it is hard to tell how many people there were. This appears to have occurred a little while ago as water has washed away some of the footprints and blood, although a significant amount of blood remains.
2. “What here is useful/valuable to me?”
The gold chain in the mud. It looks like something that someone cool would wear. It looks more like human jewellery rather than , say, a dog collar.
3. “What is not what it appears to be?”
Benson: What does the struggle appear to be to you?
B: “It looks like a man and a dog having a fight.”
The blood splatters seems to come from two different sources. There looks to be drag marks, like something dragged into the stream. The marks look like they go directly into the stream.
The rocks in the river start to move and the closest one starts to rise up!