The next day, we head back to Junktown, intending to collect the wagons and treasure, and head out of the wastes. I remember to pick up my shield, which apparently is now much stronger and durable [+2 shield]. With the usual waste-like issues, scorpions and things. Karishka kept us company for most of the trek, and has to separate from us at what turns to be about half-day away from the border crossing — probably explains why casual tourists have never seen the ghouls. We cross the border on the 30th of November. Same guards as our inbound leg, giving us the hairy eyeball that we made it out.
Getting back to Podnarko takes a bit longer just from load, with arrival on December 10th. We head directly to a facility that Porter arranged to secure the wagons. Mery heads off to find Sebastian and joins him for a nice dinner outing. The rest of us camp out in the warehouse. I send a short note off to the Queen informing her that we are back and successful.
Well after dinner, a group of Russians magically appear in the warehouse with us. Apparently Sebastian sent them a message that we were having a party here with booze. Alexei and six others. Later, a group of Sebastian’s friends arrive to join in the festivities. Over the night, a few more sets of friends show up and join in. Other curious, and some suspicious, folks wander through and they are promptly plied with alcohol, gambling, and sent on their semi-conscious way. Mery and Sebastian arrive late, with Mery claiming she needs to help us stand watch.
I pull Alexei slightly aside and learn that Tomas’ research was of great assistance. Alexi still would appreciate our assistance, though in a slightly different manner than he first presumed. We’ll talk of this later when we’re a tad less impaired.
The next day, after our party guests have all left, Porter arrives for the discussion I requested the night before. I set Porter to the task of assessing and divvying up the haul. With only the slightest hint of sarcasm, Porter takes the on the task, with no little bit of help.
Milo sends off notes to Lynn and others, and visits Cate. He learns she has a lot on her regal plate. She does mention that a group dinner is needed soon to share information.
Mery visits Namfoodle to share her findings about Synergy. She elects not to tell him much more about the reasons for our visit. Mery later talks to the warforged seeking Faith. He has mostly finished with the available Churches in the region, and will probably head East to continue his research. Mery ends up confiding in him that she wants to find a way to use her upcoming new wealth, and was thinking of trying to chase down the Overlord and bring him to justice. In the conversation, he observes that she expressed an interest in helping those who have experienced an injustice.
Heinrich checks in on the warforged, specifically the one learning music. He is on the way to becoming a storyteller. Later he checks on the two at the wizard academy, where they are doing well academically. Socially, they are adapting, and not dissimilar to foreign exchange students.
I check in at Military HQ. Our Warforged Expeditionary Force is now covering two roles, one on border control, and the other on safe escort/guard duties. Raskin’s reports from the “Unamed Goblin Nation” are a bit strange — almost like he is enjoying his role. Our adjutant is back from leave and doing better.
I swing by Captain Justinian’s office and chat with him for a bit. He confirms that there was definitely some suspicious activity with the logistics. Duke Synarco’s son has been helpful. Due to information that our group has previously provided him, a number of officers and soldiers have been encouraged to leave the service.
Justinian also mentions an French investigation he is supporting involving the ammunition production explosion. The French have identified a main suspect, that matches the description of a certain former aide to the King of Prussian. That King has put out a reward for the return of the aide to his presence. Justinian gives me a written description of the main suspect, with a drawing a lantern ring.
Then I chase down Sebastian to coordinate my next briefing. He hints that I should be prepared for some dress uniform events and a nice gift. He tells me a large number of negotiations are in progress, and that the Queen is gambling “big.” I ask him if he knows who might be leading the non-military investigations in wartime logistics waste fraud and abuse. He advises that one ha not been named, and since Duke Synarco and a number of lesser Dukes are on the suspect list, the Crown will likely have to name a special investigator. The Queen might choose to keep this quiet, as is traditional, or if she is sufficiently incensed might direct some very public beheadings.
By the end of the day, Milo has relayed an invitation from the Queen for a formal private dinner on the evening of the 13th. The day of the dinner, Porter provides us with an initial assessment, where the number for our individual shares seems large and not quite comprehensible to me.