After a few days of rest in City 7, the travelers decided it was time to move on. Both Alec Vourkan and (Amy) seemed quite determined that City 1 should be their destination, urging Dez Graves to consider the patrons he could clothe, and reminding (Devin) that in the central city, there were sure to be many people in need. It was agreed, and they stuck together for the two-week-long journey.
Once their lodgings were settled, the friends parted ways, each with his or her own goals. (Devin) was surprised to discover that, though there was a large poor population, few people were in dire need of help. Additionally, there seemed to be a large population of people like himself – those at risk of being accused of “gender malfeasance.” Through a friend of a friend, Dez was able to get information on all of the upcoming balls, along with names of people in need of a tailor. Alec and Rosalind Stanton Luna stuck together at the inn, neither impressed with the city around them. (Amy) set off on a mission of her own, but bumped into (Devin) on the way. Reluctantly, she agreed to let him accompany her to meet “an old friend who needed her help.”
Upon arriving at the doorstep of the manor of an extremely wealthy merchant, (Amy)’s “friend”, Aurelia Falco revealed that she had a set of blueprints she needed technologically-savvy (Amy) to analyze. When she tried to produce the blueprints from the safe, however, they were missing. Eager to help, (Devin) and (Amy) immediately volunteered their group to find the culprit.
Aurelia was unhappy to consider that a member of her organization might have betrayed them, but was smart enough to accept outside help. She told them the full story about the plans: Aurelia’s organization had stolen them from a local scientist, a dwarf who lived just outside the city. She suspected he might have found a way to retrieve them, but she nevertheless provided the group with a list of everyone with access to the safe.
The team together decided to check out the dwarf’s house the next morning after he left on business. Instead of him leaving his house, however, a recognizable nobleman from the Turner magical lineage knocked and was invited inside. Alec snuck up to the window and, with his keen hearing, was able to pick out the sounds of an argument. The nobleman was accusing the dwarf of secreting the blueprints away, breaking their bargain, and the dwarf kept insisting that they had been stolen from him. On the basis of this evidence, the team decided that it was unlikely that the dwarf had recovered his property.
Dez decided to stay behind in order to convince the nobleman to purchase his wares while the rest of the party returned to Aurelia’s manor. She was distraught to learn she had probably been betrayed but let them examine the safe. Rosalind cast a spell upon the safe that caused the hands of anyone who had touched it since the night the blueprints had been stolen to glow.
When Aurelia’s hands did not, Rosalind confronted her about the odd inconsistency. She revealed that she regularly wears illusions to protect her identity as a high placed member of the criminal syndicate. Satisfied, they asked her to bring everyone who had access to the safe to her house for investigation. Immediate inspection of the guards’ hands ruled them out, so Aurelia called in the thief who had stolen the plans to begin with.
When she arrived, her hands were also not glowing. Shocked, Rosalind accused her of also wearing an illusion, but she fervently denied it. With a little convincing, she broke down sobbing, admitting that, while she was loyal to the syndicate, she also had wanted to advance the cause of the revolution by copying the plans and delivering the copy to them. She hadn’t counted on not having enough time to finish copying them before Aurelia found someone who could examine them.
From the other room, an imposing woman entered, whispered, “I have a use for her,” to Aurelia, and then stepped back. Aurelia immediately began to sympathize with the crying thief, reassuring her that she was not going to be expelled from the organization or punished. Alec and the thief retrieved the plans from the thief’s home, and (Amy) analyzed them, finding that they were the plans for a steam-powered gun that could reload and fire bullets extremely quickly on its own.
Her task completed, (Amy) and her crew left the house. When they returned to the inn, Dez had just finished sizing a suit for the nobleman they had seen before, Simon Turner. Rosalind hid her face as he passed. With the exception of Dez, who was frantically sewing Simon’s suit and a dress for his date (a disguised Rosalind), the group spent the week relaxing. (Devin) in particular had a wonderful time with the plentiful men of his persuasion around town.
The ball came off wonderfully, with Dez’s suit for Simon a beautiful hit. Towards the end, though, Simon got pushy with Rosalind, encouraging her to ride home in the carriage with him and have a little fun. When she refused, he left in fumes. Upon revealing this conversation to Alec, Alec decided to teach him a lesson about pressuring girls. Alec broke into his house, bit his leg, and escaped, leaving no trace of himself behind besides the blaring sirens.
The next morning at dawn, the group awoke to a surrounded inn and a man declaring the arrests of (Devin) for gender malfeasance, Dez for incomplete contract, and Alec for assault on a noble. Frantic, (Devin) cast illusions on himself and Dez, but could not cover Alec as well. When they tried to sneak out with the crowd, however, Simon was with the officers and pointed them out as magical. They were both immediately arrested, despite some attempted sympathy plays from (Devin). Alec took the more direct route and jumped onto the roof. A particularly sharp officer spotted him and yelled, and the military men that had accompanied the group fired upon him. He got two buildings away before the bullets defeated him, and he fell to the ground unconscious.