Artemis calls you before her, and she appears distraught- she has heard a rumor that Theodore Kastamonites, the advisor to the emperor has been targeted for assignation, and she has no way to legitimately protect him, as he is clearly not her soldales, and she is concerned that her agents will not be up to the task. She asks Constantine to 'look into what he can find out' about the situation, and reminds him that he has not yet sworn the oath, and if he would "happen" to save the advisor's life it could be of great benefit to the city, the covenant, and to Constantine personally.
before we get into this adventure, lets have a roll call of characters who could be involved and make sure they are all completed and ready.
Oops. Wrote too soon (in the Epidauros post).
Trintion, will "help" (harass) Constantine while he goes about this important task.
Added Palaeologos, the Eunuch Chamberlain of Thermokopolis. Need to add his background forgot to do that.
is this adventure just Constantine and Trintion?
Constantine nods and listens. He asks what information she has and where she heard it from, and how he can gain access to speak with Kastamonites.
After he finishes speaking with Artemis, he leaves, but heads to his room, still in the lacuna. Within, he casts a spell on himself, using ceremonial methods, and when he has finished, his form is empowered with nobility. (Roll on Discord).
It looks like just Constantine and Trintion, nobody has clearly responded in Discord.
Artemis considers the question "There are several issues with trying to get an audience, one being your age, and the second being obtaining it without involving the covenant. I was hoping in your time exploring the city you would have met someone who might arrange an introduction for a youth of a major trading house, or else found a way to one of the secret ways in."
Constantine nods. "Ok. I think I might be able to find one. But I was more asking for, um... a starting point. Like where you heard the rumor so I could work backwards through sources and try to get more information. I'm assuming it's not common word on the street, that would be very disturbing. Or is it just that you want me to be near him and try to prevent the assassination?"
Artemis gives a half laugh " if it were word on the street I wouldn't be so worried, since it would suggest whoever had intended the assassination had considered for far too long to be likely to be successful. I heard from one of our business partners outside the covenant that bribe in his direction should probably be considered a short term investment. They suggested that someone inside the family was looking to take his position."
"I know you want me to work this out by myself... but I'm trying to be careful... the way I see it, my plan of working backwards actually won't work, because for each person, when I try to find out where they got the information... well your contact might tell me, but whoever told him probably won't... The person best equipped to know Kastamonites' family is Kastamonites himself. And if our traders have been bribing him he should be willing to at least talk to me? Or have we not been?"
She smiles tightly "The idea here is to take multiple approaches. I have covered our trading allies, and we have contacts within his family. Whoever it is that is planning this likely is working outside the family as well, hiring thugs or buying poison. You are familiar with the basics of intrigue. I want you to check the streets and see what you can discover there."
He smiles back, and nods. "I see. I'm glad I asked. Then I will be on my way."
He will go to his room and cast his spell (as above), then head out to the streets of Constantinople, intending to visit anyone he knows who deals in such illicit trade.
As Constantine leaves the covenant and begins to walk down the street he hears the clomp clomp clomp of hooves catching up to him and soon notices the nose of that young, brown horse the covenant recently bought pacing him on the right. Luckily the street is otherwise empty for a moment when the horse says, "Wooooooah there, little buddy! You weren't trying to sneak off without protection, were you?" Then, somewhat absently, "my you smell nice today. So, where are we goin'?"
Constantine freezes, and slowly turns around.
"What? Protection? I don't need... Well, maybe I might.
But... um... you talk?"
"Nope. I don't talk," the horse says, chuckling a little at his own joke. "By the way, what did you roll in to get that fantastic smell? It's like... nobility, or something."
Constantine rolls his eyes. "Ha ha ha. Fine. I saw a talking cat before, but never a talking horse." He sniffs under his own armpit. "Smell? I smell good to you? Maybe that explains..." he trails off.
"I have to go talk to... I guess ...bad people? Well... dangerous people. I think I'll be ok, but if we have to run away can I ride you? Though... I don't know how not to fall off. And we can't tell anybody what we're doing. Can you keep everything we do secret? You probably shouldn't talk to other people anyway, they might think you're a demon horse."
Constantine has little idea where someone would hire an assassin or buy poison, but he does remember a particularly dingy bar where people cheat at dice a lot. he was actually fairly popular there when he would come around in that he didn't mind losing, even when he was aware they were cheating, and never called them on it- after all he had money and he was having fun. It wasn't until they started joking that his losing saved them the trouble of robbing him that he stopped hanging out there, but if there was anyone he knew in the city that he knew with an idea where to get either of those things, these were the guys.
Constantine heads there, to gamble, and try to get them chatting about their work.
To the horse, he says, "What's your name? I'm going to a bar, I don't think they'll let you in... unless... you want to help me win a bet? You can pick what impossible thing I'll bet with them about you doing."
"Woah there! First names already? ... Just kidding you, my name is Trintion of the salt flats. I'm not sure what a salt flat is but it sounds like heaven," not very bright, Trintion says, "OOH! I know, I could kick one!"
Constantine stares at the horse. "Kick one? No... I was thinking of standing on your hind legs or something. But I just realized I actually have a much more important job for you - do you want to help me? I mean... I guess you don't have to, but I'd be glad if you did..." He grins at the horse. "I'm going to go in there and gamble, and maybe someone interesting will come out... like anyone suspicious or... anyone that smells like me? You could watch the door. How good are horses' noses? Could you follow someone's scent?"