Upon meeting Atir in the Spokane Archives in Omarop, the party is asked to look into Atir's young students. Finding Jiri and Cob could prove to be easy or hard depending on which way the party goes about it. The orphanage that the two of them go to is the Taver See Orphanage, at one time run by the Taver See which is a now-defunct cult of an unacknowledged god. It is now run privately by House Merle. The family up until recently has done a fairly good job of taking care of the little ones and even finding the homes, but now that Matriarch Sunsu has passed no one else in the family seems to have the desire to continue. Coming up to the orphanage, it is clear from its delapitated condition that it has not been cared for in quite a while. The steps up to the top are broken and unaligned and a few of the windows have holes in them. There is a child cowering near the foot of the stoop, just out of common sight as a livid woman dressed in all black calls out for Nana. If the party approaches the woman, she confirms that they are indeed at the orphanage that Jiri and Cob were at but they have been adopted by the Willsim Family. An insight check (DC 11) reveals that this is not entirely true. If pressed (DC 15) or threatened appropriately, the woman admits that the children have been sold to the Willsim Family to pay off the debts of ‘filling their greedy little bellies’ and that the family is into business and may be using the children to some capacity. The orphanage did not ask for specifics but is trying to make up of lost money and sell the property within the next few weeks. If the party approach the child, Nana, she reveals that she has recently be sold to a ‘mean lady wearing dark shades’ and she does not want to go. She wants to run away but does not want to leave her brother Moze behind. He too has been sold, but he was sold the same time as Jiri and Cob. Nana does not know exactly where to find them. If the team does some digging around the orphanage, they realize that Nana is one of the last five children left at the orphanage and that she is being sold to Crysa Soledad, a business woman known throughout Omarop as The Owl, for 15 GP. She is said to dabble in dark arts. The woman looking for Nana will take any price higher than that for Nana. Once bought, Nana will take the team on a tour of the orphanage if they want. What they see is more evidence of neglect. Some of the children’s bed and furniture is broken. There are few toys and only two badly beaten books. One of said books is The Taver See Almanac. This was once used by the cult to predict the end of the world and all things. There are scribbles many of the pages with wax crayons, conte, and chalk but most of the text is still fairly legible. Nana tells the party that one of the older kids, Serarah, had read the whole book and concluded that their guesses were inaccurate by a factor of 100 years. But she is not truly sure of what that means. Keeping the Taver See Almanac, gives the party advantages on any other investigation or history rolls pertaining to the cult and its machinations. In the headmaster’s room at the orphanage there is a table with a slew of ledgers on it. There is a bookkeeping journal that shows that while the orphanage was a bit of a burden on House Merle, that most months it broke even due to bake sales, donations and charity events. In the past few months, though, an investigation check (DC 13) reveals that there has been some very creative math skills applied. Someone had clearly been siphoning off any donations or earnings made shortly before the matriarch’s death. The team can choose to delve into this deeper, but essentially the current head of House Merle is bad with money and a heavy gambler to boot. Their name is Isher Merle and they live in Merle Manor, on the brink of foreclosure. Looking into the Willsim Family, either through the woman at the orphanage or by their own means, the team learns that the Willsim family took custody of Jiri, Cob, Moze, and Serarah. The Willsim family is registered to several factories in the upper and lower docks that deal in textiles, simple machinery, and jewellery. They also have several residential properties across the Emerald and Gorouti districts. It is unclear which of there the children might have been sent to, but if the team asks around they learn that the Willsim’s factories, particularly the textile and jewellery ones have been known to have very young workers. Though there are no express rules against employing children in Moudon, it is the expectation that they do receive a wage of some sort. The Willsim family can afford to undercut most of their competition however, if that is any sort of indication to their business practices. They will also be directed to the main clothing factory in the lower docks as well as a smaller jewellery factory near the Northern tail of the Sigmi Docks.
Willsim Textiles: Coming up to the warehouse, it is bustling with people unpacking and loading up goods into wagons and Drammer Carriages. These crates and reams of cloth appear to be of good make and the staff work tirelessly, heedless to those around them. Knocking on the office doors at the right side of the building will be met with no response and the door is locked. Anyone looking to open the door will have to do a sleight of hand check (at disadvantage if it is light) (DC 13) on top of a check to lockpick (DC 17) to unlock the door in a populated area. On a failed sleight of hand, the party is caught and an overseer dressed in brown coveralls will tell them that they need to leave this instant or the authorities will be notified. If successful, inside is an opulently decorated room with ebony tables and shelving. In the top table drawer is a book with a list of all current and past employees. The names on the list are numerous but the party can pick out Jiri and Serarah’s name amongst what is there. Jiri is labelled as a dyer, and Serarah as a cutter. There is also a safe here that can be broken into (DC 21) to reveal counterfeit 50 000 GP in PP alongside 5 bonds of 1000 GP each written out to one Mr. Cord Willsim. If the party opts to try and take the PP, a intelligence/investigation check (DC 21) with advantages for a criminal background, they realise that the coins are fake but the bonds are indeed real. Other than that the room is fairly usual. Past the main gate/entry, which the team will have to stealth through if they want to get in, there is a massive open space with several teams of young people working on various projects. Nearest to the front are large manual sewing machines being operated by what looks like teenagers. Some younger ones sit near that embroidering designs onto clothing. Weavers sit behind that, most teens but some younger ones having to work twice as hard to keep up. Not too far from them are the cutters with dangerous looking blades and scissors cutting the textiles to size. It is here that Serarah is trying to operate an industrial size cutter with a slightly older looking male yelling at her to go faster. She has a mess of ginger hair, numerous freckles and a new shiner that speaks volumes of her current state. Her fingers are banadaged and there are some scrapes and her arms. She is doing the best she can with this wicked looking contraption. Some of the others struggle around her but the larger group works quietly and a bit recklessly until a young girls stops and starts screaming, holding her now thumbless hand up. The ones being yelled at, the newbies, stop and agasp or look but the veterans hunker down and continue, slowing their pace ever so slightly to avoid having the same happen to them. An overseer in a brown coverall comes up and yells at her to stop snivelling and get back to work. There is a sort of glow about her hand and the bleeding stops as the wound begins to quickly heal but she is now thumbless, her digit sitting forgotten on the floor as she rushes to make up for losses. If the party asks about Serarah, she makes it known that she is there very quickly. The party can free her through money or ‘diplomatic’ means. Down further to the back are the dyers, Jiri looks like she has been dunked into a few paint jars and her once blond hair is a riot of colours, small chunks of it missing. She is crying as stern looking woman in a brown coverall tells her to move faster. There is a boiling vat of coloured fluid that she is stirring with swaths of wool in it. She can be freed much in the same way as Serarah but there is a catch, she had magic-cancelling shackles on her arms and legs and bruises that indicate that she fought back being made a member of the workforce here. Dispel magic will be needed to remove the shackles themselves but the chain and beam they are tied to can be broken with a strength/athletics/weapon (DC 18, HP 21). Once freed, Jiri is very grateful but also cries for the loss of Cob and Moze, who were taken elsewhere. There are overall 3 overseers and 7 bruisers in this factory. If the party chooses to take down the staff a battle will ensue but there will be consequences. Possible battle: Creatures: 2x Acolyte, 1x Cultist, 7x guard Treasure: whatever is in the safe plus 15 GP among the staff, a scroll of entangle (if not used), three whips, and almost worthless weapons (5 GP). In freeing the children, the team has done a good deed that will boost their rankings with people such as the Reszich Order. They will however still face ire and even jail time and fines if they kill the staff at the textile factory and are caught. This may not be something that they want to boast to the world. The children will still be incredibly grateful even if they don’t necessarily know where to go from there. There are people in the city that will take them in but there is rampant child slavery in the city if you look a bit. Willsim & Sons Jewels: This factory is a fair bit smaller and more locked down. There is no one outside of this location and the door in looks solid. If anyone casts detect magic, they will notice that there is abjuration all over the building. From inside there is a sound of machinery. Getting inside will require some ingeniuity. Careful investigation (DC 10) of the grounds will reveal the there is venting and a smokestack on the top of the building that are not warded. The smokestack is the most direct route but what lies at the bottom could be dangerous. The vent could be convoluted and may be an entrance but there is nothing to indicate on what might be encountered once inside. Investigation will also reveal that there is a schedule to the comings and goings of people in the building. The best time to try and slip through the door are at shift change, it is also the best time to go with the all time safest option. Each employee that is able to leave has a gold chip with the crest of the Willsim family on it, these allow them to come and go through the wards without issue. Without one, even getting in the front will not guarantee easy progress through the building. Through the front door: The party will find that right beyond the front door is a foyer with space to change and keep some personal items. To the right is a accessible door to gain access to a simple eating area. Here there are two women that are eating and speaking to each other, they will inquire as to who the party is, and as long as they don’t screw up the interaction too much the women will let them explore without issue. Through the locked door (DC 21) to the left is an opulent office of mahogany and silver that has an ornate desk with a ledger book of current and past employees. Without a gold Willsim chip, an alarm that they do not hear will be sounded. A veteran guard will show up in 2 rounds to investigate the break in. There is also a safe here (DC 21) that when cracked contains 2000 GP of diamonds and 100 000 GP worth of counterfeit PP. The same checks as the textile safe apply. Keeping or spending the fake money will lead to jail time or worse. The ledger of employees shows that Cob is working with the setters and Moze is working as a smelter. Possible fight: Creatures: 1x Veteran Treasure: whatever is in the safe plus 10 GP, studded leather, and scimitar. The door on the far end of the foyer leads to the main working floor. Getting through this door is simple enough on a first glance but without the gold chip will lead to triggering an alarm which will draw the attention of 2x Veteran. The room is sweltering with a smelter melting precious and semi-precious metals to be worked. There are several pods of benches with teams of young workers. Some are polishing finished pieces near the front, the jewellery varies from simple to ornate. Near them is a very small group of three teens and a younger child that are working on enchanting some pieces. The young child looks up as they enter with tears in his eyes. He has a ring in his hands over a magic circle, and his hands are raw with scratches and magical burns. If they show any signs of help him, he will cast hold person on one of the veterans to make it a bit easier. This is Cob and he is a magical prodigy. Possible fight: Creatures: 2x Veteran. Treasure: 3000 GP worth of jewellery and raw materials on the floor, a ring of ice resistance, and a ring of mind shielding. Moze is by the smelter and has a patch over one of his eyes. He is stalwartly trying to use the tongs, without gloves, to take out a chain of metal. There are no gloves that have been provided. He has soot and burn marks on his clothes and skin. He does not talk to anyone but gestures a thank you if saved. If Nana is mentioned he will break the tough exterior and start to cry. If the heroes are able to win this battle or free the children quietly, they will have about two to four (depending on how hard you want to make it) rounds before the authorities will arrive. Taking any ingots or finished pieces will have to be fenced as they are labelled with the crest of the Willsim family. If the heroes are caught they will gain some positive standing with some organizations such as the Reszich Order but they will have to publicly deal with the ire of the Omarop government, some who get kickbacks from the Willsim family. The Willsim family themselves will use some of their connections to find and be rid of the heroes as well. The Willsim family is well connected. If the heroes manage to get out undetected they will be able to resume as if nothing as happened, as long as they do not do anything to draw attention to their involvement in what has transpired. Through the smoke stack: there is active smoke coming up from the stack. At the bottom is a fire clocking in at a temperature of 600 degrees. Only a person with fire immunity will be able to get out of the smelter unscathed, the rest taking 3d6 fire damage per round that they are in the fire. This does get them into the work area without tripping any alarms however. Down at the bottom, two boys are taking turns bullying a young Woggrin (a tamed, mindless red dragon hybrid) into stoking the fire. Another boy with a patch over one of his eyes looks determined as he places an ingot in a crucible into the smelter. Embers fly onto his sleeves and arms and he quickly drops the tongs to put out the fire before it can spread. He winces at the pain and his hands are scuffed and raw from the effort. Once the party gets out, they are at the back of the work area with an overhanging room above them. It is up in this room that two bruisers sit, overseeing the operation. The team can try and quietly wrangle up the children but they will have to be wary that they do not attract any unwanted attention, if they do, they will have 2 rounds before the veterans come down and 4 to 6 rounds before the authorities arrive. Cob will still try to help with a hold person but Moze will also try and help in this situation by hurling a hot crucible of molten silver at one of the veterans for 1d4 fire damage. Through the vents: This strategy plays out much like above but with the added issue of the vents. There are three points with magic traps on it that will trigger once a hero fails a DC 15 dex save on them. One will a magic missle, another will trigger shocking grasp that also has the potential to blow their cover, and the last as cone of cold that will affect three of the heroes (marching order is important here). Once they get out at the end they will come into the control room. There are two veterans up here and the team has the potential to get the drop on them if they are stealthy. They will need to keep the Veterans from triggering the spell that will alert the authorities of the intrusion and the only way to do that is to at least knock them out. If they succeed on both accounts, they will have as much time as they need to free the kids and get some loot, provided that they do not trip the alarms heading out or into the office (there are gold chips on each of the veterans).
There is an growing underworld of child labour through the 'adoption' of young orphans and 'wayward children'. This is an introduction into this that the party can choose to follow if they wish.
End ResultHaving saved all of the children, the party can decide whether or not they think it is their responsibility to get the children good homes. Atir is willing to take on Jiri and Cob, and with a little persuasion will also take on Moze and Nana. Serarah is not exactly in the cards for him but she is expecting this and says that she will find her own way through the world. Serarah is actually a medium and clairvoyant and the party may see her down the road, predicting things to come for a price. For their help, she will always give them hints for free. She will eventually become a member of the Spokane Collective if the party survives long enough to see her grow up. Atir does not have anymore jobs for the team at this time but does say that he has others from time to time. He does suggest seeking out Giropel at Craps, a once astute scholar that seems to find more trouble than knowledge as of late.
- Taver See Almanac
- 3000 GP worth of jewellery and raw materials on the floor
- a ring of ice resistance
- a ring of mind shielding.
- 2000 GP worth of diamonds plus 10 GP
- studded leather
- 1x scimitar.
- Wellsim family crest chip
- whatever is in the safe (5 bonds worth 1000 GP) plus 15 GP
- a scroll of entangle (if not used)
- three whips
- almost worthless weapons (5 GP)