(Long gap due to scheduling and unforseen emergencies)

(Long gap due to scheduling and unforseen emergencies)

(Long gap due to scheduling and unforseen emergencies)

Jonah investigates near the tavern, now named the Slag Trough, looking for someone who may have witnessed the attack on Harlan. He gently questions the stable boy, allowing the boy to groom Jonah’s companion horse to keep the boy calm. Jonah’s horse tolerates this. Unfortunately, the stable boy sees something behind Jonah, and clams up.

Jonah turns to see what’s up. What’s up is a thuggish sort, cudgel-swinging, here to keep people from looking too closely into Harlan’s murder. Jonah taunts him for a bit, and when the thug charges, brings down a hay bale.

And a lantern.

So now the stable is on fire, and Jonah is sitting on the thug and waiting patiently. Lukas, back from the wall, sees the smoke and rising panic and rightly assumes this is where Jonah is. Horses are rescued from the fire, the tavern owner is diverted, and an unconscious thug is taken back to their inn for questioning.

The thug, who calls himself Scratch, is perfectly glad to talk about his job and his employer. He’s a strikebreaker for a man named Larrott, a high-up in the mining consortium that effectively runs the lower echelons of the city. Scratch claims that the consortium wants the murder swept away as quickly as possible, to prevent the miners from getting riled up. Both Jonah and Lukas are briefly disgusted at the callousness of Scratch’s stance on the whole matter, but decide to let him go after suggesting he take a vacation for a few days. Jonah starts the vacation by cold-cocking him, and they set off to dump him in a local brothel.

While at the brothel, Lukas attempts to gather some information on Larrott from one of the ladies there employed, but is interrupted by a gasp of recognition and a second woman legging it. Jonah gives chase, and eventually they track the woman to a rooftop bower. She’s from Lukas’s home city, and in fact is the younger sister of one of his comrades-in-arms, and was convinced he was there to take her home. After being assured this is not the case, she offers to pass along any information on Larrott. Lukas asks for help finding an accountant to look over the guard ledger he took from the wall, and they are sent off to meet with a man named Lar (no relation.)

Lar is a friendly enough older man who seems unusually willing to overlook the fact that the guard ledger has been torn out of its rightful place, and on examining it points to some discrepancies in the handwriting which suggest that one of the overnight guards, a man named Atwood, did not sign into the ledge as normal. After exacting a promise of a future task owed from Lukas, he sends them on their way.

Lukas spends the rest of the evening trying to track down Andros (the mine foreman) in hopes of learning more about Atwood. He’s unable to do so, and so it’s not until morning that he finds Andros eating his breakfast at a cafe. Andros cautions Lukas that the miner community is getting more restless, and urges haste. He also remembers Atwood, who worked the mines with Andros and Harlan when they were younger, until an injury forced him to move to an easier job guarding the top of the wall. He provides an old address for Atwood, and then sets off to pour oil upon the waters some more.

Reaching Atwood’s apartment, Jonah makes note of the various escape routes, as well as a suspicious faux-beggar watching the front door. Lukas confronts the beggar, assures him that he is being watched and tells him not to interfere, then goes to kick in the door to Atwood’s apartment.

Atwood is, unfortunately, quite dead. The assassin appears to have fled, but before Lukas can make a thorough search he is stabbed (ineffectually) from hiding and the assassin leaps out the window. Jonah, ever watchful, takes a shot at the assassin’s leg, slowing his escape somewhat. As Lukas is deciding what to do with the corpse before him, Jonah is up and chasing the assassin across the rooftops.

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