Part 2 - The Pope and the Thief
Five days by ship and another three days on the road took St. Claire and his entourage to Rome. While the knight and his herald Gaspar headed to the St. Peters for an audience with Pope Honorius II at the cathedral, the others were sent to the estate of a friend of St. Claire’s named Pascally.
St. Claire met with the Pope to convince him to declare a second crusade. Despite some very stirring words from Gaspar the Pope still refused. St. Claire was disappointed, but either way, he was going to the Holy Land.
At Pascally’s, they overheard talk of some recent thefts from wealthy homes. The thieves always struck on Wednesdays, always seemed to know exactly where they needed to go, and the occupants of the house always slept through the robberies. Because the thefts always happened the same night of the week, they figured a Sorcery or Alchemy spell of the Air element must be used.
The following Wednesday, they patrolled an area of wealthy homes they and spotted an orb of light passing through the streets. Valentine and Gulliam followed it as best they could and watched as the orb flew to a cloaked man and disappeared. They followed him to a house that he then entered, with an armed guard standing out front. They decided to leave the matter until the next morning.
In the light of a new day they returned to the house they saw the cloaked man enter. They broke into the small simple, home and looked about. They eventually happened upon a trap door in the floor which led to a room containing an Athanor for creating Alchemy compounds. They found notes for formulae to create a gas that would render anyone who inhaled it unconscious. The light orbs he created he could use to scout out homes. They also find some of the stolen items taken from the homes.
They gathered up the alchemy notes and were about to leave when the owner of the home and his body guard returned. A brief fight ensued which resulted in the guard being killed and the man captured. They learned that the owner, a man named Anthony was an alchemist who apprenticed under an Black Star sorcerer. He never really cared for the Order’s ideology and when his master left, he put his occult knowledge to work to help him steal expensive artifacts.
They secured Anthony and left him in front of the barracks for the city watch. They kept his texts and notes for future study.
A little over a week later a Plexus manifested at the Temple of Jupiter. Janu was released from his Stasis and incarnated into a beggar named Vincent. They got him cleaned up and managed to convince St. Claire that Vincent was a new servant to replace Christoph, who had disappeared.
In made April, St. Claire and his entourage once again board their ship, this time bound for the Holy Land.