After defeating Gregor Schroder's twisted resurrection of his sons, the group conferred on what to do with both Gregor and the Dracheneisen armor that the creature had been wearing. There was a lively and often times serious debate, with some of the group wanting to see the Lord of Stahlfort put to death or turned over to the Eisen military for punishment, and others wanting to see him offered a chance at redemption. The lord himself was so overcome with grief at what damage he had done, he was accepting of whatever sentence the group would determine.
In the end, redemption was seen as the better solution, giving Gregor a chance to repay in some measure his damage and also offer hope for the future. In addition to repaying for the damage caused to the Vaticine shrines in Castille, he would make reparations to the families of those killed by the creature as well as those killed to further his nefarious studies into the twisted version of Hexenwerk he attempted. Trudah and Herbert, the members of Die Kruezritter in the fort agreed to keep an eye on the Lord, and perhaps learn what he knew of this strange sorcery he was attempting to practice. As he could no longer be Lord of the Fort, his Captain, Franz Miller, took over the post in the interim. In addition, the three pieces of crusader armor (helmet, breastplate, and greaves) were given to Kasimir for safekeeping, with the hope that one day he might assemble the remaining pieces.
Their jobs done at the fort, the party traveled by barge down to Tarago, loading up the carriage and several horses to expedite the trip. After arriving in the port city two days later, the group set up to gather information that would lead them to Andrea Foscari and the missing Giovinco fortune. Dr. Blackwell took it upon himself to question the church, but the clergy there recommended he speak with their brethren in Soldano as the Foscari family has holdings there. Fabien spoke with some merchants, known to both he and Andrea, and discovered that indeed Andrea had been in Tarago recently but had not been seen back here since leaving for Eisen. Kasimir visited one of Tarago's libraries and after some time discovered that he was correct: the armor was indeed part of a crusder's armor, and while the Chalice motif was common, the Drachen insignia meant that it was likely the armor of a special forces officer. Silvia took to the shadows, sneaking aboard La Nebbia del Mattino "Morning Mist" under cover of darkness. She discovered the manifest, showing the ship was departing the next day. She also recovered a crumpled, discarded paper with details about how Foscari took over the DiNunzio family's wine trade in Tarago by plating evidence of slavery and turning the family's ships over to the authorities. Finally, Bonny played the role of temptress well, flirting with sailors to find out that Foscari had paid for several dockhands and sailors with Giovinco gold when he arrived in town over a week ago.
Having all the information they could, the group set off for Soldano, using the trade road and making good time. The trip took five days and upon arriving, they immediately began making plans for retrieving the Giovinco fortune and finding out all they could about Andrea’s recent takeovers of local businesses. Dr. Blackwell, speaking to the Vaticine church in town, discovered that while the Foscari family had always been a friend of the church, lately their availability to help with church shipments had waned and it seemed the family had not been as involved in shipping as it had. He also discovered that Andrea has two children, Donatello and Claudia, and Donatello has had some say in the day to day operations in Soldano. Fabien continues to question merchants to discover that Foscari is in town and he and about twenty men have been spending time between the warehouse and manor house. Zhennya, while questioning some locals, learns that the Andrea tried to buy the Nunez farm and when the owner, Don Miguel Rafael Nunez de Soldano did not sell, his farmlands caught fire two days later and burned to the ground. Bonny continued to use her wiles to gather information from the sailors and learned that the men Andrea came with had not been seen in several days before a ship left the private Foscari pier a few days ago.
Eager to find more wrongdoings by Andrea Foscari, the group set out to scout the Foscari warehouses. Zhennya used her Matushka charms to encourage a small mouse to scout around inside the warehouse. The mouse manages to get into most of the areas, but at one locked door, the mouse’s instincts take over and it darts away, ending Zhennya’s second sight. Meanwhile, Silvia uses her Hexenwerk to scout the inside of the manor house as an astral form. She locates Andrea’s room but finds it empty. The son, Donatello, is here but nothing else seems amiss.
Silvia and Fabien, armed with the knowledge Zhennya provided, sneak in at night, easily breaking through the locks on the outer doors. Upon entering the main loading docks, they discover the source of the putrid scent as a dozen recently dead men rise up and lumbar towards the duo. They quickly drop four of the creatures, and Fabien – noticing that they follow the source of light he carries – lures them out of the building into the waiting group of Zhennya, Kasimiar, Bonny and Dr. Blackwell, who not seeing Silvia, rushes around to the pier side and looks for another entrance. Outside, the heroes make short work of the walking dead, but soon discover that the creatures are quick to rise back to their feet after the first blow. With this knowledge, they set about stabbing, cutting, and bludgeoning the bodies until they cannot stand again.
Inside, Silvia discovers a near empty cauldron of what appears to be Funeral Porridge, along with blood stains on the floor and walls. Dr. Blackwell quickly throws open the loading dock doors as the four dead men rise again inside to attack Silvia. Together, the Doctor and Silvia dispatch the same creatures a second time and put together that Andrea Foscari must have tested his porridge on his own men before leaving for the coast with the rest of the Hexenwork unguents. Quickly, everyone pulls the bodies inside to avoid suspicion and onlookers. Inside, they discover the Giovinco gold and Fabien is able to recover a portion of what was stolen from his family.
Later that night, Silvia and Fabien again pair up to break in to the manorhouse this time. They find in Andrea’s room a list of prominent Vodacce families and their businesses, many of which are circled. The DiNunez family name is crossed out. Ominously, the Giovinco family name is also listed and circled. Also, a dark wooden box is discovered with a soft velvet lining. The indentation in the velvet shows that it once contained a mask of some type. Having the evidence he needs, Fabien anonymously reports the murders to the alcade, who quickly seize control of the warehouse, Donatello Foscari and the Foscari manor as they investigate.
As the group ready themselves to leave, having recovered some amount of wealth, Fabien writes two letters. The first goes to Claudia, daughter of Andrea who was last seen in Pioro, to warn her of what her father has been doing in Soldano. The second is a detailed letter about Fabien used his skills to track down Andrea, discover what he’d done, and recover the stolen coins. He also includes the evidence he’s found about Andrea’s dealings in the hopes that his father will restore his status within the family…
Rewards: 1 Wealth, 1 XP (bankable)