Why will the PCs go into the cellars?
If they get into the cellar they will find out why the innkeeper was so cagey.
The burning buildings. It is true that people “disappear” from this town. But the people that we in the burnt out buildings weren’t taken, they… disappeared.
With the help of the innkeeper the people are now hiding in the tunnels and cellars below the hill that the inn is part of. They staged the kidnapping because they knew it was coming, it always comes. The innkeeper and some other people from the town are hiding and helping the families till they can smuggle them out.
What was overlooked was the fact that the snatchers never burnt the homes. The thought that the people had was that if they burnt the homes then they couldn’t be used for any other people to be kidnapped. Then instead of running they are hiding in the cellar. Figure to hide in plain sight instead run as expected.
The little girl. You know how you hear stories about someone that is so good at deception that you never really know them? Meet the little girl.
Disappearing people. Very few if any people know that there is a long standing agreement to shuttle people from Lafitte. But it is becoming more widely known that the people aren’t safe because they keep disappearing.
The Snatchers as they are called aren’t a ragtag group of villains. They are a group that has infiltrated a vast number of cities. They not only kidnap people but they are masters of gathering intel, assassinations, shaping political structures of towns to either make the flourish for their own benefit of crush a town under it’s only greed and weakness. More on the snatchers later……..
In Lafitte the worst thing that can happen is for you to not be able to pay your debts. Farmers that happens to borrow in order to seed their farm can find themselves in the debtors quarters. The houses that are outside of town, the ones now burnt, are called the debtors quarters. It is where people are forced to live till the work or pay off their debts.
About twice a year the houses outside town mysteriously end up empty. The reality of it is that a few people that are in power in Laffite are becoming increasingly wealthy due to the arrangement they have. All they have to do is to find people to fill the houses when needed and they are well paid. One requirement is that they hide their wealth for now.
In the morning when at least one PC goes out to check the town they may see a minotaur and human matching another human from the docks to the constable.
If the player gets closer without drawing to much attention they will overhear words like “your cargo”, “damage to our ship”, “need maintenance and you’ll pay for it”. Throughout this the constable and what appears to be a wealthy half-elf are trying to get the minotaur to be quiet with little success. After several attempts they get the minotaur, his companion, and their “cargo” into the jailhouse.
If a player tries to butt in they will quickly be told there’s no problem, this doesn’t concern them, things of that nature. If the player pushes it further they may incur the rath of the minotaur and his companion. If it’s only one or two players and they are subdued they’ll end up in jail. If it’s the whole party interfering the group discussing “cargo” will quickly move into the jailhouse.
Once in the jailhouse if someone makes it inside to spy they’ll learn that the “cargo” tried to escape and tried to set fire to the minotaurs ship. There are still several other people on the ship but they are subdued. He explains that either the constable and
Under the jail
It appears to be a underground house. There is a main room that house a couch, couple sittings chairs, and a desk. Also to the side of the main room is his little kitchen.
There are 2 adjoining rooms. One is a bedroom and the second is locked (DC16 unlock with tool prof). The bedroom is… a bedroom.
Locked room. The locked room is almost the same size as the main room. There is a curtained off area and in that curtain area is a large arcane symbol on the floor (DC 18 arcane check). Also in the room is a table that has manacles built into it. It appears to be scrubbed clean but with a (DC 17 investigation check) they will find a faint sheen or scent of blood.
Under Mr Thangsten’s house
His house is the main area. He has one main room under his house. This room contains a large exposed arcane symbol and a very large table with 12 chairs around it. This table is clear of anything on it but an investigation check (DC 12) will lead them to think it is more suited for meetings than meals.
If they are invited into, or break into, her home it will look like a simple cottage. Most of the decor seems to be suited to her diminutive stature but there is a love seat and 2 sitting chairs for people of an average human build. Her house smells of spices and incense. It’s not an overpowering sickly smell but a light scent that is pleasing. If they are invited she will offer them some light snacks and drinks. No liquor or ale.
As you can see from the outside there is a building attached to her home. It is a windowless building from the outside. On the inside a large portion of the buildings ceiling reflects the sky outside. It is most beautiful. This door remains locked but she will let them in if asked. When they go in they will see a rather large dojo. It is where she practices her martial arts. One end has various weapons she trains with and on the other end is a small shrine that is sectioned off with partition walls. The shrine is, as she explains, dedicated to the founder of her order.
**In truth the shrine area masks the entrance to the home of the Dhampir. A thorough search of the shrine area (investigation DC 14) will show that one of the incense holders is fixed to the stand.
Dojo mat. With a investigation of DC 18 (or 20 depending on how easy things have been) they will noticed that the dojo mat on the end of the room opposite of the shrine is able to be folded back. Will take a strength check of DC 22 since the mat is fixed to a wooden frame. Or a further investigation check will reveal that the rope that hangs from the ceiling that looks to be part of the practice equipment is on a pulley that goes to a far wall crank. Once folded back it exposes a small room that has what looks to be autopsy tool, or torture tools depending on the intelligence of the players. PC with a soldier, city type, or sage background might know it is autopsy tools. They won’t know it yet but the catch basin under the autopsy table leads to the pool of blood in the dungeon below.