Clandestine Correspondence

Ghalib d’Murani of Magnagora is not what one might call an imposing gentleman, nor one used to drawing attention to himself. There are, after all, many ways to wield power in the Engine of Transformation, and one need not be loud or brutish to be powerful. Subtlety, patience, and resourcefulness are useful tools for the nobility, and Ghalib had these in spades.

When Marla, chief bat keeper for the postal service of Magnagora, told the noble that she had sent him some highly anticipated letters recently but that both her bat and the bundle of letters had come up missing, Ghalib was perturbed. Not entirely used to Marla being quite so inept, he commanded her to scour the city streets for his letters, declaring them of the utmost importance to the city. She obliged, drawing the attention of Primarch Shango D’Cente and the city’s own Kalas Malayn to track down Seditionist, her bat, hoping to find the letters intact. Alas, though the bat was discovered in the Undercity, the bundle of letters were nowhere to be found. She did find out, however, that Lady Jamilah, of the Society, had noticed a bat collide with an errant imp near the tearoom, sending them both tumbling. Swearing her to secrecy, Marla rushed off to inform Ghalib.

Ghalib was at a loss for words. To most, he was a fixture in the city, known to frequent the market district, overseeing various wares and assisting novices with finding their way around. To a select few, however, Ghalib d’Murani was known as a procurer of rarities and oddities, and his web of contacts was extensive. Eventually, it all made its way to Ghalib; information, rare flowers and metal ingots, secrets to be used against opposing families or to get into their favour. One can only assume the sting of explaining all this to Warlady Kailanna n’Kylbar, but he did so over a cup of tea and a rather amusing anecdote having to do with poisonous tree frogs.

The Warlady was rather unamused but his story intrigued her just enough to keep her from having the guards throw him from the window of her tower office, and she acquiesced to assign someone discreet to help him search the city for his correspondence, should he be unable to find it himself. It was some days later when Marla was heard berating a beggar in her office, the shabbily-dressed panhandler having shuffled past her with one of the letters clutched in his grubby mitts. Ghalib quickly rushed to the Emperor’s Lament Post Office, following the footsteps of the Warlady as well as Uzriel d’Vanecu and the Lady Grey Sapphira d’Vanecu, the former of the couple being happily recognized by Ghalib as a family member. The letter was retrieved from the beggar and, thankfully, discovered to still be coded. But as the rest of the correspondence was still missing, he reminded the Warlady of their agreement. Accompanied by Sapphira and Uzriel, he went around the city looking in every nook and cranny for his letters.

It was Sapphira who came up with the plan to instead bring the letters to her. She encouraged the beggars to trade the letters for a bit of gold – an entire gold coin. Through no small amount of wheedling, and at least two cases of beggars trying to extort her for more gold, she managed to retrieve five of the letters herself. Uzriel, on the other hand, was having a worse time dredging through the city high and low in search of the remaining letters, but eventually finding most of them and reuniting them with his cousin. One letter remained missing, however, and was discovered to be firmly clutched in the grasp of a rather enterprising beggar. Two hundred million gold was the asking price for this illustrious stationery, though the beggar was bargained down to an ur’Guard Marshal’s flail to the face for his efforts.

Collecting the letters, Ghalib asked for yet one more favour; a vial of solvent from the Presidio. Uzriel, used to the journey there and back, made short work of the request and allowed Ghalib to decode his letters using the solvent. At last, their message was made clear: Magnagora’s investment from years ago was not in vain. Ardrak held a treasure of unknown power, protecting it and keeping the city safe from whatever powers it held. However, Ghalib’s correspondence had not only detailed its authenticity but how to attune it to the Megalith of Doom and use it to assist the city. It was not long before Ghalib, Uzriel, and Kailanna ventured off into the depths of the Presidio to place the gem at its final resting place, empowering the city’s works in the future.