After the weekly church service, Vlad is pulled to one side by his (adoptive) father, Bishop Aldus Senex. Concern is mounting within the family regarding the missing brother, Teufel. Rumours from Siegsdorf – where Teufel is supposed to be overseeing the construction of a new cathedral – suggests Teufel is associating with ‘undesirable’ people, and women of questionable morals. The construction is also behind schedule. Bishop Aldus wants real news, not rumours, and asks Vladof to head up there to investigate. Vladof agrees, and then goes on to discuss the situation he recently resolved involving the possessed child. Aldus taught him how to be a demon hunter, and as a Bishop, has access to other sources of information regarding people with the skill to summon demons. Vlad is after a list of possible suspects to investigate to find the madman responsible. As they conclude their conversation it becomes obvious that Laima, one of the city nobles, is listening in on their conversation. She offers to look into sales of banned or questionable books on the subject.
The following day, Vlad heads to the docks with Hailong, and checks on the status of their newly acquired ship, the Crouching Tiger. Repairs are mostly complete, and the sails have been upgraded to provide more speed. She wont be able to compete with a true fast ship, it is a hull built for trading after all, but may be able to surprise in the right circumstances. A crew needs to be assembled, but otherwise the ship should be ready for the trip to Siegsdorf.
A few days later, Vlad is invited to join a meeting between Laima, Mal and Hailong. They are discussing how to deal with the Ricardo’s (one of the leading merchant princes in the city) criminal actions. Apparently he has been double-crossing members of House Ragara from the Realm. The conversation goes on for some time and swings from revealing his treachery to framing him. While making some of the less legal suggestions himself, Vlad is concerned over the moral aspects of what is being discussed. While Ricardo is (apparently) a criminal, several other crimes seem to have been committed already in an effort to discover what is happening. This does not sit well with Vlad, and he makes it clear he is reticent to join in any scheme that would involve outright criminal actions (ie framing him).
Additionally at the meeting, Laima reveals she has discovered that a book named ‘The Abyssic Guide Vol. 1’ has recently been sold in Siegsdorf. This book is known to Vlad, and contains information on how to command/control a summoned demon. 2 good reasons to go to Siegsdorf as soon as possible. Vlad makes a note to check with his father and see if he should go in an official ‘church’ capacity to check on the cathedral construction as well.