The Phoenix of Llael
Red Bearded Dwarf
The Red Bearded Dwarf is located on Merchants Street, in a block of offices owned by the Scrivener’s Guild. The prior establishment in that building was the law office of one Barlowe Martyn, who fled the city when Merywyn fell. The office had remained unoccupied until 6 to 8 months ago, when the Red Bearded Dwarf opened. The proprietor is not, in fact, a red bearded dwarf, but an average looking, well-dressed Ryn named Mr. Davos. He has hired a local woman, Morna Morosini, as his assistant.
The office of the Red Bearded Dwarf is on the first floor of a two-story building, with what you presume to be 3 offices on each floor, based on the arrangements of the doors, windows, and signage. A fourth door on the bottom floor presumably leads to an interior staircase to the 2nd floor rooms. A covered wooden landing provides shelter to the lower doorways, and is reached by two steps up from the main street. The Dwarf occupies the bottom left office space. A wooden sign depicting a grinning dwarf with a full red beard hangs from chains above the office door. The middle office is announced by a purple quill and a tall inkwell. The office on the right has a sign made from wood that is obviously of higher quality of the other two, and has no images, merely the words “Gervaes and Wythsten.” All three office windows are barred by closed shutters. Three smaller boards are linked together in front of the stairway door: the topmost shows a stack of gold coins, the middle depicts an orange quill, and the bottom shows the words “Viscario and Sons.”
At the rear of the building, a thick wooden door provides access to the crawl space in the foundation, but you are certain from the ground and the condition of the lock that the door is used infrequently and has not been used anytime since the last rain, which was over a week ago. There are windows on the back of the building, but the ones on the rear of the Red Bearded Dwarf are still shuttered, and, as the rear of the building is actually one story higher than from the front due to the steep ground here, you do not see how anyone could climb to the windows unaided, and you see no sign of any ladders or grappling marks.
You approach the door and note that the lock assembly appears to be relatively new due to the lack of scratches and wear, and was likely installed when Mr. Davos became the new tenant. Eight wooden pegs stick out of an iron plate on the door. There are no numbers or symbols on them, but you can see that the four middle pegs have received more use than the outer four. However, you cannot decipher the sequence in which they have been pushed.
A small statue of a dwarf, about a foot tall, is standing near the door to the office. It appears to be a stone sculpture, painted in blues and greens, with bronze skin, and a bright red beard. But you can only see the beard from this vantage point because the dwarf is facing the wall – with its back to the street. As you get closer, you can clearly see that it rotates on a heavy stone base, and that there are several indentations which you presume must be pushed in properly to allow the statue to turn. By observing the activity of the crowd, you discover the dwarf faces out to the street only when Mr. Davos is in the office.
The office is sparsely decorated, although what furnishings there are in the office are of fine quality. Mrs. Morosini sits behind a desk of light wood, which blocks access to a large double office door behind her. A small scrivener’s cubby recesses into the wall to her left, and seems neatly kept. The area between her desk and the front door is filled with four exceedingly large chairs, each apparently stuffed with extra padding and covered in a fine silk. They look most comfortable, and are arranged around a handwoven floor rug of deep purple. A map of the Iron Kindgoms hangs from the wall to your left. It is textured to show the geography in bumps and ridges, and is one of the most fascinating representations of Immoren you have seen. What really strikes you is that the colors marking the borders of the kingdoms appear to be very up-to-date. You note a small service cart sits to Mrs. Morosini’s right, containing crystal goblets and a number of fine vintage wines and liquors. All but 2 bottles have some amount of liquid missing from them. You do not see any other entrances or exits, but you do note that the double office door behind Mrs. Morosini has two key locks and sixteen bronze pegs protruding from a plate on its face. You can deduce from the dimensions of the building and the area in which you stand, that the back office takes up at most one-quarter of the available space.
The double office door of Mr. Davos’ office has two key locks and sixteen bronze pegs protruding from a plate on its face. The locks themselves are of average quality. The problem is, you must enter the correct combination of pegs on the keyplate, and with the newness of the lock, you can’t tell even tell how many pegs are in the combination.
If you make your way into the office, you can see that the office is about one-third the size of the lobby area of the Red Bearded Dwarf. Like the main lobby, it is sparsely but finely furnished. A chair sits at a finely crafted wood desk, on which an oil lamp sits next to a quill pen. Several landscape paintings adorn the wall. Otherwise, nothing stands out.
A search of the room reveals very little. In fact, you see little of the paperwork you would expect in the office of a businessman.