The party arrive on a bustling factory floor, where they are mistaken for inspectors and given a tour. Our team picks up some shiny new leads, and Sasha struggles to not pick up the shiny, shiny daggers!
The party has landed in a large factory, surrounded by goblins and heavy machinery. It seems to all of them, apart from Grizzop, controlled chaos; it’s a frenzy of activity. To Grizzop, it looks like they’ve got this place down, without any of the faffing that everyone else seems to have.
Hamid realizes that they’re on the shop floor, and notices that they’re working with Damascan adamantine. Above them is a foreman’s office, with someone looking down. About half the factory floor has noticed the party.
Sasha notices that this is an industrial process; they’re churning out a ridiculous number of daggers at a ridiculous pace, but she can’t tell if they’re good quality. Grizzop knows that Damascus is really famous for making good swords, and that people once upon a time lost the ability to make it. Recently - within the last couple of years, tops - people have begun to rediscover the method and begin production again. Grizzop asks how long the stuff in Paris has been going on for, and Sasha and Hamid say that it’s been going on for longer than that.
While they’re talking, they hear the chatter of goblins spreading, as more and more of the goblins in the factory start looking at them. They’re climbing up on railings to see them. Grizzop hears that the general consensus seems to be that the party are a group of inspectors, and that many of the goblins are telling each other to look busy. Grizzop grabs one and asks them to take the party to the foreman’s office. The goblin sprints off to the foreman’s office, and Grizzop tells the rest of the party that they’re going to need to keep up. The goblin pauses, asking what’s going on, and Grizzop explains that the rest of them aren’t as fast. They offer to get some wheeled vehicles, but Grizzop says to just point them to the foreman’s office and that they’ll go at their own pace. They need to see the foreman immediately. The goblin flashes a double thumbs up and a wide grin and sprints off, indicating where the foreman is.
As they head off to the foreman’s, Grizzop explains that Damascus started producing adamantine a couple years ago, and if all the Paris stuff was happening around then as well, it might be connected. Hamid says that the Paris stuff has been going on for five or six years, and that the Mr. Ceiling stuff must have been going on for even longer, so it might not be the case. Grizzop agrees, and then mentions that they’re going up to the foreman’s and that they need to get their stories straight - no one seems to know what he means, so he explains that the goblins all think that they’re inspectors.
Grizzop says that they can use that to get some information. Hamid suggests that they can be foreign investors, and Sasha offers to inspect some of their products. Grizzop says that if the goblins already think that they’re inspectors, they should just go with that, and the rest of them agree.
They head up the stairs to the foreman’s office; it’s in the corner of the warehouse with floor-to-ceiling grubby windows. At no point is this made for anything other than goblins; Grizzop and Hamid are fine, Sasha is stooping, and Azu is more than twice the height of the people this was built for. She pokes her head in the door and realizes that it isn’t going to work. The foreman sees them all (they’re also a goblin), and greets them; Grizzop introduces the entire party as inspectors, and the foreman immediately moves to accommodate them, saying that they could widen the door. It only takes a few minutes; the foreman calls something over the loudspeaker, and a group of goblins come up and start rebuilding the door.
As the door is being rebuilt, the foreman is asking what else they can do. Grizzop says that they’re going to need to investigate their inventory, and asks if they can speak in English for the benefit of the rest of them. The foreman agrees, and asks what else they need to see. Grizzop says that seeing inventory will be best, and that getting a history of the factory and production will be helpful. The foreman asks if they want the tourist route, and Grizzop says that they want the real tour with the bookkeeping and inventory - a general accounting of their upkeep and what they’ve purchased. They say that it’s fine, but that it’ll take them a bit to get everything set up - probably around 10 minutes. Grizzop and Hamid say that that is fine, and the goblins continue rebuilding the door around Azu.
In a couple of minutes the door has been completely rebuilt and Azu can now scooch into the room. Some more time passes, and the foreman leads them back to the main floor. He asks if they have their safety gear on, and the paladins tap their armor. A few goblins run off and come back with hard hats, goblin sized. Sasha puts one on the front of her head and one on the back, while Hamid takes another. The foreman gestures for the goblins to move the hangar doors, and they slide open. They’re basically normal-sized doors for Azu. They head in and see loads of crates, all packed and ready to go. Hamid asks where the shipment is going to, and the foreman says it's going to Paris, London, Australia, and some orders on backlog.
Hamid asks to take a random sampling of a few of the cases, to verify the contents. The foreman grabs a crowbar, and Hamid and Grizzop each point out a box. The foreman runs over and starts trying to pry it open, but is struggling; Azu goes over to give him a hand, and tears the entire side of the pallet open. It appears to be a large number of machine parts, so Sasha checks it over. It’s definitely adamantine, which is the same metal used in the simulacrum, but she doesn’t recognize the parts as being the same as the simulacrum. It’s a large amount of bearings, stacked on top of each other. Sasha mentions that you could use them in the simulacrum if you needed a lot of robots with moving joints, but they could really be used for anything.
The foreman says that he has no idea what she’s talking about, and asks Azu to open the other box for him. Azu agrees, gladly, and pops open the next box. It’s more of the same. The foreman explains that what they do is configure the setup, make a massive load of them, and then change the setup. This week is bearings, last week was bars and gates for Australia, and Paris wanted a lot of clockwork men internals. Grizzop asks what their turnaround is, and the foreman says that it depends. For bearings, they’ve made about 10,000 a week, which is about 10 times the amount that people were expecting to come out of the factory. There’s no talk anywhere of this kind of production.
Hamid asks if they’ve produced weapons, and the foreman starts to escort them over to the armoury. Grizzop grabs Hamid real quick and asks if they should show the foreman the sample they have from the simulacrum, see if he can identify or recognize it. Hamid says that it’s a good idea, and suggests Grizzop brings it up at the end of the inspection. The foreman sprints off to the armoury, and the rest of the party have to run to keep up with him. Sasha is grumpy because she’s no longer as fast as she was when she was undead.
They get to the final stage of the factory floor, and find themselves in a massive industrial compound. There’s a hangar behind them, two on either side of it, two more to the top left and top right, and an admin building in front. They head over to the admin building, dodging running goblins and goblin-powered vehicles. The foreman explains that they were worried they were going to see a drop in production with the issues in Paris, but that they haven’t actually had that many problems.
He runs to the admin building and they all follow; he asks for them to give him a minute, and they agree. Grizzop can hear him yelling at a few goblins inside, telling them to shape up, and then he reappears, gesturing for them to come in, and then escorts them into the armoury. The foreman is going into a spiel, explaining all the different kinds of armour and weapons on the wall. He points out a Roman shield, and a modern version next to it. He continues going on with the spiel, pointing out different weapons. Sasha reaches out and grabs one of the daggers, saying that she needs to inspect it. The foreman seems a little confused, but Sasha just looks at him and does some knife tricks with it. It’s a really well-made adamantine dagger, but it definitely does feel like a mass-produced knife, albeit the best mass-produced dagger she’s seen. She asks if she can take it, and the foreman mentions that free samples are available at the end of the tour; he asks why Sasha wants a free sample, and Grizzop says that they don’t.
Grizzop reminds the foreman that he was going to show them the books. Sasha argues with herself for a while on whether or not she should steal a dagger, attempting to palm one and then putting it back; the foreman is stood in the doorway, confused. He runs off, and starts leading them down a staircase into the basement. They get into a massive archive, with metal filing cabinets and paper folders. It’s more paperwork than anyone should need. Goblins are running back and forth, and it’s pitch black. Hamid mentions that they might need some light, since Azu and Grizzop are the only two who can see in the dark. The foreman calls something over the loudspeakers, and after a moment they’re each handed a gas torch. Grizzop asks to see something from the past two months (from after the Paris crisis); Hamid asks to see something from about 6 months ago; Sasha looks very upset, since this really isn’t her forte.
Grizzop goes over to the foreman and comes up with a story about how they found some smugglers recently that had potential parts from the factory on them, and wants to ask the foreman if he can identify what shipment they’re from. Hamid assists with the lie, explaining that they want to make sure they can figure out which it is from a sample, since tracking is awry right now.
The foreman summons a goblin named Clapper; he may be the oldest goblin that any of them have ever seen, but he’s still sprinting around. He runs up, twitching slightly, and the foreman explains what Grizzop has been asking for, saying that he needs to head back to the floor. Hamid holds out the sample and mentions that he wants to know which shipment it is from. The goblin snatches it out of his hand, looking it over, and sprints off again, moving deeper into the archives. There’s a cry from the other end and a pile of paperwork tumbles over.
Time skips ahead; Clapper has managed to dig up all of the paperwork they’ve asked for.There have been massive shipments of this stuff to London, Paris, Japan, and Australia. Most of the shipments to Australia have been prison-related (manacles, etc.). London and Paris have mainly gotten mechanical equipment - Ordinateur components, mainly. Japan has gotten an enormous recent shipment to a name that’s been redacted - it goes as far as a Tokyo shipping depot, and then will be transferred. Clapper sees that it’s redacted and says that it isn’t right, that he’s never seen it before, and runs off. Grizzop mentions that Clapper hasn’t said anything about the sample.
Sasha, meanwhile, has fallen asleep. Hamid takes notes on all of this information to pass on to Wilde. Azu notices that a lot of the items being dealt with are industrial, but that there are a few clients making individual requests. She sees that she starts seeing a lot of orcish names cropping up - none she knows, necessarily, but there’s a disproportionately high number of orc names. They’re from all over, as well - the Alps, Kenya… it’s unusual to her, especially since orcs tend to make their own stuff, and make it the best. Azu points it out to the rest of the party, but Grizzop asks if orcs have access to adamantine. Azu says that they don’t, and Hamid asks how goblin-made compares to orcish-made. Grizzop says that it’s better, but Azu disagrees.
Clapper runs back up, and says that he doesn’t know who the shipment is going to, and that he is getting every goblin to look for other discrepancies. Grizzop tells him to forward the information to Wilde at the local Meritocratic offices. Hamid asks about the sample that they’ve provided, and Clapper calls another goblin over, named Clog - this one is slow and heavy, but he still jogs up. He explains that the sample isn’t one of theirs - they can tell by the fractals. It’s still goblin-made, and a batch piece at that. This kind of complexity and build wouldn’t be a major run.
Hamid says that they thought this was the only facility producing things at this pace, and the goblin laughs, saying that whoever made it is rubbish, that there’s no attention to detail. Grizzop asks if there's someone else they could ask about who it is, and the goblin takes some time to think. After a moment, the goblin says that he thinks it’s from Crank Industries. The goblin asks who the party are, and Grizzop says inspectors. The goblin immediately gets more deferential, asking if there’s anything else he can do.
Clapper is there, ushering him away suddenly, and then asks the party if they can help them. Sasha mentions that they need a place for dinner, and Grizzop asks what in town he’d recommend. Clapper says that they’ll arrange for a driver; Grizzop thanks him and says that he’ll put in a good word with the Meritocrats for him. Sasha asks if they have any spare daggers around, and Clapper hands over a goblin-sized dagger, saying that he’s always got some on him in case he meets a friend. Sasha is immediately more awake, saying that she’s got fourteen daggers on her, and asks how many he’s got. Clapper gives her a knowing look and gestures down a side alley. He sprints down it and she follows, running as well. He pulls open a filing cabinet labeled ‘Q’ and it’s been completely filled with daggers. He starts running off and jogging to show her other cabinets, but slows down as other goblins start watching him, talking loudly about how he hopes they’ve enjoyed their tour.
Clapper hands Sasha his card - it’s just steel that has ‘ask for Clapper’ on it. Sasha says that she doesn’t have a card, but asks Clapper to not remember her. He says he’ll just ask for the cool one, and then they head off to the lobby. Hamid grabs one of the goblins around the room, and asks how they feel the factory - Ratchet - is doing compared to the other factories. The only goblin he can grab, the receptionist, just launches into a spiel about the merits of Ratchet.
After the spiel, a horse-drawn carriage draws up. The horses are normal, but the carriage is unnecessarily long, large, and pitch black. A chauffeur comes out, holding the door open for them, and asks where they’re going. Grizzop says that Clapper arranged for a restaurant for them, and he escorts them into the carriage. It has glass windows with black curtains that they can close if they want. Sasha asks to ride up top instead, and the goblin offers for Sasha to drive. She kicks the horse, the horse kicks back, and then the goblin offers the reins over to her. He says that they can go there normally, or they can go fast, and Sasha decides to go fast. The goblin pulls out a firework and pops it behind the horses; the horses start to sprint forward as the carriage careens wildly.
- Sasha: "Those daggers, you don’t have any spares?"
- Clapper: "Oh, hang on. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s always carry a dagger in case you make a friend."
- Sasha: "Oh yeah! You gotta have spares, right? In case you make several. I’ve got 14, how many have you got?"
- Clapper: "How many have I got? Gestures to her and bolts down a side alley. When was the last time you met anyone with a name beginning with Q?"
- Alex: "He pulls open a filing cabinet labeled Q and it’s just chock full of daggers. He’s just filled it with daggers."
- Sasha: "That’s brilliant!"
- Clapper: "I know, right?"
- Sasha: "That’s brilliant! All the admin folks, just like…"
- Clapper: "You should see what’s in Z!"
- ―Clapper gives Sasha a dagger.
Dice rolls and Mechanics
- Everyone makes a Perception check: Grizzop gets 11, Azu gets 16, Hamid gets 29, Sasha gets 22
- Grizzop makes a Knowledge (geography) check: 16
- Azu makes a Strength check: 13
- Sasha makes a Disable Device check: 18
- Sasha makes an Appraise check: 12
- Sasha makes a Sleight of Hand check: 27
- Everyone makes an Intelligence check: Grizzop gets 4, Hamid gets 14, Sasha gets 8, Azu gets 20
- Sasha makes a Handle Animal check: 6