Session 1, Part 2
Along the way, Lily tells them a little about their agency. The Triad specializes in paranatural clients and cases: enchantments, curses, missing souls, the usual bread and butter of detectives. Lily’s their secretary, accountant, housekeeper, and all around handy gal. She’s also a talented tinkerer. The velocipede is her latest invention, funded by the Triad. Fetch’s name is also his job description. He’s a street kid who knows his way around the back alleys of the city and society. Together they’re the only staff of the Triad employs.
“It’s one of my prototypes, remem – Oh, right. Well, I’m calling it a velocipede. I think it’ll stick. It still has some bugs – like it may explode and kill us – but I’m working them out.” – Lily
They arrive at their office in the not-very-illustrious Meatpacking District of Manhattan. They stow the rather noisy velocipede in a garage next to a brick storefront with Triad Detective Agency stenciled on the glass. The garage is full of all sorts of interesting tools and equipment, not to mention a curiously misplaced coffin.
Once inside, Lily turns on the gas lamps in the main room. The office is circular, set up primarily as a meeting area and library. A big, round, raw oak table dominates the center of the room. Curved bookcases run along the wall and a bulky wooden file cabinet is crammed into the far corner. An enormous map of New York City has consumed an entire wall. Notes are scribbled all over it in black ink, mostly dates and case numbers. Three offices surround the main area, and a set of stairs leads up to the second floor apartment.
Lily explains that the brothers live in an apartment on the second floor. She’s never been up there because the door’s always been shut, secured with a special lock they installed themselves. They each had a key, but who knows where they are now. Lily makes it painfully clear that she wasn’t involved with the peculiars of any cases. She doesn’t really know what was going on before they disappeared. In fact, they were being extra secretive.
The brothers also learn from Lily of their rather varied interests and talents. Mr. Onyx is a master of martial arts and surgery. Mr. Azure is a scholar of paranatural philosophy and mesmerism. Mr. Verde is a medium and burgeoning thaumatologist. Unfortunately, that is about the extent of her insight. She knows little else about them; the Triad were always very secretive about their past.
After cleaning up and getting changed, the Triad explores their offices in hopes of learning more about themselves. In Mr. Onyx’s office he finds a fencing dummy with many cuts and stabs, indicative of his skill with a blade. On his desk is a leather-bound book on medieval fighting techniques and also hand-translated copies of Far East fighting manuals. On the wall is a framed oil painting of President Lincoln that looks as if it’s been through a fire. Leaning against his desk is an ironwood walking stick with a rather pointy bottom. Lily says she doesn’t like it, and Mr. Onyx understand why after he picks it up, twists it, and slides it into two pieces. The walking stick is actually both a stake and a sword. The sword’s blade is black steel, with silver just on its very fine edge.
“We have to prove you didn’t kill those girls! But first we need to get your memories back and make sure you didn’t, you know, kill those girls.” – Lily
Mr. Azure’s Office is crammed with books. They line the shelves, are stacked haphazardly on the floor, and prop-up one corner of his desk. Taking up the entire right wall is an alchemist’s table and microscope. In his desk drawer is a Colt Peacemaker. Curled on the desk is a thin chain with a silver pendant. The pendant has an image of Osiris emblazoned on it. There’s also an easel with what looks like the beginning of a painting: The curve of someone’s face drawn in charcoal.
Mr. Verde’s Office is very spartan. The only thing on his desk is a crystal ball, a pad of paper, and a fountain pen. There’s a leather sheath that’s missing its knife. From the shape it’s easy to see it probably belongs to the knife that was in the room with the dead girls. There’s a cabinet full of tinctures. Some are labeled: Laudanum, Somniol, etc. Some aren’t labeled, and these are strangely colored with even stranger odors.
Lily convinces the Triad to first visit Five Points, where she’s heard of a “swop-shop” in operation. Perhaps somebody would has tried to sell their soul-shards there. A swop-shop is an illegal business where so-called “swoppers” trade soul-shards, essentially jumping between bodies. Removing a shard is an extremely delicate operation and requires a great deal of schooling. As such, there are very few of these swop-shops in business in the whole city.
“Before we go: You’ve been missing for two weeks. I have some back pay coming…” – Lily
The final revelation of the evening comes after their brief exploration of the austere apartment upstairs. They’re surprised to learn that Lily is, in fact, a Vampyre. She takes payment not in money, but in blood. She drinks from Mr. Onyx (it’s “his turn” she says) and transforms, becoming young and rather pretty. After they’ve cleaned and dressed in their customary black coats and hats, the Triad head to Five Points.