The Hand of Destiny went back to the Spectre’s Respite to catch their breath after getting so much information. They would research the vaults on their down time but right now, they needed to solve the mystery of the dead gnome that had been found in front of their bar. They were still people of interest in the case and were eager to clear their names. This would allow them to have more freedom as they moved around the city searching for vaults.
They looked for and found the drunkard and the lady that Aleera had seen in her visions. They had been nearby when the attack had occurred. The drunkard was already well into his cups for the day and his testimony was confusing at best. He said he got a good look at the attacker but his answer didn’t make sense. He said that the person that attacked that night had a metal face. When they asked if he meant a helmet or mask, he shook his head. He insisted that it was a metal face. His answers left more questions for the party.
When they interviewed the lady, she gave them more answers that made sense. She stated that she hadn’t seen the attacker but that she saw what he dropped before that little boy had snatched it up. She conjectured that the boy would have already sold it for food and booze but didn’t know that the party had been able to get the necklace. She recognized the necklace as a creation of the House of Inspired Hands. They were a crafting guild in the city that was known for their groundbreaking inventions both mechanically and magically. They did not only have craftspeople in their employ but also talented magic casters to enchant their items.
Now they had more of a clue than ever before. They thanked the woman and made their way to the Sea Ward once more to visit the House of Inspired Hands. When they got there, they were greeted by friendly helpers who asked what they were looking for. They added that they would do their best to fulfill any request. They were quite inviting, even when the party asked to see the head of the guild and presented their Force Gray Badges. Someone ran off to get their leader while they were escorted to a more quiet part of the temple/work area. It was a bit of both. They worshiped craftsmanship as a religion and sought to achieve ever greater works.
After a few moments of waiting, a tall man showed up. He was the leader of the House of Inspired Hands and asked what he could help them with. The group cut to the chase and presented the necklace. They stated that they knew about the necklace being made by the guild and asked to know who had made it and for whom. The tall man only looked at the necklace in silence before beckoning them to follow him. He led them into the bowels of the temple, past the kitchens and living quarters. They went up a rickety set of spiral stairs at the very back of the temple that led them to the attic.
It was an attic in name only. The building was so big that it could rival the first floor of their new tavern. In the center of the attic was a circle of tables with various inventions in different states of completion. In the center of the tables was a fully metallic man working over the inventions. The leader of the guild explained that this was Nim. He was a creation of some of the best crafters and artificers in the guild. However, they knew they had to keep him a secret as creating life from magic and invention was a contentious subject in the city and was technically currently outlawed. Nim’s very existence was against the law, but the members of the House of Inspired Hands love him. They could not bring themselves to destroy him, especially after finding out that he was his own person.
Nim had intelligence. It allowed him to make the greatest and most beautiful of the creations the guild offered. Sadly, they could not brag about him or his work; they could only sell it as their own. The party went to speak to him and realized that he had heard their exchange and understood that something was wrong. He gestured at them to please sit in chairs he had at various locations along the tables. It seemed that he couldn’t speak but could convey his answers with clicks and nods.
They asked him about the attack and asked if he was involved. He nodded his head yes, he did know about the attack but nodded no to being involved. They then asked if there were any others like him. The leader of the guild assured them that there was no other like Nim but the intelligent construct nodded his head yes. His eyes were full of remorse. He gestured to himself and to an empty space next to him. The party got the meaning. He had been lonely, stuck up here all the time. He had wanted a companion. Nim hung his head as they revealed his secret.
He had created someone like him but had no idea that he had left the workshop until a few days ago when he had found that the companion was missing. He hadn’t let anyone in the guild know because he understood that he himself was not allowed outside and so someone like him would also be in trouble on the outside. The leader of the House pleaded with them not to reveal the existence of Nim and offered services in exchange. The Hand of Destiny refused.
They explained that they would take no payment for protecting Nim. He had not broken any laws that the party was aware of and although his existence was of contention in the city, they would not betray his trust. It was clear to them that Nim was innocent and didn’t want to get him destroyed only for existing. They agreed to keep their secret and only asked for help in finding this other construct. Nim shrugged to show he had no clue where he would go. He had never left the guild house and had no idea about the city outside.
The party left the House of Inspired Hands with yet more questions to ask, but now they knew who they were chasing. Someone was running around out there causing problems and Nim would be the one to suffer if he was ever found. They vowed to find the rogue construct and bring him back. They also promised not to hurt the construct if they could help it. They did warn Nim that if his friend attacked first they would defend themselves. With his reluctant acceptance of the situation the group left. They headed back to the tavern for the evening with much weighing on their minds.