Episode 4: A Small Favor, Synopsis

A note from Professor Eduardo Villalobos de Iñez y Lobianco brought you to his offices, ostensibly for lunch as a way of saying thank you for all you’d done for him (and for the city) since your arrival here in Altamira. However, along with the thanks came another offer of work, since apparently, the professor was having still more problems with his lantern (the same one you’d rescued from bandits just last month).

This time it involved a shipment of lenses made to exacting standards by the glassblower’s guild in Kirk. While the lenses had arrived over a week ago, the professor (and his agents) had been unable to get the warehouse where they were being held to release them. The professor had even tried getting his patron, Alfonzo Cortez de Cordoba, and the Acalde, involved. But to no avail. Normally he’d simply wait them out, but with the rumors of the Inquisition returning (as you, yourself had witnessed last month) he worried that if they got their hands on his lenses, it could mean a death sentence for him.

It was a simple matter to follow the professor’s directions to the warehouse, but from there things got complicated as the young, and very nervous, clerk behind the desk began to give you a series of excuses about why he couldn’t bring the lenses to you. That’s when a group of toughs came into the shop. It was apparent from the beginning they were up to no good, and was soon confirmed by their leader, a cruel little man named Vinicio, when he spelled out the strong-arm tactics they were using, unaware you were listening in.

A short, but intense fight ensued, but the outcome was never really in doubt. And from there you were able to learn that Vinicio and some of his men had stolen the lenses (and may have murdered a few of the other warehouse workers) for a couple of thugs named Miguel Rivera de Soldano and Miguelito de la Vaca.

You called upon several contacts and learn that together, The Miguels controlled a good deal of the crime in Altamira. They were successful enough that they had never been caught (or even suspected) and even had a couple of key judges in their pockets. So you knew if you were to be successful, you’d need some iron-clad proof.

Finding their hideout turned out to be a non-issue as they openly ran a barbershop/apothecary in a dead-end area of town known as La Derecha de Las Prophetas. It took some doing but you managed to get into their shop and have a look around. You learned almost immediately that the rumors were correct. These were despicable men who were guilty of numerous crimes. Within their shops was plenty of information, enough to put them in jail for a good, long time. But what you didn’t find was the lenses.

With enough evidence, you decided to bring them in with the intention of questioning them about the lenses once they were safely locked away. The confrontation went not at all like you expected since neither man put up any resistance. Fortunately for you, you were able to find the lenses. Unfortunately for you, their neighbors caught wind of their arrest.

Furious about the fact the Acalde wasn’t protecting them, the citizens of La Derecha lambasted you for your decision to arrest the only men who were protecting them from worse crime. There were some minor scuffles but eventually you were able to get away from the crowd and up to the only tunnel in or out of La Derecha.

That’s when you learned one of the Miguels’ dirty little secrets. At their command, barrels of gunpowder were set off inside the tunnel sending plumes of fire and smoke everywhere. But neither of the Miguels so much as moved. That’s when you saw the tiny red flames in the eyes of the larger Miguelito de la Vaca. Injured by the explosion, you never-the-less put up a valiant fight, finally overcoming both men.

Interestingly the end was less than satisfying as both men admitted to their crimes, but steadfastly refused to take responsibility for the lenses. Worse, you learned that, at least officially, the warehouse where you’d initially tried to get the lenses had been empty for months.