Having managed to apprehend Vendel Shritez and put an end to his smuggling, the Periad Inspectors found themselves tasked with an interrogation. Several questions remained unanswered: What was Vendel’s relationship with the Aniconists? With Luciva? With this rebel, Tychen? Why was he working for any of them? The Inspectors, unpracticed with interrogation (and, for that matter, taking people alive), had some difficulty working themselves into the smuggler’s confidence. Eventually they saw success by offering to export him to Vale, but once they did he managed to provide a few leads.
Vendel, it turns out, had little to do with the Aniconists, and actually suffered from an antagonistic relationship with them, one rife with extortion and threat. Ostensibly they had found their way into his home or place of business on a regular basis, appearing when he would least expect it to prove how easily they could kill him. Vendel, in some attempt to defend himself, hired the assassin Luciva for personal defense, but was terrified to find that, upon ordering her to kill his harassers one evening, she had already entered into some sort of deal with the strange masked cult.
It was not, however, solely Vendel who had been in contact with this cult, the Inspectors would go on to learn. Vendel revealed that the man the weapons he was smuggling were destined for was named Tychen, and he had his own designs in Periad. Ostensibly the cult had forced Vendel to assist Tychen’s attempt to stir up rebellion in Northeast Periad. It seemed, at that point, that all leads were pointing to Tychen and his oft-mentioned rebellion. With a summons from Inspector-General Gammond on the table, the Inspectors chose to seek her out for permission to operate in that corner of the district.
It turns out that permission was not difficult to gain, as the Inspector-General had already sent the Northeast Periad Inspector contingent into the dangerous Adigan Alley, which was serving as Tychen’s base of operations. Unfortunately, with the help of a lieutenant and Idol named Ashren, the Northeast Periad Inspectors had nearly been wiped out. Impressed that the Inspectors had already deduced their next move on their own, the Inspector-General not only gave them permission to hunt down Tychen, but with one stipulation: if they were to encounter Ashren, they were to kill her.
Their jurisdiction expanded, the Inspectors made their way briefly to Adigan Alley, though their approach was apparently marked, because on their appearance both Tychen and Ashren confronted them in the streets. Tychen tried to convince the Inspectors that they didn’t know what they were doing, and that besieging the alley was not the right thing to do. Ashren spent most of her time trying to get the Inspectors to willingly split their own party. Neither saw much success, and the pair of rebels escaped into the alley to prepare for the Inspectors’ advance.
Skirmishing with ambushes in the alley’s narrow streets, it wasn’t long before Inspectors Highmarch, Voke, Shiel, Flint, Shor and Kallen came to face Ashren. The Idol began her stand by shattering the walkway of a large glass factory. She made cursory attempt at getting the Inspectors to admit that the city’s Laws were questionable at the very least, despite their appearances on the surface. The Inspectors, perhaps inspired by her flagrant lack of empathy for the other Inspectors she had killed were not swayed, and engaged the Idol in a single brutal fight for control of the alley, pulling out ahead by a slim margin. Wounded, but pushing on with the primary danger of the alley neutralized, the Inspectors dodged a collapsing street trap in order to drive for Tychen himself.
Tychen seemed unsurprised, almost depressed by their appearance at the doorstep of the warehouse where he had been hoarding the weapons and stolen food that would ostensibly. By way of salvaging something from a losing situation he offered the Inspectors a letter containing correspondence between Inspector-General Gammond and a city administrator who only goes by Master Mintay. The contents of the letter seemed to give pause to some of the Inspectors, but they couldn’t reason their way out of returning to Gammond with the rebel intact. Instead, making the offer to release his cohorts in order to salvage the warehouse’s food, the Southwest Periad Inspectors willingly let criminals go for the sake of some higher justice, with intent to conceal their actions from their command.
It was a strange moment to say the least.
Instead of returning Tychen immediately to Gammond’s care, the Inspectors took some time to interrogate the compliant man. He told them predominantly of how the letter had sparked his desire for rebellion, and how he had received it from Stell, the leader of the same Aniconists that had been influencing Vendel Shritez.
Their target now clear, the Inspectors only had to figure out how to locate the nigh-invisible Aniconists in their district. All this, it seemed, had begun with Stell.
Though they were unlikely content to remain hidden forever.