Fresh off their (ostensible) victory at Adigan Alley, the Periad Inspectors had time to attend to the business of their own district. Unfortunately, Southwest Periad had grown desperate with the loss of a food shipment that had gone missing in the adjacent district of Kelasho. Because of this loss, the Eight Hand Hall entered into rationing, which lead quickly to a violent altercation between the proprietor, Veld, and a man who was apparently late to the distribution due to overwork. The Inspectors managed to keep the peace, but only just, as with the lack of resources more than a few citizens seemed on edge.
Though the outcome at Eight-Hand was hardly ideal, the Inspectors didn’t have much time for reprieve. News quickly traveled to them of a woman claiming her daughter was kidnapped by an Idol. Worse still, the Idol in question turned out to be the healer Galin. Inspectors Leroux and Voke, though unpracticed with dealing with the public Idol, immediately made their way to her compound, where they found the distraught mother outside. Her daughter, she claimed, entered the compound earlier that day but had not returned, and as the curfew was coming up, she was terrified that she would be caught on the streets. The Inspectors were surprised to find the gate to Galin’s compound was closed, as in all other instances they had passed by it had been open and welcoming. Exercising executive privilege and entering the compound, the Inspectors rapidly found that the compound was bustling, as volunteers (well, Voke wouldn’t call them volunteers) were busy filling barrels with some sort of bluish paste. A brief conversation with Galin found the Idol more than willing to relinquish the assistance of the woman’s daughter, as Galin did not want to be known for keeping anyone against their will. Questioning the Idol, the Inspectors also determined that the substance she was hoarding was manna, an otherworldly foodstuff that Idols are known to occasionally produce. It occurred to the Inspectors that in the light of rising concerns over food, citizens were likely to flock to the Idol, but they took no action against her for now. The mother was happy to be reunited with her daughter for the evening. The daughter less so.
Finally, the Inspectors were summoned to Central Periad and briefly interrogated by Inspector-General Gammond to determine if they had any involvement in the murder of Tychen while in custody. Determining they were not involved, the Inspector-General tasked the party with determining the truth of that murder. Briefly encountering the blowhard Inspector Bold on their way to the basement, Inspectors Flint and Leroux rapidly determined there was some manner of tunnel operating under the garrison. Relaying this information, the Inspectors were given the objective of investigating the tunnels, eliminating the Aniconists inside and retrieving an object they were using to move through the district. The Inspector-General seemed to have a considerable amount of understanding of exactly how the Aniconists were operating, but was unwilling to share. When Flint pressed the point, she found herself berated for operating out of her jurisdiction, placing the Southwest Inspectors on thin ice.
In the sewers beneath Central, the Inspectors eventually found a concealed passage that lead to a magically-formed stone temple, rife with spectral lights and, though at one point occupied, now abandoned. Pressing into the temple, however, they found it to still have active guardians, both otherworldly and undead. The temple presented the Inspectors with trials (likely not meant for them), but also stories-in-writing, carved into the walls, which hinted at things long past. In the depths of the temple, however, the Inspectors found the strangest thing yet: a statue of a bloated woman, carved of solid stone, with one green eye. Worse, the Aniconists themselves.
Though not denying their crimes, the Aniconist leader, Stell, made impassioned argument to the Inspectors that the city was inherently corrupt, that its existence is abominable, practiced on the uncomprehending. Claiming it was within the Aniconists’ power to bring back the Old World, but unwilling to expound on the plan beyond it involving the destruction of Idols. Some of the Inspectors seemed swayed by his arguments, especially where they intersected with the laws of the city, which were themselves arguably unjust. Without asking for any violent intervention on their part, the Aniconist offered an opportunity to align themselves with his cause, delivering a fake gemstone to Inspector-General Gammond, claiming it is the Mital. This, he claimed, would allow the Inspectors to interact with the Aniconists again peacefully. While considering the offer, Inspector Voke made the decision for the others, trying to gain some measure of control over the cultists. Disappointed, the Aniconists fled, but not before leaving their fake Mital, and summoning some sort of spirit into the giant statue of the temple, with the express intent of killing Inspector Voke.
Luckily, Inspector Shiel was having none of that, using her prodigious strength and considerable endurance to pin (and later survive the crushing attacks of) the statue. This bought the other Inspectors time to destroy decorative stones powering the statue’s magic and destroy it with physical attacks. Left covered in dirt and holding only a small, fake gemstone for all their effort, the Inspectors were forced to decide how to proceed. It turns out they chose honesty, telling the Inspector-General exactly what happened, though leaving out their serious consideration of the Aniconists’ offer. Still, their failure riled the Inspector-General, who passed the fake gemstone off to Velius, a young man representing Brise in the matter, and proceeded to pull the Inspectors’ jurisdiction back to only Southwest Periad for now.
Not that, given what they now knew, the Inspectors were likely to listen.