surgery in the house of dissection

thief 2: casing the joint

dethtoll

calm

thief 2: casing the joint

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calm
rather pointless mission, in my opinion, but at least it's easy- and fun.

with cavador in pagan custody he sings like a bird and explains that he was instructed to deliver two sorts of artifacts from karath-din, brass masks (like what the mechanist servants use) and some sort of agricultural device called a cultivator. 30 of each. they have to be connected in some way, but efforts to secure a mask have failed so far. garrett has an idea- some time ago he bought a commission by gervasius to buy some masks from the lost city. gervasius has an interest in masks and headdresses, and paid well for the finds; viktoria says the mechanists have been making overtures to gervaisius, and it's pretty obvious why.

gervaisius has been at his summer home for most of the year, but is moving back to the city for the winter. he's bringing his private collection along with him, and is planning an exhibition. the private exhibit area is on the third floor, with access from an elevator controlled from that floor- it'd be airtight, except there's a secret stairway that goes up there. garrett needs to find it.

gervaisius isn't quite finished moving in, and the house is largely devoid of furnishings as construction of a temporary public exhibit in the ballroom is underway. garrett's job is to get into the house, map out at least half of it, find the secret passage, and possibly get a hold of the correspondence sent to gervaisius. while he's in the house he has to take care not to be seen or to disturb the guards or servants- otherwise things will be impossible when he comes back.

he climbs over the garden wall; the back doors are well lit and well guarded, but the side wall has a secret passage, allowing him access into the chapel. the chapel's one of the only fully-furnished rooms here. the bedrooms in back are devoid of furniture, however.

the hallways are patrolled by guards and under constaint surveillance by watchers, which are armed with cannons- should a watcher spy a thief or other unwanted person, the cannon fires.

garrett finds a number of secret passages as he traverses the house, enabling him to circumvent guard and watcher as he makes his way to the security stations, allowing him to turn off the watchers. there are knife switches, too, but he doesn't throw them. they're not labelled- and didn't your mother ever tell you not to press a button if you didn't know what it was?

the ballroom is still under heavy construction, and is empty of people. there's a toolbox on a workbench, and inside is a cuckoo bird. garrett remembers seeing a clock in a room somewhere, but...

in the corridor behind the foyer, he overhears a mechanist forewoman explaining to a guard that she's lost her toolbox. in it was the cuckoo bird she needed for one of the clocks. the guard laughs and says all the clocks in the house tell the wrong time. she corrects him, saying she means that clock- meaning one of particular significance.

now what could that be?

garrett goes back and steals the cuckoo bird before the forewoman arrives in the ballroom, and slips out.

he continues to explore the manor- and it is indeed rife with secret passages. this enables him to evade one particular cannon, which seems to be ready to fire at him at a moment's notice, even though the watcher nearby hasn't seen him.

when he manages to get into the related security office, all is explained: someone's been taffing about with the controls, and left one of the watchers turned off and one of the cannons set to "automatic"- builder knows how they manage to know who to attack.

going past the now-behaving cannon, he overhears a conversation- apparently the library's entire M stack has disappeared. the librarian insists there's ghosts in there.

using a secret passage to gain entrance into the library, it's pretty clear it's haunted; the ghost of a woman keeps pointing things out to him, moaning of horrible secrets that nobody knows about. the books she points out contain hidden letters, between gervasius' librarian, giles, and the woman he loves, lorna, who's married to giles' assistant, ashton, who's an abusive little fuck. they're looking for a way to find another library to work for to get away from ashton. giles managed to secure a job as librarian for another noble, this prominent in the city government, and they plan to have lorna divorce ashton, marry giles, and as consolation to ashton he'll be promoted to giles' old spot. the last spot garrett's pointed to has a little secret book- giving it a tug moves a bookshelf, and beyond are two bodies- one of whom appears to be that of the ghost. someone's hiding the evidence.

on the other side of the library are a couple of scrolls. one appears to be part of a letter from karras, indicating his interest in seeing gervasius' cultivator that he's about to display during the exhibition, and the other is a letter from ash, telling gervaisius that his wife and boss have run away together and that he will be taking up a position with a certain noble close to the city government to get away from all the memories.

bastard.

just outside the library is a tall, metallic, art-deco-style clock; garrett's been trying clocks all over the mansion, but this is the only one missing a cuckoo. the cuckoo, when the clock is set to midnight, serves as a key- and a secret passage opens up. garrett's finally found the back way into the third floor...

his work is complete; now it's time to leave. unfortunately he won't be able to get out through the garden, as the wall is too high; but by going to the foyer, and shooting off a noisemaker arrow into the next room, he gets the guard to wander off in the direction of the sound, and quickly picks the lock, allowing him access outside- and to the street. mission complete.

next up: masks.
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