The Love Potion Heist

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The Love Potion Heist

Postby Plutonic » March 13th, 2019, 9:19:18 am

Here is my attempt at the Whodunit? competition. I'm not much of a writer and I didn't have much time to spend working on this, but I had fun with this story.

I tried to keep the who a secret until a reveal at the end of part 1. One of the spoilers below will give this away.

How I interpreted the missing words in the first two clues:

Who set Alethin up, how, and why, and how Alethin escaped:


The Love Potion Heist

I scowled as I faced the cavern entrance, my facial muscles protesting at the unfamiliar use. I had been chasing rumors for weeks now and my patience had reached its breaking point. This was the longest I’d been away from my residence and I prayed, for my own sanity, what I desired was hidden inside.

My feet moved soundlessly across the uneven ground as I walked deeper into the darkness. The tunnel wound forward without interruption and the passing time stretched endlessly until I lost all track of how much time had passed since I entered this cavern. The tunnel dropped without warning into a steep angle and my arms pin wheeled as I tried to regain my balance. My forward momentum and gravity worked against me as I fell forward. I managed to keep my feet under me so that I slide rather than tumbled down the slope.

I rose from my crouch as I took in the large room. A faint light pulsed from further in and excitement began stirring at the possibility that I had finally found it. Not wanting to alert anyone of my presence, I had travelled in complete darkness up to this point and now took a few moments for my eyes to adjust to the brighter surroundings. Feeling more confident, I moved forward using the shadows for cover whenever I could. I paused behind a rock positioned a few feet away from the source of the light and extended my awareness. Satisfied that I did not detect any other presences nearby I approached the light.

The source of the light came from crystals embedded within a stone slab. The crystals rose vertically from the base of the stone with the smallest crystal the size of my hand. Within the circular barrier formed by the crystals lay the barren stone covered with layers of dust. I could feel my face begin to scowl again as I stared in confusion. Leaning closer I noticed small round patches on the stone where no dust had gathered. My eyebrows raised and my eyes widened as I realized someone had already beat me here and took the vials. Judging by the lack of dust in the spaces where the vials once stood they had been here only hours before me.

I carefully crouched down and examined the area making sure not to move my feet and disturb any footprints. I narrowed my eyes as I found prints too large to belong to a woman and tracks that moved in waves. A black scale confirmed my suspicions, the man who goes by Alethin and his companion Adela had been here. How he had found out about these potions is a mystery and I couldn’t help, but think that my abnormal time away from my home drew his attention. That sneaky wretch and his snake let me do all the hard work!

I plucked the scale from the cavern floor and pocketed it before turning away. A spell memorized long ago fell from my lips and a white orb appeared casting light out in all directions. The footprints led away from where I had entered to a smaller tunnel off to the side. Not wishing to waste any more time I practically flew down the tunnel.

I followed Alethin’s trail for the better part of two days. He covered his tracks well and used transporter spells to move small distances about the area. These tactics served to confuse anyone attempting to follow him and I’ll admit it would have worked on me if I didn’t have Adela’s scale to use locating spells on. By the end of the second day I realized that while I could follow Alethin’s trail I was no closer to catching him than when I left the cavern.

The full moon was three days away and I knew he would appear somewhere around the keep. Close enough for his customers to find him, but at a different location each time to avoid detection. Having made my decision, I gave up the wild goose chase and began traveling towards the Keep. My focus turned inward as my mind began scheming up a way to obtain the potions while arranging another to take my place as the prime suspect.

I reached the market outside the Keep’s walls by midday and began moving about the streets looking for the right individual to play a small, but crucial role in my plan. As I was walking through the streets of the lower market I caught sight of someone who has rarely been seen lately due to his travels. Talyn was walking through an alley holding a box, muffled clinking could be heard coming from within.

I drew my hood lower and I followed him, using a cloaking spell to get close enough to hear him mumbling. It was something about weird breeding potions, a black snake and Kaiden Featherstone. Hmm … this could be a more promising option for my plan. I had originally planned to have some poor man poking about the area looking for some made-up enchanted hat that would make him more desirable for Alethin to discover once he realized the potions were missing.

I followed Talyn until he found the location he appeared to be looking for to dump the box off and left. A quick scan of my surroundings revealed the area empty, but I sensed someone moving in this direction. I skimmed my finger over Adela’s scale in my pocket and the presence I sensed harmonized. Not wasting any more time, I quickly stashed all the vials I had heard clinking about into a bag and moved away from Adela’s approach.

I didn’t stop moving until certain I had put a safe distance between myself and Adela. I pulled one of the vials from my bag and examined it. My eyes widened with understanding at the love potion I held in my hand; a love potion that was banned long ago for its effects on magi. I smiled at my good fortune and slipped the vial back into my bag.

The next two days passed quickly as I moved about the market organizing the nuances of my new plan. The full moon was hours away from rising as a young man swaggered into Remy’s Inn. A few drinks passed before he started boasting about a potion that would finally get his love to choose him. When Remy questioned him and asked to see this potion the young man shrugged and told him he didn’t have it. Yet. I could tell from the frown creasing Remy’s brow that he had begun to make the connection between what the young man was saying and Alethin. Satisfied that part of my plan worked, I located Adela with the help of her scale and made my way to intercept Alethin before he opened for business.

When I arrived at their location Alethin had his wagon unfolded and appeared to be checking his wares one final time. A cluster of potions glimmered on the right wing of the wagon and my hand brushed my bag of vials. I reached into one of my robe’s pockets and withdrew the toxin I had extracted earlier from my Donec Fish. I had spent hours working on the toxin to change it into a gaseous state for this very purpose. I threw the uncapped container to the left of the wagon. As predicted, Alethin and Adela both turned toward the muffled noise the container made when it hit the ground and became paralyzed before moving more than a step.

I cast a protective bubble of air around my face to avoid breathing in the fumes as well as a silencing bubble around my person. I stayed to the right and out of both of their peripherals as I moved to the wagon and replaced the potions in Alethin’s wagon with the ones in my bag. The silencing spell made sure that any clinking noises the vials made did not leave the confines of the bubble. I cast one more spell before leaving; this spell was an illusionary spell to make the illegal love potions appear identical to the ones now resting within my bag. Within the hour I was home in my Sanctum with my darlings, the acquired love potions were nestled beside the gender-changing potions and breeding cooldown potions.

A glorious smile graced Lady Alua’s face.

...


Alethin was furious. He was standing frozen with his back to his open wagon. Adela was in the same state to his left. He was imagining all manner of things being stolen from his wagon right out from under his nose. It seemed like hours rather than twenty minutes before the paralysis wore off. Alethin carefully inspected every item and egg in his cart twice before he was satisfied that everything appeared to be there still. Adela was moving about the area hissing and flaring her hood. She was perhaps more indignant than he was at being taken by surprise and rendered immobile.

Alethin was debating on closing shop and waiting until next full moon when he heard the voices. Alethin closed the wagon before the voices reached the clearing and took the shapes of Remy and a handful of Magistrate Officials.

“Evening ladies and gentlemen! And Remy,” he smirked. “What can I do for you this evening?”

“Well Alethin I’ve heard some interesting rumors,” Remy drawled. “Nothing for you to worry about I’m sure, but we have to check just in case. I’m sure you understand. This isn’t the first time for you.” The unspoken words ‘And it won’t be the last’ hung in the air between them.

“But of course!” Alethin didn’t want to reveal the contents of the wagon just to spite Remy, but he knew a losing battle when he saw one.

He opened his wagon and stepped to the side. He frowned when the Magistrate Officials ignored the rare and questionably obtained eggs to instead focus on the love potions. When they removed a vial from the wagon it transformed. The potion now had a different color and appearance and the shape of the container had altered. Why hadn’t Alethin thought to remove the vial from the wagon himself? It was a stupid mistake for him to make.

Alethin was unsurprised when they revealed the potion to be an illegal love potion that has been banned for a long as Alethin could remember. He knew his response made him appear guilty, but the evidence had already condemned him whether he acted surprised or not. Besides, he was too busy trying to remember any detail during his paralysis that would help him uncover who had set him up.

He quickly scrawled some notes while the Officials gathered up all the vials. They allowed him to secure his wagon before taking him. He didn’t put up a fuss when they locked him away since he didn’t plan on being there very long. Adela knew what to do.

Adela stuck around the wagon for the night to make sure Alethin’s customers received his notes. The next day Adela made her way into the Artificer’s Shop and left with a little trinket wrapped in her coils. It took a few days before the activity around Alethin’s cell died down enough for her to sneak in one night and leave him a present. During those days, Adela moved throughout the Keep Gardens and rooms searching for clues on who set them up.

Alethin woke to discover a little snake trinket hidden in one of his pockets. A trinket that could transform into different keys with the right persuasion. He made his escape that morning under the predawn quiet, most magi still sound asleep in their rooms at the Keep.
25/25 gifts. Thank you all so much! Happy Magiversary!! <3
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Plutonic
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