Master Corydalis raised his eyebrows, bemused. "Certainly. Their main office is on the second floor, at the far end of the Green Hall. There's a sign on the door."
"Great." Smoke backpedaled to the door. "I'll be right back. Thank you. Sorry." They fled down the hall, thinking I am not prepared for this.
The maintenance office did log animal corpse removal, thankfully, and verified that they'd removed a dead rat from the west side of the building, on the outside. Smoke's gatherer had reported three rats as passing through through the wards, and no deaths. So ... it still didn't add up.
Frowning, they started back to their employer's office. A draka enby emerged from the office to call after them: "Excuse me, master enchanter?" Smoke paused, letting the other enby catch up. "You were asking about the rat corpse from this morning?"
"I found it, and it was ... strange. I did cleanup yesterday today, and didn't see it then. But when I found it this morning, it looked like it'd been dead for days, to be honest. I'd've thought a dog or cat had dragged it there and left it, but it was only crow-pecked."
Smoke's frown deepened. "Thank you." That ... didn't make any of this more sensible. They dashed back up the steps to the fourth floor. The kith secretary waved them into the inner office this time.
Master Corydalis sat at a massive desk, reading a report when Smoke stepped inside, but rose with a smile at their arrival. "Good morning, master enchanter. I am Corydalis, master of ceremonies for Courthall." He came around the desk to offer his hand.
His grip was warm and firm but considerate; Smoke hadn't felt this small next to someone since they were a child. It was different with a dragon-form draka: one expected them to be huge. "I'm Smoke. Master enchanter. From Crescent Bay. And you already knew all that. Um. Sorry about running off on you." And this must be the worst first impression I've made on any one since my apprenticeship.
Corydalis's smile widened. "It's a pleasure to meet you, honored. I'm glad to see you are already hard at work on our troubles here. I'd not expected you for a few days, at least. Much less to be already too busy for a meeting. Please, have a seat. Have you uncovered anything already that you wished to share?"
They sank into the chair opposite the draka's. At least he didn't loom so large sitting down. His coloration was still gorgeous, though. Smoke fixed their eyes on the desktop. Focus. "A few things, master of ceremonies. The existing wards at Courthall are a sloppy affair, as I expect you've already surmised."
The draka grimaced. "I hope you're not going to follow that with 'and they need to be replaced entirely.'"
"No." Smoke took a deep breath and raised their eyes to meet Corydalis's. "To be fair, I'm not sure the wards are the cause of your vermin problem. They might be a component, but part of Courthall's problems look like sabotage."
Corydalis sat back in his chair, blonde eyebrows lifted, as he returned Smoke's attention. "I see. What leads you to this conclusion, master enchanter?"
This poll is a little different! I will use all the responses that are sensible and based on things Smoke has observed so far. (They don't have to be specific, it can be 'X happened and made me suspicious'). For responses that seem implausible to me based on Smoke's experiences, I'll roll to see if they gets included anyway, with the roll weighted based on how far-fetched the suggestion is.
I'm on vacation in Seattle for the next four days, so this poll will be open until Tuesday morning.
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