The Hanorian Perfumier

The setting is a tall (four storey plus garret) town villa that sits on the corner of Mouse Street and Haymarket in the city of Cadion, capital of New Eden. It is has a main entrance that lets into a central courtyard and stairs rising within. At the front of the property is the shop entrance for a perfumier and on each level, on the street facing side is the Perfumier's rooms. Overlooking the courtyard at the back of the property are rooms that are hired out to a mixed company of tenants, one of whom is an artist whose star is rising: Danton Cartier.

Cartier has lived here for many years and knows the place well, he has recently hired all of the available rooms on his level and hopes to bring a better class of client to his suite. However he is much chagrined by the new wife that the Perfumier has taken. She will be his sixth wife, with none of the previous ones surviving and whilst he is not keen on the distinct whiff of scandal that the marriage has brought, his biggest complaint is of the noise that he has to endure every night. At the moment it is the noisy lovemaking but he knows that it wont be long before the weeping begins - the pattern is the same as before and he anticipates another couple of months without sleep.

Is there anything that can be done? Danton has to work in the daylight and must have his sleep but he has not got the resources to sleep elsewhere. Should the players agree to help he might be prepared to put their faces into the crowd in a new triptych he is preparing for the Abbot.

The Perfumier is a Hanorian named Rodresh Honeywell, he also crafts cosmetics, medicines and certain matrimonial elixirs. Certainly the rumours that the eighty year-old widower has exhausted his five previous wives has not hurt business and he enjoys a considerable wealth. According to Hanorian custom his wife is never seen as she always wears a heavy veil in public, however she is of course rumoured to be a fabulous beauty.

Producing cosmetics and perfumes also means that the perfumier takes some business as a mortician, however despite the fact that he has heavy bodies to lift, he employs only a single servant, the giant mute Gondrion. The local fire department take excellent subsides from the business and his security is never troubled. There are a great many significant citizens of Cadion who take advantages of his medicines and they would also not be interested in seeing the Perfumier's business disturbed.

The Perfumier is in fact a necromancer - his previous wives have all married on his holidays abroad and have hoped to outlive him and inherit his considerable wealth. They have however ended their days acting as little more than servants in the company of his mindless undead wives until driven to suicide. He has in theory done nothing illegal, having always invited the constables in to examine the dead wife and reclaimed the body when it has been released by the investigating authorities.

Other residents in the villa include an ancient, almost deaf crone who serves as the building's janitor and concierge, three foundry workers who work the night shift save for Sundays when they drink themselves into a stupor and on the garret floor a family of eight who are too far removed from the noises to be concerned. Other significant players include:

  • Extremely earnest and rather gullible Constable Sethron who's beat this is
  • The head of the local Office of the Peace, Justice Long who has already once had a close call with mob rule and will not make an unpopular decision.
  • Shakey Jonas, protection racketeer and fireman who will not want to hear that one of his most valuable clients is being troubled.
  • There are several notable men - local businessmen and their wives with a small amount of affluence who have been customers of the Perfumier and who would rather not have their laundry aired in public.

Development

As the players investigations start to home in on the truth, the perfumier takes steps to protect himself. In the first instance a new fireman steps into the gap that has appeared after the disappearance of Shakey Jonas. The Cockerel is a swaggering thug who wears much of his earnings in assorted bling. He comes with a collection of thugs similar to Shakey Jonas but is less direct than his predecessor. The Cockerel is not above framing the players for murder if they give him time to set things up. He will have a couple of lads earning a penny as they keep an eye on his wealthy new client.

In the meantime, the perfumier has paid for a couple of armed guards with gleaming silvered halberds and outlandish highly polished plate mail to flank his doorway, and Justice Long will be invited to dine in the chambers above the shop on the following evening.

It would not be unreasonable for the party to give up at this juncture - if they do then six months pass and by pure coincidence, the players are deputised to act under Constable Sethron, called in to have the paperwork signed off on the death warrant for his latest wife, dead after consuming a flask of acid. They might have the opportunity to slip away from the scene and make mischief.

Other scenes that might occur:

  • The Cockerel has them followed and ambushed in numbers
  • The Perfumier summons a abyssal ghoul to track them down
  • Constable Sethron warns them off the scene having received a complaint from Justice Long
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