(1311-03-16) The Harbourmaster's Files
Summary: Marco visits the Harbourmaster to investigate the attack on Helene.
RL Date: March 16, 2019
Related: Cutthroats, Crooks and Conmen Plot

The Office of the Harbourmaster

The Harbourmasters office is open long days, from early morning until after sun down, though Matthieu Delante, the Harbourmaster is only there from sun up until suppertime. The dock is busiest first thing, but later in the day is when there is time for accounts, and all the other affairs of running a bustling port. He leaves a meeting with the navy and returns to his own office around 5 in the afternoon, just another hour or two to finish things up before going home for the night.

Marco shows up in this later time when someone's trying to finish their day's work. He has a few people sprinkled around watching. Marco arrives with a couple of guards who wait outside. He knocks on the door, "Matthieu Delante?" He asks mildly studying the other man watching and considering.

The older man looks up from his work, and rises to his feet at the sight of the man, "Indeed, and how can I help you today?" He has a loud voice, broad shoulders, and the countenance of a man who is used to being listened to, likely from all the way across the dockyards.

Marco smiles pleasantly but his eyes are sharply studying and watching with interest. "Marco de Mereliot. I hear there's been a few vicious attacks of late and I'm looking into them. On behalf of Her Grace I was looking into the matter of the attack on Lady Helene Verreulie, I hear she had a meeting hear earlier. I was interested in what you knew of the incident." He offers mildly.

Delante gestures towards a comfortably armchair that faces his desk, inviting Marco to sit and goes around to pour two glasses of a heady, spicy liqueur, passing one to Marco. It is not the finest ever, but still of good quality, and warms the tongue against the still cool weather. "Well Lord Marco, I know she was here right beforehand. Beyond what we talked about here, I don't know anything to be honest. It came as a hell of a surprised to me. I've been dealing with the Baroness and her family for years, well her family for years, been working with her since she got here last summer."

Marco drops himself into a seat and he tilts a head taking up the liquer. He inhales a bit and sips just a bit not much but enough to taste. "And what state was she in when she left? Why don't you tell me about her visit. Is there any reason you have to think she would be acting oddly." Marco clearly trying to gauge the harbormaster's helpfulness.

"Odd? Not at all, unless you count her actually leaving me to manage the port, and not just meddling herself," Delante answers with a bark like laugh as he settles back down. "You've heard about the issues around the oprt altely? some smuggling, the black market a bit more active than usual? That was all we talked about. She brought me some information from the port her family runs up the coast in Siovale - her brother thinks there is a ring working out of Marsilikos. I said I would look into it all, and she left. Last time I saw her before that was when we caught the bastard dockmaster stealing shipments… which reminds me…" He takes out a key and opens his desk drawer, removing a small wooden box, "I have to get these back to the Luthier. Hopefully they are all there, but it's what we recoverd. Boy himself had already cleared off."

Marco smiles wanly at the first comment and the laugh. "I've been hearing more. I've been considering taking a more active look at it. And what do you make of the information she brought? Would it be sufficient justification to have her attacked?" He asks watching the box removed and the key and where he kept it, "Might I see those?" He asks curiously rising to move towards the box.

Delante checks the clasp, and then tosses the box over to Marco. It's small, lined with velvet and contains a variety of small gemstones including ruby and fire opals, "Roxane Mereliot no Eglantine, so a relation of yours I expect, asked me a while bakc to recommend a ship to bring some goods from the eastern end, Ephesium, and I recommended the Pegasus. Well when it arrived, and she came to colelct, the box was missing. I've known that Captain for years and he's a bugger sure, but an honest one. turns out Paul - new dockmaster I hired a month and a half ago - was skimming small shipments. I took a few of the stevedores to his lodgings, but he'd cleared out in a hurry, and we found a few things that'd gone missing lately."

Marco murmurs, "Roxane…" He considers that and he studies the gemstones inspecting each cursorily before tucking them back in, "I see." He muses slowly and closing the box again, "And do you think this might be related to the ring she suspected? I mean a brazen attack on a noblewoman in the area seems… to indicate quite a bit of disregard for the local authority."

<FS3> Marco rolls Mind+perception: Great Success. (8 8 4 5 8 8 1 4 3 5 2)

Delante seems to be entirely honest, and answers, "It would be as good a reason as any I think. She came over here and dropped her stuf off, and swore she'd keep out of it though. I don't really know how or why anyone would know how much she game me."

Marco shrugs, "She seems to have that bad luck." He says grimly as he studies Delante, "Is there anyone who would have known after she left here what was said? Or who might have enough sway to get people here? I would imagine something of that nature has to be talked about."

"Well she wasn't exactly quiet about looking into the theft since it was right out there, but beyond that? I'd say only my office, and the officers who would have been here at the time. No, I started going through things after the attack too, and I bet some other folks here at the port would hve put two and two together," Delante answers, "but that was after the attack. I…" He heistates there, looking over to a folio on his desk.

<FS3> Marco rolls Investigation: Good Success. (7 5 5 6 5 1 3 8 7 6 1 4)

Marco nods at that slowly, "I see. I'd like a list of the members of your officers and those who had access to your office at the time. I'd like to speak to each of them. What have you found since then?" He asks as he looks to the folio, "Is that it?" He asks reaching for it curioisly.

"Well we will have to check the wage logs to see who has been in, but yeah, this is what se gave me, and what i know myself. I haven't had that much time to go poking around since the morning after. The port keeps running, and I'm short staffed," Delante tells him as he reaches over and passes Marco the folio. he leans in and more quietly adds, "Here's the thing. I didn't find everything that's been reported mising. I keep a log you know, owhen people say their shipment didn't arrive when it should or on the ship it was supposed to. Usually I find out after the ship's already left port, but it's possible some of the others are related to it. I've been meaning to go through it and see what links I can make, but frankly, I haven't had time."

Marco takes up the folio and studies it particularly the parts of the missing objects looking for anything that stands out. "I see." He admits quietly seeming irritated but not overly blaming the man, "IF anyone asks I was a distraught young nobleman enamored with the lady, yes?" He says fixing the harbourmaster with a glare, "Get the wage logs now and I'll take the list and then I can get out of your hair. I'll have one of my people check in every few days ostensibly to negotiate some berthing rights in the harbor, if you hear or one let them know."

Delante nods, but reaches back for the folio, "You can copy anything you like Lord Marco, the the log of missing goods, and the wage logs need to stay in this office. I keep them locked when I am not in here, but well, without thoe logs we won't know who is owed what, or who something belongs to if it does turn up."

Marco inclines his head, "I'm fine with copies. Nothing wrong with keeping them secure. WHo has access when they're locked away?" He asks with some concern though.

"Me and the banker we use, and that is it. I have a deputy who comes to get the keys when i'm sick, but the logs themselves are secure, same with this folio, though that i can part with," Delante assures Marco. "Whoever did this did not get the information the Baronesse gave me."

Marco considers that, "The banker?" He asks and he nods, "That is… good. You should also assume that it may become a risk." He gets out his own paper to begin writing down who was in at the time so he can gather statements. He points out to Delante, "But if they're the ones she was looking into… they don't need the information."

Delante chuckles and shakes his head, "They don't need to know what she needs to know. They might want to know how much she already knows. But take the rest. I know there are a few other people looking into this, peolpe the Baroness trusts, so you might want to talk to them. Oh, and in case you do not know - don't trust anything with her seal on it." So while he was being honest before, apparentl;y the Harbourmaster did keep a few things back until he was more confident of the newcomer.

Marco agrees, "They might." He admits, "I will." He studies Delante at that quietly, "Indeed." He says rising. "I'm sure I'll be around if you think of anything else harbourmaster." He says to the other man watching him. He collects his notes then, "And be safe, it seems a risky time to be someone in the know."

"why do you think I'm so happy to let you be in the know instead? I have five children at home Lord Marco," Delante answers 2with a wry grin.

Marco inclines his head, "Keep them safe then." He says encouragingly, "Thank you for your time Harbormaster I'll let you get back to your books and them. We'll be in touch." He offers tucking away the copy of the missing items log and the wage log for the day in question."

<FS3> Marco rolls Investigation: Good Success. (5 3 4 7 5 1 6 3 1 4 3 7)

Going through the ogs a few things jump out at Marco. Firstly, there seems to be a pattern to when high value shipments go missing, and three names stand out for him to look into Fernand Q. Lionel V. and someone listed as Raymond T. The wage slips only include a full last anme where necessary and these seem to not have needed them. Secondly, the increase in missing goods is gradual, but seems to start about six months back. Thirdly, there are a few lines added here and there in a different hand, far messier than the Harbourmasters clear, round handwriting.

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