Without a Trace
My favorite assistant! I have just the task for you. One of your alchemical prowess may scoff upon hearing it, but reserve your judgment─only you, who has touched the pinnacle of our art, can accomplish it.
I must ask you to deliver a report to a friend. Deitrich can help you with the minutiae─the who, the what, and so on. Now go, go!
Deitrich, Deitrich, take it up with Deitrich!
So he foisted it upon you, I see. Here is the certificate of appraisement for Wiltwaek.
Did the guildmaster not...? No? <sigh> Why do I ask? Well, Wiltwaek is a member of the Adventurers' Guild, and responsible for keeping the peace in Revenant's Toll.
He recently asked Master Severian to analyze evidence left behind at some crime scene. I just handed you the results.
I think the guildmaster gave you the task because he could not be bothere─ Ahem. Excuse me. Because he trusts your skill as an alchemist.
You shouldn't have any trouble finding Wiltwaek. He is a rather large fellow, and never goes anywhere without his assistant.
Hello, hello! In search of Wiltwaek? Well, you found him! He's right here.
I can't talk just now, sir. I'm waiting for a letter from the Alchemists' Guild. Damned thing should've been here by now...
You're Severian's assistant? How do you do, friend? I'm Wiltwaek, and this is my companion, Chanene.
Now, what does your guildmaster...? Aha, just as I suspected─alchemy!
It's a queer business, this string of disappearances. There's some crew on the loose, I tell you!
But that's all we can say. They've stolen from sealed coffers and snatched men from locked rooms...but how? Why? We don't even have a clue what they do with their victims.
Though perhaps Severian has given us one. He identified our evidence as an alchemical catalyst. Whoever our villains, they're using your arts, friend. So it's a bloody good thing you're here to help!
...You're just the messenger, aren't you? Will he be coming later, then─the consultant we asked for?
No, no, there's a note from Severian: “The man I've sent is the guild's finest. He has earned my trust and admiration as an assistant, and I have no doubt he will be of the utmost help to you.”
Goodness me! A compliment from Master Severian is a compliment indeed!
Yes, we are happy to have you as our consulting alchemist. This case is just begun, and we will have need of your intellect soon. The game, Forename, is very much afoot!