Our heroes meet up in the evening and determine that Masa’s mysterious prowler seems to be Rachel, the neice of the reclusive Rabbi.
They examine the tracks by the observatory and find that there are indeed footprints leading through the wall into the low bushes. The tracks are confusing but Ezekiel thinks they show that the woman turned into a huge snake (proper real-life giant python sized) and slithered off down the hill.
The research turns up some interesting results. The constellation that seems to be the key (a man wrestling a serpent) is incomplete. One of the four stars that constitute the man’s arms has vanished. It takes a lot of effort to track back to when it was last seen but it seems to have been about 18 months ago. This event appears to coincide with the sudden upsurge of magic. Although the mathematics of it is too complex for the others, Tycho Brae believes that the constellation was “pointing” at London when the star disappeared and that it will be in a similar conjunction in another six months. Tycho is getting weaker as his illness progresses. Clara is helping with herbal remedies but he is slowly dying. He seems to believe that the observations are in some way linked to passages in Revelations. The “serpent” in the stars may be linked to the apocalyptic monster. They have come across the phrase “when the serpent rises” a few times during their adventures. It was written about in letters between necromancers and mentioned by the tentacled horror in the basement in Chateau Beauvais.
The next day, Ezekiel and Harry go to meet Rachel in a cafe in the Jewish Quarter. She is accompanied by a couple of bodyguards. One is a huge brute of a man who remains outside. The other, moves like a dancer and keeps his hand on the hilt of his rapier. Rachel again tries to get Ezekiel to tell her if he has any special weaponry for dealing with magical monsters. he remains cagey. She apologises that her uncle does not wish to be disturbed at this time and the interview is over.
Harry and Ezekiel spot that they are being shadowed through the city streets by the wiry bodyguard and they corner him in an alley. They try to intimidate some information (fortunately he speaks some english) out of him about Rachel but only learn that she is a recent arrival, her father died about a year ago and she came to work for her uncle. Now he and his muscular accomplice are now her bodyguards.
They let him go on the basis of professional courtesy. As he didn’t blubber and beg for his life (the usual response to Harry’s intimidation) they are aware that Henrick is more than a mere lackey. They warn him that Rachel may not be who she says she is, but he does not seem unduly concerned.
The next morning, there is uproar in the city as another Golem killing has occurred. An officer of the town militia (known as an oppressor of the jews) has been found murdered in his home.
Ezekiel, Masa and Harry rush to the scene and investigate. At first glance it looks as though the kitchen door was smashed in (traces of clay) and then the victim had his head crushed on the kitchen floor. There are a few more traces of clay and some distinct clay footprints by the door.
Judging by the size and positioning of the footprints the creature would be about 8 feet tall and pretty broad. To have stood where it would have been to deliver the killing blow, it would have been between a table and the stove. There is clay on the edge of the table, but none on the stove. The footprints look fake too. They have crisp edges where there should be a smudge if the creature was walking.
On closer examination of the kitchen door, the lock appears to have been picked before it was smashed open. The blood splatter from the corpse indicates that it took a few hits to crush the head.
The sequence of events seems to be… Somebody picked the lock and sneaked in. The officer came down to the kitchen and was struck on the back of the neck and knocked to the floor. Then his head was smashed by repeated blows with a large hammer. Then the clay was applied to the scene. Finally the door was smashed and the noise drew the attention of the neighbours.
With some difficulty (because of the language barrier) Ezekiel explains all this to the captain of the city militia. [GM: This was not helped by a couple of double-ones!]. The result of the explanations was that a hue and cry went up “there is no Golem!” “It’s a filthy trick!” “Kill the jews!”.
Our heroes suspect that the Rabbi may be innocent and that Rachel (shape-shifting snake woman) might be behind everything. They decide to rush to the Synagogue to prevent a miscarriage of justice. They are only minutes ahead of the mob. Masa rushes to fetch Clara.
They warn the small crowd who are outside the Synagogue and try to convince them to let them in. The two mercenary bodyguards turn up and Ezekiel tells them about the Golem murder and the approaching mob and asks to be let in to speak with the Rabbi.
The bodyguards attack. The big one has a mattock (similar to Harry’s) but it is caked with blood and clay! There is a fight in the entry hall. The bodyguards are tough. Ezekiel is heavily wounded before the mercenaries are taken down. While they were fighting, the raised voice of Rachel could be heard arguing with the Rabbi. Unfortunately they weren’t speaking english.
Harry and Ezekiel drag the mercenaries out and throw them to the crowd (the wiry one is dead but the big one is only unconscious) They are just trying to explain that there is no Golem and that these men did the murders when…