When Samuel and I arrive at Kaldwin's Bridge, he warns me that he won't be able to get us very close to Sokolov's apartment thanks to all of the floodlights the City Watch set up. If we try to get too close, they'll spot us for sure. Luckily, the old boatman says that if I find a way to shut off the floodlights, he can pick me up on the other side of the bridge, so I won't have to walk all the way back. Kidnapping is new territory for me. Then again, so is assassination. The tricky part will be performing the abduction in a way the makes it seem like no outside party was involved. Well, there's no time like the present, which means I'd better get started.
When I exit the boat, the Heart begins to beat, sensing the presence of 1 Rune and 1 Bone Charm. As I climb the steps onto the bridge proper, I see three guards on patrol. Rather than move to their elevation, I decide to teleport to the rafters on the other side of the archway supporting the bridge, and then advance onto the ventilation shafts above. So far, the rooftops have proven to be a time-tested tactic that always gives results, so I see absolutely no reason to stop using them. Unfortunately for me, the main tunnel leading onto the next section of the bridge is sealed for maintenance, and the only other entrance I can see comes in the form of a door passed all the guards. When they've all turned their backs to the door, I seize the initiative and Blink to it, closing it behind me as to remain unseen. Inside the building, I swipe a bit of ore I can have Piero sell, a key labeled “Warehouse” and a schematic that can be used to make my boots quieter.
The only other object that catches my interest is a mine cart. Studying the short railway before me, it seems like I may be able to use the cart to sneak passed all of guards. All it needs is a tank of whale oil, which I take from the top floor and install in the panel next to the cart. With everything ready, I hop into the cart, flip the switch, and duck so that I'm not seen. Touching down, I hop out of the cart and hide behind the boxes in front on me. Rather than advance into the next area, I decide to take the time to get the Rune in this area, abandoning the Bone Charm. Keeping that in mind, I opt to teleport into the abandoned apartment on the other side of the street. I no longer need the Heart to know that the Rune is here, as I can hear it's whispers. I can feel it on the other side of the door in this building, but it's blocked from the other side. Cursing under my breath, I look for another way around. I look out the window and see an alley leading to the other side of the building, conveniently out of sight of the guards. Bingo! There's a chain here I can use to climb onto a balcony leading into the room with the Rune, snatching it up as I arrive.
Unblocking the door, I head onto an awning overlooking the streets, and teleport to a door leading to the drawbridge portion of Kaldwin's Bridge. As I sneak onto an awning, I overhear a noble named Pratchett and a guardsman talking. The noble talks about this plague as a way to make money off of it. That bothers me, so I decide that before I go on with my mission to abduct Sokolov, I'll stop by his home to get him to unknowingly share his riches with me. Teleporting to his second floor balcony, I sneak in. The Heart in my pocket beats like crazy, pointing to a Rune in the safe that I just so happen to want to rob. According to a nearby, and pointlessly cryptic note, the “way to the truth” (read: safe combination) “starts in the crowded streets”, continues to “an anchored whaling ship”, and ends at “the slaughterhouse”. It's when I finish reading the note that I see this guy's impressive art collection, including the painting of a whaling ship in a harbor. The ship has a “7” emblazoned on it's side. Putting everything together in my head, it's immediately obvious that the note refers to specific paintings in the collection. Since the ship was mentioned second, 7 must be the middle number of the combination.
To get the rest of the combination, I head downstairs to find more of his artwork. Luckily, he has his back turned. One of the pieces depicts a slaughterhouse, and in the corner is displayed the number 3, which means that the combination is X-7-3, where X could be a number from 0 to 9. Since I know enough of the combination to brute force it, I decide to retreat back to the safe upstairs. I place the second and third numbers in place, then begin to rotate the first. Once the dial hits 4, I hear a click and the safe opens. I liberate the Rune and 2 gold bars from the safe and close it back up, resetting the dial to 0-0-0. When this plague profiteer next opens this safe, he'll be in for a surprise. Sneaking back out, the Heart beats once more, signifying that another Rune is in the area. Leaning out to scout the area ahead, I see an apartment that is glowing with an eerie light. Combined with the quickening of the Heart's beat, I get the distinct impression that a Rune is in that room.
Rather the risk going into directly, I opt to teleport onto the ventilation shaft on the side of the building. It's then that I see a man walk out and back in, completely unaware of me. Hearing him rant and looking around at the writings on the wall make it obvious that the Rune has twisted his mind, so I summon a swarm of rats to put him out of his misery. It's only when I enter that I small it: the scent of decaying corpse. The notes scattered about indicate that many of his friends and family were murdered out of paranoia that they would steal his Rune. The irony of the situation is not lost on me as I take the Rune from the makeshift Outsider shrine, inadvertently summoning Poncy. Against my deepest wishes, he speaks. “Offering” a brief history lesson, his rantings indicate that prior civilization existed well before ours, and fell when his influence grew too high. Making a sudden, and rather abrupt transition to something more relevant, Poncy starts talking about Sokolov. Confirming rumors that have been spreading around the royal court for years, Poncy depicts the many ways that the royal physician has tried to conjure the Outsider. As obsessed with power as he is, this comes as no surprise. Since Sokolov lacks the Mark that I have, there's really nothing he can do. Ending our little “conservation”, Poncy says that the least Sokolov could do to summon him is to be more interesting. Ugh, why do I have to interesting? If the poor fools wants to talk to Prince Ponce, by all means let him. Hopefully it'll distract them both from me.
Okay, enough detours. It's time the I moved onto my real mission. Rather than use the streets to travel, I move through this building and onto a rooftop that's very high off the ground. From here, I have a great vantage point of the area in front of me. It's from here that I see it... the Arc Pylon. I've been briefed on these. According to the reports, they are similar to Walls of Lights in that when someone who's not a guard gets close enough to them, they will be administered a lethal shock. Luckily, I also spot a route on the right side that is far enough away from the pylon and out of sight of the watchmen, yet keeps me on the the right path. To use this path, I make my way down using the awnings and shafts to the side. It is then that I spot Slackjaw's men. Rather than rush in, it would be smarter to watch and wait to see what happens next.
As I sit on the awning, I overhear the two thugs talk about busting their friend out of jail. It's then that the guards spot them and begin shouting. Though the encounter is decidedly in favor of the watch, Slackjaw's men rush in and are immediately disintegrated by the Arc Pylon. They never stood a chance. I won't make that same mistake. Since charging the post is a very stupid thing to do for multiple reasons, I sneak around using the cover to stay out of sight. Planning this out as I go, I teleport onto the support beams of the bridge and then onto the roof of the guard station, ducking out of sight before the Arc Pylon on the drawbridge has a chance to power up. I'll never be able to proceed as long as that pylon is in working order, so I decide to sneak around to pull the oil tank fueling it out of its socket. Sneaking up a staircase leading to the upper levels, I keep out of sight of the guard patrolling around. If memory serves, the fuel for the lighting system is either up here or on the other side of the drawbridge. If I remove the tanks, than the floodlights will be shut off and Samuel will be able to make the crossing. Rather the risk further patrols, I use a chain to climb up and out of sight.
A quick inspection shows that the tanks aren't on this side, so they need to be on the other. Crossing to the other side of the bridge is only dangerous because I have to expose myself for a short time. I only have a single stack of boxes to use for cover, so timing is crucial. As the guard on patrol turns away, I make my move, silently climbing to the structure above, advancing towards the fuel tanks for the floodlights. Extracting them from the panel does the trick, so I breath a sigh of relief and use the support beams on this side on the bridge as a way to maintain the high ground. Luckily, there are some beams on the buildings in front of me that I can teleport to before the guards look my way. The area beyond is devoid of any life besides the rats, so I proceed onwards....