L2: The Assassin’s Knot
Chris (Tiberium), Matt (Barron), Mariel (Leah), Brian (Pyrcival), Leah (Ahira), and Dean (Thic Duc) are returning cast members.
We left the party having separated the local armorsmith from his evil hammer. Arrangements were made to store the hammer at the temple of Osphrem, by way of Harmin, who gave it to Lothario.
The next step was back at the inn, where a close inspection of the host’s vest revealed that he was, in fact, missing a button. When this was pointed out, and the implications made clear, he began asking the staff if they knew what had happened to it. When Tiberium checked on his mount, Strider, he noted that the stableboy seemed nervous around him. A kind word led to a confession: he had stolen Abraham’s button, at the request of an errand boy from the keep named Rogan, in return for a few silver coins. He described Rogan as short but strong, usually dressed in the simple uniform used by the keep’s lowest-ranking employees. Rogan is known around town for running errands both within the keep and sometimes in town, fetching packages or carrying messages. Tiberium pronounced him forgiven after the confession, and made note of the new person of interest. The working theory is that at least some of the evidence was planted to frame inconvenient people in town.
While all of this was going on, a series of townfolk stopped by the inn for lunch. Thic Duc had a conversation with one, a burly man with an emotional support wolf, who listened politely to talk of Pholtus but countered that if there was any single true deity, it was obviously the natural world itself. He seemed easygoing enough. Other guests included an armed man and his wife, dressed well, and a variety of local fishermen who apparently feel that fish are caught at dawn or dusk and never at lunchtime.
After events at the inn, the party made their way (in separate groups) to take in the play. The plot of the production was simple enough: a female lead, played by Balmarrow in quite competent drag as is the theatrical custom, is deposed from her royal inheritance by evil relatives and must plot to regain her throne. The group (Thic Duc, Pyrcival, and Ahira) then used their backstage passes to meet with the lead actor and suspect. He readily admitted, now that he had time to check, that one of his lute strings was missing – not from his lute directly, but from his lute case, where such a theft could have gone unnoticed for some time. Balmarrow mentions he checks his backup strings about once a week, switching from one set to the other so they are not kept constantly strung.
At the end of the show, Tiberium lingered among the crowd, watching for notable personalities. The crowd was too thick to really isolate a sense of real evil, though as a general matter it was clear that the crowd had many who were not saints. One couple did stand out; Arness and Tellish, the mayor and her aide, dressed to the nines to support the local arts. Tiberium greeted them politely and it was returned; small talk was made. Arness offered her assistance with any matter Tiberium was investigating after he mentioned that he was on a mission, and expressed her surprise and grief at the Duke’s murder. His funeral was scheduled for the next evening, she said, and she planned to attend.
Amathar is maintaining a list of clues.
Diary of Pyrzival the Gnome for 1.11.2020
I’m touched. Tib got me some invisible ink and a quill for Belmore. I had totally forgotten about this little religious holiday due to all the excitement going on with the murder and all. How that kid found time to go shopping… Especially when he’s preoccupied with an evil hammer they took from a half orc with anger management issues.
Well, the plot gets thicker! We spoke to Abraham the inn owner, and found he was missing a button, and after some serious conversations with the Minstrel, determined one of his lute strings also went missing. Tiberium managed to locate the thief of the button, and found he stole it for a man named Rogen, or some such name. Rogen is short, either a human midgit, halfling, gnome or dwarf. If he matched the description of the assassin, I’d presume we only had one villian, as it stands, I’m thinking we have a group. Tiberian seems to think we are dealing with an entire guild, which is an unpleasant possibility.
The play was quite good, with the Minstrel playing the lead, a female princess who solves the murder of her father and clears her name so she can take the throne in the meantime. Very well done, and the costuming was astounding. So much so that it appeared the dwarf completely believed there was an actress playing the lead. Which begs the question – if an actor can so completely deceive someone, what can a trained assassin do? Could he have posed as Abraham in Highport? Could he also have posed as the senile old cleric as well?
So far, I suspect that the assassin decided to take the contract, and also to frame three people who have been problems for his guild. So he hired a few dupes to steal incriminating evidence to plant at the scene of the murder. Why the cleric – he’s so senile he seems odd man out. Could the murderer personally gain from his murder? Must find out more about the clergy of the fish god, see who benefits from his removal.
To be continued…
Of the Second Waterday of Patchwall (Pt. II)
With the orc out of harm’s way, Warin and I set off to discuss the hammer with Harmon, whom appears to be the practical High Priest (with Harper’s condition). After some discussion, he agreed that until such time as they are able to destroy the hammer, Osphrem will protect it in their keeping. He called one of his men over, a Groundskeeper called Lothar, whom I’d met earlier. The man was carefully handed the weapon, and told to add to their secure storage; I’d have felt a lot better, had Harmon or Basil taken this on personally, but Lothar has earned their trust, and deserves my respect.
With the hammer in safe keeping, the entire party elected to convene in Warrin and I’s lodging. We were able to catch one another up on any new information and make plans to attend a performance of the local theater. The head of the troupe, and third of our original suspects, had agreed to meet with Pryz afterward, where we hoped to learn if he’s missing any of strings from his lute. On the way to the theater, though, I encountered a young man tending the animals in the stable. I wished to thank you for his work with Strider, as the animal can be difficult and intimidating for some. When I attempted to flag him down, he instead walked away quickly. Catching up, I began thanking him, when he broke down, half in tears. After gentle coaxing and assurance, the child confessed that a man from the keep, Rogan, had paid him to steal a button from Abraham’s vest! I assured the stableboy that Pelor values forgiveness above all, and that in confessing his mistake, he’d be once more in His Warmth. This seemed to calm the boy, and after being handed a few silver pieces, ran off to get back to his duties.
As we walked to the theater, I recalled the conversation to my compatriots, and we discussed the implications. To stay somewhat separate from the group, I’ve gone ahead and been seated separately. The performance was very entertaining, and well-produced. I wish we’d had such a fine troupe in Dunwitch, as it’d go far to relieve the relentless misery of the village.
After the show ended, I lingered behind the crowd, searching for signs of evil, assassins, or anything else out of the ordinary. My eyes were drawn to a couple in the crowd, to whom the surrounding mob seemed to defer. Asking a neighbor, I was informed that this is the local Mayor, Arness, a middle-aged woman with dark hair. Her companion is a man called Tellish. Approximately the same age, the two seemed from afar to know one another well, perhaps having worked together for many years. I approached them to introduce myself. Though they gave me little thought, they were polite and offered their services while I’m in town. I wonder if they’d be inclined to discuss the small man from the keep, Rogan, or his duties/access.
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp Barron: -212gp (2 healing potions and various minor expenses) Treasure: 0gp (gp each)
Base xp for showing up: 100xp each Journal entries, sketches, or baked goods (Pyrcival, Tiberium): 500xp (individually) Clue: Falpir (stableboy at the House of Abraham) was hired by Rogen to steal one of Abraham's buttons (500xp) Clue: Barron talked to Basmar and attempted to arrange a smuggling and assassination (500xp) Clue: Balmarrow says he is missing a golden lute string from his lute case (500xp) Group Total: 2100xp (350xp each)
A ruby was found under the body of the Duke A red leather button was found clutched in the Duke's grasp A golden lute string was found near the entrance to a secret passage leading to the Princess Bride's rooms The Princess claimed she saw a figure fading into blue mist The Princess's wedding dress was torn
Roleplaying moments and quotables
Dangling Threads of Fate
The Duke of Highport is dead, killed on his wedding night, in a locked room alone with the Princess Purity (Tiberium's sword) has mentioned some sort of centuries-old prophecy The Princess seems to want more adventure, and told Barron a few things that might be important... Pyro has fallen in battle... How to invest your ill-gotten gains...