That morning, the party split into two, Turin and Jeb going to meet with the
Lord-Mayor and Markas, Ogwu Onu and Cazna investigating Keygan Ghelve.
Cauldron’s City hall is easily found, the large building occupying the southwestern part of the city where the noble villas reside.
Jeb and Turin walk down a purple carpet and into the building, with guards everywhere. They come to an intersection of sorts, with several sets of doors on every side. A pair of guards standing by a door on the northern end eye them.
Guard asks, regarding the pair warily.
Jeb: Hired adventurers, seekin’ appointed audience with his mayorship.
Turin: “Ah, good afternoon! We er….” Turin says before being cut off by Jeb
Guard: Hnn. You have papers?
Turin: Yes, that.
Jeb: Nawp. We just got sent here on word by Mulnis Lenz.
Jeb: Yawp. We got these here letters from Mulnis Lenz*
Turin: Well, Mr. Lenz gave us these letters. I think they should suffice.
Turin: He says smiling
Guard holds out his hand for the letter and looks it over without breaking the seal, then hands it back.
Guard: Right this way.
Turin: Thank you
The guards step to the side and push open the large double doors, revealing an office in the back of the room. A man is seated at a desk pouring over a large stack of papers.
Jeb hums a simple tune all the while observing the building and inhabitants as he’s escorted.
The guards usher Turin and Jeb in, and close the doors behind them. The man does not seem to hear the doors opening, still quite busy with his work. He dips his quill in a vial of ink, signing a few papers.
Turin: Approaches the man at the desk, striding up as best he is able (without letting his old armor clank)
Turin: Good afternoon.
The carpeting in the room somewhat dulls the impact of Turin’s mailed boots. The man at the desk does not respond for a moment, signing a paper and neatly placing it in a tray. He looks up.
Desk Jockey: Yes?
Jeb stands idly behind Turin, smiling.
Turin: My name is Turin t-....err and this my adventuring companion, Jeb. We’ve come a long way to meet with you, we were sent by a Mr. Lenz with the promise of adventuring work.
Desk Jockey : A smile tugs at the corner of the man’s mouth at the mention of the name.
Desk Jockey: Ah, I see.
Desk Jockey looks the party over, his keen blue eyes resting on the letter. He holds out his hand for it.reccomendation
Desk Jockey : He quickly breaks the seal and reads the letter upon receiving it.
Desk Jockey: You come highly recommended it seems. I do believe I have work for men of your obvious caliber.
Jeb (Internal): Please don’t be farmwork. Please don’t be farm work. Please don’t be farm work.
Desk Jockey: How many of you did you say there were?
Desk Jockey retrieves a piece of paper and looks it over, glancing at Jeb and Turin.
Turin: There are 5 of us, the other 3 are busy dealing with some business with the recent kidnappings.
Desk Jockey: I wish you luck with that then. The guard has yet to find a lead.
Desk Jockey frowns.
Jeb smiles. “Ah, so you want us to work on them kids bein’ napped? Already on the case!”
Desk Jockey takes a fresh piece of parchment and begins to write something, speaking as he does.
Turin: I wouldn’t worry. By Helm’s blessing, we’ll find a way.
Turin: He says, beating his fist on his chest
Desk Jockey: There is a funeral procession to take place today in “honor” of the crimson killer.
Desk Jockey says, still writing. He finishes up and seals the letter with wax holding it up.
Desk Jockey: You are to escort it to the graveyard. Report to the guard barracks and give the commander this note.
Desk Jockey: Bring as many capable hands as you have. We don’t need any trouble with all that’s happened.
Turin: Very well! It’s certainly a start. Helm’s blessing be upon you.
Turin: Takes the sealed letter
Desk Jockey: And you Ser knight.
Desk Jockey nods, then turns back to his paperwork, forgetting about the two men immediately.
Turin: Come on Jeb, lets see if we can find the others back at the inn. Hopefully they have a lead!
Jeb: There’s focus, right there.
Jeb: Let’s git on.
Turin: Aye, dedicated one. Never was one for the books myself…always preferred yard training….
Turin: Slaps Jeb on the back and heads towards the door
The room is filled with the rapid sound of quill on parchment as the duo exits. The guards close the door behind them again and watch them leave, looking rather bored.
Having traded one letter for another, Jeb and Turin return to the drowning Morkoth Inn, finding it more lively than when they left. Their companions have yet to arrive however.
Jeb: So go on, Turin, read that letter, would ya?
The uproar caused by Ogwu Onu’s round of ale seems to have died down and the inn is fulled with people seeking shelter from the jungle sun, enjoying cold southern ale.
Turin: I think it’s for the Commander of the Guard. I’ll keep it sealed for now, we can go over the details with the others once we get there.
Turin: For now, how about I get you a pint?
Turin says smiling, heading towards the bar without word from his friend
Halpeen Welvihkt: Back so soon friend?
Halpeen Welvihkt calls out upon seeing Turin makes his way towards the bar.
Turin: Aye, we’ve had some surprising success for once! We got ourselves some work!.
Turin: Two pints to celebrate if you would Halpeen.
Jeb: From Lenz, no less!
Halpeen Welvihkt: Aye, I knew it wouldn’t be long. Why the sight of you surely makes wenches swoon and lords lay quests at your feet!
Halpeen Welvihkt pours a pairs of ales from the tap and sets them on the counter without any prompt.
At around this time, the rest of the party arrives outside the inn with their wine soaked cargo.
Markas wipes sweat off his forehead “Finally here, I was afraid someone would stop us.”
Ogwu Onu grins at Markas. “I told you it would work… we should have taken his carpet though.”
Though the prone “man” laying upon the horse did raise some concerns with the guard, the strong scent of wine dissuaded any serious inquiries by the guard on the way back to the inn. Indeed, most of the stares were directed at Ogwu Onu and Cazna.
Markas grins back “At least some rope, for once it wakes up. I wonder if Turin and Jeb made it back yet.”
Ogwu Onu: Bah. Rope. If he broke his legs and arms, he would make less of a fuss. And save us the effort of getting rope.
Ogwu Onu smirks at the creature. “And besides, he stabbed me in my thigh. I think I should be allowed to have some revenge. Aside from what we are currently doing.”
Markas: There is no sense in maiming something that is incapacitated.
Ogwu Onu: If that were the case, then why would we also worry of binding it?
Ogwu Onu: ...I am merely thinking of the coin we could save without the rope. If you are most charitable, Markas, you may buy it.
Markas frowns “We will need the rope anyways if we are venturing underground.”
Ogwu Onu: For a rat.
Markas: Do not forget the children.
Ogwu Onu: ...You know, the gnome seemed to care more for that rat than the children.
Ogwu Onu: DAMNATION!
Ogwu Onu smacks his forehead.
Ogwu Onu: He probably had chains.
Ogwu Onu: We could’ve demanded chains and locks from the gnome.
Ogwu Onu: Save us the hassle of rope-finding!
Markas sighs “Yes, I suppose we could have. In any case, we should bring this fellow in off the street.”
Loitering outside the inn is earning the party odd looks from passers-by and patrons entering the inn. The city is well awake now, the sun soon to reach it’s apex and beginning to crush those foolish enough to stand under it’s glare.
Markas moves over to Baron and grabs a hold of the creature “Will you help me?”
Ogwu Onu: Of course.
Ogwu Onu grabs the creature roughly and grumbles. “Does it look strange to be carrying a drunkard into a drinking bar?”
Markas: Of course not, we are just brining our worn out friend up to his room to rest.
Markas hefts his end down and begins towards the building
Inside, the party is reunited. The inn is more than half full, with many familiar faces, such as the patrons from the last night, patch the half-orc employee at the orphanage and Grigor Marsk, the party’s guide into cauldron, who now enjoys and ale and a game of darts with some boisterous fellows.
Markas: Ah, there are Turin and Jeb.
Turin: Ah, good to see you all!
A few people turn around upon the trio’s entrance, eyeing the unconscious man.
Jeb: Ho! We got in good with the mayor.
Turin raises his tankard to the group and smiles widely
Jeb says as the party reaches conversation distance.
Ogwu Onu drops his side of the creature on the ground. “He’s a drunk. Stop looking at him. reccomendation”
Ogwu Onu: We spoke to a gnome.
Markas warily glances around “Mayhaps we should continue this after we have put our “friend” to bed.”
Turin whispering to Ogwu; “So…who’s this “drunk?”
Ogwu Onu grins at Turin. “A very interesting friend of mine.”
Patron: Worse sunburn I ever seen.
Drunk: Blacker thn’ a drow!
Ogwu Onu lifts up his side of the creature again. “Let’s go drop him off in the room then before some drunkard makes a pass at it.”
Turin: Ha! Sounds sensible. Come on, I’ll give you a hand with him.
Markas continues towards the rooms “Yes, we have drawn enough attention I think.”
Turin hoists the “drunk” onto his shoulder and takes him to one of the rooms
Halpeen Welvihkt takes a sniff as the party hauls off the unconscious creature by him.
Halpeen Welvihkt: Berduskan Dark. Strong! Keep him on his side, I don’t need anyone choking on his own vomit in my inn.
Halpeen Welvihkt waves off the party, laughing.
Markas nods to the barkeep as they pass “We will try and keep he clean.”
The creature is hauled off to a room without issue, staying limp and very unconscious still.
Turin: You’d better catch us up on the situation then….I’m assuming he’s some sort of lead in our investigation?
Jeb nurses a drink and watches on, silently, his smile softened to a mere smirk in this serious conversation.
Markas: Indeed. They are taking the kidnapped people underground. The lockmaster was extorted to create master keys for them, as the only entrance to the undercity just happens to be under Mr. Keygan’s stair well.
Ogwu Onu: And this thing attacked us, and we have no rope. So I vote we break its limbs so it cannot strangle us in our sleep.
Turin: Ah! That’s a promising start. Though….I worry for the children now.
Ogwu Onu smiles politely. “Also, that we should get a fire poker for when it awakens and we question it for information.”
Markas: What good would questions be when it does not speak common?
Jeb: I’ll just sleep on top of it. I could fall asleep on a bed of rusty nails but if a cricket chirps off key, I wake up.
Turin laughs at Ogwu’s suggestion “That might not be necessary! I’m sure we could just buy some rope!”
Turin: Or use Jeb….whatever works.
Ogwu Onu: Common? There are many languages.
Ogwu Onu: If he is a southerner…and he must be a very far southern southerner, I can speak that which he has to say.
Ogwu Onu shrugs. “Or hit him until he speaks what he needs to say.”
Turin: Cazna, you should take care of finding a rope and keeping a watch on our “friend”.
Turin: In the mean time, I have a some good news for our coffers.
Markas: What sort of news?
While the room is not particularly large, there is enough space for all 4 men and their captive. Cazna has not entered the inn, having likely wandered off again.
Turin: Oh….darn, she’s gone again….
Markas realizes that Cazna is not with them, and shrugs “She will be fine….I hope.”
Ogwu Onu: For that matter, what is her issue? Why does she speak to the horse?
Ogwu Onu folds his arms. “She speaks crazy too. Is she touched?”
Markas: She seems to be touched. Though, she has not been wrong once…
Turin: We’ve yet to figure out why ourselves….I think. The girl is sweet, but not all there I think.
Jeb: S’what I reckon. Don’t worry though. Baron’s a big ol’ steed and seems to like her. She aught to be fine.
Jeb: Plus, with that lance? Eugh.
Turin: Aye, I doubt anything will give her trouble.
Turin: In the meantime….
Ogwu Onu looks around the room, clearly not comforted by any of this. “I am sure nothing can go wrong at all.”
Turin pulls out the sealed scroll given to him by the Mayor
The “man” on the ground is dressed in nothing but a pair of dark brown-greenish pants and a black cloak. It wears no boots or shirt. It smells strongly of wine and it’s breathing is slow and labored.
Turin: We have this.
Markas raises an eyebrow “What is this?”
Ogwu Onu: Oh, that is our friend. Markas crushed its chest in with a big heavy stick…club…thing. And I made it drunk-smelling.
Ogwu Onu: And it has disturbing skin, and we are going to get answers from it or feed it to the wild things….possibly one then the other.
Jeb: Lemme have me a look here.
Jeb To check his skin and if I can make it so he stops dying if he is
Turin looks over curiously at what Jeb is doing
Markas observes Jeb
Jeb whips out a kit from his pack nearby, digging out bandages, cutting implements, tinctures and ointments.
Markas raises his eyebrows in surprise.
Markas: You had all that in your pack?
Ogwu Onu: I have fishhooks if you need them.
The creature seems to have suffered a serious concussion from a large bludgeoning object. It’s head has been bandaged, the cloth held in place with fishhooks. It does not appear to be in immediate danger of dying, but it is unknown when it will wake, if ever.
Jeb answers simply. “Yup. Maybe.”
Jeb: Hmm. Might be ya put em to sleep fer good.
Ogwu Onu: So. Jeb. Should we smash its femurs yet?
Jeb rebandages its head and does what he can for its sunken chest.
Ogwu Onu: If it cannot walk. It cannot pounce upon us. If it has broken arms…or fingers even, it cannot throttle us in our beds. I am worried, and it is easier then rope. Besides, “drunks” often fall down stairs and have accidents.
The creature’s skin seems to shift and change color the longer one stares at it. The color is natural, as far as Jeb can tell, and shows no sign of either mundane affliction or infection.
Markas: I really do not like the talk of all this maiming. It does not sit well with me.
Ogwu Onu throws up his hands and groans. “Northerners.”
Markas: At least as long as it is not a threat.
Turin: Here, use this.
Ogwu Onu: Fine, fine. I suppose we may as well give it the chance to hurt us before we have ample cause to destroy it entirely.
Jeb: Oh! Right!
Turin reaches into his bag and pulls out a large amount of hempen rope, handing it to Markus
Jeb takes 20 on a use rope check to tie up the strange man.
Markas hands the rope to Jeb
Jeb puts away his hemp rope and uses the superior stuff for a total of 27
Markas: Rope! Good thinking Turin.
Turin: Always carry rope, thats what ol’ Yormon taught me.
Ogwu Onu: ...What is a Yormon?
Markas nods in thought “That is good advice.”
Ogwu Onu: It sounds terrifying. Like a big burly skeleton with a ghastly beard and ghost-lighted eyes that sings poems upon the swamp in a little boat.
Ogwu Onu: ...Maybe has an axe.
Markas: Why the poems?
Turin: Yormon? No, he’s scarier then any of that. My mentor, a Dwarf with the largest beard this side of Faerun.
Turin: Not a skeleton, at least not yet.
Jeb: So Ogwu was on the money?
Ogwu Onu: My mother always said that dead things are not scary unless they speak in riddles and poems.
Ogwu Onu amends. “Or are drinking your life away. But many do so after the riddles or poems…So I am told.”
Markas: That would make them no different than Helm, with his blasted riddle.
Ogwu Onu laughs at the remark. “So then… what is on the paper from the Mayor?”
Markas looks over to Turin “Yes, you mentioned something.”
Turin holds the paper up
Turin: We’re to go see the Captain of the Guard. The mayor actually had work for us!
Ogwu Onu: ...Oh, are we going down the pit then?
Turin: He mentioned we’re to protect a funeral procession I think.
Ogwu Onu: ...Wait, what?
Turin: Yes, a murderers he mentioned. The Crimson Killer was it Jeb?
Markas: I do not think we have time. We promised the lockmaster to be back by nightfall, else this fellows friends will come up from underground and kill him and his familiar.
Markas: That seems like something the city guard would do. Do you have any details?
Ogwu Onu: ...Why can the guard not guard the corpse of this Crimson Killer?
Turin: We were to meet with the Guard Captain for further detail.
Turin: Perhaps they are undermanned…
Jeb: Could be that. Let’s git on and fine out, yeah?
Markas moves over to the window and looks out at the sky
Ogwu Onu: Well wait, why would we want to guard the body of a killer? Let the people drag it through the streets and the dogs eat on it… Oh right.
Ogwu Onu: How much are we being paid?
It is not yet noon out, and there is a good five or six hours of sunlight left.
Markas looks back “Who is this Crimson killer?”
Jeb: We’ll find all this out once we talk with the guard captain, I reckon.
Turin: We have no information, the Mayor was….brief with us. How long could this take though? I’m sure we can be there and back by sun down.
Markas nods “Perhaps we should make haste then?”
Jeb heads out after double checking the grey man’s binds.
Jeb gags him, as well.
Ogwu Onu glares at the bound thing. “We should at least break its thumbs…”
Ogwu Onu: But fine. Let us go then.
Now securely bound and gagged in addition of being bludgeoned unconscious, it is unlikely that the creature will be going anywhere under it’s own power.
Turin: Alright then.
Markas follows the others out
More people file into the inn with every passing minute, and the place is nearly full by the time the party descends into the common room.
Ogwu Onu gives Halpeen another two gold pieces. “More drinks. I am cooking in my room. No people please. I don’t trust people around my food.”
Halpeen Welvihkt: Cooking? What? Does my inn seem look like a bakery?
Halpeen Welvihkt calls over the crowd, serving some ales.
Halpeen Welvihkt: Don’t answer that.
Ogwu Onu: Cooking as in…Well, are you from Tashalar?
Markas chuckles “Do you think anyone will head into the room?” he speaks lowly to the others
Another cheer goes out, patrons rushing the bar once more, earning Ogwu Onu a few pats on the back. The noise makes conversation impossible inside.
Turin chuckles “I doubt it will be a problem.”
Markas shakes his head at the commotion and begins working his way through the crowd
Ogwu Onu stiffens as he is pat on the back. “In Tashalar, we cook in private. It is not cause for fires. Do not go in our room. Do not worry. Be happy. More drinks for the people.”
Halpeen Welvihkt starts to say something but is soon too swarmed by patrons grabbing for ales to be able to.
Ogwu Onu attempts to exit the building as quickly and without touching people as best as possible.
Markas shoves his way through and exits as well
The party successfully makes their exit from the Drowning Morkoth without being trampled. Outside, Cazna and Baron are gone and noon approaches.
Ogwu Onu: ...So we are guarding the corpse of a killer for what reason, when and why now?
Markas: That is a good question. Though, I imagine the Helm clerics will not pay for our continued livelihood here.
Turin: To sum this up. If we’re going to save those Children and face….more of those creatures, we need to be prepared.
Ogwu Onu: Yes money. But how much money?
Markas: Well said Turin. How is your leg Ogwu?
Ogwu Onu: It hurts like a nest of howler wasps are buried deep into my crotch.
Ogwu Onu winces and grunts. “I would feel better later. But I am fine now. Let us go and make money.”
Markas: That sounds horribly painful. But if you say you are fine…
Jeb: I’ll take a look at it, if ye need it.
Markas looks over at Turn and Jeb “Did the Mayor say where we could find this Captain?”
Turin: Ahh, the barracks, if I remember rightly.
Ogwu Onu looks at Jeb. ”...Fine, fine.” He then squats and stretches out his leg, making a terrible pained sound like a goat being hit with a stone and reveals a dirty, slashing wound in his leg. In the middle of the street, at noon, he does this.
Turin: Where was that….
Ogwu Onu: You see it then? It looks painful doesn’t it? Shall we move on, or are we to stare at the wonders of my fortitude?
Markas looks with odd amusement at the sight ”...Maybe this isn’t the best place for this…”
Jeb: Naw, s’fine.
Markas looks over at Turin
Markas: He did not mention where the barracks was?
Jeb gets to work, quickly applying bandages, clean wine and sutures to the wound.
Jeb: Taking ten gives that a 17. Heals twice the natural rate.
Ogwu Onu grunts.
Turin: To the North, I think I heard barkeep mention the other night.
Ogwu Onu: Thank you, if I did not know you better I’d think that wine was poison and with my last breath would gnaw out your eyes.
Ogwu Onu grins. “But you are not use to the killing of people.”
Markas: Shall we get moving then? If you two are finished of course.
Jeb: Nope. Scythe, axe and other kinds of cuttin’ implements though? All the time.
Jeb: Let’s git on, yeah.
Ogwu Onu: Yes, let us do this.
Turin: Onward then!
Markas: If we cannot find the place ourselves, we best ask a guard I think.
The party heads north to the barracks. Cauldron’s citizens seem to be in low spirits, perhaps due to the sweltering heat. A thick blanket of fog has begun to descend over the city reducing vision. They find their way to the barracks after a bit of searching.
Outside of the fortified structure of black stone, they see two dozen assembled guards, and, strangely, a hearse.
Markas: That is our funeral I think?
Turin: Looks like things are already underway….we’d best hurry.
Markas nods “Lets find the Captain.”
Turin asks one of the nearby guardsmen where the commander is
Jeb doubles his pace, having not minded the heat.
Ogwu Onu looks at the hearse and pales somewhat. He mumbles. “Better be paid much.”
Markas pats Ogwu on the shoulder “There are far worse things than death.” he whispers
Questioning a guard, the party is directed to Captain Marsk, a tall, sturdy looking man with jet black hair. He wears a breastplate emblazoned with the symbol of the city guard, a peering eye, and a bastard sword at this side.
Captain Marsk gives the party a questioning look when they appear.
Captain Marsk: What’s this about?
Markas looks over at Turin then back to the captain
Turin: Ah, Captain. The name is Turin, and this is Markas, Ogwu and Jeb. We were sent by the mayor to assist with escorting this procession.
Turin says offering the captain a handshake.
Turin also readies the letter given to him
Captain Marsk looks the party over, recognition dawning in his eyes. His expression grows stern but he shakes Turin’s hand nonetheless.
Markas: It is a pleasure to meet you Captain.
Ogwu Onu keeps staring at the hearse. ”...Do you expect much harassment from the people?”
Captain Marsk: With Crimson in there? You’d better believe it.
Captain Marsk glances at Ogwu Onu.
Captain Marsk: Word is you lot cost me three of my men.
Markas frowns “What do you mean?”
Ogwu Onu palms a dagger. “Three men. That is all?”
Captain Marsk grunts, ignoring the questions. He takes the letter and breaks the seal, looking the letter over.
Captain Marsk: More heroes from the the the Sword Coast. I’m not about to turn down the help, we’re shorthanded as it is.
Captain Marsk tucks the letter away.
Captain Marsk: We’re to leave at noon. The men have been briefed so that leaves you.
Captain Marsk motions over to the groups of guards, currently running weapon drills.
Markas: What do you need us to do?
Ogwu Onu: Are you going to explain why you mentioned three men, or are to assume the worst?
Markas whispers to Ogwu “The only three men we have killed were those painted thugs.”
Captain Marsk: Simple. We’re to escort the hearse as it goes around the city. We ‘ll undoubtedly pick up mourners and angry folk who want to burn this the hearse down before we even get to the graveyard.
Captain Marsk starts, ignoring the question still.
Ogwu Onu: If you do not explain yourself, how are we to trust you? You have reason to stab us in the back.
Captain Marsk: Our task, and yours, is to keep the hearse safe and on it’s way until we reach the graveyard. Keep folk back if they try and get to close. And they will.
Markas frowns and folds his arms
Jeb: I’m good, there.
Markas: What has this “Crimson killer” done exactly?
Captain Marsk: That’s all I have to say on the matter. If you have any more questions, Constable Pardesh will answer them.
Captain Marsk motions to the man next to him and walks off.
Turin: ....I don’t like the sound of that….
Turin readies his shield, strapping it to his arm.
Constable Pardesh: Excuse the captain, he’s.. under a lot of stress. I’m Constable Pardesh.
Constable Pardesh says, stepping up.
Ogwu Onu glares at Turin and whispers hoarsely. “This is a trap.”
Jeb: So we’re just a few more walls tween the hearse and the hordes, right?
Markas: I do not like being left in the dark Constable. Whats this about three men, and what has Crimson done to get so much attention?
Constable Pardesh: More or less. This whole procession is a bad idea but the council is set on it.
Constable Pardesh: ....you don’t know?
Constable Pardesh looks at Markas, incredulous.
Markas: We arrived last night.
Ogwu Onu makes a strangling motion with his hands. “Just…tell us.”
Markas: We have only been here less than a day.
Constable Pardesh: Right, that explains it. Well firstly, those three men you killed last night were part of the guard.
Constable Pardesh says quietly, leaning over.
Jeb immediately frowns. “Go on.”
Constable Pardesh: Keep your voice down!
Constable Pardesh glances back to the group of guards.
Markas clicks his tongue “What were guards doing harassing a priest dressed as notorious gang members?”
Turin rubs his head, eyes closed tightly. He groans loudly.
Constable Pardesh: Nilas, Hylum and… Kerlen. We’ve taken the Helmite Acolyte’s account of the events and he’s vouched for what happened, so has the acting high priestess.
Ogwu Onu looks at Turin, then Markas, then Jeb. “I told you. I TOLD YOU. Cannot trust the Guard. Treachery everywhere.”
Jeb: Shut’cher mouth, Ogwu.
Turin glares at Ogwu, looking positively furious
Jeb looks to the guard. “Keep talkin’.”
Constable Pardesh: Still, there’s a lot of people here who aren’t happy about it. Outsiders coming in and killing three of the guard on their first night.
Markas sighs and rubs his head
Ogwu Onu takes a breath. “My apologies for your losses. But how are we to trust anything with so many shadow games about?”
Markas looks around at the other guards as the constable speaks
Constable Pardesh: You understand. I don’t think you’re in danger but I’d keep a low profile after this. Some of the men might be a little too eager to go after you for minor infractions. The three you killed weren’t exactly shining exemplars of the guard. And the captain has expressly forbidden reprisals.
Jeb keeps quiet over his concerns over why they were messing with the priest.
Markas: What sort of guard beats a priest?
Markas says looking around, looking sort of nervous
Constable Pardesh: Don’t start that kind of talk here!
Constable Pardesh says quickly, keeping his voice low.
Ogwu Onu looks at the guards and back to the hearse. “But they did do that. And you seem to know why.”
Turin: Another time for this debate I think. I don’t want to harm any of these men today.
Turin: For now, we’re allies.
Constable Pardesh: The Lord-Mayor seems intent on drawing adventurers here on a regular basis. I can’t say why those three would do that but I do know that the men feel more than a little resentful that adventurers come in and get all the glory and the guard does all the work keeping the city safe. That’s their view of things anyway.
Constable Pardesh: It’ll pass. Probably. Just don’t do anything to draw their ire.
Constable Pardesh: Now for the task at hand…
Markas (muttering): If they do not do anything to draw my ire…
Markas looks up at the Constable “All we have to do is guard the hearse?”
Jeb: Like it’s gon’ be that simple.
Markas sighs “It never is.”
Jeb returns to smiling for a moment, remembers where he is, and settles for a look of boredom.
Ogwu Onu looks at the other guards and smiles brightly. He mumbles to Jeb. “On the upside, I didn’t hurt any of those guards.”
Jeb speaks through grit teeth, “Shut. Up.”
While the guardsmen are being kept busy running weapon drills, it does not stop any of them from glancing towards the party, favoring them with the occasional evil eye.
Turin: Okay, remember everyone, be careful if anyone jumps us. Use shields or the flat of your blades. We don’t want anyone innocent hurt.
Turin leans in “and watch out for the other guards.”
Markas (muttering): Surrounded by people who want to kill us, guarding a casket everyone wants to burn. We have wonderful luck.
Constable Pardesh: A few months ago, before the kidnappings even, a series of brutal murders started. A dozen men and women were found dead, seemingly at random.
Ogwu Onu pulls out his sling and a small bag of rocks.
Markas listens to the explanation
Jeb draws his heavy wooden shield.
Constable Pardesh: People started to dub the one behind it all the crimson killer, for what reason I can’t say. The death toll was 29 people over the course of a few months, ending a few days ago when Lars Tannerson died. He was commander of the eastgate.
Constable Pardesh: We searched for him all this time without luck. A few days ago, Sir Tercival, the paladin protector of the temple of helm dropped the corpse of the man he assured us was the crimson killer on the town hall steps.
Constable Pardesh: We had assumed crimson was behind the disappearances as well, but it doesn’t look like that’s the case now…
Constable Pardesh shakes his head.
Markas: So the crimson killer was this Lars Tannerson fellow?
Jeb: No, just the last victim.
Constable Pardesh: In any case, the Lord-Mayor wanted to have a celebration honoring Sir Tercival, to bolster people’s morale and assure them the threat was over. The paladin wanted nothing to do with it though. Dour man that. I heard he went out into the jungle just after. Which is why we’re stuck having this farce here.
Constable Pardesh motions to the hearse.
Ogwu Onu: ...Oh. Well… Drinks are on me afterwards then. Bitter work makes for thirsty guard.
Constable Pardesh smiles a bit at that.
Constable Pardesh: I’ll take you up on that.
Turin: Well…this is potential mess. What’s the name of the fellow in the cart then?
Ogwu Onu: ...And Constable Pardesh, I need to show you something important once all of this is through.
Jeb: Seems that Tercival had the right idea. Let’s get on with this.
Markas: Are you referring to….?
Markas makes a gesture with his hands
Ogwu Onu: Yes.
Markas nods “Good thinking.”
Ogwu Onu: But let us worry about that later.
The constable is a dark haired, tanned skinned individual, with a slender build and a quick witted look about him.
Constable Pardesh: Right. For now we need to worry about getting this thing to the cemetery without the townsfolk tearing it apart.
Ogwu Onu: Then may I propose something?
Ogwu Onu: Put the coffin on a wagon and take it the back way through town?
Constable Pardesh pulls a map of the city from his belt, and unfurls it. He looks up to Ogwu Onu.
Ogwu Onu: So anyone harassing the hearse doesn’t actually interrupt the situation?
Constable Pardesh: Hmm.
Constable Pardesh smiles.
Ogwu Onu: And we are not the guard… we can ride a wagon without people thinking anything official.
Constable Pardesh: We’d have to put a replacement coffin on there but…
Constable Pardesh: Let me consult with the Captain.
Constable Pardesh turns around, making to go see Captain Marsk.
Ogwu Onu grins at Turin. “Easy money. I like this job… We buy them drinks when we are done. Repair the bad blood. Show Pardesh the thing.”
Markas: I like this plan a lot better than the other one.
Turin: Aye, I think we can work this to our favor if we play it right.
The captain and constable converse for a moment, and Pardesh soon returns with a smile.
Constable Pardesh: The captain thanks you for submitting the plan, however, he would strongly prefer we stick to the original plan.
Constable Pardesh says, apologetically. He seems dissappointed.
Markas sighs “Of course he does.”
Turin: Well…it was worth a shot.
Ogwu Onu shakes his head.
Ogwu Onu: Very well… I suppose we will do what we must then.
Constable Pardesh: I apologize. It seems we will need to go ahead with the original route.
Constable Pardesh sighs. He pulls up the map and shows the party.
Markas looks down at the map
Turin leans over to have a look
Ogwu Onu: Where are we to expect the most resistance?
Jeb takes a gander.
Ogwu Onu: Wait…
Ogwu Onu: Pardesh.
Constable Pardesh: This is the route we will be taking. It should take us through most of the city, save for the villas.
Constable Pardesh looks up towards Ogwu Onu.
Ogwu Onu: Where would those who were directly harmed by the Killer live?
Ogwu Onu: Will we pass by any of their homes…places of work?
Ogwu Onu: They have more reason to seek vengeance then anyone else.
Constable Pardesh: Many people have lost friends, family of late. Not just the murdered, those who’ve had loved ones disappear will be looking for someone or something to blame.
Markas: I do not see what vengeance they could extract on a dead body. Though no one can understand those mad with grief.
Turin: It’s a tricky situation, to be sure.
Jeb: No use mopin’ about. Let’s just prep as best we can, yeah?
Constable Pardesh: Many place the blame for the disappearances at crimson’s feet. Not all of them are… reasonable.
Constable Pardesh looks to Jeb.
Constable Pardesh: Quite so.
Ogwu Onu: Pardesh… wait. What if we could give the people someone to blame? Who is actually at fault?
Markas grips the handle of his mace “Lets get this over with then.”
Ogwu Onu: ...Let’s discuss it later, then.
Ogwu Onu twirls his sling for a moment and takes a breath.
Constable Pardesh: The route has been chosen to make the procession as visible as possible. To say: “The Crimson killer is dead, fear not” We are under pressure from the Lord-Mayor to make sure nothing goes wrong. It seems we are not to deviate from the plan, or route in any way.
Jeb tightens his gauntlet and undoes the holster of his flail.
Constable Pardesh: We will be leaving at noon, once the bell starts ringing. Have you any further concerns.?
Markas: This is a terrible plan.
Markas states flatly
Constable Pardesh: You don’t have to tell me that. We begged the lord-mayor to allow us to reschedule once the fog started to set in but he would have none of it.
Constable Pardesh: But this is our duty and we will see it through.
Constable Pardesh says with finality.
Ogwu Onu looks at Markas. “It is a terrible plan, but on the upside; we are getting paid.”
Jeb: Right, I dun think we actually discussed that part. How much are we gettin’ offa this?
Markas: I suppose you are right.
Constable Pardesh approaches, keeping his voice low.
Constable Pardesh: I took a look at the letter, you are to be rewarded most handsomely. I wouldn’t say anythig here, none of the guard are being paid anywhere near what you will be getting.
Ogwu Onu lowers his voice. “And how much are we being paid?”
Constable Pardesh mouths A hundred gold a piece.
Markas opens his mouth a bit, then closes it
Ogwu Onu groans. “I’ll split it with the lot. After drinks.”
Turin tries to contain a grin “That will do I suppose.”
Jeb smiles and nods. Then he seriousd.
Constable Pardesh: I assume this is meant more of a test by the Lord-Mayor. You can likely assume further employment after you’ve proven your worth.
Ogwu Onu: Now. Let us get this bitter work done with.
Constable Pardesh nods, then goes to prepare the men under his command, leaving the party to their devices.
Markas: I do not like this, it feels like so much could go wrong. The fog does not help.
Ogwu Onu: And the boastful peace-talk could still be made with my plan. I think treachery by the Captain and worse by the citizens. But…we make it through this, we can repair our reputation with the guard.
Turin nods. “I worry as well. The guards will be on edge due to us I fear.”
Markas lowers his voice so only the group can hear “We watch each others backs I think. We can only trust each other at this point.”
As the time to depart draws ever closer, the guard reach the final steps of their preparation. When everything is finally ready, the guardsmen stand in groups on the front and back of the hearse, with a few being placed directly aside it, where the party is to follow as well.
Noon comes and the bell starts tolling, the procession going underway at the loud call of Captain Marsk.
The funeral procession winds it’s way over the persistent fog presently covering Cauldron with a thick blanket of haze. A short distance behind the hearse Carrying Crimson’s body travels another hearse, this one bearing the body of Lars Tannerson, the deceased commander of the eastgate, and Crimson’s final victim.
Markas keeps a watchful eye on the crowd, and tries to watch the guard as well
Ogwu Onu twirls his sling restlessly, waiting to throw a stone at someone.
Turin walks steadily, awkwardly smiling at the crowd
Jeb marches heavily, mailed boots slamming on the pavement with each step as his flail hangs listlessly in his fist.
This second hearse joins in a a short time after the procession begins, as do the man’s family and friends. A large, tense crowd begins to gather around the procession, most being diverted to the back by the guard. Those few guardsmen around the party do not seem overly hostile for whatever reason, perhaps kept in line by Constable Pardesh, who walks not far behind the party.
After an hour of this, with many close calls and attempts by townsfolk get closer to the hearse, the cemetery comes into view, barely visible through the fog.
The fog hangs over the cemetery like a thick blanket, mixing with the cold scent of death to give the funeral proceedings a dark, oppressive pall. Little of the surrounding graveyard is visible through the gloom, although here and there pale gravestones and shadowy crypts stand silent witness to the grim proceedings.
Hundreds of men and women cluster into tight knots across the hillside. Near the center of the crowd, wood and oil have been gathered into a massive pyre that waits to consume the killer’s corpse. A man standing by the pyre gives a signal, and four others start to remove the coffin from the hearse.
Markas: Seems like we reached this without a hitch…
Ogwu Onu: Yes. Nothing has gone wrong. A beautiful day.
Markas: We still breath at least, and we have not had to kill anyone. A win in my books.
Turin: So far so good…the crowd seems pretty calm.
Jeb: Ain’t done yet, folks.
There must be hundreds of people gathered around, awaiting the corpse to be placed at op the pyre. Their moods range from devastated, to mourning, to angry. The guards are a bit nervous, watching the mourners warily.
Constable Pardesh calls out for the pallbearers, the four men slowly approaching the hearse.
Markas watches the crowd “This could go very badly if they all start to riot.”
Suddenly, the oppressive tranquility is shattered by a chorus of screams.
Markas looks around frantically “What was that?!”
Jeb: begins to slowly swing his flail readily, bringing his shield up to sandwich his eyes between it and his half-helm.
To the right of the hearse, people push and scram and attempt to run. A veritable swarm or rats seems to have appeared out of nowhere.
GM: Roll initiative. (Combat Begins)
Turin: Stay Calm Everyone!
Constable Pardesh: Don’t break formation!
Constable Pardesh calls out, heading into the fray.
Ogwu Onu shouts at the people. “STOP SCREAMING. LEAVE IN AN ORDERLY FASHION. DO NOT TRAMPLE, WALK CALMLY. WE WILL DEAL WITH THE RATS!”
The crowd panics, the cacophonous roar of their screams resounding through the graveyard. Ogwu Onu’s words are entirely disregarded, the crowd panicking no more or less, trying to get away from the filthy, biting, filth-ridden vermin.
Markas grabs flint and steel from his pack, and starts the pyre.
A few sparks fly from Markas’ effort, and despite a few people knocking into him in their panic, a light flame starts. Within seconds, the fire courses through the pyre, people screaming and moving away from it.
The swarm of rats seems to react as well, the wave of vermin shuddering away from the flames, rippling like the sea.
Markas: Back vermin!
Another screams resounds through the crowd, this time closer to the party.
Jeb calls out, “Turin!” He points to a black cloaked figure in the back of the crowd.
Markas looks around for the source of the other scream
Jeb charges into the crowd towards the figure, jumping and almost clearing the distance. His feet collide with a man’s torso, cutting his jump short midway.
Behind the party, a loud “HYAH!” is heard. The hearse starts, rushing down the cemetery road. Though the road is mostly empty, one or two people do get trampled underfoot.
Ogwu Onu throws a net at the swarm, and it lands atop a good deal of rats, but due to their side and nimbleness, most of them easilly avoid it.
As the crowd starts to clear, something is visible next to the pyre, a slow moving creature with pallid flesh dead eyes shambles about.
Markas rushes at the creature and swings wildly at it, missing.
The swarm of rats surge forward, towards Jeb but recoiling from the fire. The rats swarm around him, covering every inch of exposed flesh, biting and scratching.
Jeb swings his flail at the oncoming horde, struggling to fight them off and failing, succeeding only in marinating the horde in the blood of their more targetable brethren.
Rats fly in every direction in bloody chunks from the force of Jeb’s blow.
The black figure reached into it’s cloak and brings something under it’s hood. It disappears from view.
Markas: Wait! Get back here you coward!
Markas shouts at where the figure was.
A man in leathers appears, readying a weapon as it retreats down the road.
The undead brutally slams it’s meaty fist into Markas, nearly felling him in one blow.
Markas cries out in pain and falls to his knee
The thug faces Markas, gritting his teeth and seems unsure.
The hearse continues it’s mad dash away from the commotion.
Jeb breaks out from the horde of rats, meeting the damned with his heavy shield. Essentially incorporating his forearm into an uppercut, Jeb knocks the zombie ten feet into the air, right onto the center of the pyre.
Markas coughs out “Ogwu! The robed man…hes still there…!”
The zombie collapses onto the pyre, the flames quickly licking at it’s body.
Ogwu Onu whips out his sling and starts lobbing rocks at rats.
Markas rushes off in the direction the robed figure was “Get….BACK HERE!”
Turin: Too slow!
The zombie attempts to pick itself off the floor, and manages to do so despite being consumed by flames.
Constable Pardesh (Loudly): ..arse
Turin raises up his blade and swings down at the thug.
Constable Pardesh pants, out of breath.
Constable Pardesh (Shouting): The hearse!
Constable Pardesh calls out from somewhere in the crowd.
Jeb turns from the burning corpse, hoping that the damned will rejoin its brethren as he goes to see if he can give it company in the form of a thug. He does so magnificently in the form of a crushed ribcage.
The thug topples to the floor, broken.
Markas pops the cork of a bottle and drains the contents
A cooling freshness washes over Markas’ Body, his wounds closing.
The rats begin to disperse, fleeing in every direction
The flaming piece of undead rushes out of the pyre and collides with Markas. The sickening stench of smoke and charred flesh wills Markas’ nose as it’s burning heat scalds his flesh.
Markas gasps in pain once more
The charred corpse crumples to the ground, finally at rest.
The pyre area is now cleared, the townsfolk having dispersed and the last thread laying on the ground in a smoking heap. The hearse carrying Crimson’s coffin is long gone, leaving only the one containing the killer’s last victim.
Markas glares into the fog, looking into the direction the man ran
The earth of the graveyard is thoroughly stomped, and you see no tracks that could belong to the cloaked figure.
The fog is thick and you cannot see past a few dozen feet. Regardless, you do not see anyone.
Markas: Blasted coward!
Markas screams into the fog
Markas sighs and looks down at the charred corpse at his feet
Markas: My thanks Jeb, you saved me.
Jeb gets back to the road. “You guys report to the constable or captain or whoever you find,” says, picking up his flail and sheathing his knife as he takes off after the hearse. “I’ll go see what’s on with the runaway!”
Jeb doesn’t even respond to the thankful dude.
Markas follows Jeb’s example and runs off into the fog, in the direction the robed man fled
Turin pants exhausted from running back and forth.
Turin: Where’s the hooded one!? He just…vanished!
Markas shouts back over his shoulder “Hes not vanished!”
Ogwu Onu rubs his eyes.
Ogwu Onu: I don’t see him.
Ogwu Onu: Complicated?
Markas continues running north into the fog, after a vanished man
Ogwu Onu chases after Markas holding up his sling and a dagger.
Ogwu Onu: I do not like complicated!
Turin heads West, calling out to the others that he is pursuing the hearse.
The fog is thick and reduces your vision considerably. You see no one ahead, much less the cloaked figure.
Turin: Hail! What on earth happened here!?
Markas continues running north, looking around frantically
Ogwu Onu just looks around. “Markas.”
Ogwu Onu: Markas.
Ogwu Onu: I do not like graveyards.
The more you run forward, the more the commotion behind becomes distant. You soon find yourself unable to see the pyre site behind, or much of anything but graves in front. Your quarry has surely escaped.
Ogwu Onu: I do not like graveyards and not enough guards, and ambushes. And I do not like this.
Ogwu Onu: At all.
Markas sighs “Neither do I. I do not like invisible men and the walking dead either.”
Ogwu Onu: So… Why don’t we leave?
Ogwu Onu: The hearse is gone. Turin is gone. The guard are nowhere to be found.
Markas looks around and strains his ears, listening for their escaped quarry
Ogwu Onu: We can leave. We can go back for help. And have a hard drink. And just… I do not like vanishing men in graveyards and the walking dead.
Ogwu Onu grumbles. “Why couldn’t it have been snakes?”
Markas: We can, but that man didn’t vanish until after all the commotion started. He knows something.
Ogwu Onu: He does. And he clearly has powerful magics!
Ogwu Onu looks Markas up and down. “And I’d like very much not to be killed by a witch.”
Ogwu Onu: ...Man-witch? Witch-man? There is a term for it where I am from, but it does not translate well.
Markas: Wizard, is the word you are looking for I think. Though, there is only one kind that can control the dead.
Ogwu Onu: I know what a wizard is!
Ogwu Onu huffs. “I just did not think they trafficked with corpses.”
Ogwu Onu: And I am relatively sure that quantifies them as something less.
Markas: Necromancer then?
Markas: His magics do no frighten me but….
Ogwu Onu: But they can kill you.
Ogwu Onu: Or at the very least, me.
Markas sighs “I think we have lost him.”
Ogwu Onu (cough): Or that.
Ogwu Onu: So, let us go find Pardesh…discuss the kidnappings. Get paid.
Ogwu Onu: Perhaps not have the guards lynch us and blame us for these things. We are new in town. And they are, as you have seen, not very trustworthy.
Markas lets his shoulders sag “Yes…That would be best. No sense wondering around in the fog.”
Turning to the south, Markas and Ogwu Onu follow the dim light of the pyre back to the pyre ground. They find the place mostly deserted, save for some guards who tend to the wounded.
You hear Constable Pardesh’s voice coming from nearby.
Ogwu Onu cracks his back. “I do however feel, the mayor probably will not pay us for our efforts.”
Markas: The hearse got away. I thought they were just fleeing the commotion.
Constable Pardesh turns to face you. His helmet is gone and a large purplish bruise covers the right side of his face.
Constable Pardesh: There you are! Any news?
Constable Pardesh walks over.
Markas: There was a swarm of rats, and a cloaked figure that vanished. After he vanished, an undead assaulted us.
Ogwu Onu tilts his head towards Markas.
Ogwu Onu: I attempted to get the masses to leave in an orderly fashion. It did not work as intended.
Ogwu Onu: But… Pardesh, I do have a plan to salvage morale.
Constable Pardesh: They resisted my own attempts at order, as you can well see. This situation seems beyond salvage at this point, I will gladly hear anything you have to say.
Ogwu Onu: ...Markas and I have one of the kidnappers beaten half to death with a collapsed chest, tied and bound up in our room in the Morkoth.
Ogwu Onu: We give him to you. You tell the people that during this confusion, you’ve captured one of the criminal scum that has been abducting children. We save morale at the cost of a small lie, we move on.
Ogwu Onu looks around sternly. “Any victory will help the people forget the fear caused today.”
Constable Pardesh furrows his brow.
Markas: I have to warn you, it does not speak common.
Constable Pardesh: You have one of the kidnappers? There are more than one?
Constable Pardesh looks to Markas.
Ogwu Onu: Unfortunately. It would seem so.
Ogwu Onu: We…also know where they are holed up.
Constable Pardesh: Does not sp… How do you know…
Constable Pardesh rubs his neck, then winces.
Markas: Are you alright Constable?
Constable Pardesh: The first trampling is the worst, so they tell me. I’ll live.
Ogwu Onu: Perhaps we best discuss this over drinks and hot mutton. I will buy. For you and any guard who wish to come.
Markas: What about the hearse and Turin? What exactly happened?
Constable Pardesh smiles wearily.
Ogwu Onu: Turin is a knight. I have faith that he can save himself. Perhaps Cazna and her horse are there with him… Stranger things happen.
Constable Pardesh: I’d love nothing more but we still have some work do do here. One of my men grabbed on to the hearse when it fled. Another chased on horseback and was struck down, someone was hidden in the back of the hearse and took shot at the pursuers.
Markas: Where did it flee to?
Ogwu Onu: ...Where is the Captain?
Constable Pardesh: The captain was one of those who chased after the hearse. We have yet to hear from him. I have men searching for the hearse as we speak.
Constable Pardesh sighs.
Ogwu Onu: Mm.
Markas: This could have gone far better.
Ogwu Onu: How many guards are here? Specific numbers.
Markas kicks at a the ground
Constable Pardesh: We had two dozen. Seven are unaccounted for, five went off to search for the hearse. The rest are here.
Ogwu Onu nods. “Very well.”
Constable Pardesh looks around, taking a quick head count then turns to Ogwu Onu and nods.
Ogwu Onu: When I speak to the mayor, and get my pay; three coins to each man here. Four to any…family left behind if it happened.
Constable Pardesh: ...That’s most generous.
Constable Pardesh says, surprised.
Ogwu Onu: And then drinks and food on me. We discuss these kidnappings, we show you this kidnapper and the location.
Markas: How many have been injured?
Ogwu Onu shrugs. “What use is coin to me?”
Constable Pardesh smiles tiredly.
Constable Pardesh: Strange fellows you adventurers. I’ll be most interested in hearing about…
The sound of hooves on stone announce the arrival of a rider long before it is seen through the fog.
Markas looks down the road towards the sound
Markas: Someone coming back with a report…?
A guardsman on horseback comes into view, dismounting rapidly next to the trio, his mount continuing on for a few feet.
Guard: Constable Pardesh!
Constable Pardesh: Any news?
Constable Pardesh says anxiously.
Guard glances at Markas and Ogwu Onu, then at the constable before continuing on.
Markas listens to the report intently
Guard: The hearse has been found. Four of our men have been wounded in pursuit. And… the body is gone.
Markas: Foul news indeed.
Constable Pardesh: The… body…? Why would they?
Constable Pardesh: Ugh.
Constable Pardesh rubs his neck, on the opposite side this time.
Ogwu Onu looks at Markas. “I do not like Necromancer-man-witches.”
Markas frowns “Neither do I.”
Constable Pardesh: Well… this is a disaster.
Constable Pardesh turns to Markas and Ogwu Onu.
Constable Pardesh: It seems there’s not much more for you to do here. Still, I appreciate all your help.
Ogwu Onu: We tried. And if the mayor pays us, I hope I can alleviate some of the bad tidings.
Markas: You are most welcome Constable.
Markas leans closer to Pardesh and whispers “I should also point out the robed man has a means of vanishing from normal sight. He may still be around here somewhere.”
Ogwu Onu: I suppose we must go speak to the Mayor… and oh, that gnome will be dead by tonight if we do not go raid the lair.
Ogwu Onu grumbles and claws at his scalp. “I curse time.”
Constable Pardesh: Robed man… Right you mentioned that. And the gnome… Great Guardian, this is starting to be a bit much to take in.
Markas straightens back up “I suppose we should collect the others and head back to the lockmaster’s. I couldn’t bare the thought of having someone dead on my account.”
Ogwu Onu: ...Wait.
Ogwu Onu grins wickedly. “We can set a trap. If we are willing to risk it.”
Ogwu Onu: ...Or rather the guard are willing to risk it.
Markas nods sympathetically to Pardesh “Its been like this since we got here. I’m surprised we even sl-” he gets cut off by Ogwu
Constable Pardesh raises an eyebrow.
Constable Pardesh: Go on.
Ogwu Onu: We know where they are. We know what they plan to do to Keygan tonight if the one we captured does not report back. It would not be hard for us to stage an ambush.
Ogwu Onu: We just need a way to see the creature in the shadows. So let us do a trick. A good trick.
Ogwu Onu snickers. “A trick my mother taught me.”
Ogwu Onu: We coat the floor in something powderous. And we watch for the footsteps.
Ogwu Onu: And then. We capture that one too.
Ogwu Onu: We buy more time.
Ogwu Onu: We have another to interrogate.
Ogwu Onu: And another day.
Markas: ...From the way Mr. Keygan was speaking, it sounded as though many of them come up at night.
Ogwu Onu: Then we have many guards. And crossbows.
Ogwu Onu: We seal the shop.
Ogwu Onu: We have pots filled with oils.
Ogwu Onu: We have burning bolts.
Ogwu Onu: A trap.
Ogwu Onu: ...Something to consider.
Constable Pardesh: I’m not quite sure I understand all of that, but your enthusiasm is infections. We both have much to do, and two hours before nightfall. Shall we meet somewhere to discuss this further?
Ogwu Onu: Gather the gnome Keygan and have him lock his shop as tight as possible. We meet in the Morkoth.
Markas: My only concern is that if there is enough commotion, the children and Starbrow could be in jeopardy.
Ogwu Onu: The children we worry for. The rat is a secondary concern. Let us try to buy some time. We need all the pieces in one place if we are to deal with this puzzle. Best we do it quickly and keep the gnome safe at the very least.
Constable Pardesh: Keygan Ghelve? From Lava Avenue?
Ogwu Onu takes a breath. “It is just a plan. We do not have to follow my plans.”
Ogwu Onu: That is he.
Ogwu Onu: Gathered him, have him lock up his shop tight; we go to the Morkoth… and bring a guard or two with you, just to be safe.
Markas: True words. Though I swore to bring Starbrow back, I will do all I can to ensure I get it back to him.
Markas: Though the children are the primary, of course.
Constable Pardesh: Alright, that is quite enough information for now, I think. I need time to process this. I will meet you in the Morkoth before sundown.
Markas: May Helm watch over you.
Ogwu Onu: Good. Markas, we should go collect our fee.
Markas: Yes, lets see if we can find Jeb and Turin as well. Maybe Cazna has wandered back to the inn.
Constable Pardesh is called over by some of his men and hustles over to them.