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The One That Got Away

Astrid’s Journal

15 Lamashan 4709 AR

Tythe and I got changed back into more familiar attire and headed back down to the Griffin’s tavern area. We were quite pleased with our performance for the evening and decided to get started on some serious drinking while we waited for Zandu and Salma to return. We did not have too long to wait— moments later Salma stumbled in, bloody and angry, adding that Zandu was dead, our patron was dead, and our delivery had been kidnapped. The part of me that had been consuming way too much dwarven ale suggested that we would likely not be getting paid if our patron was dead, and with a look of incredulity on her face, she pointed out her disheveled look and repeated that Zandu was dead. I used a small trick I’d learned from my clan’s skald to clean her clothes, but that seemed to upset her more and she stomped off to our room. A tall, lanky redhead at the next table over (who had been, as near as we could tell, carving his initials into the top of a wooden table with the end of a flail) offered his assistance. Not wanting to face Salma’s wrath till we’d had another round, we told him which room was ours and handed him a mug of ale to take up to her.

A moment later we heard what sounded like some crashing around and the call of the town guard above us… ? in a variety of confusing accents. Running upstairs, we found that the fellow had tried to coax her to open the door by announcing himself as the local constabulary, with the result that she had jumped out a window. Tythe and I were going to attempt to follow her, but the redhead, who we eventually learned goes by the name of Deaglan, is an expert tracker and offered to go collect her. We figured that sounded pretty good (and it would give me some time to sober up while Tythe finished her rum).

They came back soon after, Deaglan had shot one of two men that were stalking Salma (and been poisoned in the process). The other stalker had disappeared after twisting a ring, which Salma said was how the people that had kidnapped Lucinda and killed Zandu had made their getaway. They showed Tythe and me the ring they pulled off the dead stalker— it was silver with a skull on it. Tythe tried it on, and said “did they twist it like this?” and disappeared!

We stood there stunned for a moment, and then I asked where Zandu’s dog was. Luckily for us, the innkeeper had been watching it and was quite happy to turn the animal over to us. I gave the dog one of Tythe’s garments to smell, hoping it could track her, but without a starting point, it was too confused. Then I thought we could have the dog smell the body of the slain stalker and go back from wherever he’d come from, hoping that the ring would have teleported Tythe there. We got close enough to the crime scene to discover it was a crime scene— the dog and I got close enough to ask a town guard what had happened, and learned that they were examining the fletching on the arrows sticking out of the dead body. I could not get the dog any closer, but it was able to pick up the scent and follow it. As we walked, I reached over and used one of those skald tricks to change the color of the fletching on Deaglan’s arrows— I figure I am saving the town guard some time and lives by not having them get mixed up with this network of teleporting, kidnapping, murdering thugs, and Deaglan, who seems good at tracking, but a bit confused on how to cover tracks.

The dog did a good job of tracking the assailant’s route in reverse. Still, we were quite surprised to find ourselves standing at the basement door to Goodwife Thestra’s home again. We decided to let her know we were back rather than sneaking in, and the elderly gentleman that answered the door and after we explained what we were doing said he’d let Goodwife Thestra know that we were poking around down there again.

The town guard had apparently boarded up the tunnel we had found yesterday, and the thugs had removed the boards in turn. We let the dog lead the way, wandering through tunnels and rubble. Eventually we stopped, hearing chuckling ahead of us and seeing a glowing figure passing by, seemingly unaware of us. Moments later though, we found some undead that were aware of us; I sang and pulled out my claymore and the three of us quickly dispatched the zombies….

Posted by Kristin on January 22, 2009, 18:48 | Astrid’s Journal