Whilst stopping over in Tamrevina on their way to Leipestadt, our heroes stumble across a murder. As the heroes are about to find out, there is certainly more to this than meets the eye…
Having been out for most of the morning investigating the city, Ando returns to meet with the Kalisa and Rurrt at the inn. Having relayed what he had learnt, Rurrt and Kalisa decide to venture out in order to find out more information about the corrupt Harbourmaster whilst Ando takes the afternoon to prepare for his evening performance.
Kalisa and Rurrt start talking with some of the more shadier characters around town and soon meet with a street urchin who, for 10 gold, agrees to show them what they are looking for – the Harbour-master’s home. After a short negotiation, the man shows the two there whereabouts of the house. Not believing the man, the two keep that to themselves for the moment.
Other than what they learnt from the street urchin, Kalisa and Rurrt discover nothing that Ando had not already told them. As the afternoon light begins to fade, the two notice a rather large man moving attempting to move stealthfully between buildings. The man clearly did not appear to belong as he was wearing the furs of a mountain tribesman, and appeared to be covered in mud from head to toe. Kalisa and Rurrt decide to follow the man, whilst keeping their distance.
After a short time Rurrt, with his keen sense of smell, tracked the man’s scent to the Inn at which they were staying. As they enter, the afternoon festivities are in full swing, and the bar is crowded with the stench of cargo handlers, fishermen and sailors. Ando can be heard singing up a storm, his lute getting a good workout on stage. A quick perusal of the tavern showed Kalisa and Rurrt the man standing at the bar, towering over most of the other patrons. The man was speaking to the bar tender, and Rurrt over heard something about this giant of a man looking for someone bearing the mark of the rat.
Somewhat startled by this, Kalisa and Rurrt make their way to one of the booths nearby to the stage. As they become seated, the tavern owner points in the direction of the two. The man moved towards Kalisa, whilst Rurrt cowered his head under his cloak.
“Man behind bar says you know whereabouts of man bearing mark of rat. Is this true?”
Kalisa urged the man to sit down and after a short conversation Rurrt reveals himself to be the one he sought. Ando, keeping a close eye on both the audience and his friends, prepared an inspiring tune, especially dedicated to his friends – just in case something untoward was about to happen. The man, who identified himself at Roakk’ad, claimed to have received visions from the gods telling him to travel to this town by the river and to find the man with the mark of the rat. Once found he would help his “brother” fight a great evil know to him as the silent wind.
As the conversation continued, Kalisa and Rurrt notice a young weedy man trying to remain inconspicuous in the corner of the bar. It was clear he was watch them, and as soon as he realised they spotted him, he made a run for the front door. Rurrt unsheathed his dagger, moving the blade into his hand. He turned to Roakk’ad and asked him to stop the man. At that, Rurrt threw his dagger at the door, just as the man reached for its handle. The man was stunned for a moment, which gave Roakk’ad the opportunity to move through the crowd and grab the youth.
Roakk’ad took the young man back to the booth and the three questioned him. It became clear that the man was no more than 17 years of age, and had been living in Tamrivena for some time. He explained that he was the son of one of the 12 murdered victims and that he had heard that two people from this inn were looking into the whereabouts of a man who he felt was involved somehow in the murders. He explained that the man who he suspected was the harbour-master and that he knew he was involved somehow in the murders, although it became clear it was an educated guess, as the boy had no real proof.
The three agreed to look into matters and sent the boy on his way. A short time later, another man burst into the bar yelling, “Raid!”. With this Kalisa asked the bar keep if there was a back door, to which he point the way. The four quickly fled the scene and watched from a distance as to what was occurring. It became clear that the militia was in force and had rounded up the somewhat slower patrons. The harbour-master arrived escorted by two guards. He questioned one of the patrons, asking about the whereabouts of some suspects, a description clearly being a rough description of Kalisa and Rurrt. The drunken sailor refused to cooperate, at which point the harbour-master gave the order to execute him for harbouring fugitives, whilst the remaining patrons be sent to the dungeon cells. The man was executed on the street by one of the nearby guards, and the harbour master left the scene.
The four were keen to put an end to this man’s atrocities, and so followed the harbour-master and guards back to his place of residence. It was not long before they came up with a plan to break into the rear of the harbour-master’s house, and then interrogate him (or worse).
Whilst the others hid in a nearby alley, Rurrt stealthfully made his way to the door. The rear door was locked and so he quickly disengaged the lock allowing entry. As the lock clicked open, a pair of guards who were conducting patrols notice him standing at the door. The guards rushed towards him, as Rurrt’s new found friend Roakk’ad decided to prove himself to his new companions. Clearly though, the guards were well trained, as Roakk’ad’s first blows missed their mark. Rurrt moved from the steps to the house to help his friend as Ando drew a dagger. Ando’s called upon the magic he had so obviously been well trained to perform, and flung his dagger at the guard. His first attempt failed, the dagger flying briskly back to his hand. The second throw however was not as unlucky, hitting its mark near the guards shoulder. The guards proved their worth whilst striking at the man mountain Roakk’ad , their blades drawing blood. Roakk’ad however was not as unlucky the second time, his powerful axe crushing the first guards skull, and dropping the other to the ground unconscious. Roakk’ad quickly turned to his friends, seeking approval, only to see them backs as they quickly made their way into the harbour-master’s yard.
Ando instructed Roakk’ad to clear the street of the bodies, and join them inside once complete. Rurrt stepped inside and made his way through the kitchen and into a long hallway, Kalisa close behind. As the last of the bodies was piled into the alley, Roakk’ad turned and noticed a faint glow up in the room on the second story of the house. Clearly, someone had been awoken.
Kalissa and Rurrt made their way down the hallway, past a door, and found a set of stairs leading up. The quickly ascended the stairs and begun down a hallway. Ando by this stage had entered the house, and examined the siting room beyond the entrance to the upward stairs. The room was opulent containing a grand father clock, couches, table and bookcase. Nothing of interest there. Ando turned and went back down to the door in the hallway. The door was unlocked, and opened into what appeared to be a library or office. A massive office desk was positioned at the far end of the room, and a large painting of the harbour master hung about it. Ando noticed something in the picture of the man, an amulet slung around his neck which appeared to be a scarab beetle. Ando had seen it before, but could not place where.
In the meantime, Kalisa and Rurrt had made their way down a hallway and discovered thee doors at the end. As they reached the far door, it suddenly opened revealed a stunned harbour master dressed in bed-robes and holding a small lantern. The harbour-master, stunned with the appearance of a half rat and demon with glowing red eyes standing before him, drops the lantern which caused it to smash in front of him. The oil from the lantern shatters about the floor and walls, and quickly ignites setting the room ablaze. As the man backed away, Rurrt leaped through the flames and onto a nearby bed. Kalisa however casually walked through the fire, placing herself in a flanking position between the harbour-master and Rurrt.
“You can have anything. Everything. Just let me go. I don’t want to die”, the harbour-master screamed. Rurrt, his swords drawn carefully lifts two chains from around the man’s neck, one holding a key, and the other in the shape of a scarab beetle. Kalisa recognised the amulet as the same symbol as on the book they had been carrying with them for delivery to Embreth Daramid, a judge at the Lepidstadt Courthouse – The Manual of the Order of a Palantine Eye. The harbour-master pleaded for his life again offering anything that Kalissa and Rurrt wanted. Kalissa pushed him for information, and he revealed that he was was a member of the secret society known as the Order of a the Palantine Eye although he was merely an initiate. Kalisa pushed him further, although with each question she knew that the fire would take them all if they did not leave. Eventually, as the bedroom fire intensified, the harbour-master made a run for the window. His rotund state, coupled with his obvious lack of coordination did not help his cause, and as he tried to make it safely out the window, he slipped, and fell to the ground below. Rurrt looked down and saw that the man did not move. He turned to Kalisa and yelled, “Go!” At that, Rurrt jumped from the window, landing safely on the ground.
Meanwhile Roakk’ad had entered the downstairs kitchen and began making his way to the stairs. The tribesman smelt the level of smoke increases in the air and called out for his friends. Suddenly, Ando called out for help from a room Roakk’ad had walked past, and the tribesman moved back to the room in order to assist. As Roakk’ad entered the office, he saw Ando rummaging through the desk, noticing that every so often he would stop to focus on the room with a slightly glowing hand. Ando turned and asked Roakk’ad for help in looking for things which looked important. It was a tall ask for a barbarian from the mountains, but a challenge that at least he felt he was up for.
Soon after Kalisa entered the room, her eyes narrowed at the apparent awkwardness Roakk’ad was displaying.
As the question parsed her lips, and as the flames begun taking hold of the upstairs portion of the house, Roakk’ad pulled the painting off the wall revealing a hidden compartment. Inside the hidden alcove, Kalisa located a small book, embossed with the same symbol as the Order of the Palantine Eye, a long black leather case, a bag of coins and a ring. She quickly gathered the items, and turned to the others, “Time to go”. The four made their way out of the building and began noticing townsfolk waking up in the buildings surround the harbour-master’s estate. It was time to go, and the four fled into the night.
Having collected their belongings, the four exited the city disguised as villagers, thanks to the help of Ando’s finely honed skills of trickery and makeup. As the heroes began their trek into the mountain pass, the soft glow of a fire from a burning building in Tamrivena behind them, Kalisa begun examining the contents of the alcove she had snatched before leaving. The book was what appeared to be a series of rituals pertaining to the Order of the Palantine Eye, and was obviously worth further reading. The second items was a bag of 150 gold pieces. The third was a ring with the symbol of the Palantine Eye embossed on its face. The ring was not magical, but warranted further examination of their journey to Lepidstadt. The last item however, appeared to be a ceremonial garb with magical properties of protection, and was adorned with symbols again, of the Order of the Palantine Eye. What was this organisation? What were their aims? These questions skittered across the young Tierfling’s mind as the heroes disappeared into the mountain pass…