6. Richfest 996 AF; City of Alsyenna
[this happens in parallel with the quest for Aidan]
Eddard and Rurik head off to the main Temple of Thyr. While strolling to the congregation, Eddard catches up on the talk of the town. It appears that Duncan has opened a new Temple of Thyr in the poor district. He is supposed to get funding from the main church, but has started the work already to help the poor and needy.
Eddard and Rurik meet Wynono. He indicates that there is no Priest of Thyr that matches the description of the young woman. The heroes move on to the new temple. Many volunteers renovate an old wooden building, repairing roof and rotten planks. The people are torn about the new temple, happy about the support – a small food cart provides food for the hungry -, but also a bit concernced about the pure, dogmatic approach of Duncan.
A group of the Children of Light comes to the temple. The commanding officer – apparently Martell, although he seems to be demoted to Lieutenant – calls two of the workers, who are apparently soldiers who spend their time working at the temple. The soldiers don their armor and the group heads into the dock district. Rurik and Eddard follow.
The soldiers march quickly towards the Blackened Fish Tavern. The closer they get, the more the atmosphere changes from the excited and happy chatter of a vital city, to the concerned whisper of concern and fear.
Galaron’s gaze strives over the crowd. He heard the news early in the morning – people were talking about a brutal murder that has taken place in the Blackened Fish. While murders happens to occur in the the Docks, the location where the murder occured made the occurence special. The Blackened Fish belongs to the Sewer Rats, a rising group of low-life Old Blood thugs. Being formed about two months ago, they steeply rose throug the ranks of Alsyenna’s underworld. Their reputation was bad – no style, no honor, but brutal ruthlessness. Now the Blackened Fish, another inn, and a gambling parlor belonged to them. Not bad for a group that didn’t even exist nine weeks ago!
People have been gossiping about some supernatural influence – like they usually would when they couldn’t explain events. But Galaron was suspicious. Some mentioned the Curse of the Old Blood – a curse that awakened a beast in elves, and as such afflicted the Old Blood. The new, ruthless power of the group, and the timing – it was a full moon when the group was supposedly formed two months ago – cought is interest. What’s more, the Sewer Rats threatened the influence of Galaron’s affiliated family, and were bad for business. Anything that shook the balance of power – and power equals profit – even more was worth investigating.
Galaron goes to the back entrance of the Inn. The back alley is empty, except for an old guy sleeping in the dirt. Galaron picks the lock of the back door and enter the inn. He finds one set of footprints (blood) that leads from the inside to the back alley. A couple of guests are still in the inn, mostly in shock. Seven people are dead – cut down in a precise and merciless eruption of violence. One intruder – a humanoid in a hood, but his eyes glowing and his face deformed – seemed to have entered the Inn in the night, mumbled menacingly about redemption and cleanse, attacked the first person to move and then cut his way to the Sewer Rat in charge, killing anyone in his way, and then leaving throug the back entrance. Along his way, he threw a knife into the neck of the bartender (Galaron managed to retrieve the item).
Rurik spots their “stalker” in the crowd around the Blackened Fish. Rurik and Eddar pursue and catch the person – a young woman, not older than 16 or 17 summer. She makes sure that Eddard is really the (former) Paladin of Thyr and shares her story. She is – or was – the squire of Sir Ellion Clarke, Eddards former mentor. When Sir Ellion came back from a campaign in the north, he was changed. Altough the squire – Daria – was newly assigned to him, he only reluctantly trained her. After a few weeks he left Warmund and went to Alsyenna. Daria followed him, which he grudgingly accepted. In Alsyenna, be investigated a “plot” and a curse, and snuk away more and more, until he vanished about a month ago. Since then, Daria tried to find him, and when she saw Sir Eddard, she was hopeful that he might be able to help. However, the didn’t look like a Paladin of Thyr, so she had to investigate further.
Eddard and Rurik send her to the Temple of Light and go into the tarvern to investigate themselves. They meet with Galaron and share information. Eddard recognizes the knife fromt he bartender’s neck belonging to Sir Ellion. The most promising lead are the tracks that lead outside – to the place where the old man slept. However, he is now gone and his tracks are soon swallowed by the countless footsteps of the Dock District.
Eddard searches his memory for typical behavioral patterns of Sir Ellion that he might have continued in Alsyenna. Sir Ellion – being an old soldier – enjoyed physical exercize a lot, in particular wrestling. Wrestling is a popular sport in Alsyenna, and the heroes start their search in the Dock District Wrestling school. Being lucky, a man that fits the description of Sir Ellion has trained there regularly, and the heroes get an adress: The Moon and Owl Tavern.
The heroes find the room of Sir Ellion; and Galaron picks the lock. Ellion is snooring on his bed, still wearing coat and boots. The heroes wake him and he shares his story with Eddard.
… story …
The heroes escort Ellion to an estate of the Lestarti family, where a warm bath is waiting in the cellar. As Sir Ellion undresses to take the bath, the heroes grant him privancy – and lock the door.
Loot: Knife of Sir Ellion
Comments: Galaron owes one to his crime family due to the use of the cellar