I slipped out of my room in the small hours of the morning and sought out Kasper Auld – one of the loudest supports of Kent during yesterday’s events. When his blearily-eyed wife answered my furtive knocking she gasped at the sight of me and made a sign against evil. The shirtless lumberjack eyed me suspiciously until I told him the reason for my visit. I told him that I felt Kent was a pawn of Trueblood and wasn’t responsible for whatever corruption lay upon his soul – I urgently explained that he needed to gather some friends and break Kent out before he was hanged, disappearing into the wilderness. Once free from the dark influence of Wolcott and Trueblood he would be free from the darkness that was clouding him.
With a determine look he thanked me and shut the door. Hours later Kent’s daring escape was the talk of the town, until Trueblood and his party returned with the survivors of what was being called the Hunting Lodge Massacre. Besides those that stayed behind, including that greasy rat Lazarov were the only two fighters who survived the confrontation with the tribesmen, Quinine Staymoore the stablemistress and Cylus Greydown the retired civil war hero (or war criminal depending on who you ask). With them sharing a mount were Phora and Mags.
Overwhelmed with true emotion I ran to them and for a moment we clung to each other. The joyous scene turned quickly to chaos though when the mayor’s guards showed up to take Trueblood into custody. A contingent of Kent partisans wanted him hanged on the spot. A violent confrontation seemed eminent but the mayor’s soldiers were able to get things under control. During the fracas I noticed that the party had come into town with a handful of Skin-Taker prisoners, including their shaman.
The barbarians were to be burned at the stake later that day – maybe as a way to try and slake the bloodlust in town. Before that happened I settled Phora and Mags in my room at the inn and then sought out one of the few wizards in town, Stella Contos – a slender well-dressed woman who radiated an aloof coolness. I used the bulk of my funds to pay her to cast divinations on the Skin-Takers to see who amongst them had survived the battle and escaped. The lone free survivor was a young warrior named Kartak. Finding him would be difficult, but a promise is a promise.
After that I sought out Quinine and Greydown to thank them profusely for their brave actions – the horsemistress seemed rather dazed and Greydown barely responded beyond some gruff words about a warrior’s duty. As I turned to leave he suddenly asked me what I knew about Trueblood – told him I hardly knew anything beyond that he was trying to have the mayor removed from power. He said that the man had been acting very strangely and was overly interested in the fate of Lord Gatz. He had seen him several times trying to surreptitiously trying to speak to the prisoners.
I asked around with some of the men who had gone on the rescue mission, it was hard to get much out of them about it – they were more interested in what had gone on in town while they were gone – but what little I was able to gather supported that Trueblood didn’t act exactly like you might expect. With little else to guide him I went to see him in his cell – where Kent himself was hours ago.
When he saw me a shadow of a bitter smile came over his face –
“It seems I underestimated you.”
I told him that I had no idea what he was talking about. A short barking laugh was his response to that. He told me that he had information, and that if I made sure he wasn’t hanged and got a real trial – with a lawyer from Three Rivers representing him – he’d be happy to pass it along. I asked him what it was about but he was playing it coy. With nothing to lose, I went to see the mayor.
She deferred me until dinner – with Landgrave Greydown, Countess Maritska, Lazarov and some of the town’s luminaries – such as they were. It hasn’t even been two months since I regularly attended such affairs but it felt like a lifetime ago, I felt strangely out of place in what should have been my natural environment. As a result I was fairly quiet when I should have been working the table. Graydown and Kinley quite hit it off and they talked at length about what to do with Trueblood and how to get the town back under control. There would be no summary judgement and there would be a real trial this time.
After dinner was the entertainment – the burning alive of the tribesmen. The whole town gathered to watch the murderous savages go up in flames and thinking of Belskar’s tortuous death I felt it was nothing more than justified. I didn’t stay long though, going to see Mr. Trueblood as he sat in his cell. Once I assured him that he would have a real trial (through no effort of mine) he told me that Gatz was working for a Three Rivers Trading company Królewna & Bonifacja making sure the trade route that we had tried to use stayed closed. He knew this because he was also an agent of theirs and his efforts here were aimed at putting the town under their control. He said he didn’t mind telling me this since his failure here would mean he was out of their good graces.
When I returned to my room there was another tearful reunion with Phora and Mags, although I barely listened as they told me about their travails and their endless apologizing for thinking that I had abandoned them. I was thinking about my next move. I felt like I needed to return to Graltontown, but I don’t know why – nothing waited for me there other than enemies. But then, nothing waited for me anywhere. This caravan was obviously an unmitigated disaster, and once again I felt like I was stuck in molasses – no closer to vengeance than when I started.
But there’s nothing to do except keep pushing forward.
Funds: 18 gold, 3 silver
Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum,
White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice
Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager,
Erist priest of Strider, Griselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna
& Bonifacja Trading Company
Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid
Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)
Behind the curtain : The spell used was Discern Next of Kin