In which Councillor Brannon Byrne is Murdered (1st May 2013)
The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Hillson - Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist
Karban Telos – Sorcerer
Arrested (Day 12 (92) – late evening)
Solaran, Sir Erich and Aethelfrith knocked on the wooden door of the Councillor’s house. As they expected, they received no reply. They called his name a few times before they decided to shoulder open the door. Upon entering the gloomy passageway beyond the main door, they held their torches aloft calling the councillor’s name. Again they heard no reply. They advanced into the candle-lit study and saw the councillor lying upon the floor in a pool of half-congealed blood. They quickly studied the body and found that he had been stabbed; the knife was still in the wound. They looked quickly around the study, but could find no reason for the break-in. The study was in its usual state of untidiness but nothing appeared to have been taken. Solaran found his amulet on a workbench and placed it quickly back around his neck just as the party heard voices coming down the entrance corridor.
Four men-at-arms advanced into the chamber and demanded that the occupants lay their arms to and step away from the body. A fifth person was just visible in the shadows beyond the soldiers. The sergeant examined the body making mental notes, and then he proceeded to look around the chamber. Whilst he was looking at the evidence before him the fifth member of the guards’ party encouraged them to arrest the three adventurers on the spot as it was obvious they were guilty. By now he had advanced further into the chamber and all three adventurers realised it was the bandit chieftain from Worsted – this was obviously a set-up. The councillor had been deemed to have double-crossed the bandit chieftain (the argument the party had witnessed upon their immediate arrival in Worsted supported this) and the party had wiped out his lucrative set-up in the forests.
The party were asked to accompany the guards to the watch tower as they were accused of murdering the councillor. They accompanied the guards gladly as they had nothing to hide.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party back at the safe house became a bit restless as their companions had not returned after a few hours. They decided to take a trip to the councillor’s house to see what might have happened. When they arrived they found that the councillor’s house had been cordoned off and four well-armed guards had been posted outside. Their enquiries led to nothing as the guards were very tight-lipped. The party decided to cut their losses and made their way to a tavern across the street that was still plying its trade at that time of night. They questioned the denizens of The Golden Goose, a very upmarket establishment, over a few very expensive drinks and found out that there had been a murder and that the perpetrators had been carted off to the local watch room under heavy guard.
Sir Connor (Day 13 – early morning)
The guard appeared before the doors to their cells with a bucket of gruel and proceeded to ladle the grey mixture onto soft leaden plates for the accused. He started to push them through the slits under the doors designed for such purpose when a familiar voice was heard from behind him. The guard produced his set of keys and unlocked each of the cells containing the companions. They rubbed their eyes in the bright morning light and followed Sir Connor out of the gaol and into his office. The smell of freshly baked bread and spicy sausage greeted them upon their arrival. He bade them to eat their fill and explained what had been happening over-night. He was well aware that they were not guilty but had to show that protocol was being followed. He asked the party how they knew about their accuser and they explained that he was the bandit chief out for revenge on both the councillor and themselves. He put out an order for the bandit to be tracked down at the address he had given the watch and detained, which was snapped to immediately. He said he would keep them in for another day or so just to make things look the part and then set them free due to lack of evidence.
Back at the safe-house, Toby returned at his allotted time. He had no further information for them, so the rest of the party set out for the prison to get an update on the situation. The scenario was explained to them in detail, and Toby was sent off to try to look for the whereabouts of the bandit chieftain just in case he could find out something that Sir Connor’s guards could not.
After the discussion, the party that were free to go headed out to do some investigating of their own. Hillson went looking for details on the monks of Worsted, whilst the others set about selling the treasures that the party had accumulated over the last few days. Nazir walked around the docks under the guise of gaining some steady employment but really looking for rumours of what had transpired recently. He heard nothing that the party did not already know.
As the bells of the church of the new religion tolled for compline, Sir Connor called into the cells and let the party go. The bandit chieftain had fled town and so there was now no witness to link them to the murder and thus no-one to pin the blame on except the chieftain; presumed guilty by his absence and the testimonies of the three adventurers being cross-referenced with what was heard by the denizens of The Golden Goose.
A New Hideout (Day14)
The party met up again at the safe house later that night but realised that they would need to move on if they did not want to run the risk of being found by any of their enemies. They gathered their belongings and headed for a nicer part of town where they booked into a new tavern for a bath and some rest and recuperation. They found a neat tavern in the richer district, close to the gaol in which they had recently been held. They informed Sir Connor of where they were now staying.
The following morning, they gathered their treasures and headed out to find a blacksmith who could make some decent plate armour for Sir Erich. They soon found a master armourer who could do the job for them but the armour would take five days to complete. They paid over 600 florins up front for the armour and said they would pay the rest upon completion. The smith said that was a fair deal and set about making the mail.
After placing the order for the armour, the party returned to their new tavern hide-out and began to settle in for a night of feasting and roistering whilst they laid low waiting for Sir Erich’s armour to be completed.
During the course of the evening, Aethlefrith and Karban took part in a game of Mubbly-Peg – This tavern game is a contest between two players who throw their daggers at their feet in order to see who can get closest without cutting themselves. Aethelfrith won the initial contest but when he opened the floor for any takers none were willing to take on the seasoned warrior. Karban was another prospect entirely, and a local sailor relived him of several silver florins. Hillson also became a few florins richer by betting against his friend!
Whilst the frivolities were taking place, Sir Erich was approached by a hooded man. Nobody else noticed the hushed conversation going on between the two shadows in the corner of the tavern whilst there was a fun distraction going on.
A New Ally? (Day 15)
The following morning, after the party had broken their fast and they had recovered from the night before, Sir Erich asked the party to return to their own common room, as he had something to tell them. Sir Erich explained that he had been approached by Antonio Guaires (the third member of the Scorchers coven in the final underground chamber who had escaped from the party’s clutches). He mentioned that he was a member of a small faction within the family that was not happy with the way things were being run. The family were not as united as many supposed and he was fighting to carve out a new niche for himself. He had seen how the party had handled themselves in that fight and was willing to take them on as his strong arm.