If yesterday was a dark day, then today was a day full of shadows and small lanterns shining light on things hidden in those shadows.
I woke up and went down stairs for breakfast. Shen, Keldromu, and Vyraelys were ready to go to see Ladia. Her roasting house was on the other side of town, so the walk was a bit long. Some of Ladia’s meat for the mid day was already available. So I bought a little, this week’s pay from the lanterns was good, and we all figured Ladia’d loosen her lips a little more if coin was flowing. We asked her about what she’d seen the night members of the Fangs died. She was up late that night on her way to her smokehouse, and saw a number of people fleeing north from the Circle. She ran in the direction of the fight only to find the bodies sprawled out on the ground dead. She didn’t recognize any of the people fleeing the scene, said they were headed north, and doubts they were Riddleport thugs, because they would have headed south for the docks. Vyraelys kept talking to her, and eventually she admitted that she’d seen Kynae Fromperton, lurking about. She didn’t think he’d had anything to do with it. So she hadn’t told the guard he was there. So we went looking for Kyane next.
As we passed down one of the main streets a sudden and terrible chill fell over the road. No wind gust, just sudden and painful cold. Even with most people dressed for typical Rova weather, no one was prepared it. People about literally passed out as the heat left their bodies, Vyra included. I had to call on the help of Ashava to warm people up enough they’d wake back up. After a brief look around for the source of the cold we continued to look for Kynae.
That wasn’t too hard honestly, about this time Kyane would be over at Blackberry’s. Once there, well, I splurged again. I grabbed a few rolls and offered one and some of my sausage to Kyane. He seemed happy to have a more than scraps for a change. He pulled his nose out of his book and between bites told us about what he’d seen. Kyane was hiding behind a rain barrel when the Fangs and few people from the Order of Resplendence were arguing. The members of the Order were accusing the Fangs of some sort of misuse of a Runelord’s rune. Eventually, the woman leading the batch of Resplendence members stabbed at the one of the Fangs, and a bunch of ghosts appeared, causing all the Fang members to drop dead.
After he told his story we started back towards the circle. We talked about what we’d learned, and Keldromu brought up that what Kyane described sounded like the manifestation of an arcane spell known as weird. The spell manifested horrible things to kill ones enemies. That, combined with the knowledge Shen offered about the Fangs patches being the Runelord symbol for Wrath, lead Shen to believe that someone in the Order of Resplendence had a sword known as Baraket, the sword of the Runelord of Pride.
Two of the ancient Runelords symbols and items in Roderic’s Cove! This can’t be good. No wonder the old ghost is upset.
That left us with a few answers, but no idea where to go next. I wanted to talk to someone in the Fangs, since confronting a woman with some ancient sword that could kill you with your own nightmares didn’t seem like a good idea. Since no one knew how to find a member of the Fangs we figured it was time to talk to Coots. So back to the market we went. Coot’s’d be peddling his possum punch about the time we arrived. We were almost there when a Keldromu heard a faint moaning. We stopped only for the moaning to get loud enough for all of us to hear it. Then the body-less heads of a woman and two children appeared right in front of us. Vyraelys ran, I think everything was too much for her. Hopefully she finds a safe little corner of the world to hide in. I called on Ashava to put them back to rest, it was more of a knee jerk response. Too much weird stuff had happened so far for me to be anything but frustrated at them. They dissipated before I could really tell who they might have been.
After the remaining of us regathered our wits, we made our way to Coot’s cart. I bummed a coin off of Keldromu for so we could all have a drink. We were about half way through asking him what he’d seen when that strange masked woman who’d been helping people of late showed up. She was frustrated with how late she was to people in need, and wanted to talk to Coots about who might be in charge of the Horned Fangs. We talked a little and she asked if she could join us in searching for answers about what was going on. While she was late to the scene, she had a rep for being some masked hero of the town, and anyone was better than chatty, cowardly Vyra.
Coot’s told us about Jana Gildersleeves, the leader of the Horned Fangs. He said she was a bit more approachable than one might think and is probably in Creekside. So we thanked him for his time and his punch, which while not great, is actually drinkable stuff. Jana was indeed in Creekside. She seemed a little put off that we were asking about her group. Probably because little miss masked avenger was with us. However when I mentioned that the Roadkeepers seemed to be new in town and a bad lot, she explained that they weren’t really all that new. Turns out they were the nasty sort of highwaymen you see on the caravans, and hide out in the Churlwood near town. I don’t really have any love for bandits, and I made that kinda clear. This got her attention. She even offered us gold to make life hard on the Roadkeepers. She didn’t know any more about what happened that night, but said she’d ordered all of her folk to stay low for a while. Keldromu seemed keen on hurting bandits for money. So we took her offer and told her what we knew from Kyane. She seemed to contemplate it a bit, and shooed us off.
We were about to go back through the market and see if we could find someone else that might of seen something when that bum Kolton stopped us for a bit of conversation. Seems he’d heard we were trying to figure out what was going on and wanted to talk. I admit I figured he was always crazy or high, but it turns out he’s really just Varisian to the core. He likes living outside and wondering about, he just took a liking to Roderic’s Cove and stuck around. He’s also sharper than he lets on. He knew about Kynae, that Ladia had seen the boy, and that something’s really shady with the Order of Resplendence. He called them a cult, but well, he’d probably call any organized faith a cult.
Anyway, he warned us about some dwarves that’d gone missing in the Churlwood. Pointed us back to Creekside to talk to other members of their caravan. Seems they were attacked by goblins.
I was down for rescuing someone, and goblins seemed a whole lot easier to face than bandits or ghosts. So I told the dwarves we’d go looking for their friends. The group didn’t seem to have a problem with that. So we agreed to go out to the Churlwood the next morning. We split up and all gathered supplies for a few days travel. I started lighting lamps and lanterns early, so I could let people know I’d be away for a few days. I collected from most everyone who owed me. Some weren’t happy I was leaving. I went back to the circle that night and prayed again. No visit from Roderic, but my candle burnt for plenty of time.
Tomorrow we go save some dwarves. I hope.