Union

S1E5: In Pursuit of a Killer

Or... how many times can they get stabbed?

After saving the victims of the Cabal Bros. Carnival, Theristis, Hope, Lyra, and Zeruda headed back to meet with Johannes and Horst while Athelstan and, recently freed ally, Tristin, took Muse's body and headed towards the Apiary Morgue. As our quartet of heroes approached the wagon of the Cabal brothers, they heard a scuffle inside. Glancing through the window, Lyra noticed Johannes and Horst fighting. Our heroes burst through the door and after Horst clocked Lyra across the face with a cane, she put him to the ground with a swift kick to the groin. The company talked with Johannes about what happened and discovered that the removal of the demon from Horst caused him to return to a more brutal time in his life when he was a feral vampire (now cured). Johannes gave the company gold in exchange for their help and informed them that the carnival would be shutting down as Johannes only kept it open to keep his brother alive and assured them that Fireclaw would be released into the wilds.

Athelstan and Tristin discovered, once at the morgue, that businesses tend to close late at night. Tristin immediately set to work unlocking the door and decided that the morgue really needed to invest in better locks. Taking Muse into the crematorium, Athelstan laid out Muse and prepared her for burning when they were suddenly attacked from behind. Three individuals, dressed poorly as guards, attempted to kill our heroes before managing to steal the body of Muse and escape, but not before Ahtelstan and Tristin killed two of them. Searching the bodies, our heroes discovered both were wearing a strange necklace, the same necklace that Muse has bought from Frank's Trinkets that very day. They also discovered a piece of parchment with strange writing. Later, they would discover that it was an older dialect of Abyssal that would take an experienced loremaster to decipher. 

Our heroes regrouped at the Wandering Gnome for a few drinks and a bite to eat. They were in the midst of discussing what had happened when a silver dragonborn, dressed in armor, sat down at their table. He introduced himself as Shimmer and informed Lyra that someone was on their way to confront her and probably kill her for the crimes she didn't commit. Shimmer claimed he knew she was innocent. The door suddenly burst open and standing in the firelight was an elf wizard who barked to the crowd, "Lyra Mae!" Taking their cue, the crowd calmly pushed themselves out of the way and the elf strode over to the table. Without hesitation, he dropped a piece of parchment on the table in front of the wizard. On it bore the mark of a levethix vargash, a wizard duel challenge. After some quick thinking, Lyra managed to persuade the elf, Aldryth, to stand down and back away. Seeing the day done, our heroes retired for the night.

Tristin, waking in the middle of the night and wishing to see what the fuss over Athelstan's skull was all about, snuck out of the room he was staying in and attempted to pick the hunter's door. Having failed miserably, he moved to his back up plan, stealing the spare key. He snuck downstairs and found the bartender hard at work cleaning up the place. Spotting the ring of keys on his belt, Tristin slowly approached, a bottle in hand to knock the halfling out. A wrong step, however, alerted Tasselhuff and the bartender spun on his heel, shattered the bottle and politely asked what the patron was doing. A few quick words later and the bartender was more than happy to give the spare key to the fighter as long as he didn't lose this one as well. Heading back upstairs, Tristin unlocked Athelstan's room and attempted to sneak inside. What he found, however, was the hunter alert and ready to fight. Tristin asked a single thing, "I'm in trouble and I need the skull; trust me." Athelstan relented and agreed as long as Ragnar would be returned to him by noon the following day. Tristin gleefully took the skull and spoke to it saying they would conquer the world. Surprise took the fighter when the skull talked back saying, "Restore me, and I will reward you greatly."

The following day found our heroes going to clear Lyra's name by, first, checking out the murder scene where Phillip Willows was killed. Before they could arrive, they were spotted by an Inquisitor and guards. While half of the group quickly ducked to safety, Lyra stood her ground and gave in to the Inquisitor while Shimmer accompanied them back to Five Points. The rest of our heroes continued to the South Apiary where they found the building where Phillip met his demise. Naturally, like a good group of heroes, they split up. Hope headed down to talk to the nearby guards about it all and discovered that there was another body found, killed in a similar fashion. She asked the guards to inform her friends about where she was going and bribed them with cookies.

Theristis and Zeruda started questioning the local tenants when Theristis noticed an individual poorly attempting to shadow him. Signaling Zeruda, the half-orc snuck up behind the man and quickly choked him out. The two rogues dragged him into an abandoned apartment where questioning would begin. Meanwhile, Hope was on her way towards the second murder site when she heard someone quickly approaching from behind. Turning to confront them and attempting to gust of wind them away, she felt the pain of two blades find themselves in her ribs. The assailant whispered, "You're done. Drop it and I won't have to visit you again." He quickly made his escape, leaving Hope bleeding in the middle of the road. Athelstan and Tristin looked over the murder scene and found nothing new of interest until they started looking around for a point of escape. While the fire escapes produced no fruit, they checked one of the other stairwells and heard the familiar sound of someone choking on their own blood. Rushing down to see what was happening, Athelstan was greeted with a blade to the midsection and an escaping thug. Our two heroes gave chase and the race was on.

Meanwhile, while the rest of our heroes were attempting to save their friend, Lyra was taken to a small interrogation room where Shimmer was allowed to wait with her as 'council'. They waited for over a half hour before an inquisitor entered and informed the accused that her case had attracted the attention of the 'higher ups.' What they were shocked to realize that the higher ups was a Grand Inquisitor. He sat calmly across the two and asked Lyra a series of very straight forward questions. Seemingly confident with her answers, he stood and informed her that he believed her innocent. However, with the populace seeking resolution, especially since maleficium was involved, someone had to pay for these murders. He turned to Shimmer and declared that Lyra would remain in Inquisition custody for two days before she was to be processed unless he could come up with substantial evidence that she was innocent. Shimmer agreed and left the inquisition headquarters back towards the Southern Apiary to find the real killer…

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