Triss and Erevel Left Game
The next morning, Darvin and Triss vanished. Poor Darvin was in the middle of a morning workout with a nymph when it happened, too. Asakku, Erevel, and I headed to Southport to speak to Earl Dregard who hired us originally to clean out the so-called necromancer in the woods. We arrived in Oakhill late in the afternoon and rested in our apartments for the afternoon before starting the trek to Southport.
In the morning, Erevel did not emerge. I attempted to break down the door and slipped in… something… landing on my ass. Asakku rolled his eyes at me and helped me up. On the floor before us lay Erevel with an arrow sticking out from the back of her skull. My jaw dropped. I looked out the window and tried to determine where the shooter had been firing from. She and I couldn’t have been considered friends, but I wouldn’t have wished anything like this on her.
Asakku went across the street, looking for where someone could have fired from. I searched the apartment but found no indications of what might have happened. When he returned, Asakku informed me that there was indication someone had been standing there for awhile, clearly waiting.
I left Asakku to investigate across the street while I hunted down the head of our Watch, Gerald. His name is Gerald now. I approached him and informed him what happened. He seemed gravely worried and avowed to have the watchmen find him. I told him I would very much like to speak with whomever did it—personally.
Asakku discovered there was a man in the area who didn’t look like he belonged. An adventurer type. Young. Though the people were mistrustful of Asakku—with valid reason. After all, we aren’t exactly doing an amazing job with management. Despite our attempts. One woman said she saw the kid leaving in a hurry, though we didn’t know in what direction.
Before departing, we arranged to have Erevel buried. The money she possessed we used to bury her and then turned the money into the kingdom treasury. We left the arrangements to Councilor Gruis while we followed the trail of the murderer. Asakku led us out of the town. We didn’t stop when the sun fell, and that evening we found a campfire in the distance along the road.
Asakku stopped the cart and scouted ahead, leaving me with the horse. A short time later, Asakku returned, brandishing a bow and saying he found someone that sounded like the person we had been told of. I took the bow and put it in the cart, and Asakku vanished into the shadows again. I encouraged the horse to move forward.
I heard movement by the fire and saw him wake. He searched for his bow, but didn’t find it and went, instead, for the axe. Asakku appeared and shoved him aside, knocking him to the ground before he could respond.
I rushed forward and grabbed the axe before he could, yanking it out of the stump he’d embedded it in. Realizing he had no means of defending himself, the young man ran helter-skelter into the woods. Asakku followed. We caught up to him, and he tried to attack Asakku.
I caught up and held up my hands. “Calm down. We aren’t here to attack you.”
He sagged in Asakku’s grip. I noticed a tattoo on his hairline—it looked like a fist holding an arrow, not replying.
“Do you know who we are?”
Nothing, though tears welled up in his eyes.
“Are you in trouble?”
He shook his head and wept.
I sighed. “Do you have a tongue?”
He shook his head and continued crying.
“Look, we are out here after a murderer—you resemble who we are seeking.”
He provided no answers and crumpled, squirming and sobbing in Asakku’s arms.
I sighed. “Look, child, we can take you to the city of Whitehorn where you will be imprisoned and interrogated, we can take you with us, or you could talk to us here.”
Swallowing, he pointed back down the way to the city. We headed back to the city, and I had the boy imprisoned in my apartment, and his things were secured in my trunk. He refused to talk, and cried on and off.
Hating myself for thinking it, we approached Ahlset to see if he could retrieve the information we needed. Without breaking the boy’s brain. He said he could. I tried to talk to the child one more time, but he didn’t answer and just sobbed, shaking his head again.
Ahlset asked if we’d checked his mouth. I had tried, but found no luck. After all, gauntlets and small mouths and… it just didn’t work. Asakku, on the other hand, convinced him to open his mouth, revealing that he had no tongue. The poor child.
Through a series of yes or no questions, we determined that the boy had been hired to do the job. The tattoo on his face somehow was related to it, and that the killing was a rite of passage. We offered to the boy to stay in the city. He expressed fear of that organization and no strong desire to remain. Perhaps we could help him.
The organization was based in South Port, so far as we could tell, so Asakku and I resolved to go there and investigate whatever this organization was. They clearly had something against Erevel in particular, or else the rest of us—well, Asakku, myself, and the other council members. He drew an image of a warehouse with people in it. One leader, others following. Then some coins.
When asked, he said he knew Erevel. She apparently went back on some kind of deal with this organization and was punished for it. The organization employs children—children whose tongues are cut out. To be honest, I can’t really…
Through much drawing, we learned that the boy cut out his own tongue as a rite. It was to help him rise in the ranks of this organization somehow. The more I learned, the more angry I became. Who could do such a thing to children? Despite the fact that the boy had slain a council member, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. And, if Erevel did go back on a deal, then perhaps she earned that fate.
Ahlset pushed, saying he wanted to invade the boy’s head and claiming our roles were not well-defined and saying we could call it to a vote. Not for the first time, I regretted Darvin and Erevel’s decision to bring Ahlset onto the leading council and making him of equal standing to the rest of us. After reminding him of my position and its incumbent duties, he backed down, though was far from pleased.
He informed us that if we were going to be out and about, there was a book he was interested in collecting. He would pay us for that, should we come across it. It was in a ruined tower a day’s travel north of Southport, or so he thought. Though we might not like what was in it. Hopefully Darvin returns soon so he can investigate it for us and give us information.
Asakku and I prepared for our journey to South Port, hoping we would find answers there.