Orian Branch

A Diverting Decision

The search for the Branch is delayed when the party finds trouble in Berit.

A body to bury and a branch to find. What will the party find in the big city?


Our intrepid adventurers made it to Berit on the 20th of Aprilis. They made their way through the town to the necropolis, where they turned the halfling’s body over to the undertaker and paid for burial, a tombstone carved with the thief’s likeness (since they didn’t know his name), and the customary number of professional mourners.
Then, they went to Watertown in search of information about the thieves’ guild. They entered the Golden Bowl Tavern, where they found a large number of patrons drinking, and an elven female dancing on one of the tables.
Nolt Hyum sat in the corner and ordered food. Most of the party sat down at various tables for a little refreshment. Rayne decided the crowd didn’t look good, and he hid under one of the tables.
Nolt Hyum threw his tankard at Grayson, splashing him and hitting one of the other patrons with the heavy vessel. Rioting ensued, during which, Alayla was knocked out. A man came into the tavern and grabbed Grayson, dragging him toward the door. Nolt Hyum shot the man with a poisoned crossbow bolt, but he shrugged it off and kept going out the door. The man, soon identified as one of the town guard, came back and, along with other guards, one of which kept watch at the door against future pot shots, continued to drag people out of the tavern. The guards pulled the dancing elf off the table and dragged her outside, too.
Soon, the only people in the room were the tavernkeeper, Nolt Hyum, Rayne, and the unconscious ones. Nolt Hyum decided to take this opportunity to question the tavernkeeper quietly. He showed the man the cufflink, and he turned away and claimed ignorance. Nolt Hyum pressed him about the matter, and he said he didn’t remember anything about it. Eventually, he intimated that his memory might be jogged with a sufficient weight of precious metal, but Nolt Hyum offer him a crossbow bolt, instead. He again claimed ignorance, and Nolt Hyum shot him. He fell to the floor, dead.
A scream came from near the door, and Nolt Hyum watched a woman run out of the tavern. He went around the bar and searched the body and the money drawer. As he finished this, he heard the approach of a group of running people.
He went up the stairs (the only other exit to the room), and checked each of the rooms on the second floor. Finding no good place to hide, he turned toward the stairs and tried to bluff the guards into thinking he had nothing to do with the murder of the tavernkeeper. The guards bound him and took him downstairs, where the tavernkeeper’s wife, the woman who had run out, identified him as the murderer. He accused her of the crime, and the guards led them both to the guard station, Nolt Hyum bound, the woman following along free.

In the morning, Grayson woke up in an alley next to the tavern, and the elven dancer was laying across him. He wriggled out from under her, asked her what had happened, and found she could not remember the events after entering the tavern. He told her his name, and she introduced herself as Saline, a ranger/wizard. Finding her an agreeable person to be around, Grayson invited her to come with him.
The two went into the tavern and found Rayne and Alayla. They compared notes, and not finding Kheldar, they decided to search for him. They canvassed the area of town around the tavern, but their inquiries at other taverns found no one who had seen a monk searching for recipes, and no Kheldar in the flesh. After spending most of the day on this endeavor, the party returned to the tavern and found Kheldar coming down the stairs. He had been in one of the locked rooms upstairs all morning.
They went to the guard station, where they bribed the head guard with drugged wine and money. The drug in the wine did not affect the guard as they had hoped, but he did agree to expedite the trial of Nolt Hyum.
On the morning of the 22nd of Aprilis, Nolt Hyum was brought before the judge, who reviewed the incontrovertible evidence that he had killed the tavernkeeper: the witness, the crossbow bolt matching one shot at a guard earlier in the evening, his presence at the scene, etc. Nolt Hyum claimed to have no memory of the events surrounding the tavernkeeper’s death. Since he was questioned in a zone of truth, and since the judge believed him, and since the head guard whispered something to him, the judge ruled that Nolt Hyum must not be resposible for the death, and therefore should be released. Nolt Hyum offered to pay some damages, claiming that he would give all his money to this. Money changed hands, and the party left the hearing chamber.



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