Rumours around the Lake

Three young men meet on the waterfront of a small walled town on the Lake. It is late summer and the weather is warm and balmy. The town is Marzano part of a larger community of towns surrounding the lake. The town is a centre for local farming communities where livestock and fruits are traded up and down the lake. The young men are Pidmerion a nobleman from the area who has devoted much of youth to studying the mysteries of runes. Having consolidated his knowledge of fire earth and air runes he seeks to widen his experience with practical application of magic in the field. The second young man is Tiagra a man from the mountains to the north who is keen to develop his stealth and hunting skills with a view to making a career ‘solving problems’ for money. The third youth is from a once noble family to the south whose fortunes have waned. He seeks to find a place for himself in the world.

As the sun sets the group repair to a local hostelry to have a drink and get a feeling of the town. The working day is drawing to a close and a number of locals come in to wash away the travails of the day and trade and exchange gossip. The young men engage a number of small groups and get a sense of the goings on in town. One group are talking about an older shepherd, Broic, who has a tale of his flock being eaten by some monster on the mountains above the town. The talk suggests that while he likes a drink Broic is a conscientious man not given to exaggeration or fantasy. The party think that this might be worth investigating and pay a visit to Broic who is in town recovering with a hearty drink and retelling the story. He describes how ‘half the mountain came alive with wild burning eyes and devoured the entire flock.’ Even though he has had a few or more drinks Broic’s tale has the ring of sincerity. After a brief discussion the group of young men reject the idea of further investigation as they see no profit in fighting monsters in the forested mountains.

They repair to another hostelry to see if any opportunities make themselves known. Soon the party overhear some gossip from a group of women discussing the birth of a creature to the wife of a well known jeweller in the town of Sendat to the south. This piques the party’s interest and the opportunity for female company encourages them to buy some drinks and ask for more information. They learn that the jeweller, Lyman, has recently married a local beauty Idani and have been trying for a child but misfortune has befallen them. In the eighteen month of marriage Idani has had two miscarriages and rumour has it that she has given birth to some form of hideous creature that was destroyed at birth. This story has jewels and adventure implicated and the party think that it might be worth pursuing.

The following morning they get passage on a barge down the lake to Sendat. On the way they learn a little of the town. It is a bigger town than Marzano and is home to a number of jewellers, some of whom produce very high quality goods. Five days travel down the lake sees the party arrive in Sendat. The buildings are tightly packed by the lakeshore with overhanging balconies. Many of the buildings have direct access to the water allowing goods to be brought directly into warehouses and personal dwellings. Further up from the lake the houses are spaced further apart but still close enough for dark alleyways to house disreputable types. The party immediately notice that this town is busier and wealthier than Marzano. True to form they find a bar near the shoreline and set about learning the local news. Here they gain confirmation of Lyman’s woes and hear corroborative rumours echoing the monster in the mountains eating sheep.

During the evening the town is busy with late trading and the party start to do some research into the jewellery business. First they enter a store run by Edanur. This appears to be a low end jeweller with nothing that the party are interested in but they engage the proprietor who tells them of a jeweller called Voril whose ambition appears to be manifesting itself in a more aggressive guild asking for protection money. A visit to Voril follows, where the party discover a keen salesman who is desperate to sell a jewelled scabbard to Pidmerion. Stringing him along allows the party to press for information about the guild and Lyman. However, their questions discomfort Voril and he hurriedly closes the transaction without making a sale. The party feel that the time is right to meet Lyman and their tour of jewellers ends in the noble end of town [furthest from the lake].

Lyman, to their surprise is an elderly man, greets them warmly and shows them some of the pieces he has for sale. The workmanship on display is extraordinary. However, the prices are well out of the party’s reach. Despite some subtle questioning Lyman is unforthcoming about his personal life.  Pidmerion asks for some designs for a scabbard and Lyman tells them to return the following evening.

The party set about finding lodging for the evening but are accosted by two heavy set men as they emerge from the jewellers. A short scuffle ensues during which Tiagra fatally wounds one of the men and the other sustains a grave injury to the upper leg. The companions leave the scene quickly before the militia arrive and start asking awkward questions. They find lodging at the better end of town and settle in for the night with fine food and wine.

Tiagra and Crannoch set out to find some gainful employment. Their journey takes them downtown to the nine bells tavern where they question Randell the bartender as to where men of their talants might find some employment. Randell points them to a man in the corner of the tavern called Rayaki. Rayaki is an urbane man well dressed and slightly anomalous in the rather rough environs of the tavern. He weighs up the two mercenaries and finally says that if they are not averse to getting their hands dirty he might have something for them. They agree and Rayaki tells them of a miller further down the lake call Quassia who has made a lot of enemies by cheating suppliers and overcharging customers. If this man were to have a ‘fatal accident,’ Rayaki suggests, there would be a lot of happy traders and the two men might be given a financial boon. Tiagra can see the advantage of leaving town while the authorities look into the death of someone in the jewellery district last night and they agree a fee of one thousand silver pieces should Quassia’s life end prematurely.