Rise of the Warlock King

A Mystery in Lanarell: Chapter Nine

Where the translation of the journal begins.

Later that evening, just after dinner, Eleanor informs the heroes that Rag’azzahd will be allowed to stay at the estate while he translates for them, but their will be two city guards posted on him at all times. While this seems a little extreme, the heroes accept it and move on. Kara begins to get a space set up for the hobgoblin to work in while Hoatzin and Grax head back across the city to Rascoe’s Den to let Rag’azzahd know. Rag’azzahd is happy to hear this, partly as he feels the accommodation in Rascoe’s Den is very noisy and not very private, and says he will see them the following morning.

The next morning they meet Rag’azzahd at the Alvenwoad Estate gate and show him in to his workspace and bedroom. He likes the amount of space he will have for sleeping (a small room opposite Kara’s) as it is larger than the room he had in Rascoe’s Den. He then begins translating the journal and Kara elects to keep him company (trying her best to ignore the two guards outside the room).

Nortrix sets himself up in a nice sunny spot outside and begins working on his oft-neglected sculpting, using his magic to actually do any of the hard work, and slowly working his way through a carafe of wine. Kysmer occupies himself with constructing spare snares; he reasons that these will be needed when he gets back to the farm and out into the wilderness once more. Hoatzin takes the time to practice his archery in, although he is interrupted almost immediately by Molly who is awfully curious about their new guest. She is astonished to learn that the heavily robed man is a hobgoblin and that he is helping them to translate a journal that they have found. She is almost just as amazed to learn that hobgoblins can read. She says the other servants would be fascinated by all of this and then left Hoatzin to his practice, which doesn’t last long as he is interrupted again shortly after by Grax, who proposes that they go see what they can find out in the city. Hoatzin of course thinks this is a swell idea so they head out for the market place. Although they spend an hour or so questioning people they don’t learn anything new, aside from learning that news of their exploits at The Golden Star are being gossiped about. They make sure they return to the estate in time for lunch.

Over lunch, Rag’azzahd tells everyone what he has learned from the journal so far, being details that he has already shared with Kara. The journal doesn’t mention who the author is and the first entry is dated roughly two years ago (in the year 209), although dated entries soon become quite scarce. Early on the author refers to “returning from a great gathering, where they have gained a great understanding of how everything works”. Later, the author starts to talk about research that they are carrying out. They seem to be researching something called “the Ritual of Calling”, whatever that might be. Further, the author mentions having recruited assistants, or helpers, who now also see the truth of things. Rag’azzahd says he is still early in the journal, but he will keep everyone updated if he learns anything new.

Following their sumptuous lunch, Nortrix returns to his sculpting and Kysmer returns to his snare making. Hoatzin and Grax are then free to return to the city to keep asking questions. They make for The Cartography Shoppe, where the storeowner remembers Hoatzin from their previous visit. They spend an hour or so in the “shoppe”, but don’t learn anything of relevance to their present situation (though they do hear so good tales). Grax then thinks of revisiting Rascoe’s Den, as they would be sure to find some juicy gossip there. So they head off, but sometime after crossing the bridge into the southern half of the city Hoatzin realises that they are being followed. After a bit of back and forth, they manage to confront their follower in an alley, where he promptly attacks them (after being wildly swung at by Hoatzin). While they try to capture their hooded follower turned attacker, a second assailant attacks them from behind! Things briefly look bad for Grax who takes several nasty looking injuries, but he is able to heal himself and they manage to capture the second assailant (while the original one escapes, after leading Hoatzin on a merry chase). Some town guards finally show up to check on the disturbance and they arrange to get help taking their prisoner back to the nearby main garrison.

Meanwhile, Kara has learned from Rag’azzahd that the author of the journal refers to purchasing The Golden Star inn, which is apparently quite run down. While Kara finds this interesting, she begins to wonder about the “Ritual of Calling” and so leaves Rag’azzahd to his translating and checks out the estate library for any occult books. There aren’t any to be found, though this doesn’t really surprise her. She then decides to head off to see Priest Lorith again, as his library is sure to hold something of use (and he was quite friendly).

Outside in the courtyard, Nortrix had just finished an average bust of Hoatzin (having already attempted busts for both Kara and Kysmer) when Molly the stable hand wandered up with a broom. She was curious to see what he was doing and she was also still curious to know more about the hobgoblin visitor. Nortrix, of course, didn’t really know much about Rag’azzahd but he did talk to the girl for a while about his sculpting. Following all of this she even asked him if he could sculpt her, which he agreed to. For half an hour he concentrated and shaped the stone before him until they became quite a good likeness of Molly. She was pretty rapt about this, but then had to hurry back to her work.

At the main garrison, Grax and Hoatzin had revived their prisoner and were trying to question him. He wasn’t being very cooperative (or perhaps they weren’t very good at asking questions). Although Hoatzin could tell if he was lying, they had no way of forcing him to tell the truth. He wouldn’t admit to anything, including attacking them, and would quite happily lie to their faces (especially after finding out that they could tell if he was lying). In the end, threatening the man with allowing the guards to torture him began to loosen him up and when they offered to walk him out of the city he finally offered to tell them what he knew.

He never gave his name, which is probably understandable, but he explained that he “had heard” that three men had gone to The Golden Star a few days ago, where there had been a large number of people waiting to see them. A “Hooded Man” had given them their instructions, which were to kill Hoatzin, Kysmer, Kara and Grax (though not Nortrix for some reason). The man couldn’t describe the leader (aside from calling him a Hooded Man) and had no more information to offer. Hoatzin and Grax then gave him back his possessions (not his sword) and warned him about returning to Lanarell before turning his loose. They didn’t bother to untie his arms though. After he had walked away a short distance he wriggled out of his bonds and put his armour and shirt back on. He then waved cheerily to the heroes (who were still watching from the gateway to make sure he left) and continued the long walk towards Trayal.

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