Meeting with Agaris, usually brings ill tidings. I hoped that this evening would be different. A meeting of two old friends over a pint of ale, alas it wasn’t. Instead Agaris told me of strangers who had been sighted in both Britain and Vesper. While there had been reports of them breaking into buildings, nothing had been taken. “Tamias, I need you to talk to the witnesses. When Captain Corian or I tried to question them, they refused to talk to us. Someone has threatened them to the point they are scared to speak.”
Sighing I agreed to speak with them. People, even scared, will often speak to a bard. His look told me that there was more he wasn’t telling me. “Agaris, what are you keeping from me?” Looking around, he told me that strange parchments had been found. On them a code of some sort. He then showed me the one in the Castle Blackthorn’s courtyard. “None of our spies have been able to decipher the messages. Looking at the parchment, I made a drawing of it.
I found the first witness waiting for me in the hall. “Greetings Elona, I understand you saw a strange man. Could I ask some questions?”
“Who… who are you…” she asked looking around the room. Seeing us seemed to make her feel a little safer. I told her that Agaris had sent us to find more of what she knew. ” He, he could not… oh…I saw him only out of the corner of my eye. I barely saw anything honestly. But, you don’t want to know… what… what happened? I can leave?” she pleaded. “You will be protected. Even now Agaris is placing guards. We must know what you saw.”
Nervously she told us what she had seen. “Well, I was walking down by the library to deliver bread, from the shadows, he was staring at me. I thought he was somewhat handsome, but then he gave me an odd look.”
“Don’t be nervous,” I tried to reassure her. “How was the look odd?”
“He just kept watching me… was toying with his blade. It made me nervous. Never said a word, just toyed with that wicked curved blade.”
“I can understand why he made you nervous. Was there anything special you noticed?”
“No, Except… for that tattoo… It was… a bird.” After thanking her, we turned to leave. Touching my arm she whispered. “He wasn’t alone. I don’t remember how many there were, but there was a woman. She told them to go to the Vesper by docks. Please don’t tell anyone what I told you.”
It was decided to check out the Vesper docks. The docks seemed normal, until we reached the end. There was Arame, a fisherwoman, trying to avoid us. Seeing that she couldn’t get by us, “You’re here for fish right? Could some of you, maybe wait until the fishing boats come in?” When we told her that we hadn’t come for fish, she tried to sell us bait and poles. I asked if she had seen any strange folks. She shook her head, ” No, I have been here all day. Just the docks, nowhere near the buildings north of here. Here all day.” Jittery, she glanced at the buildings north of the dock. Reassuring her that she was safe, I asked what was special about the buildings. Looking around, sighing, she continued. “Did you see what they did? They broke in…They broke into one of the buildings north of here.
“We have had other reports about strange men. Did you notice how many there were?”
She nodded ,” Yes, Three men, and a woman. One had a hood and a tattoo his left arm, he was, nice looking but mean. Asked if they wanted some fish and he told me to shut up.” Stamping her foot in anger, “No reason to be mean, I was just offering to sell fish. The nice lady came up to me and apologized for the hooded man. Pretty she was, long orange hair with an expensive black skirt.” They went towards the bank.
Thank you for your help, I have one more question,”Did the man seem like a bodyguard?
” Shivering Armane answered, “No not a bodyguard, a killer, he was. Heading towards the bank they were, I will be glad not to see them again.” As we began to walk to the bank, she called me back. “Before they left, they dropped the parchment.”Noting what was on it, I copied it.
Arriving at the bank, I saw the others had begun to question Thomas, another witness.
Like the others he didn’t want to speak with us, instead asking for gold to buy a drink. Jingling some coins, I told him the coins were his after answering some questions. “Ques… tions for gold? I will tell you all about Vesper! he babbled. “This here is the Vesper bank. Over there is a mage shop. Lets see… that lamppost is my favorite.” Hiccupping he held out this hand. You wanted to know about Vesper, right?”
I shook my head, “No, we need to know about any strange people you have seen. A tattooed man and a woman with orange hair. Did you see them?”
Thomas’s hiccups grew worse, ” No… no one… not a thing… I said I saw nothing!” I noticed that he was holding his arm seemly cut by a sword.
“Thomas, did the man with the sword cut you?”
He looked at me in surprise. ” He… cut me for watching them. Told me to go fall over in a ditch, and forget what I saw.” After his wound had been bandaged, he told us that there had been three of them, two men and a pretty lady with orange hair. She had odd silvery looking eyes… it was… haunting they were. Worried he pointed towards the jewelry shop. “I saw them break in. The brown haired man came out with some thing small. I thought he put it in his bag. When he dropped it, i looked inside. I swear, I wasn’t thinking about stealing nothing, I just was curious.” he eagerly told us. “The bag, it had something stitched into it. I went over and picked up the bag with the initials LER.
I also noticed another dropped parchment. I made my drawing before going back. The others had found out that Thomas had heard them arguing loudly where to go next. “The brown haired man, told them to meet at the Profuse Provisions, I think it’s in southeast Britain?” Looking at the gold I gave him, he added, ” They were talking something about a heist in Trinsic in a week, and depositing something in Luna Bank after the heist.
Trusting the others to find and question the next witness, I went to tell Agrais what we had found so far. Unable to find him I hurried to the shop. There the others had just finished questioning Miranda. They showed me the cutlass left on the ground. Its strange handle marked with the word “SIVRANE.
Inside the shop I found yet another parchment. After making my drawing, the gathering told me she said the three men and lady had headed into Britain. They were going to the jewelry shop.
Hoping to catch up with the four, we gated to the shop. We were too late. Standing outside the owner of the shop, Devrone, who tried to sell us lovely ring or necklace. When told that we were following three people, two men and a woman. He became nervous, looking around “Well at least you aren’t rude like the last people.” He replied.
“But there were four men not three.” The one seemed to be following them.
Hum, I thought to my self. Who was this fourth man. “What can you tell us about the first three men ?”
He thought for a minute, “Well, there was one called Sivrane. Shifty looking fellow, had a hood on couldn’t see his face or anything. I did see a weird bird tattoo. He was arguing with the other man. Couldn’t hear what it was about. Frowning he added, “The brown haired man left a parchment. But the way that man was looking at his book, I am pretty sure there’s something odd about the parchment. He kept making sure he burned the right corners. Heard him cuss when he accidently burned the wrong edge, crumpled up the parchment and threw it away.” I went to copy it. “I wouldn’t touch it if I were you. That Sivrane guy, told me if I touched the paper, he’d kill me… so…I left it alone.”
When asked if he had seen a lady, he blushed. “Yes, a pretty lady, bright orange hair, really nice smile with slivery eyes. With the attention she gave me I think she was trying to distract me. Don’t know from what. She seemed disinterested in what the two men were doing.”
“Did they take anything from your shop?” I asked.
“No, they didn’t even go in, just stared at the building. Before they left, I heard one say they were robbing Trinsic, in a week.” Devrone, then tod us that when they left the woman went a different direction. The men left towards the bank, But the lady went east. He said it was after they had left, the fourth man arrived. He was sketch and really shady. Nice fellow though, even brought a silver locket. He seemed very interested in the parchment. Studied it, then followed the three men. Asked to describe the man, all Devorne could remember was he had black hair and that he said his name was Adrian.
I started back to the castle. I needed to organize what I had learned. On the way I ran into Agaris hiding in the shadows. I told him what I had learned. He was surprised when I told him about Adrian.
“Hum, charming man, black hair, pleasant attitude named Adrian? Can’t be a coincidence. What is the thieves guild doing mixed up in this.” Unable to answer, I asked it he had seen the orange hair lady.
“Unfortunately I did. Ran into up by the sewers. She was asking me why I was following them… I told her she was pretty and I was in love, I think she believed it. But when I continued to follow here, Until she threw a bunch of purple potions my way in an alley and disappeared. Almost got me with one of them.” It was hard not to laugh his expression talking about the potions. I took my leave to organize my notes. I assured him, I’d have the descriptions in a couple of hours.