The plot continues.
Who has done the foul deed and their motive have yet to be discovered. Also, the Captain and his men have yet to return from their little Morgathian hunt.
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The party finds Squire Baltari in the stable. Sir Tirn of Selvos begins questioning him. The group learns what he did the night before (got drunk), and that he has no idea how Sir Enal was killed. The party decides to go find Squire Sanaar to speak with him again.
Sanaar is in the keep, moving things from the kitchen back to the storeroom. Maketa Seenaë Dyren prays to Larani to allow her to see the truth, and the party manages to catch him in a few lies. Sanaar thinks Saradane knows a bit too much about the death of Sir Enal, but he swore an oath to Larani to keep secret the details of their discussion. The party decides to go speak with Saradane.
They follow the sounds of arguing up to the guest quarters, where Master Bici and Mistress Licea are taking turns yelling at their daughter. The party manages to speak to Saradane alone and discover her movements on the night Sir Enal’s death. She tells the group that she was going out to meet Baltari in the woods in order to run away together, and that Sanaar arranged everything for them. She met Sir Enal on the road while she was searching for the meeting spot. They had words, she was angry and he was flippant, and in her anger she pulled on his cloak and yelled at him. The horse started, and he fell. She threw something at him after he got up, and he fell again. She thinks she may have killed him, because when she met Sanaar later at the meeting place he told her Sir Enal was dead.
Seenaë notes that this does not make sense – if Sanaar met Saradane before dawn, and the body wasn’t discovered until well after dawn, how did Sanaar know Sir Enal was dead? Saradane shows the group some love notes that were sent to her by Baltari. Tirn, Sir Kjarri of Setara and Tamarie set off after Baltari to verify if he had, indeed, sent such notes to Saradane, and if he knew about the proposed time of the meeting. Seenaë urges them to hurry, as she fears Baltari may be in danger.
Sirs Tirn, Kjarri, and Sargent Tamari follow the directions given to them by the guards at the gate of Dunir keep, but quickly realize the boys are making for the woods. After a quick chase, they find an older and larger man dressed in leper’s robes has Sanaar by the throat and has lifted him off the ground. Baltari lies face first, down on the ground. The man is ordered to drop the squire and step back, but he does not. Sir Tirn, then Sir Kjarri strike, and finally Tamarie fires an arrow in to the man’s shoulder. This, at last, forces him to drop Sanaar and step back into a less aggressive pose. In the discussion that, reluctantly on the part of the stranger, follows the party meets Sir Rycarad Zormel; the father of Saradine and first husband to Licea. It was he who finished off Sir Enal for the way the knight treated Saradine. He saw Saradine provoke the knight, but believed that was no excuse for the words he used. Then, after following Saradine into the woods, he overheard the plot by Sanaar to marry Saradine and inherit both his uncles and her holdings. Rycarad made plans to murder Sanaar at the next opportunity; something he’d very much like to finish.
Sir Tirn decides that Sir Rycarad can’t be held responsible for the death of Sir Enal, as this was between knights. And while, as a knight, Sir Rycarad has every right to kill Sanaar, the party will bring him back to the keep. Sir Rycarad refuses to join them, and is fine with Sir Tirn’s decision, although he debates his right to still be called a knight since he’s not returned to his duties or families. He admits that he would just as passively accepted Sir Tirn and Sir Kjarri’s decision to kill him (although, perhaps not as passively). He praises the group’s wisdom, especially since they have a Sargent to mind them.
Sir Kjarri, Tamarie & Sir Tirn return with Sanaar as well as the truth behind Sir Enal’s death – Sir Enal besmirched the honour of Saradane in front of her father, Sir Rycarad Zormet, who is not dead, but has been living with leprosy since he disappeared, and has been covertly keeping an eye on his only daughter. After hearing the story, the party agrees to call the death of Sir Enal an accident, since it is their belief that this was a duel between knights. Seenaë goes to see Sanaar again, to get more truth out of him. The party tells Sir Pavers their version of the story, and he seems to believe that they are not telling all of the truth. Perhaps he is aware that Sir Rycarad is alive? He agrees to their version – that the death of Sir Enal was a terrible accident. Kjarri, Tirn & Seenaë spend some time doing penance, and Seenaë learns how to make a ritual candle from Pelnala Lineas Ricolar.
Sanaar is brought out of his cell, washed, brought upstairs, flogged, and Sir Pavers bodily marches him to the Temple of St. Belsarian, opens the thorn gate, throws him through, the reaches out and pulls the gate shut. He walks away without looking back.
The Captain, Sir Kaleb Vandal, returns from the Morgathian hunt with his surviving men. They killed the Morgathians to a man, but the powerful one got away. Two knights took their own lives in fear of turning into a Morgathian puppet. Of the group of 8 and 20 that left, six knights and 18 soldiers return. The powerful Morgathian was last seen heading north-east, deeper into the moor. He seems to have been searching for something.
That night, everyone is awakened by something strange. Dogs howl, horses scream, cocks crow, etc. Seenaë feels like she is breathing in some kind of miasma, and then – after awakening – a great power is receding.
Seenaë spends some time speaking with Pelnala Ricolar about the strange power surge. He feels that something has awakened, and if they’re lucky it will go back to sleep. She also gets the chance to practice combating a geshtiva, thanks to the trapped one they keep at the temple for training purposes.
That evening, Sir Pavers & Lady Miara hold a dinner in the party’s honour, to thank them. Master Bici leaves a purse with 25d in it as thanks. for dealing delicately with his step-daughter’s honour. It is, possibly, the most money Master Bici has ever paid for a service.
Sir Pavers & Lady Miara present the party with gifts. Seenaë is given a wooden box, inside is a complete priest’s regalia set, travel sized. Tamarie is gifted with a bone longbow case, big enough for 3 longbows. Inside is a longbow. Nina is given a leather bound handwritten book, containing 25 of the Caer’s cook’s best recipes, suitable for being cooked over a campfire. Tirn & Kjarri are given cloaks, lined in black sheep’s wool, made of sealskin, as well as a small box containing a brass & red enamelled cloak pin. Young Yuri presents the group with 100d. They spend a pleasant last night in Dunir, enjoying good food, wine & company.
The party and the caravan depart for Selvos. The trip home is surprisingly uneventful. They arrive back in Selvos on the 15h of Halane.
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