Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories
An Investigation into the Recent Death of Halcyon var Enkorth
All Hail the Reaching Moon!
An Investigation into the Recent Death of Halcyon var Enkorth
Citadel of Elkoi, Occupied Balazar 7/47
Hail Minister Windlass,
As ordered I had travelled to the citadel of Elkoi to investigate the recent death of your aide Halcyon var Enkorth. Upon my arrival in the citadel I made my presence and objective known to Euryptus the Bold, commander of the Lunar garrison, Elecora Kindtongue, High Priestess of the Seven Mothers, and Marusa, known as the Shrew, priestess of Jalakel the Witch, the individual rumoured to have been working the closest with var Enkorth. All three parties offered me their full co-operation and placed all their available resources at my disposal. I did not bother to make my presence known to King Glyptus the Good the local puppet as his loyalties are somewhat suspect.
I questioned all the witnesses that Euryptus the Bold's investigation had found and made my own inquiries to see whether I could find any additional witnesses. I managed to locate an additional eyewitness who was able to provide some useful information.
The particulars of his death are as follows :
On the night known in the Theyalan calendar as Windsday during Death week the four peltasts on duty at the quaintly termed Pig Gate were accosted and killed by five warriors. (This night unfortunately was one of a black moon so the only available light was from the torches at the gate). The guard at this gate was increased to four from one recently due to an earlier infiltration of this gate by what are believed to be the very same group of warriors. (Since this occurrence the Pig Gate has been kept barred at night and the guards are stationed within the walls instead).
Forensic spellcasting determined that the guards had been distracted by the sudden appearance of a rather tall, extremely good looking woman who had staggered up and collapsed at their feet. (It is uncertain whether this woman was one Hallelujah Harndottir, a follower of Babeester Gor, or an unknown woman of Balazaring origin known to associate with this crew of villains). While they were so distracted one of their number was Befuddled while the other three were hit by a hail of missiles. One was slain by a javelin wound to the chest, one was killed by a Multimissiled arrow causing savage wounds and the third one was slain by a combination of Multimissiled arrow and a dagger wound inflicted by the so-called woman in need. The Befuddled guard was then foully killed by a dagger blow to the back of the chest as he stood helpless. No doubt inflicted by the same "woman in need". Two of the warriors believed to be Praxians then donned the dead guards equipment and pretended to stand guard while the woman believed to be a Balazaring crouched nearby in the shadows.
The remaining two warriors then entered the citadel bearing one of the dead guard's body with them and made their way to the King's Inn where Halcyon var Enkorth had had his lodgings. (This body was later found propped up in a dark corner outside the inn. It is uncertain what they had meant to do with it). It is believed that they were either journeyed there with, met there or were proceeded there by a sorceror of unknown origin known only by the name, no doubt a pseudonym, of "Simon". (For the sake of brevity I'll continue to refer to this sorceror as "Simon"). This "Simon" had given this name to the guards at the main gate earlier that day when he had entered the citadel under the no doubt false pretense of hiring a bodyguard. He claimed to have been part of a adventuring party who had been all (with the exception of himself) slain by Tusk Riders. No record exists of any such party having been registerd at Elkoi nor has the presence of Tusk Riders been confirmed within Balazar. It was discovered that he was a sorceror when the assessor at the main gate cast the usual Detect Magic to assess his taxes. He paid the entry tax and having had his weapons peace strapped asked for directions to an inn he could stay in. Directed to the King's Inn he paid for a night's lodging in a shared room. He attracted the innkeeper's attention because of the large quantity of gold wheels he was carrying and because he ordered water to drink. Travellers from deep within Balazar are unusual at this time of the year as well. He made his stated attention of hiring a bodyguard known to the innkeep, one Moraring Broom, and asked whether he knew of anywhere he could find one. The innkeep suggested he try Cyriel Endelkar, the chief priest of the Etryries cult in Balazar and provided him with directions to his compound.
"Simon" proceeded straight to Cyriel Endelkar's compound where he was greeted by three muscular bodyguards employed by Endelkar. He made his purpose known to the three and while one was inside informing his master of a visitor this "Simon" attempted to hire one of these guards away from Endelkar's employ. When the third guard came back he was ushered into Endelkar's presence where he repeated his story about being the sole survivor of his party and his desire to hire a bodyguard. Endelkar said that he would pass this message on to any likely candidates but he didn't think that "Simon" would be able to find anyone to hire at this time of the year. "Simon" thanked him and made his way back to the gate he had exited the citadel by. There the guards attempted to shake him down for bribes by claiming not to have seen him exit the gate. (Although on my questioning them they admitted to having been on duty at the gate when he had actually exited). This shake down attempt ended upon the "intervention" of Halcyon var Enkorth who had been notified of the entry of a rich sorceror into the citadel by the assessor at the main gate. var Enkorth escorted "Simon" back to the King's Inn and sometime during the trip back he arranged for an "innocent" fencing bout with "Simon" since the late var Enkorth was a keen fencer and that was the apparent weapon of choice of the sorceror as well.
Upon returning to the inn var Enkorth told the sorceror that he would need to go to his room to fetch his rapier. When he returned the pair moved outside to the courtyard before the inn for their bout. It was agreed that no magic would be used and "Simon" removed some magic from his weapons before the bout. As witnesses the pair had a group of Lunar peltasts from the garrison. The pair exchanged blows for a while until var Enkorth was slightly wounded. He insisted on continuing the bout and the fight went on. It was at this point that a confederate of var Enkorth's cast a Befuddle spell at "Simon" which sorcerous protection prevented from working. "Simon" then accused var Enkorth of having poison on his rapier blade which was probably true from all reports I have heard on var Enkorth's personality. var Enkorth ordered the watching soldiers to seize "Simon", which they did. He was ushered to a guard post where he was relieved of all his money and magic items and expelled from the Citadel.
No one expected that he would return wanting revenge so var Enkorth did not take any additional percautions to ensure his safety. While his two confederates waited below "Simon" entered the King's Inn by a back window where he foully slew a sleeping merchant. He then entered the inn and made his way to the hallway outside var Enkorth's room where he doused the floorboards with lamp oil and set a fire that served to block the stairways up and down and var Enkorth's door. The King's Inn is a three story structure made up of a stone shell and a wooden interior. The ground floor is used as a drinking and eating establishment with an attached kitchen. The first floor is made up of private and shared rooms (plus the room's the innkeep lived in) as well as the chambers var Enkorth lived in while he was in Elkoi. The second floor served as the communal room and as barracks for Lunar soldiers.
According to my eyewitness she was awoken by a sound she could not identify and when she looked out of her window across the way from var Enkorth's windows she saw that the windows in his room were lit from within by a bright light which she quickly realized was fire. She was going to spread the alarm when she noticed a black clad figure walking on thin air outlined in one of the windows. (Undoubtably the sorceror "Simon"). This figure stuck his head into the window (which I suspect he had opened) and was attacked by a small salamander var Enkorth was known to possess. She also saw a flash of light as the Warding spell guarding var Enkorth's rooms went off but apparently "Simon's" sorcery defeated the Warding. My eyewitness thinks this figure may have been hit by an arrow fired from within the room but she was uncertain about this. "Simon" easily slew the salamander and retreated from the window. She saw him move higher up above the window but he seemed surprised when var Enkorth leapt through the other window and landed on the ground wielding a long spear. It was then that my eyewitness spotted "Simon's" confederates. From her description one of them had to be a rogue Yemalio initiate known as Durnfal, Baron of Golden Ears (research in the Irripi Ontor temple in Glamour show this to be a small fief beholden to the Count of Sun County in Prax). It is uncertain who the other figure was although he has a known confederate who is a Pentan horseman and the figure was wielding a bow. (A weapon the Balazarings are known to shun as taboo).
This pair moved forward to attack var Enkorth and he managed to befuddle the Yemalian. Unfortunately he managed to shake off the effects of the spell right away and kept advancing. The pair exchanged blows and the sorceror swept down from behind and stabbed var Enkorth in the chest apparently killing him. By this time the Lunar soldiers from the second floor had lowered ropes made out of bedding to the ground and the first of them tried to kick the sorceror in the head. His blow landed but bounced off some magical protection. The pair on the ground grabbed var Enkorth and ran off toward the Pig Gate with him with the sorceror flying behind. Just as they ran out of sight the sorceror cast some spell on var Enkorth that made him fly up to him and he flew off with the body.
Having returned to the gate where their friends waited the six fled into the darkness bearing var Enkorth's body with them. His head was later found nailed to a tree not far from the citadel. Fortunately the timely intervention of Lunar priestesses from the local temple put the fire out before too much damage was incurred (sylphs being used to smother the fire). Euryptus the Bold, commander of the Lunar garrison ordered his men to repair the damage at no cost to the innkeeper. The innkeeper, Moraring Broom was so grateful at this that he immediately joined the Seven Mothers. All-in-all only six people died in the raid, including Halcyon var Enkorth, the unfortunate merchant and the four gate guards. It is obvious that var Enkorth's actions were in part responsible for his death however this sort of vigilante action cannot be tolerated so I have authorised in your name an increase in the bounty on these villains from 100 wheels to 200 wheels each alive and 175 wheels each dead. Except for the ringleader, the sorceror, on his head I have authorised a bounty of 300 wheels dead or alive. (They were already under bounty (except the sorceror) for the role they had played in thwarting the marriage of the Immtheran grain goddess, Imma into the Balazarting pantheon. It is my hope that these sums will either tempt the Balazarings to betray these six or will attract bounty hunters. It is my contention that security is adequate at the citadel especially with the new precautions taken after this raid.
I remain yours,
Troigentes Lakedaimon, Special Investigator assigned to the Ministry of Provincial Security
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Last updated September 26, 2016
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