Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (21)
Miyara had arranged our release so that we could
fight the beastmen that threatened the town. This pleased me in
several ways -- not only could I now fight alongside my cousin, but I
would be released from the burden of hearing Hosei snore loudly each
night. Still, my search of the area revealed no sign of these
supposed foes. Indeed, while we took watches at night, there was
This day, however, we were to do a more thorough
search of the area where the beastmen had been seen. Ashu was no
doubt going to sniff like a dog again. Miyara remained behind, as
the Dorufurikata was concerned about the whole party going out at once,
and with her stayed Carimera, Rabena, and Pireseri. That left
myself, Ashu, Jeison, Goru, and Hosei to explore the woods.
We left the town by the road heading north, then set
out across fields and entered the woods in the area where the two
wood-gatherers reported seeing beastmen in the Ghostwood.
Ashu sniffed the ground, as I had expected, and
Hosei was kind enough to explain what he had found. He had picked
up the scents of us, the two woodsmen, and one other person to the
north. We went about 40-50 yards to the north, and again Ashu put
his nose to the ground. Here he picked up the scent of someone
who passed quickly by in late afternoon or early evening, travelling
from the east, across not to the town. There had also been
someone who stayed in one spot for a long time about 24 hours ago, but
left no scent of coming or going. There was definitely no scent
We followed the one trail to the west. We came
to a place where the person stopped for a while, moved on, and followed
the trail of another human. A short way again, and we found a
body of a villager, some peasant or other.
Hosei checked the body, but much to my surprise
nobody looted it. Perhaps this was because they expected to find
nothing of value, but perhaps also it is a civlizing influence coming
across at last. There were no obvious marks on the body, but he
did have a terrified expression on his face.
Hosei was immediately concerned that we would be
blamed for the death if we told them in the city; I said we should
report the body, even though it is only a peasant. Hosei finally
agreed, and said we should take the body back very soon.
Hosei and Goru improvised a litter, and placed the
body on it. We set off, with the two of them loudly demonstrating
their lack of skill in moving quietly.
We followed the trail of the woodsmen backwards, and
then one forked off heading mostly westwards. Suddenly Ashu
stopped, and cast about as if the trail had ended. Hosei pointed
at a person on the ground and dropped the litter.
The person said something at sat up out of the
leaves. He was half elf, and half something else I could not
identify. He greeted me in Nipponese, but with a terrible
accent. His name was Omi, and he had a broken arm.
Hosei and Omi talked for a while, about what I have
After that, Omi and I had a pleasant conversation
ourselves. Omi said he did not hurt him. We did discuss the
slow and uneven justice of the Dorufurikata, and the arbitrary way the
peasants seem to want to apply their own form of barbarian
justice. I suggested that he get healed by Rabena, and that Omi
ask Hosei for safety until healed. Hosei seemed unsure about
this, but did agree to guarantee safety for Omi until he was healed.
On the other hand, Hosei wanted to report Omi to the
townsfolk. Afraid of summary judgement by the barbarians, I
pointed out that we don't have to report him since he didn't kill the
peasant. For one thing, Omi had a broken arm; for another, there
were no marks on the body.
Then, of course, the barbarians had to interfere
with a perfectly fine situation. They described how people always
die in this town, which of course prompted Omi to want to stay here
while help was fetched.
Hosei suggested that Omi return to town with me as
escort, and then he could be released into the forest once
healed. He did add that if someone asked him, he would tell them
where we found Omi. In yet another conversation I pointed out
that Omi was not found with the body. The discussion continued
for a while.
Suddenly Omi stood up. He was dressed in full
buckskins with a very large cloak, shaking leaves out of it as he
straightened up. He walked over to Hosei and me, and wes set off
into town with Hosei and Goru carrying the dead man.
Back in town, I found Miyara with the watch
captain. I told her I'm taking Omi to Rabena, who it turns out
was now awake. To my surprise, Omi treated her with
Hosei then spent a while talking to the watch
captain. Of course I suspected he was telling the whole story;
Miyara's translated for me. The captain told him that the dead
man was Otto Limo from Wilerburg. He lived not
far from the Ghostwood, but of course was as superstitious as
barbarians are, and would not normally go there. Hosei then said
that we had also found Omi with a broken arm, sleeping in the woods,
but he did not volunteer his theory that there was a connection.
Hosei and Goru then took Otto's body to the
doctor to find out why he died. I accompanied Omi to the inn to
see Rabena. On the way, Omi made a strange comment that Otto's
soul had been torn from his body; I told him that we thought there was
a magician who was creating an illusion of beastmen.
In the inn, I introduced Omi to Rabena, Pireseri,
and Carimera, Queen of Yetsin Valley. Unfortunately it turned out
that Rabena was not yet well enough to heal Omi yet, but they did have
a bed for him so he could rest until she could treat him. I made
a polite exit and returned to Miyara.
The remainder of the day passed uneventfully, until
it was time for dinner. The inn was crowded, with the local
barbarians nervous and not talking much. The only notable
addition to the regulars was Dagoma Tausika, who Boris Hippler
the gravedigger had claimed had killed Sigi because he knew that she
had killed Bastia.
Goru left our table and went over to talk to
Tausika. After a few words, she quickly pulled a knife and held
it to his eye. The White Fairy quickly talked his way out of it,
however, and came back to our table. Apparently Tausika had
admitted killing Bastia because he didn't pay off a debt. Now we
only need to find out who delivered the dart and the blow to the head.
The room was very quiet, but no-one around us had
reacted to this scene.
A few minutes later, a very large Imperial woman
walked into the inn. This was the owner of the local general
store (who ran it with her sister), Brunhilde. She was
carrying a large staff.
This woman walked up to our table and (as Miyara
translated) that Boris
Hippler had told her that we thought Dagoma had killed Bastia,
and that it was not true. She said that Bastia was a sick man who
had a child with her sister and ran off to leave her with a
miscarriage. She said, "When I saw him I could not help
myself." Hosei had a few words with her in the barbarian tongue,
walking off with her as she left the table.
Before Hosei could return to the table, an elderly
gentleman sitting at another table said something to us.
Apparently he saw who killed Bastia, and it was a Tai Lin
assassin. The man saw him climbing up to Bastia's window, and
climb back down. Miyara explained to me that the Tai Lins are
known for their assassins as part of their politics.
On this, Jeison took a lantern outside to the base
of the wall to look for marks of someone climbing, but of course found
This meant that all causes of death were now
accounted for. We could then report to the dorufurikata about the
death of Bastia, and can return to the druidess and tell her too.
It was not possible to tell which of the attempts actually killed him,
not that we should care, of course.
Miyara took Hosei with her to report to the
dorufurikata. She later explained that she told him of the five
attempts, and that they established a rough timeline of Bastia's last
hours: first the doctor, then Reefugo, Brunhilde hit him
while outside, he climbed upstairs, where he was stabbed and darted in
the room. There was no reason to believe that any one of these
were fatal by themselves, but it was clear that there were several
legitimate justifications for the peasant's death. The
dorufurikata ruled officially that the man had been killed by a Tai Lin
assassin for reasons unknown: thus is justice in the barbarian way.
The matter of Sir Theodocius had still
not been resolved, of course, and so we still needed to remain in
town. We were to stand watch that night under the direction of
the watch captain, and if nothing happened the matter was to be
discussed the next day.
Hosei suggested that Otto may have seen what
stalked the young men from the Black Eagle, but was not physically able
to handle it and was frightened to death.
I suggested that the bread, which smelled funny to
Ashu, contained a hallucinogen. The baker was sick, and his wife
was perhaps putting the wrong mushrooms in it, since she had taken over
the bakery in the meantime. She certainly hasn't been taking the
pig out into the woods.
Beastmen do not attack at night. Lots of
things might attack tonight, of course, but each person will see their