Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (27)


    (We have not yet told the Dorufurikata that Bastia's grave is empty.  The skeletons were not illusions, so whoever it was could animate dead (or had something that could).  Perhaps they could also raise dead, which could be why Bastia is not in his grave.  We know that the person is doing illusionist spells, which explains their ability to pop in and out and move unseen.  They've also done some necromantic spells.  What if Bastia was undead all along (suggests Hosei), which would explain why he was so hard to kill, and looked ill before his death (doctor examined him) -- no reason he couldn't cast spells as undead (and vampires are undead).
    Hosei asks Dagoma about hte undertaker.  She says he was kind of an odious man, been here forever.
    Hosei then talked to the old lady.  He asked her about the undertaker, Boris Hippler.  The man was apparently born here, of parents who lived here.  He was not related to the Reichenbach's, or Katz's family, although his family has been here as long as that family.  Her name was Old Mother Eberhauer and she looked to be old, 65 maybe.  She dresses all in black all the time, baggy cloak, grey hair, grey eyes, piercing gaze.  Of course she has a black cat, which was enjoying her stroking.  It too had a piercing gaze.  She was sitting at a table by herself -- not so much that they avoided her out of fear, more that they respected her.
    Hosei went back to the table and concentrated for a while.  He observed that she was a magical person, and the cat was a magical being.  The cat would have been a familiar, probably, which would show up as magical.  She was either actively using magic, was the subject of magic, or had been around so much magic that it just rubbed off on her.  Hosei wrote this on the table with a beery finger in a barbarian attempt to communicate it.
    Pireseri looked into her clothes.  She was carrying lots of items in pockets, as if components for spells, such as Hosei also carries.  The woman stared back at him with an unconcerned knowing look, a piercing gaze indeed.
    Hosei, Pireseri, and I went over to her table after Hosei cast one more spell so I could understand his words.  I bowed respectfully to her and asked her if I might be permitted to sit with her.  She answers "please do."  I bowed respectfully again and sat at her table.  The other two joined us.  Hosei asked about the goings-on and who might have caused them, mentioning the spellcaster who tried to be invisible in the middle of the graveyard.  She answered a little vaguely, but added that it was easy to see -- and much more important -- that the forces of chaos were behind this.
    I: "why this town?"
    OL: "what might be new about this town recently?"
    H: "other htan uws?
    OL: why other?
    H: because it began before we got here, with the death of Bastia.  Or earlier.  Also the poisoning of the water barrels, that had to be going on for more than 5 or 6 days.
    OL: how long have you been coming here?
    H: it's my -- and Kyosuke's -- first visit.
    OL: I wasn't clear.  How long have you been coming here?  How long has it been since you took hte path that lead you here?
    I say that my path -- and my esteemed cousin -- began many years ago.
    P: a month ago, when we were told to come here and pick up Bastia.  You wouldn't happen to know where B got to, do you?
    OL: he's not in his grave?  And how would you know this?'
    P: we looked?
    OL: you dug him up?  tonioght?
    H: We had means to acquire that information.
    P: yes, we dug him up.
    OL: he wouoldn't be the first to have not spent eternity in that graveyard.
    K: what was he?
    OL: I never knew him. I only heard of him after his death.
    P describes the many means of his death.
    H explains that several people participated in his death, several from town
    OL: so it was not just hte tai lin assassin
    P adds that it took many to kill him, just one of them was not enough.
    OL: I wonder how long he was on the path
    K: A path of chaos?
    OL: the path of chaos
    H: no evidence that he was, although he was not hte upstanding citizen
    OL: yet you were here to meet him?  So he was not completely devoid of chaos
    P: we knew nothing about him other than we were to meet him and bring him to our sponsor.
    K: why does chaos want this town empty?  (using extremely polite forms of address)
    OL: that would be hard to tell, but if I were to guess I would say that chaos didn't care.
    K:so who does?
    OL: I believe lots of people want the town for different reasons.
    K: in this town there are many people who want several things, for very different reasons.  We have learned that.
    H: the Dorf has hired us to figure out who and why.  in particular do you thing the Dorf is interested in reducing the population of the town for some reason
    OL: I don't think that would seem a good thing for him.
    K: we do not who or why.  can you help us?
    H pooints out that the skeletons didn't actually attack anyuone until they were attacked.  it was an attempt to scare people, not kill them
    OL: so why would you try to get people to leave town
    H: to take over the town for some reason.
    K to get to something that cannot be done with people in town
    H and P discuss the matter of getting everyone out of town.
    OL: and eventurally someone will come back.
    P: but if you only want them gone for a week or so.
    K the town is too important to die compeltely
    H: then there is the theory of revenge by the long-dead riekenbacks
    OL: you think that?>\
    H: no, somebody who is alive is behind that
    OL: and who is behind that?
    H: that is the question.  There are no pictures of the richenbachs, are there/
    OL: not any more.
    H: where is their home?
    OL: The reichenbach mansion is north of town, go to the road to bretonia and hang a right.
    that is where Og ran into such trouble
    H wonders if there's any reason we shouldn't look at it in the day.  He offers OL a place to stay if she likes, she declines  He asks if she has any other advice.
    OL: what is your goal?
    H: I believe their sponsor asked them to help the Dorf in any way they could.
    K: my goal is to reclaim hte te chnique of clown fighting for nippon.
    OL: I can offer you no advice.
    K: my cousin's goal is to find a paritcular small dragon statue
    OL: again I can offer you no advice.  Pauses, then says to H, I can say, for your goal, I think you know the answer, you just don't believe it.
    K are we the cause of this?
    OL: when the wind blows a tree down and kills a bird, is the tree the cause of the death.
    K: Hai.  (bow respectfully and know I have received some great wisdom)
    K: perhaps the sogin roku is the cause
    OL: what is the zoggin rock?
    K: the sogin roku is an item of power held by the queen of yetsin vallye, who is one of us
    OL: the queen of yetsin valley is one of you?  I would very much like to meet her
    K: she is over there.  (I point)
    H gets up and fetches Carimera.  She comes over.
    OL asks if she is the queen.
    C: yes
    OL: how did that come to pass?
    The king passed it on to her.  H and P discuss it, P explains it: Og was the king, and passed it on to her.  Og reincarnated as him.
    OL: did the zoggin rock come from the yetsin valley?
    P: yes, it did
    Carimera wants to know who told her about the zoggin rock.  H says it was Kyosuke who asked if the chaos that was finding its way into town was the fault of that item.
    OL asks to see the rock.
    C says no, no-one gets to touch it.  No one gets to see it.  It's her Precious.
    OL: the yetsin valley (in a witchy way) is a place of chaos.  things from the yetsin valley are probably of chaos.  the fact that one of your members is the queen of yetsin valley only confrims my hypothesis.
    H suggests that leaving this town would return it to normal
    OL: eventually.  Not that you are the cause any more than the tree is the cause of the death of the bird.  and not that you had any choice about coming here.  are you staying?
    H: at least the night.  and we now own this inn.
    OL: I know.  things will never be the same
    H: a duke amongst your small town, that was none of our doing.
    OL: I have no doubt that if you hadn't come to town, there would never be a duke here.
    K: Hai.
    H questions her view of cause and effect
    OL: there is no cause and effect, only fate.
    K: Hai
    P attempts to plant something on her.  It is a crystal leaf from the forest of lasers from the chaos of yetsin valley.  He succeeds.  Another magician in a previous town had told him not to carry these leaves around.
    H thanks her for her time; she thanks him for his.
    K thanks her for her wisdom and enlightenment.  All sorts of formal well wishes and thanks and respect.
    OL: anytime.
    We return to the table.  Hosei resolves to spread the sdescription of the conversation when we're in private.
    Eventually the party starts to break up, people start to go home.
    I tell Miyara about the conversation now, in nipponese.  that's so she can tell the dorufurikata tonight if she wishes.
    I meditate on what the woman said, but do not achieve enlightenment.
    H convinces everyone that we should investigate the Reichenbach mansion.

    What is left of the town has gone back to their houses, scattered within and wthout the town.  There is nothing left of the militia, just the watch captain of the watch.  He however asks Miyara for our help with the watch that night, and so we do.  Ashu and Jeison, Pireseri and Goru, and Kyosuke and Miyara.  Night passes uneventfully.
    H tells the Dorf that we are going to investigate the Reichenbach mansion to eliminate the legend that the dead are coming back.  We head off, leaving Goru to look after the chest and Son to wait on him; Omi of course also stays, as he has a broken arm.
    As we headed out of town, before we reached the road, there was a woman stumbling towards us.  We did not recognize her.  She fell at our feet and Rabena dropped to help her.  Hosei went to first aid her, but the woman has no obvious external injuries.  The woman was in her upper 20's, 6', strong, short black wavy hair, smooth tan skin, broad shoulders, dressed in leathers and cotton boots.  Rabena examined her for a minute, then said that she's been poisoned.  Rabena asked Ashu to sniff her mouth; he did and said it was manbane.  R said we needed to get her to the doctor quickly -- she had not yet lost consciousness but was incapable and weak.  H tells her, she shows him a vial that's empty, that R says is antidote.
    H knocked and shouted at the doctor's door.  there is no answer, so H kicked it in.  H takes her into the examining room, and R finds some antidote and administered it.  The doctor was not at the inn last night (check for retcon) but was not among those who left town.  Jeison and Pireseri searched the house, first looking for him, and then looking to see if he'd packed up and his stuff had gone; P adds unlocking the locked things, and searching for secret compartments and so on.  He unlocks the unlocked cabinets in the dispensery, and the locked room.  J is not rifling through things, and of course P doesn't need to.  There is no body, no sign of packing, no sign of foul play.  The locked room, however... in it J found nothing, but P found one small chest about the size to place on a lap, and looking into it it contains an assortment of items that remind P of spell components.  There is also a trunk-sized chest full of books, and this chest is/was locked.
    J comes back and tells us.
    Soon after the antidote is in her, the woman grabs at R, pulls her down to her mouth, and whispers "black stump" and passes out.
    P tells R about the locked chest and shows her the books.  She finds (and tells) it contains several books on death, decay of the body, embalming, necromancy (theoretical, not magic, kind of creepy to have this), elemental magic (again, not a spell book, but any interested person could have this), science, writing.  Wrapped in cloth is a beautifully leather bound edition of the vital force by Francois Enfertier.  Opening to the bookmarked page are some sections which on casual examination seem to be about making a dead frog jump by hitting it with electricity.  Some underlined passages relate to apparatus and the use of lightning to produce similar results.  One of the drawers of the desk is/was locked, and it contains a map.  P shows H the spell components, and they are for battle magic, the basic magic any magic user has to learn.  the locked drawer contains a very old map of kurutzhofen on which the Reichenbach map is circled, and an invoice from Hugo Glasbecher for a very large quantity of glassware and equipment for 297 crowns.
    P and H propose that the doctor paid the undertaker to give him bodies to use in his experiments.  His claim to not be doing magic is obviously not true.  Elemental magic can call lightning; the book shows how to make the dead move; obviously he's trying to animate the dead.
    P says he scared everyone out of town so there woudn't be a mob to go after him.
    H says he's an illusionist mage dabbling in necromancy.  H says we should call in the Dorf and the watch captain, and head out to the circled spot on the map and look for the black stump.
    I suggest the black stump might be the one that's struck by lightning?
    H and J and P leave everything out to show the dorf the things they found while looking for medicine.  H wants to take the bound book to the monastery where the dwarves and people are.
    Dorf called in.  Show him everything.  He points out it's concerning but nothing blatant.  We leave the woman in his charge while we leave to the Reichenbach mansion.  The watch captain suggests that we put everything back as it was; P does that.
    We ask the Dorf and watch captain about the Black Stump.  They say that just inside the Ghostwood, close to Wilerberg, is an old tree that was hit by lightning that the town calls the Black Stump.  They don't know who the woman was.  H tells her she came from the North.  Ashu now realises the smell of this woman is that of the fake vampire -- this woman is the fake vampire.  H says that whoever she was working with wanted to get rid of her now, D + WC agree.
    We head towards the Black Stump.