Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (28)
As we stepped out the door to head to the mansion
ruins, before we left, Miyara tells the Dorufurikata that this woman
was the fake vampire who attacked the girl. He took the news
simply and as matter of fact.
We then continued out of town towards the Ghostwood
to find the Black Stump. Goru, Omi, and Son had not been involved
in the matter of the woman, and they remained behind again as we headed
out on a second attempt to get to the ruins.
It was not difficult to find the black stump.
In a small grassy clearing, a black and scraggly stump of what used to
be a large tree reached up into the sky. It did not look like it
had been struck by lightning recently, although it had obviously been
in the past.
I motioned to Pireseri to look around with his
special sight. He indicated that the tree did not look at all
unusual inside, and there was nothing strange in the ground around here.
Ashu and I looked around for tracks. It was
clear to us that this had been a campsite for quite some tijme, a
period probably of at least a week. There were signs of a
recently used campfire, trampled grass, and Ashu picked up the woman's
scent. That woman had left in a hurry in the direction from which
we came; tracks and scent of two other people headed northward, in the
opposite direction. Our obvious decision was to head north
following these other tracks.
We travelled north for about two miles, ever deeper
into the woods, until we came across another campsite. This time
there was a tent there, but no sign of people. It looked to
Miyara as if the tent had not been here very long, probably about a
day, no more. The campsite showed very little sign of being used,
and no fire had even been built in the fireplace. Ashu picked up
that the two people arrived here about three or four hours ago. I
suggested that they were looking for wood, but Ashu said they had left
in a hurry in the last three or four minutes. These barbarians
are so noisy.
Ashu and I moved on out stealthily following the
tracks, with Miyara accompanying us. MIyara had ordered the
others to follow along behind, but far enough that they didn't
interfere with us. Ashu told us that one of these people was the
smell of someone from the graveyard; the other is a new scent he had
not encountered before. The tracks of the unknown person
disappeared soon after entering the woods; the beastman creator smell
continued to leave tracks.
The tracks continued north, and we continued to
follow. The smell of the beastman creator showed he was running,
so he had to have been pulling away from us. He was leaving a
pretty clear trail. To hurry and be ambushed, or to follow safely
and fall behind? MIyara said to continue as we were, and Ashu
agreed. Eventually he would surely get a sense of security or
exhaustion and stop. I had lost the track, but at least I was
being much more stealthy than he was. Not everyone can sniff like
a dog. The track continued to come in and out for me, but Ashu's
nose continued to sniff out our quarry.
After a quarter of an hour it was obvious he was
slowing down. He had stopped and we had caught up. Ashu
indicated he was about 15 yards ahead of us, ducked down behind a tree
peeking out, waiting either in cover or more likely ambush. I
worked my way around behind him, while Ashu and Miyara came in from
other directions from the general front. The man still seemed to
be oblivious to our presence.
I came up right behind him in the thick woods.
As Miyara stepped forward, I grabbed him from behind. I grabbed
his mouth and pinned his arms, but of course he still struggled.
MIyara and Ashu both leapt forward ready to subdue him. The man
himself was carrying a staff. All of us knew that there was a
mage among those we faced, so none of us were going to stop and ask for
surrender -- we all wanted him incapacitated quickly. Miyara
allowed me to follow my strategy, understanding perfectly what was
appropriate, and told him to stop struggling.
Suddenly, coming straight it at me was a large
slathering ghostlike creature. My duty was to stop the mage, so I
tried to hold on as this thing attacked me, but the demon held me in
its power and I could do nothing as the man broke free. The demon
tore into me and I died.
Then the illusion disappeared and I realized I was
alive and unhurt.
Ashu then failed us and attempted to bury his axe in
the man's skull, but the man slipped between him and Miyara and ran
off. Miyara turned quickly and struck at him as he ran by,
slicing into him. He fell down and started screaming in a
barbarian tongue, clearly in total fear. His life was clearly in
Miyara's hands, and he knew it. MIyara ordered Ashu to do
something, and he went off into the woods quickly, searching for
something or someone. Miyara quickly and effectively rendered the
I recovered my senses and fell to my knees in front
of Miyara in shame. She allowed me to live. Perhaps she
considered it the action of magic, but that did not excuse it. At
least now we knew how someone could die with no marks. She told
me I would have to work off my dishonor, but in the meantime there is
another man out here who we cannot detect. We would wait for the
others to catch up, she directed, so that Hosei could check for magic.
It took twenty minutes for the others to
arrive. In that time we had bound and gagged our prisoner.
I forgot myself for a moment and spoke, suggesting I administer first
aid; Miyara gave me a look and told me to do so.
MIyara explained to the others what happened.
She told Hosei about the illusionary beast, and that there were two men
here, as the one I held could not have cast it. The others
searched the man, finding many spell components of an indeterminate
specialty, but probably not a necromancer, and Hosei said that he had
recently been casting magic. Hosei said that nothing in this area
was magical aside from this man.
I almost spoke again, to ask Hosei if this man could
have cast if he had been held, but I just made a small sound before I
stopped myself and bowed my head in shame. He could of course
have cast the demon illusion before we got there, for the ambush, and
called it forth when we attacked. This was most likely, and I was
very glad I had stopped myself rather than compounded my shame again.
Among the man's possessions was a magic licence, in
the name of Frederik
Herkenrath. With no other signs of anyone else, we started
back to town with our prisoner, along with everything from his
camp. The only unusual thing in this camp was a partly used vial
of manbane, with three or four lethal doses left, of which Rabena
immediately took charge. There were three sets of light
travelling equipment. The size and shape of the clothing in the
packs were consistent with the other person being the fake vampire, and
Ashu's nose confirmed it. He did confirm that the doctor had not
We arrived back in town to seek out the Dorufurikata
and tell him what we had found. The woman was now in the town
jail, still unconscious. Hosei told us that at very high level a
magician need not do anything to cast a spell, so therefore the new
prisoner would need his hands, his mouth, and components to cast -- so
if he was under constant watch, he would not have an uninterrupted ten
seconds to get off a spell. If he had been of that level, we
would not have defeated him so easily. He was isolated in jail
under constant watch, much as Hosei had been when he was imprisoned in
town. Rabena told us that he was seriously injured and would
remain unconscious for some time, but she treated him anyway. She
added in a quiet aside to Miyara that with normal treatment, it would
take him a week to regain consciousness, but that she had treated him
at the site and he could be brought back to consciousness at any
time. The woman would probably wake up in one to three
days. Hosei stated clearly that the woman did not have an aura of
magic about her, and she was not carrying anything that would indicate
she could use magic.
The Dorufurikata did not recognize either of these
We had several courses of action open to us at this
point. Ashu could try again to track down the man who
disappeared. We did see some evidence at the doctor's that
pointed to the broken down mansion. One prisoner could of course
be interrogated almost immediately, but we could have to wait a few
days before we could confirm anything with the woman.
The obvious action, therefore, was to interrogate Herkenrath in the jail
cell. Rabena revived him, with Miyara directing the questioning;
Jeison restrained the man, being the strongest aside from Goru, and
Ashu insisted he accompany Rabena. Hosei also was to be present,
as he could warn us if he started casting, but he remained outside the
cell, as did Pireseri and I.
The man, initially groggy, recovered enough to be
questioned. Later, Miyara described it to me, and I of course
gave her my full attention.
M: who are you working for?
-- why are you terrorizing this village?
-- what do you mean?
--- tell me your version
-- we were gathering herbs in the woods, and you
-- before that
-- in Noln
preparing to come here to gather herbs
-- we know you've been here for at least a week
-- yes, we;ve been here for three weeks
-- what have you been doing?
-- gathering herbs
P started in a monotone, soothing, reassuring him
that we were friends, he would not come to harm, he could tell us, it
would be ok. His hypnotism succeeded, as he asked him to tell
what he'd been doing the last three weeks.
-- gathering herbs
M: so what kind of herbs have you been gathering and
what have you been doing with them?
He seemed happy to tell her, and went on for some
time about it. It seemed reasonable, but there were holes all
over the story given we knew he was a bad guy. He did not come
across to Rabena as a skilled herbalist.
Rabena: which one among you was looking for these
herbs? (All three were gathering, but perhaps one other among
them was the one who wanted them)
R: is that the third man who ran away?
-- the other guy. There was only two of us.
P asked why they've been scaring people with
- we never saw any beastmen
M: so where did this Martin go>
-- he ran in a different direction, we were very
-- of what?
-- we were being attacked/threatened by an armed
mob, so we ran.
-- who is that woman there?
-- I don't know
-- you were together earlier today
-- your camp was set up for three people, and her
belongings were there
-- no, there were only two of us.
-- we were there in your camp, we know
-- I understand. There were only two of us,
I've never seen her before in my life.
-- do you know Dr. In Tesan?
P: cluck like a chicken
the man does exactly that.
M: (turns around to us and says) you know we could
just kill him now and talk to the woman when she wakes up.
The Dorufurikata and watch captain look at her with
a concerned look, clearly hoping she's bluffing.
Ashu says OK and pulls out his axe.
The man falls to his knees and stares at anyone who
might look sympathetic, and then looks at the watch captain and begs
him not to let us kill him. The watch captain says, "Oh, of
course, I can't let them kill you... here. So given that there's
no real evidence against you, I'll have to throw you out of jail."
M - we'll be waiting outside
wc - take him with you
the man begs in desperation
M - if you would answer our questions you would be
worth something and I wouldn't have to kill you
-- we were gathering herbs
-- for whom?
-- for sale in Noln.
R calls out something he says as being a lie, that
herb is not available this time of year
-- well, yeah, we didn't find any of that.
R continues with another one
The man quavers and can't come up with a clean
response. He's been caught, clearly, and he knows it.
M so what were you really doing?
-- we were gathering herbs
-- if you were gathering, where are all the herbs?
-- we were drying them at another location
M grills him on that, eventually going back to
threatening to take him there, i.e. outside.
In responses to Pireseri, the man says he never came
into town, doesn't know where the graveyard is, and doesn't know the
term Ghostwood (and probably doesn't).
P - tell us the truth. What have you been
doing in the woods for three weeks?
-- we are wanted by authorities in Noln and are hiding out in
M: what are you wanted for?
We know he made the beastmen, he was the man in the
graveyard. We don't know about this Martin guy, so we'd have to
suspect he was the necromancer.
P -- thruthfully tell us of the talents of yourself
and your companions.
-- I'm an illusionist. I can hypnotize
people. My partner is a merchant. (that's all he says)
P -- tell us how we can find your merchant friend
-- I don't know, he ran in a different direction and
I never saw him again
M: where do you think he would go?
-- home. I don't know.
-- you conjured up the ghost in the cemetary.
Why were you there especially when all the skeletons were walking?
-- I wasn't in the cemetary. I didn't conjure
any skeletons or ghosts, in the cemetary.
P what phrase will make you remember the things
you've told yourself to forget?
(it turns out the key to this guy is britt
stultenberg, but we know how she died and so haven't asked yet.
But when confronted he freaks, and swears on anything that his holy
that he had nothing ot do with her death, and he thinks Martin did it
but doesn't know why he would do such a horrible thing. He begs
us to believe him, he'll tell us anything byut he did not kill that
M says to tell us everything.
-- we were hired to come to town and scare people
out of town. No-one was supposed to get hurt, they told us no-one
would get hurt, and then that girl got killed and all hell broke
loose. (Except for the elderly man frightened to death, fo
course. The vampire attack girl is fine, it was the girl who
found her that was impaled by the stick.)
M: who hired you?
-- Gehrig and Martin Schnapp.
-- did they say why?
-- I think the point was to buy up property in town,
but no-one ever said that directly.
-- so your part in this was just ot create
-- so who's she?
-- just a hired hand, she was supposed to help with
the scaring. She did the vampire thing. Then she accuses
Martin of killing that girl, and I think he did something to her food.
Rabena says he's right, he poisoned her.
M: what do you know about hte skeletons from the
-- Martin gave me a ring that had a raise the dead
spell in it. I raised them, and I told them not to attack
anybody, just to scare people, I swear it.
P: where is this ring now?
-- in the stuff you took from me. (He was
wearing a ring, and H confirmed it was not magical -- anymore, anyway)
M: how did you turn the river red?
-- just a barrel of dye we brought here with us
-- what about hte springwort in the water, whose
idea was that?
-- don't know whose idea, but it was the dwarf who
put the springwort in the barrels.
P talks about hte track disappearing rapidly,
-- he has some kind of magical boots that obscure
M turns to the Dorufurikata and asks what he'll do
with him now
D says he'll send him down to Noln. HE doesn't have
hte manpower to do it himself, he could hire us to escort him or send
for someone to get him
M what about Gehriug and Martin?
D martin we need to catch, but he'll get away if you
can't find him, he'll get away unless he's at gehrigs. As for
gehrig and the dwarf, enough evidence to arrest and send to noln for
trial. He wants our help in arresting gehrig too, since he
doesn't have any men left now except hte captain.
So we'll go to arrest gehrig.