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Posted by on 2000 Jan 19 |

Necromancer in Drags!

Crossing, Zoluren: 128 Shorka 360 A young dwarf enters the tavern and smiles when he notices that the only empty stool at the bar is one slightly tainted by blood… his own! Without second thoughts he jumps on it.

“Baresh! Is there any reward for the solution of the Princes Assesination Mystery?” Baresh shakes his head, more in reproach of the tone of the barbarian, than as answer to his question.

He serves the dwarf a spice rum shot and keeps about his business. The dwarf is wearing a pocketed cloak… one stolen from Adam’f warior Baresh is sure as the costumer’s entire wardrobe seems to be from dead critters…

“No rewards ah… Well I have some experience in crime and murder… And your patrons, your encyclopedias and extensive records are quite a source for inquiring minds.” Solrac sips at his drink and looking around signals Baresh to come closer.

Baresh finishes serving some other patrons, and he is indeed curious as to what could this lowly warrior pretends to know of these high matters. So he approaches the dwarf and serves him another shot of the rum.

“You see Baresh, I hear these stories from some important persons at the ball, and I check for more reports on the “players” mentioned…”

“I had no idea who that Ralel, (I heard he was seen in suspiciuos dealings) was, but your reccords tell me he is known to murder, poisons, royalty and Lindryl! Now the Mayoress Lindryl as they call her, was present when the prince died… What a small world!” Solrac winks at Baresh to see if he follows his so called logic.

“Now the other thing I found out is the the Diva Kouritza… has never been heard of before… And yet she can flaunt the Title of Diva? Not even I who have drink warl ale from a dirty glass and eat mule jerky with gusto can swallow that!”

“The description of her performance… was awful, lyrics forgotten, strouting “like a man” around the prince, winks and dirty looks to Vorclaf? Something smells, and for once it is not me!” Baresh rolls his eyes as only the preemptive sprinkling of Elothean elixir on his moustache have make him able to endure the miasma of wet leather and viper oil emanating from the bald dwarf… But he keeps listening, after all, occasionally a goblin box will contain a big zircon… Perhaps the drunk warrior is not so off the mark!

“Thus now I am thinking, the Diva is a man, Baby… but how could he pass inspection? And Naresha mentions to me that during the Ball there where this masks that would alter the appereance of the wearer… Could something more powerfull be around?” Solracs takes the bottle of spiced rum from Baresh’s hand and pours himself a long shot (which baresh in his mind decides he will count as a double).

“I decided to study your encyclopedia. There I found this entry for a Peska Mask… an item that when worn by a man will allow him to change his apereance and even his race! Eureka?”

“You want facts? I can tell you some… trusting for it the memory of those present…”

“The Diva was unknown, yet not only could she appropiate that title, but got escorted by a guard to the Prince’s private reception. Another fact, the handkerchief was inspected and nothing found. Fact, the Prince had been drinking from a Undogoz Brandy. Fact, we do not know, or I do not know, who gave him that Brandy. Fact, Lindryl said she found something strange in that brandy’s bouquet and spit it out. Fact, Lindryl gave the Brandy to Vorclaf, who says he finds nothing strange in it. Fact, the prince died. Fact, Lindryl fell tinglng in her lips.”

“I will tell you this, The brandy was poisoned… that is what kill the prince and make Lindryl ill… We do not know who gave it to the Prince… but we do know who took it away… Vorclaf!”

“Yes… Vorclaf disposed of that evidence, Lindryl knew the Brandy was poisoned, which is why she did not drank it. The poison must have been tasteless… otherwise the Prince would have spit it out too. She had no other recourse. She knew what it was. Vorclaf has something to win with his own father’s death.”

Baresh meditates for a minute… finally, he raises his eyes to the Dwarf and asks: “And the Diva, what was her part?”

Solrac smiles, mischeviously and as if talking from past experience…

“A red herring, while everyone was searching her and her handkerchief… No one took notice of the Brandy that Vorclaf put away in his gift bag!”

“Necromancers in drag!” Solrac explodes. Baresh looks at him and asks “Come again?”

“Baresh, some people say they felt Sidhlot… and even Candidus does say that Sorrow and Pryal where there. Do you remember what they mention about how the “Diva” remained in the room, taunting the clerics and empaths that tried to raised the Prince and heal him back to life? That is why they needed the Diva… to confound those looking for answers, throw away the hounds and specially to use his necromancer powers to utterly and completely destroy the Prince, taken even his favors and whole soul. Your encyclopedia also talks about an item just for that… one that steals or devours souls… another lost item… perhaps it has been found.”

Baresh interjects quietly, “Not that Sidhlot needs magical relics to devour souls or change his appearance…”

Solrac keeps right on going, “When reading the story of Ralel I notice many disturbing parallels to the song by the Diva Kouritza… Secret Loves, offenses to Queens, read about Ralel… and Lyndril. I can not believe that they where there as a coincidence.”

Solrac stands as if to leave and Baresh loks at him with cold eyes raising four fingers and pointing with his eyes at the bottle of spiced rum. Solrac sights, murmurs an “of course… but hey were only three…” and pays his bill.

As Baresh sees him leaving he starts to review the tale… and to find it food for thought …