The Merchant's Daughter
- Chask Haro, owner of the Curious Goblin. Bookseller.
- Shayliss Vindernini, daughter of Ven Vindernini.
- Ven Vindernini, owner of the Borderpoint General store. Father of Shayliss.
- Katrine Vindernini, daughter of Ven Vindernini (mentioned).
- Banny Harker, manager of the Borderpoint lumber mill (mentioned).
- Borderpoint, a town on Battle Coast between the Onyx Cryptocracy and the Scapolite Theocracy.
- The Curious Goblin, bookstore in Borderpoint.
- The Borderpoint General Store.
6th day of Diamond, year 54 of the Age of the Great Invasion
- Following the orders of the sheriff, the party walks a short distance to the Curious Goblin, Borderpoint's only bookstore. They give Chask Haro, the store's owner, the sheriff's instructions: restore the journal at the town guard's expense and do it quickly. While they are there, Shiphrah inquires about a book on magic for beginnings and is told about The Taviston Guide to Arcane Theory at a cost of 30 gold. She declines to buy at that time. Maayan, however, buys The Taviston Guide to Flora and Fauna and Midge buys The Punny Bones Guide to Punny Groans on the sly.
- After leaving the Curious Goblin the group goes their separate ways. Midge and Lucius are approached by Shayliss Vindernini, daughter of the local general store owner, who insists that there are giant rats in the store's basement and that only Lucius and Midge can help. She drags them to the store and down into the basement, where they discover there are no rats but there is a bed covered in pink pillows and perfume.
- Shayliss throws herself upon Midge and Lucius, proclaiming that she "has never been with a hero! Or a gnome! Or two people at once!". Lucius and Midge are in the middle of fending the young woman off when her father stomps down the stairs with a rolling pin in hand, demanding to know what is going on.
- What proceeds is a comedy of words in which Lucius and Midge convince Signor Vindernini that Midge has a strange, gnomish ailment and the whole situation would be forgotten... especially since the group will soon be leaving for Vesicule and will need to buy at least 50 gold worth of supplies for said trip.
- While Lucius and Midge were dealing with an overly friendly merchant's daughter and her over protective father, the others decided to learn more about Borderpoint's history. Time was spent questioning locals and learning about "the Recent Unpleasantness". They learn:
- Five years ago there were a series of murders. In total, twenty-four people will killed, including the wife of town elder Kaijitsu Lonjinku (and mother of Ameiko). Each victim had their tongue and eyes missing entirely and their hands and feet severed and stacked neatly near the body. All but Lady Kaijitsu whose body was never recovered.
- The murderer, known as the Chopper met his end after killing his final victim: former sheriff (and, or so rumor has it, the the Mayor's fiancee) Casp Avertin. He caught the murderer in a narrow alley, now known as Chopper' s Lane, and lost his life in the process. Then Deputy Iron Spine followed the trail of blood (the sheriff had wounded the Chopper) .
- The blood trail lead out to Stoot's Rock, a tidal island north of the Old Light. There they discovered the Chopper was Jervis Stoot, an eccentric hermit and woodcarver. Stoot was known for his detailed and beautiful carvings of birds. He refused to take payment or commissions but instead wandered town and, on his whim, carved his birds into this building or that fence post or that carriage. So beautiful were the carvings that it became a point of pride amongst the townfolk to "sport a Stoot".
- In Stoot's home on his rock the Deputy and his men found the proof that Stoot was the Chopper. Jars filled with the tongues and eyes of the victims piled atop an altar dedicated to Sakatha, Tiamat's god-general of torture and menial labor. Stoot was found dead at the base of the altar. He had plucked out his own eyes and tongue.
- The guards collapsed the entrance to the lower chambers, burned down the house, tore down the stairs leading up to the island and cremated Stoot's body. All across town, people hacked out Stoot's birds from their home, business and fence posts. In many places you can find bald patches and pits in the wood where a bird once was carved.
- Not long after, a fire started at the town's Temple. It spread quickly. The fire consumed the stables, the White Deer Inn (now the Black Deer Inn) and three homes. The Temple burned to the ground and Brother Tobyn, the head Cleric of the temple and his adopted daughter Nualia were dead.
- When the group returns to the Rusty Wyvern that evening, Maayan finds a masterwork shortbow has been left to her as a present from Aldran Foxglove. She writes a note of apology and refusal, then instructs that the bow be returned to Aldran.
- During dinner, Chask Haro comes to the group with what he could restore of the journal. He tells them "I've restored as much as I can. What I've read is... disturbing. If what is in this journal is true, the entire town is complicit in a great tragedy. Maybe as newcomers to Borderpoint you will have perspective I lack. I don't know. Good luck." and leaves.
TO BE CONTINUED
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