We have been told by many that the doctor here is a good one. It's unusual that a village this small, even right by the river, would have such a good doctor living here. I suppose he might have retired here. He had a nice house, two story, but his office hours posted on the sign told us we were too early to talk with him. He was probably eating lunch. We tried anyway, but got no answer to our knocking. José figured that such a prestigious and probably wealthy person ate lunch at the expensive inn, so that's where we went.

The innkeeper of the Helmsman, Herr Gross, was happy to serve us lunch, but the doctor was not there. The bread was excellent, and I recognized the taste of truffles. We remembered everyone making fun of the baker's pet pig, and laughed: he was making a fortune off that "pet", finding truffles in the forest. A minor mystery solved, at least. We figured we wouldn't let anyone else in on the secret.

Herr Gross tried to get the "rich" foreign lady to stay at his inn instead of the Black Eagle, but she declined. I think she'd probably rather stay here, as it's nicer, but the body is over there, as are our witnesses and suspects. Besides, we can't afford the Helmsman.

José asked Miara about rumours he's heard about assassins from the east who can sneak into anywhere and kill whoever they like. Miara quashed that idea. It was pretty clear that she didn't think anyone "back home" could care less about some con-man in Kreuzhofen. I imagine she's right, although she doesn't need to be so insulting towards us. We certainly don't care two pins for her people, after all.

After lunch, there was still a fair amount of time before the doctor would be available, so we went back to the Black Eagle to ask more questions. The barmaid didn't really remember anything useful, although she did think he was completely down on his luck. So, how could he afford to stay there? Miara suggested blackmail, but again, why would he stay here if he didn't even have enough money to keep his blackmailer from killing him?

Speaking of who they had talked to, José and Miara realized they hadn't actually tallied up who was actually there that evening. José recalled several people:

  • José himself
  • Bastiens
  • An elf named Asterellion Leafglow, who seemed to be well known by the locals
  • The two inn workers, Anders Webber and Gerhardt Stutzer
  • Dagmar Tausk
  • Gudren Mangel, an old woman who was so fat and ugly that he actually thought she was a man at first. He said after insulting her, he didn't really speak with her again.
  • The two Tyleans
  • Ludo Lindenthahl, the town's notary.

José had spoken with the elf: he'd decided to live among humans for a while and rented a large house in town and enjoys meeting human artists. He had also talked with Dagmar, and said she was a rather striking woman. She was happy to talk to José, and seemed to be reasonably well traveled and intelligent. Although she apparently lives here and doesn't travel, he said she was dressed like she was ready for travel, armed with a knife, and she evaded all his questions about what she did for a living. She did say she had recently inherited some money and a cabin in Weilierberg.

Anders Webber and Gerhardt Stutzer were both in the inn just then having lunch. Webber was sort of a medium build with red hair and bad teeth. He had been the one who had comforted the barmaid. Gerhardt Stutzer hadn't been around after dinner, but he may have been busy, and he was there this morning.

José, Miara, Hy, and I walked over to speak with them. As we got there, Miara said out of the blue, "What do you need to tell us?" They stared at her in astonishment, of course, but José smoothed things over and assured them that whatever they said would not be spread. They wondered why we cared who killed Bastiens, and José told them the Dorfrichter wouldn't let us leave until we figured it out. Stutzer said he had nothing against the elf, and nothing for the dead guy, but he was sure it was the elf: he saw the elf put something in his food when wasn't looking at dinner. José asked how long the elf had been in town, and it was a year or more. He said he didn't know but that it wasn't pepper, but... José says it was good to tell the truth. And he promised not to tell the elf what Stutzer said. Miara asked about anyone going to Bastiens' room, but they didn't see anyone.

José pretended to be confused about the identity of the lady who sells poultices, and asked where she was, calling her "Gudren". Webber answered that Gudren wasn't the poultice lady (who was named Ibrahauer), but she lived on the other side of the river near the docks. Gudren ate at the Black Eagle fairly often, they said. He also asked about Lindenthahl, and we learned where he lived, but that it was a better bet to look for him at the Dorfrichter's, since that's where he spent most of his time.

It was around the second hour by that time, so we walked over to the "good doctor's" place. Dr. Entesang himself opened the door. He looked to be in his 50's, with long, grey, thinning hair, and he kind of had a stoop. He certainly looked the part of a town doctor, with pince-nez perched on his nose and a a white coat over a suit. Like he had studied for the part. José told him we were investigating the death of his former patient, Etienne Bastiens, for the Dorfrichter, and he lead us in to his front room.

He told us that Bastiens had visited mid-afternoon, complaining of colic. He told me what he gave him, and it was what I would have done. He noticed no wounds. I told him the many ways in which Bastiens had been killed, and the doctor seemed surprised, if not aghast. He said he hadn't really talked to Bastiens about anything besides his complaint. Bastiens hadn't said whether the colic was a chronic condition or had suddenly come upon him. At any rate, Bastiens hadn't been touched before visiting Dr. Entesang, because he would have noticed any of the wounds.

José continued and asked the Doctor what he knew about the elf and Dagmar. Leafglow, he said, had been living in town for about a year, and was in fact his neighbor. He wasn't so positive about Dagmar: said she was neither nice nor smart and definitely wasn't the sort of person one wanted around. He even said she'd "encourage a certain element". The former occupant of her house died during the red plague back a few years ago. I remembered that: it reached up to my monastery, where we cared for a lot of victims, and buried most of them in our graveyard.

As we were leaving, he said something to José in a language I didn't recognize, and José said he'd return later to discuss professional matters. José didn't leave us wondering very long. Once we were in the street with no one near who could hear us, he said the doctor was a mage. Miara asked what kind, and he said probably a nice one. I assumed, although he didn't say just then, that José was also some sort of mage.

Gudren was nearby, so we spoke with her next. She lived in nothing more than a hovel by the side of the river, although she also had enough money to eat out regularly.

She had plenty to say, and was apparently the village gossip. She had little good to say of anyone. Leafglow: "They're all the same: flighty thieves up to evil things, who taught humans magic and brought chaos into the world." Dagmar: "She's OK, as long as you're not on the wrong side of her. Not tempery, but she could kill you with a look, or a dart, or a knife. She's an assassin, you know." I would discount everything she said, but for the mention of darts. José figured this would be a good place to set someone to watch for people coming and going, and Dagmar's been in the village long enough to have set up the previous trouble we got wrapped up in.

We walked over to the Dorfrichter's to talk with Ludo next. They were both there. José asked Ludo what he remembered of Bastiens. He said he kept to himself, didn't talk to anyone that he saw. Ludo said Leafglow lived in a house that he called "the Artists' Colony". He said he didn't really know if they sold their art to travelers, or what they did over there. Ludo was quite good looking, about 30 years old with red hair and green eyes. He looked very healthy, and was unmarked by the plague that had come through here.

The Dorfrichter asked if we'd made any progress, and José told him we had uncorroborated evidence that something was slipped into his food. He insisted on knowing by whom, and he was not happy when José said Leafglow. He can't afford trouble with the elves: if there isn't very strong evidence, nothing can be done. José promised not to mention it to anyone for now.

José asked how to get to Dagmar's cabin. She lives on the estate of Count Theodosious von Eisentadt. There are six houses there, and he told us who else lived there: the Jaegers, a Helena something, Adolf Busch and Anders Busch, the gravedigger (Boris Hippler), and Claudia Ibrahauer, who shared a last name with the poultice lady. Dagmar didn't really fit in with that group.

We decided to talk to elf next, in a non-confrontational way. The Dorfrichter again told us not to mention the accusation to him, and we assured him we wouldn't. We can tell the elf several reasons to see him: ask what he saw last night, see his group of artists, and see his art.

On the way, José confirmed that he is also a mage. He cast a spell, although carefully enough so that no one but us knew he had done so. For a few minutes, he conversed with Miara and Hy in their language, which seemed to make them very happy.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~