Part 20: ...Watson.
Chapter 14- ...Watson.
Aye, sir. My father's name is Arioch, Lord of Everspring. Thou, too, art nobly born, art thou not?
I am. Upon my father's death I will succeed to the title of Lord Delryn.
Hast thou brethren?
I have only a sister. [Anomen's eyes take on a spark at the mention of his sister.]
The giving of thee to Helm must have been a duty most difficult, then.
You don't know what you're talking about!
[Anomen's outburst shocks Saerileth into silence, and she watches him thereafter, puzzlement on her face.]
While this was occuring, Jan was off being sneaky in a nearby house.
He returned with a magical horn.
And with that, we returned to our good friend, Haer'Dalis.
I'm sorry for what happened before... will you join me again, Haer'Dalis?
Mmmm... very well, Asim. Let it not be said that this actor has no heart. I can forgive... and besides, it is exciting to voyage with you. Let us go, then, my raven!
At that point, we actually rented rooms for the night.
For this next line, for the sake of it making the slightest bit of fucking sense, I just pretend that it mean that Asim and Saerileth were sitting on opposite sides of a fireplace. It seems that Sillara didn't think that occasionally people actually DO use the game's inns. She didn't think of a lot of things, come to think of it. Like anything connected to logic and reason, for example.
[Then the silence is broken.]
Lord Edorem! [Saerileth turns her bright smile on the golden-haired knight.] I am glad to see thee well.
And you, Saerileth, are you-well? [Edorem looks at you, and his manner alters.] And you, godchild, do you look after her as she deserves?
Why are you looking at me like that?
Are you so ignorant of Saerileth's past that you must ask? Are you so ignorant of the treasure in your care? Do you not see that she should be set at a higher rate than a common soldier! Can you not see that?
I love her! Of course I can see that!
You love her? [Edorem's voice is cold.] You *dare* to love her?
Yeeessss, I am the puppet master and you are my plaything! Muahahaha.
[With effort, Edorem controls himself.] But it was not for this I came. I bring a gift to Saerileth from the priests of Tyr. [He hands to Saerileth a vial of healing elixer.] Be well, Saerileth. [The knight bows to Saerileth, but as he fades back into his own plane, his eyes fix on you.]
Well, he certainly has a bit of an attachment to our little starling, hmm?
Oh, yes. I think I saw something interesting in his pack when he got out that potion... It was so quick I didn't get a good look. Next time he shows up, good old Uncle Jan will get to the bottom of this mystery.
Oh, I have just the costume for you to wear when you uncover it.
Oh? What's this, a plaid hat and coat and a pipe?
It's not just the clothing, it's the persona I shall teach you to cultivate.
The next morning...
Saerileth, you went to bed so quickly I couldn't ask before, but who *is* Edorem?
Lord Edorem is one of the Chosen of Tyr. He hath dwelt in Sigil for five years. He wast born in Arcadia.
You seem to know a lot about him.
'Tis certain so. For a year didst we dwell together in the Temple of Tyr in Sigil. He was a great master to me, most gentle, just, and courteous. [Saerileth smiles and pats the vial she received.] I am most pleased that the holy fathers did remember me.
Oh hohoho, no way in hell could I forget that, heheheh.
What is this you say, priest?
Oh don't you dare judge me.
I'm Tyr. I'm the motherfucking GOD OF JUSTICE. I will judge you and you will LIKE it, you goddamn pervert. Get out of my priesthood and stop masturbating to my Chosen. I mean it, you sick fuck you. Don't think I don't know about the peepholes in the room you gave her, either. Those are getting sealed right motherfucking NOW, you creepy pedophilic fuck. It might be less creepy if you hadn't installed them when she arrived here. She was FIVE YEARS OLD when she arrived here, you useless bastard! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY PRIESTHOOD! Now, Edorem.
Don't think I don't know what YOU'RE doing either! None of these priests gave you that potion, motherfucker!
But... fine. I repent.
That's right, you WILL you obsessive fuck.
And here's the vial that Edorem brought!
Yeah, that's right. A basic healing potion. Nine fucking hit points. NINE. Out of all the things about this mod that piss me off, that just jumps up there to the top. Wasting my time with that dialogue tree for a potion that only restores NINE FUCKING HIT POINTS...
And so, we set off.
Jan. I shall wear my hat, coat, and pipe. Observe as I go.
[Holding a notebook.] Ready, Haerry!
Hmm, see this woman of the night? She seems to be the one that Lieutenant Aegisfield told us saw something at yon crime scene. Watch me. Hello there, miss!
Hello there, handsome. What is it that Rose can do for you? Need a little rest and relaxation from your travels?
Perhaps, though I am more interested in a little information right now.
Information costs just like anything else. If you've got the coin I'll chit chat as long as you like. Twenty gold to your tastes? We'll have a nice long talk.
I'll pay your little fee.
Good. Talk all you want then. I'll be your sympathetic ear. What's on baby's mind?
The guard seemed to think you saw something at a recent murder.
That Aegisfield talks too much. I told him what I saw, which was nothing. A man in a hood... that's all I saw. Didn't know the poor sod that died. Wait. There was something. A smell... besides the blood, I mean. I think I smelled... guril berries. Yes, that's it. Guril berries, or something like it.
Guril berries? What are they used for?
I can't recall. The guards didn't seem to think the information was important. They just laughed. I would probably recognize it if I smelled it again. Talk to that merchant, Bel. He might know what smells like that. I'll see if I can choose between whatever he suggests. That'll help you, sweetie.
Hmm, a picture begins to form, my dears. Thank you. I'll be back as soon as I can.
What can I do for you today. You seem a bit agitated. Anything you need?
Why hello there shopkeep. What do you have that smells like guril berries?
Locally? Well, let me think. Hmm, I know of three things with that smell. Guril berries are one, and the bark of the oak tree is similar. And solik berries, too.
And what, praytell, would these things be used for? Locally, of course.
Well, I do a brisk business in guril berries. They are used in folk remedies, turned into topical salves for... *ahem*... intimate afflictions. Oak bark is used to make tannin, I believe. Natural curative agent for working with skins. Been in use for centuries. There's a tanner, Rejiek Hidesman, who has a shop near here... he might have some tannin, I'm not sure. Might be worth it to ask him. Solik berries are used in a local bakery, for their signature mumbleberry pie. Very tasty, but they are closed now. It's the berry's off-season. I have some of each, if you wish. Free of charge, because it's been a slow day. Was there anything else?
No, thank you.
As you wish. I will be here if you wish to return.
Back again? This has to be the weirdest question I've ever asked a customer, but do you have what you wanted me to smell?
Yes I do. He gave me three things for you to sample.
Alright then, I'll have a look. Let me have those. Hmm, oh. Um, I've just remembered why I knew it smelled like guril berries. Ehh, that was not what I smelled. Aw, no wonder the guards were laughing. Never mind. Next. Mmm, solik berries. Mumbleberry pie, right? That's not the smell, though. Good thing too. I'd hate to think of the murders every time I smelled a pie. Next. Hmm, that's the one. This... tree bark... stuff? It was stronger smelling on him though. This is the same, but it's faint. What would make him smell like this?
Elementary, my dear. It's used to make tannin, for making leather.
So he might have worked with leather? Odd. Well, I hope that helped. You've got what you wanted. Off with you now. Perhaps... no. Goodbye.
Alright, Haer'Dalis. That was good, but give me that outfit and I'll show you how it's done.
Oh, and you are familiar with the character, hmm?
Oh, most certainly.
Excellent, my raven! Here you are!
You need a few coins? Maybe I could bend your ear for a few gold?
You wants to talk for golds? Then you go away? Ok, you speak and Rampah will listen, but don't you try no silly business!
Agreed. So, tell me what you know of the murders.
Nothin'. Not a thing.
Nothing? Not a thing? The guard thought you might.
Don't know nothing. Guards kept us away. They know all I know. That's it. But... hehehh... but... But I got something they don't. I got what they don't. They be blind, but I saw it, and now it's mine.
What did you get, Rampah? What did you find?
Not telling. You want? You gotta buy. I found it, right near a body. It's mine, so you gotta pay. You pay... a hundred gold. Yeah, a hundred.
Alright, here is your hundred. Now, what is it that you found?
IT'S NOT HUMAN FLESH! Don't you think it is, because it's NOT! It's leather, but it's not human flesh, I tell you! Them bodies be flayed and have none, but this ain't theirs! You good and go. Take that leather, because it's not human flesh! That is different! You go and dance now! Talk to the seller that buys!
[smokes pipe] Hmm, I do have a suspicion here...
What can I do for you today. You seem a bit agitated. Anything you need?
I wish to know if you can identify this piece of leather. It is a little odd.
Let me see. Hmm... looks quite thick indeed. Very rare, but I have seen it before. This is elephant hide. Good for strong armor, but I rarely see it.
Elephant hide? Where would someone get such leather?
The obvious answer would be "from an elephant". No, you are not in a joking mood, are you. Well, there are perhaps a few places one might get such hide. A tanner might see such hide on occasion, though it would be rare. Might be difficult to work with as well. I do not hear about such things all that often. If you want to know more, you might speak to an actual tanner. There's one not far from here... in the houses to the south. Rejiek, if I remember his name. There's also a circus in town. I don't know if they have elephants, but the animal tamer would certainly have seen some in the past. Do you need anything else?
No, that is all. Thank you.
As you wish. I will be here most days.
Why, I believe we have this all but wrapped up, hmm?
I do believe you are correct, sir.
To the tanner's!
Why are you closed? Hiding something, are you?
I don't know what you are getting at.
Where were you when the last murder was committed?
The guards have already canvassed the neighborhood, so if you want anything, go talk to them. I don't know who or what you are, so I'm not talking to you.
Oh, but you had better. You see, we have deduced that you know quite a bit about the murders.
Oh, and just how do you know this?
Elementary, my dear. Elephant hide and tannin were found where people died.
I see. You have gathered this... er, evidence? I suppose others will know of this as well then? Then it will not stop with your leaving. It's funny, isn't it? A simple piece of leather, and a whiff of tannin. If my leather had not been torn I would not have worn the new armor. No tear would have meant no smell.
So... you are admitting to being the killer? Why did you do this?
I might as well try and explain the sun to the moon. You can't understand. My work must go on. There is only one place left for my craft to go, and you cannot stand in the way.
And so, he fled.
I look upon horrors no eye shouldst see! [Saerileth turns away, overwhelmed.]
And, as Jan explored, he found one horribly confusing thing and one horrible thing. First off...
How the HELL do you trap a BED? And WHY?!
The next bed over...
Held a tunic of human flesh.
In the nearby cabinet, there was a letter.
Our names are the same in their scale and cut
The last of his begins just as the first of mine.
The second of my first is the second of his first, though regressed a full four steps.
The third of my first is four more than the last of his first.
The entire last of my first is the last of his first, except the first one of these is the first of my last.
The first of his last is mine plus one.
The next of my last is the last of his first plus one.
The last of my last are third and second, coming in first for him.
I am sorry for such games, but it is certain that only you shall know this. I await your arrival.
We then progressed further down the steps...
There will be no mercy for this villain, or his allies!
And there will be no mercy for you. Yours is a grave crime, for you have interrupted the work! It must continue you, and your skins shall be the means! Vellin Dahn does so command!
There was a neat shortbow shaft in a crate down there that we snagged after we killed the guy's minions. Too bad he got away.
Why, it does appear that he escaped from here.
Yes, and on a boat or some other such water vessel.
If you want, you can give Saerileth the Human Flesh.
And then she puts it on the ground.
I left it there, since I'm not going to be killing the silver dragon in the Underdark, so there's really no point to keeping it.
As we walked along the Bridge District, we saw this guy.
Oh, terribly sorry. I'll wait at the graveyard, then. I think you visit there occasionally?
What? All right then, what is it you want? What are you trying to pull here?
Oh, but it is elementary, my dear. I bring greetings from Tirdir. You are his man in red? Yes, the color matches. Most elementary indeed.
Tirdir? But he's... it was that little weasle Sethle, wasn't it? He told you. I knew I shouldn't trust him! I had no choice though! Them or me!
So you have been kidnapping people and dumping them? That's monstrous!
Ssh, Anomen! Do you not see the game they play? Do not get involved, you do not play it well and this upsets Boo much.
It pays the bills. If you want in I'll cut you a slice. I'm sure we can work something out.
I am quite sure we can't. I'm going to put an end to this right here!
You? You would kill me quick. My partners; they are the ones to fear. You've ruined me, but you'll not get me here! Open the door, boys! I gotta get in!!
That ain't why we're mad, you little rock-gnawing fool! You were supposed to kill them sacks, not dump them!
I... I couldn't! I can't... I can't stand the blood!
So drown 'em! Whack 'em with a stick! I don't care! What kind of...
We have to go, Camitis! We got company!
Not before I kill this little rat-stink! Not before!
They killed Am-Si and ran, but we caught them well enough.
And killed them. One had some neat boots on him, too.
Upstairs, there was a kidnapped woman.
I was originally going to treat that as nomal, but then I noticed that she'd initiated dialogue with Saerileth, so it was Saerileth saying that stuff and I thought it was funny.
Jan found a note inside a cabinet, as well.
So, it was off to the Slums with us.
See, this part is interesting. You can either talk to Welther and do things that way and take the reputation hit (2 points OH NO) and deal with most of the Good-aligned NPCs getting pissy at you, or you can do this...
Behold, the might of pickpocket! You still get the Silver Pantaloons but have no repercussions beyond some slightly lower rewards and a pissed off Lady Elgea.
And so, now properly possed of pantaloons, we returned to the Bridge District.
I have exposed the evil bastard! It was Rejiek Hidesman!
It was the tanner? You've exposed him? What was your evidence of this?
Elementary, my dear Lieutenant. Tannin and leather on the scene. His home held other victims, too.
Sounds like you did some excellent work. I am grateful; we're short on men to investigate crimes where the poor suffer. You will be well liked around here. Here is a reward for your trouble, though it's probably not over yet. I'll have the guard try and spot Rejiek, but who knows what he will do. I thank you again.
With that, we returned to Lady Elgea, the kidnapped woman.
You are free and I beg your forgiveness. A madness overtook me.
It has come too late for me to respect you, but I thank you nonetheless. I was to suffer a much grimmer fate in the hands of those others, despite your selfish games. I have nothing to offer you, nor do I think you truly deserve it for your games. But at least I am free, now, and this horrid ordeal is finally over. I thank you. I will find my own way out.
Hmm, I seem to have been neglecting Minsc in my writing of late. I must fix this error in the next update.