We try our best to kill ourselves

Winter 1372

Mathis left Lusken after clashing with the Aurilite temple. He found a sealed letter on the body informing the main temple that a weak Mirabaran lord has been found and a local priest has been working t0 cause the downfall of the house. While they understand that taking control of the land is impossible, they believe that during the fall of the house they can increase their control over the populace. He sets out east of Lusken with the priest’s holy symbol and the letter looking for these people.

Everyone else returns to the Finestone manor as the sun begins to set. They inform Lady Finestone of what happened in the woods to the south before they retire to their rooms for the night. The next morning Carmack brings word of a stranger in town – some hunter with some unknown accent. Cadan and Kethra go to Nal Marar to see why the stranger has been traveling during the winter.

They find Mathis in the inn having breakfast. As they watch him from the bar, where they are talking with the innkeeper, Mathis is watching them. The sight of a Tyrian in town will make his job more difficult, he had hoped he left such fools behind him when he journeyed north. After finishing his breakfast he leaves some coin for the meal and goes to find work in this village. Eventually he manages to convince a herdsman named Olaf to let him help fix his roof. While he is working, Kethra stops by and briefly talks to him. Mathis flashes the symbol of Auril to see is she responds, but while it is clear that she must have seen it she shows no reaction. Kethra bids the stranger good day and returned to Caden. Caden then returns to Lady Finestone to report on the stranger, while Kethra stays in town.

Kethra saw the symbol and while she covered he reaction well she fears the Aurilites may soon directly demand her aid. She returns to the inn, leaving her Aurilite Axe on the Mantle in full view. Mathis comes back as night falls and strikes up conversations with the locals. The barkeep tells Kethra to retrieve the ax. When he sees it he tells her its an Aurilite ax and tries to find out who left it there. Kethra leaves in a hurry back to Lady Finestone after spinning a lie about someone of average height and dark build putting the axe up there. Mathis makes an excuse about fetching something from his quiver that is behind the bar as well. He sees the fine Aurilite axe and mentions it to the barkeep. He tells the barkeep that Kethra was the one that carried that axe into town.

Feldspar, Caden, Carmack, Faerlie, and Kethra come down to the town. Mathis had gone outside to relieve himself and sees them come through the gate. He hides hoping to observe them before meeting them, but Feldspars darkvision spots him by the side of the inn. Carmack calls him forward, which he does reluctantly given Carmack’s threatening tone. He agrees to let Feldspar cast detect magic on him, but Mathis again lets him know that he is disappointed that travelers are treated so poorly in this town. Carmack orders that Mathis stay with Caden and has Kethra watch over them while the rest of them go into the inn.

Once he is inside the inn, Carmack tries to calm down everyones nerves about the possibility of an Aurlite priest in town. Outside Mathis slips the letter out of his pack without anyone noticing then drops it on the ground. He claims that Kethra dropped the letter and turns it so that everyone can see the Aurilite symbol. Kethra claims it is not hers, but Mathis is persuasive enough that Caden grabs both of them and takes them into the inn for questioning. Carmack suggests they use the pair of private rooms upstairs in order to things from getting out of control.

Feldspar, Carmack, Faerlie, and Caden go to Kethra’s room. Feldspar casts a Zone of Truth spell so that Kethra cannot lie while they question her. They ask Kethra several questions about the axe and the guy that supposedly left it at the inn. They then question her about all of the attempts of the Aurilites to contact her and if they have any hold over her.  She gives them her childhood history about being taken to the Aurilite temple in Lusken once she displayed magical powers. After her training she was sent into the world to gather information and then return that knowledge to the temple. Since arriving in this town the local Aurilites have been trying to contact her through enchanted ice statuettes. They demand that she aid them, but to date she has not taken any active role in assisting them.

Satisfied they go into Mathis’ room and question him under a new Zone of Truth spell. Mathis insists that everyone state that they are not priests of Auril before he gives his story. Once everyone has made that statement he then launches into an edited version of his background. He says that he is a Tormite knight and has been traveling the lands seeking out injustice and dealing with it. He made his way to Lusken and after killing a Auril priest he got the message. He has been traveling east looking for the noble of the weakened house that they could control. He thinks that Lady Finestone is the noble they are talking about and he thought Kethra was the priest of Auril because she carried the axe. For proof he only offers his greatsword, which has the temple’s maker mark as well as a silver holy symbol to Torm embedded into the cross-guard.

Carmack is of the opinion that both Kethra and Mathis clumsily attempted to out the other as a priest of Auril. While Kethra would have handed Mathis over to Lady Finestone for punishment, Mathis made is quite clear that if she was a Aurilite priest he would have killed her. He behavior is very disturbing, especially for a Tormite, but Caden is convinced that he is indeed a Tormite Knight and he vouches for his true, if misguided, character.

Carmack then goes downstairs and reassures the town that neither Kethra nor the stranger are Aurite priests. He will then go through the town and check all of the houses and shed looking for symbols of Auril. Carmack finds a few bits of contraband, but he finds a powerful symbol of Auril in Beedler’s house. The symbol is ice cold even though it was in the house hidden near the fireplace. Given that Beedler disappeared several days ago he cannot question him about this. He did not tell her wife because he does not want to worry her if it turns out to be nothing.

Everyone takes Mathis back to the Finestone manor. They leave Mathis and Kethra in the common room with the guards while the others go up to Lady Finestone and discuss what transpired in town. She is intrigued by the arrival of a Tormite Knight, but concerned over Carmack’s description of him as potential a dangerous man – this is doubled considering the letter that he was carrying. The knowledge that Beedle may be an Aurilite priest is even more disturbing because she does not know how many other townsfolk that Beedle turned against her. She comes to the conclusion that Mathis will be invited to supper so that she could take the measure of the man.

Supper is simple fare and things would have gone smoothly except for Mathis. Lady Finestone guided the conversation to topics she wished to know about the stranger. She did not believe all of his tales (even though they were all true), but towards the end of supper she felt that she could count on this man – at least in the same manner as a wild wolfhound that you have befriended. It was only at the end that Lady Finestone understood the true center of the man. He bluntly pointed out that of all the lords he had met on his journey east of Lusken she was clearly the weakest. It appeared that the Aurilites would have no toppling her from power. While Lady Finestone’s words dripped with honey in response her demeanor could crack iron.

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