First Day of Trademeet, year 2009
The day started out well; I woke up next to my wife Mary, rested, and the sun was shining fair over the horizon. It was good to get some rest away from my duties to the township for a few days, and so after preparing some oat-porridge for the family I left for the townhall, feeling good about the day to come. But the day took a sharp turn for the worse when I arrived.
When I opened the door to my office, both Councilman Orgate and Councilman Daeveron were already there waiting for me with a deep silent grimness. After making a poorly timed jest about someone being killed and their grim faces, Amantus informed me that, indeed, someone had nearly been murdered last night. It was Lady Radalia, the third of our township’s honored Council. Though it was a close matter, Lady Radalia yet lived and was currently in her home recovering. Lord Daeveron then said the murderer was seen by the Lady and most of her servants, and they described Unulith Amalitain in great detail, down to the points of his ears.
Stunned, I stood dumbfounded, trying to work out in my mind how this could be. Why would a savior of our town try to murder one of its leaders? Lord Orgate broke my shock, and told me to go fetch the suspect. I gathered two of my men, and went to arrest Unulith at the Silver Lake Inn. I had my men cover the doors and was about to search the inn when I noticed Meg Griffin sitting at a table gobbling up her morning slops. She noticed me too and asked what this was all about, so I told her I was here for Unulith. Just then Unulith and Dick Longbottom, entered the common room from upstairs.
After a short discussion about Unulith’s innocence, I was finally able to get them to see that we had no choice but to have Unulith come with me under custody. I locked Unulith in the cell, and then brought Meg and Dick to my office to get a quick story out of them about the happenings of the prior night. They both seemed certain that Unulith could not have done the crime, so I brought them before the two councilmen, Amantus and Daeveron. With Dick’s help we convinced the council, to allow Unulith to join Dick, Meg, and myself in the investigation of this crime. There was one condition that Amantus required first, some insurance against Unulith’s escape, and Lord Daeveron was happy to oblige. Somehow, through his dark arts, Daeveron did something to Unulith to keep him from skipping town.
Now that we had the councilmen’s leave, I led the group to Lady Radalia’s to examine the crimescene, collect evidence, and to question the witnesses. There, we found evidence of a struggle, but two pieces of evidence that suggested Unulith as the murderer; a piece of cloth torn from his robes, and his room key from the inn. The witnesses were no help in proving his innocence either, they were all certain it was Unulith that attacked the Lady. At this point, I was considering putting Unulith in manacles, but Meg broke my train of thought when she found a blood trail leading from the house out the back door.
After some remarkable tracking by the group as a whole we came full circle, back to the inn. It looked as though the trail ended there, but Unulith found one additional clue. The barrel behind the inn had been opened, and part of a rotten potato sack inside the barrel was torn, part of it missing. From there we went to the Temple of the Earthmother to ask if anyone had been there for healing.
After questioning Lisa Reyne, we found that no one had been there recently for healing, but she said there was a red haired woman two days ago that purchased a strong healing potion. This news excited my fellow investigators, but I was at a loss. I had forgotten they had mentioned Unulith was preoccupied with a firey haired woman in his room last night. From there we went to back to the Silver Lake Inn to search the place.
We checked each room, and we found the bits of sackcloth from the barrel outside, but no firey haired woman! I was getting rather frustrated, it was as if this mysterious woman had melted into the walls. The others decided to go question the only other occupant of the inn rooms, some scholar from Laressia.
I am not entirely sure what happened, since I was standing in the hallway going over the facts while they were in the room, but after a short while I heard the sounds of a fight. I burst into the room to find the others standing over the corpse of the strangest creature I have ever seen. It was a gray-skinned shallow featured man-thing. Unulith and Meg seemed to know quite a bit about it, calling it a dopplepopolus. They said it had the ability to change shape, and that it was the one who actually tried to kill Lady Radalia. I told them to gather the corpse of the creature, and meet me at Lady Radalia’s while I went to fetch the other two councilmen. There we would clear Unulith’s name.
After a great deal of convincing and explaining, the council finally agreed that Unulith was not to blame, and that the corpse of the dopplethingamajig would be put on display near the town’s causeway. Lady Radalia even gave Unulith a formal apology for wrongfully accusing him, although she is hardly to blame for doing so. There was one final piece I needed to understand, so I returned to the inn, to the room we found the dopplewhatsit in. There, under the bed, I found the last piece of the puzzle, the bent up corpse of a finely dressed scholar, stuffed under the bed.
May the soul of this innocent scholar live in happiness in the gardens of the Earthmother.