“So either the Rahib is a lecher as well as an evil minion, or there is yet more ritual sacrifices to be made. This time with maidens…” the rest of his comment is little more than and jumble of dwarven cussing. “Let us be on. Miklos think you your pack horse can carry the body back for proper rites?”
“Elfish maidens in distress, sounds like a worthwhile cause, and especially if it involves this Rahib person. Let’s go,” said Nicolai, eager at the prospect of playing hero to damsels-in-distress.
Maruc turned to Saeth. “I know not what Elven Gods you folk pray to so I recommend we take this body to the village ahead. We do not know if he was travelling or from the village when he was attacked. Nor by whom nor the number of assailents. He was killed with a bladed weapon in melee so his attackers did not use bows.” Maruc noted the empty scabbard, “They took his sword but not his money nor this note which is odd. If it was the Rahib who attacked him, he would have taken the note. If it were plain robbers they would have taken the money. Unless the note was designed to misguide any who might pursue, but I see no reason for this. Perhaps the sword was an heirloom of worth?”
He passed the note to the group.
“I will seek Halav’s aid to determine what went on here.” Maruc then left to try to locate a local badger, hawk or some such. Saeth studied the note. “An elven hand wrote this note. There are few humans who have the skill to produce elven script as fine as this. Perhaps, he had no sword to begin with. The note does mention that this Siswa group confiscated all the village’s weapons and armor. Perhaps this shoddy chain was all they had left.”
As the group discussed the mystery of the murdered elf, Maruc continued his search for a suitable animal. He saw a squirrel up in a nearby tree. The priest invoked the power of his faith and cast a clerical spell that would allow him to commune with the creature.
/ How long ago did this happen? /
/ not long /
/ How many people were involved? /
/ five attack one /
/ Which way the victim was travelling? /
/ toward big road /
/ Were the attackers waiting here? /
/ attackers chase elf /
/ Which way did the attackers go afterwards? /
/ gray mountain /
* * * * *
The note was passed to Miklos who quickly scanned it. “There are some interesting points to note here. It’s not addressed to anyone specific. The Rahib has formidable access to magic sufficient to subdue an elven village, although if it is inate or item drawn is not clear. Some of it in in the form of Charm of a profound power such as to defeat the natural Elven resistance to these things. There is no timeframe, this letter could have been written ten years ago. We may already be too late to save Rahasia.”
“I agree that it would take strong magic to effect an entire village of elves, even of a minor clan such as this,” responded Saeth. “But the note he carried is clearly recent. The young one has not been dead for long, lest he’d be food for the denizens of the forest.”
The mage considered the problem for a moment, “Either way the Rahib must be found and stopped soon. I wonder if the village she is refering to is the one ahead? Well we shall find out soon enough.”
They loaded the corpse on to the horse. “I don’t know. I had this Rahib down as a messenger or follower rather than a puppet master. But I don’t know why he would go to such lengths to Charm to uncharmable? Something doesn’t ring true here.”
As Miklos finished speaking, Maruc rejoined the group and informed them of what he had learned.
Feldard moved on up front, taking the lead, he wanted to pick up the pace. There were lives at stake once more, it was no time for dawdling.
* * * * *
The group soon arrived in the small Elven village indicated on Dentiata’s map. A few young elves and a couple elder females wander about outside the delicately constructed homes nestled amongst the trees. Their faces reveal great sadness.
Being the only elf among the group, Saeth took the lead and quickly introduced herself and her companions. She asked if Rahasia was present in the village. One of the young ones was hurriedly dispatched to one of the dwellings. He immediately returned accompanied by an elven maiden, whose veiled grace and beauty outshone all the others as the sun outshines the stars.
“Welcome, I am Rahasia. Have you come to aid us?” she asked hopefully.