Theoden witnesses a murder, fears he may be next, and the PCs attempt to find the killer.
Theoden visits the Blue Belly Tavern the morning after witnessing a strangulation by a ghastly figure.
He explains that during his walk home the night before, a pale old man snapped another man’s neck with one hand, even after being stabbed by a long-knife. He then pointed towards Theoden just before stepping backwards and disappearing into the fog.
Both Eragin and Ceowulf have heard rumors about three similar murders on the nights of 12/01, 12/02, and 12/03. Many are blaming it on a town legend called the Ghost of the West Wharf.
Eragin speaks with Avagon to see if he knows any the Drihten who might have more information.
Avagon says that he speaks often with a Drihten named Ramius.
Ramius says that he heard the scream of the second who died, Gundir, while on patrol and was first to find the body. He didn’t see the attacker, and learned that Gundir had no family and was a freelance sailor and dockworker. Ramius spends the rest of the morning gathering information on the other deaths.
Adria, a young woman, was found the first morning with her neck snapped. Her parents said that she had just returned to town after spending 6 years as a servant at an estate near Meke Larnis.
Celor was found third, his neck also snapped. A guard remembered having seen him the night before wandering around drunk. He was a sailor and had no family.
Theoden saw Lomyr die, but his investigation hasn’t begun. His wife, Galindra, a cloth-dyer, identified the body. She mentioned that he’s a sailor, and many of the guard are focusing on this aspect. Ceowulf asks around and learns that Galindra works at Fanduil’s Fashions. He and Theoden visit her. Galindra is there with Elonia, her daughter. She tells them that Lomyr had been acting strangely ever since returning from a job the evening of 12/01 on a boat called The Lady of the Lake. Since that job, he’d been avoiding going out at night. Needing money, however, he took a small delivery job last night.
Ceowulf and Theoden visit The Lady of the Lake, berthed near South Bridge.
Vosin, the captain, remembers the delivery job around the lake on 12/01, and that they returned late. He remembers hiring six sailors found at a bar named Juddy’s. he recalls the names Gundir, Celor, Lomyr, Acedia, and Crerin. He can’t recall the sixth.
He states that there was no trouble on the journey and everyone left the ship in no distress.
Eragin and Dahlkin visit Juddy’s to find Crerin and Acedia.
Zikel, the barkeep, says that both Crerin and Acedia are out, but their friend Astari is there.
Astari is very drunk, but the PCs discern he was the sixth crewman. He mumbles something about a woman and a ghost before passing out. Eragin and Dahlkin let him nap until he’s sober.
When Astari awakes that evening, he’s coherent and guilt-ridden enough to confess the whole story.
He and the others returned from the job with Vosin at around midnight, and headed to Juddy’s for a drink.
Along the way, they spotted a gaunt old man strangling a young girl. As her neck broke, the old man pointed toward all of them and they all ran. Ashamed of their cowardice, they agreed to keep quiet about it.
After Gundir and Celor died, the others started worrying. Lomyr was desperate for work, and paid for it.
Earlier, Acedia and Crerin said they were taking a job on the Silver Fin and wouldn’t return until late.
He also agrees to speak with the Drihten it in the morning.
Kora and Theoden return to the Blue Belly Tavern, while the others watch the docks for the return of the Silver Fin.
They soon hear a scream and find a hysterical man running through the streets, who turns out to be Acedia. Unfortunately, they also find a body with a broken neck, which turns out to be Crerin.
A gaunt-skinned old man steps from the fog and attacks them. Ceowulf stabs him twice with his knives, but hardly slows the man. Dahlkin unexpectedly drives his fist through the man’s chest, impaling heart on fist.
Acedia and Astari’s confessions clear Ceowulf or Dahlkin of any suspicions.
Though the old man is never identified, the killings stop and Theoden is as safe as one can be in Esgaroth