Samson, Agrent, and Rain moved outside to the courtyard and began to look around. At first Samson seemed to be more interested in the training being conducted by Master Carble. Agrent and Rain walking by the flower garden noticed something odd. The bulbs were planted that shouldn’t be in the ground yet. They looked to have been planted about a
month ago. Their knowledge of nature indicated that these bulbs would normally not be planted for another two months. “Maybe they stupid,” offered Agrent. Rain, “It’s a school. I don’t think they are stupid.”
Agrent and Rain moved in for a closer look. They found an area in the cultivated soil that had been recently turned over. It was about five feet long and three feet wide. Rain began digging and hit something hard about two feet down. She and Agrent cleared away the
loose soil covering the object and found it to be a small or child sized coffin. Rain thought out loud, “Why would someone bury a child here. The coffin was made of wood and had no discernable markings. Agrent carefully opened it and it was empty to their surprise. There were just a few remnants of fabric inside. He leaned down and sniffed, “It smell dirty, but not of death.” Samson came over to see what they had found. It was then that Agrent noticed scratching on the lid, “Looks like someone defile burial.”
At Rain’s suggested they decided to go and have a discreet talk with Mistress Valria and the Headmaster. They reached Mistress Valria’s classroom first, which Agrent barged in and demanded, “Who buried out in courtyard.” A startled Mistress Valria turned to him, “Not in front of the children.” Rain suggested they step outside as she pulled Agrent back into the corridor. Mistress Valria had one of the older students take over and moved out into the corridor with the others. They Headmaster came striding up after hearing the commotion coming from the classroom. Rain asked them to come out into the courtyard. Erlig, Cameo and Falathar joined them on their way outside.
Upon reaching the grave Rain asked who had been buried there. Headmaster Meritus thought for a second, “Oh, that old story my father told me. Something about a gnome who had a horrible accident. Master Oggun, yes that’s it his name was Oggun.” “That may be, but there is no body in the grave,” exclaimed Rain. Meritus continued, “It seemed that a
parent had brought a couple of large hunting dogs to the school. They went crazy and attacked one of the teachers, a gnome, killing him. In his will he asked to be buried in the courtyard.” Agrent asked who took care of the garden, and was informed that the students’ job. They asked which teacher oversaw the students. “They take turns supervising the students who are there as punishment.”
Wondering what was up Bron, Parlay joined the group at the flower garden. Parlay didn’t seem too interested so Bron pointed out, “See any difference.” Parlay shrugged, “Yeah, big hole.” Meritus pointed out the oblivious the ghost is that of the dead gnome. It was pointed
out that a student might have found the coffin when they planted the bulbs and came back later removed the corpse. Agrent suggested that we, “Take students and switch until they confess.” The alarmed Headmaster, “The goal is to keep the students from harm.” He suggested that on the next day he was planning on sending the students on an outing and we could go along and ask questions. Rain asked where they were going and was told out in nature.
Strabo wanted to gather the students and cast a spell forcing them to answer truthfully. “Mistress Valria will never allow that,” pointed out Meritus. Strabo explained that he could cast the spell on an area. “Just let me have the students in groups,” he demanded. Some of the party weren’t too keen on letting Strabo alone with students, to which, he took
great exception. Bron offered peaceful solution. “Let’s go on the nature outing. We can gather the kids around a fire and Strabo can surreptitiously cast his spell. Then we can ask our questions.” Much to the Headmaster’s relief we agreed this was the best idea.
We asked Meritus if any students in particular were troublemakers. He gave us a run down on several:
Artimus Pendergrass the illegitimate son of a Magnimar nobleman. He has been sent here for an education prior to joining the priests of Avadar.
Bonny Belvins is a ten year old girl who tends to giggle in class, which earns her demerits. She is Master Aslar’s favorite; however Mistress Valria doesn’t find her amusing.
Genal Wrute an eight year old boy and the son of a wealthy merchant. He wants to be a wizard. Loves to read stories.
Gordon “Gordy” Lebitas is eleven. He is a shameless telltale.
Hades Fella is ten and an orphan. His distance relatives in Korvosa are paying for his education. He is a good student.
King Stonus is twelve and a bully.
Robar Ellesau pals around with King and helps him bully the other students.
Kelfin brothers Brad eight and Cornelius ten are the sons of Lord Kelfin. Cornelius is a dead eye with a sling, while Brad whines and complains about his older brother. Cornelius pals around with an orphan named Jake.
Kendall Kercut is eight and the son of a merchant. He is dead clumsy, but he wants to join the guard like his older brother.
Gwen Romendavates is Mistress Valria’s favorite. She likes to break up fights and talk them into doing what she wants. Her twin sister is here too, Alexandra or “Alex”
Milvin is the son of a retired guard. His father lives on a country estate.
Strabo inquired which students are most bullied by the others. Mertius mentioned a young boy, a gnome. “Not a descendant related to Master Oggun.” Strabo asked what the area was used for and informed it has always been a flower garden. “Odd,” Meritus pointed to the coffin, “Master Oggun was killed right about there.” He then turned to Agrent and Rain, “Are you sure you didn’t find any remains.” They shook their heads and said “No.” “I did have to ask,” mumbled Meritus. When asked about the first time the ghost appeared, he informed us about one month ago. Strabo concentrated and sensed that the Headmaster was being truthful in his answers. Samson did a sweep on the area trying to detect evil, but did not find any.
Samson again asked which kid was bullied a lot and was informed his name it Tom. Samson wanted to question him. The Headmaster said he could do it tomorrow on the nature walk. The paladin was not appeased and asked where Tom was now. Meritus sternly replied, “He is in class, then dinner, and then he has to study before sleeping. I will tolerate no interruptions.” Samson then said he wanted to sit in class to observe Tom.
To Agrent, “I think the bullied wants to bully the bullies.” Agrent agreed, “Good idea.” Samson left to sit in on the class.
Agrent asked the Headmaster where we would be sleeping. “You can share my suite and I will bunk with Master Aslar.” Agrent wanted to search for the body and Meritus suggested he do that the next day when the students were away on the nature walk. Agrent nodded his head wisely, “Good, I then not walk and bash students for talking.” The Headmaster turned to go back into the school wondering about his decision to hire us.
Samson sat in on Mistress Valria’s lesson. He was joined by the rest of the party except Parlay who once more stayed out to observe the training. Mistress Valria was teaching a history lesson about the founding of Magnimar near a natural rock spire. The locals
said the unusual spire was a Celestial resting spot. The natives had told them not to build on the North side of the river, but the settler did just that. One woman saw a radiant glowing figure on the spire and determined to honor the local customs. She moved her people to the South side of the river and settled there. Two years later a storm began destroying the town. The woman and her group on the South side of the river led prayers to the Celestial beings to spare the town and its people. An incredibly huge bolt of lightning struck and destroyed the spire. Thus, the town’s destruction was averted. The people of the town and the original people unified and built the Avensoar tower on the
spot the spire had been destroyed. There they placed a statue of the “Mistress of the Angels.” It is the same tower now used by the guard in Magnimar.
Once the students had left the classroom the party approached Mistress Valria. Rain asked what the plans she had for the hike. Mistress Valria replied, “It’s to get the students out and thinking about something other than the ghost.” Rain agreed, “I will teach them to track.” Sampson congratulated Valria on her lesson. Agrent asked if the students have box thing…a chest to store their stuff.” She said each student has their own chest. Agrent asked with his hands stretched out to the size of a gnome, “Big enough for a body.” He asked where else a body could be hidden in the school. Mistress Valria pointed out the storerooms on the right and the other classrooms on the left.
We asked if what kind of student the bullied Tom was. Valria responded, “He would do better if he focused. He will learn in time.” Erlig asked is any students left the school prior to the ghost’s first appearance. She couldn’t recall any.
Mistress Valria left for her office and was surprised to find Strabo waiting there, “oh, you again.” Strabo smoothly went about apologizing and offered to prepare her some special tea. Mistress Valria smiled, “I need to get home, but I will take a rain check.” He suggested that they have tea before the nature walk the next day. “OK, why not invite everybody,” she replied. Strabo said it was very expensive and rare tea (she really smiled at that) and he didn’t have enough for everyone. “Oh, why yes then,” she said with a little color flooding into her face.
Bron and Falathar having learned that Master Deft rode his pony home each night decided to ride along. Before they left Strabo came over to Falathar and asked him to buy some very good tea. Bron and Falathar engaged Milo in conversation about the recent events. Milo said he had felt something just prior to the first appearance of the ghost. “I could feel something change in the room.” Bron asked what subjects he taught and was informed logic and math. Bron asked if they taught spellcraft as the school. “No, our job is to prepare them to be ready to train in a craft or trade. Falathar asked Milo if he had noticed the garden dug up. “No, Meritus told me about your discovery.”
Bron asked if Milo had been there when Odgen was killed. No, I joined the staff after, but as a Halfling Meritus felt it necessary to explain why no dogs were allowed in the school. Bron pointed out that Milo had been teaching there longer than the other teachers. “Where you ever told where Oggun had been buried.” “No,” Milo replied, “Just that the dogs were large Mastiffs.” Falathar asked if Odgen had a family.” Milo thought he had been single and lived at the school. We asked about other adults working at the school. Master Deft replied that there was a stable master who lived near the school. He informed us that local farmwives come in to prepare the meals.
Bron turned the talk back to the ghost. He asked if Deft had seen the ghost before. “Yes, with some students.” Bron asked if it attacked and Milo said it hadn’t. “Ya’ did see it attack us,” pointed out Bron. “Yes but we did not rush it,” provided Milo. We asked where the ghost had been seen. “First time was in the courtyard by students, it was screaming. Next was in the dormitory by students, but it did not scream that time.” We pressed him for details. Milo thought for a second, “the first time in the courtyard it appeared in the corner of the garden and was seen by Master Carble along with students.” We asked if the bullies were there among the students. “They were,” he replied.
We had reached his cottage and before we left inquired about an inn and a place to buy some tea. Milo said we had passed an inn about the midpoint of our ride and we could buy tea there. Bron and Falathar bade Master Deft a good night and briskly rode back to the
inn. Falathar approached the innkeeper and asked if he had any fine tea for sale. “You be drinkin’ tea then,” asked the man shaking his head. “No, I promised a friend if would ask.” Falathar winked at Bron, “Now as to drink, would you have any good Dwarven Ale?” The innkeeper, now smiling at the potential profit, poured two mugs of the stout ale. “Our thirst great,” Falathar said, “we could die of thirst with just a mug at time.” A laughing
innkeeper then poured a flagon to go with the mugs. “That will be one gold for the ale,” and then he reached back a grabbed a box of tea, “and ten copper for the tea.” Falathar paid him and tipped him four silver, “That is to make sure the next flagon arrives at our table before our mugs are empty.” Bron and Falathar found the ale to be good and stout. It was not long before they broke into songs about deeds and heroes of old. Later that night they left the inn with their purses lighter and their spirits higher. Their loud drunken off-key singing heralded their approach along the path.
Meanwhile, back at the school Agrent and Rain decided to begin searching the grounds after the children had gone to bed. They searched the stables, but the only thing found was a silver piece. Having finished outside they moved in to search the classrooms. Rain checked the walls carefully running her hands along to look for hidden doors. Agrent
checked the floors and looked at the ceilings. Still, they could find nothing unusual. Next, they checked the washroom with the cleaned dishes. Agrent checked under both stairwells only finding dust and spiders.
They moved back outside, where they saw Parlay practicing with his shield. They searched the fountain and pool. Parlay switched his shield to his right hand to practice. Rain and Agrent returned to the building and searched the laundry and dish storage rooms. In
one room Agrent though he found a hidden compartment and opened it only to reveal stored linens. Up in the corner of one room he noticed a trap door. He opened and climbed out onto the lower roof. He whispered to Rain to be quiet and pulled out his magical torch. He notices a metal exhaust flue and decided to shimmy up it. Upon reaching the top he peered in and muttered, “Master Meritus should hire chimney sweep.”
They moved back down inside the building and walked up to the third floor. They began searching offices. They found a journal of demerits in Mistress Valria’s office; Master Carble’s had military poetry on the walls and there were several weapons laid out for
repair; they found nothing new in Master Deft’s office; and they did not search Master Aslar’s as he was there with Master Meritus.
Rain and Agrent entered Meritus’s suite and found Erlig sacked out on the couch, where he was trying to ignore the sounds coming from the bedroom. It seemed that Strabo was “instructing” Blossom and the female temple attendant inside the bedroom. They noticed a pull down ladder in the hallway ceiling. It lead to an attic where Agrent only found more dust and spiders.
It was then that the very merry Bron and Falathar returned and entered the suite. Falathar noticed what was going on in the bedroom. Blossom and the female attendant were in the bed; while they had Strabo tied to the headboard on the wall. He pulled out his flute and
played an amusing tune much to Strabo’s discomfort. Falathar finally put his flute away and returned to the sitting room where Bron had already passed out asleep.
Agrent had managed to climb out onto the upper roof. He noticed the dark gabled windows and decided to open one. It would open so he broke the glass. There was a sudden chorus of screaming girls issuing from inside. It seemed he had found the girls dorm. The sound caught Parlay’s attention and he rushed inside up to the third floor. Agrent decided to climb back down the ladder. As he reached the floor in the hallway, Meritus came charging in, “Did you hear that awful ruckus up here?” Agrent replied, “Sound like Strabo and Falathar at it again.” A horrified Meritus, “In my bed?” His
comment was interrupted by Parlay charging in for battle. Seeing Agrent and the
other and not sign of a fight, Parlay decided to go back outside and setup camp in the trees near the school. Rain and Agrent joined him and left a befuddled Headmaster in the hallway.