The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr: Session 3

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Chronicles of Tasrin Tolbrohr

I’m standing in the main road, wondering what I should do next.  I just finished talking to Urte, and that was quite possibly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I can still feel the weight of her as lost control and I tried to comfort her.

I look around, and there’s more people in the street now, but I don’t know what to do.  What can I do?  Feli could literally be anywhere.

I press my fingertips to my forehead.  “I need a drink.”  And maybe that’s exactly what I need, a little bit of a break, give my brain a bit of time to work through everything.  Maybe I’m just missing something.  There’s got to be something.

I walk to the Hammer and Sabre and push through the doors.  It’s busier now.  Most of the seats are filled and there are people standing around, chatting in corners.

“Ah, my boarder,” Service calls out while she’s bringing two drinks to a table.  “I’ll be with you in a moment.”

“No rush,” I say awkwardly, suddenly unsure of myself.  I start working my fingers through my beard, really wishing I’d taken the time to care for it when I first got to the inn earlier.  I bet it looks terrible.

A few moments later, Service rushes forward, emptyhanded.  “How can I help you?  Is there anything you need?”

“Oh, I don’t want to be a bother.”

She tisks.  “Nonsense.  Whatever you need.  I’m more than used to this crowd.”

“An ale, then.”  And now I’m wondering if I should go upstairs with my ale, but then maybe someone in the crowd knows something about what happened to Feli.  I follow Service to the bar and strike up a conversation as she’s filling a pint.  “Did you hear about Feli?”

Service spins around.  “How do you know Feli? Didn’t you just arrive?”

“I did.  I met her mother, Urte, earlier today.  She was… devastated.  Worried sick.”

Service sucks in a breath.  “What happened?”

I shake my head and shrug.  “Feli’s missing.  She was playing over by the pond behind the Tailor’s.  Alda was fishing and literally one moment the girl was fine and the next?  Wandering off into the woods.  Hasn’t been seen since.”

“That’s terrible,” she mutters under her breath.  “Has a search party been organized?  I haven’t heard anything about it, and usually the tavern’s the first place people go with this type of news.”

“No, not to my knowledge.  I get the feeling some people believe she’ll just show up.  Would certainly be nice if that happens, but I’m not sure it will.”

Service frowns as she puts the the drink in front of me.  “Here.  On the house.”  She looks both thoughtful and disturbed by this news, and looks out over the tavern room, then turns back to me.  “Are you looking for her?”

“I have been.  Most of the afternoon, in fact.  Certainly wasn’t what I was planning to do today.”

Service nods.  “That’s what people like us do.”

I smirk, though I don’t know if she can see it under my beard.  “You think we’re alike.”

She nods again.  “Oh yes.  You’ve got a good heart in you.  I thought I saw it, but what you’re doing for Urte, that confirms it.”

I take a drink of my ale, and put it down on the bar.  “I just don’t know what else to do.  I’m not from here.  I don’t know the people.  I don’t know the territory.  And I’m not exactly the most charismatic person in the world.”

Service puts her elbow down on the bar and leans toward me.  “Well, fortunately for you, I am.  Comes with the territory.”

I laugh, holding my slightly rounded belly.  “I was a barmaid.  Working in a tavern does not make you charismatic.”


I stop, looking at her, confused.  “What?”

Her eyes shift away.  “Nothing.”  Her voice is a little higher when she says this.  “I tell you what.  I’m going to ask around, see if I can hear anything.  We’ll meet up in morn.  If Feli doesn’t show up by then, I’ll organize a search party.”

“Are you sure?”

She nods.  “Positive.  Now, Feli might be a bit of a wild one, but she’s a practical sort.  She wouldn’t be out this late.  She’s always back before her mum leaves for home.  Without fail.  So don’t go looking for places a child might hide.  Look for places a child might get hurt or taken.”

That reminds me about the sword.  I pull it out of my bag and set it on the bar.  “You wouldn’t happen to recognize this, would you?”

She shakes her head.  “Fraid not.  Usually a person’s weapon is the last thing I’m paying attention to.”

I look down at the sword and nod.  “Thanks anyway.”

“What’s the significance?”

“I found it at the edge of the woods where Feli was last seen.”

“You don’t think?”

A shake my head.  “No.  Alda saw Feli leave under her own power.  I don’t think she was injured, at least not then.”

Service nods.  “Well, that’s good.  If you’re looking for someone with a sword, I would check the docks.  You pretty much don’t work on a ship without some sort of weapon at your side.  Basic defense against things like pirates.  That’s where you’ll see the most swords in town, honestly.  Most people can’t afford them.”

“Thanks.  I’ll check that out.”

I down the rest of my ale and leave the tavern.  The sun is now setting.  The building next door is shipping related, so I take the alley between the buildings.  When I come out on the other side, I see one large ship, clearing for cargo, and five small boats, probably for personal use.  The river stretches out in either direction.

I’m surprised to see no one back here.  I was half expecting it to be bustling, but at a glance, I see nothing.  I move to the water, and immediately see that each of the small boats are empty.  I look up at the cargo ship.  I can see movement on the deck, and I squint in the low light, but I can make out individuals, though not who they are.  It wouldn’t matter anyway, as I don’t know who any of these people could be.  They’re likely just passing through.

And yet, one of them does look suspicious.  I can make out from here that it’s a human woman, and that she’s angry.  Her movements are practically jerking her across the deck.  I decide to quietly make my way up onto the deck of the ship.  When I’m close enough to get a feel for the type of people on the ship, I cast Disguise Self, making me fit in a bit better.  Human, a little taller, a little dirtier. I’m actually amazed that these people look dirtier working on a ship than I do after 2 days on the road.

I stand there near the side of the ship for a moment, scrutinizing everyone around me, looking for a broken or missing sword.  I notice someone with no weapon at their side.  I smile a little under my bear when I notice the empty scabbard, though I can’t tell if it’s meant for a shortsword.

The person with the empty scabbard is another human woman, but this one doesn’t appear angry, instead, there’s an air of resignation about her, like she’s given up all hope.  I try to pull off a gruff accent, which sounds both somewhat familiar and very strange to my ears.  “What happened to your sword?” I ask.

 She looks down at the empty scabbard and laughs.  “Yeah, uh, it’s a funny story.”  She looks up and then frowns.  “Wait, you’re not a member of the crew.”

I tense.  “No, I’m not.”

She narrows her eyes at me.  “You should leave.”

“No offense meant.”

She continues to glare at me.  “What you are doing here?  I may not have a weapon on me at the moment, but if I don’t get an answer I like, there’s a whole bunch of my buddies that can make your day really bad in the blink of an eye.”

I back up a step.  “I mean no harm.  I’m just looking for a little local girl, Feli.”

“A little girl?  Is she missing?  Is she okay?”

“I don’t know.  That’s why I’m looking.  It’s why I asked about the sword.  I found a broken one near where she went missing.”

“Well, I can assure you, wherever my sword is, it’s intact.  It fell out of my scabbard at my last port of call while I was… doing something really stupid while drunk.”  She sighs.  “It’s probably not going to be the last time.”

“Sounds like a pricey mistake.”

She chuckles.  “Oh, it is.  Fortunately, there’s two merchants here in town that make swords, so I’ve got choices.”

“Yes, I met Alda earlier today.”

She points at me.  “Yeah, she’s the good one.  The other guy, on the other hand…”

I nod.  “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen anything, would you?”

“No.  I’ve basically been confined to the ship since losing my sword.  Punishment, you know.  I’m only allowed to leave to look for a weapon.”

“Sadly, I just sold a couple spares to Osan earlier today.”


“They weren’t in great shape, anyway.  There was a reason I was getting rid of them.  Bit of fire damage.”

“I see.”

I look around me, but I can’t tell if I’ve caught anyone else’s attention.  I look back at the woman in front of me. “Do you think anyone else might have seen something?”

“Well, a broken sword isn’t an everyday occurrence.  That might draw a person’s attention.”

“It’s a shortsword, if that helps.”

“No idea.  Wait here.  I’ll be back.”

I lean up against the railing as she walks away.  In less than three minutes, she comes back with a female halfling who looks kind of stressed.  “This is Neri.”

I smile as I look down at her, pleased to be taller than someone for once.  “Hello, Neri.  Did you see something?  Did you see someone with a broken sword or a little girl?”

She nods.  “I saw someone break a sword.”

“You did?”  I lean forward, eager for news.  “A shortsword.”

“Well, I don’t know about that.  I saw too far away.”

“What happened?”

“Well.”  Neri looks over at her friend, then back at me.  “I saw too people.  They were goofing around, at least that’s what it looked like, but I have a keen eye.  Always have.  They were pickpocketing.  Can’t fool a Truefoot.

“I approached, thinking I could gather a description for the local guard or something.  In between slipping things out of people’s pockets, they were talking.  They were talking about land deals, about how much they were going to be paid.  They were talking about getting rich.”

I frown.  “Why would a couple pickpockets be going on about getting rich and land deals?”

Neri shakes her head. “No idea.”

“And the sword?”

“It was given to them, to dispose of.”


“I didn’t hear everything, but there was something about an assassination, and digging and how no one should see.  I don’t know.”  She shakes her head.  “I missed something.  Sorry.”

“No, no.  This is useful.  This is… far more than I had before.  An assassination.  But who?”

“No idea.  I’m guessing the sword was used to assassinate someone.  Those two pickpockets were probably paid by their boss to get rid of it.”

“And they dumped it in the woods.”

“Is that where you found it?”

I nod.  “But if they were trying to hide a murder weapon, they certainly wouldn’t want to be seen.  Maybe they took Feli because she saw them.”

“That’s the little girl.”

I nod again.  “Yes.  Feli.  She was playing by the pond.”

“Oh, poor thing.  I hope she’s alright.”

“I hope I’m mistaken.”

“Me too.  Well, I hope that helped.”

“So do I.”

“You should get going,” the other woman says, ushering me off the ship.

As I reach the ramp, I turn around to face her.  “Thank you.  You’ve been very helpful.”

“Just find that girl, okay?”

I nod and walk away, heading back to the tavern, my thoughts full of what I’ve now learned.  When I step into the tavern, it’s even busier than it was before.  Not wanting to get into that mess, and trusting Service to do as she said, I go up to my room and shut the door, spending some time properly grooming my beard for the first time in days before going to bed.

Before falling asleep, I cast Alarm just in case.  After what I’ve just heard, I figure I can’t be too careful.

I wake up the next morning with a sigh.  It’s nice not wearing my armor to bed, and being dry, but I immediately remember what’s been going on and groan at what lies before me.  I get dressed and load up my things, walking downstairs as I rub my eyes.

“Morning,” Service says.

“Morning, Service.”  I suddenly realize I don’t think I’ve ever given her my name.  “Name’s Tasrin, by the way.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Tasrin.  Would you be wanting breakfast?”

“Yeah, that would be nice,” I say as I make a beeline for the corner table I used yesterday.  I settle into my seat with a groan.

A few moments later, Service comes by and places a big meal in front of me and a steaming hot cup of coffee.  

“Oh, bless you.”

She laughs and sits across from me.  “Have you heard from Urte yet?”

I shake my head as I take a sip of the coffee then spoon some oatmeal into my mouth.  It has fresh fruit in it and I smile as it warms my insides.  “Not yet.  I wasn’t sure when she gets into work and I don’t know where she lives.  Did you have any luck with the crowd yesterday?”

Service frowns.  “Maybe.  I don’t know.  Nobody’s seen Feli all day, and everyone honestly seemed surprised enough that Feli was missing, seemed genuinely concerned.”

“That doesn’t sound like a maybe,” I say as I put my spoon down.  “What else was there?”

“Well, there were just some people I couldn’t read.  Not normal for me, certainly.  And then there were these two.  Unsavory sorts.  They mentioned a sword and something about land deals, but they didn’t seem the type of people to be buying land, if you know what I mean.”

“Could they have been pickpockets?”

Service seems to think.  “They could.  They could have definitely been pickpockets.  We don’t get a lot of those around here, but it happens.  Why?”

I tell Service about my own findings, about the assassination.  “Do you know who that might have been?”

“Maybe, thought assassination certainly feels like a strong word for it.  There’s been a couple deaths recently.  There was a gnome that was definitely murdered recently.  He bled out.  The healer got there too late to save him.”

“Bled out.  Could it have been a sword?”

“I don’t know.  I never saw the body and Zerlina is exceptionally terse when it comes to her patients.”

“Well, what about him?  Who was he?  Maybe that’ll give us a clue.”

“Well, he was unemployed.  Always a bit stressed, really, and pretty well off in spite of everything.  He never seemed to want to get a job, make a living for himself.  He inherited that plot of land from his parents and just let it go.”

“Do you know if anyone was bothering him before his death?”

“Well, yes, actually.  I don’t know who, though.  He’d come in everyone once in a while, complaining about this or that.  I remember him complaining about someone bothering him, but he never said who.”

I sigh.  “We can’t seem to catch a break.  What about the other one?  You said there were two deaths.”

“Yes, the other we’re not sure how they died.  They ran a small ferry across the river.  The body was found in the water one day, no idea what happened.”

“So might be connected.  Might not.”

“Exactly.  Tanver’s death seems more likely to be connected, at least, connected to the sword.”

“True.  Do you know when Urte gets in to work?”

“Um, pretty early.  Corin’s a bit of a tough boss even though it’s a pretty small village.”

I nod and pop a bit of biscuit into my mouth.  “So she’ll be there?”

“If not yet, she will be soon.  Finish your meal.  When you’re done, go check with her, and if Feli’s not back, I’ll start organizing that search party.”

I finish my meal and leave eight silver on the table for the meal.  I head out to the tailor’s shop and step inside.  It’s quiet so early in the morning.  I have yet to see Corin.


Urte rushes out from the back.  “She came back.”

I sigh and sag.  “Thank goodness.  Is she alright?”

Urte shakes her head.  “I don’t know.  She showed up some time in the night and hasn’t said a word since.  She just stares at the wall.”

“Well, at least she’s safe now.”  I don’t really believe it, though.  What did she see?  What did she experience?  And is she silent because she’s traumatized or because she was threatened into keeping quiet?

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