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A Surprising Clue.

Writers: Avery, Leigh M-F.
Date Posted: 24th January 2018

Characters: Corran, Charvan, Kelty, Dorvo
Description: A startling reveal.
Location: Amber Hills Hold
Date: month 3, day 2 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Karhal, Dannarr (NPC), Nohria (not by name). Happens very early morning.

The door to the barracks was shoved open and Charvan nearly staggered
in, panting heavily. “Corran! Corran, get up! There’s been another
incident in one of the weapons rooms. We need you there now; Kelty’s
been hurt,” he yelled hoarsely, holding up his glow basket so he could
find the other guard. His nose was running and his eyes were reddened,
watering profusely. He had a damp cloth in hand, which he kept
switching from one eye to the other with his free hand.

Warden had been asleep at the foot of the bed and sat upright, staring
at Charvan with his eyes gleaming yellowly.

Corran hadn't been asleep for very long before the barracks door
banged open and there was some calling. "Huh?" he mumbled as he sat
up, blinking blearily with sleep. He took a few moments to process the

"Incident? What happened?" he asked as he levered himself up and
searched for a shirt so he wasn't running bare-chested through the

“Kelty and I were- were-“ Charvan tucked his face into his elbow and
sneezed twice. “We had the night patrol in this area, and we thought
we heard something in one of the weapons rooms. We went in and found
an entire mess of bowstrings cut. I told Kelty to go get Karhal, and
then this person -I think a small lad- all wrapped up in gray dropped
from one of the shelves and threw a powder in my face. Burned like a
brand. I couldn’t see or breathe right, but I heard Kelty go at it
with him, then a cry of pain. By the time I could see again, the boy
was gone and Kelty was on the floor, holding his head. I got that
healer who can’t sleep at night -Dorvo-, and when we got back, Kelty
kept insisting I get you so he could make a report."

"Shards," Corran muttered. He gestured at the washbasin. "Did you wash
off your face so it's out your eyes and chest? Is Dorvo still with

“Dorvo helped me as best he could, and aye, he is. Please hurry; Kelty
is frantic to report and I’m not sure how long Dorvo can keep him

The guard had been pulling on his boots as they spoke, and he was
ready to head off now that he had on a shirt and boots as well as his
sleep-pants. "Alright, let's see what he's got to say.”

Charvan hustled out the door, leading Corran to the right weapon room.
Kelty was sat on the floor, Dorvo kneeling next to him, trying to
bandage a wound on his right temple. Before the healer could say
anything, Kelty reached a hand toward Corran. “It had to be a bandit,”
he slurred. “Small but strong. We fought. The knives were fast. But I
got behind, grabbed around the barrel- Corran? Corran, listen,” he
said urgently. “Charvan’s wrong. It wasn’t a boy. I felt breasts.
Under wraps. It was a woman, I swear to you.”

Charvan looked confused. “How by the Ancients could a woman have hurt
you this bad?"

Corran listened carefully to Kelty's report, and frowned. It wasn't
that he thought Kelty was lying. He'd known him for Turns and knew
that he was if he was sure he'd felt breasts, then it
must be true.

"If she's a woman, that would explain a lot. We've been looking at
men, because not many women are trained to fight," Corran said aloud.

Dorvo helped Kelty to his feet. “We did catch a female bandit last
Turn. We never did find who gave her that vial,” he commented. “All
right, to the infirmary with both of you. You could use another
flushing, Guard Charvan, and you need to be under observation, Guard
Kelty. And I’m guessing you-“ he nodded to Corran “-need to make a
report to the Captain."

"I'd be happy to give him the preliminary report, but I'm sure he's
going to want to talk to Kelty directly, since he's the one who felt
the evidence," Corran said.

The reminder of the female bandit sobered him. She'd been captured
vandalizing and then she'd taken poison and died not too long after,
before she could reveal anything to them about who she worked for and
why. The guards had known there had to be an inside saboteur, someone
reporting guard movements and unlocking things to help the bandits get
in and cause chaos. But that death had gotten them no closer to
figuring out who it was.

He had found himself wondering - had it been an intentional suicide?
Or had she been poisoned by someone who wanted to shut her up? Someone
who worked at the Hold, who had a good cover, and a reason to give
something to the prisoner nobody would have questioned? Was the bandit
Kelty had gotten his hands on maybe the inside person?

And that gave him another thought. "You heard something in the weapons
room - like the person was already there? Did you see any evidence the
door had been forced or that other ones had been broken?"

If it was an inside person, then just the weapons room door would have
been damaged or picked. But if it was a bandit from outside, they
would have had to get through more than just one door. And while the
culprit had escaped after hurting Kelty and Charvan, they would have
had less far to go if they were a part of the Hold than if they'd had
to escape outside it…

“Door was unlocked,” Kelty mumbled as he was escorted out by Dorvo.

“I’ll be with you shortly,” Charvan called after the two. He covered
his face to sneeze again. “It was unlocked,” he confirmed, “which is
why we investigated."

"So someone has to be able to pick locks. Or it was left unlocked. Or
there's a key." He figured he'd check the schedule to see who had last
been in that room.

“But there’s no keys missing, right? I mean-" The other guard sneezed
once more. “Ancients curse it! I guess I better go to the infirmary,”
he said resignedly. “I’ll see you later, Corran,"

"I'll look into the keys, I promise," Corran said, watching Charvan depart.

He lingered in the weapons room, taking a look at the door and around
just to see if there'd been any other damage they'd missed while being
attacked. thinking about what he'd learned from the other guards. The
weapons room infiltrated with no signs of lockpicking or forcing down
the door. More bowstrings cut - reducing their defense and their
hunting. A bandit who was able to fight off two grown guards, and who
might be female.

The signs were beginning to add up that the person in the Hold
conspiring with bandits might be female. And that meant they'd have to
broaden who they looked at. Karhal wasn't going to like this at all.

Last updated on the February 1st 2018

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