Part 2 - The Manuscript
Almost a full year had passed since their arrival. William had been wooing a young lady named Vera. On the 27th of May, they were wed. On their wedding night, the post ceremonial festivities were interrupted by a report that someone was found dead at the inn. William, as the town watchman, went to investigate.
The man had been found dead in his room with his throat slashed. He appeared to have a small wooden chest with him that had been pried open and empty. His name was Balthus.
William questioned the other guests at the inn. The man apparently joined had joined a merchant caravan back in Belala and arrive in Poulton with it.
When asked if anyone else was unaccounted for, they mentioned that another man named Caldus had joined the caravan in another town. He also arrived in Poulton with the caravan. No one knew where he currently was. There was also a horse missing.
William called upon one of the villagers who occasionally assisted him, a hunter and tracker named Nugent. The two eventually found the missing horse’s tracks and ultimately found the horse abandoned in the woods. Interestingly, Caldus’ tracks doubled back towards the village. Those tracks led to the local church.
At the church, they could find nothing disturbed or out of the ordinary. On a hunch, William climbed up on to the roof, where he saw a man cutting a hole in the thatching. William was able to subdue him. Amongst Caldus’ belongings William found a blood stained knife. William restrained Caldus and informed Mayor Lorenzo of what had happened.
The next morning, William went and spoke to the village catholic priest, Anton. Anton told him that the murdered man had given him an old manuscript for safe keeping. If anything were to happen to Balthus, he was asked to take the manuscript to a man named Darden in the city of Vesentia. William took the manuscript, promising to return it to Darden.
About a week later, the King’s tax assessor Falco arrived, with his wife Doma. He quickly took over all of the rooms at the inn, much to the anger of the inn keeper. Luckily he would only be in town for a week or so, as he considered if the towns taxes needed to be adjusted.
One evening while Lorenzo and his wife Kristen were studying the manuscript, they briefly saw Doma’s reflection appear in the mirror in their bedroom.
The next day Doma paid them a visit and asked to purchase the manuscript, offering a sizable payment of gold for it. When they refused, she doubled the offer. They again refused. She told them that she and her husband were from Bezelay, should they change their mind. The following day, Falco and his wife left.
The following day, the four Nephilim began a journey to Vesentia. Two days later, they passed through the city of Bezelay. That evening as they made camp in the woods outside of the city, they were attacked by bandits. They defeated the bandits and learned that the bandits had been hired by a young woman to retrieve the book. The man’s description of the woman did not match Doma. They were to take the book to the Bearded Tree Inn when they got it.
The next morning, the group continued on to Vesentia. Six days later they reached their destination.
Once in the city, they learn that Darden was a Nestorian priest. They paid him a visit and learned that the manuscript belonged to him. It was written in cuneiform, and he needed it translated. He had sent it to a man in the city of Marteus to be translated. Someone must have tried to intercept it.
The group offered to translate the document for him, since they could read cuneiform. They then began the journey home.
As they passed through Bezelay, they heard news that a woman was being burned at the stake for witchcraft. They went into town and witnessed the woman’s execution. They did not recognize her.
They then returned home and settled back in. A short time later they received a message from an unknown source informing them that they had made a powerful enemy. The only clue as to its source was a hieroglyph of Isis.