[EVENT] Following the Trail

3/15/2018 – At the Rangers Guild Hall, Shamino met with the rangers to discuss their next course of action. Shamino showed the rangers a note which he had found in the office of the murdered Sheriff of Yew, Guischard, which seemed to be from the Jean Clarion, the Sheriff of Vesper, in response to Guischard’s inquiry about an amulet he had found in the Deep Woods. From what Shamino could tell, Guischard had found an amulet left behind by the necromancers and had collected it as he had many other curiosities that he found in his investigations in the Deep Woods. Nevertheless, the amulet itself had never been found among his belongings and quarters.

Shamino instructed the rangers to meet with Sheriff Clarion in Vesper to further investigate the claim, but warned them to remain cautious, as he was uncertain if the sheriff was to be trusted. Upon arriving at Vesper, it did not take long for Clarion to find the rangers. Clarion acknowledged having received Guischard’s letter and had written him the response several months which the rangers had read at the Rangers Guild Hall. At first he seemed not to remember well the events of months ago, but later in the conversation confirmed that the amulet had been reported stolen by the shopkeeper at the Shimmering Jewel, Hugo. Seeing it as a common theft and having no further leads at the time, he saw no evidence of conspiracy or the need to investigate further. The Sheriff offered to help the rangers with their investigation, though he claimed there was no point in investigating further. The first lead they explored was to speak to Hugo at the Shimmering Jewel.

Hugo seemed forthcoming at first, confirming that he had reported the amulet as stolen to Clarion, for whom he expressed distrust and called a scoundrel. The theft had occurred three months ago. The amulet had been commissioned by an artist whose name he was unable to remember, but that the artist had asked him to make it using a peculiar gem the likes of which he had never seen before. After further questioning Hugo became nervous and refused to say anything more, but as the rangers leaned in to him further he cracked and revealed a curious piece of information, that he had not initially reported it stolen until Sheriff Clarion had come by asking about it. The reason, he said, was that a necromancer from the Mage’s Guild in Vesper had threatened him into silence. Flustered by the interrogation, he announced the end of it and walked into the backroom, slamming the door behind him.

The rangers met Sheriff Clarion outside, who preferred to remain outside during their interrogation as to not rile the jeweler further, and they discussed the information gained. When the rangers mentioned that it had been stolen three months ago and that it had been commissioned by a mysterious painter, Clarion suddenly realized these two clues coincided with another case he had been investigating regarding a missing painter named Sabino. The painter had been reported missing but there were no leads as to his disappearance, and so Clarion suggested speaking to the local painter, Alberta Giacco next.

The rangers learned from Alberta that the painter Sabino had come to Vesper to work on a particularly abstract kind of art using a new medium, but that he had disappeared before he could finish his work. Sabino had been a traveling painter, walking all across Britannia and was on his way to becoming a master of his craft before his disappearance. When Alberta learned the rangers were of Shamino’s Rangers Guild, she told them that Sabino told her that if something should ever happen to him, he had buried something important near a gravestone in the Vesper Cemetary marked with the name “Corey Quinn”.

The rangers sped to the Vesper Cemetary and after locating the correct gravestone, dug up a strange collection of magical paints. It was at that moment that a necromancer by the name of Nostriano appeared before them, the very same necromancer which the rangers suspected of having threatened Hugo. When the rangers refused to leave, Nostriano began to summon the dead in the graveyard to attack them, and eventually joined the battle himself. While he himself held enormous power he was soon defeated by the rangers. Nostriano attempted to flee by running the road north to Vesper, but fell dead to his wounds. Upon searching his body they located a bag containing a note which Nostriano seemed to have written to himself, writing that the secret passage to his laboratory had nearly been found out, and so he had devised a new passage way¬† using a false bookshelf to obscure it. With this clue in hand, and having rudely discovered Clarion and the magical paints missing after the battle, the rangers traveled to the Mage’s Guild and entered the secret passage into a dark sewer passage.

To their complete surprise, the rangers encountered none other than Jean Clarion, who during the battle with Nostriano had taken the magical paints and ran off. He claimed to have suspected a conspiracy afoot in Vesper, and had come down to the sewers on a hunch, and found something of great interest to the rangers – but without warning an assassin appeared behind him, stabbing the sheriff repeatedly until falling dead to the ground. The Assassin took the paints which Clarion had taken, and led the rangers on a chase through the sewers beneath Vesper before escaping into the woods west of Vesper.

The rangers attempted to track the Assassin’s footsteps through the woods, however they were traced to the crossroads and were lost among the many other footsteps found on the road. They resolved that Shamino, a master tracker, would be needed to track the elusive assassin, and went back into the sewers to investigate what was found. Inside the sewers was the necromancer’s laboratory hidden away, where several remains of tortured of victims were found, as well as a journal Nostriano had written, alluding to a mysterious master he served and also indicating that it was he that had taken Sabino and tortured him for information.