Sometimes I have to wonder if traveling with Gilly will actually be as useful as Thosun hopes. It seems like she’s gotten in some manner of entanglement in half the towns we passed in our journey, being pursued by men with thoughts of romance or suspecting her of cheating at cards. But after our experience in Atur, I have to think she’s a weirdness magnet too. We’d come to Atur because it’s said to be a good place to seek one’s fortune, and hadn’t been there but a couple days before the constabulary wanted to question her in connection with a murder.
Thank goodness, she’d had no involvement beyond being mistaken for another lady halfling. I don’t think I could travel with her if she was. She was, however, scared about it, she doesn’t trust authority much. Something in her past, I think — I haven’t pried. At any rate, delivering herself up to police of unknown competence and honor wasn’t much of an option for her, so she went into hiding.
Serious hiding, too, she contacted me with an encrypted and obfuscated message shortly after a detective came by the inn asking after her. Thankfully, I was talking (well, trying to talk) with a pair of … prospective adventurers? I wasn’t sure at the time. The human woman, Syama, was a healer, with odd manner and odder eyes. The other was a hobgoblin, his name was Dolg. From our conversation, it sounded like he was a ‘pure spirit warrior of fist and feet’, a monk. This was fascinating — I’d heard of them a little in my studies at Thorgir Stonecutter’s Academy of Defense and Warfare, how to account for such fighting style on the battlefield as enemy or ally, but amongst dwarves, and city-dwelling dwarves especially, they are exceedingly rare. Both of them seemed sharp-witted, and competent, so I was grateful when they offered to accompany me to meet Gilly in her hiding spot in the low quarter.
Gilly hadn’t had the freedom of movement to research, but she did have one piece of information which would prove invaluable. When she was mistaken on the street, the man in question addressed her as Gorlinson, and said he “wasn’t afraid of her or her oaf brother.” Then she’s caught word that she was wanted for questioning in a murder, and decided to lay low. We quickly found that the Gorlinsons were a halfling merchant family, but we didn’t care to approach them just yet. Atur not being the sort of city where murders happen daily, we were able to find posters asking for information (and offering a reward), and soon located a person who actually knew poor Jon T. He’d worked as a runner between various halfling merchants and the Inn District, and met his end in an alley in said district. Dolg’s skill at stealth is close to Gilly’s, I think (and as an added bonus, can see in the dark) — he was able to sneak into the alley and retrieve a bloody dagger. And this dagger bore the mark of the Gorlinsons… The pieces were coming together, and quickly.
Our next destination was the halfling encampment, where the more socially adept of our group discovered the rest of the story — one sister being the lover of the murdered man, the other (and her brother?) displeased with this, hot words and hotter blood. It’s sad to see again what stupidity results. A man dead, a woman fled. And for what?
Our duty clear, we related the impressive body of evidence to a constable. He seemed competent, at least at note-taking, but I do have to wonder about a police force who didn’t bother to look under boxes in the alley within the day. I guess I won’t blame Gilly too much for avoiding them. They’d best not screw it up from here, though — none of us would be pleased to be cheated out of the reward money, or more importantly of the momentary fame that would come from having solved the murder. In the end, it may turn out to have been a great opportunity, if we find better work as a result.
Gilly’s a better judge of character than I am. I hope she likes Syama and Dolg — I think they’re competent, and between the four of us, we have a good set of skills to handle what job offers might arise in the wake of our detective work. I do hope there isn’t an argument over whether Gilly’s information is worth a share of the glory, or whether getting out from suspicion-of-murder ought to be sufficient. Wonder if I can get a chance to talk with her first — I don’t know if she’s even considered the reward or possibly working together or anything like that.