*Craven raises an elegant eyebrow. Wizards, as a whole, were stingy with their magic, in his limited experience. The priests at the temple had said the same thing; they were occasionally willing to show off, but to give away their secrets was anethma to their nature.*
Then again, he seems to be "selling" it. Lylamwyn, it seems, must do some service for Master Zerosh, or feel indebted no doubt. I hope it isn't anything that would put him in over his head. Bother, I better go lurk just to make sure, Craven thinks, and slowly meanders his way a bit closer so he can eaves drop a bit.
OOC: Lylamwyn was not present when Zerosh met Lylamwyn's father. Nor does he recollect his father ever mentioning Zerosh. But Lylamwyn knows that Zerosh and his father both lived in the same part of Celene, so they could have met, and if they didn't meet, they probably heard of each other. With the long lives of Gray elves, it is possible that Zerosh and Lylamwyn's father were friends in the past.
IC: Zerosh responds to Lylamwyn in the language of the elves "Master Lylamwyn, the task is of a delicate nature, requiring someone with subtlety and tack, and the judgment to recognize evil even when it is cloaked in a fair smile.
"Long ago, the Old Trading Post was the first building constructed where Hommlet now stands. It is rumored that the first owner of the Trading Post sold goods to Orcs as readily as to Elves. Ten years ago, the owner of the Trading Post was revealed to be a thief and a cultist of a God of evil. The new owner, a halfling, is rumored to be another cultist.
"If you are up for this kind of work, you might investigate Joman Dart, the owner of the Old Trading Post."
Having delivered his idea, Zerosh realizes he has urgernt business elsewhere and leaves the Inn.
In the corner of the room, the gnome Nierethi Poscurian starts shouting at his dinner companion. "All the stories said the Commander of the Moathouse was destined for greatness and immense riches. My treasure is buried out there, waiting for me."
The merchant Chat replies "All you'll find at the Moathouse is eternal undeath. I spent most of last week searching through the moathouse and running from the undead. There isn't any treasure buried there, just bones and carrion eaters.
"If there still is buried treasure, it must be at the Temple itself, in one of the sealed vaults. Only magic could breach those vaults, though."
Kerwyn listens intently, nodding in approval every now and then, as Zerosh speaks to Lylamwyn in the elven tongue. When the scroll scriber leaves, however, he looks at the other elf.
"What did he tell you, the recipe to a cake?"
The half-elven singer Redithidoor Halfmoon wanders up to the table, "If you are going on an adventure, can I come along too? I would be honored to set your virtuous deeds to verse, record your vanquishing of countless enemies, and your heroic rescues of fair maidens."
*Fear coils its familiar freezing cold coils around Craven's gut as the others talk about evil in the moathouse, and going to have an adventure to rid the town of such evil. He should go, it was right for him to go, the very duty of a paladin. The temple, if it caught wind of it, would probably insist that he go. Trembling inside, but his face his habitual mask, Craven walks over to join the conversation.*
"I rather say, if you're going to rid the moathouse of such abominations, then you should certainly have me at your side! Such honor in defeating such vile foes, and ensuring Hommlet is safe, I wouldn't miss it for the world," Craven says cheerfully, as inwardly his gut roils and writhes.
You damned coward, damned fool. Mercy, you still have to tell the temple...
Lylamwyn listens to the scribe and when he leaves, turns to answer Kerwyn and others, lowering his voice a bit: "Metaphorically speaking, he might have. But he told that the new halfling owner of the Old Trading Post is rumored to be a cultist of eevil. He asked if I - we - could look into it. The moathouse seems to involve a bit more physical danger than this, uhh, intrusion of independent privacy for the cause of social feelings of mutual safety. Though our resident Paladin could possibly give us some kind of confirmations of the trader's belief system. Unless of course, the trader has protected himself with powerful magic, which would seem a natural choise for a cultist of eevil who has been stationed here..."
"Uncle Joman?! An evil cultist?! Ridiculous! Impossible! The Darts may not be the most pious of folk, but I've never heard such accusations in my life. Certainly, we must investigate these claims, but to clear the good fellow's name."
Lylamwyn shrugs. "I got the impression from between the lines, that the rumours have probably started because of the fact that the former owner of the Old Trading Post actually was a cultist of evil. People have a habit of clinging to old habits and memories, so I'd not put too much faith in it.
What I can't figure is why Zerosh would bring up this matter, especially to me. He doesn't seem like a one who listens to normal village gossip, and even less like one that would believe it for that matter. It's rather strange, don't you think? And intruding into people's private life is rather rude in my opinion. Even when it's done with good intentions.", he says with a calm voice. *If it's done with good intentions...*, he continues in his mind, instinctively.
"More importantly, has anyone even heard of this rumor before?", Lylamwyn continues, while frowning a bit. His tone has been darkening very slightly during the whole time he's been talking, as if he's thinking about something, and continues to do so. "I mean, you'd think somebody of us would have heard of it, if Zerosh has. I'd be more interested in tracking this rumour to it's source to whoever started it, than bothering mister Joman with it unless absolutely necessary. Maybe somebody who doesn't like him started it." *Yes. Someone...*
*Frankly, I have a bad feeling about this whole thing. I don't like this. I'd like to have a way of checking what my father knows about Zerosh.*
*If he even knows him.*, Lylamwyn's more paranoid part of his brains add to his thoughts.
Lylamwyn continues to ignore Redithidoor, by accident or on purpose, and takes a look at the scroll Zerosh gave him.
"And if someone has truly seen undead in the moathouse, its our responsibility to go verify it! Such things are abominations, evil, and cannot be allowed to exist," Craven says passionately. Oh brilliant, you just committed yourself, you coward. All but volunteered to be the bloody head of the expedition. By St. Cuthberts stiffened spine, you better not screw this up.
"I better go see..." he says, and walks back to talk to Vesta. "Lady Vesta, I've heard some disturbing rumors from some of the patrons. One claims to have been attacked by undead in the moathouse, something that I believe must be tended to. Could you spare me for a half-hour so I can go talk to the temple about this? I'm afraid it could be serious." Then Craven pauses and remembers something. "Oh, and I was supposed to pick up some honeycakes for Marly," he adds a bit sheepishly.
Vesta smiles and says to Craven, "Of course, honey. I'll get your cakes right away. Maridosen can cover for you while you visit Canoness Y'Dey. You will make us all proud. Be a dear, and take Xaod with you back to his bed in the Church."
Maridosen sighs and makes an ugly face at being 'volunteered' to cover for Craven.
Redithidoor says to Craven, "I will sing songs of your valiant verification of the presence of undead in the Moathouse."
The gnome Nierethi Poscurian, "Yes, lets all go the Moathouse and loot the place. I claim first pick of the treasure!"
The merchant Chat responds, "Now, there is no need to be hasty. The undead just lurk in the Moathouse. We're perfectly safe so long as we stay here and they stay there. Elmo says he's cleared out the undead several times and they just come back, so there's no point in anyone going off on a fool adventure and getting killed in the Moathouse for a treasure that does not exist."
OOC: Craven had heard a rumor that the former owner of the Old Trading Post was a thief and a murderer, but nothing about Joman Dart. Raner had heard a rumor that Joman Dart obtained the Old Trading Post for a "steal of a price". Lylamwyn has heard a rumor that Lord Burne and Joman Dart like to smoke pipeweed together occassionally.
Lylamwyn examines the scroll that Zerosh gave him. The Ornate scroll begins with a introductory section describing the author and the history of the spell enscribed therein. This scroll was scribed by Zerosh himself, copied from another scroll he obtained from a Blue Mage named Takesh Jal. The magical symbols are complex and more powerful than anything Lylamwyn can currently memorize (equivalent of Deep Slumber). Lylamwyn thinks he would have a high chance of casting the spell successfully if reading from the scroll.
"If there are undead that keep appearing in the Moathouse, there's clearly something drawing them there. We'd want to be certain to have a way of preventing that before we tried any stopgap measures, but if we can figure out how to keep the dead restful, it'd be our obligation to do so."
Lenya listens to the conversation. The thought of moving out into her own adventure fills her with excitement, but the talk about undead and evil cultists makes her suspicious as well. If all this was true, they might need more than just a few young adventurers to bring it down. And there was also the evil-born powers lurking within herself, being a part of herself. But she would be strong and not let have them take ahold of her.