Sheriff Hemlock comes to you with some grim news. There’s been a gruesome murder at the sawmill. He’s kept a lid on this for now but thinks that he’s going to be busy once this gets out and wants you to help if you’re willing. The group accepts and Sheriff Hemlock runs down the facts. Banny Harker and Katrine Vender (rumored to be having a secret tryst) were murdered in the sawmill. Katrine looks like she fell into the log splitter, but Harker was something else. His face and jaw were removed, a Sihedron Rune (as you learned the seven pointed star is called from Brodert Quink)was carved into his chest and his body was hung from hooks intended for mill equipment. Gruesome indeed. One element that is disturbing is a note that is addressed, by name, to Gus. In it is a cryptic message written on a bloody scrap of parchment that was pinned to Harker’s body with a splinter of wood.
“We have talked of this before, my Master. Now it begins. Join the Pack and it will end. —Your Lordship”
The Sheriff is quick to add that he doesn’t think the group has anything to do with this, but if this gets out he’s not so sure what the rest of the town would do so he advises that you try to be as discreet as possible for as long as possible. A study of the murder scene reveals evidence that this attack was performed by some corporeal undead creature who most likely lay in wait across the river in the marshes until nightfall then approached by water climbing onto the sawmill’s pier. Oddly, Katrine’s body did not bear the Sihedron rune upon it.
Gus and Ulfin continue to search the river while Drazz and Zelkerut go to talk with Ibor Thorn Banny’s partner at the mill (which is owned by the Scarnetti family) who found the awful scene. After some coaxing, Ibor reveals that Banny was having relations with Katrine much to the consternation of her father but is quick to say he doesn’t think Ven Vinder would have been capable of doing this to his daughter or Harker for that matter. Prodding Ibor more, Ibor also reveals in a state of anxiety that Banny had been cooking the books at the mill for some time and stolen quite a bit of money from the Scarnettis. While he had nothing to do with, he wouldn’t put it past the Scarnettis to have made an example of Harker.
A brief conversation with Ven Vinder uncovered nothing but alibis for both sets of murders and a grieving father.
Also while at the garrison, you study the bodies of the previous murder victims, Tarch Mortwell, Lener Hask, and Gedwin Tabe, three notorious con men and swindlers known well to the Sheriff. Hemlock generally believes that they tried to swindle someone worse than themselves and got killed for it. But then there’s the niggling issue of the runes carved into all their chests…
Grayst Sevilla a local Sandpoint thug was also apparently present at the first murder scene. In fact it was he who ran into a group of watchmen patrolling south of the city, feverish, babbling about razors and blood. This led the watchmen to the scene of the crime. Obviously quite insane Sevilla was committed to Erin Habe’s sanatorium on the banks of the Cougar River. the group decides to visit the sanatorium the following day.
The group find its way to the the sanatorium. Upon entering the building and ringing the bell they are greeted by an anxious Erin Habe. After some discussion and a bit of pressing Habe agrees to bring Sevilla down for a brief talk but he insist on being present.
Habe returns with Sevilla being more or less supported by two tiefling orderlies. It is immediately obvious to the group that not only is Sevilla infected with ghoul fever but also close to death. He is mumbling something incoherent “…razors…so sharp…so much blood…the skinsaw man is working….” Upon seeing Gus however his demeanor changes. Suddenly he speaks clearly, interspersed with a bit of maniacal laughter.
“He said…he said you would visit me. His Lordship. The one that unmade me said so. He has a place for you. A precious place. I’m so jealous. He has a message for you. He made me remember it. I hope I haven’t forgotten. The master wouldn’t approve if I forgot. Let me see… let… me… see…He said you should come to the Misgivings soon, to meet the Pack, for they have something wonderful to show you.”
There was only a few more moments to try to make sense of this odd message because Sevilla slumped as if exhausted but screamed in agony, ripped apart his straitjacket and attempted to attack Gus. The group, with no choice defended themselves resulting in the death of Sevilla. In an odd reaction, Habe swore he had no idea the man would react like this and begged you not to mention this to anyone lest his reputation be ruined (which in a turn of diplomacy you convinced him you would not and he relaxed visibly promising to lay Sevilla to rest appropriately.) When asked Habe also informed that he did not know anything about the ramblings and that Sevilla had no oustide visitor during his brief stay here.
Then you set out to return to Sandpoint with the afternoon drawing to an end…