From the Journal of Sharak Langenbart, Weaponsmith:
20 Strassa 1508 – We arrived at Ardanyan today after traveling much of the day. The city is arranged in two parts, a central part called the Ring inside of which the rich dwell and an outer section with its own wall. It is a clean city and well patrolled. The elves seem to run the town while the dwarves make up the majority of the inhabitants. At least all the guards are elven, as strange as that seems so close to Throal.
After unloading some of the cargo, the drivers dispersed and we overhead Daylen, the driver who was given the small box by the Ork scorchers, mention which pub he was headed to with his wages. Nels, Parth and I followed him there and arrived in time to see him go behind the building. I went into the bar to see if he came in the back while Nels and Parth went around the pub from each side. Parth was able to witness an exchange between Daylen and an unidentified ork. Nels could not see the exchange but heard the ork warn Daylen to “Beware the Skull Whargs” or some such before departing. Parth apparently grabbed the driver as he came back around the side of the building, throwing him against the wall and asking him about the exchange. This gained him only the attention of the elven guards, who set upon him and arrested him for assault. We found this somewhat ironic, considering the circumstances, but once we figured out what was going on we spoke to the guards and were able to convince them to let Parth out on bail until his trial tomorrow. He was forbidden to leave town, which became somewhat inconvenient later. I suppose we need to find some gentler means of interrogating people here, or at least not do it within sight of the courthouse. We were discouraged from investigating the matter any further.
We reported back to Phregas Kular about our findings and he encouraged us to keep looking into the matter since it could help prevent further caravan attacks. Having lost track of the box, we decided to focus on finding the ork since there were relatively few orks in Ardanyan. I stopped first at Argethiel’s Forge since it was nearby and I hoped a fellow Weaponsmith would be forthcoming with local gossip. The proprietor, one Handreaux, was not especially forthcoming so we took our leave. He did suggest the Red Raven Inn as a better place to start our search, so that was something. Fine wares there, should I find more coin than time to make my own work.
We arrived at the Red Raven Inn near dinner, so we decided to take a slower approach and eat our meal while watching the patrons. A t’skrang and an obsidiman adventurer were having a conversation nearby so I took the opportunity to ask the obsidiman about the ritual dagger that we found with his Horror-tainted kinsmen. He said that it was of great value to the liferock from which it came, as it was part of that liferock’s Pattern. Since that liferock was tainted by Horrors he said it might be instrumental in its restoration … or destruction. These were deep thoughts for a later time, however, and I left him to his companion since he did not appear to be a local.
As I reclaimed my seat, an older gentleman who eventually introduced himself as Isir Faang approached our table and said he had a business proposition if we would join him at his shop. Apparently he was one who communicates with spirits and they had been for some time telling him of an ancient necklace buried beneath a snow white birch in a forest nearby the town. In exchange for our agreement to retrieve the necklace for him, he told us the name of the ork we were looking for was probably Borrusk, a local mercenary who generally hired himself out as a bodyguard for the town’s more affluent members.
As we still had some light and the forest was nearby, we undertook to leave immediately. The guards stopped us and reminded us that Parth was not to leave town, which just goes to show that the law in this town was fairly efficient as well as quick. In any event, we returned to the caravan and asked Laran to accompany us while Parth stayed and watched the warehouse. The tree was easy enough to find but when we reached it we were accosted by a number of elves who said the area was some kind of elven graveyard. Since the deal was not worth a great deal we returned and informed Isir that the elves didn’t want people digging up their graves. He took it poorly, asking how we knew their claims were legitimate and generally not listening to reason. We parted ways not on the best of terms, but the incident is somewhat strange as he claimed the area was no sort of graveyard at all. There appear to be strange things going on which we are passing along the edges of in this town. I do not believe anyone here is being entirely forthcoming, perhaps not even our own Phregas Kular.