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Chapter 8
The Murder of Duke Raus of Rone

Duke Raus invited personally the whole A-TEAM to the party he would have the day after Seven Mothers High Holyday at his house in New Pavis. Merlox came a little before the announced party and was the first guest to get there. He met Duke Raus daughter, Jezra. Axjack arrived about one hour after the invitation time, Kaid-aw arrived with the other city council members and a little after eight Sor-Eel arrived. Dolxx arrived about fifteen minutes after Sor-Eel, when everybody else was already there. Duke Raus had made a perfect celebration with wine, food, dance and opportunity to meet other important citizens. After ten, Duke Raus held a speech to the guests. After he came down from the podium he stumbled. Axjack and Merlox had noticed already during Duke Raus speech, that he wasn't feeling very well, and they came closer to the front of the guests. Merlox caught Duke Raus as he fell, and he looks really ill. As people shout for a healer Duke Raus dies in Merlox arms. When the healer came forward nothing was to be done, but he is moved to the Chalana Arroy temple for further actions. Sor-Eel was surrounded by his body guards and he left the party, as people started to shout and panic, some other are also leaving the party. Ten minutes later Jezra talks to everybody and asks them to go home as the party is over. When Duke Raus had fallen down, Axjack had rescued the pitcher, from which Duke Raus had drunk during his speech. The chief Constable, Jorjan the Quick took it from Axjack for investigations. They also considered Axjack as one of the prime suspects, as he was Orlanthi and held the pitcher from which the poison was drunk. Merlox followed Jezra to the Chalana Arroy temple, while Kaid- aw left with his wife to their home in New Pavis and Dolxx followed his escort to her temple. Axjack stayed around the Duke Raus house observing the surroundings and went then eventually to Gimpy's for the night. When Merlox left the Chalana Arroy temple he flew to Arlaten's tower and talked with him about the situation.

Everybody in the A-TEAM did investigations on their own during the morning, and after midday a meeting about the different causes and murderers was held between the members in the A-TEAM Inn. Merlox told that the poison used was a very rare and powerful poison, but that it was also boosted up to a longer duration to prohibit resurrection of Duke Raus. It was obvious that sorcery had been used for making the poison. Nobody in the Chalana Arroy temple nor Arlaten could make such a strong dispel magic to break the effect, and therefore Duke Raus stayed dead. During the meeting, Axjack got an invitation from the Zebra Fort to a feast they would have that evening. Axjack accepted the invitation and escorts would be sent to meet him in the evening. After this everybody left the Inn together to go to New Pavis to hear the latest rumors.

About in the middle between the Inn and the Wyvern Gate, ten broo's attacked the four members of the A-TEAM. Immediately some spells were thrown and the attack of the broo's was parried. Kaid-aw hit his spear through one of the broo's with his first hit, while Dolxx also killed one of the broo's. When Dolxx made his next hit, he split the broo in half from the waist in a single blow. Two new broo's charged towards Dolxx after this, but Dolxx split his attack and killed them both immediately. After this he was ready to meet the leader of the broo's. Meanwhile Merlox and Kaid-aw both killed a broo each. Dolxx needed only one hit to injure the leader that he fell down sitting, unable to use his legs. With the next hit Dolxx made, he killed the leader. The last broo tried to escape, but Merlox killed him with a venom. As the party had looked for the escaping broo, the leaders allied spirit had healed him, and the leader tried to escape, but Axjack was ready and killed again the leader, this time for good. The bodies were then burned to get rid of any possible diseased items on them.

In Duke Raus house is his old working room heavily guarded with guards and wardings. The only person with access to this room was now after Duke Raus murder his closest servant, who could not been found anywhere. No other new important rumors were heard either, other wild rumors were floating in the town. One was that Duke Raus had some immensely valuable old artifact in his working room, another that it was a made by trolls who Duke Raus had betrayed, a third that it was Lunars that had made the murder, while the main suspects were Orlanthi "criminals". Also sorcerers were held for responsible for the murder. An idea of trying to get to Duke Raus working room despite the guards and wardings popped up, and Dolxx started to make inquiries, if it was possible. When everybody came back to the Inn, twelve Zebra riders were waiting for Axjack, to escort him to the feast this evening. Ten of the riders followed Axjack, while two stayed for beer in the bar. Merlox flew after Axjack to observe what they were doing to him. Axjack was taken into the fort and there escorted to a big tent. Merlox was almost injured as one of the guards, tried to hit him with a lucky shot, as he thought that he had seen something in the sky. Merlox flew alone back home to the Inn.

The next morning Axjack returned with a bad headache, even if he hadn't drunk that much. Axjack told he had met Hargran, who wanted to have confession from Axjack about the murder. He was then hit senseless by three men in black capes. An official Lunar force with Jorjan in the lead came to the Inn and wanted to search Axjack's quarters, as they had a tip, that Axjack had done the murder. In one of Axjack's chests a vial with the same poison Duke Raus was murdered with was found and Axjack was taken into prison in New Pavis. Dolxx arranged for a meeting with Dwarves from the Flintnail cult at midnight. At midnight they met at Rich Hill and entered a tunnel under Rich Hill. After many turns here and there, they came to a door that led into the working room of Duke Raus. A secret door not known probably to Duke Raus either, was used and the room was entered. One of the chests had some items that raised the interest and this was taken away from the room. The items was Kyger Litor medallion, a coded letter with a Lunar seal and a very, very weird small pebble.

The next morning Axjack was freed from the prison and returned to the inn. When the party was arguing what to do, Axjack suddenly rose up and said: "I did it, I have to go to Jorjan now and confess". After this he was leaving. Immediately the others jumped on Axjack, as they knew he hadn't done it and he must be therefore possessed by a spirit. Raven arranged a troll shaman to come and exorcise the possessing spirit from Axjack. It had to be the three men in black capes who had done the murder but why remained unsolved. Kaid-aw tried to get more information from the lunar sources and the city sources, while Merlox talked to Jezra about the fact that we probably know who did the murder, but we did not know why it was done. The next morning Dolxx used his ways to spread a rumor that Jezra would sell the medallion, but nobody fell for the trap.

A couple days later, the news that three men in black capes had been found dead, when Jorjan had tried to find them for questioning about the murder. The official report told them as Sartar Rebels and therefore they killed Duke Raus. The medallion proved out to be from the troll hero Tarabarbarog, but from the pebble nothing more than it did not belong to Glorantha could be said. The medallion was given to the dwarves as a thank for their help in accessing Duke Raus room.

Read why the A-TEAM had to go on the Blue Bat HeroQuest to save Pavis.
Did you read how the A-TEAM hunted a Vampire?

Copyright © 1997-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 01.01.2005.

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