Friday, January 6

So it begins

 When Kellin was a child, the world appeared to be a land of excitement and adventure. When he as a young man in the streets of Wynter, the world appeared to be a dark cavern of fear and terror. But now in his prime, the world is a small and vile place.

 Kellin's father, a simple farmer from the northern plains, used to tell tales of the great seas of gold and brown that surrounded his family's farm. How the wind would blow and create waves in those seas. He would tell of the tiny menites, who would built their minuscule villages in those seas. About the deadly grass cats that roamed, hunted and even killed children there.

 It was in one of the tales of the the grass cats that caused Kellin's father to lose his arm as a child. In another one, his father told of the terrible fires during the dry years. It was one of those dry years that took Kellin's father and mother. What also took the adventure and excitement and drove a young scared child to the streets of Wynter also turned him into the cynical, yet strong man he was. But strangely, it was one of his father's tales about the menites that drew his attention now.

 "And thus, the Menite King slew the giant beast," the old bard in the back of the tavern said. 

 This was the first time since his father died that Kellin had ever heard the word menite. He looked at the old speaker, but saw a young man there instead. Kellin shook his head, trying to clear the fog of drink away. He remembered coming into the tavern and seeing the bard in the corner. But he could swear that he had been a man long grey in his years.

 Maybe, it's the ale, he thought to himself, as he assessed the young man. 

 His age was hard to guess, but Kellin figured he was somewhere between his second and third decade. The man's strange skin was a dark gold color and his strange yellow hair was tied back into some ornate braid that hung to his waist.

 Elvish, or some kind of elven blood, he thought. Maybe I should talk to him. he may know something about the Ambassador's death. Kellin wondered.

 As Kellin approached, the stranger turned and smiled at him. Kellin felt a slight tremor of fear as the man's piercing blue eyes gazed upon him. Those eyes seemed to see straight into Kellin's heart. It seemed if all his sins were laid bare before this man.

 "Greetings," the man said.

 "Yes..."Kellin stuttered. He couldn't seem to shake the disturbing feeling coming over himself. He tried to speak again but could only mumble,"It is."

 What is wrong with me? He thought to himself.

 "Well, then," the man's said smiling," I'm Jaccob, nice to meet you Constable."

 "How'd you know I'm a Crowner?"

 "Someone we both are familiar with drew my attention to you," Jaccob said.

 "And who is this unnamed person you speak of, so that I may ask them to explain you?" Kellin asked, feeling a little angry at this stranger's cocky smile.

 "Let me explain something to you Kellin," Jaccob said as he placed a hand on Kellin's back. "Let's go for a short walk. I assure you, it will be very enlightening."

 Kellin felt no fear leaving the tavern with the strange man. He actually felt a little peaceful, as if his worries over finding the Ambassador's killer didn't seem to matter. This man would take over the hunt for him.

 It's a spell. He's using some kind of magic to manipulate me. Kellin screamed to himself.

 "I'm not manipulating you Kellin." Jaccob said placing a calming hand on his shoulder. "I'm actually here to help. Let me tell a little about your investigation. Your informant told you the truth. The assassin is in the tavern. Unfortunately he also told the assassin that you were in the tavern."

 "You're here to kill me then?" Kellin asked.

 "No," Jaccob said," I'm not here to kill you friend. As I said, I'm here to help you. The assassin was the tavern matron. When the Ambassador and his daughter dined at the tavern, she killed them with a poison in thier wine.

 "She actually poisoned the entire table. Since ratroot is only deadly to elves, the rest of the ministers and counselors were fine. Maybe a slight uncomfortable night of abdominal pains, and in a few case some vomiting. But overall they were fit the next day."

 "So why don't I just go and arrest her?" Kellin asked, trying to turn back towards the tavern.

 Jaccob stopped him by saying,"Because she has already poisoned you."


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