- Markshire PCs:
The Carona Stable Company runs a kind oâ€™ shuttle wagon between Foothold and Yar and the tripâ€™ll cost ya ten gold either way. If youâ€™re goinâ€™ on to Stonemark you gotta change to an express wagon in Yar, what donâ€™t make no stops in between and the driverâ€™ll charge ya fifty gold for the trip.
Now, when youâ€™re payinâ€™ your fare to the driver, if you look close at him, youâ€™ll notice his eyes is crossed, and they always has a glint in â€˜em too. And heâ€™s got a silly smile on his face with a bit oâ€™ his tongue hanginâ€™ out oâ€™ the corner oâ€™ his mouth. Thereâ€™s dribble drippinâ€™ off oâ€™ it, runnin’ down his chin and onto his neck, gettinâ€™ the collar of his shirt all soggy.
I think heâ€™s a little dippy, you know? Yup! Dippy! I suppose the lady what owns the place hired him â€˜cause he ainâ€™t afraid oâ€™ drivinâ€™ that wagon as fast as he possibly can and thatâ€™s just what he does! Well, itâ€™s an express wagon, remember? It seems like he can make the trip between Yar and Stonemark before you blinks your eyes two times!
Oh geez! He works those poor oxen what heâ€™s got yoked up to the wagon into a lather, cursinâ€™ and swearinâ€™, flailingâ€™ away at â€˜em with his whip, pushinâ€™ â€˜em faster and faster till youâ€™re shootinâ€™ along the road at an incredible speed!
The passengers in the back is banginâ€™ and bouncinâ€™ all around inside, laughinâ€™ and cryinâ€™ at the same time, holdinâ€™ tight onto each other, cause there ainâ€™t no hand rails for hanginâ€™ onto!
And theyâ€™s all prayinâ€™ they donâ€™t fall out the back and hopinâ€™ an axle donâ€™t snap or a wheel come off and send â€˜em smashinâ€™ into one oâ€™ the buildings theyâ€™s flyinâ€™ by, whatâ€™s been built up alongside the road!
And God help anyone who happens to be out for a walk, cause the driver ainâ€™t gonna slow down or veer outta the way tryinâ€™ to avoid â€˜em! Nope! Heâ€™ll run right over â€˜em squishing â€˜em flat for sure if they happen to be in his path! Yup! I seen him do that a couple oâ€™ times!
By the time he gets to Stonemark, the oxen is half dead and all the passengers got sore bottoms â€˜and queasy tummies cause oâ€™ the jostlinâ€™ theyâ€™ve had to suffer durinâ€™ the trip. But, like everyone always says, it sure beats walkinâ€™!
When me and Sunny got to the Corona Stables in Stonemark we met Belfron. He told us heâ€™d been doinâ€™ some shoppinâ€™ in Market Square and asked us what we was up to and we told him about the plan we had, to catch the Stonemark Strangler. He said heâ€™d be glad to help!
Well oh geez! All I could think about was now weâ€™d be havinâ€™ to split Lord Markâ€™s reward three ways, but I ainâ€™t said nothinâ€™, you know? Well, mayhap I grumbled a little to myself, but I donâ€™t think nobody noticed.
Just then, a guard ambles out oâ€™ Corona Sarâ€™s office, walks up to us and starts askinâ€™ questions â€˜bout who we is and what weâ€™s doinâ€™ there. He starts goinâ€™ on about the murders and how Stonemarkâ€™s streets is dangerous now! As of that night, he tells us theyâ€™ll be imposinâ€™ a ten oâ€™clock curfew, same as the little boy we met in the pass said!
Then he stops his babblinâ€™ for a moment, eyes Sun-Ok’s boots and informs us they matches the description oâ€™ the ones what the Stranglerâ€™s supposed to be wearinâ€™ and demands she take â€˜em off and hand â€˜em over so he can get a closer look!
Well Iâ€™ll tell ya! Ainâ€™t nothinâ€™ what upsets me more, than a pushy guard, doinâ€™ his best to harass and aggravate a poor civilian, never mind one oâ€™ me best friends!
He must oâ€™ seen somethinâ€™ in me eyes what alarmed him a bit. He gave me a long look, glanced quick at my falchion, noticed my hand wrapped tight â€˜round the hilt, with my knuckles white from squeezinâ€™ it so hard, then let out a nervous laugh, stepped back from us a few paces, and told us heâ€™d decided it wouldnâ€™t be necessary to be checkinâ€™ Sun-Okâ€™s boots after all! Tâ€™was a wise decision he made, if you know what Iâ€™m gettinâ€™ at.
With that settled, me, Sunny and Bel turned, pushed open the stable door and made our way outside. The strangler had been busy that night. We ainâ€™t had to look far for clues. There was bodies strewn about all over the place. Some of â€˜em was still warm so we knew this monster couldnâ€™t be far off.
The trail oâ€™ corpses led us to a courtyard what had a metal grating in the middle coverin’ up a hole that led down into the sewers under the city. We thought the killer might be on to us, and could be hiding down there somewhere, hoping to avoid being captured. We ainâ€™t wanted to leave no sewer unturned, if you get my meaninâ€™! So we moved the grating aside, and down we went.
We searched in every nook and cranny but we ainâ€™t found no trace oâ€™ her. No bodies, no blood, nothinâ€™. All we seen was a bunch oâ€™ rats, some sewer people who was really mad at us for invadinâ€™ their abode and oâ€™ course their king who fought gallantly but was no match fer the lot oâ€™ us. So, back up we went and, oh geez! While we was down below the Stonemark Strangler had been hard at work right above us! More bodies! Some still twitchinâ€™ with a bit oâ€™ life left in â€˜em!
Sunny and Bel began to search the corpses, lookinâ€™ for somethinâ€™, anything, a piece oâ€™ thread from her garments what she might have left, what could lead us closer to findinâ€™ out who she was and eventually catchinâ€™ her. I heard someone sneeze and knowinâ€™ it wasnâ€™t one oâ€™ us, I glanced up to see whoâ€™d done it, and glory be, there she was!
The sinister Stonemark Strangler! All decked out in her funny lookinâ€™ helm what had the workinâ€™ end oâ€™ a broom stickinâ€™ out oâ€™ the top of it! She was standinâ€™ there on a walkway just above us leaninâ€™ on an iron fence, gazinâ€™ down on us as if she ainâ€™t had a care in the world!
Well Iâ€™ll tell ya, the sight oâ€™ her really got my blood boilinâ€™ and I took off, runninâ€™ as fast as I could towards a stone ramp what led up to where she was standinâ€™. She seen me cominâ€™, made off in the opposite direction and the chase was on!