Saturday, 14 May 2022

2 Klarmont - Under Turano's Guesthouse

 Broneslav pushed on through the tunnels and finally reached the end of them. They terminated suddenly with two incomplete passages that led from a last cellar. A large pile of dirt along the southern wall of this cellar showed that work had been ongoing until interrupted by the city's and Broneslav's investigations. Digging tools and wheelbarrows provided further evidence for the activity. They looked like they had been hastily abandoned. Perhaps the diggers had fled when they heard the guards coming, and had not returned. In the south-east corner of the room, there was a ladder leading up to a trapdoor.

With his investigation of the tunnel complete, Broneslav decided to try the trapdoor. This looked like the most likely place for a point of entry, compared to all the other cellars he had found, so there might be clues up above.

As silently as he could, Broneslav climbed the ladder and edged the trapdoor open a crack to spy out the area above. He heard nothing and could see no one. Flinging the trapdoor wide open, he leapt through the gap and rolled into the room, ready for a fight. There was no one there and he felt rather silly.

Looking around, Broneslav realised that he was in a one one-room cottage. The single room contained a bed, a chair and a desk. All had seen better days. Muddy tracks on the floor led from the door to the trapdoor.

He searched the room. A bottle of wine from the Trouscan Estates stood on the desk. It was half empty, or half full, depending upon your level of optimism. There was a black hood in the desk, of a type he recognised from his encounter with the two men from the Veiled Society. A few red hairs clung to its inside. The desk also contained a map of this area of the city. Several houses were marked on it: Fortunato's house, The Rattlebone Inn, Zweis Radu's house, and Baron Vorloi's guest house. Curiously, the house he stood in was not labeled. This suggested it was a base, and not a target, to Broneslav's suspicious mind.

Gathering the evidence together, Broneslav left the cottage. As he left, he found himself in town plot. The cottage lay behind a larger house in the plot. A man of substantial girth was butchering a pig in a workshop in one corner of the plot. Broneslav approached him.

"Excuse me. Is this your house?"

The man looked up suspiciously.

"Who are you, and what are you doing here? This is private property!"

"So, it's your house then. Who are you?"

"Whaddya mean, who am I? I'm Turano the Butcher. Everyone round here knows me. Who are you and what are you doing on my property?"

Turano waved the butchering knife threateningly at Broneslav, but not too threateningly, because he recognised the disadvantage that his lack of armour gave him.

Broneslav introduced himself, and his surname had an instant effect. Turano calmed down a lot. Broneslav then explained about the tunnels. Turano was clearly annoyed and shocked but he took it well when Broneslav told him that he needed to report this to the Watch and that they would almost certainly be round to check it out.

"Must have been that travelling blacksmith, Skevlos," Turano declared, "I rented the house to him, but he left yesterday. I don't know what's going on here, but I hope you manage to get to the bottom of it. I don't need that sort of trouble in my guest house."

Broneslav took his leave and headed for the Watch office. Perhaps they had further news from the man he had captured and this evidence would solve the mystery.

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