While the new conscripts washed off the dust of a long journey, Jek began investigating the site of the murder.
The Baker, Luca, was able to confirm that Josef/Eridan stopped by a few hours before sunrise, insisting on a loaf of bread to go with his bottle of wine, which Jubal confirmed was a cultural affect of the Baronies of Valendor – consistent with “Josef’s” claims to be from that region. Luca didn’t see anyone with him, but did catch a whiff of strong perfume. She was a flirt and kept batting her flour-covered eyelashes at Daenyc.
After some discussion, the group moved on to the Salty Hammock as it was lunch time, with plans to visit the brothel afterwards (for investigative purposes). There is some debate as to why the brothel isn’t named the salty hammock.
At the Hammock, you met the owner/proprietor Etta, and two of the waitresses. You find out that Josef (they don’t know him as Eridan) had been frequenting the bar for the past month – consistent with stories from Eridan’s squad mates. However, for the past week, he’d struck up a relationship with a new waitress – Agata – who had been working at the Hammock only a week-and-a-half. In addition, she actively pursued him. The young waitress, Renata, was convinced the rumors of Josef’s death were untrue as he and Agata had retired to her quarters the night before and hadn’t come back out yet.
At this point the group rushed the room, the entrance of which is on the second floor balcony overlooking the main tavern area. Jek confirmed the smell of perfume coming from under the door as well as other odors consistent with alchemy (Jubal, it turns out, knows a little bit about the stuff). Jek tried to bust down the door, but in his weakened state he was unable to get a good hit in. Etta starts yelling at the group at this point to not wreck her tavern and runs up the stairs with a set of keys, scolding you all with every step.
The window shutters at the other end of the room are open, and Jek and Daenyc rush over to see if someone recently escaped out that way. The window overlooks the stables and it looks like while it had been used to get in and out of the building unseen, nobody had recently used it. Inside the room, the group finds more than enough evidence to determine that Agata was the killer, but not entirely why. Agata is definitely an alchemist – all of the tools of her trade are there as well as remnants of refining belladonna poison. It looks like she returned to her room after killing Josef – her bloody slippers are here, his nodium crystal (a salt crystal that builds up like a pearl in your appendix if you ingest too much salt – only happens in this region and it’s supposed to have alchemical properties), and a bloody square where his flesh was placed and a little ritual was done. Daenyc determines that the ritual involved was a magic spell where the caster makes a treasure map from part of a slain creature and that map leads to the most valuable treasure that creature knew the location of.
You also found her journal, but it was written in high elven. Daenyc was able to read out loud some of it, which Jubal translated as best he could. It seems Agata had been tracking Eridan/Josef for some time, but she referred to him as Ten Coyotes, an alternative name for the god Ten Father, the trickster god. Pooling the groups collective knowledge of the god, it becomes apparent that a lot of Josef’s behavior back when he went as Eridan, was very consistent with stories of how Ten Father and his followers act – crazy, anti-establishment, etc. The journal also mentions something about using Ten Coyote to find the Crucible. Nobody has any clue as to what that means.
It’s determined that she’s likely still in town as she left too many valuables behind.
At this point, there’s a scream downstairs and the group finds one of the waitresses in hysterics. A kid who works at Hammock was found murdered in the cellar. The group investigates (with Travin guarding Etta’s room), and finds the poor kid with a knife still in his back right next to an open secret door that leads into darkness…