In the morning, the Baron, Constable, and Sherriff, hold the trial and execution of the band of brigands that the party captured the day before. All of them were beheaded in the town square. Shortly after the executions were complete, the party inquires as to what happened to the Baron’s nephew, who was leading the group.
The Sherriff let them know that he was sent on to Tashal to face a royal judgment, and to be made an example of. Satisfied that he would be dealt with, the party left it at that and returned to the inn for some much needed R&R. Silas said he needed to be off to work, and Quintin made off to spend time with his new dog and bird, as well as Mylara.
A couple hours later, the reeve, a middle aged man named Caled, enters the inn, looking rather conflicted and concerned. He slowly made his way through the crowd toward the two remaining heroes that brought down the bandits, and their apparent friend, the young woman dressed as a guard. When he was close enough, Bors, sensing his unease, invited him to sit and ordered a pint for the reeve. Afer a few sips of his ale, and still not showing signs of relaxing, Anneliese prompted him by asking what was bothering him. He quickly explained his predicament.
He asks them if they'll help him, or at least listen to his problem. No one else in the village will help him, and he's too close to the problem to help. The reeve tells the party about a villager, a new villein that came to the village just two years ago. The villein is a snobbish and arrogant man, and somewhat lazy. The villein is also very confrontational and treats everyone else in the village like they're scum. The reeve has no proof but feels he may be stealing seeds and other things from the others in the village.
The reeve has complained to the lord, but the lord has told him to leave the villein alone. Other villagers have complained as well, which the reeve also reported to the lord, but the lord finally told him to drop them matter and leave the villein alone.
The reeve feels the new villein is blackmailing his lord, who is usually a fair and decent man. The reeve cannot leave, and no one in the village is willing to go against the lord. But the new villein is really causing some troubles and the lord's few talks with him seem to have no effect. The reeve has managed to convince the other villagers to help chip in for 50d worth of goods (food, tools, clothes etc.) to anyone who can find out what the villein has on the lord.
The three of them quickly agree to help the villein, feeling that since the Baron has taking a liking to Anneliese, they can quickly find what the villein has over the Baron, and resolve it.
The get the name of the Villein, which is Anerd, and also where he lives, then send off the reeve so they can formulate their plan. An easily found squire is sent off to the deliver a message crafted by Anneliese asking to see him again, which is immeadately returned with a yes, and that the Baron will be in town tonight to check on his subjects, and he will be happy to escort her around and show her his holdings.
While Anneliese goes off to prepair herself for a second date with the Baron, Bors and Othena realize that they didn’t get a description of Anerd from the reeve, so they set about trying to figure him out on their own, with Bors attempting to use his charm around the bar and ask about Anerd, and Othena sitting back and observing who would be acting in a manor that fits the description of the villein. The people in the bar felt Bors was acting like nosey jerk, and Othena kept getting her attention drawn to the stuffed animals on the walls.
Several hours go by, and Othena finally decides to go out relocate the reeve to ask for a description of Anerd. He gives her a quick description, Anerd being of light brown to sandy blonde hair, almost 6’ tall, and of a handsome face, and then points over her shoulder and says that he’s right over there, down the road a bit arguing with the Chandler, Rhubert. Signaling Bors, the two of them attempt to blend in with the evening crowds and make their way over to Anerd.
As they approach, they hear him verbally berating the guilded man, and calling him names and questioning his business practices. Bors, not liking how Anerd is treating someone that is his social superior, walks up behind Anerd with the intent to intervene, with Othena at his back.
As he approaches, Bors and Othena both hear something odd with the patterns of speech Anerd is using. Knowing he is new to the area, they expected his accent and how he spoke to be different, however, this man was speaking as if he was highly educated.
Bors quickly changes tactics from one of confrontation to one of defusing. As he speaks up to interrupt the tirade, Anerd suddenly spins on his heel and is facing Bors. The speed with which Anerd moved surprised Bors, and he stumbled his words.
Anerd, meanwhile, even more angry now at being interrupted, mutters angrily looks at Bors, then suddenly spits on the ground, curses, and storms off. Othena begins to follow Anerd at a distance, while Bors speaks with the Chandler to check on him. The Chandler say’s that he’s fine, and that Anerd does that type of talking quite regularly, and that he’s used to it, so long as Anerd keeps paying on time for his goods. Satisfied that the Chandler is alright, Bors makes his way after Othena and Anerd.
He catches up with her outside Anerds house, where they set up and watch what he does for the night.
Meanwhile, Anneliese has started her date with the Baron. He escorts her around the village and she listens politely while he greets his subjects and checks on how his village is doing. She asks questions about who’s who, and what’s what all along the way. Having gone through town, she brings up the farm lands, and how she’d like to see them. The baron obliges her and takes her along the fields and the farmers homes.
As they pass Anerds home, she asks a couple questions about Anerd, and the Baron stumbles a bit with his answers, then abruptly ends that part of conversation with a curt dismissal. Sensing more to the story, Anneliese holds her tongue for a bit longer and placates the nobleman.
Before to much longer, Anneliese and the Baron are back at the Keep, where he tries again to seduce her. Between the wine and her skills, she keeps the Baron entertained, and yet is able to get in a few more questions about Anerd.
He let’s slip that he had to have the former tenants removed two years ago, so that Anerd could have the land. And that he misses the family that was there, as they were good people, and always paid their full taxes in full, and on time. And that how he wished that Anerd would farm his lands better, and make a better effort to pay his taxes.
After more wine and sweet talking, Anneliese was able to get the Baron to admit that Anerd was from a noble family, that the Baron owed a debit to that family, and that he was from a town just north of them called Ternua. Shortly afterword, he passes out from drink, and Anneliese is escorted out of the Keep.
Disappointed that she couldn’t get proof of anything from the Baron, Anneliese makes her way past Anerds home on the way home, and is flagged down by Bors and Othena. The three meet up back at the inn and compare notes. Suspecting that the villien is possibly a bastard son of the Baron, they chose to head north the next morning to Ternua to find out what they can from up there.
With that, they settle down for the night.