9th of Solace, Dragon 9:43
It turns out that blast we heard was one of the local inns exploding and catching fire, which as far as I know is not something they’re generally supposed to do. Again, being the heroic types we are, all of us present moved to assist: I jumped into the bucket line to put out the fire, Daryel started tending to the wounded, and Dro headed in to look for injured survivors. (Sana did… something? I think? She came with me from the dwarven quarter, so she must have been there, and she doesn’t seem the sort to sit around when there’s folk who need helping, but I’ll be buggered if I can tell you what she was actually up to.) A few of the local town watch were there as well, though they seemed to be more interested in figuring out what the hell happened than in letting the injured rest; can’t say I blame them, exactly, but their bedside manner could definitely use some work. I also saw what looked like a small group of Qunari — actual Qunari this time, I think, not Tal Vashoth — walk up and have some words with Dro while he was between trips into the building. Dro told us later that apparently the Qunari have “misplaced” some blasting powder, and that roughly one-twelfth of what they lost could account for an explosion of the size that destroyed the inn. I suddenly have a powerful need to know what happened to the other eleven twelfths.
The next day, the tournament progressed more or less as normal, despite the previous night’s excitement. We saw a lot of familiar faces from our travels beating the ever-loving shit out of each other, reminding us that pretty much anyone who’s anyone has come to this tournament. (I’m pretty sure I even saw that drunk from the bridge outside Denerim and the Val Royeaux dungeon in one of the matches. He was… surprisingly competent.) Dro beat down… erm… some poor bastard, they’re all kind of bleeding together at this point… while I managed to defeat one of the warriors from that village that we saved from the Amber Rage a while back. Glad to see they seem to be doing all right! But Daryel… poor, poor Daryel. Somehow, our healer ended up in the last match of the day, with none other than that Orlesian knight that tried to run him over when we first showed up. You know, the one that’s a favorite to win the whole tournament? Daryel held his own for a surprising amount of time — I swear, it’s like the Maker himself wanted him to win this thing — but in the end, the barely-trained stick fighter just wasn’t a match for the experienced chevalier in full plate. Bad luck, friend. After the tournament, Daryel and Sana wandered off to get some sleep, and I can’t say I blame them. Meanwhile, I went to go find the fellow I fought earlier and his party, buy them a round of drinks, and ask about how their village is doing. It took me a couple of tries to find the right group, but eventually I managed it, and we spent some time drinking and chatting away. He said their medicine woman has been able to… “contain” the Amber Rage, but she doesn’t seem to have a proper cure sorted out yet. Not precisely what I was hoping to hear, but not the worst news ever.
After all this, I was ready to turn in and get some rest for the next day’s event, so naturally my head had barely hit the pillow when there was a frantic knocking at the door. I opened it to find a couple of fellows in robes who wanted Dro and me to follow them across town. When we arrived, we were met by the mayor-cum-tourney-organizer, along with a trio of Grey Wardens: the head Warden from Denerim, a woman I didn’t recognize… and that old one-eyed fellow with the big sword that I’d noticed watching us. Seems that hadn’t been my imagination, and that he’d recommended me and Dro based on our performance in the tourney. Well, that explains that, at least.
The mayor informed us that apparently something is rotten in this town — the past several days have seen a number of murders on the river docks, and he’s pretty well convinced that the inn blast yesterday also had something to do with it. Since Dro and I seem to be such tough contenders, he wanted us to go see if we could go scare up the perpetrators. Which is all well and good, I suppose, except that neither Dro nor I are exactly the intellectual type, and it seems the mayor has bugger-all in terms of actual clues or leads to offer us; it seems he wants us to do the actual investigation as well as the inevitable subsequent arse-kicking. Again, heroic types, so we can’t exactly say “no,” can we? We are going to have to wake up Sana and Daryel, though; they’re both properly rested and cleverer than either of us, so hopefully they can point us in the right direction to go crack some heads.