Aribantes Investigates the Haunted Manor

3,377 Astrapion 2
Dear mom,

My companions and I followed Eudoxos’ directions to a merchant's manor, which was reported to be haunted. The merchant was Lord Periandros.

The manor was a common two-story construction with an open courtyard inside. The outer grounds were worked by unhappy labourers.

As soon as we arrived, we heard a scream and ran in to investigate.

Creesa, the baker and cook’s wife, pointed to a dead woman hunched over in the tub. The body was that of Xanthas, the personal attendant to the lord's wife. Lord Periandros servant was a man named Dema.

Hylas and I investigated the body and determined that she had died within the past hour.

We quickly went about questioning the inhabitants of the manor.

Lord Periandros told us that his cook, Akias, was drowned one month ago. Many said he had been killed, but Lord Periandros was certain that he had drowned.

We met with Lady Dione, the merchant’s wife, noting that she wore a pair of bident shaped earrings.

Phocos was the tutor for the merchant’s five children, two daughters and three sons. Creesa had also taken in a small boy named Timothias after she found him picking her pocket eleven months ago.

Searching the surrounding area, Nox and Belisarius found a coral ring in the well. Creesa said that Akias had given it to her a year ago when he came home from his last sea expedition.

Creesa confirmed that she last saw Xanthas the previous night.

Timothias indicated that Xanthas died “last night” and that Periandros was a pirate, explaining that he saw him steal treasure from a temple of Thassa decorated with coral, and a symbol of bident in a dream.

Some of the children said that they had seen Periadros talking to himself, looking down as if talking to his coral amulet.

The servants described Periadros as a smuggler that had displeased the gods.

Phocos said he saw Periandros return from the latest sea expedition with Triton jewellery. He also saw Timothias staring at Periandros’ medallion and put it on until Phocos stopped him.

Though Lord Periandros frequently expressed fear of water, we were alerted by his sudden screams. It seems that he had the sudden urge to bathe, and was almost pulled into the water. I quickly covered him in a robe and rushed him out of the washroom, nodding to my companions to secure his clothing and amulet, which remained behind.

While I was questioning Lord Periandros, he especially requested his amulet, which I promised would be returned.

We were all invited to join the family for dinner, and by the time it was ready, we had a firm grasp of who and what was obviously behind this mystery.

While Hylas and Nox retrieved Lord Periandros' treasure, including his amulet, to bring to the fine dinner the lord had prepared, Sephiro entertained everyone gathered for the feast with a song about a man who had stolen treasure and been cursed.

Dema immediately objected to the accusations, to which I challenged the basis for his offence. After explaining to all present that Lord Periandros had stolen the treasure and been cursed by the amulet, he quickly went from belligerent denial to a reluctant admission of guilt at his wife's urging.

We demanded that he returned the stolen treasure to the Triton Temple, and accompanied him there to ensure it was done.

After a short journey of a few hours, we arrived in Triton with Lord Periandros and Timothias, who we suspected may also have been cursed.

As soon as we entered the fishing village, we were surrounded by Tritons who demanded to know our business there. I explained that we were there to pay our respects to the temple of Thassa and return stolen treasure and asked for an escort, which they suspiciously obliged.

Within the temple, we met with Pontreus, Triton High Priest of Thassa, who rejoiced at the return of the stolen treasure and removed the curse on both Lord Periandros and Timothias. After Lord Periandros felt like a new man, joyous in his newfound virtue.

They rewarded my companions with many sacks of fish and sea monster parts, which they were able to sell back in Neolantika.

Your son in search of glory,

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