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A man has been condemned to death by hanging in a week, after being falsely accused of using illusory coins. His desperate wife has been hanging around the tavern, asking anyone who will listen to help her prove his innocence. She wants you to find the real culprit and bring them to justice, saving her love’s life!
The only claim against her husband, Lomman, is that he bought wares and a few days later the silver coins he used turned to copper. But he sells their farm goods at a stall in the town markets and must have gotten those coins from someone else!
She swears to you, her husband doesn’t have a magical bone in his body! But so far, everyone has ignored her pleas—including the town council, who won’t release him from the barracks.
If you agree to help she will thank you profusely and tearfully promise you what wealth they have in return for such kindness. She suggests that, perhaps, if you start by asking around at the village market, you can learn more about the illusory coins from those who accused him?
Many people have received the coins, and they blame her husband because he’s the last one who used them. They affected everyone around the town; some merchants were even made destitute because they had sold the last of their wares for that season, only to find the silver naught but copper! It’s real tragic like, but her husband surely doesn’t deserve to die for it.
Should you go to the town, three of the five merchants will have information for you. The fishmonger isn’t sure if it was Lomman, because the fellow never bought much from him but, well, you know how coins change hands. With that said, Lomman’s always struck him as a good, straightforward man who never did wrong by him before.
The farm tools merchant will talk of a large order Lomman made, for a new horse harness, replacement plow, butter churn and a couple of new milking pails for his farm. You see, ‘im and his wife Ygerna manage their farm and then he comes to the market to sell butter, cheeses, jams, baked goods ‘n the like at the market a couple of days a week. He never expected the man to pay with false coins, though! Not two days after ‘e handed over the silver they turned to copper!
At this, the superstitious man will spit on the ground and make a motion to ward off bad spirits, before continuing. It made ‘im almost destitute, it did. Just like so many others ‘ere—but ‘e was luckier than the apothecary, ‘e was, ‘n he’s thankful for that.
The man will gesture towards the empty plot in the market, where there clearly used to be a stand. He suggests you talk to them in their home, as they were the most hard done by, before giving you the address.
If you follow his advice and visit the now-destitute apothecaries, you’ll find them packing up their home at the heart of town. They’re both taking turns at packing their goods into crates and putting them into a cart, while selling other possessions cheap at the front of their house to passersby.
Should you approach them, they’ll realize you’re an outsider and ask if you want any of their goods. They’re moving out of town, you see, to live with relatives and recoup from their losses. After what happened, they don’t have enough money to buy the materials they need to make more potions.
If you ask about Lomman, the apothecaries face’s will suddenly drop. They don’t think it was him, they’ll explain. They’ve tried explaining it to the mayor, but no-one understands why Lomman had the money. As a result, the townsfolk think it must have been him!
You see, they made record sales one week, but it turned out all the silver was illusory. But the one who bought their goods was a gypsy man, who came through and purchased two large chests of medicine. After that, the apothecaries bought goods from Lomman. Because things had gone well for them, they bought more than their usual order. Cured meats, fresh butter, eggs, a cake to celebrate, the like. But mostly they bought fresh medicinal herbs Ygerna picks in the mornings for them. She’s the best in town and collects them on her early walks.
If you ask the apothecary where the gypsy went, he’ll say the man left the town and doesn’t know. At that point, the apothecary’s wife will need to leave the conversation to assist another passerby in purchasing some of their wares. She’ll come rushing back excitedly after a minute or so, with a big grin on her face. She explains that the man who purchased an old pair of boots just came from the next town over, and was complaining about a camp of gypsies along the main road hogging one of the wellsprings!
Should you follow their directions to find the gypsies, you’ll come across their camp a couple of days ride out from the town. There are lots of dirty, sick children lying sleepily in the tents, some of them coughing. Tending to them is a man, giving them medicine and changing them into fresh clothing.
If you accuse him of using illusory coins he’ll deny it, but if pushed further will admit he did. Then he’ll explain he and the orphans he has been caring for ever since their parents died of a plague months ago have desperately sought help from towns but none have come to their aid. No food, no medicine, no compassion.
He did what he had to out of desperation, to keep the little ones alive. Now they finally have enough food and the medicine they need to get better, as well as fresh clothing that aren’t so threadbare the winter bites into their bones.
If you explain that another man has been sentenced to die in his place, the gypsy man will firmly state that one life lost makes up for all these children he has saved. It is sad, but he doesn’t regret his actions.
Should you try to take the man, he will fight you; summoning illusory monsters and beasts to attack. If you haven’t already killed him and return the gypsy to the town, the apothecaries will assist in corroborating your findings, leading to Lomman’s release but the gypsy will be hung in his place. Ygerna will cry tears of joy and thank you, and the couple will offer you many goods as well as whatever coins they have in gratitude.
If you don’t take the gypsy in to trade places with Lomman, he will be hung.
You might be able to rehome the sick and starving children, even if you take the gypsy caring for them into custody.
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