27th of Arodus, Oathday
Not in the damned Hooktongue Slough or in the dingiest brothel in Thornkeep have I ever felt so filthy! After a week of dealing with bureaucrats I had actually been looking forward to getting to work hunting the non-human variety of rats. That was before I had seen the bowels of this vile city and waded, quite literally, knee deep in its shit. The bounty on my one lousy giant vermin head barely bought enough cleaning solvents to salvage my leathers. After tonight’s hunt I tiptoed through the yard of a fancy manor in West Cushing, stripped off my gear before taking a good, long dip in the freezing waters of Lady’s Harbor. A lone guard dog lifted his huge head to follow my progress back out of the yard before lying it back down to snooze away the last of the predawn hour.
Back at the Hearth and Trail in time for breakfast I happily gorged on the big pan of slimy eggs and broken biscuit. Tumis looked suspicious of the mixed in shriveled peppers but when she opened her mouth a murderously silent scowl from Gosti closed it before she could voice her complaint. Exhausted as I was I got talked into one game of dragon bones before I retired and of course that turned into three or four. Perhaps this city isn’t all bad.
28th of Arodus, Fireday
Korinsky was an odd man. A mutton chopped constable at the Whiteshaw Eskcourt office pointed me to him as the local rat catching expert. While a few tips couldn’t hurt I’m hoping he may know something about either the Hawthorne murders or the Ispton Gentleman. I’m especially unclear on the later. There is a large bounty on information about him but the constable seemed to scoff at the idea he was connected to the murders. The general feeling I got from the local constable was that I ought to busy myself hunting rats and leave the real work to them. Doesn’t seem like that has been working out for them though given the rising number of murders in the area.
I found Ioseff Korinsky sipping a pint at the Skinny Cat. A dingy man with patches of grey hair sprouting mismatched across a balding dome, one hand gripped clawlike around a pint of something dark. The other rested protectively on a large, beatup pack dangling with rat traps. Reeking of the sewer he was given a lot of space at the bar. Korinsky was immediately suspicious of me and but invited me to a pub a few streets over where I purchased him an expensive wine sampler. He was very talkative but I got the impression he was mostly talking to himself. Going on at length about wine vintages he would abruptly interrupt himself to suspiciously demand clarification on some small detail from me, but was never patient enough to hear the answer. I was about to write the whole night off as an expensive mistake when Ioseff’s face became serious, then slid into a wide smile that revealed all half dozen of his teeth. For a brief moment I saw goblin in the crooked, ancient face and a chill went down my spine. Ioseff told me to visit him at his home tomorrow night where he would show me his collection of extensive maps of the area.
29th of Arodus, Starday
After my meeting with Korinsky last night I spent a little time looking around Valpole. The district lies just a couple streets from my boarding house, the Hearth and Trail. Valpole houses mostly migrants to the city and includes some buildings that have been converted to a scale more comfortable for the sizable dwarven and halfling population that have gathered there. As it’s a poor neighborhood it would seem a good hunting ground for the Hawthorne killer but I haven’t heard of any reports of murders from there. Maybe they just aren’t being reported or maybe there is a reason for that. If I was a killer I wouldn’t hunt my own backyard.
Later in the afternoon I stopped by Lowls House and the Renishaw estate. I was hoping to speak with either Elias or Aetherton but couldn’t get past underlings at either. I left word where i could be reached. Hopefully I can speak to one of them about a getting less disgusting work.
I’m finishing dinner in my room tonight as I write this. I’m to meet the crazy old man Ioseff to see his maps and try to pry some useful information out of him about the murders. Before leaving last night he made me promise to bring a bottle of “the good stuff” as payment. The bastard will bleed me dry. First stop is that winery we drank at last night. There was a rich red he loved, muttered something about it reminding him of the eyes of master or some such ranting.