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Episode 7

Alton and Maur’tion passed by a second dwarf with ropy muscles who they could only assume was Rocko. He eyed them with a scowl until they reached the back of the alley where they were met by a gaunt gnome with a dour expression painted on his young face.

“And, uh, what can I help you constables with on this fine afternoon, hmm?” said the gnome in a high-pitched, raspy voice as he looked them up and down.

“Are you Dino?” Alton asked, but the gnome simply stared at them with no reaction. “A-anyway, my, um, my friend got some of this skooma from you guys and there was something wrong with it. It was like a bad batch or whatever. He smoked it, and then he died, and then turned into like a zombie, and I had to kill him - it was a whole thing.”

“Oh?” replied the gnome, “Well, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend.”

“Yeah, thanks,” said Alton. “So, I was wondering what you could tell me about that stuff, you know? Like, I was wondering where you got it.”

“I have nothing more to say to you, constable.” the gnome said quickly.

Maur’tion could see Alton’s conversation with this member of the Giants was going just about as well as the last one had so he conjured up the powers of illusion to make the guard behind him believe Jonno had called to him. The stocky dwarf cocked his head to the side for a moment before moving from his post.

Once the dwarf had wandered off to see what his compatriot wanted, Nazeel leaped from his vantage point and descended upon Dino and grabbed hold of him, hand over the gnome’s mouth, and he soared back into the sky just as quickly as he’d fallen. His wings held him aloft some 30 feet in the air as he turned Dino upside-down and demanded the information they wanted.

“Don’t you dare call out to your friends or I’ll drop you,” Nazeel threatened.

“Aright conny, aright – nice and easy now. I’ll tell you what you want to know when we land safely, eh?”

“You’ll tell me now!” Nazeel said as he released his grip just enough for Dino to slip an inch or so downward.

“Okay, okay - just don’t drop me! We were out at the cemetery late one night-”

“The Sea Street Cemetery?” Nazeel demanded.

“Yeh. And so we was digging up bodies, you know, finding us some trinkets, when we were approached by this… guy.”

“What guy? What did he look like?”

“That’s the thing, mate, I don’t know. He was all covered in a black cloak, and his hands was in black leather gloves. He called himself Chill, said he knew who our lot was. He offered us some skooma at a real cheap price, so we bought some off him. It was such a good deal, but… you know what it did to people, mate.”

“What did you do with the rest of it once you figured out what it did?”

“We dumped it of course! We can’t be turning our clients into zombies, now can we? It’s bad for business. Now please! Let me down!”

Nazeel brought the two of them carefully back down to the alleyway’s pavement, setting Dino upright again. Rocko was still talking to Jonno and hadn’t noticed the incident. Nazeel thanked the gnome for the information and the three of them left the alley.

Once they got out onto the road and made it a short distance from the alleyway, Nazeel told the other two constables what he’d learned. Together they decided to head back to the constabulary for the night and wait until the morning to see what they could find out about Chill from the archives.

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