The Great Black Diamond Baking Show: The Lost Jewels of Alcanse #5
Pleased to report that the asylum (aka Alcanse House of Wayward Souls) is not haunted! Indeed, it seems pretty well run, and the lady in charge (Marnie?) was happy to let us take our “wizard” friend Amarha Belton out for a walk. Amarha, it must be noted, is batshit crazy. He looks like he’s n his 20’s, talks like he’s in his 120’s, and is pretty convinced that he’s really good at magic. However, he did tell us a little more about the possible path to the next stone—a black diamond. Apparently, a dwarven maiden named Sanini found it in her pocket one day and gave it to her dad, Tamark, who promptly hid it somewhere and then opened a bakery….like you do. Supposedly, Tamar’k also drew a map to the stone, and then hid it behind a portrait of his daughter, which hangs in the bakery. Who does that?!? He claims that he never saw the actual stone, but he teases the populace by selling “black diamond bread” (with raisins instead of diamonds).
We went to the bakery, named Off The Wheaten Path, and can confirm that although the name is silly the bread is delicious. It would have been awkward to yank the portrait off the wall and run away with it, so we waited until nighttime to enact the Plan. The Plan relied heavily on Bardalph remaining at the Frog & the Frigate getting super drunk, because he gets all weird when people “break” “laws”. Whatever, dude. Anyway, Svela and Quigley wandered over to the bakery, which was now closed. Picking the side-door lock, Svela snuck in real quiet like and pulled the portrait down from the wall. It had jingle bells on the top frame, so Tamar’k must be worried that someone might get curious about it! However, Svela managed to remain jingleless, and sliced the back of the portrait to reveal a map and some words around the frame.
Those words were:
40 miles west and 30 miles south
Look to the north, east, and west
Wait at the portal
Wait for the sun to set
Wait for the moon to rise
The way will be shown
Trust your eyes
She and Quigley examined it in the light of the alley to memorize the details, and then the portrait was replaced….see Bardalph? No harm done!
So in short order, we seem to have a route to the next lost jewel, thanks to a mental health patient and a dwarven baker! This can only end well.
I also wish to reiterate that the bread was really tasty.