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Gone Missing People are disappearing from the streets of Bergama, and Ive decided to help investigate the matter. Magistrate Sulma says they dont need any assistance with the investigation. I should leave the Hall of Judgment.
Leave the Hall of Judgment
Qadim: You're heading the wrong way, wayfarer. Just so you know.
Hero: What do you mean by that?
Qadim: Anyone with the sense the gods gave to a dog is leaving Bergama, or making preparations to do so. Many people have gone missing in recent days, and the city officials can't seem to do their jobs. Whoever is behind this has them running in circles.
Hero: Why are the officials so ineffective?
Qadim: Politics. Always the problem here. The Magistrate is a Forebear, and the Crowns say she is incompetent. Neither side trusts the other. It creates quite a mess. You want to help? Speak to the Magistrate in the Hall of Judgment. I'm leaving.
Hero: I'll speak to the Magistrate then.
Magistrate Sulma: I welcome you to Bergama, wayfarer. I hope you brought your gold. Our markets have goods of the finest quality, things you can find nowhere else. Regardless of any rumors, I assure you the city is safe. So stay as long as you like.
Hero: So the rumors of people missing are untrue?
Magistrate Sulma: Not... entirely, but they have certainly been blown out of proportion. Some people speak as if respectable citizens were disappearing left and right. It's true that a few people have gone missing, but they were mostly beggars and vagrants.
Hero: Do you need help with the investigation?
Magistrate Sulma: Oh. That is very kind of you to offer, but my administration has a handle on the situation. I believe Justice Istah and his officers have some promising leads. You are a guest here. It would not do for us to put you to work.
Hero: Let me know if you change your mind.
Justice Istah: Greetings, wayfarer. Our fair city has always been a sanctuary for those traveling across the scorching sands of the Alik'r desert. I hope you find it so. I am Justice Istah—the head of security here. I am pleased to meet you.
Hero: It is a pleasure to meet you as well.
Justice Istah: I overheard you speaking to the Magistrate. You expressed an interest in assisting with the investigation? I know she believes we have the situation under control, but I'm afraid nothing could be further from the truth.
Hero: Why did the Magistrate say otherwise?
Justice Istah: Because I have withheld many of the facts. Magistrate Sulma is a Forebear, and this Withered Hand business has the Crowns here calling for King Fahara'jad to step down. She has enough worries with that. Security is my duty.
Hero: But you're saying that you need help?
Justice Istah: I do. My bailiffs and I are Crowns. Duty requires we be impartial, but Forebears do not trust us, and now our fellow Crowns distrust us because we work for the Magistrate. No one talks, so we have no leads on the disappearances. Will you help us?
Hero: Yes. I can help with the investigation.
Justice Istah: That is what I had hoped. Of course, neither Forebears nor Crowns will open up to a stranger, and in fact, you can't even enter their respective fellowship houses. I have a plan though. You simply have to wear these dishdashas to disguise yourself.
Hero: So you want me to spy on Crowns and Forebears?
Justice Istah: Yes. People get quiet when my bailiffs and I are around. Explore the city and listen. In particular, wear the disguises and visit Ra Gada's Respite and A'tor's Oasis. Follow up on any leads, and report back when you have something solid.
Hero: I'll report back when I have something.
Justice Istah: I regret that political disagreements between Crowns and Forebears should impede a criminal investigation, but recent events have increased tensions dramatically. I am confident that your assistance in the investigation will prove to be valuable.
Hero: Tell me more about the Crowns.
Justice Istah: The Crowns are traditionalists. We worship the old gods. In Bergama, many Crown families are even descended from ancient Yokudan nobility. Though we are loyal to the throne, we would prefer to see someone other than Fahara'jad sitting on it.
Hero: Tell me about the Forebears.
Justice Istah: Politically speaking, the Forebears claim to be more progressive. They've taken to worshipping the Imperial gods, and associating more with the other races. King Fahara'jad even joined the Daggerfall Covenant, a move Crowns were firmly against.
Hero: What is a Justice?
Justice Istah: Justices are men and women chosen by common vote to keep order in Bergama. It is a grave responsibility, not a reward. We answer to the Magistrate, but keep our own counsel. If you break the law in Bergama, we will find you.
Forebear Warden Zakriah: Welcome to the fellowship hall. You're not from Bergama, though. Are you from Sentinel? No matter, as long as you're a Forebear.
Hero: I am a Forebear.
Forebear Warden Zakriah: Then you may come and go as you see fit. Would you like me to get the door?
Hero: I'll get it myself.
Crown Warden Serai: Welcome to the Bergama Crown Fellowship Hall. I do not recognize you, but I see you wear the formal dasha. I trust you are a Crown from outside the city?
Hero: Of course.
Crown Warden Seral: Those who honor the ancient Yokudan traditions are always welcome here. Come inside and enjoy our hospitality.
Hero: I will.
Justice Istah: Well... it seems my efforts to shield the Magistrate from security concerns have landed me in the stocks.
Hero: Why are you in the stocks?
Justice Istah: The Magistrate says I impeded the investigation. Apparently, she went behind my back to conduct her own inquiries. I found evidence she has been meeting secretly with Fakimal, one of my bailiffs. When I asked her about it, she had me locked up.
Hero: Fakimal was behind the disappearances.
Justice Istah: What? How can this be true? Fakimal has been known to bend the law, but he always followed orders. I can't imagine him going on a killing spree. Where is he? I would speak with him straight away.
Hero: He's dead, but he was taking orders from someone.
Justice Istah: Dead? The poor boy. You're saying he was killing people under orders? The only people with the authority to issue orders to Fakimal are myself and ... the Magistrate .... You think she's involved in this?
Hero: Possibly. I found this mysterious key at Fakimal's.
Justice Istah: That... looks like Sulma's key, and this would explain why she put me in the stocks. May I request one last favor then? The Magistrate's home is southwest of the Hall of Judgment. Would you investigate the place?
Hero: Yes. I'll go search the Magistrate's house.
Magistrate Sulma: So now you know my dark secret. It must be horrifying—I haven't been able to bring myself to go down there since this began. I just gave Fakimal a key .... Do you understand though? Do you realize why this is necessary?
Hero: Killing all these people is necessary?
Magistrate Sulma: Yes. There is no other way. Do you understand the power of the Withered Hand? King Fahara'jad, the Ash'abah ... they cannot stop them! Eventually, the Hand would have come here and killed everyone. This deal is our only hope.
Hero: Paying them in corpses to leave Bergama alone?
Magistrate Sulma: It was the only deal Alasan would accept. It seems terrible, but we're only killing vagrants, criminals .... To save the city, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Let me finish this—it's only a few more corpses. Will you keep my secret?
Hero: Yes. I will keep your secret.
Magistrate Sulma: I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear that. When I saw you coming out of the basement, I thought all of this was going to have been in vain. You realize, of course, that this means Istah will have to remain in the stocks.
Hero: I understand.
Magistrate Sulma: I would encourage you to finish whatever business you have in Bergama and then be on your way. In time, it will become clear that we have done the right thing. Until then, gods be with you.
Hero: Complete Quest.
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