In various states of inebriation, several of the patrons all started to speak at once, and Fargus continued his panicked accusations. Mallak stood up and said, “Hold on, everyone. Don’t panic.” In the chaos, Liberty turned to Drake. Trying not to betray her shock and horror, she simply said, “Help Tarquin.”
The alchemist nodded and pushed past Marta to circle the bar. He checked the gnome’s vital signs and muttered to Liberty. “He’s alive, just. I can save him, but I don’t have my potions with me. They’re up in my room.”
Liberty briefly offered thanks to the gods then turned back to address the commons in a commanding voice. “Mallak’s right.” Once she had their attention, she addressed Fargus. “And I find it confusing that you accuse us of a crime you didn’t witness.”
“The half-orc brushed past me on the stairs, blood all over his clothing. What else am I to assume?” Fargus blustered. He whirled on the off-duty guardsman. “Mallak! Do your duty, and go up to arrest the half-orc!”
The sergeant began nodding at the suggestion, but stopped short when Liberty said, “Hold on, Mallak. Mom is the most upstanding man I know. He would never do something like this; there must be some other explanation.”
“Not for nothin’,” said Rolf the carpenter, “but lass, we all saw him plunge the blade in. It don’t make sense, no, but…”
“That’s what we saw, yes, but magic might be at play here,” Liberty said, pulling a wand from her sleeve.
Fargus’s eyes widened and he shrieked, “Fell sorcery!” The other patrons began to panic, moving away from the sorcerer and talking over one another loudly.
“Everybody calm yourselves!” Liberty protested, struggling to be heard over the din. “I’m using this wand to heal Tarquin.”
“Lies!” screamed Fargus, ripping a short sword from his belt and rushing Liberty in a frenzy.