Vladimir, a young performer, arrives in the small town of Merrindale, looking for work. Perfectly capable of wielding the sword he uses in his sword-swallowing act in battle (as well as the many other deadly objects hidden on his person), Vladimir takes on a job from a mysterious man named Marcus, guarding the room of his mysterious client overnight. Seeming trustworthy enough, Vladimir takes the job from Marcus.
Following an uneventful day about town, Vladimir heads to the Three Lemons Inn, and is directed by Marcus to the second floor. Marcus tells Vladimir that he is to let no one through the door, and he is not to disturb his quarry unless it is deemed an emergency. Following this explanation, Marcus promptly leaves the hallway.
A few hours later, a very plain inn-girl (almost suspiciously plain…) entered the hallway, bearing a tray with two meals on it. She approaches Vladimir, explaining that one is for him, and the other for the man in the room. After sampling the honeybread, the lemon chicken, and the glass of water (flavoured with lemon), Vladimir decides the meal is safe enough. He knocks on the door to the room, and a gruff voices calls out. Vladimir explains that the meal is here and passes a plate through. The inn-girl smiles and leaves.
Vladimir eats his meal, draining his glass and finishing the chicken. As he begins to eat the honeybread, he finds it quite dehydrating, so dehydrating that it in unbearable. Seeing no alternative (as he cannot leave his post), Vladimir decides to drink from the vase at the end of the hall; he finds that it too is flavoured by lemons. He returns to his post, his thirst quenched.
Several hours later, Vladimir hears a muffled cry from inside the room, a man's. Vladimir knocks, calling out through the door. Getting no response, he hears only a hard thump. Now worried, Vladimir barges through the door to find the man lying on the floor, bleeding, and the window open. Vladimir quickly checks his quarry for life-signs, and finds him to still be alive. He runs out into the hall, crying out for help. Both the innkeeper and the inn-girl come running, both looking quite flustered. Vladimir quickly explains the situation to the innkeeper. The inkeeper explains that he will be right back, and heads downstairs.
Vladimir instructs the inn-girl to wait outside to room, and moves to inspect the window. There he finds a bloody handprint, and a small shoe. Both are small, though not small enough to belong to a Small creature, but they could belong to a dainty or feminine person…
The innkeeper returned shortly, carrying a small bottle. Vladimir assumed this was some form of healing potion, and did not question the inkeeper. Tearing a strip of cloth from the bed, the innkeeper soaked the cloth in the potion and wrapped the man's stab wound. He stepped back, saying that it was all he could do. Both the innkeeper and the inn-girl headed back downstairs while Vladimir remained in the room, keeping watch until morning.
Shortly after dawn, Marcus returned to the inn. Seeing the state of the room, he was nearly speachless, but also quite frustrated with Vladimir. After a few minutes of nervous explanation, Marcus gave Vladimir a chance to redeem himself, and regain his reward by finding the assassin. Following this, Marcus told Vladimir that he was returning to the small camp he had set up just outside town.
Before letting Marcus go, Vladimir asked for just a few details about the man. Marcus explained that he hailed from a town called Peladius, famous for its devotion to Pelor. The man was a priest in one of its churches.
Seeing the inn-girl as the only possible suspect, Vladimir headed downstairs. The inn-girl was standing behind the counter of the bar, serving a Tiefling man breakfast. Vladimir sat down a few seats away. The inn-girl approached him with a bowl of porridge and a glass of water. Before he began to eat, Vladimir realized something, the assassin might have a grudge against the Church of Pelor! Vladimir immediately bowed his head, and said a quiet, but audible prayer, thanking Pelor for the meal. When this got no reaction from her, Vladimir decided to just eat his breakfast (which, of course, had a hint of lemon). As he began to leave to investigate the town, Vladimir felt an explosion of pain on the back of his head, and a dull clang. He had been knocked out by a frying pan!
Some time later, Vladimir awoke in a dark room, his head throbbing and his vision blurry. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw he was in one of the inn's rooms, sitting in a chair and strapped to the posts of the four-poster bed. Only his right arm was unbound, but Vladimir was only able to move his arm past the elbow, just enough to reach the glass of water (flavoured with lemon) on the table beside him.
Now afraid for his life, Vladimir was desparate to escape. He remembered that he had hid a shuriken up his sleeve, for just such an emergency. Flicking his wrist, the shuriken slid from his sleeve into his palm. Now with means to escape, Vladimir began madly hacking at what rope he could reach. After a few minutes of cutting, Vladimir heard the doorknob turn and hid the shuriken in his palm. Standing in the open doorway was, of course, the inn-girl, though she now had a beserk grin on her face and a large butcher's knife in her hand.
She approached Vladimir, still grinning, and began to check his bindings. Just as soon as she bent over him, Vladimir took the opportunity; he slashed at her throat with the shuriken. However, as soon as his blade would have connected with her neck, she was gone. From behind him came a scolding voice: "Tch, tch, we can't have you escaping just yet, dear". She quickly disarmed Vladimir of his shuriken and proceeded to bind the rest of his body. With a smile, she turned around and left the room, laughing a laugh that continued to echo long after she left.