Merilla Varsius has been acting suspiciously for over a week, and the guards - particularly the guard captain (Nerilius Ludos) - has taken notice. She's been leaving out of the south-eastern entrance of the town, and wandering past the crop fields on the eastern side of the gate, in the middle of the night, only to return just hours before sunrise. Lihien Mandileron, a close friend of hers, claims she's just performing rites to her obscure cult (of which Lihien can't remember the name of), but if you ask Merilla, she refuses to acknowledge her suspiciousness at all. As it turns out, an old lover of her's has taken up banditry in Crow Hall, and she has been trying to convince him to leave his fellow bandits behind and get out of the County. She's not happy with him, there's a reason they aren't together anymore, but she'd rather him not be on anyone's radar - especially Nerilius'. The quest ends when you either convince him to leave, or kill him (killing the rest of the bandits is entirely optional for the quest), you may also get Merilla locked up for conspiracy and aiding a known criminal, sending her to the Castle Umbranox dungeons.
The claimant will likely need to make the bandits, as well as the additional Merilla in Castle Umbranox. The player can receive the quest either from Nerilius Ludos himself, or by speaking to Merilla with very high disposition. The quest paths are as followed:
1. Get the quest, investigate by speaking to Merilla (high disp.) and/or Lihien (high disp.), go to Crow Hall, fight a few bandits and speak to Merilla's former lover. Convince or Bribe him to leave. Speak to Merilla afterwards and claim your reward (perhaps some potions or a scroll, maybe an heirloom). +Disposition with both Lihien and Merilla.
2. Get the quest, investigate by speaking to Merilla (high disp.) and/or Lihien (high disp.), go to Crow Hall, fight a few bandits and speak to Merilla's former lover. Kill him. Speak to Merilla and receive either no reward or very little reward. +Disposition with Lihien (she understands you did what you had to do), -Disposition with Merilla.
3. Get the quest, investigate by speaking to Merilla (high disp.) and/or Lihien (high disp.), tell Nerilius about Merilla's former lover and give him all the reason he needs to lock her up. He gives you a reward (gold). -Disposition with Lihien.
4. Get the quest, investigate by speaking to Merilla (high disp.) and/or Lihien (high disp.), go to Crow Hall, either speak to Merilla's former lover and convince him to leave OR kill everyone there. Tell Nerilius about Merilla's former lover and give him all the reason he needs to lock her up. He gives you a reward (more gold than path 3, also probably something else like a sword or something too). -Disposition with Lihien.
NOTE: The 3rd and 4th paths should give better rewards overall, as the 1st and 2nd both give a disposition increase to a trader - and thus gives you better deals for whatever she sells by default.
Crow Hall is directly east of the city, the directions and any dialogue referencing where she's going should reflect this (fastest way is to walk through the eastern field of crops and just keep walking til you see the cave entrance facing north, you can also either walk north when the south-eastern road bends south again or walk out of the northern entrance and immediately take a hard right). Crow Hall should include multiple bandits with her ex being towards the front and non-hostile, the rest being hostile. Crow Hall, Gallery can remain bandit-free if you want, with all the stalagmites and rock-bridges it might be a bit annoying to fight NPCs there, though it never hurts to tuck some reasonable treasure somewhere in a very obscure and hard to get to spot of the Gallery.
Crow Hall's Cell ID is currently PC_i2-17_01_Crow Hall Cave
The latest rumor relating to the quest is already implemented. Please make sure to add a journal condition to it in order for it to stop appearing once the player finishes the quest (feel free to add an additional rumor if you want about it, but any additional latest rumor dialogue is entirely optional and should only be added if you feel that it significantly enhances the experience. Sometimes less is more). Nerilius Ludos, Lihien Mandileron, and Merilla Varsius have all been implemented as well.
"Well, you didn't hear it from me, but I overheard one of the guards talking about Merilla Varsius the other day. Apparently, she's been acting suspicious for the past week or so. Sneaking out into the wilderness in the middle of the night, avoiding eye contact throughout the day, always in a hurry. I'd be careful if I were her."