Tyrrol looks up, and grins unsettlingly, before chirping-up in a bright and rather cheerful voice:
"Well now, if you are wanting large, well-muscled, and above all, intimidating back-up, I dare say that we might be able to be of some of assistance."
Getheldam smacks his fist into his palm. "That's exactly what I want." He also agrees with Tyrrol's other suggestions. "Most prudent. Most prudent indeed."
Two of the patrons gladly accept your hospitality. The other one wants to get home, "The wife will be worried if I don't make it soon."
Stilts is angry and wants to leave. "Nothing against you, Lecian. It's Mordecai. He's always been a cold kettle of fish, but that stunt he pulled was too much. And then to offer them other gents healing and not us? I'm done with him. Cash me out and I'll be gone."
Wilam listens silently to the conversation watching each involved with nothing but a scowl on his face. After realizing that the rest of the group already had their minds set on Getheldam's get rich schemes he shrugs and walks right up to the halfling.
"Feh, it looks like I will be working with you for the next day. Know this little man, I will be right behind you the whole time. Two reasons for that, one because you are paying me for protection and you will be protected. Two, because I don't trust you, and if you betray us I will snap your neck."
Looking at the rest of the group, "Remember we have somewhere to be tomorrow night, lets not get too tangled up in this fools plans."
Kuva nods emphatically at Wilam's words. "Only if I haven't made him a head shorter first. In Qadira, a thief loses his hand, but treachery must be repaid in blood. The diyya his family will receive will come with the knowledge of a treacherous snake being removed from their family tree." He looks at Getheldam. "Of course, I can't imagine you betraying those who are so generous at both saving and aiding you. Folly worthy of a Taldan, that would be."
The gnome stares openmouthed at his interlocutors. "This is hardly a proper attitude toward the gnome who's going to make you rich. Or at least prosperous for a while. I assure you I plan no treachery, although our plan may miscarry. Such are the visitudes of life."
"I'll take a bottle and a room if you please."
Stilts and one of the patrons emerge from the kitchen and walk toward the door. The other two patrons plop themselves wearily at a table and pop open a bottle of brandy.
Stopping and listening to the conversation just before turning in, Lothan throws his thoughts on the subject out there, "I, personally, don't think he's going to betray us. Why, you ask? If you were him," he points toward the gnome, "would you want a group like this," motioning the party, "hunting you down? I don't think so. And he's right about the plan possibly going south, but that's why it's called gambling. I just hope this plan doesn't fall on my luck. Because if that's the case, weeellllll....let's just hope that's not the case." He deadpans as he then retires for the night.
Tyrrol is willing to accept Mordecai's hospitality, and goes looking for a private room to occupy for the night. However, he makes a point of dragging the bed over in front of the door to his room to prevent easy access for anyone wanting to get to him during the night...
Once everyone has made decisions and settled on room choices, Mordecai looks despondently at the blood soaked (and still heavily flood damaged) room, and wanders over to find the ghoulette wheel, face down from where it's table appears to have been overturned, either in the recent violence or the flooding. Savage-tongued Mungo has some choice words about the state of the place, Mordecai's stewardship of the Goblin and his own treatment, but Mordecai hushes him with a spin of the wheel and places the macabre ghoul-head artifact on the back of the entry doors, so that it will fall to the ground if the doors are opened in the night.
"Might as well put that complaining tongue of yours to use, old boy," he says, patting the grotesque thing on the forehead (carefully avoiding it's mouth).
He then turns to his own quarters, 'the last room on the left,' and is absurdly pleased to find that the floodwaters sank into the lower levels before sweeping under the door into the room he'd chosen for himself, all those months ago.
Kuva shakes his head at the gnome's protests. "We miscommunicate, brother-of-size, for I simply speak in generalities. Simply musing on the laws of my homeland." Kuva gives him a smile that shows only teeth, no mirth. He rises from his seat "I trust you not to betray us, as do all here," he says as he heads up the stairs.
He chooses the first room in the upstairs hallway, leaving the door open to better hear the downstairs and hallway. He sleeps with his bag under his head.
Sorry, guys, at work again today. So this will be very quick post. Casters choose your spells.
Morning, the second day after the meteorstrike.
The sun peeps in the windows of the Golden Goblin.
The two patrons and the serving girl who stayed are up early and fix breakfast in the kitchen. Taking their cue from last night they've pulled the best out of the larder and the smell is tantalizing. They throw scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage and bacon into large bowls beside dishes of sliced pears and a hard brown toast.
Lothan, rising with the sun, slaps some water on his face and runs his hands through his hair. Smells good. After waking himself up, he heads toward the main hall and sees that Kuva is already there, "Morning." He says to him as he pulls up a chair and grabs some breakfast. "Nice day, isn't it." He manages in between bites as he looks out toward the window. "Though, it's funny how such a nice day, can hide so much darkness."
The ruckus from Tyrrol pushing his bed away from the door echoes through building, probably waking any that have not already roused themselves.
Detecting the pleasant smell of a well-cooked breakfast coming from the dining area, he drifts towards the plates of food, sighs in appreciation, and loads up a plate, before retiring to a private table.
Noticing the half-elf grab his breakfast and then move to sit at a corner table by himself, Lothan thinks to himself, Man that guy is strange, and slightly creepy. I wonder who I should worry about more, the crimelords and their thugs or this oversized beast. Well, hopefully he hates the crimelords as much as I do. Of course, he may just hate everyone as far as that goes. Yep, this is gonna be real interesting. Part of the gamble, Lothan. Part of the gamble.
Mordecai is pleasantly surprised as he exits his room, backpack over his shoulder and shield at hand, apparently with his life's possessions now on his person. Despite the heavy gear, he steps as if a great weight has been lifted from him, and regards the grimy and sad appearance of the flood-damaged Goblin with only a wistful grin.
The employees made breakfast, instead of taking everything that wasn't nailed down and fleeing into the night?
He helps himself to a large breakfast, not sure when he'll have access to any food worthy of the name, travelling to this mysterious island.
Once he has eaten, he quietly takes these more-loyal-than-expected employees aside, "Lecian and I will likely not return to the Golden Goblin, once the ship departs. I would not begrudge you taking anything of value as you leave, and wish you fortune finding new employment. Know that Boss Croat will take ownership of the Goblin, and you may find him an even less pleasant employer than I have been, as his preference for those with orcish blood is well-known. Do not tarry overlong here, or risk being seen re-selling some item that is too obviously associated with this place, that Croat might consider his property." he adds, gesturing at the statue of the Golden Goblin, by way of example.
"If you do wish to risk continued work here, for Croat, I suspect, intends to re-open the business as his own, speak only ill of the previous owners," he smiles a bit at that, "and curry his favor by leading him to his imprisoned men, in the rooms below, to prove your loyalty to the new ownership. Indeed, if that is your plan, as risky as it is, I suggest starting to set it in motion now, by bringing food to the imprisoned half-orcs, and letting them believe that you had to sneak it to them, so that they will share the impression that you are betraying me and seek to hitch your haywain to Boss Croat's stud."
He adds, with the same quiet tone, "Just avoid doing anything that would lead to another unfortunate conflict before we depart. The cold fury of the Pale Lady is... indiscriminate in whom it strikes down when I am forced to call upon it."
Wilam wakes early and his first thought is of his new 'partner' in crime, Getheldam. After checking the halfling's room to make sure he is still there he heads downstairs. Noticing several of his companions already downstairs he nods to them, grabs a couple pieces of toast and stuffs some eggs and bacon between them to make a sandwich.
"If you don't mind, I need to make a quick trip to the edge of the city to pick up a friend of mine, as I imagine we will need all the help we can get today. Oh and don't worry, she has less use for coin you are after than I do. I shouldn't be long, hopefully you will still be eating breakfast."
Unless someone makes an objection or suggestion Wilam will head to the edge of the city and pick up Sora, and then return to the inn. As soon as he exits the inn he will look around to see if he can spot anyone watching the place.
Lecian plods into the dining area with a large leather-bound book, elated when he sees all the food. He takes his time eating more than his fill of breakfast, and all the while he deliberates over his spellbook. Afterwords, he heads back to his room, finishes packing, and lingers about the Goblin until Getheldam is ready to leave.
Lecian plods to the dining area, carrying a large leather-bound book. He eats more than his fill of food, all the while deliberating over his spellbook. Afterwards, he heads back to his room to finish up packing, then lingers around aimlessly until Getheldam is ready to leave.
Getheldam is still asleep when you check on him. You pick up Sora, no problem. You do get some odd looks on the way back through town with her. On the way through town you also get some news. People are talking about Clegg Zincher's latest act of bravado. He and his men seized a ship that pulled into port late last night. They rushed it as it tied up and forced the crew off and sailed away. Presumably they're hunting the fallen star.
Just the one serving girl stayed. She solemnly listens to your advice and says she'll take advantage of your offer.
Unless you fetch him earlier, Getheldam comes down late after you've all eaten and are ready to go. The gnome is irritably silent, frowning and grimacing while he loads a plate with remains of the breakfast spread.
Got a couple free moments. Not yet on normal pace.
Kuva is on his third plate of food, and grins widely at the gnome as he sits. "Why so filled with glum, size-brother? Today we snatch our fortune from the tusks of Croat. Grin and be glad, lest you die unhappy!" He resumes shoveling food into his mouth.
Getheldam giggles, a ridiculously high-pitched titter. "I'm never cheerful on an empty belly. But your philosophy is drolly amusing." He begins to dig into the repast. Through a rough mouthful he mumbles, "This was probably a lot better hot, but it's leagues ahead of Croat's table."
He grabs a half-empty bottle from last night. "To Croat's marks and our good fortune. May they soon be one."
An hour later, everyone is garbed, geared, and girded to go. Getheldam leads the way to a small house in the stinking shadow of the Gasworks. Although the street is remarkably free of litter and refuse, the waste vapors pouring from the Gaswork's smokestacks are unpleasant at best, and often irritating to eyes, nose, mouth and throat.
A halfling is the subject of this first visit. Getheldam is harsh and kind by turns with him. He assures the halfling how much he deplores this and likes him, but Boss Croat wants.... Getheldam implies that the party, particularly Wilam and Sora, are cruel bloodthirsty brutes and that Sora is hungry, much worse than his usual guards.
The halfling doesn't seem too bright and readily yields 200 gold pieces to Getheldam. The gnome gives him a receipt.
At the next visit, Getheldam makes Mordecai out to be an undertaker of sorts. One who buries his victims alive. This mark protests he doesn't have 500 gold, but can give 300 now and the rest in three days. Getheldam says it will cost him 30 gold extra and he better have it. He's going out on a limb here. Boss Croat doesn't like to be kept waiting.
Subsequent visits go similarly. Lothan is portrayed as an artist whose medium is living flesh worked with knives. Tyrrol is a necromancer;Kuva, a beserker. Lecian apparently stumps the gnome. He's asked to remain at the rear of the party, mostly out of sight.
After a half-dozen stops, you've collected about 2000 gp. Getheldam leads you to a surprising place, a magic shop on the eastern end of town. His attitude is jaunty. "Isn't this fun? I've wanted to do something like this for years. The others were mere tests to see if Croat has alerted anyone yet. This is the first big score. Look sharp." He gets ready to stride to the door.
The Gasworks are a dwarven factory. The dwarves keep the local area clean, but can do nothing about the smoke and vapor from their fires.
Know(local) DC 14 :
A rare very hot-burning gas seeps up through the earth here. The dwarves take advantage of it to work processes or metals that would be far more difficult with conventional fuels. The gas is toxic. It's combustion byproducts less so, but still unpleasant.
It is a shady magic shop, devoted to practioners of the Art. Much of the merchandise is given to necromantic items. Rarely are arms or armour found here. The owner is a grizzled old wizard with one leg named Smit. He typically has two thugs thinly disguised as doormen handy. An apprentice or two can also often be found hanging around.
Throughout the entire process, Tyrrol has become more and more amused by the proceedings; Getheldam's characterisation of his 'muscle' has been both imaginative, and quite entertaining.
When the Gnome mentions that this will be the first 'big' score, however, Tyrrol frowns slightly.
"Just be sure to do you part. If this is the first 'big' score, that means they have all the more to lose, and may be more prone to ask questions, and/or not part with it willingly. I assure you that I can provide... incentive... for them to acquiesce, if it is required."
Kuva nods seriously. "Supplying incentive is something that I can do," he says, baring his teeth in a theatrical manner. He was particularly pleased at being introduced as a "beserker" earlier. He looks at the sign, tilting his head. "Are the wizards inside likely to have their own stores of incentive to supply us?"
Mordecai goes along with whatever role he is assigned, although it's obvious that he's more of a diplomat than an intimidator, and tends towards a 'good guard' role, if given the opportunity, perhaps giving the impression that he's doing all in his power to hold back more bloodthirsty companions.
He remains silent between swindles, absorbing the inevitability of their course of action. He had known that the Goblin was a lost opportunity, but he recognizes now that Riddleport itself will no longer be a viable home, after this plethora of offenses.
The bridge is being well and truly burnt behind him, by these actions, even if Boss Croat were to die of a seizure this very day.
With little use to Getheldam in his ruse, the mage's mind seemingly wanders constantly and he sometimes lags behind the others while traveling from place to place. "The fumes in this area are toxic. I hope we won't have to linger here long."
When the group arrives at a familiar location, the mage appears less distant. Lecian responds to Kuva, "They have the means and equipment to manipulate life and death here, and other forces as well. Though they probably don't have any weapons or armor for you to use." He enters, showing some restraint, but nonetheless affected with the feelings of a kid in a candy store.
I'm an artist whose medium is living flesh? And I use knives? Man, that is just...just...yeak okay, it's slightly cool. Slightly sick, and twisted, but cool. Lothan shakes his head wondering if he's starting to go crazy.
As the stops continue the scowl on Wilam’s face deepens. ’This is just another example of how nothing is simple in this cesspool they call a city. All I wanted was passage on a boat, and somehow I have become hired thug robbing other thugs. I hate this place, and maybe it is for the best that I will be unable to come back.’ Over time his dark mood spreads to the little ball of fur and claws he affectionately called Sora back at the Goblin and she begins to his at anyone who comes close to her or Wilam.
The neighorhood is a little run down, but the shop, Nemick's Enchantments, is on a broad street. The shopfront is narrow, about 20' wide with the door on the left. There's a front window, about 5 feet square, in the center of the front wall.
Getheldam pushes open the door and steps inside. "Good morning, Smit. How are you today?"
From behind a small table Smit, a pale red-headed man with shots of grey running through both hair and beard, twists his body awkwardly to face the door. As he returns Getheldam's greeting in a high-pitched sing-song accent, he takes three steps to rotate his lower half to line up in the direction he's facing. One leg thunks as it hits the floor. He has a peg leg. "Getheldam! Here for another pound of flesh are you?"
A well-muscled leather-garbed man stands to the right of the door. A similarly muscled and clothed half-orc, or perhaps quarter-orc, his incisors barely clear his lips and his chest is barely deeper than a man's, stands to Smit's left
A few seconds after stepping into the dim shop, your eyes adjust well enough to see the three parallel scars on Smit's forearms. They run down its length. The half-orc has a loaded heavy crossbow. A staff leans against the doorjamb within reach of the man. The rear of the shop fades into gloom.
Perception, Dc 14:
You can hear someone moving around in the back of the shop. Not loud, but detectable.
Wilam moves directly behind Getheldam with Sora so close to him as to almost be touching his leg. Slowly and not making any sudden movements he puts his hand on the club at his waist as Sora growls very softly at the half-orc. Through clenched teeth he tells the halfling, "Get on with it, boss don't pay me to stand around."
For those not used to such an establishment, Nemick's seems short of merchandise. Three heavy books lie in a case along the right wall. A tilted table by the window lists goods that may be obtained. The left wall is bare except for a roll-top desk near the back wall. The back wall is pocketed with small drawers and has a curtained opening to a back room. A sliding ladder allows access to even the highest drawer.
Smit stands next to a square dinner table in the center of the room.
Getheldam advances and takes one of the four chairs at the table. "Oh, don't be like that. You know this isn't personal. You borrowed the money and the Boss is entitled to a return on his investment." (The gnome's tone is considerably more respectful when he mentions Croat here than at previous establishments.) "It so happens that the Boss finds himself badly in need of funds today. We can forego next month's interest if you can pay down your principal by 4000 marks. It's a good chance for you, Smit. You'll be cutting future interest payments by nearly a quarter. "
Smit fingers his threadbare robe. "That might be nice. But if I had the money I would have paid you before this and been quit of the whole business."
Behind you the leatherclad man latches the door and whispers to Kuva.
Who are you guys? I don't know any of you.
The half-orc scowls and shifts the crossbow to his right hand, although he is very careful not to point it at anyone. The end of the crossbow has some long jagged blades attached to it.
Know (local) Tyrrol and Mordecai, DC 14. Wilam, DC 16. Lothan and Kuva DC20. Lecian, read it:
The amount of stock is roughly average. Most orders at "magic shops" are custom. Keeping a large stock would invite theft.
House rule --anyone can know(local). Slightly longer answer in discussion thread, but not much.
The man nods sagely and winks.
Getheldam and Smit continue to talk back and forth. Getheldam presses for money, while Smit dodges the issue, won't admit whether or not he has extra money, and tries to passively draw out better terms. At one point Smit asks who Getheldam's new keepers are. Getheldam launches into another fanciful description of you all.
Whilst Getheldam is haggling with Smit over exact terms, Tyrrol will distractedly wander around the shop, having a look at the various 'displays', and the visible paper-work, all the while keeping one eye on the brutes employed by Smit.
For the record, he is not looking to start anything.
Obviously bored, Kuva brings out a measure of the barbarian chew and pops it in his mouth, allowing the stimulant to wash over him. He gives a grin to the leather-clad man next to him, teeth awash in the red juices.
Getheldam tries to turn the conversation back to money with a thinly veiled threat. Sitting with his hands clasped on the table, Smit barks a sharp burst of a laugh.
"Getheldam, I've never liked you. You're a worm, and never gave me any kind of a break. So even if I had the money, I wouldn't give it to you. And I especially won't now that you're worth your weight in silver. " Smit's hand darts into his sleeve and draws a wand. The half-orc's crossbow snaps up. Kuva's conversational companion reaches a hand out and the staff leaps to it.