Caulder spends a few hours working on his report for the Field Marshal. When he returns to deliver it, he hesitates before turning to go. "Ma'am?" he ventures, setting the pouch with the 10 platinum pieces remaining from his share of the bribery money on her desk. "I'll never say no to honest pay for honest work, but that's taxpayer money, ma'am. The state the city's in now, Korvosa needs every copper she has coming to her. There's repairs and rebuilding to be done since the rioting, not to mention overtime and hazard pay for the Watch, and the city's businessmen can't afford to have their taxes raised after the looting. I can't keep that money, ma'am; couldn't live with myself thinking some shop somewhere shut its doors to buy me a couple of potions. Korvosa needs it more than I do."
Cressida gives Caulder a long look, then pushes the coin pouch back to him, "That's commendable in its own way, but as a cleric of Abadar you know that the terms of your work in Eel's End entitle you to your share. I've not been to many sermons, but I do recall one at the Bank that I thought was insightful." She pauses a moment to collect her thoughts, "It is common for conservative gods to preach the wisdom of saving and hoarding to ensure well-cared for future; but Abadar suggests otherwise: the coin needs to move, the more it moves from hand to hand, the better the economy is doing."
She hopes the words make sense to Caulder, she assumes they have to - his knowledge of what makes a city tick in the financial sense certainly surpasses her own. "So... I suggest you use these coins to encourage the market. Korvosa is not built on charity, business thrives because it is done right - a setback like the riots only underline how important it is to get business moving again. Buy something useful to you, then not only will the businesses receiving the money recover - but when Korvosa needs you again later, you'll be ever so better prepared."
"Donate to the Bank?" Ten frowned, "Would it not be better, and in line with the Bank's teachings, if Pagrip and I kept our share and used it instead to stimulate other areas of the economy - areas that the Bank may have trouble supporting during these difficult times?"
Provided that Esme does not protest, Ten will use his money and time off to better establish an alchemical lab/still and brew up a few concoctions.
"Either way, Ten, is the will of Abadar. I, for one, shall be doing both. Who wishes to accompany me on a...shopping trip?"
"hmmm. Pagrip do you want to do something with these wands?"
"Wands, eh?" Pagrip says, taking them from her. "I'll see what I can do with them."
How many are there, and have we identified them? I don't recall.
Pagrip looks at the drink Ten has offered him. He picks up the flask and sniffs it. Assuming the smell doesn't utterly repulse him, he says, "Thank you, good sir. Korvosa's water profile you say. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, but it gives me something to drink to. To Korvosa." He drinks it.
And hopefully it doesn't do anything nasty to him. :)
The ale goes down well enough. It's not spectacular, nor does it have that dog excrement after taste that some less reputable places serve. Pagrip can say, though, with authority, that dwarven lagers are a class or two above this. Not that he minds - his constitution isn't quite that of the average hale dwarf, so something a little bit more human is just fine.
@Esmerelda: no rolls required; just update the loot log appropriately and divvy the money to the perpetr-- I mean the party members
@Ten: you probably need to purchase a barrel to store all that ale. I'm not sure how to adjudicate this though, as the actual brewing process in itself is relatively slow. Given that say a week is used, I'm okay with just saying "yes it worked". (But I'm open to commentary on this. Caulder for example, may require you to produce a brewer's license if making more than a thimble a week.)
How many are there, and have we identified them? I don't recall.
"Here you go." Esme hands two wands to Pagrip, a wand of acid splash (27 charges) and a wand of magic missile (23 charges)."Those might come in handy later."
Pagrip Staurmbar wrote:
And hopefully it doesn't do anything nasty to him. :)
Accidentally brewing a potion of love is always a possibility ;)
Esme sells off the rest of the loot keeping Emmah's silver ring. She hands out pouches of 628 gold, 9 silvers and 10 coppers to each of the party "This should stimulate the economy. Always better than hoarding."
Esme donates 100 gold to the Church. Esme also sees to the children that remain at the Church.
Next morning she wakes up on her pallet at the Church covered in sweat. She remembers some creature leering at her. Like a pseudodragon. only. meaner. She remembers it promised her something. But she just said 'no'. Which didn't make her feel any better...And the burning sensation on her right arm seems to linger from her dream.
"The brew still needs to be conditioned properly. That should take a few weeks. If everything goes to plan, we should be able to grow a prehensile tentacle on you back. That would give you a definite edge in your next battle against Bob," Ten tells Pagrip after the dwarf had a taste of the brew, "You and I are going to take over the Korvosa's Knivesies scene."
"I'm joking, Pagrip. Don't look so worried. I wouldn't grow anything on you without your informed consent."
If we have extra time, Ten can brew potions for the others. Requests?
Pagrip nods thoughtfully. "It's not bad," he says. "Not bad at all. You won't find too many dwarves who'll give it praise, but it's a step above what you can get in most of the places here in Korvosa."
I still have to level up Pagrip. I'll try to get that done tomorrow. He'll want to go shopping, too, especially since he still hasn't spent the last batch of gold he got. I'm not entirely certain what he's going to buy yet though. :)
There's a few days worth of lazy shopping time and mundane clerical work (in the case of Esmerelda and Caulder). Enough time passes even for Caulder to regain full use of his leg - even though he likes to grimace and limp a little still when he's conscious about it; but when absent minded he just goes about his business with nary a problem.
Korvosa itself is finding back to its ordered and settled roots. It is still a few signs of upheaval, but even the Hellknights are settling into their usual patrols and routines. Perhaps in a month things would be indistinguishable from before.
Despite the best of Esmerelda's efforts she cannot ascertain the original owner. Given the time that may have passed since the ring was stolen, and the recent unpleasantness in Korvosa, it appears likely that the ring has become free property.
An uproar is spreading through the city, apparently the king's murderer has been identified and a city-wide man hunt is under way.
Not quite two weeks after their time in Eel's End, a summons arrives at the Bank for the urgent attention of Esmerelda and Caulder. The note asks that, 'Please come see me as soon as possible, bring the full party if possible - signed Field Marshal Cressida.'
Any outstanding leveling up should happen swiftly :)
Ha! Decided to take Skill Focus: Knowledge (local). He totally made that DC 10 retroactively.
"Come on, Darkbane." Caulder's fingers tighten on the note in his eagerness, crumpling the paper. "This could be about the king's murderer. I'd pay good coin for a chance to be in on collaring the bastard. Where do you suppose the civilians are? Drunk in some dive somewhere, no doubt."
"Yes Cleric. No Cleric. All but ignore me for almost two weeks and it's suddenly 'come on darkbane' " Esme says badly imitating Caulder.
She gently grabs a passing boy by the shoulder
"Jerric? Ah, you remember me don't you. How would you like to earn a little extra coin? Run along and tell Tendrizu Arentz and Pagrip Staurmbar they are to report to the Field Marshal Cressida as soon as possible. You know what they look like..." Esme gives the boy a crude but accurate description of the two "You remember now? The weird alchemist with a wandering growth and a shifty looking dwarf that were here before. Good kid. Now run along." Esme ruffles his hair and sends the boy running.
When the boy is out of earshot she adds "Caught him and his friend trying to get a glimpse of me bathing the other day. They are still scrubbing out the tub." She says with a smile. In a slightly harsher tone "What? Don't look at me like that. If you are going to say something, spit it out."
"Didn't realize you were sitting around waiting for me to pay a call on you," he grins, then sobers a bit. "It's been a busy time since the king's murder, Darkbane. Been keeping my ear to the streets. Can't let a disturbance like that sneak up on us again; we can't count on a headless Harrower to serve as an informant every time something's up in the city." He grins again, looking after the messenger boy. "How much of an eyeful did they get?"
"Sitting around? I do more than sit around buffing my breastplate, I'll have you know."
Hmph "As for the boys, if they saw anything, they would be having nightmares." Esme rolls up her left sleeve, revealing a crisscross of old white scars and pock marks on her paler than normal olive skin.
"There's a lot more where that came from. Lamm was quite... thorough." She adds bitterly.
After quickly rolling down her sleeve again, Esme mutters almost absentmindedly "nightmares..." she pauses and shakes her head as if trying to clear her mind.
As if nothing happened she continues "How do you feel about working with Ten, considering his previous...uh...occupation?"
"I've been a twelve-year-old boy," he smirks. "Believe me, the prospect of seeing a grown woman naked would render flaws uglier than that invisible." He obviously feels he's just said something sympathetic and comforting.
"The distiller?" his voice hardens as he stares over her shoulder at nothing, pulling subconsciously at his shirtcuffs. "Don't like it a damn bit. Some would say, 'Well, he was young,' as if youth were an all-purpose excuse for any kind of behavior. Everyone's been young, but not everyone produces Shiver. That said," he relents, "if he's going to relapse, I'd sure as hell rather have an eye on him and be ready to bring him in, than have him on the loose out in the city among the unsuspecting populace." He shakes his head with an exasperated glance at the paladin. "As long as he keeps experimenting on himself, at least he's not harming anyone else. 'Reginald...,'" he scoffs under his breath.
Arrival at Cressida's office is preceded by a reunion of the four. Pagrip is already present when Caulder and Esmerelda arrive, and Ten is but a few steps behind them.
The Field Marshal looks concerned. Her attention is split between several documents; but she neatly pushes them aside when the party's entry announces itself. A nod is all acknowledgment she offers, before she begins, "You may have heard the gossip and rumors on the street this last week that Queen Ileosa is the usurper queen who murdered the king." She doesn't pause, making her statement a rhetorical flourish, "Doubtlessly you've now also heard that the king's killer has been named. A certain Trinia Sabor. An artist who before the king's death was hired to prepare a portrait of him."
"Yet there’s something more going on here, I’m afraid. Queen Ileosa could have quietly had this Trinia Sabor arrested at any time, yet the way in which she revealed the information to the city seems to me like she wants the riots to come back. Certainly, with the mob and the Hellknights out on the street, the girl doesn’t stand a chance at a trial - they’ll lynch her the moment they find her. And even if she did kill the king, mob justice isn’t the way. Worse, if she’s innocent, the real killer can use this distraction to throw us off the trail forever."
"Before Trinia is executed, we need to be absolutely sure she did this thing. And that means we need to catch her before the mob. We know where she lives - a flat in Midland at 42 Moon Street - but soon, so will the mob. The Hellknights don’t seem to care as much about catching her as they do about containing the mob - something about the order of law makes it a greater priority for them to contain than a possible assassin. I can’t say I disagree completely, but the problem is, the Hellknights are only making it worse. The mob’s covering most of Midland now, and Trinia’s flat is near the middle of the mess. I’ve got all available guards at work keeping things from getting any worse—and if I were to send them into Midland, they’d trigger a riot."
"I’m sure you can see where this is going. I need you to get into Midland, find Trinia, and bring her back to me so we can deliver her, safe and sound, to somewhere where she can be interrogated - preferably with magic, so we can be absolutely sure about her role in Eodred’s death. Get in there, catch her, and get out without letting the mob get its hands on her. I’ll have agents and officers nearby. If you can get her to one of them, we’ll be in the clear. Any questions?"
Caulder's jaw tightens reflexively as the Field Marshal repeats the scurrilous rumors from the streets and seems to dare to question the queen's motives, but he can't argue with the mission statement. Vigilante justice is no justice at all, and if there's the slightest chance that the girl is innocent and her death could allow the real criminal to go free.... "No questions, ma'am," he barks, standing at attention.
"Do we have some way of letting the Hellknights know we are not part of the mob? While I applaud their dedication to the law, they do not temper it with compassion for the people. A badge or paper marking us as your agents would suffice, I think. Another question is do we have access to any citizen calming measures? I would hate to have the citizens hurt themselves in their hubris."
If there are any questioning looks about her use of "big words", Esme adds "What? I have been studying with a wizard. His manner of speech must be rubbing off."
There's a hint of a pained expression that lingers just for a moment on Cressida's face.
"Unfortunately not, Esmerelda. I can certainly provide a suitable document - but the Hellknights and the Korvosan Guard don't see exactly eye-to-eye. They think their law is stronger than the law of this city." Cressida sighs. "One moment." She finds a suitably pre-prepared writ and enters the names of Caulder, Esmerelda, Pagrip and Ten, then signs and marks it with her ring. "With this, consider yourself provisionally deputized to the city of Korvosa." She hands the paper to the paladin.
Things get a little open-ended at this point; you know that Trinia is alleged to have a flat in Midland at 42 Moon Street. This is not yet general knowledge on the street. How you proceed is up to you.
well the +1 bonus on this side will ask for directions and any other interesting information on the streets. Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27 Ah, the informants on the streets are working well. It must be her network of do-gooders and street kids.
Well, since this half of Team Abadar has a +0 Int bonus and a +0 Diplomacy, he'll be sitting out both the Clever Plan and the Sweet-talking Informants stages. Let me know when we get to the Stomping Around and Shouting phase of the mission. :)
Esmerelda's ear - close to the street metaphorically speaking - picks up several rumors over the course of 1d4 ⇒ 3 hours. The talk of the town, not surprisingly, is Trinia - the murderer, or alleged murderer as say, of the king. Word has it that several poorly armed (but not any less deadly for it) mobs have taken to the street. They leave a swathe unrest in their wake, and it doesn't take long for the atmosphere to take on the grueling desperation it had just a few weeks before. But this time there is a lust for blood.
Esmerelda also finds more than subtle signs that at the presence of Hellknights imposes a semblance of order. At least where their heavy steps fall.
Taking the mean of the opinions, and movement of mobs and Hellknights: a maelstrom of emotions is slowly rotating over Midland, in Korvosa.
"A plan of attack? I doubt we have the time to snoop her place of employment or observe her routines. Why don't we just go and knock down this Trinia's door in the name of the Bank, the City, or anything else we can come up with?"
Based on Esmerelda's information gathering, the trip to Trinia's alleged abode is a bit longer - but far less eventful as the party keeps to quieter side alleys, away from the bigger streets frequented by the Order of the Nail - the Hellknights - and vocal mobs.
When the four arrive at the tenement, at 42 Moonstreet, it is clear that the address is anything but accurate. The place is in a densely built section of the city. Sunlight rarely hits the bottom of the street - and above jury-rigged catwalks, overhanging roofs, lines of laundry, and homemade bridges of rope and boards create a cluttered tangle. It is a multi-level mess of gutters, upper floors, and rooftops; the infamous slum above: a place known as the Shingles.
In many ways, the Shingles is like its own sub-ward of the city of Korvosa. Here, in shanties built atop roofs, on the upper floors of otherwise abandoned tenements, and amid jungles of chimneys, peaked roofs, and eroding gargoyles, are vagabonds, thieves, monsters, and any number of other perils.
Knowledge (local) DC 10:
Perhaps worst of all, in the Shingles, are the chokers, hideous aberrations with long boneless arms. Stories of them wending arms down through chimneys or upper windows are common, and serve as the primary reason most citizens avoid climbing above the second floor in regions the Shingles overshadow.
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 Almost at the point where I can make a DC 10 without rolling.
"Well, this should be fun to search through," Pagrip comments. "We should avoid drawing attention to ourselves, unless we want her to run before we even find her. I suggest we ask discreetly. Oh, watch out for chokers."
He'll start by knocking on the door of the tenement building.
"If she knows the mob and the authorities are after her," Caulder points out, "she's hardly likely to answer the door and give her proper name." He glances up at the catwalks and bridges and wonders bleakly how many possible exits there are from 42 Moon Street.
Knowledge(local)1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4 "Pagrip, you realize the ...irony... in what you just said? Can't believe Caulder let that one slide. 'Have faith' indeed." Esme suppresses a giggle at the joke. "I didn't know you wore cosmetics, Caulder." Esme covers her mouth to prevent herself from laughing out loud. Quickly she brings herself back under control "We don't have time for all this merry making. Let's see if anyone is home." Esme knocks on the door as she walks past it into the hallway "Hello? Anybody home?".
"I'll cover the door," Caulder volunteers, blocking as much of the threshold as possible while still keeping an eye on the escape routes above. He draws his morningstar and holds it at the ready. "Try to keep her in and the mob out."
"Reginald, stay here and keep Caulder safe," Ten said as he detached the hedgehog and handed it over to Caulder. "Somehow, during the creation process, Reginald and I formed some sort of link - we know, for lack of a better word, each other's emotions. I can feel when he's nervous or angry. If you get into any trouble, Caulder, Reginald will let me know."
"Right behind you, Darkbane," Ten called after the paladin.