I slept poorly, kept up by my racing thoughts, and subsequently was late to rise. I treated Hidden Moon to a feast of smoked salmon and blood sausages. She was clearly loath to leave behind all this rich food and return to a life of raw quails but she also seemed eager to get away from all this noise and all these people – the cook passed dead away when he heard us talking. I prevailed upon her to accompany me on one last errand, not wanting to trust hired goons on this mission.
The address near the cemetery turned out to be a small house. Hidden Moon said that she smelled only one woman inside but I still felt uneasy about the enterprise. The occupant was a thin-faced middle aged woman who was startled by the sight of a massive guard-dog at my side – if only she knew the truth. After dancing around the topic for a while she said that she knew I was watching Piltis and she wanted me to be wary of him.
I told her, in a nice way, to mind her business and she said that Piltis wasn’t a lone entity – he answered to greater criminals, although it would be hard for there to be any criminal that wasn’t greater than him. I asked her if she was trying to warn me off and she said her intention was quite the contrary, she was trying to give me the whole picture to make sure I could succeed. In years past one of Piltis’ goons had stolen some jewelry from her and her son had foolishly tried to get it back. Piltis killed him. I sensed that there was more to the story but I didn’t pry.
In those days she had passed herself off as a spiritualist, bilking people out of their money to contact dead relatives, although she didn’t phrase it like that, but after the murder of her son she had set herself to learning magic so she could get revenge on Piltis. She had learned some minor spells but didn’t really have the talent for it, not enough for her to take on Piltis alone, enough for her to track me down though.
She told me that Piltis answered to a small time crime boss called Yalis Belko, accountant by day and fence by night. She told me that Piltis’ most trusted and dangerous minions were a gnome called “Longshanks” , due to the crude wit of criminal types, who often disguised himself as one of the candleboys to help keep them in line, a brutal half-orc torturer called Harsh on account of a devilfish raking his throat and leaving him able to speak little above a raspy whisper, and a fellow called Lamb who was an outcast Kostelos reputed to be a very dangerous fighter a bit past his prime. In addition to the now deceased Crackbone, he kept several vicious dogs around to terrify the candleboys and protect him, in particular he had a pit where he kept a half-wild orcish wolf-dog. My new friend Lara told me how if a boy displeased him he would lower him into the pit slowly, asking the poor urchin questions they wouldn’t possibly answer and lowering them a few inches with each wrong guess.
The rest of his gang was made up of feckless drunks who came and went, nothing to be worried about, according to my new best friend anyway. I confided in her that I originally assumed that Piltis and his band were just too petty of criminals for the watch to be bothered rounding them up, but had been proven wrong, asking if she knew whether they had someone on the force in their pocket or if law enforcement was that inept. She said she didn’t know. So much for her divinations. I thanked her for the information and told her that I would be in touch.
Before she would let me leave she insisted on giving me “a reading”. Not wanting to offend my potential ally I allowed this nonsense. The first card she turned over was the Courtesan, which seemed to disturb her greatly. She said that his card should never be misaligned but that it was. Whatever that means. The next card was the Snakebite, also misaligned which she said foretells a mental leap or discovery. The next card was the Beating, which represents being attacked from all sides. After that was the Demon’s Lantern, which speaks to an impossible challenge. Next up was the Peacock which predicts a sudden change in beliefs. The final card was the Cricket, misaligned, which speaks to a journey that would go poorly. I thanked her for her “gift” and got out on the streets to do some real work.
I walked with Hidden Moon to the edge of the town and took off her collar – revealing her full terrifying visage. She loped off into the woods, keen to get away from the noise and confusion of Graltontown. I watched her go for a moment and then got back to work.
I tried gathering information on Belko and Piltis’ possibly watch connection without success, and starting planting the seeds of a new rumor. After that I sold the amethyst ring to a shifty jeweler and had my crossbow repaired – I’ve heard they’re pretty easy to use, no harm in learning how it works. After that I had dinner and further discussions with Sonsts and the merchantmen, in the morning I would take them out to meet the Kostelos.
Funds: 45 platinum, 139 gold, 5 Silver
Inventory: Peasant outfit (with hidden pockets) , Signet Ring , Stiletto , Map case, quill pen, red riding cloak, candlerod (2) , poison ring, awful pendant, disguise kit (5 uses) , Fashionable Accessories, hollow heeled boot, poison locket , courtier’s outfit, different fashionable accessories , Ring of Many Garments, money belt, light crossbow, playing cards, hooded lantern, Collar of Grooming
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum,
White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice
Kinsey , “ Patch”, Meddlesome adventurers, Cardshire Arms manager, priest
of Strider, owner of the Sage Mirror
Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid
Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring) , exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring) vigilante “Litheria”(10%)
Behind the curtain – I rolled randomly from the Harrow deck for the cards and legit got the Courtesan on the first roll which is neat.