At the party with Armin Alenta I had overheard that Paracountess Adelslexikon and her beau were going to be leaving the city today for her summer home in Malgareth. I figured since the first went one so well why not another carriage robbery? Ela, fearsome highwayman, er woman. Surprisingly Lord Sonst had agreed as well, he seemed to be somewhat “on tilt” after the events of yesterday. Men do love their violence no matter how sissified they become.
We got Sonst some appropriate bushwhacker clothing and I used my ring to deck myself out in traditional fashion – black greatcoat, tricorn hat, handkerchief mask, the whole nine yards. We set up our ambush and waited. And waited. And waited. Clearly Adelslexikon isn’t the type to be up at the crack of dawn. I can’t blame her I suppose. I life of leisure is rather, leisurely. I was worried about Crookjaw but he was patient as a stone. I was the one getting a bit antsy when the very delicate carriage came around the bend. Why are there so many bends in roads? Why can’t they just make them straight?
These horses not being antediluvian creatures like the one yesterday started to shy before Crookjaw even jumped out of hiding, smelling him I suppose, and when he did confront them they very nearly went berserk. It was all the poor driver could do to keep them under control. I’m not sure what would have happened if they bolted. Nothing good. I suppose most highwaymen don’t have ogres to cause that problem.
There were two footmen on the back of the carriage but upon seeing Crookjaw they had no interest in defending their mistress and her boytoy. Sonst and I came out of hiding and I kept my crossbow on the driver while he relieved the two passengers of their jewelry and valuables, placing them in an empty sugar sack.
As I stood there staring at Lady Adelslexikon I was nearly overwhelmed with the desire to drag her from the carriage and beat her to a bloody mess. Part of it was envy I’m sure, she was still living the life that had been stolen from me. Part of it was the bubbling over of all the frustrations and hardship I’ve faced recently. But I think what it mostly was had to do with her reaction. She was so terrified, begging and pleading with us not to harm her, that it strangely irked me. I had no intention of harming her but she was so hysterical about the possibility of being hurt that it made we want to harm her. Does that make sense?
I was able to keep my composure though and we were away in good order. Generally I’ve just been selling goods in the market square but this was a little more delicate – the jewelry of noble types is usually pretty recognizable. Good thing I know a fence. I got Crookjaw squared away with some sweets and children’s toys to keep him occupied, he asked when we could do it again. After that Sonst and I got cleaned up for our meeting with the guard.
In a small building adjacent to the town hall we met with the Captain of the Guard herself Kel Bryebane along with a few of her officers – including none other than Juliana. The Graltontown city watch has a surprisingly high number of women in positions of power, especially consider I’ve never seen a single female patrolling the streets. I wonder if that’s part of the reason why they’re so incompetent. We negotiated handing over Madrie and Adawen to them as witnesses rather than prisoners and then turned to the matter of the reward. They of course only wanted to give us part of the money since we didn’t bring in all the suspects, our argument was that we had brought in the killers so we deserved it all.
In the end they gave us most of it, but not all of course because the government always has to screw you over a little. After that I laid eyes on the mayor’s aide Beauharnais who came in to discuss the hoopla. There was to be a public announcement, parading the murderers through the streets, a party in our honor, that sort of thing. They intended to make all the political hay they could out of this. I deferred all these honors onto Lord Sonst, which he was happy to accept. My half of the reward money was about the same as I had gotten from selling Erist’s gear. Makes you think.
I excused myself and left Sonst and Beauharnais to their party planning. I paid a call on Vorifio whose front operation was a very sorry looking dry good store. He gave me a decent price fencing the jewelry on account of me saving his life. I probed him a little bit about what if anything he had to do with the mayor but shockingly he was too cagey to discuss his criminal dealings with a perfect stranger. I hate when people are smart enough not to fall for my winning personality.
I paid a visit to my dear friend Alice Kinsey, imposing upon her master to allow me to take her to lunch. Where, over shaved lemon ice, I told her the horrible news that her niece was selling her nubile young body for cold hard cash. She was distraught of course, thankfully I was there to comfort her. After that I hit the market for a bit of shopping, picking up a couple magic items I had on my list since the beginning.
Unfortunately the remainder of my day’s plans would go unfulfilled. As I was leaving the market a brawl spilled out of a tavern door and engulfed me. I tried to skip out of the way but I was suddenly grabbed and a filthy bag was placed over my head. It’s an old trick, fake or incite a fight and then grab your target in the confusion. A few minutes later the bag was snatched off and I found myself in a very dark abandoned building of some kind that smelled horrid and had a constant dripping.
Standing before me was the woman with the greasy dreadlocks, and ominously, her trusty sledgehammer. She must have had one of her goons following me. I wonder what else they saw. She had clearly prepared a soliloquy but I nipped that in the bud –
“Let’s dispense with your prepared remarks and get down to brass tacks.”
I told her that if she really wanted to shake things up and stick it to the upper class types that there was a parade being planned to celebrate the capture of those heroic servants that had thrown off their shackles and slain their masters. I could get her in the inside information about when, where, and how it was going to go down so she and her friends could disrupt her proceedings and maybe rescue Whilhye and Wickter.
She fingered her sledge with the tenderness of a lover “You think you’re pretty smart don’t you?”
I told her that was neither here nor there, she wanted the information or she didn’t. She said that she did but had no reason to trust me. I told her my sad tale, I wasn’t really “one of them”, I was the bastard daughter of a rich man who had taken advantage of my mother, a poor butcher’s wife from Stinchberg. He had refused to acknowledge me and I was just doing the best I could to make my way through the world.
She had her accomplices hold me down while she shattered my ankle with her sledgehammer. Even with all my recent turmoil I was not prepared for pain like this – it was literally blinding, for a few moments I could see nothing but white light. I am not ashamed at all to say that I sobbed like a babe. After I stopped moaning she bent over me, her dirty hair-ropes touching my face –
“I believe you. But here’s the thing. I don’t like you.”
With that they left. I was gasping from the pain so much I was afraid I was going to suffocate. I forced myself to calm down. It was so dark it took me more than an hour to crawl out of that hellhole – through the muck and the grime, by the time I figured out that the door was blocked with rubble and managed to squirm out a hole in the wall my arms and legs were rubbed raw. On top of which I startled a rat the size of a beagle that decided to bite me on the neck.
I must have looked like an exhumed carcass when I crawled out onto the street – seeing that the building was a ruined alchemist’s shop. I cried out piteously for help and a very dashing middle aged gentleman came to my aid immediately. He lifted me up into his arm effortlessly and I clung to him and wept, which I was only partly faking. He took me to a nearby Church of Agreements where I forked over sixty gold for healing but I barely felt any better. The priest said that healing a broken bone can take more than one casting sometimes. I felt a flush of anger ricochet through my body – this was Erist all over again.
I handed over another fistful of gold and this time I felt mended for the most part. It was all I could do not to spit on the priest as we left. I thanked the gentleman for his help and turned in early to rest.
Funds: 2002 gold
Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, disguise kit (8 uses), land deed, Bag of Tricks (rust), gold ring, masterwork light crossbow, Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum,
White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice
Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest
of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna
& Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy
Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(60%), murderous Halfling (15%)
Graltontown Unrest – 0
Behind the curtain : I’m not sure there’s any need for the Sleeves of Many Garments once you have a Hat of Disguise but I kept it anyway. I figure the murderers being captured would make the unrest in town go down since Ela wasn’t stirring things up today. Ela managed to pick up filth fever again, hopefully her saves are better this time. I treated the broken ankle like Dexterity damage. Two Lessor Restoration spells to healed most of the damage.