Despite drinking most of a bottle of cheap whiskey I didn’t sleep well – it’s funny how having a busted face will do that. I spent a solid hour staring at myself in a mirror – I thought I knew what anger was when I woke up in that alley in Graltontown. This ill-bred piece of hogflesh had taken my looks, she had humiliated me, there’s nothing I can do to her that’s going to be awful enough to make my happy. But I’m going to try.
Kellgale and her men were nowhere to be found so I gathered my crew and Hecuba scowled us out the door, I gave her a generous tip and apologized for the ruckus. My first order of business was to fire Reda and Ancin – the two men who stood by and let me get stomped into the rotten Heathgrove boardwalk. They acted like this was a massive shock to them. They protested and I told them I was lucky I was having them killed and dumped in the river after their worthlessness.
After they skulked off muttering one of the others, Erame, started to defend them a little. Biting down the pain I very calmly and nicely explained to them that no, I didn’t expect them to kill a “defenseless” woman in front of her adult children but what I did expect them to do was to protect me from getting my face hacked off by doing things like restraining my attacker or maybe standing in the way or very gently grabbing her hand – would that be too much for them?
Next order of business – more Heathensnuff, lots of it – in addition to my broken hand and my battered face I must have bruised my hip when I fell because it hurt like hellsfire to walk. A kindly drug-dealer with an unconscious man lying on this floor was able to help – I bought his entire stock. After that I decided rather than take my chances with a Heathgrove inn I would just buy a house – five hundred gold later I was a proud new homeowner. It was surprisingly a decent place – had a floor and everything.
I’m ashamed to admit it but once we got settled in I sent my scoundrels to gather information for me – I hate relying on others but I had no energy to be limping around town chatting people up in hellholes. I could have done it much quicker but eventually they came back to the details I was after – the tournament organizer is an enterprising merchant but the name of Rilfus Slugg, the girls claimed that he’s quite handsome. Achilla Thel is a popular fighter who’s one of the betting favorites to go far in the tournament, so you know, she should be easy to kill. Apparently the story goes that Mazzmuss’ son tried for years to court her until they met in the arena and she bull-rushed him into an ankheg pit. I kind of like her already.
Ardala is reputed to be a pretty average fighter whose main claim to fame is her looks – and her vanity. Her specialty is matches were both participants drink potions of flying and zip around not really hurting each other much. Apparently her red “armor” leaves very little to the imagination.
This next part was going to have to be taken care of personally so I rested for several hours as best I could and then spent a long time disguising myself as myself – by which I mean myself before some heifer woman stomped on my face. Then I went looking for Rilfus – he was smart enough to stay out of Heathgrove inns as well, staying in a very fine extra-large carriage with platinum and ivory filigree. Not only that but there was magic in play as well because it was larger on the inside that out – room enough for a small office, a storeroom or sorts and a small but luxurious bedchamber.
At first he said that he was far too busy to discuss anything with me, but I was able to wrap him around my finger easily enough. He brought out a bottle of Vieland Red and we talked and laughed for hours. When I started feeling him out about the prospect of changing some of the matches he was appalled at first but once I assured him it was not for the purposes of gambling he was more willing to listen. He put up an admirable defense before completely selling out his principals. After appropriate “consideration” Ardala was rescheduled to face Bellflower and the Hurk boys were pitted against a group of half-orc fighters called the Belgrave Harriers. He refused to do anything with Achilla’s draw though, saying it would attract too much attention.
Before I left I asked if he was interested in selling his soul. He winked and said that he already had. Some people think they’re so funny.
Funds: 435 gold
Inventory: Peasant outfit, wooden box, Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, thieves’ tools, land deed, Bag of Tricks (rust), gold ring, Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Disguise kit (7 uses), Domiel family ring, walking stick, Heathensnuff (14 doses)
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, 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 dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzamus Paralee
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Souls Damned to the Thirteen Hells – 8/10 (20 days remain)
Teams – Labors, Brute Squad (Robbers and two teams of Soldiers)
Buildings – Mill (repair time 2 days)
Managers – Master Smith (paid for next 2 days)
Heathgrove Buildings – House
Behind the curtain – Ela made her save again to avoid addiction to Heathensnuff, winners don’t use drugs kids.