For the second day in a row I woke up rested and feeling refreshed – that hasn’t happened in a long time. It feels good. At breakfast everyone was talking about Blacktooth and how apparently he fell out the window and then was gnawed on by a coyote or something or the sort. What a tragedy. After a morning ride and a clandestine meeting with Erist and company I joined the Lady Grace for tea – they probably don’t get a lot of visitors out here on the plans and she was clearly delighted for the company. She confided in me that few other women had shown up for the gambling but they weren’t the “right sort of people”. I couldn’t have agreed more – what kind of woman would want to spend her time with liars and sneaks?
The problem with using a dingbat as an asset is that while they’re easy to get information out of they don’t usually have much information. Although I did feel foolish for a moment when she explained that the reason Lord Grace had resorted to orcs and wildmen as guards is because his personal forces were at the front – I should have guessed that. She had no idea why her husband was holding this little contest nor did she know anything about Fellstone. The only possible lead was that she mentioned her husband had developed a sudden and intense interest in history – saying that he spend all his time pouring over dusty old scrolls and books. Maybe there was something of interest in the Fellstone archives? But still, why attack the village to get it?
After another day mingling with the contestants I’m pretty sure that one of them is a plant for Grace – a very severe looking raven-haired women with a dark purple flower tattoo on her shoulder and neck. Her observation seems to go beyond that of someone scoping out the competition to someone intensively interested. But why?
My next game was against Sir Bedeweir. I felt sorry enough for him that I didn’t even cheat a little – unfortunately the man’s a hopeless player. It’s curious how many hardcore gamblers aren’t even good at it. He had a common problem among men of his type – the inability to back down. Good on the battlefield I suppose, terrible in gaming. I was actually considering throwing a few rounds just to keep from taking all his money when he managed to string together a couple good plays. After the game was over I asked him to stay a moment after the judge left.
“You don’t remember me from Duke Eaglevane’s court do you?”
After much apologizing and bland flattery and stammering I helped him “remember” that I was there as part of Baron Lefsor household for a time. I asked him why he though Lord Grace was hosting this “event” and he blinked as if he never considered it before. After much hemming and hawing he concluded that it was quite peculiar now that he thought about it. I told him that I thought something potentially unwholesome was afoot and I confided in him about Fellstone. His instinct was to rush off and confront Lord Grace of course but I bid him to hold that information in confidence.
“I know you to be a true anointed knight – not one of those false Sirs who are no more than swaggering bullies with a title – when the time is right I’m going to count on you to help me uncover whatever crimes have go on here.”
“My lady on my oath to the King and the Gods I swear it.”
“I thank you” I looked him in the eye for a moment “Would a speech about how you need to quit gambling do any good?”
He shook his head sadly “No my lady.”
“Are you sure, because I’ve got a pretty good one ready. Would inquiring after your sister do any good?”
He looked away in shame “No my lady.”
I patted him on the shoulder as I left the room – telling him it was alright and to keep his sword close.
My next match was against a priestess of Strider by the name of Eva Marie – I kid you not. Was she associated with Erist somehow? Were they working an angle? Could it be a coincidence? I don’t think I ever met a worshipper of Strider in the old days and now they seem to be coming out of the woodwork. She was an average player at best and she talked too much but I was so distracted by this turn of events that I only took a lot of her money instead of all of it.
Afterwards she said that she was here more for the experience than anything – her father had been quite the gambler and she wondered what the appeal was. She seemed like more of an airhead than Lady Grace.
That night I was invited to dine with Lord Grace. We were joined by his cringing assistant, the woman with the tattoo and bull-necked fellow who was not introduced – he looked a lot like a man who was hung in the capital for strangling prostitutes with a leather cord. Nothing was said beyond idle chit-chat and congratulations on my success so far – I have no idea how this is being scored by apparently I already have a spot in the “finals” assured. Even so I couldn’t shake a vague feeling of being threatened.
I asked Sir Bedeweir if I would stay with him – he insisted on sleeping on the floor while I took the bed, lying that as an old campaigner he was more comfortable there than on a fine mattress anyway.
Funds: 8812 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 (6 uses), Domiel family ring, walking stick, aquamarine, masterwork playing cards , +2 Studded Leather Armor, +2 Light Steel Shield, +1 Keen Shortspear, hematite armbands (2), mithril hair clasps (3), Sir Humperdinck memoir, Mazzmus’ Wand (unidentified), Brooch of Shielding, Potion of Invisibility (3), Oil of Animate Dead, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (2), spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, platinum necklace, Pouch of Magic Stones, flask of acid (2), alchemist’s fire (2), giant wasp venom (10), oil of taggit (2), alchemist’s kit, formula book
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, Mazzmus Parmalee
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Teams – Labors, Brute Squad (Robbers and two teams of Soldiers)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill