It was tight fit but there was room for everyone to spend the night in the bandit’s honeycomb-like hideout. Small comforts make a big difference when you’re traveling cross-country. Sadly they had no clue who built it or why. I spent a good deal of time examining the layout for any indications of what this complex may have been intended for but didn’t find much of anything – I hate a mystery and the longer I’m out here the more of them I seem to encounter. As the party was preparing to head out I sought out the bandit-priest whose name I was told, was Damrow.
“Still captured huh? Shouldn’t your god have saved you by now?”
“You made the same joke yesterday.”
“I’m workshopping it. Obviously back in civilization you’d be hung for your crimes, but if we turn you over to the dwarfs what do you think they’ll do with you?”
“I don’t know, dwarfen jurisprudence isn’t something I know much about. We never attacked them, just the caravan after the deal was made so it’s hard to say how much they’d care. Dwarfs are lawful folk though so I doubt they’d just let us go. I bet they’d just turn us over to whatever human authority was closest.”
“How do you feel about that?”
“Well I try to take things one day at a time. I’ve faced the noose before and I’m still here – you never know what could happen. Why do you ask?”
“I’m thinking about letting you go.”
“Well not you personally, you’d be kept as a hostage to make sure your friends don’t come back for revenge, but what’s left of your little band here. We already have a bunch of prisoners – we don’t need more people to watch. Plus I don’t really care about your crimes.”
“Now that sounds like a solid plan.”
“I was hoping in return you’d show us to the sky-portal.”
The deal was struck and the remaining bandits, minus Damrow, were turned loose. There was a bit of grumbling about that from the soldiers but I was able to make them see why it was a good idea. It only took us a few hours to reach the entrance to the dwarfen underworld – which was basically just a hole in the ground. I was expecting something more substantial – dwarfs are supposed to be these great stonecrafters, where was the majestic edifice?
We waited several hours before a party of dwarfs emerged – just about the time I was considering sending someone down there. I explained to them that we were the great heroes who stopped the bandits that were attacking their trading partners and that since said trading partners had been taken over by Vieland the annual caravan probably wasn’t coming anyway. Some more dwarfs came out and I explained the same thing again. And then again to some more dwarfs. And then a fourth time. Aside from the fact that some of them had brown hair and some had black they all looked more or less identical to me. I think I saw one with red hair for a minute but he disappeared back into the hole quickly.
It was enormously tedious, but essentially what I was expecting – dwarfs are a stodgy lot. They said they would return to their holdfast to discuss and return in the morning. I asked them if I could engage in some trade. They were not interested in allowing me into their home but they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make some money so an awkward “relay” shopping plan was enacted. I was able to unload all my unwanted items as well as the gemstones. As annoying as it was to work through intermediaries what was worse was having to conduct my business in front of everyone. I did my best to keep things quiet but people were aware that some significant money was being passed. I’m starting to get some strange looks, but there’s nothing for it now.
I’m not great at reading dwarf facial expressions, which is something of a misnomer, but when I showed them the spear they clearly reacted in some way. And that was the end of that – trading done and they disappeared into their hole.
Funds: 39,858 gold
Inventory: Ring of Many Garments, Bag of Tricks (tan), Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, Resplendent Diplomat’s Palette, Secure Paypack, Skeleton Key, Brooch of Shielding, Pouch of Magic Stones, Masterful Grey Gloves, Black Marketers’ Bag, Biting Bracelet (Endless Ammunition), Boots of Escape, Bracers of the Glib Entertainer, Ring of Animal Friendship, +2 Commanding Light Crossbow, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, Spear of Piercing Thunder, Handy Haversack
Signet ring, noble’s outfit, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Domiel family ring, walking stick, masterwork playing cards, spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, antitoxin (9), smelling salts (3), sunrods (3), thieves’ tools, tindertwigs (6), various and sundry inebriants and intoxicants
Silver ring, gold bracelet, gold and pearl pendant, gold ring, platinum necklace (2), mithril hair clasps (3)
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, Helgan
van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot