Moreavan 12 Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

The Gallows Girls operate out of a place called the Old Post – on account of it’s one of the buildings left over from the days when Preen was a trading post.  The Old Post is near the square where the public hangings are held, hence the pithy name.  I wonder how long it takes gangs to come up with their names – probably most gangs fall into fighting right there because they can’t decide on a name and never even get started.  What a shame.  I should have spent the rest of the day gathering information on the Gallows Girls – what their trade is, who their allies are, what their strengths were – but I didn’t.  I just went to the Old Post.  I knew it was not the best tactic as I was doing it but I did it anyway.  As I approached two young women appeared out of the shadows on either side of me.  They were skinny as rails with dirty hair that looked to have been cut with a butcher’s cleaver but they had blades on their hips and the look about them of someone who isn’t carrying a blade for show.

“Are you lost ma’am?”

“No, I need to chat with whoever’s in charge about my friend Tario.”

“Did you bring the money?”

“That’s what needs to be discussed.”

“Without the money there’s nothing much to talk about is there?  Especially with someone who looks like they’ve been wallowing in mud like a sow.”

I used my magic to make my clothing look as clean and impressive as the day they were stitched “Is that better?  Now go tell your boss that I’m here, I’m not going to waste any more of my time with the rabble that gets stuck on guard duty”

Inside the Old Post was a large common room with a firepit and several long tables through which I was taken to a smaller (but still large) room that appeared be a private dining area/office/storeroom that had a cot in the corner in case you wanted to also make it a sleeping chamber as well.  I was told to wait there and an insulting amount of time later four women came in – one pale with dark hair dressed in clothing that was very expensive and well-made but practical.  A somewhat homely looking bown-haired lass in a high-waisted number.  And two similar looking women with curly hair, one dark and one light, wearing frilly numbers with bulging vests. The pale one stayed standing by the door while the other three sat across from me.

“Is this really an all-female gang?  How does that work out?”

Dark Curly answered “We manage.  There’s a whole story behind it but I’m sure you’re as busy as we are so let’s get down to business.  You want Tario that’s going to be two thousand gold.”

“Two?  I was told a thousand.”

“That was before, the price goes up the longer we have to keep him around.  Holding someone captive involves a lot of overhead.  The more our expenses increase the more the price goes up.  It’s only fair.”

High Waist chimed in “Its simple economics.”

“The problem is while I want Tario back he’s not worth that much, nowhere close.  Two hundred would be questionable for him, let alone two thousand.  I mean you’ve seen him.”

“Oh no?  Even though he’s sitting on a scheme to steal a fortune from our beloved mayor for life?”

Blonde Curly got in on the action “Yes, he told us about that.  If it makes you feel better he didn’t give it up right away, only once he thought no one was going to get him out of here.”

“Let me guess, if I don’t pay then you turn him over to Razmiran for some kind of reward?”

Dark Curly smiled “Give this woman a prize, you got it first try.”

I didn’t say anything, there was nothing to say, I just started counting out on the money on the table as the three of them sat there smirking up their sleeves at me.  Unlike the other three the pale one didn’t react smugly at all, just leaving to come back shortly with Tario, looking only slightly the worse for wear.  When he first saw me a look of relief and pure joy came over his face, when he saw the money that I was handing over that look disappeared in a hurry.  I got up from the table and he came to stand beside me as High Waist swept the neat stacks of coins I had made into a small chest.

“Nice doing business with you.”

“Before I go, will you tell me, did you consider going after Razmiran’s stash at all?”

The pale one finally spoke “No.”

Blonde Curly explained “Razmiran doesn’t just own this town because he’s rich, money alone doesn’t equal power I’m sure you know, he also happens to have a cadre of assassins who take out anyone who messes with him.  Or just anyone he doesn’t like.  Or anyone he does like and he’s just tired of.  Or anyone who . . .”

“I got it.”

I was fuming by the time we got back to the boarding house and wasn’t much calmer when Tario, Martialla and I gathered in her room with a bottle of Red Goblin Ale to plan our next move.  Tario told me all about Razmiran’s compound and where he had the jewels stashed while I sat in the corner and stewed. Eventually he asked;

“How much are you into on this already?”

“Three thousand.” He winced and for a long time nobody spoke. “You know what’s really bothering me though?  I’ve changed, and I don’t really know who I am anymore.  Not that long ago I never would have considered violence as a solution to a problem unless all other options had been exhausted.  Because it’s a stupid clumsy way to solve problems that has a high chance of getting you killed even if you do it right.  I used to take my time and come up with plans, and I would charm my way through when I had to.  Today I could have easily, easily, talked those men down at the bridge.  I could have outsmarted that smarmy pimp asshole.  I could have some up with a scheme to get you out of the clutches of those dirty bitches.  But I didn’t.  I’ve lost all my patience.  I don’t like it and I don’t know what to do about it.”

After a moment Martialla spoke “The person who sets out on a journey isn’t the same one who finishes it.  The person you were before was based on where you were and what you were doing at that time.  You’re someone else now, because you’re living a different life.”

I lifted the bottle of ale to my lips and grunted sourly “Wonderful.  You two keep scheming, I’m going to bed.  Apparently I’m not the mastermind anymore, I’m the foot soldier.”

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 1020 platinum, 9,004 gold, 6 silver

XP: 162,028

Inventory: Noble’s Traveling Outfit, Animated Riding Coat,  Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow, Fake Signet Ring,  False Papers, Bag of Concealment,  Belt of Giant Strength +4, Vest of Resistance +1, Ring of Sustenance, Gem of Brightness, Potion of Invisibility, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Glove of Vampiric Touch, Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten, Chime of Opening (5 charges), Holy Symbol of Kozilek, Ruby (2)

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 Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers

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