The villagers of Gibson were so happy with their lost friends being returned to them that that supplied Gisa and her crew with an abundance of foodstuffs as well as their own wagon. Never mind the fact that I was the one who actually saved everyone so I should be the one getting a reward. There’s no way Gisa and friends could have kept up with our coach in said wagon, but we slowed down a bit to stay with them – I’d rather reach Renwick tomorrow afternoon than late tonight anyway. I exiled Otacvio to travel with the treasure hunters and invited Gisa to ride with us in the coach. He didn’t care for that at all and whined like men do when they don’t get their way. I suggested that we have a sobriety contest to see who deserved to ride in comfort and he looked like he was going to belt me. I would have liked to seen that.
Gisa had a few interesting stories about her work as a tomb robber and most importantly she was in full control of her bodily functions. Her sense of style is awful but you can’t have everything.
“How does one get into your line of work?”
“All you need is a thirst for adventure and a taste for excitement.”
“Couldn’t hold down a real job?”
“Something like that. As you know women have to make their own opportunities in this world. If you don’t want to be a wife or a priestess you’re not left with a lot of options that don’t put you on the fringe.”
“You seem reasonable enough, why do you dress like that?”
“Dress like what?”
The day passed uneventfully until (there’s always an until) we reached a river crossing – I don’t know this area well but I assume it’s some tributary of the Upper Scale. Or maybe the other one. Distributary? I forget. Anyway, the point is that there was a bridge but it was badly damaged, so much so that you wouldn’t want to try it with a heavy coach or wagon. Even on foot would be a little nerve racking. Thankfully there just so happened to be a group of enterprising men there with a keelboat offering to take people across for gold. How lucky! I approached the skiff with Martialla, Gisa, and one of her burly friends. The captain was a fellow balding fellow with long stringy hair and one of those beards with no hair on the upper lip. There’s a name for that I’m sure. Besides stupid.
“Nice racket, you smash up the bridge and then offer to take people across for coin. Is there enough traffic around here to make that worth the while?”
He crammed a ragged hat on his head angrily “Madam, I assure you we would never do any such thing! The bridge is as we found it and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help people across. And in doing so there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be compensated for our time and effort.”
“Sure buddy, whatever you say, and what exactly were you doing when you just happened upon this broken bridge?
“Looking for swamp onions.”
“Sure why not? How much to take us across?”
“Two hundred gold.”
I laughed, it was honestly one the funniest things I’ve heard in a while “Good one. I could buy my own boat for that.”
“Funny, I don’t see any place to buy a boat around here.”
“I see a boat right there, are you looking to sell?”
“You want to go across its two hundred, a special price just for you and your smart mouth. You don’t want to go across here? That’s fine, head south for about a week and you should find a place you can ford it.”
Gisa and Martialla took over the negotiations at that point and talked him down to fifty which is still outrageous, and I had to pay of course since I’m the only one that ever has any damn money. This is a good example of what I’ve been saying lately though – my strength is talking to people, negotiation and persuasion. I should be the one coming to patch things up when someone else can’t talk their way through, not the other way around. I shouldn’t have been butting heads with that jerk, I should have been sweet-talking him. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me and I’m not sure what there is to do about it either. But I don’t like it.
Gisa’s friends took their wagon across first and then we went across second with the coach – which the captain cast an admiring eye on.
“This is a real peach of a ride you got yourself here.”
“There’s one thing we can agree on anyway.”
“Welp, we’re about halfway across, I suppose it’s time for me to ask for the rest of the money now.”
I shook my head “You asshole, if you were going to rob us anyway why did you make such a fuss about the price?”
“Didn’t want to give in too easily, makes folks suspicious. Plus I don’t like you.”
“Well I’m not too worried about you and your merry band of pirates here, I think we can kill you and get the rest of the way across ourselves.”
“Maybe. But I have this boat rigged to dump you and your fancy carriage into the drink with one pull of a lever. You can probably swim to shore if you don’t get all tangled up in those fine clothes of yours but you really want to see this beauty at the bottom of the river?”
“I’d rather see everything I own hurled into a volcano than give you a bent copper.”
He pulled out a vicious looking punch-dagger “I had a feeling you’d be as dumb as you are unpleasant.”
“What about your magic lever?”
“That was a bit of a bluff.”
Turns out that Gisa, Martialla and myself are more than a match for six scurvy river pirates – especially with a couple of Gisa’s folks pitching in with bow fire from the shore. Getting the boat across the river turned out to be much more challenging. No one aboard knew anything about boats and apparently they don’t jet go on their own. It didn’t help that the fight got the horses all antsy and I was doing my best to help Tudos keep them calm while the rest of them floundered about with ropes and rudders and such. Honest to Gods we were probably a mile down river by the time we made the shore – and it was too rocky there to get the coach off. In the end we had to use the horses to haul the keelboat back upriver almost to the bridge before we could get everyone and everything unloaded. Everyone was exhausted and the entire rest of the day was wasted.
I turned to Martialla “This is the point where you tell me you could have used magic to fly the coach across.”
She grinned. “You know better than that, magic is useless don’t you know?”
“If I wasn’t so lazy I’d suggest we use the wood from this damn boat to fix the bridge.”
“But you are right?”
“Oh yeah, don’t get me started on how lazy I am.”
Funds: 995 platinum, 159 gold
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, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Glove of Vampiric Touch, Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten, Holy Symbol of Kozilek, Ruby (2), Black Marketers’ Bag, 879 Garnets, crystal necklace
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, Hellerhad the Wizard