Before we made it more than a couple of blocks a small figure came pelting up to us, skidding to a stop. I couldn’t tell if she was a young girl that kind of looked like a Shireling or a Shireling that was pulling the old trick of passing themselves off as an adolescent human. I wonder if kids ever do the reverse – disguise themselves as adult Halflings. I suppose you’d have to be a damn precious kid to pull that off. She told us that “it” was going down. Impressively she wasn’t gasping for air after running full tilt like (oh to be young again) and she gave us in the information in a calm professional manner. Martialla dismissed her and lead us to a squat building with no sign. There was a name painted crudely above the door in blocky red letters but it was so poorly done that I couldn’t tell what it said. The place stank of smoke and bad booze and sweaty boot rash. I’ve been in some low down dives these past few months but it’s been a good little while since I was in a sawdust on the floor hole like this. A tough looking older woman with grey hair down to her waist and crow’s feet sitting at one of the rickety barrel tables waved us over.
I learned slightly towards Martialla “I thought you said that Adelis’ girls were on watch.”
“I thought it was wise to expand things a little.”
“You have a real knack for this kind of skullduggery, you’d do well in organized crime.”
“You bite your tongue, I am a woman of high moral standards – I earn my money the honest and moral way by taking it off the bodies of the people you kill.”
The old bag informed us that several of Manzar’s Bravos were spotted leaving Dulphistos’ manor house armed for combat and heading for the general area of where Velké Dářkos and the Black Sheep do their gooning. She made it clear that Dulphistos himself had not been seen with them nor was the attack forcet reckoned to be all of the Bravos. Martialla passed her a coin and we took out leave from the dump. Once we were outside and strolling away we both spoke simultaneously.
“Well we tried.”
“I think we should head over there anyway.”
Martialla’s eyes widened “Why would we try the place now? It didn’t work, he’s still there.”
“But he won’t be expecting trouble.”
She threw her arms wide “Of course he will! He’s the one starting the trouble. He sent his goons out on a hit, he’s very much going to be expecting trouble.”
“Technically maybe, but you know what I mean.”
“I have no idea what you mean. Let’s just come up with a new plan, or forget the whole thing. Tell Adelis we tried but it didn’t work out, sorry. We got her three new girls to replace Cathadela, how many girls does she need?”
“You make it sound like we delivered those women to her so they could work for her.”
“Didn’t we? What else are they going to do? Needlepoint? That’s neither here nor there though, the here is Dulphistos is there, and the there is it would be crazy to go there now.”
“Without his guards though . . .
“Without SOME of his guards.”
“. . . we should be able to handle him. If it even comes to that. We can probably get in and out without him even noticing. I’m tired of all of his, I just want it to be over.”
“Tired of what? It’s only been two days! Are you trying to get yourself killed?
“We’re not joined at the hip, nobody said you had to go, I’ll go by myself.”
She made an exasperated noise “No, I’ll go, I don’t need your ghost haunting me. You used to be a lot more careful you know that?”
“And you used to do what I told you.”
“No I didn’t!”
I raised an eyebrow “Yeah, but you should have.”
I wouldn’t say that we ran to Dulphistos’ Manor exactly, but we certainly hurried in a most undignified fashion. Martialla turned us both invisible and I scampered over the outer wall as she did the same with a spell. Despite Martialla’s dire predictions of magical traps and sensors everywhere we made it through the courtyard easily enough and climbed up to the third floor and in a window in a hallway. The hallway had one large door in the middle and nothing else, which makes no sense. Assuming there had to be hidden doors on either or both ends we made our way to the eastmost and before I could even touch the “wall” I was jolted by a painful shock. Cursing under my breath I shook my hand.
“Well there you go, no one traps bare walls, get to it.”
Although I couldn’t see her I could hear the frown in Martialla’s voice “Get to what? You’re the one who’s always bragging about how you can see through illusions.”
Biting off a sharp retort I studied the “wall” carefully and soon enough the real image underneath revealed itself – a pretty dang large and heavy wooden door reinforced with bands of iron. I was about to say something when the illusion shattered and the door swung open – nearly catching me in the face with the edge. I jumped back (quietly) as surprisingly attractive lady dwarf appeared in the doorway in an odd nightshirt holding a silver wand of some manner before her. She started to cast a spell and I threw my voice to inside her room behind her.
She spun around, finishing her incantation with a flourish of her wand. Our invisibility was leached away as I grabbed her and put my (unattached) Blade to her throat.
“Nice spell, too bad it doesn’t help when you’re looking the wrong way. Where’s Cathadela?”
Her voice was dwarf deep but feminine “I just work here, I’m not involved with any . . .”
“Good, then just tell us where she is and you don’t need to be involved.”
She told us that the apprentice’s rooms were on this side of the door we saw and that Cathadela’s room was on the other side towards the interior of the house. Martialla tried to put the dwarf to sleep with a spell but it didn’t work. She mumbled some excuse about dwarfs being hard to enchant as I glared at her. I was about to say something about tying her up with bedsheets (the room literally had nothing in it other than a bed and stacks of books) when I heard a whispering voicing – the only reason I caught wind of it is because my head was right near the dwarf’s as I held my blade on her.
“What was that?”
She tried to crane her head back to look at me “That was Dulphistos, you tripped one of his alarms. He’s asking me if everything is okay.”
“Tell him that it is.”
“Let me go and back out of my room and I will.” She cut me off before I could protest “I don’t care about Dulphistos’ whore, you want her she’s yours, I care about staying alive. If I don’t answer right now he’s going to come up here anyway so make your choice.”
I let her go and we left the room, the door shutting behind us, and we immediately made our way to the visible door in the middle. Martialla made short work of the lock with her fiddle bits (not those ones) and we were in another hallway where we quickly made our way to a much less fortified and normal looking door on the left. It was locked as well and as Martialla worked on it I threw my voice into the room.
“Adelis sent us to get you, we’re coming in, be ready to leave.”
Once we got the door open inside the darkened room was a passably attractive woman in a nightgown with a robe thrown over it hurriedly sticking jewelry and books into a pillowcase as a makeshift sack. I gestured at her urgently.
“Enough of that, time to go.”
She grabbed a few more things before hurrying along with us back to the hallway with the window we climbed in – as we did so we could hear a the banging and clanging of a man in heavy armor running up some stairs beyond the room we found Cathadela in. As we looked out the window we saw a few fellows running out into the courtyard as well. Martialla cast her climbing spell on Cathadela and then turned her invisible as I instructed her to climb up and over the house and come down on another side to make her way to Adelis’. As she climbed out the window a man in plate mail wielding an ax burst into the hallway. I dove out the window, grabbing Martialla and dragging her with me. We both managed to grab onto the wall like spiders with our enchantments and scrambled up to the roof as the men in the courtyard shouted and pointed at us – but they must not have had and bows or the like because that’s all they did. Up on the roof Martialla turned us both invisible and we made our escape.
We rendezvoused at Adelis’ home where everyone was scurrying around getting ready to leave Preen post-haste. Thankfully Cathadela was there, not having gotten lost or captured, or attacked by a gutter-goblin, or swallowed by a sewer monsters or some other damn thing. A few minutes later the man in the plate mail along with a couple of the fellows from the courtyard turned up outside following a reptilian humanoid with thick tan and red scales, a long frighteningly toothy snout, and a heavy alligator-like tail. He was clearly a tracker of some kind. I took on Cathadela’s appearance and Martialla and I made a run for it, enticing them to chase us as he rest made their escape out the back. Once they were on our trail we able to confound them by climbing over buildings and changing appearance and the like. I don’t care how great a tracker you are, it’s going to be tough sledding to track someone over rooftops.
It was still an hour from sundown when Martialla and I returned to the Song and Dance, it was quite a full day. After washing up and changing we settled down to a nice meal of brined iron eel sausage, gilded sweet slices, spinach and white cheese salad, and lion ant tails. I was expecting a lizard monster to come smashing into the dining room at any moment followed by a brigade of goons but it seems for once we made a clean getaway. We were due I suppose. That’s how probablity works right?
Funds: 28,040 platinum, 47,550 gold
Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Ring of Disguise, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Amulet of Dreams, Ela’s Traveling Outfit, Belt of Physical Might +4, Versatile Vest, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow with Sharpshooter’s Blade, Ring of Urban Grace, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Walking Stick, Meteoric Amulet, Ela’s Boots
Noble’s outfit (5) collegium ring, pocketed scarf, wrist sheath, signet ring (2) assortment of fake signet rings, silver chain set with moonstones, gold and emerald ring (2), garnets (700), gold necklace with jade pendant, ivory combs, tax collector’s badge, gold bracelet with ivory inlays, silver necklace set with rubies, gold earrings with jade inlays, silver and gold brooch, silver necklace with ruby pendant, disguise kit, covenant ring, tiny diamonds (26), Saryah Phidaner gown, masterwork thieves’ tools, onyx (55) personal signet ring, tiara, masterwork red and black long greatcoat, Turnbill blade of first forging (one of three)
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, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage, Essa, eyeless hag