Montagem 13 Year 888 (New Imperial Calendar) Part 2

“So what’s the real plan?”

This Martialla asked as we “freshened up” in one of the simple rooms in the coach-house above the area where the coaches go.  I assume that has a name.  Stable?  Only for coaches? 

“I think that is the real plan at this point.  We gave it a shot but I don’t see any way to get out of here with the money.  The mayor strikes me as a fool, but she’s a greedy fool, so she wants the money for herself.”

“We could work with that, you know the best cons rely on taking advantage of someone’s desire.”

“Maybe, I don’t see it being quick though.”

“Who cares about quick?  That’s a lot of money down there.”

“Eh, after the third time you lose a fortune it kind of loses its sting.  I’m thinking maybe we bail at this point.”

“I say we stick around and wait for the magistrate, we know what they’re going to do, seize the money – either for themselves or so they can suck up to their bosses in Obsis.  If we tag along there’s probably a chance we can break it loose for ourselves.  How hard could it be to outwit a rural magistrate.”

“Depends on the magistrate, paradoxically some of them are too dumb to be outwitted – that’s a thing.  Besides it’s going to be days before they can get anyone here.”

“What’s your Gods damned hurry?!  You don’t even have a plan for when we get to Aleene so why the urgent need to get there NOW?  What’s with you, you’re one of the greediest people I know, why are you so quick to give up on this?  What’s a few days to maybe end up with a fortune?”

“It only seems like I’m greedy because you don’t know anyone else.”

“I know lots of people.”

In the end the argument was moot because the magistrate wasn’t going to be coming.  The lad they sent to Obsis was turned back by Colonel’s men.  Which I suppose should have been anticipated.  The constable and the mayor were joined by the master of the coaching house – an overweight fellow with matted auburn hair with a spider tattoo on the hand wearing an ill-fitting armored jacket called Cloe.  We sat in and listened to them argue until it became boring and then wandered outside to get the lay of the land.  Ten men can’t really “surround” even a village this small, but let’s say they had it covered.  Martialla looked over at me as we regarded the Colonel’s men patrolling the perimeter. 

“What’s their play do you think?”

“Wait for someone in town to take them up on their offer.  If they saw the look in the mayor’s eyes they’d be here right now cutting a deal with her, one guy with a limp and a couple greybeards couldn’t stop that.”

“Did you know that today is the King’s birthday?”

“Really?” I looked around “Shouldn’t there be a festival or something?”

“I suppose since he’s dead it’s not a holiday anymore.”

“And I suppose the Queen doesn’t get a birthday celebration.  That’s how they screw you out of a day of rest.” 

“If we wanted to wait until nightfall and then sneak out of here how much of that money could you stuff in your many deep and secret holes?”

“I don’t care for your phrasing first of all.  I’m pretty much a capacity but I could swap out gold for platinum, so really I could take it all, but I’ve be leaving behind a small fortune in gold.  Which at least has the advantage of being confusing to anyone who comes along afterwards.”

She made a face “I guess that’s better than nothing.  Except once money goes into your pockets I never seem to see it again.”

I shrugged “Hey, you want to carry around a literally ton of money you get your own extradimensional storage spaces.  You’re the one who’s magic.  I should probably get back in there, we don’t want to appear lackadaisical in our duty to getting that money to the proper authorities.  You go down and keep an eye on the money.”

“How about a please?”

“Just do it or I’ll kick you.”

“You wish.”

As we walked back into the office where the three luminaries of Cataola were discussing the weighty issue before them Cloe was proposing a plan.  He was suggesting instead of sending just a messenger boy to Obsis as per usual that instead they send four rough and ready types.  He seemed to think that while the Colonel’s men would intimate a beardless youth they would draw the line at actually fighting and anyone that could push back.  I explained that was a false notion as I took my seat.

“They’ve already killed several men over this – and they were prepared to kill us too.  The fellow with the braids, when he gave the order to his men to kill us he didn’t think twice about it and neither did his men.  What you outlined is the best case scenario for them, they kill four of your fighters out away from reinforcements.  They can’t attack because there are too many people in town but if you send your people out piecemeal yuo lose the only advantage that you have.”

Mirran raised his eyebrow “You’re talking about this like it’s a military engagement”

“It is, whether you realized it yet or not.  You’re under siege, a small siege sure, but still a siege.”

Eryn finally started to look a little worried “So what are they going to do next?”

“I don’t know.  They can’t murder the entire town can they?  I mean just logistically ten men can’t kill a hundred all at once – someone will get away.  Plus depopulating a town seems like something that people would take notice of eventually.  As far as I can tell it’s like we’re in a stalemate.  They can’t attack and we can’t leave.” I looked the mayor dead in the eye “As long as no one in town decides to help them we should be safe.  Now, Cloe if you want to sally forth what you should do is gather all your fighters and attack them.  Right now they’re spread out, if you ever had a chance to take them this is it.  Overwhelm one or two of them there men when they’re on patrol and then hightail it back to town – if they don’t leave we repeat the process.  What can they do to counteract that?”

Mirran shook his head “We can’t attack them, they haven’t done anything.”

“They’ve done plenty.  I don’t know what they’re waiting out there for, but what I worry about is that they have backup coming.  Maybe they’re going to wipe this entire place off the map.  Scoff if you want, but I’ve seen people do worse things for less money than is in that chest.”

The afternoon passed slowly, eventually most of the townsfolk went back to their business – what else was there for them to do?  The mayor, the constable and the coach-master would meet and talk for a while and then break apart to repeat the process again an hour later.  There wasn’t much they could do either as long as the constable refused to hand over the money.  Several times travelers approached but were turned away by the Colonel’s men.  I don’t know what he told them but what I would have told them was that there was a sickness in Cataola that required quarantine procedures.  As long as group of mendicant healers doesn’t turn up that would be a good story.  Later in the day another coach turned up which was stopped by the Colonel’s men.  Aboard I saw the two passengers who had originally been with us.  The two women were joined by an unpleasant looking female Shireling and a burly fellow with a tidy mustache.  They and the coachmen talked with Braids and his men for a quite a while.  They didn’t leave like the others though, the coachmen didn’t seem to like it but they cooled their heels where while the passengers got out and continued talking with Braids.

“I don’t like the look of that.”

“What do you think their deal is?”

“Running away during the fight, that makes perfect sense.  Stopping for your luggage?  That’s more suspicious.  Fifty-fifty I would have said they were smugglers before, the fact that they found another coach and still came?  Now I know they’re smugglers.”

“Working together?  It didn’t seem like they even knew each other.”

“Could have been an act.  I like this less and less, I don’t know what’s going on out there.  I think come nightfall we need to get gone from here.”

“I’m starting to agree with you.”


Funds: 28,040 platinum, 59,605 gold

XP: 914,921

Inventory: Flask of Endless Sake, Hat of Effortless Style, Tankard of the Drunken Hero, Ela’s Dazzling Garment, Belt of Physical Might +4, Ring of Urban Grace, Black Marketers’ Bag (5), Tidy Trunk, Whiterock Family Ring (Ring of Binding), Ela’s Extraordinary Walking Stick, Ela’s Elegant Boots, Ela’s Elegant Necklace 

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), darkwood and platinum music box, silver bracelet set with bloodstones, platinum ring set with fire opal, silver and moonstone bracelet, holy symbol of Kozilek 

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, Baron Saltwheel, Baron Harmenkar