The safehouse of the wannabe union organizer turned out to be a hidden shrine of Adariel. Apparently the Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers has a very dim view on religion and no religious gatherings of any kind are allowed. Seems a bit backwards to me. If I was working at oppressing the masses I would want them to have religion as a sweet balm for the wounds I dished out. The message of religion overall is “hey your life sucks here, but in the afterlife things are going to be great so keep taking your licks”. Seems like the kind of message that you would want the people you’re grinding into the dirt to have. Adariel must present a more hopeful message about life in the material world than I realize. I guess that’s not surprising since I don’t really know anything about religion. The occasional services that the Duke had were more a perversion of the holy rites than a faithful recreation. Sacrilege is one of the pleasures of the rich.
And when I say this place was hidden, I mean hidden. First we went to a bar where some secret signs and code phrases were exchanged which gave us access to a secret door with took us to a secret room in a gambling parlor where another secret passageway took us to a secret room in brothel where another secret passage took us to an interior room with no other access points inside a warehouse. A give high marks for secrecy and low marks for fire safety. There was a small Adarielite altar and a few bedrolls and that was pretty much it aside from the occupants. Surprisingly Damrow was in there, I assumed he had rabbited back in Cathars. With him were a man and a woman. The woman was clearly and Adariel priestesses even though she wore no vestments. She had her dark brown hair done up in two huge thick braids that hung down past her waist. If she ever takes them out her hair has to hang down to the ground. It was really quite something. She had the normal Adariel quality of niceness and compassion about her but I could tell that she had a little fire in the belly as well. Her left arm was covered with a mass of scars on the forearm and bicep.
The man was one of these burly types that carry all their power in the upper body which makes their legs look skinny and thin even though they’re normal. He had a thick but small mustache and a variety of dockworker tattoos on his muscly arms. As is apparently required for anyone involved with a union he was wearing suspenders and a dark cap. Introductions and thank yous and all that were done – the priestess is called Milani and the union man Hessenmeel. After arriving we chatted for a while and I explained to them that I wasn’t just passing through, that it was time for a change. Trying to organize in Three Rivers was dangerous at the best of times so Hessenmeel’s network was small to begin with, after he and several of his key followers were arrested and scheduled to be killed that pretty much scared everyone off. After Martialla rescued them and they escaped from the prison they all pretty much told Hessenmeel that he was on his own. I told that that the five of us would be plenty – that all you need for things to change is to take action. Sounded good.
Damrow, not being wanted as far as anyone knows, and Milani having a solid cover identity slipped away while the other three of us stayed put. I took my sweetdream and pulled up a bedroll for some much needed sleep. My dreams were a bit different than the night before. I wasn’t horribly attacked by nightmare monsters so I guess the drug was working, but they weren’t the pleasant dreams of the night before. I dreamed that I was visited by my future self, warning me of how I was going to die in times yet to come. I discussed with myself how to avoid this fate and no sooner was that conversation over that another future version of me showed up to explain the new way I was going to die even farther in the future after I avoided the death I was just talking. We’d discuss how to avoid that death and then another would show up and on and on. There’s no reason to suspect that it’s anything other than a dream but just in case I’m going to make sure that I never journey to the North. Not sure why I ever would go there, but a lot of those future mes died on the icy plains of the Northlands. When I woke up Martialla and Hessenmeel were sharing some dry rations and chipped jug of water. I groaned.
“I can’t get away from this stuff, even in town I end up eating this crap. Why couldn’t you put your safehouse in the back of a restaurant?”
Hessenmeel raised an eyebrow slightly “Why do I have a feeling that you’ll do a lot more bellyaching than being a revolutionary?”
Martialla snickered “Because you’re a very perceptive fellow.”
I reached unenthusiastically for some of the dried mung “Ignore her, although the fact is that I’m not a revolutionary, I’m just trying to even the playing field. Change starts with you, and by you I mean me, you know what I mean. Are there any of those Black Widow lads about that I can contact to kick things off? They’re always good for some revolutionary zeal.”
Martialla shook her head “No, they avoid his place like the plague on account of the consortium ruling by fiat and taking a very sharp interesting in killing them on a whim.”
Hessenmeel looked at me sharply “I wouldn’t have them in my town anyway, their violence is counter-productive to the cause.”
“Your city huh? Looks to me like it’s the consortium’s city first second and third. You think you’re going to dislodge those assholes without resorting to violence?
“Maybe, but even if violence is needed there’s a time and place for that kind of action, random brawling in the streets doesn’t do anyone any good.”
I clapped him on the shoulder “I couldn’t agree more, that’s why we’re going to start with a nice peaceful protest for the wives and orphans. There’s no way anything like that could turn violent.”
“That’s going to be difficult, we’re the two most wanted people in the city. Not sure about your friend here but they could be looking for her too.”
Martialla passed me the jug “No one saw me at the prison, or in the street afterwards, no one left alive anyway.”
I took a drink and then grimaced at the vinegary taste “True, but they tried to kill you in Cathars so clearly they know who you are. I assume they’re looking for you as well since they know their assassination failed and then all of a sudden the prison break happened. But the good news for you Mr. Hessenmeel is that that doesn’t matter anyway since we are both experts at disguise. We can travel all about the city looking like other people.”
Martialla shook her head “Not me, not anymore, not since you lost my hat.”
“That was magic?” She nodded “I thought you just had a spell that disguised you.” She shook her head. “I guess I shouldn’t have tossed it away then huh?”
She had a sour expression “If you can find me somewhere to work I can make another one.”
“You can make magic items?”
She sighed “Yes Ela, you know that, I’ve made them for you before.”
“That doesn’t sound familiar, clearly you’re lying about that. You’re good at keeping a low profile anyway, you should be fine. And Hessenmeel you clearly have enough people around willing to sneak you out for a while because look where we are. I need you to make contact with some of your old pals and make sure they’re still down with the cause. Martialla you round up some criminal types that can help us with the dirty stuff, the first thing we need is money. Revolutions aren’t cheap so we’re going to have to pull off a heist.”
“How am I supposed to do that?”
I frowned “How should I know, you always seem to find the local villains though, there’s no real law here – just oppression, there must be all sorts of criminals here you can cozy up to.”
Hessenmeel looked aggravated “And what are you going to be doing besides complaining about the food?”
“I’m going to start organizing the widows.”
“And where exactly are you going to find them? Are you going to go door to door asking for widows?”
“No, first of all I assume a good union man like yourself knows who’s croaked on the job lately. I’ll start there, plus we were just in a brothel, those are fertile grounds for widow hunting as well. Once a get a couple widows by way of prostitutes under my belt they should be able to help me find more.”
“We don’t need those sorts. That’s despicable.”
“What is? The inconvenient truth that a woman whose husband dies and has children to feed often has no other option but to sell her body to make money? That is certainly despicable but isn’t that what we’re trying to change?”
He spat and left the room.
Martialla look over at me “You two are going to make quite the team. You haven’t lost your way with people.”
“You know what they say about revolution and strange bedfellows.”
Rebellion: Rank 1 – Treasury 10 Gold, Notoriety 0, Loyalty 6, Secrecy 3, Security 2
Demagogue – Ela, Recruiters – Milani and Damrow, Sentinel – Martialla, Strategist – Hessenmeel
Daily Actions – Recruit (Peddlers), Recruit (Sneaks)
Behind the curtain: It’s been a while since I toyed around with any of the min-rules sets for Pathfinder so I’m trying out the Rebellion Rules from Hell’s Rebels, using days for each “turn” instead of weeks. The roll to recruit Sneaks failed.
Inventory: Whiterock family signet ring (Ring of Binding), Sweetdream (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, 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, Colonel Tarl Ciarán’s wizard soldier, Victor, Beharri, Cebuano, Mayor Eryn, Chimera Trading Company, maker of the manacles, Calvados Eure, Law Offices of Lampblack and Brimstone