I was up early to join the widow’s walk again today and there were probably twice as many participants are yesterday – things are gathering momentum nicely. There were a lot more consortium goons giving us dirty looks as well but they didn’t interfere with us beyond evil glares. There was a rumor going around that Hessenmeel had been captured last night which I knew to be false since I had seen him that morning. I’m not sure that would have been such a bad thing had he been captured. He’s starting to chafe at what he sees as our shared leadership, I wonder what he would think if he figured out that I’m solely in charge. Showing typical ingratitude even though I saved his life he was never enamored with me to begin with. Maybe I should turn him in for athereward. He went to further develop his mercantile contacts and I dispatched Martialla once again to see about recruiting us some proper villains – rebellion is just crime after all and I want some professionals on my side.
I met with some of Hessenmeel’s new street performer friends to see what they knew about The Mage with the Whistle. Quite a bit it turns out. His name they said was Peronell Missplitter (wonder how you get a surname like that) and he’s a somewhat popular man about town. Since the consortium pushes an atheistic godless agenda and there’s no divine healers around when people need help with their ailments Peronell’s potions are their only option other than the standard quackery and midwifery. Missplitter is known as a generous soul who charges only a lot of money for his cures rather than a super lot of money, and is willing to barter rather than demanding payment in gold. That’s the surface level, a guy that seems benevolent compared to the brute force tactics of the government.
Did a little deeper and what you find is that Peronell is working with the local drug smuggling ring moving product downriver to Heathgrove and Malgareth. Some say he’s moving his sweet sweet drugs all the way down the river to Raster and Carmin as well, which would be treason. That’s an odd notion isn’t it? Selling something that’s already illegal to an enemy nation being considered treason. Shouldn’t we be selling as all the drugs we can to our enemies? That should be part of the battle strategy if you ask me. Most vices are allowed, encouraged really, in Three Rivers but they don’t want anything that keeps their workforce from working so they’re not into the drugs so much. Level two, not so benevolent but just a greedy criminal and we all want money.
But we’re not going to stop there are we? A little further into the strata (that makes sense with the digging metaphor right?) and I found one Frisque Stollmeijer. Miss Stollmeijer works as a barmaid at several joints to care for her ailing mother. She saved up her coppers and silvers for more than a year so she could purchase on of Missplitter’s miraculous elixirs to cure her poor mother. When she went to make what should have been a very standard transaction though Peronell scorned her and told her that a commoner such as her could never afford his wares. He slapped her across her face, took her money, and turned his shapeshifting familiar loose on her – laughing as she ran for her life. Level three, stone cold asshole.
The place I set ablaze had burned up badly enough to be out of commission but it turns out that Peronell Missplitter owns such establishments in each section of the city – even in the wretchedly poor districts down below. I assumed that he’d be spending time in the next best one so I headed to the east island on the topside of Three Rivers and eventually found another one of his unassuming little establishments promising “arcane trinkets and answers from the outer plans at reasonable prices”. He wasn’t behind the counter unfortunately. Instead I was presented with a snooty looking woman with large green eyes wearing what I have to admit was a very fine magenta lace and tulle gown, drinking from a delicate wine glass. She took a look at the commoner appearance I had taken on (no anti-magic defenses here apparently) and pursed her lips as if to steel herself for the tribulations of dealing with the likes of me.
“Are you supposed to be working on the job?”
She set the wine glass down on the counter “Can I help you . . . madam?”
She imbued so much disgust into the mode of address that’s meant to be polite and respectful that I couldn’t help but like her a little.
“I certainly hope so, I’m looking for your boss, I was hoping to commission his skills for a particular item.”
She looked me over in the way people do when they want to make a point “Such a commission would be very expensive, I would need to see proof of funds before I bothered Peronell with flights of fancy by someone getting ideas above their station.”
“Oh, I like you.” I showed her the platinum I had stolen from the other store “I think I can swing it. How about you let your boss know that I’m for real?”
“One wonders were you might have acquired such a small fortune.”
“Canny investment, currency speculation, coal mines, shipping, real estate and the like, I’m sure your boss won’t really care where his windfall comes from.”
“First of all Peronell is my husband not my boss and secondly, madam, I hate to disappoint you but . . .”
I grinned “Oh, wife you say? Well that’s just wonderful.” I drew my short blade “Would you mind taking that dress off? It would be a shame to ruin it with your blood.”
I grabbed for her but she pulled a little metal cube from somewhere – about the size of a dice – and suddenly there was an invisible wall of force between her and me. She calmly took another drink of her wine and then locked eyes with me.
“If you start running now you might get out of the city before my husband dissolves you in acid.”
I grabbed a robe that was behind the counter but outside of her cube of security and flung it over my shoulders.
“I was wrong, I don’t like you, I fucking love you!” I tapped on the “wall” between us “You tell your husband when you get a chance that I’m going to be seeing him. Really, really soon.”
I walked out of the store, quickly changed my appearance and casually hurried (there’s a trick to hurrying casually) out of the area, heading for the west island. I found shop #3 in Peronell Missplitter’s little empire and staked it out for a couple hours. When I saw the man himself emerge and head down the street I hurried up behind him, taking on the form of Frisque Stollmeijer, grabbing at his robes and asking if we could speak in private. He shook me off and told me to get back to my tenements. Doing my best (which is pretty good) to look ashamed and desperate I told him that I would do anything to get the healing potion for my poor sick mother – you know, anything. He told me that he would be waiting for me at Percival’s Lodge at seven sharp, and that I should bring a friend. I put the full press “can’t we take care of this now” act but he wouldn’t budge. He said that his wife liked to watch and he wouldn’t dream of doing anything without her present.
I agreed to his demented tryst and then followed him, changing appearances several times along the way, hoping that he would lead me to his home. Instead he just went down to the nicer district at the bottom of the waterfall to another one of his stores and stayed there long enough that I gave up and went back to the safehouse. I had pegged Martialla for the job of “friend” but she never turned up before I had to leave. I would have liked to have her back-up but there was nothing for it, so I ended up heading to Percival’s Lodge by myself. I figured that it wouldn’t be too hard to convince Peronell Missplitter that I was all the woman he needed. I mean I only needed to distract him long enough to slice his face off anyway.
What I hadn’t figured on is that as soon as I walked into the common room of Percival’s Lodge is that most of the patrons would get up and leave. And I hadn’t figured that once they were gone then behind me someone would block the door with a tower shield, slamming the sharp lower edge into the ground and bracing it. And I hadn’t figured that then one of the walls would fucking pull away like it was a paper screen to reveal several armed men. And I hadn’t figured that Peronell would be standing at the railing overlooking the common room smiling smugly with two other wizard-looking dudes at his sides.
“You didn’t think I was that stupid did you?”
“No, but I was really hoping that you were.”
“How much is the reward on you right now?”
I shook my head “I don’t know but you’re not going to collect it.”
He laughed “Defiant to the end, very noble.”
“Oh, I don’t mean because I’m going to talk my way out of this jam or anything, I mean because Psyhundt wants to kill me personally and if you’re doing business down river that means you’re doing business with him. And that means if you turn me over to the Lumber Consortium instead of saving me for him that you’re going to have trouble. I don’t know how well you know our man Psyhundt but he’s not the most reasonable of people. He’s already gone through quite a lot to try and capture me, I’m confident that if you deny him that pleasure he’s going to fuck up your program in a big way.”
He seemed a little thrown “Bullshit.”
“I’m sure he’s got someone in town you’re working with, how about you ask them before you go and do anything rash? Just in case you know?”
“You’re trying to buy time, it won’t work.”
“I think it will.”
Rebellion: Rank 3 – Treasury 719 Gold, Notoriety 0, Loyalty 7, Secrecy 5, Security 3
Demagogue – Ela, Recruiters – Milani and Damrow, Sentinel – Martialla, Strategist – Hessenmeel
Teams – Merchants, Street Performers
Actions – Guarantee Event, Upgrade Team (Peddlers to Merchants), Recruit (Sneaks) [failed]
Event – Successful Protest
Funds: 1200 platinum, 758 gold, 43 silver
Inventory: Whiterock family signet ring (Ring of Binding), Dagger, mirror, compass, contract for services, +2 Animal Bane Short Sword, Ring of Tactical Acumen, Shocking Robe
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, Peronell Missplitter