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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thieves' World - The Swans

If you are just picking this up, I suggest reading the previous posts first!
Prelude : Characters : Act I : Act II : Act III : Act IV : Prince and Steel : Festival : Kadakithis & HellHounds : Sikkintairs & Portals

25th of Esris
The Group meets at Marta’s – Jack and Modig are hung over from last night’s festivities, and Jack decides to clean up and visit the nearby bathhouse. The rest of the Group talks about what to do with the athame they retrieved from the other side of the Portal. The athame has markings on it, and it is decided to find out more about these markings. They go to the Promise of Heaven to ask Kalima’s Head Priestess. The markings indicate the Goddess Sostreia, the Goddess of Sacrifice and Rebirth. This doesn’t tell the Group much, and they decide that this item would probably fetch some significant silver, so they decide to sell it.
Back at the Bazaar, Gagino sends word out that he has a magical item for sale, and a buyer shows up within an hour; without any hesitation, he pays the asking price of 150sh. Malkar follows the fellow into the swamp. The Group joins Malkar in the swamp and finds an encampment of several men around a fire, and a few tents. The Group plans a surprise strike, and attack. Modig cuts open the closest tent and is taken aback: There is a creature in that tent, not a man. The corpse-like creature takes a swing at Modig, and with that one strike, Modig goes down. The Death Squad throws firetraps, shoots bolts from crossbows, and then run away. A chase ensues, and the Group manages to capture one, and then they loot the camp.

26th of Esris
The morning is begun with clouds, and the threat of rain. The Group finds an empty warehouse to interrogate their prisoner. They learn he works for a Nisibisi War Witch by the name of Roxane, and that she is directing the Death Squads mission. The questions take them to the purpose of the mission, and the prisoner tells them that they don’t know the whole purpose, but they have specific orders. Those orders are to cause chaos and fear with the exploding firetraps. From the looting of the camp, the Group finds enough materials for dozens of firetraps, crossbows, bolts and provisions for several days. There are also documents written in a language that no one can read. Nickolas takes all of these found documents to Melilot’s Scriptorium to have them translated and has multiple copies to be made. After the interrogation, the Group takes their prisoner to Mizraith as proof to what is going on. They inform the Wizard about Roxane, the Death Squads, and their mission; he seems unconcerned, and nonchalantly dismisses the party. After the visit with Mizraith, the Group gets the documents from Melilot, and they confirm what the prisoner had already told them.

27th of Esris
Morning starts with howling wind and driving rain. Few people are on the streets. The storm is so bad that everyone stays in for the day, drinking and eating at Marta’s. After dark, Gagino returns to find his tent ripped and torn from the storm; it will need repairs.

28th of Esris
It is still raining, but there is little wind. This city puts out a call for workers to help with clean up after the storm. Jack goes to work for the day, and earns 9 padpols, which, since he worked hard all day, goes entirely to dinner.
Meanwhile, other members of the Group have other tasks they are pursuing. Malkar is hiding in an alleyway on the Wide Way looking out for a man Gastov is looking for. During his stakeout, he sees an abduction of a young girl. He discreetly follows after them, and watches them board a rowboat and row southeast, towards the infamous Smuggler’s Isle. He takes a few pot shots from the shore, and manages to kill two of the 6 slavers on the rowboat.

The mysterious person from the alleyway contacts Kalima. He’s well dressed, and they go to a nearby bar where they discuss a contract for an assassination.
“These people are scum that threaten Ranke, and as a Rankan citizen, you should want to help me clean up the streets of this kind of people. Of course, the pay is very good, and is in Rankan coin.”
Kalima accepts the work in behalf of the Group, seeing as how it may actually clean up some of the rabble in Sanctuary. He hands her a scroll case and they agree to a price.

Modig is in the Temple of Sabellia recovering from his wounds from the Soul Sniffer attack from the other night. The Priestesses are taking very good care of him. Jack comes in to visit Modig, but that is a thinly veiled excuse to be among the priestesses, for the first time without being a patient.
Gagino gets an interesting rumor from the Bazaar folk. There are folks asking for items that match very closely to the items the Group looted from the Death Squad in the swamp. He manages to use this information to sell back the loot for a tidy profit.

After an eventful day for all (aside from Modig’s bed rest), the Group once again find themselves within the walls of Marta’s. Malkar talks of the abduction and the slavers he witnessed.
During Malkar’s story, there is a commotion outside. The Group rushes out and sees two Sikkintairs flying in the sky. These are smaller than usual, but are still dangerous and hunting the city from the sky. The flying beasts snatch up a person each, and fly off to the north. The city guards were completely ineffective, and the Group didn’t reach the area in time.
Back at Marta’s, Kalima unseals her scroll case for the assassination contract. She gasps audibly when the information is revealed. There are pictures of her quarry – Malkar, Jack, Nickolas and herself and even her father, Gagino. It seems that the man doing the hiring didn’t know whom the quarry was, but was just doing the hiring.

1st of Sperraz
Meeting at Marta’s for breakfast, the Group discusses some of the situations they are looking into. Malkar mentions the slavers he ran into on the Wide Way, and Kalima trumps him with the assassination contract on the Group. The Group decides this needs to be taken care of, and to hopefully get Arion Swan out of their lives once and for all. The Group starts discussing a plan.
Kalima pays a visit to the local apothecary of Alten Stulwig and purchases an amnesia drug, a sleeping drug, and a truth serum, totaling 250 sh. The rest of the Group goes to find an abandoned warehouse, and proceed to clear it of the transients that are squatting inside. The Group has a Where and a How; now they just need to collect the Who, and the When will be as soon as they get the man in to the warehouse. Kalima and Jack go to the Rank & Shield to meet the man who hired Kalima. Jack stays out of sight while she tells him that she has completed the first assassination, and wants payment. He says he needs proof, and Kalima agrees to take him to where she has the body stashed. They head over to the empty warehouse where the Group will ambush the man.
Once inside the warehouse, the Group comes out from their hiding places and surround Kalima and the man, and quickly knock the man unconscious. The Group ties him to a chair and administers the truth potion they purchased, and wait for him to wake and for the potion to take effect. Then, the questions start.
Under influence of the potion, the man holds back little information. The man’s name is Byron Swan, Arion Swan’s cousin. Arion gave Byron the sealed scroll case in Ranke, and with it, instructions to hire a capable assassin. He also tells the Group where his place is on the East side. Modig and Nicolas go to his apartment and rob it, return a lot richer, and spread out the spoils. The Group then starts preparing Byron for a journey back to Ranke. They have him knocked out in a crate by using the sleeping drug, and there’s a note written for Arion to see when his cousin is delivered to him.
With Byron, the Group wrote a note addressed to Arion Swan:

Lord Arion Swan
City of Ranke, Imperial Palace

Lord Swan,

We hope this missive finds you in good health and good spirits. Otherwise it could prove to be a detrimental shock to your delicate system, and we can't have that on our collective conscience -- at least not from this distance.

We have received your amusing gift. Enclosed please find said gift, your cousin Byron, which has been attached to this note for your convenience. Also please feed and water him. It has probably been several days since his last meal.

As you have surely realized by now, we cannot accept your thoughtful gift at this time. He has been entertaining, but as with many of your lackeys, he is too fragile -- not to mention lacking in sufficient mental resources -- to withstand the rigors of the real world.

Your services have been appreciated, but regretfully they are no longer required. We wish you success in all your future endeavors.

Well, okay, we don't. Just stay out of our hair and you can keep yours.

Sleep tight. And eat your vegetables. Kiss kiss.