I’m really not a fan of being woken early unless my life is on the line. Vorel was at the door seeking some backup for a quick chat with an unexpected visitor.
It turned out to be a watch-sergeant, Valens, probably trying to ruffle Vorel’s feathers. It would appear that there is a rumor of kidnappers in town and the side-trip across to Poitain has made us suspects.
Edric had organised a meeting at an inn with Menes, one of the staff from the house of Kova. It was not the attractive end of town. Morath and I trailed Edric and Vorel to the meet and we slid in to the bar a little after they sat down to discuss the exchange of information.
While he was taking silvers and handing over some interesting information it became clear that he was playing to a hidden audience. I signaled Morath and we went outside to scan around the place and check upstairs. Before I cold get two words out, Menes came past in an awful rush, attempting to escape whatever was about to happen. We marched him back in to Edric and then went back out to go up the stairs.
Half way up we found the business end of an arbalest. The watch was our mysterious listeners. Probably trying to pick up something to pin us as kidnappers. Thankfully Edric was being too cautious to fall into that trap. With nothing to go on, they let us go. We didn’t see anyone keeping an eye on us but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
We got together quickly to go over the information and form a plan. There was not much time to do anything using the festival as cover. Edric and Vorel, being the ones attracting most interest from the watch, elected to leave town with our extra gear
and wait for the rest of the group. We would get the lad, Noct, to come with us back to Dimas somehow.
I strolled quickly with the remainder of our group over to the wine gate. There were no lads larking about but some coin did lead us quickly to the town hall.
Sure enough they were in the Hall, up to mischief. Bardic managed to grab two after he caused them all to bolt. Neither of his two were the one we were after. I managed to grab another and Morath got one more, with some help from Verus after the third
one slipped past him.
Bardic very quickly tore off after the last lad just as the rest of us had worked out that we didn’t have the right lad and let them go. The chase was on.
This mad dash took us to the main road and back to the house belonging to Kova. Not ideal but to be expected from the lad. All this was getting some attention.
Bardic finally managed to get hold of the boy in a smelly alley right next to his home, house guards watching with some interest. He made some loud claims about being put out by the lad and Morath managed to explain to the guards that he was in trouble with the watch and they’ll be able to pick him up there later.
Bardic was carrying Noct and he was caterwauling something fierce, causing quite a scene. We were unwilling to take a crying boy past the gate guards so Verus tried to calm him down. I helped as well, but nothing worked until Bardic dropped his entire
money pouch in Noct’s hands. I didn’t really have to do much after that but it meant that we had a good chance to get out of town.
The struggle in the alley had left Bardic and Noct fairly well covered in all sorts of smelly things. Best not to think about what things. Anyway the smell did help us past the guards who were only too happy to see us leave quickly. Noct thought the “smelly barbarian” was funny. I’m not going to argue, especially as the lad was now far more relaxed and didn’t look as if we’d just kidnapped him.
By this point I thought we’d got away with it, despite ourselves. But it was not going to be that easy. There were several interested parties, some patrolling guards who stopped to watch events when the second group, 10 riders from the south-east, came into sight.
Well before either group had spotted us and counted heads, I’d grabbed the lad and hidden in the vines we’d been passing. I hoped that the purse would keep him quiet for long enough.
The 10 riders were from Sapira, after us no doubt, so it was no surprise when they approached my friends. The surprise was, they somehow managed to send the riders away without a fight. Later on I found out that the riders were after some people with a boy so it’s a good thing I hid quickly.
In the meantime, some sort of action went on with Vorel and Edric in the withies, where they were waiting for us. The result was that we lost some equipment to the guards and most of them eventually went back into the town.
I had to wait a little longer for the last guard to leave the scene. I had almost dashed out to Edric when they started making their way to Dimas but held off, waiting for the clean escape.
I went in the direction of the riders, hoping to find obvious footprints left by Bardic and the others but ended up having to follow the road to the south hoping that it led to Dimas. Sure enough, but it was getting on in the evening before I got there.
Bardic and Noct needed a bit of scrubbing up before we delivered the lad, which we did as soon as they were presentable. After all the interest outside of town, we were a bit cautious but things went OK.
Ahhh, silver coins. Slippery little devils.