Without the time to put our feet up, the powers that be in Dimas decided that we were competent, possibly dangerous, and preferably somewhere else. Vorel didn’t even get a chance to finish putting together replacement bows for the ones that were lost or damaged in our last caper.
For some not-too-well-explained reason that didn’t really sit well with me, we had to go back to the charter town where we “rescued” Noct to, err, point the watch in the correct direction as far as the real kidnappers were concerned.
Armed with 50 silvers apiece, a note from Dimas to verify our “not kidnapper” credentials and some items that could assist the watch in their conclusions, we set off again.
Well, the watch did recognize us since Verus had got on well with several of them. Anyway, we had the pointy end of arbalests to look at while waiting for a senior watchman to turn up.
It turned out to be ol’ one-eye, Valens. Edric read out the letter and that did the trick. Valens would stop by later to give us some info but basically, we’d do their dirty work and they’d overlook the ruckus we caused on our last visit. Quite a good deal for him really: if we screw up, the watch can just pick us up and do whatever is appropriate.
We went to the same Inn, and had dinner. Valens joined us just in time for drinks and offered to give us a guided tour of the possible spots that they did know about. Everyone else had to dress down for the occasion. I must get some new clothes while I have a few coins or failing that I’ll just grab something clean but not too spiffy from a line somewhere I suppose.
Anyway, we got a tour and Valens left. He may have hinted that the watch wanted us to do whatever in town quickly. I guess they don’t want us around either.
We decided to try out one of the seedier inns in the Dead-Gate area that Valens pointed out. The idea was to either ask around about people crossing the river a lot or see what we could pick up gossip-wise.
As it turns out neither was necessary, one of the chaps in the inn was recognised by Morath as one of our mysterious lurkers from our previous visit. The four he was with were most probably his buddies.
Edric and Bardic managed to stir them up to the point that the bar-keep told us to take it outside. We left with the five and some locals who were looking to rough us up as well. Bardic squared off with the biggest for a one-on-one. I was relieved, an all-out brawl could have gotten messy.
Edric decided to try getting some bets set up and while doing so he picked up some interesting info about where the group was staying.
A lurker was spotted by Morath on an alley watching things. I was curious and decided to see what would happen if I ducked away. It turns out that he was associated with the group. I found out later that when I ducked into a wine stall, he whistled and the group we were interested in and they indicated where I’d gone. They were keen to follow me and do nasty things with daggers.
Well, Bardic finished his brawl, Morath and Vorel deflected the two that were after me and the alley lurker was chased. After some inspired tracking, fumbling in the dark and cursing, we emerged in the main street again. Bardic had detected the odor of Bear for some reason.
Edric then pointed out that he knew where we had to go but failed to tell anyone before we pointlessly stumbled through the dark alley.
Back to the inn for our gear and a quick check of the location with the inn keeper and we were on our way to a little street with little houses.
Looking at the street and how it was laid out did point to three of the houses, with the middle one looking promising due to the oddly sturdy door. I discreetly slipped closer for a look and confirmed that the door was quite solid and probably barred from the other side.
The shuttered-up window next to it looked far more likely. We wouldn’t waste time bouncing off that. So, I snuck back and reported my findings. Verus and Bardic decided on which one would plow through the shuttered window and off we went.
There was bouncing anyway, both our “heavies” were unskilled in the art of window-plunging so one went straight into the window frame on the right, followed by the other bouncing off the left side.
Once they got the hang of it, Verus tackled the shutters in a most gratifying way and disappeared into the dark interior. I was behind him in a flash, landing lightly.
One of the two thugs we had just cornered went straight for Verus but in the dark, confined quarters it was hard to tell who was who once they started moving about, so I could not assist.
I tried to slow the other thug down with a well placed dagger but before I could decide what to do the brawl beside me collapsed on me and I could not tell what was going on until I got free a bit later on.
It turns out that Morath had followed the second thug up a hatch into the roof cavity and Bardic had climbed up the outside after hearing Morath call out what he was doing.
I didn’t get free of the brawl until Verus had ended it with a nice show of strength by snapping the thug’s neck quite casually. I’m glad he didn’t get the wrong neck.
Vorel had unbarred the door to let Edric in. After we checked all our bumps and scrapes we followed Morath and Bardic.
After some running around rooms, getting shot at with crossbows and Edric getting fairly well beaten up, we’ve arrived at a bit of a stand-off in the basement where there are bear-cages, a bear-pit, and two thugs trying to open the cages. Hopefully we can get one of these ones alive. Because the other five seem to be in a bloodthirsty mood and their opponents have ended up in a state where they cannot answer questions.