- Largo wakes up early to setup shop at the harbor market. He isn’t alone finding a spot to setup at 4am, then when the sun had fully begun its course in the sky at 6am the market was packed with merchants.
- The rest of the party wakes and Durgyn cashes in his spa token, Landen orders room service, and Sapphira invites the others to visit the local temple of Heroneous to satisfy an itch to hunt undead. Hillfort finds a note form Largo inviting him to visit his stall in the market. Hillfort finds a crowd packed at the harbor market as he searches for Largo’s wagon, and a petty thief pitifully attempted to pick his pocket. He finds Largo stressed having never been in the midst of such bustle. To aid in his marketing efforts, Hillfort casts a spell sending dancing balls of light above Largo’s wagon. This must have worked, as a wealthy man eventually purchased two of Largo’s most expensive items: a ring of force shield and cloak of protection… it seemed the man was a little paranoid about his safety, as a body guard who carried his coin came forward from the market crowd shortly behind the man.
- Sapphira, Durgyn, and Landen walk the streets of Shiny Cove in search of an enchanter on the way to the temple and Landen notices someone had been following them since they left the inn. They find an enchantment shop and slip in to negotiate the improvement of Landen’s scimitars. While the party discusses paying for the enchantments Landen sees the man who he suspected following them waiting across the street outside.
- After Largo’s big sell, he packs up his wagon and takes inventory as Hillfort tries to navigate it through the busy marketplace.
- Landen gets concerned of the quality work this enchanter is offering because of his prices, but the gnome introduces himself as Skupnik the enchanter and testifies his abilities, which reassured Landen to trust his scimitars in his hands. After completing the transaction Landen asks if the party may exit through the back door. “Well, that’s outside the customer area,” Skupnik replied. “Why do you ask, are you being followed? You’re not criminals are you?”
“Would we have paid if we were?” Landen retorts.
“Fair enough,” Skupnik says, and he leads them through the door to the rear of his shop. The back room is cluttered with the gnome’s work. He opens the alley door and says “The swords will be done this evening. Will you be returning through the back door as well?” The gnome chuckles.
- The entire party rejoins at the temple of Heroneous. Hillfort notices Landen missing something and asks, “where are your scimitars?”
Landen glances to his empty scabbards and looks back up to Hillfort with shock, “I don’t know!” He pauses then starts laughing, “I’m just kidding.”
A temple servant greets them as they enter. “Welcome,” he notices Sapphira at the head of the group, “are you all servants of Heroneous?”
Landen leans to the temple servant and whispers, “secretly.”
“No,” Sapphira answers. “We seek to honor Heroneous and destroy any undead that trouble Shiny Cove.”
“Within the city things are well.” The servant explains. “Undead on Ancestor’s Island are rare, it is a sacred kept graveyard well tended by our clerics. The last sign had been about three months ago, and rumor is a necromancer is hidden outside the city walls possibly camped outside the North Gate on an ancient unmarked burial site.”
- Outside the temple Hillfort spots a familiar face. He thinks he saw him at the market, or perhaps when he left the Inn this morning… The party suspects they have all been followed throughout the day, so they split up to meet at Skupnik’s enchantment shop in thirty minutes to see if they are each followed on their way there. Landen spots the same guy he noticed following him outside Skupnik’s shop earlier. Landen slips into an alley and catches the spy by surprise when he comes searching for him in the alley. Landen takes a wound in the scuffle and feels the effects of a poison from the rogue’s blade, but Landen still gets the advantage and questions him at rapier point. “Who do you work for?”
“Press that point as hard as you like, but I won’t speak.”
“Then I’ll have to get my friends to make you talk…” Landen replies, and with this threat the rogue attacks again, breaking free to flee down the street.
- When the party regroups at Skupnik’s Landen arrives notably weakened from the poison. “We’re definitely being followed. Who else noticed a tail, you?” Landen looks to each of his companions, and each in turn suspected they were followed. “Largo, was anyone following you?”
“I… don’t know… maybe?” Largo replies, unsure and seemingly nervous of the question.
Landen suspects a thieves’ guild is targeting Largo to steal merchandise from his wagon, while Durgyn thinks Landen’s ostentatious behavior is the cause of this targeting. “You had to have the biggest room in the inn,” Durgyn points out.
“It was pristine,” Landen boasts as he recalls the lavish comfort of the room. “You could have joined me. Regardless of why we’re being targeted, I say we set a trap for them.”
- While Landen retrieves his freshly enchanted scimitars and plans an ambush with Durgyn and Hillfort inside the shop, Largo and Sapphira wait outside.
“Heroneous be with you,” Sapphira says to each passer, wishing the blessings of her deity upon them. Largo notices one of the men who have been following standing a block down looking at them. He tries to discreetly give him a signal to move away, and both Sapphira and the spy do not pick up on his efforts. Largo exaggerates the motion, shooing with his hands at his waist. The man tailing them notices and moves along down the street, but Sapphira also notices Largo’s behavior. “What are you doing?” She asks.
“Nothing,” Largo tries to play it off. “Just waiting for the others…”
- The group heads outside the North gate of the city to test if their followers would continue their task past the city walls. Sure enough, they notice a group of six leather armored men leave the North gate shortly after them. “Alright,” Landen says to the group. “There they are. Let’s go up ahead and stage an ambush just off the road.”
“Ignore them,” Largo replies. “It’s not a big deal… I… I can explain later.”
Durgyn laughs at the notion. He finds ignoring shady individuals following them around the city a pitiful joke.
Largo tries to press his point. “If they attack, go ahead and kill them. I can explain why they’re following later, just know that I’m a friend.”
The party continues walking down the wooded road. “We deserve an explanation,” Landen insists.
“I don’t think you do,” Largo disagrees, trying to avoid revealing the truth as much as he can.
“We do,” Durgyn’s voice booms in a forceful, unamused tone.
Then Largo explains everything: his debt to Serin, his recent meeting, and how Serin insisted if he didn’t get his money soon enough from Largo he would take it from his traveling companions.
“Why didn’t you just tell us?” Landen asks, finding the secrecy of the matter making things more complicated.
“You may work for a shady man,” Durgyn adds, “but if your only involvement is a legal contract to owe him money, we see no problem.”
Sapphira shares a thought. “Perhaps instead of being followed around, how about we have audience with him as a group, discuss arrangements to sort this out.”
“Haha,” Largo laughs nervously. “Not so easy. I have more money to give him, but they only let people see him who have a sigil.” He shows them the token given to him from the first meeting.
“Well I see six more coming this way,” Landen says indicating the group following them.
Largo looks nervous at the prospect of killing their followers and using their sigils to barge into Serin’s office.
“Okay, let’s just setup camp and see what they do.” Landen suggests, stopping at the side of the road.
Eventually the group catches up to the party’s stopping point at the side of the road.
“Evening,” the first man says in a jovial greeting. “Seen any deer about?”
“Nope,” Landen simply replies.
“Ah, well we’re out on a hunt. This looks like it could be a good area.”
“I could help you find some.”
“Nah, stalking them is a part of the fun. Probably the most fun I’d say.”
Landen catches a hint of innuendo in the man’s statement, and they look at one another each understanding the underlying conversation.
“Well good luck, I hear deer in these parts can be real tricky.”
Another awkward moment passes, as each group stands looking at each other waiting for anyone to make a move. “G’night then,” and the man leads his group off the road into the woods.
- The party heads back into town and returns to their inn: the Tankard & Gull. They discuss what to do and agree to pay a visit to Serin Colmok. Landen doesn’t want to miss his arrangements for Pier 7 at midnight, but his companions assure him there’s plenty of time.
- Largo takes the group to Serin’s warehouse and tells them to wait outside.
“Listen,” Landen says, “leave your gold out here with us as a bargaining chip. Don’t pay it to him now or else you’ve got no leverage.”
“No,” Largo replies, “I just want to pay my debt.”
“But you’re in a position here to change things. We’ll wait outside, and you can…”
“I’ve got it handled, just let me do it my way.”
Indifferent, Landen agrees to let him go in as he wishes.
- Inside Serin’s warehouse, Largo is led to the boss’ office. “Ah, my little merchant friend. Come with some good news I hope.”
“Well, I have some money for you.” Largo produces a pouch of coin.
“AH! You said the right words. That’s good to hear, good to hear.” Serin opens the pouch and gives the coinage a quick estimate.
“It’s eight thousand,” Largo states. “I’ve got two thousand more, but I brought something else.”
“The adventurers are outside, and…”
“Well I thought you’d want to meet them, perhaps they could help you…”
“I don’t want them here! I wasn’t looking for new friends, I just wanted information about them if you fell through on your debt!” Serin’s temper was starting to show its ugly face. “How about my two thousand gold now without the adventurers.”
“Well, I kind of need it…”
“HAH! Funny, it’s my coin. We can do this the hard way.”
“Okay, I have a propose a gamble.” Largo tries his swindling ways as hard as he can in the hopes to keep some coin in his pouch. “I thought you’d like a good wager?” Serin only replies with a stern look. “Your best fighter against one of my companions. If I win, you forgive my remaining debt and I keep the two thousand gold I have now. If I loose, you can have the two thousand plus an extra ten thousand added to my debt, and I’ll give you all the merchandise back.”
At first Serin’s annoyed expression turned to confusion, then he grinned. “You’re right, I like a good wager. You’re on. I’ll arrange the event for tomorrow evening. Have your man enlisted for the duel at the arena by tonight. Haha, this should be good.”
For some odd reason, Largo gave a nod and left Serin’s office with a grin.
- “You did what!?” Landen said to Largo as he returned to them outside. “That’s NOTHING like what we discussed!”
“I know, but I thought it was a good idea.”
“Good idea!?” Landen tries to keep himself contained. “What are we going to do, draw straws!?”
“I won’t let any of you risk your lives,” Sapphira shares as her thought on the matter.
“Maybe you can hire a brigand to fight for you?” Landen jests, although as he sees it, his odds of finding a willing man would be better that way.
Durgyn steps forward to add his words. “I have experience fighting in an arena.” The group is silent and they all look to the minotaur. “I will fight for you.”
Speaker in Dreams
A day in the big city
Spies, shopping, and rumors