Friday, September 19, 2014

Rumors and Recon

5:00 P.M - Day 115, Rova  15, 3042 AP (After Peace)

Day 4, 26 days remaining.

We stayed put in the Dalliance since the walk back. We were understandably on edge and wanted to regain all composure before we began investigating more options to taking down Balentyne. We have a loose cannon with Grumblejack, and a strange dark-skinned fellow with white hair who says he is with us. All in all, we didn't want to go and put all we worked for at risk and have to deal with Thorn. We all agreed it was best to leave Grumblejack upstairs it took a bit of explaining which left us with headaches and thus will not be in this journal again. Constant reader, if you feel this is lacking then maybe you are on the same level as the subject in question.

Another night in The Dalliance
We began the rumor search.  With the issues we had with Grumblejack quite a few people were in the Dalliance tonight gossiping:

  • Have you ever been to the choir hall of Balentyne? Amazing! The priests are such beautiful singers and sometimes the stone saints that adorn the place join in the chorus. Such a miracle! 

  • Lord Havelyn is a good soul but so grim and gloomy. For so great a lord to be unhappy, he must be guilty about something!

  • That Captain Zack Eddarly is a handsome one, isn’t he? Such a gallant! And still unmarried at his age. He’ll make some lady of proper breeding quite a catch won’t he?
  • Balentyne’s magister, that creepy Tacitus, has been spending a lot of time working on something in his tower! I don’t know what it is, but it’s said that something unnatural was recovered from the north.

  • Ye Merrie Men are coming to town and the handsome William Marcus Marlow is coming with them! Can you believe it? The Bard of Barrington! Here! They are doing the “Fall of Amberlyn”! Oh, I can’t wait!

  • Have you seen Kaitlyn Mott? She’s the most beautiful woman in town! How did an ugly lump of a man like Captain Franz Mott bag a looker like her? And how does he keep her, that’s what I want to know! 

  • Have you had any of Mama Guisseppe’s beef stew? Delicious! I hear she goes up to the Watchtower and cooks a big batch of it for the men every Monday! What a nice old lady.

  • Did you hear about prisoners escaping from Branderscar? Were they ever caught?

  • Here’s to the soldiers of Balentyne! One hundred of the finest fighting men it’s ever been my privilege to serve with.

  • I hear Captain Varning is leading another patrol out tomorrow. I wonder how long they’ll be gone this time? The last time they were gone for five days! If you ask me, these patrols are a waste of time. They’re just an excuse for Varning to get out of the tower and gallivant around the country side instead of doing his fair share of guard duty. 

We engaged some of the towns folk in friendly conversation that night. When they talked about the escaped prisoners of Branderscar, Maldrake bluffed and said that he thought they actually were caught again already!  Or when they talked about Mama Guisseppe’s soup and we inquired when.  It was Sunday and she was making a batch tonight for tomorrow on Moonday!  What luck we had.

With hearing the possibility of their being one hundred or more soldiers we knew this soup that is brought to the fort could easily be a vehicle for some nasty poisons. We found out that she was just down the road a piece.   We needed to get together and discuss  this right now because time was of the essence. Maldrake sent his familiar down to the basement where we knew Urgeon and Stixx were waiting for orders. 
Stixx, Stryder, Urgeon, and Drae blended in quite well.

Before we did, Urgeon was dead set on finding out what this tunnel was for and what Bellam knew about it. He tried to get the man drunk and talk his ears off. This proved to be very difficult as Bellam loved his wine and his booze never drank on the job. This of course did not stop Urgeon from trying. After the first few times he was polite but soon it was starting to get annoyed and Urgeon didn't want to press him any further. 

7:30 P.M - Day 115, Rova  15, 3042 AP (After Peace)

We gathered together in the larger of the rooms we stayed in and began to discuss the options at hand.
"Stixx, what kind of poisons do you think you can muster?" Maldrake inquired. 

Stixx returning from the tunnel.
Stixx shrugged and looked through is alchemist tools. After a bit of discussion hemlock and arsenic were the two final choices we thought about using. There is no way we would make enough to poison an entire brigade of troops or even part of them in time. We knew of the alchemist in town. It was late but we thought it was a good place to start. Urgeon volunteered to see what the local alchemist had, buy it and report back but was not finished with the inkeeper.  Stixx went along to appraise the quality of the stock. 

Urgeon continued to press the fact that we had a completely secret tunnel that as far as we all knew only Bellam the innkeeper actually knew of it and he had no idea we knew about it. "He's holding out, we need to catch him down in the tunnel." Urgeon advised.  "I'm done here, I'll go check out what the alchemist has."

When Urgeon and Stixx arrived the alchemist was about to close. They told us that the alchemist didn't want to let them in but Urgeon being sly as he was bluffed his way in. He told the alchemist he had a rabid dog that was a long time family pet and it was time to put it down and that they needed arsenic or hemlock. The alchemist suggested that there are other humane ways to do away with a family pet. Luckily for Urgeon this alchemist must have been quite dumb, gullible or both because he believed the summoner. The alchemist showed them a stock pile of 2 gallons of arsenic that Stixx appraised to be highly potent and could easily be confused for cholera. The alchemist didn't even bat an eye at the idea of needing 2 gallons of the stuff for his dog. Urgeon and Stixx took the poison and returned back to the inn and reported the findings. 

8:00 P.M - Day 115, Rova  15, 3042 AP (After Peace)
What fate does she await?

"We need to get to the old lady Guisseppe’s house tonight and poison that stew before it is too late." Urgeon said. "Stixx and I can easily dupe that old bat and get in tonight before she goes to bed."

"That sounds like a solid enough plan." Maldrake said approvingly. 

"No." Drae interrupted. "I'll go with Stixx."

"Fine, but when we do that can we please start planning for if Bellam goes below again?" Urgeon pleaded. "I've had it with this playing around."

"Patience young one, Asmodeus rewards those who succeed at his plans." Kallista praised motioning in an evil sadistic ritualistic signing.  Urgeon merely shook his head and sat down on the bed. 

"We're off to see the old lady now, it should not take long, expect us back in an hour." Drae told the party.

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