Cosima, after landing, lunges towards the murderer only to find the solid wall. She rubs her hands quickly over the stones to find the entrance but to no avail. “ARGH! I hate it when they do that!!” She turns to Laucian. “Do you have anything to get us through?” She begins tapping the wall with her left index finger while looking the Elfblood before her up and down. Laucian sighs and pockets the torn cloth he holds.
“Owen is going to be pissed… Wait, what’s that?” Cosima asks, the blade catching her eye.
Laucian bends down and examines the blade dropped by the masked man without touching it. “Do you want to try and go after him, lass?”
“Well I s’pose there’s no point now… Unless you can get us through this wall.” Cosima sighs as she tries to push bits of stone, but she is getting nowhere. “Do you think we could track him with that?”
Fallo winks at the man that spoke to him, letting his lip curl up slightly to show that he is considering the offer. “Five to a copse.” He says lightly, “I could do no more than three and it better be a fine bucket indeed.” He looks out at the crowd with one eye as if not having a care in the world. Out of the corner of his other eye, he searches the man’s face for the tell-tale signs of either acceptance or a continuation to haggling.
The man gives a dirty look, but pushes off and accepts Fallo’s offer, advising he follow 8 paces behind. They walk to a small back-alley tavern, into a back room and down some steps into a cellar. From there, Fallo is shown a large cask barrel that opens to reveal a hidden room. Inside the room are several tables, a small bar, a few scratched maps and diagrams in the stone walls and 3 people sat discussing things in hushed whispers. When he is brought in, one of them stands up and walks over. One of the whispering people is the halfling girl encountered earlier.
“Gotcha! I’m Kilingbeck, I run things down ‘ere. Not the ’ead honcho, by far, but gettin’ there, eh?” He claps Fallo’s hand into a firm shake and rests his other hand on his shoulder. He looks full grown, perhaps in his thirties, but well looked after despite his surroundings. He’s dressed in simple clothes, but they’re well tailored. He doesn’t fit the muck-laden streets above. He suggests sampling a drink, although the prices are quite high for what is normally seen in Somergleam. The group then settles back into discussing things as they had.
Fallo flips a coin to the bartender. He sniffs the drink to make sure it is not poisoned…or at least not obviously poisoned. Satisfied, Fallo leans back in a chair and takes a pull of the tankard. What an interesting turn of events, he thinks to himself while listening in on the conversation of the others. After listening for a few moments, Fallo leans forward. He slams his tankard on the table and looks at each set of eyes very seriously. A second later, a smile lights up his face. “Just making sure you hadn’t fallen asleep with all of your whispers and secrets.” He said, leaning back rakishly again. “So tell me, what passes for action in this fine town of Summergleam?”
They all draw sidearms at the loud bang, the bartender grabbing a crossbow from behind the bar and pointing it at the stranger in their midst.
“‘Ere now, we were all gettin’ along, mate.” Kilingbeck flicks his blade down to indicate at the others should sheath their weapons. “Don’t be doin’ silly things like that again around ’ere, lad. Might cut your throat as soon as blink at ya!” He’s obviously containing an anger that is mirrored in the others, and whatever trust was inherent in Fallo’s entry and greeting seems to be quickly eaten up. These Somergleam thieves appear to be sensitive to perceived threats and brash shows of strength in their home.
As much as Kilingbeck tries to settle the situation, one of the others, an Orcblood by the look of him gets uncomfortable enough to stand and draw his dagger again. “We should bleed this stranger where he stands, making threatening gestures like that!” Fallo’s grin grows wider at the Orcblood’s threat. Tense situations made for the most fun, he thought. People tend to give away a great deal more than they would, were they passive.
Before Kilingbeck can restore calm, the situation is interrupted by a trap door opening in the roof at the back, at the far end from the door Fallo entered. A rope ladder drops down and down climbs a masked man in black robes. Once he gets to the bottom, the ladder is pulled up by unseen people, and the trap door closed again.
“Excuse me, sonny-jim.” Kilingbeck glowers at Fallo, then turns with a smile to the cloaked figure and embraces him in a hug. “Good hunt, mate?”
The masked figure removes his mask to reveal a young face, suddenly haunted somehow. He looks shaken and pale. “I… I did it, ’Beck. I stopped the Jungfruds…” He then collapses into Kilingbeck’s arms and falls unconscious. They group clears the table, spilling Fallo’s drink on the floor, and lay him down on it.
Kilingbeck looks to Fallo, seemingly about to give him bad news along the lines of ‘Perhaps you’d better leave’, but before he can speak the Orcblood yells out: “You think he did it, ’Beck? Wait… he has a scroll on him!” They unravel the scroll and the room falls hush as they all read it together.
“Now, now, my friends,” Fallo says, his eyes scanning and memorising as much as he can of what the thieves are looking at on the table. “perhaps we got off on the wrong foot.” He shifts a hand to press on his heart, mimicking sincerity. “I’m sorry for tickling your nerves and your trigger fingers.” Before a reaction is acted upon, Fallo rapidly changes the subject. “Ooh, what’s that then?” He nods towards the scroll. “If it’s something dangerous, I’m sure you would not want to risk one of your own on this now, would you? I would be happy to take this task on for you and also contribute a healthy kick back if it proves profitable.”
Laucian’s casual examination of the blade reveals certain things that he holds to be true. The blade appears mundane and doesn’t give off a magical aura that can be felt. However, it does have an ornate, ritualistic look to it that matches, albeit loosely, the craft of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins, a group of assassins known for their high-profile hits. The masked man, however, did not appear to be a Hobgoblin. It looks to have an ornate handle and an unusual single edge for such a small blade. It looks made more for cutting or hacking than for stabbing. The blood looks rich and fresh, certainly that of a mammal. Given the chase, likely this was used to kill a person in the last few minutes.
Growing steadily impatient, her pushes becoming full-body shoves against the solid wall, Cosima flaps her arms in frustration briefly before giving a short growl. “Well? So is it a dagger, or what? Can we use it?” Cosima stands with her hands on her hips looking at Laucian, now wondering what and who her fellow pursuer is. “That’s blood, right?” She begins to catch her breath again. “What did they…? Who would they…? I have so many questions! Do you have any answers or.. maybe I’ll just wait for Owen… I don’t even know you.. you could have been with .. why did you take chase? Is it you they stabbed?”
Laucian raises a single eyebrow and turns his head only enough to catch a glimpse of the Gnome woman getting agitated. Despite her natural beauty, her temper was something he saw too much of in himself. “One question at a time, lass. It seems to loosely be of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins. It seems made for hacking and slashing, not stabbing. Anyway, back to what you asked: I was only looking to help. I was on my way to see someone.”
Cosima’s eyes widen as she puffs her cheeks and pursed her lips, blowing air out quickly. “They must have had a serious vendetta if they had to hack or slash..”
“Yes. I’m sorry I rambled.” The Elfblood stands, his clothes and armour creaking slightly as they straighten. “I must get going to see the local diviner.” He sighs, using the small scrap of cloth to gently pick the blade up.
Cosima quickly interposes between him and the exit to the alley. "Uhh Woah, now. I think we should be leaving that alone for Owen. He’s going to want to inspect that blade!”
“I had planned to turn this into the officer in charge. Who’s Owen?” He asks, puzzled.
“Ah, well, he is… he’s ahh.. well, he is an officer! He escorted my friends and me to this town, and we were speaking when he took chase of this… well… murderer! I’m surprised he hasn’t made it to us yet…” Cosima looks back to the entrance of the alley wondering what on earth is keeping Owen!
Almost as though Providence was gifted with a sense of timing, Owen appears at the end of the alley. He staggers back a step, taken aback at the sight of Cosima. He draws his sidearm and holds out his other hand as he steps slowly forward. “Easy! There’s no way out of here, villain… put down the blade, and the lady and I shall take it easy on you. You’re trapped!”
It appears Owen has mistaken Laucian for the killer. The dark attire and brandishing of a bloody blade do seem suspicious to a casual observation.
Kilingbeck looks to the others in the secret taproom, then back to Fallo, then puts his arm around his shoulders and walks the stranger to the door.
“Alright, mate. Got your sen a deal.” He walks Fallo through the basics; there is a rival gang called the Jungfruds that have started building their foothold in the region, mostly coming in from the northern villages. They’re savage and bloodthirsty, while the Cursed Children, the group he’s currently in the company of, prefer simple schemes and the steady build of wealth. Stability and luxury are more their style, rather than dangerous destabilisation.
The young man that fainted managed to find where they’re holed up, and from the looks of him had a fateful run-in. He looks stable, and unhurt for the most part, but something spooked him. The scroll is frantic scribbling and a rough map of where they are. If someone that can’t be traced back to the Cursed Children were to do something about them, they’d be handsomely rewarded.
“Now, that is an interesting proposition indeed…” Fallo said, nearly licking his lips. “Any idea what might have spooked the poor lad? Some trick up the sleeve of your friends ’cross town, then? Well, either way, I will be happy to look into to this business for you.” He looks at the map the young thief had scrawled. He didn’t know Summergleam nearly as well as he would have liked. Perhaps in tracking down these thugs, he would get the opportunity to do some sightseeing along the way.
Fallo rolls up the map. “I’ll be seeing you around.” Fallo checks to make sure all of his possessions remained where he’d put them while he saunters toward the exit. “And have no fear. I will return.”
He makes it back to the streets of Summergleam. He brings the picture of the map to his mind. At the same time, he looks over the crowd passively. It would not surprise him if these “Jungfruds” had watchers in the general area. It always paid to be cautious. Not noticing anything amiss, he starts wandering down the wider main streets of the town to get to where the map suggested when he sees an oddity; a town officer, a member of the guard with his blade drawn and shouting down another alley. Getting closer, Fallo sees a Gnome woman and what seems to be another Elfblood wielding a bloodied blade. Perhaps there is a reward for the capture of these two? And maybe the guard might be persuaded to share what information they have on the Jungfruds should Fallo be seen to help them…
What do you do?
Cosima +15XP (85 Total XP)
Laucian +15XP (45 Total XP)
Fallo +15XP (15 Total XP)