The Veiled Blade

Session Twenty Five

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All members of the group make their way back to the Merchant’s Guild mansion and settle in for the night; before going to sleep there is a heated debate on what to do with Cadrigar as the elf merchant is still suffering from an addiction to healing potion. In the end the group decides that they will take turns in staying awake so that the ill elf is monitored throughout the night.

The next morning they decide to split up once more and continue acquiring the various items for their forthcoming expedition. Carla and the Fleydermaus siblings head off to the Markt Platz where the latter two set themselves up with one of their begging routines, where Fickenja pretends to be pregnant and Ulric acts as the father who is unable to provide for his family due to a grievous groin injury gained recently in an unspecified battle. The routing proves popular with the locals and the dishonest duo rake in 18gp for their five hours of effort. While this goes on Carla goes to The Emporium and speaks with Randal, asking the proprietor if he knows of any experienced mage who can be hired by the party. Randal tells the young Tilean woman that it’s almost certain that no one will want to risk going south, apart from one man – Sebastian Unterschrieber; the shopkeeper also tells her that the man is highly skilled but is however an abrasive and unpleasant individual. Carla asks where she may find Unterschrieber and Randal says that he is often found running a stall in the market square – but a few feet away from where they are currently standing!

Carla scours the nearby stalls and stumbles across a gaudy-looking kiosk adorned with magical signs and a sign challenging players to “Find the Lady”. Behind the counter a serious looking mage baffles and confounds a small crowd of onlookers and punters as he hides a small ball under one of three wooden cups and proceeds to shuffle them around. The Tilean girl approaches the man and struggles to get his attention, shouting out her interest in hiring him for their trip south and the potential benefits the venture offers; the man doesn’t even look away from the cups and tells her to push off once he learns that she is carrying no coin. Carla refuses to give up and spends the next half an hour observing the proceedings before realising that Sebastian is committing a fraudulent act as he is simply palming the ball with slight of hand – a scandalously petty act of criminality for a seasoned practitioner of the high arts of magic. She shuffles up to him and whispers that she knows what he is up to and that he had better comply with her request lest she makes his audience aware of his trickery. The corrupt mage is unfazed by the young girl’s threats and tells her to push off; Carla responds by addressing the crowd and declaring the act a con, to which several members of the audience begin to quiz her for details. Sebastian quickly realises that Carla’s actions threaten his lucrative means of living and he pulls her roughly aside and demands to know what she wants; she reiterates the request and after some hard haggling she manages to get his agreement to participate in the expedition in return for a fee of 250gp a day with an advance of 200 and a signed guild contract. Carla insists that part of the deal with include tuition.

Jeffric and Cadrigar visit Randolph the bursar in his office and explain to him that they need an advance of some monies and a contract in order to secure the services of Gundar’s mercenaries; after a brief discussion they ask for and receive 200gp. They then head over to Die Goblin Und Hammer tavern with the aim of rectifying the previous days travesty of a recruitment attempt. They stroll in and greet Allen, who is less than pleased to seem them again, and make their way over to Gundar and his band on mercenaries who are sat at their usual table at the top of the room. Cadrigar decides to lead the negotiations, and after some mocking over his unhealthy appearance, manages to agree the hiring of four of the dwarven mercenaries at the stated rate of 50gp per day – he then hands the down payment to Gundar, who in turn instructs four of his men to accompany the group.
Carla runs back to the Guild mansion and secures the required monies and a contract before turning back around and heading back to the Markt Platz. She goes up to Unterschrieber and manages to get his attention once more; as soon as she waves the bag of money in front of the veteran mage he is hooked and he immediately closes up shop and prepares to go home. Carla insists on receiving her first lesson and Sebastian tells her that she will have to return with him to his abode should she insist, which she does. Once at his disorganised townhouse he insists on payment, which Carla in unable to provide; after a brief negotiation the Tilean apprentice agrees to do the laundry in return for a lesson and she is duly taught the spell “Hammerhand”. After the tuition she runs back to the Markt Platz to spend her remaining coin on magical ingredients, after which, she returns back to Sebastian’s untidy abode and spends the rest of the evening attempting to clear his excess of laundry – and failing. As a result she becomes indebted to the unscrupulous wizard.

That afternoon all the group gather back at the mansion and the final list is submitted to Randolph the bursar, who assures them that everything will be awaiting them for seven the next morning. It is at this moment that the group realises in casual conversation that they haven’t in fact requested a boat – something that requires time to achieve; they realise that hiring a boat so late will involve additional cost. The night passes uneventfully and three of the group set off at five for the docks to grab a boat having secured some additional funds from the Guild while the rest duly assemble at the front of the mansion at seven to find Old Krieger, Serge, Gottlieb, Sebastian, four dwarfs, a large pile of food and weapons and a pony and a donkey are standing in the court yard. They then realise that the Palace contingent are missing due to no one having told them of the expedition meeting time and place. What’s more, the veteran mercenary and expedition leader, Krieger, is clearly distressed and he demands to know where the rest of the men are – the group explain to him that because they are planning a river-bourne insertion via boat there is only a requirement to hire four dwarf mercenaries; Krieger tells them that such a thought is suicidal and that they must hire more immediately. The group also realise that they don’t have a cart to load all the supplies on due to their imprecise request; fortunately they recall that Cadrigar has left his ponies and wagons at The Green Dragon stables, and several of them set off to retrieve them.

At the docks Cadrigar, Heinrich and Mathias approach the harbour master and engage him in conversation, telling him of their wish to hire a vessel for a couple of days to sail down river. The harbour master tells them that it is a tall order and that most people will be reticent to risk renting out a vessel to such a dangerous destination. After some persuading the grizzled old man leaves his office and begins to talk to some of the boat owners on the docks on the group’s behalf. The three men wait a considerable amount of time before realising that the task at hand is indeed time-consuming and by no means a certain thing – they therefore send Mathias to return to the Guild mansion to inform the rest of the group of the delay. As the morning drags on it becomes clear to all members of the group that their departure is going to be very much delayed due to their extremely poor planning and preparation. Who knows what will happen to them once they leave the relative safety of Reiksdorf for the Orc-ridden wilderness?

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