I whistle quietly as I walk into “Angels” and do my best not to act like the total innocent I am when it comes to places like this. The practitioners at the Temple of Bast might have liked their fun… but this place with their lavish velvet curtains and gold statuettes in compromising positions is enough to make me feel as nervous as a kitten in a room full of rocking chairs. Putting on my best game face, I show the painting to the bartender and look for a seat that isn’t sticky to sit on while I wait for the owner.
Goddess, I don’t even want to know what the satyr and the troll are doing in the painting over the bar. Sex is supposed to be a beautiful thing… not…not…(gulp)… I wonder if they serve mead here?
Thankfully Angel finally showed up to discuss the painting in hand instead of the one over the bar, and I was able to focus my attention on turning some quick gold. “It’s quite the unique item we came across, and when we discovered its magical properties, we thought there wouldn’t be a better place than Angel’s for it to hang!”
“We’ll see about that,” Angel said shrewdly as she summoned one of her girls. “Hang this up during your next session and let me know the results.” A rather beautiful redheaded elf woman took the painting, giggled, and flitted away in a cloud of gossamer silks and perfume.
Angel looks at me curiously and I feel uncomfortably like I’m being sized up. “So…” I say as I clear my throat nervously and stir my drink, “heard any good rumors lately?”
An hour later I’m breathing in the cold air outside in relief with my pocket heavier with gold. Not bad for such an odd magical item… especially considering what it did.
I meet up with Lenata of Celestian at the Seeker’s Library to see if they can tell me anything interesting about the “wizard’s chess” chess set we found, and afterwards we agree to stop by the Temple of Celestian to see Kelsim because he’s not feeling too good after our last adventure. Poor guy… spelljamming sickness can’t feel good. It’s got to feel better than a Dwarven axe to the face from an angry father, though.
…at least I hope it does.
Vedis Valentine and Ef Utan Izenik meet up with us at the temple, and tell us of the information they were able to find at the Harbormaster’s Office about that Gnomish Sidewheeler. Apparently this ship (The Spiralconstructhampsterdreadnaughtclashbang) came out of Ironpiece (a Gnomish Discworld) and was exploring neighboring star systems. They left Bral 1 1/2 days before they were attacked. Hmmn… perhaps we should go to Ironpiece next, then? At the very least, it would be good of us to let them know what happened to their ship. At best, perhaps we can figure out why the 10th Pitt were interested in them; and get a hold of a few Gnomish inventions to boot.
Before that, however, I think it’s about time we revisit that warehouse that belonged to the 10th Pit while we’re here.
Once we get there the rest of the group decides to case the outside while Ayrun decides to accompany me to my usual perch on the roof. He looks pretty fit for a mage… so here’s hoping he will come in useful. I undo the traps on the skylight and peek through to take a look around. Men are still there, but it seems the banner has been removed, and there’s now a rug over the trapdoor. Hmmn… not what I was hoping to find, unfortunately; I think we took too long to come back here. I close the skylight and we climb back down the ropes to rejoin the rest. Maybe if we come back later in the night something interesting will be afoot.
We spend a few hours at the Drunken Octopus with Simi making his run around the kitchen and Ayrun trying to show off (I think) by burning his boots in the fireplace. Such an odd wizard… I have to give him kudos for enjoying his oddities to the fullest, though. If the Gods grant you the gifts to be unique, one shouldn’t hide them; it’s not only denying their favor, but who you are.
But I digress… I can get maudlin when my mind drifts. I do my best to snap out of it with a crazy idea: how about we turn Simi invisible and let him run amok inside the warehouse as a distraction?
Anyway… we head back to the warehouse to try again, but to my chagrin I discover that Ayrun’s ability to be stealthy takes a nose dive when he’s been drinking. I wince but continue up the roof to see their reactions inside. They notice the noise and three of the men playing cards get up to leave the building while two others remain inside. Those are better odds at least… and I’m pretty sure the others should be able to handle three thugs.
I drop down onto some stacked crates inside and feel the breeze of Simi as he glides by me to wreak havoc below. My ring of invisibility wasn’t going to fit him… but thankfully Ayrun knew the spell. I can dimly hear the noises of a fight outside and draw my pistols in wait of the best moment to strike. The cards on the table fly up into the air with a sudden noise and the remaining thug on the table rears back in surprise.
I take aim with my Dragon Pistols and shoot the surprised thug before I leap down from the crates and take down the one by the door with my second shot. The table flips up and I lose sight of him for just a second… which is enough time for destinies to change in a gunfight. I hear a shot and a sudden squeal of pain beside me before I can react. Oh Gods… Vedis Valentine is going to kill me if I got her pet killed. I draw my gun and scan the warehouse for the shooter as I feel around the ground with my other hand. As soon as I feel the scales and feathers I grab Simi and leap behind some crates for cover.
“Let’s just keep this between you and me, ok?” I whisper as I pull the wand that Lenata of Celestian gave me out of my sash and use its powers to heal the unfortunate lizard. “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt me… and I’ll make sure you get some yummy treats for this one.” I cradle the invisible lizard in my left arm as I lean out from behind the crates and shoot the remaining thug in the thigh. “Have you ever tried cinnamon sticks?”
The sounds of fighting stop outside, but instead of my friends coming in the door I am faced with a group of Giff policemen with my friends in tow.
Great… I always like to end my nights being interrogated by the police.
From what I’ve experienced with these Giff… perhaps honesty will work best. I show the officer in charge our letters of marque and the notes I found on the Frostfire regarding 10th Pit activities here on Bral as I explain the situation as best as I can. Yes officer, I realize there’s no nothing but stone where that trapdoor was… but I swear on my father’s grave that there’s something there. Any other officer would probably have just thrown us in jail right then and there… but thankfully this one knew the same magic these thugs did and managed to reopen the passage that was covered. I cross my fingers that the Giff going down there to investigate finds something… because if he doesn’t, we’re going to be finding ourselves floating in space without a rope.
The Giff comes back out of the passage and the feeling of righteous vindication I feel when he says they found something soon plummets into dread when I see the severed hand he’s holding… with red nails and a tattoo that the rest of us have been doing our best to hide.