It’s the next morning after our intense partying the night before as we tried somewhat successfully to extract information from Edward. Several of us have small hangovers but are otherwise functional after sleeping late into the day.
We have a couple of days until our meeting with Nigel. For our book-stealing mission one task we undertake is to watch the rear servant’s entrance to try and get a look at the servant’s uniforms. Getting a look at those would help us know what kind of disguise we need to put together. Baern sleeps late and wanders around the city trying to get to know it better. Mathieu also sleeps late. He elects to go and check out the location for the meeting with Nigel; Bolos goes with him. Nagarajoss meditates late into the day.
Mathieu and Bolos, joined by Nagarajoss, get a good look at the back-alley meeting location. It’s a small back-alley in St. Mark’s Parrish, an area of church-owned land. It’s in a bit of a tricky spot as their target, who departs towards East Tredroy from the meeting, will need to be intercepted after he leaves. They take a look at the area he might move through upon leaving the meeting, especially the buildings there. Some of them have unoccupied sections that might be of use. One potential idea is to have someone on the rooftops to help spot Nigel as he leaves and communicate his position to everyone else. The location is near the Lookout pub, a fantastic establishment of ill-repute, a true wretched hive of scum and villainy. The three of them head to the docks area, which smells like rotten ass that’s been left in the sun too long. This is clearly the “low rent” district with beggars and rough-looking folk a-plenty; the streets are correspondingly filthy. A number of rivergoing ships are docked here as well.
While walking through the district Nagarajoss does his best to glower and look intimidating to those around him but somehow doesn’t quite pull it off despite his large size. Thankfully the locals don’t seem interested beyond feeling many eyes upon them and their purses. They don’t dwell at the alley but take a short visit to avoid unwanted attention.
Thirlim positions himself excellently outside the servant’s entrance of Ibn’s house. He’s able to observe quite a few servants going about their errands, giving himself a great opportunity to take note of their livery as well as recall a number of faces from the crowd. He’s able to take note of the procedures for entry and exit too; the guard seems to know servants by sight. Thirlim also notes that a deadbolt is employed on the servant’s entrance. Thirlim tries to follow one of the attractive serving women and talk to her but she realizes she’s being followed; she confronts Thirlim who tries to fast-talk his way out of the problem and fails; she brandishes a knife and backs away from Thirlim, who gives up pursuit at that point.
The day passes with these events. The next day Bolos tries out his newly-acquired shape changing abilities by flying in bird form over the target mansion. He takes note of the entrances to the building and layout of the area from his aerial view.
Nagarajoss decides to get some exercise by taking a swim in the river.
While walking through the docks area Baern notices three thuggish-looking individuals following him. He can make out concealed knives on them. Baern tries to keep one eye on them to prevent the thugs closing the distance or trying to ambush him. Baern notices two of them split off to try and flank him while the third remains behind. Baern stops, turns and grins at the one behind, who asks him if he’s lost. Baern comments that they’ve been following him for awhile so they must want something. The thug responds that they want some of his coin, which he must have some of (Baern snickers at that). The guy instead starts asking if he’s looking for work in what amounts to a protection racket. Baern indicates that maybe he’d be up for it later, that he’s not looking for that kind of work today. He asks their names as they likely won’t meet him again randomly. The one he’s been talking to responds that he should ask for Martin the Blade, who makes a flourish with his hand and causes a knife to appear in it. The knife’s blade looks much shinier than most he’s seen in awhile. One of the other thugs, in a feat of brilliance, remarks that’s why he’s called the Blade. The three of them back off and head away.
Mathieu spends the day drinking.
Thirlim tries to use his thief’s guild contacts to gather information about the mansion or something that he’s able to use to get the books. His contact informs him that this is a rather bad idea given the penalties for thieves in this region. The mansions in that area are well-guarded by skilled armsmen. The guild unfortunately doesn’t have anyone on the inside that might help with the layout or security. Most of the servants must be able to speak fluent Arabic.
The next day everyone meets over breakfast to discuss their plan of action as that night is the scheduled meet with Nigel.
Bolos and Nagarajoss decide they’ll go and talk with Ibn to see what information can be gleaned. They decide to take the angle of finding out what his price is for a legitimate buy. They decide to speak to Wilhelm Deadeye first to gather information about the book to appear as informed buyers. While getting up from the table Baern tries to take a swing at Bolos in revenge for the previous bar fight. However Bolos blinks out of the way, appearing several feet closer to the door. The two of them spat verbally briefly and go on about their business.
We locate Wilhelm in the Valley Inn, a picturesque riverside location. We inquire as to the purchase history and background of the books and explain our current plan. He indicates that the books were originally found in Aratarre and moved around the empire for a time. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be as much information about them as first thought. The larger issue blocking his purchase is that Ibn won’t sell the books to a non-Muslim. Furthermore a good Muslim shouldn’t have anything to do with the books, thus his unwillingness to sell them to a middleman. While he hasn’t talked to Ibn directly Wilhelm doesn’t desire to be known as the purchaser of the books. Wilhelm indicates that Ibn isn’t in much of a selling mood, ultimately. Thirlim suggests that another approach is to somehow cause Ibn to believe there’s a reason to unload the books because something is wrong with them; little is known of these books, apparently. Perhaps the Empire is after them as they contain forbidden knowledge.
Bolos and Nagarajoss decide to go to try and meet with Wilhelm. Thirlim goes to hide by the back entrance again and lets Bolos and Nagarajoss know what side of the house he’ll be on in case they need to signal him.
Bolos and Nagarajoss enter via the storefront to the mansion and are able to arrange a meeting within an hour or so. A few guards come out and pat them down for weapons. Finding none they let the two into the courtyard of the mansion. They request Bolos refrain from magic use, especially in Ibn’s presence. They’re lead into a large room with an elevated chair in which sits Ibn looking well-fed (though not obese), wearing his turban. He’s flanked by servants and guards. He speaks in Arabic, stating that he’s curious what they’re looking for. Fortunately both Bolos and Nagarajoss are able to speak Arabic. Bolos’s response seems to make a good impression on Ibn. He indicates they’re interested in acquiring the books that Ibn possesses, for sale or trade. Ibn indicates that he’s not much interested in trade for items but money or perhaps “services” would be of interest. They discuss what kind of services could be rendered for him. Ibn mentioned that the two of them are the third group in the space of a few months who’s tried to purchase the books. Ibn indicates that he could use some assistance with a “problem” he’s experiencing. Bolos indicates that he understands the need for discretion in some activities. Ibn indicates that he wishes not to be connected to this matter but that he wants another merchant within the city to be removed from Tredroy entirely; the individual had freed several of his slaves recently. The name of the person is Joseph Stronghand and if he were dealt with then Ibn would trade the books for this service. Bolos and Nagarajoss agree to his terms.
Nagarajoss catches up with the rest of the group and reports on recent events. We decide that it might work well to talk to Stronghand and try and convince him to leave town because his life is in danger. Nagarajoss also carries a message to Bolos that he wants to talk to resolve their differences prior to tonight’s job. Nagarajoss brings Bolos to Baern so the two of them can talk.
Baern and Bolos continue their tiff. Nagarajoss talks about apologies flowing between people like water between cups, not under bridges and transferring them thus. Bolos decides to apologize and says that he doesn’t deserve to have his actions repaid with physical violence. Baern indicates that his price is that Bolos must sit in the bar where the incident happened in a dress of Baern’s choosing for an evening, which Bolos agrees to. Coincidentally the bar was named the G-String. And they lived happily ever after.
We all receive four character points.