Thirlim inspects the lockbox he pilfered for traps and picks the lock. Inside he finds 15sp (60cp) and two empty books used to hide messages or other objects. He, of course, pockets the money and hides the books for future possible utilization. The lockbox he is able to sell to one of his thief’s guild contacts for 40cp. He takes the proceeds and sells his current Kukri and upgrades to a long knife. Fear.
Over breakfast Nagarajoss shows Bolos the shriveled arm of Nigel. Bolos is unsurprisingly revolted and is happy to have eaten prior to seeing it. He thinks he knows the spell that could cause such damage too. However the damaged arm wouldn’t have been what killed him. Nagarajoss bundles the arm and gets it ready to take to the meeting at the merc’s guild.
We go in to the mercenary’s guild to report on our findings the next day. We are seen by Damieos Darksword promptly and make a full report on following Nigel, the witch and what happened. Nagarajoss presents his jerky-fied arm from what’s left of Nigel. Damieos indicates that while this wasn’t the ideal result he could have achieved not much more could have been done, given who the master appears to be. Mathieu hands over the remaining sending stones taken from the scene to Damieos for analysis. Damieos hands us a small cloth bag, which we empty onto the table. It contains one iron ring for us each. Damieos indicates we will be allowed into the guild as Practicals, assuming we will perform jobs for him periodically. Damieos indicates that we need to put the rings on and state an oath, which he administers, to activate the magic of the rings. He explains that we can activate the ring’s magic in order to cause an identifying sound to be heard, verifying membership in the Guild. He indicates that this is the only proof of our membership in the Guild, so losing it would not be a good thing to do. The magic of the ring will only activate in the room or in certain other locations. Damieos also indicates that there is a large bounty for “found” rings. He also confirms that, finally, we can carry our weapons openly in the city. He indicates that contribution of one-fifths of our income is also required in exchange for certain other privileges. Damieos states that we’ve been sponsored by Wilhelm Deadeye, whom the two spoke of.
We all return to our homes to retrieve our weapons.
Next stop is we head down to the waterfront to begin looking for Joseph Stronghand to find out more about him and begin working on getting him out of town. Apparently he’s a street vendor who moves around the town.
Thirlim decides to head to a tavern in the same area of town that Stronghand frequents. Thirlim works his manly Dwarven magic on one of the barmaids and is able to win her over in short order. We’re able to find out that she knows him as a very polite, nice man who always sits close to the door. She isn’t aware of him being a friend to slaves. He’s also known to be a former adventurer and is skilled at throwing knives. He’s able to secure a date with the waitress for later that evening along with the information.
Meanwhile Bolos takes bird form again, flying around our area and, after a brief search, locates Stronghand’s stall and alights on it. He’s promptly shooed away and Bolos instead lands on another nearby spot. Stronghand has a selection of knives, survival gear, adventuring supplies, and the like. Proper credentials are on display in his stall. Bolos watches for about an hour where he does a brisk business of normal bartering. Bolos is able to observe from watching Stronghand that he seems to be rather cautions and aware of his surroundings. He seems to have located his stall in a spot that allows for an easy escape from the bazaar if needed. After a while Bolos flies away to an office of the merchant’s guild to try and make discreet inquiries about Stronghand. He’s able to verify his registration in the merchants’ guild. He’s one of a small number of Journeyman-level merchants, a high rank in the guild. Getting to that rank requires support from five elder members, which Bolos tries to learn by an inquiry with the guild librarians. He’s informed the inquiry takes a week’s time, which he initiates.
Bolos meets us in the tavern and we compare notes. One option would be to try and enlist Joseph’s assistance to steal the books from Ibn, perhaps either using former slaves to gather inside information or that Joseph might trade his assistance for freeing some of Ibn’s slaves. Thirlim wants to gather further information prior to a meeting but he’s in the minority. The rest of the group elects to offer Joseph an opportunity to meet in a place and time of his choosing in order to make him feel safer.
The group decides to go and approach him for a meeting, although Bolos and Thirlim choose to blend into the crowd as opposed to walk up to meet. He greets them, offering to sell various objects that might be of interest to him. Mathieu is able to discern that Joseph is selling some very high-quality knives. He initially quotes a rather high price for the knife which Mathieu thinks better of trying to talk him down on. The remainder of his wares represent a wide variety of high-quality wares. Nagarajoss tries to feel him out in terms of whether he helps out those in “difficult circumstances.” He tries to request Joseph’s advice on a certain matter and wants to discuss it privately. Joseph seems skeptical but agrees to a meeting, giving the name of a tavern in North Tredroy named the Windmill Tavern.
Thirlim decides to go check on the meeting location beforehand. He tries to learn about its reputation by going to one of the other bars in the area, the Inn of the Laughing Rat, a largely halfling establishment. He quickly leaves and instead tries to gather information from another nearby shop, where he learns that the bar is a rather “cultured” establishment. Thirlim decides to go there about an hour beforehand to blend in with the crowd. Everyone else arrives a short time before the meeting. Thirlim seems to notice that the bar is not nearly as rowdy as previously anticipated. Due to the high expense of food at this establishment Thirlim nurses an ale, not wanting to consume too much money. The rest of the group shows up and sits down at Thirlim’s table, immediately blowing his cover.
The appointed time passes. A barmaid comes over to offer us drinks; Thirlim makes a pass at her but fails to arouse her interest. She pointedly offers to everyone else to get them drinks. Joseph is now twenty minutes late.
Mathieu steps out to take a look around for Joseph. He’s able to spot Joseph a distance away, speaking with two large men. Based on the way the conversation looks to be going Joseph is doing something to point towards our tavern. Mathieu notices that Joseph and the two turn and begin walking towards the bar and he returns to our table. A few minutes later they arrive; Joseph arrives by himself. We introduce ourselves at his request. He rightly recognizes Thirlim’s attractiveness but Thirlim quickly ensures Joseph knows that he doesn’t swing that way.
Joseph indicates that he’s retired from adventuring and only works as a merchant within the city. Nagarajoss indicates that Ibn has taken an interest in him. After discussing with him a bit more we’re able to clarify which Ibn it is. In fact while he tries to cover his reaction Joseph knows well why Ibn might be after him. We question him further to try and get more information and eventually present our case to work together with him. He’s initially hesitant but we offer him an incentive to work with us in that we might make an attempt to free slaves from Ibn’s household while infiltrating the grounds. He seems very much interested in this proposition and asks us to return the next night.
We do so as requested. This time Joseph brings along an attractive woman, whom Baern and Thirlim have a difficult time restraining themselves from drooling over her. Joseph indicates she only speaks Arabic and asks if we’re going to have difficulty working with her. He introduces her as Natara, a former “slave” to Ibn, for a number of years. She’s agreed to provide us information about his estate. He indicates that she’s willing to talk with us at a more private location. Bolos also is able to gently talk her into allowing him to cast an informative spell on her to gather knowledge about her personality in a general sense as well as violent emotions, magical compulsion and other such information. After consulting with Joseph she agrees and Bolos casts his spell. He’s able to determine that she seems to be genuine in what she has been represented as.
That ends things for the evening. We all receive four character points.