Iron Kingdoms: A New Start

Destination Five Fingers

Silus:

We arrive in Five Fingers tomorrow and, reputation or not, I wonder if life there might not be more peaceful then the last few weeks. Llael is not a comfortable place to be right now.

On the way out we had a run in with The Spector — I really hope that that was coincidence and he doesn’t have special interest in one of us because Morrow help us if he does — and Sand didn’t make it. The rest of us boarded the Lady Luck with a comfortable (Captain Dandelo doesn’t agree) margin to spare.

It felt like the first chance I’d had to have a breather in a lifetime, and the lunch was excellent, at least in comparison to recent meals. I watched, somewhat bemused as Lug appeared to ate his own body weight while Philipe had his hind leg talked off by a brewer called Gabson.

I spent the early afternoon walking the deck and nodding politely to the Sons of Thuria as I passed. The drills their leader was putting the new recruits through failed to bring back fond memories, although I don’t recall even my slipshod discipline earning me that many welt-like lessons.

I thought to spend the rest of the afternoon dozing in the sun room, and eventually I did, but not before a priest cornered me to talk about religion. It seems that congregation numbers at the Cathedral of Morrow are slipping. I’ll drop by when we get there, if nothing else the views should give me a better feel for the city then I can get from a map.

Dinner was pleasant. I was able to overhear a conversation involving a merchant — Bartel Versalo — that left me relatively sure he is involved in the Llaelese resistance. He is someone to keep an eye on, at least. Then I managed to get embroiled in the edges of a discussion between one of the Thuriaites and Jethbelle Kannigur, since she wasn’t a lunatic trying to restore a dead empire, significantly more attractive, and the leader of the Shrikes — who work for Captain Riordan and, more or less, rule the roost in the part of Five Fingers we are setting up shop — it was an easy decision as to which side I came down on. We followed dinner with a game of cards, during which Philipe didn’t lose as much money to Jethbelle as I’d have liked.

Also at the card game was Cargis Renlos, a dealer in blades from Five Fingers who had attached himself to Jethbelle before I met the pair of them and who I didn’t see with anything other than a sour disposition radiating from his face. I haven’t yet figured out the nature of their relationship.

After dinner, Philipe and Lug retired for the night while I continued in my efforts to make an ally of Kannigur. She is proving a tough nut to crack.

My efforts were interrupted by a noise that we discovered was a horde of the walking dead boarding the boat. Having established that there was a significant force of the creatures we went to fetch help, which met us on the way in the form of Philipe. Hastily assembling a plan, which gave Lug time to join us, I leapt down to get the jump on the enemy while d’Alston summoned help through the simple method of shooting at them.

Mid-fight a noise at the back of the boat alerted us to the sound of a woman in trouble, so we hastened to help. Jethbelle was holding her own, barely, against a giant of a skeleton, I decided to join in. It is just possible that I have spent too long being chivalrous, it is leading to rash decisions. I managed to inflict a couple of blows that sent the creature reeling but it got a lucky blow in that left me dizzy. Kannigur was, by this time, hanging on to its back and repeatedly stabbing it — to little visible effect — and it was focusing its attention on me. I grabbed a lantern and smashed it over the creature, setting it alight. It did not light this and flung us away before leaping into the water.

The Shrike expressed some concern over the contents of her safe and the four of us fought our way to her cabin where we found it melted open and empty.

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Lugs ramblings

Met up with a guy from Llael who we’d worked for a bit as mercenaries and that. He said he’d be able to get me out of the country if I worked for him as a gun smith at this new business he’d bought in Five Fingers and that sounded like a good thing so I agreed to tithe service to him for a year and a day in return for a fair wage. Pledged it and everything. Not long after that we were on a boat with decent food and a poncy pirate guy. OK, not that piratey. We got attacked by skeletons, including a big very piratey one. We killed them a lot, I ended up zapping them, which I know is kind of wrong, but no-one was looking. The engine room was cool. A ladies safe got melted with magical acid. Oh, the guy who got us to the boat was killed by an assassin or something too. Did I mention the food was good and I won some cash at gambling? Because it was and I did.

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Settling in

Silus:

I’m been in Five Fingers for a few days and my purse is already getting uncomfortably light. Between travel expenses, making the shop fit to live in and paying squatters to clean up and get lost, we’ve been throwing gold in every direction.

About the only thing we have going in our favour is that we’ve got a few months grace with protection money, at least in theory.

It started when Dag’s Wardens showed up at the door. The Skrikes control over our part of the city isn’t quite as complete as Jethbelle would have had us believe, not that she did a good job of concealing that on our way here. Philipe put them off until the next day, and I proceeded to race around the islands figuring out just how much relative power the Wardens and the Shrikes had, deciding that we were better off throwing our lot in with Riordan’s lot (I may be biased, live with it), and tracking down Jethbelle. As I was in, unfortunately, rather a hurry, this was proved to be … expensive, and not just because someone managed to lighten my purse as I was caught up in a crowd.

I eventually found her outside the Laden Galleon — a floating gambling house — and would have missed her if I’d been a few minutes later. She, unfortunately, hadn’t any time for me since she was too focused on the remarkably drunk Captain Jannish Riordan who was so far gone that he didn’t register my presence. It wasn’t a total loss, however, as she agreed to pay a visit to the shop the next morning … before the Wardens were due to show up.

She was as good as her word, and we managed to hammer out most of an agreement before the other gang turned up. Their demands for protection money were cut off by Kannigur executing one of them in the street. The other made a rapid exit. Hopefully, they’ll take a hint and not bother us in future, if not then we’ll have to demonstrate our ability to defend ourselves.

This isn’t a town in which you can get by without protection though, we we will be paying Riordan, but we have a few months grace on that in exchange for a “little” job. Just a small matter of stealing a prized possession of a High Captain that he keeps nearby at all times.

I think we’re undercharging…

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Lugs added ramblings

We got to ride on a huge clank, a steam powered carraige thing that a Gobber we met at the docks ran. It was really great and had a plate on it from an armoury. And it was really high up and we got to see lots of stuff while we went along. Five Fingers is pretty horrible. The houses are really high, and they kind of meet in the middle above the streets and they are a mix of brick and really flammable looking wood except for on one island where it all burnt down or something. Some of the islands are connected with bridges and cable cars and things, but others need to be rowed to. Ours isn’t the most horrible. We got to the shop and it was all closed up and manky and stuff, but not deserted because some scummy diseased vagrants were living in the basement and they’d been burning the stuff from the shop and they had almost burnt the workbench. And they were all puss ridden and stuff which was disgusting. I ended up having to pay quite a lot of my own money for stuff which wasn’t really in the deal and I hope I get it back because it was mine and not meant for buying things for the shop which I only work in and don’t own or anything. And because it had had vagrants in it we didn’t think it was safe to leave it on its own after we’d started cleaning it out, but both of the humans buggered off and Philipe said he was only going out to get us food but came back with no food and drunk. There’s a load of people, mostly Gobbers but apparently also some Bogrin, living up in an extra city that is rigged up across the rooves of the normal buildings on the island and I went up there for breakfast and found some Gobbers who did me a good deal on an alchemy kit which the shop needed and I had to pay for with my own money. I’d been told about it by the Gobber who runs the laundry that is above our shop who also sells meat on a stick. The meat was tasty and had a bit of a pork flavour to it. Some people came round and threatened Philipe, but the lady who had her safe stuff stolen was there and killed them. I made some new guns because we went to another island where the place that had sold some of the metal for the clank that we’d ridden in to town was there and it’s a big armoury place so it has off cuts of wood and metal that we bought so we could make guns and stuff, so I made some, some normal pistols and a mastercrafted gun for a Captain which is going to be a gift and I hope we get paid for because it’s really nice and I put loads of time in to it. I also use a bit of stuff I’d found from the pirate skeleton guy on the ship to craft a new iron sight for my pistol, although it’s bone, not iron. We have to go and steal a thing from someone soon. I think I’ll have to crawl through a window or something. When I was up on the rooves I got a new hat, it’s really nice, it’s kind of leather and has flaps down below the holes for the ears and the top is kind of pointy in a not really pointy way. I think it’ll be warmer than my floppy hat, but if we’re going to go robbing stuff I might need a different hat for that. Philipe brought back cheese, or maybe the other human did, it was very disappointing.

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Lug rambles on some more

So I was spending ages crafting the pistols, especially the really nice duelling pistol for the Captain when the human that isn’t Philipe came up and asked me to make a load of other stuff like stink bombs, smoke bombs and the like, which cost money but Philipe paid for it. I made almost all of them but I’m still getting the hang of all this alchemy stuff and one of the smoke bombs went off while I was finishing it up filling the shop with smoke which wasn’t ideal. I went out while it all cleared and decided to go to one of the other islands, Bellocose or some such, where there was an art gallery and they had a painting of the captain with the goblet we were going to steal. As I didn’t think the shop would be habitable still I went to the University. The University is great. And did some more research, the students have got really cool hats which are flat on top, when Philipe used the money we got for selling the duelling pistol to go and get clothes I got him to buy me a top hat with a floppy brim, which he did and it is currently probably my most favourite hat, if not top three. The goblet is all magicky but the wizards don’t know in what way and think it might have got magic just by being really old. ‘Cause it is also really old. When I got back to the shop it wasn’t smokey anymore so I got to do more work. Yay. We got five hundred gold for the duelling pistol and Philipe paid me back what he owed me. And a hat. I may have mentioned the hat already. A couple of days before the party we went to look at the Laden Galleon and worked out our plan wasn’t going to work because it was all illuminated and the windows weren’t anywhere near the floor. We thought about using a boat but that was a stupid idea. I spotted the gang plank had shadows under it so we went back when it was all closed up at like three in the morning or something and rigged up some ropes under the gang plank so I could hide by the window that looked out under the gang plank and take the goblet when it was ready. While working on guns and stuff I thought back over some of the Arcana bits that I’d been taught and finally worked out the bit I’d been missing with a zappy spell that I’d never quite got the hang of. I need to try it out but it should zap anyone who hits me, or whoever I’ve put the spell on. Philipe had a new cloak, the other human dressed up as a different human and went to be a waiter at the party. I’d made a fake medal based on one of Philipes real medals as a diversion, in the party, not a diversion from making guns, it took up valuable gun making time. I stood on a ledge while the party thing happened, it took forever eventually waiter dressed bloke passed me the goblet and I zapped us both with the zappy spell just in case before using the rope to swing to the side of the dry dock and take the goblet to the inn we’d agreed to pass it to a Shrike in. The goblet was definitely magical and had some strange runes around the wrist which I have copied out. It’s necromatic magic, but then it’s primarily someones skeletel hand so that’s hardly a surprise really is it? When the bloke turned up he’d been stabbed by something which looked very similar to the acid that had been used to burn in to the womans safe. I paid for a cab to get us back to the shop and my alchemical kit where I did what I could, but I’m still learning the alchemical stuff. It was good practice though. When Philipe came back I showed him the interested green goo on the really cool blade and mentioned other human had been stabbed. I went up to the Rigs and found a doctor/alchemist who came down and had a look, he slowed the acid poison stuff down a bit more, but reckoned bloke was going to die and stuff. Our only hope now is to take him to the fish street on the island next door where there’s an even better alchemist who might be able to cure him. Philipe paid the doctor and gave me back the money for the cab. There is still cheese.

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The Heist

I’ve spent little more than a week caught up in Riordan’s wake and I’ve been been attacked by agents of Cryx twice, as if I didn’t have enough to worry about with Philipe the Khadorians and the gangs of the city. I’m going to have words with the High Captain… just as soon as I stop dying on Lug’s workbench, but I’ll get back to that.

Come to think, I’ve spend less than that in Five Fingers but I find I’m already using nautical allusions. I’m no sailor, but I’m no diplomat either, I wouldn’t even call myself a soldier despite having the sign of the Silver Shields tattooed over my heart. Whatever’s been veneered over the top since, under that shield is a heart that simply enjoys taking things which don’t belong to it.

So, last week. “Steal a ”/wikis/necromantic-goblet" class=“wiki-page-link”> goblet". Not the sort of ask I expected running a gun shop, but a simple job of thieving, just like the good old days. Don’t sound a great hardship, do it? Least ways, not unless you got a prickly conscience. Now, look at the bigger picture. The goblet’s magical, owned by an High Captain (and you don’t get much more dangerous than that around here), never leaves his side and the client wants you to pinch it at his birthday party.

Now it looks like a big, scary problem, don’t it? It ain’t. Scary, yes, but big? The prize is out in the open and surrounded with people. All you need is a simple snatch, the trick is holding your nerve and not getting caught.

First, you need to get close. Stealing something without being in the same building is a pretty good trick, but not one I’ve seen pulled off. Philipe wangled an invite, I replaced a waiter and Lug lurker outside by a porthole. None of us had access to the VIP room, but Captain Hurley couldn’t hide away his own party.

Then, bide your time. It’s a party, grabbing the goblet is going to be easiest once everyone is too drunk to stop you taking it. Philipe enjoys the party, Lug, poor guy, clings to the side of the ship with whatever weather that brings, and I suffer the guests. Now, I’ve been on both sides in this situation and I can tell you that being a horrible toff is a lot more fun then keeping them happy.

When the captains emerged, I busied myself getting them drunk. I refilled their glasses and a certain bone wrapped goblet several times, having some fun with Riordan not recognising me — if you’re going to commit daylight robbery then you can trust that a party of drunks ain’t going to remember the face of one of the waiters, but I like to play it safe and pull out the old greasepaint — and adding a little extra something to the jug before refilling Hurley’s cup.

If you’re going to gamble, then either do it with a clear head or be so stinking rich and drunk that you don’t care. Hurley, after a couple of cups of my special brew, was the latter. He wasn’t going to be paying too much attention to his valuables after putting that down his throat and the other players at the table he headed for were delighted.

The best way to avoid being seen moving an item from one place to another is to persuade everyone to be looking elsewhere. Now, I couldn’t arrange for a naked girl to show up, but I had the next best thing — a loud Llaylese nobleman and some duplicate medals. Philipe slipped his gongs off and I planted the copies on a hapless waiter (what? I’m in this for myself, not the common man, he can get himself an honest job or a properly dishonest one instead of fawning over the gentry).

The grande accuse did the job, more or less, but mostly less. Eyes went to where we wanted, but Hurley was hustled away by his bodyguard. No matter, there’s always plan B. It’s blatant, and clearly nefarious but tends to do the job. One deck up, on the way to the VIP room as Hurley gets beside a crowd of people I lock eyes on my target and gently roll a smoke bomb at it.

The bodyguard assumed an assassination attempt — he’s wrong, I’m not being paid anywhere near enough for that … for that matter, I’m not being paid anywhere near enough to steal the goblet — and tried to protect Hurley. I darted forwards, grabbed the goblet (the High Captain was too drunk and drugged to hold on to it), tucked it under my cloth (it’s a good idea to pick a disguise that provides handy places to keep things out of the way of peepers) and rushed to the porthole for some “air”.

Meanwhile, Philipe shouted “Fire” and proceeded to organise a chaotic evacuation of the ship. This kept attention off me as I turned back to the room and prepared to take my leave.

That is where things went wrong. On another day I’d quite like to turn around and find myself face to face with a smiling courtesan, but not so much when I’m trying to escape, and less so when the vision comes with the burning feeling of an unexpected gut wound.

If I hadn’t be cornered, I’d have just run for it, but I didn’t see much choice but to fight my way out, so I pulled my weapon and tried to stab the bitch. I only managed a graze before she promptly scarpered, leaving her dagger behind in my gut instead of finishing the job off.

Counting myself lucky, I pulled it free before I even thought that it might do more hurt on the way out then on the way in. It didn’t, so luck still holding. Nasty black thing it is, and with a green tinge. Not so lucky, and the pain is worse than any simple stab wound I’ve had in the past.

I stumbled off the ship and went to find Lug, who’d handed the goblet off to the client’s man, and he helped me back to the shop where he took a look at the wound. Then he went off to look for someone better at the doctoring, also a gobber. There was much poking and prodding, and you can imagine I’m pretty worried by this point. His conclusion? I’m dead and just don’t know it yet, and it’s bloody Cryx work. He’s given me something to slow the poison, and recommended someone who might be able to help, but he doesn’t sound hopeful. Worse, it’s in Cod Row, so I’ll probably get murdered just getting there.

What really gets my goat is that I don’t know what the stabbing’s in aid of. That dead pirate from the Luck wanting revenge for me dousing him with a lantern? Cryx just having eyes for Hurley’s cup? Do they just not want me dealing with Riodran’s lot?

One thing’s for sure, I’m not going to go quietly. If tomorrow don’t bring me a cure then I’m going to beat some answers out of someone, and I’ll start with Captain Riodran if I have to.

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Life after death

This was supposed to be the most honest job I’ve done for… well, this was supposed to be the most honest job I’ve done. The dangerous bit — go to Llael, find d’Alston, get out of Llael — is over, now all that is left is keeping our heads down and staying out of trouble. It was supposed to be safe! (Alright, so its in Five Fingers, say “safe–ish” then.)

Last time I wrote, I was busy dying while waiting for an alchemist to open up. Lug and Philipe spent some time deciding how much we could afford to spend on keeping me alive — charming, right? — while I tried to ignore the dizziness I was feeling, that was quite easy given the pain throbbing await in my side that I could focus on instead.

Eventually they decided that traipsing out to Cod Row and Crucible Alley in the middle of the night was a good idea. Given the choice between that and letting them witter on about the cost of being in business, I picked the outing.

Astonishingly — ha! — the Onyx Pestle was shut, so we holed up in what is probably one of the most expensive bakeries on the island and ate and drank until the shop opened. For a pair so concerned with money the rest of the time, they seem blind to the cost of good food.

In due course the shop opened and we made our way past the Ogrun guard — not a fellow I’d like to get on the wrong side of, least ways, not unless I was behind him and already had a blade or two drawn.

A price was negotiated for a cure, I wasn’t all that keen about the the emphasis placed on a discount if it didn’t work, and a stop gap measure prepared to keep me alive until it could be prepared. Philipe gagged at the sight of it, but I’ve drunk mugs of tea that were worse. The venom comes from some nasty Cryxian creature, and a fresh sample was needed to make a proper cure… but the shop has contacts. 

If that weren’t suspicious enough, then I caught a glimpse of Asenath Scarrow in the back room. Not only does she own the shop, but she gave a good impression of being close to the courtesans — one of whom, you will remember, was responsible for sticking me with that blade in the first place — at the galleon the other night.

The blade is supposedly of “Black Ogrun” design, whatever they might be. The guard said that the “are like Ogrun, but the similarity ends there, and they aren’t nice” which isn’t all that helpful.

Rumour has it that Cargis Renlos is the man to see if you want Black Ogrun weapons. I suspect we shall be paying him a visit before long…

With two days to wait before the cure is made — if there is a cure, at that point I’m more than a little concerned about Scarrow’s presence — and being half way there already, I suggest we pay Jethbelle a visit and see what we can worm out of her.

In short, that turns out to be:
• The item stolen from the Lady Luck was a skeletal hand that is a pair to the one made into the goblet
• I look like death
• The hand was acquired from a Cygnarian gentleman by Jethbelle
• Rhirdan didn’t mention any plan to take the goblet until after the hand had been stolen from the safe on the ship

Either he is playing his cards close to the chest, or he’s is only concerned about having one of the pair in his care.
Before leaving, I took the opportunity to suggest that she drop by the Quenched Whistle that evening — mentioning that it might be her last chance to have a drink with me, after all — before we left for the shop.

It had been a long, long day so I took the opportunity to get some shuteye before going down the road to the pub where I found a great deal of sympathy and a pleasant — or at least as pleasant as is possible to find when you feel like you have a bad case of the flu — evening with Jethbelle.

At some point during the evening she invited me to take her to the opera… and with that poison wrecking havoc with my ability to hold my drink combined with where she had placed my hand at the time, I agreed. Now if only the antidote wasn’t going to drain most of my cash away…

The next day I slept in until sometime after noon before wandering downstairs to find a wanted poster with my face on it. Well, a face like mine. It made me doubly glad that I’d disguised myself for that little adventure. I didn’t recognise the handwriting on the back “thought you should know”, so I’m more than a little worried that someone has connected me to the crime.

I spent the day taking it easy, by which I mean I painstakingly assembling a small pistol. The shop is urgent need of stock, especially if I’m going to woo (did I really use that word?) Jethbelle in the manner to which she has implied she is accustomed. 

A day later, after a ridiculous amount of gold had exchanged hands, a cure in the form of what appeared to be a glass of water (I’m still having my doubts about this fellow) and a salve was applied. So far it seems to be working, I’m feeling much better, so I only have to hope that it is a proper remedy and not a quack potion that covers up the effects for a short time.

That night we received visitors. I grabbed my sword and raced downstairs when I was woken by Lug’ shouting, only to find that we’d been joined by that Dag’s warden who had visited us last week… the one Jethbelle shot in the face. He’d been lightly singed by Lug’s magic and I quickly finished him off. 

As that clearly wasn’t enough excitement for one night, we heard activity in the workshop and found some more undead horrors searching the place. They showed an unfortunate interest in a certain goblet, which we don’t have any more. Just how many people have managed to connect us to that wretched thing?! We definitely are not being paid enough for this job.

There were three of the monsters in the cellar and they looked damn horrible. I’d have quaked in my boots if I was wearing them; it’s typically really, lavish all that attention on a woman and only end up getting naked in front of the dead.

Anyway, three of the creatures. One was heavily armoured so I dodged behind them and cut the others down while Philipe fired ineffectually at the suit of plate and Lug cast some spells.

Then I picked up a cask of gunpowder and poured a generous helping down the armour of the last of the dead before stepping back and letting Philipe spark it with a shot off the flagstone.

Setting terrifying skeletal monsters on fire seems to be habit forming. 

That wasn’t enough to put it down, unfortunately, and I didn’t quite manage to dodge out of the way of its blade (a big, nasty, two-handed thing). I’m not quite sure what happened next, although I suspect Lug, but there was a flash and the creature was knocked backwards across the room and into a wall. I plunged my blade through a chink in its armour and it stopped moving… although it smoked for a while after.

Why did I think that an honest job in a shop would be safe?

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Lug continues to illuminate

Bloke was busy dying and being loud about it. Philipe had already spent quite a lot of gold on him and a top alchemist was only going to be more so we had an important discussion about putting some money aside for raw materials o Philipe didn’t spend all the shops money on cool but one use potions. Dying bloke kept whining so to shut him up we decided to go to The Onyx Pestle there and then, not sleep or anything. Surprise, it was closed when we got there, what with it being barely late enough for the fishermen to be coming back and all. We found a nice bakers an had croissant and coffee it cost more than the taco IDE over but was really nice and Philipe was paying, plus bloke should have nice things if he is going to die. At the Pestle the alchemist had ahuge Ogrun wearing posh clothes, they didn’t make him any cleverer. Philipe haggled a bit, unfortunately the shop guy didn’t need part payment in fine firearms, and spent more than intended, good job we’d had that stock discussion. We talked a lot about the knife, I thought we wouldn’t mention it and was being very god in keeping quiet but hen we did. It is cool but evil. I asked the Ogrun about it and he was really helpful, maybe because we’d bought them croissant. During the wait for another temporary fix or dying guy, we agreed to pay less if he became dead guy, we had more cake and I went to buy fish. After the fix t he man wanted to see Jethebelle so we went there, after all no point in sleeping or anything. We were quite blunt with her, which seemed to work. Lots of necromantic stuff was going on and her boss has a thing for skeletal hands. Whiney man was coming on to her and asked her out. Probably desperate as he was getting more dead, he was almost green enough he could go in to the Rigs and find a Gobber instead, although only if they weren’t that choosey. We walked back to the shop to save money because we weren’t tired enough yet and then all slept, Philipe and I got up in time to go to the armoury and buy more stock. Next morning there was a wanted poster for goblet theft shoved through the door, it ad blokes waiter face drawn on it, i could build a jack for the 10,000 gold reward, I drew some designs on the back in case bloke was tempted and left it in his room for him. I spent the day making a really pretty hod out pistol and let bloke tinker to take his mind off of things. Philipe lectured him on the opera but luckily I had some things that needed hitting and drowned most of that out. Early next morning I was woken by sounds in shop, thought it might be robbers so went own careful and lit it up with magic. Was shot in face guys corpse moaning about the goblet so I zapped it and caked for help. Bloke was there next and jumped over me to finish it off, I’d weakened it good. Bloke was so eager he’d forgotten to put any clothes on, he looked I’ll all the way down. We heard more in basement so headed down, Philipe was there in robe and slippers. Three more, rummaging in stock, one in armour, one with big axe. I cast the electrify spell I’d remembered on the bloke as he was dancing around naked with his sword and I hoped was most likely to get hit, also lit the lamps so I could drop my light and do a second. We weakened them and nudey guy finished them off. It was better with lamps cause he was harder to see. At one point he poured a load of stock down armour skeleton and we set him on fire. Burning skeletons are just easier to see. The armour was too much but eventually it managed to hit sick bloke, saving tried for me a couple of times and the spell worked, zapping him against the wall and melting off some of his armour. About to drop Mr Dangle I’d his thing and finished it off. Next day we went back for cakes and got the cure which all seemed good if a bit un showy. Bloke got better quite quickly so we had to spend all the money. We’ve started selling more guns now, maybe we could give the cheese away as a gift?

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A month and a bit of Lug

For around a month after Bloke had got stabbed and almost died things were pretty quiet. We worked making and selling guns, well Philips sorted out the shop, got in a sales guy called Robierre while the two of us made guns. Well, I made guns and let ‘prentice get on with doing bits and bobs. He also continued to faun after Jethbelle and talk about how he was saving himself for her and waiting for the Opera to open up after being done up. I split my spare time between visiting more Gobbers in the Rigs, and getting them to watch the shop a bit, working a bit in the Armoury, visiting the University and researching a mechanik lock to put on the workshop. I lock it when I’m not there, but I’m not happy that people, including ‘prentice, can’t get in anyway.

Philip had the shop painted all Llaelesey which seems a bit stupid, but apparently it’s how we are selling stuff. He also got some melee stuff in for a whole service thing, by doing a deal with the Wetted Blade.

I went to chat with Gak, a Gobber who is the protege of Geoff Callopus, master locksmith, ex thief. She does some cool stuff and we have some good ideas for the new lock.

The Opera opens and ‘prentice keeps on wittering about it, he has tickets for March of the Nyss, which has real Nyss in it. Philipe sources some really good tea and that is the day that Gillian Hurlough comes to visit us. She talks to Philipe first while we are all in the kitchen, but she really wants ’prentice. When he comes back she talks about problems with the Llaelese resistance, apparently some Khadorian agents are going to assassinate one of them and as ’prentice was a spy she wants him to find out all about it. She also lets on that I’m not a he, which is a bit embarrassing as I’ve kind of let the others think I am ‘cause I’m worried they’ll not take me as seriously if they don’t, but thankfully they haven’t discussed it or anything with me yet. Not sure how I’m going to explain it.

Gillian says we need to go and see what they are doing at the Parched Whale, where all the Khadorian spies go to drink. ‘prentice goes in disguise, although not as a waiter. Philipe wears normal clothes and I reverse my llama farmer hat but Philipe and I go in seperately pretending to have visited an alchemists by Cod Row and just liking the look of that one. The stew is great and the ale is OK. I take things a bit far and have some ideas about a special marking fluid we could use to protect the stock from thieves. ’prentice comes in and talks to the bar staff a lot but there are no Khadorians there, then there are. Oh, while nothing was happening I also made ’prentice a cool mechanika boot knife, kind of as a well done on not dying present thing. Also, there is still cheese in the house, I’m not sure it ever dies. On the way to the pub we passed banners for the Festival of Tides Ebb, they have loads of festivals here but this one is about the water around the islands getting all treacherous and all the sailors being stranded on the land so getting extra drunk.

Eventually the Khadorians come in and talk to each other a lot. ‘prentice steals something from one of them while we are trying to leave and they are harassing Philipe, although he is all ’we are leaving now’ and we do, which is good. They ignore me which is better, I turn my hat the other way round after we have left. ‘prentice meets us with a blank bit of paper we stole and we break in to an alchemists to sort it out as he thinks it has a hidden message on it. I really need to sort out that lock. It’s a lot of work to get the message showing and I can’t hide it again so he grabs some blank paper and folds it up to return to the guy he stole it off, who isn’t the Shadow who is also there. He is a notorious Khadorian assassin and chased us when we got on the Lady Luck out of Llael. The message says they are going to kill a vocal Llaese guy called Lyon Vaneesi when he does a speech in Traitors Park.

Philipe goes off to the Llaelese brothel to get information and comes home unable to talk them out of the meeting so I make a stinky package, like cheese only worse if you can believe that, and go and leave it at the park so no-one will want to be there. We are then told they are meeting on the steps of the Cathedral instead by the talky guys body guard so we rush there, Philip taking a snipers rifle.

The steps of the Cathedral, and surrounding area are heaving and we spot the decoy but miss the shooter until it is almost too late. He unloads a quad iron at talky man but hits his bodyguard, who we like more, instead. The shooter drops the quad iron, which I pick up and is chased by ‘prentice and me right up to the point Philipe blows his head off with the snipers rifle. Philipe gets the body guard to a doctor, I look at the quad iron which is a very expensive bit of kit with an arcane dynamic accumulator built in to it to power a couple of rune plates that increase its accuracy and give it serious stopping power. The body guard was lucky he only got one barrel, and talky guy was lucky to be missed completely. I haven’t decided what to do with it yet.

We still have cheese, I think someone is buying more out of spite. That or it is breeding.

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Lug and magic stuff

Magic.

Magic magic magic magic magic..

Some stuff has happened, but none of it is as important as the magic thing.

We were offered a Jack from the armoury but it was too expensive and we didn’t have anything to use it for and it’s nothing to do with the magic so not really important. Philipe talked to the Five Fingers Herald and said he though Khadorians shooting people was really bad. This is also not magical.

A guy set fire to the shop. Normal fire. ‘prentice jumped out of the window while I shot at him, the guy not ’prentice and ’prentice stabbed guy to death completely normally. Well, I may have shot him to death, normally, but either way, guy=dead in a completely natural non-magical way. So. DULL. Also, while a lot of the shop caught fire, the cheese didn’t. I think it dodged. I don’t trust it. It may be magical.

The fire guy had a cool sword.

It wasn’t magical.

I built some metal shutters, completely normally, so that normal Khardorian Cocktails can’t be thrown through our normal shop window and set normal fire to our completely not magical shop.

We found out about a prophecy that said Bolis was going to rise again and do really bad stuff. This is all kind of magical but not the interesting bit. Well, it’s a bit interesting, the hands we were dealing with were all his and we need to know where his skull is (it’s almost definitely buried under the cathedral of Morrow) but it’s not the magical magicky thing that is really exciting, although finding out about it is kind of related.

I’m building a magical lock thing to keep the cellar safe. This is kind of exciting too. But also not it.

‘prentice went to the Opera with Jethbel and didn’t come back, he is probably having lots of human sex stuff now. He will have a silly grin when he comes back.

So. Researching the ‘where is Bolis buried’ thing I found out that there were books I needed to read that were at the Fraternal Order of Wizards, Wizard Tower with High Magnus Turpwell. I really needed to read the book, but I really didn’t want to go to the tower because it’s all magicky and so am I, only I’m not supposed to let anyone know and I’m not registered or anything and it’s all DIFFICULT. But I needed to know, so I had to go. I got Philipe to go with me.

There the Magus was all young and stuff, not what I’d expected and he wanted to see me alone, but I didn’t want him to so I made him see Philipe too and he said I’d been expected and stuff and he’d been waiting for me to turn up and I was all special because I’m not an unusual Gobber Arcanist type thing, apparently I’m THE Gobber Arcanist. Just one of me. They don’t know of any others. Like unique and stuff.

O.

M.

G.

So we kind of talked a bit and he wanted to do experiments on me and stuff and I didn’t like the sound of that and even though he was a lot nicer than I thought, he was still all scary and stuff and we drew up a contract thing which Philipe read through and I was really happy that Philipe was there and Philipe got to drink fine brandy and smoke cigars, but I didn’t take either because I was worried about being ensorcelled and stuff and we got to look at all the magic books and the skull is really definitely almost absolutely buried under the cathedral and they are going to try and get Scion Bolis back really soon because it’s Tides Ebb which is when all of the moons align and they need to do human sacrifice and everything to make it happen. When we tell ‘prentice he’s not going to be happy no matter how much sex he had..

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