The group reconvene the next day at the Golden Inix to discuss what is the best strategy. After fishing a bit for informations the “news of the weeks” are:
- The weather is changing for the worse. It’s never been this sandy so close to the city.
- Freeing the slaves caused mismanagement in the fields. Famine might be upon us shortly. Prices are sure to rise.
- Violence is escalating in the streets. The guard cannot keep up with the crimes and monsters that crawl out of Under-Tyr. Better stay inside at night, more than ever.
- New trading operations seem to be formed daily, but many disappear just as fast.
- Urik might launch an attack to claim the iron mines. Watch out for Urik spies.
- Gnoll raids have become alarmingly frequent along the trade route. They used to stay further to the south. The government has put up a bounty of 100 coins per Gnoll’s head.
- House Lanto is recruiting guards and miners for some big job at their fort south of the city.
The problem seems to be that Theray is a bit vague in his plan of “founding a new Trade House” or the whole “Trading” things… And this is not boding well for everyone around him. In any event the group basically discount the whole “Let’s go back to the ‘Pit’ in UnderTyr and win the fight 3 times to see what’s the final prize” story and decide to focus on getting a bit more informations on a the possible gig with House Lanto (that is trying to restart his business
after the fall of King Kalak), they are looking for guards/escort for miners and workers at their fort in the southern plain, at the mouth of the main caravans route out of Tyr.
The problems with the Gnoll‘s heads bounty is that, apparently, there are group of bandits targeting specifically gnoll’s hunters. They wait for the hunters to return all tired and pounded with the Gnoll’s heads and then attack them stealing the heads.
Rumors on the street also suggest that Lanto’s operations are ‘sponsored’ by the government. Also, Lanto’s Fort in the south is the only stronghold left operated by Lanto. It seems that Lanto is trying everything to ‘restart’ his operation, even putting all his eggs in one basket. Theray propose also to operate as “spies” for the Tyr’s government.
The group goes to Lanto’s HQ in Tyr and asks about this ‘guards’ job. It seems that Lanto is paying for period of 10 days for ‘generic’ guarding duties at their stronghold. The expected problems are basically… everything… (!) After a bit of discussion everyone agrees that a little time outside Tyr could be beneficial, so everyone agrees to join for a period, the next day at the Caravan District the group will leave towards the stronghold.
In the meantime, Varnag is a bit fazed by the fact that unknowns are apparently following the group around. So Theray suggest to try to find out and one of the way is to look for Jossi the Juggler (who advised Irann) and asks a few more questions about it. The group begins to search Tyr, is not difficult to find Jossi that is a known personality, so the group after a while is looking at Jossi performing in the streets. Irann notices that while the group is looking for Jossi, apparently some shady guy is again following the group.
While everyone in the crowd is distracted by the performance the group quickly devise the plan to attract Jossi’s attention to establish a contact while Varnag and Hardok attempt to sneak on the shady guy and (possibly) to grab and question him.
Irann moves in front of the crowd and with some gesture manage to gain Jossi’s attention, suddenly Jossi begins to toss balls and other things at Irann and she tosses them back, joining the performance. The crowd goes “hooooo” allowing Varnag and Hardok to approach the shady guy.
Well, that was the plan. But Hardok misunderstand a bit the concept of “sneaking” and crashes into somebody’s stall, provoking quite a mess and being ultra-visible. Still, this is good at distracting the shady guy. When the performance ends, Jossi direct the attention of the crowd towards Irann gesturing for a thanks to her performance, then Theray snatch an opportunity for a little talk.
Theray – Can we have a word?
Jossi – Sure horny guy!
Theray – You mentioned something about… problems following us?
Jossi – Yeah, problems. I’m not talking about your companions, even if they are pretty handy in causing distractions (gesturing towards Harodk’s general direction).
Theray – Yeah…
Jossi – But yes, people are following you, but not specifically you. You should watch out because it seems that your horns are attracting attention.
Theray – Yes, it’s the same things everytime.
Jossi – Is a bit more specific… Lately.
Theray – Is it House Vordan looking for me?
Jossi – Not specifically, but if they happens to stumble into you, you’re toast. But they are not out to get you, there are people specifically going after some Tiefling. That is not you, but you happens to be one of them, so be aware for cases of mistaken identities.
Theray – Hemmm… Anything else about that Tiefling?
Jossi – Not today sugarbunny!
So with this piece of information, Theray thanks Jossi, pay her a little sum of money and everybody walks away. Unfortunately the shady guy has moved away covered by all the commotion, the group simply write that part of the plan as “fail” in the scoreboard and goes on with the day.
Varnag comments that if they are being followed, they will have another chance.
Theray relay the informations acquired and everybody agrees that being outside Tyr for a few days seems a good idea at this point. Hardok asks if Theray has any idea who this specific Tiefling could ever be, he knows that very few are actually in town, and the most famous is Gavan Sul of the Tarnished Cup (a second-hand shop that sells almost every kind of stuff in the Caravan district). Hardok’s comment that he has heard lots of nasty things about him. That he is involved in smuggling and also has a passion for poisons. He has run the shop for a while but nobody so far succeded in getting rid of him.
Varnag suggest to Theray to go talk with Gavan and maybe bring Irann in the shop, while he and Hardok waits outside to see if they can see again their “escort”.
So the group moves towards the Smith Districts where the Tarnished Cup is located, quite a long trip around, along the border of the Noble District, under the shadow of the Ziggurat, Irann comments that one day she is going to climb the pyramid, Hardok warns her that “peoples don’t came back from there”. And in the end they reach the Smith District and the shop.
As planned, Theray and Irann goes in and meet Gavan Sul while Hardok and Varnag wait outside. Gavan is behind the counter thanking a customer that is now leaving. Theray try to measure a bit the guy, that is obviously a Tiefling and immediately greet him warmly, but Theray has the distinct impression that he is not so sincere and that there is a nasty Tiefling under the happy skin. Theray starts with some chit-chat and attempt to bring the discussion towards “news for Tiefling”
Theray – I was just wondering about the latest news… and what do you think about this new government…. but I have the impressions that some peoples are following me around… but I can’t really think why they should do that. Or maybe they are looking for you, so I thought that maybe you should be warned, or maybe you know the reason for this.
Gavan – Looking for me??
Theray – Well, I can’t believe they are looking for
me, so maybe…
Gavan – Neither can I, why should they?
Theray – I have no clue. I don’t think there is a areason, so I was just wondering maybe you have an idea?
Gavan – Well, let me think … I think that the people you refer to are looking for a specific Tievling, recently I have been visited by other Tievling more or less with the same informations, unfortunately it seems that for some peoples, all the Tievling are the same.
Theray – Yes, very racist. So there is somebody causing trouble?
Gavan – Well… I have some eyes and ears in some places and what I got is that there is a specific Tiefling that is acting as a representative of a new Trading House and this specific new house, apparently is not very liked by another established house that like to see him eliminated. Unfortunately, it seems that all the Tiefling looks alike for them, so they could just decide to kill them all just to be safe.
Theray – Gosh, well, that will be some kind of measure. But I suppose it leaves us in some kind of a problem.
Gavan – Exactly.
Theray – Would be that ‘competing’ trading house by any chance be House Vordon?
Gavan – No. I think the House that is acting is House Stel. But who this Tiefling is working for, I don’t know.
So, Theray thanks Gavan for the informations and takes the opportunity to drop his “business card” in the process.
(Based in Urik, House Stel is openly militaristic and hostile to lesser houses that it targets for acquisition. Trade Goods: slaves (outside Tyr), weapons, hardwood, feathers, and hostages for ransom)
While they are talking, Irann looks around the shop and smells some faint odor that makes her think that somewhere (in the basement maybe) some kind of distillation is going on and it’s something maybe poisonous. Besides that is a really crowded place.
In the meantime, outside the shop, Hardok hears some bickering coming from an ally near the shop, he relay the info to Varnag and moves to investigates and spots the same shady guy seen before that is now arguing with somebody else. It seems they are having an argument about the real identity of somebody. Hardok retreat unseen and moves towards the front of the shop just when Theray and Irann reappears. Varnag immediately propose to seize the opportunity, catch the guy since it’s 4 against 2, and ask some specific question.
Unfortunately, while the group is approaching, the two guys peek out, see them and decides to run away. The group follows and a chase ensues across the town’s market.
Irann’s leads the chase, quickly gaining on the two guys that begins to throw stuff in the middle of the road, Varnag and Hardok are right behind and Theray is “running”… but he seems to have troubles with his tail.
The two men enters a building that looks like a dilapidated warehouse, everybody burst in after them and the group ends up in a larg-ish room, full of people where one, that appears to be the boss, exclaim “Ho! Good! You lead the Tiefling right here!” at which both the two guys panting on one side begins to nod and confirms “yes… yes…”, other humans yells “Get him! Get him!” while Theray yells “We are going to get you!”. Varnag yells “wait a minute everybody!!” but nobody seems to listen to him.
Irann, that was the first to enter found herself surrounded by 3 or 4 thugs, and unleash a number of hits with her staff. The “boss” thug hits Theray with a flail leaving him on the ground, Varnag smak him in retaliation and pushes another one onto Hardok but he can’t hit him, a bunch of thugs at this point gangs up on Irann’s, Theray manage to hit the ‘boss’ with a his psionic power and fling him around against his own men, but he is a tough dude, so the other one gets the worse of the hit. One of the thug on the stairs tosses a dagger but he hits nothing. Hardok joins the group in the center of the room swinging his sword around and doing as much damage as he can, while Varnag tries to direct the fight keeping Irann on her feet at the same time, in the end a series of hits leaves Irann on the floor, a couple of thugs runs away, one out of the door past Theray, that decides he is not really interested in stopping him, and one upstairs. After quite a fight Irann manages to get back to her feet and with a swift move smack the remaining 2 thugs and put them down for good.
Quickly Varnag and Hardok runs upstairs and manage to catch the perp in the act of jumping the window, Varnag yell “Stop right there!” and scare the shit out of him, so they have a chance to talk and asks some questions.
The guy turns out to be nothing more than a “thug-for-hire”, hired by some unknown party at the “House of Thugs” (fitting name) to look up for Tiefling. Doesn’t seems too bright and in the end Varnag let him go with a suggestion to “change road if you see us coming”.
After this, the group decide to recover a bit and move back to the Noble District, they decide to check if “Rey’s Apothecary”, where they left that Poison Sample picked up in the pit in Under-Tyr, has discovered something interesting.
In fact, the poison has very weird effects, turning living thing into dead thing, that then becomes un-dead and quite aggressive. The man in the shop demonstrate with a rat in a cage that appears dead until he pokes with a stick, then he goes rabid around the cage for a bit and then drops back into his ‘dead’ state.
Theray inquires a bit about possible prices for the preparation and/or the “main component” of the poison, even if Varnag isn’t really sure about the possible uses of such “poison”.
After this, the group decides that is time to go back to the Inn and have a good night sleep and to reconvene the next morning for the job with the caravan.