I cannot believe what I have witnessed.
Our orders were to keep a low profile. My heart has been pounding every time we encounter ANYBODY. This city, for certain, keeps us on edge, and wary, but by the brood mother, they have gone too far. They have drawn steel, and blood, completely unprovoked, on unarmed shop clients, for no apparent reason. With a wild fury, Dorak went berserk in the alchemist’s shop, murderously attacking the patrons – completely unprovoked! Did I mention this was the very alchemist we were to treat with and discover why he’d stopped supplying potions to the Explorer’s cause? Yep. That alchemist!
And here I’d thought that the team had managed to come to their senses. Silly, silly rat! After the horrible ordeal with the druids, we had a palaver an decided to continue on with the mission, even though Qasim was gone – abducted by the still unknown foes. Yes, we were on a deadline, and so we quickly headed to a guild-hall of sorts, called the Wandering Way, on the edge of Free Trade Square. This was where our inquiries led us to find our guide.
We entered the place, squeezing through a haze of smoke thick with opiates, to discover our contact, Raimondo Scevola, to be drunk off his gourd (we later discovered that he had been drugged). Scevola had just lost the team of horses, the team WE were counting on to get the supplies up to the Azulant ridge, in a card game. A CARD GAME! Drunk, drugged, or not – the stinking Easterner had no right risking the Explorer’s well-being wagering the span of horses in a stinking card game.
Of course, the vision that immediately passed through my mind as the ruffians, men in service to the ship’s captain that had drugged our contact, stepped forward to roughen up Scevola, was that combat would shortly ensue. Provoked by Scevola, who in his state was being belligerently reluctant (as he’d every right), in giving over the ownership documents to the horses. Tempers were obviously high.
When our guide declared, “Over my dead body…”, I of course assumed our team would step in, draw steel (and summon zombie), and dispatch the toughs in record time. This, of course, they had cause and provocation to do. But no, of course they didn’t. They parlayed with the captain, and bought back the horses at an exorbitant price, clearly tenfold their value. In the end, drinks were shared and we left as bosom of buddies as could be.
I had wondered, as I oft do (for a curious rat am I), what had given Falko such a delay in entering the guild hall. To our dismay, we discovered much too late, that he’d been cavorting with some tough’s outside, the men responsible for the cloak of smoke we’d wormed through upon our arrival in the hall. Falko had, in fact, purchased some of that opium laced pipe-weed (itself an intoxicant). Oh for the love of mice! Later, on the journey to the provisioners, he’d lit up, and was himself lit up by its affects. Now we had two drugged men on our hands.
Realizing that our drugged guide would be of no use to us, (Falko was still fairly sensible, if not giddy), the party took Scevola to a native Chuulish medicine woman, who proceeded to take their money, time and a portion of sanity, while she concocted a remedy to counter the drug which had affected our guide. This foul-smelling brew only made the situation worse, for once that curative drug (and it was just a drug – a peppy one) had worn off, Scevola totally collapsed. In the end, Cian and Dorak took him to a priest of their Church, who is keeping him overnight, both to improve his chances of recovery, and so we did not have to haul the idiot around with us – which I might say was discussed and seriously considered. What fools.
Again, the majority of the team decided that while forced to wait for the guide to sober up, until the next morning in fact, they’d give the Alchemist Senzer Rulkup a visit and interrogate him as to his recent refusal of service to the Society. This seemed like a straightforward notion. Go to the shop, talk to the man, pick up some owed potions, and be on our way. The worst I’d expected was that the fellow was in hiding somewhere, or perhaps had fled Bloodeye. Gods forbid he’d become food for the swamp grubs. When the man was present in his shop, I was relieved, thinking we’d be in and out with nary a worry.
Right. More the fool, I.
That was when Dorak drew his rapier and viciously stabbed one of the alchemist’s patrons. I blinked and gasped. Then, taking a cue from Dorak (I can only assume), or perhaps it was the paranoia induced by the pipe-weed he’d smoked, Falko flung a spell at a female patron as she was trying to flee the bloodbath unharmed. The third patron was outraged and shouted something at Cian, not sure what the Cymb had done to provoke it, (he was the nearest person?). Well, Iz’Alma got into the fracas and cast a spell at somebody, then Smriti assaulted the female patron Falko had held with his magic, who was only trying to flee the murderous rage of Dorak.
At that point, I’d had enough! Enough of the team, enough of the attitudes, the paranoia, the scowling arrogance. I’d had enough of this corrupt and vile town, and I knew then what I had to do. I fled the mayhem. In my dust I left the screams, the bloodshed, and the swiftly gathering mob of witnesses behind. It was time (past time) to break from this group and secure the mission.
Ahh… the man I contacted is at the door, so I must finish this missive anon.