A Rather Odd Shovel [Judge: Bront] - Page 51





  1. #501
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    Fimble pays the escort for his assistance, with an extra silver on top. "You were most helpful, thank you." With a small bow, your escort bids you goodbye.

    You chat as you return to the docks, discussing the things you discovered in the library. But when you arrive, conversation suddenly stops. Your ship is not where you left it. In its place is a rather worn down boat, almost as small as a dingy, in which sit an old man and woman, both in full plate, snoozing in the late afternoon.

    You don't have much time to react, because a fat man in fine clothes comes waddling down the dock almost immediately. With a giant grin, he says, "Ah, the owners of that fine vessel have arrived at last! Well, the Seven-named Ship set sail this morning, with your friends and a dour but rather wealthy robed fellow aboard." He says "wealthy" with a wink and produces a heavy bag. "Nine thousand Crowns worth of jewels I have for you, a far better price for that old thing than you'd ever get otherwise. A fair trade for what will now be known as Halina's Blessing. What a cliche, these religious folk have no imagination!" He laughs uproariously at his joke, sputtering a bit of spittle as he does.

    "Well then, it's always a pleasure to be the bearer of good news. Have a splendid day, gentlemen. I certainly am."
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    "Well, now," Tommy says with a frown. "The money is a pleasant surprise, but I wish they could have waited long enough to say goodbye to us. They didn't even leave a note?"

    His eye lingers on the odd couple, incongruously snoozing in the boat in full plate armor. He asks the fat man who gave them the purse, "I say, do you happen to know who those people are in the boat? I, uh, hope they're experienced with small boats. I'd hate to see them start awake and find themselves unexpectedly swimming. Swimming is hard enough when you're not wearing an entire foundry."
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    Keldar begins moving to the far side of the grinning fat man from the others with a dangerous quietness.

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    "Those two? Never seen them before in my life. Seem happy enough to be in a boat, though, eh?" The man chuckles and his fat rolls jiggle beneath his chin. "If that's all, I wish you gentlefolk a splendid day!" He turns to waddle back up the dock.
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  • #505
    "Misunderstanding has led to so many avoidable tragedies," says Keldar at last, "and I find myself still so confused. There's a time for good humour and a time for the utmost clarity, wouldn't you say?"

    The elven rapier that Keldar refuses to strap to his side hangs carelessly in his right hand. He stands still, moving no more than a single finger of his left. The scabbard slides free of the blade apparently of its own accord. Keldar regards it with apparent interest as it floats impossibly slowly to the ground.

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    "Keldar," Tommy says nervously, "What are you doing?"
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  • #507
    "I? I am waiting for a full and detailed explanation on this splendid day. What this blade is doing, I wouldn't like to guess. I've never really trusted it."

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    Tarag steps between Keldar and the fat man, whom he addresses calmly.

    "Now, friend, don't get me wrong. I'm not at all unhappy when people hand me voluminous bags of gems. But I am ... surprised to find our ship, our crew and our companions gone without a word! Where is the Paladin, Galwynn? Where is the Lady Rapture? And who commissioned you to sell our ship?"

    Then the dwarf pauses, frowning, and asks, "Did you say Halina's Blessing?"
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  • #509
    "It's sacrilegious, is what it is. She's called Warbray's Pride. Punch him in the face, Tarag."

    Keldar fumes.

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    The fat man looks anxiously at Keldar's now-unsheathed weapon. "Ah, no need to get testy there, young man. I got you a fantastic deal, best I've ever made. It's easy to bargain hard when the buyer's in such a rush, no?" A sheen of sweat appears on his forehand and neck, despite the coolness of the falls.

    "Right, the buyer. It was a cleric of Halina, just came into town, and he spoke with your man friend in full plate here at the docks. It didn't take long before they both came to me with the bag of jewels and a powerful desire to buy the ship from its owners. Of course I gave it to them, the fools, t- er, nine thousand Crowns is nearly double the going rate for such a vessel!" He pulls out a white handkerchief and wipes his brow.

    "And once it was his, the cleric re-christened it, again, and plastered 'Halina's Blessing' on the hull. Your fairer friend went with them when they left, I didn't ask where the three were headed."

    His eyes grow wide. "Look, gentlemen, I don't see why we're so upset! If you want another ship, there are plenty on the dock for sale at eight thousand, nigh as fine as yours. Is it your things you're after? Your mate left a bag of rocks and other random junk with me. I assumed it was garbage, but maybe you're attached to it...?"

    Keldar's unsheathed sword has attracted the attention of some wandering dock guards. Two men are approaching your dock now.
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