Reis lifts his pack from the floor and unties the flap, only to groan in annoyance as half a dozen assorted items tumble out of the disorganized interior. Hastily stuffing various things back in, he pulls out a small pouch that clinks metallically.
Reis opens the pouch and shakes its contents - nine silver coins - out onto the table. "Well, that should make up my share - besides, I don't have any more silver on me, and I'd rather not ask for change on a gold piece right now." He scratches his chin and grins, peering into his pack. "Not to mention that I'm not entirely sure where I keep them." He tosses the empty silver pouch back into his pouch and bends down to close the flap again.
Reis straightens up and looks around expectantly at the other three members of the group.
Reis shrugs. "I'm fine with that. To be honest, I think a distraction at this point would be useless. Unless Sal is incredibly unobservant, I'm sure he's already noticed Perkiss conferring with us here."
"I suppose I'm still a bit over-cautious. Well, shall we go?"
With that he rises and makes his way out of the inn.
As the party rises to follow him they may notice that Sal's eyes follow them, hard and unblinking. At this point you may recall that he required an answer to his earlier questions. Still, it seems he does nothing other than watch you leave.
Once outside, Perkiss strolls down the road, apparently in no great hurry to get anywhere. As the party follows, he looks from side to side, then says quietly, "Keep your eyes open. I think that was too easy."
Reis looks thoughtful. He glances backwards at the tavern before looking back at Perkiss, but then smiles suddenly. "Well, Holden, how about giving us a tour of the deserted back alleys of the city? I have a suspicion we might meet a certain corpulent merchant if we wait long enough..."
A doubtful frown flickers across Reis' face. "Then again, it's probably more likely that he won't come himself, if he does have us followed." He scratches his chin pensively. "We still might find someone to question. I'll admit it's a risk, though - mercenaries tend to be good at their job."
Reis gives a small shrug. "What do you all think?"
OOC: OK, my disorganisation has triumphed again. I haven’t managed to get this game off the ground again, so I’m going to cut your losses and make treasure and XP awards, and get you guys back to the RDI.
[sblock=Treasure awards]Initial payment: 100 gp each.
Final reward from Bridgend Merchants Association: 100 gp each.
20% of value of returned items: 100 gp each.
Huffgood refuses to issue 5% lifetime discount certificates.
Ciprinus received 20 gp from Leesha Honeylott, as well as a Monitor lizard and a wand of Charm Animal (21 charges) from Perkiss.
Midias receives a MW light crossbow from Perkiss.
Ries receives a MW chain shirt from Perkiss.
Sarn received 17 gp prize money from the wood-chopping contest, as well as a MW cold iron handaxe from Yarman.[/sblock][sblock=XP awards]For defeating Perkiss and the baboon troupe: 300 xp each.
For fine roleplaying, I’m awarding the maximum Halford had planned: 150 xp each.
Time award: 08/09/04 - 09/06/10 = 9 months @ 50 XP per month = 450 XP each.
Therefore each PC receives 900 XP.[/sblock]
IC: As you start off down the street, you hear a ruckus from the inn you just left. Looking around, you see one of Fat Sal’s thugs standing in the doorway, beckoning to another who is standing close by. Both men rush back inside.
Before you can do anything, Perkiss remarks, “Now that’s interesting,” and hurries back to the inn - all thought of his contact apparently forgotten.
Having little choice but to follow, you enter to find the establishment in uproar. A crowd of people is thronging the table where Fat Sal was sitting, all talking at the tops of their voices. Suddenly the crowd parts, and Sal’s bodyguards run out the door, paying no attention to you as they pass. The observant among you will notice that one of them is carrying a pair of hand crossbows.
Perkiss forces his way through the onlookers and moves to kneel next to the slack pile of flesh which is - or was - Fat Sal. The man has slithered out of his chair and slumped onto the floor, his face turgid, his mouth wide open, and his eyes staring. Perkiss examines him briefly, feeling his chest for a pulse - and apparently having no luck, for his hand moves from side to side, checking feverishly for a heartbeat.
One of you asks the question which is on everyone’s mind: “What happened?”
Someone replies - you don’t see who - “He choked to death. The fat, greedy so-and-so choked to death.”
Perkiss rejoins your group and says, “Let’s get out of here!”
Later, back at the menagerie, he says, “It looks like our troubles are over. Fat Sal has gotten what he deserved, and we’ve got the perfect scapegoat.” Reflecting on it, you can’t help but agree.
Perkiss returns the stolen goods to you, and you return them to Huffgood, along with the news that the recently deceased Sal was behind the robberies. He reluctantly agrees to pay you the agreed-upon reward - “Even though you didn’t apprehend the thief. I cannot, however, in all conscience, issue the 5% Lifetime Discount Cards which I at first offered. You simply haven’t fulfilled the terms of our contract adequately for such a bounteous reward.”
(You have a sneaking suspicion that this may, in fact, be because you hadn’t managed to implicate Yarman in the robberies.)
You make one last visit to Bridgend, and the menagerie. There you find Perkiss supervising the loading of crates and cages onto a number of wagons.
“Hello, my friends,” he cries when he sees you. “We’re leaving Orussus - going to warmer and safer climes.”
He lowers his voice, and says to you, smiling, “You might say that Fat Sal had a change of heart. He is the benefactor who made possible our move. And very generous he was, too.”
He offers nothing more by way of explanation.
“I’m glad you came, though. I have some things for you.” He goes back inside and comes out with an armful of gear.
“I’ve spoken with Yarman, and we agreed that you should have these things. I won’t need them any longer.”
He gives Ries his MW chain shirt, and Midias his MW crossbow. To Ciprinus he hands a long, narrow box. Inside, the druid finds a wand made of tri-woven ficus, wound with silk.
“It’s a wand of Charm Animal. There are 21 charges left. The command word is written down on a piece of paper.” The paper reads ‘Ensurisal’.
“Well, my friends, goodbye for ever. Thank you for everything, and good luck for the future. Farewell!”
OOC: You may make your way back to the RDI. Good luck with your subsequent adventures!