Of Sharks and Spiders – Bargaining & Anger
The early morning light hadn’t yet made it over shanties and slums, and down to the streets of Old Korvosa, as Markus and crew headed out from the Sticky Mermaid. The smells and sounds of fish-mongers and fish-fryers from the docks called out to them, as they made their way through Reefclaw Market and towards Northpoint. Having heard that rare salvage can sometimes be found in the market, the party made their way over to a stall near the back full of rusted gear, tackle, and a back shelf full of strange potions and trinkets.
A wizened and wrinkled Halfling stared up at them from his booth, reluctant to get off his stool so early in the day. The sound of coins quickly made him more helpful, and the party managed to find several small potions – one levitate, and a few cure light wounds, along with a dirty shield that turned out to be a darkwood buckler.
Chloe’s eye caught on a battered, and half melted chest at the back of the stall. The Halfing hopped up off his stool, wiping his hands on his pants. “Ah, Good eyes Sirs. That right there is the legendary treasure of The Wave herself.” He quickly re-told the epic of naval commander Keyra “The Wave” Palin, and how she had saved the city on several occasions only to perish in a massive fire during a Shoanti raid.
“I’ll be damned if I know how to open it. Damn thing’s melted. But what’s inside HAS to be worth something right?” A closer examination by Markus and his trained lock-picking eyes yielded no easy answer as a strange keyhole dominated the center of the chest: little ridges and furrows like an ocean wave. Had it been melted? Or was that on purpose?
Kaylee whispered to the group that she could sense strong magicks from within the chest but the group lacked the funds to purchase it outright. The disappointed Halfling promised to hold onto it until they could return with the coin. With their options exhausted, they set out for breakfast and in search of Aron.
A search that was made easier when they spotted him looking frantic and jogging towards them accompanied by a squad of Korvosan Guard. Aron quickly explained what had happened in the basement of the temple, and where Donna was being kept. Together again, the party gave instructions to Reshi to raise hell Eel’s End while the rest of the group pulled up along the back and climbed aboard.
With the plan in place, the group made their way towards Trail’s End, and Gau’s Sister-in-Law’s home. They found her sitting outside on the front steps as two young boys ran around fighting each other with thin sticks, and an older sibling sat drawing on the short dockfront. Their home had seen better days, and was in desperate need of new paint and gardening but so did many of the homes in Trail’s End.
The older women, sitting with a wash basin on her lap, looked the well-armed arrivals up and down. “How can I help you travelers? We don’t have much coin or valuables here but I can wash and mend your clothes for a fair price, and we have breakfast inside, though I’m afraid it’s gone cold by now.”
The party explained that they only needed to borrow her boat for a short while, and that Gau had sent them with his blessing. Her expression quickly softened, and she gladly lent them the battered skiff, pointing towards the gravel beach where it lay overturned.
As they turned over the boat, and tested it in the tepid, murky waters of the Jeggare River, the girl from the docks called over to them “Don’t you know anything about sneaking across the river? You can’t just go at any time, the watchmen will see you, and you’ll be blinded by the sun at this time of day.” Across the water, the party could see she was right, as thick stone walls topped with heavy wooden catapults and ballistae were barely visible rising up out of the water and glare of the morning sun.
Markus peaked over at her drawing, sketched with thick-cut Shoanti paint sticks. At first glance, a painting of the city burning, flames licking the buildings hungrily, as dread beasts circled overhead. “What are you drawing there little girl?” he asked.
“My name is Brienna.” She responded pointedly, grinning up at Markus. “I’m just drawing the city at sundown. It’s beautiful then. Everything just glows, and right when the sun goes behind the plateau, the buildings get this bright shade of red to them.”
Markus took another look at the drawing. Yes, it was innocent, just a child’s imagination at work. Then why did he still have dread feeling in the back of his mind? He used to only get that shiver when he worked for Barsavi, yet here it was again. He shook himself, patted Brianna on the head, and turned back towards the party who had started loading up the skiff with gear. Aron, it seems, would not be made to wait until later, and they were soon paddling out into the river, and towards Eel’s End.