|By Shamus||Oct 5, 2005||8 comments|
Thordek and Enoch explore the square. They walk over to the south gate, where the strange guards with the solid (eyeless) metal helmets stand. Enoch cannot sense anything evil or demonic about them.
Thordek shops, looking for better armor in the square or anything else he might find useful. He eventually orders a set of banded mail. They don’t have any ready to fit a Dwarf just now, but the smith can size a set for him. It will be done in two days.
As he looks around the shops, he sees a great number of soldiers assemble and lead Skeeve away, into the Keep.
Eomer goes shopping for the things he lost, including a lock-pick set and a compass. He starts trying to gather information, specifically about traveling papers.
Eomer ends up talking to a rough-looking guy at a “pawn” shop, who also sells “used” (probably stolen) items along with handy “Locksmith Tools”. This guy is obviously connected to the criminal side of the city. Eomer drops some coin and gets some information.
He learns that travel papers were instituted when northerners started “leaking” in. Ever since Fort Bolland fell, people have been showing up, telling various stories in an attempt to gain travel papers and go south where they might cause trouble or simply flee the island. The pawn shop owner “knows some guy” who can forge membership papers for the Mage’s Guild. This, Eomer gathers, is very difficult. Despite this he’s never made a counterfeit set of travel papers that worked. Somehow the soldiers always spot the fakes, and nobody can figure out how.
In the midst of discussing this he sees Skeeve pulled into the keep.
He also learns that papers are definitely needed for going south. If he needs some, he could go to the magistrate, who has been known to give foreigners travel papers. He also learns that in order to leave this island they will need to reach the southernmost city, which is the only major port still in operation. The other major port was Fort Boland, which was recently conquered and isn’t in any shape to engage in any sort of commerce just yet.
Finally, Eomer learns the address of a contact on the northern side of the city who is somehow connected with what is left of the resistance.
Once Skeeve emerges from the keep, the party (minus Beck) meets out front. Skeeve explains what is going on, and also stops at the tailor shop to see if the tailor was really making his robes.
Skeeve tries to convince them that the group should go see Noreeno quickly. They head to the keep, leaving Beck to sleep.
They return to Noreeno’s office. Noreeno introduces himself, and then explains the Zone of Truth again. Glamn casts it, and Noreeno begins his questions. He gets their names, makes sure they are not working for the Lormanites, and gets some background.
Finally he offers them a chance to ask him some questions, under the zone of truth.
Eomer asks Noreeno about his position as magistrate. The party has sort of sensed that Noreeno’s loyalties are a bit out of alignment with the Alidians, and he seems to be willing to work against them. Noreeno explains that he was appointed magistrate by the Queen when the city fell a year ago.
“Queen who?”, Thu’fir asks.
Noreeno is surprised, “Queen Alidia. Our leader. Anyway, she appointed me to this position when we took over the city. I’ve run it since then. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have my own agenda. My loyalties lie not with the Alidians or the Lormanites, but elsewhere. I have my own goals, which is why I’m asking for the services of outsiders like yourselves.”
Eomer asks about Endo. Noreeno hasn’t heard the name, but when Eomer describes a large bald monk with tattoos on his chest Noreeno’s eyes light up. “So! You know him?”
Noreeno explains that yes, Endo was here. Endo was caught trying to sneak around the town. They managed to capture him,but not until he managed to kill several guards. He stood his ground so that his companion might escape. Noreeno then asks the party who Endo was traveling with.
When they explain that they don’t know he is very irritated.
He then returns to the subject of the job he has for them. He can’t discuss the particulars of the job in town, but he admits that the job is dangerous, but he wouldn’t ask them to do it if he didn’t think they could pull it off. This job must be done by outsiders. In exchange for this job, he offers them six sets of travel papers, a membership to the Mage’s Guild for Skeeve, and information on where they can find Endo.
Eomer asks what Endo was trying to do. Noreen explains that he doesn’t know. He’d wanted to interrogate Endo himself, but the Alidian soldiers took him south directly without giving Noreeno a chance to intervene.
They talk a bit more. Eomer and Noreeno make another side deal: If Eomer can find out who Endo’s companion is, Noreeno will reveal how they spot fake travel papers.
Noreeno reveals that he can’t describe more about the job while in town. He points out Vale Calma on their map, and gives them a location where they should meet him, at dawn, in two days.
Eomer asks about the soldiers in masks. Noreeno replies that they are the Queen’s elite guard. They take orders from her only and he has no idea how.
He then asks, “What is the Queen like”?
“She is quite vicious. Everybody who rules over this island has to be vicious. Anyone who isn’t, won’t rule long.”
They ask if it this job they have to do is immoral. Noreeno replies, “It depends on who you ask. Certainly if you ask people in town they will think it is immoral.”
Thu’fir asks about horses. Noreeno says they are hard to come by, even for him.
They bid each other good day and the party leaves.
Thordek returns to the smith and asks if he could have the armor done tomorrow. He drops in an extra 46 gold and the smith promises it by tomorrow noon.
As evening approaches, Eomer heads to the north side of town, stealthily, to someone who is a member of the Lormanite resistance. The place is in a shabby house, around the back, past the pigs, and down the steps to the root cellar. A kid in his 20’s seems to run the place. He is scarred and shifty. He seems to be running a safe-house of some sort, where fugitives from the north might hide. Eomer begins bribing information out of him.
The kid talks a lot, lies a lot, is distrusting and untrustworthy. Nevertheless, Eomer manages to drag a good deal of information from him. He learns the following:
- The Monk (presumably Endo, although he never gave his name) was here a few days ago. He was with some skinny kid in his late teens. They hid for a day and headed south.
- Endo seemed to know all the passwords and locations of resistance members, even though he is a foreigner here, and isn’t the sort to get involved in politics or wars like this.
- The location where they will meet Noreeno is known to have a lot of ruins.
Eomer returns to the Inn. They have a free day to spend in town, and then they must head off to Vale Calma to meet with Magistrate Noreeno and find out what job he has for them…