A Night on the Town
By: TheGM
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002 09:15:24 PM
Viewable By: TheGM, Beka
Beka, your father is at it again. He has given Vance a coveted assignment organizing a shipment of silks to Karkul. It?s a milk run as far as you can tell. The road to Karkul is pretty well defended. Anybody can send silks to Karkul. The real money would be in selling them to Adala. The risk of taking them along the Lizard Road means that no one is sending silks to Adala. You could fetch a high price if only he would let you go. But no, he just pat your head and said that you shouldn?t worry your head over big business matters. Then he gave you a silk bag of eagles and told you to buy a new outfit, or ornament, or... something. AAAARGH! To make matters worse, you run into Vance on the way out the door. He is holding some papers which he pointedly slips into a small valise before greeting you with that mock sincerity. You exchange ritual pleasantries. He asks where you are headed at this late hour. Your reply deftly deflects the subject to the Karkul Road route. You say that he will never support the business with simple trades like that. Even poor peopl walk the Karkul road these days.
His eyes have that condescending look, like he is speaking to a five year old. He tells her that the secret is not the rarity of the goods, but finding the right prodct for the right buyer. He gives you a nod and lets himself into your father?s study without knocking. Double AAAARGH!
Storming out of the house and into the courtyard gardens, you find the box you keep hidden under big fountain, amongst some gardening equipment. Opening the box you pull out the sword and armor you keep there, along with clothes that polite daughters of highly respected merchants shouldn?t own. With a quick glance to ensure privacy, you exchange the flimsy silks for shiny blue-black leather. The sword lends a confident weight to your stride. Without a look back, you strut off into the hot dark night to find something to get your mind off Daddies and pretty-boy favorites. By the time you have crossed to the West side, the strut has nearly become a swagger.

The Five Black Swords Casino is busy tonight. Some of the regulars recognize you. A serving girl offers you a drink on the house, while a party of off-duty sailors invites you to sit in on their card game. Sinking back into the leather-bound chair with the warmth of the liquor reaching your toes, you think that this is the way you should be treated. Free drinks and rugged boys seeking your attention.

A shout draws your attention. A cry of ?Rath! Rath!? goes up from the pit in the corner. Apparently the fights have started. Collecting your winnings from the disappointed sailor-boys, you bid them farewell. You have seen Rath fight before. He is a huge four armed riven barbarian from the Hill Tribes on the Boothian Peninsula. Once after a fight, you felt sorry for him. He looked so boyish and lost, not someone who should be pulverizing people for the pleasure of others. (Not that there was anything wrong with that. You often wager on pit fights and are familiar with the more popular fighters. Several times when you were in a foul or dangerous mood, you have even gone clandestinely to the Death Pits, where the fights are not stopped until someone lies broken and lifeless. But Rath seemed to good natured for that) Rath was one of those poor unfortunate riven who get used up by Harker.They start out in the fight pits and end up in the death pits. Then they are dumped without ceremony into the Kabluna Marsh for the tide to carry out.
You tried to explain this to Rath.You even bought him a meal, though you could see the looks of disgust from the ?normal? crowd. But he felt he had no options.
Now you see him enter the pit. His opponent is a strong man, a savage-looking brute with spittle flinging from his lips. Probably on some kind of drug, perhaps Blackroot. That was another way the Pit drew in people. The fight is over quickly. You can see the disappointment of the crowd as Rath simply grabs the half-mad fighter and squeezes. The looks of displeasure give way to a sudden ?oooh!? followed by wild applause as an audible snap is heard. The drug-crazed combatant has been crippled. Only you note the look of horror upon Rath?s face as the Pit Keepers lead him away. You know he will need a friend tonight.

Unfortunately, it takes you some time to find him in the crowded casino. When you do, he is talking to Beef, Harker?s enforcer and administrator of the fights. Beef has a predatory look and Rath is looking very unhappy. The riven rises and looks about. You see Harker himself, seated at a private corner table. He is a mass of knotted muscle and scar tissue, for all his fifty years. He is enjoying a glass of wine after the bout, attended by two eager young ladies.
The casino is a converted warehouse, with high, beamed ceilings and a wide catwalk that runs around three walls. The main room is very crowded. It is lit by oil lamps, not lumina
Don't mess with me...
By: Beka
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2002 09:27:23 PM
Viewable By: Beka, TheGM
I go find Rath and see if I can lead him out of this fine establishment. He needs to get away for a while and I think we can go get the caravan going tonight and head it on the way to Adala instead. I ask Rath if he will help me, go to the caravan headquarters (knowing that Vance will be out on the town getting ready to leave in the afternoon tomorrow [because getting up too early makes him look puffy]) and roust everyone out tonight as if my father set me on this job. I will use the money he gave me to "buy something pretty" to bribe the caravaneers to go tonight instead and let them know that their pay will be higher because we will get a much better deal in Adala. "OK Rath, ready to go?"
Cripes! The boss is coming!