Part 2: Local Heroes

   
Jan milked the fame for what its worth and lounged at the lap of luxury, being catered by the whole staff of the Kitten... Okay, she didn't, but a girl can dream.

Having gotten a share of the gold they plucked out of the goblins' bodies, Jan magnanimously paid her half-copper wagers to Goald and to Jorgi, and showered Coleen with enough copper pieces to get Jan a full body massage for a whole day. Thrulgo didn't get any, but he was too involved with practicing his miming for the talent competition this last few weeks to have a wager running anyway. Besides, he actually managed to score with his groupies, which won Goald his copper pieces. It was probably Jan's scheme that had backfired, getting the groupies unionized like that.

No matter, she had too many schemes. Some probably even got in the way of each other, some were insurance to other schemes, some schemes she simply just forgot she had been hustling for...

Paranoia could get you like that, she admitted to herself.

At any rate, the Madame did decide to terminate Jan's bouncer contract in the brothel, but she was willing to house her and feed her as per usual, at least for two weeks' time, in recognition to what Jan had done in defense for the Kitten and Sandpoint overall. The other hero of the Kitten, Ser Dydymus was having a ball, getting cozy with Miss Olyssia who seemed to be rather smitten with her saviour, despite their difference in size.


*************


"Ameiko! Your hot cocoa! I've heard say that you have some powder stashed, for privileged AND paying customers! Well, since Lord Foxglove here had agreed to pay for our meals..." Jan had quickly demolished a number of honey-dipped flatbread and was on the process of continuing with demolishing a sumptuous course of lemon spiced roasted duck breast and choice bittersweet greens. Previously, it was a rather expensive meal from the Rusty Dragon that the woman hadn't had the coins to pay for, especially if she wanted to save money, but with the guy offering to pay, hey, why not?


Tom o' the Six Strings


Brego seemed slightly disturbed at the notion that the hunter had cut off the ears of the goblin while it still lived. They were vile little creatures true, but torture didn't sit well with Brego. He felt no remorse then, taking the money from the man. He divided the lump sum up evening between the six people, 60 gold pieces a piece, with Brego taking the remaining few coins, which he pocketed quickly and quietly



--------

Brego tipped his hat and flashed a smile towards several women, apparently enjoying the attention. There was one thing he learned when he was on the run, it was better to enjoy what vices he could when he could...Since every day could be his last day of freedom he ended up trying to enjoy each day, even if it was 'Tom' they were so enamored with Brego didn't see an issue with enjoying the fruits of that labor, whether it was just an inflated ego or something more. Easy smiles and small winks were his main method of communication of late.

-----------------------

When Brego arrived he would hand out a bag of 60 coins to each of the members of the party, saying that it was from the weapon sale. As the conversation developed Brego would simply shrug at the question and fill his mouth with food, half to enjoy the meal and half to let him think of a response. For the moment Aldern seemed more focused on Sai, though Sai had that look again. The look of curiosity, a feeling Brego couldn't afford to help her satiate.

"Well, we just couldn't stand by while innocent people were getting hurt, now could we?"
he said in response, keeping his answers generic and, for the most part, applying to everyone


Gozzik Redknife


When Tom handed out their shares of the weapon-money, Gozzik looked startled. "Thank you, Tom," he replied, solemnly, as he accepted enough money to keep him going for months. Years, if he didn't mind sleeping and eating rough; which he didn't. "So much money... You must have been able to get a lot from that... Man," he stated, thinking about their confrontation before the Midget Toss.


After the others left the temple, Aegon pulled Father Zantas aside. "There is a woman in the caravan I came with--the one that delivered the Swallowtails yesterday--who took a goblin arrow to the arm. She wasn't seriously injured by it, but I'm afraid that the arrow may have been poisoned. I've seen it's like before, and usually takes a day or more to actually start harming its victim. She doesn't suspect anything is wrong at the moment; if she were to grow fearful, it could accelerate the poison's damage. It would mean a great deal to me if you could send an acolyte with skill in healing poisons to tend to the woman's wound. If possible, I'd prefer she not know that she was poisoned at all."

***

Seeing that the coast was clear after their conversation, Aegon set out about the town once more, dropping by the armorer's shop to take advantage of a little of the goodwill circulating in the town. Trading in his well-worn leather armor, Aegon exchanged it for a brand new gleaming chain shirt that would protect him from blows like the one he'd sustained in the fray the day before. He left the shop with two throwing axes hanging from his belt and his new armor. He wandered the town a bit longer, until he found his legs had betrayed him and led him to the Rusty Dragon as the sun just passed its peak in the sky.

Aegon sighed. "I suppose it will be worse for me if I offend our noble benefactor..."

He entered the inn and took a seat with the others. "Apologies for my tardiness; I had a few things to see to." He ordered a tankard of ale and a bowl of noodles mixed with chicken and vegetables, nodding his thanks to the waitress as the food arrived.

He ignored Saitylvaness' jab directed at him and rubbed his temples. Had this woman not gotten the message? Her words were like a reed battering against a stone cliff. Where even wind and water may succeed with time, the reed would only destroy itself.


Aegon found Savah Bevaniky over at the town's armory to be very pleased to have him as a visitor, and after trading a few "war stories" and showing off his wares, the shopkeeper agreed to some very generous deals with the elven battlecaster.



* * * * * * *

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gozzik
"I don't know. I don't understand what would motivate someone to sit behind a desk all day. Where I am from, everyone migrates, all the time; this isn't so different, except that here there are inns to stay in, and spicier food,"
"Fascinating! So you seek not the security of a home to call your own, and you are free to travel free of fear and without worry for your future?" Aldern remarked in response to the undersized champion. "Pardon my surprise, Gozzik, but where I come from, halflings are often forced into servitude, and spend their entire lives picking olives or stomping grapes, thus, your story is rather charming." The nobleman meant no disrespect with his mildly condescending tone or the derogatory term he used to describe Gozzik's race. It was merely a sign of his own ignorance.

* * * * * * *


Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas
"Hey, the arms weren't a secret! I just hadn't showed them yet. Maybe I can put on a display of how many mugs of ale I can drink at once with them."
"Now that would be impressive, but we can't have you scaring off all our guests," Ameiko accented her joke with a typical, sideways smirk. "Besides, I haven't had the best of luck with conjurers," she added, without further explanation.

"So tell me, where along the course to enlightenment does one come upon this sort of magic?" Ameiko wondered aloud, calling back the monk's explanation of his own purpose from a day earlier. Her curiosity was sincere, but anyone who was
sense motive DC 20
accutely aware would notice that her words were also laden with the slightest hint of mistrust.


* * * * * * *


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
"Ameiko! Your hot cocoa! I've heard say that you have some powder stashed, for privileged AND paying customers! Well, since Lord Foxglove here had agreed to pay for our meals..."
"You always do know how to get the most out of men, don't you?" the sultry server responded to Jan with a wink. Since taking over the Rusty Dragon, Ameiko had realized tnat she could make a few extra coins using her own desirability to raise the blood of her customers, then sending them over to the Kitten to blow off some steam. It was a business opportunity that Jan had been eager to take advantage of since her arrival in town. "How are things over at Kaye's place anyway? You think maybe our friend here might need some attention later tonight?" she asked, nodding toward Lord Foxglove, who was oblivious to the remark as he continued ogling Sai.

* * * * * * *


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sai
"I've come from the Tower of Stars near Celwynvian. There I studied to become a bladedancer. Currently my goals are two fold, recover a few items that were stolen from me in Riddleport, and complete my Ra Iaur."
Aldern listened intently to Saitylvaness as she spoke, gazing deep into her eyes or following the subtle movement of her lips as she mouthed her words. "Ah, sadly I'm not as learned as I'd like to be on the details of elven culture," he admitted. "This Ra Iaur, is that some sort of rite of passage?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sai
I was told by a friendly and wise old sage that I would find that which I sought here on the day of the swallowtail festival."
"Then perhaps it was fate that brought our paths together, dear Saitylvaness?" Aldern replied. Apparently a few glasses of wine had loosened his spirit. "It's true, I'm hardly a religious man, but I must concede that even I paused to consider the coincidence of our meeting on the holiday of the Resplendent Goddes herself!" The amorous noble placed his hand softly over that of his lovely companion as he made the audacious suggestion, "I wish you'd come with me back to the city, where the accommodations are much more suitable to a lady of such distinction and splendor, where we might learn each others secrets as we watch the sun set over the Arcadian Ocean...." There was a sudden choking sound as Aldern's speech was cut off. The sudden rush of adrenaline mixing with his drink had caused him to become dizzy. He looked down at the table in silence for a moment, then back up at Sai with a look that was much more calm. "Say, have you done something different with your hair since last we met?"

* * * * * * *

Later in the afternoon, once everyone had finished eating, Aldern rose to address the group as a whole. "I hope that you've all enjoyed your meal," he said, looking around the table. "Now then, a toast to the Heroes of Sandpoint!" he exclaimed, raising his glass.

"May your hearts always be full as you follow your dreams,
And may your mind's eye carry you safely along the way!"


He ended his toast by bringing his glass to meet those of everyone around him one by one, then to his lips to take another long gulp of wine. As he sat back down, he motioned for one of his curiously quiet assistants to open the small, black box and retrieve the contents inside. "I picked these up at Rovanky Tannery here in town. They do a fine job there too, considering," he explained as his manservant passed each of you a finely crafted coinpurse made of soft, brown leather. "Inside I have placed a gift to show my thanks to you for coming to my rescue." Inside each of the small pouches there were five, platinum, imperial scepters, a Chelaxian currency traded only among the most wealthy of citizens.

"And for you, dear Satylvaness, I also have this," he said, producing a golden hairpin attached to two white feathers tipped in emerald green and gold paint. "You can use these feathers to call upon a small bird who will carry a written message over great distances," he explained as he handed Sai the magical accessory. "I would hope that you'll use these to send word that you're on your way to meet me at my estate in Magnimar so we can become better acquainted, but in fairness, you can use them any way you like."



"I was raised by a number of ascetics who called themselves Keepers of the Cycle. I've never been much of a scholar, but in short, they worship a certain number of entities that they claim is linked to the circle of life - one lives, one dies, one's soul goes on to live again. As we choose our path, we are told to seek out the path of the entity that most closely resembles what we want to be. I have no lofty goals in life - therefore, I picked Asura, a creature of whimsy, violence and sheer human desire. I don't have any illusions about the nobility inherent to such a path. But I find it's a life perfectly worth living. Freeing oneself from the Cycle is too great a pain in the ass anyway." He took a sip of the wine as he finished saying that. He couldn't sense Ameiko's mistrust directly, but what she spoke earlier about conjurers dropped a fairly big hint. "Guess I'm amid that bad luck, eh? Sorry to be such a disappointment." The half-elf smiled wide, but she could definitely see in his eyes that he was lying rather poorly. "I didn't mean to hide it from you. It's just that a lot of people tend to look at me funny once they see the extra arms."

Saitylvaness Sylvari The Knight of Stars

Sai nodded approvingly, "Yes, the Ra Iaur is a ritual all the students at the Tower of Stars must undergo. We journey out into the world and prove ourselves worthy to protect our people. We must bring proof of our deeds back to the Tower, only then can we become masters of our art form. Though before I can even begin to contemplate completing my trial, I must recover the items that were stolen from me." It was nice to have someone so friendly and so interested in her life, yet Sai could see what he really wanted burning in his eyes. Aldern was charming as a friend, but that was where her interest in him ended.

As he reached for her hand, she thought to pull away. He's just had too much to drink, in a few hours he'll realize how forward this seems and beg me to forget what he said! I hope... Instead she just smiled politely. "My secrets?" Sai let out a light-hearted laugh as she slyly extracted her hand from his, using it to take a drink. "My secrets are one of the most carefully guarded treasures of my people's culture. But perhaps it was destiny we met today. Only time will tell." She gave him another wide smile. "My hair perhaps? How very kind of you to notice! I've always liked to spice things up with a little change." As if to accentuate her point, she began to twirl a small part of her hair around her finger playfully.

As Aldern presented the gifts to the group, Sai was shocked. It was far too much to give! As she opened her mouth to refuse the money, he presented her with the golden hairpin, Saitylvaness found herself speechless. They were so beautiful! It would be a shame not to keep them! Standing from the table, she leaned over and gave the noble a quick kiss on the cheek. "Thank you so much Aldern. Truly I am...overwhelmed by your gratitude. I most certainly will send you a message. And perhaps the next time I am in your area, I will be sure to drop in."





Tom o' the Six Strings


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aldern
"Fascinating! So you seek not the security of a home to call your own, and you are free to travel free of fear and without worry for your future?" Aldern remarked in response to the undersized champion. "Pardon my surprise, Gozzik, but where I come from, halflings are often forced into servitude, and spend their entire lives picking olives or stomping grapes, thus, your story is rather charming."
Brego almost choked on his drink as Aldern spoke to the halfling warrior. He slapped his knee several times and eventually made the liquid in his throat go down, a wide smile crossing his face

"My Lord Foxglove, you make me miss my fair city of Magnimar" he said with a wide smile at his own hidden joke.

-----
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas

"I didn't mean to hide it from you. It's just that a lot of people tend to look at me funny once they see the extra arms."
Brego, having always been an easy drunk decided he would be welcome into the conversation

"It's better that way. I mean do you know how many women would love to have a six armed man around? The ladies in Maginmar would be able to carry a full days shopping with this one"
he said with a head motion to the elf "Can't blame him for keeping it a secret, lest he become an elaborate coat rack"

===

Brego for his part watched Alderns advances on Sai with an ever lowering lack of interest. He wsn't used to drinking this early in the morning anymore and the booze began to go to his head. He wondered why her hair was a different color, that was bugging him more than anything else Aldern could've been doing.

At the large show of generosity Brego reddened taking the five platinum pieces. One might notice that he didn't even blink at the large denomination of cash being handed out, like he had seen larger amounts before.

"Good good.. this'll help with my trip"
he said with a grin, reaching for another drink of alcohol

"That's not the use of the extra arms I think the ladies would be most interested in." Aegon added, fighting to control a smirk as he could not resist the joke, while giving Jan a significant look. She seemed to be a worldly one; hopefully she wouldn't be offended.

"You are very generous, Aldern." he added as he secured the new coinpurse somewhere on his person.

He made a mental note to swing back by to square up with Savah. The armorer had been kind enough to give him the deal on credit--"In case any more goblins showed up"--and Aegon's hunch that the noble would express his gratitude in he only way he knew how turned out to be a good one.


Gozzik Redknife


Gozzik frowned slightly at the nobleman's comments on halflings where he was from, and further at Brego's interjection. "Yes. I find I am more than capable of surviving on my own. And as you saw yesterday, I don't worry about someone trying to take my freedom. I don't think life in your homeland would suit me."


When he is eventually given the money, he thanks the nobleman for his gift, and puts it among his other carried belongings.





 

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