Grundun studied the situation briefly before speaking. Nodding to Moony, he said, "My guess is that you're the best snatch and grabber." To Jarl, he said, "Can you be distraction number two? And then Antonin and I can be mobile reserve and magical backup, pitching in where necessary."
The crate lands heavily on the wagon, and the men surrounding it are visibly relieved. Then, a baleful howling rises from the wooden prison, the slats of the crate creaking and groaning as a cloud of glittering, icy fog seeps out the cracks, riming the wood with frost.
The busy docks go silent for a moment as everyone turns to look.
"Aw dammit," says the man talking to Kluh. A split second later a set of massive jaws burst through the side of the crate and close around him, killing him instantly in an exuberant splash of gore.
The magnificent beast that steps out of the wreckage of the crate looks like a wolf, if wolves were white and silver and more than eight feet long. Its eyes are a glacial blue, and it gazes out over the crowd with a malevolent intelligence, as if gauging just how many it will have to kill to get to freedom.
As Grundun had been speaking previously, he looked around and suddenly noticed that Moony wasn't actually around to be the snatch-and-grabber. Apparently, the Buomman was too sneaky for his own good -- or Grundun's own good, depending on your point-of-view -- and Grundun hadn't perceived that he'd lagged behind. As the action began, the dwarf cursed under his breath. "Or, we improvise," he said quietly to his friend Jarl and the well-connected Fairhaven fellow. "Scorp's mine, but don't tell anyone. Be ready to grab or fast-talk our mark when he comes our way."
He then moved forward as most of the bystanders were regarding the wolf, surreptitiously grasping at his chest or neck as he did so. In what just had to be a completely unconnected occurrence, of course, a large scorpion appeared near the horses and Kluh. To the average bystander, it probably looked as if yet another horrendous monster had suddenly appeared on the scene, this one out of thin air.
To all of the bystanders, but particularly pitched toward the trio of men that included Kluh, the pleasant-looking blond Dwarven warrior with the lucerne hammer across his back gestured wildly and shouted, "Citizens, run this way to safety, hug the walls in case those things lunge at you!"
Antonin shook his head at the big, flashy display of magic apparent in summoning the scorpion to do battle with the wolf. So grandiose. Well, maybe showy and unsubtle was the way to go at a moment like this one... it made it a lot easier for men like Antonin to go along unnoticed, even more so than usual.
Resolved to subtlety in the face of such overt gestures, Antonin crept along the wall to his left, trying his best to play the part of a helpless and unimportant old man trying to escape the potential carnage. He reached a small pile of crates heaped full of questionably fresh fruits and vegetables, knelt down and turned his attention ahead, to Kluh.
"Stupid man," muttered Antonin under his breath as he crouched down, trying desperately not to catch the giant wolf's attention. "No gold is being worth this!"
"Whores are so much simpler..." Jarl muttered to himself as he scanned the crowd, noting the old man and Grundun, as well as the position of their mark. Shaking his head he gave a predatory smile and barked at the dwarf. "You and the old man make sure you get your claws on that punk. I don't want the damn wolf eating him. I'm going to go play monster in shining armor... and maybe get me a nice new pelt."
The gnoll leapt forward, yanking free his flind bar as he moved. Sliding to a halt a short distance from the beast Jarl lowered his body and let out a challenging roar to rival the massive wolf's howl, weapon spinning in hand, vibrant ivory teeth exposed as his lips curled in a snarl.