03/08/998 Late Morning Momma Toki's; Enroute to the Golden Coil

 
Aside from Valrik and Gallendrill, the small shop is empty of customers. Bearing this in mind, the steep cut in prices looks like a bad sign for the elderly shopkeep.

Shekallen Sark

"There's four, maybe five, groups of thugs sprung up. If you haven't had a visit yet, you can expect one soon. I paid what seemed a fair price, but then some other toughs came round and made demands. I explained, quite reasonably, that I'd paid up, but apparently I didn't pay the right people. Rumor has it some sort of turf war is fixing to break out any day."

He wrings his hands.

"And me? I'm not sure I can make my loans. They were sold off to some merchant by the name of Meridin Caraster. Heard he's organizing a group of his own, with some very frightening connections. Demons and such, I hear. I don't know how much of it is true."


Galendrill Silvertongue

"Interesting. Perhaps the time has come to send the toughs a message of our own, no?"

Galendrill glanced from Valrik to the shopkeeper, his fingers steepled in front of him as he contemplated several things at once. After a moment of quiet thought, he looked back at the shoopkeeper.

"Do you recall anything about either group of ruffians that might help me to find their leadership?"

Valrik the Vile

"And did they tell you when they would be around to collect again?" Valrik adds to the conversation.

Well, at least I have a name. I wonder who his competition is?

Shekallen Sark

Sark laughs bitterly.

"When? I'll be lucky if I don't see a visit this very afternoon. Been a quiet morning. But Caraster says he'll be sending someone around to watch out after his interests. I owe him a considerable sum, and he doesn't profit if I can't pay. I don't think he really wants to have my brittle old knee-caps busted, but I don't doubt he'll send someone round if I'm late again on my loan payments."

Galendrill Silvertongue

Galendrill nodded at the shopkeeper, "I see. If you'll excuse my associate and I for a moment..."

Without waiting for an answer from the shopkeeper, Galendrill stepped a distance away from him and waited for Valrik to join him. Once the two of them were out of earshot, he talked even quieter then normal, "I'm not sure how entangled you want to become with the local racketeering groups, but it occurs to me that we have a chance to make some extra coin here. Depending on how far you'd like to take it, it wouldn't be all that difficult to take over several of the smaller gangs and carve out some territory of our own."

Valrik the Vile

"Indeed. Though the time constraints for running such an outfit may cut down on my other pursuits. At the very least, it should be worthwhile contracting with one group or another to help them trim the competition, then seize control if it looks like they can make a go of it. Tell you what, if you want to take over a group or two, I'll assist in what modest way I can. You can run things and be the boss. I just want my traditional arrangement of providing discount poisons, drugs and chemicals in return for your exclusive patronage for such items and of course free protection for my business from other groups. I would also be willing to contract out for occasional magical services if you find yourself too busy to handle something yourself," Valrik suggests.

Valrik peeks down the street to check on their spy before adding, "We can start by waylaying one or two of the groups after they've made their rounds and have cash with them. Following them invisibly afterwards when they go to report the attack to their boss should lead us to their chain of command. That should start the ball rolling. Of course, we need to evade the surveillance we are under first."


Galendrill Silvertongue

Galendrill frowned as he recalled more information about Caraster.

"He's very well connected, if I recall correctly. This may be a bit out of our league, unfortunately. It might suit us better to gain some contacts in the new group that he's working with. They've been working to fill the void left behind by the Brotherhood and most are very wealthy....."





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