[Thursday, around lunchtime]
After a late brunch with Lord Wossname, the party decided to head back to the Golden Goose Inn, settle in for some lunch, and divide the spoils while they discussed their situation. There was plenty of petty cash to go around, and after setting aside an eighth share for the ritual casters, there was just about 100 gold pieces for each party member. After lunch, Shard and Lenora and Thea set out, haggled over the value of the last few mundane goods, and the total for everyone came nearer 120 gold.
Shard ran into Terciel and Darg down at a fletcher's shop, and they were both of a mind to hunt down someone who could make arrows or bolts from the cockatrice feathers. After a short shopping trip with Darg, they managed to find a fletcher and an enchanter who thought they'd be able to make something with their ample supply of feathers. He promised them he'd get to work on the enchantments, and he thinks he can have four bolts and four arrows by Market Day.
Thea came back with word of some likely tanners and leatherworkers who had agreed to help sew up the fantastically large alligator hide they had stripped from the sewer gator. Darg suggested that he and Bree ought to hit the books, and Bree said that while it sounded entertaining, she thought maybe reading the text would be a surer path towards learning the rituals. Darg grudgingly agreed, and they began gathering up their books for a long afternoon of study together: Bree learning to conceal writing using the Secret Page ritual ("Dear Secret Page, today everyone went off and had fun while I was stuck studying a bunch of boring stuff.") and Darg learning how to command an Unseen Servant. Before he settled in, Darg took another look at the old coins and helpfully identified several of them as coming from the reign of King Devon IX, and the others as possibly foreign. That gave Shard an idea: if anyone could figure out the origins of foreign coin, it would be the dockmaster's moneychanger.
Most of the party headed down to the Ocean Quarter, with Rache begging off to take care of some personal errands and Darg and Bree stuck studying. They entered the moneychanger's offices utterly unprepared for his (hmmm! haghhhh!) dedication to his job. Garlosk turned out to be an enthusiastic and mildly obsessive dragonborn with a fanatical sense of detail but not much in the way of social graces. Taken aback and a little creeped out, the party members were nonetheless able to conduct their business and learn some interesting facts about the money they'd found on the dead traveler in the eladrin tombs. Fifteen gold pieces and 39 silver were distributed as follows:
* 13g, 35s from Galena, from the reign of Devon IX
* 2g, 3s from the Caliphate, from the reign of Anand (Ralan's youngest brother), probably contemporary with Devon IIX
* 1g from the reign of of Devon IIX
* 1g and 1s Coronation piece, from the marriage of Rebecca to Ralan al'Mahsood; the gold features Ralan (King Roland I to you) and the silver features Rebecca. The pieces were minted at the time of their marriage and would have been souvenirs for anyone lucky enough to attend the wedding.
...and the strange key and chain turned out to be the key to a guest's strongbox at the Bear's Crown (formerly the Barrows Crown) Inn. Garlosk offered the party 217 gold for the entire collection, or 200 gold for the Coronation pieces alone, and offered to put the party in touch with his brother in Bel Ashard if they found anything of historical significance. In his professional capacity, Garlosk is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the value of coins, but it seems that he has developed a passion for the topic that extends to a lucrative hobby on the side as well.
After much frivolity, the party took their leave of Garlosk and headed for the Bear's Crown in the Royal Quarter. They popped in to the Temples of Avandra (where they came across Rache) and Melora (where a sailor tugged at Terciel's sleeve with an odd request) and then headed across town. They decided that, the Bear's Crown being an upper-crust sort of place, that they should pose as two well-to-do travelers – Rache and Terciel – and their retinue of assistants and servants. While Shard impressed the barmaid with his deft social skills and impeccable hand-eye coordination, Rache and Terciel talked the innkeeper into helping them search for the lockboxes in the upper rooms. In the process they signed themselves up for a short stay at one of the nicer inns in town, but it turns out to have been well worth the rent: in one of the upper rooms, they found a magically-concealed strongbox which contained a thick green book and a short letter. The letter read:
I compiled this volume after my first journey to Axtamectal as a favor to Silvia, who attended Rebecca on her travels to meet and wed Roland. On their return from the desert, I received a letter from Silvia thanking me for saving Her Highness' life. I hope that it arrives and finds you safe in Baerstun on the errand you have undertaken. Once I finish my work for the Prince I will make greatest haste to find you.
...the book was a copy of Tovenaar's Tenderfoot Tourists' Tome, which was interesting enough to the assembled folks downstairs. When they made their way back to meet up with Bree and Darg, Bree just about fell out of her chair. Tarpin Tovenaar – THE Tarpin Tovenaar, famous wizard and infamous free-traveler, mysterious and daring, always showing up wherever he was needed – had actually made a copy of his travelogue with all of the rituals he had learned and used on the way, and now she was going to have the opportunity to see it, read it, study it, and learn his rituals! "A Brief Lesson In the Creation of an Explorer's Fire" sounded especially promising. Rache had also noticed some interesting recipes therein: a different recipe for Clearwater Solution, an antivenom that looked particularly potent. Terciel just wanted to read the account of Tovenaar's travels – he was eager to get a head start on understanding the perils of travel between cities in this bizarre mortal realm.
Darg and Terciel headed down to the Ocean Quarter to grab some beers at the Flying Firkin for Darg's study break, debating whether Darg should resume his studies with Aladar's books, or if perhaps one of the rituals in Tovenaar's Tome might be a better use of his time: Banish Vermin? Fastidiousness?
Rache went with Bree to drop by Osmund's shop to ask for a look at his rituals, and Osmund called them inside, his voice nervous and sharp. As they stepped through the door, Bree noticed a chalk line drawn across the doorway, and a small copper homunculus on Osmund's desk chimed and rattled. He yelped and demanded to know what kind of sick joke they were playing, what they wanted to steal now, and hadn't his payment been enough? After a few more moments in this vein he calmed down enough for them to get the story out of him: someone had shown up just after he closed up shop, gotten into his store despite the barred door, snatched the violet feymoss from his shelf, and disappeared from view before he could lay hands on them. The copper homunculus is one of Drawmidge's rituals intended to identify a traitor or thief; the weakness of the spell is that it can be triggered by a blood relative of the guilty party, but Osmund wasn't buying it. He reasoned that:
(1) It had only been a scant few hours since they dropped the feymoss off at his shop, and he hadn't told anyone else that he had received the moss,
(2) It was extraordinarily unlikely that Rache or Bree's siblings would just happen to know that he had come into a supply of the stuff, and target him for burglary
(3) ...therefore it must be Rache or Bree who had done it.
After a quick trial of walking in and out of the door, Osmund narrowed it down to Rache, who managed to not betray too much emotion at his accusation. Osmund demanded his gems back as collateral against them returning his feymoss, and suggested that he might be able to divine the thief's true identity if he had a sample of Rache's hair and blood. Bree suggested that granting a request like that from a man so obviously angry with them would be foolish if they didn't have some sort of insurance against abuse, and collected samples in kind. Osmund told them he'd start setting up a divination that very evening and might have more leads for them in the morning. He was willing to give them 24 hours beyond that before he reported the theft to the city watch and named Rache as his prime suspect – "for all the good
it will do me, with you lot so close to Wossname." By sunup on market day, Rache will be a marked woman, unless the party can manage to scrape together some more feymoss. Osmund kicked them out of his shop so he could start the ritual, and Bree and Rache started the long walk back from the docks to let everyone else know what had happened.
I Never Could Get the Hang of Thursdays
Wherein Osmund thinks Rache robbed him, Shard's age is a problem, and Garlosk identifies an emblem.
[Thursday, around lunchtime]