And now we have six pretty, naive waifs from scattered winds. Useless – beautiful, but no will, nothing to draw out and sharpen. Bound for a harem or a sacrifice, no doubt. Kethra says ’tis a heretical cult of Waukeen, of the Six fingers, who mean to pay her ransom in the worst way. I figure a bloak sick enough to wear a six-fingered glove, the sixth finger scavenged and dead off a mark – well.
Turon’s got a good knack – made us a message that only I ’eard. So worth ’aving a Gondite with us!
New squaddie today; pally of Tyr. Towers over us all, and near well makes me look plain. Wonder what Kethra thinks?
The waifs know nothing, was a waste o’ time.
We elbows our ways into the Underceller; me only surprise is not being ’ere before meself. That and the selection of vitals. Right impressive like.
Which means o’course we was interrupted – was too fast for Skoond to arrive, and ‘ad me dagger out – ’adn’t thought they’d bloody well empty the tavern with their numbers!
Sadly – for them – numbers ‘re squat ’gainst talent and setting, an’ we used the layout to our ’vantage.
Got ta say – was right proud. Torgn and Darian carved out the ‘allway free, Zolis ’arrassed them, but took a bad blow. Seung was a pleasure to see, movin’ so quick-like, ’ands like axes, ’cept less blood. What need for me! Zolis rallied, rattled a man, and ’tween the others, the enemy was swept away like sand ’fore a wave. Torgn made like a statue – but Darian blessed ’im by Tyr, and gods, even from the next room, could feel that power. Darted out to do my bit, but the boys ’ad it, even if they got nicked and pummelled.
Skoond walked in just as done. I arranged a trade for the assassins to ‘im, got ’is assurance ’e’d not ‘arm ’em. Nearly ’ad a go meself at the lead, but silence take all, I could see Kethra’s glare though she weren’t there. So’s gettin’ Skoond’s word – and coin – turned the captured to ’em.
Zolis, though – he worked the captured. Wasn’t satisfied. Got their employer smelled of cinnamon, and then he caught o’ whiff o’ Skoond – cinnamon. A calishite spice; weren’t conclusive, but why not find out?
That rat-bastard. I follows ‘im to another tavern, one with rooms above, and when ’e and ’is come down without, I takes a look. Sure as night, there they are, the assassins dead and bleeding out in a room. ’e ’ired these saps to rough us up, so’s to get the goods and not spend the coin. Fool.
Skoond wants to be shown the well. Fine. We already agreed, ’aving warned the Waukeen temple – or what it is – were there. But no, ’e wants to go. So we do.
Seong an’ I gets a bad feeling – hells, we all do. Meetin’ of five alleys, and out pops crossbows all ‘round, sayin’ surrender or die. Skoond’s never seen this before – wants to surrender – never. The boys’ll never, I’ll never, never be sold off down like the waifs. Seong is fast, a blink ‘n ’is off, but Skoond’s off balance, slips, breaks an ankle or some damn thing., throwing Seung off, too. We don’t ’ave time – I grab the blinkered mage, haul down the alley, the gang running too.
But hells, Skoond’s not light. Stashing ’im, we regroup, spring an attack on our attackers.
Only one, and ‘e knows we’re ’ere – a confident berk.
Darian snaps, charges. Berk dodges like ain’t no thing. I dash a stab – air and dust. Berk says something, and Darian goes rigid, stuck like a statue; berk threatens to kill ‘em if we don’t talk.
Well, we don’t like that.
We all show just ‘ow much we think o’ that, and night’s shroud, ’e’s still standing. I takes a defensive stance before Darian. Much good that does – berk says a spell, and Darian’s hit by blinding streaks, no chance for me ta cut them down. He reels, and w’ that, we piles on, for we’re all dead less the berk drops.
Berk dodges me strikes, but the boys chop ‘em down, touch’n’go but who cares, they do it. Zolis sings something, and gods, Darian breaths easier, don’t know ’ow.
We bundle up the berk, grab Skoond, and scatter-make for the safe house, the scum after us not the wiser.
My question, oh Listener – keep Skoond’s ugly little secret? Or confront ’im, such as the others make their displeasure known over ’is ambush and ill-treatment of ’is ’ired berks?