Dorak - It's a Trap
Perhaps paranoid is a good description for the state of my mind. However, it isn’t paranoia if everyone is really out to get you, and this town is filled with the sort of scum who would sell their mother into slavery to get the three gold needed to sleep with their sister.
Sure, we’re supposed to be quiet, and perhaps as things go, being on edge has not helped that effort, but the Aspis are the law and the dogs who lick their dung covered boots are their corrupt puppets.
Adding to that, Qasim is missing, and there was someone following us. They first caught my attention outside the warehouse, but a native with a boa constrictor and pointed ears is hard to shake from even the most calm of minds in a relatively safe place. This hive of scum and villainy is not such a place.
Additionally, to get to the warehouse, we had to rescue our guide, who was poisoned and who allegedly lost the horses we needed to carry our good, and pay several times what they were worth to get things smoothed over, thanks to Cian.
The guide being poisoned was largely handled by the newest member talking to a witch doctor of some sort in a tree. Wasn’t welcome inside the tiny space, even if it was my intent to enter. Feh.
We did manage to get the horses and the cargo to the warehouse and escape a few patrols who were searching for us due to the fracas on the docks, but Zomos was losing his cool also, so there were definitely close calls and things that could have gone better.
Despite the earlier error on overpaying for horse flesh, Cian was fully recovered from his ordeal by the priest, which Falko and myself split the cost, and our guide will be recovered in the morning.
Merchant goods sold, warehouse supplying our party for the trip into the forest, Cian at fully strength, guide to be taken care of by a priest whose coffers are far more full than may be expected in this god forsaken rathole, we went to seek the apothecary.
This was not as difficult as could be, though when we got to the shop, there were three patrons who appeared to be milling about. The alchemist mouthed ‘help me’ and pretty quickly, the woman of the trio went towards the door. Falko, in his foresight, stalled her through the use of arcane tricks.
Having the jump on my opponent, the boots of our old friend aided me in stabbing the sod twice.
What part of ’it’s a trap’ don’t my fellow companions get?
Zomos ran off. Not sure what he was thinking. He’s supposed to have some of the same training that you gave me, and he’s royalty even if he has forsaken the path to the crown. He should be seeing assassins in every shadow.
Smriti, for her kind heart, tried to be a roadblock, but ultimately, not only did my opponent make it out through a window – which could have been handily avoided had she stepped a few feet forward and joined me in combat against him – but the one held and the other who intimidated Cian also made it out the door.
Indeed, the alchemist drew his weapon before Cian, who was trying to make it seem like we weren’t there to kill the alchemist… a point that doesn’t make sense in hindsight, since he asked us for help. And the traitorous bitch Iz’Alma tried to shake my conviction that these three were yet more of the same bloody offal that the Aspis sheds as it slithers.
It isn’t hard to understand Smriti being confused, having been new to the group, but we are in the middle of a forest of pit traps, and when fortune favors us and the trappers become the trapped, it would have been nice for someone to have heeded my warnings and helped put a blow to the rest of our foes.
Indeed, the aforementioned strange native appeared and seemed to be helping face one of the fleeing foes. No clue who he is, but enemy of my enemy, right?
The rest of the party ran off, and what ultimately happened is me and the first foe skewered faced off, one on one. He took a drink of a potion, which seemingly made him more filled with vitality, and turned his aim quite deadly, for the next blow was a spine shattering one.
’Twas at this point that killing him quickly became all the more important, so shortly thereafter, a bluff was made to feint past his guard with my next attack. It was that next attack and the feint beforehand that allowed me to survive, for the spine shattering blow severely hurt my abilities.
Having tended to the wound, and checked to ensure he would not die, his weapon is now mine, and the town can do with him as they wish. It is possible the buckler he was carrying has been looted from his corpse, or more Aspis came and healed him. It seemed like someone got up and the buckler was being carried.
Knowing which happened somewhat matters as to my satisfaction or regret at how things turned out.
Having negated – hopefully permanently – that foe’s threat to the team, catching up with them was now my next order of business, and it was my supreme satisfaction to get to play the ‘Was Right’ card having heard from the alchemist that it was, in fact, three on six, and the three Aspis goons are part of some lousy stinking protection racket that was literally holding out a cure for his son.
We get to face the leader of this racket, to heal the boy and hopefully move forward with the quest.
Thankfully, the alchemist is not as slow as my companions, and paid off the patrol set to follow us with some of ‘the good stuff.’