Well, this is Kieran Bode aka Dodger letting you coves know about what happened over the last two days.
After we left Mistress Marta and Earl Mancaster at the Palace, the gang headed back to the city. As we passed the gallows, it was noticed that two bodies had disappeared from. Some cove had nicked them. Knowing better than to get involved in that sort of thing, I ignored the questioning that Eardward asked the guards about the comings and goings through the closed gate; especially about any wagons that had come through.
We headed straight for Mistress Marta’s school on the southern side of the city. It became pretty obvious to both me and Eardward that we’d picked up a shadow; some young girl that was following us, from between the City Gate and Old Fort. Some of the others in the gang cottoned a bit later on. She was good, but not good enough. She did notice me slip into a dark alleyway though, so I pretended I had to use the jakes and emerged about a minute or two later.
Once we got to the School, we confronted her. She said she was called Kes, and wanted to know why we were breaking into the school. Eardward quickly informed her that we weren’t technically breaking in, as we had been sent there to collect some gear for the Mistress. Gregor attempted to pick the lock with the new tools supplied to us by Earl Mancaster. He failed, so Kes stepped in and opened it easily. Only myself, Eardward and Kes entered the building.
Whilst Eardward started to have a talk with Kes (who is only about 14) I headed up to the Mistress’s room. I was greeted with the most shockingly, surprising room I had ever seen. There was lace and doily’s everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE! Then I noticed hanging up some men’s clothes, next to women’s clothes. I never knew MIstress Marta liked wearing men’s clothing. For disguise? (Eardward, after looking around the room pointed out that some of the clothing actually belonged to Mancaster; it had his arms visible. The Mistress and the Earl? I guess everyone needs to have someone.)
On her bed was the biggest, and fattest cat I had ever seen. I had seen a similar cat here only a few months ago when still a student here; the cat was nowhere near the size it was now! Worried about what might happen with a cat in the room when I was blindfolded and the chest had been opened, I picked up the cat and took it down to the kitchen and gave it some fish to eat. Returning to the room (and once more familiarising myself with the layout), I knelt down beside the bed and looked under the bed. There, looking at me with an intelligent gaze, was the cat I had remembered from my days at the school. Identical to the fat one, but normal size for a cat. Collecting this one, I returned to the kitchen and fed BOTH cats.
No more cats. I returned once again to the room. Eardward and Kes are still happily chatting away. Closing the door, I kneel down again only to find a kitten. Where are all these cats coming from? I picked up the little bundle of fur, open the door, and handed it to Kes. Finally returning to the bed, I removed the loose floor boards as instructed, and there was the chest. I took the key from where I had hidden it on my person, and put the key in the lock. Then, after tying the kerchief (supplied by Eardward) around my head as a blindfold, I reached in and turned the key until it clicked in the lock. Opening it, I started to feel around inside it.
I could feel coins, gems, rings, (lovely specie), before feeling first one and then two scrolls. Removing them, I closed the lid, backed out and made my way to the door. Opening the door I step through, closing it behind me. Removing the blindfold, I handed the scrolls to Eardward. First part of the job done.
I replaced the blindfold and returned to the chest. Opening the chest, I start looking for the runed cloth that I was instructed to retrieve. First thing I find is something furry … a rat? No, the feet are wrong. The playful nature and the purring confirmed my suspicions … another kitten. How on Legend did the kitten get into the closed chest? Removing the kitten, and placing it on my back, I start feeling around for the cloth, again encountering lots of luverly (sic) specie in the form of gems, rings, coins and such like. Once I found the cloth, I made sure it was folded over and …. I l know what you’re thinking … Dodger couldn’t miss such an opportunity. However, this was Mistress Marta. She would most likely turn me into a toad. And, I suddenly realised, she had actually trusted me, Keiran. No one had ever trusted me like that before. It was weird. So, against all my instincts, I closed and locked the case (still blindfolded mind you). I was putting the floorboards back when I felt a thump on my chest. Now I had 2 kittens on my back. I grabbed the kittens, put them on the bed and headed out of the room. I gave Eardward the cloth, which he folded up in another kerchief and tucked it away. I removed my blindfold to see Kes holding 4 kittens.
We left the school and all headed home for some much needed rest.
The next day we all met as usual after word at the Swan. Kes had told us (on the previous night) that an unusual man had been seen entering a brothel in the Plaza Ward. This was the man we were seeking with regard to the “magic kids” we had encountered earlier. Now that we had time to think about it, we had no idea where this brothel actually was. I know Plaza Ward pretty well (as a messenger I know where most buildings are) and could not recall any brothel in the ward. More information was needed. Eardward then informed us that he knew how to contact Kes to find out more about this brothel.
Upon returning from his meeting with Kes, we discovered that it was a large building next to a place with naughty pictures in Diamond Street. That was, in fact, an artist who specialised in “tasteful” nude paintings of ladies. Between it and a locksmith is a fairly non-descript 3 storey building. Eardward’s bodyguard Helga then informs us that the place is a “private gentlemens er, club” called “The House of Infinite Dreams” where gentlemen could meet and discuss private business, and enjoy “other” activities. She herself had worked as a bouncer (and had provided some other occasional services which she declined to elaborate on, except to say that some people liked to have someone walk on them).
Eardward was immediately recognised by the bouncers as a Boniface, and wanted to know if this was to be covered by him, or to go on his fathers account. We thought it should go on Mancasters account (after all, it was a legitimate expense) but he decided to pay himself. Then we found out the entrance fee; 1 Gold Crown per person. I think I saw Helga slip a small pouch into Eardwards hand; otherwise where else did he find 7 Crowns?
It was a very posh place. We were given a “private meeting room” on the second floor. Eardward asked for the man we were “supposedly” meeting (the wizard) to meet us here. The only description was that he was “unusual”. She seemed to know just who he was referring to.
Gregor hid under the bed, leaving me, Eardward and Helga in the room. The others all went down to the bar where they could watch the door. They could only see the upper half of the door; nevertheless they were totally surprised when they saw the door open and close by itself.
The door was opened by a small man no more than 3 and a half feet tall. He questioned us about what we wanted with him, and seemed very suspicious of us, finally demanding to know just who we were working for. Spinning a bit of a story, I said we were working for a Chaubrettan who had been chasing slavers, and that we were hunting for a missing girl, whom we wanted to return to the people who were supposed to be looking after her. (Darla, the young girl we had met previously, has turned out to be the Chaubretten Princess, held as “hostage” by the crown to ensure peace. She had run away again and was now running with the gang of kids working for the evil wizard.)
Suddenly the place is stormed by Palace Guards, and the short cove orders our arrest! He was none other than the Kings Hand (which I thought unusual, cos he looked like a cove to me, not a hand) . Establishing that we were really working for Mancaster, he quickly devised a cover for the storming of the place by the guards. We were instructed to keep working for the Earl to recover Darla and stop the Wizard.
Whilst Gregor and I slipped away to join the others at the bar, and then depart the building, Eardward was dragged out screaming “No you can’t take me back to Montombre. Father will kill me” pretending to be the son of the Earl of Montombre. Well, he’s pretended to be Gregor before.
So that’s it. No extra specie for Dodger, though I did get a new heavy leather jacket.