posted Apr 4, 2020, 8:04 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak   [ updated Apr 6, 2020, 4:50 AM by Paul Chavez ]

Nonotina 10th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

Fennimore splits from the scene on Ballista Street.
Fennimore seeks out his old friend Dee.
Fennimore heads west through the city, skulking through back-alleys in search of Dee.
He passes the alley she was in the other day, but she doesn't appear to be there today.
He tries other places from previous meetings and eventually finds her casing a shop near The Bard's College.
Fennimore finds a quiet spot near her.
Fennimore: Hey.
Dee Strongbones starts.
Dee Strongbones: Crap!
Fennimore: Sorry, didn't mean to startle you.
Dee Strongbones: Oh, hi there Fenn. What's up?
Fennimore: Looking to talk. Do you have some time?
Dee Strongbones: Wait? What's all the blood from?
Fennimore: Maybe we should find someplace a little more discreet.
Dee Strongbones: Yea, I was done here. Where?
Fennimore: We're near the Spoon, we can have some privacy there.
Fennimore: Just watch out for a few big oafs I met there. They don't have their shit together.
Dee Strongbones: You like that place? I'm only going there for thief business, got it.
Fennimore: Got it. Strictly business, nothing funny.
Fennimore: And, yeah, I like it. It keeps me busy.
Dee Strongbones: OK. Still seems pretty busy there, but everyone is in there own private little world there, I guess.
Fennimore: You know a better place to hang low?
Dee Strongbones: Several, but you seem comfortable there, so it's fine with me.
Fennimore: Let's go then.
The pair head through the streets and alleys towards The Rogue Spoon.
Fennimore: Let's use the back door. It seems to attract a little less attention.
Dee Strongbones: Definitely.
As they approach the backdoor the inn, Fennimore notices one of the watchmen from the alley in the Castle Ward from a few days back standing in the alley south of the door.
Fennimore (whispering) Crap!
Fennimore: You're right this place is getting too busy.
Dee Strongbones (whispering) What's with him?
Dee Strongbones walks on towards the door.
The guard ignores her.
Fennimore follows her and keeps his head down.
Another watchman approaches from the north end of the alley and Fennimore recognizes his voice as Chet from the watch post.
Chet: Hoi, Hugh, have you seen von Rumm yet?
Hugh: No. He hasn't been around here, Chet.
Chet approches the watchman.
Chet: Supposedly, he has been staying at the estate all nice and safe.
Hugh: Figures. Your turn. I heard there was a skirmish over in Ballista Street and I probably ought to get over there.
Chet: Nothing much there. Some new bootlicker took over the scene, really interested in Forget-Me-Knot. He won't be lasting long.
Chet smirks.
Hugh shakes his head.
Chet takes Hugh's place in the alley and Hugh leaves the way Chet arrived.
Dee Strongbones enters The Rogue Spoon.
Fennimore is right behind her.
Fennimore looks about for Claricia.
The pair enter the inn unacknowledged by either Chet or Hugh.
Dee Strongbones: See, little people go unnoticed.
Fennimore: You're right there. It's a good thing. Those guys are looking for trouble.
Fennimore: I should warn Claricia, then we can talk. I've got a room in back for privacy.
Dee Strongbones: Trouble? Besides being watchman, how so?
The bartender, Felicia, smiles as you enter.
Felicia: Hi, Fenn.
Fennimore: You heard Chet mention von Rumm. He's some kinda patron of the joint. Watches out for Claricia's interests.
Fennimore: They want to get in his business.
Dee Strongbones: The guy who broke up the riot the other day? They're sure taking that personally, aren't they?
Felicia: When you get a chance, go talk to Claricia. She's in her room.
Fennimore: Seems a little too personally. But, I don't have all the details, yet.
Fennimore: Thanks, Felicia. I was looking for her too.
Fennimore: C'mon.
Dee Strongbones: I'm surprised this von Rumm guy hasn't got a medal for breaking that up already.
Fennimore walks down the hall and knocks on Claricia's door.
Claricia Robert: Come in.
Fennimore opens the door and steps in enough to let Dee in too.
Fennimore: Hey Claracia, you've got some trouble outback.
Claricia Robert: Hello, Fennimore...and Dee. Good to see you. We miss you around here.
Claricia Robert looks concerned at Fennimore.
Claricia Robert: Trouble?
Dee Strongbones smiles.
Fennimore: The guards I mentioned the other day, Chet and Hugh, are taking turns standing watch back there.
Fennimore: They are looking to get into Master von Rumm's business again.
Claricia Robert: Harold mentioned something about that. He's been keeping an eye on them.
Fennimore: Okay, didn't want you to be caught unawares and all.
Claricia Robert: That may be a problem for Munkustrap, though. He can't seem to get enough of this place.
Claricia Robert smirks.
Fennimore blushes.
Dee Strongbones rolls her eyes.
Claricia Robert turns to her desk and starts writing a note.
Fennimore: I need to clean up and talk with Dee a bit. Maybe I can get a message to him afterward. See if he can cool it for a bit.
Claricia Robert: Writing something up just now. Come back in a bit.
Fennimore: Will do.
Fennimore: C'mon Dee, my room is over here.
Claricia Robert: Oh, Fenn. Before you go, Master Octavius left this for you.
Claricia Robert hands Fennimore an envelope and a coin purse.
Fennimore: Thank you.
Claricia Robert: You're welcome.
Fennimore: Steps back into the hall and enters his room, holding the door for Dee.
Dee Strongbones enters the small room.
Fennimore: So, you heard the guards mention Ballista Street. You heard anything else about what happened there?
Dee Strongbones: Just that there was a delivery for the castle going through there. Some elf, Majestic or Magic or something, was setting up some heist with Alsis Chandor.
Dee Strongbones: It went south, didn't it.
Fennimore: In a way.
Fennimore: Forget-Me-Knot hit the delivery before we did.
Fennimore relays the whole tale to Dee.
Fennimore: The big folk are a bumbling bunch of fools.
Dee Strongbones: Not surprised. Do not get mixed up with Forget-Me-Not.
Fennimore: No? I was hoping you could give me some leads.
Fennimore: It's doubtful the one named Magic is going to let up on this.
Dee Strongbones: Even if I had some, I'd have to have a very good reason to talk about that one.
Dee Strongbones: They're a ghost, they are.
Fennimore: Yeah, they had to be to hit that caravan without them even knowing it.
Dee Strongbones: Exactly. Way out of our league.
Dee Strongbones: I do love the calling card, though. So pretty.
Fennimore: Yep, very stylish.
Fennimore: Hmmph.
Fennimore: Maybe I should make myself scarce around here for a bit.
Fennimore: The others seem to like it here.
Fennimore: If they are going to run into that kinda trouble, I don't want to be here when it happens.
Dee Strongbones: They do seem pretty blunt. They won't last long if they are involved in more fiascoes like that.
Fennimore: Haha.
Fennimore: Typical big folk.
Dee Strongbones points at the envelope.
Dee Strongbones: So, a reward from the king, huh.
Fennimore: Hmm, I wonder...
Fennimore looks at the envelope carefully.
Dee Strongbones: Royal stationery by the looks of it.
Fennimore: Rael Octavius seems to be another regular around here. He at least as a bit of discretion between his ears. Musta learned that at the castle.
Fennimore carefully breaks the seal on the envelope.
Dee Strongbones: Rael? He is the herald's son. He better. He was sitting at one of the tables when we came in.
Fennimore: Let's see what he has to say.
Fennimore: Pulls out the contents of the envelope and looks it over.
The letter, signed by Ran himself, states the debt of gratitude the realm has for Fennimore and possession of this document grants pardon of one high crime or misdemeanor.
Fennimore: Well, that's surprising.
Fennimore passes the letter to Dee.
Dee Strongbones: Wow! That is worth a fortune. Keep it safe.
Fennimore: Could come in handy, that's for sure.
Dee Strongbones: And a monetary reward?
Fennimore: Apparently...
Fennimore shakes out the coin purse.
100 gold coins spill out of the purse onto the bed.
Dee Strongbones: Not bad, Fenn. Not bad at all.
Fennimore: Wow, I think that's the most I've ever seen.
Fennimore: Didn't even have to lift it.
Dee Strongbones laughs.
Fennimore: So, what do you think I should do?
Fennimore: If I'm going to steer clear of Forget-Me-Not, that puts me out of work for a bit.
Dee Strongbones: Lay low, sure. But you are a halfling rogue. We are never out of commission.
Fennimore laughs
Fennimore: Not for long, anyway.
Dee Strongbones: The others will bumble around and cover your tracks.
Fennimore: True.
There is a knock at the door.
Fennimore: Well, keep an ear open. If you get any other business leads. I'm your halfling.
Fennimore: Come in.
The door opens and Claricia enters.
Claricia Robert: Here is Master von Rumm's warning if you would be so kind as to deliver it. I'm sure they will be generous.
Dee Strongbones: They always are.
Dee Strongbones smiles.
Fennimore: I'd be happy to.
Fennimore: But, I'm afraid I have some bad news.
Claricia Robert: Oh, what's this?
Fennimore: Your place is getting a little warm for me right now.
Fennimore: The new patrons seem to be stirring up trouble where they don't need to and I'm afraid it could reflect poorly on your establishment.
Claricia Robert: They are a bit rambunctious, but it covers up so many other things.
Fennimore: The one called Magic seems to be in the path of someone who calls themself Forget-Me-Not. When their paths cross, there will be blow-back.
Fennimore: I don't want to be around when that happens.
Claricia Robert: Point taken. That kind of confrontation here would be very bad indeed.
Fennimore hefts her letter.
Fennimore: I'll deliver your letter, then I'm moving on.
Fennimore: I may pop by once in a while to check in on you.
Fennimore: You've been very kind to this little halfling.
Claricia Robert: A shame, but consider yourself welcome here any time.
Fennimore: I appreciate it. You take care of yourself too.
Claricia Robert: Always.
Claricia Robert smiles.
Fennimore: If you need me, Dee will always know how to find me.
Dee Strongbones winks.
Fennimore: Now, I can't be wandering around town looking like this. If you ladies will excuse me. I need to change and pack.
Dee Strongbones: I need to be going anyway. See you around.
Fennimore: See ya.
Claricia Robert: Farewell, Fennimore.
Fennimore: Same to you.
Claricia Robert leaves and returns to her room.
Dee Strongbones stops at the bar on the way out for a drink and then departs.
Fennimore quickly changes out of his bloody clothes into clean ones.
Fennimore then packs the remainder of his few belongings into a bag.
Fennimore keeps King Ran's letter tucked and the coin purse close to him and Claricia's letter in a pocket.
Fennimore steps out into the bar, looks around, nods to Rael and walks to the front door.
Rael Octavius: Hey, Fennimore.
Fennimore: Hey.
Rael Octavius: Nice reward, yes?
Fennimore: Very. You knew?
Rael Octavius: I assume you got what I did.
Fennimore: A letter from the King himself?
Rael Octavius: Arncoril and Eris got the same.
Fennimore: Good for them.
Rael Octavius: You looked a bit worse for wear when you arrived. Everything alright?
Fennimore: Oh, it's been a tough day.
Fennimore: I think it's time for me to move from here. It's getting a little...crowded.
Rael Octavius: Really?
Fennimore: No offense, but big folk don't always watch out for us little folk.
Rael Octavius: Unfortunately, true.
Fennimore: I need to find a little space for myself.
Fennimore: If you see them, say bye to Eris and Arncoril for me.
Rael Octavius: Sure. If you ever need anything, leave word at The Fiery Stag. I'll get the message.
Fennimore: Will do that.
Rael Octavius: My father is always looking for folk to do jobs, as well. Check the board outside the Stag.
Fennimore: Sounds like a good idea!
Fennimore: Be seeing you.
Rael Octavius: Good day.
Fennimore steps out the front door into the morning sun, blinking in the light.
Fennimore smiles as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
The market is in full business and quite crowded.
Fennimore walks a few stalls away, then pauses to look around.
Fennimore looks for a haberdashery.
Fennimore: Time for some nicer clothes.
There is a haberdashery two doors north of the inn.
Fennimore thinks to himself, "Well, looky there."
Fennimore enters the haberdashery.
Fennimore: Hello?
Tailor: Hello, Master Halfling. A fine day for some new clothes if I do say so myself.
Fennimore: Boy, you can say again.
Fennimore: What do you have that may fit a man of my stature?
The shop has all manner of fine clothing with a section catering to halflings.
Tailor: Oh, little folk are our specialty.
Fennimore: I'm looking for something for daily wear, doesn't need to be your best Go-To-Temple or meet with King Ran stuff.
Fennimore: But, nicer than these poor things.
Tailor: We definitely can outfit you. Something sturdy with good seams will stand up to travel and abuse.
Fennimore: Perfect.
Tailor: Right this way.
Fennimore follows the tailor
He leads Fennimore over to the section of the store with low mirrors and racks of clothes.
He selects a couple of different outfits after taking a close look at Fennimore's stature.
Tailor: I may need to let this dark one out a bit for you. This more colorful outfit was to be shipped to South Town, but the payment never came through.
Fennimore proudly pats his ample belly.
Fennimore: Tis understood.
Tailor: There is a booth right behind the curtain there. Try them on. I'll be right back.
Fennimore: I think I'll try the darker one first. I'm not really the flamboyant type.
Tailor: As you wish.
Fennimore tries on the darker outfit and it is quite snug.
Fennimore waddles out from behind the curtain and calls for the tailor.
Fennimore: You were right about letting this one out.
The tailor returns with measuring tape and a tray of tailoring tools.
Tailor: Quite right. Let's have off with it for now and I'll take some measurements and adjust it.
Fennimore strips down to be measured.
Fennimore: While you're at it, can you add a few extra pockets?
The tailor takes some measurements while taking some notes.
Fennimore: Some easy to reach, some a little more secure and hidden?
Tailor: More pockets? Inside and inconspicuous? Certainly.
Fennimore smiles.
Fennimore: How long might the tailoring take?
The tailor finishes up his measurements and hands a slip of paper to Fennimore.
Tailor: I should be able to have this done for you this time tomorrow. It will be 15 gold. You can pay me when you return.
Fennimore: That'll be fine. See you tomorrow.
Fennimore: By the way, do you know the von Rumm family? I have a delivery for them.
Tailor: von Rumm. Oh, yes. They are a good customer of mine. Their estate is straight northwest from that new statue of the king on the edge of the square.
Fennimore: Much appreciated
Fennimore: See you tomorrow.
Tailor: Much appreciated. See you then.
Fennimore dresses in his own clothes, making sure King Ran's letter is tucked safely away, and the coin purse is still there.
Fennimore: He leaves the haberdashery and heads north towards the statue and then across the plaza to the von Rumm estate.
About halfway between River Street and King's Square, Fennimore hears a voice whispering right behind him.
Forget-Me-Not: So, little one.
Then from his right front.
Forget-Me-Not: Or not so little one as the case may be.
Fennimore's hand jumps to the hilt of his rapier.
From his left behind.
Forget-Me-Not: Don't bother.
Fennimore: Who's there?
Forget-Me-Not: Just your friendly neighborhood thief.
Fennimore backs up to a wall.
Forget-Me-Not giggles.
Fennimore: Fair enough, there's plenty for everyone.
Forget-Me-Not: Relax, you seem stressed. I'm not here to hurt you.
Fennimore: Glad to hear that.
Forget-Me-Not: Your associates, however, may have gotten into a little hot water.
Fennimore: Doesn't surprise me.
Fennimore: They seem to have a knack for it.
Forget-Me-Not: At least the ones without nice letters from the king, anyway.
Forget-Me-Not: Oh, a couple of them don't have theirs yet. A shame.
Fennimore: Hmmph, not my problem anymore.
Forget-Me-Not: Probably for the best.
Fennimore: You have me at a disadvantage here. You seem to know everything about me and my former associates, but I don't know anything about you.
Fennimore: Care to share?
Forget-Me-Not: No. Not really. It's how I survive.
The voice is still flitting around, coming from different directions.
Fennimore: There are many friendly-neighborhood-thieves who would love for that degree of anonymity.
Fennimore: But, only one that I've crossed recently.
Fennimore: Have to say, if you are one and the same, I'm trying to uncross that bridge.
Forget-Me-Not: I am unique. This is true. But clearly I have pushed my luck a bit. I see you have sussed out my moniker.
Fennimore: So, what can this not-so-little street urchin do for you?
Forget-Me-Not: Firstly, tell no one of this little encounter. Lastly, be prepared to be foiled again...sometime.
Fennimore: Fair enough.
Fennimore hears something lightly drop to the ground behind him.
Fennimore looks down.
On the ground behind him is a sprig of forget-me-nots.
Fennimore: Is that it then?
Fennimore is answered only with silence.
Fennimore picks up the flowers.
Fennimore watches the crowd for a few moments and resumes his journey towards the von Rumm estate.
Without further interruption, Fennimore arrives at the gates of the von Rumm estate.
von Rumm guard: Good day, sir halfling. May I help you?
Fennimore: I have a special delivery for Master Munkustrap von Rumm. His hands only, if you please.
von Rumm guard: Master Munkustrap is not here at the moment. Lord von Rumm is aware of the arrival of this delivery, however.
Fennimore: Curious, word travels faster than these stout little halfling legs can carry it.
Fennimore: I'm afraid, I was given direction only to deliver to the younger von Rumm.
von Rumm guard: The lords of "The City" have many means of communication that do not involve legs. However, all correspondence must eventually be physical. I will see you in.
Fennimore: Thank you.
The guard opens the gate and escorts Fennimore into the mansion.
The guard and Fennimore arrive in the foyer of the vast mansion where a butler is waiting to escort the halfling the rest of the way to a parlor.
In the parlor sits an elder gentleman who was clearly once a powerful warrior, but age has caught up with him. He is stone-faced as Fennimore approaches.
Baron von Rumm: Greetings, master halfling. I understand you have a message for my eldest son.
Fennimore: Hello, Lord von Rumm. Yes, I have been entrusted with a message.
Fennimore: I'm surprised to learn you know of it.
Baron von Rumm: The nobles of this fine city have wizardly guidance that keeps us all apprised of the goings-on, especially of our own. It is part of having a king who is also a powerful mage.
Fennimore: For a city as large as this, I find that difficult to comprehend.
Baron von Rumm holds his hand out to receive the missive from Madame Robert.
Fennimore: My apologies m'Lord. The delivery was intended only for your son.
Baron von Rumm: I understand, but it is a matter for family secrets, which I must be aware of. Of course, your discretion is of utmost importance, as well. We can not have the family name stained by the appearance of impropriety. My son is actually committing no crime, but some will not see it this way.
Baron von Rumm beckons for the letter with his outstretched fingers.
Fennimore: I barely know your son. I do not know whether his actions are proper or not, legal or not. I do know there are some who are out to harm your son.
Fennimore: You may have my discretion, but surely you understand that extends to the delivery of my message to its recipient as well.
Baron von Rumm: You are quite the honorable one, I see. Very well, I will have the butler bring you to Munkustrap's room and you can slide it into his locked desk. He will retrieve it when he returns.
Fennimore: The message has some urgency to it. Do you know when he might return, or where I may find him?
Baron von Rumm: The harm that may come to my son, I should still be made aware of. I can ensure he is protected given I know the nature of the threat.
Fennimore: That I concur with. A few days ago, I happened to be walking past the Castle Ward watch post. I overheard two of the guards discussing your son and their displeasure with him. I thought little of it at the time. Courtly intrigue is far beyond my station. Since then, I have had the pleasure of meeting your son and just this morning I overheard the same two guards plotting against your son yet again.
Baron von Rumm: City watchmen? Is this regarding the incident in the North Market? These guards are upset that my son did their job? How amusing.
Fennimore: Take it how you will.
Fennimore: Now, if you don't mind, I'll accept the offer to deliver the message to Munkustrap's desk.
Baron von Rumm: As you wish. And, rest assured these watchmen's commander will be notified of their lack of candor. Take this as payment for your errand.
Baron von Rumm hands Fennimore a small silk pouch that jingles with coins.
Fennimore accepts the pouch from the Baron.
Fennimore looks around for the butler.
The butler escorts Fennimore through the mansion to a large bedroom on the second floor. He indicates the desk to the halfling.
Fennimore pats his pockets, searching for Claricia's note and verifying the King's letter is still tucked away. When he finds the note, he verifies it is in Claricia's hand and addressed to Munkustrap before sliding it into the slot above the desk drawer.
Fennimore pulls on the drawer handle to ensure it is locked and then turns to the butler.
Butler: Very good, sir. I will see you out.
Fennimore: Thank you, have you been with the family long?
Butler: Since the baron was a young lieutenant in the Deep Bend militia.
Fennimore: My, that is a long time. Well, take care of the boy. He seems like a good kid.
Butler: As good as a young knight can be. He is human after all.
Butler smiles.
Fennimore tries to naively ignore the butler's smile.
The butler passes Fennimore off to the guard at the door of the mansion and the guard escorts the halfling to the square.
Fennimore thinks, "well that could have gone better. At least I tried to warn the paladin."