Collusion

posted Aug 29, 2020, 1:35 PM by Stephen Pliska-Matyshak

Decitina 6th, Year One of the Reign of High King Ran

It has been a couple of days since Perri and Fennimore's adventure below the castle. They've recovered from their encounter with the rat-man and there doesn't seem to be any ill-effects.
This day, Fennimore finds a new post on the board at The Fiery Stag.
Fennimore: At last, my friend has decided to meet.
Perri Elastime: Which friend. You know a lot of people.
Fennimore: You haven't met this one yet. He is the knight who saved Mum from the quickling and he is in a bit of trouble, though he may not know how much.
Perri Elastime: Anybody that would save your Mum is a grand soul indeed.
Fennimore: I'll leave a note for him. We need to meet discreetly.
Fennimore: "M, Ask Mindartis inside for a room for the night. I will find you there. A Friend"
Perri Elastime: I can be kinda discreet.
Fennimore posts the new note to the board.
Fennimore: Let's go inside. I want to talk to Mindartis for a moment.
Perri Elastime: I want a cheese platter.
Perri Elastime heads inside the Stag.
Munkustrap von Rumm: A figure in a dusty cloak and hood stands across the road from The Fiery Stag. The figure watches the entrance to the Stag and the notice board out of the corner of his eye while casually eating an apple.
Fennimore notices Munkustrap nearby when he is entering the inn, but he is clearly trying to be inconspicuous.
Munkustrap von Rumm notices Fennimore motion to him discretely as he realizes you are there.
Fennimore makes a small wave to him, trying not to off Perri or anyone else about.
Fennimore follows her and seeks out Mindartis.
Mindartis is at his usual place behind the bar.
Fennimore looks around to see who else is in the Stag.
There are a few of the regulars, but nobody out of place inside.
Perri Elastime: Heya can we have a platter with heaps of cheese and bread and some beer to wash it down with?
Perri Elastime: I got a hollow inside that only cheese can fill.
Perri Elastime scopes the place out looking for the Troublesome Troubadour.
Fennimore: Perri, let's take a corner table.
Perri Elastime sits at a table in the far corner of the tavern.
Perri Elastime: I've got a corner table.
Fennimore: Excellent.
Munkustrap von Rumm: The cloaked figure waits for the two at the notice board to enter the Stag before meandering over himself. He takes the new note from the board and reads it. After several seconds, he opens the Stag's door, steps inside, and pulls closed the door.
Munkustrap von Rumm: As his eyes adjust to the dimmer light, the cloaked figure looks around the room noticing Fennimore with a companion motioning discreetly.
Munkustrap von Rumm casually walks toward Fennimore.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: Try not to look up, our mark has arrived.
Perri Elastime: So do you think that there are more of those ratmen around?
Fennimore: Gods, I hope not. One of them was more than we could handle. I'm just glad the Castle was warded against them.
Mindartis is greeting a new guest.
Perri Elastime plays with a damp spot on the table drawing this way and that.
Perri Elastime: That was a close call.
Mindartis (to the cloaked Munkustrap): Take a seat anywhere. I'll be right with you.
Fennimore -> Perri Elastime: If he follows the lead and takes a room, we can follow and have a quiet conversation upstairs.
Perri Elastime: Maybe he is hungry.
Munkustrap von Rumm looks at Fennimore and asks, "This seat taken?"
Fennimore shakes his head.
Fennimore: Not at all friend. Please join us.
Perri Elastime: Are you hungry? Fenn and I were about to have a cheese eating contest.
Munkustrap von Rumm sits down at the table across from the other two.
Fennimore: I suggest caution, she can out-eat a halfling.
Perri Elastime: On a bad night. On a good night I can out-eat two.
Mindartis wanders over to the table.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I am quite hungry despite having just eaten an apple.
Fennimore: Good evening, Mindartis. How's business been?
Mindartis: Greetings, Lady Elastime...Fennimore. How are we doing today?
Perri Elastime: An apple? Pffft. That can't keep anyone for more than a few seconds.
Mindartis: Business is good, as usual.
Fennimore: Excellent, because we are famished.
Fennimore: Do you happen to have any rooms available?
Fennimore: We have some business to attend to and would like to eat in private.
Mindartis: The three of you are together then. I'll get some food over here right a way.
Perri Elastime: Thank you.
Mindartis: Lord Octavius still hasn't returned. You can use his area if you need more privacy.
Mindartis makes his way back to the kitchen and disappears.
Perri Elastime: I'm not sure that Rael has a dad. Haven't seen him.
Perri Elastime: Shall we move? The fire looks cozy over there.
Fennimore: Munkustrap, allow me to introduce you to the Lady Perri Elastime of the Fae Realm. Perri, this is my old friend Munkustrap von Rumm.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Greetings, my lady.
Perri Elastime: Pleased to eat with you.
Fennimore: Shall we adjourn to the Octavius' table?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Gladly.
Perri Elastime: I'd race you guys, but I'd win.
Fennimore: So, you're probably wondering why I asked you to meet us.
Mindartis comes out of the kitchen and starts heading for the corner the group was in before making a quick turn on his heel to head to Reggot's table.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Yes, very much so.
Mindartis arrives with food and drink.
Fennimore pays for dinner.
Perri Elastime: Thank you, thank you. I'm famished.
Mindartis: Will you be contesting with your comestibles today?
Perri Elastime: Not sure if there are any takers today.
Mindartis sets the platter on the table.
Mindartis smiles.
Fennimore: I'm afraid not. Maybe next time. Though keep the ale flowing, this is thirsty business.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore is all business before pleasure.
Mindartis: Five silver each should cover it.
Perri Elastime Perri pays 5 silver.
Fennimore: Here's a gold for your discretion, as well.
Munkustrap von Rumm reaches into his cloak and pulls out 8 silver and hands it to Mindartis.
Mindartis: Many thanks and you have my discretion as always.
Mindartis returns to the other customer, but they slip out before he gets there.
Mindartis: Hmph.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So, what is this danger you speak of?
Fennimore: Yes, as I was saying. We met at one of your favored establishments.
Fennimore: Your presence there attracted the attention of the City Watch. When I warned your father of their attention, he began throwing his weight around, which attracted more attention.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Apparently my disguises are lacking. I thought I was so clever.
Fennimore: The Lord High Inquisitor Mosifort approached me at the Castle to investigate your involvement the day of the scripture-pounders assault on The Rogue Spoon Inn and why your father was involved.
Perri Elastime starts to eat.
Perri Elastime: Yes, High Lord Sneakiness is quite rude telling me to leave.
Fennimore: I would rather make a friend of the High Lord, but I value the time we spent together as well, which leaves me in a bit of a quandry.
Fennimore: But, there is another who might be useful to us. One who likes to draw attention to himself and is well known to both the Court and has been seen associating with you.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Magic?
Music from a lute begins to flow throughout the tavern area.
Fennimore: Very adept of you.
Fennimore: Magic has caused me no end of troubles since the first day he appeared at The Rogue Spoon.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I do not associate with him for the joy of it, I can assure you.
Fennimore laughs.
Perri Elastime: I don't associate with him.
Fennimore (to Perri): Be glad your path hasn't crossed the Troublesome Troubador.
Munkustrap von Rumm: What does the Lord High Inquisitor want? What is his angle in this?
Fennimore: He is the Inquisitor. I think he is looking for information to use against you and your family. Courtly politics and all that.
Perri Elastime looks around for any that might take an interest in the conversation and notices that no one in the main part of the tavern seem to realize they are there.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Why does he target my family? What have we done to anger him?
Munkustrap von Rumm: And how can Magic be of use to us?
Fennimore: He didn't share much, just that your father was drawing undesired attention on your behalf.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I have warned my father, but he did not seem to take it very seriously.
It just occurs to Fennimore that The Lord High Inquisitor is more likely testing him.
Fennimore: The Inquisitor is likely using you to test my abilities to ferret out secrets. Abilities he may want to use to other ends in the future.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So you are working for him?
Perri Elastime: You must be careful the ends others would make of you may not be the ends you desire.
Fennimore: You're right, Perri.
Fennimore: I agreed to work for him as a way to forestall the investigation into your family.
Fennimore: But, the Inquisitor is not one to be dismissed lightly.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So, what do you suggest?
Fennimore: Back to Magic. He appeared to us the day he first led us into that fiasco with Forget-Me-Not. Since then, I have had repeated brushes with her, both good and ill. If Magic becomes the juiciest secret I can deliver to the Inquisitor, we can divert attention away from you and your family.
Fennimore: The Inquisitor will easily see through any lies or subversions, so the secret has to be truthful enough.
Perri Elastime: Me, I suggest pie and pastry, but while always delicious, not always helpful.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I doubt there is much by way of secrets to Magic. He never stops talking, though it could be a cover.
Fennimore: I know he is working both sides of the street on that mission to recover the amulet he sent us on. The mistress of this establishment wants him to recover it for her. Meanwhile, Magic has told the King he is going to recover it for the Crown. In the process Magic delivered a second powerful magic item into Forget-Me-Not's hands.
Fennimore: Either Magic is majestically incompetent or he is working with Forget-Me-Not.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Maybe both?
Perri Elastime: Maybe he just makes it up as he goes along.
Fennimore: Now, what I need from you, is details on what happened since I left the Spoon. What has Magic been up to. Where has he stayed? Who does he associate with?
Munkustrap von Rumm nods at Perri.
Perri Elastime smiles.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I know he has a shop where he sells shoes and trinkets. He is always going on and on about it to anyone who will listen.
Fennimore: Aye, the shop is near my Mum's cart. I owe you much thanks for saving her from the quickling.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Thanks be to Lehnbor that we were able to deal with it before it did more damage.
Fennimore: Lehnbor wasn't there to save me Mum. You were, so I'll give my thanks to you.
Munkustrap von Rumm: It is my duty to protect the citizens of this city.
Perri Elastime eats and drinks not wanting the food to go to waste with all of this heavy talk.
Munkustrap von Rumm: How to deal with Magic, though?
Fennimore: It seems to me that Magic brings much trouble with him and the citizens need protecting from him.
Munkustrap von Rumm: He is very...chaotic, yes.
Perri Elastime: Fennimore doesn't like him.
Fennimore: I need a believable way to tie him back to Forget-Me-Not and to blame your association with the Spoon on him.
Fennimore: I don't like the trouble he causes. He is like a briar patch. Every word he speaks is another thorn in my side.
Munkustrap von Rumm: My association with the Spoon is not due to Magic; to say otherwise would be a falsehood. I will not lie to save my own skin.
Perri Elastime: If that were true you be pricklier than a hedgehog.
Perri Elastime: A man of honor and dignity is you, Munkustrap von Rumm.
Fennimore: I do not ask you to lie. Will you allow me to shield you from the inquiry? Or would you rather speak the truth? If you want to be out with it, I can arrange a meeting with the Inquisitor for you to uphold your honor.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I do not understand what is the aim of the Inquisitor. Does he mean to cause harm to my family?
Fennimore: Probably not directly. But, if he can influence you and your family. I don't doubt he will use it.
Perri Elastime: Power shifts.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Blackmail? Extortion?
Fennimore: Perhaps.
Fennimore: Does your father have much influence at Court? Maybe the Inquisitor wants to use you as leverage over your Father.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Let me speak with the Inquisitor, if you can arrange a meeting, I shall ask him to his face what his intentions are.
Perri Elastime: Is there really something to be blackmailed about? Munkustrap you seem quite honorable.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I am a devotee to Lehnbor. I uphold the law as best I can, but no one is perfect.
Perri Elastime: Is this a lover thing again?
Fennimore: We are mortal, not gods. Not one of us can attain perfection.
Deuteronomy von Rumm is a high-ranking member of The Senate, so he has quite a bit of influence. He actually turned down the position of Lord High Marshal because he is that powerful in The Senate.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I have made some imprudent decisions in my past, but nothing that would be cause for blackmail.
Fennimore: Good.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Unless you count association with Magic.
Perri Elastime: That seems to come with its own punishment.
Fennimore laughs again.
Fennimore: I leave it to you. If you have a better option, I'll listen. We can try to blame it on Magic or you can share your indiscretions with the Inquisitor and let him decide how to use them.
Fennimore: I think I can arrange a meeting with the Inquisitor tonight, if that is your choice.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I will face the Inquisitor. No one shall be punished for my sake.
Fennimore sighs.
Fennimore: You are a brave and honorable man. I hope you are right.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Is there something more, something you have not told me?
Fennimore: No, I just don't trust the Inquisitor.
Fennimore: At least, he hasn't done anything to earn my trust, just yet.
Perri Elastime: He is not one I am likely to trust.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Well, can you find out what his goal is? Why he targets my family?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Does he mean to throw me to the scripture-pounders?
Perri Elastime: Could knowledge of your indescretions put someone else in harms way?
Munkustrap von Rumm: I have broken no laws.
Perri Elastime: I didn't say that you broke the law. I can see that your honor is important to you.
Munkustrap von Rumm: If his goal is to blackmail my father, then I must resort to more extreme measures.
Fennimore: I can't rule that out.
Perri Elastime: I am looking for the other thrust. Perhaps your family is not the target and someone less able to refuse is the target. Perhaps it is a pronged attack.
Perri Elastime: One way they get leverage on you and your family the other they get what?
Fennimore: Me.
Munkustrap von Rumm: You?
Fennimore: If I give you up to the Inquisitor, he knows he can use me for other dirty deeds.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Why are you working for him?
Perri Elastime: The question is how can you refuse.
Fennimore nods.
Fennimore: He cornered me in the Castle one day. He already knew too much about you and your father. Maybe he knows everything and is just testing me to see if I will throw you to the wolves.
Fennimore: I bought some time and that's when I thought of using Magic as a diversion.
Fennimore notices the tavern filling in.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Though it would be easy to blame Magic, I cannot do that--without a powerful reason.
Fennimore: I could report back to him that I failed. I will lose his confidence; maybe make an enemy at Court. A powerful enemy from one who shares my profession.
Fennimore: I agree. If you don't want to use Magic, we won't.
Fennimore: I have no love for the bard, but he will get his due when the time is right.
Perri Elastime: Maybe there is another diversion. We encountered a ratman. Are there more?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Is Forget-Me-Not employed by the Inquisitor?
Fennimore: Hmm, interesting idea. But, from the little I know, she likes to work alone.
Munkustrap von Rumm: What exactly does the Inquisitor want from you? What did he tell you to do with me?
Perri Elastime: I suppose snooping around the Inquisitor's rooms to see what he is up to is right out.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Quick way to make a powerful enemy.
Munkustrap von Rumm laughs.
Fennimore: He knows your father was influencing the City Watch. He wants me to investigate why and report back with any "valuable" information I can provide.
Munkustrap von Rumm: My father merely spoke to the Watch Captain. He said he did not interfere with anything.
Fennimore: He knows that I met you and heard of the event with the scripture-pounders. I told him that a few watchmen were upset that you upstaged them that day and had it out for you. He was intrigued by that bit of news.
Munkustrap von Rumm scoffs.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I was assisting them, not upstaging them!
Fennimore: That's not the way Chet saw it.
Fennimore: Your actions that day made quite a splash, ruffled some feathers.
Munkustrap von Rumm: It is my duty as a knight of the city to help keep the peace.
Perri Elastime: Insecure people find competance embarassing.
Fennimore: A few hours before we met, I overheard two of the Watch plotting your ruin.
Munkustrap von Rumm stares, his mouth agape.
Munkustrap von Rumm: My ruin? What did I do to deserve this?
Perri Elastime: They are that petty that they find assistance intolerable?
Munkustrap von Rumm: Apparently so.
Fennimore: Chet and his partner seem to think you are involved in something Blue.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Forget-Me-Not?
Fennimore: A different shade of Blue, more Borgosian. That the Rogue Spoon is a cover.
Fennimore: I can see why, with it being a brothel and all.
Fennimore: Frankly, halflings don't understand the need to barter for sex. We learn at a young age how our bodies work. That's why we have such large families.
Munkustrap von Rumm: A cover for what exactly?
Fennimore: Borgose the Blue is not exactly an up-and-up goddess around these parts. If she is going to have a temple, what better place to worship fleshly pleasures than a brothel.
Perri Elastime: Consensual sex without worship is fine by me.
Munkustrap von Rumm sits back and thinks for a few seconds.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I am not aware of any shrine to Borgose in The Rogue Spoon.
Fennimore: Nor I, and I worked there.
Munkustrap von Rumm: So the Inquisitor is looking for acolytes of Borgose. And he thinks I might be one?
Fennimore: The Watch is looking for acolytes of Borgose and thinks you might be one. Your father intervened with the Watch Captain on your behalf and attracted the attention of the Inquisitor. He wants to know why you interfered with the scripture-pounders, why your father got involved, and no doubt how he can put that knowledge to his own advantage.
Fennimore: A tangled web.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Indeed.
Perri Elastime: Ugh.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I interfered with the scripture-pounders because they were going to tear down The Rogue Spoon. Chaos must not prevail.
Fennimore: Fair enough.
Munkustrap von Rumm: But I had no idea and I still have no idea if there is a shrine to Borgose at The Rogue Spoon.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I will help tear down a shrine to her if one is found.
Fennimore: Maybe that should be our next step. It will be much easier to infiltrate the Spoon than the Inquisitors quarters.
Fennimore: If you are willing to join with me and Perri, we can pay Claricia a little visit.
Perri Elastime: How about we put it on the list.
Fennimore: You can enjoy your daliance and we will do a little investigating.
Munkustrap von Rumm: I am not sure that me going to The Rogue Spoon again is a good idea. I already have people targeting me for being there.
Perri Elastime bats his eyelashes at Munkustrap.
Fennimore: We're pretty good at being sneaky. If Chet is still watching the Spoon, we can avoid him.
Munkustrap von Rumm glances at Perri questioningly.
Perri Elastime: We can avoid him.
Munkustrap von Rumm: Very well.
Munkustrap von Rumm: When do you suggest we pay the Spoon a visit?
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