Episode 3: Friends in High Places - part 2
In the Quenched Whistle the troupe waited, drinking rum, sangria, and for Darcey, what amounted to the worst wine ever. The inn was filled with dock workers, rowdy singing, and the place stank of sweat and fish. Gavroche returned and took up a seat with the troupe and quaffed his frothy beer. He explained to them that he found Smek, and that they should sort things out quick, as he had just heard that there had been a hit on the Paulson Street Rovers, and that there was a bounty on their heads. They had been set up. It made sense as the Twin Bridge Blades had been trying to muscle in on the local area, given the forth coming fireworks display and the money to be made on the protection racket.
Gavroche showed the witch hunters the way up into the rigs, and from there they went and questioned the local Gobbers and Bogrin about Smek and where he made his home. They made their way about the rope bridges and suspended platforms, aware of how high up they were. At one market stall Darcey spoke to a female Gobber trader. The stall had various curios, like cheap jewellery, ratty scarves, and sea shells. The Gobber tried to sell Darcey some lace hankies, which were stained and riddled with holes, and a broach that had a scene from 'An Orgoth Goes a Courting'. Darcey haggled while asking for Smek, and for a good deal she learnt that Smek often went to Gron's Pie shop, over on the next main platform.
Gregore spoke to some cigar traders, who were phlegm hacking Bogrin. For three boxes of cigars and a tin of snuff the Bogrin directed him to Smek's hideout, which was suspended higher up, and from what Gregore could see, a really danger to get to.
This information was confirmed by Beck Hurst, as he watched a Gobber who was playing hunt the ace with a number of customers. Quietly Beck threatened to reveal where the ace really was, and with that the Gobber finished up the game and told Beck where he could find Smek.
From a more stable position Brother Eckert and Darcey took watch as Hurst and Gregore clambered up the ropes. Hurst slipped, the ropes were wet from the sea spray, and he lost his footing and grabbed out for the nearest rope. Smek looked out from his hideout, and seeing the troupe he clambered out the top of his hideout. Gregore rushed up the rope to try and catch him, but Darcey just lowered her rifle and fired a warning shot at the Gobber. The goblin stopped and waited as Gregore closed on him.
'Did you want a cigar?'
'Eh?' Smek was confused, and in his moment of thought Gregore knocked him out.
Smek awoke to find himself at ground level surrounded by the witch hunters, and his arms tied behind his back. He asked for a cigar, and over the short amount of time it took him to smoke it, he explained how a man, called Smith Burrls had put him up to it, and that it was because he owed the man money. Smek went on to explain how he would show them the way to the Rover's hideout and explain everything and help them clear their names.
The sun was beginning to set as they approached Paulson Street. Hurst paused as he spotted something in the alleyway, and watched a darkly armoured and cloaked man use some form of dark magic to kill an Ogrun. The sorcerer placed his balefire hands on the Ogrun's head, and the beast let out a silent cry and collapsed. The sorcerer then drew from the creature its soul, a green energy that the sorcerer worked into a small green ball and consumed. Smek pulls on Hurst's arm.
'Nuffing to see. Them sorts will get tha' watch on 'em, and you muggins are in 'nuff trouble already.'
Hurst and Eckert were annoyed by the apparent ease necromancers prowled the city, but now was no time to deal with it.
At the clockwork repairs shop Smek walks in with the others, and find in the shop a number of the Rovers, all bearing an array of wounds and injuries that they are in the middle of attending to. They go for their weapons, until one of the men recognises Eckert.
Smek explains what happened, gaining the ire of the remaining Rovers. The Rover's explain that High Captain Kilbride will want to hear this, but that first they need some more information from the troupe as to why they should be trusted, since this could all be a setup.
The front door then slams open and two burly ruffians armed with quad irons enter, and once they are sure that the shop is secure, the High Captain Kilbride enters the room. He exhales a cloud of smoke and stamps out his cigar before lighting a new one. He demands explanations, and stares down the witch hunters, laughing at Gregore's insolence. He finds the troupes claims, all of which are lies as they still felt they must hide their true identity and purpose, laughable, and while Smek's explanation is something, he needs a sign of trust. He then challenges the troupe to go and deal with the Twin Bridge Blades.
The witch hunters arrive outside the inn where the Blades make their base, The Belly Bridge Tavern. Outside the inn was obviously one of the gang on watch, as Hurst had spotted his tattoo. Their initial plan was then to get someone in to get an idea for what the place was like.
Hurst approached the tavern while the others sat on boxes on the other side of the road. Inside Hurst could see a number of people, some looked hideously drunk. The man at the door didn't let Hurst pass, and while he thought he was being subtle, Hurst noticed how he tapped out a particular rhythm on the door. Hurst walked away and shook his head. The troupe then watched as the man went inside the inn and nothing else happened. Gregore and Hurst then walked around the inn and saw that no one had left. So the gang was still inside.
Leading the group, Gregore kicked in the door, Hurst ready to throw in grenades. But all they found were a number of men, drunk asleep at the tables, or under them. Hurst looked around and went behind the bar. There were grooves in the floor, and it was clear that one of the large barrels of beer was false. He opened it up to reveal a staircase and that there was a light down at the bottom.
Together Hurst, Gregore, Darcey and Eckert descended into the basement of the inn. It was gloomy and dank, and all about there were crates, barrels and some brewing vats. There was then a muzzle flash and gunfire - it was an ambush.