Taxmen: High Risk Unit #6 & #7
(Notes from my Dungeons and Dragons campaign: first post here)
Gul'dan falls asleep in the middle of the day. Don't ask why. It just happens.
Marlowe finds Ea and Tuck and tells them about his early morning escapades. The three of them decide to go talk to Brighur about what the hell is going on. Brighur, annoyed at being suspected and generally iritated by these dumb out-of-towners, explains how in a small town like Greenberry, the only way he survives is by keeping his head down and being friendly to everybody. Which is why to find about what happened in Effigy, all he had to do was speak to Charka, the receptionist at the Dalsana guild. He found out that the guild does control the temple now. The older sister, the Uckana guild-backed sister, is dead.
At this point, the three tax collectors decide to break into the Dalsana guild. As they saunter over, the sun is setting and people are on their way home. But there's a crowd outside the Dalsana guild. A group of Uckana warriors have begun a performance. The gleeful crowd knows that this is the beginning of a fight. They line up in droves.
As the Uckana performance gathers steam, they begin catapulting themselves onto the terrace of the Dalsana guild, using the walls and each others' shoulders as stepping stones. Their synchronizeds stomps almost shake the building. Soon, three figures emerge from the guild, carrying twee guitars and a small tabla. Marlowe recognises one of them as Brighur's early morning friend / date. The musicians play, their tune picking up speed. At first, it isn't clear what they're doing but when the first Uckana trips up, unable to keep pace, theobjectives become clear. As their composition whirls and dives, the dancers find themselves unable to match. The first punch is thrown. The crowd cheers and joins in as a full-scale riot breaks out.
Amazed at their luck, the three tax collectors break into the Dalsana guild through a side window. Marlowe's invisible servant wanders through the building and reports four people in the backroom. This is strange - why wouldn't they be helping their colleagues? Hoping to lure them out with a call for help, Marlowe casts a spell to disguise himself as the tabla players and runs into the room. She finds herself face to face with an interesting tableau: 4 Uckanas who are clearly in the midst of a robbery.
They grab Marlowe who drops his disguise and explains that he's there for the same thing. The Uckanas are confused but they seem to be having no luck with their break-in so tell Marlowe to come and meet them later. They also threaten to break his bones if he's actually working for the Dalsanas. They leave through a magical tunnel of some kind.
Marlowe finds everything locked and so bounces out and along with Ea and Tuck make their way to the Uckana guild. The negotiation is tense. A band of Uckana warriors, freshly riot-soaked, nurse their wounds and glower at them. The Uckana leader, Risul, warns the trio of the magical locks in Jasmine's (Dalsana leader) office. And the mask on the wall that records all it sees. If Jasmine were to question it, they would be rumbled so they should be careful not to leaves signs of a break-in. He also threatened to break their legs. He seemed quite keen.
After that tense meeting, where else to go but the tavern? It was late but the barkeep kept it open for them, serving three mugs of beer. Conversation wasn't needed. The group, like the wine on the rack, mulled.
As the night lengthens, a stranger enters the bar in the attire of a soldier. The group's ears prick up as he asks the barman about a half-orc named Guldan. The bartender mumbles in the affirmative and points him to the tax office. The stranger asks for some water. While he's drinking, Ea studies his attire. She spots his warhammer, strapped to his back. As he passes them on the way to the door, she notices what looks like a hammer etched into the head of his hammer. The group has seen it before: the coat of arms of Baron Hammer of Effigy is the symbol of a fist shaped in the form of a hammer.
When the stranger leaves, the group is out the door behind him.
They follow him as he walks to the tax office but as they pass the Dalsana guild, they see six horses tied outside. It's a night for surprise guests. A decision has to be made: do they follow the soldier or do they spy on the new Dalsana guests? Tortured moments pass but they decide that their most pressing concern is the guild.
Ea reaches out to the horses, using her magic to speak to them. Their leader, Cobb, is a sage beast and answers her questions gravely. They come from the village of Shirrom where their riders raced away after a scuffle at the Dalsa temple. The only horse eye witness was the youngest one, White Sock, who's ...difficult. White Sock talks like three people and Ea can't keep up. He tells her that a middle aged woman on a horse and a young woman with a staff attacked and chased away the entire population of the Dalsa temple at Shirrom. The group all mouth "Panna" at the same time! In return for their help, Ea releases the horses
They throw Tuck through an airhole into the back office. He listens in on the debate going on inside: one group wants to go back and attack the temple, one group wants to wait, one weary voice says that the attackers have already left the temple unguarded. Having confirming what the horses have said, Tuck vamooses.
They go back to the tax office and study the footprints outside. The soldier seems to have been there, walking the entire perimeter of the office outside before his tracks get lost. They shake their heads, confused and retire for the night.