Taxmen: High Risk Unit #5


Photo by Daniel Ruyter / Unsplash

It's night time at Greenberry and Marlowe finds himself sketching while his companions are sleeping around him. A paper bird flies in and informs him that someone waits below. Cryptic as this is, Marlowe descends alone and meets a strange figure who identifies himself as GDC Guldan. He proceeds to explain little else and Marlowe, confused and wary, resigns to deal with this in the morning.

The next day, waking earlier than everyone else, Marlowe goes out to ensure that Guldan is truly a fellow tax officer. He and Guldan find Brighur at the inn having breakfast with a young woman named Jasmine. Though they first try not to interrupt, the lack of conversation possible between two people who don't trust each other at all forces the duo to prematurely end Brighur's (possibly romantic) meeting.

Brighur admits to knowledge that a half-orc named Guldan was supposed to join them and that he has the reputation for being difficult. By this time, this is not news to Marlowe. Through the course of their conversation, they learn from Guldan (who doesn't seem all that sure) that Isilda has succeeded her father, Baron Hammer, to the barony and that the Dalsana now occupy the big Asavansi temple. Her sister is apparently missing. He also talked about the taxmen's confiscation of gold from the Dalsanas and rumours he had heard about a much larger shipment of gold that was expected to come through Greenberry.

Brighur offers to go and confirm that the facts and tells Marlowe and Guldan to meet him in four hours and not before. But when he sets off, they decide to follow him. Brighur first goes to a pigeon tower where he sends out a pigeon. He notices the two of them on the way out. They enter the tower after he's left and speak with the blind pigeonkeeper, Hyurun. Guldan sends a pigeon off to FG and Marlowe sends a pigeon off to Shirrom where Hyurun says Balthazar, the bookseller, might be. When Hyurun tells them the pigeon from FG will be back only by the end of the day, they suddenly get suspicious of Brighur. Why did he ask them to come back after 4 hours then?

From the tower, they see him head towards the Dalsana guild but then lose sight of him. The dynamic duo come up with a plan - they will talk to the receptionist and buy themselves into his favour by returning the drum that Marlowe took from the dead dalsanas in the FG temple. When they enter the guild, they find Brighur and the receptionist, Charka, laughing and chatting. Brighur isn't very happy to see them. It's an awkward situation - they give Charka the drum Marlowe took from the dead Dalsanas. They try to see the in/out register which, after Brighur's nod, Charka does show them. They notice that Darius did leave the guild the day they encountered him on the road from FG. Having got something out of the escapade, they made a dignified exit. Brighur glowers at them from behind.