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>Sandcat RPG stuff >After the Departure >Session reports >Session 23 (Jouta)

Session 23 (Jouta)

"Merchants"

Played on July 8th, 2012

May 8, 21 Years After the Departure (Atd)

Arriving at Velvet Square, we decided to visit mr. Etherington first. We knew that Mr. Chauncey traded in wine, so we rather hoped that he would be more amenable to our words in the afternoon; we arrived at around ten o' clock, and therefore a bit early for wine.

Mr. Etherington had a mansion with a huge wall around it. There was a large gate at the square, with three guards posted. Not feeling in the mood to beat around the bush, I simply asked for a few moments of mr. Etheringtons time. I did need to mention the events of the previous day before one of the guards was willing to check on his boss's schedule.

It took quite some time but after about fifteen minutes, he returned with the message that we could enter. It turned out that most of the group did not want to enter, for some reason. So in the end it was just Boulder, Soniah and me that went in.

Again, I wanted the purpose of our visit to be clear, so I wasted no time in introducing us and pointing out that Mr. Etherington very probably knew Boulder by sight. He told us he did not, which I considered surprising, but then again he probably was not present at the square yesterday.

In any case, I then presented our line of reasoning: while the current status quo was obviously beneficial to Mr. Etherington, he still also suffered from artificial restrictions handed down from the Greyskins. Apart from the despicable behaviour towards the common men, it stood to reason that Mr. Etherington could make a lot more wealth by trading goods were the Greyskins gone. And therefore it would make sense to join forces with the BLA, at least considering freeing Northmeadow.

Mr. Etherington did make a bit of fuss about our connection to the NMU. Seeing as we had just formally joined forces, but never even did anything together (yet), I stressed that this relationship was not yet as outspoken as he believed.

It seemed to me that it took a bit of convincing, but he did appear to go along with this line of reasoning. He asked for a bit of time to consider the matter, which was reasonable of course given that he did not recognize Boulder and therefore did not know what we already accomplished. So we agreed to meet again just after lunch, and parted ways with that.

Outside, Tharen and Galtar appeared to be a bit miffed about this outcome. They apparently expected a clear yes or no after this talk. While that would have been nice, I thought the present result was good enough already. Still, they kept going on about it and in the end I got so frustrated that I threw Lucretia's presents at Tharen for him to use as he saw fit.

Wasting no time, we went to see Mr. Chauncey. His mansion was not as walled in, but we did see a lot more guards. He also had a gate, and this time after introducing ourselves we only had to wait a few minutes before we were called in. This time only Vhaal wanted to stay outside..

Mr. Chauncey appeared considerably less interested in our arrival than Mr. Etherington was. However soon after the initial introductions (this time Boulder was recognized), a woman presented herself. It appeared that she had been standing in the shadow in a corner of the study, and she took position behind Mr. Chauncey -- I presumed she was his wife, or at least lover. From then on out it was her that made the conversation, and Mr. Chauncey let this happen. Apparently she also managed his estates.

Furthermore, she hinted that she had already heard about our visit to Mr. Etherington. Which was surprising considering that was about 15 minutes ago. I guessed that the two spied on each other for some reason.

In any case, I still did not beat around the bush and presented the same line of reasoning. It seemed to me that she already knew all we wanted to say and just wanted to make sure that we held nothing back, but I did not see any reason to. That seemed to please her for some reason. Also she was amenable to the thought of the greyskins gone. At around this time Tharen did not want to wait any longer for a yes or a no I guess -- he "suggested" to me plainly that we had another ace up our sleeve. As the woman had heard as well, we had no choice but to hand over the blue pouch.

The woman opened it and out came a small stone of amber. Her reaction was one of surprise; but when she had gathered her composure she asked us whether we knew what this stone signified. I tried to bluff my way out of it as did others but she saw through it and only laughed. She also refused to tell us the significance of the stone...

With us confused, she also asked for some time to "check some things out", and probably also confer with Mr. Chauncey, I guess. I accepted this and agreed to meet just after the next meeting with Mr. Etherington.

Returning to the square, we quickly told all that happened to Vhaal. We were a bit miffed at the contents of the pouch, not to mention the effect on the woman -- it did not sound like her decision would be entirely based on the stone. But while we were talking, it seemed to Vaal that a group of passersby was pointing at and talking about our group, but the moment he wanted to ask them about it they scattered.

Having nothing more to do before the next meeting with Mr. Etherington, we agreed to go have lunch and pass some time. That was over pretty quickly and so we found ourselves with a bellyful on the square again, ready to meet with Mr. Etherington.

This time we were expected of course, so we passed the gate immediately, again with all but Vhaal.

Mr. Etheringtons response was to the point: he did not want to associate with BLA. He refused to give a (good) reason. Tharen then pointedly again asked me to present the "gift", which I had almost forgotten about. We did not have any other option at that point however, so I reluctantly handed the red pouch over to the merchant.

Inside was the same small stone of amber. Curiously, this seemed great news to Mr. Etherington, who pondered it for quite some time, and let slip something about "so this is from her". He did not, unfortunately, respond to questions about this behaviour. And even more aggravating, after having pocketed the stone, he announced that his refusal still stood. This confirmed that Lucretia's tricks did not work well enough for our purposes.

We were led back and outside the mansion and I had to mentally realign myself before we headed over to the other side of the square, to Mr. Chauncey's mansion.

Again we were expected and led inside rather quickly. There both Mr. Chauncey and his wife (or at least, the same woman) greeted us. Her first question was about Mr. Etherington and his answer -- I answered truthfully that he refused our cooperation, and she seemed pleased with that.

Luckily, and moving on from the subject, she told us that they had already decided that Mr. Chauncey would help BLA and NMU with the liberation of Northmeadow. We had no time to lose. However the first thing that we would have to take care of was Mr. Etherington.

In order to discuss details of our plans we agreed on a meeting between BLA, NMU and Mr. Chauncey in the Wicked Witch, which would be set up as soon as possible. The problem was that the Wicked Witch was a place where Chauncey and his wife would stick out like a sore thumb; plus they did not know the location at all. Soniah, Boulder, Tharen and Galtar were concerned that Mr. Etherington would alert the Greyskins to our location and plans, and wanted to do something about it. But Boulder did not have his sword, and he said he needed it to deal with Mr. Etherington.

So it was decided that I was to wait on the Chauncey's while they dressed in something less fancy, Boulder would go and alert the NMU and get them to the Wicked Witch for the meeting while fetching his sword, and the rest would deal (in whatever way I did not want to know) with Mr. Etherington.


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