Just after dawn, there was a knock at the door of Ysane’s place. Savana, unsure of what to do, wakes Turin. As she is explaining what is going on, there is another knock. At that time, Ysane is heading down the stairs, groggy and with a blank stare. Ysane opens the door to see a tall human woman, apparently in her early 40’s, with short cropped white-blonde hair. She is neither particularly pretty nor very ugly and has generally unremarkable features. She wears well kept hide armor, dyed a grey color, and a green cloak. The cloak clasp is the house symbol of her employer and on her chest is the symbol of a mercenary company.
“My name is Vaityn, I am here because I understand that there are some people here that were involved in repelling the orc and goblin raid last night. My employer, Councilor Merittas, requests your presence this morning.”
After a small discussion with Turin and Mal, Vaityn enters the shop while the Wolves gather their things before they head out to Merittas’ estate. After Balasar finally finishing putting his platemail armor on, the Wolves and Ysane follow Vaityn to the northwest section of town, which is the better part of town where the upscale residents live. On the way to Merittas’, the damaged buildings seemed to dwindle as they approached that section of town, however there seemed to have multiple entry points of the raid last night.
Vaityn leads the party through several doors toward the dining room. A well dressed Tiefling sits at the end of a dining room table and stands up when the party enters the room. “Thank you Vaityn for bringing them to me. Please show yourself out.” Glancing at the party, he is a little taken aback by the sight of Gunju, and he clamors for words. “I did not expect to see an animal… companion, but I’m sure we can make arrangements. Please sit down, breakfast will be served soon.”
After taking a servant aside, the servant leaves and returns with a bowl of food for Gunju.
Shortly the food is served and Merittas and the Wolves begin to eat except for Turin, who is somewhat confused and does not want to eat as he questions the motives for them being summoned. “I understand your feeling, so if you wish, we can began our discussion if it will put you at ease,” Merittas tells Turin.
After Merittas explains his love for Paratum, he claps his hands and a servant arrives with 5 small leather bags that contain 30 gold coins each. “This is a token of my appreciation for your work last night as well as a down payment for future services.” Merittas tells the Wolves of the events of past and also mentions that several key townsfolk were kidnapped last night. He mentions the Hall of Glory and that it was specifically targeted, and ransacked, and the keepers of the hall have disappeared.
After the specifics of the arrangement have been discussed, Merittas tells the party that they captured several orcs, but only one is still alive. You should go to him and find out all the details you can about where the townsfolk have been taken and why. “If you return with the townsfolk alive, I will triple the 30 gp each and I also have a small collection of magical artifacts that you may choose one item each from.”
Turin negotiates in an effort to find out if Merittas has ulterior motives and whether or not he really cares about the captives or just wants the retrieval of the artifacts. Turin interrupts Mal as he tries to say that they will rescue the captives no matter the reward. Balasar is also concerned about a proffered magic item reward – his reasoning: we are more likely to succeed if we have the magic items up front – Merittas’ rejoinder: “But you are an untested group, and it is a risky investment – I must with-hold the items until you return.”
The group then leaves his chamber and asks for privacy while we discuss our next step. We talk about a plan to have Mal disguised as an orc to pretend to be tortured in an effort to get the orc to talk about the plans of his fellows. We come up with a plan that requires a couple of dead orcs, and Turin asks Merittas for help in acquiring them – he also states his hope that Merittas did not take offense at his negotiation, as he did not mean any disrespect and tells him that the group appreciates his hospitality. Merittas says that he was hoping it wouldn’t come to that, but that it was not unexpected. Turin responds that “In a wicked age, one must search to find those that are trustworthy.”
Merittas draws up a writ of Habeus Corpus Collectus and gives it to us.
After receiving the note, the party heads north following Vaityn towards the guard barracks. Dili and Mal discuss the nature of their plan along the way as well. The barracks seem to be more deserted than they should be at this time, but the group figures the guards are off doing other things at this time, given the recent raids. Vaityn hands a note to the guards, who reluctantly let us in. Vaityn tells us that we will need to talk to Jonathon. Turin hands the note from Merittas to Jonathon. He begins to look it over, but by the look on his face, it appears he is having trouble reading it. After finishing, he leads the group back in the other direction to what looks to be a prisoner infirmary where 2 dead orcs lay on the floor. “You may do as you wish with these, the wagon has not come to get them yet.”
Mal dons the clothes (leather armor) of one of the orcs – it is horribly rank and Mal takes a few minutes to get into the orc’s body and prepare for the interrogation/torture scene. The plan is to have Mal appear as an orc with Dili torturing him to convince the captured orc to give up information. Confused and rather scared, Jonathon begins to cringe as Dili asks him for a set of shackles, shaking badly has he hands them over.
Jonathan leads Dili and Mal, accompanied by Gunju, down to the cell of the captive. They begin to perform a roughly choreographed torture scene in the very dimly lit cell. The captive orc, limping badly, pays attention to what is going on. After a short time, Dili can hear the captured Orc muttering something in Giant down the hall. He leaves the chamber and confronts him. Not saying what he said, Dili grabs the orc and bashes his face into the cell bars. Blood running from his nose as falls back laughing. He than says, “Grithok think you are worse torturer ever.” Frustrated, Dili yells for Jonathon and instructs him to take Mal away, he will deal with him in private. Once in the hall, a commotion breaks out and Mal pretends to try and escape. We have successfully accomplished our goal of our theatrics. After Mal undresses, re-dresses the dead orc and transforms back, Dili and Jonathon drag the dead orc body back into the chamber and drops it in front of Grithok saying “chew on that” and leave.
Balasar, Savana, and Turin enter the chamber a short time later in order to finish the interrogation. Not that intimidated at this point, he does not reveal any information until Savana speaks up and tells Grithok about her melting spree last night. With the orc now very intimidated, Turin chimes in and says that the orcs only hope of survival is us. “Tell us what you know and when we return with the prisoners, we will make sure you will be set free.” Grithok speaks of the tribe leader, Sinrith who is intending to bring back the “The Red Hand” in all its glory. Grithok tells Turin that if he brings him a map, he will show on the map where the encampment is, somewhere to the northeast in an old tomb.
Turin leaves the chamber and instructs Mal to go see Merittas in order to secure the safety of the captured orc while we are gone. Mal and Dili run to Merittas’ residence. Greeted by guards who recognize us. They let us in, but knock on the door. Vaityn answers and Mal explains why we are there. She leads us inside to Merittas.
Meanwhile, back in the chamber, Turin decides he will not leave the orc alone until he has acquired the letter from Merittas.
Mal apologizes for the interruption and asks about getting the writ of safety from execution. Merittas is quite surprised at this gesture and says it might be quite difficult to keep the Marquis from executing the prisoner. He thought the Marquis might make quite the spectacle of it in public to rejuvenate morale amongst the townsfolk. Merittas says he might be able to delay the slaying of the orc but needs some sort of bargaining chip. Mal says he will bring the head of Sinrith on a pike to parade around town upon our return. He accepts and excuses himself to go and see the Marquis.
Mal and Dili return and tell Turin what has transpired. The Wolves leave the chamber and head for Ysane’s shoppe. Upon arrival, the shoppe is open for business but has not seen very much activity. Turin and Ysane discuss the safety of the orc and Merittas’ involvement. She says she will express her thoughts to Merittas and the Marquis and if anyone who can get him to delay, Merittas would be the one.
The party decides to leave immediately but before we depart, Turin writes Merittas a short note.