Sunday, Harvester 16, 552 CY (50 AN)
Croitus, Khuna, Nobody, Resh, and Southie approach the interior gates of Sorgforge, where they are stopped by a couple of guards. The guards explain that having heard about the trouble in Scandshar, coupled with the fact that there’s a rumor going around that the terrorist group known as the Broken Chain is to blame, they’re checking the belongings of everyone who enters the city. They search through the group’s parcels and bag of holding, and the only thing that gives them pause is Ashraf’s dead body. They explain that they are trying to find someone to raise him.
The guards acknowledge and let them into Sorgforge. Resh is surprised they did not say anything about his opium.
The reference to Ashraf prompts the rest of the group to ask Resh what kobolds do with their dead. He explains that they usually just leave them where they fall, so the group decides to give him a sky burial when they find an appropriate field.
After further discussion, the group decides to go to the Patenaude merchant house to obtain their earnings. After finding directions to the merchant district, they find the Patenaude’s main offices and enter. After explaining to the receptionist that they are there regarding business with a Mr. Monkshood, the receptionist leaves, returning to send them to one of the merchants. They find a dark-skinned woman at her desk, and when they explain that they are here on behalf of Mr. Monkshood, she indicates that she has something for them, giving them a pouch of coins and a scroll. The group then indicates that they have gems and items they wish to sell; they produce an ornate rod from Lord Book’s hideout, and twenty-nine gems from Torili Two-Spirit’s vault. Crotius keeps a single sapphire for himself, in case he wishes to summon the Tumescent Prophet of Sanguine Humours from The Tract of Teratology he holds.
While the merchant is handling the gems, Khuna starts to read the scroll. Seeing that it is addressed to Ashraf and Resh, she hands it to Resh. He reads it, learning that his and Ashraf’s former master, Lady Minodora Anghelescu, is currently living in Ducat Negrescu. He indicates that he no longer cares, as he is now a free kobold, and gives the scroll back to Khuna.
When finished, the merchant tallies the total value of the group’s loot at 29,700 gp. They are surprised and pleased, splitting the reward evenly among themselves. They thank her for her assistance, and indicate they may return — Southie, in particular, expresses an interest in investing.
As the group exits the merchant offices, the assembled party hears a shout from the crowd. Scanning the crowd warily, they see a young boy darting across the marketplace to greet them. Approaching Croitus, he says a man paid him a few coppers to deliver an object. The boy reveals a fist-sized object bearing the Dwarven rune for “Speak” on it; he explains that it activates when the Dwarven word for “speak” is said. The group offers a few coppers to convince the kid to describe the man; he describes a man with a push-broom mustache, bowler hat, and suit that matches Mr. Monkshood’s description. They thank the child and decide to deal with Monkshood later; Croitus puts the object in his bag of holding.
The group spends the rest of the afternoon shopping, searching for esoteric items, weapons, and armor to aid them in any future endeavors. Notably, Croitus obtains a hat of disguise, enjoying wandering around the streets of Sorgforge as a human, unremarkable to the eyes of most. Asking around for lodging, particularly with a view of the sea, the group is directed to the Lady’s Chalice, down near the wharf.
As the group wanders to the inn, Croitus, Khuna, Nobody, and Resh realize they have lost Southie. However, the group decides not to worry about it, as any trouble he causes will be unconnected to them. They spend their evening pleasantly dining and drinking.
Meanwhile, Southie has wandered into an inn, requesting to purchase it. He apparently seems belligerent enough that one of the proprietors considers him inebriated, and fetches a guardsman to ask him to leave. He does so without complaint, immediately wandering over to another establishment, entering, and offering to purchase it. The guards, who have followed him here, then proceed to escort him out, indicating that they are going to let him dry out overnight in the Citadel’s drunk tank. Having no intention of being placed in any sort of cage again, Southie draws his greataxe with lightning speed and decapitates one of the guards; immediately, panic grips the populace as they see the carnage and begin screaming and fleeing. The other guard makes some manner of low, signaling call as he engages Southie in battle; Southie cuts his side and then cleaves through his body as the other guards arrive. As the crowd of guards begins to chase after him, Southie manages to flee through a tangle of alleys and lose them in the confusion.
Slinking to the Lady’s Chalice, Southie quietly enters and sits at the table with Croitus, Khuna, Nobody, and Resh. He barely has the chance to say anything when they notice he is covered in blood; Nobody moves to another table and Croitus, currently disguised as a human, coerces Southie to join him upstairs. Croitus starts preparing an escape route, but then gets another idea, pulling the flask of breath out of his bag of holding. He tells Southie to clamp the bottle over his face and get into the bag; Southie is wary of this course of action, but deigns to perform it, climbing into the bag of holding. Croitus closes it behind him and double knots it closed. He then uses his hat of disguise to appear as a different man, coming downstairs. He quietly sits at the table, and when Khuna asks where Southie went, he murmurs that he is in the bag of holding. They wonder if Southie is even alive anymore, and Croitus indicates that he does not particularly care. He’ll let Southie out. Eventually. Maybe.
Although the group has mixed feelings about stuffing Southie in a bag of holding, the assembled party agrees to let it go at least until the morning. As they finish dining, a guardsman enters the inn, looking around. He speaks to one of the barkeeps, and the two travel upstairs. They return several minutes later, and the guardsman addresses the common room, asking if they have seen an armored dwarf come through this area. No one has anything of particular note to add, although some saw him go upstairs with another man. The guardsman thanks them and leaves.
Having had enough excitement, the group retreats upstairs to their rooms. Croitus and Resh guard the bag of holding in one room, while Khuna and Nobody take another room.