27th of Ready’reat – Narwhale Saloon, Chistles Point – 10:42pm
George Cooper sat back with his feet on the table; as he stretched he took a long slow draw from his pipe as he surveyed the two who sat before him. Val Thacoor and Lee-Sun Shikame sat across from him sipping their ale, both had been dropped off earlier by Gemeni when she had come to pick up Arthorn. The Everlast wished words with the young Arthorn and wanted to personally see to his healing; these two had been sent to replace him during his recovery and to investigate; that was of course assuming that George gave them the nod. Even the White Ravens had the knowhow and respect to gain permission before openly operating in one of his cities.
“So, you’re here to stir up a hornets nest and cause me no end of grief, that about sum it up?” George asked, reaching over for his lucky tankard and taking a long pull. His question was directed at the bearded human named Val
“Not if we can help it my Rogue” the man’s response brought a grin to Georges face, he liked people who did their research and folk who knew how and when to use the right honorific. The man continued “I don’t want to be here any longer than I need to be, but someone targeted one of ours, we have to know who, and why” George nodded to the words as he sat up
“That’s fair, but I have a few conditions for you, these are not negotiable and are a must if you want to wander my city” both men also leaned forward listening to his words “One; Raven Everlast does not end up in Chistles Point looking into this or confronting someone himself. If Raven comes down here, then I will have a Dwarven Queen, and three Avatars and half of Fluid Dynamics and who knows how many heads of state skulking through my streets and generally pissing in my pool. If that happens, I will be forced to take my displeasure at the situation out on you two…. Personally” he made a cutting gesture with his pipe indicating that an ear would be lost, both White Ravens nodded agreeing that it was best if this did not happen. “Second; I want to know everything you find out before you leave my city… as you said, someone out there is starting shit with the White Ravens, and they are doing it in MY city without MY permission, you can have first crack at vengeance, but I want to know WHO and WHY before you leave…” again both men nodded, this had been expected. “Finally; you get caught, or bring down the law, or generally make it known that you in anyway had any dealings with me and mine… well let’s just say you will never make it to trial and leave it at that… is their understanding between us?” the two leaned in and conferred for a moment. George cussed to himself, he had not yet mastered the Wing-Ti language that they spoke in and was forced to rely on magic to eaves drop, a sloppy substitute for the real thing. The two turned to him and nodded the final agreement. George reached forward and offered a hand. “Good on ya fellows…” he shook their hands lifted his tankard and drained it, then stood and nodded to them to follow “I tell ya what, I’m going do ya a favour and give ya a head start, just cause I’m such a wonderful fellow” he walked over to the bar and smiled at the portly dwarven bar tender
“Jessica,” he started his voice full of warmth and a grin on his lips “I’d love to show these fellows your cask room, would ya mind terribly?” he made a show of dancing a silver ingot across his knuckles before flipping it to her. She caught it from the air and turned giving George a sassy smile before speaking
“Anything you want hun, but if I am short so much as a shot I’ll be expensing the entire cask to your ship” George put his hand over his heart feigning hurt feelings
“Jessica, you wound me, I am a Captain in Kelezandri’s great Navy; my days of stealing booze from alehouse storerooms is far behind me.”
“Right…” she said in a tone filled with sarcasm “just know that I know the weight of every bottle and cask… Captain” George turned to the White Ravens shrugging before taking them behind the bar and leading them down the steep steps to the store room. The little cellar was like most alehouse cellars, with large casks against the wall, and shelves with bottles and food stores against the others. George walked to the far wall climbing over to casks and pulling the lid off one behind the others, he waved for the two to follow as he climbed in. the cask was empty and had a ladder inside leading to a secret level below. Here things took on a more dour flavour. The hard stone wall had an inset solid steel door. And a burly looking Honalian sitting in a wooden chair front of it reading a book by candle light, he looked up seeing George coming with company.
“My Rogue,” he said by way of greeting
“How’s our guest doing Norm?” George asked. The Honalian, Norm, closed his book and ran his hand through his hair.
“Not too bad, I checked on him about half an hour ago, he was moaning pretty bad, likely has a bit of an infection” George nodded
“Open it up” he said, Norm hopped up and jingled a few keys from his pocket before finding the right one and unlocked the door.
The room inside was completely steel, there was a sickly green magic light that flickered and blinked in the ceiling as if it were always on the verge of going out. The room was notably cold, there was no furniture, no privy, nothing. It appeared that some excrement lay in the far corner, though the corresponding urine slid and pooled across the perfectly level floor adding a rank order to the room. In the other far corner curled in a ball in a pool of his own urine was a naked pudgy dactyl. He was missing an ear and was bruised and cut in many places, most notably on the bottoms of his feet.
“Val, Lee-Sun, I would like you to meet Dorbid; Dorbid I have some friends that so wish to make your acquaintance” the Dactyl looked up with nothing but fear in his eyes.
“Kill me, please kill me” Dorbid murmured eyes wild and crazed. George knelt beside the smelly little creature and whispered in calm sympathetic tone,
“Soon Dorbid, soon… but only after my friends are satisfied that you’ve told them everything you know… and remember Dorbid, please don’t forget that if you lie… you will live a very long, long time” George’s tone was sinister for the final threat. But when he turned to the White Ravens as he stood dusting off his hands he had his usual good natured grin on his face and his tone was friendly once more. “I think you will find him in a talkative mood, but if you find your having trouble please feel free to call on Norm, he will see to it you get what you need.
“uh… thanks” Val said a little awkwardly. George grinned clapping him on the shoulder
“Anything for a friend” he said amiably. As he left the room he paused turning back to the two investigators “When you are truly finished with Dorbid there, please let Norm know… we have a ‘special’ disposal method planned.” The two investigators once more nodded and the Rogue left them with their ‘work’.