What an amazing sleep.
I slept in past daybreak. Probably has been half my life since I’ve done that. Easily would have slumbered on into the afternoon, had it not been for my cohorts. One in particular…my associate Pulp, who muttered as he prayed for his spells. A classmate, Clyde, used to do that in dormitory at the Order. Drove us all up the wall.
Our group was rejuvenated, revitalized. But I think there was a ghost in the room, a Dwarf-sized one. Many of these new friends of mine are warriors; I don’t doubt they have seen Death before, had it visit, take friends or comrades. As they came to wake, and arose, suited up, laughed and talked, I had the distinct sense that they avoided that one topic. So it is then. Maybe in time, we will reckon it. Not now.
Eight of us headed out this morning. We were out for about four hours, back now. I’ll get this down and have more mind to spare for our mission tonight under cover of dark.
First thing we did was swarm the marketplace. Gold in hand from our host-guild, and plenty saved up, the fighters stampeded into the bazaar and raced around to find weaponsmiths and armorers and wizardly huts wherein one could find artifacts both glorious and affordably-priced. I could have saved them the effort, but far be it from me to ruin the hopes of others by paying attention and applying a modicum of wisdom to the situation.
Certainly there were no more weapons or armor to be found here than back in Callia. This town, while un-walled and marginally less repressive (equally bad smelling), was not free of the blanket ban on quality instruments of maiming. I looked around to see if I was right to guess that Lunk would be the most disappointed. But I didn’t see him. At first I suspected he had stepped out of sight for a minute to “feed an Otyugh”, as he calls his morning bowel movements; but he did not reappear, and even now we don’t know where he went.
There was an alchemist shop; I picked up two Potions of Light Healing. Wilhelm did too, and gave them to me to hold – he said that I would know when he needed them better than he would, when the time came.
Once we were done exercising our skill at merchantile, we bought lunch from the passable-quality food stalls and wandered back to the warehouse district. Mid-Plain has an interesting assortment of people, a wider racial mix than Callia. More Dwarfs and Elves, and half-Elves. Even half-Orcs walk free of enslavement here. No one pays us any mind; because of, or despite, our Guild sashes. We blend in well enough.
Two warehouses were open to the public. We investigated these first. One was a fish market, easily smelled from half a mile away if one was at a loss for directions. On display were the take from several career fishermen who stood by and awaited a sale. Bottom-feeding fish and eels; crawfish; sturgeon. Strangely, no bloated lizardfolk corpses with mashed-in skulls.
This warehouse was attached to a second one, which contained only the crates and barrels of unremarkable commodity shipping. Xel’Xaran wandered the crates but came up empty. As an Elf, he has keen detection skills and can often sense a hidden passage by close proximity alone. Spiritz quietly cast a Detect Magic spell in around the middle of the warehouse floor. He concentrated for a moment, looked around, then in turn shook his head at each of us at our places about the room.
Pulp went outside, found an empty crate, and came back inside with it. He attempted a ruse, suggesting to merchants and to guardsmen that he had “that special shipment”. Either his acting or his marks were found wanting; no-one reacted in any way that suggested they knew of smuggled good or were in on some kind of clandestine operation.
I think the heat of day had gotten to BOB; he was nearly asleep where he stood, and hadn’t been attentive to the task at hand. He perked up when we finally admitted defeat and left. On our way back to the guild house passed the two other warehouses on our list. These were closed up, unattended, joined by a mutual livestock pen housing a herd of goats. There was steady foot traffic, merchants and laborers in the area. We conspired to come back later tonight, after sunset, and try our luck then.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
14th Day, town in Mid-Plain, territory of Ælim.