Dec 03 2020

Shady’s Solo Adventure: M’Lady’s Boudoir

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Tortuga by Glazyrin

Or, “The Chat Scene, Modified.” When last we saw Shady she had picked the lock on the Lady Patrician’s door. Rolling a 1 on the Chaos die (again???) indicates an altered scene. Since the premise was that Shady was sneaking in to see the Lady Patrician, I’m gonna say that the alteration is, the L.P. isn’t there! Shady decides that this is fine, just re-locks the door and waits.

Anastasia Hone, the Lady Patrician of Everkeep, had finally reached the end of another very long day. Council meetings, trials, audiences with entirely too many self-important people… it was exhausting. All she wanted now was a little something to drink, and to slide into bed. Even fumbling with the key to her room was more than she felt like coping with, and once she actually managed to get the damn door open, she didn’t even bother to re-lock it, just flung her keys across the room and flopped down in front of her writing desk.

“Careful where you toss those, you might lose them,” said a raspy voice nearby—and instantly Anastasia was on her feet, dagger in hand, ready to strike. At the far end of the room, leaning insolently against the wall and twirling Anastasia’s keys on the end of a claw, was the tabaxi privateer.

“Shade-Of-the-Candle?” Anastasia demanded. “What the hell are you doing? How did you get in here?”

The tabaxi casually tossed the keys onto Anastasia’s desk. “I just wanted to have a little chat,” she said. “Put that poker down, you’re not in any danger.”

“No, I’m not,” said Anastasia, “but you certainly are. One shout and a dozen guards will burst through that door.”

“Aren’t you even curious what I want to chat about?” asked the privateer.

“No,” replied the Lady Patrician. “If you want to chat, you can arrange for an audience like everyone else. Now get out of my chamber.”

“Yeah, but then Cardinal Maraldo might overhear,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle.

Anastasia narrowed her eyes. “Might overhear what?” she said.

“I thought you weren’t curious,” smirked the cat.

“Don’t mess with me, Lancer,” Anastasia snarled. “I am in no mood for it. If you have something to say, spit it out, unless you want to be hauled off in chains.”

“Are you gonna put down that knife?”

“Not until you give me a good reason not to shove it in your face.”

The tabaxi shrugged. “Okay, have it your way. I’m here to talk about Captain Ainsworth’s shipment of munitions.”

Anastasia’s expression didn’t change, but her voice became more guarded. “Go on.”

Shade-Of-the-Candle stepped forward, expounding cheerfully, but always staying well out of reach of the dagger. Gods, how that tabaxi loved the sound of her own voice. “Here’s how I’ve got it figured,” she said. “Those gunrunners, out of Saltar’s Port? You haven’t sent us to go roust them out. That’s what tipped me off.”

“Tipped you off to what? Make some sense.”

“I know how power works in this town,” said the tabaxi. “And I’m just thinking about what I would do in your place. I wouldn’t tolerate an outfit like that unless I had to. The gunrunners have a powerful sponsor. A merchant prince maybe, or someone on the Council of Lords, who’s making a tidy sum and who would be more than a little annoyed to have their operation busted up. BUT I can’t just let them stay there or Cardinal “Law-On-the-Seas” Maraldo will be all over my ass. So I split the difference, by hiring some adventurers from the Golden Compass Society to go harass them, without actually being able to really hinder them in any major way. That way I can say I’m ‘doing something about it.’”

“You’re doing a lot of wild guessing about stuff you don’t know anything about,” said Anastasia. “What’s your point?”

“I’m just painting the scene right now,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle. “Telekain’s adventurers aren’t enough to roust the gunrunners, but they DO capture a big ol’ pile of alchemist’s fire. Nice for laying siege to things, but Everkeep’s not about to go to war with anybody any time soon. All it does for me is take up space. But Thessalaine? They’ve always got somebody to contend with, and they have money, lots of it. What would make more sense than to sell a useless 200 tons of alchemist’s fire to Dragonwatch Keep for big pile of gold?”

Anastasia gave a slight nod. “Reasonable,” she said.

“Your arm must be getting tired,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle.

“So must your tongue, but here we are.”

The tabaxi’s tail flicked. “Okay, I’ll come to the point,” she said. “Maraldo’s already chewing nails because the gunrunners got away, and if I make him mad enough he’ll cause me plenty of trouble. But that gold looks soooooo yummy. So what do I do? I go through with the sale anyway… on the QT. I get my money, Maraldo THINKS he’s scored a point, and everybody’s happy.”

“That sounds like a pretty good plan,” said the Lady Patrician.

“Doesn’t it?” said Shade. “I’m pretty proud of it. But it’s got one big hole in it.”

“What’s that?”

The privateer gave Anastasia a broad smirk. “There’s a big ol’ empty storehouse where that alchemist’s fire is supposed to be.” Anastasia blinked, but said nothing, and Shade-Of-the-Candle continued. “Maraldo may only have one eye, but he sees plenty. There’s always gonna be that risk hanging over my head that he’ll find out I pulled a sneak on him.” The tabaxi’s expression turned dark. “I’ve seen what happens when you pull a sneak on Maraldo. It’s not pretty.”

Something in Shade-Of-the-Candle’s tone caught Anastasia’s attention, and she finally lowered her dagger, partway. “That IS a hole,” she said.

“But it’s a hole I have a way to plug.”

Anastasia raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

“See, I’ve got a certain ship captain I can call on. Brilliant, dangerous, and not even a little bit modest, who has a cunning plan to deal with my problem.”

“And what is this cunning plan?”

“This brilliant ship captain, who has flashing golden eyes and lustrous coppery fur by the way, is going to sneak the alchemist’s fire right back to Everkeep, where it can go into the storehouse where it belongs and nobody will be the wiser that it was even gone.”

Anastasia smirked herself, at this. “This ship captain seems to have a very high opinion of herself.”

“She’s earned it.”

That raised a dubious eyebrow. “Has she. And what is she going to want in return, for getting this valuable cargo back after the sale is completed, WITHOUT Dragonwatch Keep knowing she operates out of Everkeep and suspecting any treachery?”

“Hmm… good question. Knowing this ship captain the way I do, I’d say she’d probably be willing to undertake this venture for… hmm… forty percent of the cargo’s sale value.”

“That’s pretty steep,” said Anastasia. “If I were you, I’d only offer her fifteen percent.”

“She’d never go for that,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle. “This is a dangerous operation, and she has me over a barrel, considering she could just go to Maraldo and blab her big mouth. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t go below twenty percent, PLUS she’d want me to send some plum jobs her way more often, instead of handing them all to Ainsworth.”

“Obviously, this would have to all be a verbal arrangement, and all denied in public,” said Anastasia. “You wouldn’t want a written contract that could be discovered.”

“Obviously,” said the tabaxi. “Purely an agreement between two ladies of quality. But mutually beneficial, and laying the groundwork for a very profitable future working relationship.”

Anastasia leaned back against her writing table. “So you broke into my room, just to tell me that’s what you’d do, if you were me.”

“Yup,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle. “And no other reason.”

Anastasia sheathed her dagger. “You’ve come up with a good plan, Captain. I think I may just adopt it.”

The tabaxi gave a satisfied grin. “I thought you’d like it,” she said.

“You never did tell me how you got in here.”

“If I told you which hole I slipped in through, you’d just plug it,” Shade replied. “Then how would we have these little conversations?”

“If I ever find you in here without my permission again, it’ll be a gun, not a knife, and I won’t be curious.”

The tabaxi shrugged. “That’s fair. I’d like to think that next time we need to talk, you’ll be a little more accessible.”

“Maybe,” said Anastasia. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need some sleep. You know the way out.”

Next scene: Putting a plan together.

Lady Patrician
Dragonwatch Keep
Captain Dryden Ainsworth
Wharfmaster Fean Wavecrest
Sea Lancers: Kia (Captain of the Recluse)
Sea Lancers: Sterling (Captain of the Silver Corsair)
Sea Lancers: Adric (Captain of the Blue Fin)
Cardinal Maraldo
Scullery maid
Patrician’s guards

CHAOS: 3 (by the rules it should go up or down, but there was no dice-rolling in this scene, just negotiations)

Steal the alchemist’s fire
The privateers’ rivalry
The L.P.’s intrigues
Ainsworth’s botched security vs. Shady’s spying

2 responses to “Shady’s Solo Adventure: M’Lady’s Boudoir”

  1. […] Now able to bypass the guards and wards spell, Shady bounds on up the stairs, rolling a natural 1 on her Stealth check (oops!) and being spotted by a guard, but quickly smoothing it over by telling a truthful lie: “I’m here to see the Lady Patrician.” She gets a 21 on her Deception check (dang again, girl!) and the guard, who has no reason to doubt her (especially since she clearly has the password to get past the wards), is kind enough to point out the right door. Shady rounds it all off by successfully rolling on her Thieves’ Tools proficiency to pick the conventional lock that’s also on the Lady Patrician’s door, and finally we can move on to the next scene. […]

  2. […] after the last scene Shady has a goal and some obstacles: she needs to steal the shipment of alchemist’s fire back […]