We pick things up in the middle of a very eventful night…
[19 Feb] The warehouse is still on fire, but hopefully the rain will put it out. Regardless, there’s nothing further we can do here. Hoping no-one follows us, we return to Soma’s house — to find her dead on the floor and Tippa shaking in the corner, a bloody dagger in hand. The girl claims Soma tried to escape.
I’m not sure what to make of this development… Soma was an ally (sort of). Tippa is certainly continuing to prove exceptionally resourceful for her tender 14 years.
A search of Soma’s house reveals nothing much of value. The others want to remain here for the night, but I must get back to Fleet, left at our lodging near the Spill. So we leave.
Our night is not yet over, however. Once I satisfy myself that Fleet is safe, I agree (reluctantly) to accompany Squirrel on his promised mission to dispense with the thug, Liak, who supposedly killed Tippa’s father. He gets the job done with little fuss — it’s easy enough to slit the throat of a sleeping man. But the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Still, I’ve come to the conclusion I’d rather be Tippa’s friend than her enemy.
We spend the rest of the night at our lodging near the Spill, wondering, worrying, what the retribution from the Thieves Guild is going to be for this night’s work. Guntar No-Nose escaped the battle in the warehouse, and it weighs heavily on us.
[20 Feb] Sure enough, Tippa brings word mid-morning that Guntar has hired an accomplished warrior to dispense with us. Esmerelda. But she also informs us this is a last-ditched effort on his part. The Guild believes we are trying to take it over, and already local businesses are sending representatives who want to meet and negotiate with us.
Take over the Thieves Guild in Kelsen? Are they mad?
We lie low for most of the day, which I spend with Fleet. She has come a long way from the feral creature I rescued from the cage just two days ago. She trusts me now, and curls up against me as we rest.
At the appointed time in the afternoon, we head to the tavern for the business meeting Tippa set up for us. It feels surreal, but a contingent of six representatives of local businesses offer us protection money, in the event we take over the Guild. Are they serious? I’m a bit dazed as I hear Squirrel negotiating a weekly fee. Oh my blessed god.
Later, we head to the Brickworks, which is where we’re hoping to meet Esmerelda. The location will give us some protection, enabling our mages to operate without witnesses (we hope). But somehow she beats us there, along with six blade-wielding accomplices — they await us on the street, with another three concealed behind the walls (spotted by Unch).
Battle at the brickworks
We end up facing them on the street — although the local populace are making themselves scarce. Esmerelda is impressive — she’s tall, with twin short swords and half-plate armour. But she lets her minions at us first.
Alix unleashes the incredible new spell she prepared and starts hurling the cobblestones about. The damage is lethal for many of Esmerelda’s henchman, and eventually I find myself facing Esmerelda herself.
She kicks my arse. Big time.
I get a few hits in. But she’s savvy enough to stay outside Alix’s sphere of rock-hurling destruction, and I need to retreat into its protection.
What happens next is a bit confusing. I’m in pretty bad shape, barely hanging on. The others are fighting the henchmen. One of the mages — Squirrel I think — has cast a web to hold two of those coming at us from the rear. Soon, Esmerelda is the only one standing and there’s enough of us to take her down… but she stays out of reach and drinks what I can only assume is some sort of healing potion.
Hell. Now we have to start killing her again?
Unexpectedly, Nightshade steps in and offers to deal. Alix takes the opportunity to cure some of my wounds, before Nightshade returns with the news that Esmerelda is no longer a threat. She’s given Nightshade Guntar’s gold to return to him, and directions of where to find him. Nightshade says she told Esmerelda the truth: namely that we’re on a quest to rectify some of the wrongs dealt by the Vahdrim mages (assisted by those with us) and also how Guntar betrayed our trust. Turns out Esmerelda is not a bad sort.
The demise of Guntar No-Nose
We head to the Three Swords Inn, where Guntar is apparently waiting. Our rough plan is for me to pretend to be Esmerelda, at least for long enough for us to get in the door. It doesn’t work. Four lackeys in the taproom intercept us — but we make short work of them. Unch reports that Guntar is upstairs in a private room.
I’m pretty fired up by this point, and I burst into the room and leap onto the table to confront Guntar… and proceed to trip over my feet. I regain my footing and engage with Guntar, letting all my frustration flow through me. Kelsen was supposed to be a quick stop for supplies. And now it’s turned into this. I strike and thrust and slash with my dual weapons and it’s not long before Guntar is defeated.
The moment Guntar falls, Tippa leaps up and yells that it’s over. It turns out that the assassin Nessan, one of our five targets, is in the room and in league with Tippa. She stands down and the pair declare that we now run the Thieves Guild.
What. The. Fuck?
Seriously, the Thieves Guild is supposedly ours. I do not trust this. I am not staying here. I do not want to run a Thieves Guild.
The new order of things
Squirrel and Nightshade seem completely unperturbed by this turn of events. In fact, I think they’re rather delighted. I don’t think Blizzard is entirely pleased, Alix seems stoic, and Abra… well, he hasn’t really been himself today. I’m not sure what he thinks about it all.
At least we now seem to have access to funds. Exhausted by the past few days’ events, we’re pretty happy to get comfortable rooms at one of the more reputable inns in town.
[21 Feb] With the assistance of Tippa (yet again) and Guntar’s drug-addled girlfriend, we take-over Guntar’s house and appropriate his treasure horde. There is much to do if we are to take legal possession of this house and oversee the Thieves Guild — including arrange (and pay) for citizenship of Kelsen, and organise a new administration for the Thieves Guild (to run things in our absence).
I don’t know how this has all happened. Did Tippa intend it from the beginning (and if so, why?), or is she just incredibly smart and opportunistic? Will whoever we appoint actually do our bidding, or will they take over the Guild as soon as we leave here?
For we are not staying in Kelsen. As soon as we decide what we need to do next, where we need to go, in order to fulfil our quest, we’re out of here. Who knows whether we’ll ever return?