The Peering Eye

Chapter 7 - Gambling, Snooping and The Letter

Scene 1: A Fateful Message

While Anemos is mediating on how best to defat the enemies of Uisce a large albino crab sidles up to him and starts writing a message in seawater in the decking of his cabin. The message is: “The Letter is real. Uisce's time is at hand. Rebellion! Find The Letter.” It was sent by Hyacinth Crismontide XIII in Stormhaven, the High Priestess of Uisce.

 

Scene 2: Randal’s Mill Backup

Caleb has been subtly investigating all of The Bloody Coin’s crew looking for people with potential, he decides to focus on Cecily Fulton as his personal project. He realises that Cecily has a lot of serious psychological issues but decides that her sorcerous powers and strangely varied knowledge are worth the risk. Anemos commands two of the crew, Claira Qualanthri (a female elf) and Mord Jenkins (a male half-orc), to accompany him as bodyguards.

 

Scene 3: Casing the Joint

When they arrive at the village Caleb investigates The Hum and Drum and notices that it seems bigger on the outside than the number of rooms inside would suggest. They note that this is a reverse tardis, otherwise known as a turdis. They wander around the village and observe that it is very tense. The smugglers are all ready to attack at a moments notice but are maintaining the truce. They also investigate the mill. There are four smugglers, each with a mastiff, guarding it. They watch another smuggler arrive and see that the door is unlocked by a key held by one of the guards. The smuggler takes a small chest from the mill and brings it to the inn. Anemos casts a Locate Object spell focusing on Slam to see where the valuables in the village might be. He detects that there is some slam in his person, there is a lot in the Mill and there is some in the Inn. There is also a faint glimmer from the warehouse where the bear is held and from Gauthak, who is still on the ship purging it from his system. 

 

Scene 4: The Hum and Drum

As soon as he enters the square donut shaped inn, Caleb is greeted by Case Notower. He buys a bottle of whiskey rather than the cheap hooch and Anemos has a glass of water. All the while, Caleb is examining the building to see what is odd about it. Finally it dawns on him. There are five rooms: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. Room Three is missing. He then notices that there is well disguised new masonry in the place where room three should be. He deduces that room two must be extra large. They later discover that Room two is Risky Pete’s Room.

 

Scene 5: Find The Letter

Anemos has been meditating on how to find The Letter mentioned in the crab’s message. He casts another Locate Object spell to find it. Despite the fact that Anemos knows almost nothing of the letter, the spell takes effect and he is almost stunned by a flash of blinding white light in his mind. This is extremely unusual. That is not how the spell normally works. Once his mind clears, he detects that Case Notower has a letter and that there is several letters in Risky Pete’s room. This doesn’t bring him closer to revealing The Letter he is searching for. Caleb reveals that he too has been tasked with obtaining a copy of a letter. He does not reveal who asked him or where he was told it might be.

 

Scene 6: Gambling with Risky Pete

Risky Pete arrives back to the common area and warmly greets Caleb and Anemos. To pass the time Risky Pete and Caleb, play for the expensive dagger that Caleb won from Pete a few days earlier. They play for an hour or so before Caleb yet again emerges victorious. During the game, Caleb notices how powerful Pete’s magical eyepatch is and how much is helps him while gambling. Pete displays his gambling compulsion by challenging Caleb to a double or quits dice rolling bet. Caleb tries in vain to resist temptation but he cannot. They roll double or quits for the one hundred gold piece value of the dagger. Risky Pete and Caleb are both unable to control their impulses and keep doubling and gambling. Fortune favours Caleb as Risky Pete looses three double or quits dice throws in a row and finally gives up.

 

Scene 7: You Did What?!

Caleb is drunk on gambling victory and whiskey. He is consumed with desire to get Risky Petes magical eyepatch, and so he bets the The Bloody Coin against the eyepatch. He will fight the bear in the pit in the warehouse in single combat with no outside help. If the bear wins, Risky Pete gets the ship (Caleb doesn’t mention that the ship belongs to Captain Hunt) and if Caleb wins he gets the eyepatch. Anemos hears this and he is incredulous! But after some consideration he laughs and says, it will be entertaining to watch Caleb mauled by a bear or win. Either way is good.

 

Scene 8: More Snooping

Caleb performs a detect magic ritual so they can find all of the magic items in the Inn. Risky Pete is wearing a magical eyepatch (which they knew) and he has a couple of magical potions on his belt.  He tries to scan the mysterious Room three, but the walls block the spell. Caleb tries to scan the secret room from below (the wooden floors do not block the spell) but he is not allowed to enter the kitchen. Setesh Anemos barges into the common area and hurls him into the kitchen shouting “Get me water!” The innkeeper starts to object but a ferocious glare from Anemos stops him in his tracks and the objection trails off into a frightened mumble. Inside the kitchen Caleb examines room three from underneath but there are no magical items detected.

 

Scene 9: The Nobles Arrive

The smugglers call out to inform Risky Pete that there are new arrivals. He returns to his room so that he can make a grand entrance. A very expensive carriage, worth about two thousand gold pieces, races into the village drawn by four good quality horses. There are two guards standing on the sides of the carriage, but is it not easy to determine their combat capabilities. The carriage stops outside the inn and two nobles emerge with their valets. Baron Sheffield Swift is an arrogant and fat noble who mistreats his lackeys. Morrison Norfolk is a lot more amenable and affable. He plays his lute raucously at any excuse and accompanies it my mimicking high pitched lute notes. The Baron is rude but his nephew Farrage Swift is a horrible petulant child with sorcerous power. Farrage almost attacks the people in the inn over an imagined slight and he is verbally admonished by Sheffield.  Flames erupt in the child’s hands and his looks on the verge of attempting to incinerate the inn but then he threatens everyone with death and storms off to his room.

 

Scene 10: Snoop Snoop Snoop Aha!

Caleb returns to his room and casts detect magic once again and he scans the new arrivals. This time the notice something new. While none of the nobles have any magic items on them, Sheffield has a piece of parchment in a hidden satchel that detects as having a minuscule glimmer of magic. This would not normally be detectable except for the fact that Caleb is so focused on scanning Sheffield. Anemos is certain that this is The Letter. Risky Pete notices that the Setesh and Caleb are watching him and coughs loudly two and a half times to signal his companions. They move to Risky Petes Room and lock the door.

 

Scene 11: More Familiar Snooping

Caleb and Anemos return to their room. The ask Cecily to cast invisibility on Caleb’s familiar and he sends it out of the window to spy on the conversation that is happening in room three. However Risky Pete has had all the windows to his room closed and barred. Caleb tries to get the hawk to move between the roof and ceiling to it can literally eaves drop. The building is surprisingly well maintained and there is no way through. So Caleb calls the hawk back and instead uses his rapier to cut a hole in the ceiling of his room. The hawk then goes into the hole and over to spy on Risky Pete. They are all discussing the letter and it seems from the muffled conversation that it concerns both the Church of Uisce and The Crown of Bigany. This redoubles their sense of urgency to obtain The Letter.

 

Scene 12: The Big Game

Baron Sheffield Swift, Lord Morrison Norfolk, Risky Pete and Caleb Beltorc finally sit down and play their high steaks game. Each player puts in a stake of a hundred gold pieces. Caleb prays to Glic and his prayers are rewarded on two separate occasions. His photographic memory, his skills at reading people and his knowledge of the rules are superior to his opponents. Sheffield and Norfolk are both eliminated within an hour. Both buy back in with another one hundred gold each. Over the next few hours Sheffield’s luck is terrible and after buying back in and going bust three times he storms off. Caleb offers him a bottle of whiskey as he is leaving and he almost graciously returns to take it before he leaves. By this time most of the guards have come in from their patrols with their mastiffs by their sides. They are rapt by the struggle unfolding before them. Their dogs bark deeply on occasion but no one pays them any mind.

The the minimum bets are raised even higher as it is getting late and they want to maximise their excitement. The pot moves back and forth erratically as the players are well matched, drunk and reckless. Caleb invokes Glic again and this small advantage is enough to ensure that in the end the pot is. He wins nine hundred gold pieces! Glic’s favour will remains with him.

Morrison Norfolk is a gracious looser and invites Caleb to Karst to stay as his guest and to join him for partying and gambling. He presents Caleb with a card for his personal tailor and advises him to arrive with ‘a different aspect’ when he visits. This may mean that Norfolk believes there is far more to Caleb than meets the eye. He seems to suspect that Caleb belongs in the nobility. Of course it could just be that Momes love to party.

 

Scene 13: Midnight Heist

Anemos is completely obsessed with acquiring the letter. During the game he spends little time paying attention to the game. Instead he absently strokes a mastiff’s ears and concocts plans to acquire The Letter. He considers demanding it. That would work but it’s crude and obvious. He considers ordering the crew of The Bloody Coin to attack the village and kill everyone. That would also work but currently seems a little excessive and inelegant. He considers using Caleb, Caleb’s familiar, Cecily’s invisibility spell and his silence spell during the night to quietly retrieve it. That should also work and despite being a little too subtle, it is probably the way to go. These people could still be more useful to him as allies than as corpses.

Once everyone is asleep and only  small lamp illuminates the common area, Caleb emerges from their room, thieves tools in hand. He is invisible thanks to Cecily and silent thanks to Anemos. His hawk is with Anemos so that he can signal him if there is trouble. Caleb easily picks the lock and swings the door open. 

There he gets a massive shock. There is a guard. Right in from of him. He is in a chair facing the door, with a loaded crossbow. It is deadly quiet due to the spell. The guard doesn’t move. After a while Caleb realises that the guard is snoring but the silence spell is blocking the noise. The guard has fallen asleep on his watch. Sheffield and his valet are asleep in their beds and the satchel is on a side table near the sleeping guard. Caleb quickly opens the satchel, finds an expensive parchment bound with a black silk ribbon, stuffs it in his pocket and leaves the room. He locks the door behind him leaving a few minute scratches in the metal after several botched attempts. He returns to Anemos and they read The Letter.

 

Scene 14: The Maius Bonum Letter

The Letter is even more shocking than they imagined. It is the blasphemy and treason equivalent of plutonium. This is The Maius Bonum Letter. It has changed the world.