A Favor for a Friend
|MIN LEVEL||START LOCATION||START REQUIREMENTS|
|958||Karthak (Harbour) (17, 17)||SK VII Medallion (Complete Shadowy Secrets)|
The smell of the Sea hits you as you enter the Harbour. On the air comes the cry of gulls, which momentarily brings back bad memories. But the streaming sun and fresh air puts a spring to your step nevertheless. Amongst the busy dock workers loading cargo from the laden ships, you find one person just sitting admiring the view of others hard at work.
He looks up at you, 'Hello, are you the Hunter from SK Acquisitions? If so I need to see your Medallion of course.'
He takes it from you and looks at it intently, 'My name is Bolan, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm quite impressed that you have completed so many Contracts.' He looks up at you, 'It's your very success that brings you to me now.' He hands back the Medallion. His tone is pleasant and even conversational, but there is a dark edge to his words that makes you uneasy.
'When you are ready, just say the word and we'll get started.'
Bolan sits in the sun, 'Are you ready for the Contract?
He smiles up at you, 'All business then. No posturing or boasting. Just to the point. I like it.' He looks down at the sea below, 'There are hidden depths to this City. You will never get to see all of it. But you have had an effect on those hidden places already. Quite a feat I must say.' He stretches his arms and hums with the pleasure of the sun's heat.
'My employers are not so impressed with you of course. But out of pain, comes strength. It's our way to give you a chance to pay off the pain you have dealt us. It's how we do business. And your part of that business is this. We want you to kill Gillan Blackmore.'
You blink in shock at the name. That was your last Patron!
You shake your head, then ask if Klines had approved of this Contract? Bolan laughs, 'Oh no. They agreed to you cleaning a hull from barnacles. It's tougher work than you would think.' He winces at a memory, 'No, you hurt us with that Cut Purse thing. A few heads rolled for that I can tell you. We need to be unseen and not damage the Cities reputation. That's bad for business. We have to take care of our investment after all. But we can't be seen being weak you know, so Sathkaan and Klines must die. I'm sure you understand.'
The words impact you like heavy blows, you stare down at him in disbelief. Then Bolan takes out a dagger. You see a Tiger Eye stone in the hilt, the blade has been whittled to a razors edge by some wet stone. The worn handle has a dark leather cord wrapped around the hilt. You have seen that dagger before. Your heart freezes as the pieces start fitting into place. Bolan is part of the Thieves Guild. The organization that can kill a King at its leisure.
Bolan continues, 'Oh, and thats not to mention the murdering of our Rat Runners. But don't worry, we don't hold a grudge... No wait... Thats exactly what we do.'
The Guard Quarter is filled with the same two story stone faced building. It gives a feeling of ordered control to the area. As you walk around the Guard Quarter you are suddenly shouted at by an Officer.
Your not too sure why you reply like that but the Officer seems to stop in his tracks.
The Guards Lieutenant is not having a good day, he woke up on a foul mood and it has not get any better since. Then there was that Cadet out of uniform. What are the Realms coming to when the Cadets don't respect protocol even in their own Guard Quarter. Then to his utter dismay he sees that same Cadet wandering about, still out of uniform. 'You there, I want to see that Karthak Guard Uniform and I WANT TO SEE IT NOW!
The Lieutenant stares at the Uniform in his hands. He has always dealt with idiots, but this one seems to take stupidity to a whole new level. 'When I asked you to go get the City Guard Uniform, I did actually assume you would put it on!' He closes his eyes, a sharp pain lances across his forehead. It looks like another headache is coming on. He feels the call of his bed and a soothing dark room – with no Cadets.
You enter the surprisingly spacious Citadel, you are immediately faced with the irritated stare of an overworked guard sitting behind a deck with piles of paper. 'Excuse me, why are you here?'
Bolan sits watching the boats go by in the Harbour. 'Oh, you done with Blackmore?'
He claps his hands gently, 'That's excellent, so now we need to discuss which one shall live.'
Stunned you blurt out, 'What are you talking about, I did what you wanted. We are done.'
Bolan's face drains of all emotion. He looks up at you with cold eyes of a killer. 'You hurt the Thieves twice. One for the Cut Purses, another for the Rat Runners. How do you think we get our people. We need folks who know how hard life is. They need to be fighters, but also canny with their wits and fast. The Urchins are the perfect thieves, with the proper training and incentive. We were all Rat Runners at one time. We don't like the deaths of our own, nor that the Guards now know our secret.'
The words of the Logistics Officer come back to you. You tell Bolan that the Thieves recruitment techniques are safe. Bolan died before he could give his presentation to the Guards Section Heads. Bolan's eyes widen, 'Really! Thats tremendous news. Good. Goooood. That goes well for you then.'
'But that does not fulfill your debt to us. You paid for one hurt, so which will live. Sathkaan or Klines?'
You don't know what to say, then with a flash of inspiration you ask. 'I have paid for one hurt, maybe I can settle the debt with another payment?' Bolan smiles broadly, 'Said like a true Thief! You're worthy of the Guild my friend. I was expecting excuses, but it's all business, I like it. I like it a lot.'
He stretches his legs lazly, 'Well whilst you have been busy stalking Blackmore, I've been sat here enjoying the view. Mostly. I have heard some disturbing gossip during my hard day of lounging. There is a bunch of Sailors blabbing about a certain Ship which the Thieves don't want discussed. I want you to make sure that those certain Sailors never speak again. Silence 150 Rum Soaked Sailors, and I want some of their Seadog Rum Bottles as well. The lads back in the Poor Quarter could do with a tipple.' He hands you a crumpled scroll, ' This is what I need. Don't take too long. I'm not known for my patience.'
Bolan lays in the sun when you return, he asks lazily 'You dealt with those chatty Sailors and got the drinks?'
The case clatters beside Bolan. 'Well, thats a sight for sore eyes. You have done well Hunter. I will spread the word that SK Acquisitions can get the job done. With that I say your debt is paid for the lives of both Sathkaan and Klines. Lets hope that they don't make the same mistake again. I also know a good operator when I see one. So I will give you this knife. It'll remind you who you should keep as friends.' Bolan hands you a Worn Thieves Dagger.
'I saw Klines looking for someone along the docks, maybe he is thinking you took a little too long with cleaning your ship hull. You should go see him. Till next time'. with that Bolan closes his eyes.'
You see the tension in Klines as he walks through the milling Sailors. You wonder if he knows how close to death he was.
Your boss stops abruptly at the sound of your voice, 'Well, I'm glad you finally finished cleaning those mussels off the ship!' You tell him it was barnacles and Klines gives you a guarded look. 'Yes, those. Which vessel was it that you were cleaning? I can't find one that is out of the water.' His gaze scans the harbour. You feel the Thieves Dagger pressing beside your leg under your cloak then see the wisdom of Bolans gift. You tell Klines that it was a life raft that you were cleaning, not a large ship.
You then hand him your Medallion, hoping to distract him. Klines looks at it, 'I have heard a rumor... Never mind. You have done the Contract. I'm pleased it was an easy one for you to do. Not every Contract needs to be a life and death job.' He adds another notch to your Medallion and hands it back.
'I'm sorry, but we have another Contract for you. You were asked for by name this time. Which is most unusual. Anyway you should meet Brother Mathews in the Temple Quarter. Off you go now. You can't keep them waiting. The Light is a powerful Patron in Karthak.'