Port Breakaway. Founded by brigands and pirates, now hub of almost all trade on the continent. Every nook and cranny of the city could hold a person’s interest and every shadow held danger. It promised sights, tastes and sounds that no other city would dare. Sometimes it forced these on you. The powerful to the inconsequential, the beautiful to the ugly, the rich to the poor, the savvy to the incompetent; every type of person made their home in this city.
One such person was walking down a street near the King’s Thoroughfare, eying the taverns and passing the ones he felt too uncomfortable to enter. This one was too well-lit. This one was not lit enough. Too many patrons. Too loud. Drunks already outside. Vomit everywhere. Not enough patrons. Too keen of a bouncer.
He was a careful man, and had the time to be picky. Guarding the warehouse had reaped its first benefits, and the gold was pressing comfortably against his arm.
Ladies of the evening threw catcalls at him as he strode past their doorsteps and windows, beckoning him to come inside. Smells drifted through the streets of pork, beef, fish and other undefinable meats. Here and there children played between the alleyways, singing nursery rhymes. A fairly common rhyme pricked the man’s ears, only just able to hear the last stanza:
“Black, thorny plants
And big, ebon beasts
Live away from the land
Where the shadow does feast!"
The kids growl and chase each other around with their hands like claws before dissolving into fits of laughter. Eventually, the wandering man found a tavern that was just filled enough, just lit enough and employing a bouncer that seemed disinterested.
So enters Salazar into The Dwarf’s Beard.
Altercation Report Form 107b67
Reporting Officer on Duty: Gart Shieldbrooke
Case No. 14
Brief Description of Altercation:
Ham stolen at Dwarf’s Beard, door broken. Ham thief escaped. Near-brawl interrupted by Svin, apprehended thugs (Cott gang et al), thief’s husband and ham enthusiast, man from local monastery, and tavern wench. Placed in Community holding cell until transfer and service can take place.
Report to Seven due to Cott’s involvement.
The regent addressed each question with the vigor he seemed to employ daily in his job, which was to say – none. He addressed both Salazar and Fnord:
‘As you were all brought in for minor offenses, you will only be made to serve for a few days. That you were even brought in means you should not be on the streets this night.’
The regent briefly smiles at Mordat before taking his glasses off and rubbing his eyes. He looks at the rogue with a tired humour crinkling the edges of his eyes, ‘Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I personally think he’s an arse.’ The man waved away at the guard, who nodded and lead the prisoners back out into the hallway and toward the communal sleeping area. Salazar was able to catch a last glimpse of the regent, who replaced his spectacles and continued writing in a large, leather-bound book on his desk.
The sleeping area was a large caged-in section of what appeared to be a commons section. Straw and blankets littered the wooden floor. An attractive elven man sat in the corner, his arms shackled above him. Cott was slumped in another corner, his men huddled on the floor sleeping.
The elf appeared to be singing to himself, ‘Ta ta ta da DUM tada ta ta,’ and tapping his wrist shackles in rhythm. As the party gathered in the room a guard entered behind them and placed a large pitcher of water on the ground, as well as a tray holding various cooked meats and breadstuffs. He retreated and closed the door behind him, locking them in for the night.
The elf bobs his head gently in time with a lively tattoo his fingers are tapping out on his iron shackles. His eyes are squinted closed in concentration and his mouth is frozen in an appreciative pucker. The rhythm evolves every few measures, and he narrates each new movement to no-one in particular. He doesn’t appear to even notice his new cellmates until he blurts out a greeting mid-trill:
“Hello! Hello, new people, yes. Hello. Finn. My name’s Finn, nice to meet you, what’s your name and occupation?” He lets the question hang for half a breath before continuing.
“Hah! Yeah, they asked me that, too.” His face drops into a solemn death mask. "That was seven years ago. I’ve been here ever since … " The words weigh heavy for perhaps a heartbeat before Finn interrupts himself again.
“Nah, I’ve been here about eight hours. If you’re wondering about what got me in here, it was my prick. Unfortunately it doesn’t work the other way around, the padlocks around here are just: wow. Good locksmithing. Tiny keyholes. Oh, if you’re worried about these,” he says, jangling the manacles over his head. “Don’t worry, they’re only for music-lovers. Turns out the guard’s been having trouble sleeping—I’m guessing marital problems,” he adds in a conspiratorial whisper. “Apparently there’s a particular rhythm that gives him terrible headaches, just awful. Man looked fit to burst.”
He resumes his tapping, adding: “Had to try a loooot of rhythms before I found it. Totally worth it.”
Altercation Report Form 109b32
Reporting Officer: Gart Shieldbrooke
Case No. 15
Brief Description of Event:
city being atkd by star fall, com guard def frm sm escpd prisnrs
Finn, while not completely familiar with the city’s complex jailing and community ‘volunteer’ system, knew that there would be some sort of orientation for the guards to undergo when joining (or at least a map for the ones who were simple). When he was walked into the building, the bard was forced into a few offices by guards to explain he was being incarcerated for crossing a very rich merchant (by crossing into that rich merchant’s daughter). One of the rooms looked like it sat up to 10 people at a time while another stood behind a podium, and likely where a map would be.
The guards in the hallway lay unconscious and sounds of explosions could be heard all around the building. The group was able to scramble over the debris and through the gaping hole and a into a large room. This room seemed to have been hit by whatever else caused the wall to explode, there were holes in the roof and the impacts areas on the floor. Several sturdy benches lay about in disarray, as if thrown about by an angry child. Chunks of plaster, stone and body parts were lying in small piles built up around the tiny craters in the floor. The air smelled faintly of burning hair and meat. At the far right of the room two doors were visible on either side of a raised desk. Two other doors were present further along the wall the party entered through.
When the party paused to take in the room, a woman’s raised voice could be heard from a pile of upturned benches near the back of the room. “Help? Someone? Is there anyone there?!”
The benches moved as the woman struggled to come out from underneath. Eventually eyes peered over the strewn seating topped with wild blonde hair.
“Perfect!” She punctuated. Struggling to pull herself up further she said, “I am so glad you’re all here, my guards -” The bench next to her shifted and fell, causing her to scream expletives for a few minutes, followed by an embarrassed silence. “If you would be so kind to help me out of here, I would be grateful.”
If the party were to come forward to help, they would find a slight woman wrapped in voluminous purple clothing covered in dust. She would be struggling forward on her elbows, her right leg trapped beneath the wooden seating.
The guards she referred to could easily be the owners of the various parts and viscera around the room.
*Altercation Report Form 107b68
Reporting Officer: Gart Shieldbrooke
Case No. 16
Brief Description of Event:
During the Incident those in the Community holding escaped. Cott found deceased. Subjects assumed culprits.
Report to Svin. Find rest of Cott’s gang. Question remaining Community guard.