Roccar can't help but let out a stifled chuckle at the confirmation of Hox's thievery. He shakes his head at Zane's request.
"I cannot take you to the prison. Trust me, it is better that you are not able to reveal that knowledge, should someone try to pry that from you. As to why I suggested the One Eyed Jax, it is run by some of the most unsavory types in Luskan. If anyone has word of an escaped prisoner, it would be someone there," he answers.
"Sal was once a Shieldsar, and the right hand woman of Ser Mary Glendale, the Warblade of Sundabar. She betrayed Ser Mary, and was jailed after assassinating an important ally and failing to assassinate another,"he explains to Gruun.
"I don't know where the gems came from, and I don't particularly want to, but if you ask me it seems like Hox has given you a great opportunity to unwind. The four of you have been through a lot, have a night off in the city. Sell the gems, gamble, carouse, the information will come to you if it is out there, just keep your ears open for it. You should all fit right in with the crowd in Luskan, just keep your hoods on. There are pit fights, brothels, bars, and if you've had a change of heart, the city's guards have their hands full in this place. I'm sure they'd appreciate help from some vigilantes," he finishes.
Hox nods as he stows his shinies away, "Hox will look for ones like Hox. Speak with them for know of this Sal." Hox pulls his hood up and tucks in his wings, "Meet at bar if we find more of this Sal, yes?"
Zane is a researcher at heart. Poses hypothesis, gathers data and makes a decision.
"Let me ask you a few more questions about this Sal person. Why are you looking for Sal? How and from whom did you learn that she escaped? Do you know of some reasons of why she escaped - was there anything that was going to happen to her or some other event going to happen that would influence the timing? Do you have a reason to believe that she is still in the city? If you had to guess, who would she turn to for help?"
"She is dangerous, capable of assassinating an orc warlord. Had Rowan not failed in his own assassination, she would have sent the region to war at a time it would have been impossible to succeed. I don't know why she escaped, other than to be free from a prison, and I don't know how. Her cell was left untouched. It's as if she simply disappeared, but no magic freed her. The cell was covered in an antimagic field. And as for who she would turn to, that's another mystery. Rowan, her only co-conspirator that we know of, is still very much imprisoned," Roccar answers Zane.
OOC: Sounds like we want to split for the evening and meet up at the One Eyed Jax. This is the next "social encounter" mechanic of the adventure, points in the story where character responses can dictate the direction the adventure takes. What does each character want to do with their night, either with or without Hox's spoils? Do you want to use one of Roccar's suggestions or something else entirely? Feel free to describe what you would like to do in general terms if you are unfamiliar with the setting of Luskan.
Hox will try to seek out informants by thieves cant, telling other thieves like him that he has shinies to give for them. Hox will keep most of the shinies with Roccar, using a small piece to show its true. Then once he has someone that can, he'll bring most of it, keeping the big one for himself.
She intends to go with either Zane or Hox, whichever needs protection. Gruun does not need protection. She’d prefer Hox given their earlier work together in Sundabar, but if Gruun wants to, or Hox wants to go alone, she’ll go with Zane.
(Sorry for the lack of RP, on a train between London and York and the connection is very poor)
OOC: Sounds like Gruun is accompanying Hox to find a buyer for the gems (minus the big shiny) and possibly find a scuffle, and Killian is accompanying Zane. What does Zane hope to do?
Roccar is unwilling to divulge the location of the prison to you. If pressed by Zane, he would explain that the slaadi have mind reading capabilities, and if you are unaware of the location, they will not be able to glean it from you.
Zane says, "Killian, you can go with Hox. I have thought about this and it seems that I'm going fishing. Lets see if I catch anything. I hope you guys have luck if I don't."
He then heads back to the tavern alone and approaches the barkeep, intentionally raising his voice to be heard, "Hi again. I've been looking for Sal, but can't find her. I owe her some money, had to take a trip for a few months, but now am back and would like to not keep her waiting any more."
Killian... “Sure.” She watches the departing Zane, and the departing Gruun and Hox, and the standing-around Roccar, and she asks the latter, “Where would someone go in Luskan to find innocents being made to suffer? Not those who have chosen a life of strife and risk, but those who have not. Children forced into slavery, those dispossessed by the greed of others, any who are made to follow a god not of their choosing. I am not feeling picky.”
Roccar answers Killian with a nod and a poorly hidden smirk, "The poor tend to be taken advantage of in cities, let alone a city run by criminals and thieves, like Luskan. I would venture to the docks, or into Rat Alley, and wager you could find plenty of chances to dispense justice when the sun has set."
A few hours later, the darkness of the unlit Rat Alley is broken by the flare of a sudden light, and the sound of screams and shouting. Rushing around the corner, Killian sees that a gang of four ruffians in carnival masks have set fire to a building and are beating a man into the ground. A woman is screaming at them to stop, holding a crying child behind her. A nervous crowd is being held back at swordpoint by the other men.
Hox's situation is well understood by the underbelly of Luskan. For a cache of well known gems, he'll need multiple buyers to spread the collection wide, spreading and thinning the footprint of the theft. Before the night's end, he (and his imposing bouncer Gruun) have sold all but the largest gem, and collected 4000 gp.
"First drink's on you, little one," one of the buyers, a lithe half-elf man, says. "The night's still young. What say we bring your bugbear friend over to the pits and rake in even more coin? Ship Kurth has a champion I'm sure he can handle."
Back at the One Eyed Jax, the bartender grimaces at Zane's volume. "I don't know what in the hells you're talking about, but if you wanted to bring attention to your money, you probably got it. Are you drinking or not?" he says impatiently.
"Cat," a hooded figure at the end of the bar whispers harshly, motioning for Zane to join him, and holding two fingers up to the bartender, who starts pouring two mugs of ale. "Idiots don't survive in Luskan, so you're either going to die tonight, or you know exactly what you're doing. You look like you've seen a lot, so my money's on the latter. What are you trying to find? Drink with me, and pay for mine, and I might be able to help you out."
Hox is a bit ecstatic with the newly found wealth. He gives a shake of the head. "No, no, Hox want to ask of a lady. Hox hears that one named Sal has ran from prison. Hox's...master wants to know if this Sal is for hire. Master needs that one's skill with a dagger. Master shall pay her with shinies like the one I sold, but bigger. But Hox has not found the one named Sal yet, Hox is asking if you know of Sal."
Zane signals to the bartender that he'll take whatever the guy is having and will pay for it.
"I wasn't planning on dying. I really am looking for Sal and I can't seem to find her. Figured that I'll throw her name up in the air and see what I catch. And I caught you. I'm willing to finance your drinking habit for the evening if you can point me in the right direction. I'll finance it for a week if you can take me to her."
Scimitar vs. Killian: 8 Scimitar vs. Killian: 7 Scimitar vs. Killian: 8 Scimitar vs. Killian: 12 Scimitar vs. Killian: 6OOC: Got a little eager with the copying and pasting.
"We got a hero on our hands, boys!" the man taunts Killian as she draws her sword and advances wordlessly. Drawing their scimitars, they leave the broken man behind and charge at their new target. Wading into their midst, Killian whirls through a perfect display of defense. Clattering steel against steel in a series of parries, she sees her opening.
Round 1 Order: Bandits Killian <=====
Tracking: There are four bandits attacking Killian.
In the Streets of Luskan:
"Never heard of her. Lot of people in this place, and a lot of people who don't want their names known," the half-elf responds.
"Honestly, Ship Kurth's the way to go. Anybody knows how to find your girl, it's the people what run this city," he says, sizing up Gruun. "You defeat their champion in the pits, you get an in, you get your girl."
At the One Eyed Jax:
Zane spends the next hour drinking with the hooded figure, who never reveals his face, though his hands show a dark blue or purplish skin when they reach for his ale. At first, it seems that the man is stringing Zane along, simply answering questions with questions and responding with stories of the city, but gradually Zane realizes the pattern to the man's speech, a series of names and places as potential leads hidden beneath the guise of casual tavern gossip.
Zane will pay for all of it and then stagger upstairs to his/their room. He will put up the dome (allowing the rest of the team to pass through), write down everything he remembers from the talk and decide that he will look to make more sense of it in the morning. (Would he by chance gain an understanding of the order of importance those names and places held?)