20 Brussendar (Miresen) 845 PD
Rinn, Tāmarai and Stubby head back to the TD Embassy, and run into Tunk. The bugbear is appreciative of the pies, and jokes around with Tāmarai a bit. Rinn drops them off at the embassy, lets them know he’ll be back in an hour to take them to the festival (as everyone around is getting hyped up for it!), and starts heading to the Take. Tāmarai and Tunk hit the bath, and the gnome thinks Stubby will be joining them, but actually Stubby is following Rinn back to Take Headquarters – and does really well on hiding, with Rinn thinking too much about the earlier part of the day to notice his shadow.
Rinn to The Take
Outside at the Slayer’s Take building, Otel (second in command, drow fighter, missing a leg), is sitting at a desk in the sunlight, looking over a contract. The Contract, straight from the palace just a little while ago.
The contract is for one week, and as for pay, Rinn gets to keep whatever is left of the 250 GP from outfitting and supplying the newcomers. (If the contract gets extended, he gets 2 GP a week.) He is to escort them around, show them the city, help get what they need, and keep them out of trouble. ALSO, a somewhat separate part of the contract asks that he spy on them and report anything suspicious to the Empress’ people. That part he’d have to initial if he agrees to it, it is separate from the rest. Otel and Rinn go inside to talk more about this (so Stubby doesn’t hear anything more).
Otel doesn’t like this- the Slayer’s Take has been keeping it’s distance from the Empress, they are not part of her court or her in-crowd. This is very suspicious, and why it is is based on this important piece of information: People who were not in Isslyria when Vasselheim blew up are more immune to the insanity-causing effects of the ruins of the old city. The Empress might be planning to find a way to send these newcomers to go and investigate, and Rinn – who is also not from Isslyria! – might have to go with them. (This may explain why he was requested by name to accompany the group to the castle. Him being hired to escort this group works out perfectly for the Empress to get him to work for her.)
However, the contract only covers Rinn watching over the group INSIDE New Vasselheim. There is nothing forcing him to go with the group if they decide to go to Old Vasselheim. If Rinn wants to do so, Otel will subcontract him on that job, so Rinn will get paid by the Take as well. But if he doesn’t want to go, Otel will support him whole-heartedly.
Otel also gives a bit of a briefing on the Empress- she was from Wildemont (Dwendalian Empire), and that she used different names while living in Vasselheim while she worked for the rebellion and then became one of the leaders of it. (One of the names was Janet Yellowtree.) Otel is also aware of the Briarwood connection, and he tells Rinn a bit of the history of the Briarwoods and Whitestone (where the de Rolos are from).
Otel reassures Rinn again that he has his back if things go bad, and may understand where Rinn is coming from. “Those who have gone through hell know when someone else has.” The drow means well, but paternal-ish empathy from an elf doesn’t really go over well. Rinn shuts down and figuratively draws back. Discussing business is one thing, anything personal is another matter. But Rinn signs the contract (though not the ‘spy and report’ part), and heads out-
Only to find Stubby in the bushes, waiting for him to come out. Though she’s not paying attention, so he manages to sneak up on her. And just waits, arms crossed. Not happy. She finally notices him, and he motions down the way they came and heads off. Stubby catches up, and asks him in thieves cant how much he’s making. And that’s it- Rinn goes to shove her against a wall in an alleyway – and his would-be shove and her would-be-dodge are both horrible, leaving them awkwardly in the alleyway. Rinn does have her blocked in, though, and does his best to loom menacingly. He’s ticked off at her being so obvious about using cant, asking if she’s trying to be stupid, if she knows what she’s saying and getting into. She replies “yes…?” which upsets him even more, so he steps away, swearing in draconic- which she replies back in, fascinated. The young half-elf just stalks off.
A passerby comments on the lover’s quarrel. (Rinn doesn’t notice or does a masterful job at ignoring it.)
They get back to the Embassy, Stubby gets her bath, Tāmarai takes a LONG time fixing her hair. They start out, though the festival air reminds Tunk too much of the set up of Whitestone and what happened (relatively) recently, so he heads back, leaving Rinn to watch over Tāmarai and Stubby. The three of them are off to the festival!
There’s a bit of a “omg we’ve had a rough time, dammit we’re going to enjoy ourselves” sort of feel to the whole event, but fun for all that. There’s greasy, horrible fair food (they get funnel cakes!), and all sorts of games going on. Stubby enters one where you have to toss darts at apples, and somehow manages to win! (Rinn and Tāmarai had bets going. Rinn was winning originally, betting against Stubby, but then had to pay Tāmarai back some, as he said Stubby wouldn’t win.) Stubby won a bag of apples, which she handed over to Rinn to carry, and of course he helped himself. Then there was an Arcana quiz challenge, and both Stubby and Tāmarai enter in, taking first and second place…
This is when Rinn gets the idea that maybe these people should be watched, in some way or another. And that those two should be a bit more careful in what they let people find out/see about them. He’s still not planning on reporting things to the Empress and Co., but he’s making mental notes for himself, at least.
Then there’s the pie eating contest, which Rinn gets goaded into joining by Stubby and some drunk bystanders. He doesn’t do well, but still better than others, and comes in second (behind Stubby, who went for a hat trick!), at least getting his entry fee plus a bit more back, and a pie charm/trinket.
There’s more shows (bardic stuff), Tāmarai gets some fancy things and then gets measured for boots (Rinn pays for those from the Empress’ funds). They head to the Embassy, with plans for (more serious) shopping tomorrow. On the way back, Rinn slows down a bit to match Tāmarai’s pace, try to nicely, subtly warn her that they’re being watched. “Being new in town, people want to see what you do, who you are” etc. Tāmarai, being Miss Butterfly Bard, takes it as a good thing! Leaving Rinn just to sigh.
He did his best.