Felt better today. Stood on night watch with the trollkin after my last entry- he didn’t seem to mind the company, silent as it was; I should look into learning some conversational phrases in his tongue, if I can find some time between my work and my current mechanika studies. Myriss & the Ogrun were awake long before I was, considering my heading to bed near sunrise; they used that time to pick up a few items in the market, and suggested a couple jobs they’d seen on the bounty board.
The two options were Slippery Floyd & a prison guard turned-deserter named Valerie, but Floyd was worth more and requested dead, which in my eyes seemed to be somewhat more cut & dry than the deserter bounty, where the option was not only given, but the reward halved should she be returned dead. We split up to try our luck at gleaning some information concerning his whereabouts, Myriss & the Ogrun opting to ask around town, while I chose to see what I could gather through eavesdropping at the seediest bar I know; I ended up getting very little in the way of useful information, which made what happened next much less irritating & much more humorous, though I don’t want to think of how things could’ve turned out had the barflies been less drunk- the two thieves had had better luck than I, and it was apparently decided that the Ogrun would be the one to walk into the bar to fetch me. “Raz!” he roared, silencing the rowdy group of drunks and even making a few brawlers forget they’d been fighting just moments before, “time to go!” With a different crowd, it might have been amusing watching all eyes go from the imposing figure in the doorway, tracing the line between us all the way back to the corner I sat in. “Time to go” indeed. In the end, I’m glad that the only negative results involved the now-certain failure of my gleaning attempts.
Myriss pried some information out of one of Floyd’s ex-crewmen (with the help of her massive friend, and the threat of massive fists, I’ve come to expect), which led us to the Market Street docks; an old friend of Floyd’s had set anchor there for a time, to pick up some supplies for a run. Upon finding the ship (after an odd sort of reverse-bribing of the dockmaster, and Myriss posing as the ship wench of our vessel), the Ogrun took it upon himself to take point, which turned out just as one might expect. (Poorly.) He attempted to blend in, pretending to be a crew member; he picked up a bag of flour, took it on board, and was almost instantly stopped by the captain. I can’t imagine what might have tipped him off first… given the options of “towering Ogrun I don’t remember hiring” or “crewman with bloodied armor and an even bloodier warhammer.” The whole crew had weapons drawn; first on our companion, and shortly thereafter on Myriss & myself as well, as we were near the bottom of his gangplank at this time. With some luck, and some previous experience with men of the captain’s nature, I was able to straighten things out; our lives will be at least another day longer, and it happened that the captain, while a good friend of Floyd, did have some bad blood with the man- it should be noted that even those that could be seen to have a more despicable nature do still have a code of honor & ethics, and that when dealing as, or with, such individuals, one should avoid fraudulent business transactions.
The plan went as follows: We were allowed passage on the captain’s ship, one-way; once he met up with Floyd’s ship, we would board & commandeer the vessel, sailing it back to port, keeping the body for our bounty and handing the ship & its contents over to the captain who gave us passage. My companions thought that the deal was unfair, and while a part of me heartily agreed, it was reason that held power over my tongue; better to split the five hundred gold from the bounty, than to split nothing at all- without this arrangement, we would not only be unable to travel to Floyd’s location, but we would be unable to discover it as well. The captain made out “like a bandit” (nauseatingly fitting, or I would have avoided the phrase altogether, I assure you), but it was that deal or none at all, and all of this was worked out after our lives had just been spared, making things seem just a bit sweeter. This did require us to find someone who can sail, but that worked out rather well actually- we found an ex-captain, running a failing business (sailing instruction, but some fool crashed his ship) who was willing to come along for a price. I ended up offering him twenty gold crowns up front, twenty more upon our arrival back at Five Fingers, and to put in a good word for him with Captain Kage, in case he’d be interested in some steady, seafaring work afterwards. I was careful to bring each of these things up in a specific fashion, so I might see what made the man tick; this turned out to be a good idea, as the money, nor the ship seemed to phase him, while the mention of steady work at sea made him lose composure for a brief moment. (Nice when these things actually prove to be beneficial, and not just worthless precautions.)
Ordic military vessels escorted us for the first two days, likely due to the bounty having been placed by one of their number. Such a waste of resources can only mean that Floyd managed to piss off some aristocrat’s whelp who thinks he’s earned his uniform.
For the length of the three day voyage, the Ogrun & his “handler,” as the captain & crew began to refer to her as, were forced to stay below deck, due to the poor first impressions they’d made. The only exceptions to this rule were made on the final day when preparations for the commandeering of Floyd’s vessel required some very heavy lifting, and of course during the attack itself. I was (thankfully) given as close as one can get to free-roam of the area, and while I did make sure to check on the two forced to stay below, I was able to spend a good deal of time on deck, feeling the breeze & the salt-spray, and finding what solace I could in the view of the open water. Every trip below deck ended up involving the examination of the Ogrun, I regret to say; he’s been sleeping in his armor, which led to the development of some serious sores- I recommended he take off the armor while sleeping, which I’m happy to add has fixed the problem almost in its entirety. He needs some new pads to replace the worn ones in his armor, and more than anything, he needs some damn clothing; every time I examined him, he was wearing a dirty loincloth and nothing else- I’ll be bringing up the need of at least a pair of pants to Captain Kage when he’s done sequestering himself in his quarters.
For the attack & commandeering, we smuggled our warhammer-toting cargo over to the other ship’s deck, planning on giving him some heavy covering fire where it was needed once he’d surprised the crew & jumped into the fray. My appetite for battle was, however, quite quickly soured once I saw the Jack on board. “Shit,” I muttered- what else was there to say at this point in the plan? Looking back, I do wonder if anyone heard my cursing as the head of the first crewman’s head exploded into bone shards & bloody mist on Floyd’s deck- Myriss had taken the first shot, and made it a magically silenced one (apparently she can do that), so the sounds of the shot itself & all of the aftermath, up to & including the thud of corpse-on-deck, were as absent as a politician’s good intentions. It was a hard battle, and I almost fell when Floyd himself came within melee distance of my person (NOTE: Purchase a bayonet before sundown), but we made it through in the end without casualties- even our ex-captain friend did quite a bit of fighting, and he hadn’t even been paid to do so. We made it back to port without incident, and while our hire put forth a goodly amount of effort attempting to train me in the ways of sailing, I had a bit of a struggle taking it all in; ironic, as I can easily do anything but the actual sailing. I’m going to learn this. (Next on the list after I finish my research on mechanika.)
We lost one hundred crowns on the bounty, due to his condition on arrival; though he was only specified as needing to be dead, his head was unfit for the wall of the man who was offering the bounty, the desk clerk said- I still wish this statement had phased me. Glad to have my honorable discharge… The three of our crew took equal shares of the bounty, after the removal of the twenty crowns for our sailor with an extra five as a bonus for his assistance in combat (and to round out the figures for the rest of us); he’s currently in his shop awaiting my appearance, as I’ve agreed to inform him when the captain has a moment to discuss the possibility of employment. I’ll be wrapping this up for now, so I can make my purchases in town.
It appears that Myriss has done some homework, and come up with some information on the other bounty- the prison guard-deserter Valerie. She’s apparently a long-haired brunette, now working in the red light district. She says she has an idea that would allow us to capture her alive with minimal risk; I’m off to hear this idea and discuss the details. More later.
That took several hours longer than expected, and I’m still less than pleased with the outcome. Myriss’s brilliant plan: I solicit Valerie’s “services,” tell her that I wish to chain her in manacles before ravaging her, and then instead, escort her over to the prison. The most obnoxious thing about this detestable plan is that, once I’d heard it, I couldn’t think of anything nearly so likely to work- bloody ingenious, and planning is supposed to be my area of expertise. I tried to explain to the two of them that I wouldn’t be able to play such a part in the plan, but I don’t think they understand the concept behind a personal code of honor, or at least they were unhappy to hear that it would throw a wrench into the best plan we had available to us; I’m already not the type to go chasing skirts or visiting the red light district, so the notion that I would be able to do such a thing and then propose the playing out of a bondage fantasy- real or not- would be akin to a walk in the park was indescribably absurd. We’ve… well, we’ve settled on another plan that… it at least involves our offering a helpful service with the benefit of an ulterior motive, but if everything goes to plan, the only one benefiting from our services will be our target. Tomorrow we head over to enact our clever ruse.
I do not wish to discuss the events of today. Two brothels, twenty eight ladies of the evening, and the only one named Valerie has been practicing her trade for nearly a decade. I have seen and done things today… that I do not wish to discuss. I have sanitized myself using the hottest water I could stand and as much alcohol as I could spare from my medical supplies. I am going to bed.
We tracked our target to a warehouse being patrolled by a pair of Trollkin, and stayed all of last night waiting for an opportune moment to strike; around twenty minutes after sunrise (after watching a large number of armed men find their way to the warehouse doors), Myriss spotted Valerie walking out with a trio of Trollkin; we tailed her to Beggars Cove, until she climbed up an embankment and went out of sight. Myriss tried to climb up after her, but was apparently spotted or heard; I quickly aimed & shot twice at Valerie’s arm, in an attempt to break her grip of Myriss or at least give my ally a window of opportunity to remove Valerie’s blade from her throat. Regrettably, the blade was removed by Valerie herself as she slit her own throat; Myriss said, soon after making her way back down to us, that she had said “I’m not going back- I’d rather die than go back” before she had taken her life. Two hundred gold it is; quite a shame that it turned out this way- for us, certainly, but for her as well. We split the bounty seventy-seventy-sixty, as the Ogrun didn’t do much but wait around on this one. (Myriss seemed irritated by this, but accepted the proposition with only a sarcastic remark of disapproval, so I’m guessing the extra few crowns were tempting- I believe she’s made plans to purchase better armor, so that would make sense.) That brings our second bounty to a full close. I could definitely use some rest, so I’ll likely be staying on board if those two decide to look for another job tomorrow.
Shouldnt be writing right now, need to wrest & avoid straning my eyes. riting witheyes closed- Need to make a log of this. Trollkin attacked tonight, ’avenging Valerie" they said. Bullshit they know she took her own life the Orgun said so to Myrisamintue ago. Felcaller was last left` I was beaten, bloodied, dazed, but had Myris traped below. Got an angle, shot the bastard shriieked loud enogh to knock me out. Dont remmmber falling just standing & then on the ground. Peice of shit burst a vessel in my rght eyee. Was awake to watch half the world go blakc. Hope hell existss so Val & her friends can fucking rot there.