Greyhawk: Gem of the Flanaess

Part One - Chapter Four: The Pit & the Pawnshop

It was on Sunday, the 16th day of Reaping, in the Common Year of 580, when the Company of the Green Dragon rescued Brannigan and his family from the hobgoblin, Snagger Bonesnapper, and the Marrowsucker tribe. Afterwards, the band dragged the bodies of the hobgoblins out into the woods and removed any armor, weapons and valuables from them, including the right hands of each hobgoblin to show as proof of their defeat. All together, the band had killed 33 hobgoblins for which they would be paid 10 gp for each. That evening, the band stayed with Brannigan and his family.

The next day, the band spent the entire day gathering the bodies of all the hobgoblins, some of which were spread out through parts of the forest. They used Brannigan’s wagon to help in this matter. Once all the bodies were gathered, they created a funeral pyre in a clearing in the forest and burned the bodies. It was a grueling and unpleasant chore. That night they stayed again at Brannigan’s farm.

On the following morning, Godsday the 18th, the band loaded up Brannigan’s wagon with all the armor and weapons taken from the hobgoblins. Then Brannigan drove the wagon to the nearest farmstead on the way to the village of One Ford, while Zeke, Corvyn and Kelgor escorted him on horseback. Brom and Tadwin stayed behind to watch over Brannigan’s family. That evening at the farmstead, Brannigan spoke to a few men there that he was acquainted with, telling them about the hobgoblin attack on his farm, and talked them into sending a couple of men back to his farm to look after his wife and daughters. The next day, when the two men arrived at Brannigan’s farm, Brom and Tadwin set out and were able to catch up with the rest of the band and their slow moving wagon just as they were about to arrive at the village of One Ford. There, the band and Brannigan checked into an inn. On the following day, Brannigan said his goodbyes to the band, again thanking them for rescuing his family. Then he took his wagon and set out for home. The band, meanwhile, spent the first part of the day, selling all the weapons and armor they had recovered from the slain hobgoblins. Most of these items were in poor condition, but even selling them at a substantial discount they still added up to a hefty sum.

After selling all the excess weapons and armor, the band resumed their journey home and headed north, traveling once again along the River Road. As one might have expected, it was an uneventful journey along the well-traveled and heavily patrolled road, and three and a half days later, on the afternoon of the 23rd day of Reaping, the band arrived at the Gates of the Free City of Greyhawk. Just inside the gates, the band was met by the usual crowd of beggars asking for handouts, and which typically greeted all travelers who entered the city. But there at the Highway Gate, Brom was recognized by several of the beggars and the group was spared the general harassment that others had to endure.

However, one of these beggars who was known to Brom, seemed to pass along a message, most likely in the beggar’s secret sign language, that Brom needed to go and speak with the Beggarmaster. This did not come as any surprise to Brom, as he was well aware that he had been neglecting his responsibilities at the Beggar’s Union and had already planned on speaking to the Beggarmaster upon his return to the city. Realizing that he, and perhaps some of his companions, needed to attend to personal matters, he suggested that the band go their separate ways for the night, and meet up again the following day at the Green Dragon Inn. With the others in agreement, Brom set out immediately into the Slum Quarter and headed directly for the Beggar’s Guildhall, known by many as the Palace of Trash.

It is not known what exactly was said during Brom’s audience with Beggarmaster Theobald, King of Junk, but the end result was that the two clearly came to a new understanding. While it appeared that Brom no longer had any responsibilities to the Beggar’s Union, it also appeared that he would no longer prosper from its benefits – at least not officially. He still remained on good terms with Taskmaster Haarkon and was still good friends with other members of the union, like Dodger and Nancy, whom he could occasionally count on for assistance in certain situations. That night, Brom gathered what meager possessions he had at the Palace of Trash, and went and checked into a room at the Green Dragon Inn.

While Brom was at the Guildhall of the Beggar’s Union, Tadwin paid a visit to the Guild of Wizardry, a place he had been to only once before and only to sign up for the Guild and the Mage’s School. Therefore, he had seen very little of the Guildhall up to this point and it was now time, he decided, to do something about that.

So, to the Guild of Wizardry he went, where he met the dwarven Head Porter, Darnak Khorshkan and made an appointment for the band and himself to meet with Kondradis Bubka, the Mage of Exchange, and Heironymus Tigana, the Alchemist of the Guild. He was also shown to the Guild Library where he was quite surprised to discover that the librarian there, Jawal Severnain, was a drow. Jawal was a stern and not particularly friendly or talkative sort, clearly devoted to his work at the library. But Tadwin managed to speak with him briefly and gave him a list of spells that he was looking for. Jawal told Tadwin to return at 2 o’clock the following day at which point he would have the requested spells ready for him to copy into his spellbook. While at the Guild, Tadwin also ran into a few other wizards he was familiar with and he spoke to them for a bit.

As for the other members of the band, most of them simply returned to their homes and visited with family and friends, telling them of the band’s adventures in Narwell and the Gnarley Forest. Corvyn also took the 33 severed hobgoblin hands the band had, which by now gave off a very unpleasant stench, and delivered them to the Citadel, where he was directed to a sergeant-at-arms who counted the severed hands and paid Corvyn 10 gp for each. That night, each of the band’s members had the most comfortable night of rest that any of them had had in many days.

On the following day, most of the band members slept in late. But around noon, as previously agreed upon, they met for lunch at the Green Dragon Inn. Now having completed all the jobs they had so far begun, the band discussed their options on what to do next. Unfortunately, at this point, the only job they knew of, which did not appear to be beyond their capability, was the one that Brom had heard about a few weeks before concerning the pawnshop in the Thieves’ Quarter. Tadwin also told them that he had made an appointment at the Wizard’s Guild to meet the Mage of Exchange and the Guild’s Alchemist. And there was also the matter of selling a few pieces of jewelry that the band had acquired from the hobgoblins.

So for the next hour or two, the band went about taking care of some of these chores. At the Wizard’s Guild, they discovered that the items there were a bit too pricey for their current budget. But Zeke told them they could get healing potions at the Temple of Boccob. So they stopped by the nearby temple and bought some potions.

Then they sold the jewelry at a pawnshop and paid a visit to Fedroot’s Daggerarium to look at his daggers and swords, which were said to be the finest non-magical blades in the entire city. In addition to all this, they stopped by Porbell’s Pawnshop and met Sennard Porbell. There they quickly learned that Porbell was indeed looking to hire someone to watch over his shop while he went out of town on a business trip. In fact, he seemed to be quite desperate by this point to hire someone as he needed to leave town that very day. Porbell did not appear to be offering a lot, a 50% commission on anything the band could sell. But it looked to be an easy, risk-free job that the band could do while taking care of other things. Porbell asked the band to return in a little bit so Porbell could check out the band’s references, and a short while later, when the band came back, Porbell was apparently satisfied. Porbell then showed the band around a bit, gave them some instructions, hastily grabbed a bag, and left town.

It was not until Porbell had gone that the band got a good look around and gradually realized that everything in the shop appeared to be worthless junk. This, of course, seemed very strange and immediately the band began to suspect that something else entirely was going on at the pawnshop. One thing that really piqued their curiosity was the locked room that Porbell had said was off limits to them. It even looked as if furniture and drapes that once appointed the second floor of the shop were now missing. A thorough search through some of Porbell’s records seemed to indicate that Porbell had been selling everything off and dipping heavily into his business’s funds without replacing his inventory. Later on, Brom even asked his friend Dodger to learn what he could about Sennard Porbell.

But despite the grim business prospects, they did have a couple of customers show up that afternoon and Zeke even managed to sell some worthless tin candles for a nice profit. One of the customers was Malagrym, whom the band had seen before at the Green Dragon Inn and whom they later met on the streets in the River Quarter. He didn’t buy anything, but once again, he extended an invitation to pay a visit to the Pit and take part in the gladiatorial games there. He told them that he would be taking part in one of the battles that night, a non-lethal combat where two opposing teams of men would face-off with each other. This sounded interesting, not only to Corvyn, but to Brom as well. So the band made plans to go to the Pit that night and give it a try.

That evening, after closing up the pawnshop for the night, all the members of the band made their way to the Foreign Quarter and located the Pit. It was still early in the evening at that time and people were just beginning to arrive and prepare for the night’s contests – mostly those who would be participating in the battles. Malagrym was among them and the band soon found him. He took Corvyn and Brom into the back rooms of the Pit and introduced them to Pietain Morvannis, the manager of the Pit. Soon after, Corvyn and Brom were signed up for the battle and Malagrym led them into another room where they and the other gladiators got ready for their fights.

The rest of the band, meanwhile, mingled with the crowd of onlookers as they gradually began to gather in the bleachers. The first of the combats, which started at about 8 o’clock, was a series of wrestling matches. This was followed by the non-lethal team combat in which Malagrym, Corvyn and Brom took part in. There were a dozen men in all and they were randomly divided into teams of six. Fortunately, Malagrym, Corvyn and Brom all wound up on the same team.

To the inexperienced observer, it was an interesting contest. Zeke and Kelgor even placed bets of 50 gp on the team with their friends and did the same for Corvyn. Initially, the crowd seemed to favor the band’s team as they soon got the upper hand. Brom was cheered on as he chose to fight with two clubs and no shield, and did surprisingly well. Malagrym was likewise well appreciated for his tricky feints and his dramatic flair. Unfortunately for him, he was flanked early on by two opposing team members and was knocked out cold about mid-way through the battle. But Corvyn and Brom hung in to the very end. As the battle wore on however, any favor the crowd showed towards either side gradually dwindled to nothing as the crowd grew anxious to see the end of a battle that had been going on for too long. When the battle finally ended, Corvyn and Brom were still standing. Corvyn had struggled to do any damage through much of the fight, but somehow, whether by luck or by skill, he remained completely unharmed. Brom, on the other hand, was pretty beat up, but also managed to deal out some well-aimed blows in return.

When the battle was over and the bodies, both the conscious and the unconscious, were removed from the arena, Kelgor met his friends in the back room and cast a few healing spells. Afterwards, the band, now caught up in much of the excitement of the night, stayed and watched some of the more deadly combats that took place later on.

When the night was over, each of the band members returned to their current homes for the night as by this point the Black Gate was closed and they could not get to the pawnshop without resorting to more extreme and ultimately unnecessary measures. But the following morning, on Godsday, the 25th day of Reaping, the band returned to the pawnshop and opened its doors for business. Unfortunately, no customers showed up – at least none that were willing to pay money for worthless junk.

Then, at about 11 o’clock, a band of adventurers arrived at the shop, consisting of a mean-looking human fighter, a grim-faced dwarven fighter, a sinister mage, a scowling cleric, and a shifty rogue. All but the human fighter, who gave his name as Anomen, stayed at the doorway as their companion stepped inside to do business. He approached Zeke at the counter and told him that he had come to buy back his sword, dropping a bag of coins onto the counter as he did so. When Zeke told him he had no sword to sell to him, the fighter became very upset. Anomen told Zeke that he had brought the sword in about two weeks before and even had a receipt. He told Zeke that Porbell had promised to hold on to the sword until he could buy it back and a look at Porbell’s records seemed to confirm this, though the records gave no indication of what had become of the sword.

When Zeke insisted that they had no sword to sell him, Anomen flew into a rage, pounced over the counter and attacked Zeke. This sudden move even took his own companions by surprise, but they quickly jumped into action to back up their companion. Fortunately, for Zeke, his friends likewise sprang up in a hurry to defend their companion.

A fight then broke out, and despite the fact that the enemy fighter had started things, the Company of the Green Dragon soon got the upper hand. Tadwin cast a color spray spell and knocked the fighter unconscious while the enemy mage cast a mirror image spell. The enemy cleric cast a fear spell on Corvyn as he approached and Corvyn was soon forced to run to the back of the room. The dwarf then stepped into the shop and prepared to defend the spellcasters, while the rogue took off around the corner towards the shop’s side door. Kelgor stepped up and took a swing at the mage, while Brom, who was in the back of the shop, tried to maneuver himself into a position where he could take one of the enemies by surprise.

Tadwin then cast a grease spell which proved to be devastating for the enemies as some of them then slipped and fell to the ground. The enemy dwarf attacked Kelgor, giving Kelgor a good reason to attack him in return. Zeke then went on the offensive as well, and suddenly the enemy band found themselves on the losing end of a fight. When the dwarf tried to retreat, he was struck several times before he also fell in the grease spot, at which point, Kelgor forced him to surrender. The two enemy spellcasters, meanwhile, had been knocked unconscious and they were quickly tied and bound, leaving only the enemy rogue unharmed. Brom, suspecting the rogue might be trying to enter from the side door, headed in that direction, and heard the side door closing. By the time Brom got to the door, the rogue, apparently realizing that the fight was already over, had turned and fled, and now was nowhere to be seen.

With four of the five enemy band members captured, the band then debated on what to do with them. Zeke was strongly in favor of bringing the City Watch into the matter, feeling certain that they had done nothing wrong and that the City Watch would believe their story. Brom, on the other hand, did not trust the City Watch and pointed out that although they were in the right, they had little or no way to prove it, as the circumstantial evidence did not appear to be in their favor. The band, after all, had no proof that they had been hired to watch over the pawnshop, whose rightful owner was now missing under what might be perceived as mysterious circumstances, and it could be easily claimed by the enemy band, which did have paperwork to support their case, that they were being robbed by the Company of the Green Dragon.

Kelgor supported Zeke in this matter, not because he had any faith in the City Watch, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. But Corvyn seemed to side with Brom, as he too was distrustful of the City Watch. Tadwin however, was able to resolve the debate as he pointed out that he was good friends with a Deputy Constable in the City Watch and if they could report the incident to him, he would back up the band’s reputation. Zeke also had a friend in the City Watch, and while his friend was not as high-ranking as Tadwin’s friend, he too could serve as a good character witness for the band. And if nothing else, a few divination spells cast by the Chief Constable, Derider Fanshen, also a devoted cleric of Pelor, might do the trick. And so it was agreed by the band to inform the City Watch.

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