A man drifts into town from the West.
The guards stationed on the western approach to Marikest see a dark man in a long leather coat approaching their checkpoint around 3pm on the 8th. Sharing a nervous glance, they nervously draw their weapons—one a short sword, the other his bow.
Shouting to try and cover up their fear, “Well met, stranger! State your business!”
Smirking to himself, Gurny can smell their fear from 40 paces. Spreading his hands in a universal display of surrender, he answers, “Stand down, gentlemen, I come on behalf of Jolly Aleblood.” The man with the bow, gestures with his head for the other guard to approach. Gurny slowly presents his note from Jolly to the guard. Upon seeing the wax seal, the guard visibly relaxes. “Well met, well met….we’ve been instructed to bring you straight away to the Shanker. Please follow us.”
‘No problem, friend. Lead on.”
Arriving quickly at the Randy Shanker, Gurny goes to his room. Taking time to check the room thoroughly he finds nothing amiss. He is doubly pleased that there is no window in his room and from his doorway he has a commanding view of the whole tavern and a side view of the front door. “Excellent,” he whispers to himself as he places a gilded pistol under his pillow.
Taking a seat at the far end of the bar, with his back to his room and eyes on the front door, he orders a meal and an ale. “A bit of Jolly’s best, if you please.”
“This is on the house, friend. We’re glad you’re here. Jolly also left this for you. I also need to tell you that Gideon, Edmos, and an elf have already arrived. Edmos and the elf have busied themselves around town and I haven’t seen Gideon since this morning. Will you be needing anything else, sir?”
“No, this will do fine. Many thanks—oh, one thing, could you tell me where a purveyor of fine armaments may be found? “Sure, judging by the staff you came in with, I would say you would want to see Braxton Rookard, he is in the center of town to the north at the end of this road. Just go out and to the left, his name is on the placard, you can’t miss it.”
After thanking the barkeep, he turned his attention back to the meal and ale.
Once he finished, he made his way to Rookard’s. Gathering the shooting supplies he needed, he wandered through the bazaar, but alas nothing new and interesting caught his eye, save only some weird little goblin fertility icon that greatly exaggerated the genitalia. Although promised a great buy by the dealer, Gurny waved him off and headed out to make a recon of the perimeter just outside the town proper.
He decided to cross the main bridge to the southern aspect of Marikest. Although, the more wealthy area of town, Gurny knew that this outlying area on the southern banks of the Mari wouldn’t stand a chance if the town were ever besieged. Figuring Hödekin would most likely be coming from the south, he figured this was as good a place as any to set up watch and get the measure of the region.
Finding a nice covered vantage point on the slight rise to town speaker Gerard Ishkar’s, Gurny blended into his surroundings and settled in. The scattered ebb and flow of people seemed on par with what would be expected in this town and nothing drew his discerning eye as out of place. The weather was pleasant, the birds flittered about, and the sun slowly faded as the stars began to peak out to the symphony of crickets. “Maybe I’ll retire here,” he mused to himself.
During the early morning hours of the 9th, before the sky began to glow with new life, Gurny spied a dark figure making its way slowly along the edge of the road to the south. Moving with purpose and stealth, this was no commoner. Sighting down the Verdict, Gurny could tell the figure moved with a familiar gate, and the weapon he carried was unmistakable. Gurny smiled to himself, as he waited for the figure to pass.
Stealthily creeping up behind his diminutive friend, he pressed the barrel of his gun against the back of Hödekin’s head. “Give me one reason not to end you.” Stopping in his tracks, Hödekin answers back calmly, “Give me one reason not to end you, Gurny.”
Momentarily confused, Gurny feels a growing pressure on his groin. Looking down he sees a large cobra clamping slowly down on his crotch. Chuckling to himself, Gurny raises his weapon, “Call off your dog, Hödekin. You win this one.”
“Gurny, my friend, when will you learn how much you humans smell? I smelled you, far before I saw you—and the joke is well played out, by the way.” With the games over, they slap each other on the back and make their way together to the Randy Shanker with Kib in tow.