Freeday, Planting 7, 553 CY (51 AN)
A persistent yet quiet knock at the door awakens Torinn in the early morning. After grabbing a weapon and making his way over to the door, he opens it to find himself face to face with the proprietor of this establishment. She is wearing a cloak and seems dressed for travel. She also seems nervous, and possibly in a hurry.
She asks if his offer from earlier in the day still stands.
The discussion is brief but fruitful: she wishes to sell quickly, and she has a contract already in hand. (Although a witness is technically required, that field has already been signed by a “Darmorel Chorster” of the Scandshar Advocacy and Solicitations Guild.) She asks that Torinn signs first, in view of her. He reads the contract — although Torinn is not especially versed in the somewhat baroque particulars of Scandshar contract law, he is far better read than most people give him credit — and finding it to his liking, deigns to sign when she presents a quill and inkwell. She then signs her portion, revealing her name as Brithuia Pamor, gives him the keys and a copy of the contract, and quickly leaves.
Peren, already awake in the early morning, heard the knocking and whispered conversation, and decides to follow her, traveling under the shadow of his own elven ensorcellment. Although he initially considers killing her, he finds her traveling to a waiting carriage, where she soon takes to the western road leaving the city. As such, he deigns to let her go — she is unlikely to be further trouble to them.
Once he is certain she is leaving, he doubles back to The Laughing Maiden, but a thought begins to bloom in his mind. If the members of the Illustrious Menagerie of Peacocks and their wards and allies are leaving the city, that likely means that many of their upper echelon are on the move.
That means that Lord Candle is probably on the move.
This is likely their best chance to kill him, so Peren returns to the inn, positively giddy at the concept.
He awakens Torinn first, and after discussing with him, they awaken Bezaldooz and Bosabrieln. (Peren, having surmised that Torinn purchased the bar, awakens Bosabrieln by kicking in his door. When several guests awaken and begin investigating the ruckus, Bosabrieln assuages their concerns with his typical charm.) Once the Shields of the Sorrowfell convene and are all settled, Peren explains the situation, and everyone agrees to assault Lord Candle’s lair. Bezaldooz first uses scrying to locate him, and finding that he and his minions appear to be packing (and are likely located in the tunnels beneath the gladiator pits), they then teleport to his location.
They find themselves in a moderately-sized stone room much like the one Bezaldooz saw in his scrying, albeit with old mouldering skeletons strewn upon the floor and orcish graffiti on the walls. Surmising that they are in the wrong place, Bezaldooz attempts to teleport again, this time finding himself in a similar room albeit with furnishings, guards, and a very surprised Lord Candle looking at papers and giving orders.
The battle swiftly grows chaotic as the tiny room does not afford the Shields much movement. (Made all the more chaotic as Bosabrieln uses mass suggestion to convince several of the guards to attempt to apprehend Lord Candle, resulting in a snarl as some guards start fighting the others.) As they fight Lord Candle’s personal guard, Lord Candle manages to flee, scuttling along the walls and attempting to leave the door. Unfortunately for him, Bezaldooz, Peren, and Torinn make their way to him and injure him badly enough for him to turn to mist. The Shields manage to fight their way out of the halls and follow him as he flees, keeping pace with the fast-flowing mist until it reaches the street and begins making its way to a waiting wagon. As they hit the street, Torinn invokes a fog cloud to attempt to befuddle the wagon’s guardians, while Peren uses greater invisibility to move unseen. As they are aware that the wagon is well-guarded and the mist is heading toward it, they move to investigate. Peren cuts the reins and sets the horses free while Torinn climbs aboard the wagon. Among the crates and things on the wagon is a coffin-shaped crate which he smashes, scattering dirt around the inside of the wagon. The mist attempts to flee deeper into the city, possibly in search of another resting place, but he does not get the chance — as Bezaldooz and Bosabrieln catch up to the others, Bezaldooz casts sunburst, and although the wagon and the buildings are rapidly sun-bleached from the magic, most of those on the street are unharmed thanks to Bezaldooz’s superior control.
However, the mist that was Lord Candle is gone. No trace of the former vampire remains.
The Shields inform the remaining guards that they can leave unharmed, a deal which they all eagerly take. The Shields then load the crates into Peren’s portable hole, and head back to The Laughing Maiden.
On the way back, they encounter a contingent of guards coming the investigate the flash of light that just erupted by the arenas. After explaining their fight against a vampire, they continue on their way. A few blocks from The Laughing Maiden, they encounter a contingent of strange folk emerging from a sewer grate — about ten in all, bearing hand crossbows and shortswords while wearing makeshift clothes. The Shields are suspicious and question them, where they reveal that they understand there is opportunity on the surface these days. Bosabrieln, interpreting this to mean that they are aware of the upheaval among the Peacocks, is satisfied, but Peren and Torinn are less so. However, the similarly stubborn street folk don’t feel the need to explain themselves to these heavily-armed mercenaries, and so the conversation quickly grows tense. Eventually, however, Peren and Torinn decide it is not worth it to antagonize them further, and so give them a directive to not cause trouble in these parts before the pair follows Bezaldooz and Bosabrieln, already having left for The Laughing Maiden.
The rest of the day is filled with business. Once back at The Laughing Maiden, Bezaldooz orders an early breakfast, prompting the servants to awaken and begin cooking. Torinn addresses them, explaining that he is the new proprietor, and things are going to change around here. Everyone is going to be employed henceforth, and if they wish to leave, they are welcome to do so — but they are to see him before they go. Otherwise, he is happy to retain them as employees. He also wishes to nominate a manager, as he may travel often and will need someone to run this place in his stead. (A half-elf named Oroth volunteers.)
Over breakfast, they contemplate the eventual name change for this inn (such as “Dragon Pudding,” “The Leaping Lizard,” or “The Tipsy Turtle,” although Torinn decides that he is not going to change the name right away) and review what they looted from Lord Candle’s wagon. All told, they find several gems, 14,000gp and 1,900pp, a couple of potions, an enchanted crossbow bolt, a spell scroll of Tasha’s otherworldly guise, and Lord Candle’s spellbook. They also discuss their future plans — with most of his equipment destroyed, Torinn is now far more wary about challenging the Khan of Nightmares, although he might be more interested if he can acquire new equipment. At the very least, new magical armor would help alleviate some of his concerns.
Bosabrieln sends a sending to Vianibrar, saying, “Darling, come, revel in the joyous aftermath. Peacocks on the run, quite the sight. Also, could use some sane company… In Scandshar, Laughing Maiden.” Vianibrar responds, “Well, I am certainly intrigued. I will be along shortly.”
After Vianibrar joins them and learns what has transpired, the Shields go shopping and wander around the city. Bezaldooz and Peren start the process of liquidating Lord Candle’s gems, ultimately gathering a grand total of 38,000gp for the morning’s trouble. Bosabrieln and Vianibrar walk around with drinks in hand, looking for the quiet evidence of the city’s criminal underground in turmoil. (They take a drink every time they see it.) Torinn looks to purchase other establishments that formerly dealt in slaves and Peacock money but now seem to wish to sell — he quietly acquires a general outfitter in the Market District called The Royal Voyage, and makes the employees the same offer as he did those who work at The Laughing Maiden.
The next day, Starday, Planting 8, Torinn makes arrangements with Bezaldooz to teleport to Dawnslight. In addition to seeing how things are going, Torinn speaks to Sally and her father (whom he finally learns are named Araatris and Kevian) to offer them a job — if they wish to manage or otherwise work at The Laughing Maiden or The Royal Voyage, those properties are theirs if they wish them. Although Araatris seems dazzled at the prospect of working in Scandshar, they deign to discuss the matter privately before they make a decision. Later in the day, Kevian returns to Torinn, indicating that they have decided to decline his offer, but he thanks him just the same, especially thanking him for his kindness and support these past few months.
At the end of the day, Bezaldooz and Torinn return to Scandshar as the Shields determine what comes next in their adventures…