Sigh. Today, I found out more people want to kill me. Goodnight.
Greiip had lost track of Kringle's plan quickly and assumed Karndal was faring no better either.
“That way all we three have to do to stay out of trouble is maintain the lie that we did the dungeons at different times to what the contracts say. Okay?”
“Hang on” said Greiip “We're not in any trouble, why do we need to help you keep up a lie. Couldn't you just let the missing twenty grains ride and accept the fine?”
“No, not at a seven tenths rate of the contact's value for this kind of misconduct, no. If you want to keep me as your sponsor you need to do this for me”.
“Fine, okay” said Greiip, “explain it from the top”.
Kringle sighed “okay, I told my depositor I had given him the wrong contract, as I just couldn't find the money anywhere. I've had a contract worth four hundred grains sitting around for ages, a really bad one no one else wanted, that's a forty grain deposit. I put into the ledger you two had paid me for that one and took it to the embassy to get counter stamped so it's completely above board”.
“I understood that part”.
“Okay, so he agreed to let it slide but he said to cover myself I should make sure to carry out the contract for Driftwind Cavern and have it counter stamped”.
“But we've already been to Driftwind Cavern” said Karndal still confused.
“Exactly” said Kringle “that's the crux of it, but you haven't been to Pricklecleft”.
“What's Pricklecleft?” said Greiip.
“That's the name of the dungeon the four hundred grain contract is for”.
“Right, so the dungeon we did last week, we haven't done yet” said Greiip starting to grasp what had happened.
“Exactly” said Kringle.
“And the dungeon we haven't done yet, we did last week”.
“As far as were concerned” Greiip's brow twisted as he spoke.
“Yes but as far as the embassy and my depositor are concerned the dungeonings took place on the days stated in the contract”.
“And they have the right contract?” he said feeling the grasp loosen a bit.
Kringle shook his head “no, they have the wrong contract. They have the contract for Pricklecleft because they think that's the one you did last week. We can't give them the contract for Driftwind Cavern because as far as they know you haven't been there yet”.
“So all we need to do is fulfil the contract for Pricklecleft and pretend we did them on the opposite days?”
“Exactly” Kringle dipped his quill “the dates are close enough together to make it unlikely anyone will notice. You should do it soon though. Karndal did you get that this time?”
Karndal fainted off his chair. They peered down at him.
“Sorry, could you just, one more time from the top?”
“NO” said Greiip and Kringle in unison.
Karndal picked himself up and sat back down.
“Just follow Greiip, he understands. So, all I need from you two now is the forty grain deposit for the Pricklecleft contract”.
Greiip looked at him appalled.
“You cheeky git, get it yourself”.
“I can't I already told you I'm flat broke. Come on, two resourceful adventurers like yourselves should be able to rustle up forty grains in a day”.
“Yes, that's how long I have to get the deposit paid. What about that nice sword you have?”.
“No” said Greiip “it's my only sword, and I already lost it once and found it again, I'm not selling it”.
“I wasn't suggesting you sell it, couldn't you just go out and rob someone?”
“You go and rob someone if you want to, I'm not. Just because we want to be thieves doesn't mean we have to go around stealing from people”.
Kringle closed the ledger and put the quill back in the inkwell “look, if you do this for me I'll make it worth your while. Once you two start getting better at this I reckon you could make some real gold for yourselves. Wouldn't it be good to be working for a guild that owed you a favour?”
“Can't you sell another contract?” asked Greiip.
“Not unless anyone else walks through that door any time soon, your my only sub-contractors at the moment”.
“I feared as much” said Greiip “okay we can try but no promises”.
Outside they looked around. It was fairly early still, the heat of the day kept at bay by the shade of the street. The revelry of last night still clung to the town. It had been a long and noisy night and sleeping drunkards lined the gutters. Apparently they had all decided today should be a local holiday too.
“How much do you have left of the grains we had”? Said Greiip.
Karndal shrugged “none, the beer carriage took all mine on Roorksday”.
“The beer carriage?”
“Yeah, you know the horse carriage that picks you up when your drunk and drops you off in random places. It always costs exactly what you had in your pockets at the time” Karndal laughed.
Greiip chuckled mirthlessly and counted the meagre contents of his grainpurse.
“I've got four grains, a few copper chits and some fluff”.
A moth flew out.
“Oh and a moth apparently”.
“Not any more” said Karndal watching it fly away “oh well, that's enough for lunch”
They found an inexpensive looking briste and got a table by the counter where they could see the board clearly.
“Think I'll have a grilled pawtop with some radish salad” said Karndal
Greiip looked at the board “no, pick something less expensive”
“Fine, I'll have boiled greenfish and potatoes”
Greiip went to the counter and ordered their food returning with two jugs of light ale. No sooner had he sat down than a figure in a cloak and thick hood came in and scanned the room. He sat down at Greiip's table uninvited.
“Rotaan you look more conspicuous walking around like that during the day, and anyway you're the town hero now, why do you need to stay hidden” said Greiip.
“Because I can't move anywhere now without someone recognising me. It took me two tenths to get from the Inn I fell asleep in to the end of that street. Not that I'd mind normally but we have a problem”.
“Oh my Roork I can't literally take a step in any direction here without becoming a part of someone else's problems, what now?”
Greiip sipped his beer “do go on”.
“It turns out the Fawnhill family was a matriarchy, I killed mister Fawnhill but that's like killing the accountant, she can just get another”.
“So the Fawnhills aren't deposed?”
“Oh they're gone from here, I killed too many of them for her to be able to recover their strength but I'm afraid she may have embarked on a mission of vengeance. Last night I got a message, a warning, from someone in the crowd. It was in embassy code so it was someone I can trust, it said 'she's watching you'. I asked around a bit during the party and that's when I found out. No one else cared they said I was noble to let her go blah blah blah, If I had known about her, well, I would at least have had her irons”.
“So how does this affect me?” asked Greiip.
“Well she knows someone else was involved, apparently you spoke to someone in the torture shed and left them alive”.
“Why the hell did you do that?” asked Rotaan.
“I wanted to know where Karndal was”.
“No I mean leave him alive?”
Greiip shrugged “I didn't have the heart to do it”.
Rotaan's brow furrowed “heart, what's wrong with your heart?”
“No, not my heart heart, I mean I couldn't do it, It felt wrong to kill him”.
Rotaan shook his head “never heard of that, well either way he gave her a description of you. Also she quite possibly followed me here so I may have led her to you anyway. Well, good luck, I'll see you soon no doubt”.
“Hang on, quick question my friend, could you lend me forty grains?”
Rotaan reached into a pocket in his cloak and put a small grainpurse on the table “That's fifty, take it as apology for getting you probably killed”.
He whisked out of the briste just as the serving girl arrived at their table.
“One greenfish, boiled over hard with taters and one Grilled pawtop with radish salad”.
Karndal gave Greiip an angry look.
“What? I'm paying”.