Chapter 3 - Parte 2 - Inner City Pressure
The Party's recently acquired and recently repaired barge weaves it way around the sinuous banks of the river Selitan, at it's tiller is (I can't remember for sure but due to some recent and undue political pressure, I'm going to have to plump for at random...) Caerendil.
The comely bard stand's half-manfully at the rear with his manicured hands at the tiller guiding the ungainly vessel towards it's destination with seemingly consummate ease.
The mighty Metropolis of Greyhawk looms up out of the wilderness as the evening draws in. Rounding the final, sharpish bend before the city wharves, the Party pass a bank of similarly moored Rhenee vessels (around 20). Their inhabitants stop in their activities and begin shouting greetings to the approaching vessel before they spy the persons on board and abruptly fall silent.
The Rhenee stand and show no further emotion and simply watch the Party's boat slowly navigate the bend and head on towards the wharves beyond. The party moor up and then disembark. Entry into the City is to negotiated at the Wharf Gate and by means of the Mayor's Letter of Introduction the Party soon clear this initial hurdle.
A small contingent of efficient looking City Watchmen escort the party though the unfamiliar streets of Greyhawk, first to the City Gaol and Justice Courts (where the party relieve themselves of their prisoner Roland Proudhair) and then onto the Mayor of Greyhawk's modest residence in the High Quarter.
The sorry tale of Elmshire is regaled to Nerof Gasgal, the Mayor of Greyhawk. An experienced and thus a patient politician, he listens to the retelling carefully and without interruption. Upon conclusion he asked the party what their next intentions are likely to be?
'Go down to the wharves and kick some pikey heads in' ventures Ulric
'Before introducing a Longsword up the nether regions of the Iuzian Ambassador in the wee hours of the morning' finishes the Bard
The Greyhawk Mayor sighs, if only it was that easy Young Sirs. Nerof then fills in the players on the current situation in Greyhawk, the end of the recent war, the peace treaty, the establishment of the embassy of Iuz, the Iuzian ambassador Pyremiel Alaxane, the gold provided by the Rhenee's trading activities to the City Coffers and his unshakable belief that not ALL the Rhenee can be evil (even if the City of Greyhawk Supplement Source book says otherwise - racist T$R scum! 8-)).
He suspects that only a small number would be caught up in this sorry affair and for the party to tread carefully. Some of the Rhenee may be guilty of these crimes but the others would never offer them up. In addition, antagonising the Iuzian Ambassador would also be frowned upon and the Greyhawk authorities would be treaty bound to intervene upon his behalf if the party were to disregard his advice and launch an attack on his person anyway.
Although his hands are somewhat tied, he suggests that the party visit his 'man' in the River Quarter to gleam more information about the Rhenee. When the Rhenee visit the city they mostly congregate in that area by the Wharves and his man 'Tomas Ratek' is the Master Thief of the River Quarter (Greyhawk being run by Thieves don't ya know). If anyone knows which Rhenee are behind this business it'd be him, and if Tomas gives you any grief then tell him that 'Shearer' sent you. That should be enough to gain his allegiance and give the party access to his considerable resources.
The party conclude that the Mayor's suggestion is a good one and decide to retire for the evening. Requiring lodgings and being adventurers of considerable parts, they ask directions to the most expensive inn within's Greyhawk's fair walls. The Clerk of the Mayor suggest they try the 'Golden Dragon Inn', the most expensive inn and eatery in the whole of High Quarter. It is visited by the party and found to require parts even more prodigious than the party can currently muster.
Sir Quentin wouldn't have stayed there anyway, states Pelor confidently, the sheer obscene nature of the place would be a front to him, why he could feed and clothe all Greyhawk's poor with but a week's rent in that place. Thor just smiles and nod, sure sure.
A swift retreat sends the party heading towards the 2nd most expensive inn in Greyhawk named 'The Golden Phoenix'. A opulent hotel and with El Bulli like culinary excellence....Unfortunately, the room rates here also leave some in the party feeling not as well endowed in the 'part' stakes as this hotel requires...therefore, a third quest is launched to find an inn that will reach the parts that others cannot reach (ok I'm done with the part gags now 8-))
See I know my man, continues Pelor, Quentin has his little querks, but deep down there is such a font of goodness within in, he'll eventually make his way to a modest inn somewhere in the poor area, you mark my words...
Thor continues to beam his broken toothed smile.
Finally, the party stumble into the Black Dragon inn, within an area of the City known as 'Clerksburg' due to large number of schools and colleges of higher learning in the vicinity. This seems like the place, good rooms at decent rates, good if unfussy food (no 'Almorian Stuffed Stirge' at this place..pity sighs the Paladin, high above Pelor wincing), a vast and well stocked feasting hall and an amiable owner that lookes and converses like Brian Blessed. The party each book a good room for the night and then head to the Feast Hall to see what information can be gather by the repeated consumption of vegetable based drinks.
Ulric begins as he means to go on and smacks down 3 platinum pieces on the bar and informs everyone within earshot that drinks are on him. A resultant stampede to the bar almost tilts the 3 story building over. Beer is drunk, food is eaten and gentle inquiries are made concerning the Rhenee River folk, the Iuzian ambassador, and where 'entertainment' for the night can be sort.
The Sense of an Ending
6 months ago