On there leisurely walk to the River Quarter Meet, several in the the party notice that their being followed, also, their tails are pretty good. A quick discussion leads to Korbin Shortshanks, drawing his elven clock around him and then pealing off at a busy intersection to lay low within the shadows.
He spies the dude following the party, a Rhenee by this clothing, the hooded fellow walks past Korbin's location but doesn't appear to notice the small halfling hidden in the shade of an alleyway. The Rhenne dude remains doggedly in the wake of the rest of the party. Korbin Shortshanks emerges from the gloom and stealthy follows in his footsteps.
The party enter the River Quarter and head down an thoroughfare known locally as 'the Strip'. This area encompasses a vast array of taverns and drinking establishments, dingy eateries, a multitude of entertainments are on offer (both above and below board) and it is the gathering place in Greyhawk for budding adventures...A man could lose his soul in a place like this, warns Brother Kelly...the party then catch the Paladin looking at a flier for the 'Silver Garter Gentleman's Club' with a strange faraway look in his eyes...
Quite, mutters Baron Quentin lowering his gaze.
A peal of thunder rips across the sky, unusual, on such a clear and cloudless day. 8-)
As the group venture further along the Strip, the hustle and bustle on the street increases exponentially and the party soon find themselves buffeted by the throng. They notice large knots of Rhenee folk in the area, seated in Taverns and eateries and in groups chatting on the street but the gypsy folk seem to pay the party no mind, so the players ignore them in return.
Eventually the adventurers locate the alleyway that leads to Tomas Jarek's warehouse. In keeping with tradition on what a hideout for a Master Thief would look like, the passageway is dark, dingy, and has plenty of places where a person or persons could hide (probably with an aimed and loaded crossbow)... the party unconcerned, stride down it boldy and commence conversation with several of Jarek's lackeys outside. They are allowed entrance to a rundown warehouse and told to await the arrival of the Master Thief.
Jarek turns out to a stoutish, balding man of average height, his face is a morass of scars. Initial assessment is of a loutish thug and Tomas's opening unfriendly banter soon underscored this. Even the utterance of the name 'Shearer' fails to cower the man into some form of cooperation.
Any information that the party want from him about the Rhenee will cost them. His price a hefty 5 platinum pieces (which in the new system is a fair chunk of cash 1pp = 100gp).
Ulric surmising the situation could turn ugly and subtlely slips into his 'warrior stance'. He watches further negoiations with feigned indifference, his hand however never straying too far from the haft of his greataxe.
Eventually even he gets bored of the standoff, the gruff Dwarf pulls 5 platinum coins from about his person and tosses them idly onto the floor by Jarek's feet. The Thief's face convulses and a pall falls upon both parties...the stillness is puncuated by the sounds of windows being pushed ajar and crossbow strings pulled tight...
'Looks like we've got a problem with the *lawn ornament* fellas', roars Jarek glowering towards the Dwarf, 'but we can soon solve that'....Ulric tenses and grips his axe, the hands of other party members stray towards scabbarded weapons. In the interlude, Caerendil the Bard (Caerendil the Brave, Caerendil of the Brass Cahunas) walks quietly and purposely over to Jarek, he bends down and
We don't want any trouble, Mr Jarek, now can you get us the information we require?
Still staring hard at the Dwarf, the Master Thief accents with a brief nod. He whispers that they return tonight and he'll have whatever information his sources can find on the halfling disappeances. The party acknowledge this and then back out of the warehouse and up the alleyway as quickly as their legs will allow. They only relax once out in the relative safety of the Strip.
Having time to burn, the party nows split into 2 groups, Starfast, Ulric, the Bard, Keemor decide to pay a visit to the 'River Rat', a tavern popular with the Rhenee in the River Quarter to see if anymore info can be gained. Brother Kelly, the Paladin and Korbin decide to return to the hotel....for some reason?...Anyway the party separate and those stories will also be told...