"So who wants to go drag them out of that room before we have to wait half the night?" Telrann asked several minutes after Eldryn had joined the rest of the party and told them Telvain had wanted a few minutes in private with his wife.
"Yer his brother you do it. Besides I don't think she's completely forgiven me for that prank of yers."
"You're wrong I have forgiven but I haven't yet forgotten. Next time Telrann gives you the room key and tells you which room is yours knock anyway." Brynashae laughed as she and Telvain joined the others in the taproom of the inn. "Are we ready? Telvain contacted Kanek, that's why we took so long. He and his men need half an hour to get into position."
"We're ready but I thought he'd only need twenty minutes?" Telrann complained as he made his way to the back door out of the inn.
"Yes well apparently he was wrong about that." Telrann still looked annoyed but seemed satisfied with his brothers explanation. "So brave warriors do we have a plan of attack or is it the usual break down the door and charge right in? So long we don't burn down any nearby buildings the watch is content to let us handle it our way."
"I'm thinking we could use more information on what we will be up against in there." Eldryn normally let Telvain make the decisions but when combat loomed the old man would step up and take charge. Telvain knew that the priest probably had more combat experience than any of the others besides himself and Torgadden so he deferred to the man. "Telvain, Lyna can you get us anything while we wait for the guards?"
"I don't know about Lyna but I'll get nothing on my end. The thieves must have grown very tired of wizards snooping to have wards like that put up. The only reason I even know Bel'shyr is in there is the fact that the tracker hasn't been dispelled."
"I don't know how much I can find out in time but I'll have a look. Telvain, would do the honors? I'm feeling a little… visible."
"Sure give me a moment." With that he began to cast to a spell render his comrade invisible for a short time.
"Remember scouting only Lyna, no knocking out lookouts unless you have to. They know we're coming but they don't know when yet, I'd like to keep it that way."
"Yes sir, right away, sir." The thief responded sarcastically with a mock salute that she knew the priest couldn't see.
Telvain stopped her before she had a chance to move. "Wait a moment. I have an idea, how do you feel about taking Telrann with you and grabbing one of their lookouts?"
Hearing this Telrann joined the conversation. "I like it but how do you propose we do it? I'm not very good at being stealthy."
"I'm thinking spell of silence and improved invisibility. You still have that scroll I left you? I'll cast silence and you use that for the invisibility."
"Alright Eldryn what do you think? Does my brothers harebrained scheme hold any merit?"
"It cant hurt since they already know we're coming, just be quick about it." Hearing this the brothers began their castings, with Telvain making sure to wait until Telrann was nearly finished to make sure not to interfere with his reading of the scroll.
"Eldryn you want to ask nicely or am I using the circlet?" Seeing his companions look of displeasure at the mention of the Circlet of Compulsion the elven wizard breathed a sigh of relief. "Good you know I hate using that thing. Always feel dirty after I use it. Well why don't we wait with the others back inside?" With that the two went back in to wait for their comrades return.
Meanwhile, crossing the square between the inn and the thieves guild, Telrann had realized the obvious problem in their hasty plan. Namely, how in the hells did his brother expect him to follow the invisible thief across the square to the same point on the large building and then knock out and abduct a lookout with no way of communicating with his partner? Fortunately Lyna, much more used to skulking than the paladin already had a solution. Discerning where the paladin was based on the slight disturbances in the puddles on the road she got next to him and whispered her plan.
"Telrann, I'm going to climb to the roof of that seamstress' shop next to the guild hall and see if I cant find any volunteers for your brother and El. Wait for me by that water barrel in the alley between the buildings and ill get you when I have a candidate in mind, okay? Umm… shift your feet if you agree, hold still if you object." Seeing several ripples form in the puddle the half-elven paladin was standing in she smiled to herself and continued "Alright get moving I'll be there in a couple of minutes."
Moving around the back of the two story seamstress shop she went to a ladder some workers had conveniently left against the building next to a stack of tiles that were waiting to be put on the roof. Happy to not have to waste time free-climbing she made her way up the ladder to survey the guild hall. Reaching the top of the ladder she was pleasantly surprised to find a man laying on the roof of the shop while watching the inn her companions had been staying in and the alleys around him. Thinking quickly she looked around to see if there were any other lookouts on nearby rooftops other than the guild itself. Seeing none she quietly made her way back down the ladder and to her companion.
Reaching the water barrel she told her companion what she had found in a hurried whisper. Once she related what she had found she came up with a plan. Getting his agreement with the same communication method from earlier she made her way to the opposite side of the building while he made his way to the ladder. At a count of thirty she made several large splash in a puddle right below the edge of the roof to get the lookouts attention so he wouldn't notice any movements or sounds from her armored companion climbing the ladder behind him. Reaching the top of the ladder Telrann saw the thief give up on locating the source of the sounds and relax back into his position and begin complaining to himself.
"Mask and Beshaba curse that bloody drow. Rolls right in and starts making demands, who the hells does he think he is? And now poor Kral gets to sit out here in the gods blasted rain. And why? Its not like there's a better view from here than in the damned gui-" THUNK. The hilt of a short sword hitting the back of his head made 'poor' Kral's day suddenly get much worse, although he wasn't aware of the cause only of a sudden pain before he lost consciousness an instant later. Grabbing the thief before he had a chance to fall and dislodge any tiles or worse fall of the roof himself, Telrann lifted the skinny little man and carefully made his way back to the ladder and down it. Telrann was suddenly glad he had left his shield and bastard sword with his brother since it would have been quite awkward to carry the thief down the ladder with them still strapped to his back.
Waiting invisibly a few feet from the bottom of the ladder Lyna saw the apparently floating thief stop and, assuming Telrann was waiting for her told him to shift his cloak so it would cover the thief and make sneaking back to the inn much easier. "You'd swear this was the first time you'd ever done this, Tel. Alright lets hurry back now no time to waste." Seeing small ripples starting to form a path around the shop and back to the inn she followed and hoped the rest of the night would go as smoothly.
A few minutes later Torgadden watched as the back door the inn opened for a few seconds then closed on its own with no one going near it. Figuring that it was his companions returning he addressed the empty room "Lyna if it be you and Tel then get yourselves up to the common room. Eldryn figured it'd be easier if we just rented the whole room rather than sharing it with strangers that we probably cant trust."
Lyna's voice came from the other side of the dwarf's table as the still invisible thief responded. "That makes things easier. I didn't think we should talk to the new friend that Tel is carrying in the taproom. Are the others there already?" Seeing him nod she continued "Good, shuffle the cards, Tel and I will probably be back down once we are visible and he can talk." As she spoke the origin of her voice retreated towards the stairs in the corner of the large taproom.
Hearing two sets of feet begin climbing the stairs he called out to them "First door on the right." Hearing her affirmative he got out his battered deck of cards and began shuffling them while he resumed his watch.
In the common room Brynashae, Telvain and Eldryn had just finished preparing to question whoever Lyna and Telrann captured when they heard a knock on the door. Looking through the peephole to see nothing Telvain called out "Who's there?"
An immediate response sounded in the form of someone kicking the door followed by the sound of Lyna laughing and response "Its us 'Vain open up. I think your brother is getting impatient again." Another kicked hit the door before Telvain could open it.
"I noticed that Lyna" Telvain stood to the side until he felt two people pass him and then shut the door. "That was quick do you want me to dispel the invisibility now or let it wear off on its own?" he asked as he canceled the spell of silence on Telrann.
"First tell me where you want our guest then dispel me. I don't think bathing is very high on this guys priorities." Seeing the chair they had prepared for their guest in the corner with one of their tents laid flat under it, covering the floor for several feet in each direction. He grunted then unceremoniously dropped his cargo into the chair "So that's how you're doing it? And I see Bryn already has her tools out." On an end table just off the tent was a collection sharp and shiny scalpels along with several sets of tongs, needles, a hammer, bonesaw and other intimidating looking tools. Noticing that the captured thief woken up while Bryn had finished tying him to the chair and was only pretending to still be unconscious he returned to his brother and in a loud voice said "Alright hurry up I wanna get out of here before she starts. Its bad enough that I have to clean up afterwards I'm not watching again. By Mystra was that ever a mistake. I could barely eat for a few days after that orc outside Felbarr." As he faded back into view he turned to his sister-in-law (who was now putting on a dark smock that was stained with blood in several places and covered the front of her clothing) and, now facing away from the terrified thief, shot her a wink and continued "Please keep him in one piece priestess. It does make my job far easier when I don't have to find all the pieces before dumping the body in the river. Eldryn, Telvain I'm trusting that you two will please stop her this time if she gets the information out of him? Not like that last one."
Seeing his brother's ruse Telvain played along "Okay I will try but I do love when my dear wife is enjoying herself. You know I cant stand to stop her play."
"Ugh 'Vain this is why I cant leave you two alone with a prisoner. Eldryn I trust that you will control them? And make sure that the questions even get asked this time?"
"Do not worry too much. Torm teaches that while some pain is deserved by those who survive by hurting others it should not be undue or done for merely sake of inflicting pain. I will make sure that he is only harmed as much as is necessary to get him talking."
Pretending to notice that her captive had awakened Bryn menacingly approached the bound thief while chanting in a low voice. In truth it was a simple spell to discern falsehood but it would also help to scare their captive. Reaching him she grabbed the struggling thief's chin and addressed him "Did you hear that little thief? I hope you will resist for a long time. You will speak eventually but my mistress will enjoy the show before you break. I get so few opportunities to do this that I have to make every one special for Her amusement otherwise I could fall out of Her favor and we cant have that now can we?" As she spoke she returned to the end table and caressed the surgical implements lovingly as if remembering many long 'tributes' to whatever dark goddess she supposedly served. They had found through experience that being vague and allowing the captive to imagine uses for those objects was usually far more effective than actually using them. Picking up a scalpel she began to approach the captive with a malevolent grin before being interrupted by Eldryn who beat her to him and looked at her sternly.
"Brynashae! You know you're supposed to be interrogating him not simply torturing him right? You're about to start cutting and you haven't even asked him anything yet! You're goddess will get her amusement when we capture Bel'shyr, I have already promised you that; but I will not stand by and watch while you carve up others unnecessarily. Let me speak with him then, if he still refuses to cooperate then we will take you're approach. That was the agreement, remember?" As the priestess stalked away, staring daggers at poor Kral, the stern priest turned to the captive who had to this point remained mostly silent aside from a few terrified moans and a sigh of relief as the drow priestess returned to her husbands side one the other side of the room. "Now then thief, my superior's agreement with the priestess is simple: if any criminal we capture refuses to cooperate with me and aid us in the capture of the assassin Bel'shyr then the priestess and her sorcerer husband use their methods to make you cooperate. Do you understand? I do not like it but I am bound by my oath to keep you alive through that process for as long as possible. She is very good at what she does and I promise that you will talk long before we run out of healing spells to keep you alive. The alternative is far more pleas tent for everyone but those two. If you tell us what we want to know then tomorrow morning you have my word as a priest of Torm that you will be released from our custody and that I will prevent Brynashae from involving you in any of her rituals. Now you have a decision to make: will you tell me what we want to know or will you tell her what we want to know?"
Seeing that the terrified thief still looked reluctant to sell out his comrades Bryn turned to her husband "Better put up the privacy spells, my love. I have had far too many interruptions already and I would be most displeased if the innkeeper came to check who the screaming was coming from."
"Of course Bryn give me a moment then you can play in relative peace." smiling at the terrified Kral, Tel became chanting gibberish waving his hands about as if casting a rather complex spell. When he had 'finished' he returned to the bed they had been sitting on and watched as his wife approached the thief, picking the same scalpel from earlier back up on the way past the end table.
She had almost reached the increasingly frantic thief when the man broke. "I'll talk, I'll talk just keep her the hell away from me! Please priest, you promised to protect me from her, you promised." At this priest moved to put himself between the sobbing man and genuinely disappointed looking drow. "What do you want to know? I'll tell you anything I know, I promise."
"You heard him Brynashae, if you must stay then sit with your husband and do not approach the prisoner unless I tell you that you may. Now then thief, before I start asking you the important questions, know that the priestess has activated a spell that will tell her if you lie or try to conceal something. If you try to hide things then you obviously do not intend to cooperate with me. As much pain as you're dishonesty will cause me, it will cause you a great deal more so answer my questions honestly and completely. We will start with a simple question: what is your name?"
"Its Kral and I wont lie, I promise."
At this Bryn scoffed "As if we can believe him. Only pain will reveal the truth."
"I have warned you before, priestess, once they have submitted to me for protection and they are cooperating then you have no claim on a prisoner. Is. That. Understood?" Turned away from Kral he gave Bryn a small smile at her ability to play a role so well while she detested it so much. Continuing to speak he turned back to Kral "Now either be silent unless he actually conceals something. Now that will stop interrupting us for a while, let us continue. How many men does the guild have defending Bel'shyr and how determined are they?" With this the interrogation continued for the rest of time until Captain Kanek arrived to report that his men were in position.
Once they had concluded and got all the information that they had wanted Bryn stood up and began to approach the thief. Kral, who had begun to relax during the last twenty minutes, suddenly began to panic again at her approach. Seeing his reaction she simply rolled her eyes, laughed and pulled out her holy symbol. "Be calm. Do you really think a paladin of Mystra and a priest of Torm would travel with an evil priestess? My mistress Eilistraee most likely did enjoy the play though, so I thank you for that. I'm simply going to put you to sleep and then we will hand you over to the watch, who will release you in the morning. Before I do though, I have one last question for you."
The spluttering thief could barely speak because he was sobbing in relief "What, what is it?"
"What goddess did you think I served? I only ask because our companions will probably be wagering about it downstairs." With this the confused and relieved thief managed to choke out a response of Loviatar. Slightly smiling the priestess then put some of her power into her voice and commanded him to sleep.
As the companions made their way to the taproom where Lyna, Torgadden and Telrann waited with Guard-Captain Kanek they discussed what they had learned and began discussing a plan. Just as they reached the bottom of the stairs however, Telvain staggered and and his eyes suddenly went blank.
Alright I'm already working on ch3 but I'm thinking about waitting for some reviews before finishing it. Should be out in a day or two either way.