Fantastic Tales from the realm

Chapter VII

Mischief and Monday’s mayhem

As the party wearily slunk through the doors of a local tavern, paid for bedding and dropped into unconsciousness, Faehana carefully set his bedroll and deliberately set into a meditative virasana kneel, blanking his pain from the mind and his weariness as he fell into sleep. With abrupt awareness the confines of his accommodation materialised to him once again, the piercing eyes of Kalwala staring intently into his.

‘what is it?’ Faehana whispered as he uncurled from his pose.

‘I need a hand searching the Waterdeep docks,’ she explained plainly.

‘You require me for my maritime heritage then?’ he said with quiet pride.

‘No because you only need four hours sleep and aren’t scared to death like our half-elf,’ she hissed flatly.

Faehana just scowled ‘Fine, but you’re paying for the heaviest mead this place has to offer when we get back,’

‘Fine, just hurry up and follow me,’ the rogue commanded. With deliberate steps, the duo left the tavern and stepped out into the cool spring evening. Constables roamed the streets, lamps in one hand and clubs in the other, the glint of their steel badges and grey tunics proclaiming their arrival.

‘So, what even are we looking for?’ Faehana finally queried as the pair ducked down an alley.

‘We’re looking for privateers, they’ve kidnapped…’ Kalwala considered her words for a moment ‘a professor from the academy, he’s being held hostage and we need to break him out,’

‘But we need to reconnoitre the docks and plan our attack,’ Faehana finished for her, his voice filled with iron determination. The rogue nodded in quick agreement as the two approached the six-foot-high palisade that surrounded the city docks.

’Now if we can get over this palisade, we’ll cut across to the warehouses, you’ll look for the academic there and I’ll look for their ship on the docks,’ Kalwala explained, the duo held their gaze a moment, agreement flashing between them as they each threw themselves up and over the palisade. The sage flourished over the wooden divider in a flash of cloth and skin, the tread of his boots muffled by the embrace of his robes as he rolled into the cover of a cluster of crates. An instant later the rogue leapt over, her fluid motion interrupted by the subtle catch of her skirt, the palisade throwing her gracious leap into a psychotic spiral, the hard crack of stone against soft oiled leather echoing out. A howl of orders and questions called in reply to the noise as a constable lifted their lamp and left the safety of the watch house to investigate the disturbance. The constable carried a club, its spiked tips scraping across the stones as they advanced. Silently rolling to her feet, Kalwala ducked into the embrace of a corner's shadow as the constable cast his lamp across the night. The beam of light moved across the dock like a wave.

’Ain’t nobodies ‘ere!’ boomed the constable back to the watch house as the choppy seas spat sea spray against the watchman’s tunic ‘Youse just enjoyin’ watchin’ me freeze to death out ‘ere! I swears!’ the constable hissed as we walked back to the watch house. Kalwala felt relief as she inspected her right shoulder pad for tear. The two intruders joined back up on the edge of the warehouse, Kalwala edging around a stack of crates, her thieves mask sharp in the full moon's light. Faehana recoiled at the skull clad figure, his academics nerves getting the better of him. Kalwala sighed.

’So, you can fireball a necromancer while surrounded by the undead but a Tiefling in a skulls mask scares you. If I’d known your academic ‘proclivity’ was such a worry I would’ve corrected that before we left,’ the rogue mused.

‘It’s not my fault I’ve no expertise in such uncouth behaviours,’ he said indignantly.

‘That might be a scalding remark if I knew what uncouth meant,’ she said with a knowing smile. Faehana just smouldered.

‘Just go find your ship I’ll keep an eye out here in-case anyone comes looking,’ at this it was the rogues turn to balk.

‘Now, wait a minute we agreed-’ Kalwala began to protest.

‘That was before you blundered your way over the palisade. This is the entry point to the docks, I can control where and how constables go from here and once you get back we’ll search the warehouse together so one of us can back the other up if we get in trouble,’ he explained, his voice firm with authority. Kalwala just sighed before agreeing and slipping off into the night.

++++

Kalwala slipped through the gated divide that organised the docks into its administration and its wharf. Hundreds of boats and ships were moored along the coast of Waterdeep, their crews sleeping in silence as the waves crashed against the shore. Sloops, schooners and carracks were docked all along the wharf, masts up and moorings tight. Kalwala, dashed from hull to hull, climbed along lips and swung from mooring lines, dodging city watch patrols as she searched for the false flag she’d been instructed to look for, the flag of the privateers Wraith of the Inner Sea. She searched the wharf for some five hours until she finally stumbled upon a broad hulled galley, flying the black-crowned and red backgrounded flag of the Wraiths. To the common observer these two facts, the type of ship and the flag would have caused no confusion. But to those within the privateering business. It would’ve been plain as day. The Wraiths never sailed galleys, instead, they exclusively crewed dromond class warships, a class similar albeit distinct from galleys. Kalwala, gritted her fangs as she prepared to board the craft before ducking back into the crook of the bow, as a lookout made their rounds along the ship’s forecastle. Peaking back out from her hiding place she saw the glint of the early morning sun. It was near dawn and her movements through the wharf would soon become impossible to hide, lacking the cover of night and the minimal prying eyes afforded by the evening. With a mental sigh, she slipped from her cover, memorised the ship's position and headed back towards the administration buildings.

++++

Faehana shook with a start as Kalwala reappeared after hours of searching the wharf, a choke of air stumbling from his lips as he recovered from his startle.

‘You find the academic?’

‘No, the sun was rising, didn’t have enough time,’ Kalwala admitted.

‘So, is it still wise to search the warehouse then?’ Faehana inquired, serious tones creeping into his voice.

‘Yes, I think so. It leads straight out into the main town, so we’ll be able to make our exit quickly and without difficulty,’ the rogue replied as a wash of light from a watchwoman's lamp illuminated their cover. Faehana quickly found thicker cover but Kalwala, worn from her evening inspection, seized up from exhaustion and was caught in the lights stare.

’Oi! You! You aren’t supposed to be ‘ere!’ the watchwoman declared, the constable’s grey robes fluttering as she picked up her pace, club lifted off her shoulder. An instant later a pulse of energy rushed through the woman, braided hair frizzing as she collapsed to the ground, convulsing as she did. In a single motion, Kalwala intercepted the woman’s fall and caught her tumbling club. Her eyes widened with excitement.

‘We don’t need to leave. We can just disguise ourselves as city watch and keep exploring,’ she said with an intense stare.

‘Ignoring the legal implications of impersonating an officer of the law, wouldn’t the watchmen here know their own? Wouldn’t a Tiefling or an Elf stand out?’ Faehana retorted.

Kalwala frowned in frustrated concentration before sighing ‘you’re right, let’s get out of here and inform the others but we will need this uniform to slip through the checkpoint,’

This time it was Farhana’s turn to sigh ‘And I’ll have to wear the uniform,’ he said sourly, knowing her next thought.

Kalwala grinned at that ‘You know me so well because it couldn’t be true clairvoyance, that’s divination, not evocation,’ she said wryly as the wizard slipped the constables cloak over his robs and tucked the custodian helmet atop his head. With that the pair slipped through the warehouse and out through a side gate, brushing through the chain of dockworkers, relief watchmen and sailors arriving for the day's labour.

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