How [not] to negotiate with a gangster

At the monastery Tiagra pursues his studies in poison lore. As part of his musing he wonders what will happen if he places a vial into the compartment of the altar. With Crannoch’s permission he places a vial in the altar asking for it to be blessed for Athiss’ purpose. The following day the poison is still there and Tiagra is unaware if any change has been wrought. Meanwhile, Pidmerion tries to understand the magic in the items they took from their assailants. The assassins had excellent quality weapons and armour that they sold in Sendat. However, Tal-Lorren had a number of items which suggest magical properties. He was wearing a golden torc which Pidmerion states is for protection purposes. He cannot determine the nature of a sapphire ring, a plain ring and a pair of leather bracers.  The friends distribute the items amongst themselves. Vestorius takes the plain band and the golden torc, Pidmerion the sapphire ring and Crannoch the leather bracers.

Crannock soaks the obsidian cylinder in blood and it gains extraordinary mass again. This time he introduces it to the book ‘the life immortal’ and the bindings snap open. Carefully and respectfully the party crowd round in anticipation of something profound. Unfortunately, the book states in incontrovertible terms that this is impossible. There are long boring chapters on legacy and how that can provide a form of immortality. Then there is a chapter on living a moral life and healthy eating. There is a chapter on bargaining with creatures from lower planes of existence, but that these almost always end in disaster. Disappointed, Crannock turns to the back of the book where he finds reference to the apple brandy brewed by the monks. It is here that interest is found and when the pages are dampened by some of the liqueur, writing magically appears on the pages following. These pages state that there is an elixir and that the liqueur is the first element in its production. The next ingredient is the stamen of a plant named Onan. None of the men know of this plant but Shyren tells them that it is found growing in southern more arid regions. They decide that this can await their attention and that matters in the town require further investigation, especially Tulem’s interest in the apple brandy.

The group prepare to close the monastery and to ship some of the brandy down to Sendat. Pidmerion makes a tunnel from the ground floor to a covert place a little space down from the lake and seals this with a thin layer of worked stone using the power of the earth rune. They seal the monastery as well as they can and head off down the lake. The trip down the lake is peaceful and they arrive in the town mid afternoon the following day. They decide to use Shyren’s house as their base while they go about errands. Crannoch goes to the nine bells bar to see his contacts, particularly Rayaki, who is pleased to see him and enquires as to the successful conclusion of their business with Tal-Lorren.

The party reconvene at Shyren’s house and discuss what they should do with their supply of apple liqueur. Someone suggests that they should offer it to a single hotel or merchant as an exclusive deal thus allowing them to charge a premium by restricting the supply. It is agreed and the group head to an expensive looking hostelry called the King’s Men where they meet the proprietor Hilas. He is a portly man in his forties who while he looks like he enjoys the finer things in life has a keen eye for a business opportunity. He listens to the party’s offer and asks a few pertinent questions about how much liqueur they can supply and that they guarantee exclusivity. It is then that price is brought up. The party know that the liqueur is sought after and that it is expensive to buy at retail prices. They suggest a price of 500 silver a barrel and to their surprise and consternation Hilas agrees immediately, the implication is that they might have started the negotiations too low.

Later the party find themselves in the Queen’s Head hotel at a table close to Tulem’s. He acknowledges them and buys a bottle of the apple brandy. He concludes whatever business he was dealing with and invites the party over to his table. He smiles and offers them some brandy. They accept and question him on whether he likes this vintage. He declares that he has always enjoyed the brandy but it is time to discuss how much tax the party must pay to sell their brandy in Sendat. Tiagra, the barbarian, almost chokes on his drink, while the rest of the group look incredulously at the secretary. He explains calmly that he is in charge of the town’s finances and is the custodian of Naldim’s [the Mayor] interests and as such he is authorised to levy such charges as he sees fit for the for the town’s finances and moral protection. Further the sale of alcohol carries the danger of corrupting the town’s youth and that it would be irresponsible of him not to make sure that the town had the resources to deal with any consequences of drunkenness.

Threats from Tiagra
Vestorius contradicts Tiagra
Tiagra offers more than Vestorius they argue

They leave to renegotiate with Hilas
Followed by 4 people
Tiagra steals a sword from 1
Renegotiation successful return to Tulem
Agree on 225/barrel

Attacked leaving the town by 4 men 2 on rooftops using bows kill the ladies
Vestorius goes upstairs as does Tiagra
Leaving Pid and Crannock