So, after leaving the party, you make your way back to town to the main market square (though not an actual square). On the way, you think of what you’ll be doing for an inn, but decide on just sleeping near the carts…thus not spending any actual time looking for an inn. Good for you.
Now, looking at the note Silas gave you, you know that Calzad should be nearby, it’s just a matter of where. You start asking around to some of the merchants. It only takes about 30 min, due to having to wait for people to take a moment to talk with you, but you are pointed to an area just outside of the bazaar. You are told to go down an alley down the way and take your first left that you find. You can’t miss him, provided he’s there.
You walk down the alley, a few people are walking around but it is far more quiet than the main road. You can still hear the murmurs and calls from the area, but where you are is far different. You walk quietly and find the first left, another long alley that goes between buildings. Ahead you see blankets and tarps hung between them to make a roof. Under them is what you would guess is a merchant tent, but it’s unlike most you’ve seen before.
The area is clean, but nothing is on display. There are items of all kinds laying around and boxes with what you could guess would be goods of some kind, but there does not seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. Some items have layers of dust on them while others look brand new. In one corner you see about 12 bolts of random cloth stacked together, in another, a barrel with poles and quarterstaves in disarray. The area smells of incense and other sundries. There is a desk against one of the buildings and a dwarf sits on a tall chair, looking over some papers. He doesn’t seem to pay attention to you coming close.
I walk up to him and say ‘Hello, Slias from Ravengro said you might be able to help us out in a jam. I’m Timothy and I am a traveler and kind of merchant and I’m looking to hire the services of an exceptional investigator or someone who knows the city inside and out. I’d be willing to pay you gold for assistance finding one, but I also have a merchant cart full of goods and I’d be willing to offer you some for free or at a heavily reduced price depending on what it is.’
The dwarf slowly turns in his chair, a set of glasses sitting on his nose. I says nothing as his arm moves onto the back of the chair but his eyes take you in. He lets you finish speaking and continues to say nothing.
Finally he gets up from his chair and takes off his glasses. He slowly cleans them with his shirt then puts them back into place. When he speaks, the words are strong and precise. “That is a lot to take in son and you are rather trusting to just tell me all of that information. If I were to to want to, I could have you followed in order to steal everything from your ‘cart full of goods’.”
He lets you think about that a moment before talking again. “You said Silas sent you? Do you have proof of that?” He slowly walks to another counter, taking a glass from a small shelf and pours himself a drink from a pot, the steam coming off of it right away.
Silas said that you were trustworthy, and he did give me this note, but you are right and I should be more cautious.’
I set the note down on the table in front of him.
‘I apologize for being so abrupt with my introduction also. I didn’t mean to offend. It is only that I must find the owner of a set of tools before the morning after next.’
The dwarf sips from his cup as he takes the note. He looks it over and gives a huff as he walks back to his desk.
“I trust Silas is doing well. He didn’t steal from you did he?” He grabs a few papers on his desk and looks over them slowly as he talks.
‘Not literally of course, but he certainly has a way with words. No doubt he got the better end of our dealings, but he was entertaining and certainly capable. At the end of the day, if he needed help or a favor, I wouldn’t think twice about helping him out.’
The dwarf listens to you then nods. “Good.”
He puts his papers down again and looks to you directly, everything about him is very matter of fact. “Now, what can I help you with?”
I pull out the surgical tool and set it on the table.
‘I’m trying to find the owner of this tool. I suspect he or she has committed serious crimes. So far, I know they were sold 18 months ago by Zablor and Sons. I also know that they sold them to Vladka Costel. I need help finding someone that knows the city intimately that can help me find Vladka. I suppose if she sold them to another, I’d need help finding that person also.’
Calzad takes the tool in his hand and readjusts his glasses. He runs his fingers over the tool, turning it around and then finally looking at the makers mark as you pointed out. He nods and then thinks for a moment.
“Vladka works for Ledov’s Chirurgery Merchants. Ollo Klud is the Auction Master over there. If you need additional help, we’ll need to start talking about a fee.” His voice is very business like. “I have more than a few resources that can help you, I just need to know what you’re offering.”
As you talk, a small child comes from the back of the ‘tent’. He sees you there talking and freezes in his spot, waiting. Calzad spots him after speaking to you, putting up a hand in motion to ask you to wait and walks over to the boy. The boy speaks quietly (in Dwarven if you can hear it). Calzad goes back to his desk, looking through some papers, writes something down. He folds it, drops some gold wax on it, and presses his ring to it. He hands it back to the boy and he runs off. He then goes back to you, “Sorry about that, business to run.”
‘First, thank you for the information. Second, I need the best and fastest resources available. I’d be willing to pay you in trade goods, masterwork weapons and armor, or regular gold and gems. I’d go talk to Ollo Klud myself, but it’s no secret that I’m more comfortable in the country with animals than talking with city folk. How much would it cost to hire you and the services of your retainers?’
He thinks a moment and nods. “I would be willing to help for 20g for the rest of the day. If we need to work tomorrow, perhaps we can work out a trade of goods. You will need to give me a half hour to get a couple of things working on their own before we can go. If you want someone a bit cheaper, I can find someone for you within the hour. I would guess their fee would run 3 gold for the rest of the day.”
I breathe a sigh of relief. ‘Thank you! Because time is an issue and in case it takes a few greased palms, I’m willing to pay extra AND pay for tomorrow.’
I take a 100gp gem (from the judge originally) out of my coin pouch and place it on the table in front of him.
‘Do you need me to come with you, or would you and your agents prefer to work on their own?’
Calzad takes the gem, opens a small cubby and pulls out an eye piece. He examines the gem and nods, placing it in a pocket on his vest.
“You are more than welcome to travel with me if you wish, you do not need to. Believe me, you will not be in my way. It’s a matter if you wish to have first-hand knowledge of what we’re doing or not.”
With that, he gives a sharp whistle. A young girl comes from the same area the small boy came from. She comes in and stands in roughly the same spot. He speaks again to her in dwarven. The girl nods and responds. Her words are very broken. Calzad has to repeat himself a couple of times and the girl repeats herself a few times. Calzad seems to be patient, but the tone is still very curt. Finally the girl scurries off.
“Give me some time, I will be with you in a bit. Would you like something to drink? You can sit over there if you wish to wait, or come back within the half hour.” He points to a small set of three chairs. Each different from the other. One quite plus but showing it’s years, another new and uncomfortable looking, and the last simple and well used.
‘Thank you for your offer. I will come with you for a while, but will leave if you decide I am a nuisance. I will have a bit to drink while I wait, so thank you again.’
I pour myself a warm drink, sit in the simple and well used chair and try to relax.
You speak with Calzad and negotiate terms (as well as a couple of interruptions and his time getting things in order). Before he’s free to go, at least 2 other street urchins are called on and given letters. Finally he grabs a small pack and throws it over his shoulder ready to go.
The two of you set out for the Ledov’s Chirurgery Merchants. It’s down by the courthouse, so it takes you both a bit to get there. The crowd continues to be think, the burning man outside the courthouse continues to get more and more wood. People don’t seem overly swayed by the first day of the trial. If anything more energetic because it’s actually started.
The two of you walk in and find the woman in question, Vladka. Calzad seems to be at least aware of her and the two make some general talk. Finally the tools come up in conversation. She isn’t sure who exactly won that auction, but she does remember that they word an unusual high hat and green-tinted reading glasses. Calzad presses her a bit more but she insists she doesn’t remember anything more.
The two of you then walk through the auction house and find Ollo Klud, the Auction House owner. He’s balding with small tufts of hair above his ears. His clothes fine and his demeanor much that he is the king of this roost.
Once again, Calzad seems to have at least a base knowledge of the guy. The two of them talk, Ollo speaking in a fairly lively way whereas Calzad keeps his conversation quite directed. Calzad asks about the item. Ollo does remember the item but refuses to give his sources. Calzad seems a bit frustrated by it, but continues the conversation. They talk a bit longer, the conversation steering to the odd people of town. At one point Calzad mentions something about green tinted glasses with and odd hat and Ollo without missing a beat says “Oh yes, you must be talking about Radniche!” There is a boisterous laugh. Calzad drops the act, curtly says thanks and pulls you out the door.
Calzad mumbles something about people not doing business straight but continues down the way, back to the Surgeons’ Flats. (back for you that is).
You find yourself in front of an odd shop. The building in general is in serious disrepair. The two of you enter the shop. There is one wall lined with jars of various sizes holding a wide assortment of things floating in liquids of all kinds. There are a couple of skeletons hanging in another section. In the middle of the room are shelves holding curiosities. Behind the counter is a gaunt man, green spectacled reading glasses on his nose. Calzad and him talk, the man just oozes sleeze. Calzad asks about the tool, but Radniche doges his words saying how business has been slow. Calzad gruffs and promises that he will send at least a dozen people to his shop in the next week. Radniche’s eyes light up. He mentions that the man who purchased them is a striking fellow, very dapper in black from head to toe. He doesn’t know who it is exactly but knows that he owns a chymic works somewhere nearby.
Not wanting to spend any more time in the shop, Calzad turns and leaves. He breathes a bit easier once outside the shop, looks around and goes to the main streets. With determination in his eyes, he starts to talk with people of the area. The two of you walk the street, getting information where you can. The late night is acting against you, but eventually, two hours later, you find that the person in question is Master Vorkstag, of Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works.
The two of you go down to where you’re directed to and find the sign outside of Vorkstag and Grine’s Chymic Works. The building is a large two story brick factory. There are large leaded windows on the outside of the walls. Atop the building is a large smokestack billowing out clouds of yellow smoke. There is also a small tower with a lightening rod atop of it. The front area is a small courtyard, but there is a large iron gate just below the sign. You can see a little of the courtyard, but much of it is hidden by the gate and fencing. The gate is currently locked with a thick chain and lock.
Calzad puts his hand on the gate, pulls it once then turns back to you. His eyes watch you a second then he holds his hand out. “Ok son, I stop at possible B&E. I’m going back to my shop. If you need me, you know where to find me.” He shakes your hand and starts walking down the street back to his ‘home’.
Finishing Time: 10:05pm