The Warning

Episode 18

Down the Viper Hole

With their search for information on Sir Gregori Peck apparently directing them to the syndicate underworld of the Sandwatch, the party seems to be at a loss. None of them is familiar enough with the social fabric of the Sandmaze to easily identify who might have Peck and/or why.

The only apparent option seems to be getting hip-deep in the maze. The meet and leave the safe-zone of Sandwatch proper, the peace-binding ribbons removed from their weapons as they pass beyond the city gates. Their first stop in the Maze is a linens dealer, from whom they purchase a selection of cloaks more appropriate to the roasting, dry winds. They inquire around the marketplace about Peck and his expedition. To their disappointment, the day-to-day struggle for survival in the sandmaze limits how much the locals pay attention to such things as a courtly treasure hunter…particularly if it has anything to do with syndicate business.

Coming-up dry, they decide to stop for a meal at a local cafe. The restaurateur nods them in the direction of the local gang of thugs, and a quick reading by Variel reveals them as likely shake-down criminals. As good a place to start as any. Their newest ally follows the thugs through the winding, twisting, putrid alleys and walks of the Sandmaze as they conduct their brutish business.

Speaking to one of their “protectees” she discovers the name of the local crime lord, and the group decides to pay him a home visit. They arrive at his door mid-morning, finding only his wife and son at home. They pretend to be old associates from the West, and their able to maintain the illusion for over an hour of refreshments before the man they’re looking for returns.

They don’t get much information, but they do pay ten kingmarks for the men to ask around and figure out who has Gregori Peck, where they’re holding him, and they offer a further forty kingmarks if the criminals deliver Peck to them directly. The thugs are given the location the bathhouse near the party’s inn, and it’s to that location the group retires for the day…restlessly waiting….

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