Renegade Project 8: Too Many, Boots, Blades & Kegs

News of betrayal and ambush was too important to risk getting caught. The tiny room you stand in has no quick hiding so although listening longer is tempting, you reluctantly withdraw to your original hiding spot in the hallway. There, you tuck yourself into the shadow and wait.

This time, you aren’t waiting long. Selyna’s cloaked accomplice emerges cautiously, glancing each way down the hallway, and particularly at the other two doorways. The man sighs, his shoulders slumping, and he heads toward you.

Holding your breath, you stay perfectly still and the man shows no reaction as he passes you. Even that close, the shadows protecting you obscure the man’s face too. Well then, it seemed the only good way left to find out more was to follow him.

This time, you keep a little farther distance back. This late at night, anyone wandering the hallways was suspicious. Not to mention that the man was watching for it. The man’s boots – if he is wearing any – must be of soft leather for they hardly make more than a soft brush against the stone. He had either taken them off like you or had some made for sneaking around. If the latter, then either this conspiracy has gone on long enough to merit a special pair made for such occasions, or such intrigue could be more of a lifestyle.

After a while of darting from shadow to shadow, you hear faint voices and other footsteps. Were the servants still cleaning up?

As you peer through the dim torchlight at the mysterious conspirator, you see another person coming the other direction. With your boots in hand even if people are up, you would be the suspicious looking one. So you duck back behind the wall of a branching corridor. After a moment, when no one passes, you peek out again but your target is gone.

You hurry down the hallway, glancing down the different paths but see nothing. There were too many turns and shadows.

You glimpse someone’s shadow vanishing around a bend and hurry after it. The talking grows louder. A man laughs and you hear the shuffle of boots. You decide you might as well check it out so you slip on your boots and head in.

You find yourself back in the great hall that had been used for dinner. Half the torches on the walls still fill the place with dim light as a group of eleven or so men and ten maids lounge in the chairs. Some are even sprawled out on the tables. The room reeks of ale.

Had the cloaked man come in there? Is he one of the men? Possible. Some of them have cloaks and they all have swords. They were probably from the barracks. Would Galen’s arrogant daughter be working with one of them? Again, possible, but certainly not the only option since you could have lost the man entirely.

A couple kegs lay on the floor and one on the table where a giggling maid was filling two mugs. Although the men might have brought them with them, it’s also highly likely that they are from the cellars. A whole keg of ale wasn’t exactly cheap, even on Galen’s pay.

One solider sprawled on a table rolls over and crashes to the floor, toppling the table. The others burst into drunken laughter.

“Hey, look!” Taz’s shout slurs and he climbs to his feet. “There’s the monk! Come on ‘ver here, monk. You gotta try this … stuff.”

What do you do?

Take the chance to play buddy, buddy and hope for information or signs of your mystery man (ie, sober/voice etc.)
Try to gently disband the party before they cause any more harm
Continue  looking for more suspicious characters, and just hope they pass out soon


Voting is Closed.

For those who missed the rules for this game check them out here!

And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1


About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

18 comments on “Renegade Project 8: Too Many, Boots, Blades & Kegs

  1. >>>>Worry about the perimeter and more suspicious characters, and just hope they pass out soon

    I think I must have missed something… what perimeter? Of the hall?

    • sorry, colliding thoughts. Tweaked it to make more sense.

      • “Take the chance to play buddy, buddy and hope for information or signs of your mystery man (ie, sober/voice etc.)”

        You’re in a contained room, not a crowd. There are only 21 other people there, most of whom are either drunk or passed out. I don’t think walking around and looking for more suspicious characters is necessary. You probably have a good view from where you are.

        And, more importantly, all able eyes in the room are now probably on you, thanks to Taz. Assuming the mystery man is in the room, Taz’s outburst probably got his attention. But you don’t want mystery man’s attention, so walking around the room looking for suspicious characters is probably not a good idea (especially since he’s probably attuned to anything suspicious as well). Best thing to do is play along with Taz. Once you sit down, people will stop paying attention to you and think you’re one of the guys. And you’re clever enough to keep Taz entertained while also keeping an eye on the rest of the room.

        It shouldn’t take long to narrow down possible suspects. Then you can act (assuming he’s in there. If he’s not, you’re back to square one, as it were). No need to tip your hand prematurely.

  2. See, this is the part where I would back up and start over with my other choices. *grin*

    After going back and re-reading the old posts to remind myself of what I’m doing, my choice is “continue looking for more suspicious characters.”

    I’m the house guard. I’m not the housekeeper or the butler or whoever should be in charge of these drunken yahoos. I’ve lost my quarry and I’m losing my patience with the whole dysfunctional bunch.

    (but not with you, Ren. This is good, too. You can’t always get what you want…)

    • Yep, you’re the house guard. So it partly comes down to a question of whether you deem this group a security issue (or potential security issue). You are to guard the house and Galen’s holdings. If they are indeed stealing ale from Galen… well, then it comes down to a call on if such theft is big enough to address.

      There really is no “right answer”. And if you want to suggest a different option, put it before the group and we might be able to replace, tweak or add…

      • You’ve got a point with the potential stolen ale and I know for a fact Taz was hired as a caravan guard, WHICH may or may not be leaving in the morning and shouldn’t be going with hung-over guards. I would prefer to tell them to get back to the barracks before I fire the lot (if I have the authority to do that).

        I guess I balk at the word “gently” when applied to “disband.” It says I don’t have the authority to throw the guards out on their ears.

        Not that I want to start a fight in my boss’s dining room. Except I kinda do. But am I good enough to trounce eleven drunken swordsmen? Would be interesting to find out, but hardly profitable.

        I’m also trying to stick with your options. Mostly because I’d prefer a mix of them but that isn’t playing fair, is it?

        My vote stands.

      • You wanna kick out the sodden bunch, I’m game for that. Keep in mind, their contract FORBIDS them to enter the main house. So in terms of authority… well, I’d definitely say you have it in your favor.

        You wanna mix? Tell me what you got in mind.

      • “Try to gently disband the party before they cause any more harm”

        Of course, nothing prevents you from making friendly chat and persuasion, reminding them of their duties tomorrow (as far as anyone else knows they are leaving tomorrow), and gathering intelligence at the same time. You need to at least LOOK like you are doing the publicly known portion of your job description.

  3. I’m with the other two. Theft can be reported later, we need to find Mr. Fancy Shoes.

  4. I don’t like my choices either, Robynn. I need to think on this. 😀

    • lol, well we could go back to the room and demand the full truth from Selyna.

      Or I guess you could ask if anyone has seen the brother… or ask some of the mercs about the brother/sister.

      I’m open to ideas – that’s part of this deal, I’m flexible and willing to let you guys have control. So, anyone got some good suggestions? We could always ask David… he usually has a wealth of them…

  5. Tough call!
    I think you need to deal with the more immediate issue. The guy you were following is gone, and at this point the chances of finding him again are pretty slim. Who knows what corners he disappeared around in this maze-like fortress. Besides, you still have a job to do. Disband–in a non-gentle way–the party and send them all off to their bunks. You’re in a position of authority here, you’re not their friend. Step up and kick them all out, and keep the house in order. After that, you can continue your search for, as Lara put it, Mr. Fancy Shoes. 🙂

  6. Oooh-tough call. But I’m all for him trying to gently persuade the drunks back to their duty and cracking heads if they won’t go willingly.

    I once witnessed this “gentle persuasion” in action when a dorm dad from the boarding school I attended–a former Navy man–approached a group of rowdy, ill-clad, obnoxious sailors (Navy) on holiday and informed them that they would be moving on out of sight or hearing, and leaving that stretch of the beach to a bunch of teenage schoolgirls to enjoy.

    They moved on without any argument at all. And yes, they had been drinking. I’ve wondered ever since what precisely he said to them! He only spoke with them for a few minutes. Whatever it was, he definitely knew their number and how to call it, and they weren’t about to challenge him over it. I believe that our hero could be capable of some of the same.

    And–I think he’d start with Taz. Something to the effect of, “Taz, you may have charge of the caravan’s security when it leaves tomorrow morning. Let’s find a quieter spot to discuss your ideas on that–The rest of you lads; off to your beds. The master won’t spare you in the morning however much your heads are aching. Nor will I. Girls, clean this up.”

    Now, they might want to fuss, but if they make a ruckus, who’s to say the Master himself won’t come to deal with it? And find they’re in the house. It’s not a position of strength for them. I think the maids are likeliest to be the most trouble, since they’re on their own turf and they know that Selyna will take his interfering with them personally. But she isn’t ultimately in charge, and our hero hasn’t joined in the fun, so he’s not complicit in their pilfering, which gives him an upper hand with the maids as well, who’ll be dismissed if the Master learns about this little party.

    I think he should tell the Master about this business at the first opportunity; he should be as honest and direct with the Master as he can whenever possible (since we’ve agreed that ratting out the Master’s kid/s first thing isn’t going to help matters); but he should ask the Master not to act on the information (or at least not yet) because it gives our hero leverage to encourage better behavior.

  7. Avily and Krysti and Seth have excellent points. I won’t mind being voted down by them. Although considering Ren’s so-wonderfully-twisted tale so far, nobody is going quietly or willingly or easily into that “good night.”
    But that’s cool. As long as I know how to use the flat edge of a sword. ‘Course, it’d be funny if I don’t, and I’m all about the funny. hehe!

  8. Okay then, I’m calling the vote! No tie, and Robynn even conceded… So, we’re gonna break up the party and send the sops back to the barracks! We’ll try to be nice, but not taking “no” for an answer.

    Well, the next segment should be eventful… watch for it on Tuesday!

  9. […] to Galen immediately, despite the lateness of the hour. -OR- Get out of there, and plan to report to Galen at the first light of dawn, with an offer to foil the… -OR- Keep listening and pray you don’t get […]

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