After the incident on the docks, the group reconvened at the Siren’s Call, and shortly after JD told us about his discovery, we were approached by a rather foppishly dressed invidividual who introduced himself as “The Mongoose.” He informed us that he was a representative of the Longshoremen’s Guild and was aware of our conflict with the Wachowskis. He continued that Igor Wachowski and his gang had become a liability to the Guild, that as a result the Guild wished to end its association with Igor in a very permanent manner, and was willing to provide us with a substantial reward (say, passage by ship to practically anywhere we pleased) if we would eliminate Igor and as many of his underlings as possible. Seeing the opportunity to strike two birds with one stone, we accepted, though we managed to convince The Mongoose to pay us in cash rather than in services.
Once we had taken the job, he told us Wachowski and his men had a habit of gathering weekly in the cellar of a disreputable tavern on the waterfront to play cards, and that the next game would be the following night. This would not only provide us with our best chance of catching them as a group, but more importantly, our best chance of keeping our activity hidden from the city watch. The tavern staff were all in the pay of the Guild, and would assist us in completing the job, but on no account were we allow anyone outside the tavern to notice what we were doing. The Mongoose then took his leave, and we conferred about how to approach the job. After considering several options, and discarding most of them as impractical, we concluded that softening up the opposition by poisoning their drinks was our best bet, after which we would finish off any survivors. As the closest thing to a herbalist in the group, the task of acquiring a poison fell to me. After all too brief a night’s rest, I studied my small pharmacopeia over breakfast, and then set off to market to acquire my components (which set me back a fair amount of money), which I then spent the afternoon mixing. I settled on a mixture consisting of ground nightshade root dissolved in oleander sap, reduced over simmering heat, and finished off with ground grains of paradise, the latter both to mask the flavor and speed the digestion.
We arrived at the tavern perhaps an hour before sundown. Gorbash concealed himself in an empty barrel in the cellar, and the rest of us posed ourselves as regular patrons around the ground floor of the tavern, though all with eyes on the cellar door. Some time after dusk, Wachowski and seven of his cronies arrived and made their way downstairs. The barmaid prepared their first round of ale, into which I introduced generous doses of the poison I had concocted. Then, we settled down to wait; I had calculated that the poison would take half an hour to an hour to take effect. After an hour, nobody had emerged from the cellar, so those of us upstairs went down to see what had happened. The poison had proved more effective than I’d dared to hope: Wachowski and his associates lay dead to a man, and Gorbash was already busily dismembering their corpses and stuffing them into empty barrels for disposal. Having thus quit ourselves of our task without physical violence, we met with The Mongoose and collected our earnings.
Early the following morning, we made our way to the livery stable, where we were to meet the mayor. The previous day, while I had been busy with my mortar and pestle, the others had talked to Mother Shael and the mayor and accepted another task: to take word of the events in Trisk to Duke Borkhold, the ruler of the province, at his castle four days’ ride to the south. The Borkhold family lives in comparative isolation because they are sorcerors. By way of payment, my companions had negotiated riding horses for all of us, along with a mule-drawn cart for our baggage. Speaking of companions, the mayor had an addition for our group: Opirium, a human man in his fifties(?), bearded and dressed in earth tones. The mayor thought we’d want to have him along for his specialized wilderness knowledge. Perhaps, but I hope he’s handy with the scimitar he wears.