Blood and Steam
Balthier Entry 2
I thought it would feel good to get back to town – no matter what a shithole Corvis is – in comparison to tromping around the bleak landscape that serves as its environs. Of course, I didn’t know the Skirt was gonna be there, having been sent by our “superiors” in the Leatherskin Irregulars to check up on us. Seems we forgot to report in by carrier pigeon, and only then did I remember that Der had eaten the fucking pigeon.
Ah, the Skirt. Or more commonly “Kayline”. Her appearance has got to be the most honest one for any woman ever. She literally looks like a demon, which is a poignant commentary on the so-called “fairer” sex. The use of fair in that sobriquet is clearly intended to be defined as “pretty” rather than “without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage”. Long story short – bitches be shady.
Once we had brought her up to speed on the job so far, she joined us at the priest’s house for dinner. We told him what we had learned and Aleks restrained me from calling the clearly-evil niece out for lack of actual hard evidence to condemn her in this witchery. The priest offered us places to sleep in the church, and since we’d worked hard for the money we’d made, it seemed a shame to waste it on alternative accommodations.
Especially after we got rolled by a “tax collector” name of Carvie Daversack to the tune of ten gold apiece. Didn’t want to pay up, but I didn’t want to risk a night in the hoosegow if his claim turned out to be legit. The Technophile noted a symbol on Sack-boy’s pouch that indicated allegiance with one of the crime families known to (unofficially) run the city. Needless to say (but I’ma say it anyway), I went to bed pissed off.
. . .
Next day, we were wandering the streets when that fool trigga got his pocket picked by some kid who had a symbol matching Sack-boy’s on his person. We gave chase, even when the brat entered the damned sewers. We followed him for a long way, staying out of the filth as much as possible, which wasn’t nearly as often as I would have liked. We passed some other sewer travelers on the way and they started chasing us! What’s wrong with this city?
I finally got tired of running, so I shot the boy in the leg. Predictably, he fell over, but that pause allowed our pursuers the chance to catch up. The battle with these rival gangsters was brief but satisfying, since we got to kill without necessarily suffering the consequences for our murdering. Once they’d fallen or fled, we woke up the brat and demanded he tell us everything he knew about Carvie Daversack.
Apparently, Sack-boy was on the outs with the Family, and he was trying to collect enough cash to pay off a significant debt. I’d have no problem with that if he wasn’t trying to it with my money. Fuck. That. After asking a guardsman the penalty for impersonating a tax collector – and learning that we could collect a thirty gold piece reward for turning one in – the kid led us to the house where Carvie was squatting, a real pit from the outside. We gave him to our goblin lackey Bork to watch while we paid our friendly “tax” man a visit.
The house was nicer on the inside, and the lower floor was unoccupied. We saw a couple of traps and avoided them, but then Aleks decided to set one off near the foot of the stairs which caused an alarm to sound. Heavy footsteps sounded from upstairs and before we knew it, we were hip deep in Sack-boy’s dead goons. Him we knocked out, then woke up so Der could break his arms in support of our story that he had “fallen down”.
We collected our reward and then Der and Aleks purchased the deeds to Carvie’s former home and business. Bork was set to work cleaning up the house for us, and then we returned to the church for another meal.
At some point in our investigation, we’d learned about crypts beneath the church. Once we’d confirmed that the priest’s dead witch sister-in-law was still entombed, we entered the crypts and began to root around for more witchery. We encountered more undead and some freaky-looking demon rat-monkeys, but the biggest “get” was when we found the priest’s niece. She got the drop on us and we found ourselves paralyzed and helpless to act while she monologued at us. We were stuck like that for half an hour, long after she’d left.
And we still had no proof.
We found another exit from the crypts and encountered the watch captain who had been watching us since we started getting involved in Corvis’s troubles. He wanted to join forces, and we agreed, if only to get this bitch of a case solved so we could put it behind us and get back to the important business of setting up shop in this crooked-ass city.