The group has been enjoying some down time. Shadrath is working on his “business”, Dorian Black has been promoted and is in charge of several guards, and the others have had time to follow their own pursuits.
Laset Renalodo is working on his ‘smokeless’ powder for his RIFLE when his rival, Hipopert “Pert” Nemober, shows up and announces he is working on the same thing. Inspired by the arrival of his rival, and unwilling to have him beat him to it’s invention, Laset perfects his ‘smokeless’ powder. He then celebrated in time honored tradition…he got totally stinking, fall-down drunk.
When he woke in the morning, he found that his latest RIFLE had been stolen! His number one suspect was Pert, whom no one had seen since the day before. Laset gets Jonus and Kaeron to help him look for Pert. They head to the Clockwork Steed Inn, where Pert was known to be staying. Looking to be “discreet”, Laset gave Jonas one of his “thieves tools” (mini-bombs), modified to only produce smoke. Jonus, in his cunning disguise (he took off his hat and wore a cloak), walks into the inn and drops the smoke bomb under a table. When all the patrons start running out thinking there is a fire, Jonas snuck up the stairs into Perts room. He found it empty and messy, almost ransacked. With the guard arriving to check out the “fire”, Jonus ran back out of the in. Kaeron just watched in amazment at the whole situation.
Dorian Black, recently promoted, is called upon to gather some guards to put out the fire in the Clockwork Steed in. After entering the inn, he discovers that there is no fire and finds the used smoke bomb. He reports back to his commander, who orders him to investigate it. He quickly figures out that someone at SoFFO was responsible for it. He goes to the SoFFO compund in the city and meets with their leader, Dorf Yhern. Dorf quickly realize that Laset was responsible. He calls him (and Jonus) into his office and issue a stern reprimand. Satisfied, Dorian heads out. In private, Dorf issues another reprimand…“Don’t get caught!”.
Laset, now trying for a softer touch, returns to the Clockwork Steed and asks the innkeeper about Pert. The innkeeper informs him that Pert left with a ‘close friend’.
Laset, accompanied by Jonus, decide to ask Shade for some help. Shade is more that happy to “do this favor for him”. Shade proceeds to contact his “people” to see what they can find out.
Laset and Jonus now decide to check with the guards, to see if any of them noticed Pert and his friend leave. At the Southgate, he inadvertently insults the guards and then clumsily gives them money “for all their hard work”. They proceed to the Westgate, whose guards have not seen anything, and Jonus tahnks them by giving them some money covertly. At the Northgate, a Paladin interrupts their attempts to question the guards and sends them to ask the guard commander.
The next morning, the Southgate guards tell Dorian about Laset, confused about the “bribe”. Dorian reports it to his commander, who (again) sends him to investigate. Dorian reluctantly heads back to SoFFO to talk to Dorf. While there he finds that Jonus and Laset are confused, they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. Dorian, satisfied and eager to leave, admonishes them “It’s the marijuanna of bribes. It’s the gateway bribe.” then leaves. They are again told of Dorf’s ‘motto’…“Don’t get caught!”.
Laset and Jonus decide to get help from Dorian, who can ask the guards directly if they saw Pert and his friend leave. Dorian checks the records and finds that the Northgate guards reported Pert and his friend as leaving the night of the theft. Shade also finds out the same through his people. Dorian reports back and is told to resolve the theft.
Dorian gathers the group and the head out to follow Pert. The trail, still somewhat visible in the hardened mud, leads to Swiftcurrent. Dorian questions the local constable and general store owner, and older Eladrin, to find that they did pas through town, across the river, and that Perts friend is a Tiefling.
The group crosses the river and follows the trail northeast, toward the mountains. They come upon an orc camp. While observing the camp of about 30 orcs, they notice a cage with someone in it. Jonus decides to sneak up to the cage, to see who it is. In a stunning display of stealth, he manages to sneak up to, and past, the guards…only to trip on a tent post. Now alerted to an intruder, the orcs start to mobilize and the party charges from their hiding place. The fight is long and hard, but the group emerges victorious. They finally get to examine the cage and find Pert!