Here is chapter two. In this chapter I introduce you to my rogues: Caladin and Quinn. The cousins. Caladin is an urbane chap with a penchant for the finer things in life, while his cousin is much more gruff and drab; yet has a far great grasp of the thieving arts.
If you stick with me in my adventure you shall see how these two eventually come to know Remence, our young ranger; the tracker you met in chapter one. I hope you continue to read. Enjoy.
John D. Pepe
The Gentlemen Procurers
“Come cousin, we must get a move on…it is time to vacate this shanty,” Caladin said to his cousin Quinn as he began neatly folding his clothes that he had meticulously laid out on his rented bed.
“Our reputation has become of ill repute and unfortunately for the ladies of this town, we are now personae non-gratae by the local authorities. I’d rather not like to end up in irons; they are quite unbecoming, clashing heavily with my most panache new wardrobe.” Caladin took a gander at his new shirt, admiring it immensely.
“Caladin, why should we run?” answered Quinn as he relaxed in his bed with his hands behind his head. “The constable can prove nothing. Besides, if push came to shove, and I always love a shoving match, the constable and his lackeys cannot defeat us in a straight up fight.”
Caladin stopped his folding and turn to regard Quinn. “Tisk, tisk cousin. First, do not look at the current situation as running, we are simply rendering this town obsolete for the time being. Secondly, I do not want to shed blood unnecessarily. It leaves a bad taste in the community’s mouth and it has bounty hunters on your arse for moons.”
Caladin stopped mid thought, “Side note that was a lovely pun.”
Quinn just rolled his eyes.
“Besides, I usually get some on my clothes, and you know how I loathe ruining my attire, especially when it is new. Thirdly, ‘the powers that be’ have enough evidence to throw us in the stockade, maybe even hang us. Word is that the stable master saw us transition from our magical disguises back to our true identities.”
“I know what is being said about us, I’m the one who gathered the information, remember? If you are so concerned with being brought to justice by the law, then we should eliminate the problem. Let’s get rid of the only witness against us. No witness, no trial.”
Before Quinn could even finished his thought Caladin was waving his index finger to and fro as if he were admonishing a child. “Ah, no unnecessary bloodshed cousin.”
“More importantly, we have been in this town for a fortnight and it has become an exhausting existence, since but not two days ago, we have begun recycling the most honest drink and fetching lasses in this one horse stop to nowhere. I mean look around us,” and Caladin held out his arms wide as if showing Quinn their rented room for the first time. “It is so drab.”
Quinn sat up in his bed. “I don’t need the luxuries that you do. I’m fine with drab.”
“Yes, I know. You say it every day with your choice in clothing.”
“Hey, there is nothing wrong with wearing all black.”
“If you say so.” Caladin then mumbled under his breath, “But there is something wrong with looking like a land-locked pirate.”
“I heard that.”
“Think about it cousin, what does this place have left to offer. I mean the local church, the only real establishment to offer us any type of wealth, has been all but depleted of its meager riches. We have suckled the tit of this town dry.”
“Humm. You have a point.”
With his hand cupped at his ear and a smile on his face Caladin said, “Aww, I hear the sweet singing of another town, nay, city, beckoning us. I believe it wants us to enrich it with our presence. So, the debate is over, we need to be going. Now pack your things.”
Quinn slowly stood up from his bed. “Alright,” he said in a defeated tone. “I’ll collect my belongings.”
As the cousins were packing they heard a pounding at the door. The two thieves stopped what they were doing for the moment, glanced at it, and then at one another. Quinn whispered, “They have already discovered us.”
Caladin motioned for Quinn to continue packing his final things as he cooed, “Who is it?”
A voice on the other side bellowed, “We know you know this is the constable ya scoundrels. Now open this door and show yer faces. Its time ye meet justice for yer thievin’ ways.”
Caladin declared sarcastically, “Oh dear constable, how I take umbrage to your use of the word scoundrels to describe my cousin and me. That is a complete impugnment of our character and quite frankly…erroneous. Your words are tantamount to our good names being assassinated. We prefer to be called ‘gentlemen procurers’ if you would not mind, good sir.” Caladin smiled at Quinn and motioned with his head for him to escape through the window.
Quinn moved swiftly, opening the third story window. Pulling open his pack, he whispered, “Adfigo” and a rope slithered its way out, finding the middle of the metal frame of the window. Quinn tossed the other end out into the waiting street below.
“Look. Yer on the third story, ya ain’t got no place to go but through this door. I’m gonna count to three and then you need to come out, unarmed. We know you still have the jewels from the theft in there and we got an eye-witness that can identify ya two. Your dead to rights. Hand over the stolen items over, come out peacefully, and I’ll be puttin’ in a good word with the magistrate. Might be able to keep you from being strung up. That’s a fair deal, ain’t it?”
“A most equitable one constable. But I do not know what it is you speak of. We haven’t any stolen items, as we possess them. I mean possession is nine-tenths of the law, as my mother always said. And, although your offer is very generous, I think we shall stay where we are.”
The constable let out a muffled grunt of frustration. Then yelling at the door, “All right have it yer way! Since ya ain’t comin’ out we’re comin’ in. Bash her down boys!”
Then there was a loud thud and the door bowed slightly as if several men had charge against it.
Caladin turned to regard Quinn, “My cousin, do they build a sturdy door here. Thank the gods for this town’s wonderful craftsmanship.”
By this time, Quinn was on the edge of the window. He turned and jumped from it invoking the power of one of his twin short swords, “Tweedle Dee.” Quinn began to float like a feather, gliding all the way to the ground.
Caladin scooped up his belongings and followed suit, but instead took hold of the magical rope and began descending it with the nimbleness of a cat. With less than fifteen feet to reach the street he heard the door splinter and crashed open, as men charge into the room. Caladin let go of the rope, hit the ground, but tumbled at the last second, obviating any real damage to himself from the drop. He rolled right up to his feet, as Quinn grasped the rope, commanded it to unfasten and was already rolling it around his arm when the constable and his deputies appeared at the window.
“You won’t get away with your treachery. We’ll hunt ye down like dogs!” threatened Asignal, the chief constable. But even as the words left his mouth he knew they were idle ones, and so did Caladin.
As he brushed himself off, Caladin yelled up at the window, “Constable, I wish you all the luck in Faerun with that endeavor. For now, my cousin and I must be off, but we bid you a fond farewell, and Godspeed.” He tipped his black, wide-brimmed hat toward the constable and his deputies. Then he and Quinn moved swiftly away, blending into the crowded street.
The deputy looked to Chief Constable Asignal at that moment, “That was a mighty fine-looking feather in that fella’s hat, don’t ye think Chief?” Asignal removed his own hat and hit the deputy with it, “’That’s a mighty fine-looking feather ye think Chief’” he repeated. With little he could do to catch the cousins he turned to watch them flee, thinking, Me deputy has a point. That is a fine lookin’ feather.