Tueor Pectoris


The morning after

Bos Sauveli wakes the morning after the adventure at Rainbow Falls and with the gold he found heads to Old Gammick’s to put some money towards Primigenus. As he draws closer to the corner where the pawn shop is he starts to feel that nagging worry in his gut. When he does not see the treasure chest shaped sign that has always hung above Gammick’s door he rushes into the shop and calls out,

“Gammick? Gammick? What’s going on who are you?”

He asks of the person standing behind the counter.

Yuri, a large brute, turns around from behind the counter with a big smile for the new customer. His bulging belly hangs over the counter with buttons popping revealing a green-tinted belly. Earrings hang from his large ears, and bountiful pockets adorn his clothing.

“Ah, welcome to SKEETka taVAAR, discount goods. I am Yuri, best second-hand dealer in stony Cross, I give you good price, you like.”

“Vat’s this you say? Gammick? Ah yes, the pooor bastard who sold me thees shop. He left in a hurry a few months ago. Deedn’t say much about where he was going, just looked like he needed to be going there fast. I am guuud seller. Maybe I can geet you better deels than Old Gammick. Vat are you interested een? Maybe I have it somewhere in heere...”

Yuri squeezes out from behind the counter eyeing the minotaur’s clothing and pouches with a hopeful gleam. His eyes stop on the face of the minotaur.

“Where is Primigenus, the sword that hung on the wall right over the counter.”

Sauveli tried to keep the murderous tone out of his voice. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation as to why his fathers sword was not hanging were it should be. He calmed his breathing so that he could hear the fat man speak over the pounding of his raging blood.

Yuri turned around and looked up on the wall. A space the size of a sword, empty but for a dark outline where smoke had darkened the wall around it.

“Ah yes, the beast there. Eet’s gone. I was willing to pay much gold but hee wouldn’t leave it. He took that and a few other items and left me the rest for the business. He said something about ‘made a promise’. Well, anyway, he left about two months ago.”

Yuri makes his way over to a chest in the corner, and metal clinks. He pulls out a shiny sword with a green ribbon wrapped around the hilt.

“Yes, yes, yes. Thees is good. I offer you thees one. Brilliant blade. I offer thees one to you at big discount. Was old man turned this in. Said it was from his younger years, wheech must have been long ago. I geev to you for cheap price, say maybe 150gp. You like?”

Questions swirled around in Sauveli’s mind. Where did his friend Gammick go? Why had he been in such a hurry? Why did he take the sword? Most importantly, is he safe? He knew of one place where he may find an answer to at least one question. He turned and walked out the door calling over his shoulder

“I will return don’t be missing when I do”

Hot Buns, thats where Herman will be this time of day. The fire will still be too cold to melt the glass. A croissant, two eggs, a sausage, a cup of coffee (cream no sugar) and a book (no interruptions). Every morning of his apprenticeship same routine. That was when he met Illyana Zo’Arden they were good times none of this worry about missing swords, missing friends, strangers in the woods.

The smell of fresh muffins broke him from his revery. He entered the swinging double doors and went to the back of the room and saw his old mentor sitting where he always did reading a book and sipping his coffee. It was very good to see a familiar face but old ways die hard and as he stood there with the admonition “no interruptions” running through his mind.

Without lifting his eyes from the page Herman said in a flat tone

“So the great fighter finally decided to come and visit his decrepit old mentor huh?”

His eyes rose from the page and a smile creased his face. Vaulting from the chair he gave Sauveli a bear hug and laughed in that familiar old way.

“Sit down my boy, It’s been too long tell me how you’ve handled yourself?... What’s wrong boy? Don’t try to deny it I’ve been reading you since you were ten. Spit it out already.”

Sauveli sat down on the comfy armchair. Asked his old mentor.

“Have you heard from Old Gammick? He is gone and I need to find him.”

Herman took a deep breath and sighed.

“Here’s the thing. Old Gammick, he was acting a little strange over the past few months. He had taken to staying in, not going out much. He would walk down the street at night, leaving the shop later and later. I didn’t think much of it, until one day he just started acting frantic and distracted. The next thing I know, he was gone. It’s like he just vanished. I talked to Yuri, and he told me that Gammick didn’t take much when he left. He took a few saddle bags, a heavy chest in a cart, and some supplies. He sold the entire shop to Yuri, can you believe it? That shop was his life. I figured you would be upset when you came back. I know you two were friends. He didn’t even say goodbye.”

Sauveli told Herman of the pawn he and Gammick had set up and of the missing sword. He also relayed what had transpired at SKEETka taVAAR.

“Do you have any idea of who might know where Gammick is or what was affecting his behavior? No you would have told me if you did”

A thought formed itself in sauveli’s mind.

“Herman I am sorry to cut our conversation short but I want to head back to the shop and hopefully find some kind of clue. I am staying here with Illyana for the time being so if you think of anything you can get ahold of me through her. I will speak with you later my friend.”

Sauveli heads out the door and goes to the stairs next to the building. Knocking quickly as he enters Illyana’s apartment he calls out.

“Amica`... sorry to wake you but I need your help. Please come with me to Gammicks. I could use a second pair of eyes”

From the bedroom comes a growl…”Sauveli, if you are vaking me in such a manner there had better be breakfast and coffee in your hands!” Sauveli looks down at his empty hands and at Fluffy, who looks at him almost with sympathy. “I am sorry, Amica, I did not think to bring up breakfast. Please, I will get something for you if you will accompany me to Gammick’s.” There’s a short pause, then a sigh “Very well, I vill go vith you to old Gammick’s…AFTER breakfast”. As Sauveli heads downstairs Illyana wonders what has him all worked up this time.

As they walk to Gammick’s shop (after breakfast, of course), Sauveli tells Illyana of the information he received this morning about Gammick’s hasty departure and strange behavior.

“So, it sounds like he still has your sword then and therefore it iz still safe if nothing else.”

“Yes, though I am worried about why he left in such a manner. That is not like Gammick!”

“Vell, I’m sure ve vill find him. So, you vant me to look at this other sword that Yuri iz offering to sell you?”

“What? Oh the other sword I haddn’t even thought of that. If it looks like it’s worth the money then by all means say something. I mostly want someone there to help umm… “Convince” Yuri to be cooperative.”

“Very well, ve vill see what Yuri has to offer” she tells him as they enter the shop together.

— As they enter, they see Yuri talking to a red-headed halfling they think they recognize. Yuri turns with a large greasy smile.

“Ah, my friend you have returned for the sword, yees?”

He turns to the halfling. “We can finish this business later.” He leans down and whispers something to the halfling, who then leaves the shop. Yuri pulls the sword with the green ribbon wrapped around its hilt from the trunk.

Yuri places the sword in Sauveli’s hands, “Yees, you like? 150gp, good bargain.”

Yuri’s eyes open wide as he notices Illyana.

“Hello there, nice lady. I might have something speecial for you too. wait a moment, please.”

Yuri squeezes behind the counter and reaches up to a rack just beyond. He pulls down a black belt made of leather and silk woven into an intricate design.

“Very fine quality, theese one. Sold to me a few days ago by a woman of your dark skin. She was passing through and needed to ‘liquidate her assets’ for further travel. Veery good quality, yees? I give to you for 350gp.”

Illyana lifts an eyebrow.

“OK, OK, I give you for 325gp, no less. If it is too much just say so and we can work out a deeal, maybe some coin now, some coin later, you know.”

Yuri looks between Sauveli and Illyana expectantly.

Illyana’s eyebrow stays lifted as she cooly stares at Yuri. “You are telling me that a voman of my ‘dark skin’ came through and sold you that belt for 325gp?” She laughs; “I vould have expected you to be smarter than that, Yuri. Obviously she had other…assets…that you vere interested in zo much zo that you missed the fact that while this is a finely crafted belt, it is merely zat – a nice belt. Tell you vat, my friend – I vill take it off your hands for 175gp. Think about it vile I look around ze store.” Still chuckling, she turns and proceeds to wander around the store, leaving a slack-jawed Yuri staring at her departing figure and Sauveli still standing at the counter.

Yuri caresses the belt lovingly.

“No, it can’t be. Azinda promised me the belt was worth at least 520gp. She said it makes you nice and strong and healthy, and that she would never let it go but it was very important that she had monies for travel. Azinda, you wouldn’t lie to Yuri, would you?”

As Yuri stares at the belt deep in thought, Sauveli and Illyana search the room for clues to Old Gammick’s departure.

Sauveli carefully creeps up the back stairs, each step creaking on his way to Gammick’s old apartment. He pokes around the shelves and chests and looks under the bed. He finds nothing. He is about to leave, when he notices under Yuri’s half-unpacked crates a pile of broken glass. Sauveli pushes the crates aside, and dusts away some of the smaller bits. He picks up a large piece and examines it. The glass is green, and very old looking. He recognizes the intense color green swirls in the design as made from the volcanic ashes of Kina Peak in The Onen Kingdom. Ancient glass items can be found here and there on other continents, but most of those are rare old artifacts.

Sauveli takes a shard and wraps it in a nearby piece of cloth to take with him. He looks again at the room, this time looking for more specific clues. On the desk are a set of ledgers. He opens the most recent ledger and skims the list of items. Two pages back he finds what he was looking for, a line dated three months earlier with notes below.

”... a unique example of a Kina Glass orb, at least 1000 years old. Approximate value- 2000gp. Has something suspended in the center, can’t make out what it is. May hold on to this until I have a chance to research the item in more depth.”

Sauveli looks back at the glass. That was definitely the item in the ledger, which must have been broken. But why would Gammick leave without cleaning up, and why would he sell his entire shop if he was just doing a little research?

Sauveli creeps back down the stairs and finds Illyana in conversation with Yuri, who looks saddened.

“I sell to you for 300gp, no less. I can’t believe Azinda lied to me, and I have to at least make the money I paid for it. Perhaps If you like I can throw in a nice dress or some such for free.”

“Vell, I did see a lovely green dress in the corner there…all right, Yuri, how about zis – the belt and the dress for the 300gp. It vill have to be in payments, though – you know I’ve just gotten back.”

“Yuri accepts! You weel geeve me a payment now though, yeess?”

“Of course, it iz not fair otherwise – 12gp down, the rest as I have it. Here, let us write it up.”

Yuri gets parchment and proceeds to write up the agreement, with Illyana watching closely. As they seal the deal, she asks “Zo tell me, vhat brought Azinda through town?”

Yuri looks to the ceiling thoughtfully. “She was in such a rush, she didn’t reeeally say very much. She was not happy to be heere. Azinda was on an errand from her home Ixworth Thorpe. She doesn’t talk much. But I heard from Walker afterwards that she was looking for a map for Wyreth. She left as quick has she had arrived, staying only one night.

Illyana turns from Yuri and finds Sauveli coming down the stairs. “Sauveli, I am off to vork – I shall see you later.” With that, Illyana leaves and heads off to Cavern Star Finery to show Ril her latest design.

“So Yuri this sword you have here let me give it a try”

Sauveli takes up the green hilted sword and launches into one of the his more elaborate practice routines. Swinging the sword around in wide arcs and striking with precise jabs. It is a routine he feels comfortable with after hundreds of hours of drill at the academy.

At first the drill was only to asses the balance and feel of the weapon but as Sauveli watches the look of dread grow on yuri’s face every time the sword tip comes near some knick-knack or another he starts to lengthen his reach and pull his plows so that he comes closer and closer to yuri’s livelihood.

“Well it has a decent balance to it.” with this he aims an overhead chop down at a candelabra turning and stopping his blade at the last millisecond so that the flame is extinguished but the candle is left unharmed. “The grip is a bit loose tho you wouldn’t want the blade to fly off and hit something now would you”

Spinning around with a great arcing swing Sauveli lets out a low roar and stops the sword just under Yuri’s quivering chin. He has to cough twice before Yuri took his beady crossed eyes off of the sword. Once he has Yuri’s attention he pulls the sword back and says in a casual way.

“I’ll take it for 100 gold. Cash on the table so to speak” He pulls the pouch with the coins from Rainbow Falls out and dumps it on the counter.

Yuri blinks and says, “Yes. Thank you. You must have somewhere to go now, right? Maybe practice your magnificent skills in a more spacious, eh, space?”

His eyes don’t leave the sword as he pushes the coins into the pouch on his belt.



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