Diamond Shores

Book One: Chapter Two

Halflings Like to Steal Things

Six weeks after the Wayward Sun left the island of the abberant plant monster, Oak Stouthart, Sillian Goldenbrew, and Captain Hatt stand leaning over the railing on the bow of the ship. The Captain informs them that they are only three days out from Del Juli and their destination of Diamond Shores, the island’s capitol. He, however, regrets to tell them that his ship cannot enter port without risking his arrest, but is willing to part with a dinghy to take them ashore. Oak, not wanting to part with this good-natured smuggler just yet, suggests a plan that, to any other captain, would sound downright daft. Hatt grins and loves the idea immediately.

On the morning the ship is bound to make its way into the city, Oak meets with Hatt once more below deck. With the sincerity of an angel, the paladin expresses concern for the Captain, who lost seven years to Lieutenant Hague, in addition to losing touch with his illiterate wife. He suggests to the dark-skinned smuggler that he perhaps ply his trade in a more meaningful, and legal, way. Hatt jumps to the conclusion that he wants him to ferry refugees out of Del Cara. Due to Oak’s well-developed talent for persuasion, Captain Hatt seems willing to consider his idea, but he wants to find his wife first. They agree to meet back on the Wayward Sun in three days time.

As this ship pulls into the port of the great white city of Diamond Shores, the economic hub for the Teichan Colonies, the sailors begin tossing lines to the pier and the dock hands fasten the ship to enormous metal cleats. The presence of this famous smuggling ship has caught the eye of port security, however, and soon a squad of twelve men clad in white and silver uniforms come running to the gangplank, now lowered. On deck, Oak and Sillian stand ready to answer questions and enact their deceptive plan as a lone officer ascends to them and introduces himself as Captain DeWitt of the Diamond Shores Guard.

Oak struggles to find his words, as lying doesn’t come naturally to him, but Sillian is willing and able to decieve this man, who is curious as to why the Wayward Sun is here, and wants to know where the infamous Captain Hatt is. Oak catches himself and explains that he and his halfling companion slew the Captain and sailed his ship here to inform the guard of the good word. Stunned, in disbelief, Sillian puts the last nail in this coffin of lies by showing DeWitt the grand and feathered hat of the Captain (a gift to the style-conscious thief). Apologetic for his accusatory tone, DeWitt welcomes Oak and Sillian as heroes and offers to let their newly aqcuired ship dock for free.

With this, Hatt departs the ship, disguised as Yeoman Chapeau, shortly after Oak and Sillian go to find a hospitible hotel – the Oak and Crossier. On the way, the thief spots a beautiful jade dagger tucked into the belt of a red-sashed gang-member. Pretending that the paladin bumped into him, he uses the opportunity to lift the knife… poorly. The street tough stops the pair and accuses Sillian of stealing from him. Oak, none the wiser as to what just occured, defends the halfling and insists the man must be mistaken. Sillian cannot convince the man he did not see what he thought he saw, and very plainly drops the dagger on the ground. The man is ready to strangle the larcenous creature, so Oak intervenes and talks him down from violence, but the gang-member demands satisfaction after retrieving his blade, and insists on twenty gold pieces to make him forget this ever happened. Sillian doesn’t want to pay, but Oak and the victim of the theft are adamant on the price, and he drops twenty gold coins into his meaty hand.

At the hotel, while Oak spends some time cleaning his awfully soiled body and tending to the mild case of scurvy he contracted while at sea, Sillian picks the lock on the human’s bedroom door and decides to leave a small present for him in a very sweet, and not at all misguided show of friendship. He quickly leaves and finds himself in the common room of the inn, drinking a few pints of his family’s famous Goldenbrew ale.

When Oak has finished with his bath, he meets Sillian in the common room, and brings him back upstairs. There, he expresses a concern that he identified himself to Captain DeWitt as a Captain of the Paladian Guard. Both believe they should maintain a low-profile, especially if the mysterious Ulysses N. Owen was able to send him official correspondance through Imperial channels. Regardless, they agree they still need to speak with Lieutenant Hague about the letters, but Sillian refuses to let his human friend go meet with such an important official in the shabby garb provided by the hotel. A trip to Leviathan Cross and the shopping district is on his mind.

After a few minutes of searching, they come upon Red’s Threads, a clothier specializing in silks. As Oak goes inside to get fitted for a new outfit, Sillian enters the shop unnoticed while the owner and his assistant Raul take Oak’s measurements. Sillian surreptitiously steals slacks and leather boots for his friend, as well as an ugly white canvas belt before slipping out.

Now the pair, looking stylish and respectable, decides to inquire with the locals about this Hague character. After an hour and a half of shoddy investigating, they learn that the poor, criminal folks in the Pavillion despise him because seven years ago, he got caught forging documents and, to save his own skin, sold out several of his friends. Lt. Hague is now an officer of the Guard, in charge of missing persons cases, and is an expert in handwriting analysis. They learn that he typically works alone, and he was last spotted in the Table following a lead. Oak and Sillian decide that now is the time to go have a word with Hague, and journey up the sloping city to the Table to find themselves at the doorstep of the Headquarters of the Diamond Shores Guard.

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