Upon arriving back in Albium Starkk and Celeste set out to search for the fence Earok. They figured that the person they knew most likely to have had contact with Earok or to at least know where he was located at would be their favorite Sergeant of the Guard, Flemm. Unfortunately after talking to Sergeant Flemm the two realized that Earok wasn’t just a petty fence, he was the leader of a nefarious rogue’s guild in the city of Albium, and was more commonly known as “The Spider King” – and not because he was clingy (though he was also clingy). It was also discovered that Earok was a gatherer of information, and not opposed to giving out that information…. For a price.
Returning to the Vigilar’s chapter house, Starkk discussed their options with Knight Commander Jorgan. Commander Jorgan realized that they didn’t have many options, to try to recover the sword they would need information for Earok, and that it wouldn’t come cheap. While it may have been possible to abduct Earok and extract the information from him; the likelihood of being able to do so and maintain secrecy would be almost impossible. As such, buying the information would be the least conspicuous means of gaining what they needed.
Armed with the most potent weapon, 2,000 gold coins, Starkk and Celeste set out to have a chat with the leader of the local thieves guild. Unfortunately getting into his web wouldn’t be the easiest thing in the world. While the area of the city he controlled, the local docks, wasn’t hard to access, actually making contact with Earok didn’t prove to be quite as easy. Luckily with a bit of intimidation, bluffing, flirting, and then more bluffing with intimidating looks the couple was able to gain a meeting with the “Spider King”.
At the meeting, they discovered why he was called “Spider King” as he seemed to have mental control over all the spiders in the area which he used for show, as well as to torture his “pet”, a small Dragonling in a hanging cage. Seeing the creature’s distress, the two offered to buy him from Earok but the price, 5,000 of the king’s gold was a bit too steep for the two, especially since they only had two thousand, and that was to be used for information regarding where the sword may have gone.
While the negotiating for information wasn’t comfortable, and the two certainly detested Earok, they were eventually able to get the information they needed. The sword, now in the possession of Reese’s accomplice Mouse, would probably be headed east. Most likely to the Earldom of Mercia, and possibly the port city of Newtown where passage via ship could be purchased relatively easily. With their information gathered, the two departed with one last look at the imprisoned Dragonling.
With a little convincing though, Celeste talked Starkk into a midnight raid on the Spider’s ship to free the Dragonling. She believed a intelligent being should not be imprisoned and tortured and the right course of action was to free the creature, even if there wasn’t a necessarily legal way to do so. Since Earok lived outside the law, entering his establishment under the cover of darkness wasn’t necessarily illegal either, maybe a minor technicality; but enough for her to convince her Paladin friend, Starkk to assist her.
The dynamic duo was able to make it onto the deck of the ship, unfortunately they were not quite as stealthy as they had hoped, and several thuggish guards were waiting for them with loaded crossbows. This was possibly more unfortunate for the guards though, as the duo proved to be much too tough for the guards on duty. They were able to break into Earok’s dining chamber where he kept the poor creature, and make their getaway before the other guards could be roused to the defense.