Saturday, April 09, 2011

Captain Fouquet Chapter 2.3 'Of Services Rendered'

This game was played on 6th April. 2011. Present were; Jan, Oleg, Palle and Goeg.

After having fed, the companions congregated back at Misteline's studio and debated matters pertaining to Captain Fouquet and the House of Treadstone. Misteline decided that it would be a good idea to find out what had happened to the various ships employed by Treadstone, but there was some confusion as to how to go about this. Eventually Rufus remembered that there was an Old Sea Man's Home down in the harbour, and it was decided to go there at once and speak to some of the retired sailors.

Misteline, Marmaduke and Rufus walked down to the harbour and arrived at the Old Sea Man's Home, which they found was a moderate sized building, with a tavern on the ground floor. Outside, three old men were sitting on a bench, one of whom had a large yellow bird on his shoulder. The companions engaged the old men in conversation, but became distracted by various tall tales, and the uncouth bird. Misteline pretended to be interested in painting a picture of a sea battle as a means of developing a rapport, but this failed to interest the old men, so instead he went looking for rum with which to bribe them. Whilst he was gone, Rufus attempted to ask questions about Captain Fouquet and though it transpired that the old sailors had heard of him, indeed he had a fearsome reputation as a disciplinarian, no one in the Old Sea Man's Home had sailed with Fouquet.

Frustration eventually got the better of Rufus and he also went looking for rum and for Misteline, leaving Marmaduke alone with the sailors. Marmaduke made no credible attempt to speak to the old men, and shortly there after a large, broad hipped woman arrived bearing a tray of eel stew. Marmaduke was invited to partake and gladly accepted. Shortly there after Misteline returned and also set about a plate of eels.

Once the eels had been consumed and Rufus had returned, the old men negan to turn in for the night. The sun was going down and the three friends left the harbour and went to see Rufus Barkwall the armourer. Barkwall was eating with his family, but soon attended his customers, fitting Misteline for a subtle coat of 'jazerant armour' which he reckoned would be ready for use in 72 hours.

It was early evening but dark when they returned to the Red Fox and Rufus's studio, and here they found Luigi drunk and asleep on the door step. Rufus dragged his cousin to bed, then went to see Hilda to ask her if she'd seen Horace. Hilda replied that she had not and when asked which of the girls Horace had been seeing, expressed ignorance of his ever having visited any of her girls.

Rather than disturb Luigi, the three companions went to Misteline's studio where they sat in further debate, trying to decide upon a course of inquiry. Mrs Crimpstock offered supper but all three declined. Rufus was still puzzled about Horace and decided to ask the local children if they'd seen him. He went down into the courtyard and asked those few children who were still out and about despite the late hour. The children had nothing to say about Horace, but they had seen a 'dark stranger who had been lurking about asking questions'. Rufus returned to Misteline and Marmaduke and their debate continued. They decided that several of the local people had been decidedly absent in the last few days, not least Gregory Marshkindle who was usually to be seen each evening sitting outside his hovel, in a drunken state. It was decided to investigate and so the three companions took it upon themselves to break into Marshkindle's abode.

This proved to be a mistake as both Rufus and Marmaduke soon found themselves attacked by lice. Misteline prudently avoided the lice by allowing the other two to go first and rummage through the scattered clothes and bedding.When they realised what had happened, Rufus and Marmaduke were obliged to seek help from Meg Plum, who fortunately lived next door and who had all the necessary means to delouse them. Unfortunately, this involved taking a bath out in the open, so Misteline left the other two and went home for a bath in the luxury of his own apartments. Once enough water had been heated, Rufus stripped and jumped into the tub whilst Meg tipped his clothes into a wash bucket. he then deloused himself whilst Marmaduke waited. Once Rufus was finished, and had borrowed a sheet so he might make his way home to find new clothes, Marmaduke stripped, and got into the now tepid water.

Alas for Marmaduke, at this moment several youngsters arrive to stare and giggle and shortly there after his mother arrived and began to scold him for leaving a lamp burning in his workshop. Having bathed, Marmaduke went to his workshop and discovered the small chest he and Misteline had removed from Father Caltrop's room earlier in the day had disapeared. Some what disturbed by this, Marmaduke was really too tired to do anything about it, and turned in. Not long after this however he became aware that some one was entering his workshop from outside and reached for his crossbow. It turned out to be Aimee whom Rufus had hired for the night on Marmaduke's behalf. Marmaduke's fatigue evaporated accordingly.

15th Marts. 1625

As the sun rose, so too did the three friends and once he had eaten, Rufus departed to go and see Marshal Quartermoon. Marmaduke went to see Misteline and told him about the missing chest, which Misteline took to be a very bad thing, but upon checking his horse testicle study, he found the money from the chest was still hidden there.

Rufus arrived at the main gate house of the Citadel and was eventually shown into a waiting room where several other people were already seated. He was still sitting there when Misteline and Marmaduke arrived at his studio, only to find Luigi who was still asleep. Luigi muttered that Rufus had gone to the Citadel so Misteline and Marmaduke went downstairs to the Red Fox, followed by a sleepy headed Luigi and ordered some nice hot coffee. As they were drinking this, a coach drawn by four horses pulled up outside and several men in flamboyant clothing entered the coffee house. Luigi, who had been attemptng to flirt with Hilda Grimbleflax immediately bristled and began to swagger. The strangers, whom Misteline and Marmaduke swiftly understood were the Faustini brothers, began to reciprocate Luigi's braggadocio and when it became apparent that this posturing might continue for some time, Misteline intervened. Upon learning that Belinda Faustini was in the coach and required accomidation, he asked Hilda for help, and directed the Faustini brothers to the nearby Lady and Horse public house which Hilda guaranteed to be fit for a lady.

The eldest Faustini brother, Ronaldo, sent one of the others, named Sandro, off with the coach, then the remaining brothers all sat to await Rufus's return. Whilst Rufus was badgering the door keeper of the Citadel to be allowed to speak with the Marshal, Misteline took on the role of host and provided food and drink for the Faustini brothers.

Eventually Rufus was admitted to the office of Marshal Quartermoon's personal private secretary (a man whom Rufus had never met before) and asked what his business with the Marshal was. Rufus attempted to explain that he was embroiled in an affair of honour which might easily lead to a blood feud in Castelopea and would it not be possible for the Marshal and some men to subtly intervene at a judicious moment to prevent things from getting out at hand. The Secretary expressed indifference to Castelopean blood feuds however, which were a common enough occurance and of no concern to the Marshal. He would nevertheless bring the matter to the Marshal's attention at the first possible convenience and with that, Rufus was obliged to take his leave.

Upon his return to the Red Fox, Rufus encountered the Faustini Brothers, and the some what ill tempered Luigi (who had not been best pleased to see Misteline's gracious welcome to the Faustini's). Rufus declined a belligerent stance and put Luigi at his ease, sitting instead with Misteline and Marmaduke for a moment.

At this point a strange drunken man wandered into the coffee house, chewing on an eel. He seemed strangely familiar, but none of the three companions could identify him. After laughing and making a few random remarks, the man left, dropping his eel in the doorway. Some what puzzled, Rufus followed the drunk into the street and watched him walk away. The drunk looked back over his shoulder, gave an outburst of laughter then turned up Garnet Street. Inside the Red Fox, Marmaduke and Misteline examined the eel, but to no avail. Sandro then returned and Rufus, Luigi and all the Faustini brothers left to wait upon Belinda.

In her suite of rooms at the Horse and Lady, Rufus was reunited with his old love Belinda and to his anguish he found her as beautiful and lovely as ever she had been. He quickly got rid of Luigi by sending him for flowers and then sat with Belinda to talk and catch up whilst her brothers lurked in an adjacent room. It soon became apparent that whilst Belinda bore him no ill feelings, her heart was obviously else where and her manner was accordingly subdued.

Meanwhile, Marmaduke decided to go and see Aimee, only to discover that his romantic encounter had merely been a business transaction, and whilst Aimee was friendly and happy to sell more of her favours, there was no romance involved. Some what dejected he bid her farewell and exited her room, only to find himself face to face with Father Caltrop who was standing at his own door, across the hall. Caltrop quickly approached Marmaduke and grabbed him by the collar of his tunic. Dragging Marmaduke into his room, he pointed to the small money chest which was standing in the middle of the room, and asked, "Whats that then boy?" Marmaduke began to sweat realising full well that Caltrop must have retreived the chest from Marmaduke's workshop.

"It looks like the bottom is broken" Marmaduke stammered. They both regarded the chest which was standing on its bottom, thus concealing the damage.
"...and whats that?" Father Caltrop demanded as he pointed to the untidy heap of the rug that had contained the exotic weapons. Realising he was sliding deeper and deeper into peril, Maramduke blurted out "Misteline!" but at that moment there was a knock at the door and as quick as a flash, Caltrop put his knee into Marmaduke's stomach and as he folded up, fetched him a stunning blow to the back of the head. Marmaduke dropped to the floor and in a haze of pain, heard Father Caltrop talking to an unseen person who answered in the high pitched voice of a young girl.

After a minute or so, the stranger left and Father Caltrop dragged Marmaduke to his feet. He pushed him to the door and threw him out into the hall. Marmaduke fell to the floor, still gasping and retching.
"You have twelve hours to bring me back my money, or you'll know what I mean!" Caltrop rasped, then slammed the door shut. Marmaduke lay on the floor for a while, listening to the muffled sounds of Caltrop moving about in his room, until there came a resounding thud and all sound ceased. Marmduke then pulled himself to his feet and staggered off to find Misteline who was still sitting in the Red Fox.

Marmaduke told Misteline what had happened, but put a gloss over his own temerity and neglected to mention that he'd implicated Misteline by name. Misteline immediately decided to act and sent Marmaduke to fetch Rufus whilst he made his way to a window at the rear of Rufus's studio with a view of the courtyard and the rear of the building. Below he could see several children playing.

Marmaduke found Rufus who was not pleased at being interupted, but having made his apologies, left Belinda and followed Marmaduke back to the Red Fox. Once Misteline was assured of Rufus's assisstance, he went to knock on Father Caltrop's door, but there was no answer. Carefully he tried the door and found it open, but noted that something was blocking the door when he swung it wide open. On the inside of the door, he discovered a poison tipped crossbow bolt which he deduced had been fired through the window, though it was difficult to see from whence it had been fired. The room was still in some disarray, and in the centre of the floor lay the small chest, now on its side. A closer examinatin of the room revealed a carefully concealed trapdoor which opened into Bagangelo's studio below. Looking down, Misteline was surprised to discover the corpse of Oliver Taprattle, sitting in a chair with his throat cut.

Misteline decided to withdraw. He was fairly certain Father Caltrop had to still be in the building, but checked first with Hilda Grimbleflax in case the old priest had evaded Misteline's scrutiny. Hilda replied that she hadn't seen Father Caltrop which further strengthened Misteline's impression that Caltrop was probably still in the building as there didn't seem any other way out (unless Caltrop had jumped from his own second storey window in full view of the street below). Rather than waste time searching the building, Misteline went to see Nicolet Cutlerstub whom he was certain was one of Caltrop's young agents. Nicolet feigned ignorance, but Misteline persisted and eventually she agreed in an oblique manner to pass the word that Misteline desired to meet with Father Caltrop.

Having left Nicolet in the scullery, Misteline then returned to his vantage point and waited. Sure enough, Nicolet entered the courtyard and spoke to some of the children there, one of whom ran off in the direction of the gate house. As he watched the urchin run off, Misteline noted a Militia guard peeping around the corner at the back of Mrs Crimpstock's house.

Concerned, he hurried home, only to find several Militia guards and a Sergeant-at-arms, questioning Mrs Crimpstock in her kitchen. When he was identified as a lodger in the house, Misteline was taken upstairs by the Sergeant-at-arms, who questioned his where abouts the night before (Misteline replied truthfully, that he'd been asleep) then looked around his studio in wonder. Misteline understood that something had happened involving Doctor Giffshank, but he wasn't able to establish what it was. Misteline's heart began to beat quicker when the Sergeant-at-arms took note of the large bronze horse testicles which were hanging from the ceiling, but although the Militia man knocked on both of the big balls, he didn't seem to notice that one made a different sound than the other (it had Father Caltrop's money hidden within). Having satisifed his curiousity, the Sergeant-at-arms took his leave and returrned to the kitchen.

Vessels known to be associated with the House of Treadstone
Molly Carbuncle....Carrack....Captain Anton Fouquet
Scarlet Jane
....Unknown....Captain Morrowhock

Status of on-table characters
Aimee. Working as a prostitute at the Red Fox.
Bagangelo. Wounded. Reported to be staying with a friend.
Franco Ballenciaga. Killed by Rufus in a duel.
Father Caltrop. Wanted by the authorities on suspicion of murder. Current where abouts unknown but presumed to be close by.
Mrs Crimpstock. Being questioned in her own kitchen by an unidentified Militia Sergeant-at-arms.
Molly Cutlerstub. Killed by explosion.
Nicolet Cutlerstub. Working as a scullery maid at the Red Fox.
Timmy Cutlerstub. Last seen playing with friends in courtyard
Marcus Feathergate. Dead. Assumed to have died of wounds from explosion.
Anaïs Fouquet. Unknown. Assumed to be in Anton Fouquet's tower house.
Anton Fouquet. Unknown. Last seen watching the death of Rufolio of Carpii.
Doctor Giffshank. Unknown. Possibly dead. Being investigated by the Militia for unknown reasons.
Hilda Grimbleflax. Working as a proprietor of the Red Fox.
Isabelle. Working as a prostitute at the Red Fox.
Ivy Gurdlecat. Alive and well.
Kit Kindle. Working as a prostitute at the Red Fox.
Robert Ladlevane. Busy working during the day and drinking hard at night.
Marissa. Working as a prostitute at the Red Fox.
Gregory Marshkindle. Unknown. Not seen in several days.
Meg Plum. Hard at work providing laundry and childcare services for the local citizenry.
Cristobal Sebastiano. Unknown. Not seen since Franco's death.
Sandrine. Working as a prostitute at the Red Fox.
Edna Shufflewick. Unknown. Not seen for several days.
Bertram Turnbull. Working on producing a new theatrical production.
Odette Turnbull. Unknown. Rumoured to be working on a new theatrical production.
Oliver Taprattle. Dead. Discovered in Bagangelo's studio with his throat cut.

Status of off-table characters
Alastair Heatherwax. Local celebrity actor and acquaintance of Misteline.
Archibald Pillorseed. Assumed identity of one of Anton Fouquet's seconds during the Fouquet/Bagangelo duel. Current where abouts unknown.
Bellinda Faustini. Rufus's arranged bride. Currently staying at the Lady and Horse Public House.
Captain Axelrod Underhand. Working at the customs house.
Captain Shallowsack. Commanding the local Militia tower.
Devar Lockmyrtle. Gambler conscripted by Silas as a fake witness to the Rufus/Franco duel. Current where abouts unknown.
Diego Monte Banquo. A childhood friend of Rufus's and a rival for the hand of Bellinda Faustini. Where abouts unknown but expected to shortly arrive in Takshendal.
Doctor Hamshank. The nearest physician to Friar's Gate.
Don Vitorio. Rufus's godfather.
'Donna Bella'. Rufus's grandmother.
Drunk man. Seen in the Red Fox, with a strangely familiar face. Unknown.
Gerald Mosscramp. Missing, possibly dead.
Horace Nuvel. Missing.
Luigi de Carraressi. Staying at Rufus's studio.
Marshal Leander Quatermoon. Unknown. Assumed to be at the Citadel.
Marlowe. Marshal Quartermoon's man servant.
Nathaniel Pennyfork. A lawyer consulted by Misteline but as yet not hired.
Nicholas Rungate. Apothocary. Last seen by Misteline in his shop.
Ronaldo Faustini. Brother to Belinda Faustini.
Rufolio of Carpii. Would be assassin, in disguise. Killed by Father Caltrop.
Sandro Faustini. Brother to Belinda Faustini.
Sir Isambard Goatroll. Known importer of Gin and notable witness to the Fouquet/Bagangelo duel.
Sir Walter Heraldlamb
. A prisoner in the Bastion who befriended Rufus during his brief incarceration.
Stranger in dark clothes and armour
. Last seen by children in courtyard talking to Horace.
Tom Hurdigrip
. With Silas, searching for Gerald Mosscramp.

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