The Art of Negotiation

As the party walked into their guild hall after returning from Brownbriar they were met with a strange sight. A well armed woman dressed in dark colors was sitting in their general meeting area when they entered. Her dark red hair was pulled up into a neat ponytail and revealed striking blue eyes through her bangs. 

Next to her was a towering goliath with a large hammer in his hands and a mean mug he was aiming at Kaladrax. She motioned for them to sit and while the party wanted to hear what she had to say, they did not sit but elected to stand. There was a moment of awkward silence before the woman spoke. 

“My name is Lady Yora Baleard and I’m here to collect on our contract Hepolita.”

This was the leader of the Baleard Crest Gang, the holders of Hepolita’s contract. The rest of the group was not quite surprised but certainly wary of how cavalier this Yora was about an assasination contract. Milo took this moment to blend even further into the shadows to keep his position hidden. It was easy. Being a halfling meant big people didn’t pay much attention to him so he used it to his advantage and faded into the background. 

Yora sat there with a smug look on her face. 

“The contract is binding. There is no choice but to complete it or forfeit your own life in restitution. Don’t see it as a bad thing, I’m under contract to kill Milo too. It is something that has to be done.”

Kaladrax looked skeptical and asked to see this contract. She handed it over with no problem. Aleera could see his face go from studious to dreadful in a matter of minutes. When he looked up his face was drawn and tight.

“She’s right. This contract is just vague enough that it basically makes Hepolita their slave until the contract is fulfilled. It is also legally enforceable in King’s Crest. They can make her do anything else as long as she has yet to complete her main tasks.”

Aleera was already bristling as this person referred to herself as a Lady. How dare she! Aleera was the only Lady here! She began exchanging catty retorts with Yora as the group thought about how to get themselves out of this bind. 

Milo, feeling confident in his ability to blend in and not be seen, took this opportunity to get closer to Yora. This was the woman who wanted to kill him. She was going to pay if he could manage it. The party continued bickering until Yora had enough. She got up and gave them the ultimatum to turn over Milo or face the consequences of breaking the contract. 

Yora was not the average gang leader. She was smart and more importantly she was observant. Seeing the negotiations going nowhere she snatched up Milo from his hiding spot. He had hidden well but not well enough to fool her eagle eyes. As she grabbed him she cast Dimension Door. Before the party could stop her they were gone. Milo was gone and quite possibly dead soon. Aleera knew she couldn’t have gone far. She knew that spell, having used it herself many times and let the party know that she had to be close by somewhere. They had to get outside to search but a giant goliath stood in their path. 

Since Yora had attacked first, they had the right to protect and defend themselves so they began to fight the goliath, throwing around spells and weapon attacks. The new renovations Aleera had paid for were already being destroyed. So much gold lost! 

Meanwhile, Milo was surprised to find himself in the clutches of his enemy. He had thought he was super sneaky but she must have seen him. They were in a small wooden shack and they were not alone. Two other men were there with arms ready and they began attacking Milo before he could move. Yora joined in and soon they had him unconscious on the floor. 

By some miracle he managed to regain consciousness and gave them everything he had. He tripped them all and managed to get real close and personal with Yora. He cut her eye out but before he could kill her off the other two were getting on their feet. They almost killed him with their attacks but he managed to stay alive and jumped through the window. 

As the rest of the party was fighting the goliath a hail of crossbow bolts came flying through the windows ruining more of the renovation work. Aleera boiled with anger. Leaving Kariss and Hepolita to deal with the goliath, Aleera and Kaladrax went outside to take out the crossbow snipers. Aleera cast Dimension Door and transported them to the roof. She flew around and they managed to kill off four gnomes that were perched on various roofs around the guild hall. 

Milo came careening out of the corner and managed to pick off the last gnome sniper. He reached the group as Yora and whatever lackeys were still alive scattered as they saw a lost battle. As the goliath left he threw the hammer he held through one of the windows and it was flaming as it landed. The party had to focus on putting out the fire instead of chasing after Yora and her lackeys. 

Tired and a little singed, the group spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the mess. Aleera sat at the bar drinking and mourning the gold loss they were going to take and the new repairs that needed to be paid for. Eventually, Kaladrax hauled her off to bed. The night was rough and no one slept well jumping at shadows and feeling the paranoia of the hunted.

Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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