Goethe went through the day in his mind. The invitation had been unexpected, but highly enticing, a solicitation to join a search for wealth, treasure from an ancient and shattered continent, Azlant. The land was broken, its fortunes less so. However, only fools take such paths unprepared.
The meeting was held at a “Capatin’s Club” near the Magnimar shore. There were two humans, both charming, but one far beyond the spectrum of typical men, an Undine, and a brash kobold. Their would-be patron, Kaledith Sevardomos, laid out her intent. She had a map, and wealth equal to their combined investment, whatever that may be. It was fortuitous there were charmers better than Goethe at the table or the 60%/40% split could have ended much more unfavorably for the “investors”. After little talk, Kaledith asked Lorenz to draw up a contract, and for the rest to be ready within a week.
The remaining day and night were spent investigating ships, being threatened and fought by Scarnettis, hatching plans, and making deals. It was an eventful day.
Waking the next morning, Goethe began his preparations. He was confident in his plan, and its supposed outcome. He only tired of the fact this spell was of the enchantment school. He smiled at the irony of its usefulness now. Gathering with Aven, Saar, and Xurkwa… the Hole Mak.. (Goethe had not figured out how to refer to the kobold, as he spoke Draconic. Referring to a sentient as “Hole Maker” did not sit well with the tiefling)..the kobold, Goethe cast a Message spell so they might stay in communication during the auction. Saar assured Goethe that he would be an utterly different man at the auction. Goethe could trust the man this far; they both had their gold tied into their next actions. Saar disappeared, and the rest made their way to the harbor.
After some time, Goethe announced to any passers-by that he would now begin another demonstration of practical magic, and educate the interested in its mysteries. As a small, artless crowd gathered to watch and to argue, Goethe smiled and slowly made his way to the auction. It was at this time that Lorenz was enjoying a moment with Gradon Scarnetti and the law, taking the family head away from the auction and giving his companions greater opportunity. Though this is another story.
In the shadows, Saar became Myrrh, the Kitsune none knew him to be. Aven passed in the open daylight, an honest sailor looking to bid. The kobold slinked in and out of every hiding space in his path. All three made their way to the auction, one in light, one in shadow, one in between. The fiendspawn instructed on the arcane with reverence as the three settled into place.
As the auction begins, a passing wizard and his entourage stop, “This is a suitable place to stop. I do enjoy the breeze. Now, as I was saying about Necromancy…”, the tiefling rambles on, “Besides, these auctions can be entertaining.”
First, the Crab Cage: 2,000 gold? No? 1900? Yes! Do I hear 2000? Yes! 2100?
“That’s enough of that”, thinks the tiefling. As he casts his enchantment from near the edge of the spell’s range, the cue for his “raven” to appear is made. Poof! “I have made my invisible raven visible again, you see. This is very helpful for those who care deeply for their pets.”
The other bidder seemed to utterly lose interest in the ship, seemingly defeated.
The Crab Cage had been won by Aven for the measly sum of 2200 gold, a victory for their party. The hard part had come. As Lorenz had arranged, Graydon was not here, merely some lower member of his house, and the muscle behind the party’s previous intimidations, name unknown. Goethe had never seen this man before, but Myrrh informed him of his actions. Goethe almost smiled.
“We will start this bid at 22,600!”, the auctioneer bellowed. As it was the real auction of the day, many nobles bid earnestly and highly for the Valdemar VII, but none more fiercely than the Scarnetti man. As the bidding neared 30,000 gold, Goethe knew it was time. Casting his esoteric enchantment once again, his “raven” blinked away,
“…and so our pets can be shielded once again from prying eyes.”
The Scarnetti bidder, seemingly burdened by some terrible thought, refused to bid further. Even though his muscular companion manhandled him and nearly shook him dead in the interim, the little man would bid no more. The VII was won, at the reasonable price of 32,000 gold. The “muscle” cast the bidding paddle to the ground, shattering it. He stormed off, fuming.
It would not be a lie to say Goethe was pleased. In 30 minutes, his party had managed to not only buy a suitable ship, but ensure that their plans would mature. The Valdemar VII was theirs, the Valdemar family was in their debt. The Golemworks would be pleased the Apparatus was acquired successfully, without suspicion, at a lesser cost, and would repay them with animation magics on their new ship. In addition, they had deftly evaded the suspicion of the Scarnetti.
Besides, the Scarnetti tried to intimidate (and stab) us first, so really, fuck those guys.