Council of Thieves

Marcello's Journal - Part 3

I have been awake most of the night again, my crafting has improved considerably these last few weeks and my bow has been completed, even if I say so myself I am quite impressed with the results.

I have not been awake long this morning and these infernal meddlers have already been banging on the door, apparently some woman of importance wants to meet with “us”. I use the word “us” in the loosest of terms regarding myself and the band of merry travellers I appear to have been banded with, not one of them worthy of intellectual conversation and I am surprised if I get more than a grunt from them

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Well! That was interesting to say the least, I have to say that talk of magical wards, extra dimensional pockets and vast treasure do indeed give one an appetite. The important woman (I believe her name is Ailyn) purports to be a member of the elusive pathfinder organisation which would seem to fit, meddlers upon layer of meddlers, ‘tis pretty representative of the nine hells if you ask my opinion!

What she spoke of however is a different matter, grand words and a penchant for the elaborate but she did say that a certain building in Westcrown bears many a magical ward and that these can be bypassed by a magical key. Of course the dunderheads to whom I am seconded believe this to be an actual key, even after she lengthily explained it was a Cheliax Crux that was required. I suppose common numbskulls are not privy to the nature of such devices as us educated folk.

I digress however, the crux is held in an extra dimensional pocket in another residence, and to gain entry to this place is, to say the least difficult, unless of course we were to pose as actors, take part in a play and be invited to the aforementioned residence as the occupant has a distinct liking for all matters thespian! Apparently all of this will lead us to some way of stopping the night terrors, I sincerely hope that it does not involve encountering them, I have done this once and that is enough for this lifetime!

Absolutely absurd! Ridiculous, outrageous and bizarre!

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We have just agreed to the most ridiculous of tasks, I do not think the others understand the gravity of the situation and I am most eager to visit and see the wards and magicks that are quite possibly to be our undoing! Although I am a little distressed at having to portray myself as some form of actor!

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Last night was dreadful, my head is banging like a thousand gongs! We were re housed in a much more splendid establishment and from here made our forays to gain some little insight into the wondrous realms of the theatre. I must say if the place we are expected to perform smells anything like the establishment last night then I hope they are looking for performers who can projectile vomit! It stank like a 4 week old rotted carcass and the building didn’t smell much better. It did remind me of the Half Orc (I forget its name) that we had with us several weeks ago.

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We are setting off to the auditions today at the Limehouse Theatre, apparently a director of some renown will be running the play, although if it is anything like that drunken, pretentious debacle last night I will not be participating. The others seem quietly excited, I suppose that the prospect of fame from these tawdry events is appealing to the idiots. It took me the best part of an hour to convince everyone to use pseudonyms, of course I was the only one to use one with a little decorum and taste. I chose for my “stage name” Ponchette DuBois which I think has a certain suave style about it, the cleric Sibelius chose a typically Dwarven name – how hard does he think it will be to spot a human with Dwarven connections in Westcrown, bloody religious freak, Chip Rockstein! Chip “look at the target on my back” Rockstein! By Sivhana’s shadowy blessing, the fool will get us all killed! At least the ranger had a little more decorum and chose Jambo Malachat an Kratz being imaginative as his puny mind could manage came up with the astounding Farus the Travelled! Ha!

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I have no idea what happened, I did my absolute best to avoid being cast in any way shape or form and thought I may be able to sidle my way into dealing with the pyrotechnics or some illusions to improve the play! The others, although were diabolical without intending to be and they cast us all!

The director, Robahl Nonon is an ass, he is a pretentious, pompous, overblown son of a goblin whore, he is clueless as to the world, yet is held in such renown, they obviously cannot see through his petty façade.

I cannot believe I will be spending my valuable time rehearsing the most direly written piece of literature I have ever had the misfortune to lay my eyes upon, I will be doing this with people for whom I have much disdain (although there is a quite attractive actress who has been cast opposite me) and I will be taken away from my most important studies! I will be seeking recompense should we ever have the fortune to gain access to where the crux is stored, and to the nine hells with everyone else!

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I am so tired, the rehearsals are quite funny in their own way, I have never heard so one so full of shit and bad prose! Although this is interjected with repeated berating of the others which has kept me mildly amused, and I think Calseinica, who is playing a part opposite me has interests in myself not entirely to do with the play.

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I have been so tired I have not kept up my journal. It is completely ridiculous, why on earth would anyone pay good money to watch a group of buffoons in gaudy, over complicated costumes prance round like peacocks? It baffles me to the extreme. We have just finished the dress rehearsals, feathers, pomp, make up and much posturing. We also seem to have attracted a small following of hangers on, the dregs of society no doubt who want some minor fame from being associated with us! Tomorrow is the final performance at a more grandiose theatre on the island, The Nightshade. There is reported to be quite a well known crowd of nobles attending including our “mark” who will hopefully extend us the invitation we require.

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I could not sleep, the anxiety is too much. We have joined our lot with an underground organisation, killed Hell knights, set ourselves against the powers that be in no small way and are about to put ourselves on show for some of the most powerful and respected people in this mockery of a lawful government.

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The play is due to be performed soon, it took several stiff brandy for me to get to sleep and whilst I feel a little refreshed, the anxiety is still there. There is not much I can do now as withdrawing from the performance will draw more attention that the performance itself!

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By the horns of a bearded devil, the fools are insane! Why did no one warn us of the fanatical, maniacal almost suicidal nature of it all!

We have finished the play, I almost died! They gave us no warning whatsoever of what to expect, hey are lucky I did not raze their god forsaken theatre to the ground with them in it! They almost killed me! FOOLS!

The first act went pretty much the same as the rehearsals, overbearingly boring dialogue and I could hardly move in the ridiculous clothes I had to wear, the others fared little better. The second act however things went distinctly downhill, the stripped me, almost naked and trussed me in some infernal device more befitting a torture chamber than a stage! And then Rayne whipped me! She actually took a whip and flayed my skin! Fortunately before too much damage was done I managed to get her to intentionally miss and used a minor spell to give the appearance of the lash hitting. When she did actually hit the machine somehow jumped into life and twisted my body – it was complete agony!

The third act was much worse, Trial by Pleasure was its name, what perverse retard wrote this, what deviant thought that using foul burrowing grubs was some form of pleasure! I barely survived, we had to cut the damn things out with flensing knives! I could feel mine burrowing beneath my skin heading for my head, by Sivhana the pain was almost unbearable! Fortunately in the break between acts Sibelius managed to perform some healing granted by his deity otherwise we would not have lasted.

The Fourth act Trial in the Belly of the Beast seemed more sedate, part way through they wheeled out some monstrous representation of a beast and made us climb into the gullet, at which point, with no warning I might add, they tipped the beast head back (I was mildly impressed with the engineering that had gone into this mind you) dropping us into a glass underbelly containing a mild acid brewed from myconids I believe! It was a most distinct smell, however I did have to get out quite quickly what with having my feet in it, so I climbed out using the bars they had so thoughtfully installed! Phylias however did not fare so well, I was amused to watch him fail several times climbing out, a child could have done it, I think it must have taken him 4 or 5 attempts and the crowd were squealing in delight watching him bumbling around and slowly dissolving!

The next act was too extreme, they used some unidentified eggs which they asked us to eat. I was expecting a normal egg, maybe died, but oh no! That would be far to sensible and nowhere near life threatening enough to curb he bloodlust of the crowd. After we had eaten the contents of the egg we started to retch and the resulting red vomit turned into imps of some kind, I have no idea what foul magic’s they used, I was reeling for a while and just managed to gather my senses and utilise another spell before the imps tore into the ranger and cleric. I knocked them all unconscious much to the disdain of the crowd who began to throw rotten fruit and other detritus at us!

The last act was a little surprise as they uncovered several undead creatures, they appeared to be ogres of some sort with the most pathetic illusions over them! They managed to knock Rayne to the floor and Phylias closely followed, obviously overcome by the weak acid he had previously encountered. We managed to fell the beasts reasonably swiftly to the delight of the crowd and finally after the most ridiculous “demon” I had ever seen carried off another of the cast members the final curtain fell.

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I must say the cut of the takings was welcome and surprising and we did receive a reasonably generous gift from Robahl and we managed to get the invitation we required so I am sure that tomorrow we shall be entertained by the mark in some style. In the mean time I am going to get some rest!

I find the whole thing rather tiresome and somewhat frustrating, I could write a better storyline myself, and I may just do that!

For now I will settle for my bed, I have the address of Calseinica whom I have no doubt will be attending tomorrow as well so I may get even more of an insight into acting as I am sure she is planning to be my understudy, so to speak!

With that I shall close my journal as I am low on ink and blotting sand and have much more pleasant thoughts to entertain for this evening.

Comments

Ha Ha !! – Excellent work !

Marcello's Journal - Part 3
scottphillips

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