Erdea

A Perfectly Good Plan, Ruined

I knew once those adventurers arrived in Jacedel they would be trouble. “Heroes of Aria” and all. But never before had any meddling busybodies gotten the better of old Houston Westbeach Jr., and I was not about to let them start now.

I set a few of my men to tail them, and greased a few palms around town for information. Seemed they sailed into town on some old wizard’s magic ship, and were staying in the Rectory- the nicest joint in town (aside from the Westbeach Manor guest houses of course). They made the rounds for sure, and quickly. They hit the embassy, the Regency, the Guardhouse, a visit to Mr. Branson across the channel. They paid a visit to my chief partner and rival Admiral Scott. The Nephrian fellah even dropped by the monastery to snoop about something.

I assumed that both Branson and Scott would have made their own overtures to them for assistance towards our common goal. Then they went off into the jungle for Valkia knows what. Probably snagged a map from the greenskins. I thought perhaps their meddling was done- but it was not so. I heard reports they had been to Pirate Town, and the brewmaster at my distillery reported they were snooping around there. I knew then they would have to be dealt with one way or another.

That’s when I overheard some conversation with my men. Seemed a few of Scott’s seediest men were overheard bragging about a job they had done for Mr. R.

Saying anything to anyone about a job you did for R was hazardous for you health, but this trio were never the smartest pirates on the island. They funny part of their story however, was how lucky they must have been. They said they were tailing the fellah they wanted killed- and out of nowhere a few of the adventurers had showed up. They had jawed with the poor scab for a minute or two, then brained him and hid him in an alley. All the “hit squad” needed to do was gut the bastard and drop him in the harbor. Easiest money they had ever made.

I knew that this was my chance. I had my boys bring those three to the Manor and put the fear of the gods into ‘em. Told how their bragging was sure to get their throats slit (which weren’t far from the truth). Told em that good old benevolent Westbeach could fix it for em, and even put some coin in their pocket if they’d tell the law that they had seen those meddlers off the mercenary.

I had them rehearse their story, but man they were bad liars. No matter- our Lady Jacqueline had to be the dimmest Captain of the guard we have had in centuries. Those boys spread the tale far and wide, and it worked like a charm. Sure enough when those foreigners finally returned from their jungle jaunt they were locked up right quick.

I posted their bail and put some pressure on em. I figgered that it was a no lose situation for me now. Either I had em in my pocket and I could call off the witnesses, or they hung from Big Jackie’s gallows and the problem was solved permanent. Maybe I could even get the Admiral sent home in the process, and get that cushy job for mahself.

Just goes to show that a good business man has to be prepared for anything. Sure enough they outed the plan to the Regent and she moved on it. They started pushing our boys back to pirate town and quick. Problem was they also outed my part of it. Seems tavern owners weren’t too keen on paying quadruple for WB Rum, and I had mahself a minor customer rebellion. Took me quite a bit of gold to smooth over- and I decided it was best that I lay low on the plantation for a while and leave the manor house.

Even worse those meddling bastards got off on the murder charge. Seems those three idiots fell apart in front of the Regent and she let em go provided they don’t come back for a while. Even Big Jackie got sacked, and the prospect of a smarter Guard Captain doesn’t look good for business.

I don’t know where that whole crew is headed next- but I tell you this: Given the chance the Pirates of Pirate Town will make sure they regret crossing us.

That’s a PROMISE.

- The Fantastic Journal of the Illustrious Houston Westbeach Jr.
Elder’s Day, 5th day of Harvestmoon 2926 EOM

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