Rasennan Summer

42 - Fifty-Fifty-Fifty

The three-sided coin is offered wishes, before the affair with Prince Olidian is settled and the four return to Cinquedea.

If anyone else would like a pie I am led to believe they are inexhaustible!” — Carpa

With spoils in hand, the group makes a hasty, if not quite silent, exit from the Sable Skulls’ lair. A pair of Skulls apparently catch their scent, but the group easily lose their tails in the winding Redoris streets. They discuss their plans, and then split up.

Vesper moves among halfling circles again; first she convinces Tolly to bring Check to a meet where they can ascertain if he’s free of the entrancement or not, then purchases a copy of the Suran al-Qalir for a wedding present. Next she goes off in search of Kosvach’s lost saber. The halfling weapon-dealer Jaxa Quill admits to having purchased the saber from a dredge-gang who saw Bravadi hurl it into the bay when taunting his captives. She sold it to Telva Dancredi, a merchant who intends to send it to a possible Brassado buyer. Telva expects to get 350 reganti for the saber, but is willing to sell it to Vesper for considerably less if Vesper would offer an endorsement: placing the Sespech mark on her blades would be a great draw. Vesper refuses, and instead offers 400 gold for the saber. Telva accepts, and Vesper leaves the shop much poorer but triumphant.

Her poverty is not long-lived. Ettorio spends some time finding buyers for the various items in the Nithian’s hoard; he sells everything but the poisoning-fork, the cockatrice egg and of course the three-sided coin. It provides quite a bit of coin.

Carenza heads to her contact Krista, to spread word to Taza that they located the Sable Skulls hideout, but that it’ll be important to move quickly. Krista is rapidly convinced, and mobilizes her superior with great speed. With no such errand of import, Opilio passes the morning sparring with the Ladies-in-Waiting.

Before they meet with Check, the talk turns to wishing. Ettorio states he’s ready to wish, and even that he thinks Carpa should get a wish. “I think I have decided I will refrain from the wishing,” remarks Opilio; “I don’t understand” is Ettorio’s rejoinder. Vesper and Carenza voice similar doubts, but Ettorio is undaunted. He flips the coin into the air, and as it spins with a tinkling sound like a girl’s laughter, he makes his wish: “I wish Marvino’s problems would go away.” He is pleased to see the coin land on heads.

Carpa dithers a bit about potential wishes — an impenetrable waistcoat, the love of a fascinating woman, all the wine he can drink — but he notes that it will be quite refreshing to actually hold his next reversal of fortune in his hand. He thinks for a moment, then flips the coin: “I wish for an inexhaustible supply of savory pies!” Much to his shock, the coin lands on heads as well. The discussion continues a little longer before Carpa discovers that someone has slipped a magical leather wallet into his bags that produces savory hand-pies upon demand.

No more wishing takes place, and the group meets with Check in a tailor’s loft. The halfling is quite wary of the group, but agrees to go see Sequava about the portion of his memories that are somewhat fuzzy.

The group meets with Sequava as well, and are dismissed when Check’s treatment begins. As they wait in the Prince’s palace, Opilio finally asks for the coin. “I am content with my own lot, but for the Chapelwood lands I wish prosperity, peace and happiness for all those who live there.” He doesn’t dare look at the coin when it lands. “It is not bad news,” Ettorio explains, staring at the wheel, “but it is not exactly good news either. It is the other other news.”

The four eat dinner with the Prince that night, and indulge in light conversation. He asks their opinions on the Miriadis, having had a visitor recently from the aspiring House. Vesper is quite frank about her concerns, and is relieved to find Olidian didn’t care much for their messenger. After the dinner, Olidian invites them to walk with him. Once properly secluded, they discuss the affair of the coin, and Ettorio returns it to the fortunate Prince.

They spend another day in Redoris before the Roaring Gryphon carries them back to Cinquedea. The winds are poor, and they arrive late. Carenza and her crew go carousing in the Veins. Vesper dashes off a note for Kosvach to meet her at the Iron Fang; she then returns to the Quiet House, and finds a pair of letters from the Vargari house.

Ettorio goes shopping for a present, and winds up purchasing some polychromatic perfume from a vendor who clearly had no idea what he was selling. Upon his return to Eveningstones, Virillin greets him and exchanges some news; the Coral Tiara has returned, its captain having performed a daring rescue from its Toquan snake-blood hijackers. It still carried enough cargo that the financial woes of Marvino’s father-in-law are now much abated. “What a fortunate turn of events,” says Ettorio.

Opilio heads to the Tyliel estate, and servants notify Ambira. She appears, quite excited but suspiciously flushed — and when she embraces Opilio, he can tell she’s not only wearing perfume, but smells of Alesci’s own scent. Alesci arrives shortly afterward, and is utterly incapable of concealing his guilt. The three talk awkwardly of adventure before Ambira departs to fetch her mother. While she’s gone, Opilio talks with his son-in-law-to-be about the increased closeness of their relationship, balancing a lack of blame with an absolute promise of pain if Alesci abandons her. Alesci reassures him that he fears both Opilio and his own House in that respect. The family then talks more about events when Dechera arrives. Finally, they all head back to their separate rooms, but Ambira holds back and makes certain her father knows that it was her idea, not Alesci’s, to… consummate early. She also points out her mother doesn’t know, and Opilio promises to keep their secret.

The next morning, Carenza visits the Rovino household. Rasselo is quite frustrated by having to take on the bookkeeping duties that Bessari will soon abandon, and his mood isn’t heavily improved by Carenza’s talk of matchmaking. They discuss the likely disposition of Bravadi Rovino, and Rasselo promises to keep her updated with whatever information he finds.

Kosvach drops by the Iron Fang partway through Vesper’s lesson. When she’s finished, and the two of them are alone, he seems to struggle with finding the proper approach before he simply takes her in one arm and kisses her. With that understanding settled, she makes the request that he teach her Lokvan, and then returns his masterwork saber to him. “You are a wonder,” he says in clear admiration; “what next, will you recover my boots?” The two of them then wander the streets and begin to discuss the next steps of their relationship. Vesper reminds him that she is still owed 29 minutes of a very expensive half-hour, and he promises to make certain it’s money well-spent. When Opilio happens across them later in the morning, they are too occupied with one another to notice him.

Carenza swings by Eveningstones when Ettorio is up. She proposes the Iluni acting as matchmakers for Rasselo, and Ettorio agrees it would be a good idea. He then goes to visit the Rovino estate himself, and deeply enjoys the conflicted feelings his presence engenders in the various bullyboys. Rasselo treats him with a mix of honest frustration and deep respect, but Bessari is delighted with his presence. She takes him on a tour of the building, occasionally stopping for some deep kisses — and Ettorio can’t resist a few of these kisses taking place “accidentally” where a Rovino might see them.

With no immediate stresses, the hours stretch into a few days spent in Cinquedea, relaxing and catching up on news. However, it seems fairly clear to the group that their next step will be following Bravadi Rovino’s trail to the home of all intrigues, the City of Splendor: Raspian City.

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