“Do you want to come home with me and tell my wife we spent my money on assassins?”
“Yes! Let’s go!” — Opilio Chapelwood & Ettorio Iluni
[Over the last two days, Ettorio has been becoming further entangled in the affairs of the Black Veils. On his own, he manages to wend his way into the attention of the local chapterhouse, and winds up making extended contact with the assassins quartered in a Downturn hideout. As a measure of his intentions, they recruit him to assist with the hunt for the Downturn sniper, teaming him up with a “handler” to keep an eye on the wayward Iluni. They come fairly close, and are able to confirm that the murderer favors a red cloak, but the sniper evades the attention. After two days of this activity, Ettorio returns to reunite with his colleagues.]
When Ettorio arrives at the Hare & Pheasant, he discovers that only Carenza and Opilio are there; Vesper is touring sword schools with her potential future stepfather. He tells them where he’s been, in somewhat obfuscated fashion. When Opilio mentions that he’s been invited to lunch at the Sespech grotto, Ettorio is quite impressed.
“You have become quite the nobleman! Next you will be attending fetes.”
“I doubt that! If we weren’t such good friends, Ettorio…”
Opilio departs punctually to make his lunchtime appointment. Vesper is sure to meet him at the grotto before her mother can, in order to control any first impressions. Opilio mentions that Ettorio has returned, though somehow he manages to further garble Ettorio’s account of events such that he gives the impression that Ettorio was abducted and held captive by the Black Veils before he escaped. The lunch with Vesper’s mother goes well, though, and Opilio makes a good impression, somewhat easing Istrella’s fears about the peril of her daughter’s travels, and speaking well (and honestly) of Kosvach’s character.
Ettorio and Carenza decide to spend the day further hunting the red-cloaked Downturn sniper. However, they become tragically distracted by a tavern called the Red Cloak, and their stakeout yields nothing but inebriation.
Rugo delivers a cut of the Drovers’ take to Gorvo, talks business for a while with both Gorvo and Raccitelli, and receives orders to administrate the territory for a time. He returns to the Drovers and spends the afternoon soliciting their opinions and ambitions, maintaining the cover that they’re destined for big things.
That evening at the Hare and Pheasant, all five convene for the first time. After some banter, Rugo and Vesper drive the planning session. The scarred mercenary points out that they can expect some heavy hitters to still hang around Gorvo — the spear-wielding dwarf Bloodnotch and the sniper brothers Ludaro and Lamesti keep close. It’s determined that Rugo will go in first, and open the doors to the repurposed shrine to Jaulckem for them. Rugo also suspects that he has gotten the bad end of his deal with Vestiri.
Rugo approaches the Executor headquarters under the guise of bringing a report on the Drovers’ feedback, and how they’re adapting to now being put under “Ogur’s” control. He manages to put Gorvo at ease, mutually laughing at the Drovers’ ambitions, and extends some of the celebrations into midnight. The other four covertly approach the old shrine under cover of night, narrowly missing some of the young lookouts.
Around midnight, Rugo moves to open the door. A pair of lookouts hang about the front steps to the shrine, so Ettorio concocts a plan to get close enough in timely fashion. Posing as an elderly and senile pilgrim, he approaches on the arm of his “sturdy son” Opilio on the pretext of visiting the shrine — insisting that it’s still in service. As the lookouts ready to provide a more physical deterrent, Rugo opens the doors, and the lookouts meet a sudden demise.
Ettorio goes up and through the transom; the others charge through the door. Gorvo is startled by “Ogur’s” treachery; Raccitelli adapts more quickly, firing off a quick shot with a hand crossbow. The fight erupts in earnest, with Rugo and Opilio drawing the lion’s share of the Executors’ attention. Raccitelli demonstrates an alarming bit of insight during the fight as he addresses Rugo by name, and refers to the mercenary’s dead wife. The rest of the Executors draw plenty of blood before they’re put down, with Carenza striking down Gorvo, but the group chooses to subdue Raccitelli instead.
Ettorio devotes some time to the vault, but it’s more complicated than he had imagined: despite its age, it still has the sort of sophisticated lock systems a shrine to the wealth god might boast. They compel the rudely revived Raccitelli to open the vault. He does so, though he does his best to convince the group that it’d be more profitable still to keep the Executor operation running, with his assistance of course.
Once the vault is open, Rugo pulls Raccitelli into a corner. “My wife’s name didn’t deserve to be dragged through your lips,” he snarls. He finishes the Executor mastermind then and there, afterwards returning to help deal with the spoils.