“You realize that if you make Ettorio do that, his wife will parboil him?”
“Of course!” — Vestiri Iluni & Vittorio Marvigliozzo
With angry Miriadis and the Prince’s men certainly looking for them topside, the blades settle in to hide for a time in Garganta’s underpassages. Ettorio, by virtue of his superior stealth skills, is the one to head up to find his cousin. The others have a tense, long wait before a solitary halfling in dark livery arrives at their hiding place. The halfling has the group follow up through a series of passages, until eventually they emerge.
The blades find themselves in the crowded back room of a textile and clothing merchant, part of a large enclosed ragmarket. Apart from the piled goods, the room also contains a man dressed in flamboyant yellow attire, a second halfling with with a similar black-and-white livery to their guide, and a gnoll bodyguard in a yellow cravat. The man in yellow introduces himself with Vestiri’s voice — as “Cravino D’Ambergia,” complete with his attendants “Salt,” “Pepper” and “Mustard.”
Vestiri explains the convenient cover D’Ambergia eccentricity provides. He mentions that Ettorio is still out, busy exploring his potential shadowy connections. The Prince’s spymaster Helsperia does indeed have an interest in the group, and Vestiri identifies the agent charged with their location as one Nivrotto. However, the ragmarket owner Ot is no admirer of the Prince, and with an even lower opinion of Nivrotto. Vestiri thus reassures the group that Ot will make sure Helsperia’s eyes and ears don’t reach down their hiding hole.
A new set of disguises seems to be in order. The clothes are easy enough to procure, with the resources of the ragmarket. Vestiri also produces a comb and brush with minor enchantments; the comb changes the color of hair, and the brush lengthens it. He coordinates an outlander look for Vesper with longer red braids, a more Khavayish appearance for Vittorio (concealing the remaining horn under a turban), and crops off Kosvach’s hair to make him look more like a traditional Rasennan blade-for-hire.
With everyone properly disguised, Vestiri leads the group to an inn both he and Vittorio trust, the Clarion Call. They take the opportunity to clean up, particularly Vittorio’s wounds. Carenza goes out to organize the Ladies and make sure the cask gets moved to a safer location.
Vesper, Vittorio and Vestiri remain to plot their next move. Exposing the Miriadis would be ideal, if it can be done before enough witnesses. Vestiri suspects the Prince will throw a celebration once the Miriadis “recognize” his son as a mage — which unfortunately means letting Rofogarre go through with the infernal pledge. Less useful but perhaps equally critical, Fabria is sure to come under suspicion for her part in Vittorio’s escape. Extracting her would be useful but dangerous work. They consider Ettorio as a possible seductive sop to throw out as a distraction for Vittorio’s devilish ex-paramour or Helsperia, and don’t discard the idea entirely. The three discuss the options further as they wait for Ettorio and Carenza to return.