Yanika stretched and smiled as she sat back up and reached for her glass of wine. She took a sip before turning to Emine to continue the story of how they had found the Plague Doctor and what had happened afterward.
“After having gotten the address from Elzen, the guy providing all the doctors with their herbs, we went to Cliffside Hold. The place turned out to be a big warehouse with an apartment on top. We noticed an orc of the Red Eyes gang keeping an eye on the place and when Kayne approached him to have a chat, things immediately got violent. And this turned out to be no ordinary ganger, as he promptly knocked out Kayne and Spade, before getting overwhelmed by the rest of us!”.
It had come as a surprise to all of them just how swiftly and brutally the orc had managed to floor the otherwise sturdy barbarian, but all in it had ended well, and they had managed to capture the orc, which would prove invaluable later on.
“After tying up the orc and reviving Kayne and Spade, we went up to have a chat with the doctor himself. He confirmed that had treated Brand, who had been feverish and wounded when they had brought him in. The psychotic gang leader had been wounded by claws and the doctor suspected her had been infected with the poison from the black maze. During treatment he got better, but not because of the medication given. The doctor told us that most people just go insane and die from such high exposure, so why didn’t Brand die from it?”.
The red haired girl drank more of her wine as she settled back in against Emine, getting comfortable. She thought back on the conversations and all the information they had gathered so far about the Black Maze and all the weird happenings. Yanika was sure all of it was somehow connected and would all make sense when more pieces of the puzzle would fall into place.
“While we were listening to the Doctor telling his tale, we noticed some people sneaking around on the roof outside. More Red Eyes gang members sent to take out the Doctor. Even as I got off the warning, they jumped through the windows and attacked. The fight was a hard and difficult one, all the more because every time one of the gangers died, a Slaad tadpole burst out of the corpse and resumed attacking. Luckily they were still too young to be able to possess or control anyone. In the end we managed to defeat all of them and even capture one of the gang members alive.”.
Emine brushed the fingers of her good hand through Yanika’s hair as she listened to the girl telling her story. The arrangement between the two was a good one she noted. Yanika loved talking and Emine enjoyed listening and not having to talk too much herself. She smirked a bit though.
“As I recall this fight was in the streets?”. Yanika blushed fiercely as she looked up at the woman and bit her lip.
“Yeah...I’m sorry, The doctor didn’t want the guards involved so we put the bodies outside before I called on you, figuring that as these were just gangers from the Racks, not too much fuss would be made about it.”
Emine laughed softly, a rare sound for sure. She leaned in and kissed Yanika softly on the lips before smiling at her.
“Don’t worry, I’m not cross with you, and I knew that you would tell me the full story eventually. I trust your judgement to inform me when I need to be informed.”.
Yanika sighed in relief and gave her another kiss in reply before resting back into her arms. For a moment she had worried about this. If she told the truth to Emine, would the woman be cross with her? Not want to see her anymore? It was a risk she had to take, as lying was not a good basis to build a relationship on. So she had told her the truth, and was happily relieved that Emine had taken it so well.
“We told the doctor that we were there to find a way to cure Brand of whatever madness is afflicting him, and for that we needed to venture into the Black Maze. He didn’t seem to like that much, and tried disuadding us from going there, but he did also give me the alchemical formula for a potion to counteract the poison for a short while. It’s expensive to make, but could come in handy if needed. Next up was talking to the gang members we had captured. They confirmed that they were there to kill the Doctor, but hadn’t been told why by Brand. They also had no idea about the Slaad growing inside of them. The orc told us that he had been the one who had tracked down the doctor and that he had also been there when Brand had gone sick. They had gone on a burglary on a place owned by the corporation, and it had gone horribly wrong. The corporation guards had surrounded the building, and the gang had had to escape through the sewers. They had split up and lost Brand, and when they finally found him again, it was several hours later and Brand was unconscious, wounded and sick.”
After the interrogation, the doctor had surgically removed the tadpoole from the remaining ganger, and Kayne had locked it in a cage. No-one knew what he had been up to when he then decided to go and visit the giants. Apparently he figured he could do better in securing us payment for jobs than Spade had been doing thus far, and well, he sort of did well. He managed to talk the giants into paying us for each of the Slaad, and the slaad tadpoles we kill.
“After having talked with the doctor and with the gangers, we convened back at Ace and Spade’s place at the guildhall. Ace and Aitlas headed to the Racks to talk to Nail, the gang member who had hired us in the first place, only to be ambushed by two other members of the Red Eyes gang when they entered Nail’s home. Nail himself had been killed, probably as retribution by Brand for going behind his back.”
Yanika sighed deeply and finished her wine. The business with the gang had gone on too long at that point so the group and talked at length on what to do next, but for once, they had agreed that Brand and his gang needed to be stopped, and stopped quickly. So they had drawn up plans on how to do this and in the end decided on an early morning sneak attack on the gang’s hideout in the Racks.
“We went into the Racks stealthily and scouted out the place. Brand was not on site, but quite a few gang members were, so we decided to use the opportunity to deliver a hard blow to the gang anyway and deal with Brand later. Kayne kicked in the door and our attack began. All in the attack went smoothly, with gang members falling left and right and in the end only Ace and Spade got some serious injuries. The worst was that when one of the leaders got killed, an actually fully grown Slaad erupted from his body, but even that couldn’t withstand the fury of Kayne’s attacks for very long.”.