The Freeport Chronicles

Open Mic at The Rusty Hook

Felius Phelps plays a mean jazz flute

Summary

  • the companions learn that Rooster is trying to cut them out of Crick’s bounty
  • Rooster will attend the performance of Crick’s alter ego Feilus Phelps at The Rusty Hook
  • Rooster is unsuccessful in his attempt on Crick at the tavern
  • the gunslinger escapes in the ensuing mayhem
  • the companions are visited by Maggie, Hollister’s wife and girlfriend of Crick
  • they agree to help her and Crick leave town

Details

The companions sleep in and spend the majority of the morning catching up on errands. They return to the tavern for an early afternoon meal and are summoned by the barkeep – seems several of the orc crew from the Bloody Vengeance wish to speak with them. At a secluded table in the back of the bar, the orcs recount their gladiatorial glory. During the exchange, the companions learn that Rooster, the very gunslinger that they employed to take care of Crick McGillicuddy, has contracted the orc crew to do the dirty work for him. And further, he has cut the companions out of the bounty.

Although altruistic in nature, Rooster requires the money to buy reagents for a powerful spell to counteract the possession of his sister, the companions are unhappy with the turn of events. The orcs are sent back to the ship while the companions decide the best course of action is to pay their good friend Rooster a visit. The orcs were to meet him this very night at The Rusty Hook where Filius Phelps, an alter ego of Crick, is performing.

The companions hail a cab and travel to the Docks District. From the outside, the tavern looks like a dive that caters to sailors and other dock rats. This assumption is quickly confirmed once inside – nets and other sailing equipment decorate the walls and rafters, a ship’s ladder leads to a loft with rooms above. The bar is crowded with various pirate types and other rough looking folk. On stage, a man in garish attire plays a mean flute.

Surveying the crowd, the companions note that most patrons appear to be enamored with the music. Thinking something strange with this, Lando decides to investigate. He conceals his hands under the table and casts detect magic – an aura emanates from the stage. Before he can relay this information to his companions, a man sitting close to the stage rises from his seat and fires a double barrel at the performer. The musician rolls away from the attack, quaffs a potion and disappears.

Identifying the shooter as Rooster, the companions attempt to apprehend the gunslinger. This proves difficult as the barroom erupts into a full fledged brawl. Mugs of beer are spilled, chairs are thrown and tables overturned. Lando casts web in the middle of the tavern, entangling most of the patrons. Order is restored temporarily, but not before Rooster is able to make his escape. With the whistles of the guard heard in the distance, the companions also take the opportunity to exit the building.

No further ahead, the companions work the crowd outside for information regarding Phelps. They learn that he is a local performer that is gaining a cult following for his aggressive style of jazz flute. The owner mentions that his girlfriend, Maggie, attends the shows from time to time. Although not much of a lead, it is late and the companions decide to call it a night.

Returning to The Bard & the Bastard, the barkeep nods at a distraught looking woman that was looking for them. The lady introduces herself as Maggie and asks if she can speak with the crew in confidence. She tells a sad tale about her life with Hollister and his controlling ways. He keeps several lovers on the side but was furious when he found out about her relationship with Crick. She just wants to be happy and is willing to pay double for the companions to get Rooster off their case and let her and Crick leave town together.

Her story tugging at their heart strings, the companions agree to help them make their escape. Maggie provides an emerald encased amulet as down-payment, the rest of the money will be forwarded to Carson at the Sword of the Edict. A plan is hatched – Crick will send out word that Phelps is playing at the Muggy Underpants tomorrow night in hopes that Rooster will find out. Anton will disguise himself as Phelps for the show. Should Rooster rise to the bait and shoot at Phelps again, the other companions will apprehend him. Phelps will “die” during the incident, allowing Crick and Maggie to make a clean escape.

Everything in order for the night, the companions retire to their rooms.

—> Flip to next chapter
—> Return to prior chapter

—> Read orc interlude chapter 1
—> Read orc interlude chapter 2

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