The Thieves of Waterdeep
CToVS - Chapter 2
CHAPTER 2: Monty Cristo
With magic unstable much of life was stuck in the persona of Count Monty Cristo. Note to self to just can’t go and call yourself this, they don’t like anyone using this title … oh well Monty Cristo it is.
Monty Cristo’s party had been a great success not only was Cyric (in the persona of Monty Cristo) finally introduced and accepted by the rich and powerful but love was in the air. With Cyric’s house guard providing security, and thieves warned to keep away (temporarily), and the Mask faithful providing the catering. Many noble party goes claimed that it had to be one of best parties ever. Music, “dancers” and wine open lips the saying goes. Secrets spilled and new informants made. With the faithful providing the ears and eyes. The nobles and rich should have look after their servants better. Their loss is Cyric’s gain.
Cyric took special note of any noble and especially one of the guests, possible uninvited, a beautiful Calashite woman, Alestra Maer, recently widowed. She seemed interested in getting to know a few people, including the bearded Monty Cristo, better. She was married to a wealthy perfume merchant and just brought a mansion ….. Was this fate, was she brought by the fates only time will tell.
Would she see Cristo for the man he was …. Oh how droll. Over the next tenday Cristo could be seen in the company of Alestra, walking in the park or seeing theatre and music (thanks Cireo). Cristo was forced away on business for the next two tendays (well actually in the under dark dealing with Ibrandul and Shar). “The ears” reported that a Lord Karakis had taken an interest in Alestra…… which is to say annoyed Cyric. Slipping into the night Cyric infiltrated the Karakis mansion. Karakis was a noble from an old Waterdeepian line, had grown fat and accustomed to his power. Unfortunately had amounted a large gambling debt. His plan was to assimilate the Maer perfume business fortune by marriage and then deadly accident. Incensed, Cyric left the mansion without even stealing much (just the family jewellery). Collecting his body guard (Captain Solonor Blackheart), and some interesting documents marched to the Karakis mansion demanding to see the lord.
Lord Karakis being noble, normally would not have allowed entry to this “common merchant”. For some reason the servants had allowed him entry. The confrontation took more work than intended, firstly the Lord needed to be goaded into a rage, demanding satisfaction and then finally betting his outstanding dept. vs 20% share of his business interests. To achieve this Cyric adjusted his Cristo persona to appear slightly sickly and weak, making it seem all his idea. After 20mins the challenge was accepted with a time and place. One tendays time within the garden 10am, single weapon, surrender or death, one second, the aggrieved party and witnessed by a neutral party, Durnan “The Wanderer” owner of the Yawning Portal. To keep it all above board and legal like the challenge was written and witnessed.
Leaving the mansion Cyric smiled, yes this would work….. let’s just not make it too fair. The funny thing was that he would not even have to lie to Durnan or Alestra….. just tell the truth about Lord Karakis’s plan for Alestra. During the ten-day everything was put into place, Durnan agreed (to fight injustice) and Alestra made those big doe eyes and hugged Cristo close. The night before the dual a cook must have made a mistake in cooking Lord Karakis’s food, forcing him awake all night with vomiting and diarrhoea.
The next morning Lord Karakis arrived looking a little out of sorts in his heavy Full-Plate armour and great two-handed sword. Cristo on the other hand only held his trusty walking stick and dagger….. Lord Karakis roared with laughter …..
“Fool, surely some armour might help ….. you should never just bring a dagger to a sword fight.”
Cristo replied. “I don’t need large swords and armour to make up for my lack of man-hood.”
“So be it….. let’s get that money off you then.” Hissed Lord Karakis. Slamming his visor down.
With the presence of Durnan, Alestra, Lords Karakis’s Captain, and Solonor watching the fight began with Karakis attacking and Cristo dancing back out of range. For the next 5 minutes the fight followed the same pattern with Karakis taking large swings and Cristo dancing away.
“You fight like a coward.” Karakis breathed heavily.
“No just from safety.” Cristo replied.
Furious and fatigued Karakis launched another assault. This time using his shoulder to smash Cristo to the ground. Alestra gasped. As Karakis raised his sword for the killing blow Cristo rolled forward, past the guard of Karakis, slashing the back of the Karakis knee before springing to his feet. The physical exertion had taken its toll, combined with the wound and lack of sleep caused his knee to give way sending Karakis crashing to the ground like a mangled heap of metal.
Within two seconds Cristo’s blade was poised over Karakis visor.
“Yield…….unless you want to see who moves quicker.” Smiled Cristo.
“You coward…..” Karakis mumbled through clenched teeth.
“Why yes I think you’re right, but one who has you at his mercy. Do you yield?” Replied Cristo.
“I yield” Replied Karakis in s soft voice.
Applause could be heard from the side as Durnan clapped. “Well, well, I wasn’t expecting that. I believe that we’re done here unless someone has something to add. This has been most interesting. My Lord Karakis, Cristo.”
Catching Alestra in his arms, Cristo turned and replied over his shoulder. “I’ll be sending my man to visit in the morning my Lord.”
Strangely at this point “the ears” had picked up conversation with the palace of Lord Piergeiron the Paladinson concerning the “arrival” of Monty Cristo. Two days later a livered messenger arrived at the “The Grand Elf” with a letter.
My dear Monty Cristo,
We have heard great things about your arrival into our fair if not troubled city.
We would love to have you dine with us at the palace.
Awaiting your pleasure
Realizing this could kill two birds with one stone, Cyric paid the liveried messenger a silver piece, and sent a message to Alestra Maer. Meeting her at the Golden Gown tailor and dressmaker. It had been a fun ten-day.