Johnny Runner surveyed the damage outside of his tavern, the Smuggler’s Den. As he slowly paced back and forth, looking at the destruction… the broken tables and chairs, the smashed crates, the broken glass; his anger grew. He slowly staggered his way inside, and his gaze fell upon the men who were seated waiting for him.
“What’s the deal you brute? You haven’t paid us in weeks!” Shouted one of Johnny’s Captains. The others in the room chimed in and agreed with various grunts and nods. Johnny’s anger turned to rage as he picked up a small strongbox, and threw it at his Captain’s face. The man dodged the flying box just in time as it hit the wall and broke open, resulting in a handful of coins and gems scattered across the floor.
“You want payment? There you go, you swine!” Exclaimed Johnny. He then continued:
“They killed them! Chetwin and Redley are dead! They had the entire shipment of my lager to be distributed! And you fools let them get killed! How dare you ask me to be paid!”
Johnny looked around the room at each of his men, and upon making eye contact with each of them, they all turned away or looked down; everyone except for one man seated across the room. Johnny met his gaze and smiled.
“Now listen you rats, we need to come up with a plan! This place is in shambles, and we have no gold.” Said Johnny. He looked around the room for a minute, and spotted a half-empty bottle of ale. He walked over to it, picked it up and as he was about to drink it, he paused and had a second glance at the bottle.
“What is it?” Inquired one of Johnny’s Captains. Johnny raised a hand, and replied:
“The mine. The lost Magincia mine! We could make a huge haul from there, and fund our operation for months to come!”
“How are we going to get there John? We can barely set foot off this island!” Said Johnny’s Captain. Johnny thought for a few moments as he placed the bottle of ale on the table, and took a seat. He looked down at a map that was on the table for a few moments, and then looked at his men.
“Bryam and Medford… You two will take two ships, and a crew to Magincia. Sail with a merchant banner as to not arouse suspicion. Disembark at the docks, and send a few prospectors down into the mine. A few men down there won’t raise any alarms. Instruct them to gather as many gems as the ships can carry, and have them ready to be loaded up. This is when the rest of the crew will make their move… The pirates that are already in town will descend upon the mine and then Bryam, you leave the docks, sail around the island and assault from the coast. We’ll get them on both sides. Before they know what is going on, the first ship should be off with the gemstones! What do you thugs think?” Said Johnny. His men looked around the room at each other, and pondered the plan laid forth by Johnny. After a few moments of silence, Bryam, one of Johnny’s Captains spoke up:
“After we get the haul onto the ships, where to then John?”
Johnny pondered for a few moments as he fiddled with a wooden pipe and a small pouch of dried tobacco leaves. After taking a few puffs from the pipe, he looked over the map that was on the table once again.
“Nujel’m. Sail to Nujel’m. I will meet you there.” Said Johnny.
“You’ll meet us there? Do you expect the Sultan to just welcome pirates into his city?” Inquired Bryam.
“Yes, that is exactly what I expect, Bryam. You see, the Sultan owes me a favor. I did a job for him several years back. It involved raiding three ships that were set to travel from Moonglow to Vesper. Apparently, there was some sort of artifact being transported on one of the ships… and the Sultan wanted possession of this relic. We raided the three ships, recovered his trinket, and left none alive. When I brought the Sultan his prize, he offered to pay me very handsomely, but I refused. I asked him if in a time of need, I can call upon him for a favor, as my payment. He agreed.” Replied Johnny.
After a few more minutes of small talk with his men, Johnny sent them on their way. The man that had failed to break gaze with Johnny remained. Johnny looked over, and again smiled.