The brothers sit plotting how to handle the situation with the Greysmears and the Rumbleside WestNorth buildings. Erwin wants to kill them, which the boys are not averse to, having failed to yet come up with any good ideas on how to extort them. Theo is still insisting that they should kidnap the wife and send bits back to Donald Greysmear.
Planning commences on how to deal with the consequences of the proposed actions.
The planning session is interrupted by a knock at the door. Albert answers the door Angie and Mary Seamstressdaughter are waiting there in their “best” summer dresses. “Do you and Garland want to come for a walk with us?”. Albert and Garland agree and step out into the sun arm in arm with the girls.They walk through the marketplace where Garland remembers that he had read it is the done thing to present a girl with flowers, and he buys Mary a small posy. Bert, is suitable admonished for not doing the same for Angie and so buys 2 Gold pieces worth of flowers.
The stroll continues up past the cleancart in and along towards the dock side. Bert and Garland notice the gang on the walls, all wearing a sharkstooth pendant.
Theo, Edwin and Robin try to sneak along after the couples…
At the Cllisonas Canal the couples settle down for a small picnic and watch the barges on the canal loading ice. On the far side the Ketch Boys climb from their boats unloading merchandise.
The picnic is cut short with the sight of Mrs Seamstressdaughter walking towards the dockside, which prompts Albert and Garland to run, feeling this will get the girls into less trouble. The girls both get a scolding and a beating anyway and are dragged after from the docks and back to their house by their mother.
Back at the Thief house, the plotting continues, this time the boys focus their attentions on solving the child murders, thinking that my finding justice for the Keyholes, they will increase their reputation in the Rip. Robin and Garland take the stolen Greysmear ledgers to the Keyholes and ask them to look over them to ascertain who owns the storeroom. When they are able to confirm that it is Brandy Goodgrocer that has rented the storeroom for many years, Garland and Robin explain the reasons for asking. They lead the Keyholes down to the storeroom where Albert is waiting. They identify the body and Mrs Keyhole turns to ask “Will you kill the man that did this?”, The brothers walk around to the market square where Theo and Edwin are waiting. Edwin talks to Captain Thatch to ask him not to intervene in what is about to go down.
Goodgrocer is attacked and quickly brought down, viciously. The crowd begins to murmur and Garland climbs onto the grocers cart and screams out “The Brotherhood of The Rip have brought this man to justice after being allowed to roam free for so long”. Just after this declaration, Garland feels weak and then falls unconscious. Goodgrocer’s corpse is pitched into the Ratfish canal.
The next day, Garland is still terribly weak, and can’t stop eating. Sliproof educates the brothers, on the Thief ranks, and explains that now they have marked territory, they are now classed as Novices and as such they will need to pay the Reapers a monthly tithe.
At 2pm a dumpy woman arrives at the door and explains the tithe for us as Novices at the moment is 200 Cutters per Month.
Sliproofs next lesson and task is for the boys to identify the factors that are stopping the brothers from controlling the territory.
The boys come up with the following answers:
Information – They don’t know enough about their own territory let alone the surrounding territories;
Influence – At the moment no-one has a reason to trust the Brothers(or even to really know who they are);
Resources – They don’t have any real recurring income at their disposal.
The brothers, start the next part of the plan to increase this information about the Rip. Bert speaks to Angie about recruiting the local kids to the Brotherhood. Angie agrees but wants some cash to be able to do this properly. She also wants to a place to use. Bert takes her up to the Den. Angie is disgusted with the state of the place and demands more cash to get it cleaned up. Traps are set on the roof around the den and Angie is given some rudimentary climbing lessons.
The Greysmears ledgers are once more given to the Keyholes and are asked to go over the numbers and scrutinise where Donald Greysmear is making his money and who he is overcharging.
It isn’t long before information starts coming in from the new recruits. Mr and Mrs Dripper are the people who are sending messages to the Greengang Boys, and are spying on the Waggoneers. All the Waggoneers know this.
The boys also visit Harry Hammerhands and check out his business and then nextdoor to the Brothel. Robin talks to Claire and tries to get information about Valentino but she is reluctant to give up anything and doesn’t want Robin to get involved in the same way she has.
The Keyholes return with their findings from the ledgers:
The Greysmears could cut most of the rents in the buildings down and still make 120Gold per month
Mrs Keyhole wants to take over the building management if an opportunity arises
The building technically has no owner due to the way Ybent was originally constructed. The building is designated as Old Original.
3 of the Beggar Kings boys return to the area and are taken onto the Brotherhood payroll. They are promised a room and 5 silver per month.
All of this in place the brothers are set to move on their plan to oust the Greysmears, and they are taking the direct route.
The following morning they wait outside the Greysmears apartment and when Donald Greysmear opens the door to leave Bert and Theo rush him pushing him back into the room. Garland follows and goes for Mrs Greysmear who picks a pan of boiling water off the stove throwing it at the boys. Albert takes the brunt but it doesn’t stop his beating on Donald. Garland smashes into Mrs Greysmear who falls and strikes her head of the stove dying instantly. Donald Greysmear doesn’t last much longer and soon the boys are sitting amidst the blood and carnage of a brutal assault.
They clear the room out as best they can and move in the Keyholes. The Brotherhood of The Rip has acquired its first income source.
They increase their thief training working now on learning signals and thieves cant and etiquette.
More revenue surfaces as it comes to light that the Greysmears were also taxing the market which brings in an extra 20 Gold per month.
The dropping of the rent has helped to build the profile of the Brothers the mood in the area has changed towards the young thieves.
A fully painted signal stone is thrown into the thieves garden meaning there is a situation warranting immediate attention at the Den. The Brothers get there to find that a trap on the roof has been triggered and there is a piece of torn boot caught in the mechanism.
The kids have also intercepted a pile of “Gutter News” cheap sheets which were left in the Market and on the Golden Canal bridge earlier in the day (see https://greyhawk-at-peace.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/octopus-boy-an-unknown-enemy-wages-a-propoganda-war).
Garland goes to see Eelson as his advert is printed on the Gutter News page. He says the advert has been popular as he’s had loads of business since taking it out. He says that the advert was sold to him by a chap dressed in a sort of pirate uniform.
Speaking to Clopcart he says it sounds like the gang in Tallolds in the west of the Rumbles. Melte is the main man over there that would be involved in printing cheap sheets.
That night the boys make their first moves into the Rumbles, skirting up through Scumside and past the dwellings of some Ratmen that seem to act with nonchalance towards them. Moving through the side streets and past the Ratmen market they come up to the Tallolds building. Leaving their weapons at the door they are taken in to meet Melte, the editor of the Gutter News. He reveals that if the boys want to know who paid for the story it would cost 300 Gold, but if they wanted to run their own sheet it would cost 150 Gold.
The strange hunger has now got into Theo as well as Garland and the pair of them are consuming enough food for 8 people on a daily basis.
Nipper and Cruncher are spoken to about the storeroom full of bleach. They said they didn’t know what the Beggar King did with it but they used to get 400 Gold and would usually get the same amount every few months.
The boys go to the Cllisonas dock side and signal across to the Ketch Boys that they “Have a Deal to Discuss”. The Ketch Boys led by Enfield come across and listen to the deal to shift the bleach through their network of contacts. They agree to 800Gold for the bleach and to use the Rip side of the canal. They also want the boys to help distribute a cheap sheet to the dwarves in the Rip.
A message is intercepted from the Green Gang Boys to the Dippers(10 Gold wrapped in a note thrown over the canal). The message reads “We are interested in GLD and EDN”
The boys load the bleach onto a cart hired from Clopcart and wheel it up to pass it to the Ketch Boys.
With the proceeds of the sale, they are able to pay Melte to find out that it was Lilian that paid for the Cheap Sheet. Lilian is caller herself the ruling thief in Reivers Rip.
After the message interception the decision is made to deal with the Drippers. The loose brick is removed from the side of the house and Erwin is passed through the house. Once inside he uses his magic to unlatch the doors allowing the boys access where they catch the Drippers in the house. Mr Dripper is weak and keeps fainting but Mrs Dripper tries to mouth off and feels Theo’s wrath. The boys try to interrogate her but a mob alerted by the noise come to the door. The boys are forced to escape into the tunnels and back to the Thief house.
Mrs Pocketdipper is spoken to and passes on what info she knows of Lilian. She is the personal secretary of Valentino.
Over the next few days all of the boys become hungry. Sliproof throws a ‘birthday’ party for the boys and gives them all gifts. Theo received an Elven climbing harness, Albert an ironwood cudgel, Garland an illustrated book of poisons written by Sliproof himself, Edwin a disguise box full of different clothing, and Robin a Makeup kit.
The boys question Sliproof on the hunger and he gives them the choice. He can tell them but things will change and may not be the same, but if they don’t want to know now they will find out eventually. He tells them to sleep on it and give the decision in the morning.
The next morning, Sliproof is not around so the boys decide to do their own training. Theo climbs to the roof with his new harness and Albert walks over to the Den to see Angie. On the way he is jumped on by 4 men armed with swords and vicious daggers. Theo sees this from the roof, and shouts for help while clambering down to help his brother. Nipper, Cruncher and the 3 ex-Beggar Boys hear the commotion and run from their rooms to help Albert. Some of the attackers try to run.
Garland, Robin and Edwin run out from the thief house and try to intercept the attackers, 1 attacker slips and falls into the canal.
1 attacker makes it over the Ratfish canal pursued by Garland and Albert but he manages to jump the Captains Walk and the pair don’t follow.
Theo chases the final attacker up and over the roof of the Den and onto the roofs of Rumbleside WestNorth. They tussle and go over the edge, clinging onto the roof ledge. Angie is above trying to help but the assailant manages to climb up and punches her in the throat before disappearing into the night.
1 dead attacker is left on the ground. They search his body, taking his serrated dagger. He wears a tattoo of the “VSB Poshos”.
Albert is taken to the Waggoneer medic to be patched up after the beating he took.
Edwin starts eating and carries on into the night.
In the morning Theo, Albert, Garland and Robin find Edwin slumped over the dinner table covered in food and fast asleep.
Sliproof asks the boys if they have made up their minds about knowing the truth about the hunger. They all agree that they need to know now.
Sliproof leads the brothers to the Water Tower. He makes the boys swear an oath of trust in what he is about to tell them. He reveals a scar on his arm and one by one cuts the same mark into the brothers arms, before pressing the wounds together to seal the blood pact.
Sliproof explains that the statue of the woman is of the only true god of Ybent. A sister of Neural and Iuz that tricked the world into thinking she didn’t exist.
She made servants from Grey City tech and Sliproof is one of these. Zeev Blackrock uncovered some Grey City artefacts around 13 years ago.
The brothers are all born of human woman and man, but also of She. Sliproof is technically their brother.
The brothers themselves are all hybrid, part human and part astral being, children of the gods, Neural, She, and the Reich God.
Sliproof explains that being an astral being means the ability to shape and bend your body and mind past the physical mortal realm. It takes time and practice but eventually The Brothers will be able to morph and shift at will like Sliproof.
He teaches them to meditate, focussing on their own body and mind and channeling the astral plains to reconfigure them.
After an hour of meditation the Brothers open their eyes to notice marked changes in their appearances.
Theo, now have a stance of pure balance, aided by his feline tail;
Albert is bigger, bulkier and looks solid;
Garland is even more freakish in his gangly appearance. His arms and legs seem longer and he crouches in an unsettling pose;
Robin’s androgyny is now more pronounced and he seems to be able to shift his outward physical sexuality.
Edwin, now blends more and has become more nondescript.
The Brothers also have the feeling that they have absorbed knowledge and skills that should have taken months of repetitive training and tuition.
Full of new found vigour they ask Nipper and Cruncher about sourcing some armour and weapons to help them defend The Rip.
The boys also start gathering more info on the VSB factory from Nipper, Cruncher and the Keyholes, and Robin goes to see Claire to try to get more info from her.
Claire tells Robin what she knows about Lilian and Valentino. Lilian controls the Highwaymen Boys who tax the wagons in and out of The Rip. This includes the pisscarts. They overturned the omnibus which is on it’s side and they are the reason the omnibuses won’t travel into Reivers Rip.
The brothers go to the Scumside Drop pub to try and speak to the VSB Poshos, but they are unwilling to Parle. The Chokers however send a message asking if the Brothers want to help them wage war against the Ratmen, and take over the market area in the gleaming. The boys had seen the Chokers controlling the area next to the market previously.
Garland hatches a plan to climb the viaduct and use the height advantage to get a proper look at the Green Gang Boys territory. They climb to the top and walk along. As they approach they notice a zip line coming from a hole in the side of the viaduct over to a house in Garden Terrace. They climb down into the hole and find a tunnel system that looks to run all the way to the Cliffside station area. As the move through in the dark, Theo is stabbed with a spear, reacting they discover an 8 year old girl guarding a horde of stolen supplies. She is Midge and is a member of the Green Gang Boys. The merch is stolen from Cliffside Station and is one of the ways the GGB generate revenue. Albert restrains Theo and stops him from killing Midge. He tells Midge to take a message to the leaders of the GGB that we want to speak with them. The brothers climb up to the viaduct top and wait for Midge to go, spying on her route from the viaduct to the GGB gang house.
Back the Thief house Albert and Theo settle their differences created in the tunnel.
Albert goes to see Angie. The the boys go to see Rob Rumblerunner to discuss the Highwaymen Boys. They are currently taking about 50 Gold from the waggoneers per month. If we can sort it and make it safe the Waggoneers would pay us 20 Gold per month, and any help from them we need.
That night the boys stakeout the Highwaymen Boys and begin to formulate a plan to strike. The plan is to take out the leader and his henchmen, and then install Angie as gang leader.
The following night the brothers assemble on Scumside overlooking the Highwaymen Boys. The way for the Leader to make his nightly stroll to be pleasured by one of the younger boys, when Robin skips out ahead of him, stopping him dead in his tracks. Robin starts to seduce the old man and works him into a state of ecstasy, holding him in his pleasure Robin castrates the old man, before he can react Theo and Garlands have leapt down from their perches on the walls and got their blades into him. As he lies dying Robin drains his life essence. The rest of the Highwayman Boys don’t seem to react in a hostile manner, and Angie is quick to run down and take control of the situation. After clearing and securing the block the boys leave Angie to get to know the gang.
Rob Rumblerunner is pleased with the progress and pays the boys for their work. He offers the services of the smithys for a starter of their new relationship.
The Brothers arrange for Iron posts to be set into the wall above the Cleancart Inn and a cable attached over Angies gang house.
News comes back that the Porters Boys gang have spread their territory to grab the area which contains the overturned Omnibus. Digging into the Porters Boys it is clear that they are at war with the neighbouring VSB Poshos, even though their respective leaders are having a clandestine affair.
The Brothers go back to the Scumside Drop. Now they are regarded very differently by the gangs gathered there.
That night they are awoken by the sound of banging on the doors, someone is trying to break the doors in. They drop down into the tunnels and head for the garden, but are forced back as firebomb are thrown down the hatch. They retreat back to the first T-Junction and form a defensible position. Robin and Erwin head off through the tunnels to try and get help from Nipper and Cruncher.
The Green Gang boys move down into the tunnels carrying a tabletop as a shield, as they approach the T-junction, Albert charges smashing into the door sending them wielders sprawling, Theo is in quickly after him and starts laying into the falling gang members, Garland wall runs over the melee and attacks the kids in the back of the tunnel, while Edwin stays at the T and fires in with his crossbow. Edwina from the GGB realise that the tunnels are lost and flees up into the house pursued by the Brothers who are now in a killing frenzy. The gang members in the house have raked hot coals off the fire and have already got a blaze going. Albert chases Edwina as she runs from the house while the other 3 deal with the GGB in the house. Edwina gets as far at the Golden Canal bridge before Albert catches up and with shoulder charges her back, she can’t keep a grip on the bridge wall and tips over into the canal, the weight of her armour dragging her down instantly. The Thief House firmly ablaze, the boys are hot for revenge and march straight into Garden Terrace, down to the gang house via the rooves. On the roof of the gang house a group of GGB has dropped their weapons and are surrendering. Erwin climbs across the rope first, untying it before Theo can cross. Albert and Edwin spot the GGB leader, Littlest Son Henry, scurrying away through the greenhouses and give chase. Erwin instructs Garland to calm Theo down. Garland argues with Theo and tries to calm his want for revenge, even though it is what he wants himself.
Albert catches up to Henry in amongst the greenhouses. He’s carrying a large wooden chest and is struggling under the weight and his advanced age. He agrees to deal with Albert but then double crosses him poisoning him before scuttling off once more. Robin and Edwin catch up and helping Albert they manage to stop Henry before he gets to the bridge to Bankers Isle. The 3 overpower and kill Henry in front of the onlooking workers.
Drama over the workers go back to their greenhouses and the brother carry the chest back to the GGB gang house. Erwin has taken control of the ex-GGB members and Albert agrees and Edwin agree to stay at the gang house overnight.
Theo, Garland and Robin head back to Revier Rip. On the way they stop to mark up the Pub of Roses with the Brotherhood tag. The innkeeper tells them that they aren’t doing it. He makes the mistake of trying to attack Theo with a bat, and Theo shows him the sharp side of his Scimitar. Obstacle removed the Garland paints the pub walls to let everyone know that Garden Terrace now belongs to the Brotherhood of the Rip.