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Hazard Pay

Echo's Journal

We’re a little better at this than I thought—never expected to break into an orc barracks, much less without it ending with all of us hanging outside the district gates.

I’m starting to trust these Mollies less and less. They had us get in and out of this compound that was built like a fortress, all to rescue a contact who got caught. Security wasn’t as tight as I’d expected, but then again, they didn’t expect us to tunnel in through the bathhouse. Wonder how many times we can pull this kind of thing off before patrols start showing up in the sewers?

Anyway, we got in and out with our guy intact…mostly. The orcs may not have thought anyone would come after him, but they sure weren’t gentle in interrogating him either. Guy comes to, and before we can get a word in, he has us fetching his replacement.

He took care of himself after that. Dunno what he knew that was so important, but the Mollies have another thing coming if they think I’d do the same for them.

The new informant is green. Really green. Just as well, though—the boys were getting a little tired of taking orders from a seasoned wise guy like James, so we might be closer to running our own gig with someone like Ga’lin here.

Did I just write that? Gods, I sound like I’ve been doing this for years. It’s been what, two weeks? Three, tops?

Keep telling myself this ain’t me, but hells, it isn’t like I can go back to locksmithing.

Then we had last night’s ordeal. Our new eyes and ears told us we had a double job to take care of. Orcs had an engineer holed up and working on a new project for them, and they had a few of his kids locked up on a farm not far away as hostages. We had to spring the kids with no bloodshed, then clean house at the fortress and rescue our brainy friend.

Thought it would be a routine jailbreak—my cellmates used to fantasize about it, some heroes tunneling us out in the middle of the night, all of us scampering off before the orcs were any the wiser…

Didn’t go down like that. I don’t want to think about everything that happened under that farm again. Used to be a little wary of how bloodthirsty our toot-playing accomplice is, but after what I’ve seen, if he wants to get buckwild on the pigs, it’s just as well. Any one of those kids could have been one of my sisters.

But we did the best we could and got a fat payload out of it, to boot. And by Asmodeus’s angry asshole, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much in one place—no way in all the hells I want it any longer than I have to.

If I sent my young sister’s foster family THAT much gold, they’d just as likely use it to skip town as invest it. I want to bad to just use the gold to buy a little run-down house for us, move to a different district, and support us as a locksmith again. But it wouldn’t be that easy. Good intentions or no, the Mollies are still a gang of sorts, so I’m in it for a longer run than that. Besides, it wouldn’t be long before the orcs caught our trail if we tried settling while we’re so weak.

Our sister can’t be near us while we’re…active, like this. If she were living under the same roof as us while we’re pissing them off like this, it would be too easy for them.

I wonder if there are any schools I could send her to? Damn the ban on magic, if the stories about the old wizards are true, she’d make a brilliant one. Maybe the bards have a school somewhere in the city that would take a tiefling with enough money. Disappear all ties to me and send her off to learn quietly, out of all this shit and on to a real future.

Maybe one a little brighter than what we’re dealing with.

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Dominick rimeroyal

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