The last time we saw our brazenly bearded brethren, the fellowship convened in the Barkeep’s tavern, sharing their progress and discussing next steps. The Barkeep revealed the location of the mysterious Marksman, and conscripted the Gunslinger and Captain Crimson into helping him recruit the elusive figure. The Scribe confirmed the necessity of the Wizard’s dwarven engineer. The Scribe travels with the Hero and the Distiller to the town of Dey to search for the dwarf. We now follow the Barkeep, Gunslinger, and Captain Crimson on their journey to make contact with the Marksman.
The ocean breeze blew strong as the Mystic Wave threw its sails to the wind, setting a course for the island of Cremouth. Gunslinger, used to traversing various landscapes in search of bounties, climbs up the main mast into the crow’s nest, entranced by the sea. Just a few minutes off the port of Franklin, the Barkeep has already had enough of sailing, leaning over the railing of the main deck, voiding his stomach of any previous meals still in the process of digestion. Captain Crimson stands upon the half-deck at the captain’s wheel, laughing at the Barkeep’s miserable situation.
“Don’t worry ther Barkeep, yer legs will adapt and yer brain will stop sloshin’ around like a canoe in a hurricane,” assures the Captain as he continues to chuckle at the Barkeep.
The Captain cedes control of the wheel to first-mate Cane and strolls out to the main deck calling out orders to the crew. “Yeh scalliwags! Run up the top sail! Trim down the line to the spirit sail, we’ve got places to be gentlemen. Barkeep, Gunslinger, meet me in the Captain’s quarters.
The Barkeep stumbles into the Captain’s quarters. The Gunslinger leaps out of the crow’s nest, sliding down the main topsail, landing mid-mast on the observatory deck for the main mast. Then the Gunslinger again jumps down onto the main course sail, sliding all the way down to the main bonnet. The Gunslinger rides the sail all the way to the bottom, where he flies off the sail, hitting the ground with a roll, and jumping up with a hop, not a hair out of place. The Gunslinger then lightly saunters across the main deck over to meet them.
In his quarters, the Captain pours a couple glasses full of dark rum and pushes them towards the Barkeep and Gunslinger. “This should help settle your stomach,” says the Captain. The Gunslinger takes a sip, taken aback from the spiced flavor. This was quite different from the whisky he was used to. The Barkeep lightly sips the rum, sitting back in a chair, in his mind begging for the room to stop spinning.
“It’ll be a couple week’s sailing to Cremouth. Thanks are in order to the Barkeep, giving us enough provisions so we don’t have to make port along the way,” continues the Captain. “I hope this isn’t a wild goose chase and that our quarry be thar when we make landfall. When we get there, the Gunslinger and the Barkeep will take a landing boat and land in the delta, making their way into town discreetly. We don’t want to spook this one,” explains the Captain.
“Keep your eyes peeled, this Marksman is a master of blending in and eluding those who seek to find him,” interjects the Barkeep. “He isn’t like your typical bounty.”
“We know what to do, jus’ get us to Cremouth and leave the rest to us,” remarks the Gunslinger.
The voyage to Cremouth was uneventful and the group made anchor off the coast of the island a day and a half ahead of schedule thanks to strong winds pushing the ship's sails. The Gunslinger and Barkeep do as planned, setting off in the landing boat to land in the delta marshes, then making their way to the city of Cremouth to begin their search. The Gunslinger, once again, donned his eye-patch to keep a lower profile.
As the Barkeep predicted, finding the Marksman would be harder than anyone could have anticipated. The Gunslinger canvassed swathes of the cities, questioning locals. Almost all hope was lost until…
The Gunslinger had been walking all around the city of Cremouth for the past several days. The locals seem to be stand-offish. They were unwilling to talk about much other than the capture of this beastly wolf by police or his secret identity as the town doctor. While some seemed relieved for his capture, others seemed almost let down in a way. No one knew, or at least, no one wanted to talk about the Marksman.
The Gunslinger’s feet are tired. He continues down a street until he smells the sweet smells of sweet rolls cooking in an oven. The Gunslinger, tired and hungry, darkens the door of the bakery. He finds a corner seat and sits down. The Baker strolls over to take the Gunslinger’s order.
“I’ll take one of those aromatic cinnamon rolls, coffee black, and any information you have,” orders the Gunslinger in a joking manner.
“I understand why customers order the first two, but the third has been ordered often as of late and I don’t see it anywhere on the menu. I might start making customers pay for it,” replies the Baker.
“Really?” answers the Gunslinger, “and why would that be?”
“Well this Wolf business has everyone in a stir and the reward for the beast was quite a sum,” replies the Baker.
“Tell me, has one of these hunters wore a dark hood and carried with them a strange crossbow?” questions the Gunslinger.
“I’ve said too much, in fact I wish I hadn’t given him the information I did,” responds the Baker.
“Please sir,” implores the Gunslinger, “I’ve been searching for him for weeks. I need his services.
The Baker mulls it over. “Very well,” agrees the Baker, “if you seek his help he may be of help to you, but if you seek to harm him, well, I believe he would be able to handle himself.”
The Gunslinger, slightly offended that the Baker believes that this Marksman would stand a chance against him, then remembers that his eye-patch conceals his mechanical eye.
“Tell me what you know,” says the Gunslinger.
“The police didn’t capture the Wolf, they’ve tried for months. It was only after this Marksman came to town that the Wolf was apprehended. Police officials who come for my glazed and stuffed pastries do whisper about still seeing him around for the past several weeks now. Quite peculiar since his prey was captured. I guess he may be waiting till Dr. Wolf’s trial is over, although it is a certainty he will hang. He may be waiting around to ensure that all goes to plan,” answers the Baker.
The Gunslinger nods. This was strange after all. A bounty hunter never hangs around after the job is done. Strange indeed.