Faded Lantern Inn - Night
Ayden ran a few more spur of the moment errands while the sun was still up before turning in for the night at the Faded Lantern. He purchased himself the second cheapest room in the establishment and made a point of locking his door behind him as he stepped inside. It wouldn’t do to have someone waltzing in on his work. He removed his coat and emptied the contents of the numerous hidden pockets lining the inside onto a tiny wooden desk in the corner. Opening his shirt, he removed a cloth wrap from his waistband and set that on the desk as well along with the paperwork he’d stolen earlier. All together the items constituted a sort of homebrew forger’s kit and he planned for it to be put to good use that night.
He cracked the seal on the stolen documents and scanned the contents. The signature and the contents of the paper designated the holder as a member of the Wagorski Shipping Company and a licensed traveling merchant. Ayden smiled. It was just what he’d been looking for. He used an ink well and a rock to hold the paper open and weigh it down as he set about analyzing the handwriting and practicing the wide, sweeping curve on Mr. Wagorski’s E’s by the light of the candle provided to him.
Ayden barely had half an hour with his tools before the sound of multiple pairs of heavy footsteps quickly approached his door. There was a brief pause before Ayden sprung to his feet, snatching every scrap of paper off the desk as he did so, and cast them all to the floor. He gripped the desk with both hands and heaved, dragging it across the floor, and pushed it up against the door with a muffled thud. The footsteps reached his door in the next instant and the door knob jiggled as whoever was on the other side attempted to open the door.
“Give it up, Newport!” a gruff voice called out, “No windows for you to jump out this time!”
Ayden didn’t bother listening to the accompanying chuckles as he snatched up the lit candle on his desk and set the collection of papers on the ground alight.
“C’mon, mate just unlock the door and we promise to go easy on you.”
There was only the sound of Ayden’s frantic shuffling as he gathered up the last bits of paper and cast them on the now somewhat sizable fire.
“No? Can’t say I didn’t-- you boys smell something burnin’?”
A second voice spoke up from farther down the hall with an edge of urgency “He’s torchin’ the evidence, Captain!”
“Oh bugger me! You won’t get off that easy you bastard!”
The man on the other side of the door attempted to kick in the door which visibly bent under the force of his armored foot but held. The weight of the desk provided little protection but wasted the precious few seconds it took for the flames to char and blacken every last piece of parchment Ayden had with him. Unfortunately, his tools were metal and wouldn’t be disposed of so easily.
The desk and door finally gave as Ayden was busy throwing his forger’s tools under the bed.
“Jeremy! It’s so good to see you! How’ve you been?”
The constable, Jeremy apparently, swore colorfully and stamped on the flames as much in an effort to put them out as a display of frustration. He met Ayden’s smug grin with a glare to curdle milk as he seized the crook’s arm and twisted it behind him, dragging a yelp of surprise and pain out him.
“OUCH! Hey! What’s going on? I’ve done nothing wrong!”
“You and I both know that’s a lie,” the constable growled as he slapped a set of iron manacles over his wrists.
“You can’t prove that!”
“You attempted to set fire to the building and resisted arrest so you’re coming with us either way.”
“It was an accident! My elbow caught the candlestick and--”
Ayden’s head snapped to the side as he was glass jawed by an iron gauntlet and the last thing he heard as his head cracked against the floor and the world faded to black was something about how much someone hated listening to him flap his gums.
Royal Complex/Stronghold Keep - Dawn
Ayden woke in near darkness with the smell of urine and mold flooding his senses, almost overpowering his splitting headache. He fought back the urge to vomit as he made an attempt to stand. His balance was already off and the fact his hands were still shackled behind him did little to help. He did eventually manage to stand and took a moment to take in his surroundings. Cold stone on three sides and a door made of iron bars.
He did an awkward self pat down to see what he had to work with which turned out to be almost nothing. He had nothing but the clothes on his back. They hadn’t even allowed him shoes which he usually kept extra lock picks in for just such a scenario.
He sat back down on the hard stone and rested his head against the wall with a sigh.
Without some kind of miracle, he’d likely be stuck in that cell for years to come.