The Dusthawk hadn’t figured there would be any shortage of brawlers ready for a fight, though seeing as this foreign noble was all-too-eager to meet the Blood Thorns with the end of his rapier, Valrel couldn’t help but feel the enthusiasm emanating from Valeriano. He regarded the sellsword with a smirk of satisfaction, though his words were deliberate and severe. “It’s no secret to most of the District that we Dusthawks are plannin’ somethin’, so I’d be disappointed if our adversaries weren’t on high alert… I’d reckon we’d have quite the conflict set out for us, with at least six or seven men on either side makin’ the trade. However, I wouldn’t undermine the wits of the Thorns as much as I’d like to, and I’m sure that they’d have a fair number hidden in the shadows for their whole walk home – exactly how many, I can’t say, but we’ve got precautions in place for that sort of thing,”
Valrel glanced in the direction of Riker for a moment, careful not to meet the peering gaze of the half-breed. “With operatives such as our Two Cloak, we should be able to make short work of any shadows that we don’t want tailin’ us. ‘Course, I hope you wouldn’t mind, Valeriano, if I won’t be sendin’ you out there by your lonesome? Not that I doubt your ability, but there ain’t nothin’ wrong with a bit of prudence.”
Valrel swept his eyes around the room at the gathered members, sighting out any characters that looked eager to join the fight. After a slight turn of silence, the Dusthawk stood from his chair, fumbling with the parchment on the counter as he set it aside, finally regarding the whole audience with a subdued expression. “The trade-off is set to occur in two days’ time, late in the evenin’ by Sidhole Cross. All you lot that’d think to lend your sword-arm or are bored enough to take apart a few Tarn-worth of spark rifles, feel free to stay late and I’ll assign you a role. For those of you needin’ a mark but ain’t interested in this little affair, let me know and I’ll be sure to give you somethin’ befittin’ your qualifications… This meetin’ is now adjourned.”
With that, Valrel lifted his satchel from the ground and began stuffing the loose parchment inside, remembering the missive he had grabbed from Galinai when the runner first arrived. Placing the note on top of everything else in his bag, Valrel wrapped the cover of his satchel over the opening and walked over toward Tolthe, looking to get the affairs of the meeting properly documented.
A fair number of Dusthawks began to walk their way out the front door, careful to pause their exiting intermittently so as not to draw too much suspicion to the hideout. Some characters set beside the fire traded stories back and forth of recent marks, while others stood along the walls, looking on toward the shrinking crowd with distant expressions. The noise of the small hut gradually died down as a number of members spoke to the leader about new marks before shuffling themselves out the door, leaving only the small group of figures interested in the heist strewn about the musty abode to prepare for the task ahead.