The stink of the alley clogged Tai’s nostrils. He had no particular problem with goblins, but he had to admit that goblin towns all had a distinctive odor. Even days after a job, he would imagine the smell so vividly that he’d look around for the source. On the plus side, he grinned to himself, these trips always let him indulge his taste for goblin food – exotic, fragrant and spicy. That plate of curried shrimp he’d had earlier …
The sound of soft steps padding down the alley filtered through Tai’s reminisces about the last warm meal he’d enjoyed, and snapped him to attention. In the moonlight, Tai could see the well dressed man furtively working his way down the alley, looking nervously behind him. Tai tucked himself a bit further into his nook on the ledge above the alley.
Tai smiled to himself, despite the cramping in his legs from a long night of waiting. Looks like the Tong’s contact down here in Booty Bay might have been right after all. At first Tai had doubted the excitable gnome’s information – and had hesitated at the little sneak’s price of one gold. But Tai had learned long ago that good information was always worth investing in. Information was its own form of currency. He’d winced at the gamble he was taking as he slid the coin across the ale-stained tavern table.
Well, here Tai was - watching one of the more prominent members of Stormwind’s church tentatively tapping on a small door in a back alley of Booty Bay – thinking the gnome had undersold himself. Tai knew the Bay well enough to know that the employers of whoever would answer that door were involved in some very unholy business.
A thick, stubby goblin cracked open the door, gruffly asking the man what he wanted. Tai leaned forward, knowing he wouldn’t see much but listening intently.
“You again? What do you want? No refunds, no exchanges, you know that.”
“I .. I need more. I’m tapped out.”
“Tapped out? Hey, slow down man. You could hurt yourself … Oh, hold on. You dealing this stuff out?”
“No .. no … I’ve shared a bit with some friends. But … I’d like to meet your boss – I might be in a good … position to be an outlet.”
The snort of the goblin echoed down the alley. “A bishop dealing out dreamweed in Stormwind?” The goblin chortled. “Hell, the boss will at least get a laugh out of that. Come on in …”''
The door clicked shut softly behind the two as the man stooped to enter the door. Tai leaned back. Well, if information was currency he had just tucked away a nifty piece of change. Dreamweed was bad business – but also addictive and profitable and very, very embarrassing for a prominent citizen like this bishop to be involved in. Stretching one leg out, his dark leather pants creaking softly, Tai considered the options for the Tong.
Talk to the bishop quietly and get a cut of his business for keeping quiet? Tai shook his head, knowing that didn’t feel right. Ah, hadn’t this bishop been highly critical of some of the king’s guards? He’d certainly made some enemies and damaged some careers. Tai wondered just how much a guard might be able to pay for information that might lead to a very impressive arrest. Tai sighed. The King didn’t pay all that well, so the Tong would have to take a pay cut …
The door opened and the short, round goblin slapped the bishop on the back, “I’ll be damned; you talked him into it. Come back in three days and we’ll set you up.” The bishop pulled his hood over his head and looked up and down the alley, and back to the goblin, nodding slowly. With this, he made his way down the alley, picking his steps carefully to avoid the piles of trash.
Once he was gone and the door was closed again, Tai stood and tugged on the line he’d attached to the roof. Sure it was secure, Tai wriggled up the line and onto the roof, heading back to Stormwind to see a certain guard he knew …