Belmarniss shows up early the next morning for her consultancy meeting, munching a pastry from her breakfast spread. "Hey - I was told to meet with a Luay?"
"What are you estimating the cost of here, the initial expedition, the whole shebang -"
"What do you need to know from me to figure that out? You know your investors and I don't, and I've never been to any of the potentially relevant countries..."
"I could give you decent guesses if you were going to Noctimar but Noctimar is under Taldor. I'd go in with twenty people and some of 'em have to be casters, clerics is fine if wizards are more expensive to tote along on church business, don't know if you need to pay per spell or per diem. If there's enough and they behave you can probably avoid a fight with some risk of losses up to TPK if you run into something other than normal drow metropolis, which you might because I don't know what's under you, call it a... two percent risk you run into something much more dangerous than normal drow metropolis. ...One and a half, if there were anything super aggressive it'd probably have turned its nose surfaceward ever in the history of Sothis. Negotiations, uh, you can probably walk out with a tentative deal for a trial purchase or some people who wanna come upstairs and talk to you at greater length or both in less than a day, you will probably know whether to give up or not inside a week."
"Sure. When and how do I collect what you're paying me for this?"
"Thanks. See you tomorrow."
She pockets her cash and goes to the Onyx when she's done for the day.
He is about. Watching a drunken singing contest.
Belmarniss votes for the guy with the good tremolo and plops next to Hagan. "Yo."
"How'd it go?"
"Fine. His grace didn't put in much facetime, I was still mostly talking to Luay."
"Well, he's probably very busy being fancy or something."
"Does being fancy piss people off? He looked kind of pissed off. I heard exactly no gossip about his wife."
"You could meet her, if you wanted, she runs a fancy jewelry place. As a special indulgence of his she is sometimes let out of her house to do things at it."
"How nice of him. I got my anklet custom, do you know the name of the place, perhaps I've seen her already."
"Oh, man, I really should." He frowns, bites his lip. "Trilliant."
"Nah, anklet was at Zaki's Jewels, oh well."
"You think they'll go ahead with the expedition?"
"Not sure. There's a lot of uncertainty. I'm hoping they offer me a bundle to pull together my party and go scouting. Wouldn't that be fun?"
"Sounds pretty interesting."
"You'd all have to pose as my slaves to not look like we were there to take potshots though."
"Gosh, is that so."