The Nest was rather more crowded than they expected, but they could immediately see that several of the filthy men inside were bearing the red hat tattoo. Rook decided that there was more resistance in there than he was prepared to handle, and so the party retreated, but not before a young boy attempted to lift Balmonte’s purse.
Balmonte dressed the boy down, and then extorted him for information, as Rook slipped off to wait for Mendelbrot. The boy told Balmonte and Kor that the Red Hat Boys were really throwing their weight around in the slums of Mistwick, trying to recruit and beating people up and taking their lunch money and so forth.
Meanwhile, Rook ran into a familiar face — the member of the West End Gang he had accosted a few days earlier! The other man was running with a bunch of large men, and barely had a chance to open his mouth before Rook tried to stick an arrow into it. In response, the large men tackled Rook, and brought him along to a place called the Iron Naga Taproom.
Within, they kept Rook in a small room until a man who identified himself as Carter could speak with him. Carter asked Rook what his deal is, and upon hearing that Rook was looking to make trouble with the Red Hat Boys, decided to let him go, since it would be doing both of them a favor. Rook went back to the Rat’s Nest and met up with Kor and Balmonte, and approached one of the men with the red hat tattoos to ask about recruitment.
The man he spoke to pointed him to a shadowy figure in the corner of the bar, named “Sonny.” Rook approached Sonny to ask about recruitment, and was rewarded with a tankard of dishwater ale to the face! A bar brawl ensued, and everyone within was arrested.
In the dungeon of Sydslot Castle, the man Rook originally spoke to admitted he was just having some fun with him, but expressed admiration for Rook’s quickness with a bow and his sneakiness. He told Rook that they’d be let out the following day with nothing more than a small fine for “disturbing the peace,” and that they’d talk more at that time. The others in the group received similar offers, though Balmonte received a warning away from the Red Hat Boys/los Sombreros Rojos from a non-affiliated bar patron swept up in the mess.
From that point on, their night in the pokey passed uneventfully.