*NOTE: Reïnnforce wagon in case of explosions. Destil plant extracts for purer medicine components -> find someone to make tiny distilling kettle.The blue-glowy liquid is 100 GP, they sell more kinds of alcohol besides this one
Success! The Red Dots took the bait and left a clue on the letter inviting us to the meeting. A blue glowing liquid (probably watered down) which turned out to be some kind of high-end gin from the local brewery. We agreed that checking this brewery out would be a good idea. Since there was the possibility of it being the centre of operation of our target the expectation was that getting in would be hard. That's why Macaroni and I went without the others in case silent conduct would be necessary.
Surprisingly, we managed to get a tour through the non-restricted areas without the secrets. I even got some ideas on how to improve the efficacy of my potions. We learned the following:
They have a special reinforced chamber for experiments with a loose roof
A small crate of the blue-glowy liquid was recently stolen "with no sign of break-in". Turned out they have perfectly fine access into the warehouse by sewers
The burglary may have been an inside job but the boss-lady said she has no suspects
The boss-lady is somewhat suspicious as she does have the means to hide any activity within her brewery under the guise of "trade secrets". Though I can't think of a reason she would steal her own product
I went to follow the tracks through the sewers for a bit to determine the direction. I exited the sewers as a bone spider, thinking that the sighting of a bone spider attacking civilians would certainly entice the guards to enter the sewers to eradicate the pests. This would be the safest way to get them on the right track without being seen by the Red Dots. Also, it's fun to chase humanoids around.
However, the guards were closer than I thought and quickly noticed me. I took the opportunity to lead them into an alleyway and gave them the information about the sewers likely being used as a highway straight away along with a message to the guard captain as a safety measure. In hindsight, this was probably the more reliable way, as it has been quite a while since the gang surfaced and the guards never once had the thought "They keep disappearing, you know what is a readily available network throughout the city out of our sight? The sewers!" Dear Guardian Beetle, please impart some extra brain cells to these dumb humanoids. Or at the very least teach one how to use them.
The meeting with the Red Dots was in the evening in some cramped alleyway which we scouted ahead of time. To ensure no-one would be successful at an ambush from the rooftops, Gimdalf and I stationed ourselves on a roof a little further away to avoid notice while keeping an eye out for suspicious activity through Marshmallow. Which, apparently, is a thing wizards can do. Or maybe dwarfs? Macaroni went to meet the person head-on on his own.
The proposition we made was to train their lowest and worst recruits against 25% of those peoples' loot. The person did say he (presumably male, based solely on voice) does not trust us as we may be spies sent by the guards and wants to test our skill. Though he is not wrong in thinking so, he isn't correct either. We have not struck an official deal with the guards yet and I truly do feel insulted by the low level of those robbers.
The test will involve stealing something. What this something is we've yet to find out. As we don't know if there'll be a deadline either, our plans for visiting the glowing forest have been put on hold. I expect the forest to hold many interesting ingredients and Gimdalf suspects the mysterious creature that attacked the hunters to be a misplacer beast.
Notes: Based on Gimdalf's report on a mysterious shadow leaving the meeting, I suspect this person can cast Pass without a trace along with some illusion magic they used to speak to Macaroni. If the voice was illusion magic the voice we heard may have been false.
In case we still want to work with the guards, we should probably use Macaroni's Message to avoid getting overheard and caught by the Red Dots.
Current training line-out: Divide into three groups.
-Sparkles: con-artists (impress, confuse, distract, talk them out of their possessions) Greeny is probably the best candidate to train them.
-Sneaks: pick-pockets, burglars (silent, fast, research skills, works well with the Sparkles) Macaroni or I.
-Smash-and-grab: Robbers and steamers (aggressive, fast, out in the open, requires good insight, planning, no hesitation) me, Gimdalf may be able to help though.