As we continue to follow the story of Reldo, Johnny the Beard—who we discover is Reldo’s father—is being taken to the Black Arm Gang hideout by the leader, Katrine.
Johnny followed the gang leader to the hideout.
“Wow, this is your hideout?” Johnny said. “I must have passed this place thousands of times without even noticing it.”
The hideout is well known to the criminal underworld of Varrock today, but during the time of the schism, little was known about either gang. The underworld was a more dangerous place than Johnny had realized. His family was in danger, his life and freedom hung by a thread. He ran through his plan in his mind. Flee Varrock with his family, head for Falador, or maybe even Ardougne. He had to get out before he made two enemies.
As Johnny the Beard was being taken the Black Arm headquarters, his son, wandering outside of the Blue Moon Inn, as they had agreed, was attacked. They came like shadows from the darkness. They brought him to the Phoenix gang headquarters. He woke up tied to a chair, blinded. He smelled cheap wine and ale. As the permeating stench worked through his nostrils, he began to panic. Where was he? How did he get here?
He moaned and heard a gruff voice say, “The whelp is awake, what do we do?”
A voice answered, “Take the blindfold off.” Reldo felt a sense of relief as the blindfold was removed. He feared the blindness was permanent. The blindfold removed, he discovered he was in a dank room that was almost certainly underground. The light came from a single lantern, hung in the middle from a roof support.
“Now, what to do?” the right of the two man asked. “You are aware of your father’s treachery? Unfortunately, as those scumbags the Black Arm Gang have taken him, we have to resort to punishing you for his treason. I do not enjoy harming young people, as I think that their lives will be hard enough, but I do what I must.”
“No, please don’t kill me. I am innocent! My father is a drunk, a sad man that improperly deals with his problems,” begged Reldo.
“So you are saying that you hate your father? Do you wish to replace him in the gang hierarchy?”
“Hate, no. More of a strong dislike and disapproval. I will do anything to spare my life.”
“We didn’t think you would be so easy to break. We planned this from the beginning. We’ve been watching you for a long time. You are clearly a learned man, Reldo, and we could use you. We can plant you in your dream job, The Varrock Palace Library.
“What would I have to do?”
“Not much, pass information on to us. Perhaps recruit a man or two. Things like this were what your father did.”
“In place of death, I’ll take it.”
“Just remember, we can still kill you at any time.”
“Certainly, when do I begin?”
“Now. We need information on where Straven is being held. Go to the palace, talk to the head of the Palace, tell him a reformed thief sent you. He’s on our payroll. Talk to Baerek after gaining the job. Ask him about polar bear fur.”
And so Reldo left the Headquarters, heading for the palace. As he wove his way through the streets, wondering what had happened to his mother and father. He entered the palace, after stating his purpose. He quickly found to the head of the palace.
“A reformed thief sent me.”
“Quiet! You fool. Say it a little louder so that King Roald can hear you. Come with me.”
They walked quickly down the corridors until they ended up at an office. As Reldo entered, he was astonished. Rich tapestries, gold candlesticks, and inkwells, lay about, perfectly positioned.
“Now, lower your voice and tell me what I can do for our friends.”
Following the other’s example, Reldo began, “I am to get the palace librarian job, and our reformed friend wishes to know where his dear old friend is.”
“The palace librarian post has been empty for years. Regardless of whether or not our friends want you in that job, you will be expected to work hard.”
“I understand that. I think it would be best for both of us if I were to work hard.”
“As to the dear old friend, he is currently in the sick bay, in bed number 7. We hope he gets well soon, for if he doesn’t, I fear the worst.”
“I will share this news. Thank you.”
“Report here at 6 o’clock sharp tomorrow!”
Reldo headed out into the square, finding the fur trader’s stall quickly.
“Excuse me, sir. I was wondering if you knew anything about Polar Bear Skin.”
“Who wants to know?”
“A reformed thief.”
“Ah, that’s different. Come with me.”
Reldo followed him into a large building. Inside the warehouse, there were thousands of furs. They sat down into fur-lined chairs.
“Now, do you have news of our dear old friend?”
“Yes,” Reldo began, unsure if he should use code here or not. He decided to be cautious. “He is currently in sick bay bed 7. His nurse said he fears the worst, if help does not come soon.”
“Well, this is interesting, to be sure. Don’t interfere.”
Sensing he was being dismissed, Reldo left.
The next morning, Reldo heard a commotion in the courtyard. He looked out over it, and saw Phoenix gang members blatantly attacking guards. They stormed the castle, breaking out Straven and several other leaders.
The King, shaken at the attack, made no attempt to round the escapees up. The rescue had gone perfectly. Reldo sighed, knowing there was no turning back.