Monthly Archives February 2014

Shrubbery

We awake refreshed, and break our fast.

Tanara ventures forth in search of the Magician’s Guild in order to replenish the spells in her Ring of Spell Storing.  The Guild is located and they agree to cast the spells in return for many shinies.

On the way back, we are ambushed by a lone hooded assassin with a crossbow, who shoots ineffectually at us.  We pursue and he flees around a corner. We follow and it turns out that there are three more hooded hoodlums around the corner.  It’s an ambush.  Fortunately they are not very good at shooting and hardly hit us.  They flee again, and we follow them, more cautiously this time.  Tanara shoots a couple of arrows at them and misses completely.  We give up on the chase, as we fear an even larger ambush further along.

We return to the inn and have lunch.  As evening comes on, we level up (ping), except for Tanara.  We then venture out to the Blue Waters Tavern.  We enter and try to blend in with the locals, probably without much success.  In the corner though, we spot a red-haired man with a wound on his face.  Surely this is Akarios?  Behind him are two curtained doorways.  Once is in constant use, and we surmise leads to the privvies.  The other is hardly used.  After a while, the red-haired man gets up and leaves through the curtained doorway.  We wait a while to see if anyone else follows.  They don’t, so finally we leave through the doorway.  Beyond it is a small room, with two men playing dice, and a corridor beyond, leading to the street.  We pass the two men and proceed down the corridor, wondering where the red-haired man has gone.  We look into the alleyway, but can see no sign of him, nor any obvious doorway.  We are obviously behaving suspiciously as we are suddenly unable to hear each other.  Pavel is struck from behind with a sword by one of the two men who were playing dice.  We surmise that the other one must be a cleric who has cast Silence on us.  Tanara rushes into the alleyway – Pavel turns and strikes the man who struck him.  Oin charges the other man, and kills him.  Tanara casts Charm on the man with the sword, and he stops fighting, dazed.  Pavel restrains himself, and Tanara quickly asks him where the Veiled Society meet.  He eagerly shows us a secret doorway…

Entering the door, we find a small chamber with hoods and cloaks.  He garb ourselves, and find another secret door on the far side.  We  proceed down some stairs and find a fork in the narrow passage.  There seems to be a dim light coming from the left fork, so we take that.  The tunnel gets smaller and we feel fronds or roots on the walls and ceiling.  As the fronds get denser, we try to turn round, but they grab us and try to entangle us.  We slash violently at them, and finally extract ourselves.  We return to the fork and try the other tunnel.  It ends in a blank wall, and we find another secret door.  This opens onto the balcony of a large chamber.  We enter and hide behind the balustrade in the shadows.  Twenty hooded men are gathered watching a man garbed in black and red robes on a dais at the far end.  He rants at them in a booming voice about how they are strong and their time has come:

“And now is our time! The city will lie helpless before us! The people will side with us.  Our enemies can be crushed. The Duke will feel our power, will hear only our voice. Those who oppose us are weak, those who betray us are traitors. We know what to do with traitors.”

Shouts of agreement fill the air.  “Then take him, take the traitor!” he shouts, and points to one of the robed men. “He will suffer for disobeying our orders. The woman should not have been killed!”

We assume he is referring to Lucia.  The hooded man is grabbed and his hood removed.  He is not the red-haired man.  They rapidly stab him to death.

Then the leader booms again.  “There were two traitors!  That man is also a traitor.  Take him as well!”.  A second man is grabbed, and this time it is the red-haired man that we saw in the tavern.

The two men lie dead on the floor, and in the chaos, we realise that the leader has disappeared.  The remaining eighteen men also file out of various exits, none of which we had previously noted.  Some head for our balcony, so we hide down the branch of the passageway with the entangling vines.

We re-enter the chamber and check the dead bodies.  Then we search for a secret exit behind the dais.  We find one and pass through.  Beyond we find a corridor and a door, from behind which we can hear clanking chains.  We also find another secret door, and open it.  Beyond is a luxuriously appointed study.  A middle-aged man and a younger man are arguing over the body of an older man – the young man is accusing the middle-aged one of having murdered their father.  The middle-aged man sees us and attacks, dealing Oin a mightly blow with his sword.  Pavel moves up to attack him rather than the young man, which enrages Oin, but as he does the younger man steps behind the desk and fiddles with something.  Oin screams at Pavel in rage as a cloud of smoke billows out of the front of the desk and we fall to the ground, unconscious.

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Well, that was unexpected…

Tanara continues to talk to Orel, and he starts to blurt out some details that he probably shouldn’t.  There is a meeting of the Veiled Society tomorrow night – he won’t say where, but he normally uses the entrance in the Blue Water Mead Hall, which is not far from the water front.  The password for tomorrow night’s meeting is Eclipse.  At this point he starts to look confused and Tanara is worried that revealing the information is causing the charm to break down.  Orel turns to leave.  With a single smooth motion Tanara pulls her dagger from its sheath and stabs him in the back, running up through his kidneys into his heart.  With a gurgle, his body collapses to the floor.  Tanara wipes her blade as Pavel frisks the body and removes his money pouch.  Then we drop the body into the tunnel and leave the hovel.  We locate ourselves, and return to the Rattlebone Inn.

Meanwhile Bryan has given up on waiting for us outside the first hovel and returns to the Inn as well.  In the square he meets an exciting Titus who has been having a whale of a time slaughtering rioters and making friends with the Duke’s Guard.  They both also head back to the Rattlebone.

Oin the Courageous makes it to the Hightower and reports to Sergeant Boris.  The Sergeant doesn’t seem keen to leap to deal with the problem, but eventually wanders up to the square with Oin, where the Duke’s Guard are just clearing up the last remnants of the riot.  Oin returns to the Rattlebone.

At the Rattlebone, we settle down for some dinner.  All the gossip in the inn is of the riot, but since the inn is basically pro-Toronescu, Titus doesn’t need to go into hiding just yet.  However there is a message waiting for us from Theosios.  We are apparently to go to the Jade Sea (a ship) tonight to pick up a package that must be delivered to Senator Epistolo.  It is expected that the delivery of the package will meet with interference.  We finish dinner and tool up.  We head to the docks, and establish that the Jade Sea is moored on the north side, near the naval docks.  This is Vorloi rather than Radu territory, so we are somewhat relieved.  We find the Jade Sea and are rudely abused by the watch, but he fetches the package, which turns out to be a nobleman called Symeon Toronesu.  He seems a bit aristocratic in mental faculties as well as manner – this could prove a trying evening.  However before we can depart, a dozen ruffians with swords and cudgels appear.  Expecting the inevitable attack, we are poised to defend him, when the leader bows and pledges their service to Symeon in the name of Prince Demetrios of the Beggars.  Symeon seems to accept this, so we follow his lead.  Bryan suggests that Symeon could dress as one of the beggars, and he accepts this as a ‘fearful jape’ (there is obviously quite a lot of inbreeding in his recent family tree).

We set out with the beggars and the disguised Symeon – another beggar is wearing Symeon’s clothes.  As we enter the city gate, we hear a whistle, and assume that we have been spotted.  We rapidly duck up Vintner’s Lane to try and avoid any ambush, but it seems they were expecting us to do just that, because we are ambushed at the top of Vintner’s Lane by three groups of hooded ruffians.  We split up to take on each group.  Tanara levitates in order to use he bow most effectively, especially since the group attacking from the rear has seven men and only Pavel and two beggars to stop them.  Pavel is heroic, slicing an attacking in two with his first blow but one of the ruffians is similarly effective, smashing in the skull of one of the beggars with a single blow of his mace.  Tanara assumes that he is a major threat and uses one of the Fire Arrow spells in he ring to blast him with two Fire Arrows.  They hit and he staggers, but he is still on his feet.  Next turn she hits him with two more, using the last Fire Arrow spell in her ring, and he drops dead.  Many of the other ruffians are also dead, and the last few break and run.  Pavel quickly snatches the mace and ornate gauntlets from the dead leader, and we also grab several masks, then leave quickly before the watch arrive.  Several of the beggars are also dead, but we are forced to leave them.

We suffer no more interference before we reach Senator Epistolo’s house.  We deliver a grateful Symeon and are rewarded with a pouch of money each.  We bid farewell, and commiserate Stanis, the leader of the beggars on the loss of his men before we return to the inn for some late night vittals.  Finally we check our loot for the day.  The mace is given to Titus and the gauntlets of might to Bryan.  Orel’s pouch contained 200 royals, and the pouches given to each of us by Symeon contain 500 royals each.  A good haul for the night indeed, as we turn in.

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