Picture the scene – a tavern in Sulescu, The Woolpack. Something of a dive.. The noise starts to rise on one corner and there is the sound of breaking bottles. A fight breaks out. After a few minutes the town guard arrive and in true police state style they arrest everyone in the joint.
The scene changes to a lock-up. In one cell we see the heroes of our story – Rob Anybody (T1), Isis (Elf Dr1), Minerva (Elf F1), Bael the Bard (Ba1), Varys the Nervous (MU1), Amber Goldapple (T1) and Morgan (F1). It seems that they are picked out for special attention as they are taken to see the Governor of the town, Sir Marcus Palathetos.
He tells them of trouble with smugglers and that he can’t trust anyone in the town so he is turning to strangers. In return for their help he will free them. Other mercenaries went to investigate an old manor house on the cliffs. They returned with evidence that it was the base of the smuggling operation and then went out to explore further but never returned. It is expected that a boat will arrive tomorrow night. It must be captured and the leaders brought in for questioning. In support he offers an excise cutter and two sailors/guardsmen (Tom and Will). He will also provide other kit where possible.
Bael speaks on behalf of the others and accepts the task. He asks about taverns that the local sailors frequent – it may be possible to pick up gossip. Amber also thinks she can use her charms to get info.
The party decamps to The Dolphin. However, Bael’s attempts to engage the local fishermen in chat result in a tirade of anti-Ducal and anti-Thyatian invective. He manages to calm the situation by singing a song of the old Traladaran heroes and their battles with the Gnollish invaders. Amber has little success either and they both call it a night.
The next morning they go to investigate the burnt out ruins of the manor – there is little of real interest those. A cave system from the cellars leads to an isolated beach/cove which must be where the loot is landed. A brass ring in the ceiling of the sea cave suggests a signal lantern would be hung. But no other clues (or treasure!) are found.
On the walk back to Sulescu they ponder on their options and Isis visits a stone circle to pray to Tamra. Eventually, Bael suggests that they take the excise cutter and wait in the shadow of the cliffs. When they either see a ship or see lamp signals they should approach the ship and board it. Everyone agrees in principle so they return to Sir Marcus to report in.
He isn’t surprised to hear of the anti-Thyatian sentiment and is happy with the proposed plan. They ask for lanterns and grappling hooks – they will be on the boat.
After sunset our intrepid smuggler-busters depart. The boat rows out around the headland and waits about 50m offshore. All are alert for sounds or flashes of light. Eventually a clanking sound is heard – probably an anchor chain. Bael suddenly realises that the smugglers will be loading a small rowboat so the party need to head out and board before the booty leaves for shore. Isis sits in the bow and uses her superior night vision to scan the horizon. She sees some lantern flashes so flashes back. Further flashes respond and then nothing. Eventually Isis is able to pick out the shape of a masted boat. Visrys joins her in the bow – the plan is to cast a Sleep spell at the boat and then board. Isis announces that she can see figures moving on deck, they are probably loading the row boat.
Once they are close enough to hear the voices of the sailors Viserys casts his Sleep spell. Within a minute a cry goes up about sleeping on the job. By this point the cutter is around the other side of the ship and the two thieves attempt to throw the grappling lines. As Morgan and Rob start to climb a head appears over the side a cries out that they are being boarded. Morgan engages with one figure and Rob with the other. The rest of the party scramble up the lines to join the fun.
The battle is somewhat hairy. Morgan and Minerva slam down a lot of hurt on one guy but he seems to be really tough, however he is un-nerved by the attack and fails to land any serious blows. A mage on the poop deck casts a magic missile but is unable to do more as he is cut down by Tom and Will following an arrow or two from Amber.
The battle ends when the tough guy surrenders having seen the mage and his companion fighter both go down. Morgan and Minerva have both taken heavy damage…