All things about the Haunted Highlands!
Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:27 am
Per my intentions posted elsewhere on this site, I am setting up this thread to discuss and report on the new campaign I am running in the Haunted Highlands. More accurately, I am running adventures in the Free City of Eskadia.
My original plan for this, The Thieves of Eskadia campaign, was to CK my son (11) solo so he could play a C&C game without having to wait for other players from our usual group to be available. We have not gamed as a group since March 29. However, one other player is almost always available so I invited him to join the "solo" campaign with the condition of playing a thief also. So, this past Saturday (7/12), we kicked off the duo campaign. The actual first session (back in May) had been a game-within-a-game night for my son, as his thief entered a gaming hall and did pretty well for himself playing a dice game called, "Dragon's Foot," the rules of which I found in Issue 8 of & Magazine
. To bolster the undersized party, I am using some "solo" rules from Black Streams Solo Heroes from Sine Nomine Publishing
(which is an excerpted and streamlined version of the company's Scarlet Heroes
rules) and familiar rules for both thieves from Casey Christofferson's Book of Familiars
. The thieves chose different styles of familiars but I will not spoil the surprise. Instead, I refer the reader to enjoy the below...
As I wrote on another thread
, Casey Christofferson was instrumental in steering my solo campaign toward Eskadia. Patterning the campaign after E. Gary Gygax's Gord novels (the first two especially) was my hope with the solo campaign, with my son (of course) driving the story. Now, with two PC's, I hope for the same but am excited about how the players' characters will interact with each other and the city around them.Session Zero (29/05/2014)
The first night, Vortol the human thief entered The Chateau in the Heart Ward of Eskadia. He was not sure how the pass into the Ward was acquired by its prior owner, but that question was as dead as many others regarding him. For Vortol, in looking for a new place to call home in The Pitts, stumbled upon an abandoned apartment in a building in the southwest of the ward. Well... it was abandoned except for the male human corpse just inside its doorway with a dagger embedded in its chest. Vortol found a key to the apartment door on the victim along with a pass to The Heart. Any other personal effects had been removed prior to his being found. Vortol wrapped the body up in the rug found in the living quarters and casually left the City via Cross Street to Shoreline Pass in order to unceremoniously dump the rug and its hidden cargo into the Vestlig Sea. Vortol cleaned up the apartment and claimed it as his own. He boarded up the front door, however, and set many furniture items in front of it -- both from within the apartment and without. The building rested against another dilapidated one and Vortol used his climbing ability in order to access his new digs via a window that faced a bare wall of the adjacent structure.
Taking what little coinage he discovered in a (not so) hidden nook of the apartment, Vortol decided to visit The Chateau the next night. It was here he played Dragon's Foot, a dice game of chance (though the many rogues frequenting the place "helped" the dice achieve more acceptable results). One of the other players was what Vortol determined to be a dwarf named Cladaeus. Also at the table were a gnome (Morir), two halfling brothers, and a human besides Vortol. After 4 rounds, the six were made five as the human folded due to four consecutive losing games. After some 10-plus rounds, Morir and Vortol had won the most with Cladaeus in third. The wench serving their table announced higher stakes games would be starting soon, but Vortol had no inclination of risking large amounts of money. Cladaeus and Vortol had hit it off during the game and left shortly after Morir did, the dwarf hinting that perhaps he & Vortol could put their mutual skills to work for themselves in order to score a real haul. Vortol was intrigued. After leaving The Chateau, Vortol retrieved his jaguarundi rogue familiar, Shadow, from its hiding place in the alley nearby. Then Vortol and company headed for his home in The Pitts.Session One, Part One (12/07/2014)
While passing through the Crimson Stone Gate leading to The Pitts, Vortol learns in conversation with his new friend that he is mistaken: his companion is neither a dwarf nor named Cladaeus (a pseudonym used in gaming halls). His real name is Fizgig Crankwhistle, a gnome. Vortol had never really spent time with either race before this night, so he is surprised to hear this as they waited to get through the gate. Upon entering the Main Ward on the other side, the pair sees a quartet of halflings from the Caravan Street Gang looking over the crumpled frame of Morir. "There's the winners, Mort!" one yells and the group closes in on their next intended victims, "A human and a gnome just like he said."
With that, Fizgig flees back into the Heart Ward, hoping to use the crowd as an obstacle to slow any pursuers down. Unfortunately for him, two pursuers get through almost as quickly as he does and chase him into Heart Market and westward down Constable Street. Fizgig puts some distance between himself and the halflings before putting his special secret to work. His shadow suddenly releases itself from where it should be and appears to run farther down Constable while a shadowless gnome runs down an alley southward. The halflings are confused by this maneuver and neither enter the alley nor continue down Constable, instead making their way back to the Main.
In the meantime, Vortol figures his alliance with Fiz has come to a quick end while he is stuck by himself to deal with the remaining two halflings. Shadow practically eviscerates one assailant while Vortol exchanges blows with the other to no avail. The remaining halfling decides not to tangle with the jaguarundi and high-tails it up South Caravan Street.
Vortol then spots the two halflings that had previously chased Fizgig now coming through the Crimson Stone Gate once more into the Main. So, he hides out near The Ante while the dimunitive pair view their fallen comrade. Figuring trouble is nearby when the jaguarundi howls at them from the darkness of an alley, they also flee north on South Caravan. Fizgig himself comes through the gate minutes later and helps Vortol pick the halfling body clean. Then they discover Morir is not dead but merely unconscious. He comes to, with their aid, and asks them to take him to The Blonde Boar Inn. They do so. Morir asks Vortol and Fizgig to recover his coinpurse, which one of the surviving halflings must still have on his person. They agree after Morir promises a reward. The duo then decides to stay at the inn this evening also.
More to come...!
Note: This is where I am stopping, but it is not where our game session ended. I will get to the rest of the action later when I have more time. I want to take this opportunity to share just how fast-paced C&C is and has been since I switched my game of choice to it from 3/3.5e D&D back in 2005. Encounters are fun and fresh again without being an hour-plus in length for even a minor scrap. My son came away from this session saying this was the most fun he had in a role playing game. I'll flesh out the conclusion to session one soon!
Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:29 am
Session One, Part Two (12/07/2014)
In the morrow, Vortol and Fiz enjoy the breakfast fare served at The Blonde Boar, including a fine light morning ale. They walk out the front door where the inn opens onto the Main Ward's market. After selling some items gleaned from the night before and collecting some more items and coin via their class abilities, the Main Market becomes unsettled by three groups of masked and armed nobles who have chosen the spot to settle their differences which have been escalating of late due to vicious rumors regarding each noble house. Steel clashes and men shout epithets at one another, accusing the other houses of treachery and cowardice. Each group bears a card suit symbol on their doublets: diamonds, clubs, and hearts. Noticeably absent is the suit of spades, borne by the noble House DellaMatta -- the house of Prince Cordero, leader of Eskadia. Members of those wearing diamonds see the well-armed Vortol and Fiz, mistaking them for mercenaries working for one of the other houses (most probably House DellaMatta who is absent). Thus, five of them close in on Vortol and Fiz. Fiz puts his hands up and says (truthfully) he has nothing to do with the conflict but was merely shopping at the Market when the fighting started. One of the diamond-wearing men dismisses the claim and tells the pair to ready themselves to fight or else be run through with a rapier. Fiz reluctantly draws his short sword while Vortol already had brought his broadsword out -- eager combatant that he is.
The five Itrugio nobles are beset from behind by fighting between others of their house against some of those from House Arnaud (clubs) and House Benvolio (diamonds). Three members still square off against the thieves, who defeat two of them with help from Shadow the jaguarundi while backing up against the steps leading into The Blonde Boar Inn. The thieves had determined to hide inside when the fighting started but not in time before they were assaulted themselves. Vortol and Shadow enter first as Fiz removes his opponent's doublet and left ear. Vortol asks the proprietor, Trendel, if there is a door at the back of the inn, to make good their own escape. The servant girl, Karri, shouts, "Through the kitchen!" and points to the southwest corner. Once inside the inn's foyer, Fiz kills the third Benvolio noble and tells the proprietor and servant girl to lie low until the fighting ceases. Fiz throws a gold piece to Trendel, saying, "You never saw us." Trendel looks up, as if to the heavens, asking, "Who...?" With that, Fiz once again takes the doublet off his fallen opponent along with his left ear and then runs to catch up to Vortol who has already split.
Vortol runs to the kitchen and then merely walks fast once inside, per Trendel's warning, lest he bump into or over anything hot. At last, Vortol reaches the back door and opens it -- to see a large group of men waiting for him. "Surrender immediately!" one yells. Vortol and Shadow rush back inside and head toward the front room of the inn once more, meeting Fiz just before he enters the kitchen. Fiz decides to flee upstairs. Running into a random but unoccupied guest room (that was not theirs the night before), he disposes of the doublets and ears under a mattress. From there, the thieves meet up in their own room, at the back of the inn and climb out the window and up to the roof. Suddenly, three men FLY onto the roof while others begin climbing up from the utility trap door. Knowing they are caught, the thieves surrender. Their weapons are taken from them and they are led to the Safe House, also in the Main Ward.
The pair are led to a nondescript stone building, walking down a stairwell from the street to an area underneath. Men open a formerly secret door and escort the thieves inside to a smaller room and then past a door requiring the men to state their names and business. Their reply is whispered and the thieves do not catch it, though they do see most of their captors remove their city watch garb and exchange it for the Clubs of House Arnaud. Just five men are left to walk the pair inside the Safe House proper, where they are to meet with a man named Porchet.
Porchet invites them to be seated and their escorts leave immediately after. Porchet informs the pair that they have been implicated in the death of one Octoron Benvolio, a prominent son of House Benvolio, who died in the Main Market skirmish. He says that he is from House Arnaud himself and wishes to have the thieves work for him and in the process be cleared of any charges against them.
Porchet relates to the pair that a poem surfaced recently in many copies around town -- posted on bulletin boards in the markets and shouted by town criers. The poem's incendiary nature has set three of the houses of nobles at each others' throats. After reading a copy of the rhyme to the players, he notes that House Itrugio (hearts) is noticeably absent and suggests they must be the perpetrators of the provocative poem. Porchet implies Dino Itrugio is probably the author, known as "The Jack," as he is a known poet. Porchet says his superiors would like to see The Jack discovered and stopped in order to bring peace back to the city, as poems similar to the one read have appeared over several months, provoking many guilds, noble houses, and trade houses to violence against one another. Porchet promises a reward of 500 gold pieces to each man should they find evidence that Dino Itrugio is The Jack. The thieves agree, both because they like the idea of being handsomely paid and because they like the idea of the charges against them being dropped. Porchet says they can track down Dino at his home, Itrugio Estate itself in The Blade Ward, or at The Golden Camel, an exclusive club in The Diamond District. The pair of thieves decide to rest up at their room at the Blonde Boar Inn until the following night, so as to let things simmer down in the city after this day's outbreak of fighting.
Even more to come!
This is still from Saturday's game and yet this is not where we left off. I shall try to finish the story of Vortol and Fizgig so far tomorrow night.
Happy gaming (again),
Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:01 pm
I'm looking forward to reading more, so I hope you keep finding the time to write it up.
Mon Aug 11, 2014 8:51 pm
Ditts (now with Os).
Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:56 am
Thank you, Treebore & Omote!
I have the conclusion to finish up but have asked my son for help in recalling the details now that several weeks(!) have passed since I began posting the campaign's tale. It is my hope to have that finished in two days' time before he heads to his grandmother's for a couple days. Otherwise, I will have to "go it alone" in writing as I want to finish before this weekend as our next session is now planned for Sunday. Hoody-hoo!
Tue Aug 12, 2014 11:43 am
I have nothing constructive to add, other than when I read the title to this thread I now cannot get Prince's; Thieves in the Temple song to stop playing in m head. Replacing "Temple" with "Eskadia".
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:00 pm
Sir Ironside wrote:I have nothing constructive to add, other than when I read the title to this thread I now cannot get Prince's; Thieves in the Temple song to stop playing in m head. Replacing "Temple" with "Eskadia".
Remix or Regular Version?
*dances to the remix version of 'Thieves in the Temple'*
Love come quick
Love come in a hurry
There are thieves in Eskadia tonight!
Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:53 am
Session One, Part Three (12/07/2014)
The following morning, Vortol and Fizgig again check in with Morir to see how he's faring. He appears to be on the mend, though his heart longs to see his old coinpurse again. "We're working on it," Fizgig mutters at his fellow gnome. After talking with Morir and some other fellows of questionable repute around the Main and Pitts Wards, the duo discovers that in order to gain access to the The Golden Camel, a club which Dino Itrugio frequents, they will need an ivory chip as a pass. These ivory chip passes are not easily given and only the most elite possess them.
Vortol and Fizgig stake out the club that night from a nearby alley, in the hopes of waylaying a patron on their way home. Their hope is that they can acquire an ivory chip and thus enter The Golden Camel. Fizgig's shadow familiar flitted around in order to alert Fizgig to any trouble via its "danger sense" ability. The first candidate to possibly meet their needs is a halfling. Vortol charges the diminutive pedestrian once he is near their hiding place, but stumbles upon exiting the alley. His attempt to knock the halfling out goes awry as he swings, misses, and collides shoulder to shoulder with his intended prey on his way down to the ground from his tripping.
"Why don't ya watch where yer going?!?" cries the annoyed, astonished, and impeccably-dressed halfling. "I'll have the Middle Men on ya if you don't stand aside!" At that, the pair apologize (and with no weapons drawn, their apology is accepted) and the halfling goes on his way.
Not long after, a group leaves The Golden Camel, but it is too large for the pair of thieves to assault. A second possible target is an older gentleman who wears fancy green robes with sequins on them. He pulls a wand from his sleeve and taps his head. At that, a large brimmed hat appears upon his head. Then he waves the wand at the ground and a walking stick sprouts from it. He grips it upon its formation. Fizgig looks at Vortol and says, "We're not touching this guy. Wizards are too dangerous for novice thieves such as we."
Another large group leaves the club and after their passing by, the pair decide to simply retire for the night. They discuss planning other ways to acquire an ivory chip. Fiz & Vortol hope their walk back to The Blonde Boar Inn is peaceful and without incident. During the walk, the thieves voice their disdain about facing the grim reality that they may not be able to gain an ivory chip until they are better able to mingle with the upper crust of Eskadian society or better able to rob said upper crust.
Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:06 am
I cleaned up the prior session recaps after going over them with my son this weekend. That delayed my writing of the newest recap of the latest session (from 8/17), but that should be this week since my son wrote an outline himself. I'll put that up here as soon as I can.
Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:14 am
Session Two, Part One (17/08/2014)
Vortol and Fizgig Crankwhistle, novice thieves of Eskadia, have had no success in obtaining an ivory chip they need in order to gain access to The Golden Camel club in the city’s Diamond District. So, they dejectedly head back to The Blonde Boar Inn as it is quite late at night/early in the morning. As they weave their way through The Eye Ward and travel east on Caravan Street past The Eye Market, a human beggar wrapped in a sooty gray cloak holds out a dirty hand holding an even dirtier cup. “Alms?” he asks, hoping for a donation. As Vortol is about to drop some coin in the cup, the salt-and-pepper-haired beggar suddenly and swiftly grabs Vortol’s wrist and pulls the surprised thief to himself as he stands up.
“So, you two think you’ll be gaining access to The Golden Camel, eh?” he asks in a whisper.
Fizgig, closing in at what looks like trouble and sensing this beggar is more than meets the eye, replies, “Maybe. Who are you?”
“Someone who has a proposal that can profit us all. Where can we talk in private?”
Fiz replies that they were on their way to The Blonde Boar Inn for the evening and a table there should suit their needs. The fellow introduces himself merely as “Beggar Jim,” but says he would be most glad to recline at the Blonde Boar. With that, he dusts himself off and removes the cloak. He folds it into a sack he carries under the cloak. He gives his hair a brush with his hands, as well. Now appearing more regal and bereft of dirt, Jim puts out an arm to gesture he would follow. After passing through the Central Pass Gate, Fiz and Vortol are glad no halflings are in sight. They are thankful to not be waylaid by any of the street gangs this evening.
Arriving at their destination, Beggar Jim walks inside with them. Once Fiz & Vortol book rooms for themselves with Trendel, the proprietor, the three order food and drink at a table, Beggar Jim tells his tale. He states that there is a group of bandits east of Eskadia plaguing caravans as they travel the surrounding countryside. One such place is the town of Ralferst. Ralferst has recently seen an increase of bandit raids just outside its borders. Of course, he says, there are bands of highwaymen all over the northwestern peninsula but this particular band seems to have a mole in the City of Eskadia as they have a knack for raiding the choicest and richest caravans and merchants. Unfortunately, “friends” of Jim were recently victims of a raid near Ralferst and some sensitive paperwork was amongst the items in their wagon. This paperwork could be detrimental to other friends of Jim’s, since his plan is to restore the predecessors of the Middle Men back to their rightful place as the foremost Thieves’ Guild in Eskadia and its environs. The apprentice rogues both know what he means, but Fizgig states it in a hushed whisper, to make sure all of them are in agreement in mind: The Order, a humanocentric thieves guild, was supplanted when The Middle Men (a halfling-led organization) arose to power. Jim nods his head in agreement before finishing. In addition, he says, one member of the traveling party was in possession of an ivory chip.
While Vortol’s jaw drops open, Fiz’s ears wriggle at this news. “What does that mean for us?” he asks, intrigued.
“It means, my friends,” Jim answers, “that I have need of some help and you have incentive to provide for it. The leader of the bandits *should* respond to diplomacy, so I am asking that you talk your way into his good graces and retrieve the paperwork and the ivory chip. Should that prove too difficult or you fail to resolve this sooner, know that in three days’ time my organization will dispatch a larger group to wrest the paperwork from the bandits. We would prefer diplomacy, but will use force to keep our secrets secret. Take this bag of gems as currency to trade for the paperwork. How you retrieve the chip is up to you.”
“Why don’t I,” says Fiz, “pose as a representative ‘for a wealthy businessman,’ say, and Vortol can be my bodyguard,” he says as he peeks inside the gem bag. “Perhaps this currency will win us both paperwork and chip altogether?”
“Then it is settled,” Jim says, getting up. “I will look for you daily here. Morir, whom you have met, will get word to me if I am delayed or otherwise unable to return here. He will prove himself useful in spite of his recent injuries.”
With that, he flings his dirty old cloak around himself once again and waves to Morir, who is seated in the common room, and to Trendel before exiting. Vortol and Fiz finish their late-night snack, pay the serving wench, and tip her before retiring for the evening.
The next morning, the pair enjoy another fine breakfast in The Blonde Boar Inn. Trendel, the proprietor, has an idea of the rogues’ destination, so he instructs them to say hello to his cousin, Audo. He says his cousin and his wife own the inn in Ralferst and to tell them that Trendel sent them.
Fiz wants to make some money in The Main Market before leaving the city. He does so via selling surplus goods and pickpocketing. Vortol also indulges in “business” before they head east toward Ralferst. During their two-hour walk, they encounter only a merchant wagon accompanied by several guards. The merchants warily look to pass the duo, but stop when asked if they have encountered any problems on the road. The guards, hands on sword hilts, attest that their travel has thankfully been free of adversity, but they heard someone else was not so lucky the night before on the other side of Ralferst. Thus, the thieves come to the Town of Ralferst without any untoward experiences on the road.
They enter The Savory Salmon, the local tavern and inn, and ask about the recent bandit raids. Some folks get suspicious but answer plainly in the hopes that help has arrived. Audo and Vivian greet them and help them get comfortable after their walk, booking rooms for the men. Audo is pleased to receive felicitations from his cousin and brightens at the mention of his ilk. The thieves learn from Audo that the local moneychanger, Alberic, is caring for his cousin, a trader, who was ambushed, robbed, and left for dead the day before. Perhaps this trader, if well enough to answer questions, can provide more information, Audo offers. He adds if Alberic is too busy to attend to visitors or if Trylgorin, the trader, is still too injured to be questioned, perhaps Gravin, the local priest, can enlighten the adventurers as to what is known about the bandits.
Upon entering the Moneychanger’s establishment, the pair of rogues make sure they stick to their conceived plan. Fiz, dressed now in a nice robe purchased from the Main Market, tells Alberic that he represents an Eskadian businessman and needs to locate the thieves in order to retrieve what was lost in the bandit raid of a week ago. He asks if he might speak with Trylgorin in order to get more information. Alberic states his cousin is in bad shape still, despite the healing offered by Gravin. However, he gives the gnome all of the information that he learned from his cousin.
Trylgorin was heading back to Ralferst after a successful business deal to the east. About three miles outside of town, he was beset by a group of men who beat and robbed him. He was off the main road due to the harpy’s roost that looks over the main western road. It was on one of these much-used secondary paths southeast of Ralferst that Trylgorin was found by a reclusive forester named Edgral. Edgral brought him, barely conscious, to Ralferst where Gravin tended to him as best as possible. Gravin told Alberic he would stop by again tonight as he would have the means necessary to bring Trylgorin back to full physical health. The psychological scars would take longer to heal, of course.
Fizgig asks Alberic to deposit most of the gems with him until such time when he would withdraw them. Alberic & Fiz agree upon a price, which is paid. The remaining three gems (roughly 10% of them, in terms of value) go with Fiz as he leaves Alberic’s store with Vortol his "bodyguard" in tow...
(This is only about half of the session's progress covered. More to come!)
Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:21 pm
Session Two, Part Two (17/08/2014)
After spending the night at The Savory Salmon, the audacious pair of adventurers head south from Ralferst to look for the ambush site. They spy the location after an hour’s walk or so. As they look at the flecks of blood that mark it, they hear boisterous and raucous voices from the direction they came. Two scruffy-looking men enter the pathway from the woods to the south of the road, talking much louder than the quiet of the wood necessitated. They are leaning against one another as they trudge along and the reek of alcohol on their persons arrive before they do.
Fizgig greets them and asks their business. The similar-looking bearded, and fur-armored men state that they are heading back to their leader’s camp but got lost after spending their share of loot from a raid a couple of days before. Now that they see they are where they “won” their earnings, they know to head “this way” (that would be east, but they have no clue). They are now close enough that the alcohol can no longer mask their own odor. (The poor gnome gags a bit, his superior smell a curse at times such as this.)
With their involvement in the attack on Trylgorin confirmed, Fiz says “May I join in your journey so I can broker a deal with your superiors?” This verbiage is apparently lost upon the alcohol-rich and intelligence-poor pair. Fiz tries again, this time saying, “I want to join your gang.” The barbaric duo nods in sudden understanding. They introduce themselves as Parlan and Ruairidh.
“Ok now, follow us closely AND QUIETLY,” says the more inebriated fellow, raising his voice. “There is a harpy around here who don’t like trespassers unless she’s VERY HUNGRY!”
At that, a flapping noise is heard and a screech pierces the sky around them. In a flash, the harpy is upon the quartet in the pathway and they freeze in fear. On the fly, she grabs the loud drunken oaf in her talons and flies away with him. His now-deserted partner looks into the wood in vain and offers, “He’s right, you know.”
A scream is heard only to be cut off by another harpy screech, chilling the trio’s bones. The travelers quickly move on. The remaining barbarian agrees to take Fiz and Vortol to the bandits’ hideout. After leading them silently past an ogre’s den (“The silly monster paints for a living!” the barbarian guffaws), the inebriated man brings them to a riverbed. On the far side stands a large marble temple. Its columns allow its residents to peer out without being seen from the dark alcoves on either side of its center. The barbarian leads the adventurers across the river via its ford and up the bank on the other side.
Men train their crossbows on the trio and ask the barbarian, “Parlan, what is going on? Who are these traveling companions?” Parlan freezes, trying to recall, so he looks at Fiz and Vortol. With a sigh of disgust, Fiz walks in front of the stammering barbarian, speaks up, and says he represents influential people in the city of Eskadia. His superiors know that thieves in this region waylaid a merchant’s wagon a few days prior. In that wagon were papers sensitive to several factions within the city. Fizgig says he has been sent, along with a bodyguard to ensure safe travels, to recover the papers wrapped in a bone scrollcase as well as a chip of ivory that was held inside the case. One of the thieves replies, “Wait here, I’ll get Lord Harstall,” and then to the barbarian, “Parlan, go to your quarters. You look a mess and probably smell worse. Where’s Ruairidh?” “Harpy got ‘im,” Parlan responds and puts his head down as his scuffs his way to the temple interior and descends the stairs in front of the speaking thief.
A few minutes later, the thief returns with four more of his kind, three of them in plain leather armor. The third man has a giant ferret on a leash and the fourth man is dressed in glossy black leather armor and walks with an air about him. He walks to Fiz and offers his hand. Upon shaking, he says, “Lord Kravik Harstall, leader of this band of opportunists. I am told you seek something in our possession?”
Fiz repeats his story and Vortol nods in confirmation. Harstall puts his hand to his chin. “Yes, this could be a quandary. I have something you need. What do you offer in return?”
Fiz responds, “My superiors have given me these.” Fiz shows Harstall the gems he still has in the small cloth bag. “This is roughly 10% of the payment my superiors are offering in return for the papers and ivory chip. Now, know you this: they will be sending another party to Ralferst three days after our leaving, which would be the day after tomorrow. If we do not return with the missing items, the second party will be an army and they shall take the wanted papers and chip by force. Now, they would rather keep the peace and leave things alone, such as they are, as they too like taking advantage of ‘opportunity,’ but they have both the means and knowledge of getting what they want, especially since they can magically divine your whereabouts now that I have arrived.”
Harstall does not take long to think this over. “Jim!” he yells and the ferret keeper’s head snaps to attention, “Retrieve from your quarters the bone scrollcase.” After a couple of minutes, “Ferret Jim” and Jim the ferret return with the case. Ferret Jim gives it to his leader, his pet pulling hard at the leash to take a sniff of Vortol’s jaguarondi. Harstall shakes the case and the ivory chip rattles within it. “This is yours upon your return with the rest of your payment.” Harstall and Fiz shake hands on it. Fiz asks the best way to return to Ralferst from the thieves’ lair and the duo is escorted west along the river until they find a road once again.
The pair of adventurers smile at their apparent luck and arrive in Ralferst. They make sure they were not followed before heading to Alberic’s once more. They withdraw the rest of the gems and make their way back to Lord Harstall’s hideout.
Upon arriving at the lair, the watchmen send one of their own to get Harstall and “Ferret Jim.” They come up the stairs in minutes. Harstall takes the gems from Fiz, smiling the entire time. Fiz, a bit worried, opens the case as soon as Harstall hands it to him. Sure enough the ivory chip slides out and then he pulls the rolled-up papers from within. They are addressed to merchants farther east than Ralferst in supplying an unnamed group with information, tools, and weapons to use against the Middlemen. Fiz rolls the papers back up and inserts them and the chip into the case. “That was easy,” Fiz beams. Harstall replies, “Your very wise bosses drive a hard to refuse bargain. It’s quite simple to acquiesce to their request and keep our place here undisturbed and without more enemies in the Free City. Fare thee well.” And with that, Harstall reenters his hideout’s lower chambers and Fiz and Vortol leave for Ralferst again.
They stay at the Savory Salmon one more night and return to Eskadia in the morning. After an uneventful walk back to the Free City, Vortol notices a halfling trying to pickpocket him once they are inside the city’s Outer Gate, which allows passage into the city’s Main Ward. Fiz and Vortol give pursuit to the street gang halfling, who stupidly runs into a dead end. He pulls out a pair of daggers and whistles. The whistle is returned and two more of his kind enter the dead end. Fiz, Vortol, and Shadow the jaguarondi make short work of their three assailants. Soon, Fiz and Vortol have more coin and a few more weapons than they had when they had entered Eskadia.
“Not bad!” smiles Vortol as he splits the coinage with Fizgig.
After cleaning their weapons and heading back to North Caravan Street, they make their way through the Main Ward and check into The Blonde Boar.
“Do you have my coinpurse?!?” a familiar voice rings out as they arrive at the counter.
“We’re still working on it, Morir,” Fiz replies with a chuckle, as he signs the inn’s ledger. He pays Trendel for their rooms for the night and sends wishes from Trendel’s cousin, Aldo, of Ralferst. “Aldo was glad to hear from you, Trendel.”
Beggar Jim is seated with Morir at a table. Jim shoos Morir away and offers seats to Fizgig and Vortol. They sit down and hand Jim the bone scroll case but not before taking the ivory chip out of it. Jim thanks the men for their efforts, hands them some coin for their trouble, and orders drinks and a lunch for the table. After their repast, Jim takes his leave and says he will see his fellows around the city.
Wed May 25, 2016 4:57 pm
As we are about to resume this campaign this coming Sunday, I realize I have not yet updated with the last session (that being 22/03/2015[!]). If I do not get to it because of prepping for this weekend's game, I will attempt to do so afterward. I am stoked to get this going again!
Wed May 25, 2016 5:19 pm
Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:18 pm
I am as forgetful as Barliman Butterbur. "One thing pushes out another," indeed, when it comes to my memory. We did successfully game the next session, on 5/29. I will have to recap our last two sessions now. Maybe this week, some free time will shake loose... Of course, we are trying to set up our next session, too, so that we do not have a big gap between sessions, as we did before.
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