– The Gully, Jannaday, 21st of Maniyah, 8633 (day 3), 23:30 –
As our heroes climb out of The Gully, with the Kromax children in tow, an unrelenting downpour descends upon them. The still-burning remnants of the Goblin out front are quickly doused by the rain, whilst Dave goes out and finds the horses The Raiders used to get here. With their newly acquired transportation, the party sets off back to Ivona, to return the children to their father.
A few hours pass as the horses find their way in the dark across the hilly terrain. At last the group reaches Ivona and immediately enter the house that Farmer Kromax was being treated at. Upon seeing the safe return of his children, the man breaks down in tears of joy, as well as sadness when hearing the news of the death of his wife Drynga. Leaving the newly rejoined and grieving family to their devices, our group asks around in the village for any information regarding the list of names they found in The Gully. However, no one has heard of them.
– Ivona, Keleday, 22st of Maniyah, 8633 (day 4), 06:00 –
Our group realises they have a long journey ahead of them. They need to reach The Abandoned Farm by noon tomorrow, and it is about a day’s ride away. So they decide to leave immediately. As they travel, Dave reveals more of his life’s story to the group.
Using the horses the group makes good time, and they reach The Lucky Fox Tavern around 13:00. They decide to enter for a quick rest and to ask around for more information. The inn-keeper tells them of the history behind Thuria, the large city left abandoned and shrouded in dark mystery. He also mentions that soldiers from The Citadel came to his tavern yesterday. They had never done that before, as they usually keep to themselves in The Citadel. Once more, our heroes have a reason to doubt whether the agreement between Darandis and The Citadel is still being kept.
In a fit of fancy the group decides to try their luck in a gambling game of dice. Both Dave and Kai lose 25gp, whilst Fayzo is able to barely scrape by and break even. Not wanting to thwart fate the guys decide to leave with the rest of their wallets intact, and ride out the remainder of the trip towards The Abandoned Farm.
To take shelter from the rain they make a quick stop at a shrine for the god Abadar, but find nothing of interest. They continue their journey, and it is still raining when they finally reach the farm around dusk.
– The Abandoned Farm, Mystraday, 23rd of Maniyah, 8633 (day 5), 06:00 –
After sleeping in the still reasonably intact barn, the party awakens after a rough night. Wolves were heard all throughout the night, and Kai is worried about the horses, which they left outside. There is no time to check on them though. In a few short hours the meeting between The Raiders and the soldiers from The Citadel is supposed to take place. Fayzo and Kai prepare their day’s spells, and Fayzo also takes the time to learn the Obscuring Mist spell, by scribing the scroll he attained from Turach’s villa.
Their hope is to fool the soldiers into thinking Dave and Fayzo are part of The Raiders’ group, by disguising themselves. In case that plan fails however, Kai will be hidden nearby disguised as a tree by means of a spell he knows, and they feel confident they can ambush the soldiers.
Exactly at noon, as expected, the delegation of The Citadel Soldiers arrive. It’s just two of them, with a wagon filled with supplies. The leader of the two seems somewhat taken aback that Bosek, the leader of The Raiders, isn’t present. Some quick bluffing by Fayzo and a few intimidating words by Dave quickly convince him everything is on the up and up.
As they depart, they present Dave with a note from Colonel Orban, the leader of The Citadel which seems to indicate they are aware our party is investigating the unrest in the region, and that Colonel Orban wants our heroes assassinated as well.
As the soldiers drive off, the party is shocked at how relatively easily that actually went. With the new information in hand, they decide to get back to Erech as soon as possible and relay all the information to Turach Lorenu. As they try to gather their horses however, they find that they were indeed attacked by the wolves last night. As Leng takes a quick nibble for the road, the party sets off on foot, determined to travel at least to The Lucky Fox Tavern before nightfall.
That evening, around 23:00, they finally arrive at The Lucky Fox Tavern, again drenched in rain. Once more they ask the inn-keeper for information, something of a recurring theme at this point. The inn-keeper, named Heriad, tells them that “The Dancing Sailor” as mentioned in the note is another tavern in Erech. The party sleeps in The Lucky Fox’s Inn and has a really good night’s rest for the first time in a few days.
– The Lucky Fox Tavern, Istiday, 24th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 6), 08:00 –
He seems visibly stressed and shaken up. He mentions receiving the note Fayzo wrote to him just this afternoon. He reveals that the names on the assassination hit-list are all councillors in Erech, and that the name on the top of the list, Conamas, already died last night! Everyone agrees to send a quick word of warning to the remaining three councillors on the list to have additional guards around them at all times, after which they go to sleep.
– Erech, Suneday, 25th of Maniyah, 8633 (day 7), 07:30 –
Over breakfast several topics were discussed. It was agreed that the party would go to The Dancing Sailor Tavern to investigate the threat on their own life, before returning at noon to Turach to go over to the councillors together and inform them of the danger. The party also inquired into their agreed-upon rewards from Turach, who had resolved to help the party by using his connections. He offered to send word to a king he knew in a neighbouring realm, that could help Fayzo with his quest for Arcane Knowledge, as well as offer our adventurers lucrative jobs. Our heroes agreed to stay here and continue the investigation into the assassination-conspiracy here in Erech before doing anything else.
At around 08:30 Dave, Kai, and Fayzo leave the villa for The Dancing Sailor Tavern. Kai decides to leave Leng behind in the villa for now. Kai and Fayzo enter the bar first, and pick a table in the corner to observe the room from. Dave enters a few minutes later, and walks up to the barman. In his usual grunt-like voice and unintelligent way Dave asks the barman for information regarding “the three” [wink, wink]. The barman seems to know what Dave is talking about, as he asks Dave to follow him to a separate room. A few short moments later the barman appears once more, and walks out the front door.
Dave steps out moments later, and sits down on a table close to that of Kai and Fayzo. Using a bit of quick magic Fayzo is able to silently communicate with Dave, and ask him what they should do. Dave suggests one of them follows the barman, just to see what he does. He was supposed to bring someone that could answer Dave’s questions. Kai decides to jump up and follows the barman outside.
Several minutes later he comes back in, and sits back down. He immediately lets Fayzo and Dave know that trouble is on the way. The barman didn’t trust Dave and brought two armed thugs back to the bar.
At that very moment they enter the bar, and immediately walk up to Dave in a menacing manner. Dave decides not to wait for their cue, and flies into a rage, throwing a table at the two thugs. A fight breaks out, and most of the other clientele in the bar run out, with the notable exception of a threesome of rather drunk sailors who seem to think this is some kind of in-house entertainment act.
After several blows back and forth between Dave and the thugs, Dave is in a bad state. Fayzo decides to jump in by electrocuting the nearest bad-guy, and Kai does the same by calling down a lighting strike. Together our heroes make quick work of the thugs, and turn their attention instead to the barman, who had made himself scarce.
From the threatening side of Fayzo‘s heavy crossbow, the barman is more than happy to spill the beans on what he knows. He says he was hired by Cir Dourrae, one of the city’s councillors, to relay the information of the three adventurers to whomever entered the bar asking for them. He also mentions that the assassin that presumably killed councillor Conamas has been staying in a secret compartment in the cellar below the bar. Kai and Dave go out to investigate this claim, whilst Fayzo stays upstairs to keep an eye on the barman. Fayzo decides to teach the barman a lesson by taking the money he was paid by Cir Dourrae for his assistance in this evil plot. He empties the cash register which had 600gp in it.
Kai and Dave return with the news that Kai found guard-duty rosters and assassination plans for all three of the remaining councillors on the assassination list. At the top of the pile was councillor Sanna. The barman says that the assassin left a little while ago. With a few last threatening words to the barman, and a promise of a repayment of his money if he doesn’t mention the three of them were there, our heroes run towards where Sanna lives to try and stop the assassin.
Upon arriving at Sanna’s extravagant home (they asked a random person where he lived), a servant opens the door. He immediately understands this has to do with the message from last night, indicating that Sanna was in danger, but regrets to inform the party that Sanna went to the market a few moments ago, without any guards. Fayzo asks for the servant to join them, and together all of them run towards the market.
Right as they see Sanna among the multitudinous shoppers, Kai also sees a suspicious hooded figure aiming a blow-gun at the councillor. With some extremely quick thinking, he casts a Wind Wall into existence. Half a second later, as a dart from the blow-gun flies towards Sanna, it is redirected upwards by the Wind Wall, and misses its target. The assassin looks over at the source of this powerful spell, and realizes he has been made.
As Dave yells for Sanna to “Get down!”, the assassin runs past Sanna and appears to slice him with his dagger, before booking it in the opposite direction of our heroes. Dave and Fayzo start chasing him, whilst Kai tends to the wounded Sanna.
The moment the assassin and his pursuers leave the business of the crowd, Fayzo takes aim and fires his heavy crossbow, but misses. Dave continues running and gains a bit of ground on the assassin, who still has a significant lead. As the assassin dives into a side-alley, Dave decides to split off one alleyway earlier and runs up and climbs the side of a building to get to the roof just in time to see the assassin harm a horse which comes careening through the alley towards Fayzo, still hot in pursuit.
With Fayzo losing more and more ground during these set-backs, it is up to Dave to catch the assassin from above. But he too has a bit of bad luck, missing a jump from one rooftop to the next, and falling back down to the ground, losing valuable time.
Meanwhile, Kai is doing his utmost best to save Sanna from death. He quickly surmises that the dagger Sanna was sliced with was laced with black adder poison. With this knowledge, Kai rapidly uses his healing skills to save Sanna from the brink of death.
In another part of town, the assassin now has a significant lead, and takes the opportunity to create another distraction whilst crossing a bridge. He stabs an innocent bystander in the chest, and throws the man over the side of the bridge into the canal below.
With a gracious and heroic leap Fayzo jumps into the canal below, towards the drowning man. Once in the water however, he is so weighed down by his robes and weaponry, he can barely stay afloat himself, and has no opportunity to save the innocent man.
Dave realises that the assassin is running straight for The Dancing Sailor Tavern, and thus decides to back off slightly and observe the tavern from a distance as the assassin enters. Once inside, Dave closes the distance and beckons for the barman to come outside. He asks whether the assassin is inside, and whether or not the barman kept his mouth shut about our three adventurers having been there earlier today. When the barman confirms both statements, Dave gets everyone out of the bar and locks the door. With the assassin now locked inside, he waits for the rest of the party to arrive…