Session 3: A Night to Remember, March

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Session 3: A Night to Remember, March

Post by Mifurey on Wed May 25, 2016 6:18 pm

March, Session 5 - A Night to Remember
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The session opened with the warband in their rooms at the Malt'n'Boar deciding how to foil the assassination attempt on the Lord Brightlen's life, which was to be made at the Lord's Ball the next evening. Sharron and Clara, whom they had rescued from the Faceless in the sewers, were asleep in the next room.

Without any real plan settled on, the group split up and head off to discuss with their various factions about gaining entrance to the Lord's Ball by joining entourages from the church, the dwarves, etc. (respectively).

Merick, naturally, went to the bar. The others made their first stop at the Church of Light, where they waited whilst Adrysse explained the whole hostage situation to the Priestess, Rhys Warven. Warven acceeded to Adrysse' requests, leading Torvus and Eadwine to return to the Malt'n'Boar to collect Sharron and Clara and take them to the church for rehabilitation. Warven explains that she and the Church as a whole must remain apolitical, and for that reason Adrysse must not take any overt action at the Ball which would cast a poor light on the Church.

On the way back to the Malt'n'Boar Torvus spotted a figure on a rooftop whom he tentatively identified as his brother Dante. This set the elf on edge, but he didn't mention anything. Upon their return Torvus convinced Merick to come with them whilst Eadwine collected the ex-hostages from upstairs. After carefully bundling Clara and Sharron in heavy, hooded clothing the companions returned to the streets.

Merick and Torvus both noted figures on surrounding rooftops, to which Eadwine, being a fairly-naive scholar, was oblivious. Nevertheless, the group reached the Church again without incident. Torvus and Eadwine informed Warven about Sharron's husband, Vincent, who was involved in the assassination plot too, and would need shelter after the Ball was finished. Warven agreed that he would be welcomed and reunited with his family.

Upon exiting the Church Merick announced his desire to go to the Scarlet Wench, a tavern owned by the Ashe warlock, Kreet. Eadwine and Torvus insisted otherwise, and Merick eventually desisted. The three headed back to the Malt'n'Boar.

Meanwhile, Adrysse had gone further into the Church to prepare for the evening, and Thorgrim had walked to the dwarven embassy. The ambassador had welcomed Thorgrim and given him some coin to buy appropriate clothing for the Ball that night. He also offered Thorgrim lodgings, which the dwarf accepted. Adrysse also stayed in the embassy that night.

Back at the Malt'n'Boar, Torvus told Merick and Eadwine about his brother and they discussed the figures on the rooftops. Torvus mentioned that Dante had fallen in with the wrong crowd. Despite this, the bar atmosphere remained secure and warm.

Torvus and Merick fell into drinking and playing darts with a large man, nearly fat, named Baird. Merick shouted many drinks for the others, and they began discussing business. Baird explained that he was a wood merchant who owned a chain of sawmills, but that business was pretty tough because of the orc infestation to the north-west. When Eadwine joined the others, getting nervous because of Adrysse' and Thorgrim's absence (which had not been arranged prior to their leaving), he mentioned that he was from Auskell. Baird asked what the deal with Auskell was at the moment and Eadwine explained that rumours said a witch had attacked and destroyed the leaders of the dockside gangs. Baird scoffed at this suggestion. During conversation, Torvus explained that he is 158 years old, and that elves will typically reach 5-600 years of age. He also mentioned that his father used to explain that elves turned into trees when they got old (or something vague like that).

In the morning Torvus and Merick had headaches; Torvus was particularly hammered.

The trio at the Malt'n'Boar went for breakfast downstairs, and Eadwine's order of muesli garnered some drunken derision from Merick.

Thorgrim and Adrysse awoke in the embassy and were given a large and fancy breakfast, during which Thorgrim discussed the state of dwarven refugees in Ghenrael. He was particularly worried by the remnants of the Crystal Forge Clan who were predominately housed in Rochford; Rochford itself was threatened by an undead force from the east, and orcs from the Cesdradin Heights to the northwest.

Torvus, still feeling awful, went back to bed. Eadwine and Merick left to find work as servants in Tudor Towers so that they could gain access to the Ball (that night).

Arriving at Tudor Towers, Merick and Eadwine ran into Thorgrim and Adrysse. Thorgrim was wearing ceremonial garb and Adrysse had a golden Church mask on instead of her usual Gothard family mask. The entrance hall to the ballroom was enormous, with huge glass windows in gilded frames with large paintings and sculptures of previous rulers decorating the walls.

Thorgrim had already called for the Lord's treasurer, Harris d'Main [can't quite remember why: Dom?].

Meanwhile, Eadwine and Merick were met by Brightlen's major domo, an elf named Attrion. Attrion wore black clothes, a rose mahogony mask and had his ears exposed. He walked in a strange gliding fashion. Attrion looked the pair over and told them to report to the servant's quarters, but only after divesting themselves of weaponry.

Shortly thereafter a group of Holdyon dwarves entered, accompanied by the university Chancellor, Peta L'Rouche, and her aide, Charlotte. Remembering their last icy meeting in the Tudor Halls, Eadwine decided to talk to Charlotte and warn her that there may be danger at the ball tonight. She came aside and spoke with Eadwine in undertones, berating him for leaving to go to the war and for ending their relationship. Eadwine responded on the offensive, arguing that he had no idea how long he would be gone for and that it was for her sake that he had split them up. The scholar tried to calm things by asking what Charlotte was up to now, and she responded that she was at the Ball to "sort out politics".

At that point the Chevalier Mydas and his entourage entered, resplendent in shining armour. Charlotte waited until he was well past and then revealed to Eadwine that she wanted to take down the Chevalier. Eadwine argued that she was out of her league, but she was stoic. Eventually Eadwine desisted, and simply warned Charlotte to be careful and stay away from the chandelier because it might be involved in an attempt on the Lord's life. Charlotte left angrily, leaving Eadwine exasperated. Merick was tactful enough not to comment.

Thorgrim and Adrysse joined their respective parties and bided their time.

Merick and Eadwine headed back to the Malt'n'Boar and left their weaponry, though they did take a dagger each. They found Torvus awake and feeling marginally better, so they took him back to Tudor Towers with them.

At the servants' entrance the trio were greeted tersely by Attrion, who asked what had taken them so long. He gave them white shirts and blue vests to wear, plus a generic wooden mask each. They got changed in a locker room and stashed their regular clothing there. The daggers were concealed inside their vests. Attrion assigned Merick and Torvus to ushering, and Eadwine to wine serving. Merick left to take up his station, but Attrion stopped Torvus and took the elf to a store room. Once Torvus had chewed a concoction that Attrion devised he felt his hangover receeding somewhat, and Attrion sent him to join Merick.

Eadwine entered the massive kitchen---complete with four enormous stone ovens---and found his way to the wine cellar, which was filled with enormous kegs of wine and spirits. An old man was pouring wine and other beverages into cups on trays at the foot of the stairs down to the cellar floor.

Outside, Merick and Torvus ushered guests into the ballroom, a cathedral-like space with a stage at the far end, a sunken dance floor, and a raised terrace around three sides. Massive windows opened onto the gardens outside, and a huge chandelier like an inverted castle dominated the space above the stage. Torvus carefully inspected the edges of the room, including around the enormous potted plants along the walls, and did not spot anything untoward. Many guards were stationed around the place, some bearing the Lord's livery and some the Chevalier's.

Adrysse and Thorgrim entered separately and mingled as appropriate. Shortly thereafter the Chevalier entered with great pomp; he was no longer wearing plate armour. The man was rather charismatic and attracted many conversations.

Servants began laying out food on the terrace and circulating with drinks. Eadwine took a plate of wine up and distributed it. Thorgrim intercepted him and requested a round of ale for the dwarves, with Thorgrim's watered down (so that he could appear to be drinking more than he was).

Eadwine returned to the cellar and poured ale, noticing nothing untoward. He returned to the floor in time to meet Thorgrim and Mydas together; they had been having a seemingly-innocent chat about the dwarf's situation, but it bore ominous overtones. Eadwine served ale to the dwarves and the Chevalier; Mydas did not take kindly to Eadwine warning him that the drink was dwarven ale, which is not to everyone's tastes. Attrion saw this and was unimpressed, chiding Eadwine.

Torvus and Merick were still busy shepherding guests around. Merick tried to keep his talking to a minimum. Once the flow ebbed Attrion assigned them to serving duty; they headed for the cellars.

Eadwine was greeted by a guard near the entrance to the cellar, whom the scholar absently replied to. By this stage the kitchen was deserted, as cleaning was the chief problem now. He descended to the cellar floor and was pouring again when he noticed that a jug had gone missing, and that the old man who had previously been overseeing the operation was gone. The scholar rushed back upstairs, realising that poisoning the Lord was not out of the question. At the top he was stopped by the guard who had hailed him previously. The faux-soldier called Eadwine 'Snowflake' and threatened the scholar, forcing him back down into the cellar. Eadwine complied, fleeing into the storeroom and hiding. The soldier tracked Eadwine into the cellar. At that moment Torvus and Merick's voices came floating down from the entrance, and Eadwine shouted 'Beware! Poison!". The imposter threw his sword, but Eadwine managed to duck and it smashed into a barrel instead, showering Eadwine in ale. The sodden scholar fled past the soldier and up the stairs, where he and Merick were able to shut the door. Holding it closed, Eadwine explained to Torvus and Merick.

Torvus ran into the ballroom and composed himself, just as Lord Brightlen entered. At the end of the Lord's herald's announcement Torvus added in Elvish that there may be an attempt on the Lord's life and that it might be in the form of poisoned wine, in the hopes that someone in the audience would understand without causing a panic. He then retreated to the kitchen.

The trio were shortly joined by Attrion. The elf revealed his true colours as a Faceless assassin, claiming that the warband was a 'great inconvenience'. He drew two daggers from inside his sleeves and began to attack the three. 'Snowflake' continued to try to barge his way out of the cellar, but Eadwine and Merick had stuck a kitchen cart up against the door to help keep it closed.

In the ballroom the Lord began delivering his speech and a drunk fellow stumbled into Thorgrim near one of the food tables, just as Vincent had explained would happen. Thorgrim carefully removed the man from the ballroom, making it look like he was just supporting the drunk fellow. In the corridor a bag of coin fell from the man's belt and burst on the floor; it was money given to him by the Chevalier's men. Suspecting that something might be up, Thorgrim lead the man towards the kitchens and popped him under a chair against the wall.

Back in the kitchen, Merick tried to tackle Attrion, but missed. The elf's reply went wide, and he was distracted by Torvus flinging a hot frying pan at him. Eadwine threw his dagger, but this too was dodged. Attrion looked on in disbelief at the hail of kitchenware coming his way, then tried to knife Merick a few more times. Eadwine shouted at Torvus to get him another knife now that his dagger was gone; the scholar was still holding the door shut.

Thorgrim entered just as the cellar door burst open; Eadwine had tried to reach a knife skidded his way by Torvus, and the faux-guard had battered his way out in that brief instant, knocking the scholar prone (and still unarmed). Merick valiently tackled the man, causing them both to tumble to the bottom of the stairs. Attrion quickly grabbed Eadwine and held a dagger at the scholar's throat, and another at his heart. A small prick with each rendered the delightful news that they were poisoned, and Eadwine could feel the necrotic begin to kill the tissue around each wound. Unable to do anything, he stood limply in the assassin's grip.

Merick landed on top of Snowflake at the bottom of the stairs and managed to stab him twice, but the man's mail deflected the blows and gave him an opportunity to kick Merick away.

In the ballroom Adrysse spotted a man with a jug of wine heading towards Brightlen's table, obviously getting into position for the end of his speech, where there was sure to be a toast. Suspecting that poisoning might be involved, she began to move slowly and surely to intercept him, or get to the Lord before the man did.

Realising there was nothing else to be done, Thorgrim calmly---almost nonchalently---asked the assassin how much he was being paid and whether the warband could re-negotiate a deal with him. Attrion explained his cost and sent Torvus to reclaim the paperwork, which was hidden near the Kobalt Key's safe house. He also ordered Snowflake and Merick to desist. In a tense stalemate, the group waited in the kitchen for Torvus to return.

At the end of the Lord's speech Adrysse presented him with her wine goblet to drink, foiling the poisoning attempt. The night continued without anything untoward happening, except for the absence of the rest of the warband.

Torvus took nearly an hour and a half to return, well after the Lord's speech had finished. He had run into the Kobalt Key, whom still accompanied him, and his brother had revealed himself and explained that he was in the city because of the Chevalier. The assassination paperwork clearly bore the Chevalier's signature. Attrion demanded one gold to re-hire him, which was too much for the band to pay, even after ransacking the drunk fellow's purse. The Key contributed a simple brass button in payment.

Someone had the bright idea of selling the paperwork to Wylliam for one gold, which was quickly decided upon as a good idea. Torvus quickly saw this happen, and he returned with the money. The assassins demanded that the warband leave Eadwine behind as a hostage temporarily so that they would have time to escape. Reluctantly, the band agreed. Eadwine considered trying to fight his way free, but he knew the poison would kill him even before Adrysse could reach him. Already he was shaking and had become paralysed on one side. He waited with the assassins, still in their grip. After ten minutes or so Attrion lightly wounded Eadwine again, saying that the poison would kill him if it weren't treated before morning. He whispered to the scholar that the final planned method of assassination was a bull adder---a large and angry venemous snake---which had been snuck into the Lord's bed. With that, Attrion and Snowflake fled.

Five minutes or so later the rest of the warband found Eadwine crawling through the corridor towards the ballroom. Wylliam and Adrysse joined them and Eadwine, after a few false starts, explained that there was an adder in the Lord's bed. Wylliam despatched a group of guards to deal with the snake, and dismissed the warband with thanks.

Eadwine was carried to Merryn's laboratory by the band. She healed him using alchemy, causing him to throw up and wet himself. She cut out dead flesh and dressed his wounds, then kept him in for observation.

Thorgrim and Adrysse then headed back to the ball. They observed the Chevalier leaving; he was rather displeased that his assassins had failed. Wylliam made a veiled cutting remark that the Chevalier was unable to retaliate to in public without revealing his complicity. This gave Thorgrim great satisfaction.

Torvus and Merick decided to blow off some steam after their experience; they played darts at the Malt'n'Boar again.

During their conversation, Torvus explained that his brother Dante is a member of a group called the Iron Mandrakes. The Mandrakes used to run terrorist raids on dwarf clans---in some cases beheading entire towns and lining their heads on pikes along nearby roads---but had stopped after recently having a change of management. They now seemed to be lead by a non-human, likely an elf.

In the morning the party each awoke and were summoned to the East Bastion courtyard by the tolling of bells. Arriving in the courtyard, they (individually) entered a crowd standing in front of a large gallows, newly-erected. The Chevalier caused ten prisoners to be brought out and began preparations to hang them. He declaimed them as traitors to the Crown and Ghenrael; this was evidently his way of showing what happens when one messes with the plans of a Chevalier.

One of the prisoners was Eadwine's mentor, Milburga. Still sore and surprised, Eadwine was just about to create a distraction by starting a fist-fight when Mydas ordered the executioner to lower the trapdoors under the gallows. Milburga fell, but the rope around her neck snapped; it had been shot by an arrow at the last second. She rolled under the gallows.

Torvus could see that the shooter was Dante.

Suddenly the courtyard erupted. Dozens of the Chevalier's men, heavily armed and armoured, poured in from the Bastion. Simultaneously, a number of elves appeared from within the crowd, and several more rapelled into the courtyard from over the walls. The crossbow-armed guards were rapidly destroyed, and the prisoners quickly cut down from the gallows. Citizens panicked and fled from the courtyard as quickly as they could.

In the midst of this, the warband took out several of the Chevalier's men. Eadwine dashed across to the gallows and found Milburga alive, then attempted to get her out of the square.

They had scarcely gotten out from under the gallows when the Chevalier drew his blade, erupted in light and began fighting, screaming at the elves and traitors around him. His threat was met by a dark elf in black bone-like armour bearing a clear blade; Mannah Roth was a lithe, inhumanly-fast figure, flanked by a women clad in scarlet. The latter seemed to teleport around the Chevalier, distracting him. When the Chevalier's blade met Roth's there was a huge explosion which knocked many to the ground, including the warband.

Shortly thereafter the woman stabbed Mydas through the hand, disarming him, and Roth pronounced him a traitor to Van'Tese and Ghenrael himself before killing the Chevalier.

As any remaining civilians fled the members of the warband were shepherded into the centre of a ring of cloaked and hooded figures---presumably Iron Mandrakes---and Roth roughly congratulated them on facing the Chevalier's men. When asked whom he represented, Roth replied "Myself."

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END SESSION
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XP; 600 per player, plus 100 for Eadwine for heroism.

learning +100
RPing +100
danger +200
auto +100
planning +0
XXX +100 [can't remember what the last bit was for: Roberts?]
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Last edited by Cowboy on Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Minor corrections)
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Mifurey
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