Cairnholm ep.3 – Ink Don’t Lie

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We rejoin our heroes as a concussion shakes the Lord’s Fall Tavern. The bouncers guarding the back door immediately head upstairs to investigate and after a moment of shock the patrons return to their conversations with something new to talk about.

The party heads upstairs and quietly passes the room where the grenade went off. They can see that the bouncers are busy putting out several small fires and that the room has been wrecked. Dib is waiting for them when they enter the last room and Pal easily slides the armoire aside by himself, revealing the passageway.

Dib searches the room and finds a spare black robe which he dons before scouting down the passage with O’Hare. The rest of the party stays a bit back, concealed by the darkness of the passageway. When the scouts find a locked doorway O’Hare stacks up against one side as Dib knocks and prepares to bluff his way inside. A similarly robed figure opens the door and welcomes his ‘brother’ inside.

The cult hideout turns out to be a single large room carved into the earth with an altar on the opposite wall and a small chamber on either side. Near the altar Selene is busy tattooing another cultist while the Iosan chants nearby. Dib peeks inside the side rooms and sees that they are being used for prayer or to listen to the words of a ranting priest whose body is covered in tattoos. Dib approaches the tattooing ceremony and asks when Lieutenant Rourke will be showing up. The Iosan scolds him for interrupting and when Dib cannot prove he is one of the cultists a fight ensues.

Dib flicks his wrist and without warning fires his holdout pistol into the Iosan, scraping his face with the shot. The Iosan responds by drawing a telescoping spear from his robes to strike at Dib. The thrust pierces Dib’s armour easily and he is badly injured (about 5 vitality points left). Having heard the gunshot the rest of the party streams into the room allowing Dib to fall back to the relative safety of the doorway. The Thamarites from the side rooms rush out to join the fray and the room is soon filled with the sound of combat.

It soon becomes clear that the cultists are no match for a team of well trained mercenaries. As their numbers dwindle the Iosan puts his weapon away and leans back against the altar to watch the party clean up the stragglers. Pal decides that Selene may have useful information and is knocked out while the others are killed.

When the fight is over the Iosan reveals himself as an undercover agent working for an organisation he cannot name. The party isn’t sure whether to trust him, especially since his name, Rook, sounds a little like Rourke. In exchange for his freedom he offers to help the party prove Rourke’s guilt. It turns out that the tattooing of telgash runes onto new cultists is a requirement of the sect and that Rourke will indeed be marked.

The party decides to lay a trap for Rourke, clearing the room of the fallen cultists and disguising themselves with their robes. Rourke eventually arrives for his daily prayer and the party holds back for O’Hare’s signal. When the corrupt Lieutenant opens one of the side rooms to find a pile of stripped, dead cultists O’hare calls out to the party who have encircled Rourke. Everyone piles on, determined to end this fight before it can begin and in one flurry of blows, and a slooow stab from Dib, they have their man.

Rourke is bound and marched back to the Golden Crucible headquarters. The party tears the robes from his upper body so that any onlooker can see the myriad runes that cover his torso and mark him as a Thamarite. When they finally arrive they find both Zerek Farlane and Garland Grey waiting for them. They take Rourke into custody and Garland personally thanks the party for rooting out this corruption in his city guard. The party finally gets their mercenary charter authorised and are given a reward of 600 gold. Whats more, they have made some social inroads with the Order of the Golden Crucible and gained the attention of one of the most powerful military personalities in Ord.

And so our first adventure arc was wrapped up and the still-yet-to-be-named mercenaries are now able to go about their business legitimately. Here’s a quick update on where their characters are:
First session 3xp (1 for participation, 1 for working together, 1 for achieving the sessions goal)
Second session 3xp (+1 for Dib for good scouting)
Third session 4xp (extra 1 for finishing an arc)

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