‘Dib’s second session, time for Randall Chadry Peddleswarth to step up his game.
First, some information on Stonebridge itself.
Built on the main river that runs on down to Cairnholm, Stonebridge is a trading post with river barges coming and going from further inland. Its namesake bridges are also very important strategically and for that reason the Ordic army holds a sizeable garrison there.
The party decide to head straight back to Stonebridge despite the late hour and arrive at midnight. Randall (failing a physique roll) discovers that his Gator bites have become infected and refuse to heal properly. Nevertheless, upon entering Stonebridge he enters the nearest tavern with much bravado and demands four rooms. One for himself, one for Alexis, and two for Pal, Zee, O’Hare and Llalrii to split. Knowing that there are assassins about, O’Hare volunteers for first watch while the others catch some sleep. Zee decides to watch over the wagon and his ‘Jack and spends the night in the stables while Randall takes a bottle of fine wine to help him sleep.
A few hours later O’Hare is disturbed by a noise behind him in the hallway and turns just in time to see a man in the window firing a blowdart. As his vision begins to swim, O’Hare charges the man and they both tumble out the second-storey window crashing to the street below. The noise is enough to wake the others who all rush to see what the commotion was. Brandishing the wine bottle over his shoulder like a club a half-drunk Randall spies a group of thugs dragging Zee and O’Hare off into the night and throws the bottle after them. “Come back and fight!”
Out the window they climb, hoping to catch up to the kidnappers. In Randalls slightly inebriated and injured state he manages to fall half the way to the ground before throwing up in front of Alexis. As a true lady of action she simply grabs him by the collar, says, “Vomit and run at the same time,” and drags him towards the street.
Following the bootprints turns out to be no easy matter and the shrunken party has to double back a few times in order to pick up the trail. Eventually they are lead towards the rough side of town and are soon ambushed by a group of seven malnourished thugs.
Randall’s knightly training comes into play as he counters the first man to charge Pal and moves to form a defensive line with the hulking Trollkin. After the party weathers the first round of attacks Llalrii quickly sends a blast of ice and hail down the street, freezing one pistol carrying thug on the spot while Alexis nails the other two with deadly accurate fire. Cobblestones rise up from the ground at Pal’s bidding and fly brutally into the face of one man, sending him reeling backwards into his cohorts arms, dead. On the other side of the street a thug dodges Randall’s rapier and moves to attack Pal. The man’s rusted sword bounces off the Trollkin’s armour and Randall spots his opportunity, his blade darting in to sever the carotid artery. Needless to say, there is some blood.
As Llalrii impales a thug on his claymore and blasts him with ice from point blank range the last man standing drops his guard and turns to flee. But it is too late, and Pal’s hammer gently taps him on the head, rendering him unconscious. With the sound of marching feet and the clank-clank of a warjack approaching the party drags the unconscious man down a few side streets.
The interrogation starts off badly. The man is deathly afraid of his employers and refuses to answer any questions, despite the mauling he just witnessed. Things take a dark turn as Pal presses one of his meaty fingers into the man’s eye. He talks. The party learns the location of the group responsible for hiring this man and his friends, and most likely the Gatormen too. They send the now half-blind thug off into the night and make plans.
Llalrii scouts the location, but there is no easily discernible sign of Zee or O’Hare. He does however note that one of the surrounding buildings is empty. He reports back. Deciding that the kidnappers must be after a ransom the party decide that Pal and Randall will return to the tavern and wake in the morning to find their friends missing. They will then kick up a fuss over the kidnapping and generally keep a high profile, waiting for the ransom note to arrive. Meanwhile Alexis and Llalrii will stake out the building from the abandoned neighbours and should an opportunity arise, like the occupants leaving, they will try and break in to find their friends. But first, everyone back to the tavern to keep up appearances.
On their way back the party are stopped by a watch sergeant, his bonded Warjack and a few guardsmen. Still bloody from their scuffle earlier the party make quite the suspicious group. However, Alexis’ tearful story of kidnapped friends and Randall’s noble status convince the sergeant to let them pass.
In the morning all goes according to plan and by midday Pal receives a note telling him that the kidnappers will trade his comrades for Randall at a set time, down by the river. Randall on the other hand is shunned by all the townsfolk he tries to talk to except one, a Mercenary leader, who offers his band’s services. At midday, Alexis arrives back to check on the two and a plan is formed. The mercenary band will dress four of its members to look like the party and with fake Randall’s head covered, make their way to the meeting. Meanwhile, the real party will hide out in the abandoned building and wait for the time of the meeting when the enemy will leave their base undefended.
With this plan formulated we stopped the session there, ready to enact our schemes when we resume. What a cliff-hanger! So I guess we have an idea of what we’ll be doing next time, but no doubt ‘Dib’ will throw some spanners into our works.