Yrth: The Legend Begins

Session 12 -- A Lot of Exposition
And the end of Season 1

We pick up the fight right where we left off. Thirlim charges around the edge of the table to attack Halberd guy, landing a savage blow to the man’s arm that’s too quick for him to parry. It creates a savage wound in his upper arm, causing a nice spray of gore as the man’s arm drops to his side, useless. He surrenders right after. Baern follows, squeezing between Thirlim and the wall, to strike foppish chick from the back. She tries to dodge out of the way of the strike but can’t quite get far enough as the tip of his blade cuts into her and her bad day gets worse as Baern puts a good-sized hole in her kidney which is accompanied by a spray of blood as she drops to the ground, dead. Nagarajoss steps forward, hopping over the table, and demands surrender from the wizard. Said wizard drops his staff and surrenders. Seeing that’s happened Bolos heals Mathieu of some of his grievous wounds. A number of soldiers are still unconscious. Maloboro the Black is sitting in a corner, sulking. The lobby next door that the rooted mage ran into contains stairs going down.

Thirlim walks up behind the mage, puts a knife at his throat, and asks who he is. Meanwhile Baern takes Thirlim’s rope and begins tying the mage up. Thirlim begins asking what he’s doing there but three guards come out of the door in the corner that the building defenders were looking at. Thirlim uses the distraction to go through the man’s clothes, taking a cloth bag and a leather bag, as well as a stone on a necklace. We also divest him of a small dagger. The cloth bag has fourteen silver pennies in it. Thirlim hands the necklace over to Bolos, who is able to determine that it’s a magical power stone. The mage is left tied up and gagged.

Wilhelm Deadeye walks out of the room in the corner applauding us for our excellent timing. He asks us to help secure the grounds, which we do. We clear out the rest of the house as well as the outskirts to the house and find no more bad guys after 30 minutes elapse. After recovering a bit Bolos heals Mathieu a bit further.

We reconvene into the room that Wilhelm was hiding out in during the fight. It’s some kind of “privy chamber” that’s not a bathroom but a private room to meet with people. Also in the chamber is a youngish-looking person who is not super old and turns out to be about 40. He’s not dressed finely, just very well. This is all supposed to be modified but in the name of journalistic integrity it shall remain as-is. This man greets us. He says, “Greetings.” Wilhelm introduces the person as a Duke of somewhere difficult to spell and a Prince of Cardiel, positions he holds simultaneously along with his duplicative age and dress. Wilhelm indicates that indecisive boy was impressed by us retrieving the books previously and is now more impressed by our defense against the Megalans. The prince says, “I am impressed.” Prince guy invites us to all sit, which we do in the not-bathroom-privy-room. He again states the obvious that it was good that we arrived when we did. He begins pontificating regarding his vision and need for men of a certain character and ability. He indicates that anyone can hire mercenaries but that he wants BELIEVERS, people who follow him because they wish it. The prince goes on to say he has a vision. “I want to see the Megalan hold on Ytarria breaken.” We all stare blankly at him for a moment before we are able to move past his mental and grammatical lapse. He motions authoritatively to one of his guards to make himself look competent again. The guards haul in the enemy mage we captured.

Prince Duke indecisive asks the mage who he works for but the man remains silent. Prince Duke states that the man is likely a danger to all of them. The mage says that he’s likely a lesser danger than this prince and that we should kill him now. Nagarajoss says something in Lizardfolk speech before he realizes that English is what he should be speaking. He restates it, asking why the mage should be listened to over the Prince Duke. The mage indicates that the Prince Duke seeks to disrupt the status quo. The Prince Duke sits there with a stony (NOT stoned) face before indicating that the statement isn’t entirely incorrect and that he wants to free all from Megalos. They continue to posture and spout ideological drivel, talking about the Banestorm. He also mentions that the mage is a member of the Ministry of Serendipity and that we should ask him all about it. Immediately after the Prince Duke of Indecisiveness states that he needs water and steps out of the room. His guards look at each other, stupefied, and follow after him. After he returns he asks that we take the mage somewhere private and interrogate him about the ministry, and that we should decide which side of this fight we’re on. Bolos seems to recall that the Serendipity guys are responsible for keeping the world safe from external threats.

We all step into the next room; Wilhelm and the Prince Duke shut the door and begin talking. The mage begins talking and indicates that he’ll freely talk and try to convince us to go kill the prince and save everyone. He indicates that the Prince Duke seeks to declare himself king of Cardiel which would disrupt the balance of power of the region heavily. Mathieu seems to sense some undefined amount of BS in the statement but can’t put his finger on it. Mathieu turns away and gestures to the rest of us, which Thirlim at least is able to pick up the meaning as being the guy is full of crap. He states that he might as well be fully truthful, that he’s worked for the Ministry of Serendipity from time to time but that he should not be allowed to unleash what he desires to, that power needs to be kept in the hands of those who currently hold it and those who currently do not have power should not be allowed to get it. He makes a statement about keeping the power of the mages restricted to the few who would be responsible for it. He then begins talking about how those in power are consorting with demons, although we’re unsure if he’s truthful about that one. He states that the Prince Duke has built his power base on a house of cards that cannot stand. He states that the Prince Duke is going to become extremely powerful but he needs our help, thus that makes no sense.

The Prince Duke suddenly decides that he is now 35 years of age, not 40.

We decide we’ve had enough. We all head back into the room, bringing the fool mage into the room. Before going in Thirlim tries to convince everyone else to at least knock the man out, that he seems a bit too smug for going to his fate. However they all disagree; Thirlim walks into the room a few paces behind to be safe. We decide to side with the Prince Duke. The mage sighs and says that he’ll see the Prince Duke in hell. The Prince Duke replies that yes, he will, but the mage will go first. We all stare blankly at him again while the Prince Duke recovers from yet another verbal gaffe. He states that he’ll revise his statement and again says “I think not, spy, but you are free to go now.” The prince lifts and points a suddenly-revealed tubular device at the mage and activates it, causing a loud bang and flash; the mage looks down at a sudden wound in his chest that’s quickly releasing blood. We’re all rather surprised by this but nobody is outright frightened and some of our ears hurt from the sound. The Prince Duke seems pleased that the device worked, and worked well, although he declar3es to Wilhelm that they should do something about the noise.

Nagarajoss asks a question regarding the power structure of Cardiel. The Prince Duke tries to respond that he’s not familiar with the structure of Cardiel but he stutters at the name of the region, Cardiel, as if it’s unfamiliar to him. For the third time that day we all look at him askance and wonder if he’s been taking some sort of drugs or if he’s drunken. He continues on after gathering his obviously scattered wits. He indicates that he wants to conquer a few of those who oppose him and that the rest will fall into line.

We ask him about the device that he used to kill the mage. He indicates that it’s called a “firearm” that was made on the “other world.” Thirlim indicates that this whole string of events was set in motion as a business opportunity. The Prince Duke indicates that we will be “well taken care of” for the work but that he does not want simple mercenaries, that he wants people who believe in his cause. Thirlim shrugs and says that he’ll believe just fine for the right price. Mathieu is easily convinced, as is Baern who indicates that his homeland would be protected from further attacks. The Prince Duke indicates that he would be amenable to sending peaceful envoys to some of his opponents to try to peacefully bring them around to his point of view; this appeases Nagarajoss. Bolos seems convinced at well. The Prince Duke indicates that he would like us to make contact with an underground group who seeks to maintain this forbidden knowledge and who need to leave Tredroy in safety. He invites us to stay the night and indicates he’ll provide us explicit instructions on how to contact this group the next morning.

The next morning we wake rested; Mathieu is fully healed by Bolos the night before. We’re provided a good breakfast feast. Wilhelm indicates that the prince has departed, leaving a scroll with instructions on how to contact the underground engineers in Tredroy. He also indicates that he wishes to give us a large sack of money with which to well-compensate his men, although he still does not wish to hire mercenaries. The sack of money contains five individual sacks containing $2,000 in gold marks.

We all gain four character points.

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Session 11 -- Meeting the Prince
And, of course, more bloodshed

We realize that the Prince of Cardiel is likely the Prince they’re talking about. Considering that he’s both rich and powerful saving him should be a worthwhile pursuit. The soldiers loyal to the prince (the ones that are still left standing) urge us towards the second floor where he’s located. As we’re expected the defenders indicate that we should go on ahead. We head inside through the door and come into a drawing room. It’s well-furnished and in good condition despite the fighting that’s happened in the building. At the opposite side of the room is a staircase going upstairs. Another door is present leading further inside the house. We head upstairs in search of the prince.

Upstairs we find the smoking room which is not, in fact, smoking at that time. It’s a room designed for people to go and smoke in with a variety of pipes and other smoking implements, as expected. There’s one door in the room. We all hear what sounds like fighting right on the other side of the door, which we promptly kick open. It opens into a large dining room. Three of the “bad” soldiers have two “good” soldiers backed into a corner. There are a group of other “bad” soldiers around some foolish looking guy in a purple cape who we swear will die early and who looks like a stereotypical evil mage, carrying a quarterstaff. There’s also a foppish-looking person with a crossbow and no helmet on. The foppish one actually ends up being a beautiful woman with raven-black hair. There’s also an oversized ogre-man with a halberd and fancy armor that we plan to sell for quite a bit of money. An even-larger freak is present in the room with a gigantic axe. There’s also a grizzled-looking person with a fancy bow.

Mathieu, eager to get into the fight, charges past Baern and leans forward to stab one of the swordsmen attacking the defending forces but the man is barely able to bring is shield to bear in time, stopping the attack. The guy with the fancy bow begins aiming at Baern. Foppish chick steps forward and aims her crossbow at Mathieu. Thirlim moves forward into the room, stepping past Baern. He does so just in time for the guy with the axe to step forward. Thankfully he sees Thirlim as too attractive to want to hurt and the man steps up to swing at Baern instead in a wide side-arc. Baern isn’t quite able to bring his sword to bear in time but he stumbles slightly in the process, stepping out of the way of the attack just barely. Baern recovers in time to bring his own sword to bear, swinging it fiercely at the man, who can’t quite get out of the way in time. The sword bites into his torso, dealing a painful wound. Halberd-guy moves forward a few steps, getting ready to enter into the fight. Nagarajoss slips his naginata past Baern and jabs it into axe guy, dealing another vicious wound to him. The big man can’t stand the sight of his own internal organs and he passes out. The loser in the purple cape decries the annoying distraction. He casts a spell and Thirlim becomes stunned. One of the rank-and-file soldiers steps forward and takes a swing at Mathieu but misses. The other three standard soldiers take shots at the defenders. The first lands his blow but his target blocks. The second defender takes a mace to the chest, crunching a couple of ribs and causing him to double over in pain, out of the fight for now. The second defender manages to do better, blocking the mace. He hits back but mace man is able to block the attack. Bolos steps forward and begins to cast Haste on Nagarajoss, causing his movements to begin to speed up slightly as he weaves the spell (but doesn’t complete casting it yet).

Mathieu uses a complex motion of his weapon to confuse his opponent; the man actually stumbles slightly to the side as he tries to follow the motion of the weapon. Bow guy steps to the side slightly and looses an arrow at Baern, striking him and dealing a vicious wound to his neck. Foppish chick fires a crossbow at Thirlim but he’s able to block it with his shield barely in a highly stylish manner, as if by a stroke of luck. Unfortunately he remains stunned. Baern charges forward and jabs his sword at halberd-man. However he bangs his knee painfully against the table in front of him and he messes up his grip; his sword turns in his hand and he needs to spend some time getting his grip steadied again. Nagarajoss steps forward but does nothing further. Purple cape man begins casting a spell. Mathieu’s opponent tries to strike but his sword misses badly. Mace man strikes at his downed opponent with the broken ribs and hits, dealing another painfully crushing blow to the already hurting armsman who promptly expires as his head is caved in. The other mace man scores a hit on the remaining defender who fails to bring his shield up in time. More ribs crack loudly and the other man doubles over in pain. The maceman’s partner jabs a spear in for good measure; his poor opponent can’t get out of the way in time and promptly passes out. Bolos completes casting his spell and Nagarajoss’ movements speed up to a blur.

Mathieu, who has badly confused his opponent’s defenses, winds up and rams his rapier through his target’s eye, poking it out; the man passes out, fortunately for him. Bow guy drops his bow and yanks out his sword and shield. Halberd guy puts his back into it and tires to bring his weapon down on Bearn in a wide arc. He can’t quite get out of the way in time so the blade takes a bite out of him, dealing a nasty wound again. Foppish chick steps backwards and begins readying her crossbow again. Thirlim continues being stunned. Baern gets his weapon ready again. Nagarajoss steps forward and does something painful. Purple cape freak tries to send a fireball at Baern but Bolos is able to cast a spell that redirects it harmlessly. He also casts a healing spell on Baern, knitting some of his wounds. The armsmen step forward. Mathieu makes an amazing feint and again bamboozles his opponent.

Bow guy deftly hops on top of the table, moving towards Nagarajoss. Halberd guy, feeling the pain from Nagarajoss, steps forward into a defensive stance. Foppish chick continues readying her crossbow. Thirlim finally is able to shake off the stun spell and begins to hold himself normally. Baern tries to step forward but at first looks a bit woozy but recovers quickly out of sheer will and a bit of luck. He attacks bow man, standing on the table, who fumbles his shield and can’t at all bring it to bear. Baern’s sword takes a large bite out of the man in the process. Nagarajoss takes advantage of bow guy’s mishandling of his shield and levels a vicious attack which he fails to parry. He’s rewarded by a hole in his abdomen and a spray of blood; the man collapses on the table, dropping his sword. Purple cape loser casts a spell on halberd guy, casting a defensive spell on him. Mace man steps forward and takes a swing at Mathieu, who steps backwards away from the attack. Spearman steps up beside him and takes a shot at Baern, who also steps backwards away from the blow. Bolos casts a spell but the target spearman) is able to resist it successfully.

Mathieu winds up and carefully guides his rapier straight into the face of maceman, aiming straight for the man’s eye. Because of Mathieu’s wild feinting earlier he can’t block in time and his eye joins the other one plucked out by Mathieu. As the skewered eyeball sails through the air, trailing a bit of optic nerve flapping in the wind like a ribbon, the man staggers and passes out. Bow guy shakes off his wounds and finds himself lying prone on the table without his weapons. Halberd guy stands still, waiting for someone to come within his reach. Crossbow chick continues reloading. Thirlim runs up to the table and upends it, dumping bow guy over as the table is now on its side. Baern then steps forward and takes a swing at the remaining mace man, who barely blocks the attack in time. Nagarajoss steps up and aims his naginata straight into the face of the remaining maceman, hitting home and dealing a nasty wound that causes an artistic spray of blood and bone as he collapses and expires on the spot. Purple cape man runs like the wimp he is. Spearman drops his weapon and surrenders. Bolos suddenly winks out and appears right behind the fleeing purple cape idiot. As soon as he shows up Bolos gathers himself and immediately casts another spell. The mage’s feet are immediately rooted in place as he stops suddenly.

Mathieu vaults the table, running after the mages. Bow guy, on the ground, surrenders. Foppish bow chick, who has just completed reloading her crossbow, is now presented with the target of Mathieu right in front of her and fires. Bolos is able to see her fire out of the corner of his eye but she fires before he can deflect the shot with magic. The bolt strikes his torso, dealing a nasty wound. It doesn’t seem to affect him much, though, as he turns his attention towards the bitch. We stop there with it about to be Thirlim’s turn to act. He plans to hold action until after Baern acts to move and attack either halberd guy or foppish crossbow chick, vaulting over the table.

We all receive three character points.

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Session 10 -- A New Mission
And more blood...

We have just come across the river, now with a gagged/tied/rather pissed Ibn along with us. We also have three slaves plus Edrick, who decide to take their leave and go forth. He lets us know that he owes us a favor and that he’ll be around if we call for him. We give Ibn a good thwack on the head to quiet his…disquiet. During the boat ride Thirlim puts his knife under Ibn’s neck and threatens stabbing should he make any noise; that quiets him down.

Joseph Strongarm shows up at the crossing point. He notes our discussion regarding Ibn’s fate and directs us that he represents a dangerous man and that we should treat him with caution. Thirlim continues to maintain that we need to tie up that loose end; Baern is ambivalent at this point while Nagarajoss isn’t happy with the idea. His mind already made up, Thirlim goes looking for a heavy object to tie Ibn to. We elect to dispatch Ibn, tie his body securely to a heavy object and drop it in the river. We give him a moment to pray and while he’s doing that Baern lops off his head with his sword, with a spray of blood. We adjourn for the night.

Mathieu goes back to Bolos’ place and receives magical healing each morning; he’s fine in a few days.

Before going to deliver the requested books we open the chest and take a look at them. While the script looks similar to Anglish we can’t decipher it; it’s very similar to Aralaise, about something called the “Italian Wars” and “L’Espagnia.” The pictures don’t look anything out of the ordinary, although there are some strange contraptions. We take the books to Wilhelm Deadeye the next day. He gives us each two bags of money totaling $1,400. Added to the $353 from selling loot (see previous note) we total $1,753. After the 20% to the mercs guild (out of the 1,400) we each net $1,473. Cost of Living after a month’s time will be another 600.

Several days pass while we rest up, heal, spend loot, and all pursue our own separate interests.

A messenger comes up to us all after a few days that we’re being summoned to Wilhelm Deadeye’s residence that evening, mentioning something about an important opportunity. Under GM compulsion we all agree to go.

That night Wilhelm greets us all. He’s rather excited as he tells us he has a very special opportunity for us. He states that an unnamed, important person has heard of our accomplishments and they’d like to meet us further. He indicated that while he can’t offer money for us to attend the meeting a job might be in it for us. He refuses to divulge the identity of the person we’d meet with, stating that it’s not a matter of trust but that he’s been forbidden from revealing their identity and that we will not be in danger from going to this meeting. We all agree to attend. Wilhelm takes a small stone out of a pouch and provides it to Bolos, stating that it has a pathfinding spell on it that must be used within three days. He provides a code phrase to utilize to activate it and states that a day’s march will be part of the journey. From there Wilhelm dispenses with the business talk and he treats us to a six-course feast. Thirlim manages to catch the eye of one of the serving girls and manages to take her home with him, while Baern fails to do so.

We prepare for the day’s march, taking mounts out of the city and gearing up. We travel and approach from the west in a large field, coming up to the gatehouse. We take note that, from a distance, the gatehouse is missing something; Baern and Bolos are able to make out that up against the side of the gatehouse an arm is hanging at a weird angle, which may or may not be attached to a person. Baern calls a halt to our movement and points out the arm. Thirlim can faintly hear, from the house, the sound of battle, and announces it to the rest.

As we get about 40 yards from the gatehouse we notice a number of fresh bodies near it in various states of progression towards dead-ness. They have normal battle wounds, some with crossbow bolts. We can identify two groups from their liveries. Baern is able to make out a group who look like mercenaries, although they’re well equipped ones. It looks as though some kind of magic was used from the scorch marks on the gate as well as the dead troops. Inside the gates there are a significant amount of additional bodies strewn about the tree-lined path towards the main grounds with the same scorch-marks around. About halfway to the manor house a few of us can see a small battle taking place near the circular tower with three defenders being overwhelmed by six attackers. Baern feels an odd tug from his sword calling him towards battle with the six attackers. That’s good enough for the rest of us, who advance with him.

As we move forward from behind them unnoticed Thirlim takes aim and hits one of them in a sensitive spot from behind. Nagarajoss charges forward and is able to stab at one of them in the kidneys with his long weapon. A naginata blade suddenly appears in the man’s chest, punching through both his rear armor and front armor and carrying bits of kidney out the other side. He has time to look at his own internal organ briefly before dying. The attackers suddenly realize that they’re being attacked from the rear and the two remaining in the back with spears turn to face the new threat.

Mathieu charges forward to strike the nearest spearman, feinting him in such a way to make the man’s eyes cross and seemingly stick in that position. Thirlim moves forward, dropping his crossbow and drawing his axe. Baern also moves forward next to Mathieu and swings his sword downward in a wide arc to attack another spearman but the attack is blocked by the man’s large shield. Nagarajoss steps forward slightly and is able to skewer another in the back, through and through. Amazingly, though, the man stays on his feet as he apparently doesn’t miss his upper intestines very much. The man responds to this new threat by stepping backwards to keep in view both his previous attacker as well as Nagarajoss. Mathieu’s opponent tries to spear him but Mathieu deftly steps out of the way. Baern’s target also tries the same, with similar results. Bolos continues to observe the battle.

Mathieu takes advantage of his cross-eyed foe, aiming for and spearing him in the vitals but the man’s armor stops the blow. Thirlim is able to charge around behind one of the spearmen and attack him from the rear but the man is able to bring his weapon to bear just in time to parry the attack. Baern attacks the same target, beating against his shield, but he manages to repel the attack as well. Nagarajoss steps into position and again deals a savage wound to his previous target, stunning the man so that he drops from his feet. Mathieu’s foe tries in vain to attack him but can’t land his strike; the same with Bearn’s attacker who is luckier, dealing a minor wound to him that Baern laughs off.

Mathieu again feints his opponent cross-eyed. Thirlim winds up and axes his opponent from the rear, stunning and dropping him despite the blow glancing off his neck armor and hitting him in the torso instead. Baern takes a wide step forward and, putting his back into it, swings his sword in a wide arc that takes a large chunk out of the man’s neck, staggering him with the force of the blow but failing to drop him. Nagarajoss steps forward a short distance to get in range and runs yet another kidney through, this time managing to pull the entire organ out of the man’s body and outside his armor completely intact along with all of the surrounding tissue and organs. In fact so large is the spray of blood and guts from the impact that the organ is blasted clean so its structures can be clearly seen by the man. Miraculously he stays conscious and tries to continue fighting as Nagarajoss withdraws the weapon and his kidney drops to the ground. As his turn comes around to act he decides that he’s had enough and passes out.

Mathieu takes advantage of his foe’s disoriented state and jams his rapier into the man’s face, running it cleanly through to a bad place and dropping him. Thirlim steps behind the remaining opponent and again tries to axe him in the neck but again manages to have his weapon glance off the man’s armor and strike the torso, failing to penetrate his armor. Baern has better luck, ramming his sword into the man’s kidney and dropping him.

The three defenders we saved look a bit confused, not yet relaxing their guard as they try to size us up. All three of them move to finish off a downed attacker but have trouble getting through the man’s armor, dealing superficial damage that finally knocks him out. One of them finally steps forward and asks what we’re after, asking if we’re Wilhelm’s friends. He asks us to come inside quickly as the Prince (which prince, we have no idea) is in danger.

After that we end for the night. We receive four character points.

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Session 9 -- Back to Bathing in Blood
Poor Ibn...

Edrick the Subplot asks if we would like assistance in dealing with Ibn, the slaver. He makes a good show of looking like he can handle a sword and shield so we decide to let him give it a go. We also are able to locate a magic healing potion that we give to Mathieu who suddenly looks much better than he did.

Session9map.jpg

The bad guys:

• Ibn (IBN)
• Captain Fancy Helmet (CFH)
• Black Helmet (BH)
• Grey Helmet with Spear (GHWSp)
• Light Grey helmet (LGH)
• Grey Helmet with Shield (GHWSh)

The fight [re]begins. Thirlim and Edric, behind Nagarajoss to start, wait for an opening. Nagarajoss stands in the doorway, evaluating GHWSp. GHWSh steps up and takes a swing at Nagarajoss, who parries the strike while stepping backwards. LHG also steps up and swings at Baern who is unable to bring his sword to bear against the attack but fails to do so. Thankfully that was because he was already swinging his sword at the attacker as he advanced, ventilating his intestines slightly as the strike punches through his armor. This causes the man’s strike to go wide and miss Baern. GHWSp steps up as well and tries to stab Baern with his spear but while adjusting his grip he can’t quite get the right hold on it and fails to strike accurately. CFH steps to the side for no reason. Ibn remains stationary and impotent.

Ederick waits. Thirlim steps next to Nagarajoss, staying away from attackers but ready to move in. Baern strikes out at LGH and seems to poke him in a sensitive area, causing him to briefly double over in pain. Nagarajoss steps to the side to gain some room to wield his massive weapon and stabs fiercely at GHWSh in reaction to his previous attack on Nagarajoss. The speed of the counter catches his off guard just enough for the point of the weapon to slip through his defenses, impaling him painfully in the midsection. He staggers and doubles over briefly in pain. LGH screams some Arabic curses and lashes out at Baern, whose massive sword proves too heavy to get into position to parry the strike. It slices through his chest armor, eliciting a grunt of pain that doesn’t seem to otherwise affect him at first. GHWSh must be bleeding internally as he suddenly retches blood and passes out. LGH tries again to attack Baern but his motions are slow due to blood loss and he fails miserably. BH steps up but isn’t able to get past his own men to bring his weapon to bear.

Ederick steps up but is unable to land an attack. Thirlim seems to wait for Ederick to move as he’s now in the way. Baern tries to strike but seems to be in pain from his previous wound; he’s unable to land his attack. Nagarajoss stabs somebody and manages to drop them. Baern steps backwards to avoid another thrust. Menawhile LGH steps backwards, practically inviting us inward. Our opponents begin yelling in Arabic (that we can’t understand) to enter the room and not be wusses.

Thirlim steps next to the door and begins to size up GHWSp for weaknesses. Baern finds himself behind a wall and out of position to see anyone. Nagarajoss stabs out at GHWSp but his first strike proves to be a feint! The actual attack comes next, spearing him and punching through his chest armor. The man staggers briefly from the pain but manages to stay on his feet. BH steps backwards. GHWSp steps backwards, trying to improve his position, but the movement turns into a stagger and he trips backwards, passing out from blood loss. Bolos finally awakes from his slumber and casts a shielding spell on Nagarajoss, shouting for him to prepare himself for PROTECTION MAGIC!! Bolos seems quite tired at this point and sways slightly after casing the spell successfully but remains on his feet, alert.

Ederick decides to wait this round out. Thirlim does too, evaluating BH from a distance to look for a good place to axe him. Baern steps forward towards the doorway, preparing to enter the room. Nagarajoss sees no enemies in front of him and decides to fix that, stepping into the room, through the doorway; he stands on his toes, ready to spring out of the way of an attack. Edrick follows, stepping carefully over the unconscious combatants. Thirlim does the same. Baern steps forward towards the door, preparing to enter as well. CFH surveys the situation briefly and lowers his shoulder, bringing his shield up in front of him and charges at Nagarajoss. Nagarajoss easily parries his rush. He immediately counterattacks but CFH is able to parry the strike. BH steps up and strikes Edrick who easily turns away the strike with his shield. LGH stands in front of Ibn and bleeds from his wounds. Ibn continues quaking in his boots.

Edrick moves up and attacks BH who is able to block the strike. Thirlim moves up next to Edrick but his axe turns in his hand and he can’t quite make a strike. Baern stabs at CFH, waving his sword in a fancy arc to throw off his target’s defense; however the wizened guard is able to block the blow successfully. He then turns his sword towards Nagarajoss but is unable to land the strike. Nagarajoss again swings his weapon in a fancy arc and attacks CFH. His eyes go cross watching the large weapon swing around and he fails to interpose his own to stop the blow. Nagarajoss naginata helps aerate his chest cavity but the man only grunts loudly, chokes something about “for Allah,” and remains in the fight. BH steps back from Edrick and tries to attack Edrick but fails to land the strike. GH stands next to Ibn, both of them continuing their role of uselessness. Bolos waves his arms in the air like he just doesn’t care and casts a spell. CFH’s sword arm begins shaking uncontrollably, causing him to drop his sword. He utters something about sorcery that we can’t understand.

Edrick steps up after BH but his sword strike is blocked by the man’s shield. Thirlim firms his grip on his axe and readies to move, remaining in place. Baern strikes but is unable to land his blow against CFH. In response a long knife appears in CFH’s hand as it stabs out at Nagarajoss but his attack is parried. Nagarajoss immediately counters, zeroing in on what looks like a vulnerable spot in his armor, but CFH is just barely able to stop the thrust with his shield. BH adjusts the grip on his spear for a round. LGH tries to vault the desk in front of him to land in front of Thirlim on unsteady knees from his charge and can’t land the blow. Bolos casts another spell; CFH’s other arm begins shaking and his shield joins the man’s sword on the ground.

Edrick attacks with his sword in a complex arc, trying to draw his foe’s weapon out of position. Thirlim strikes at the unarmored part of the legs of the man on the desk. The swing isn’t particularly heavy but it’s enough to cause the man’s leg to buckle underneath him as it’s no longer able to support his weight. The man drops to his knee atop the desk. CFH withdraws slightly into a defensive stance and stabs out cautiously with his long knife. Nagarajoss responds with a furious parry and attack riposte, blocking the strike. Baern strikes furiously at CFH but can’t land his blow. Nagarajoss responds to CFH’s attack by striking at a vital-looking spot on his chest; CFH makes a masterful parry with his weapon, taking full advantage of his defensive stance, and manages to turn Nagarajoss weapon in such a way to make him drop it. BH tries to stab Edrick but can’t get past his shield. LGH tries to strike Thirlim but can’t connect due to pain, being on his knees, and incompetence. LGH then passes out immediately after from blood loss.

Edrick tries to strike BH but misses. Thirlim lands a savage blow against CFH, blowing past his defenses but without any power behind the swing. CFH tries to stab Nagarajoss but fails to connect. Baern once again tries to connect with his weapon, this time succeeding. CFH can’t bring his knife to bear against the new threat and the sword hits, dealing a vicious flesh wound. Baern stands up a bit straighter as he seems to regain a bit of vitality from his weapon’s bite. Nagarajoss, now unarmed, steps into CFH and attempts to grapple him but can’t quite get a proper hold. BH stabs at Edrick but can’t get past his shield. Edrick tries to use the unfamiliar weapon but it turns in his grip as he swings it in a wild feint, instead flinging it right at BH! The guard is taken completely by surprise and the weapon strikes him in the torso. It doesn’t penetrate his armor but the man still looks at Edrick with surprise.

Thirlim tries to strike at CFH’s unarmored shins but misses the strike. CFH tries to stab Nagarajoss who can’t quite turn the man’s strike. He’s able to pierce Nagarajoss’ chest armor to deal a wicked wound; Nagarajoss is able to stay on his feet after the wound. Baern responds with a fierce swing of his sword. CFH tries to step back out of the way but the sword still bites into his shoulder, ripping through armor; the man’s knees wobble but he stays up. Nagarajoss steps up into the gap and is able to grab the man’s knife arm. BH tries to take advantage of Edrick’s misstep and attempts to stab him but fails to do so.

A small knife appears in Edrick’s hand in a flash. He rushes the guard, aiming for the unarmored portion of the man’s weapon arm, but the guard is able to stop the blow. Thirlim steps up and strikes at the guard but the guard is able to parry the strike. CFH tries to wrest his arm free but can’t break the lizard-man’s iron grip. Baern steps up to BH, already dealing with two attackers, and throws everything he can into a massive strike. BH tries to step backwards away from the blow but doesn’t quite make it. The large spray of blood from the man’s chest confirms that the strike hits something that probably is best left without a sword sticking out of it. The man’s face instantly pales, making a great canvas for his own blood as it sprays onto his face; he promptly passes out from the pain. Nagarajoss tries to take one hell of a bite out of CFH’s arm, tearing off flesh and rendering the arm unusable as it’s laid bare to the bone.

BH shakes his head and comes to his senses just in time for Edrick to leap on him with the dagger, swinging it and cutting him viciously in the neck. Thirlim charges in after Ibn and strikes him; Ibn is able to step backwards, barely bringing his dagger to bear. The dagger’s hilt breaks under the fierce thrust, rendering the weapon unusable. Baern tries to sword CFH but the man somehow gets his body out of the way in time. Nagarajoss continues to chew away on his meat snack, succeeding at gnawing his arm completely off.

BH tries to get ahold of Edrick to stop him from further cutting his neck but fails to do so. Edrick responds by introducing the blade of his knife to the back of BH’s neck, directly through the front after a scenic tour of the rest of his throat tissue. Thirlim steps forward next to the now defenseless Ibn and asks him menacingly how much it’s worth him to let him live. Ibn responds insolently by throwing a gold ring at Thirlim, who laughs and lets him know that’s a good start while pocketing the ring (without others noticing! It’s worth $1,575 sold @ half value).

CFH strikes back at Nagarajoss’ face suddenly, catching him off-guard, but failing in his weakened state to deal enough damage to affect him. That seems to take the last of CFH’s strength and he passes out. Baern begins to move towards the back room that Ibn and Thirlim are in. Nagarajoss walks towards the back room holding CFH’s dismembered and gnawed arm and demands to know where the books are. Ibn’s sanity is understandably unhinged by this and he passes out on the spot. Thirlim begins going through the body and is able to find a bronze ring with a big stone. He tries to pocket it but Nagarajoss spies it and makes sure he knows we’re sharing it equally.

We’re able to locate a large, 21-lb magically locked waterproof chest that most certainly contains the books we’re after. Thirlim and Baern search the room for more valuables; Baern locates a bag of ten gold dinars. Baern grabs the long knife from CFH’s hand. Otherwise we don’t see anything else worth taking. Nagarajoss begins considering ways to cook his prize and goes home to make Captain of the Guard Roast.

We leave the house, getting out with Edrick and his few slaves who wanted to leave. The slaves help Mathieu out and we’re ferried across the bridges by Stronghand’s boats. We all make it across the river to West Tredroy, which is where we stop for the night. We get a total of six character points. We each get $353 from selling assorted loots as well as additional money for completing the job.

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Session 8 -- Still Invading Ibn's House
At least there was less blood!

Baern, now that he’s advanced up to the upstairs landing, closes one of the doors that previously spewed forth bad guys. Bolos advances upstairs cautiously, trying to keep his robes free from bloodstains. Nagarajoss also stands guard against further action upstairs. Thirlim continues climbing as the rest of the group consolidates their position upstairs.

Nagarajoss sneaks up to the door that was recently closed and listens intently at it but hearing nothing he opens it to an empty hall about two yards wide, turning sharply to the left after a short distance. Baern opens the door facing the opposite direction and sees a long hallway, turning sharply right at the end.

Meanwhile, during their scouting Thirlim reaches the first window face. Inside he sees a hallway with doors in it. He doesn’t see any activity but hears something around the corner. He sneaks to the corner and sees Baern moving through the door at the other end. Thirlim motions for Baern to be quiet about his presence; Baern seems to understand and complies. Thirlim then begins sneaking down the hallway the opposite direction.

On the other side Nagarajoss closes his door as there doesn’t seem to be anything to find, and pulls Mathieu upstairs in the corner opposite the stairway. He hands Mathieu the crossbow that’s upstairs and takes a moment to camouflage Mathieu with guards’ clothing, a helmet, and other materials to make it look like a wounded house guard.

Baern begins looking at the doors in his hallway. The first one he comes to Baern carefully wiggles the door handle, opening it gently to find a single person in bed, trying to shield himself with the covers and looking nervously up at him. He begins babbling in Arabic in an agitated voice. Shortly after he begins screaming. Nagarajoss understands him to be praying for deliverance from the demons before him; the man becomes even further disturbed at the site of Nagarajoss. Bolos pokes his head in, takes a look around and announces that this looks to be the chef. Bolos informs the man in Arabic that we’re not going to harm him. When Nagarajoss speaks the man begins loudly shouting for help. Nagarajoss menacingly walks up next to the man, telling him it’s his last chance to quiet down. In the face of a gigantic baby-eating monster lizard the man pales and shuts his mouth abruptly. Nagaragoss instructs the man to stay in his room until he hears nothing but silence; the man seems to comply.

Thirlim uses the disturbance to sneak to the corner and peek around. He sees a short hallway that jogs to the left briefly. He moves up to the next corner and peeks around it too. The next hallway ends abruptly in an alcove overlooking the greatroom we started in. A door appears to both sides of it. He moves back next to the doorway immediately next to the jog in the hallway. He hears nervous, quick breathing inside the room. At the next door, to the left when facing the alcove; from there he hears several voices whispering in conversation, trying not to be heard.

The next room down from screaming chef man is a nicely decorated room, likely formerly belonging to the captain of the guard. A jeweled large knife is on the desk; Bolos grabs it. A nice copy of the Quaran and some folded clothes make up the rest of the goods. Bolos looks through the room but isn’t able to find anything of note. They walk out.

The next room down in line contains an extremely attractive woman in the bed, a jeweled knife gripped tightly in her shaking hand. Her room is heavily and richly decorated. Nagarajoss peeks his head in and scares her further. He tries to quietly tell her that they’re not there to hurt her but her defiant look says she doesn’t buy it. However after looking the beast-man up and down she thinks better of it and shrinks backwards, demanding that he not come into the room. He directs the woman to wait for silence to leave her room.

Around the corner they see something very similar with slightly less fancy decorations and a bit younger woman. She seems to stay quiet when faced with the prospect of her unborn babies being eaten by the monster before her.

At the last door on that side of the house Nagarajoss hears through the door some nervous shuffling like someone trying to move quietly and doing a poor job. When Nagarajoss opens the door to dim illumination from a candle in the room’s corner. Bolos’ light spell sheds additional illumination inside but neither of the two of them see anyone at first. They listen intently but it’s Nagarajoss’ acute sense of smell that points him to an odor of frightened sweat from the other side of the door. Nagarajoss cautions the person not to do anything foolish and bids them come out, that they won’t be harmed. A man dressed as a butler steps around the corner and lunges at him with a knife but Nagarajoss easily parries the thrust, grabbing the man’s arm. He easily redirects the man’s momentum and tosses him to the ground. He makes a futile attempt to avoid it but he nevertheless hits the ground hard. The man quickly begins standing back up and Nagarajoss just as quickly grabs ahold of his neck. The butler wriggles furiously trying to break away but can’t overcome the lizard man’s ferocity. Nagarajoss moves his hands to his arms and demands the man talk, lest he become food. The man responds by spitting in his face. Nagarajoss then returns his hands to the man’s neck and chokes him into unconsciousness while he struggles in futility. A few seconds later he is no further trouble. Bolos tosses the room briefly but finds nothing of interest.

The last door reveals a form underneath the bed’s covers that doesn’t move when Nagarajoss and Bolos try to gain its attention. The room is well-decorated but otherwise not notable. Nagarajoss pulls down the covers to reveal a terrified man who immediately begins hyperventilating. It’s the manager of the store in the front of the compound. Nagarajoss asks the man where his master is but he’s too terrified to speak and only continues hyperventillating.

At the final door Thirlim sneaks over and hears excited whispering from a number of individuals in excited voices, speaking in Tredroy Patois. They seem to be talking about what they think is happening and what they should do about it. They sound nervous. A padlock is on the door. Thirlim begins working on the padlock and is able to open it after about a minute but chooses to leave the lock on the door, preventing it from being opened. Bolos and Nagarajoss come around the corner but can’t make out Thirlim’s gestures for them to be quiet about his presence. Muttering something about amateurs Thirlim finishes with the lock and after some brief discussion Nagarajoss knocks on the slaves’ door to announce their presence. We’re able to convince them to open the door. Nagarajoss indicates that we’re friends of Natara. Edrick takes several of the slaves, who are very excited at the prospect of leaving and pick up weapons from fallen guards and stand by Baern awaiting our exit. Across the hall the servants are less thankful for their freedom and instead mouth off at us, demanding we leave. Thirlim tries to tie shut their door to the nearby railing but can’t find a suitable material to tie between the two points so leaves them to stew in their foolishness.

From the slaves’ room one of the women who choose to remain catches Thirlim’s eye but Nagarajoss and Bolos convince him to leave her, that we need to move onwards towards our objective.

We open the door that Baern has been guarding, revealing a darkened hallway poorly illuminated by moonlight. Thirlim sneaks forward, peeking around the corner to see a long hallway lined with tapestries that eventually turns a corner to the left. Two doors are present along its length, each about a third of the way down the hall. Candles are present periodically in sconces. The second door is slightly opened. Thirlim directs the rest to remain at the corner behind him and wait for him to investigate.

A few yards down the hall a guard pops out and takes a poor shot at Thirlim, flying past him harmlessly. The guard’s door slams shut and we all hear the sound of it being bolted shut. Thirlim tells his companions to move up in the hallway.

The closer of the two doors is open and the room empty with a small guard’s barracks within. Inside is a two-footed crossbow as well as a quiver of bolts. Thirlim takes those, readying the crossbow before stowing it with his gear. While he readies it Nagarajoss and Bolos take a look at the opposite door. Bolos casts a locking spell on it, preventing the door from being opened.

Thirlim sneaks to the corner and sees it comes to a dead end with a series of tapestries around. Thirlim searches for secret doors but finds none; nothing lies behind the tapestries either. He’s initially puzzled by this seemingly bizarre construction. Bolos indicates that likely the area was renovated to close up a doorway. Nagarajoss comes down to the area and gives the wall a solid strike to test its toughness but isn’t able to make appreciable progress.

Bolos decides to cancel his locking spell on the room’s door but the entry remains barred from the other side. After considering our options Nagarajoss decides to knock on the door, offering mercy for the first one to open the door. Khalid responds that we’re all dead men.

Unperturbed from his defiance Nagarajoss begins striking the door to knock it down; Thirlim joins in for a strike with his axe and holsters it for his crossbow, aiming inside the room for when we’re able to blow through the door. Nagarajoss completes bashing the door in, creating a good-sized hole in it. A soldier behind the door looses a bolt through but Nagarajoss is able to get out of the way. Thirlim takes his shot through the newly-opened hole at a heavily-armored officer but the man’s shield is able to block the bolt without issue. Inside the room we see five men with various arms and Ibn cowering in the corner like a trapped rat of man that’s about to have his five bodyguards slaughtered and his house looted as his slaves are freed, all while a lizard man, a barbarian and the sexiest dwarf alive laugh in bloodthirsty glee.

Convenient retcon: in the guard captain’s quarters there’s an unspecified potion that we’re able to locate.

On that we end for the night with character points to come next week.

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Session 7 -- Things are still bloody
And Thirlim climbs a lot

Back to bloodbathing.

We are in the hall, surrounded by a large group of bodies. Baern breathes deeply, bringing himself under control as the red haze of rage clears from his vision. We all take a deep breath as we deal with the fatiguing effects of the battle in its aftermath. We check the surrounding rooms, finding a guardroom and two bedchambers, all empty. We also locate a foyer leading into what looks like a tower adjacent to the house that was the product of obviously poor surveying and masonry as it is semi-circular in nature. Oddly this produces semi-circular rooms, which grant a feeling of significant disquiet to all. We find the entry hall, whose two large doors are closed and look to be unused recently. The building in the southeast corner is a library, filled with books but none seem to be the ones we’re looking for.

As we’re clearing the ground floor a few of us hear loud movements upstairs; Thirlim estimates 5-10 men moving around upstairs. As there is no doorway at the top we hear everyone moving around up there but see nobody doing so. As we’ve cleared the ground floor to our liking we decide to charge upstairs to give them no further time to prepare. Baern, Nagarajoss and Mathieu charge upstairs with Bolos behind in support.

Meanwhile, Thirlim informs his compatriots he’s going to try and attack from an opposite angle; he runs outside and begins climbing the face of the building to reach the second floor with the intention of either tracking down Ibn or attacking the house’s defenders from the rear.

As Mathieu races upstairs he’s greeted with several armed and armored individuals at the upstairs landing, brandishing a variety of weapons and ready for him. One in particular has a crossbow at the ready and looses a bolt at him. He acrobatically dodges to the side but is still struck squarely in the skull by the bolt, which embeds itself deeply inside poor Mathieu’s head as he goes down hard and the world suddenly snaps to blackness for him. He lies at the bottom of the stairs, breathing shallowly but amazingly still alive, for now. We don’t know it but this head wound will temporarily cause him to lose empathy in general and become a bit of a cold fish.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern and Nagarajoss move up to the stairs, preparing to charge up and moving Mathieu out of the way. Bolos steps up behind them and casts a healing spell on Mathieu, stopping his bleeding and stabilizing him.

Upstairs the defenders close ranks at the top of the landing.

Mathieu continues lying on the ground, now no longer bleeding.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Nagarajoss takes up a defensive position over Mathieu with Baern waiting behind him.

The guards, intimidated by Nagarajoss’ extremely long spear and his menacing look, step backwards slightly.

Bolos begins preparing to cast a spell, taking a moment to direct Nagarajoss to not go far.

Mathieu, whose senses return to him somewhat, is able to apprehend the situation and reaches out to Baern to be pulled back down the stairs to safety.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern begins hauling Mathieu down the stairs, pulling him beside Nagarajoss.

Nagarajoss, meanwhile, steps forward, growling for his prey to come closer. The group visibly shakens; the crossbowman freezes in fright during the act of reloading but the rest hold firm, although clearly uneasy. They all wait for our group to advance in a defensive posture.

Bolos casts Haste on Nagarajoss in a completely non-sexual manner; his movements take on a sharpness as it looks as though his reflexes take on a new acuity.

Mathieu holds on to Baern as tightly as he can as he’s pulled downstairs to safety.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern completes relocating Mathieu behind him on the stairs.

Nagarajoss steps up and swings his huge naginata at one of the guards around the corner to the right, the angle a bit awkward due to the corner; the armsman is able to stop the blow with his shield.

One of the guards charges Nagarajoss, leading with his shield, but Nagarajoss is able to parry his attack against the stairway wall. Two other guards follow behind, stabbing forward with spears around the attacker. Nagarajoss tries to dodge out of the way but slips slightly on the stairs, oddly in the same spot that Mathieu took the crossbow bolt, as if it were CURSED. His feet give way and the huge lizard-man falls prone on the stairway.

Bolos shakes his head in amazement and casts a spell on the closest guard at the top of the stairs, whose sword hand suddenly freezes as his weapon drops from his grip.

Mathieu lays at the bottom of the stairs.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern steps up, right on top of Nagarajoss, and takes a defensive stance to give him cover while he regains his footing. He strikes out at the swordsman at the top of the stairs. He’s able to strike him cleanly through his defenses, stabbing him brutally in the gut; he staggers a bit but remains on his feet somehow.

Nagarajoss twists suddenly, trying to make an acrobatic leap to his feet, but he fails to do so and instead finds himself sitting on the stairs.

The disarmed guard rears back and once again tries to thump Nagarajoss with his shield but he manages to lean out of the way of their thrusts. The two guards behind stab with their spears; one of them connects with his chest but only deals a small flesh wound.

Bolos, once again amazed at the comedy of errors before him, steps forward slightly and casts another spell. The arm of the disarmed guard at the top of the stairs begins shaking violently, causing his shield to drop slightly as he looks a bit preoccupied with his wildly moving arm. He is unable to get out of the way of a length of steel that impales him once again, this time dropping him to the ground.

Mathieu continues lying at the foot of the stairs.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Nagarajoss gets to his feet once again and resumes his fighting stance.

The two guards with spears strike at the lizard man; Nagarajoss is able to parry their strikes deftly out of the way. The two spearmen step backwards while two swordsmen step in to take their place.

Bolos steps forward again, casting yet another spell. The guard immediately in front of Nagarajoss has a funny look on his face but that’s the entire effect of the spell.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern waits for Nagarajoss to attack, looking for an opening.

Nagarajoss attacks the guard in front of him with a very annoying looking feather on his helmet but the guard is able to parry the attack.

Baern roars from behind Nagarajoss about the friend of the guards he just skewered but his shouts are lost in the din of battle and go unheeded.

The four guards cluster around the top of the stairs and all attack Nagarajoss, right in front of them. He’s able to somehow evade all four of their attacks in the confined space.

Bolos once again casts a spell; the guard immediately in front of Nagarajoss lowers his shield arm as it begins shaking uncontrollably.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern swings his sword wildly, once again ventilating another set of innards, this time the guard right in front of Nagarajoss as he fails to evade the strike. The guard drops to the ground, out of the fight for now.

Nagarajoss strikes at the guard behind the one who just dropped, immediately in front of him. Some fancy maneuvering sees the point of the Naginata through his defenses, giving the man a nasty wound that he manages to keep his feet from.

The recently downed guard takes a second coming to his senses. Another guard swings wildly at Nagarajoss, intent on revenge. Nagarajoss is caught unaware and while trying to move his weapon to block he fumbles his grip and drops it. Another mean flesh wound is his reward. The other spearmen, excited by his compatriot’s success, jumps hurriedly to take advantage of the lizard-man’s lowered defenses; in his haste his grip slips and so does his spear, clattering to the ground. The remaining swordsman tries to do better but fails to connect his blow on Nagarajoss.

Bolos casts yet another spell and the spearman two paces in front of Nagarajoss gets a funny look on his face as his weapon arm begins shaking uncontrollably and his weapon joins the growing pile on the ground.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern again waits for Nagarajoss to advance as he has no target at the moment.

Nagarajoss steps forward to the group of guards. He stands ready to defend while he sizes up the one guard still with a weapon in hand, giving him a rueful glare.

Baern steps up after him and stabs his huge claymore at one of the guards but his weapon clatters off the side of the staircase, missing its target.

Out of the corner of their eye Baern and Nagarajoss see the crossbowman finally nock and ready a bolt in his weapon.

Both the spearmen kneel down and retrieve their spears. The swordsman next to Nagarajoss that Baern failed to strike swings his sword at Nagarajoss, whose enhanced reflexes are abnormal enough to throw off his timing. His armor is able to easily stop the blow as he moves just enough to take its force away.

Bolos stands back and watches the fight evolve, conserving his energy and planning his next move.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern swings his sword in a complicated pattern as he tries to evade the defenses of one of the spearmen; unfortunately it’s a bit too complicated and he misses entirely.

Nagarajoss steps up next to one of the guards who knelt to retrieve his weapon and grabs for his neck with both hands, taking hold firmly.

The grappled guard writhes but cannot break free. His friend with the sword swings it at Baern, who easily parries it out of the way. The spearman besides him also stabs at him and connects in a vital area; his armor stops the majority of the blow but he still staggers backwards briefly as he tries to regain his breath. The guard with the crossbow raises his weapon and sights down its length, aiming at Nagarajoss.

Bolos continues to observe the situation.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern makes a quick thrust at the spearman, getting his sword back in position swiftly to defend; the spearman reads the maneuver easily and stops the attack with his shield.

Nagarajoss begins strangling the poor guard but a well-timed movement from the guard causes his grip to falter as the man breaks free, breathing deeply in relief. The guard, still on his knees, scrambles backwards. His friend with the crossbow fires but misses badly. One of the other guards misses with his spear while the remaining one swings viciously at Baern with his sword, connecting and dealing a deep wound to his chest. Baern again staggers backwards but remains on his feet, blood leaking down his chest from.

Bolos asks Baern’s permission to heal him which is of course granted. Bolos casts a spell and the wound Baern just took closes itself, staunching the bleeding. Baern still looks slightly unsteady but continues fighting.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern attacks the remaining guard with a sword but his form is a bit slow; the guard stops the attack without difficulty.

Nagarajoss levels a wicked kick at the neck of the kneeling guard in front of him; the guard tries to raise his hands to stop the attack but can’t quite do so in time; the sharpened claws on his feet tear into the soft tissue of his neck and create a large gash that quickly begins pumping blood out. The guard remains conscious as he observes his lifeblood pouring out.

The crossbowman has had enough; he drops his crossbow and unsheathes his scimitar. The guard bleeding from his neck staggers to his feet, unwilling to die on his knees. The other spearman fails to connect as Baern parries his attack; the swordsman next to him swings and misses.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern turns and swings at the swordsman next to him, catching him fully through the chest with a wicked thrust. The man shakes slightly as he pales and seems to wither slightly. Baern immediately stands up straighter as his eyes widen slightly and he seems to regain some of his lost vigor.

Nagarajoss moves slightly to a more defensible position and tries to claw the swordsman but misses.

Bleeding guard somehow remains on his feet. Heedless of his grievous wound he stabs out at Nagarajoss but is unsteady and can’t connect. The other spearman attempts to make lizard-man-kabobs and skewers his torso, creating yet another scar to tell the ladies about. The crossbowman charges into combat but should have stuck with the crossbow; he misses. The swordsman attacking Baern isn’t up to fighting further and passes out from blood loss.

Bolos continues to watch.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern steps forward and attacks the crossbowman (now wielding a scimitar). While his neck is not bleeding his chest begins doing so as a large claymore-shaped hole is punched in his chest. The man was obviously not built for melee combat as he drops immediately, stunned from the wound.

Nagarajoss steps forward towards the one remaining unhurt guard.

Former crossbowman remains on the ground. Bleeding-neck guard finally passes out from blood loss. The one remaining guard valiantly fights on, stabbing wickedly at Nagarajoss, who dodges out of the way.

Bolos continues to watch.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern advances, moving to flank the one remaining guard.

Nagarajoss advances and strikes the last defender with a vicious series of blows; he tries to get his shield in the way but can’t do so in time. Nagarajoss grabs and holds onto the man. He writhes furiously but accomplishes nothing.

Bolos continues to watch.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern leans back and puts his full weight into a stab, fully running his sword through the man. A full two feet of steel bloom out of his chest with what look like pieces of a few recognizable organs along for the ride, now visiting the outside of his body. The standard spray of blood occurs and he goes limp immediately.

Crossbow-turned-scimitar man shakes himself back to his senses, finding himself on all fours on the ground. He regains consciousness right in time for Nagarajoss to get a running start onto a kick to his midsection that he puts his full force into. His armor takes most of the blow but an audible crack is heard as a rib gives way and the breath is knocked completely out of him.

Bolos continues to watch.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern walks over to the remaining guard, now gasping for air. He raises his sword high and puts his back into a downward swing on the poor man’s leg. Baern bellows a Celtic war cry about fallen comrades as his sword shatters his femur and destroys the flesh, leaving his leg connected by only a scrap of ligament and a whole lot of blood.

As the man screams in agony Nagarajoss steps to the side and lands a claw-footed slice to his neck. The man gurgles a furious scream as he shakes and puts a hand to his neck, failing to stop his blood gushing onto the floor.

Bolos continues to watch.

Mathieu continues lying senseless.

Thirlim continues climbing.

Baern also steps to his side, winding up and stabbing his sword downwards through the back of the man’s head. While the blow fails to penetrate his helmet the blunt trauma finally knocks him out so his misery can end in unconsciousness.

Nineteen rounds later, with all of the defenders at hand eliminated we stop for the night and each receive three character points.

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Session 6 -- This Got Bloody
Really, really bloody...

Natarra lets us know that there’s only 1 guard at the servant’s entrance, and he often sleeps until he’s relieved at midnight. The sleepy guard’s name is Jaqim. He works weeknights. She indicated that he would not be missed from his post until his shift changes at midnight. The guards all carry heavy medium shields. Natarra verifies for us that the best way into the house is via the underground passage from the servants’ quarters to the house. She mentions that the servants may or may not raise an alarm, some of them are slaves while some are not. The passageway from the servant’s quarters to the house ends in the cellar underneath the house.

We inquire and Natarra indicates that there will be guards as well as other individuals who are up at night around the time we’re considering entering the estate. The hall has a hidden passage to the dining room with a ready-room for servants connecting to the kitchen. A couple guards are normally in the great hall as well. The great hall contains stairs to the area where Ibn can be found. Unfortunately she doesn’t recall any other details of where the books might be located. She describes the slave quarters vaguely and also lets us know that while some might want to escape and leave others might not desire it.

Joseph indicates that we’ll want to get to a specific part of the docks area of town as quickly as we can with any escapees. He provides us a street name to be at. It’s Al-Beyt street.

Natarra describes another slave that she had a good relationship with whom she wants us to keep an eye out for named Edrick, whom she described as having fair skin.

Session6map.jpg

We discuss and elect to wait until the following night when sleepy guard Jaqim is working. The plan is for Bolos to watch for the sleepy guard to fall asleep and signal the group when that happens. Nagarajoss will then boost Thirlim over the wall, who will deal with the guard and let everyone else in. From there we can use the tunnel in the servants’ quarters to make our way to the main house.

During the day before Nagarajoss scouts out a safe location for some pre-home invasion meditation. Thirlim procures some oil that can be used on squeaky hinges. Bolos decides to turn into a bird during the day to see if he can, from the air or a convenient perch, look into the guardhouse.

That night we’re taken across the river by Joseph’s contacts in a small rowboat, avoiding our need to check in at the guarded bridges. We make our way to Ibn’s manor and arrive around 10:50pm. Right around 11pm Bolos is able to see that the guard has gone asleep.

Nagarajoss boosts Thirlim onto the wall; Thirlim tosses the end of the rope down to Nagarajoss to hold while he climbs down, then tugs on the rope once down so Nagarajoss knows to let it be pulled over for Thirlim to recover. Thirlim spies the guard inside, although a locked door is in the way. Thirlim oils the hinges and picks the lock successfully, then slowly opens the door.

Thirlim puts his hand over the unlucky guard’s mouth just before jamming his long knife through the man’s eye socket, ending him. Thirlim un-bars the door and opens it, going back out to the exterior of the guardhouse to keep watch. After everyone else comes in we close the door behind us, not barring the exterior door. We move to the servant’s quarters. Peering in a window Thirlim can spot a dimly lit hallway with a series of doors.

Meanwhile Bolos flies around the manor house trying to determine who is awake. He’s able to see that about half of the windows have light coming out of them.

Thirlim opens the door to the servants’ quarters and we begin moving through towards the underground passage, trying as best we can to be stealthy. Thirlim’s moccasins allow him to move more quietly than the rest of the group, akin to the shadow of a shadow’s shadow. We reach the passageway, roughly dug out of bedrock, and begin to advance down it. We move past a room extremely well stocked with drinks that may or may not be fermented. A second storage area looks to be misc storage.

Heading upstairs we locate the “secret” door leading into the house and the servant’s “ready” room. Thirlim puts his head to the ready room door and hears nothing on the opposite side. We open the door slowly to a darkened room. Thirlim is able to make out, with his good darkvision, a food prep area with the opposite door closed. Our expectation is that the next door should be from the kitchen, from where a dim glow emanates from underneath the door.

Thirlim cracks the door to peer inside. The hinges begin to squeak but Thirlim is able to stop them from doing so; he’s able to discern someone moving around in the kitchen – it looks like a guard getting a snack. Thirlim is able to finish swinging open the door and sneaks inside. Spying an opportunity he sneaks up behind the guard who is occupied with what looks like a chicken wing, and silently takes his sword from near him on the table. He takes it back to the pantry where the rest of the group waits. From there Nagarajoss and Baern creep up and, at the same time, deal a crushing blow to the back of his head while he’s unaware. He falls instantly from the force of both blows, one of them a stab. After bleeding runs its course that meal ends up being his last. Baern gets a vicious gleam in his eyes, feeling hatred for some of the crimes of this household, briefly says a prayer in Celtic and viciously stabs his sword down through the body on the floor. Nagarajoss growls his displeasure quietly and Thirlim hisses for them to pull the body into the cellar quickly, leaving a copious blood streak.

Baern moves up to the door to the great hall and listens at it. We’re all able to hear someone yelling in Arabic to Fakir that his snack is taking way too long. We let him yell and get ready near the door, waiting for him to come into the kitchen to check things out. Baern and Nagarajoss get ready at the door for it to swing inward while Bolos, Thirlim and Mathieu stand back at the ready. Baern signals to Mathieu to jump in should a second guard poke their head in. Nagarajoss is able to stand back a bit with his long weapon. Baern stands at the side the door opens to weapon at the ready.

The door opens and the guard leans in, sword still sheathed. He obviously is looking for Fakir but instead finds a huge claymore and a naginata, with which his innards suddenly and violently encounter as the guard freezes in surprise. Baern strikes his vitals while Nagarajoss’s blade takes him full in the face; he goes down hard. Mathieu, who is closely followed by Thirlim, leap over the downed body into the hall. Three guards await within.

Mathieu charges forward and is able to land a blow on his assailant. Thirlim tries to emulate but upon trying to strike his axe turns in his hand and he drops it, looking rather foolish in the process. Baern and Nagarajoss move up, with Nagarajoss giving the already-downed guard lying in the kitchen doorway a kick on the way out to knock him out. He slips slightly and instead of kicking him in the head he jabs him in the chest, putting him out of his misery with a vicious wound to the chest.

One guard takes a swing at Mathieu, who deftly steps back and parries the attack with ease. The other guards in front of Thirlim take wild swings at him but miss badly.

Mathieu steps forward with a series of complex swings, moving his defender’s shield out of position dangerously. Thirlim tries to quickly draw his long knife but fumbles the grip, taking a bit longer to get ahold of it and leaving him unable to attack with it this turn while he draws it.

Baern steps forward and strikes with a large overhand swing, connecting with his opponent and causing a loud crunch as armor and bone buckle. Nagarajoss also steps up and swings his naginata; the soldier tries to turn the weapon aside with a parry and is barely able to do so.

Side doors open and two more guards step in. One moves up and tries to strike Mathieu but he again deftly steps back and parries. The guard in front of Thirlim also strikes at him; Thirlim attempts to parry but fails to do so; the guard’s strike had no force behind it, however, and is unable to penetrate his armor and toughened skin. The guard that Baern just hit steps forward and tries to attack him but Baern also steps backwards and is able to avoid the blow. Another one steps up and tries to attack Thirlim but can’t connect with his attack.

Bolos casts a spell and the guard who just came through the door trying to attack Nagarajoss suddenly drops his sword as his hand smasms painfully.

Mathieu steps up and viciously stabs the guard whose weapon was so badly out of position a moment ago and his sword takes him through the neck and causing him to crumple to the floor. Thirlim deftly runs around behind his opponent and strikes at his back; the man is barely able to bring his shield to bear in time to stop the thrust from his sword.

Baern strikes hard at his target’s shield in an attempt to break it; the man tries to dodge out of the way but fails to do so in time. Baern lands his blow on the shield, causing it to creak loudly but it proves to be of solid construction. Nagarajoss sees his new opponent, now without a sword, and runs him through with his naginata, causing him intense pain by the sudden introduction of a blade into his intestines.

The guard fighting Baern, looking pale from blood loss, swings wildly at Baern but misses. The one on Thirlim turns and swings awkwardly; his weapon turns in his hand and drops. Thirlim favors him with a dark grin as his scimitar clatters to the floor. The one in front of Mathieu tries to attack but still is overmatched by his opponent and can’t hit. The veteran who is attempting to fight Nagarajoss realizes the trouble he’s in and commits himself to defense.

Mathieu feints his target to again pull him out of position. Thirlim attacks with a flurry; his opponent barely blocks the first one and the second one hits in a vital spot but fails to penetrate his armor.

Baern weaves his sword through the air and lands a vicious blow against his foe, whose knees wobble under the impact but remain firm. Nagarajoss tries to attack his carefully defending target who is now fully behind his shield but his first attack is blocked and the second misses entirely.

Bolos casts another spell and Thirlim’s axe begins wobbling in the air, moving towards him.

The guard lying on the floor bleeding (with the black helmet) recovers slightly and tries to begin standing. The one fighting Thirlim winds up and bashes him with his shield, the only weapon he’s holding, but again fails to penetrate his armor. Baern’s foe lunges at him but due to blood loss and previous injury can’t remain standing. Mathieu is caught by surprise and drops his main-gauche, taking a vicious wound to his torso. The vet struggling to fend off Nagarajoss steps backwards through the door he entered from, retreating into the doorway.

Bolos moves forward one step while floating Thirlim’s axe closer to him. Mathieu steps forward, stabbing his target in a vital area. A spray of blood and an unhappy expression on his face tell the tale as he sinks to his knees, clutching the wound. Thirlim sidesteps, deftly sheathing his long knife and grabs his axe, again making a wicked grin at his opponent.

Baern meanwhile, steps up and stabs Thirlim’s target, completely unaware as a sword suddenly appears in his chest. He falls forward at Thirlim’s feet, stunned. Nagarajoss stabs at his opponent through the doorway, who fails to reposition his shield in time. He takes another vicious wound that staggers him but fails to take him off his feet.

Bolos steps to the side and attempts to cast a spell. However the stressful situation causes him to mis-state some of the incantations and err on some gestures; the spell fails spectacularly, generating a large flash of light from Bolos and the smell of putrefying flesh fills the air around him.

Mathieu stabs his downed opponent in the vitals, putting him out of his misery. Thirlim winds up and delivers a savage blow to the back of his neck, causing a spray of blood as he connects with a vein. The man collapses, bleeding heavily as he slips into unconsciousness. The veteran through the doorway passes out from blood loss. We proceed to finish off the survivors efficiently.

Bolos, after one more failed attempt, is able to stop Mathieu’s bleeding and heals him nearly entirely from his chest wound.

We all receive four character points in the name of bloodbathing.

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Session 5 -- Still Messing with Ibn
Thirlim gets a long knife too!

Thirlim inspects the lockbox he pilfered for traps and picks the lock. Inside he finds 15sp (60cp) and two empty books used to hide messages or other objects. He, of course, pockets the money and hides the books for future possible utilization. The lockbox he is able to sell to one of his thief’s guild contacts for 40cp. He takes the proceeds and sells his current Kukri and upgrades to a long knife. Fear.

Over breakfast Nagarajoss shows Bolos the shriveled arm of Nigel. Bolos is unsurprisingly revolted and is happy to have eaten prior to seeing it. He thinks he knows the spell that could cause such damage too. However the damaged arm wouldn’t have been what killed him. Nagarajoss bundles the arm and gets it ready to take to the meeting at the merc’s guild.

We go in to the mercenary’s guild to report on our findings the next day. We are seen by Damieos Darksword promptly and make a full report on following Nigel, the witch and what happened. Nagarajoss presents his jerky-fied arm from what’s left of Nigel. Damieos indicates that while this wasn’t the ideal result he could have achieved not much more could have been done, given who the master appears to be. Mathieu hands over the remaining sending stones taken from the scene to Damieos for analysis. Damieos hands us a small cloth bag, which we empty onto the table. It contains one iron ring for us each. Damieos indicates we will be allowed into the guild as Practicals, assuming we will perform jobs for him periodically. Damieos indicates that we need to put the rings on and state an oath, which he administers, to activate the magic of the rings. He explains that we can activate the ring’s magic in order to cause an identifying sound to be heard, verifying membership in the Guild. He indicates that this is the only proof of our membership in the Guild, so losing it would not be a good thing to do. The magic of the ring will only activate in the room or in certain other locations. Damieos also indicates that there is a large bounty for “found” rings. He also confirms that, finally, we can carry our weapons openly in the city. He indicates that contribution of one-fifths of our income is also required in exchange for certain other privileges. Damieos states that we’ve been sponsored by Wilhelm Deadeye, whom the two spoke of.

We all return to our homes to retrieve our weapons.

Next stop is we head down to the waterfront to begin looking for Joseph Stronghand to find out more about him and begin working on getting him out of town. Apparently he’s a street vendor who moves around the town.

Thirlim decides to head to a tavern in the same area of town that Stronghand frequents. Thirlim works his manly Dwarven magic on one of the barmaids and is able to win her over in short order. We’re able to find out that she knows him as a very polite, nice man who always sits close to the door. She isn’t aware of him being a friend to slaves. He’s also known to be a former adventurer and is skilled at throwing knives. He’s able to secure a date with the waitress for later that evening along with the information.

Meanwhile Bolos takes bird form again, flying around our area and, after a brief search, locates Stronghand’s stall and alights on it. He’s promptly shooed away and Bolos instead lands on another nearby spot. Stronghand has a selection of knives, survival gear, adventuring supplies, and the like. Proper credentials are on display in his stall. Bolos watches for about an hour where he does a brisk business of normal bartering. Bolos is able to observe from watching Stronghand that he seems to be rather cautions and aware of his surroundings. He seems to have located his stall in a spot that allows for an easy escape from the bazaar if needed. After a while Bolos flies away to an office of the merchant’s guild to try and make discreet inquiries about Stronghand. He’s able to verify his registration in the merchants’ guild. He’s one of a small number of Journeyman-level merchants, a high rank in the guild. Getting to that rank requires support from five elder members, which Bolos tries to learn by an inquiry with the guild librarians. He’s informed the inquiry takes a week’s time, which he initiates.

Bolos meets us in the tavern and we compare notes. One option would be to try and enlist Joseph’s assistance to steal the books from Ibn, perhaps either using former slaves to gather inside information or that Joseph might trade his assistance for freeing some of Ibn’s slaves. Thirlim wants to gather further information prior to a meeting but he’s in the minority. The rest of the group elects to offer Joseph an opportunity to meet in a place and time of his choosing in order to make him feel safer.

The group decides to go and approach him for a meeting, although Bolos and Thirlim choose to blend into the crowd as opposed to walk up to meet. He greets them, offering to sell various objects that might be of interest to him. Mathieu is able to discern that Joseph is selling some very high-quality knives. He initially quotes a rather high price for the knife which Mathieu thinks better of trying to talk him down on. The remainder of his wares represent a wide variety of high-quality wares. Nagarajoss tries to feel him out in terms of whether he helps out those in “difficult circumstances.” He tries to request Joseph’s advice on a certain matter and wants to discuss it privately. Joseph seems skeptical but agrees to a meeting, giving the name of a tavern in North Tredroy named the Windmill Tavern.

Thirlim decides to go check on the meeting location beforehand. He tries to learn about its reputation by going to one of the other bars in the area, the Inn of the Laughing Rat, a largely halfling establishment. He quickly leaves and instead tries to gather information from another nearby shop, where he learns that the bar is a rather “cultured” establishment. Thirlim decides to go there about an hour beforehand to blend in with the crowd. Everyone else arrives a short time before the meeting. Thirlim seems to notice that the bar is not nearly as rowdy as previously anticipated. Due to the high expense of food at this establishment Thirlim nurses an ale, not wanting to consume too much money. The rest of the group shows up and sits down at Thirlim’s table, immediately blowing his cover.

The appointed time passes. A barmaid comes over to offer us drinks; Thirlim makes a pass at her but fails to arouse her interest. She pointedly offers to everyone else to get them drinks. Joseph is now twenty minutes late.

Mathieu steps out to take a look around for Joseph. He’s able to spot Joseph a distance away, speaking with two large men. Based on the way the conversation looks to be going Joseph is doing something to point towards our tavern. Mathieu notices that Joseph and the two turn and begin walking towards the bar and he returns to our table. A few minutes later they arrive; Joseph arrives by himself. We introduce ourselves at his request. He rightly recognizes Thirlim’s attractiveness but Thirlim quickly ensures Joseph knows that he doesn’t swing that way.

Joseph indicates that he’s retired from adventuring and only works as a merchant within the city. Nagarajoss indicates that Ibn has taken an interest in him. After discussing with him a bit more we’re able to clarify which Ibn it is. In fact while he tries to cover his reaction Joseph knows well why Ibn might be after him. We question him further to try and get more information and eventually present our case to work together with him. He’s initially hesitant but we offer him an incentive to work with us in that we might make an attempt to free slaves from Ibn’s household while infiltrating the grounds. He seems very much interested in this proposition and asks us to return the next night.

We do so as requested. This time Joseph brings along an attractive woman, whom Baern and Thirlim have a difficult time restraining themselves from drooling over her. Joseph indicates she only speaks Arabic and asks if we’re going to have difficulty working with her. He introduces her as Natara, a former “slave” to Ibn, for a number of years. She’s agreed to provide us information about his estate. He indicates that she’s willing to talk with us at a more private location. Bolos also is able to gently talk her into allowing him to cast an informative spell on her to gather knowledge about her personality in a general sense as well as violent emotions, magical compulsion and other such information. After consulting with Joseph she agrees and Bolos casts his spell. He’s able to determine that she seems to be genuine in what she has been represented as.

That ends things for the evening. We all receive four character points.

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Session 4 -- More Skullduggery
And stabbings? Not yet!

We review our plan for the evening’s encounter. Bolos will take bird form and follow Nigel as he leaves from the sky, where we will follow him on the ground. Thirlim will try and follow on the ground stealthily, wearing his moccasins and black face paint, using a black cloak; his night vision should also be helpful. The time is 11pm so the streets will be clearer than usual but not completely empty. The only people about should fortunately be drunken and easily avoided.

That night we meet up with Leofrick the Silent, who indicates we are to follow him. We head over to the meeting location. Bolos transforms into bird form and flutters away to observe. The rest of us hide ourselves along Nigel’s usual avenue of retreat with Nagarajoss making sure to stay an extra distance away due to his distinctive appearance.

The meeting concludes and Nigel leaves along the planned route. He doesn’t seem to notice Thirlim hiding along the route, who peels off to follow. We get the sense that Nigel is looking a bit lax based on how he’s handling protocol of being stealthy himself. He heads northward and Thirlim follows. Over an hour and twenty minutes we track him to the bridge to East Tredroy. At the checkpoint the chase slows down to avoid being seen. Nigel crosses and Thirlim, when it’s safe, emerges from the shadows to cross the bridge. He gives the checkpoint guards a story about wanting a drink from a bar now that he’s finally off work, as the G-String, our favorite bar, is in this area of Tredroy. He’s able to talk his way past the guards effectively, going through very closely to the target as Thirlim hasn’t been seen previously.

After crossing the bridge on some of the main streets Thirlim notices a change in Nigel’s posture, that he seems to be aware he’s being followed by Thirlim. He ducks into an alleyway at one point; Thirlim follows past, not wanting to give an indication that the target has seen him as he thinks Nigel is watching him from the alley as he walks past. Bolos is able to keep track of Nigel, however, and continues to follow. After a moment or two Thirlim stops to peer into a shop window and is able to use that motion to take a look back at the street, seeing the rest of the following group, and points them towards the alley in question as he closes the distance. Nagarajoss is able to easily reach the roof, where he pulls up Thirlim to get a better look for Bolos. Nagarajoss and Thirlim are able to spot him readily. We work to catch up. Meanwhile Bolos is able to spot Nigel enter the ground floor of a building. The shop in the room looks to be named Barnabas’ Books. He seems to head upstairs as a light comes on in the upper rooms.

Everyone else catches up with the Falcon relatively quickly except for Thirlim, who decides to retain his high perch and sneaks across the rooftops. He sneaks over to the house in question and spies an open window into Nigel’s bedroom. Thirlim motions for the rest of the group to go around to the other side of the building so they can talk. He proposes the rest of the group causing a distraction at the front door to draw him away while Thirlim climbs in through the open window and searches the upstairs as best he can. We discuss other potential plans as well, such as waiting for the morning to have a look around the shop. While we discuss Bolos goes back to the group to let us know that Nigel has gone to sleep. While continuing to discuss Thirlim climbs down from the roof and picks the lock to the front door of the house, then has Nagarajoss help him back onto the room.

Meanwhile Bolos flies into the room via the window, still in his bird form. He begins moving around the room to take a look but at some point disturbs a nearby bottle, causing him to wake. Bolos dives under the bed. Nigel puts the bottle back on his nightstand and lays back down.

After unlocking the door Thirlim heads inside, lured by the chance to find some valuable loot. Mathieu and Baern follow, although are not nearly as quiet as Thirlim is able to be. Bolos, upstairs, is able to notice Nigel suddenly get up in bed as the rest of us take note of Baern’s loud noise. Baern leaves while Mathieu ducks behind a bookshelf. Thirlim also leaves, closing the door behind him and hiding near by the door. Nigel comes downstairs to take a look around with a lantern and a dagger. He takes one look around and heads back upstairs, a loud “thunk” noise sounding as he bars the door as he heads upstairs noisily. Mathieu leaves.

Upstairs Bolos is able to witness Nigel root around in his books, locating a pouch that he pulls out and takes out a small stone, which Nigel crushes in his hand. Bolos is able to identify it as a spell stone, casting some kind of long-distance telepathic communication spell.

Meanwhile, after Mathieu goes out of the room Thirlim goes in and does his best to make it look like we were actually trying to steal something, taking a small bag of coppers and trying to make a mess as best he can, for a minute or two. He then leaves out the front door.

Bolos, meanwhile, is stuck under the bed for another hour while Nigel sits and reads, also opening the window slightly further. He manages to remain in bird form. After that time a cat climbs in the window and Nigel greets it after a brief moment of confusion. The cat then shifts shape, becoming what looks like an old crone after about ten seconds of mutation. He tells the old woman that he thinks he was followed, that there was somebody downstairs. She replies that maybe it was just thieves down there but Nigel indicated that he saw someone he didn’t like the looks of. The woman dismissively indicates that does seem to be a problem for him.

During that time Nagarajoss and Baern retreat about a block away and hide nearby to keep watch as Bolos is still inside the house; Mathieu catches up with them as he retreats away from the house. Thirlim heads another direction and doesn’t run into them, making good on his escape. Baern is able to make out the cat climbing in the window. They realize the imminent danger Bolos is in and decide to try and move closer to try and assist; Baern follows after.

Back in the room Bolos shifts to the side slightly, trying to stealthily gain a look at the two of their conversation. The woman stops her conversation and sniffs the air, stating that another being is present in the room. She begins moving over and bending down towards the bed. Bolos decides to launch himself into the air from the opposite side of the bed, making straight for the window. However he does so in slightly an ungainly manner, landing on the windowsill briefly before he’s able to fly further. The old woman responds immediately, commenting that a falcon is quite interesting. She casts a spell, causing Bolos to feel agonizing pain as for a second he feels a bit less dexterous. He’s still able to fly away from his current perch.

Nagarajoss and Baern are able to see Bolos fly away. They can hear voices within the room and are able to hear the conversation, although the old woman comes over to the window and closes it. The conversation turns heated and they hear the sound of fighting inside, of Nigel in great pain. It cuts off into a short, gagging sound.

At that Nagarajoss isn’t willing to let the man be killed and takes off for the house, running in with Baern hot on his heels. Mathieu is willing to go up to the door but chooses not to proceed further. Nagarajoss throws himself against the door to the upstairs, trying to break through the bar on the door. Baern follows after, also without success as the heavy bar holds fast. Nagarajoss tries to bash through with his fists and kicks, damaging it but not bringing it down yet. While Nagarajoss does his best impression of an axe Baern quickly pokes his head out the window to the upstairs room but isn’t able to see a sign of the cat.

Nagarajoss finally is able to break through; Baern goes back inside to join him. Nagarajoss and Baern rush up the stairs, busting through the final door to the upper room despite it being locked. By the time they can get in the window is wide open. Nigel is left on the floor, unmoving, and one of his arms looks to be withered and twisted badly. Baern goes to the window and isn’t able to see the guard or others coming. He then goes over to Nigel to see if anything can be done for him but finds him quite dead. They motion Mathieu back in now that the immediate danger has passed.

Nagarajoss takes a peek out the window, looking for the cat or anyone else but fails to see them. The three of them begin rooting around the house; Thirlim shows up at the house, coming back as the group didn’t show up at the rendezvous point after. He goes in and gets the story of what happened and remarks that likely the cat-mage is still around, waiting to see who came to look at the house afterwards. Nagarajoss works to snap off the withered arm, desiring to show it to Bolos for evaluation. He exits the house with the withered arm wrapped in a blanket.

We proceed with searching the house quickly, locking the front door for the time being. Baern makes his search check. Thirlim searches the upper room, locating a locked chest; Thirlim places both in his cloak. In the supply room Baern locates a small bag of silver and copper as well as some interesting looking books. Mathieu is able to locate a small bag as well. We all receive four character points and LOOTS!

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Session 3 -- Ibn's House
And why can't we all just get along?

It’s the next morning after our intense partying the night before as we tried somewhat successfully to extract information from Edward. Several of us have small hangovers but are otherwise functional after sleeping late into the day.

We have a couple of days until our meeting with Nigel. For our book-stealing mission one task we undertake is to watch the rear servant’s entrance to try and get a look at the servant’s uniforms. Getting a look at those would help us know what kind of disguise we need to put together. Baern sleeps late and wanders around the city trying to get to know it better. Mathieu also sleeps late. He elects to go and check out the location for the meeting with Nigel; Bolos goes with him. Nagarajoss meditates late into the day.

Mathieu and Bolos, joined by Nagarajoss, get a good look at the back-alley meeting location. It’s a small back-alley in St. Mark’s Parrish, an area of church-owned land. It’s in a bit of a tricky spot as their target, who departs towards East Tredroy from the meeting, will need to be intercepted after he leaves. They take a look at the area he might move through upon leaving the meeting, especially the buildings there. Some of them have unoccupied sections that might be of use. One potential idea is to have someone on the rooftops to help spot Nigel as he leaves and communicate his position to everyone else. The location is near the Lookout pub, a fantastic establishment of ill-repute, a true wretched hive of scum and villainy. The three of them head to the docks area, which smells like rotten ass that’s been left in the sun too long. This is clearly the “low rent” district with beggars and rough-looking folk a-plenty; the streets are correspondingly filthy. A number of rivergoing ships are docked here as well.

While walking through the district Nagarajoss does his best to glower and look intimidating to those around him but somehow doesn’t quite pull it off despite his large size. Thankfully the locals don’t seem interested beyond feeling many eyes upon them and their purses. They don’t dwell at the alley but take a short visit to avoid unwanted attention.

Thirlim positions himself excellently outside the servant’s entrance of Ibn’s house. He’s able to observe quite a few servants going about their errands, giving himself a great opportunity to take note of their livery as well as recall a number of faces from the crowd. He’s able to take note of the procedures for entry and exit too; the guard seems to know servants by sight. Thirlim also notes that a deadbolt is employed on the servant’s entrance. Thirlim tries to follow one of the attractive serving women and talk to her but she realizes she’s being followed; she confronts Thirlim who tries to fast-talk his way out of the problem and fails; she brandishes a knife and backs away from Thirlim, who gives up pursuit at that point.

The day passes with these events. The next day Bolos tries out his newly-acquired shape changing abilities by flying in bird form over the target mansion. He takes note of the entrances to the building and layout of the area from his aerial view.

Nagarajoss decides to get some exercise by taking a swim in the river.

While walking through the docks area Baern notices three thuggish-looking individuals following him. He can make out concealed knives on them. Baern tries to keep one eye on them to prevent the thugs closing the distance or trying to ambush him. Baern notices two of them split off to try and flank him while the third remains behind. Baern stops, turns and grins at the one behind, who asks him if he’s lost. Baern comments that they’ve been following him for awhile so they must want something. The thug responds that they want some of his coin, which he must have some of (Baern snickers at that). The guy instead starts asking if he’s looking for work in what amounts to a protection racket. Baern indicates that maybe he’d be up for it later, that he’s not looking for that kind of work today. He asks their names as they likely won’t meet him again randomly. The one he’s been talking to responds that he should ask for Martin the Blade, who makes a flourish with his hand and causes a knife to appear in it. The knife’s blade looks much shinier than most he’s seen in awhile. One of the other thugs, in a feat of brilliance, remarks that’s why he’s called the Blade. The three of them back off and head away.

Mathieu spends the day drinking.

Thirlim tries to use his thief’s guild contacts to gather information about the mansion or something that he’s able to use to get the books. His contact informs him that this is a rather bad idea given the penalties for thieves in this region. The mansions in that area are well-guarded by skilled armsmen. The guild unfortunately doesn’t have anyone on the inside that might help with the layout or security. Most of the servants must be able to speak fluent Arabic.

The next day everyone meets over breakfast to discuss their plan of action as that night is the scheduled meet with Nigel.

Bolos and Nagarajoss decide they’ll go and talk with Ibn to see what information can be gleaned. They decide to take the angle of finding out what his price is for a legitimate buy. They decide to speak to Wilhelm Deadeye first to gather information about the book to appear as informed buyers. While getting up from the table Baern tries to take a swing at Bolos in revenge for the previous bar fight. However Bolos blinks out of the way, appearing several feet closer to the door. The two of them spat verbally briefly and go on about their business.

We locate Wilhelm in the Valley Inn, a picturesque riverside location. We inquire as to the purchase history and background of the books and explain our current plan. He indicates that the books were originally found in Aratarre and moved around the empire for a time. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be as much information about them as first thought. The larger issue blocking his purchase is that Ibn won’t sell the books to a non-Muslim. Furthermore a good Muslim shouldn’t have anything to do with the books, thus his unwillingness to sell them to a middleman. While he hasn’t talked to Ibn directly Wilhelm doesn’t desire to be known as the purchaser of the books. Wilhelm indicates that Ibn isn’t in much of a selling mood, ultimately. Thirlim suggests that another approach is to somehow cause Ibn to believe there’s a reason to unload the books because something is wrong with them; little is known of these books, apparently. Perhaps the Empire is after them as they contain forbidden knowledge.

Bolos and Nagarajoss decide to go to try and meet with Wilhelm. Thirlim goes to hide by the back entrance again and lets Bolos and Nagarajoss know what side of the house he’ll be on in case they need to signal him.

Bolos and Nagarajoss enter via the storefront to the mansion and are able to arrange a meeting within an hour or so. A few guards come out and pat them down for weapons. Finding none they let the two into the courtyard of the mansion. They request Bolos refrain from magic use, especially in Ibn’s presence. They’re lead into a large room with an elevated chair in which sits Ibn looking well-fed (though not obese), wearing his turban. He’s flanked by servants and guards. He speaks in Arabic, stating that he’s curious what they’re looking for. Fortunately both Bolos and Nagarajoss are able to speak Arabic. Bolos’s response seems to make a good impression on Ibn. He indicates they’re interested in acquiring the books that Ibn possesses, for sale or trade. Ibn indicates that he’s not much interested in trade for items but money or perhaps “services” would be of interest. They discuss what kind of services could be rendered for him. Ibn mentioned that the two of them are the third group in the space of a few months who’s tried to purchase the books. Ibn indicates that he could use some assistance with a “problem” he’s experiencing. Bolos indicates that he understands the need for discretion in some activities. Ibn indicates that he wishes not to be connected to this matter but that he wants another merchant within the city to be removed from Tredroy entirely; the individual had freed several of his slaves recently. The name of the person is Joseph Stronghand and if he were dealt with then Ibn would trade the books for this service. Bolos and Nagarajoss agree to his terms.

Nagarajoss catches up with the rest of the group and reports on recent events. We decide that it might work well to talk to Stronghand and try and convince him to leave town because his life is in danger. Nagarajoss also carries a message to Bolos that he wants to talk to resolve their differences prior to tonight’s job. Nagarajoss brings Bolos to Baern so the two of them can talk.

Baern and Bolos continue their tiff. Nagarajoss talks about apologies flowing between people like water between cups, not under bridges and transferring them thus. Bolos decides to apologize and says that he doesn’t deserve to have his actions repaid with physical violence. Baern indicates that his price is that Bolos must sit in the bar where the incident happened in a dress of Baern’s choosing for an evening, which Bolos agrees to. Coincidentally the bar was named the G-String. And they lived happily ever after.

We all receive four character points.

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