Being super early in the morning the party elects to camp out in the Ravens camp for the remainder of the night. Massar keeps watch while the others use the tents to stay out of the rain. Just before dawn the half-elf notices movement out at the edge of the clearing and wakes the others. Waiting long enough to get armed and armoured they venture out to the location but find nothing but a depression in the wet grass.
Examining it Massar can tell that someone was lying there watching them and that they must have snuck off while the party prepped. Everyone agrees that it would be a good idea to just take off now that dawn is breaking since there’s no telling where the surviving brigands could be.
As they take down the tents and load the cargo into the wagon they realize that none of them have any idea how to actually drive a wagon like this (or even ride a horse at all!). They fumble their way through hooking up the horses and only manage that because Massar is able to use his Animal Empathy to keep the equines calm, and that the horses themselves are used to this.
Their lack of skill however does make the trip take considerably longer than it normally would. A trip like this should only take a few hours but it ends up taking them pretty much the whole day as they need to keep fixing the tack and harness, pushing the wagon out of holes they could have avoided and all variety of mishaps.
During this extended journey back to Frandor’s Keep they come across a group of fellow travellers; a small party of five dwarven miners on their way to the Keep to buy supplies. Kythan offers to give the dwarves a lift in the wagon, and he and Zatha then offer them drinks from Dasas’ remaining brandy kegs for 4 copper each. The dwarves avail themselves of this offer and there seems to be much merriment with Kythan and the dwarves riding in the wagon, Massar attempting to drive it and Barodin and Zatha walking along beside.
Barodin attempts to find out what the dwarves are doing but totally botches a Glean Information roll and one of the dwarves starts talking smack about him in dwarvish, which causes Barodin to intimidate him “You wanna say that to my face little man?” (getting a 141 to the dwarfs 65 Resist Persuasion). The dwarf apologizes and the tension is cut and the remainder of the trip is uneventful.
As usual it’s evening when the party reaches the Outer Bailey of the keep. The dwarves dismount and thank them for the ride and head in ahead of the party.
They pull up the wagon and inform the guards this is Dasas’ shipment and not theirs (so don’t tax us bro!) and the guards send a runner to fetch the merchant.
They take their own personal loot off the wagon (and Barodin “checks” in one of the shields along with his sword with the guards before going in) and after a few minutes Dasas arrives and takes a look at it. He thanks the party and says he’ll square up with them in the morning and he and a scribe head to the warehouse to catalog what he has.
So by now the group is trying to decide what to do about The Ravens. The guards won’t let Massar into the keep without a bribe and Zatha refuses to spend any more coin on the elf. So they remain at the landing in front of the guards and blatantly start discussing the pros and cons of fighting the Ravens versus joining them.
Catching the guards listening to them doing so they move further away back to the stables where Massar has been staying to formulate their plans. Sadly this was pretty much all said over Mumble so there’s no easy transcript to paste but the gist of this was that they’d have to go to Quarrytown and deal with the Ravens. Maybe join Rikar.
Zatha and Kythan seem keen to join the brigand band but Massar is having none of it, not only is robbing people bad but he’s of the opinion that since they just killed a bunch of his men, he won’t be looking to have a nice diplomatic discussion.
The actual quote was: “Wait, isn’t he gonna run that shit right into our butts if we go in and talk to him?” lol
Anyways, to make a long story short the plan is that they are going to head to Quarrytown and offer to join the Ravens. This is all a ruse you see, because they will in fact be infiltrating the Ravens to gather intel to turn into the Earl at a later date and get rid of them. As an impartial observer I listened to them planning and really have no idea how they could possible think this would work haha. But stranger things have happened.
: we are all going to die
So finally after being told about this place ever since getting the Frandor’s the party heads north to visit Quarrytown. It’s almost nightfall and they’re essentially moving with the “commute” as the throngs that hang out in front of the keep but aren’t allowed in mostly live in Quarrytown.
They finally reach it and it is in fact a quarry; the quarry from which most of the stone to build the keep came from. Makeshift buildings and tents have been erected and it seems that there is an open air market when first arriving but everyone seems to be packing up at the this time of day.
Upon reaching the thieves market they note two individuals perched up a ramp watching them. One of them says something and leaves, heading further into Quarrytown while his fellow continues watching the party menacingly.
As they get closer the man asks what they want and Zatha says that they’re here to see “the big guy” and Kythan tries to make everything nice and civil.
The Raven says he’ll take them to see Rikar, and the boss has in fact been waiting for them. As he leads them further and further into Quarrytown he mentions that the boss will let anyone sleep here for only 2 copper, and you can sell anything you want in the market so long as The Ravens get a cut.
They find themselves outside a large merchants tent, flanked by another smaller fancier looking tent. The large one has the other man they spotted waiting and he tells them that Rikar will speak with whoever is their spokesman inside. So pick.
With some discussion of the possibility of it being a trap and some bamboozling Kythan and Zatha convince him to allow both of them in side halflings only count as a half. Barodin and Massar will remain outside. The guard opens the flap and they enter the darker tent interior.
Inside they can see a man with an immaculate goatee across from them who must be Rikar (constantly referred to as Riker by Zatha, sigh), flanked by six other brigands; all holding open weapons. Rikar is equipped with a shield as well.
Rikar informs them that they have negatively impacted his operation and they have one minute to give him a reason to now just have all four of them killed right now. They first tell him their wish to join up, which he is somewhat not buying.
Zatha: First, we didn’t know about yah “organization” when we wah takin thah jab. Just tryin’a make some coin.
Zatha: Second, we ah obviously bettah than ya othah boys.
I think that wahants some considahation.
Kythan: It was a shame we had to murder those pathetic excuses for bandits to learn about this, but that is the way of the world.
Kythan: We’re businessmen in the business of making gold.
Rikar: “Gold you say?”
Kythan: Gold, yes. I like the feel of it against my supple skin.
Zatha: You may have heahd of some of oah othah exploits. The gobbos from the manah outside ah town, and savin Vew.
Rikar: Your minute is up. If you are such great businessmen able to make gold then I’ll let you cover my damages from this operation you disrupted and then we can talk. Pay me 10 gold now or it’s your lives.
Kythan: Hardly. This is more like an investment. A small bit of pain now for a much greater payoff in the future.
We have access to the keep and have made friends in fairly high places.
We can do things none of your “crew” can.
Rikar: “I have agents in the keep already.”
Zatha: Some information that yah boys don’t know, about the eahl. We helped him out of a tight spot.
Meanwhile Massar and Barodin have been trying to chat up the two guards that were left outside the tent but haven’t had any luck. Sadly they both fail in Observation rolls to notice something going on on one of the higher ledges… Barodin attempts to get a peek in the other tent but is stopped.
Back in the tent Rikar has been talking about how adventurer goodie too shoes don’t fit in with The Ravens because they lack the will to do what’s needed.
Zatha: Ah yah really gonna give up some well trained rahcruits ovah some brandy?
Would ya even talk tah us if’n we didn’t show the skills?
Kythan looks as calm and nonplussed as if they were discussing the weather over tea.
Kythan just smiles slightly the whole time.
Kythan: Besides, do you really think we’d come in here like this without some kind of… insurance policy?
Kythan just continues to smile.
Rikar: "It’s my experience that “adventurers” such as you don’t have the stomach for this kind of work."
“Tell you what.”
Kythan: Have you seen my ear sculpture work?
It’s really quite exquisite.
Rikar: “You two serious about joining the Ravens?”
Zatha: Yah got a benefits leaflet?
Rikar: “I’ll need some proof of your mettle.”
Zatha: Yah dead men wasn’t enough?
Kythan: We’re obviously better than they are.
Any chumps can jump merchants and guards that don’t expect it.
Rikar: “I think you may be too squeamish to do the job”
Zatha sighs and gestures to Kythan, knowing what will happen
Kythan: Let me show you squeamish on your friend behind me.
He looks particularly ripe.
Rikar: “No. Prove you’re not squeamish by killing one of your friends outside. Preferably the elf.”
Kythan: But I’ve been putting in so much work on him.
((Barodin Blighthwood: he’s like a pet to us))
Kythan winks at Zatha.
Zatha: What’s the point?
He’s part of our gang. Yoah cuttin off oah hand befoah we even staht wahkin.
Kythan: I don’t understand how removing assets is a sound business plan.*
I’m beginning to think this gent isn’t on top of his game.
Rikar: “Then I suppose you’ve made your choice.”
Zatha: You ahen’t vahy fohwahd thinkin.
Rikar makes a signal and one of the men in the tent pulls a string that rings a bell outside the tent
- They may have been getting close to figuring something out about The Ravens. But, well, we may never know Wink
: I’m going to mosey on over to the other fancy tent and take a peek in.
Raven Thief to Barodin “Where do you think you’re going?”
Barodin Blighthwood: No where boss
: walk up nice and close to one of the guards just holding my axe. not threatening but still in my hand.
: so how dose the guard take my getting close?
: not well, he says not to come any closer and brandishes his shortsword roughly in your direction
: Laugh at him…“Like that scares me little man.”
Rikar makes a signal and one of the men in the tent pulls a string that rings a bell outside the tent
: I take that as a sign and but my axe in the guards head
And so it begins.
The first thing that happens is a LOT of people manage to roll 0 and 1 for initiative. Except for Barodin with a 12. But since Massar goes first he can shake the fighter.
[/quote] Massar Silverleaf slaps Barodin upside the head, “Get your finger out of your goddamn nose!” [/quote]
Four archers that had moved into position on a higher ledge all let loose at Massar, three of them hitting him but his Wrap of Protection absorbs a good amount of damage.
The two guards outside stab at Barodin with their shortswords, one hitting doing a fair amount of damage. This snaps him to even quicker than Massar shaking him and he retaliates, getting a critical hit in the thiefs shoulder doing 21 damage and knocking him back right through the flap into the tent!
Inside the tent Zatha and Kythan start moving towards Rikar and then thief from outside comes flying in but the other thieves that were blocking the exit from the inside were able to dodge aside. The thief bleeding from his shoulder is ToP’d and writhing around in pain.
Zatha rushes up to Rikar and stabs him with his dagger, attacking before the fighter is ready and getting around his shield and finding a weak spot in his armour. All told however the attack only does a single hit point of damage after armour damage reduction.
Rikar: “You will die for that.”
Zatha: We wah dyin anyway! Might as well fuck yah up some!
And at that point Bilge had to go for the night so that’s where we left off. The beginning of a combat that I’m not sure they can win. It’s going to be a dramatic event either way. And Aceris (Zatha) and Selphius (Kythan) have already met to roll 2nd and 3rd characters “just in case” Wink