Session Date: 3/16/2016
Players attending: All
Beginning XP: 3596
Ending XP: 4175
After concluding our business at the auction, the party decided to converge on the seaside estate of merchant and alleged member of the Bull Cult, Tercio. The party had been approached with the prospect of an assassination contract for Tercio by Urchin Steve, an up and coming power broker of Gust Isle and dubious apprentice of our Paladin (Mike).
Upon arriving, the party noticed that Tercio was obviously entertaining for the evening, as carriages arrived every so often to let people out. After debating at length about the morality, timing and execution of this proposed assassination, the party finally decided that the time to strike was now. Surprise was on our side after all, and so we approached the estate ready to carry out our dark business with swiftness and pinpoint precision, all the while using our Warlock’s (Eric) trusty imp servant to scout the area.
Team A – Comprised of our Ranger (Alison S), Monk (Lindsay) and Paladin (Mike) crept to the back of the estate, and planned to scale down the cliff face overlooking the sea to a hidden cave and dock that the imp had found. Meanwhile, Team B, which included our Cleric (Kim), Fighter (Alison HW), Warlock (Eric) and Druid (Jason) carefully took up position in front of the estate. Their plan was to move out a few blocks, waylay a carriage after it had picked up a guest leaving the party, and then we would return to Tercio’s incognito with the Cleric posing as the driver, the Warlock impersonating the attendee, and the Druid as the horse.
The Ranger and Monk were silent as the grave as they deftly made their way down the cliff face without ropes or other aid. Their natural athletic ability and keen reflexes aided in the impressive free-climbing feat, and there was no doubt that they would soon make their way into the rear of the compound. Then, all at once, several clangs and scrapes ring out above them! Turning and staring in disbelief, they saw that the Paladin, drunk with faith in his deity, had also decided to free-climb down the cliff in full scale mail armor! As a cry of alarm rang out from Tercio’s guard tower, the Monk and Ranger pressed themselves closer to the jagged and windblown rock face.
Sensing the disturbance through his Imp, our Warlock instructed the infernal beast to take the shape of a raven and fly out over the guard tower. His plan was to fool the guards into believing the noises had come from the pesky bird and not the Paladin. It worked brilliantly… Right up to the moment that the Paladin moved again, splitting the night air with even more metallic screeching as he clumsily gouged his armor against the rocks. The guards quickly scanned the area below with their lanterns, and within seconds they trained their eyes directly upon the Paladin!
BUT ALL WAS NOT LOST! The Paladin concocted a fabulous fabrication on the spot, telling the suspicious guards that things were so desperate at his hovel of a temple that he had decided to take his own life with this seaside suicide rather than suffer even one more day in the service of his deity. While no mortal can be certain how a goddess would show her displeasure at such blasphemy, allowing the offender to be peppered with crossbow bolts and arrows must have been the most convenient method.
As the guards blew an alarm horn and began enthusiastically assisting the Paladin with his alleged suicide, our Monk was struck so dumbfounded by the scene that she promptly forgot that gravity was a law and not just a suggestion. She tumbled (albeit gracefully) off the cliff and into the waiting waves below. Fortunately nothing was hurt save her pride, and with reflexes akin to a cat being forced into a bath, she lept at the rope that our Ranger threw down to assist her. Both of them entered the cave, discovering a hidden boat, a winch and pulley system and a ladder upward…
The Imp sighed deeply, touching an invisible palm to her invisible face. Cursing herself for whatever offence she must have given to be bound to such a group, she made her way to the guardsman and promptly killed one with a poisonous lash of her barbed tail. Nothing calmed the nerves and vented frustration like a good murder.
The Cleric, taking pity on the Paladin, drew upon the power of her god and blanketed the area in a heavy fog. The Paladin then used this timely distraction to bravely retreat at full speed to the front of the compound, the howling of hounds following his footsteps through the mist.
At this point, all of their careful planning for naught, the Warlock assumed the form of Tercio and demanded entry to the front gate. The guards were hesitant, but the appearance of our Fighter and Druid (in the form of a Dire Wolf) at their master’s side posing as mercenary muscle completed the ruse. They gained entry and were led to a secret passage behind the fountain in the courtyard which descended into the underground temple. The Warlock then instructed one of the guards to escort the Fighter to his chambers and anywhere else she wished to go on the grounds. The Fighter gone, the secret door was shut once more, sealing the Warlock and Druid in darkness and boredom.
Within moments, the Fighter and the guard made their way to the storeroom where they heard a muffled banging coming from under a few crates. Apparently, our Monk had decided to bop her way out of a problem again and was bopping the hidden trap door from below with her fist. (How she thought she’d punch through the door and the crates covering it wasn’t exactly explained.) Our Dragonborn fighter then promptly killed the guard with a blink of her reptilian eye, moved the crates and let the Ranger and Monk inside the mansion.
The trio crept through the rest of the upper floors, dispatching any guards they came across swiftly and silently with precision bops. The Ranger, hearing muffled sobs from behind a door, burst in and was discovered Tercio’s wife and two children. She sneered at his seven year old child, taking a club from the boy’s trembling hands and bopping him with it for good measure. They then left, leaving the traumatized family shuddering and awaiting their fate.
At this point, the Warlock was coordinating all of the team’s efforts from the hidden courtyard passage via his Imp. The Druid smelled the air and picked up the scent of cows, but couldn’t relay this information because he was a wolf. It was dark, and while the scent of potential prey triggered the primal instinct of his chosen form, it didn’t seem like he would be tearing out anyone’s throat any time soon. He stretched out on the stairs and took a dire nap, patiently waiting for combat to begin.
He didn’t have to wait long. Moments later, the Monk and the rest of the party unlocked the other entrance to the temple and made their way down into the underbelly of Tercio’s compound. There they discovered a group of cultists in various robes and armors surrounding a fighting ring that was surrounded on all sides by a precipice that fell into the water below. The only way into the ring was via a small bridge on the opposite side near the entrance where the Warlock and Druid lay in wait. In the ring, a total dickbag was fighting a poor, defenseless bull who was all hopped up on snail juice. The party was noticed, and many a good bops were given. Arrows were shot, the Monk bopped a man in the chest and he was thrown back and into the chasm below. The Fighter let out a bellow of pure fire that incinerated a number of Tercio’s men. It was pretty cool. Tercio wet himself.
Suddenly, the door opened, and a floating fiery skull shot into the room with the Druid and Warlock, and demanded that the Warlock sing him a song. Apparently Warlocks look like goth Bards or something, and this skull was a total psycho fan girl. The Warlock rebuffed the skull’s unwanted advances, and the skull went into full on crazy ex-girlfriend mode, and decided if she couldn’t have the band’s lead singer, then no one would! She promptly set the Warlock on fire with her eyes! The Druid, knowing better than to get in the middle of a lover’s quarrel, bounded out of the room searching for throats to rip.
A long and heroic battle ensued! The Paladin, still being punished for his earlier blasphemy, took many a bops to his head and man parts. The Monk, Fighter and Ranger were a flurry of combat prowess, yet even they took many wounds. Had it not being for the Cleric overcoming her frustration of having to waste her time healing people instead of slaughtering them, the party surely would have fallen. The Druid found two berserkers to play with and went into a RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGEEE, eventually killing them both and mauling their still-twitching corpses. The Warlock and Imp did their fair share as well with hexes and black magic and fire, all the while under the burning gaze of the world’s worst one night stand. Eventually the Fighter got tired of the flaming groupie and shot her in her stupid skull face with a bow. The skull shattered, never hearing the only song that would have turned her back into a smoking hot and disgustingly wealthy princess.
During the fray, the Warlock scared Tercio with his demonic gaze and Tercio screamed “YOLO!” and jumped into the chasm, and ran off on top of the water with boots or some other magical item that allowed him to do that. At that moment, the entire party knew they had to put aside any moral struggles and murder Tercio as quickly as possible. It’s one thing to be a member of a secret cult that kidnapped and tried to enslave and murder you. That stuff happens all the time… But to try to run away from a party of adventurers after dangling the potential of sweet loot in their faces??? Tercio was a dead man.
A chase ensued as the Monk sped off to bop Tercio about his head and face region. With the help of the deadly Ranger, they took him to ground just as Tercio tried to escape alone in a boat designed to be rowed by eight people. He didn’t even try to save his family. Clearly he was too stupid and mean to deserve magical boots.
The Druid regained his Goliath form, calmed the bull and healed the beast’s wounds. He named the Bull “Herbert” and vowed to find him a good home. Thus the natural order rewarded him with an inspiration die to be used in the next session. It was pretty sweet.
WHO DID WE MEET? WHERE DID WE GO?
We went to a seaside mansion and killed almost everybody
We met Herbert the bull. All other introductions were handled with blades and arrows or fist and fangs… and a few spells for good measure. They were decisively brief conversations.
WHAT NEW INFORMATION DID WE LEARN?
Paladins can’t stealth for shit in heavy armor
Tercio was a terrible husband and father
Never enter animal form if you can’t let yourself out of a dark room