Our first session of play :)
3rd level – Baraqu, Elenari, Kraysus, Niveus Corvus, and Skurd Witchchoker had been hired or asked by Kiptos from the Eastgate society of friends to rescue some folk arrested by The Mordant Hand and kept prisoner at their barracks on Wall Street. Apparently the word was out that the Hand would be shipping the prisoners off somewhere the next day, and Kiptos asked if the heroes could get the east gate folk out without raising a general hue and cry that would make the society’s job of hiding them harder…
The heroes gathered some info, Elenari finding folk with his street smarts, the big lads providing the diplomacy and heft so that word wouldn’t get out that trouble was asking around. They talked to produce merchants who supplied the barracks, a whore who’d just finished a stint in the brothel next door, and then did a walk past to take a look themselves.
They found out that the barracks held about thirty men, raw slum recruits as well as real scum and villainy. The captain, Moibus Drax was an archer commanding a pet flock of crows. Apparently the carter who delivered supplies daily had also been taking away loads of dirt and rock these last few months. And recently Drax was said to have taken delivery of some caged beasts, apparently gifts from the Selirath, who occasionally employ Hand forces. The heroes’ walk past confirmed the layout of the place; two guards (one with keys) at the smaller door in the compound’s front wall, with the carriage gate chained shut. Shinning up a drainpipe while the others stood guard allowed a glimpse into the yard, where piles of dirt surrounded a grate covered pit in front of the old disused stables. From the way one of the guards smirked as he pissed down through the bars the heroes rather thought prisoners might be below. Also the whore had been right when (on a crit diplomacy from Kraysus) she’d confided that the women in the whore house had used to laugh about the Hand’s stupidity in using an old brothel for a base. The three story brothel next door did share a wall with the two story barracks beside it, and although from the street the heroes couldn’t make out the old sealed door way she’d talked about, the third story windows definitely overlooked the Hand compound and barracks roof.
Now they needed a plan. Kraysus wasn’t happy with their lack of solid military knowledge so the heroes decamped to a narrow ally behind a pub up the street. Elenari assumed the more lithesome guise of Elene and soon enough found a suitable target, a potbellied half drunk Hand trooper called Sarge by his mates. The man was easy enough to proposition (for someone with Elene’s looks and skill at lying). He followed her dumbly into the ally and got the crap kicked out of him by Kraysus, Skurd, Baraqu, and Niveus. He caved quickly giving them the info they desired. Two guards manned the door at night, one within the wall, one outside, as well there an archer was kept stationed on the barracks balcony (the old display rail where the whores would have promenaded) and a few men stayed up in shifts inside ready for any problems. This was all the heroes needed and Kraysus drew his knife across the mans throat before Elene (fastidious ritual in place) donned the mans jacket and assumed his appearance with her / his doppelganger descended tricks. Rolling back down the street to the pub fat bellied “sarge” established an reason de entrée with his mates, saying he was gonna stay out past Drax’s curfew since the wench was just so good and willing to rent a room…
In the wee small hours when the street was quiet Skurd, acting drunk (sorta), staggered down wall street and came to a retching stop across from the barrack’s compound. The big pit fighter drew some ribald comments from the door guard but the man wasn’t game to try to move him on. Meanwhile in the brothel next door Kraysus was ordering up a party of five for himself, Baraqu, and Niveus. Once in the top room some coin and intimidatingly diplomatic words convinced the women to leave and to forget they’d been through. The warlord turned his dagger to the paintwork, unsealing the door which had once led out onto a long fallen balcony.
When the glimmer of candlelight around a doorframe opened high up the side of the brothel wall Elenari rolled back down the street in the guise of Mik the inebriated sarge. As he approached the gate guard opened the door, telling him there’d be strife in the morning. Elenari beckoned with impelling force, effortlessly succeeding a bluff check for it to come as a surprise and dragging out the inner guard and sliding him across the street to Skurd. Trouble arrived a bit earlier as Skurd straightened, revealing his flail and used his surprise round action to smash the startled inner guard facedown into the cobbles (knockdown assault).
Meanwhile up in the third story room, Kraysus dropped the knotted sheet rope that he’d been making (bastard had some nice rope in his pack but too cheap to tie it off and leave it). The big warlord dropped ten feet to the barrack’s slate roof, landing with a heavy thud but no damage he used the rest of his action to sprint down to the edge of the roof and swing feet first into the balcony below. Niveus followed, also with a heavy thump, but Baraqu leaned out and unleashed a flash of lightning down across the roof and yard, flashing over the compound wall to strike the guard lying on the other side of the street at Skurd’s feet, bloodying him. (The storm mad invoker only just remembering not to use thunder…)
A charge from Skurd knocked the second gate down before any of the soldiers could act. Adroitly the big man from Chasm pushed the door in the compound wall shut, just as on the inside blows from Niveus and a second lightning flash from Baraqu (which burned Niveus) killed the guard on the balcony. The man died without managing to utter any warning and Kraysus leapt again, down into the yard by the barracks house’s front door.
Then the two guards in the street were up, fighting, and yelling alarm – although the distance from out in the street, as well as yard wall, and barracks wall would mostly have been muffling the sounds from the men inside. Elenari dropped the scorched guard dead with a choice insult about his parentage (cutting words), and Skurd whaled on his. Skurd’s guard was made of doughty stuff and managed to unleash “tide of iron” pushing Witchchoker back from the door in the wall. The guard slapped open the door and, eyes widening at the intruders already inside the yard, made to run in, screaming for help all the while. Skurd however wasn’t going to allow that to happen, lashing out with his flail in some kind of immediate interrupt which kept the guard outside the compound wall (and thus that bit more muffled). The man went down dead under the very next blows.
Meanwhile, hearing non urgent stirring sounds from within the building Niveus had jumped down to cover the front door while Kraysus rushed over to investigate the covered hole in the ground. The heavy iron grate was hinged to a rock base on one side and chained down on the other. The lock closing the chain looked formidable, but the warlord wasn’t daunted. Pulling a flask free from his belt he poured alchemists acid out on the exposed links.
Elenari came into the yard from the street, hissing at the other two to hide even as his features blended and twisted into those of the inner gate guard (still wearing sarges stuff). When the guards from within the building eventually emerged and asked “their friend” what was going on they were satisfied, if somewhat annoyed by a story of kids letting of firecrackers and the guard outside going of his nut yelling at them… Beguiled by awesome bluff checks they ducked back inside where it was warm and they had drinks, (yes all the corpses were just out of line of sight).
We left the session with Skurd out in the street, hiding behind the wall. Kraysus crouched in one of the old disused stable stalls with Niveus crammed in beside him. Baraqu on the barracks roof. The chain on the grate bubbling and hissing, and blood dripping down from the body of the slain archer on the balcony.
+1 fate point to: Dr Rick, Felthen, Amovere, Elenari, Echmoth, and me :)
Next week should be fun.