Saturday, April 14, 2012

Flashpoint: Slaver's Market

Well, last we saw our intrepid heroes they were poised in two different laneways that lead into a slaver's courtyard. Rickety wooden stand alone rooftops protect the cobblestones from much of the rain, though plenty of water worms its way through holes and gaps, or sheets down off the sides. Thunder cracks audibly overhead and flashes of light snake across the dark clouds. The wind rattles across the roof boards but the courtyard is more sheltered here so they don't have to be worried about being checked by the gale. Across the courtyard itself they can see two women sitting around some sort of game set up on a table in front of a row of crates, two high, four across, each one would come up to a person's waist. They can be clearly seen as they have a common lantern on the table and a bull's-eye lantern on the lip of one of the crate's behind them.

Everyone can also clearly hear the sounds of one man cry out that he's more valuable to them alive than dead and that he's on the verge of drowning (the wizard PC). Turns out that the back row of crates was placed on a walkway three feet below the rest of the courtyard that actually functions as a bit of a levee for the canal behind it. The currently overflowing canal. As the crates are only four feet high or so, he's feeling the danger.

So I had the two pairs of players roll Initiative and the first off the rank was Lhye and Lenny. The Mercenery simply drew her weapons and strode over to them with a menacing look in her eye that left them shaken (intimidate) and the two women stood and prepared themselves though didn't attack - assuming she simply had a bone to pick with them. The Tiefling held back and readied his crossbow.

Then the other pair of PCs set off. Lieutenant Archer crept around the edge of the light, beyond the sheet of rain coming down off the rooftop, until he was about level with the crates, then he stealthily crept forwards until he was out of the rain and within twenty feet of one of the slavers. Midshipman Wellard stepped into position beside him, cutlass at the ready (as an Expert, she's not the deftest fighter). Proteus Antonia crept in slightly closer as well, stepping behind the Lieutenant and quietly mumbling a few encouraging phrases (Bardic Performance) while he prepared to cast his Summon Monster I (Fire Beetles) spell.

Then everything happened at once. The Barbarian charged and swung her sword, slashing a slaver who deftly moved aside, taking the hit and tripping her to the ground in one sweep of the feet (Flowing Monk Archetype, free trip or reposition attempt when struck). Lieutenant Archer fired his pistol and shot the 2nd slaver in the side. The Tiefling fired his crossbow and struck the 2nd slaver as well who fell down dead. The Fire Beetle was summoned behind the 1st slaver, and she stumbled into it, but managed to avoid its snapping mouth.

The 1st slaver picked up the common lantern and poured the oil onto Lenny as she struggled to get up, threatening to slam the lantern against her and set her alight if she rose up. "Strike me and she burns!" The others held their attacks, though in truth only one of them knew the Lenny, but the Lenny was not to be delayed. She rose up regardless, and the lantern bounced against her, shattering, but the flame went out in the gusts of wind, and she cut the 1st slaver down.

As the Barbarian looted the area, gathering up Masterwork weapons (I had cards for these, like bolas, whip, lassoo) while the Lhye grabbed up the keys and started trying to free the slaves. Most of the crates held halflings (7 in all). One held a human Tianese wizard (fifth PC) called Sive Lunjun (last name Siva) and the other held Arexia, the now mute Elven slave. No one bothered introducing themselves just yet, so intent were they on either looting or rescuing the slaves.

Once all the loot had been taken and all of the slaves freed, Lieutenant Archer turned to Midshipman Wellard and commanded her to return to the ship with all of the halfling slaves (realising that Arexia was connected to Lhye and the wizard, Siva, could handle himself, though he made them the offer to return with her). He then requested the assistance of the group (after introducing himself as an Andoren) to help gather needed supplies for his ship.

Lhye, seeing an opportunity to get the hell out of Cheliax now that he had Arexia, and hoping to return to Riddleport at some point but knowing that he had a lot of debt and so the Hellknights and other instruments of bureaucracy would never let him legally leave, offered to take him to a merchant friend of his called Mellarius.

Lhye turned to Lenny and said, "Well, we'd better get out of here and when I say here, I mean out of the city."

Lieutenant Archer offered Lenny free drinks for her assistance in taking down the slavers, which Lenny happily accepted, and this may have been a large part of her motivation for going with them to Mellarius' restaurant.

Proteus Antonia seemed eager to continue to assist the Andorens (though he generally moved freely from port to port on different ships, perhaps he wished to avoid the pressgang?) and Siva Lunjun was now a freed slave and thus had plenty of reason to wish to help the Andorens get away from Cheliax. And so they set off through the darkened streets, attacked by a cowardly Shadowgarm that would squeeze into cellars through broken windows or through cracked sewer grates, and then lash out at them as they passed. It struck home twice before someone spotted it and used a bullseye lantern (magically conjured) to slow it down while the others rained down blows upon it.

Seeing its threat, and having to drag Lhye at one point because he was checked by the heavy gale blowing down a main thoroughfare, meant they were more than relieved to stumble in through the heavy front doors of Mellarius' restaurant.

This was a longer than usual session so I'll break it up for now and finish up the post later.

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