Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Council of Thieves: The Bastards of Erebus.

The gaming group met up on Feb. 12th to continue Jim's stab at running and to finish book one of The Council of Thieves AP. So what happened? Did any PCs die? Did Semkirk annoy again? And just who are the titular Bastards of Erebus? Let me just say it they aren't a girl scout troop.

The Players:

Jess - Naustia ( half elf Oracle of Life 3/ haunted curse/ healing machine)
Brian - Semkirk ( human Wizard 3/Orthomancer/insane/hairless/annoys all)
Matt - Capt. Maxmillian Wintrish (human Cavalier 3/minor drunk/killed some stuff)
Mike - Morris Seadrake (half orc Ranger 3/two weapon specialist/his sisters are MIMES!)
Bruce - D'in a Lorn ( half elf Rogue 3/information collector/lives at home with mommy/future Norman Bates)
Me - Arghen (half orc Paladin of Cayden Cailean 3/bartender in Westcrown/got fired up over a kidnapping)
Jim - DM (our DM/does DM things/rolls dice to hurt our PC's/enjoys his job...)

We resume after an in-game two week hiatus. Life goes on for each of us. Arghen (me) bar tends and makes some extra gold for his future purchases to aid in his divine orders. Morrey does his hunting stuff, Din does Din stuff, Semkirk does dentistry....shudder...., Max drinks and Naustia takes in the scenery in town and finds a place to stay.

Naustia also takes up the offer of the two tickets to the opera in Westcrown to see Mr Fancypants Arrogant Poophead perform. She asks Arghen to accompany her but he declines as he is working. Morrey, our other half orc, is more than happy to accompany her. Captain Max is slightly confused as to why he wasn't invited. Its simple actually; she views Morrey and Arghen as 'outsiders' to this society like she is. Captain Max might just be looking for tail. That hasn't been determined by her yet.

So Morrey and Naustia head to the opera house. Both are dressed very finely and are looking to have a good time. The tickets are front row, center. And when Mr Poophead comes out on stage he sees Naustia and tries to impress more....until he glances Morrey and a look of utter distain crosses his face. The performance goes by beautifully. Naustia finds out from Morrey that his kid sisters are trying to become performers so he his versed in opera. Currently they are trying to learn mime. *facepalm* One of the ushers comes up and offers to take Naustia back stage to meet Mr. Poophead (and I'm going to keep calling him that because Jim managed to really portray him as such). Naustia accepts and Morrey follows her back as well despite protests from the opera house usher. Naustia is brought into Poophead's private chambers and Morrey waits outside. Smarminess ensues. Naustia, in her naivete, doesn't get the hint this guy wants to 'Max' her. (Max her....I like sounds slimy....) She turns him down coldly and goes outside to find Morrey having a 'disagreement' with the staff about him having to leave now. He held his ground and made some of them feel emasculated too. Hell when a 6'8" half orc packing a scimitar tells you to get're just blowing smoke if you think you're going to take him on...and there is only two of you there. Morrey walks Naustia back to where she's staying and he heads home. The next day Naustia finds a bouquet of dead, wilted roses waiting outside her door. I guess Mr. Poophead doesn't like pretty girls turning him down. *cry*

Later on Arghen sees their benefactor come into the pub and order a drink. He then slips Arghen a note with a time to meet and instructions to let the others know. Arghen shows this to Max (who practically lives in the bar) and Morrey when he comes in later. From there the three find the others to let them know of the meeting tonight. At the meeting the discussions of the gang of tieflings, The Bastards of Erebus, and their attacks on the city and its people are the main topic. Our benefactor had spies locate where within the ruined part of the city they are hiding out in and got some recon on the base too. Its an abandoned church to Erastil and in the bell tower they have a guard posted at all times to keep watch. It is also noted that the Bastards need to be removed permanently as any jail here or in the area has possible allies for them and they will get out. Dead....understood. While this conversation is heating up there is a pounding at the door and Arghen goes to check the door and lets in one of the towns young girls who is all beaten up to a bloody pulp. Arghen takes her face into his hands and expends all four uses of 'lay on hands' to heal her up. He then asks what happened and she sobs out how a three Hellknights nabbed her and her friend as they were walking home as 'conspirators' and were looking to teach them a lesson but she escaped. She begs to save her friend and that they were only taken two blocks down. Before those words finished Arghen was out the door and racing down the street in the direction of the girls cries for help.

The rest of the group eventually caught up to Arghen. About half saw him yelling "LET HER GO!" before he rushed in and cleaved one of the kidnappers in half with his axe. The rest got there as Arghen was launching into another one of the kidnappers. The last one got ganged up on by the entire party with Arghen planting his axe through him and into the wall behind before dropping to his knees to check on the girl on the ground. Naustia calmed the girl and tended to her wounds and took her home. The guys dropped the bodies of the knights into the sewers to dispose of the evidence while Semkirk magically cleaned up the crime scene. God help us if the Hellkinghts decided to investigate the killing of three of their own. Ones just missing could be ones gone AWOL. Three dead Hellknights left in an alley....well that is bad new for Westcrown.

Back at the base we start planning our attack on The Bastards and decided tomorrow late morning is as good as any time. Din and Morrey will take out the one on watch in the tower and Arghen will then lead the assault into the church. After planning concluded Arghen went over to the girl he and his friends rescued to check on her. She was highly upset still and wouldn't look him in the eyes. Arghen lifted her chin up with his hand gently and quietly told her that he 'won't allow anyone else to be hurt in this town again by the bad people as long as he is here'. She asked 'you promise?' and he said 'you have my word' and she latched onto his neck in a gripping hug and began to cry again. Apparently unbeknownst to Arghen, some of his allies are forming opinions as to what Arghen really is. Morrey and Din are convinced he is a priest of Cayden Cailean. Others think he is some other kind of holy warrior or a disposed knight of some kind. Arghen won't tell. He's just the local bartender at one of the local dive bars. In fact, one of the other rebels approached him to ask him about his skills and about a path she wants to pursue. A path dedicated to Iomedae. Arghen smiled and said 'I'll talk to you about anything but within the confines of my area of knowledge....the tavern. I'm just a bartender and concerned citizen nothing more.'

Player note: I want to add that Arghen, me, doesn't want to expose that he is a paladin of a deity that is forbidden within Cheliax due to Cayden's beliefs of freedom. He doesn't want to draw more attention to himself or those helping him than needed. Its a way of trying to protect those who could be caught in the crossfire and keep his allies safe. Maybe at the very end he will formally announce what he is going into whatever last battle there is but that is a LONG way off yet. 

We rest up and head out to the ruined part of Westcrown mid morning. While the rest of us hide Morrey and Din stealthily work their way up onto a rooftop adjacent to the church and with some aid of my plot twist card to give Morrey +10 to his stealth check they stay out of sight of the tower guard. Din and Morrey line up their shots with their bows. Din's goes wide. Morrey hits dead on killing the sentry. Din reflects some light in his mirror letting us know the way is clear. We all move up to the door and wait for Din and Morrey. Semkirk casts 'knock' to unlock the door and we head in. A few tieflings are sitting around playing cards and are thrown off by the incursion. Arghen flatly tells them 'I'm afraid I'm going to have to make you evacuate this church. Your kind doesn't belong on holy ground.'. Combat ensues. Dead tieflings litter the ground and we find a passageway under the church which leads to catacombs beneath this section of town.

We begin exploring the area, encountering more tieflings, dispatching them as we come upon them. We also found a large rot grub that actually gave our party some trouble. The damn thing was bigger than a dog and dished out a fair amount of damage. Eventually we made our way to an area where a large number of quite nasty looking tieflings were gathered. We found this out as Din was scouting ahead and the tieflings, under the spell 'darkness', spotted him and shot him with a few arrows. The big combat ensued!

Arghen challenged the biggest one in the room, man to man and let the others work the other baddies over. Well Arghen took him down in two swings. Jim said he was going to give me a 'fame point' if I did it in one. Turns out after my first attack he had 2 hit points left. Damn. Naustia healed up Din who, with some magical Semkirk aid,  was shooting at baddies with a longbow. Max gave a cavaliers challenge to one of the spell casting tieflings to engage in a duel. Morrey had his swords full with the one he was fighting. And apparently the leader was one room over getting ready. As the tieflings started dropping one called out to him. And a door off to the side opened and out floated a magical mace that made a bee line for Arghen. Couldn't hit for crap but it was annoying. The invisible boss kept taunting Arghen and the others. Morrey had a good idea where he was and moved to attack. Swing and miss but he was close. This torment goes on for awhile until Arghen hears a different voice in his ear 'Hey, you look like you need a drink son!'. On my next turn I take a full round taking a hit off him personal flask and then, as if by divine intervention or a generous DM, I can see the tiefling boss. 'Hey Morrey...step to the right!' Arghen yells, Morrey listens and the tiefling looks confused. Arghen charges but misses (low roll) but doesn't take his eyes off the target and tells the boss that he sees him now! Combat keeps ensuing and the gang known as The Bastards of Erebus become no more. They cease to be. They are an ex-gang. After some accolades are given out by the rebel leaders we break for the night a bit early as we don't have the time to really start book two. Basically we leveled to third level and divided up the loot haul we got from the Bastards. We also returned any stolen property to their rightful owners.

Once again it was a lot of fun to play this game. I am eager to start book two also. It contains a play that we get to read the lines to and act out. We voted on it and people want to actually do this play instead of just the skill checks/combat encounters. Don't worry, we still get those too.

I also want to say that this journal is going to be more Arghen focused as that is my character and I pay more attention to things effecting him (naturally). I will hit on as much stuff the other players do as humanly possible so please don't feel left out if I don't include a lot of your antics. I may have missed them or was busy saving Westcrown to notice!