Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Session 14:

After a long summer hiatus we have resumed play where we left off:  with the party enriched by an enormous trove of treasure recovered during their last foray into the catacombs beneath the necropolis.  The subsequent night of celebratory debauchery ended with Ebbin naked in jail, and no idea how he got there.

The following morning Ebbin was hauled before a magistrate, hung-over and clad in a mildewed potato sack, charged with public drunkenness.  The city watch testified that they found him passed out in a public fountain, but the magistrate was in a cheery mood and dismissed the case.

Concerned for the whereabouts of his armour, magic weapons and, most especially, his Gauntlets of Aten, Ebbin and his compatriots returned to the tavern where they had been drinking the night before, and the barkeep recalled that Ebbin left in the company of a dancing-girl named Sulma, who worked at a bawdy-house called Gilded Lilly's.

They found Sulma on stage at Gilded Lilly's, dancing for a small afternoon audience clad in naught but the tabard of a templar of Aten.  Ebbin leaped onto the stage demanding the return of his gear and attempting to take back his tabard, but was grabbed and hauled bodily off the stage by a burly, looming Khurgani barbarian in the employ of the house.  Sensing, correctly, that Ebbin was seconds away from picking a fight with the bouncer, Xuphor defused the situation by speaking to the proprietress, Lilly, who promised to speak to Sulma at the end of her set.

Sulma admitted to taking Ebbin's things after he passed out in the fountain, but only to 'keep them safe.'  Unfortunately, on the way home she was accosted by a notorious loan shark named Haroun, and his thugs, who took all of it in payment for the 100 gp debt she owed him.

Their conversation was overheard by one of the patrons lurking in the nearby shadows, a guild-thief named Roary, who just so happened to owe money to Haroun, himself.  Seizing the opportunity to eliminate his creditor and turn a profit in one stroke, Roary introduced himself and offered, for a small fee, to help the party ambush Haroun during his collection rounds.  He led them through the maze-like tenements of the poor quarter, known by the locals as Hope's End, to a narrow alley-way where he was sure that Haroun was soon to pass.  Sure enough, before long Haroun and his two body-guards did, indeed, enter the alley.  The two guards fell in the ambush, but the cunning Haroun got past Xuphor and escaped into the labyrinthine streets of Hope's End.

Roary was sure that Haroun would retreat to the safety of his offices to gather reinforcements and urged the party to head directly there.  Roary knew that Haroun had recognized him and feared that he would appeal to the master of the thieve's guild, in which case Roary would be in a great deal of trouble - the kind that ends with you floating face-down in the harbour.  Thus, he was desperate to find and kill Haroun before he could squeal to the guild.

They arrived at Haroun's offices and found a couple of his henchmen waiting for them, but no Haroun, only an open trap-door in floor Haroun's warehouse, that led to the sewers.  After dispatching the henchmen, the party descended into the sewers, but were promptly ambushed by a crocodile hiding beneath the surface of the water.  When the croc was dead they noticed that it was tethered by a length of chain - the beast was obviously a guardian for Haroun's planned escape route.  Xuphor, who stayed above to inspect the warehouse, found all of Ebbin's equipment lying in a pile awaiting liquidation.  Giving up any hope of catching Haroun before he reached the Guild Master, the party decided to lay low for a awhile and head back down to the catacombs.  It is telling commentary of one's lifestyle when an undead-packed dungeon is the safe alternative to remaining in the city.

Once in the catacombs, the party continued their exploration, but spent most of the rest of the session battering down bricked up doorways and attracting the attention of prowling Mongrel Men and Sapphire Skeletons.  Just as they were about to call an end to their exploration and return to Catapesh to rest, the party discovered a narrow, crumbling passage-way and Roary decided to investigate it.  When he disturbed the rubble he was swarmed by giant centipedes; he succumbed to their poisonous bites and died a horrible death, though perhaps not as horrible as the fate the the Thieves Guild had in store for him, so perhaps it was a blessing.

The remainder of the party returned to Catapesh and, as they were being sought by a vengeful Thieve's Guild, took the obvious course of action: a night of drinking and whoring at the nearest tavern!  Ebbin sought ought Sulma for a quick tumble, then carried on with an evening of bacchanalian revelry that found him, in the morning....naked and in jail.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Haha, good times! That was another really fun session...