Thursday, 25 April 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 2:5

In which Mary and Edith are Rescued (24th April 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Hillson - Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist
Karban Telos – Sorcerer

The Skulls in the Sewers (Day 11 (91) – very early hours)

The darkness beyond the doors was impenetrable beyond a few feet either side of the open door. The party members each grabbed a torch to light their way and took a look at what was before them. The sewer ran to both the left and right of them. The left hand tunnel angled slightly down towards the docks and the right hand passage led back up into the city. The constant drip-drip of water and the scurrying rats or maybe worse could be heard above the breathing of the adventurers as they stepped into the grease slicked, ankle deep water and headed back towards the city along the slime emblazoned tunnel. After a short while, the party noticed an indent in the wall on the left up ahead. They approached it cautiously and saw that it was actually a short side passage that ended in double doors.

The party headed up the short passageway and listened at the wooden double valves. No light was being emitted between the doors and the frame and no sound could be heard coming from within. The two lead fighters cautiously opened the doors and filed in slowly. Their torches flickered on the walls of a small ante-chamber that held a table on the right hand side, a few unlit torches in wall brackets, and a door opposite the one they had entered. The room was unadorned except for the table and the bowl upon it which was bookended by two large stone skulls. The party lit the torches in the sconces to grant them better vision and a place to return to if their torches were extinguished.

The party thought nothing of the room, so made their way to the door opposite. Aethelfrith, however, took a closer look at the skulls and shivered; he was tempted to smash them but decided not to as the party wanted to move on. Sir Erich pulled open the set of doors opposite their way in and was stopped in his tracks by a prickling of the hairs on the nape of his neck. He turned round just in time to see the stone skulls raise themselves up from the table and rush to strike anyone within reach.

Almost as soon as they had left the table, Nazir swung his mighty axe and smashed one to smithereens. Karban, a crack shot with his bow let loose a shaft that pinged off the second skull, shaving a few shards of stone from the brow. The skull flew towards Sir Erich, who had opened the doors, and blasted him with a sheet of flames from its eyes. This onslaught did not last long though as Nazir again smashed the animated rock skull to pieces with his great axe; he certainly had developed a hatred for flying stone since his mishap in the basement of the Scorchers’ lair.


The party swiftly exited the room and entered a short corridor that extended in the darkness to end in a set of doors at the end and on the left hand side. They approached the doors and listened at each of them. Aethelfrith could hear the movement of chains and muted voices from beyond the portal on the left and guessed this might well be a prison cell. Hillson listened at the other door but what he heard was forgotten about when the fighters kicked down the door behind him.

The three fighters stormed into the room taking the two guards inside by surprise. A swift melee ensued, but the guards never really stood a chance and were hacked down mercilessly by Sir Erich and Nazir. The two girls in the room gushed praise at their rescuers and Hillson, the warlock, searched the guards’ pockets for the keys to the chains that held them to the walls. Edith mentioned that the Scorchers had somehow found out where she lived, had burst in and taken the pair of them captive. This surprised her as the last time she was chased by the Scorchers (when she was rescued by the party) they were baying for her blood. Once the girls had been released, the party stripped the guards of their valuables, and Aethelfirth handed Mary his bow; just in case. A quick discussion ensued about whether to open the last door; Karban betting the rest of the party that the last door probably only contained a store room. Aethelfrith wanted to carry on exploring but Sir Erich prompted for caution. Hillson was about to warn them that he had heard voices beyond the portals last time he listened at them but did not get the chance as Nazir, never one to hold back, advanced upon the doors and kicked them open. Solaran, meanwhile, returned to the ante-chamber that held the skulls to guard the room and warn of any approaching enemy aid from their rear.

Final Encounter

The fighters poured swiftly into the large living hall. Inside was a large fire pit, walls draped with tapestries similar to those they had seen in the large basement room in the Scorcher’s lair, and a bed, desk and chest ensemble across the way by the opposite wall. At the far end of the room, getting to their feet from chairs around the table were three figures; one in black-enamelled mail armour, one in flame coloured flowing robes, and a third dressed in a rich travelling cloak, boots and armour, who quickly backed away from the other two and put his hand to his belt as if ready to draw a sword.

Mary and the sorcerer Karban swiftly entered the room and let loose their arrows at the druid figure. Edith and Nazir followed quickly, the barbarian throwing his dagger at the fire mage. Sir Erich and Aethelfrith made straight for the guardsman whilst Hillson, the warlock, ran back up the corridor to get help from their last spell wielder with any power left.

The Scorcher mage hurled a huge pile of magical rocks at Aethelfrith but he managed to dodge them successfully. Edith returned the favour in kind at the guard facing down Sir Erich and Aethelfrith, but she was more successful and her magical spell hit him square in the chest, felling him instantly. Karban was again successful with his bow and felled the fire mage. Now that the two fighters were freed from their combat they quickly advanced on the last remnant of the Scorchers in this lair. He was still backing away with his hand ready over where he would wear a sword. Sir Erich yelled for him to surrender but the richly dressed opponent made no move to change his stance. Sir Erich hit him with the butt of his axe, and Aethelfrith stormed in and also hit him with the butt of his spear.

The last Scorcher made a bee-line for the door taking massive hits from all three fighters but seemingly shrugged all the damage off. Solaran launched a fire ball at him but missed, as did Edith’s attempt at slowing him. The last line of defence, Hillson the warlock, cast his Phantom Warrior spell at the last survivor but again he just shrugged away the damage.

This last ditched attempt by Hillson slowed the Scorcher just enough so that the three fighters could catch up with him again. Sir Erich and Aethelfrith both hit him with the butts of their weapons and Nazir tried to grapple him, but all three attacks proved unsuccessful. The Scorcher managed to shrug off their strikes, cast a blinding thunder-flash spell, and disappeared down the corridor to the skull room. Whilst the warriors tried to blink away the afterglow on their retinas and regain their eyesight, the rest of the party gave chase back to the sewer but the Scorcher seemed to have disappeared into thin air; there was no sign of the well-dressed Scorcher and no tell-tale splish-splash of feet running rapidly along the sewers. He had escaped.

The Safe House (Day 11 – rest of the day)

The party quickly rummaged through the room for anything of value and left the underground warren as quickly as they could. They swiftly returned by a roundabout way to the safe house and locked themselves in their private room for sleep, rest and recuperation.

Toby knocked on the door towards the end of the morning to find out how it all went and was pleased to see Mary and Edith were there safe and well. He asked what the party would like him to do next, so they asked him if he could find out who the well-dressed Scorcher was and what the news was on the streets about their raid. They also gave him Nazir’s chainmail to sell as he had taken the rather nice black-enamelled hauberk from the dead guard in the final battle for himself.

At dusk, the warlock’s powers came back to full strength, so he set to healing as many of the party as he could. At the end of the session, everyone’s cuts and bruises had been salved except for the very worst ones that Nazir had suffered.

Their guide returned later that night with some cash from the sale of the armour but, alas, he had no news about who the well-dressed scorcher was, although he suggested it might have been a member of the Guaires family.

The party settled down to the drinks that Karban offered them for his failed predictions of the contents of the final room and stayed well out of sight of the main clientele of the inn that they were staying in. Karban’s powers returned at around midnight, so he healed the last of Nazir’s wounds.

The Word on the Streets (Day 12)

The following morning, after a restful sleep, Toby was sent out again to try to hear the word on the streets. Mary and Edith decided that things were too hot for them to handle, so decided that they would leave the area for a while whilst they considered what to do next; they needed somewhere to stay as Edith’s old house was now known to the Scorchers. Luckily the old house was rented so it would be easy to just leave and move on to another rented house elsewhere in the city.

Later that morning Toby returned to tell them that his hunch was correct – the well-dressed man was most likely related to the Guaires family and that they had made a bitter enemy if he was. The party decided to lay low for just another day before they would leave their safe-house inn and head out to find gainful employment.

Just as they settled down for afternoon tea, a rap on the door was revealed to be a messenger from Councillor Brannon Byrne. He wanted to speak to Sir Erich, Aethelfrith and Solaran about an important matter. He had some news for them and wished to see them at ten of the clock that night.

Dragon Warriors - 2:4

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last couple of weeks - I had a hard drive crash on my PC and it has taken me a while to get a new PC ordered in and set up. Luckily, my data was fully backed up but I lost all of my email and contacts - bummer! Still, it could have been a lot worse. Anyway, here's last week's installment of the Dragon Warriors campaign...

Into the Inferno (17th April 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Hillson - Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist
Karban Telos – Sorcerer

The Hide-Out (Day 11 (91) – just after midnight)

The pressure that the adventurers were under took its toll on Thormann, and he left them during the course of the evening. The party were a little perturbed by the lack of a sorcerer in their midst, but their prayers were answered as they were approached by a fellow named Karban Telos, who had been tailing them and watching their progress for the last few days. He mentioned that he had a beef with the Scorchers and would like to join them on their raid that evening. The adventurers were a little sceptical of his motives to begin with, but he gradually won them over with his charm and wit.

The party huddled together in their private room and made their plans for raiding the Scorchers’ lair that night (so that their magic users all had their full complement of spells and powers). They arranged with Toby for him to guide them and suggest a safe house that they could retreat to, or at least get Mary and Edith to after the raid on the lair.

The party left the tavern just after midnight and they made their way to the street where the Scorchers’ lair was pointed out by Toby. He then bid them farewell and left the party to it.

The adventurers stealthily approached the side of the Scorchers’ building and their new accomplice used his magic to peer through the walls of the tavern. He informed them that there were about ten or so people within the confines of the building. They then made their way to the main door at the front of the building and readied themselves.

Fight on the Ground Floor

Sir Erich and Aethelfrith booted the doors open and held their ground whilst the rest of the party let loose with their bows and threw daggers. One of the thugs fell before they could collect their wits, but then they recovered and charged those defending the doors. Their leader, sporting a yellow bonnet, stepped back a little from the group of rogues and began barking orders. Spells flew in both directions, filling the air with magical hues and sparks of bale fire. A second thug went down under a barrage of magically conjured rocks, but the thugs were not to be outdone; six more of their brethren approached the flanks of the party from two side alleys, hemming them in.

The fighting at the main door was fierce, and remained a stalemate with the thugs trading blow-for-blow with those guarding the door. The occasional blast of magic caused a thug to drop out of the fight, but the pressure was still immense. Outside the walls, the six Scorchers who had emerged from the side alleys were given short shrift by Hillson’s Phantom Warrior and Nazir’s singing axe blade. However, the warlock took the brunt of the Scorchers’ attacks and required healing from Karban the Sorcerer.

Back at the door, the superior skills and strength of Sir Erich and Aethelfrith began to show, as slowly the Scorchers were beaten back, but not without a few cuts and bruises being collected on the stalwart warriors’ bodies. The space created by the two warriors allowed for more of their companions to join the fight inside the tavern, and the numbers that were now brought to the fight by the adventurers began to tell. The combination of magic and more earthly weapons soon took a toll on the Scorchers defending the doors that they finally broke and the party streamed into the room, hacking down the rest with abandon, the final kill going to Aethelfrith, who took pleasure in taking down the Scorcher mage.

Those members of the adventurous party still outside the tavern quickly dragged the bodies of the dead Scorchers off the street, closed and blocked the door, and then piled the bodies up in a corner of the tavern. The bodies were quickly stripped of any valuables and decent weapons and the party advanced on the only door at the rear of the tavern common room.

A quick listen at the doors was cut short by Nazir just kicking the door down; he mentioned why should they bother with stealth when they had just been in a huge, noisy fight? The others sheepishly agreed and followed him into what was quickly identified as a large kitchen. A quick search revealed nothing of value, but another small door led into a store room containing food stuffs, and a flight of stone stairs that led down into the shadows below.

Rats in the Basement

The fighters again led the way down the stone steps and soon found themselves in a large room with tapestry covered walls, lit by torches in sconces. At the far end of the room they spotted four figures, two in armour and two in flowing red, orange and yellow robes, who quickly prepared their weapons and eldritch wizardries.

The fighters rushed straight into battle to take one of the guards out as quickly as possible whilst the magic wielders, two of whom were now nearly out of power, used their bows to pick off the enemy wizards. This tactic worked well because one enemy wizard was quickly struck by two shafts from the sorcerer’s bow and collapsed in agony. However, the second druid was able to get a magical blast off at the barbarian, who fell under a large slab of magically animated rock. Spurred on by seeing their companion go down at the hands of such deviltry, the party renewed their attacks. Solaran and Karban struck the second guard with arrows from their bows (Karban was becoming quite a good shot with it now - certainly showing the fighters how it should be done!) and the two remaining fighters made short work of their opposite number who fell with a gaping spear wound. Aethelfrith moved straight on to support Hillson who was battling the second druid. He felled him with only one stab of his spear. Karban made count yet another of his arrows, letting it loose into the last remaining guard who quickly fell to another of Aethelfrith’s spear strikes.

The party quickly rallied around their fallen companion to make sure that he was OK. Nazir was made of stern stuff, and it would take more than a few rocks to make him leave this world. The sorcerer and warlock used the last of their magic to heal him a little, so that he would be OK for a short while at least. The rest of the party stripped the druids and their guards of any useful materials.

The two fighters, Aethelfrith and Sir Erich, made their way to the set of doors at the far end of the room and thrust them open. Beyond the valves lay darkness, the sound of slowly running water and the stench of the sewer. The party knew where they were now - directly below the main street running down to the docks.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dragon Warriors : Session 2.3

Murders in the Rue Morgue (10th April 2013)

The Dragon Warriors
Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight
Hillson - Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist
Thormann – Sorcerer (absent but NPCd)

Arrested (Day 7 (87))

Sir Erich and Solaran, not relishing the idea of being party to torture just off the main thoroughfare calmed down first Aethelfrith and then Nazir, whose blood was up. A few well placed words convinced the two warriors that it would be best to approach the authorities and thus disperse any accusations of murder from the party if they explained exactly what happened.

Nazir unbound his legs and forced the Scorcher to his feet. The party made their way back to the main street in order to hand themselves in and explain the situation; Sir Erich seeming to think that law and order in this town would emulate that carried out in his home town. It was only a few moments before three members of the watch arrived on the scene. Solaran began to explain to the guards their version of events but a few moments later the captain of the watch and a few more guards arrived, so he told him instead. In the meantime, the other members of the watch began to question witnesses to the scene that had unfolded in the street. The captain decided that the matter would be best resolved back at the watch room, so escorted the adventurers back to the East Gate.

Upon arrival back at the gate he turned his fury upon them and demanded to know what the heck they were up to; coming into the city, and after being explicitly warned not to do so, causing mayhem and murder upon the streets – in daylight none-the-less!

The conversation began to turn against the party as Sir Erich demanded justice by a jury of peers. Aethelfrith pleaded poverty and of not being able to pay the extortionate fine (bribe) until the captain produced a copy of their trade docket. Solaran, again the voice of reason, managed to calm the situation by paying the fine, and escorted his companions out of the watch room before the now smiling captain could change his mind. Sir Erich and Aethelfrith rued having to pay, and swore revenge upon the blatantly corrupt official. Whilst the fighters were moaning about the injustice of it all, their guide took them to a small inn, off the beaten track, so that they could calm their tempers and plan what they were going to do next.

A Second Encounter with the Scorchers (Days 8-9)

The party spent the night taking their minds off the incident that day and planned what to do with the silver they had left. It was decided that they would get Sir Erich a better suit of armour and they would then call in on all of their contacts and plan destruction on the Scorchers and the corrupt guards.

The following day, Sir Erich and Aethelfrith headed out to get the armour required and asked their guide, Toby Munce, to investigate the whereabouts of the Scorchers and Edith and Mary.

Not much else was accomplished during that day, and it would not be until Toby returned with information that they would be able to formulate any plans.

Toby reported back the following day that he had found the main lair of the Scorchers; an inn fronting a large complex down by the dockside. He also mentioned that he was able to find where Edith had her office, but he said that it had been destroyed by fire and he could find no sign of either her or Mary. Toby was also able to fill the party in on some of the local politics in the town.

  • The Scorchers, as the party already knew, worshipped fire under their druidic masters
  • The druids keep some kind of heart flame burning that helps to keep the glaciers of the north away from Glissom. Thus, the Scorchers’ aim is to have heat and fire take over the world
  • The city is run by the Guaires family, who follow the old religion
  • The assumption is that these are all interlinked, as well as the Guaires family having the city watch in their employ

The party thanked him for his help on this and gave him a short sword in payment for the information. They then asked him if he could investigate the whereabouts of Brannon Byrne (the sorcerer who summoned Sir Erich, Aethelfrith and Solaran to Glissom), and councillor Jarus and Sir Connor (whom they delivered the orc heads to). He said he would do his best and also see what else he could find out about Edith and Mary.

Nazir and Thormann stayed at the inn for the rest of the day as a rescue party, whilst Sir Erich and Aethelfrith went to collect the new suit of armour, and Solaran and Hillson went down to the docks to see what they could find out for themselves with regards getting some gainful employment and rumours.

At the docks, Solaran and Hillson managed to find out that a merchant in the import/export business known by the moniker “The Foreigner” might be their best bet for profitable employment. They did not find out much else, so decided to return back to the inn to share their findings. Just as they were walking down a short cut-through alleyway they were challenged from behind. Four rogues, dressed in a very similar manner to the Scorchers they had encountered a couple of days previously and armed with clubs sneered that they would get their revenge on them and their companions.

The companions made to run but found that their path was blocked in the other direction by three more thugs. Solaran glanced around and saw that the street was deserted, so snatched up a piece of wood and lit it with one of his fire cantrips. The thugs charged in to attack the adventurers but before a blow was struck a phantasmal warrior appeared behind one of the thugs and struck him a mighty blow with a great sword, and then promptly disappeared.

This slowed the thugs just enough for the two companions to attempt to escape, but they both were tackled to the ground by the time they reached the end of the alleyway. Another of the phantasmal warriors appeared behind the first thug that was hit and he was struck down to the ground dead.

The thugs tried to strike back with their fists, but were either unable to hit the skilful adventurers or their punches struck armour and caused no injuries. Solaran cast a fire spell at one of the thugs holding him in the grapple on the ground and his clothing went up in flames causing him a serious amount of pain. Another of the phantasmal warriors struck down another of the thugs attacking Hillson from behind, leaving him with only two opponents now and thus allowed him to get back to his feet.

The thugs had now taken a few injuries, and the magic kept coming at them. A bolt of lightning from Solaran’s hand killed another rogue stone dead and a fourth phantom struck another of the thugs from behind. Seeing that three of their companions were down and another two had taken some damage in the fight, the thugs broke off from the combat and ran back down the alley shouting threats and curses at the pair, warning them that they had not heard the last of this.

Solaran and Hillson quickly checked on the still bodies on the alley floor and found that two were dead but the third would survive but would be nursing a severe gash in his shoulder for several months. They quickly made their exit and returned to the inn to report their latest news and rumours.

Enlisting Help for the Coming Conflict (Day 10)

Upon their return to the inn Solaran and Hillson, battered and bruised, told the party their news. Whilst they talked, Thormann healed up their wounds. Toby returned to the inn at his allotted time and revealed that he had found where Edith lived, and that he had also found Brannon Byrne’s town house. The party thanked him for the news and asked him to return the following morning so that he can guide them to where they wanted to go.

Toby arrived at the inn later than the allotted time and led the party to Edith’s house. When they arrived at her house, they noticed that the door was ajar, the lock had been bashed in, and no-one was at home. The party searched her house and saw that there had been a struggle, yet nothing was taken. Nazir spotted a note on the table with some writing and a map on it. He picked it up and stowed it for safe keeping.

The party then paid a visit on Brannon Byrne. He lived in a very nice part of the city, close to the central noble quarter. His townhouse was well-built and nicely tended on the outside. After knocking and shouting for entrance, he finally let them into his abode. His mind was obviously on something else as he spoke to them but he did mention that he had managed to decipher the writing on the amulet Solaran had lent him. It said something along the lines of Anastay’s Fortress. He thought it may be the name for the ring where the soul gets held. The party thanked him for the information and asked another boon. They showed him the note with the map and writing and asked him if he could read what it said. He said the writing on the note read “She’s here – Come and get her.” The party made their excuses and left but Brannon hardly saw them go as he waved them off nonchalantly and asked them to close the door on their way out.

Now that two of their questions had been answered, the party decided to attempt to call in a favour from councillor Jarus. Toby knew where he lived, so led them there when asked. The well-armed and armoured guards held them at the door whilst the councillor was called for, and then led them into his sanctum. The party summarised what had been happening to them since they had arrived in Glissom and asked if he could help them by at least giving them a guarantee of not being sentenced to anything too serious provided they rid the city of the threat of the Scorchers and the Guaires family. He did not say straight up that he could help them directly, but that he could pull strings to circumvent some of the jurisdiction processes in an unofficial way provided that collateral damage did not exceed certain limits. The party said that he would not regret this help and vowed to rid the city of its greatest menace.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dragon Warriors - Session 2:2

A Meeting with the Scorchers (4th April 2013)

The Dragon Warriors

Aethelfrith – Thane
Sir Erich of Barton – Knight (absent but NPCd)
Hillson - Warlock
Nazir al Khalid – Barbarian
Solaran – Elementalist
Thormann – Sorcerer (absent but NPCd)

New Companions (Day 6 (86))

After the tax collectors had assessed the party’s goods and presented them with the appropriate trade dockets, they were approached by two of the remaining guards from the caravan they had just recently accompanied from Worsted. Nazir al Khalid and Hillson introduced themselves and asked the companions if they would mind if they joined them as the contracts with their previous masters had now been fulfilled. Aethelfrith and Solaran had no objections, as they were great fighters, so the two new arrivals joined their small camp.

Sometime during the next hour or so, the party were again approached by a newcomer. A young man with a jaunty air and a short sword strapped to his waist offered his services as a guide. The party were wary of his promises, so they only agreed to think about hiring him for a week, paid in arrears after he had proven himself, and would give him an answer later that afternoon if he should return then.

The party then explored the shanty town a little to get their bearings, finding out that they were at the main East Gate. They asked around amongst the merchants camped beside them about taverns and inns in the vicinity, just so that they could double-check the recommendations given by their new guide if and when he returned.

Their new found guide returned on time and proceeded to show them to a choice of inns situated around the merchant quarter they were currently located in; the party needed a place with a private room for their accommodation and a stable for the wagon and horses. They chose a more upmarket inn and settled down to a decent meal and bath to soak away the dust of their last few months of toil. Later that afternoon, Aethelfrith went looking for the counsellor, the knight and his squire whom they met in the forest around Worsted several weeks back (they were looking for signs of orcs, and the party gave them the evidence they needed), but he got short shrift from the guards when he made his enquiries at the gate. Solaran also started to make enquiries about the sorcerer who had his amulet and for any known places of learning. He also drew a blank on both of these lines of enquiry. Their guide meanwhile had retired to the stable to keep an eye out for their wagon and goods and the party settled down for a night of heavy drinking.

An Encounter with the Scorchers (Day 7)

The night passed uneventfully and at dawn the guide went off to make enquiries about selling their goods. A few hours later he returned with a variety of merchants and their money, and got them a reasonable deal on all their merchandise. The adventurers made their way into the city to deliver their merchandise, showing the sneering guards their trade dockets. The guards mentioned that they would brook no trouble from armed men in the city, and the law would come down heavily on any miscreants, especially those who performed violent acts with naked steel. Their guide led them to the market to make the sales. Once they were rid of their goods, they decided to head into the city further to explore and get a feel for the place.

After sauntering around for an hour or two, sampling the wares in the main East Market, the party found themselves wandering down a main thoroughfare heading towards the docks. Suddenly a small, podgy woman burst from a side alley and bumped into Nazir. As he tried to figure out what had just happened, eight thugs appeared at the alley entranceway and told the party to get away from the girl. Nazir took umbrage at being spoken to in such a way, especially from thugs who carried clubs and chased lone women, and refused to hand her over. The leader responded by saying that this matter did not concern them. Ignoring the rhetoric, Nazir advanced on the leader of the gang, supported by Aethelfrith. The leader, dressed in black leather armour and a yellow cap yelled at his men to get the girl. The townsfolk on the street at the time fled to the safety of a variety of close-by alleyways and seedy inns.

Nazir shouted one of his barbarous war cries and barged his way through the gang of thugs to strike the leader with the back of his axe. This caused the leader to stagger back. The rest of the thugs made to move to attack Nazir but Aethelfrith stepped up and struck the thug next to the leader with the butt of his spear. Hillson suggested to the leader that they would be willing to accept fifty silver florins for the girl but the leader retorted she was only worth ten, but he might as well just take her from them for free. The leader pulled back and ordered his men into line, facing up to the adventurers.

A general melee ensued; the thugs attacked the party with fists and boots, the party retaliated with the butts of their weapons. The thugs rapidly went down but not after a few heavy punches connected with Aethelfrith causing him some discomfort. As their injuries mounted, the leader of the thugs called his men off. To stop them all from getting away, Hillson grabbed one of the thugs for questioning, aided by Solaran. Nazir, his argument with the lead thug not over, advanced on him, whilst Aethelfrith struck the thug nearest him to allow his comrade through the wall of adversaries.

The leader of the band of miscreants cast a fire spell at the party but it was avoided, and his band of bullies drew their clubs to rejoin the fray. In their minds, this gave the all clear for the party to use their weapons in self-defence, so Aethelfrith turned his spear around and Nazir reversed his axe. Again the combat was joined, and again Aethelfrith bore the brunt of the attack, but he skewered the main thug attacking him on the end of his spear. Thormann stepped in and healed his battered comrade whilst Nazir finally managed to knock out the leader of the gang. He whistled to get the attention of the thugs just as the one Hillson and Solaran were struggling with slipped from their grasp. Sir Erich hewed down his opponent with his great sword and Nazir took down another with his great axe before the two remaining gang members fled the scene. Three of the thugs lay dead and three, including the leader, lay unconscious in the street.

Looking around, the party spotted about half-a-dozen townsfolk who had ventured out to see the final outcome of the fray. The party could not read their intent, so grabbed the leader of the gang and fled down the nearest alleyway to avoid the city watch that were due to turn up at any moment.

They ran pell-mell down a few side alleys led by their guide, but after a few minutes they were halted by the podgy woman, Edith, and told they should not go any closer to her house as that would bring the leader into range of being able to destroy all she had worked for. This intrigued the party, and after a little more questioning they found out that the thug was one of the gang leaders of The Scorchers; a fanatical fire cult led by a strange, old druidic-type person that had been causing havoc throughout the city for several months now. Edith had set up a fire controlling brigade of volunteers to enable the city to fight the destruction meted out on a regular basis by The Scorchers. She was being chased because she represented the antithesis of all they believed.

Edith made her excuses (in reality she was scared of these burly adventurers and the situation that had just arisen – the Scorchers could now, legitimately in their minds, give her group of volunteer fire breakers a harder time from now on) and started to leave but was asked by Mary if she could join her crusade. Edith agreed to Mary joining her and thanked the party for their help, suggesting that if they were in need of help in the future she would do what she could to aid them. Mary bade her companions goodbye and explained that being a warrior was not her thing but what Edith represented offered her the opportunity she had been looking for.

When the two women had left them, the leader of the gang of thugs started to come round from his bout of axe-haft induced unconsciousness. Nazir bound his hands and feet, and put a blind fold over his eyes so he did not know where he was and then drew his dagger. He would get information out of him one way or another.