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.
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.