13 Harvester, 1468 CY
The morning after dining at the Coxcombe and meeting Lothel, the party resolved to seek out Diony based on our new friend’s information. I was a bit groggy (didn’t sleep well, perhaps the food was too rich after weeks of hard rations!), but Lilac was positively hungover. Poor thing! She stayed behind to recover. Lothel led us to a part of the market district where she had spotted Diony, a place where we had encounted Lost Ones before. As we were asking around after the elf, we discovered that someone had been looking for us, a messenger from Brindol – Alys! We resolved to find her as well, for she was probably in more danger than Diony, but Irjan decided to stay and listen for suspicious activity or Diony, who he was convinced he would always hear. Chris was worried about Lilac so she went back to the inn to check on her.
Further into the market place we asked after Alys. She had been seen being escorted by three burly men who were all too happy to help her find the Hordebane, likely members of the Lost Ones! Lothel tried to coax info out of them by associating herself with the Lost Ones, but that just made them clam up and foist money on her. I approached them afterward and reassured them, so they told me quietly, as if to hide the information from Lothel. We started off in the direction indicated, but it led us back to where we had started. I came right up to Irjan to ask how things were going, but apparently I broke his cover or something because he irritatedly asked me to go into an alleyway to talk about it. While we had been gone, some Lost Ones had apparently set up a front at a fish stand. Irjan said they were announcing sales of swordfish, and other salty-water fishes. Very odd. I failed to see the import of stopping their illicit activities (we had trouble enough stopping them from bothering Reggen, and that didn’t pan out so well, did it?).
To me, it was much more important that we find Alys, and then Diony. Unfortunately, no one else besides Irjan had met Alys, so they weren’t as concerned as I was. Even if it hadn’t been Alys, I would have tried to track down an innocent bystander! Especially one who had been put in harm’s way just by seeking us out! I would have walked right up to the fish stand, said, “I’m Tanner of the Hordebane. Your boss knows who I am. Let’s cut the crap and deal with this like civilized people.” Unfortunately, no one else in the party thought this was a good idea. They went to focus on scoping out what the Lost Ones were doing. At least Irjan, Chris, and the Professor did. I’m not sure what Lothel was doing, perhaps she had other business to attend to.
I may have been sulking in the alleyway when I heard a voice from above say, “I’d be careful if I were you.” I was alarmed, concerned that one of the Lost Ones had gotten the drop on me, but no, it was a very heavily armed elf with an eye patch. I think I saw him before when we were fighting the orcs. Name was Thorn. After my initial shock wore off, he told me that the members of the Hordebane had bounties on our heads equal to 1000 gold a piece. (I’m not sure if this includes the newest members of the group or not.) He also said that the Lost Ones weren’t likely to be gentle when they caught up with us, they had reason enough already to want us dead.
New threat, new panic. I went to find the others and inform them to be wary, but they had already disappeared. I set off in the direction of the inn to warn Lilac, but Hoffmeisteri blew over in the form of a swarm of flies, resumed gnome-shape, and let me know that the others had followed a cart of illicit goods, most definitely not fish. I followed the gnome and came upon Irjan underneath an upset cart, accusing the wheelbarrower of not paying attention to where he was putting the cart. I helped Irjan up and defused the situation, leading Irjan away. In a matter of moments, we were following the cart at a distance with Chris, who had been following Irjan too. I told them about the terrible danger we were all in, but Chris and Professor Hoffmeisteri believe that they are exempt since they don’t feel like they’re tied to the Hordebane, but they have been seen around us and received payment from the Ironfell clan… so I think they’re still in danger. They were still very focused on finding out what the no-good Lost Ones were up to with their clanging boxes of “fish.” Sighing, I followed.
The barrowman ended his trek at a warehouse. The doors were still open as the shipment was checked in, and the professor snuck into the building using his gnomish invisibility and pried the box open, then quickly becoming spiders or something to inspect the contents. Later he told us they were weapons with the black arrow sigil, but first he realized he was trapped inside the building. He had moved underneath the cart again and was preparing to escape when one of the thugs noticed that the box had been tampered with and they shut the building up tight, supposedly to search for intruders. He was finally able to escape by squeezing under the door, and we all ran away, heading back for the inn to check on Lilac.
Lilac was fine, but shaken. Lothel showed up and let us know that she had found a clue in the marketplace that might indicate the route that Alys had been taken in. Something about birdseed. Lilac still elected to stay behind for now, but we went to check out the clue. The tussle that broke the crate could have been caused by anything, I suppose, but we did find a muddy dirty boot print. Irjan was positive that it was from the Nine Bells district, the holy district known for the filth of the urchins on the streets.
So we headed over to Nine Bells. Irjan conferred with the beggars on the streets, who eagerly pointed him to a child who had seen Alys. The kid guided us to the abandoned temple to Pelor. We checked out the half-sun shaped building but only saw entry in through the rotten front door. I saw nothing for it but to kick down the door and announce ourselves, and this time the others agreed with me. Down went the doors with in a shower of splinters, and in the dim light inside we saw a woman with dark hair tied to a chair under a hole in the roof. Alys was bound, blindfolded, and gagged, and there was evidence of cuts and bruising. Seeing no one else, I immediately rushed over to her and as soon as I had removed her gag she shouted, “It’s a trap!” Sure enough, some Lost Ones sprang from behind the arras at the front of the room with some ravening dogs. I summoned my mage hand to undo the knots more quickly, then told her to run. Gods bless the messenger woman, she could be fleet on her feet, even injured! She shot out the door past Irjan and the banner he had planted. Just in time too it turned out, because I was grabbed by one of the Lost Ones and dragged behind the arras. As I struggled in his grasp, I could see my friends being singled out this way as well.
Once I was alone with him, though, I stood and my face darkened. I let my anger flow through me as I told him, “I’m Tanner of the Hordebane. But you knew that already. What you don’t know is the trouble you’re in now.” I saw him blanch a little at my expression, but he shook it off. I was able to stab him and use my bladespell to interfere with the dogs who were attacking Irjan. I was getting pretty injured myself by this point and I contemplated taking a moment to rejuvenate myself, but didn’t want to give my opponent the upper hand. I could also sense that my allies were all locked in troublesome contests, so I began weaving my bladesong and pushed myself twice as hard, jabbing my opponent twice so I could pull one man away from Lothel and to set one of the dogs on fire. What I wasn’t expecting was for the doors on the rays of the sun to open and for a few more Lost Ones to emerge. I felt a tear in my side and the world went dark.
I think I was only out for a moment. Chris was standing over me, pulling me to the feet and commanding me to Get Up. Together we finished off the opponent before us, and I heard one or two of the others go down. Irjan and Lothel both made their way over toward us, and we paused for a moment to regroup.
To be continued…
Transcripts of important interactions from the RP sessions will be posted here:
RP Session 30-1
[RP Session 30-2]]