he party was rudely awakened the next morning by some angry shouting near the fountain in the center of town of Eaglesport. They had a pretty good idea who it was and what it was about, though they couldn’t actually ascertain the words. The three (Krömm was still indisposed) casually made their way downstairs to find the tavern empty. Nonchalantly, they strolled outside and joined the throngs of people gathered around the fountain listening to Wexley’s rant.
“Last night, I found 3 of my men FACE DOWN in the STREET! Now, I want to know… WHO AMONG YOU has the NERVE to cut down MY MEN right outside my OWN DAMN BAR! Is this some kind of pathetic rebellion? Do you think the King actually cares about you? Why doesn’t he protect you? He hasn’t even accepted your taxes for months! My men are looking out for Eaglesport’s best interests. I am your only protection now. And its about time you people realize what could happen to this town without it. If no one comes forward with who killed my boys, I’m going to let my good friend Ferrik start knocking down buildings. Think about it Eaglesport.”
With that, he and his men shoved through the crowd and made their way back toward the pub. The party went back inside The Eagle’s Talon for some breakfast and some planning. They decided there was no rush to jump into action, and decided to retrieve Krömm from the kobold’s lair, as he had not returned in the night. Norvi was tired, but managed to again find the sigil stone in the Hornwood. Krömm had thought about blindly seeking his way out of the forest, but talked himself out of it, and was now sitting upon the sigil stone with his head in his hands looking very bored. He was delighted to see his comrades. Together, they made their way back to Eaglesport, and Krömm was briefed on current events along the way. The four ended up back at The Eagle’s Talon where they plotted in their room. Aldo made it clear that he was not going to allow Ferrik to destroy building one. The others agreed, but there was some dissenting opinion on how Wexley should be taken down. Norvi wanted to set fire to the bar, and kill the gang members one by one as they came streaming out. Aldo hated this idea, as they could be easily overwhelmed by the 25+ gang members, not mentioning Ferrik and Wexley himself.
Yurm agreed that some subtlety would be required here, and Krömm came up with this plan: He and Norvi would seek out Wexley at his pub, and convince him that they are planning on tracking down the killers of his men. Norvi had many ideas about things he would say to Wexley, and it was unanimously agreed that Norvi would keep his mouth shut.
While they did this, Aldo and Yurm went to the local temple to Heironeous to seek healing, blessing, and guidance. They made acquaintances with the head priest there, and told him their plan to take down the gang should Wexley try anything. Overjoyed, the priest gave them 4 Light Healing potions to aid them in their struggle. He was sure they would need them. Meanwhile, Norvi and Krömm were entering Wexley’s. The bar was dead silent. The kind of scary silent a place gets when an unpredictable violent criminal has been drinking and screaming at the top of his lungs at everyone and everything. Nervous faces stared with mouths agape at the intrusion. Wexley was in his corner, as usual, repeatedly digging a wicked dagger into his table. He would thrust – twist – pull in a practiced rhythm that was unsettling to say the least. They paused for a moment at the door, and that drew Wexley’s glare. “HALF-ORC! You again! WHAT the HELL do YOU want?” Norvi’s mouth opened a crack, but he quickly put a hand over his mouth, pretending to scratch his beard. “We can find who got your men,” Krömm said with confidence. “Get over here,” Wexley stated with an aggravated wave of his hand. “And where were you two last night?” Krömm spoke a half truth, “Deep in a kobold den, rooting them out.” “Well that explains why you smell like a kobold’s nutsack. Your story checks. How do you think you’re going to find my enemy?” “My friend here is an expert tracker,” Krömm said with a gesture to the seacliff to his right. “I can track them from the backlot and bring them back to you,” Norvi solemly claimed. Wexley’s eyes lit up with the thought. His eyes drifted downward as he took a moment to ponder that last bit. It is the first and only time Krömm will see Wexley smile.
“I’ll offer you the same bounty I told everyone else. 500 gold. But you bring ‘em alive, hell i’ll give you a thousand.” Norvi took a half step forward and asked, “Now do you have any enemies?” “Do I have any enemies?!” Wexley asked incredulously. Krömm was able to jump in and wrap up the visit before Norvi could answer. He and Norvi left with haste.
Everyone met back at the tavern. In their rooms Aldo shared the info he learned while he was casing the joint. They made plans yet again. It is unsure what they were because the dungeon master took this time for a bathroom break. Regardless, it involved something about waiting until nightfall in the Hornwood near town. Something about having an alibi when Wexley asked what they were doing. They decided to get a few hours of rest before the big plan. Whatever it was. Aldo kept watch on the center of town, while the rest of the party rested. They only got 2 hours sleep.
Wexley was walking toward the center of town with a detachment of 6 men and Ferrik in tow. When he reached the fountain he shouted, “That’s it Eaglesport! Times up!” He waved his arm and walked with his men back toward the bar. All but Ferrik. It was high noon.
Ferrik casually unbuttoned his long red cape and dropped it to the ground. He pulled out his long handled morningstar and leaned it against the fountain. He raised his hands high above his head and started… stretching. “Nice, they left him alone!” Aldo excitedly informed his companions as they began to make their move. Aldo and Yurm made a wide circle around Ferrik. Krömm and Norvi hung to the side. Ferrik noticed them all, casually glancing at Krömm even as he tried to move quietly and remain hidden. He seemed largely unworried. He was finished stretching. He snapped his his to one side, then the other, cracking his neck loudly. He entwined his fingers and cracked them as well, before wrapping them around the grip of his morningstar. With a hefty swing he smashed the fountain to pieces. Beyond the thin veil of spray and dust Ferrik could see Aldo. “You’re really good at hitting stuff that doesn’t move,” Aldo complimented the bugbear. Ferrik readied his morningstar, pulled out his light wooden shield, and started in the direction of Aldo. Suddenly, he was struck from behind. Yurm was quick and got the drop on him. Aldo charged. Soon they were flanking him. Krömm and Norvi split up. Norvi stayed where he was and covered Krömm, while Krömm cautiously skirted the perimeter to bust any would be ambushers. The coast was clear. Wexley and his men were well out of sight. The streets were empty. Krömm gave Norvi the signal. Norvi loosed 2 arrows at Ferrik. The first went high, but the second sunk deep below his right ear. The beast cried out in a snarl and dropped his morningstar as his hand flew to his wound. Krömm charged straight in, leapt into the air, and punched Ferrik in the throat with his punching dagger. Ferrik’s eyes opened wide and he looked in Krömm’s eyes with a puzzled expression. The bugbear champion let a long, wet sigh out of his new mouth, dropped to his knees, and fell on his face.
Quickly the party withdrew back into the tavern. That is all but Krömm who spared a few seconds to frantically loot Ferrik real quick. They all gathered at the bar. “That was a real great thing you did out there,” the barkeep said. “But its not going to go over well.” He was emptying the cashdraw and hurredly packing some small things. He slapped something down on the bar. “I’m getting out of here, I have to protect my family. Please lock up when you’re done here.” Aldo pocketed the keys. They made a few small preparations and slipped through the kitchen and out the back door. The party went back to the Hornwood, which they were becoming quite familiar with now, and made camp to wait until dark to execute phase 2.
That night, the slipped back into town. From a distance they could see packs of Wexley’s men bearing torches combing the city. Once again, the party split up into two groups. Yurm and Aldo sneaked into the backlot and hid in a spot Aldo discovered while he was casing. Krömm and Norvi walked in the direction of Wexley’s pub hoping on their ‘employment’ with him to give them safe passage. It isn’t long before they run into one of the packs. 6 men with bows and swords drawn approached them immediately. They explained that they were working for Wexley and they were just going to see him. The guard wasn’t sure about them, but he had orders to bring anyone they find to Wexley anyway, so to Wexley’s it was.
Aldo and Yurm were just settling into their hiding spot when they noticed the two guards at the door to the pub. Deciding that they just wouldn’t do, he threw a rock down the alley. The guards fell for it. Aldo and Yurm ambushed them and quieted things down just in time for Krömm and Norvi to be escorted to the pub. The leader stopped the men and said, “Wait. …Weren’t there guards here?” Krömm attacked. Norvi joined in too. Aldo and Yurm rose from the shadows and the party quickly annihilated the detachment of street thugs. Wexley heard the noise and flung open his door. He looked at his dead comrades and drew a masterwork rapier and main gauche. With a howl of rage he began assaulting the party. He was agile and skilled. At times the attacks from all four of them seemed to just repel from his aura. But he was enraged,and Wexley let his guard down to unleash a vicious chain of attacks on Krömm. Krömm fell, just barely hanging on. Wexley’s carelessness cost him, and the others took advantage. Wexley was injured, and he turned and ducked into his bar. Krömm quaffed one of those light healing potions, and was on his feet again. Yurm ran around to cover the back door. The rest of the party gave chase into the pub after Wexley, expecting a whole bar full of cronies. What they found was Wexley alone, behind the bar, with a heavy crossbow. He had spread himself too thin. In his arrogance he never considered that the thorn in his side would come for him directly. All of his men were combing the streets in marshall law. He had left 2 to guard the door, but had no fear, for he felt he had no equal for miles. He now realized that he may be sorely mistaken. He fired the bolt. It sailed toward the party and hit the doorframe behind Norvi. Wexley cursed, dropping the bow. He again drew his rapier. One by one, the party began hopping over the bar, coming right for him. Krömm struck a terrible blow with his punching dagger in Wexley’s eye, and he reached up and pulled a braided silk cord. The floor opened up underneath him and he disappeared into the ground! Our heroes were shocked for a moment, but pursued soon after. Jumping blindly down the hole, they landed on a steep slide of polished wood and slid downward about 30 feet under. They all landed on top of one another in a heap at the bottom while Wexley stood by a shelf of vials guzzling one. The party got up and went at Wexley once again. He swept his arm over the shelf knocking the potions onto the ground in a smoldering bubbling mess of broken glass and alchemical waste. The different fluid mixed and a thick green smoke was being developed in the small space. Wexley engaged Krömm in a grapple and tried to force him into the puddle. It seemed close, but Krömm gained the upper hand with the help of his party and soon the had Wexley where they wanted him. Or so they thought. Wexley wriggled free and ran for the wall opposite the shelf. Krömm and Yurm were right on top of him. They pinned him to the wall. Krömm was going to try to punch him, when Wexley kicked a release with his heel. The wall rotated 180 degrees putting the three of them in a different hallway. There they continues their struggle. It seemed Wexley might have advantage at last when Aldo found the switch and pressed it rotating the wall again. Now he and Norvi were in the hallway and Krömm and Yurm were back in the room. Wexley was losing and he knew it. He made a run for the slide. Krömm slashed at his leg with his punching dagger, slicing the inside of Wexley’s thigh. It erupted in a geyser of blood. Wexley’s life drained from him.
The very first thing Krömm did was sever Wexley’s head. He crammed his hand up the neck hole and positioned his fingers into the ligature of to jaw. “OOOOOHH, I’m Wexley…. You can’t join my gang…,” Krömm mocked in a singsong voice. “Krömm, you’re so cool, I want to be in your gang!” Wexley’s mouth flapped wetly about as Krömm amused himself to no end. Very pleased with his new toy, he tucked it away in his pack. He then explored the hall with the rest of the party. They found a second room with a pair of large sturdy chests waiting to be tampered with. Aldo did just that. He touched the latch of the chest and ZZZAAAP! He was struck by a lightning spell. It took a second, but he recovered enough to smash the chest’s lid in with his gnomehammer. The gaping hole revealed hundreds of gold coins, some of which spilled out on to the floor. Norvi decided that he and Aldo were the finders of the chests, so he split the gold into 2 piles. He took one and Aldo scooped one. That being the case, Krömm wanted dibs on chest number 2. He slid his crowbar into the latch of the chest and ZZZAAAP! Krömm forgot his crowbar was made of metal. Luckily each chest was rigged to go only once, and Krömm popped the lid. Inside were several different types of light armors from twisted silk, to studded leather. Krömm was uninterested and instead went back to Wexley’s corpse and pried his sharp looking black scale armor off. Aldo looked inside the chest Krömm left. Inside amongst the armors he found a parchment. The parchment was a tax ledger. It indicated that the king wasn’t, in fact, rejecting the people’s taxes. Wexley was intercepting them. Aldo’s spirits sunk as his morality nagged him. What to do?
Will the party keep the gold and doom the city? Or will they give it back to the people so they can send it to the capital and finally get some much needed policing?
Find out what the moral fiber of our party is made of…. Next Session…. In The Land of Corra!!!!