Missing; Matt and Cameron – guys, we REALLY all need to be together for once… we might not fuck up as bad…
When we last left the party things have gotten quite serious. Darius’ outright murder of a man in the tavern rubbed the assassins guild the wrong way and a hit squad was dispatched to set things straight in Reyshire. After many close calls, Darius manages to escape the battle, leaving his friends in the hands of dangerous assassins. In the end Darius comes to find out that the group attacking them worked for his old foe, the Dawn’s Master.
Darius is [rightfully] thrown into the cell along with Myles, Barundar and Ash. Sometime later, a very bloodied and beaten Amon is dragged in along with the remainder of the party’s crew, including Gracie and Mercy. Just before the cell door is closed, the agents of the Dawn’s Master throw in a burlap sack containing the remains of Renaldo.
Francois es Pion, the party’s hired quartermaster stands on the outside of the gate, proving himself to be, himself, in league with the Dawn’s Master. [Myles surmises that this means that the first 500gp worth of items they purchased and intended to trade in the North has probably been stolen, he is thankful to remember that Franthar’s delivery on the sale of the Deceitful Eel is not scheduled to arrive for a few days, hopefully enough time to resolve this whole matter and kill everyone.]
Meanwhile, Ash revels in visions as Lathandar’s [phallic] hammer dancing around his head as he continues to trip on blackrock.
Ambrus tasks Francois with, “finishing the job” if the party fails and reviews the details of the operation with Darius and whoever in the party is conscious enough to understand him. He explains that, should they fail, he and his guards will doctor the records to “prove” that they are the pirates that have been plaguing the city and will have them [and their crew] executed. The party must kill Ne’Brom and must be seen doing so. The guards on scene will arrest the party, but Ambrus will arrange for their release if they’re successful.
The next morning, Myles, Ash and Darius set out to do what must be done as the remainder of their party is held as collateral.
The party travels to the mines and begins to plot their attack. Ne’Brom is nowhere to be seen, but they find a large crowd of workers already assembled at the gates. Tensions within the crowd are high as it’s obvious that pro- and anti-union supporters are intermingled within.
Myles and Ash decide to use this fact to their advantage and pose as people on both sides of the issue in the hopes of starting a riot, providing Darius enough time to strike the killing blow. Myles ponders that, as he strikes, Darius could potentially take a pro-halfling stance and potentially actually incite revoluion against the status quo. Darius is unmoved.
Ash and Myles meander to the front of the crowd to enact their plan. Ash has committed to rushing Ne’Brom, posing as a pro-union activist and for Myles to run after him and attack – hopefully working the crowd into a frenzy.
Ne’Brom finally appears and beings addressing the crowd. He calls out, “Friends, we toil away the days mining ore, but does anyone know what we’re ACTUALLY MINING?” Myles pushes Ash and says, “Uhh… That’s your cue.”
Ash’s feet begin pounding across the loose dirt of the mine, his heart beats within his chest as his voice screams out into the stillness of the mines – the plan is going according to plan, soon Myles should grab him from behind and the two will scuffle – his eyes are transfixed on his target on the catwalk above as Ne’Brom raises a HUGE blackrock crystal above his head. Decades of ascetic discipline dissolve, innumerable hours of prayer lost as Ash’s eyes are now locked onto a new target – the massive blackrock crystal. Myles stands stunned as his normally reserved friend dissolves into hedonism for a moment before attempting to catch up and salvage the plan.
Ne’Brom sees the mouth-foaming Ash running towards him and tries to flee by jumping off of the catwalk from which he was delivering his speech but he falls and breaks his ankle in the process.
Darius facepalms A guard strikes [and crits] as he runs past. Myles, unable to catch Ash pulls his longbow and attempts to strike Ne’Brom twice but misses both times. Across the mine Ambrus throws his hands into the air and half-heartedly calls out, “Guards, get them… the assassins strike….” before stomping away down one of the mines.
On the catwalk above, Darius flees the attacking guards and runs up a vertical wall, grabbing onto and hanging from a higher platform by one hand. He aims his crossbow with his free hand and [only somewhat unsurprisingly] hits him. After confirming that his bolt hit its mark, he drops the crossbow and yells out, “Ahh, co-conspirators, I’ve been injured, you must continue the assassination without me!” before dropping down and being knocked unconscious by a guard.
Ash continues his pursuit of the ultimate high, reducing a guard to a smoking husk with a Sacred Flame in his insanity.
Eventually, Myles finally catches up to Ne’Brom just as he’s about to enter one of the mines. The man falls to the ground and calls out to Myles, “Brother! The blackrock is killing us and endangering our children! How could you do this?!” Myles rears back with his sword and replies, “It’s really nothing personal… In all honesty, I’m on your side… All I can say is that I will do anything I can to make things right and continue your fight,” before striking and killing the man. The large blackrock stone he held shatters onto the ground. Myles pockets a small handful of the shards [for use as pocketsand against Ambrus or Francois, but this ends up being a decision Paul will regret…] before submitting and surrendering to the nearest guard and being knocked out.
Far below, Ash continues the fight as he seeks the blackrock of his dreams. He attempts to Sacred Flame another guard, but comes to his senses just in time, managing draw the flame away from the guard. Being able to control his urge over the blackrock, Ash surveys the scene of mayhem he caused around the mine just before the guard he spare knocks him unconscious.
The group awakens back in the cell below with their friends and crew. A visibly furious Ambrus paces back and forth, through his rage he is able to stammer out, “Just what in the hell happened up there? Was it not clear that preventing him from revealing the secret of the mines was the entire intent of the assassination?” Darius covers his own ass and retorts, “Well, I did my part, I took my shot and hit him… Who ended up killing him, anyway?” as he looks coyly towards Myles. Ambrus screams about how the party’s inability to assassinate Ne’Brom prior to his revelation “could jeopardize the entire operation” and explains that the party is not square.
He goes on to offer the party another job in exchange for their freedom, but that this one must be done without detection. “This must be very clean, like nothing happened… Go into Ne’Brom’s office, find a book and come back… Maybe there’s an accidental fire, catch my drift?”
Darius, Myles and Ash set out again from the guild hall. They proceed to a wealthier section of the town and locate Ne’Brom’s home. Darius scopes out the residence and [with a surprisingly low perception check] surmises that the house is empty. Myles posts up on a column outside the house and stands lookout for guard patrols. As he stands against the column, he places his hand in his pocket. Feeling the sharp crystals sparks desire in his brain. [After failing his CON save] He pinches off a small piece of a crystal and grinds it before not-so-subtly taking his fingers to his nose and fake-clearing-his-nose with a massive snort.
At this exact moment [of course] Darius reappears and asks Myles if everything’s okay. “You look a little worked up.” Darius says with a grin on his face. “Nopenopenopenopenopenooooooope, everything’s okay here, yeayeayea yep ooooookay.” Myles rattles off unnaturally quickly as he fidgets and dances around in place like the perfect little addict. [At this point, Nathan explains that every time a person takes a drug, the chances of becoming dependent on that drug raises significantly, and that Myles runs a pretty big risk of becoming addicted to blackrock.] “Everything’s good here, how about go in there and get that book, book book book book booooook, that’s what we’re here for, that book.” Darius chuckles as he notices Ash across the street, sitting at a table sweating bullets as he, too, is apparently jonesing for blackrock.
Darius squeezes through a grate into the basement where he finds a small amount of treasure.
500sp worth of small art/collectibles (100sp/ea)
10 gp gem
After collecting these items, Darius calls up and asks for Myles to remove a bar from the grate to help him get the bigger items out. Myles sees a patrol coming, and places a boot on Darius’ face and shoves him into the basement. After the patrol passes, Myles crosses the street and sits with Ash to enjoy the show.
Inside the house, Darius carefully proceeds up to the first floor. As he moves from room to room, he ponders the fact that this house is far too large and well-lived-in to only house Ne’Brom, but he finds no one and presses on to the second floor. Cresting the stairs he finds a central room with 8 rooms branching off. Each door is shut and lit from the inside by what appears to be candlelight. He stealthily proceeds past the closed doors and up the stairs on the far side of the room.
At the top he finds what appears to be Ne’Brom’s office. The desks in the room are scattered with papers, but Darius is unable to locate the book Ambrus described. He frantically and somewhat noisily [with a 14 on his stealth check] searches the room. He spins around to find a wide eyed young girl staring at him from the doorway.
The girl stands motionless in the door and addresses Darius, “What are you doing in daddy’s office? When is daddy coming home from the healers?” [At this point Damien’s face is a mixture of fear and sly excitement and he utters this synopsis’ name, “Oh no… Why Cindy Lou Who, why!?”] Darius pauses for a moment before saying, “Wait, they took that guy to the healers? I thought he was dead! My friend cut him in half, how are they planning on healing him, he died like, instantly…” The young girl goes ballistic and begins wailing, Darius contemplates killing her for a moment but decides it best just to cover her mouth with his hands instead. On the street below, the guards come running at the sound of a screaming girl and begin pounding on the door to the home.
Ash quickly moves to get up from the table when Myles grabs his hand and says, “No, Ash, we are NOT going in there… All of this trouble is because of Darius, let him get himself out of it…” Myles senses Ash’s tension and pinches off the smallest of small shards from the stash of blackrock in his pocket, just enough to take the edge off. Ash looks at the crystal pensively until greed and desire fill his mind and he takes the drugs, calming down and rejoining Myles at the table.
Back above, Darius pulls his crossbow and puts it to the girls head and tries to force her out through the window. The young girl faints at the idea and drops her candle and the roof lights on fire. Myles continues to hold Ash in place despite what they’re able to see on the roof.
Darius searches even more frantically for the book. In the process, a painting on the wall catches fire and burns away, revealing a safe inset into the wall. Darius wrenches the safe from the wall and throws it out the window. Myles and Ash hear the safe fall to the ground and the pair make their way over and pick it up and begin to walk away quickly.
Darius stands in the middle of the fire in front of the unconscious girl, guards now barreling up the stairs towards him. In a dash he kicks a pile of burning papers ONTO THE LITTLE GIRL’S LIMP BODY IN AN ATTEMPT TO LIGHT HER ON FIRE before leaping out the window before the guards enter and sliding down the roof to the ground below in a series of flips and twists.
He rushes hurriedly down the street to catch up with Myles and Ash as they walk briskly back towards Ambrus’ office. Running alongside them he says in a hushed tone, “No, no, no, there was a guard, I slipped up and h-h-he spotted me, we have to go back and bar the doors to the house!” The party stops briefly just down the street from the burning house as Myles refuses to lock anyone inside the burning house [1) because it’s fucking evil and 2) because there are WAY too many people around] regardless of whether or not Darius was spotted.
As the party quietly screams at each other, the doors to the house burst forth. From the flames and ashes 9 children run out of the inferno followed by a middle aged woman carrying a small, smoldering child. The guard follow closely. It doesn’t take Myles long to poke enough holes in Darius’ story to get the Halfling to admit that he was spotted by the girl, yet Darius insists that “We have to take her out!”
Ash stands dumbfounded for a moment as Myles reaches for his sword and, pushing the pair onwards at a brisk pace, calmly states, “Hoo boy! I’m glad this is all the drugs, and that none of this is actually happening… right guys?” Darius looks at the cleric with uncharacteristically desperate eyes as he runs down the street and says, “Listen, churchy, you’re running with a bunch of bandits and murderers, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to be part of my group…” Myles stops walking and drops the safe [producing a loud clang], placing his hand back on his blade and says, “Wait just a damn minute, what do you mean YOUR group?”
The loud noise of metal on stone draws the attention of a guard rushing by to address the blaze. He inspects the party and finds; one smoking and singed Halfling, one wide-eyed, high-as-a-kite human ceric and one human fighter gripping his sword with a safe at his feet, all visibly out of breath and only blocks away from a house that mysteriously erupted into flames… Myles and Darius continue to argue until they realize that Ash is introducing himself to someone. The pair looks around and realizes that they’re entirely surrounded by guards…