Present : everyone but Stan who was busy dodging tornados or something equally heroic
When we last left the party, Myles was under cover, posing as his greatest foe, Tyson Always who, as it turns out is the sheriff of Dahyrst. Myles and the party agreed that they would meet at the most obvious bar in town sometime later that night to discuss their plan for snaring the Lords.
Myles rides along with the guards the party Shanghai’d a few hours before and enters the city. As he passes the sentries posted at the entrance to town he sends his complement of men ahead. Once they’re clearly out of eatshot he addresses the sentries and tells them that he had passed a ragtag party on the road a ways back and that they should allow them safe passage into town. The guards scratch their heads and look a bit confused, but agree.
Their confusion over his order becomes clear when Myles enters the town and sees it filled with decorations for an upcoming festival. Even late in the evening people of all sorts crowd the streets, many of whom are obviously out-of-towners. Myles gives a look back at the still-confused guards but rides on into town.
Among the various streamers and fliers decorating the streets, Myles begins to notice the same, repetitive poster. Upon closer inspection he finds that it features three intertwining hands and mentions joining the guard to protect Dahyrst from its enemies. Looking around, he spots a man pasting the same poster on the wall across the street.
As Myles approaches the man, he is able to see that the man is using the poster to cover a large word that has been scrawled on the wall in red paint, “WAR”. [Through excellent roleplay] Myles is able to deduce from the man that the decorations are for the final Festival of the Three, and that the scrawlings are from an uprising against the Lords. The man putting up posters is the first to ask Tyson/Myles if he has hit his head [but is not the last].
[Paul’s basic approach to RP’ing Tyson was to play the lovable buffoon, the “oh, I know that, I’m just joshin’ you, man!” type, or, when confronted as being wrong the, “Oh, psh, I was kidding!” kind of guy.]
A young child approaches Myles and tells him that Tetra is waiting for him at the Keep gate. Myles points down the road and says, “Oh, The KEEP, you mean the one that’s this way, right?” When the boy corrects him he says, “Riiiiight, this street [which is the main street in town] always confuses me. Thank you, be on your way!” and rides off into the dusk to confront whatever a Tetra is.
Approaching the gate, Myles finds Tetra to be a [rather impatient] town steward. Tetra asks why Tyson/Myles has called another meeting with the Lords so soon after their meeting earlier the same day. Tyson/Myles explains that his news is for the Lords’ ears only. The steward begrudgingly shows him into the Keep. In a large, vaulted chamber Tyson/Myles soon finds himself standing before three large tables laden with food. Behind the tables sit a rather odd, if not well dressed, trio; a human female, a dwarf male and an elf male.
From his beating of Tyson he knows that these people are the lords of Dahyrst and [apparently] are agents of the Triumvirate.
The human female, Cordelia DeClaire sits nibbling on large snails. The dwarf, Grun’wil Blackmaul, is shoveling ox tongue into his mouth with his bare hands and the elf, Aeri’ali House Lylith is eating what Myles can only describe as large oddly shaped beans. [These would later be explained to be kidneys, gross, right?]
Pardoning himself for interrupting their “meal”, Tyson/Myles explains that he and “his men” had located the elf city deep within the woods to the South and that they were poised to make a final attack. Tyson/Myles requests the Lords’ attendance at the battle so that they can see what a great job he’s doing but the Lords decline. Tyson/Myles says, “This Bella has been such a thorn in your side, I figured you’d want to see her writhe under my boot before I put her out of your misery…” to which the dwarf boisterously agrees. The other two seem less apt to attend a battle, but Tyson/Myles negotiates that once the “battle” is “over” he will call the Lords forth and they can “see” Bella as “justice” gets “done”.
Before he leaves, Tyson/Myles explains that, due to the expense of raising such a force on short notice, he will need an advance on his stipend. The confused Lords say, “Well… you have access to the city treasury and armory, what more could you need?” Tyson/Myles stammers out, “Uhhhhh, well, yea, of course I do, I just wanted to let you know before I made a sizable withdrawal…” as he quickly backs out of the room to avoid more suspicion. After he leaves Cordelia questions whether or not he hit his head recently.
Back outside of town, the remainder of the party approaches Dahyrst. Amon fruitlessly attempts to turn this adventure into a rom-com by asking Twila if she’d like to be his pretend wife in Dahyrst, “…you know, to help us blend in…” Twila refuses noting his odd skin color [dat’sracist.gif] saying, “You don’t think YOU and I would look suspicious together??” Amon scoffs and responds, “Well, I know you’re below the standards of my people, but none of them are around so I figured it’s okay…” Before Twila can draw her blade to filet the wizard, Barundar scoots in and offers her his arm, which she accepts if only to snub Amon [leading to an exchange from which this synopsis gets its title].
Inside the city they travel to a bar nearest to the guard station and the inn and ask the barkeep for the “good stuff”. Barundar, still coughing up clouds of glittering spores and unable to taste, moans into the mug of whitish [which is a sign of high quality] beer that the barkeeper offers him. He drinks the ale anyway and, mysteriously, a wave of memories washes over him and he is almost able to recall with crystal clarity most moments of his entire life. [For whatever reason, this gives him advantage on all performance checks for 24 hours.]
After making small talk with the barkeeper, the party learns that the Festival of the Three is to commemorate the three Lords put in place by the Triumvirate after Dahyrst was “annexed” some months back. The festivals essentially serve as a means of pacifying the city, but the barkeep notes in a hushed voice that a rebellion has been growing.
Barundar asks who the Lords of the city are and finds out that one is a member of the Blackmaul clan [his arch-rivals and the family that kicked his out of power]. Under his breath Barundar tells the party not to use his family name in town… [Luckily no one, not even Matt, remembered Barundar’s last name anyway, so it was all good.]
As Amon and Darius discuss Tyson [and their general distrust for authority figures, “if you know what I’m sayin’ ”] with the barkeep, Tyson/Myles finally shows up in the bar. The barkeep asks him if he wants “the usual” which turns out to be a foul smelling, grey liquid. Tyson/Myles looks at the slop in his cup and asks “…has this batch turned or something? It smells a bit off.” The barman scoffs and says deeply offended, “No, that’s the usual sour ale…” leaving Tyson/Myles to play it off by saying, “Uh, yea, of course it is, I meant that it didn’t smell sour enough” before quickly retreating to a table far from the bar where he is soon joined by his party members.
Sipping the drink, Myles’ eyes, ears, fingertips and tongue burn as he is granted advantage on all perception checks. Darius’ crazy drink gives him advantage on intimidation checks [as if he needs it, right?] and Twila’s gives her advantage on all swimming abilities… [The party promptly orders a keg of this drink for Ash for no reason whatsoever.] Amon states that, “Those dwarves that brew that slop don’t know how to harness the power of magic!” and sticks to normal alcohol.
The two groups fill each other in on the goings on as they get progressively more hammered off of crazy, magic dwarf beer. Amon drunkenly jokes to Barundar that he will eventually be able to memorize 24 castings of the charm spell and that, “then, Twila will be mine forever! …As long as you don’t want her…” Barundar [doing the typical quiet scream that drunk people do so well] responds, “Why would I want her, take the bitch… I was just keeping her from cutting you in half, I don’t care about her!” It’s only then that the two realize that they’re separated at the table by Twila, and that she’s heard everything they’ve said. She stands, walks across the table and marches straight out of the bar, middle fingers raised.
Eventually realizing that they need to make a plan for the next day, the group gets down to business. Barundar and Darius decide to travel back to Bella’s village and arrange an ambush for the army of guards Tyson/Myles and Amon will amass. Once that is done it’s decided the party will stage a battle on the plains to lure the Lords out and then spring a second ambush on them to capture them for transfer to [and presumed execution by] Bella.
The next morning, heads pounding and blurry eyed, the party sets about their plan.
Barundar and Darius arrange for the various ambushes [ambushi?] with Bella and the elves and Barundar negotiates to be allowed to kill Grun’wil Blackmaul himself. Bella begrudgingly agrees as long as she still gets his body.
Meanwhile, in town, Tyson/Myles and Amon mobilize 300 [of 400 total for a town of 10,000+] of the strongest guards in Dahyrst to attack the elves in the forest. Stopping by the armory, they pick through racks upon racks of weapons before finding two shining gems in the lot.
+1 Longbow, +1 against constructs (+2 total)
14 extraordinary +1 (but unidentified) arrows in a leather quarrel
The duo then heads to the treasury. Unsure of how much gold to request, Tyson/Myles throws out a number, 1,000gp, as a request to the agent behind the desk. Noting that this number is [apparently] way too high, Tyson/Myles says, “HAHAHAHA ohhhh I got you good, a THOUSAND gold, right? Ohhh boy, that’s rich… so, 450 is what I actually need, thank you!” hoping that his confident delivery will be enough to seal the deal. The teller [shockingly] agrees and sends a few men with a chest full of gold to the guard tower. Amon and Tyson/Myles hire a cart driver and escort the gold to the hidey-hole where they’ve stashed Ash and Tyson for safekeeping before returning to town to lead the guards on the attack.
450gp! 90 ea.
After marking themselves with red cloth [Bloodz4lyfe] to prevent the elves from attacking them, Tyson/Myles and Amon lead the army of guards to the forest. Once inside, Tyson/Myles instructs the men to strike off in different directions to take “small outposts” the elves have erected throughout the forest. Hesitating for a moment, Myles realizes that he’s sending 300 men to their deaths. A single tear forms on his eye beneath his mask, but he rationalizes that these men serve the Triumvirate and that they’re obviously on the move, what with the “annexation” of Dahyrst, so it serves them right!
Two hundred men are nearly instantly cut down by arrows from the canopy as the elves spring their traps. Many of the final third are felled as well, but they manage to put up some resistance, killing a number of elves.
Barundar hops down from a tree and kills three of the final guards, and Tyson/Myles approaches saying, “OH NO, not my plan, gods above why has this fallen apart so? My plan – the great Tyson Alway’s plan – has fallen apart, oh no, what shall I do?” as he pulls out the +1 longbow and one of the magical arrows and locks eyes with the final guards. The terrified men look to him for leadership, for explanation of why they’ve been ambushed, they look to him for protection – but he shoots them through the heads instead [with a crit].
The party quickly sets about the second part of their plan, dragging many of the guard’s arrow-riddled corpses back out of the forest and into the field to set up a mock battle. The elves smear blood all over the place and lay in wait among the fallen bodies. Bella descends from her lofty city and feigns defeat on the edge of the forest, kneeling before Barundar. Myles sends his messenger boy back to summon the waiting Lords.
Sometime later the Lords finally arrive with [Johnny Bravo-esqe meatshield] bodyguards in tow. Myles meets them and leads them towards Bella. As he approaches, the dwarf, Grun’wil Blackmaul, says, “I knew we’d get you one day…” Unable to contain his rage, Barundar lashes out at his Blackmaul foe screaming, “I knew I’d find you, Blackmaul scum!” as he cuts him across the chest with both scimitars.
The ambush now completely botched, the elves are wildly confused as to whether or not that was “the signal” or not and some of them spring to their feet. Luckily they are able to still surround the Lords and their bodyguards.
Myles throws his hands up in the air, curses Barundar, and runs up to attack the nearest Lord, Cordelia. He faces off with her bodyguard and stabs him in the belly. Barundar continues his assault on Grun’wil and Aeri’ali breaks down in tears out of fear and fuddles a Sanctuary spell.
Darius [having built a fort out of bodies to hide behind] steadies his bow and kills Cordelia’s bodyguard from across the field.
Grun’wil Blackmaul’s bodyguard attempts to attack Barundar but [biffs hard] slips on the wet grass and manages to place his neck directly in the path of one of the swinging scimitars. His head lies disconnected from his body on the ground for a few moments before the dimwitted bodyguard realizes that he should be dead and expires.
Cordelia strikes at Myles with a bladed fan [which, if we can retcon, Myles wants to grab before we let Bella take her] as Amon finds Bella’s anti-magic field too great for a flurry of fiery bolts. Myles retaliates against Cordelia’s fan attack and knocks her out, using his action surge [to get greedy…] he also attacks Aeri’ali , but the shifty elf throws him off balance and he ends up slinging his sword across the battlefield [after crit failing the attack].
[This first crit fail set off a chain reaction of crit fails that had potential to fuck everything up, but luckily we managed to salvage it…]
Grun’wil Blackmaul, bodyguardless and wounded, strikes at Barundar with his warhammer [but also crit fails!] sending his hammer flying across the field.
Barundar, eyes filled with bloodlust, takes a moment to laugh at his now unarmed opponent before attacking [and ALSO CRIT FAILING – it should be noted that he was standing next to Bella at the time… you know, the same Bella that has poisoned him with killer fungus and who we have forged a very weak, if not borderline hostile, treaty with… she literally holds Barundar’s life in his hands and he crit fails the attack right next to her… Thankfully, though, we leveled up and Matt took the Lucky feat, meaning he can reroll the attack with his final luck point] Barundar manages to recover from a wildly inaccurate attack and [critting – seriously, three 1’s in a row, then a 20… if it hadn’t worked out so perfectly we would have called shenannigans] finds that the blade he accidentally let fly lodged itself right into Grun’wil Blackmaul’s chest.
Aeri’ali attempts to flee past Myles, but the fighter manages to stomp on the elf’s flowing cape and punch him in the back of the head as he runs past.
Darius again locks onto a target, Barundar’s nearly mortally wounded dwarf quarry. He locks eyes with Barundar and gives him a little wink [which prompts Matt to say, “Damien, if you kill him, Barundar will attack Darius…”] before swinging his crossbow towards Aeri’ali. He lets the bolt fly but [for possibly the first time ever] he misses his target.
Grun’wil, bleeding profusely and severely injured wrenches the scimitar from his chest and scrambles to retrieve his warhammer. Barundar wastes no time and shows no mercy, simultaneously scooping his scimitar off the ground and pouncing on his enemy from behind. Barundar plunges one blade deep into his target’s leg causing him to fall backwards and reveal his neck. The ranger grasps Blackmaul’s head, curses his family and uses his second blade to unceremoniously slit his throat. Grun’wil’s body lifelessly slumps to the ground.
Aeri’ali finds himself alone and surrounded by enemies. He falls to the ground and begs for mercy before Myles, who carries him and Cordelia under each arm forward to Bella. “Here are your Lords, now heal my friend and go back to your forest.”
Bella Bloomthorn calls Barundar forward and, calling him a true friend of the forest, sucks the fungus out [heh] of the dwarf. She and her men collect the Lords and disappear into the woods leaving the party alone on the field.
The party members each look around and realize that they are surrounded by the 300 corpses of the Dahyrst’s guards they mobilized [and basically murdered] in order to keep Tyson so that they could exchange him for a greater reward from Cletus back in Otemshire… Compounding the fact that they’ve led to the death of 300 guards, they realize that they also likely stoked the flame of rebellion by leaving the city under-guarded, and that Dahyrst is likely to rebel against its now absent Triumvirate leaders. “…At least they’ll blame Tyson for all of this.” Myles says to the group as they walk away.