Missing: Stan and Cameron :(((
When we last left the party, Darius had just killed a man in cold blood to defuse a tough situation with the boss of the sailor’s union and Myles had just negotiated quite an awesome deal for the sale of the Deceitful Eel, the kobold pirate ship they had captured the day before. Mixed emotions hung above the heads of the adventurers, elated on one hand over the windfall but greatly concerned over the potential repercussions from the actions of the Halfling, Darius.
The party walks back to the Renaldo’s Rage from Franthar’s office discussing various trade goods they want to purchase with their newfound wealth. As they round the corner towards the dock, they see Ash standing awkwardly on the deck of their ship. He calls down to them in a wavering voice, “Uhh… guys? Did you get into trouble in town last night?” as many hooded men appear along the deck of the ship. Myles looks around and notices a number of similarly dressed men coming up from behind as well and, reflecting on the events of the prior evening, surmises that this is likely some sort of Assassin’s Union likely seeking justice for Darius’ non-union killing.
His fears are near instantly confirmed as a man approaches the side of the ship, casually tossing a dagger between his hands and remarks on “needing retribution for an unsanctioned killing”. [Myles jerks his head towards Darius and begins a coughing fit, “::cough cough:: Darius ::cough cough::”] The man places the dagger in Ash’s side and continues on to explain that Reyshire is a town of laws, even for unlawful deeds, and that Darius’ actions have upset the delicate balance within the city, and that they have been sent to seek “restitution”.
Barundar quips, “Funny, “Restitution” is what I just named this crossbow bolt.” and he rains bolts and thorns down on the men approaching from behind. Barundar, Darius and Myles soon find themselves rushed by assassins. As the trio engages with the goons on the dock Darius calls out to Jack and instructs him to attack on the deck of the boat. [What Damien doesn’t know is that by attacking through his surrogates, he is also welcoming DAMAGE through his surrogates.] Jack does as instructed and bloodies an assassin on deck with a superb headbutt.
As Barundar lashes out at a pair of assassins [downing one in the process] the union boss leaps across the deck of the Renaldo’s Rage and throws a series of daggers at the dwarf and the Halfling, severely wounding Darius in the process. He calls out to the assassins holding Ash hostage and commands them to throw him overboard. Ash sinks.
Another assassin attacks Jack and [to Damien’s chagrin] Darius reels in pain as he is almost downed. A second assassin attacks Jack but lunges too far and flies off the side of the boat into the water.
Seeing that Darius is almost downed, another assassin leaps across to the dock and stabs him, finally downing the Halfling. The assassin calls out, “I got ‘im boss!”
Barundar abandons Myles and rushes to Darius’ side and heals the Halfling almost back to full health just as the union boss launches another flurry of daggers at the pair severely wounding Darius again. Myles finds himself completely surrounded by assassins, all attempting to stab him with dual-wielded daggers. Surviving five consecutive stab wounds, Myles quickly disengages and positions himself behind Barundar across the dock.
Having been downed, raised and then severely wounded again, Darius thought it best to run, hiding himself among the boxes on an adjacent boat. Once hidden, he shoots his crossbow and wounds an assassin.
Barundar struggles with a pair of men [killing one and wounding another] as the union boss jumps across to the dock and swiftly kicks the dwarf into the water. Continuing his momentum, the boss unsheathes two short swords and strikes Myles.
The crew of assassins begin searching for Darius and quickly find him on the boat. A pair hop across and quickly subdue the Halfling. Myles continues his imitation of a punching bag and is reduced to 1hp. He rallies himself [with temp HP] and strikes out at his aggressors, killing an assassin and hitting the [seemingly impervious] union boss with his blade.
In the water below, Barundar is faced with a moral dilemma. Ash continues to lash about in the waters to his right as he quickly drowns, but Darius lies unconscious on the deck of the boat to his left. With one healing spell left he must choose between the pious, innocent cleric who did nothing wrong, or the precocious ne’er-do-well rogue that got the party into this mess. He chooses the halfing [“No offense, Stan”] climbs aboard the boat and, once again, heals Darius.
The union boss stands before Myles with two swords. He offers to let him live if he would put down his sword and hand over Darius. Myles demands that he save Ash from drowning but [against his better judgment] refuses to lay down his blade. The boss commands his assassins to wrench the cleric from the water and then proceeds to strike Myles with his blades, downing the fighter [for the first time ever!]
The assassins continue to perforate Darius and Barundar with their blades. In the midst of the stabbings, Darius spots an opening. Before Barundar can even react, the ungrateful rogue RUNS AWAY and leaves the remainder of the party to die.
The union boss places a boot on Myles’ limp body and provides Barundar with the same offer, lay down his arms and allow them to capture the Halfling and he will be allowed to live. “You see, the problem with me arms…” Barundar heaves, covered in blood and perforated with dagger-holes, “…is that they’re attached to my chest…” The boss is not amused and strikes Barundar and he falls lifeless to the ground.
Darius [surprisingly] looks back at the docks and sees his three friends being tied up and dragged away by the assassins. The boss sends a number of his troops out to search for their target. The rogue is able to avoid most his pursuers in the alleys and rooftops of Reyshire, but he is eventually cornered by two of them. One of the assassins throws a dagger that lodges itself deep in Darius’ leg, almost dropping him.
Darius flees again and [high on adrenaline] throws open a nearby sewer grate and hides inside. He traces his way back towards the dock and arrives just in time to see the assassin’s union dragging his friends away. The group descends into the same sewer system. Darius tracks them through the length of the town and watches as they proceed into a hall in what he assumes is the basement of a large building.
Darius surfaces and finds the building to be the local guild hall. Once on the street, he calls over a guard and begins to spin a tall tale about a Halfling uprising being planned deep below the guild hall. “A group of halflings are planning to reclaim the city and they’re planning it in the basement! I was with them but I now see the error of my ways so I left and they attacked and are holding my friends hostage!” The guard brings Darius back to the station and summons the guard captain. Darius continues the lie saying, “Thank you! I know what’s right now and I want to help the city!”
The guard escorts Darius to the captain’s office. The captain, Ambrus, arrives and beings to interrogate Darius about his story. Darius goes on about how he and the society of halflings created a guild and built a reputation in the city to cover their plan. Darius says that they are set to strike in one month but that he had a change of heart and the group has taken it out on his friends. [Unbelievably] He says, “I can’t be part of a group that has such a lack of moral bearing… They attacked my friends and I at our ship, you should go check it out.”
[Nathan crits Ambrus’ insight roll vs. what is possibly Darius’ lowest roll to date, a 10.] Ambrus approaches Darius from behind and begins to roll up his sleeves. The captain says, “I find this whole story a bit hard to believe…” and Darius is able to see a tattoo on the man’s arm of the symbol of the DAWN’S MASTER!
Meanwhile, [Nathan finds the table-o’-trippin’-balls] Barundar awakens in a dark chamber and, despite the circumstances, feels elated. As his eyes adjust, he is able to make out his surroundings. The cage in which they are being held is makeshift and rickety and, surprisingly, across the room is a literal mountain of black rock. Numerous slaves are chained to tables at which they’re breaking down massive black rock crystals into small shards and implanting them in [crappy looking] statuettes. Barundar checks on Myles and finds him on the floor, completely unresponsive, drooling profusely. Ash stands facing the corner of the cage, rocking back and forth on his feet, giggling to himself.
A man enters the cell and lifts Myles from his drool puddle and slaps him roughly across the face, saying, “I told you we’d meet again…” Barundar recognizes the man as none other than Walter, the man with the missing “son” from the trail outside of Redmark many weeks back. As he locks the cage back he says to Barundar, “I hope you’re enjoying yourself, dwarf… the first taste is always free.”
Back in Ambrus’ office, Darius learns that Walter had been following the group for weeks, alerting the Dawn’s Master to their location. Darius offers to pay for the life of the man he killed if Ambrus can secure his friend’s safety from the assassin’s guild and the Dawn’s Master. Ambrus laughs at Darius’ offer and says, “Your skills are worth much more than your coins.”
[At this point Matt took a short break from the game to go watch the sunset on the beach across the street from his house. He took a picture and attempted to share it with the hangout from his phone, not knowing that, when you join the hangout from your phone it automatically starts the camera. He was doing this from the bathroom… Luckily, the feed never started for the group, but all we heard was, “oh shit!” and, eventually, “Sorry if you guys just saw my dick…”]
The “guard captain” then proceeds to offer Darius his friend’s freedom in exchange for handling a “situation” they’re facing in town with a man called Ne’brom. Ne’brom has been inciting labor riots against the guilds. Ambrus tells Darius that, “it would be a shame if something were to happen to Ne’brom at his speech in the mines tomorrow…” Darius accepts the mission, but demands to see his friends prior to following through on his, “accident”. Ambrus places a hood on Darius’ head and escorts him through a series of secret passages towards Barundar and Myles.
The halfling checks on his friends and seems altogether unsurprised by the warehouse full of drugs behind him.
Across town, Amon leaves Gracie’s bedside at the clinic and proceeds back to the ship to regroup with his friends. As he approaches, he finds it covered in blood with debris. He takes stock of the situation just as a group of guards approach the gangplank…