WHAT THRICE LEARNED
The Journey Back to Hadrian’s Well
When Rymie, Mae, and Issan return from the ambush, Mae immediately searches the wagon to see if the valuable items are still intact. She finds that the elf is dead. Thrice is not forthcoming with any information about what happened. He blames “natural causes” and suggests they continue on their way and he’ll share what he learned.
The Dead Elf’s Tale
When they reach town, Mae goes out to patrol and Rymie talks with Thrice.
According to the dwarf, the elf prisoner thought the raiders were interested in the well, but Thrice suspects that the elf didn’t know everything, and may not have had the whole picture. The elf estimated that there were 20-30 in their band, but Thrice also suspects that number based on his intelligence.
Thrice advocates finding the encampment and attacking the raiders. He suggests that the group hide outside the city and follow a party of raiders back to find their encampment.
SPLITTING UP THE HAUL
The adventurers are now faced with a dilemma . . . should they give the supplies to Jeselah or sell them to Rikard?
According to the limited knowledge they’ve gathered, there are about 20 poorly equipped soldiers in the town (not including the lord’s men). They would need twice that many men to mount an effective defense. Rikard has about 35 men he could train and equip quickly. He is willing to pay for supplies to equip more than that, though, since he’s trying to raise an army. After some deliberation, the group decides to split the weapons evenly between Jeselah and Rikard. The supplies will all go to Jeselah for distribution amongst the refugees.
Thrice and Issan head to Rickard’s, and Rymie suddenly thinks the better of it and hurries after them. Rickard deals directly with Thrice, ignoring the others. He wants the full set of weapons, but seems willing to take what he can get. He lets them know that he doesn’t trust Jeselah and doesn’t think she is effective at her work.
The dwarf offers Thrice 5% of the cut he’ll make raising and hiring out fighters. Thrice negotiates the offer up to 20%, but Rickard wants Jeselah out of the way for it to be a deal. Finally they settle on 10% up front and another 10% if Jeselah is out of the way.
Meanwhile, Mae delivers the other half of the weapons to Jeselah. She feels obliged to tell her about Rickard getting the rest, and Jeselah is so angry she is barely grateful for the weapons. She hints strongly that Mae and her friends burn down Rickard’s, but Mae isn’t interested. She instead advises Jeselah that she set aside her argument with Rickard to focus on defending the town, but leaves convinced Jeselah isn’t focused on that particular task.
AMBUSHING THE RAIDERS
Victory at the Noble Gate
The group reconvenes and decides the best thing to do is to ambush the raiders at the town gate and attack them. After warning the town guard what they’re planning, they sneak out before nightfall and take up hiding places on either side of the Noble Gate, outside of arrow range of the walls. After a long, dull wait, raiders oblige them by showing up at the gate. A rousing fight ensues and the adventurers soundly beat the Noble Gate raiders with assistance from the archers on the walls.
Tracking the Enemy
After the fight ends, the group returns to town quickly. They’re convinced that the raiding group split their attack between the two gates, and Mae fetches Oov and his trackers with a cilops. The adventurers and the cilops & its handler track the surviving elves to the south, but end up at a warren of deep cracks and ravines. Without more information or backup, the group decides it’s safest to return to town.
STRANGE MONSTERS ATTACK
Politics and Rickard’s Heroes
The group returns to town and makes plans to repeat their ambush, but before night falls the group notices something strange. Many of the soldiers and other capable bodies in the town are wearing new blue patches with crossed swords & pikes. Apparently these are Rickard’s “Heroes.”
Rymie feels terrible and Mae is a bit uncomfortable. The group decides to go talk to the town council and see if an explanation will help, or if there’s something they can do to ease the tensions. They encounter just Oov and Miron, and Miron is angry that they’ve caused the town financial hardship by arming fighters who demand a higher price for their services. There’s an uncomfortable conversation in which Miron acknowledges that the group has brought weapons and helped the town overall, but accuses them of bankrupting the town at the same time. Rymie, ever anxious to find a solution, offers to attempt to bargain for a better price for the Heroes’ services. Apparently Rickard is charging 10 cp per soldier per month, whereas previously the town was able to house and equip soldiers for 6 cp per month. The group points out the the equipment provided by the town was hardly serviceable, and they’re deep in conversation when there are sounds of disturbance outside.
“They’re in the walls! They’re in the walls!”
Fire Beetles! Rik! Bullete!
The group bursts out of the council chambers to see several fire beetles burrowing up out of the walls and sandy ground. There are loads of townspeople around, and a battle begins. Additional beetles continue to appear, and so do a few large worms called Rik. At least one of them confuses Rymie & Mae, causing them to attack each other.
FINALLY, after several rounds of Mae shouting for him, Jeren appears with his shotgun, and the battle begins to turn. They group is aided by soldiers and “Heroes” alike, and Jeseleh takes a bad injury.
Just as things look like they’re going the adventurers’ way, the ground rumbles even more violently, and a bullete erupts in the center of the square. It basically looks like a giant mouth, or a shark with legs. Rymie is nearly beside himself with concern for the innocent civilians, but with Jeren’s help the group manages to put down the strange and brutal attack.
July 18, 2010 at Jake & Katie’s house
Characters & Players