[The story so far]
Session 17 - Children of the revolution
Bursting out of an alley at full sprint, brandishing bloodied weapons, closely followed by yells of "Stop them!" isn't a good way to be inconspicuous. This became immediately clear to Dumnorix and Oiseau as they tried and failed to blend in. Tybalt the haffling, however, was able to quickly duck into a sidestreet and make his way back towards the Gryphon. The clerics pushed through the crowd, running along a narrow lane and then out onto the main shopping street of Corcelle, stashing their weapons in a narrow wynde between houses and ducking into the nearest safe place Dumnorix could think of - Nagif's jewellery shop. They slammed the door shut behind them and turned to find the jeweller pointing a heavy crossbow right at Dumnorix's face! "Wha'd'you want?"
|Nigaf the jeweller as he might have looked in his youth, thirty-odd years ago.|
"Er. Um. Please put the crossbow down. We're just. Um. Looking to buy a. A necklace. Yes. We want to buy a necklace. Please put the crossbow down." Dumnorix's negotiation skills were on full display but fortunately he was immediately backed up by his new Cleric-bro, Oiseau. "That's right, a necklace. Erm. For this girl, y'see. I forgot her birthday and..."
"I thought you clerics were meant to keep it in your robes? Girlfriend? Liar!"
"No no no... she's a friend, erm, a friend of my family and I need to buy her a gift."
"Please put the crossbow down!"
The jeweller smiled craftily as a noisy group of watchmen and Vespertines headed past his shop. "Of course. A birthday present. How lovely." He was practically leering at the two clerics by now. "And definitely not anything to do with hiding in my shop from the watch, eh?" He put the crossbow down. "How about this fine piece of workmanship? Only twenty gold pieces today. A special birthday price."
He threw a crude necklace towards Dumnorix who caught it. It was already showing signs of copper-greening at the joints - a cheap fake worth maybe two or three coppers at most. He hesitated. The jeweller cackled at his discomfiture. "When you've bought it you might want to examine it in daylight. Perhaps out through the back door?"
The clerics looked at each other and sighed. "Agreed!" As they slunk out into the shared courtyard behind the shop, the door slammed shut behind them and they could hear bolts being drawn and the old man cackling triumphantly to himself. Dumnorix threw the worthless necklace into a dungheap in disgust. Still, at least they'd escaped the Vespertines. For now. Oiseau, being unarmoured and fairly indistinct otherwise, slunk back to join the others
Back in the Gryphon, Oiseau rapidly and breathlessly explained what had happened as the others dragged him out into the stableyard and doused him in the trough to take away the stench of the bucket of slops that had landed on him from an upstairs window as he dodged the guards on his way back to the tavern. Pausing only to buy a big cloak, he led Tybalt and Aurelius to collect Dumnorix, wrap him and his armour against prying eyes, and rejoin the the gang.
With all our heroes up to date on the ill-dealings of the Vespertines, a plan had to be formulated. It took them quite a while... but realising that the Vespertines were snatching magicians off the street, they prepared an ambush. All of them apart from Tybalt hid themselves in one of the shared courtyards enclosed by street-facing houses and shops that made up the layout of most of Corcelle. The halfling was to be the lure, prancing alongside a joint Vespertine/City Watch patrol and acting as though he were the announcer for a street performer "Come and see! Come and see! Amazing magical fire! Flames of the goddess Alathea!" before scurrying off. True to expectations, the two Vespertines hung back from the watchmen and then chased off after the vanishing halfling. As soon as they pushed through into the courtyard, Aurelius cast Sleep upon them and down they went. As did Tybalt and Montagne. Oops.
|A marvellous Larry Elmore illustration from the Mentzer '83 edition of D&D|
One at a time, the heroes staggered back to the Gryphon with the now uniformless guards supported between them as though they were drunk. Once back, they tied them up in a storage cellar with Jacques' approval and waited for them, and their sleeping friends, to wake up so the "questioning" could begin...