Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dane (Pt. 2)

Chapter 2

Synopsis: Danielle, Malak, Bowie, Ragnar, and Barchester are backstairs. Others have come to-and-fro, but most have opted to stay locked in their rooms as the storm continues to drive into the port. Ominous thunderclaps and streaks of lightning fill the sky. While not figure has approached the hole in the wall, there is still an oppressive air that hangs around.

Barchester spends a moment with his kit and Danielle's arm. Despite her hisses and seething, he applies a rag of Elaine's tears to her arm wound and begins to sew her up. Danielle gains d8 hit points (5).

Danielle: Danielle reaches for the bottle next to her and takes another swig. “Pretty good with a stitch, fella.”

Barchester: “I was mender in the King's Army before I took to a life of soaping up beer pitchers and throwing out half-wits.”

Danielle: “Well, sir. On behalf of this half-wit, I thank-you.”

Barchester: Gives her a glance before his sour expression breaks into a brief smile: “Nah, you're not a halfwit. One of the few who'd point out not to touch that door when the knocking came.” He snips the last piece off and uses a probe to tie what is left off. “There,” he says “Let me get a wrap to cover it and you'll be good as new.”

Bowie: “Well what I want to know is, what the hell is going on here?” Walks away from the broken window to the center of the room.

Malak: “I thought you grew up in these parts.”

Bowie: “I'm from the Marsh, not the coast. And my family never had stories about walking puddles of filth and swords running around on storms.” He looks over to what oozes from under the table cloths that had piled over the corpses in the corner.

Ragnar: Re-enters the room. He lays his shield down on the table and wears his breastplate. Earlier mending to his thicker hide yields 1d6 points (5). “Best we go and report into the nearby watch station. The guard has to know that something wicked stirs this night.”

Danielle: “The guard won't be able to assemble anything to stop this, though. We've-”

Malak: “We've got to figure out what exactly is occurring. You.” He steps around and eyes Barchester, “You had an ominous question when we were speaking. About the dead not sleeping on this night. What does that mean?”

Barchester: Fishes out a cigar and lights it. He let's it rest in the corner as he answers: “Do I know? Certainly. It's ominous, but perhaps not as ominous as I was letting on. The clock has rung midnight my friends, the witching hour. The sea holds the dead and damned in her bosom and at times when great storms like these and the witching hour combine to a very dire result. It appears a dead ship has sailed and let loose it's crew to pillage.”

Bowie: “Wow, so this happens a lot?”

Barchester: “Not a lot, just enough for this Dwarf to recall. You have two options, friends.” He says as he reloads his blunderbuss. “You either can wait here until the witching hour passes by and endure more of those things trying to break in, or you send this ship back to the other side.”

Danielle: “And how do we do that?”

Barchester: “A crew needs it's captain, madam. No captain, no ship. The captain shall not leave his ship, so you will have to go get him.”

Bowie: “I was pretty much looking for that piece of fine print.”

Ragnar: “I still think we need to go out and alert the watch station. At least have them ready.”

Danielle: “I think it's up to us to go out there, slay the captain, and be done with it. The sooner the better.”

Bowie: “Well, if you're looking at me, and you might not. I'm aiming that we barricade this place and hold out until what, an hour. A mere... fifty minutes from now. If that clock's right, I mean.”

Barchester: “It is.”

Malak: “I would side with the lady. If anyone is looking to me.”

Ragnar: “I am not. All I see is Humans sticking with Humans.”

Danielle: “And you need to stop being so... so... bullheaded and listen. The watch, what good would the watch do during an Undead invasion?”

Ragnar: “I am a watchman, Human.”

Danielle: Takes a breath and let's it out slowly: “Fine. Let's do both. Check on your friends, then kill a undead pirate captain.” <Persuade: d20+4 w/ Advantage = 10. Average check>

Ragnar nods but doesn't look anymore pleased or angry by the acceptance of compromise. Malak looks somewhat pleased and readies himself to go into the storm. Bowie raises an eyebrow and makes a face when her eyes fall on him.

Bowie: “You know all we're doing is asking for trouble.”

Danielle: “You want to stay here?”

Bowie: “Hell no! I can go out with three people armed, or at least two people armed- Malak just has the magic. Or I stay locked in my room with a single pistol and knife. Only question is, what about Barchester here?”

Barchester: “I have to mind the inn and Brandybuck. I think he had a case of the nerves, but follow me a moment.”

Barchester opens the cellar door behind the bar and points at a lantern which is given to him by Danielle. He begins clomping down the stairs with the others after them, save for Ragnar who says: “I think I'll stay here. It looks a bit cramped.”

Downstairs the lantern casts a dim light in the room that is quickly added by another set of lanterns that the Dwarf lights. As the lights flicker the party sees what is available: casks of ale, dried foodstuffs in barrel, fermented quality drinks, and a wall covered in flintlock weapons and a war hammer.

Barchester begins lowering down weapons, humming as he works.

Danielle: “Where'd you get all of these?”

Barchester: “Surplus.” He slides a holstered musketoon towards Danielle: “Strap that on if you're going out there. I think I have some shot in that drawer nearby.”

Bowie: “Two blunderbusses, six pistols, three double-barreled pistols, and four... I mean, three, I guess if you're giving one to Danielle here musketoons. All of that is surplus?”

Barchester: “What can I say? I do like to go into a new business venture prepared. What I was also going to show you is back down that way is a outside cellar entrance over that way. Just ring the bell and I'll come over to open it.”

Danielle: “You can hear it over the storm?”

Barchester: “Not necessarily, the bell is also connected to a talk tube near the bar. That way I know when the delivery people are here. Could you please help me carry a few items?”

Meanwhile, back upstairs. Malak is the first to breakaway to join Ragnar who continues to look out into the window. Ragnar's darkvision helps him penetrate the rain slicked night and allow him to see something approach.

Ragnar: “What goes on down there?”

Malak: “The Dwarf has an arsenal that he is bringing upstairs. How is it up here?”

Ragnar: Tilts his snout up and tries to listen over the storm <d20+5 = Natural 1>. He hears nothing and shakes his head. “Just thunder and rain.” A bolt of lightning streaks in the distance. “Also lightning.”

<Random encounter check with a 1-in-6 chance. The result is: 1! Encounter!>

Encounters include (1d6): 1) 1d4 Revenants, 2) Lightning strike on the establishment, 3) 1d2 Watchmen, 4) 1d6 bandit-looters, 5) 1d3 civilians, 6) 1d4 gang members. Results is: 3 (2 Watchmen)

Out of the darkness a figure appears at the window. Ragnar rolled a natural 1 and makes a Save vs. Surprise with a Disadvantage. He rolls vs. 12, resulting in: 7. The flash of grey armor, beige skin, and a human's shape causes him to draw his blade suddenly.

Ragnar: “Who goes there?” <Does he slash at random? 25% chance = 17> He slashes at the figure with a roll of d20+3 vs. the Guard's AC of 12. He rolls a 21. Hit! And deals 1d6 points of damage which (1).
Ragnar's blade strikes the guard's mail and causes the guard to stumble back cursing. The guard's partner strides forward bearing a halberd and calling: “This is the watch, you fool! You are under arrest for assault!” He brings the halberd to bear in a defensive stance.

Ragnar: “Why did not shout out damn it!”

Halberdier: “Assaulting an officer is a 30 days hard labor, Minotaur.”

Ragnar: “I am a guardsman, you didn't even call out!”

Malak: “Gentlemen! Please!” He strides towards the broken window where the two men and the Minotaur glare at each other. “Let us just settle down and reconnoiter.” <Persuade is +3. Malak uses Extra Effort to counter the Disadvantage he would take due to the charged atmosphere. He rolls a 14 vs. 10 and calms the rival parties.>

The Halberdier and the Swordsmen are William and William, also known as Billy, Stoutly. The Stoutly twins are known for their beige skin, red hair, and prominent mustache with no beard. The two men are soak from the rain and sitting on a table. The first William (also known as Will) sits with a bandage on his arm. For a moment he glares at a Ragnar before looking at Danielle and the others who have joined them.

Will: “It has been a damnable night. Made worst when our guard post was assaulted.”

Danielle: “It wouldn't happen to be a series of undead fiends who attacked your post, like the ones under this sheet here?”

The two Stoutlys exchange glances.

Bill: “Would they happen to have wispy, almost seaweed like hair?” His voice is a rich baritone as he speaks.

Malak: “That's exactly what we have here. Undead pirates from a cursed ship.”

Will: “We lost Korji and Messner and managed to make our way up the street. If only we hadn't ran and lost our breath, might have all of my links in place.” He said, his eyes on Ragnar.

Ragnar: “And what would you have me say, man? Yes. I'm sorry that I got carried away and slashed a humanoid figure. When we are battling humanoid figur-”

Danielle: “Alright. Alright! You two. Now, we are presented with a choice to either holdup here until the witching hour ends or go down to the docks, sneak on a ship, and kill the captain. What say you men?”

The Stoutly brothers look at each and then to Danielle (Will they help? 50% = 01%.)

Bill: “If you are going madam. I shall accompany you.”

Will: “And if Bill goes. I go with him.”

Malak: “What about the prefecture? I know the post is gone-”

Will: “At this point in the storm they will have battened down and shall not emerge until either the weather dies down or the sun comes up. Several of them might have already gone to bed.”

Bowie: “Wait a minute, wait a minute... wait a minute.”

Malak: “You don't have to go if you don't want to, Bowie.”

Bowie: “Yeah, but... one thing here, people. This is a pirate ship, right? Like a freighter or something larger? Don't you usually get a smaller boat to sail to them?”

Danielle: “Sometimes. But Port Kyna does have deepwater docks to reach a ship.”

Bowie: “So what's the plan if it is moored out there? Are we rowing in gale force winds to get on there?”

Danielle: “It doesn't- well, it would help to take a look. If we can't then at least we know we can get back here and hold up. Satisfied?”

Bowie: “I won't be satisfied, no. But I can kind of stand it.”

Danielle: “Now, if you don't mind. I need to say goodbye to Brandybuck. I'll join you gentlemen in a moment.”

Danielle walks upstairs. She raps on the door and pauses as the lock slowly turns and Brandybuck's dark feathery features poke out: “Is there trouble down there?”

Danielle: “Barchester seems to have things in hand, honey. It might be a good idea to hang out downstairs with him.”

Brandybuck: “Yeah... yeah, I mean, yeah that would probably be a good idea.”

Danielle: “I'm taking a walk to check this thing out. Just in case you are wondering where I will be at.”

Brandybuck: “Do you... do you need me to go with you?”

Danielle: Thought for a moment then shook her head: “I need a safe place once this is dealt with and Barchester needs help barricading the building. You best stay here.”

Brandybuck: Nods. “I'll... Let me get dressed and get ready. Has any of the other guests came out of their rooms?”

Danielle: “Were there any others?”

Brandybuck: His voice was distant as he continued to dress: “There was the at least the Goblin and the Man who were sharing a room-”

Danielle: “They are already downstairs. Anyone else?”
Brandybuck: “Just a Minotaur, I think. Unless he left.”

Danielle: “No. He's around too, don't worry.” Her upper lip vanishes for a moment and she sighs: “I'll be back, my dear. Please be safe.”

Brandybuck: He appears again dressed in a tunic, breeches, and a pair of shoes. He continues to button his vest as he approaches Danielle and he says: “Yeah... please don't take anymore risks than you have to.”

After a pause they share a kiss on the mouth.

Back downstairs the Stoutly brothers are healed and do a final check of their gear. Halberdier, short blades, and mail. The two rest on benches looking over the assemblage in the common room.

Bill: “Ever thought we'd meet our deaths fighting a pirate?”

Will: “No. Barfight. That's what I thought would claim you.”

Bill: “And what about you?”

Will: “Old age... or maybe alcohol poisoning trying to cheer myself up at your funeral.”

Bill: “That's a way to go. That's certainly a way to go... thanks for the uplifting talk, brother.”

Bowie holsters one pistol across the belly and checks down the barrel of another that he takes from Barchester's arsenal. He nods before sliding it into a second holster that now hangs on his hip. He slides into a top coat that is designed to keep the rain of his twill vest and linen shirt. Inside the pockets of his coat he notes his toolkit and an extra set of knives. “Hand me that hat there, Malak.”

Malak hands off a matching black broad brimmed hat to the Goblin that fits between Bowie's twin long ears. For his part, Malak clutches his staff and sets a dagger into a sheath onto his belt. Hanging from his side is a combination of spell components and healer's kit. The strap crosses his torso and hangs is set snug against his neck, a thick padding rests there to provide some relief. Besides his navy blue shirt and black breeches he also found time to put on his top coat which his made from a thicker material.

Barchester tucks a lit pipe in the corner of his mouth as he walks down the growing party. “Hopefully you won't be gone too long. I fear I've said too much and am now about to face a certain amount of peril with little help.”

Bowie: “So what? You'll have Brandybuck here to help you.”

Barchester: “That I will, that I will. For all the good it shall help me when I need it most. I still wish all of you good luck.”

Bowie: “We'll celebrate with a pony keg. I'll buy- but I want hero's rates.”

Barchester: “Never heard of those, but maybe we can work something out.”

All eyes turn when they hear the boots clomp down the stair. Danielle appears with Brandybuck behind her.

Danielle: “Alright. I think we got a welcoming committee assembled for our undead friends. Let's go have a look-see down at the harbor. See if we can end this business early.” 

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