The Story So Far...
The party has received a clue that is pointing to a gathering of trouble in the area, specifically a place known as Fortress Southwald. The only clue offered was to visit an area in the docks portion of the Junction known as “River Row, Lot 20”. While in town the party also added “Persefani Stargazer” a Human Fighter into their ranks as the last bout made it very obvious how dangerous the world is without a dedicated fighter. A couple of points are learned.
-Ramona is exiled from the Elven Empire of Sunrae due to her refusal to marry a man she did not love. While she partly misses her homeland, it is clear she is happy that she has her freedom.
-'Sharkey' and a few other clues point to an organization known as the 'Red Knives' who are an extremist group that wishes to push undesirable non-human races off of verdant portions of the Borderlands and into Elven lands in order to make up for the lack of compensation given to them by their own government (the Kingdom of Northwald).
-Despite Red Knives original intention as being against certain humanoid races (specifically Orcs and Elves) the organization has made it known it is working with Orcs on this fortress.
The part adds Persefani Stargazer to the roster: Persefani is a Human (with a touch of Elven blood) fighter who lives in the Borderland region as a sword for hire. She has auburn hair, even tanned skin, and piercing blue eyes, some might say almost crystalline. Persefani is now particularly interested in the Borderlands region in order to find her half-sister, Ilisanona Stargazer, who is a full-blooded Elf and possibly lost in the shuffle of exiles and feuds that plague Sunrae. She favors heavy armor with sword and shields. She has been hired on at little upfront money and more for both the company and an equal share of spoil.
The party has walked from Gorman's Junction to the docks district, which takes between 10-15 minutes with conditions being very stormy. Conditions are so bad that only Ramona can see without penalty. All others take a Disadvantage to Notice checks until they get indoors. The shacks are fenced off by waist high (human waist that is) stockades with a sign over a gap in the stockades that announces the area to be 'RIVER ROW'. The party stops over by a single story stone house that sits beside the railing.
Persefani: Knocks on the door and raises a single brow on her crystal blue eye as a small square of frame opens and a face appears. She notices beside the door is a wooden sign that proclaims Ben Tanner serves as Manager
Tanner: A balding human male with a sour face and thin, worn cheeks looks into those blue eyes and asks: “What do you want?”
Persefani: “Are you the manager of the Row?”
Tanner: “Whose asking?”
Persefani: “Someone who is wet and has money. Make with the door!” She wraps on it with a plate covered knuckle.
Tanner: Opens the door and steps aside. His eyes widen as a Human, a Dwarf, a Tengu, and an Elf make their way into his small, sparse cabin.
The cabin serves a combination of front room and kitchen towards the far end of the building. There is a table with three chairs pushed against the wall where he stands near. Against the wall above the table are single keys that hang from hooks, each with a number etched into the side. The room is warmed by a hearth that continues to burn with a iron kettle over it.
Ramona: Looks over the rack <d20+3 with a +1 for Notice. She has not rested and has used her Keen Senses talent. She rolls a d20+4 = 15.> With a cursory glance she notices that the slot that would be reserved for the 20th key is missing. The 18th and the 21 key are in their respective spots that hint the keys are arranged in numerical order. She says: “We're interested in knowing about Lot 20.”
Manager: “That Lot's been taken.”
Ramona: “That's why we want to know about it.” <She reaches into her purse and produces twelve gold coins and offers them.> “Just tell us who is staying there. Anything you can.”
<Can 12 coins offer Ramona bonus? 50% Yes = 38%>
<Ramona's persuasion check is d20+3 w/ Advantage = 21>
Tanner: Takes the gold and nods: “He's a Human. Goes by the name Goodfellow and said he needed the shack for him and some of his companions. He said they were looking for some rest and relaxation, but I don't think I've seen them around much. He paid in silver and he paid enough for the room.”
Rendford: “Him and his mates?”
Tanner: “He's got at least two others with him. People come and go from the Lots and he paid me more than enough to cover a couple of people.” He shrugs and takes a seat in his chair. “Now, will you go and leave me in peace?'
Taicho: Looks over the others and speaks: “Of course. Everyone, I think we have taken up the gentleman's time.”
Persefani: Eyes the man <d20+3 vs. d20+1 for a Sense Motive check = 18 vs. 6> Her eyes bore into him and she can tell by either the look in his eye or the twitch of the mouth if he is hiding something.
<Is the Tanner the Manager hiding something? 35% Yes = 64%>
Persefani: Gains a pretty good read on the man and is confident that he hides nothing from the party. She steps away, following the others out, but gives him one last glance. “For a mere lot manager you sure get nervous about door knocks.”
Tanner: “I come from a nervous family, Madam.”
Persefani: “Oh yeah? What's there to be nervous about?”
Tanner: “Nervous when I see Elves and Half-breeds walking the streets with their pointed ears...” He blurts and shudders as their eyes meet.
Persefani: Smiles and points at him with a wink. “I'll see you later, yeah?” She follows and nods at Ramona who also looks towards the man.
The part makes their way through rain soaked streets. Little foot traffic greets the group as most people elect the time to stay in doors or frequent the tavern downtown. What few that remain include Ratfolk who use the cover of their eaves to tinker on bits of junk they recovered. At last the party arrives at Lot 20. This one story shack includes a small porch with a slanted wooden cover over the doorway and a single candle burning in the window. The party takes shelter across the path under another shack's awning.
Persefani: “None of these places seem to have back door. More like a back window to throw out the chamber pot.”
Ramona: “I'm not too keen in going through that way. These aren't my nicest boots, but I'd like to keep the sting off of them.”
Rendford: “Where's your sense of adventure?”
Taicho: “I could use one of my spells to unlock the door.”
Persefani: Shakes her head and says: “Wait. No need to use a scroll when I'll be happy to knock.”
Persefani: crosses the street and raps twice on the door. She thinks to herself 'Haven't I done this before?' right down the part that a square peep hole opens in the upper middle of the door where a worn face peers at her. The brown eyes of the man offer only a neutral look as a brow raises.
Persefani: “I wish to prove my worth to Sharkey. North Prevails!”
Goodfellow: <Looks her over. D20+2 = Natural 1> He nods and steps away to open the door. He appears to be an average built Human wearing dark brown leathers with his hood drawn down. The black hilt of a straight dagger sticks in his belt and a sword is shown sticking from his hip. He turns back to Persefani as he enters and asks: “What's your name?”
Persefani: “Why you can call me Sefi.” She smiles and takes a step in. She turns the corner following the man to find two others sitting in the main room with a pot between them that catches water. She notices the other two without rolling include another Human with white skin and a Human with tan skin. The latter boasts exotic jewels in his ears, marking him as a man from Darkhand Desert.
Goodfellow: “This is a new sister to the cause.” He steps to his two mates and turns to her and let's his mates say hello before he asks: “And where do you hail from?”
Persefani: “Wheatholm. I served as a support role during the war helping treating wounded men. That's why I'm here.
<Does one of the thugs get a notice check to see her ears? 65% Yes = 21. Yes>
Tafari: The tan skinned Tafari's brown eyes flick over Persefani's with the quickness of a serpent. He takes notice of her smile and the way she talks <d20+2 = 11. He raises a brow as he notices first her firm neck and then the shape of her ears. He notes: “And how do you feel, serving against your own people?”
Persefani: “I beg your pardon?”
Tafari: “Check her ears, Alfwin... they're pointed.” Rises from his chair.
At the same time we look at the split party. The current roster who stands across includes:
Ramona: “She's in. Let's go.” Begins to move across the yard towards the front window of the shack.
Rendford: Follows after her, having moved his musket to his hands.
Taicho: Follows after them using his staff was a walking stick to help guide him through any unfortunate traces of debris in such a state.
<Are they interrupted? 50% Yes = 79% No>
Despite arousing suspicion earlier, no other trouble follows the party. The three are able to get close to the window and look in. Just as they get close they hear through the thin glass one of the members speak.
Tafari: “Check her ears, Goodfellow.”
Persefani: “Ears are just ears, gentlemen. I'm quite dedicated to the cause.”
Goodfellow: “Got no room in our group for an breed double-agent.” Takes a step towards Persefani. His fingers touch the hilt of his dagger.
Persefani: “As if Elves would want to hire a 'breed' in their ranks.” Her hand goes for the hilt of her sword. “Keep your distance and let me leave if you will not have me.”
Alfwin: The third thug rises and says, his grin shows yellow teeth that complimented his yellow eyes: “Oh, we'll have you...”
Goodfellow: “Who sent you?”
Rendford: Brings the butt of his musket against the glass, shattering it and drawing heads. The glass is thin that no roll is required and he easily makes a hole into the building.
Ramona: “Drop your arms!” She leaps into the room drawing her blades at the same time <d20+3. She rolls with a Disadvantage due to attempting two actions at once without any talent such as 'Quick Draw'. She rolls a 9.> She is through the window but is only able to draw her dagger in her off-hand.
Taicho: Walks to the front door and tries the handle. He finds the door is still locked, but its a thin frame and thus he tries to break it down <d20+3. He rolls with a Disadvantage due to a lack of momentum of great strength. He rolls a 18. With a good check of his shoulder the door breaks loose>
<Do the Rogues surrender? 25% Yes = 70% No!>
The three rogues draw their blades and combat breaks out!
Taicho, Ramona, Persefani, Rendford
X3 Human Rogue: HD: 2 (5) AC: 11 MV: 9 AT: 1 Dagger (d4), Sword (d6). S: Extra Effort (1/day) Roll with Advantage! On an Attack.
Persefani: Draws her sword and whips it at her side. She takes an action to move the shield she had strapped to her back into her hand. She clacks her sword against the metal and says: “I think I'm going to have plenty of you in pieces.”
Ramona: Draws her rapier with an action. She circles with her back to the wall as she moves towards Persefani. Her eyes are on the Rogues as she says: “This doesn't have to end like this. You can surrender.”
Rendford: Cocks his musket and aims towards the group. Rain splashes down his head. A glow of orange lights up the side of his face where his runelock fire run shimmers for a brief moment. When that hammer that holds the carved rune strikes the plate it will send a small gout of flame into the breach where red powder explodes the ball. He grunts and takes aim <Full action. Advantage next turn>
Taicho: Casts Force Shield on himself. His mana goes down by 1 (4/5) and his Armor goes up by 1 (11)
Goodfellow: Lunges and makes a slash at Persefani, he presses the attack fiercely. <d20+2 w/ Advantage due to Extra Effort (talent used). He rolls 17. Hit! D6 sword deals 2 points of damage>. His slash is barely blocked by Persefani's shield. She is put on the defensive with some of her will sapped.
Alfwin: Draws his sword and joins Goodfellow's attack with a slash of his own <d20+2. He rolls a 20. Hit! Deals 3 points>. He cackles as his blade further pushes her towards a corner.
Tafari: Turns and draws his blade to close in on Ramona. He makes a slash attack her <D20+2 = 6. Miss!> His slash is parried by Ramona's blades that slap the incoming blade away.
Taicho: -1 Mana, +1 Armor from Spell (Force Shield)
Rendford: Takes aim this round.
Persefani: -5 HP from Goodfellow and Alfwin's attacks.
Goodfellow: Uses 'Extra Effort' at 1/day.
Queen of Diamonds
Goodfellow: Makes a slash at Persefani <d20+2 = 6> His slash stops just short as Persefani regains her footing and uses her shield to block blows.
Tafari: Makes a sudden turn and withdraw that takes him past the iron bucket collecting water and the other chair that Alfwin sat on. He picks up his speed and makes a lunge for the window to smash through. <Acrobatics check of d20+2 w/ Advantage due to Extra Effort = 20. Success! He successfully crashes through the window with no noticeable damage to self and lands on his feet>
Alfwin: In turn he makes a slash along with Goodfellow against Persefani <d20+2 = 9. Miss!> His blade is met by the shield and the two are halted by the attack.
Persefani: Brings her sword against Goodfellow with a slash aimed towards his side <d20+3 = 15. Hit! D6 = 3 points.> Her slash makes contact with Goodfellow's side. She flashes her deadly eye as she sees him contort in pain.
Ramona: “Damn!” She sneers and makes a move check to catch up with the escaping Rogue <d20+9 vs. DC 13 = 17. She makes a second Acrobatics check to hop through the window without complication. D20+3 vs. 10 = 14> It takes her entire action but she's out the window that Tafari used to escape and is back in the rain. Droplets splash on her pink brow as she eyes him. “Surrender!”
Rendford: Closes his eye just enough for a bed and fires at Alfwin <with aim it is at an Advantage of d20+3 vs. AC: 11 = 15. Hit! D8 points = 8 points> A wicked shot catches Alfwin in the back of the head. Rendford reloads as Alfwin slumps forward against Persefani and rolls down, slain.
Taicho: Holds his staff and casts Mage Light <-1 Mana> As the last embers of the lanterns fade the room is cast in the glow of a white arcane light.
Tafari: Makes a bold withdraw and escape by crashing through a window.
Ramona: Makes a chase check that puts her own par with the retreating rogue.
Rendford: Shoots and kills Alfwin with 8 points of damage.
Persefani: Deals 3 points of damage as a sizable wound with her sword.
Taicho: Casts light. -1 Mana. The room is lit in a white colored torchlight.
Persefani: Uses her shield as part of a shield slam to deal non-lethal damage to Goodfellow <d20+3 vs. AC 11 = 22. Hit! D6 damage = 6 points>. The shield catches Goodfellow in the face, knocking him backwards a few steps until he trips and falls into the table. As the table collapses the water catching pot rolls and spills on the ground, soaking him and the wood. “Save you for later.” She steps forward and kicks his sword to the side.
Ramona: With her twin weapons she steps forward and makes a Disarm attempt again Tafari <d20+4 w/ her superior combination of rapier and dagger vs. d20+2 roll-off. The result is 9 vs. 15.> Their blades clash and for a moment the two are locked in position facing each other. With a scrape, Tafari is able to disengage his blades without losing a hand hold.
Rendford: “I got him.” Rendford fires a round at Tafari <d20+3-1 for d20+2 due to light concealment vs. AC 11 = 21. Hit! D8+1 = 7 points.> Rendford's musket goes off with a belch of red flame and a crash of which the bullet rockets off and strikes Tafari in the gut. The rogue collapses to the ground and twitches.
Ramona: “I was trying to take him alive.”
Rendford: “And I was trying to make sure he didn't hurt you.” Spits.
Taicho: Steps to Persefani and asks: “Are you alright, Madam?”
Persefani: Nods and says: “I'll alright, just some minor scratches. Much more than what I'm about to say for him...” She eyes the prone form of Goodfellow.
Persefani knocks Goodfellow unconscious with a shield bash.
Rendford shoots down Tafari with as single shot of his musket.
The party finds among the fallen three swords, three daggers, and 120gc in various coinage. A general look without rolls reveals in one of the bedrooms two packs with foodstuffs and a map of the general area. In a region just off the main river east of the Junction is a circled spot that notes it as 'Fortress Southwald'.
Ramona: Does a Search check for anything specific <d20+4 = 9>. After a search she is confident she has found nothing else. “A nice river entrance. That could explain something about the Lizardfolk raids on shipping.”
Taicho: “You see a connection?”
Ramona: “The letter did note the leaders were uniting what they considered as lesser beings. Perhaps they count the Lizardfolk as lessers.”
Persefani: “Now who looks like a genius for wanting to go east?” She asks with a satisfied smile. “Of course, this isn't quite the direction any ship captain will be willing to go. It's a bend from the main shipping lane.”
Rendford: “Let's see if our fellow has anything more to say.” Turns on Goodfellow who is tied in the middle of the room: “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Goodfellow: “North Prevails! What else shall I say? How far are you willing to go to elicit a response from me?”
Rendford: Looks around and says: “I guess little else. But you'll answer to the militia for your malignancy.”
Goodfellow: Spits at the Dwarf <d20 with Disadvantage = 2> The spit falls short of hitting its mark.
Rendford: Rolls his eyes and turns away: “Our next plan?”
Ramona: “Probably find someone who will take us up the river to this Fortress Southwald.”