Critical Missions

Session of the 16th of August

As Gann and Teine took Lyssia to her cabin Gann looked around to check they were alone. Seeing that they had some privacy he told Teine the truth about Cressa and her suspicions about Prizan being behind the Thane’s ill health and plans for taking Cressa out of the equation. Teine decided that it was still worth collaborating with Gann to bust the crew out of the town jail and capture ‘The White Mare’ despite the Lord Protector’s excess baggage. They briefly discuss the possibility that Lyssia may turn into a zombie as the result of her bite and possible ways of detecting her zombification, but decide that that is an issue they can deal with later. Returning to the main deck they rejoined Banning to discuss the plan both for freeing the crew and taking over the Thane’s ship.

In the town jail Aesha took stock of her situation, having entered the bar with Ellerine by her side she had clearly been marked down as something uncanny. Unfortunately when the bar fight subsided the guards had scooped her up along with Loki and the rest of the crew when the other patrons had drunkenly denounced her as a witch. Now she found herself without her weapons or spell components locked up in a solitary cell with the only window securely barred and well more than a foot above her head.

Heading down to the hold Loki managed to find a couple of the goblin stowaways. Bribing and cajoling them with the thought of more cheese and a bright new ship to have the run of Loki convinced them to gather their fellows and board ‘The White Mare’ and attack the guards/shipwrights on the ship. They are urged not to do any damage to the new ship.

Teine, Loki and Gann head for the jail and try to sneak up surreptitiously. Unfortunately they run into a guard who recognises Gann and as he reaches for his horn Gann dazes the guard with a swift uppercut to the chin. Gann is prevented from finishing the job of knocking the guard out when Loki steps forward and chops the guard in two. The trio quickly search for somewhere discrete they can hide the body parts before continuing on to the jail.

Aesha summons Ellerine to free her. Although she can sense that the summoning has worked Ellerine does not appear in the cell with her. Calling out to her eidolon she hears a muffled reply from somewhere nearby, she commands Ellerine to try and find her.

The goblins swim across to ‘the White Mare’ and scale the sides of the ship. Crawling over the gunwales they make a stealthy approach to the handful of guards on the main deck.

Hearing that they were to move ship, Fidjit considered her almost completed workmanship on the carved astrogation and navigation charts. Thinking of a way to transfer the carving to the new ship she decides on taking off the planks and hinging them together to make them into a folding transportable form. Fidjit searches the ship for hinges and Cressa, she finds many hinges leaving the ship effectively doorless, but no princess. As she searched the lower decks she came across several dead rats so dried out as to almost be mummified.

Reaching the Jail Loki suggests that Gann go in and give himself up to cause a distraction, Gann is not impressed with the plan. Gann recalls an underground entrance to the jail but it was one he himself ordered sealed off a few months ago. Teine suggests setting a small fire to smoke the guards and prisoners out of the jail. Gann tries to remember the protocols for in the event of a fire and tells the others that they will move the prisoners out as long as is safe starting with the lowest risk prisoners. Loki then suggests another gambit with Teine and Gann escorting him in as a prisoner so they can get inside and surprise the guards. Deciding to follow Teine’s plan they scout round the outside to find a suitable window or two to put a small incendiary through.

On ‘The White Mare’ the goblins leapt into action a small group scuttled across the deck and tipped a surprised guard over the gunwales before he even knew they were there. A goblin archer loosed an arrow that caught one of the guards in the shoulder but only grazed him. The remaining body of goblins rushed the remaining guards who had been sitting around a table, playing cards.

Back below decks on ‘The Albatross’ Fidjit uncovered a concealed door. After a few minutes of examination she tried to pry her way in with a chisel. Not finding any suitable purchase to lever the door open she tries instead to chisel out a panel to make a ‘gnome flap’ in the door.

Having found a couple of suitable windows Gann and Loki threw in small pots of flammable oil, Teine then proceeded to cast spark to ignite the oil. As the spell went off a horrible shrieking started up, it appeared that some poor unfortunate had been in one of the cells they had firebombed.

Inside the jail Aesha and Ellerine were still struggling to find each other. After several rounds of encouragement Ellerine managed to break itself free of its confinement and quickly found the cell that Aesha was in.

As smoke and flames spread out of the cells one of the guards sounds the alarm on his horn. Gann leads Loki and Teine around to try and sneak in in the confusion, but the guards are still keeping an eye on the comings and goings into the jail. Deciding to bluff their way in as part of the town’s firewatch they brazenly head in the door, Loki manages to pass through the door with only a few askance glances from the guards while Gann is subjected to much harder scrutiny and can barely contain his instinct to demand whether the guards know who he is. Loki moves through the corridors of the jail calling out for the ‘spooky halfling’. Teine wisely decided to stay in the square keeping an eye on what was going on around the jail as the prisoners were led out and organised.

Fidjit manages to get through the secret door and finds a small hold containing 6 barrels. After some more handy chisel work she manages to pry the lids off some of the barrels, they seem to be full of salt. A brief root around in one of the barrels turns up a surprising treat, the severed head of an elf.

Onboard ‘The White Mare’ the goblins have almost cleaned the guards of the main deck. As the last guard is overrun an arrow falls down from the darkness above skewering one of the goblins. At a gesture indicating the rigging leading to the crow’s nest, from one of the leading goblins, three of the little marauders start climbing up into the tangle of ropes above the deck. The others decide to move out of the area of fire, after a brief attempt to breakdown one of the doors into the castle they decided on the easier route of ploughing through a large paned window.

While Teine is keeping an eye on the activities of the prison guards they are also keeping a wary eye on him due to his exotic features. The prisoners are being grouped together on some rather unclear basis. Teine notices one prisoner off by herself, a woman whose hair appears to have been brutally shorn from her head but who is wearing a high quality set of clothes. The lady seems to have been singled out for particular close attention and the guards seem most anxious around her.

As Loki continued searching for Aesha and the other crew members Gann set out to find a set of keys for actually opening up the cells. Hearing Aesha calling out, either in response to him or to Ellerine, Loki manages to find her cell, at the same moment Ellerine finally breaks free of its confinement bursting out of a small storage cupboard in the corridor next to Loki.

Wanting to add further to the confusion in the square Teine summons a series of illusory lights to fly around the prisoners and guards. This elicited a wide spectrum of reactions, many of the guards and prisoners were deeply unnerved by the arcane nature of the mysterious lights, some of the prisoners took the opportunity to run, either in fear or thinking that the confusion would provide some cover, the guards quickly rallied and rounded up all the fugitives. Teine notices that the well-dressed lady has used the distraction to edge closer to the guard who was keeping an eye on her.

Having gone through all of the barrels Fidjit has come up with a varied selection of elven body parts, she estimates that there are roughly enough to make at least three whole elves. She searches what pockets she can find on the elves remaining clothing but finds nothing significant. Wanting to have some solid evidence of her discovery the gnome decides to cut off the distinctive elven ears from the heads she has found. After replacing the rest of the body parts back into the barrels she let herself back out through the ‘gnome flap’ and tried her best to make it look as it had before her chisel work.

Having found Aesha Loki is at something of a loss having no way to open the lock on her cell, Ellerine pads up with its mouth full of a bag of some sort making it hard for him to speak. Loki heads back the way he came to look for a key. Aesha dismisses Ellerine and summons a celestial hawk with a similar mission to Loki’s.

In the square Teine has moved on from dancing lights to actually igniting the clothing of the guards. He sets fire to several people’s cloaks most of which the guards quickly put out. Unfortunately one prisoner appears to have been rather thoroughly drenched in spirits and when bending over to inspect his smoldering boots catches light of his beard and goes up like a firework. Taking advantage of the distraction the shaven lady manages to steal her guard’s shortsword and run him through before he can say a word.

Inside the jail Gann has been shadowing a small group he recognises as containing the head jailer, who should have a key for any cell in the prison. He approaches them and suggests they should leave as the fire is spreading. Unfortunately one of the guards recognises the disgraced Lord Protector, just as he begins to tell his fellows Loki runs onto the corridor bellowing that someone has released the minotaur from its cell. As the guards momentarily stand in confusion at this news Loki embeds his axe in the chest of the nearest guard. Taking advantage of the guards shock Gann shouts out ‘escaped prisoner!’ and points at Loki, unable to stop himself one of the guards turns in the direction Gann points and the former Lord Protector grabs him in a choke hold.

As the goblins spread out through the castle they encounter much stronger resistance and are soon driven back out onto the decks. The guards manage to corral the goblins onto the main deck, just as they are about to dispatch the verminous attackers the hatch upon which the goblins stand opens beneath them and they fall into the hold.

In the jail the fight continues, Loki swings his axe at the jailer but misses. The jailer swings his billy club at Loki and bashes him in the face. Aesha’s eagle swooped down and scratched at the jailer’s face. As Gann continued to struggle with the man he had in a stranglehold Loki lopped off the jailer’s head with a blow of his axe. Aesha’s hawk dived to the ground trying to pick up the keys that lay next to the jailer’s headless corpse.

Outside the prison Teine continued to bedevil the guards with his dancing lights, but now they seemed to be eying him suspiciously and he decide that perhaps a quick withdrawal back to the ship was in order. As he looked for the nearest way out he noticed the shaven Lady slipping out of the square unnoticed by the prison guards and followed her.

Having finally collected all of the hinges she could find on ‘The Albatross’ Fidjit returns to the main deck. On deck she finds Banning directing the crew in loading up a couple of the ship’s jolly boats with cargo and some others in the makeshift construction of two more raft like boats. Banning explained that they were going to load the cargo on the little boats and send them out to sea early so that once they had scuttled ‘The Albatross’ and taken command of ‘The White Mare’ their ship would be the only one in a position to pick up the smaller boats and their cargo. As she tallies up her hinge collection Fidjit catches site of what she suspects is Cressa, but loses her and goes back to her hinges. She decides that she will have to get the remaining hinge quotient from the town itself since there are none left on the ship.

Tiring of trying to strangle the guard into compliance Gann puts a boot to the man’s rump and kicks him towards Loki. The guard tipped over, falling flat on his face and Loki simply slammed his axe into the prone man’s back.

Below decks on ‘The White Mare’ the goblins have found a bit of calm, deciding that the ship is so nicely appointed and well stocked that it seems a shame to share it they decide to take it all for themselves and begin to unstow the oars so they can row out of the harbour while their associates finish off the rest of the crew. Unfortunately due to something of a lack of communication between the groups of goblins on either side of the ship they can’t settle on a single direction to row in and ‘The White Mare’ begins to turn in a very slow circle where it sits at anchor.

Seeing the guard on the ground is still alive Gann delivers the coup de grace and scooping up the keys from the jailer finds himself beset by Aesha’s hawk. Gann throws the keys to Loki who runs back to Aesha’s cell and finally frees the Halfling. Released, Aesha dismisses the hawk and resummons Ellerine who brings her the bag with her various spell components within. As Aesha searches for her weapons Gann and Loki look for the rest of the crew who are still locked up. They free just short of a score of men, most of whom Loki thinks he recognises, all of who claim to be members of the crew. Gann is sure he recognises one of them as a convicted murderer who was shortly due to hang and as he is about to accost him the man takes off, passing the former Lord Protector before he can lay steel upon him. Gann runs off in pursuit of the murderer while Loki directs the rest of the ‘crew’ to follow him back to ‘The Albatross’.

As Aesha exits the jail a cry goes up from the guards, “The witch! The witch!” Tired after a long night Aesha exerts her mental influence and speaks into the mind of everyone in the square, “Everything is awful, forever!” At this pronouncement of doom many of the guards break and run, but some stand firm and draw their weapons. Aesha rides off before the guards have a chance to attack.

Gann continued to chase the murderer through the streets of Quadraturin, though the man seemed to be gaining ground on him, even mocking him by slowing down sometimes to let Gann catch up a little. After a few more streets they reached an inn and Gann’s quarry slipped in through the door. Slowing down as he passed the door Gann looked in one of the inn’s windows and saw his target ordering a drink at the bar surrounded by a crowd of other villainous looking individuals. Deciding that his duty to Cressa was more important than dispatching one criminal Gann conceded defeat and returned to ‘The Albatross’.

Fidjit was just finishing up her short trip through the town; she had taken her final complement of hinges from only the bottom hinge of the doors she had come across, so as not to leave the town door-less. She had also managed to pick up a largish saw which could be used to extract the planks from the upper deck. As she climbed up the gangplank she was surprised to see ‘The White Mare’ further down the dock swinging around in a stately circle.

Lyssia wakes up in her cabin finding it strangely denuded of doors and hinges, she has the oddest feeling that someone has been watching her while she was asleep. Making her way to the castle she finds Fidjit considering the carved charts on the floor. Fidjit explains to Lyssia the plan to commandeer ‘The White Mare’, that the Thane’s daughter is not dead, that Gann is not a murderer and that Fidjit is trying to transfer the carved charts from one ship to the other. As Lyssia tries to digest all of the chaotic information and the contradictions, trying to find some way to make her companions actions intelligible and rational, she fixates on one certain thing and asks Fidjit why she can’t just take the original paper charts onto ‘The White Mare’ and recarve them. Fidjit considers this for a while somewhat put out at not being able to make her giant folding map, Lyssia suggests she could still put it together and leave it on the dockside as a work of art for the people of Quadraturin to admire. The pair consider the gently rotating ship further down the harbour and decide that it isn’t their concern at the present time.

As he follows the shaven headed lady through the streets Teine waits till they have reached a secluded spot and hails her. Teine suggests that someone with her ruthless attitude and who clearly is going to be wanted in Quadraturin might benefit from passage out on a fast ship. The lady says she will consider the offer and keep an eye on the dockside to see how the capture of ‘The White Mare’ goes before she decides.

Loki returns with the crew members at much the same time as Gann turns up. While Banning inspects the crew she is somewhat surprised to find that they have more than they started with, when she tells them where the ship is bound for some of the new crew members reconsider joining up and depart hastily.

As Gann and Loki relate their adventures Lyssia gets more and more disturbed, relieved as she had been that the Lord Protector had not apparently murdered his charge it seems that her companions have just slain many of the towns guardsmen, Loki helps her accept the events by suggesting that these were also zombified guardsmen like the ones they faced earlier in the night. Lyssia can just about accept this as a possibility although it still seems strange.

Aesha and Ellerine arrive back on board just as the party are about to continue the search for Cressa. Almost as soon as they start looking they find the Thane’s daughter.

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Mfisher

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