Sunday, June 20, 2021

Sorcery! 2 - The Jailbreak Job

Three days after their successful kidnapping of Morgana, Horovar, Penn, Silent, and Zhora were on their way east in a mule-cart, disguised as salted-fish merchants. Malus, Zul, Gearfried, and Zamm remained in Arkleton, waiting for instructions for their next job from V.

The party's destination was a little fishing village three days from the capital, where they would find and kill Glowulf, who had returned to his home village to become a simple fisherman.

Arriving late at night on the third day, they were taken into the home of the village headman, who fed them and offered them accommodation for the night. The party's inquisitiveness made the headman suspicious, and after he left them for the night, Horovar and Penn followed him secretly, and found that he had gone to tip Glowulf off at his fishing hut. Glowulf thanked the headman, and requested that the villagers not intervene if the was any trouble.

Returning to the hall, our villains decided to launch an attack on Glowulf's home. Entering the hut simultaneously from the front and back doors, they found the place in darkness. Penn shot an arrow into the bedroom in the corner... and heard the arrow sink into the wooden floor with a dull thud.

At the same time, two figures entered the room from the back door: it was Glowulf and Valerian. The two demanded to know who had sent our villains on their mission, but they were in no mood to talk. A melee ensued, and Glowulf was cut down and decapitated, while Valerian was knocked unconscious and taken prisoner. By now the commotion had drawn the attention of the villagers, who crowded around the hut with their improvised weapons. The party threatened to kill Valerian if they villagers did not disperse, but they did not comply - it was only when Penn and Horovar slew a few of them that the rest fled, allowing our villains to get away.

Our villains now made their way westward, towards Arkleton, with Glowulf's head in a bag and Valerian bound. On the second day they were overtaken by mounted guards dressed in the livery of Arkleton, coming from the east. The guards attempted to arrest our villains for the murders they committed in the fishing village, but they were not about to give themselves up without a fight. After a short, sharp fight, the four guards were dead, and Horovar laid gravely wounded on the ground. Valerian asked to be untied so he could aid the barbarian, and was unbound.

As he tended to Horovar's wounds, Valerian revealed that he had remained in Arkleton incognito after escaping from Goncol's laboratory, but had come to the fishing village to warn Glowulf after he learnt of Goncol's death and Morgana's kidnapping - whoever was responsible for those acts no doubt wanted them silenced for their part in their mission twenty years ago. As their mission was known only to few who were closest to the late king, whoever sent them would have to be someone high in the kingdom's hierarchy. And just as they were being silenced, Valerian warned the party, they were now probably being set up by whomever had sent the guards from Arkleton. Horovar, Silent, Zhora, and Valerian took the guards' clothes and horses, and with Penn driving the mule-cart, they returned to Arkleton.

When they returned to their respective inns, our villains learned that their companions had been arrested in the night they day after they had left by city guards, and were now held at the guard-house of the Fourteenth precinct.

Realising that whomever sent the guards after them would soon learn that they had failed in their mission, our villains decided to break their companions out of the jail immediately.

Penn started a fire in a neighbouring precinct, an an alarm was raised, drawing some of the guards from the Fourteenth there. Then, returning to the Fourteenth precinct, he shot the guard in the tower with a well-aimed arrow. Still in their guises as city guards, Horovar, Zhora, and Silent entered the guard-house, and struck down the guard at the front. The guard captain was similarly struck down when he emerged from his room, taken by surprise. The party entered the dungeon below the guard-house to find the last guard cowering in a corner - he was despatched, and his keys taken.

The party quickly located and freed Malus, Zul, Gearfried, and Zamm - bruised but still alive. When they emerged from the guard-house, they found Valerian on the street, and the bodies of two bounty-hunters behind him - someone had hired them to lie in wait for the party.

Now convinced that they would not be safe in the city, or indeed Analand, our villains decided to flee the city on their stolen horses - but where will they go? Perhaps, Horovar suggested, they will find safety in Mampang?

Prepping and Running the Game

After weeks of lockdown, we were finally able to play the conclusion of our Sorcery! campaign.

I was hoping that the revelation that Valerian was still alive would cause the players to question their mission, but as they were already suspecting that V was not in fact Valerian, they decided to complete their mission and kill Glowulf anyway. Fortunately for me, they decided to spare Valerian - why kill someone if you are not getting paid for it, right? - and that gave me a way to carry on the story.

The guards sent to arrest the party were supposed to arrive at the village in the morning, when it was expected that they would be fresh from their battle with Glowulf and therefore wounded or exhausted and therefore easy prey. Unfortunately for me the players decided to arrive late at night, and aroused suspicion with their questioning of the headman, and thus threw everything off.

The second half of the session was based on the Dusk City Outlaws module The Jailbreak Job. The modules in the series are short - 4 pages of text in this case - but provide enough information for the GM to run a full session. They are worth a look if you are running a campaign for a party of rogues or evil/not-quite-legal characters.

The campaign ended with some unresolved plot threads, which will allow us to have another sequel campaign in the future. Will the party flee to Mampang? Will they learn the true identity of V? Only time will tell...

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