Previously, our heroes arrived in Codruscut to meet with High Priest Gavril and discuss their investigation into the city's illegal slaving ring. However, the psionic Kaan discovered Gavril may be hiding something...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Our heroes’ house in Westgate is a single-floor wooden building, with straw mattresses laid out for them on the garret and a small cellar to hold supplies. Once they’re settled in and the priest has left, Kaan reveals that he read Gavril’s surface emotions during their meeting and found him fearful. Our heroes discuss what this might mean. Although they cannot be sure, it seems Gavril might have something to do with this business. Zikan decides to go back to the Patruturle and keep an eye on Gavril--to see if there is anything else he can find out...
Hooded and cloaked, Zikan sets out from their house in Westgate and returns to Patruturle Place. A crowd has already gathered for the afternoon service and Zikan mingles in the congregation. When the service begins, he enters the church, confirms that Gavril is still there, and then leaves the Patruturle again.
Zikan returns to his friends to tell them that it doesn’t seem as if Gavril is up to anything bad right now. To be sure, our heroes decide that Gavril should be shadowed some more. Zikan agrees and goes back, returning to the Patruturle shortly before the service ends. As the crowds exit the church, he sneaks in again and spots Gavril speaking to some worshipers and some priests. Zikan sneaks back outside and waits inconspicuously on the north corner of Patruturle Place. After a while, he sees Gavril exit the church and enter a locked door next to a tavern on Patruturle Place. Zikan catches a glimpse of a narrow stairway leading up before Gavril closes the door again.
Zikan decides to investigate the tavern first. It’s a small place, but there is a door that leads out of the tavern’s common room. Zikan tries to enter, but the proprietors stop him, saying it’s a private area. Zikan then decides to sneak around and explore the block. He finds a small alley that leads into a courtyard. There are six windows above the tavern, and Zikan expects the stairway he saw Gavril climb may have led to one of these windows.
Zikan picks a window at random and climbs up. He finds the room the window opens into empty, but it is obvious by the smell and decorum that the rooms serve as a brothel of sorts. He has a quick look around, then sneaks out of the door. He finds himself in a hallway with six doors. In the middle is the stairway leading down. Zikan surmises that Gavril must be in one of these rooms. He peeks under every door until he finds one where two boots are visible through the crack under the door. Then, he hears heavy footsteps coming up the stairway...
Zikan quickly bolts back into the room he had originally entered. Lucky for him, he remains unseen. He waits silently and then overhears a conversation between Gavril and a man named Petros. Gavril tells Petros that ‘they’ have arrived. Petros then instructs Gavril to send ‘them’ to the ‘stone circle’, to inform him when that’s done, and that he will take care of everything after that. After this, Petros leaves.
Zikan, having heard enough, quickly climbs out of the window, then flees the courtyard to return to his friends in the house in Westgate. He tells them everything he has just heard. Our heroes are now certain that Gavril is in on the slave ring, as is this Petros fellow. Zikan gets many a pat on the back, and our heroes begin discussing their next step...
Our heroes agree that it would be best to go to Gavril to ‘seek his advice’ so that he may lead them toward the stone circle he mentioned in his conversation with Petros. When Gavril then meets with Petros to report this, our heroes will apprehend both Gavril and Petros. The brothel will be the best place to ambush them. But before they do that, they will need to keep up appearances: they will go and ask around town, interview the harbormaster, and investigate the matter further. After this is agreed, Zikan and Bogdan decide to stay in the house for the remainder of the day.
Erdan goes to the Patruturle Library on Old Market (number 11 on the map) to investigate a substance, poison, or venom that they can use to sedate Petros and Gavril, should it be necessary. He finds out about a level 1-3 poison that potentially renders the target unconscious on inhalation or ingestion.
We don’t often make use of poisons (see Core Rulebook, pages 37-38), so I was happy to have this opportunity to come up with one. The way poisons work still feels a little convoluted to me, because the ‘saving throw’ system is ingrained in my mind. The Stage, however, gives the poison a few dice to roll, which must defeat some statistic of the player’s.
I am not entirely sure if this is the best way to do it, because this system deprives a player of a potentially very exciting roll: a saving throw. However, if I were to introduce saving throws, the Stage would need a complete overhaul, so I am not yet sure if I want to change anything here.