Previously, our heroes decided to abduct High Priest Gavril and his accomplice, Petros, who are both involved in Codruscut’s illegal slaving ring...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Just before the afternoon service at the Patruturle, Razvan and Kaan pay a visit to High Priest Gavril. He welcomes them and leads them to a small chamber where they may speak in private. Kaan and Razvan tell him of their findings at the harbor regarding the guardsman Ernos. They then ask Gavril for his advice on how to deal with the illegal slaving ring. Gavril repeats that he believes that the heathen people who live in the forests and the hills are the evildoers here, and that their activities merit further investigation. He knows they often gather at a stone circle about two days west of Codruscut on the edge of the wild forest. Perhaps staking out that location will reveal more?
As agreed with the others, Razvan and Kaan pretend to take the bait. They tell Gavril they will check out the stone circle, and he offers them a cart with supplies for the journey. They will leave first thing tomorrow. Razvan and Kaan thank Gavril for his advice and help and then leave.
As our heroes had discussed earlier, they mean to ambush Gavril and Petros at the brothel on Patruturle Square, which is apparently where they meet to discuss their shady business. While Razvan and Kaan speak with Gavril, pretending to take his bait, Zikan picks the lock on the door to the brothel. Once the door is open, he lets Erdan and Bogdan in to prepare the ambush. He also lowers a rope ladder from the window of one of the rooms into the courtyard so that Kaan and Razvan can enter as well.
Once all our heroes are assembled and the service at the Patruturle has ended, they hear the door to the brothel open, followed by heavy footsteps. They almost accidentally reveal their own position by some last-minute uncertainty, but they manage to keep quiet enough.
This was a situation where the players were no longer able to discuss their plan: they were cramped in a small, thin-walled room. Making a sound, let alone discussing heatedly, would reveal them. They tried to do it anyway so I gave a warning that whoever came up the stairs heard them (by shouting, “What? Who’s there?”). After that, they were silent.
Moments later, they hear another pair of footsteps enter the adjoining room. Then, they hear the voices of Petros and Gavril. Gavril is explaining that ‘they’ took the bait and will head to the stone circle tomorrow. Petros is satisfied and says he’ll take care of the rest.
Our heroes waste no time. Erdan rushes out of the room in which our heroes are hiding and throws a glass globe with his knock-out poison into the room. He hears both men fall to the ground. They wait a moment to let the gas dissipate, then go in. They quickly bind the men and wrap them in straw and burlap to disguise them as regular sacks of wares for market.
So disguised, they transport the unconscious men to the house Razvan rented a block away from the Patruturle. They arrive safely and take a short moment to celebrate the resounding success of their mission.
Our heroes decide to question Petros first. They bring him into the cellar where they keep him bound and gagged. When Petros comes to, Kaan removes his blindfold and gag, while Razvan takes position behind Petros so that Petros cannot see him. Even though Razvan delivers Petros several beatings, Petros tells them he knows nothing about an illegal slave trading ring in Codruscut. They tie him up again and then proceed to question Gavril.
Next, our heroes decide to question Gavril at a table in the presence of Kaan, Bogdan, and Razvan--two monks and one inquisitor--and Erdan as guard. The setup, which resembles an inquisition court, does not fail to impress Gavril. Kaan invites Gavril to speak, and promises that his soul may still be redeemed if he does so truthfully.
Gavril breaks at once. He tells them he ‘did it all’ for the money. He needed coin to pay for food and for his house and for living. When Kaan asks what Gavril specifically did, he tells them he simply introduced Petros--who wanted slaves--to people who could get him slaves. Bogdan asks if this person he introduced Petros to was Prior Serafim; Gavril confirms that. Gavril then offers our heroes a deal: he is willing to tell them where the slaves were sent to if they can give him immunity from a trial and let him go. He will go live somewhere else; they’ll never hear from him again.
Our heroes discuss the offer but are in the end unwilling to accept it. Especially Razvan and Bogdan are bent on seeing corrupt church officials punished. They tell Gavril he has a night to consider his position and that they will question him again tomorrow.
Kaan and Razvan take a short break, then return to questioning Petros. He gets furious and threatens them, asking them if they know who he is. They let him rage and rant and then tie him up while they discuss killing him behind his back so that he can hear. Eventually, Razvan begins digging a grave in front of him. When they throw Petros in and half bury him, the man panics and speaks.
He tells them that he purchased slaves and delivered them to a secret entrance to the castle just outside the city walls. There is an old pipe there that runs into what used to be a moat. It’s been gated off, but a guard always meets them there to open the gate and let in the slaves. Kaan asks Petros if he knows the names of the guards, but Petros says it was a different one every time. Kaan can tell that he is lying and presses Petros some more, after which Petros admits it was always Ernos. Satisfied for now, they tie Petros back up.
Our heroes hold a quick discussion about the results of their interrogations. It is obvious that there are some very high-profile characters involved, as the slaves were delivered to the castle. As such, taking down the slaving ring might involve infiltrating the castle, which is not something they want to do without a go-ahead from the High Priest Euclid. They decide to take their prisoners back to Zece-Biserici to High Priest Euclid so that he may question them further and decide how to proceed.
Our heroes use the remainder of Erdan’s poison to render Gavril and Petros unconscious, then take the captives down to harbor, where their ship is ready to depart. They load the prisoners on board and set sail for Zece-Biserici.
Another fun session! The players received 100 Character Points, bringing bringing the total for Erdan, Zikan, and Razvan to 900 and that of the rest to 880.
As usual, a few lessons learned.
- I need to look at the Telepath power (and similar powers) to see if there need to be more parameters.
- I am not pleased with the leveled skill check mechanics of spells like Reading. Most likely, I will convert these to flat checks.
- I’ll need to reconsider poisons and diseases. Currently, they offer no ‘saving throw’ or means for players to influence them other than through rigid statistics. Perhaps they need a little more flair.