Previously, our heroes arrived in the city of Codruscut by ship. They searched around the waterfront for Nicolae, member of the illegal slaving ring that purchased Prior Serafim's captives, but did not manage to find him.

Read the first part of this campaign log here.

Day 44

In the early morning, our heroes discuss expanding their search for the slavers’ contact in Codruscut, Nicolae. They decide to ask the harbormaster first, as he must know much of the comings and goings of people in the city. Zikan, who is posing as the Serüven’s captain, goes to find him. Cipran and Bogdan accompany him. It takes them a while to find the busy man, but they ultimately get to speak to him. When they ask the harbormaster about Nicolae, he explains that he knows about twelve men who go by that name. However, when the players mention the name “Shieldbearer” to the harbormaster (which had been jotted down in the captain’s ledger next to the name Nicolae), the harbormaster tells them that the Shieldbearer is a tavern in town on Sverdlapolan Square.

Cipran, Bogdan, and Zikan make their way to the Shieldbearer, which is a large public house not far from the taverns Cipran and Bogdan visited yesterday. Cipran orders a few drinks at the bar and then asks for Nicolae, offering a one-mark tip to the bartender. The bartender nods and informs Cipran that he’ll get him. A few hours later, a furtive, cloaked young man appears in the tavern. He consults with the bartender, who sends him in Cipran, Zikan, and Bogdan’s direction. The man approaches cautiously, and our heroes see doubt and suspicion on his face.

The man asks Zikan if he may sit, and then asks what the name of their ship is. Zikan answers it is the Serüven. The man then asks where its captain is. Zikan says the captain is dead and that he has taken his place. The man frowns and asks what the name of his captain was. Zikan shrugs and says he never knew. The man shakes his head, gets up, and walks toward the exit.

Cipran quickly veers up and intercepts him. He asks the man if perhaps they can talk in private. The furtive man says he’d rather not. Cipran tries to spin the story but--not being much of a liar--he begins stuttering and mumbling. The man ignores him and makes for the exit. Seeing the situation is hopeless, Cipran draws his sword and attacks the man.

Battle details

The battle was a slaughter. The man they attacked had 500 Character Points, no combat skills above level 1, and was unarmed. He tried to flee, but Cipran’s attacks forced him to make attempts at dodging, thus spending valuable Action Points and rendering him unable to fly at full speed. Cipran cut off his path and intercepted him on the stairway as the man tried to run upstairs. On the stairway, Cipran ran him through with his sword. It had not been Cipran’s intention to kill the man, but unfortunately the two-handed sword proved too brutal an instrument to capture him.

After Cipran kills the cloaked man, a panic breaks out in the Shieldbearer. Cipran quickly takes the man’s pouch and then flees the tavern with Bogdan and Zikan. They emerge onto Sverdlapolan Square, where the guards spot Cipran running with a large, bloodied sword in his hand and call out for him to stop. When our heroes do not obey, the guards give chase.

Cipran, Zikan, and Bogdan decide to split up and each go another way. The two guards follow Cipran. Cipran makes for the tavern that he visited with Bogdan the day before, but is unable to shake the guards in the alleyway leading up to it. He bursts into the tavern and offers the taverner and patrons money if they can hide him. The taverner quickly pulls Cipran behind the bar.

Moments later, the guards enter. They say an armed man entered this building and demand to know where he is. The patrons say nothing and the taverner outright lies that he never saw Cipran. The guards do not believe him and approach the bar. As they come around, Cipran jumps up and attacks them.

Battle details

This was an encounter that Cipran stood little chance of winning. For the guards, I used a basic template. Each had 680 Character Points, just 40 under Cipran’s total. They had Close Combat skill level 2 and Defense skill level 3. They wielded half spears, mail coats, and iron helmets, which made them formidable in man-to-man combat.

Cipran swung his sword wildly and desperately, and he managed to reduce the Stamina of one of the guards to 0. Had the guard been alone, Cipran would likely have won. Unfortunately, the other guard stepped in, and Cipran was overcome.

Cipran realizes the battle is lost. He contemplates surrender, but he cannot reconcile doing so with his aversion of captivity and love of freedom. He fights unto the bitter end and is cut down by the guardsmen. Zikan (who had followed Cipran) arrives only to see the guards haul Cipran’s body from behind the bar while discussing with the taverner. One of the guards spots Zikan, and Zikan manages to escape by climbing onto the roof of the tavern.

The following hour is panic. Our heroes manage to rendezvous at the Serüven, where Zikan relates the story of Cipran’s death and his killing of the man they presume to be Nicolae. The group decides they must set sail at once to avoid (further) confrontation with the authorities. They pay the harbormaster, employ the services of the five remaining docheri sailors (and the one remaining sailor of the Golden Maiden), kick Ayat off the ship (reluctantly paying him 5 Silvermark), weigh anchor, and set sail.

As the dust settles and the players set course for Zece-Biserici, the death of Cipran and the disastrous mission at Codruscut weigh heavily on our heroes’ heart. Razvan especially has trouble understanding what exactly happened and why. In the end, our heroes find some peace in a remembrance service. However, sleep does not come easily for any of them...

Read part 4 here!

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