Previously, our heroes learned from High Priest Euclid that powerful people are involved in the Codruscut slave trade. The time has come to deal with them...
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Euclid wants to hold the queen of Codruscut accountable for the illegal slavery in her city, especially since it’s taking place in her castle. He wants to depose her and take over Codruscut. However, before he can take any action to that effect, he needs to have more details of what is going on in Codruscut and--preferably--have evidence of the queen’s involvement to incriminate her and justify his actions. Since our heroes have proven so resourceful and efficient in the past, he asks them for their help once more. Should they decide to assist, they would be free to determine how they want to infiltrate the slave ring and the castle, so long as they get the job done and--if caught--do not mention the Church’s involvement. Besides the Church’s gratitude, he would offer them the substantial sum of 10 Goldmark each--a total of 50 Goldmark.
Our heroes do not need to discuss; they immediately accept the mission and begin planning their return to Codruscut.
After a long discussion, our heroes agree to the following plan: Kaan is going to pose as the new priest of the Patruturle Church in Codruscut (Gavril’s successor). Erdan and Zikan will pose as his guards. They will take prisoner Petros with them, who will be made to introduce our heroes to Ernos as ‘new connections’--people who can deliver more slaves. If Ernos takes the bait, they will set up a meeting to deliver ‘slaves’ to the castle. These ‘slaves’ will be Razvan, Bogdan, and several other monks experienced in unarmed combat. Once they have gained access to the castle, they will either overpower Ernos and his men or convince Ernos to let them accompany him so that they can see what happens to the slaves and to confirm the queen’s involvement.
Our heroes discuss this plan with Euclid, who approves of it. He will arrange a ship and a qarim crew and will also try to find volunteers among the many monasteries of Zece-Biserici who can pose as their slaves. He will also arrange for papers that appoint Kaan as Gavril’s successor as the priest of the Patruturle. He expects to have this all ready in two days. In the meanwhile, they are free to use the official residence, the library (for learning spells), or the laboratories (for alchemy). Our heroes also accept a down payment of 25 Goldmark.
Satisfied with their plans, our heroes return to their house and start making preparations.
Our heroes spend their time in Zece-Biserici by learning new spells, practicing alchemy, or relaxing.
In the morning, our heroes go down to the harbor where they find their ship (the Girisim) and meet its captain Azeer and his crew of qarim sailors. Petros is there as well, his horrible injuries healed by the Church’s Bloodmages, as are the five monks that Euclid has found willing to pose as slaves. After introductions are made, our heroes quickly depart on their six-day journey back to Codruscut.
Skip, skip, skip...
One thing I dislike about this campaign is that Codruscut and Zece-Biserice are not the same city. It would have been so much easier if they had been. For instance, the players would have had no discussion where to go after defeating Serafim on the Dragon Islands; there would be no reason for the constant sea travel; and I would not have to attempt to create two memorable cities where one would have been sufficient.
Unfortunately, things turned out differently and we have had to skip a lot of sea travel over the course of several sessions. Of course, these could have been spiced up with sea battles. In retrospect, I should have done that to give the players an opportunity to have a little action and practice strategies. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Our heroes use their days at sea to prepare the monks for their part in the ploy posing as slaves. They come up with the following background story: the monks were sent to relieve and reoccupy the Monastery of the Hook after the death of Prior Serafim. On arrival, they were captured and enslaved by Captain Azeer and his crew.
Kaan also questions Petros. He tries to find out if Petros is truly dedicated to help them and uses the Reading spell (see Core Rulebook, page 178) to determine if Petros is speaking the truth. He finds out that Petros is not necessarily truthful in his replies. Rather, Petros has been beaten down to a point where he answers every question with what he believes the interrogator wants to hear. Kaan warns the others that they shouldn’t trust Petros.