The Tanius Campaign Journal - Chapter 4: The Nest
DM Note: Transition from Session 2 to 3
Session 2 ended after the party escaped from the riots. The clean break point made character transitions very easy. Lilyth was unable to make the next session, but it made sense from an RP stand point to have her character keeping an eye on the party. This would help her character become more familiar with the party, and also aid future transitions.
The morning after The Endgar Riots went about as you might expect. Our heroes eventually woke from their alcohol-induced slumbers and slowly trickled into the tavern for a little hair of the dog. I waved at the adventurers as they made their way down, but their expressions made it clear they had no recollection of our conversations the previous night. I could hardly blame them, having personally experienced mornings like theirs plenty of times. You could say the same for much of my family; you don't get the surname “Bottleluck” by accident.
Instead of awkwardly re-introducing myself, I decided to take my usual approach of watching and waiting. Party members trickled in and out of the Blackmule attending to various bits of personal business, but it was clear they intended to eventually rally at this location. A couple of hours later, Kroul, Rkard, and Kiddo were sitting at a table with an elf who had walked in earlier, whom I eventually confirmed was Ungoldor. I was able to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation from where I was sitting, and it sounded like The Flock was a problem that wasn’t going away anytime soon.
As their discussion continued, Josh walked through the doors of the Blackmule and joined them. The city watch member seemed very distressed, and I later discovered the source of his nerves: his wife and child were kidnapped by Flock operatives, and he was delivering their ransom demands to the party.
Give Me Back What I Rightfully Stole
Campaign Log Day 2 - Part 1
15th day of Kythorn - Morning
Year of The Rebuked Storm - 1574 Dale Reckoning
Endgar Entertainment District - Blackmule
Apparently criminal organizations don’t enjoy having their ill-gotten belongings taken from them. The Flock wanted the party to leave all gold and items in their possession at a drop point outside of town before dusk the next day. After running through their options, they somehow decided infiltrating The Flock’s headquarters was the best course of action.
Their chosen approach was equal parts madness and brilliance. I later learned that Josh, Kiddo, and Ungoldor went to Josh’s home to get his City Watch armor before procuring a second set from the Watch's quartermaster. After briefly returning to the Blackmule, they hurried to the Commercial district.
With their hasty departure, I had to decide quickly whether to let this saga come to an end or to do my best to quietly follow the group. Never willing to let a good story go to waste, I decided to do the latter, and donned my shadowed leather armor and followed the party from a distance.
Upon reaching the warehouse, they scouted for any alternate entrances, but only found a door in the back of the warehouse sealed off with several wooden boards. Once they believed the area was secure, Kiddo and Kroul put on their City Watch armor.
DM Note: A Lesson in Improv
An Unconventional Approach
With the rest of the party hidden from sight, Kiddo and Kroul banged on the front entrance of the warehouse, demanding they be allowed in for inspection. I simply had to know what happened next, so I cast an invisibility spell on myself and crept closer.
A dock worker answered the door, and agreed to let them in after a brief exchange. I did my best to follow without being detected, and watched as the newly anointed members of the City Watch were brought straight to Renlia. I couldn't get close enough to hear their conversation, but shortly after the two “guards” left the office and began interviewing the warehouse workers.
After a couple of fruitless conversations our dynamic duo found a smaller human moving grain around near the front of the warehouse. The moment Kiddo, Kroul, and the worker stood face-to-face it became abundantly clear that they recognized each other from the night before. With both parties in a precarious situation, they decided to take the impending conversation outside. There, the party swooped in on “the worker” and quickly identified him as one of the bandits they had chased off the bridge the night before. Hoping to have his life spared, the bandit informed the party that The Flock’s criminal side was handled by a man named “Zayn”, and that Renlia was a glorified landlord who gave the group a legitimate front in exchange for a cut of the profits. Confident in this new information's veracity, the party determined the most prudent course of action would be to mercilessly kill the bandit and siege the warehouse.
Party: Bellamy(Sor 2), Kiddo(Ftr 1/Wlk 1), Kroul(Clr 2), Rkard(Bbn 2), Ungoldor(Rog 2)
Enemies: 1x Bandit
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Expected Outcome: No HP Loss
Actual Outcome: No HP Loss
Tactical Considerations: He is totally surrounded.
How It Went Down: He died.
While the party ripped the bandit to shreds, Ungoldor crept into the warehouse and set fire to everything he could in the loading bay. In response, the workers retreated to the innermost storage room while heavily obscuring smoke spread throughout. I assume Ungoldor hoped to burn the warehouse down with the inhabitants trapped inside, but the brick structure did not fully catch flame.
Divide and Conquer
While Ungoldor set fire to the loading bay, I heard a loud smashing noise from the opposite side of the warehouse. The party figured that someone had kicked the back door out, and set up accordingly, ready to take on any oncoming assailants. Three large thugs emerged on the western end, and a scuffle ensued.
Party: Bellamy(Sor 2), Kiddo(Ftr 1/Wlk 1), Kroul(Clr 2), Rkard(Bbn 2), Ungoldor(Rog 2)
Enemies: 3x Thug
Difficulty Rating: Medium
Expected Outcome: Moderate HP Loss
Actual Outcome: Minor HP Loss
Loot: 15 EP, 11 SP
Tactical Considerations: The alley was only 15 feet wide, which made defining battle lines fairly easy. The party would be at an advantage since they have a mix of melee and ranged attacks, however the lack of clear firing lanes will put the front line at risk of friendly fire. The narrow confines could also group the thugs up around the front line of the party, putting their pack tactics ability into play.
How It Went Down: The party's luck held and they managed to smash through the thugs without too much difficulty. Kiddo, who had multi-classed into warlock used eldritch blast as his bread and butter attack while Rkard and Ungoldor held the front lines.
Rkard and Ungoldor held down the front lines while Kroul and Kiddo attacked from a distance. I thought it odd that Kiddo was not up front bruising, but it made sense when he began releasing jets of magic from his hands. The bursts of energy appeared eldritch in nature, and I wondered why I hadn't heard about these powers the night before. Even more puzzling was Bellamy's decision to run into the burning warehouse on his own. I thought about giving chase, but decided the battle at hand would provide a greater spectacle.
The party was able to take down the criminals with only a few cuts and bruises to show for their efforts. After catching their breath, they circled around to the rear of the warehouse. I followed the group from a distance and found them gathered around the now-broken door in the rear. After briefly conferring, they stormed the door.
Not Exactly A Private Party
I felt I had pressed my luck enough and decided not to follow the party in. I climbed up to a vantage point on a nearby building, hoping to see my protagonists emerge triumphant. Instead, I noticed a female elf lurking around the corner of a nearby alley. She approached the rear door with almost cat-like grace and eventually entered. I decided I would wait stay put for the duration of my invisibility spell.
The party didn't reappear for the remainder of the evening, but eventually some presumably real members of the City Watch arrived to investigate the warehouse fire. They only briefly investigated the exterior of the warehouse and its surroundings before entering.
Imagine my surprise when Renlia, accompanied by the party now wearing workers' clothes, emerged from behind another warehouse to the north and approached the smoking ruins of the one I had been watching. After a brief conversation, the City Watch members inside left the warehouse, and I lifted the Major Illusion spell as the party began looking for bodies. They dragged their fallen enemies into the warehouse, and did not emerge until the next morning.