Attendees: DMHC (of course), Jake Duke Punshon (Katt), Chris Lord Fowlie (Sven), Glen Earl Sweetman (Quinn), and John Tzar Lenz (your humble scribe) (Masahiro).
Location: The Baron’s Barn
- Aboard the mighty Feena in the trailer-trash section of Fangsfall harbour, we ponder our next move. Kira still had her new bff Marcus, the cleric of Belsameth disguised as a cleric of Enkili, with us onboard from last meeting as we hatched our scheme (outside of his earshot, of course). We knew that we had to tell the world about the sheister Captain Arbuckle and his scam of “detainting” or purchasing Fangsfall’s tainted ships at firesale prices, but we weren’t sure how we lowlies could get that message out. After all, why would this metropolis’ mucky-mucks believe a wee band of beer and mushroom-peddling seadogs like us over one of the vaunted aristocracy that was Arbuckle. Hmmm… Here’s what we knew to this point:
- Arbuckle was a secret cleric of the shitty god Belsemeth, evil trickster and stirrer of sewage, and he was in cahoots with the silver demons. Contrary to what we had previously figured, there were only 3 of those Sterling silver outsiders from the abyss, each with different magical powers, one of which seems to be possessing ship captains. We discovered that they seem so much more ubiquitous because they can project themselves to anywhere where their little teleport boxes exist. These boxes, in fact, were the sources of the so-called “taint” that had afflicted so many ships as of late, secretly stowed away onto ships by Devil imps who are able to fly in and out to invisibly deposit their cargo. We had caught one of these imps onboard the Feena a few meetings back and used the manacles of cooperation to get it to spill the beans that Arbuckle was masterminding this whole ruse as a way to build his own armada. Well, we take this knowledge one step further now by finding out from Marcus that although the silver demons can project themselves to these boxes on various boats, it is only a much-weakened version of themselves that shows up; their full powers can only be used in person, and those 3 persons are currently holed up in Arbuckle’s basement. We contemplate breaking in and taking them on directly before giving our heads a good shake – we’re 3rd level characters not Charlie’s frickin’ Angels!
- Well, when in doubt, go to your own hoity-toits to see if they can lubricate our efforts a bit. We throw on some disguises (the equivalent of cowboy hats, fake moustasches, and French accents) and waltz up to the abode of our good friend Lady Effin and tell her all we know. She is courteous but somewhat skeptical of our Arbuckle slander. Just when we are about to ask her to go with us to the Guildhouse to bolster our story to the assorted captains who hang out therein, she receives word that her two good friends and supporters in court, Lord and Lady Weoloc, have just been reported missing from their home. We smell a rat that smells like Arbuckle. Arbuckle rat smell!! F’in’ Lady Effin Fs off to go check out that story, leaving us to our own devices. Dammit! Okay, Plan B.
- We put a manacled Marcus onto a stretcher and politely ask him to pretend he is a wounded mute and start hoofing it to the Merchant’s Guild, where we plan to compel him to tell the captains all of what Arbuckle and the Belsemethians are up to. We figure they’ll be rightly pissed to find out that they’ve been duped by this whole taint thing. We put Masahiro in front as a thug, followed by Katt and Quinn (the 2 clerics of Enkili) hefting the litter, with our swashbuckling goblin hair-berdasher Sven skulking at the rear as we start to make the long walk across town. Katt, using her Katt-like senses, soon hears the sounds of stealthy pursuit through the foggy streets, so we duck into the next alley we see and prepare to spring a trap. Unfortunately, we become the surprisees as a half-dozen beagle-sized mosquitos suddenly dive to attack. We bob, we weave, we stab, they suck, we unstick their suckers, they suck some more. But what really sucks is that a silver demon appears standing beside a box that wasn’t there before and casts an enthrall spell that stops Sven and Masa cold. It then casts a spell on Marcus, and his whole litter starts to get sucked into the ground. The two clerics fight valiantly but can’t prevent Marcus from simply disappearing into the earth, taking our beloved manacles with him, which really sucks. We swat the last mosquito, but the Silver surfer is gone, though not before a cocky imp releases its invisibility just long enough to wave us farewell. All is quiet. The clerics are looking anemic. Marcus is gone. Time for Plan C.
- We decide to just rely on our own persuasiveness to besmirch Capt. Arbuckle’s good name. First, with Marcus back in the enemy’s hands, there’s no need to try to remain subtle about our having returned to town, so we cash in our chit for the Beer-run mission we accomplished last week and collect our 2Gs of pay. Next, we start talking to captains at the guild, doing a really crappy job of diplomatizing – you know you’re in trouble when your fighter with a charisma score of 7 and an accent so thick you could spread it on toast is heading up your diplomacy efforts. We are generally mocked and ignored by the popular captains (think Valley girl high school clique), though one captain (probably the social equivalent of the punter on said high school’s football team) decides that he’ll give us a chance to prove our words. Capt Bevno of the Black Slipper invites us onboard his ship to see if we can find this mysterious box that we claim is the source of the “taint”. Quinn uses his detect magic and keen perception to find a box camouflaged aboard the Black Slipper. We bring it back to the guild, where the popular captains still refuse to be impressed. But pride is a prickly pear, and Masa gives their fruits a squeeze, “Okay, eef dis boxsuh isuh nossing speciaru, den open eet up light here-u.” Faced with a challenge like that, one of the captains takes the bait and opens the box. 16 seconds later, shit gets real! Silver demon projection enters the room in the midst of some very-shocked captains and some very-feeling-exonerated adventurers! The ensuing battle is memorable for many reasons, but a few big ones come to mind: Silverman learns that casting spells in the middle of 7 opponents provokes a LOT of attacks of opportunity! Sven puts his rapier into juuuuust the right spot 2 turns in a row; Quinn actually trips the Mr. Silver during an A.O.O., causing it to lose its spell that turn, and finishes the encounter off with a confirmed natch 20 unarmed attack on the prone metaloid, which gets interpreted as a big elbow off the top rope. In the silence that follows, we’re pretty sure we got our message across.