Friday, 23 January 2015

Thieves (and fake drunks) in the Night

June 11–12, 3430, Age of Kings

The party brought their hard fought spoils to Adler's home to collect their reward and when he saw the masterful work done skinning the one owlbear pelt he threw in an additional 50 shillings. During the transaction, of course, Grabby was taking note of the various valuables that were in the noble's home.

Silver in hand, the party returned to their dormitory at Albrecht's estate for some rest. Boots and Broak head to a nearby tavern to busk and drink, respectively. Soon after, Fulton Ardane (an estate guard friendly to the group) informed Ander, Grabby and Audrey that Albrecht wanted to speak to the party in his quarters right away.

When they arrive, Albrecht informs them that over a week ago a group of three of his miners set out for the Orespire Mountains to find new ore veins. Three days earlier only one returned, a miner by the name of Oddo Hillwood. Oddo was covered in cuts and scrapes and mentioned that they found what looked like dwarven ruins in the foothills, and they were attacked in the night by “screeching, barking creatures” that he never saw, he only heard them—and the screams of his fellow miners, Brim Odger and Alard Clifton—as they were dragged away in the dark.

From the description of the site—such as moss-covered statues of dwarves in robes—and its location, Albrecht, with the brothers Ert and Grommor Ironhil (two of his dwarf engineers) from the local mountains, discerned that it might be the site of the ancient dwarvish mine Arak-Ildun. It’s thought that it is the home of a powerful dwarvish forging hammer, that may still be in the depths of the mine, as it’s whereabouts are unknown.

Albrecht informs the players that he heard rumours that Oddo got drunk in a local tavern—The Red Tankard—and was telling other patrons about his experience: including the location of where the mine might be. Some of the patrons happened to work for a rival noble of the mining guild: Kinnard Adler. Oddo even pointed the location out to the rival miners on a map, which Kinnard now has in his possession.

Telling the party that he needs to lay claim to this mine before his rival, Albrecht says they need to either locate Oddo and get the information (which could prove difficult as his whereabouts are currently unknown) or steal the map from Kinnard. He also figures that other members of the guild have caught wind, and may dispatching men of their own to do the same thing, so they need to act quickly.

Once the party was together in full they made their way over to The Red Tankard in hopes of finding Oddo. The barkeep informed them that he usually comes in every other night, and hasn't seen him since the night before. Not knowing where Oddo was staying, they decided the more direct approach of stealing the map from Adler's home.

Waiting for cover of dark, they returned to Adler's home after midnight. The sounds of drinking and gambling were starting to wind down in the guard house as the party arrived. In an attempt to get the two patrolling guards close enough for Boots to cast a charm person spell on one of them, Broak acted like a drunkard stumbling through the street... and began to relieve himself on the fence. As this was happening Boots walked down the street playing his flute in an attempt to charm a guard, which failed, but the guard was unaware at the attempt.

After being asked to move along, and not wanting to draw any more attention, the two moved down the street, past the view of the guards. Once the guards had their back's turned while patrolling, Ander and Grabby made a run for the manor's ground level side door. Trying the door, Grabby was surprised to find the door unlocked, so he and Ander entered and closed the door behind them.

They found themselves in Adler's larder, stocked with barrels of wine, wheels of cheese, and various cured meats. The trap door leading to the next floor was open, so they quietly ascended. Looking around the room, lit only by the street lamps outside, Grabby noticed all of the valuable items (silver goblets and platters, and various other baubles) were no longer there from their day lit visit here. Through the open trap door leading to the top level, they could hear the sound of heavy snoring. Not finding anywhere on this floor where the map could be, Grabby carefully climbed the steep stairs and peered inside the dark room where Adler slept. As he looked around, he heard a floor board creek, he quickly turned his attention to the sound and saw a cloaked figure crouching by a desk helping himself anything of value. Unnoticed Grabby climbed back down to tell Ander.

Figuring this to be someone Albrecht had warned them about, the two headed down to where they had entered to catch the thief on his way out. Ander hid in the shadows near the door, while Grabby ran outside and around to the back in hopes of cutting off an escape route. During this time Boots hid in an alley way across from the manor while avoiding the guards.

Eventually the thief made his way to the door where Ander was waiting nearby, but as the thief poked his head out to see where the guards were, he managed to notice Boots across the street, and ducked back inside. Moments later, from down the street, Audrey could see a second story window being opened and the cloaked figure slipping out, and climb up to the roof. At this point she ran out to the street and—as a concerned citizen—warned the two guards that there was a thief climbing out of their lord's manor's window. The guards backed up in the yard to spot the culprit, and one ran to the rear of the manor to raise an alarm bell. With this distraction Ander was able to safely leave the manor and—as a concerned elf citizen—ran towards the guard saying he could assist them.

Not knowing which way the thief would go, Audrey began running down Fletcher's Way to cut off a possible escape route. At this point, Ander let an arrow loose, striking the thief, to which they could hear his response, "Oh, c'mon!" Grabby was able to position himself in the narrow back alley just in time to see the thief leap from the Manor's roof to a nearby building and disappear into the night.

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