The Edge of the Knife

The Hapless Highwaymen

The party ran a fast and dirty interrogation of the captured half-orc, Ausk, but didn’t manage to uncover much useful information. It appears that he is just a pawn of some humans, or pinks as Ausk calls them, who represent this mysterious " Nul-Arc" entity. Nestor finished gathering supplies and the party rested until morning before setting off on the road out of Casimir to Nanmor.

The trip down from the mountains proceeded fairly uneventfully until a dwarf and a large human ran out into the road in front of the party. The dwarf explained that he and the human were being chased, and the party presently heard their pursuers. It turned out to be a trap, and Sordin took an arrow in the ensuing ambush. All looked lost as the beefy human joined the fray, but the party soon realized that the barbarian, Bren was being poorly treated by his so-called comrades and just needed a bit of encouragement to change sides. Though things looked grim, he quickly turned the tide in the party’s favor. The party gained some loot from the bandits’ ill-gotten gains and a new ally to boot.

The rest of the trip to Denbigh was fairly idyllic, with Sophia in particular taking a shine to the lovable, albeit intellectually-challenged, barbarian. Once they arrived in Denbigh, the party stopped to buy Bren the beer they had promised him, and it was with tears following their shared drink that Bren told them about his plan to leave the fighting life behind and start anew as a longshoreman for the lumber barges. The party now must decide how to proceed while Nestor researches both Nul-Arc and current events in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

The party hires a local cleric to cast Zone of Truth and has Axel cast Charm Person while they try to hurriedly interrogate the captured half-orc while the spell is in effect.

The half-orc makes a will save against both (Zone of Truth DC15, Charm Person DC14) but is willing to share the information regardless.

Who do you work for? Don’t know. We were told we could kill some dwarves if we did what the humans wanted us to. That’s all we needed to know.

What’s the point of this operation? Don’t know that either. The pinks just wanted the necklaces and other stuff brought to the caves while we got ready to go fight the dwarves.

How long has this smuggling been going on? The pinks got in touch with us a few months back. Once they figured out a way to get the goods to us, we made our way to the tunnels.

How long have you, yourself, been doing this? I was assigned by the tribe to move us into the caves down there not long after the humans came to us.

Following the interrogation:

“Are you done yet? I’ve answered your questions, didn’t get to kill that dwarf I knocked out, and have been too close to the stinky creatures since I got up here. Just kill me and get this over with.”

Nestor returns from his errands and asks for a summary of the information learned from the interrogation of the orc. He asks the party to decide which avenue of investigation to pursue.

Let the players choose whether to stay in the city or head off down the road.

If the party chooses to go:

Nestor suggests that the party know where they are going by the time they reach the fork in the main highway. He also recommends that you leave in the morning. The party sets off down the road with the pack mule Nestor bought for the trip in tow, its saddlebags laden with food, water and whatever party supplies you decided to stow in there. The trip progresses fairly uneventfully for some time until you come across a dwarf and a large, burly human who run out into the road in front of you.

The dwarf spots the party and shouts, “Oi, can we get some help here? I think we may have lost them but—“

The sounds of a group making quickly making their way through the trees from the northwest side of the road reach your ears.

Perception DC24 to notice the two archers concealing themselves on the north side of the road. The rogues fire simultaneously at the party. If the bandits get a surprise round the dwarf casts Burning Hands on the party while Bren just stands there. The next round the dwarf yells at Bren to start attacking the party. The dwarf continues to berate Bren as a clue to the party to try to talk to the barbarian. Bren will pretty easily come around to the party’s side and will help finish off the bandits if given explicit orders.

If the party chooses to stay:

Nestor suggests that the party find an inn to stay the night in. Once the party chooses one, have Nestor offer to perform for the party’s room and board. The bard holds up his hands and mutters an incantation, and a beautiful mandolin appears. He begins playing an enchanting, haunting song, an ancient dirge of the elves from before humans arrived in Nanmor. When he finishes, he takes a dramatic bow on top of the bar while the mandolin vanishes as abruptly as it appeared. While he is bowed down he whispers to the barmaid and she blushes scarlet. He hops down from the table and goes to have a seat to a hearty round of applause. After a while, and another couple of performances by the bard, the barmaid heads over to where he is seated and he stands up and takes her arm. Nestor escorts her out of the common room and winks at the party.

Not long after this, a rough looking group comes in, consisting of a dwarf and three humans. One of these humans is huge, and doesn’t look particularly bright. The dwarf loudly orders a mug of ale and starts harassing some of the other patrons.

If the party doesn’t take the bait, have the dwarf head over to the party’s table and start heckling them. The dwarf’s bravado is a distraction so that the two rogues can try to pickpocket the party. The same combat instructions as if the party was on the road apply. Erase the beautiful map of the mountain road and draw a boring, generic tavern. /cry

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mazzoli

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