Sunday, 18 December 2011

Meanwhile, Back at the Forge....

Squid is too badly injured to do much of anything except convalescence. Thelonius's plotting has taken on a life of it's own, and the former Grandmaster has been arrested for embezzlement, a chest of 75,000gp mysteriously appearing in his private quarters. By pure chance (a little serendipity that cost Thelonius 6000gp), the judge for Tober's arraignment is none other than Lord Talmir "Chops" Deathblow of Dog County. Chops impounds the chest of gold to the evidence cell, where they spends several hours puzzling over how to remove it.

There is more distraction from all the toadies looking for the nobles in their absence. Chops has to pass judgement over some old crones accused of witchcraft and a clemency plea from a halfling sentenced to death. Crow has her warhammer turned into her official seal and processes several documents including an expedition to the Underdark.

The matter of a Royal Summons comes next, with the party invited to a Queen's Banquet, where they fear they will be asked about the whereabouts of Jervis. A nine-course banquet, the group blag their way through it by Chops getting the Duke next to him roaring drunk as a diversion and Crow engaging the mob side of the Queen's family in stories of the Underdark, whilst Thelonius keeps a watchful eye on the Queen and her bodyguard Mungo.

The Dog Leg gang excel in two things - violence and revelry. Their approach goes down a storm with the King, the Duke and the Gambarinis - one of whom, Louie seems intent on sending his son off to the Underdark to become an adventurer rather than a mobster. The Duke and King have far too much to drink, and Chops learns that the King is terminally ill - making sense of the attempts on Jervis's life. The Queen is exceptionally unamused, even though prompted by Mungo to question the adventurers on their fortune - were it not for the infamous Tomb of Horrors, surely they would be mediocre bandits?

The banquet breaks up for the hostess, but Chops and Crow aren't done. They hastily arrange for an extended private drinking session for the King and Duke at Barry's Opus Bar, where they learn more tales of treachery and intrigue. Putting this aside, they opt for a dawn raid on Muraf, the assassination broker.

Muraf lives on Ladies' Row - a bridge covered in high-end shops. As they arrive, Muraf is hastily packing up to leave town. Making to escape, he finds the other end of the bridge blocked by Mungo. Muraf sends his henchmen to fight Mungo, and calls on a pair of DynoRat franchisees - Elvis and JT to deal with the party. Chops charges forward, but is quickly flanked by demons summoned by DynoRat. The Demons prove too tough to deal with, although Thelonius has the mobility to tie them up in melee. Crow switches tactics and uses psionic power to hurl the Rat Demonomancer through a shop and out into the river. The tag line for this part of the battle was, of course "Elvis has left the building,".

Without their summoner, the demons are recalled. Mungo finishes with the minions, and demands the party hand over the broker. Muraf is a business man and prefers to take his chances with Chops & Co, rather than the Queen's executioner. The party dive out of the hole in the back of Tiffany (made by Elvis) into a boat previously arranged by Thelonius. In a mid-river interview, Muraf reveals that he has also arranged a hit on the King's younger brother - Prince Cal, and that his paymaster is a mysterious eastern woman known as "The Enchantress".

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