Sunday, 18 December 2011

Seaside Brawl

A cinematic montage of fast horse travel cross-country takes Chops, Crow and Thelonius to Westsea, the home of the insane Prince Cal. Just in time for a melee tournament between the Port Blacksand Buccaneers (Squid's husband's team) and the much unfavoured Westsea Pirates. Prince Cal is clearly heavily sedated as he sits in a rudimentary Royal Box. Crow takes a position on the bench with the Buccaneers, Chops stays close to the Prince, and Thelonius hovers outside the box. They have been told that the Enchantress will be present to witness the murder she has paid for - they just need to locate her.

The melee tournament is over very quickly as an easy victory for the Buccaneers. Prince Cal's nurses help him over to the Buccaneers' tent for some meeting and greeting. A diversion behind the tent distracts Crow, and the Buccaneers' medical team turn out to be a hit squad made up of an extremely competent mage assassin and two not-so-competent assistants.

Chops and Crow aren't faring well, and Thelonius hangs back as he tries to locate the Enchantress through the crowds. As they think they have the mage surrounded, he teleports away, adjacent to the prone Prince. Certain to deliver a coup de grace, he is only saved by a moment of inspiration from Crow, who teleports next to the prince, and then away to safety. The assassin, having clearly failed makes good his escape.

Thelonius identifies the fleeing Enchantress and gives swift chase. Chops grabs a horse from the Buccaneers, and between the two of them, she is very swiftly cornered.

Another NPC with no loyalty, the Enchantress is quick to bargain all she knows in exchange for a one-way ticket to Tahiti. Confiscating a teleportation device, the party learns that the Princess of the East and now the wife of Prince Nicos (King Leric's other brother, presumed KIA in the war) is behind the conspiracy. With the King dying and Cal and Jervis out of the picture, Nicos could succeed to the throne.

Burdened with much information, the group return to Royal Forge and are informed that their apartments have been burgled by Mungo - who has "gone rogue". Chops's flat is ransacked and his prize possession (a statue of a nude elf woman carved out of obsidian) has had the head broken off. More disturbingly, Crow's notes from the Tomb of Horrors are all missing.

In the days that follow, a lot of information surfaces regarding news from the Badlands about the original Tomb of Horrors causing something of a Californian Gold Rush - large numbers of adventurers are suddenly being drawn to the old site. After Acererak was vanquished by 1st edition adventurers some 30 years ago, a large community of necromancers grew up around the original Tomb, which remained deadly dangerous. Called Skull City, many of the worshipped the demi-lich and never gave up the faith. Others simply hoped to learn his dark arts in the proximity of the Tomb. A steady stream of adventurers over the years ended their days in the old Tomb, whose traps remained active.

In the last year or so, reports emerged that there had been an earthquake in Skull City and Eldritch storms and vents rocked the city. Most of the undead and necromancers were apparently killed. Not long after the adventurer's foray into the city of Moil and their destruction of the Shadow Engine, something happened in the old Tomb. Many adventurers are being drawn back to the old site. Apparently Mungo believes there is something important in Crow's notes that he can benefit from. One of the manufactured parties 4*Eva have reportedly gone with him....

What does Mungo know that Crow doesn't?
Why have 4*Eva gone with him?
Will Squid kick her drug habit?
Will Chops get his statue repaired?
Who is the mysterious young man that saved them from the Spice Market assassins?
Where is Prince Jervis and Real Emily?

Find out as the Dog Leg saga draws to an earth shattering climax.

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