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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Murder At The Vulgar Unicorn - ACT IV

If you are just picking this up, I suggest reading the previous posts first!
Prelude : Characters : Act I : Act II : Act III

ACT IV – Final Confrontations
17th of Morothus - Falanday

There are three major items for the Group to attend to. First the Dyreelan temple has to be dealt with, probably violently. Second, Arion Swan must be found and arrested or otherwise attended to. Finally, the plague is still a threat to Sanctuary. They don’t know when or how any more infected animals will come into the city, but they will most likely arrive by sea.

The morning finds the Group preparing for tonight’s raid on the Black Temple. They are working the bazaar and finding that the city is rife with rumors of a new prince governor coming to rule Sanctuary. The rumors vary from a kind and gentle ruler from Ranke or terrible tyrant hell bent on ruling with an iron fist. With the city’s history of Ranken rulers, the latter is far more likely than the former, especially if the likes of Arion Swan are involved. The day is spent in Marta’s or the Happy Beaver rumormongering. Many times the Group tries to learn more about the Dyreelan’s, but not much if known in the city. The Cult has always been an underground religion and there is much of the lore is never known. What the Group does find out is that the religious practices often revolve around sacrifices to the Goddess Dyreela, and it is often one of their own that is sacrificed. Being sacrificed is a great honor, or so the information tends to indicate. The group readies themselves for a bloody confrontation with the Dyreelan’s this night.

The Group arrives shortly before dusk, and they watch the Dyreelan’s activities. After an hour of watching, groups of cultists start leaving in controlled groups. One group spots the Jack and Kalima and approaches the two. A fight starts and ends quickly, with four dead cultists. The Group encroaches on the burrows of the underground. In it they observe two entrances and scout 2 guards at each entrance. Two guards at one entrance are quickly slain with the aid of disguises of cloaks off of the dead cultists, thanks to Jack and Kalima. The other entrance is peppered with caltrops. A false alarm is raised, and they await the group inside to rush out. The group inside does not come out, and yells for them to fall back to them. The Group attacks the two other guards, and come in from the other side. Inside, Arion Swan and some other cultists are surprised by the rush attack. Two arrows drop Arion’s companion by his side, and the battle begins. One of Arion’s beastly Fenniath’s is present for the battle and rushes in for battle. The Group is busy with the cultists and the Fenniath. With the Group distracted, Arion takes off running down a back route. Kalima spots the fleeing Arion and starts single combat with him. Arion laughs and insults Kalima’s background, which makes her angry, and eventually she gets the upper hand, subduing Arion. The Fenniath and the cultists are all killed, but Arion is captured and taken to the magistrate for further… processing.

After Arion is taken away, the Group talks with the magistrate, and he has found out that there is a ship called the Blackguard that is supposed to be delivering the final shipment of pigs. He asks for their assistance in the capture of the ship, and the Group agrees. The city has constant watch on the sea for the BlackGuard, with several garrisons standing ready for when it is sighted. The wait is two days long before the Blackguard is finally sighted at dusk.

The Group and the soldiers of the garrison are waiting in a warehouse near the docks, waiting for the ship to moor in before they act. When the ship is fully docked, the warehouse bursts open, and the Group and dozens of soldiers rush up the dock and charge onto the ship. A massive battle ensues with sailors fighting to save their lives and Ranken soldiers trying to capture as many as possible. The Group isolates the leaders and engages them directly; all but a Nisbisi War Witch end up dead. The Nisbisi Witch jumps off the ship and escapes into the water. While the Ranken soldiers secure their captures, the Group focuses on the escaping Witch. After a few minutes, they manage to track her to the WideWay and then to a tavern nearby. They attempt to sneak up to her in the bar, she notices them and with a wild flourish, she starts her table on fire. This makes all of the other patrons in the busy bar to panic and thus starting a riot. The Group is caught in a mob of drunkards making a mad rush to the door, barely keeping their position and balance. The Witch tries another incantation but is interrupted by Jack running and tackling her. The rest of the Group aids Jack to complete the capture. Bound and gagged, they bring her into the Magistrate. He’s very impressed and rewards them with a generous cash reward. In addition to reward, they are given an honorary invitation to the new Prince Governor’s coronation ball, which is happening in three days’ time.

Upon leaving the palace the Group decides to celebrate at their favorite place in Sanctuary; Marta’s. The group hears a hiss and a thick, sharp thump sound in the ground. A crossbow bolt is sticking in the ground next to Malkar’s feet. They look around and Malkar spots a person on a rooftop scrambling away. The Group attempts to pursue them, but doesn’t catch them. This is the prime topic that dominates the lunchtime conversation.