Games, drumming, juggling, home improvements, cooking, comics, dogs, macs, music, etc.

Squall - probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse skval: useless chatter (Merriam-Webster)
It's my goal to have the LONGEST blog pages around. Kind of.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DM10 Followup

A few questions in the comments - I hope these are helpful:

Anonymous said...

With midi note are saying that the hi hat and ride can not be changed using VST's? So the hi hat and ride would be factory sounds while every other drum/cymbal could be vst? Thanks!

My Answer:

The sounds would still come from the DST. They may not be the sounds you want, because you cannot edit the MIDI note. You have to change the DST to respond to the MIDI note you are sending with the sound you want - remap the DST essentially. Or, in my case, the MIDI notes happen to be correct (thank you standard note numbers) and it's not a big deal.

Anonymous said...

Hello, and nice review! Very helpful. I do have a question though. Can the inputs be assigned to any and all drum sounds? I play a 'hybrid' kit, with real cymbals, and muted acoustic drums with triggers on them, so I don't need cymbal sounds from the module. I noticed that the inputs are labeled, and I wondered if I would have any issues by plugging tom triggers into the inputs labeled for cymbals.

My Answer:

For the most part, yes, an input is an input. and you can edit whatever port you want to handle signal however you want. The labels are merely for ease of use when setting up a standard kit setup. Some cymbal ports are single-zone, not dual - like the hi-hat and the #7 main crash. The Ride is 3 zone, but you can set it up as 2 zone, and get another aux port..

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Portland Juggling Festival 2011

Geez, is this my fourth year, or fifth? Fifth.. I just went back and checked some older blog postings.. (I know I am a cheater..) This year I was, once again, Gym Coordinator. I let the Late Night Czar job go as late nights and early mornings are a bad combo for me. Gym Coordinator means to set up the gym(s) before the fest starts, and clean it up after the fest ends. And I get 2 grunts to help - usually I have my friends help. This year, I got two friends from Sacramento who have been to the Fest before - even stayed at our house. (I would have offered them a place to stay, but our house is in a major state of upheaval remodeling wise right now..) And Late Night Czar requires me to stay up until 2am, then kick jugglers out of the gym - which is like herding cats with a laser pointer that won't shut off. So, I shunted the late night gig, and was just the Gym Coordinator.

FridayGym setup goes great, 2 of the 3 vendors are setup and in place, and the potluck dinner goes on later (outside). Friday generally flies along well, I get some passing in with folks, work on my 5 ball (still...) and learn a few new tricks, too. Then off to the Friday night Renegade show, the show and tell for jugglers. With drinking.

Renegade Show
New high or a new low, I am thinking a new low. There's always some risque acts (unicycle stripping comes to mind..) and drinking and sometimes one or two things get a little out of hand, but this year, the show went on a stripping tangent like no other show I'd seen before - drunk jugglers just stripping to strip with no act behind it. But there were some good acts, like Luke's screen show of the names of tricks, every throw was in sequence and called out. The balloon 'muscle man' was hilarious - a balloon 'animal' of a man; it could be manipulated. 'Nuff said. Those are the things that immediately pop out in my head, but I am sure there were other things I laughed a lot at, but hey, if you want a full experience, you gotta come.

Got in a bit late - I should be there by 10:00 am or slightly before.. I get there at like 10:15. No biggie, the gym is in full swing with a lot of folks already starting their day. I go to a beginning 3-ball juggling so that I can learn new teaching techniques. I usually run the 'beginner corner', so any helpful teaching bits I can use are great. I also attend a 5 ball workshop, which I learned one or two more things to get me back on track to improving instead of the crap I've been trying. I want to go to a club passing workshop, but I never made it to one.. I spent a lot of time working with a few beginners (all a little older than I - so it's never too late to start folks!).

Saturday Show
The show this year is on the Reed Campus instead of a few miles away - I thought this was great, as I don't need to trek a few miles away and find parking. I just need to shoo jugglers from the gym, call security to lock up, and walk up the hill to the building next door. I see a few friends in the lower chairs, but I decide I want to go up and get a view that is above the stage more. There's a lot of chairs on the main floor with what I consider a pretty poor view, so I want to get a better view, looking down. Other than the complaining / whining kids next to me, the seat was good. One of the better acts was a guy in a checkered outfit who managed to get a kid to stand still and hold a stick with spinning plate and spinning ball. Rhys and Charlie were fun, as usual. Leapin' Louie did the best act I've ever seen him do, and Sarah Liane Foster did a clown bit with a trombone that hit my funny bone. The hosts opened with a great co-op club juggling act (they're from Colorado!) and kept the show moving well.

Day #3, and I worked on 5 balls, club backcrosses (getting pretty good at them!), club overhead tosses, and starting the club backcross with my left hand. Passed with a gal (Cindy) from San Fransisco, we had a lot of fun. I attended Kricket's stilt-walking workshop and managed a 3 ball cascade while on stilts. After cleaning up, getting the vendor's out and generally picking up and collecting for 'lost and lost' I loaded up my truck and went to Rhys & Maria's for the volunteer thank you party. Drink, eat and be merry.

Next year, I think I want to work on the public show in some way - stage hand, green room, something like that. and maybe I'll be better at 5 ball.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Savage Worlds in spaaaaaaaaace!

I think this post will be a lot of Savage bits, but the recent space stuff took hold of the title. That, and I liked the Muppet Show.

Mercenary Breed
Recently, I had the opportunity to playtest a new space opera 'mini-setting' called 'Mercenary Breed'. The short pitch is that your characters are an alien band of mercenaries, and it seems to me that the designer meant the more alien, the better. But keep 'em humanoid, or create edges / weapons for unique body structures. When I first read the blurb about it, I thought "Space Opera, mercenaries, hmmm.. Firefly with a bit more machismo." Not that I thought that this would be something I'd really want to play over and over, but I am always interested in source materials that might enhance another game someday. So, I got one of the 6 slots and got 2 groups together to playtest this thing.

First, alien creation - we got some real creative races (A Dargo-like alien from Farscpe) and not-so-creative races. (My friend tells me about his dark, brooding alien race, and I comment, "so, how is this not a Drow?". "Shit," he says. But we played him anyway.)

Reading through the source materials for the playtest, I admit I wasn't as thorough as I probably should have been, but neither were most of my players. We got caught up on a particular line of "Law enforcement is 95% effective". This was posted in comments to the authors, and I got back some clarification that we somehow linked this line from a PLANET description and we unabashedly applied that to the planetary SYSTEM. Oooops. So we were basically a little lost thinking that if law is that effective, what are mercs for? Well, we'll slide that bit o' info under the rug and move on to the adventure.

Space infestation of a bug race. Kind of a fun scenario but my first group were ill-equipped and struggled with the swarms, but making use of some creative weaponry, they managed ok. Swarms in Savage Worlds are both fun and annoying, they swarm over an opponent and don't even have to roll a 'to-hit', just start with straight damage, and, oh yeah, ignore armor because the swarm is in your clothing biting precious bits of your, ahem, self. Eventually, they meet the big bad bug, and fight it out. Then the adventure ends there, all happy and done. I decided to have the aliens have another ship show up so we could test the 'Chase rules' that Savage Worlds provides.

So, I guess this is turning into a review. What did I think? I think that the sandbox might be too big, but I think that the right group could have a LOT of fun with making aliens and forming a mercenary group, and having a lot of firefight action. If you have a group that wants high-action, fights and imagination, this might be up your alley.

The developers are going to continue creating content for this setting, so the source material will only expand, I think that's a great thing, an ever expanding universe.

Savage Space 1.0
Right after this playtest of Mercenary Breed, I ran across an announcement for this Savage Space generic source / setting. I thought it was funny that I found 2 space opera sources within weeks of each other, and since the SS1.0 was a FREE download, I snagged it and browsed it. This has more stuff, and less setting, but I felt it was meatier and fit what I was looking for in a space setting / source material.
  • Gear - it defined some great setting weapons, armor, cyberwear and gadgets.
  • Ship as a Character - the Serenity RPG had this concept, the ship as a character, and this setting had some guidelines on how to go about using this as a feature in your game. These include skills, stats, equipment and even ship Edges and Hindrances.
  • Random adventure generator - always a plus to get the creative juices going.
  • New Edges & Hindrances - One beef I had with Mercenary Breed was the new skills - they were basically just Knowledge skills that didn't need making. This setting did a little better - they brought up good Knowledge skills, and 'futureized' other skills. Lockpicking is security, healing is medicine, etc. It wasn't necessary, healing would still work, and most players/GM's would apply Lockpicking in the future to electronic locks and such, but I think that if you DON'T do this, you'll get some pin-headed goofball saying that lock-picking won't work on a card-reader, wahhhhh. I digress.
  • One of the BEST indexes I've seen recently in an RPG.
47 pages of goodness, free and pretty cool. If you want to run Star Trek, FireFly or even a Traveller game, check this out.

I think my next blog will be more Savage Worlds goodness - Savage Worlds Deluxe and the Savage Insider fan magazine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Patrick Rothfuss book signing

While in Brooklyn for work, Meran asked me to get to a book signing for her newest found author; Patrick Rothfuss. I was tasked because when he was in Portland, she hadn't heard of him yet. A co-worker and I braved the crowds (not too bad) and stood in line for about 2 hours.

Kelly took the photos, I was mostly unaware of it, although I should have known better.


Making sure he spells Meran's name correctly.

Since then, I've read both of his books that he signed that day. I liked them a lot.
The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. Some of the best new fantasy I've read in years!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge

All my gaming blogs are up to date, and I'm not blogging anything. I feel I haven't done anything important enough. Well, I walked the Brooklyn Bridge this week. I've been in NYC on a contract for a while now (generally traveling every-other week..) and I've not said word one about my adventures.. Not that I've had many, mostly restaurants and work. I've managed to find a juggling group and a gaming group for my time during the week. I think that these pictures of my trip across the Brooklyn Bridge are pretty cool, even if they are from my Droid camera. Tim had a better camera, and I might update some photos when I get a copy of those.

We started from our hotel in Brooklyn, I didn't start taking pictures until about halfway across.

Half way across the bridge, looking back at Brooklyn. The pedestrian walkway is above where the cars are, so its a really nice walk. There were a lot of bicycles, but the walkers and the bikes have separate lanes.

Looking towards Manhattan, the bridge is under some maintenance, so the metal sides were there for some of the walk.

These arches are great!

Looking towards the south side of Manhattan.

Looking at the Manhattan Bridge.

I am sure someone knows what that building is.

More of the Manhattan bridge.

Arches up close!


This building is cool: all the metal is twisty and interesting. This is to the left as we were reaching the end of the bridge in Manhattan.

That's it. the bridge is 1.3 miles long, and with all of our exploring on the Manhattan side, we probably walked 4-5 miles. And overdid dinner.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thieves' World - Black Snake Dawn

If you are just picking this up, I suggest reading the previous posts first!
Prelude : Characters : Act I : Act II : Act III : Act IV : Prince and Steel : Festival : Kadakithis & HellHounds : Sikkintairs & Portals : The Swans : Stepsons vs. Jubal : Roxane : Beggars Revenge : Beysib Debacle : Turghurt

Black Snake Dawn
(Note: this is using the Green Ronin module of the same name.)

After finishing their business at the Aphrodisia house, Gagino presents Kalima with a day's worth of concerned messages from her mother. After skimming through the early messages, the last one seems to contain the most relevant and pressing message.
“Dearest Kalima, The Palace continues to be a hotbed of activity. I've recently learned that as soon as the Beysib were spotted in the ocean a few weeks ago, a Ranken noble, Raiden Sa Velle, was brought to Sanctuary to discuss how Sanctuary may access a number of his mercenaries for hire. The Prince-Governor paid a substantial sum for this man and family to come to Sanctuary for the business dealings. The past few days have soured the relationship and the Sa Velle's have left the Palace and have taken up temporary residence at the Golden Oasis. The daughter, Jenna, has gone missing, as of the previous night. Sa Velle is crying foul play, and demands that the Prince do something to find his daughter, return her safely and to compensate for his worry and heartache. From what I know of these sordid people, the kidnapping may be true – by whom I could not guess – but the retribution demand is a just a play for some extra coin; no doubt to spend on the Street of Red Lanterns or similar pursuits. However, this does open up an opportunity for you and your friends. Molin Torchholder has been tasked with the return of Jenna and plans that between your past successful work for him in the past, and the current misunderstanding, as he puts it, with your friends, a deal can surely be negotiated. I believe he means to clear all of your names in return for a satisfactory investigation into this girl Jenna. Please take this note and the accompanying mark of Molin Torchholder and visit with him as soon as you can. Good luck, and I hope this leads to better days in the very near future; Sabellia knows Sanctuary can use some light in these dark times.”
Kalima shares the letter with her friends, and a quick decision is made that, as usual, things are not optimal, but this might be a solution, as dubious as it sounds. Preparing for a long night, the Group sets out for Torchholder's luxurious accommodations in the Temple of Vashanka.
At the Processional, Modig is immediately recognized and an arrest is made. Jack and Kalima get the guards to listen to them, and quickly present the Marque from Molin Torchholder. This results in an armed escort to the Temple of Vashanka and direct confirmation from Torchholder himself. Grumbling, the over zealous guards leave the Group in Molin's greeting room.
Molin essentially repeats what Sequina's letter has already told them, but without some of the personal observations. The Group works out a complete pardon for Olric and Modig, as well as a guard harassment cease-and-desist for Jack, Malkar, Kalima and Gagino. Torchholder agrees that if they find the girl, dead or alive, these particular woes will be overcome.

The Group asks few questions of Molin, and are interested in getting this over with. Molin gives them individual medallions that will keep the guards from arresting them in the near future, and the group decides to get to the Golden Oasis as soon as possible. They are turned away at the door for not having the 'proper attire' and are referred to a clothing shop down the street.

An hour or so later, and quite a bit of shabooza lighter, entrance to the dining room is attained. When asked, the serving girls talk about the Sa Velles, and a young man is pointed out in the room. It is Jerome, the son of Raiden and the brother of Jenna. Jerome is drinking, and is halfway through his second bottle of wine, each of which cost more than all of the clothes the Group just purchased. He's not too talkative or very helpful, but the Group presses him and convinces him that they are here to help. Eventually, he takes them up to the double suite that he shares with his sister.

The suite has two separate bedrooms; Jerome's is clean and tended to, but Jenna's is a disaster. Apparently, Jenna brought her lover with them, much to Jerome's obvious disgust. She and her lover have wrecked the room in the most horrendous of ways, from minor vandalism, to the disgusting act of a chamber pot kicked to disperse its foul contents onto the floor. Searching the room for any clues, they find a brick of krrf, a small disgusting idol and a painting of a man. Jerome reveals that it is of Treight, Jenna's lover.

After a cursory glance at Jerome's room, they decide the next person they want to talk to is the father, Raiden. Pounding on his door for several minutes, they don't receive any entrance. Listening at the door, there is no sound of any activity in the room. Jack busts the door down, and they see Raiden sprawled out on the floor, as if reaching towards the door. Kalima checks him, and finds that besides the stench of krrf and alcohol, in his throat is a piece of meat. Apparently, Raiden has choked to death, and it may actually have been accidental. Trying their best to put the grisly scene out of their minds, they set about searching the room. They find a half-consumed brick of krrf, and some letters about the reason why they are here, including letters from Kadakithis with payment details, transport papers, and a pouch of money with 12 gold Ranken Coronations still in it.

Feeling they missed something in Jenna's room, they search it again and figure out what isn't there – underclothes, an over-cloak and a small stiletto dagger, one that Raiden impressed upon her to always carry, to give him the false sense of her safety, according to Jerome, later. Returning downstairs to talk with Jerome some more, they learn of the Sa Velle's slave, Crezda, who is nowhere to be found.

Bored with Jerome, Jack focuses his attention on the pretty girls who work as maids and servers for the place. He asks them questions about the Sa Velles and gets little but shy giggles and the occasional comment about how much time the guests spent in their rooms. Their dislike for the father and of Jenna is obvious in their demeanor, but not their words. Jerome seems to be the only decent one in the group. When they are questioned about Crezda, they avoid a direct answer, but say they haven't seen her since this morning. Jack promises to come back and take them out sometime and returns to the dining room with the others.

The Group leaves the Golden Oasis for the Bazaar. The sun is setting as they get there and the Beggars have set up quite a vigilant watch. With their deal with Moruth, the Group gets through their perimeter and to Gagino's tent unscathed. They meddle with the painting they found in Jenna's room, and find an obsidian disk hidden under the painting. They look it over, and decide they have no clue what it is, but they do know it is magical in nature. Perhaps their sometimes benefactor, Enas Yorl, may be employed for an answer.

Preparing to walk to the other side of town yet again, there is an outcry from the Beggars; an undead mob is attacking the Bazaar. The Group joins in the battle, and eventually disperse the undead, earning a few more cuts than they would have liked. They resume their quest, and go to Pyrtanis Street to inquire about this obsidian disk they found.

At Enas Yorl's house, they march up to the door, and knock. Gagino and Jack catch a glimpse of something off to the side, and the Basilisk they see causes them to feel faint of heart for a few minutes. The door opens, seemingly on its own, and the others drag the stunned men into the house. From behind the door, the house imp closes the door behind them with strength not obvious from his size. He bows, and leads them to a sitting room where Enas Yorl is waiting for them. He's dressed in his robes, with the hood drawn back. He greets them in a form that is a mostly human, very dark skinned male with a bald head and eerie, shimmering red eyes. He greets them cordially and asks how he can be of service today. First, they show him the idol from Jenna's room. Enas tells them all about a ritual called Black Snake Dawn. It is a particularly gruesome ritual wherein a human is sacrificed to Mathrax, the god of one thousand pleasures and pains. This ritual is to gain his attention directly at the site of the sacrifice, in order to conjure up an additional bit of mischief like a plague or something similar. If this is what the new Nisibisi witch is up to, she should be stopped, and catching Jenna is merely one part of that goal.

Next, they show him the obsidian disc, and he looks at it for a little bit before informing them that it is a communication device forged with Nisibisi magic. He also mentions that using it may sometimes suffer some mental consequences. He tells them how to use the device, should it come to that, but warns that it should never be used, but usually such warnings go unheeded.

Barely out of Enas' house, Jack wants to use the disc to see who is behind the scheme. The Group puts him off by deciding to go back to the Golden Oasis first, thinking that they should use it from a place where it was probably used before. When they get there, Jack gets distracted and starts chatting with the girls again. Dropping their guard a little more, they mention how worried they are for the slave, Crezda, they helped escape this morning. Jack asks them to divulge all the details to him and his friends. They tell the story that she stole some money from Raiden, and that she was going to try to get to the Vulgar Unicorn before she tried to get home to Ilsig. The girls also talk about how awful Jenna and Treight were, threatening them with violence and offering them money for disgusting activities. The girls quickly went out of their way to avoid the pair, not cleaning their room in fear of being in the room with them, not talking to them or even serving them in the dining room. This earned them great displeasure from their boss, but when he attempted to make up for them, he was treated similarly. He agreed to ignore them, and was going to evict the whole lot in the next few days, after they had spent some more significant coin. The girls mention their knowledge of One-Thumb and thought he could help slip her out of town. The Group talks with Jerome a little more, getting more information about his disappointment in his sister's activities, her involvement with Treight and his father's penchant for spending a lot of coin on krrf and whores. The Group excuse themselves from the monotony of self pity, and quickly decide to go find Crezda in the Maze.

On the way there, they find two grisly scenes, even for Sanctuary. Though it's very dark, Malkar spots bodies that are stuffed into an alley and poorly hidden. The first is a single woman, most likely a prostitute. The second scene is a man and a woman, both also presumably for hire. Both scenes found the bodies dirty and naked with contorted faces, contorted from pain. The bodies are decorated with many, many poorly executed cuts in shapes of symbols, symbols the Group does not recognize. The Group thinks the killers might be Jenna and Treight, continuing their reign of debauchery and violence, meting out depraved acts on the poor and wretched in Sanctuary's streets.
From the journal of Kalima:
I looked down at the body Malkar had spotted, feeling suddenly very weary. I recognized the woman -- one of the near-countless poor streetwalkers in Sanctuary, selling their bodies for the few padpols they might fetch, enough to keep body and soul together for one more night. Her last customer had viciously turned on her. Here she lay, stripped completely naked, tortured and bloody, cast aside with no more thought than someone might give to emptying a chamber pot... probably less.

If I'd have had a choice, I would have carried the body back to Sabellia's temple and seen to it that she was properly shrouded and buried, repayment to Sabellia for failing in her mission to protect women such as this. But there wasn’t time for that, not with the lives of at least two more women at stake. One of them would die at dawn if I and my companions couldn’t find her. The other might die even sooner than that.

Still, I couldn’t leave this body as it lay. Quickly, I unslung the knapsack on my back and pulled my light cloak out of it. “Not suitable for admission to the Golden Orchid”, she thought with an audible snort, “but it will serve here well enough.”

I shook the fabric out and spread it gently over the body. “Lady Sabellia,” I murmured, “Watcher at the hearth, Guardian of the night, your sworn servant beseeches you to protect this soul who has passed from my realm into yours. Lift her into your grace, which she did not know in life, and guide her to safety and peace at your hearth eternal. So may it be.”

Slipping the knapsack over my shoulder, I hurried after my companions.
2nd of Hespar
Getting through the Westside to the Maze is fairly easy as they use Torchholder's medallion at the Processional, and the Stepsons recognize them. Getting into the Maze, though, proves difficult. A bunch of ex-Hawkmasks are in negotiations with a group of thugs. Things are tense, and everyone turns to the Group with weapons drawn. The Group decides their quest is more important than delivering a sound lesson to some dull skulls. They back off quickly, and find a different entrance to the Maze, getting to the Vulgar Unicorn just after the 1st bell. Malkar decides to remain outside on watch as the others go into the bar. Looking around inside, they don't see anyone that matches Crezda's description. Approaching the man behind the bar and laying a generous bribe in front of One-Thumb, they inquire about the girl. One-Thumb is surprised, but informs them that the girl is upstairs in a room she just rented.

The stairs to the rooms are on the outside of the building. Once outside, they inform Malkar, and start upstairs to find her room. Just inside the entry door, they hear a door being smashed open down the hallway. They rush to the sound and find three men menacing a frightened woman, who is cowering in a corner of the rented room. Jack and Kalima rush in to help her. One of the men swipes at Crezda, knocking her down and starting some blood flowing. Jack draws his weapons, fiercely attacking two of the three men. Kalima rushes to the aid of the girl, trying to stop the bleeding. With a quick tie of a bandage, she then stands up, defending the girl with attacks of her own, helping Jack take down two of the men. Modig awaits an opportunity, deftly tumbles in and takes out the last man from behind.

Bringing Crezda to awareness, and getting her to trust them is not easy, but eventually she is calmed and they can question her. She tells them a long tale of her initial capture by pirates several years ago, and falsely sold into slavery to the Ranke. Raiden bought her three years ago, and she's been looking for an opportunity to leave ever since. In Sanctuary, Jenna was still smitten with Treight (an awful man she had met in Ranke months ago), Raiden was drowning his troubles in krrf, and Jerome his own in wine. She was being ignored for the most part and figured that she could be gone a day before her absence was noticed. She took the money from Raiden, and set out for this awful place in the Maze, as directed by the girls at the Golden Oasis. One-Thumb was barely accommodating, but willing to take her money. When she had come upstairs, she'd been followed by those men. She thinks they caught a glimpse of the gold Coronation she used to pay One-Thumb with. The Group questions her about the ship and what she thought Jenna was up to.

She replies, “Jenna and Treight left last night, late and unobserved by anyone but myself. They were talking about the awful things they wanted to do in the name of fun. They wanted to find prostitutes and 'teach them a lesson', drink, and search out some Opah. They made some mention of a final night of entertainment.” She shudders visibly, and stops talking.
The Group decides to stop questioning her, and tell her they will get her out of Sanctuary, tonight, if possible. When they leave the Vulgar Unicorn, Malkar greets them, bow in hand. “Lookie who I ran into!” Their new friend, Zip, is at his side.

Zip hears the story of Crezda, and the Group's plight of the evening, and agrees to help them out. He sends word out and gets two of his PFLS revolutionaries to escort Crezda through the tunnels to make her way north to Ils. Modig tells her to take a few days to rest at the Brown Bear, a safe haven when she mentions his name. Olric may still be there, and would probably welcome a leisurely trip to Ils, in pleasant company. Crezda erupts in thankfulness and some tears, and soon leaves with Zip's men.

Refocusing on Jenna and Treight's trail, they guess that the new Witch may be working in the swamp, like Roxane was. That being true, the path that the two murder scenes they found seemed to be leading west. They decide to continue their way west, keeping a sharp eye out for more bodies carved up in this most vile fashion. Although an obvious place, they find more 'party favors' consisting of two mutilated girls near the Slippery Lily.

Leaving the Maze, the Group rounds a corner right into another hoard of undead. Surprised, the Group gets swarmed with undead, which causes a nauseous reaction to everyone from the horrendous smell. The Group retreats for a better attack formation. Jack uses the flat of his blades, Kalima her quarterstaff, and Modig makes use of a few leftover firetraps. Zip and Malkar provide ranged support with sling and bow, respectfully. Eventually the crowd is dispersed, but the encounter has left Jack heavily wounded and Kalima unconscious. They do what they can to make sure they can press on; Jack only slightly better off than Kalima.

They go on another few blocks and another body is found, but this one looks familiar. Horrified that this might be a friend, they take a good look, and it is not anyone they know, but they recognize Treight. He's similarly dispatched in an alley, but his throat is deeply cut, his clothes torn off and he's been emasculated; not tortured and killed like the others, but still left for dead like the rest. Modig steps in to search his nearby discarded belongings and Treight sits up, groaning unnaturally. His lifeless corpse is reanimated. Jack is staring agape while the others beat Treight to another death, maybe this time permanently.

Shuddering from that experience, the Group looks West, across Caravan Square to Downwind. It seems they only have one more place to go through before they reach the Swamp. Malkar goes out ahead to see what sort of trail he can pick up, and goes South a ways, presumably to cross the river at another place other than at the bridge. The remainder of the Group figures that going through Downwind may provide more clues or maybe that Jenna isn't that far ahead of them after all. The 3rd bell rings as they approach the bridge to Downwind. The guard shack that used to be here has been scavenged for resources, undoubtedly by the Downwinders.
Once entering Downwind, the shadows seem to move of their own accord, but it is really just the local populace circling the intruders. Not part of Moruth's beggar organization, these pitiful denizens organize in a poor, but concentrated attack in hopes of any boon; money or items they can sell or trade for food, drink or Opah. The Group stands their ground, and deflects the attack, killing half a dozen before the Downwinders scurry back to their respective holes.

Entering the swamp, Malkar seems to just appear out of nowhere, and says he found the trail to where they had found the Death Squads before. The dawn is fast approaching, and they must get to their destination quickly. They find the clearing, and see that the ritual is already in progress. Jenna is bound to a crucifix, and a half a dozen or so lizard-like creatures guard the perimeter. A dark-skinned witch is circling a strangely purple glowing fire, and performing a ceremony.

The Group forms a plan quickly and moves in to execute. Kalima makes use of her magical owl, summoning the large being again, and orders it to snatch Jenna, and take her to the Temple of Vashanka. Modig prepares the last of his fire traps. The owl swoops in and snatches Jenna just as planned. Modig leads the attack with a few smart tosses into the middle of the ceremony. Caught unawares, the guardian creatures shriek in pain, but not for long as they drop left and right. The witch stops pacing, and focuses on her chanting while the rest of the Group rush in with attacks of their own. Arrows and rocks thud into the witch from Malkar and Zip, and sword blows from Jack follow the arrows. The witch struggles to remain standing, but amazingly continues to chant. Kalima follows Jack and swings her greatsword in a mighty arc, cutting the Witch to the ground, finally stopping the infernal chanting.

No one says anything for a few minutes. As they take in the scene, the fire grows brighter and bigger, as if coming to life. The purple beam shoots into the oncoming dawn, leaving the fire burning like a normal campfire. A collective sigh of relief is heard, followed by nervous laughter and eventually a raucous congratulation of back slaps, arm punches and silent prayers. Now they just have to finalize their deal with Torchholder.

The journey back is uneventful. Morning is again finding Sanctuary, revealing its night of violence and action; there is plenty to clean up, but no one seems to be interested. While the Group walks the Wideway, they see the fishermen are already out. The fisherman seem to be the least concerned with the city's happenings; at least someone has some peace in this wretched place.

Finding themselves at the entrance to the Temple of Vashanka, the Group is escorted to Molin's rooms, where they find Jenna sitting nervously on a small couch, with Molin working at his desk. He finishes up the document he is working on, stands and sprinkles sand on the freshly written ink on the paper in front of him. He inspects it for a minute longer, and offers it to Kalima for her inspection.

“Here is our agreement. An owl depositing this girl on my balcony was surprising, but ample proof you completed what you set out to do. I wasn't sure how long it would be before I saw you, but I wanted to the paperwork out of the way. I suspect that this will be sufficient; simply present this to your Mother, and she will know what to do.”

With that, Kalima takes the paper and reads that not only are Olric and Modig pardoned, the rest are no longer wanted for questioning. The Group also have been awarded the most minor of Ranken titles. Jack speaks up and informs Molin of their extensive injuries, and requests compensation for healing. Molin scowls a bit before regaining his composure. He goes back to his desk and scribbles a quick note, and shoves it into Jack's hand saying, “Go to the Temple of Sabellia. And go now.”

The Group files out of the room, going downstairs and home.

Torchholder looks at the girl on his couch, “Come here, girl.”
She stands and walks tentatively towards the High Priest of Vashanka; he reaches out to her, embracing the shocked girl. She takes a moment and returns the embrace. A dagger from the priestly robes appears and he thrusts it into the neck of the unsuspecting girl. He holds her while her life escapes, whispering: “It's too bad they found you dead.”

Monday, April 25, 2011

Thieves' World - Turgurt

If you are just picking this up, I suggest reading the previous posts first!
Prelude : Characters : Act I : Act II : Act III : Act IV : Prince and Steel : Festival : Kadakithis & HellHounds : Sikkintairs & Portals : The Swans : Stepsons vs. Jubal : Roxane : Beggars Revenge : Beysib Debacle

30th of Sperraz
In the tunnels after the escape, Modig and Olric split off to go north to the Brown Bear Inn. They know that Duncan and Engela will be friendly; a welcome change from the last few days. Olric is cursing Sanctuary, Ranke, the Beysib and the filth on his boots as he and Modig peel off in a northern tunnel. Few of the Group think Olric will return soon, if ever again. Zip continues leading the remaining members of the Group, the PFLS members, and the additional escapees to the Maze. Once out of the tunnels, everyone scatters to their respective holes or homes. For Gagino, Jack, Kalima and Malkar, it's a long walk back to the Bazaar and another night in the shop tent.
1st of Hespar
The morning comes way too early for the previous late night; yet the Bazaar is abuzz with more activity than usual. Rumors about a jail-break, heavy magical displays, and something about the lack of guards around town keep the morning a chatty one. After some additional discussion and some follow up investigation, one of the rumors proves out; there isn't a member of the City Watch or the Guard to be seen. The news of the jailbreak has hit the tongues of the folk in the Bazaar; the Group keeps a lid on their involvement. Kalima feels that the magical draw on manna is different today, but cannot place the source nor the impact of the disturbance. She assumes it has to do with the rumors of the two witches, Ischade and an unidentified Nisibisi Witch, performing a ludicrous display of magic all night long. Not ready to test it quite yet, Kalima conservatively abandons her daily retinue of rituals. Gagino and the other Bazaar vendors prepare for an interesting day, as a day with no guards might prove difficult. The local merchants ramp up personal defenses; Gagino following suit, hoping Jack will remain around all day for protection.

The Group has a task to do. Myrtis helped them, so they must carry out their end of the deal; to find and take care of Turghurt, the Beysib noble who murdered one of the Aphrodisia's girls. Kalima decides the best place to start is to get to the Temple of Sabellia and to contact her mother. Her mother can be useful with her status in the Palace, if she hasn't been frozen out with the latest debacle. Kalima makes her way east across town and notices that there is not a single member of the watch on duty anywhere in the city, and there is a severe lack of Ranken guards as well. When she reaches the Processional there is a very heavy presence of Ranken and Beysib steel and arms, the stronghold of the Palace is extended to the docks, but only along the Processional. Kalima does her best to subtly cross the Processional and manages to avoid being recognized.

Once at the temple, Kalima finds that a message from the Palace is waiting for her; it's from her mother and it has a wax seal with her family crest pressed into it.
“Dearest Kalima,
The Palace is rife with activity, and in turmoil from yesterday and last night's events. I can only assume that your band of friends were instrumental, although how, I cannot and should not know. The Palace is withdrawing behind the walls, and securing the Processional and the docks. All of the City Watch has been disbanded, and only Ranken soldiers are being retained to protect the Palace and the route along the Processional to the Docks. Beysib warriors from the docks have been filtering in all morning. The Beysib are gathering these forces in preparation to scour the city and the surrounding lands for your friends. I hope that whatever happens, your friends are difficult to find. I fear that we cannot meet personally; please give any communications to the servant, Kayla, who delivered this note, and they will reach me securely. I hope to hear back from you soon, so that I may rest knowing you are safe.”
Upon reading that, Kalima decides she can get the information she needs from her mother, and writes back a note, sealing it in a similar fashion.
You are correct, we found new friends to help us in our dire needs last night, and whatever you think happened, probably did. Our friends are safe, and we are good to have the information on what the Beysib are planning. I have a favor to ask: I need information on a male Beysib nobleman by the name of Turghurt. All I know is that he is in the Palace; we need to know when and how we may be able to meet with him. He cannot know of our inquiry of him, and my plan I cannot disclose for your safety. Suffice it to say, I need a description and some sort of idea about when he might be out of the Palace.”
Kalima hands the letter to the servant girl, and pays her a few shabooza to secure its safe delivery.

An hour later, the girl shows back up with the response:
Yes, I know of Turghurt; he is, I understand, a High Lord in the Beysib court of Nobility, fifth highest rank in court, second highest obtainable by males. He is in the military wing of their court, and is one of many leaders of the search parties throughout the countryside. I have a feeling he will be out of the city searching in a matter of hours. I hope this information is useful, and anything I can do to help that is within my power, I will do.”
Jack meets up with Kalima at the temple to discuss their predicament. Jack uses his military knowledge that any rumor that gets to a military leader that would give him an advantage over his fellow lieutenants would be appreciated, as success will be well rewarded with this high profile turn of events. Kalima and Jack come up with a loose plan for Kalima's mother to execute on their behalf, and write another letter.
That is interesting news, indeed. We think that if we could leak some information to Turghurt (and only Turghurt) that we can can intercept him for our dealings. There is a Magistrate from before the Prince took power, and he may remember that we did some favors for him, if we can convince him to be the 'source' of this information, we can manipulate Turghurt's actions. The information he could leak is that our friends are probably hiding at the Brown Bear Inn, which is located a half of a day's walk north on the General's Road. You know the climate and workings of the Palace better than I, so please use your best efforts to execute this. We await your answer, and I am including a pouch of goods, that is also hiding 450 sh for any political use you may need.”
Nervous of the amount of money going to her mother, they pay Kayla several more shabooza for her diligence in her task. They wait nervously for nearly an hour for the response to come back from Kalima's mother.
Your package arrived safely, and it took nearly all of that money to grease the proper wheels to sufficiently generate a believable rumor. I believe that Turghurt is sufficiently convinced enough that he is doing what he can to secure that search route for himself. I cannot bring myself to think what is going to happen, and I am sorry to believe that my little girl has succumbed to this city's worst habits. I am sure that it was not by choice, but by happenstance. I only hope Sabellia can keep you right with yourself and that what you are doing will not darken your soul. Please contact me as soon as whatever you are doing is finished. We will meet for a nice dinner, well, as nice as Sanctuary can provide. May you have Sabellia's blessing for you and your friends.”
The plan seems to have taken root. Jack and Kalima decide that Gagino's tent is the best place to meet up with Malkar before they go out of town to prepare for Turghurt and his faction of warriors. They still need to get a message to Modig at the Brown Bear to properly update him on the happenings in Sanctuary, so they can have an extra ally against Turghurt. The Wideway is their choice to get back to the Bazaar, a little longer route, but it seems safer from the guards along the Processional.

Back in the Bazaar, Gagino watches in horror as Moruth's beggars seem to have taken over, pressing all of the merchants for payment for the security of their goods. It is a sad day in the Bazaar when protection is the sheer numbers of the dirtiest, nastiest denizens of Downwind. Fortunately for Gagino, the previous dealings with Moruth seem to have remained intact, his tent is left alone, and he is not approached for any 'security donations'. Dubious as it is, with the lack of guards, the beggars actually seem to provide a determined vigilance and crime is much lower than would normally be expected in times like these. A note from Modig is delivered by Engelina, Duncan's daughter. He says that Olric has decided he's had enough in Sanctuary, and feels he is safer in the wars up North. He will be leaving as soon as he breaks his fast today. Modig is happy to have an ally this far out of Sanctuary, and he's doing as well as expected in these circumstances.

Once Malkar shows up at Gagino's tent, the three decide that they should go as fast as possible and decide to purchase three horses for their trip North. The merchant fleeces them by overcharging the Group three times what horses should cost. They need to get out fast, so they pay reluctantly. Saddled up and ready to go, they start their journey North, with the Brown Bear Inn as their destination.

They reach the Brown Bear in a little over an hour. Duncan is glad to see them all, though he is a little worried about the trouble following them. Last time they met was under dire circumstances and repairs were needed to his inn, so he'd like not to repeat those circumstances. The Group tells him that if everything goes well, any people from Sanctuary after them will be dealt with on the road, and not within a mile of his inn.

They eat some of Duncan's fine food, and begin forming a plan. It is unknown how many soldiers will be with Turghurt, but they assume that they will be outnumbered. Looking around the inn, there seems to be quite a few folks who are leaving Sanctuary's troubles behind. Kalima talks with a group of three toughs, and pays them a hefty sum of a Coronation each when they join the Group in a fight against some Beysib that are on their way here. She hires two more similar toughs, and Jack finds one more to round out their numbers. Once the promised payment is handed out, the extended Group sets out to find a good place to ambush Turghurt and his Group of warriors that they assume are coming soon.

Malkar and Jack concur on a solid site for an ambush, and Malkar continues South to watch for the approach of the Group of Beysib soldiers. Kalima, Jack and Modig set up the ambush, complete with Modig setting some of the left-over Death Squad explosive traps along the road. After a long wait, a signal from Malkar informs them that their prey is on the road, and approaching. Everyone is in place; the mercenaries are ready to set off the traps with crossbows and throwing daggers. The formation of Beysib are marching along the road, not very aware of their surroundings. The fighters reach the first line of traps; the Group waits a little longer for the front of the Beysib fighters to get to the last placed trap. The Group initiates their ambush with Fersun throwing a dagger at one trap, and two other mercenaries firing crossbows at two more. The dagger hits, but the crossbow bolts miss. One trap explodes, which injures the two Beysib soldiers in the lead. Their surprise attack used up; Modig is quick to react, rushing in and attacking a wounded Beysib, dispatching him. Two of the mercenaries also engage the wounded enemies in the front, injuring them. Turghurt breaks from the formation and draws a crossbow, looking around for his attackers. Kalima joins the fray behind a few more crossbow shots from her allies, which causes two more exploding traps to go off, injuring more Beysib. The Beysib warriors attack back with swords against foes near them, while the back of the formation pull out what look like blowguns, armed with darts. Jack sprints towards Turghurt in a fury of speed, and takes a poisoned crossbow bolt from Turghurt; Jack feels the poison sap some of his strength. This enrages Jack, and he deals a fury of sword blows upon Turghurt, who miraculously remains battle worthy. Turghurt returns the attack, a little less efficiently, but still wounding Jack with yet more poison from his blade. Jack's fury state keeps him from succumbing to the poison. Turghurt steps out of Jack's reach and allows three of his men to fire more poisoned darts at Jack, and who then step up to protect Turghurt, who takes advantage of the situation, turns tail and runs.

On the other side of the battlefield, Kalima and Modig work together to cut the Beysib soldiers down. In the meantime, their mercenaries take damage and fall, succumbing to their wounds. Kalima and Modig manage to avoid the effects of the poisoned darts, but take some cuts from the Beysib soldiers' swords. They see a few Beysib fleeing while they finish off their immediate combatants. They also hear Jack yelling that Turghurt is getting away. Jack is surround by three armed Beysib, still giving more blows than he receives. After a dozen or so blows are traded, Jack stands as the sole survivor, and immediately starts after Turghurt. He catches up with him easily, engaging him in single combat. Turghurt gets a blow on him, and takes three in return, falling unconscious from Jack's unrelenting strikes. At the end of the battle, Turghurt isn't dead, and neither are any of his troops. Two of the hired mercenaries are dead, but the other three are healed by Jack's army medic tricks and Kalima's magic. Together, they bind up the wounded Beysib, and then discuss what to do with them.

After some discussion, any surviving Beysib are put to death, and Turghurt's hand and uniform go with the Group as proof to Myrtis. They wrangle the bodies off the road and hide them in the greenery nearby. Returning to the Brown Bear, they sell the horses to Duncan for a third of what they paid for them, and start the long walk back to Sanctuary.

Approaching Sanctuary, the Group notices a few plumes of smoke curling into the sky. Apparently, someone has been busy, and it looks like it might be more Nisibisi Death Squads. When they enter the town from the North, they notice that the City Watch is still not on post. There also seems to be quite a few PFLS members stalking around the Street of Red Lanterns. The Group wastes little time, reaching the Aphrodisia House and showing Myrtis their proof of Turghurt's death. She would have preferred his head, but she has no reason to doubt them.

The Group asks about the past few days in Sanctuary, since there seem to be many fires and they were wondering what happened to the Watch on the north end of town. She tells them that the Watch has been disbanded, and the guards now consist entirely of Ranken and Beysib soldiers. They are only protecting the Palace, the Processional and the Wharf, and the Street of Temples, in high numbers. Crossing the Processional is somewhat troublesome, but not impossible. The PFLS have taken over the policing of the Street of Red Lanterns, and she has learned that more independent factions are taking over various parts of the city, too. Jubal's organization was broken up, but is reforming loosely in the Maze, the beggars are controlling the Bazaar, and the Stepsons are policing the Westside. She's heard rumors that Kama is back in town with some 3rd Commandos and are watching over the Eastside. The Promise of Heaven is heavily populated with gladiators. It seems that the Nisibisi Death Squads are back, and there are increasing reports of undead and other random street gangs.

She considers their business concluded, and invites them back anytime as guests, and hints that maybe they'll even get a discount or perhaps something special.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GameStorm 13

This year, I did more RPGS - mostly Savage Worlds. I am going to summarize each game and maybe eventually make each game more detailed with its own posting. With the exception of one game because I may get the source materials and run it for my own group and don't want to give anything away. Hmmmm.. maybe two.. heck, if you're reading this, you probably don't care about my random decision process, so here goes the Con report for this year!

Thursday - Didn't attend. I took the day off, but since I am traveling a lot, I decided to do some chore catch-up and since I convinced Meran to go to the Con this year, we spent time getting ready and packing stuff up.

Friday - Got there early, like 8:30 am, signed in and got my swag bag (a little light this year, but that's okay, I usually read the stuff then toss it, so less waste..) and started looking around the big board game room - and found a spot in Game Lab - the GameStorm game design / test play area. A couple of game buddies (Ben and KC) are involved with this, and KC (from SunRiver games) actually runs it every year, and Ben helps out. It's a great thing to have support for your fledgling game at a con. Anyway, I sat down at a game called "Murder Mansion".

Murder Mansion - Game Lab Prototype
I am lame and don't remember the guy's name who was the creator of this game, but I just might have to look out for it. He said it was only a week old, so it was new even for Game Lab standards. Anyway, the board reminded everyone of 'Clue', but the game is definitely not. Maybe Clue in reverse, but not really. Basically, you and the other players are running around the mansion killing people. Rooms have weapons, and specify what other weapons can be used in that room. You know who you are after, but you need to find them, get the weapon that matches the room they are in, and go do the deed. Three times in 6 hours - every 30 minutes is a turn. Then, at the end, you have to figure out who of your fellow players (also murderers) killed whom. It was fun. I left out a lot of detail since the game is still a prototype.

Savage Worlds - Marines vs. Zombies
Save the scientists from the mind drug taking over the people in the building. We managed to save the corporate executives and lawyers since we started at the top. Next time, it will have to be a ground entry.

Savage Worlds - Hyperdrive
Based on the BBC comedy of the same name. We ran up against the Shiny Red Robots, the Zorns (a clone race based on Jim Zorn). This was a game that was run for comedy's sake and it delivered. A good group made it fun and it was well done.

Spirit of the Century - The Final Frontier
A pulp action adventure with us as a superhero group called E.D.G.E. We were to track down the Jade Emperor who was building a secret base on the moon, but didn't make it due to time. We did manage to save a scientist's life, however.

This was also my first Spirit of the Century game. The game uses the 'Fate' system which is similar to Fudge in some respects, as it uses Fudge dice. I liked the system and how you can 'tag' aspects in the scene to better your chances to do something, but the same mechanism slowed combat down drastically. The GM was fantastic - very animated and active, and it is obvious he really digs the system. I personally wouldn't want to run this system but I'd play it again in certain circumstances.

Saturday - Meran and I stayed at the hotel and I was able to get up to get to my first game at 9am.

Savage Worlds - Hellride: A Line in the Bloodsand
My second year playing in Tim's Hellride series. This time we're back to take a peace offering to a fire elemental race in the desert, and to take a load of Boric Acid to the nuclear reactors in trouble in Japan. Nice plot line from real world events for a modern game. While on a peaceful mission, we try to talk our way past some trolls at a bridge, and after some misunderstandings, one of our trucks ends up in the crevasse. We finish off the trolls, and pull the truck out and continue on the way to the desert city, Brass. We arrive and manage to make the peace treaty happen, although it seems like we tried to fail. With the promise of a shipment of grenades, we also retrieve our POWs enslaved by them. We can now continue to Japan with our other shipment. The portal area is in an area of Bloodsand, a surface that sucks the blood from your body if you are touching it. We also notice an anthill nearby, one that houses giant ants, each the size of a Labrador Retriever. We activate the gate and get to Japan where there are ants in a line marking a food source. The line is leading to a nuclear reactor and we see the behemoth of a queen ant making its way to the reactor. Long story short, we manage to stop the Queen Ant from destroying the reactor.

Savage Worlds - Just When You Thought It Was Safe...
An odd multi-part dungeon that I may run for my group so I won't go into a lot of detail. Suffice it to say, it had a lot of twists, turns and false leads. This game took a lot of GM preparation; congrats, Ron, great game!

Sunday - One more night in the Hilton; I am glad I get a lot of free Hilton points from traveling for work!

Savage Worlds - Realms of Cthuhlu: The Witch of November
And though I thought Ron's game was great, this was awesome! The GM, Scott, took an event from history and put us through his twisted idea of what could have happened, if. Another great game that I may procure and run for my group. A hint: November, 1975, aboard the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

It was Meran's first time at a Game convention, she attended a lot of the panel discussions and watched a few games, but didn't play anything. Somehow she had fun though; talking with game designers and getting ideas for some games she may run.

We picked up a few games, too:
a Delta Green book from Pagan Publishing
Dresden Files: Our World
and a few books from the mighty fine folks at Crucifiction Games: the Basic Rules, Book #1 and Book #2

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thieves' World - Beysib Debacle

If you are just picking this up, I suggest reading the previous posts first!
Prelude : Characters : Act I : Act II : Act III : Act IV : Prince and Steel : Festival : Kadakithis & HellHounds : Sikkintairs & Portals : The Swans : Stepsons vs. Jubal : Roxane : Beggars Revenge

The Beysib Debacle

17th of Sperraz
The Group finds itself gathered for breakfast in Marta's, once again. A familiar face, Lisle, swishes by their table, and drops off a sealed letter. It is from Malkar. He's at home in the Marsh with his family for an unknown amount of time. His letter introduces a friend of his by the name of Olric, with a request for them to show him the sights.

The town is preparing for war, as best as it can. The ships on the horizon have been lurking in the distance for a day now, making everyone nervous; paranoia is settling in, city-wide. Kalima answers a call-to-arms for magical reinforcement to help the town prepare for the invading fleet. After a day of casting these ritual spells, she adds some additional protection spells to her Books.

After a long day, the Group is again at dinner at Marta’s; all of the overheard conversation is about the ships on the horizon, and what it might mean to Sanctuary’s future.

18th of Sperraz
At dawn, one of the ships dock at the Empire's Wharf, the dock Ranke built a decade or so ago. A large group of Beysib warriors disembarks on the dock, and is followed shortly by a small group of finely dressed Beysib dignitaries. Hakiem is watching from the Wideway, preserving the moments for his future retelling. The people seem human at first glance, but a longer look finds wide and staring eyes, pale green skin, and webbed fingers, although the webbing is cut to allow for individual finger movement. Their eyes are the most disconcerting, being very large and with no eyelids, but having instead a membrane that serves the same purpose. Hakiem is spotted, and the new people approach him. They call themselves the Beysib and ask to be taken to the Leader of Sanctuary. They speak Ranken far better than a lot of the locals. Hakiem talks with them as he leads them to the Palace along the Processional. Once there, a large contingent of palace guards escort the visitors to the Palace proper.

As the sun approaches midday, bell ringers and criers are sent out across the city to inform the populace of an announcement from the Prince concerning the ships in the harbor. People cram through the gates and are allowed into the main area surrounding the Palace. Modig, Jack and Olric are at the Palace to watch the announcement, while Gagino goes to his tent in the Bazaar to prevent his tent from being ransacked. His tent is safe, but there are others that weren't so lucky. Gagino tries to note the looters for future recognition, but he keeps himself content that the nearby tents are safer under his watch.

Meanwhile, the Prince and the leader of the Beysib make their appearance on the balcony of the Palace. The Prince introduces Shupansea, the Empress of the Beysib, and announces that a peace treaty between Sanctuary and the Beysib has been formed. Kadikithis publicly welcomes the Beysib into the city, and encourages all the citizens to treat the Beysib with respect and kindness. During the formalities, Modig lifts a little coin off of a few others, and finds himself a little better off than before, monetarily speaking.

On the Wide Way, the Beysib begin disembarking and roving about the city. There seem to be a far greater number of females than males. The Beysib patronize Sanctuary’s eateries and taverns, hungry for food and drink that aren’t ship's rations.

The Bazaar is soon teeming with Beysib shoppers; they use a silver coin that they trade equally as a shaboozah, and the Beysib are happy to spend and buy goods. Gagino does a brisk business, easily making in one afternoon what he would normally make in a week. Other Bazaar folk around him experience a similar boon in sales. Jack finds work on the docks and sees a lot of goods going onto the ships, but not many coming off of them. Jack and Gagino both notice that the Beysib are oddly non-communicative; they only seem to speak when dealing with a sale or work instructions, and never use any unnecessary friendly banter.

19th-25th of Sperazz
The city adapts to the Beysib over the next week. Some people find the Beysib odd, but are fine with the way that there is more money flowing throughout Sanctuary. Other people thing that the Beysib are corrupting Prince-Governor Kadakithis. The Empress is always by his side, and the Beysib seem to be getting special treatment. The city seems to be splitting into two halves.

25th of Sperazz
One night, Marta’s is busy with regulars and the addition of quite a few Beysib that have made themselves at home in Sanctuary. Gagino decides to celebrate his good business with some mandolin music, and after a few attempts to get some music out of it, he notes that the strings need to be replaced. Another patron takes his place to try his own hand at some tips for music and song.

Jack, Modig, Gagino and Olric decide to call it a night and head for Gagino’s tent. On their way back to the Bazaar, Jack spots a Beysib hiding in an alleyway, which strikes him as odd. They round a corner, and Jack tells the others what he saw. Modig goes and sees what is what, and follows the Beysib on a course to the Maze. He quickly returns to recruit some help. Olric goes with Modig, while Jack complains of fatigue and sore muscles from the day of work on the docks, and hits the hay.

In the Maze, Olric and Modig pick up the trail of the Beysib from some local hoods who saw her pass. They find her outside of the Paddling Duck, hidden across from the front door, as if waiting for someone to come out. She spots Modig and Olric. In an instant, she rushes across the street, attacking in a fury. The two think they've been recognized from nearby the Bazaar. Charging, she draws two swords, one shorter than the other, and charges Olric. With three swift blows, she hits Olric squarely once, the blade delivering a poison that was coating her longer sword. Olric takes the blow, feels the toxin burning in the cut, but manages to shrug it off. Olric returns the blows, and Modig tries tumbling behind the Beysib. His tumble is clumsy, and he feels the blow of the shorter sword, also coated with poison. Modig’s resistance to the poison is not as strong as Olric’s, and he can feel the toxin slowing him down. He still swings at the Beysib, but misses while his eyes cross and the world starts to darken. The Beysib nimbly tumbles away, casts a quick spell, and prepares for another attack. Olric charges back into battle, and finds his blows aren’t landing as surely as before; the spell must have been a protective invocation. Modig steps up and, once again, swings wildly at the Beysib. She looks at the two, and attacks with renewed vigor, swinging with both long and short swords on Olric, landing a few blows. Olric returns like for like, managing a few strikes against his opponent, with one stupendous and fatal blow, killing the foreigner. She lays crumpled on the ground, blood pooling underneath her.

The two strip the Beysib of her possessions and leave the body in one of the many, many garbage heaps in the Maze. Modig falls to his knees from the effects of the poison, whispers “Sabellia”, and flattens onto the ground. Olric hefts him over his shoulder and hauls him to the temple of Sabellia in the Promise of Heaven. The Temple, as usual, takes good care of the two. Olric and Modig go back to their respective beds.

26th of Sperraz
Modig shows the loot to Gagino, and Gagino thinks it will fetch quite a price, but being of Beysib design, may be too difficult to sell. Gagino is quite certain that he is probably the only vendor in the City with Beysib weapons to sell. He quickly takes a rough estimate of the value; this is possibly the richest set of possessions he's ever seen. Worry comes to Gagino and Modig; surely this person will be missed, and the rich always get their way, who can know how this death will be paid for?

The Beysib body is found by the guards. There is much concern; the woman found was one of the advisers to the Beysib Empress. This is an outright slap in the face to the Beysib, and retribution will be required. Olric is rousted from the barracks and sent into the Maze with all of the other soldiers. Unclear on orders until they are told to start kicking in doors, and hauling any able-bodied person, male or female, to the jail near the Palace. The press gang works all day and manages to do a very good job of clearing out the Maze. Many Maze residents managed to escape, but the ones that didn’t are facing an unknown fate.

The Beysib are demanding justice; this is an unacceptable event, and there is outrage in the Court, the Palace and the barracks. The Beysib will deny any challenges of the woman being so capable in battle. The woman was a Harka Bey assassin, a secret to all the Beysib except the highest tiers of the Court. Their plans are to set up the most probable, suspicious people that they can, and mete out any disciplinary sentence that they can, most likely death. The Prince, clueless of the Beysib plan, will do anything to find the murderer. At the least, he must find someone that the Beysib will accept for doing the deed.

27th of Sperraz
After a close up review of the body, the wounds bear the telltale marks of axes, not swords or knives. This turn in the investigation demands the arrest of any men who carry axes as their weapons.

In the Palace barracks, Zalbar requests Olric and a few of his other fellow soldiers to come to his office. They are all notified that they are to remain in the immediate area around the Barracks and not to leave without talking to Zalbar himself. Olric notes that all the fellows in the room with him all wield axes, same as himself. Zalbar hands out duties to keep them busy and near the Barracks, and then dismisses them from his office.

Meanwhile, a reward is being offered for anyone who saw anything that can lead to a positive ID for the murderers. Town criers walk the city announcing a prize of 5 gold coins for any information that pans out. For anyone who cares to notice, there are more than a few people trying to sell their 'information' to the Guards. Unfortunately, there seem to be a few actual witnesses to the end of the battle, and to the discarding of the corpse: a few young men from the Maze, from the same group who were pressing the Dead Dog for protection. These men describe the last part of the fighting, and say that they know one of the men, but not the other. They provide accurate enough details about how the wounds would have been caused, and the men are escorted to Zalbar's office. After hearing their story, and questioning them in great length, Zalbar is convinced that these men truly did see the murder, even if it was the only the last few seconds of it. The men name Modig, and describe Olric, although vaguely. Zalbar needs to clear his men, and sends for all of the men under house arrest. Olric and the rest enter the office, are asked a few more questions, and then are asked to leave. Olric sees the men in Zalbar's office, but does not know who they are. After the soldiers leave, the Maze rats identify Olric as the other man.

Olric barely gets back to his cot and is immediately summoned back to Zalbar's office. Olric swallows hard, and steps in with his escort back to the Hell Hound captain's office. A mage is present, and Olric feels the touch of magic; a truth spell is cast on him, but he repels the charm. Olric is questioned about the murder, and he denies everything. Zalbar doesn't trust the magic, and his instincts lead him to believe that Olric is lying. Why, though, is another question that won't be answered immediately. Olric is formally arrested and taken to the jail. He goes peacefully, not sure what to do about his dire circumstances.

Meanwhile, Modig, Gagino and Kalima have decided that the loot they have is not going to be easy to sell, and may be used as proof against Modig and Olric. They need to be rid of this stuff, and fast. They decide to take it all to the White Foal River to dump it, but they have to wait until after it is dark to do it. They sit tight in Gagino's tent, wary of any approaching guards. Night finally falls, and Kalima prepares them with a spell of protection. She and Modig head out with their bags of contraband. They approach the Common Gate leading out of the Bazaar, when they realize that security has been heightened, and that there might be trouble with their bags that they are carrying. Kalima summons a giant owl to take the bags west to the river, where they will deal with the contents. The owl takes off, smoothly taking to the air, but not escaping the attention of one of the guards at the gate. He sees it and points it out to the others around him, making everyone on watch wary. Kalima and Modig approach the gate a few minutes later, and a guard stops them, waves a wand at them, and starts asking questions. Modig feels compelled to tell the truth and the whole truth, while Kalima shakes off the spell. The two are questioned heavily, with Kalima answering most of the questions. Modig manages to tell the truth, but not give himself up. At the river, Kalima and Modig approach their avian pack bearer, and start discussing the fate of these ill-fated goods. During their conversation, they hear a sound coming from the copse of trees nearby, and spot a guard watching them. He sees them turn and look at him. He then turns around and starts running away, yelling loudly for the other guards to capture them. Modig flings a couple of daggers at the retreating man, hitting him, but not significantly enough to slow him. Kalima thinks fast, orders the owl to take the bags South, fly over the ocean for two hours, to drop them into the water, and then return to her. The owl takes off, and disappears into the southern night sky.

Modig and Kalima hear the sounds of many guards approaching. They quickly discern that they are greatly outnumbered and surrounded, but not yet sighted. They decide the river is their best escape, and jump into the cold spring waters, swimming for the west bank. They hear the twang of several crossbows firing, and feel the sting of a few bolts hit them. Thanks to Kalima's protection spell, the damage is largely nullified. Once on the opposite bank of the White Foal, they make a run for the countryside.

28th of Sperraz
Wet, dirty and miserable, the two spend the rest of their night circumnavigating farms and ranches, circling around north of Sanctuary, and ending up northeast of the city. From there, it is fairly easy to slip into the Temple of Sebellia, and try get some rest. Rest does not come, however, and the day is already pressing them. While they get cleaned up when Kalima decides that she needs to send word to her mother, Sequina, for some aid. While they wait for a response from her, they start discussing possible plans. Sequina arrives and updates them on what is happening in the Palace. She tells them that a man has been arrested, and describes Olric. She also states that Modig has been named by the same witnesses who identified Olric. The Palace hasn't spared any coin looking for them, and is going to continue to pay out for information. Her guess as to what will happen next is that all of Modig's friends and acquaintances will start getting harassed until he is caught.

Modig makes the decision to turn himself in, for he doesn't want his friends to pay for what he's done, and it was self defense after all, since she attacked them. To help their case, they get signed testimonies from the acolytes of Sebellia about the poison in the wounds of Modig and Olric. With Sequina escorting them, Kalima and Modig walk to the Palace. They are met at the gate, and are escorted to Zalbar. He takes Modig's statement, then takes him to share a cell with Olric. Zalbar tells them that their trial will be later on that same day. The guys think that the proceedings seem to be moving along too quickly.

After Modig's incarceration, criers again descend upon the town to announce the trial of the murderers, and offer an open invitation to the public to the event that will take place on the Palace grounds. Rumors are fast and furious; Jack and Gagino worry for their friends. Kalima seeks out Gagino after Modig's arrest, to make sure he knows she is okay. During the nervous wait for the trial, Malkar shows up, back from a visit to his family in the swamp. He's got bad news, but with what everyone tells him about the happenings of the past few days, he decides to hold off on sharing his misery, at least until this is over with.

The time for the trial approaches agonizingly slowly, but does arrive; the Group finds themselves packed in the Palace grounds with at least half of the rest of Sanctuary's citizens. Ranken guards are everywhere trying to keep the crowd contained and relatively calm. The blare of trumpets announce the Prince-Governor's presence from his balcony where he is flanked by the Beysib Empress, and all of their advisers. He announces, “The trial for the murder of the Beysib girl will now commence. Bring out the accused!”.

At the jailhouse, Modig and Olric are surrounded by guards, then escorted through the grounds and led to the auction block. The escort of guards rings the block, while one man in formal robes and three cleaned-up gutter scum also walk up on the block.

The robed man points at Olric and starts speaking; “Olric, you are accused of murdering a Beysib woman. She was found dead in the Maze with wounds that were determined to be from the blades of axes. Your axes have been compared to the wounds, and have been determined to have caused them.” He moves his hand to point at Modig; “Modig, you are accused as an accomplice to this heinous crime, in the fact that you were nearby serving as a lookout, and are a known friend of the murderer.”

He pauses, and lowers his hands. “I bring you the testimonies of three witnesses; Morgan, Kenton and Dario”, he says.

The tallest man steps forward, who is obviously a Maze rat dressed up in clothes not his own.

“My name is Morgan, and on that night, this is what we saw. We stepped out of the Paddling Duck, to see a struggle across the street, a common sight in the Maze. It was a man pulling a woman into an alley. His hand is over her mouth, and around her body. As they go into the alley, another man steps in front of the alley as if to stand watch. We duck into the shadows to see what is going to happen next. We see the man start beating the woman, and after a few swings, he un-slings an axe, and cuts her down in cold blood. He then drops her to the ground, and the two take off into the night. We went over to investigate, maybe see if they left anything valuable behind, and when we saw it was a Beysib woman, we just left.”

Dario and Kenton similarly step forward and proceed to tell the same story about that night's happenings. The din of the crowd grows in volume, with many opinions of what should be done to the men on the block.

The robed magistrate calls out, “The defendants will now have a chance to speak their story.”

Olric tells his story, that he was attacked, and that the person was a very skilled warrior, and that the blades were poisoned. The crowd's reaction is stronger, louder and just as confused as before.

After he's done speaking, an evidence chest is brought out. The Magistrate pulls out a bloody dress, and shows it to the crowd, “This was the dress she was wearing. It's a fine dress; she was obviously lost and out of her element.” He reaches back into the chest and pulls out a pair of swords that are flimsy and one is broken. The Magistrate continues, “These are the 'swords' the defendant speaks of, tin replicas of Beysib ceremonial swords; obviously these do not have the ability to cause any wounds whatsoever.” The Group collectively look at the evidence with horror; this is obviously a set-up to make someone, them, pay for the death of a Beysib. The crowd starts to turn on the defendants, with only a very few shouting out that they are innocent.

Up in the balcony, there is commotion; Kalima's mother is showing the Acolytes' testimonies to the Prince. He reviews the new evidence and feels the need to deliberate. The Beysib in the balcony leave quickly. The accused are escorted back their cell while the public is told to leave the palace grounds being somewhat forcefully ejected.

Outside on the streets, the locals start rising up against the oppression of the guards, badmouthing the Beysib and their obvious control over the Palace. People are shouting for freedom, the ousting of the Beysib from the city, and the shouting of the name of the Resistance: Popular Front for the Liberation of Sanctuary (PFLS). The crowd is dispersed forcefully by guards. Many who protest are arrested, with the overflow put in an extra warehouse. An hour before dark, more guards walk the streets, and announce a curfew for the night. Kalima runs out of the Temple, and goes to Gagino's tent to make sure everyone is okay.

At Gagino’s, Malkar shows up, deciding it was a really bad day for him to return from his visit to family in the swamp. The Group relates the current issues, and Malkar is considering going back home again, but will definitely stay the night.

During the night, a loud noise is heard from just outside of the Bazaar, to the West. A few minutes later, one of the guard posts raises an alarm, and the sounds of fighting are also heard. The Group gets out of bed, arm themselves, and run outside. They get to Caravan Square, and see a group of guards swinging at a hoard of rotting, walking corpses. Men long dead are somehow up and attacking everything in their path. Kalima rushes in to help, swinging a strong blow, causing herself to almost become ill due to the stench of the decomposing flesh around her. Gagino starts strumming his mandolin, and summons up a Hell Hound. Jack decides he wants his long spears, and runs back to the tent for them. Malkar shoots a steady barrage of arrows into the crowd of undead, arrows sinking in a sickly manner into the decaying flesh. The Hell Hound attacks, breathing fire on the undead, and the group of walking death decides to focus their attention on the fire-breathing dog. Kalima staggers away from the death mass, recovering from the awful stench. The Hell Hound attacks again, just before the mass of dead snuffs it out. Guards are continually attacking the undead mass, trying to slow its progress through the town. Kalima and Malkar continue their attacks, and the undead mass falters, and finally disperses, allowing the remaining bodies to be cut down efficiently and quickly. The horror is over.

Jack makes it back in time to stab a few walking corpses to bits, and finds his swords more efficiently suited to the task. The Group returns to the tent, and tries to sleep, worried thoughts of Modig and Olric making it a rough night.

29th of Sperraz
In the morning, more town criers circulate to announce the finalization of the trial at noon. The Group stays put in the Bazaar, not going to Marta's for breakfast, but eating the fare from the Bazaar vendors.

Jack becomes a bit stir crazy, and is wanting to get some answers. He decides to visit some of his guard friends to see if he can get into the Jailhouse to talk to Olric or Modig. He starts with some of his Sacred Bander buddies, who don't have any official ties and aren't very useful. Jack then tries his luck with Zalbar. His guard friends get him in to see Zalbar for a few shaboozah, and when he sees Zalbar, he puts a gold coronation on his desk. Zalbar ignores the coin but doesn't speak until Jack puts it back in his pocket. Zalbar allows Jack a visit with his friends in the Jail, but has him escorted the entire visit.

Jack, Olric and Modig discuss the trial, the murder and Jack wants to know the truth. Olric and Modig convince Jack that they did do it, but in self-defense, and that the testimonies against them are wrong. The girl was not helpless, and she was the aggressor.

Jack leaves the jail glad to find out that they didn't kill the woman in cold blood. However, he is now disgusted that this fabricated story has been brought up against his friends.

Meanwhile in the Bazaar, a man named Zip introduces himself to Gagino, Kalima and Malkar, and offers to help their friends in jail. They are very suspicious and therefore hesitant to accept his help, and want details, but Zip won't tell them any until they are committed to helping their friends. Jack returns and they all talk it out; they are short on time, but this will have to wait until after the trial.

The Group makes its way to the trial, hoping for the best. There is more guard presence than yesterday, including additional Beysib wearing armor and carrying weapons. The formality of yesterday's proceedings are the same, except the Prince-Governor is not present in the viewing box. Only the Prince's advisers and the Beysib are present. The finalization of the trial is brought underway with little to no fanfare.

As yesterday, Olric and Modig are brought out to the block, and the proceedings are cut short with the announcement: “The evidence has been reviewed, and the accusations will remain. The testimonies of the Sebellia Acolytes don't change the fact that a murder still occurred, and the defendants' claim of self-defense is not a creditable defense against an unarmed woman. The defendants obviously got the wounds and poison in another manner, and attempted to use that to get away with their crime. The sentencing will be as follows: For the murder of a Beysib woman, Olric will be executed, by decapitation with an axe. For Modig, the accomplice who stood watch, his punishment will be for a hot iron to put out his eyes. These punishments will be carried out at dawn, tomorrow.”

With that, the prisoners are escorted back to their cells, and all of the Sanctuary citizens are forced to leave the palace grounds immediately. Any upstart or challenge is met forcefully, and dealt with quickly; there are no arrests, but a lot of broken bones and egos among the populace.

After the city settles down a little bit, the Group meet with Zip. The Group decides that it is essential to free their innocent friends, and quickly. Zip thinks he can get into the Jailhouse from the long-forgotten tunnels under the city, one of which should have a passageway that leads to the cellar of the Jailhouse. The problem is that there are magical wards set up, and which will need to be removed in order to get into that tunnel section. He tells them that Myrtis of the Aphrodisia House on the Street of Red Lanterns controls the wards, and that they just need to convince her of the necessity.

Going to the Aphrodisia House, Gagino tips the house girl to carry a message of urgency to her mistress, and gives the girl a golden coronation for Myrtis, payment for her to just listen to them. They are brought into an empty sitting room, at least it is empty at this time of day. Myrtis agrees to see them fairly quickly. They explain the situation with their friends, and their innocence. The conversation turns to the fact that they need to get to the jailhouse, and that they understand that they cannot get there with the magical wards in place. Myrtis is concerned that they know this information and demands to be told who supplied them this information. The Group doesn't want to rat out Zip, but eventually tells Myrtis, at her insistence. She cools down after hearing of Zip's involvement, and says that they can work out a deal.

Myrtis tells a story about one of her girls, Bekin. She was simple-minded, and one of only a few girls who would service Beysib customers. Last night, she was found dead in her room, with telltale snake bite marks and signs of poison in her body. Her last customer was Turghurt, a Beysib client who has been in a few times before. He was long gone by the time they found Bekin dead, and Myrtis is pretty sure he won't come back, and is probably hiding in the Palace. Retribution will be the only way to keep her as the top house on the Street; politically, strength must be displayed. Myrtis requires Turghurt's death for the killing of Bekin. After some discussion, the characters agree to perform this task for Myrtis in exchange for her to drop the magical wards in the tunnels.

A few hours later, the Group meets Zip and some of his followers at the Aphrodisia House. Myrtis made it a requirement that they use her entrance into the tunnels. They light some torches, and they enter the underground through a barred door from the cellar of the Aphrodisia House. Dark, damp and foul smelling, the Group stays for a minute to adjust to the dark. Zip says, “This way”, and they begin their journey into the underground, sharing the space with rats and the wastes of Sanctuary on a long-unused route. Travel is quiet for the next several minutes, and a few twists and turns later, Zip slows down. “We are nearing where the wards should be, and I think this is as far as I've ever gotten. That's a good sign that the wards are down.”

Another short stretch of tunnel goes by, and Zip stops. “This is where the tunnel to the Jailhouse should be. Start searching around.”

Searching proves that one of the nearby collapsed areas proves to be an even more obscure tunnel. It takes a little while to clear out the rubble to clear the passageway, then they continue on to a dead-end. A quick search again finds a secret door in the wall. They open it, and enter into a small chamber and dead-end, with yet another secret door. They open the second one, and it leads to the cellar of the jailhouse. The opening is blocked by crates and barrels of supplies. The door is obviously unused and probably unknown to anyone who stocks this place. Another round of clearing items is performed so that they can get into the empty space of the cellar. They look around a bit and find an area stocked with implements used for torturing people, and then stairs leading up. At the top of the stairs, there is another door, presumably leading to the main jailhouse. In this storage area, they see stacks of confiscated personal possessions and see Olric's equipment amongst the various items stored here.

They steel themselves for the action ahead. Through that door awaits a difficult night, with the reward of freeing their companions. No one is fond of the idea of slaughtering who knows how many guards, people they may know personally, but what must be done, will be done. Perhaps their own lives will be sacrificed, as well.

Zip pulls on a mask, and hands out one to everyone else. He opens the door and sneaks in. A large common cell is the first next to the door opening, and a few of the prisoners notice Zip, and start to make some commotion. Zip lifts his mask and asks them if they know who he is, and tells them if they want to get out alive, to act like nothing is happening. He continues on, and finds a few guards in a common area, relaxing somewhat. He prepares a sling bullet, and lets one fly, shouting at the same time, “Charge!”

His followers storm out of the storage area, and rush forward. Jack, Kalima, Gagino and Malkar follow closely, readying their weapons for attack. They rush in, and split up and down the two main side hallways and rush the guards there, desperate for keys to open the cells. A few guards go down quickly, and a few of Zip's PFLS members drop. The Warden steps out of his office, sees what's happening and quickly steps back in. A few seconds later, a loud bell starts ringing; the alarm has been sounded. Of the two Guard Captains who are fighting off the intruders, one takes a strong blow from Kalima, and collapses. The other sees his friend go down, and retreats back into his office trying to close the door. Kalima steps in the way, preventing the door from closing, but the Guard Captain is stronger and obviously more inspired. The door closes and a bolt is heard slamming into place from the inside.

Meanwhile, Malkar is firing arrows, Jack is swinging ferociously, and Zip and the PFLS members are aiding the best that they can. The Warden rushes from his office to the door leading out, attacking a PLFS member trying to prevent any escape through that door. In his rush, the Warden drops his sword, but still manages to punch the man blocking his route. The PLFS member returns the attack, while the Warden scrabbles for his sword. The Warden regains a solid grip on his sword, cutting down the man in his way. He steps over the body and out of the room to get reinforcements, bolting the door from the other side. Zip makes his way over to the door, and bolts the inside, too. Meanwhile, a few sets of keys are lifted off of a few dead guards, and doors start opening; the freeing of prisoners begins; the chaos is just getting started. Gagino finally gets to the cell that his friends are in; Modig and Olric are freed. He continues opening more cell doors, letting more prisoners out. The keys are passed on to the freed prisoners, allowing them to continue to free others, and the rescue team attempts to slip out the way they came, hoping the chaos will mask their escape. They are partially successful, although it seems they have a dozen or more prisoners to take with them through the tunnels. They carefully re-stack the crates to mask their entrance point, and retrace their way back through the underground tunnels. Modig and Olric take a northern tunnel, heading for the farms outside of town. The rest follow Zip to the Maze underground, where they find themselves able to sneak back into the city. They prepare for possible consequences, and Zip starts talking the ex-prisoners into the PFLS as new recruits.