Nov 19, 2015

Game Session: Dead Man Walking

After the events of the last session, the PCs made their way back to the town of Saltmarsh. As an extra reward for rescuing and returning Oswald and Humbert Fastralli, their father, Conte Fastralli, held a private dinner in their honor at The Silver Raven, one of the nicest restaurants and gentelmen's clubs in the city. Also at the dinner was Pinch, a private agent of the Fastralli family who also had done the family great service, though neither Pinch, nor the Fastralli clan were willing to elaborate on just what Pinch had done for the Fastralli's.

Before the dessert course, Conte Fastralli and his sons were called away on business by one of his attendants, but bid everyone else to stay and enjoy to restaurant's hospitality on him

Later, while everyone was enjoying a creme pastry dish with a heated chocolate drink, there was a mild commotion from one of the upstairs rooms. Hoskin Lashti, the owner of The Silver Raven, went to investigate. A short time afterward, he sheepishly approached the party. With worry in his voice he explained that there had been an "accident" in one of the upstairs private rooms and that one of the guests was dead. It seemed the patron, Milo Bornal, had enjoyed the company of a female companion a bit too much.

Hoskin then asked the party for a very special favor. The deceased man's wife, who was not the companion Mr. Bornal was with at the time of his passing, was a influential force in town, and if she learned the true manner in which her husband had died, she would use her connections to get this fine establishment shut down. Hoskin asked if the party would be willing to take Mr. Bornal back to his home across town, secret him back into his house, and allow his wife to think he had died at home in his personal study. The owner would be grateful and would cover the party's food and drink bill for an entire month at The Silver Raven.

Feeling sorry for the owner, they agreed. After first concluding, without a doubt, that Milo Bornal had died of natural, if not pleasurable, causes.

After sneaking the body out of the back of the Silver Raven, the party started making their way across town from the edge of the North Hill district to the riverside part of First Gate, all the while trying to avoid the attention of guard patrols. This took the party through various alleyways around the city.

by Merewina
While they did a good job of avoiding the town guards, they weren't so successful with one of local street urchins.
“Hey Misters, watcha doin’? I see ya walkin’ all funny around the streets like you don’t know where you’s are.”

“That’s not a smart thing to do in these parts.”
After talking with the young boy, Krist, who was asking more questions than the PCs were ready to answer, the party was able to send him on his way with a few coins.

Continuing their trek through the city, the party took a wrong path down an alley and suddenly found themselves in a dead end. Before they could back their way out, a nest of spiders skittered down from rooftops and out of abandoned crates to take notice of the prey that had fallen into their webs.

The largest of the spiders shot webs that trapped some of the party, while the smaller ones attacked directly. With a combination of magic and steel, the party skewered a few of the smaller spiders and one of the larger ones. This caused the rest to scurry up the building walls leaving the party alone.

After tending their minor wounds, the party set out down another path with their charge in toe (pun intended). While darting out a side street, quickly trying to cross the main street, the party turned a corner right into a patrol of local guards.

The obvious leader of this patrol greeted them, “Hello citizen”.

As they make their way closer, he adds, “nice night, don’t you think?”

Everyone froze as the head guard spoke to them. As the guards waited for them to respond, the air grew thick with nervous tension. If they didn't say something soon, maybe the guards would suspect something was amiss.

After a moment, Pinch spoke up and talked to the guards for a few moments. As the guards noticed Duncan and Ataraxia carring Milo over their shoulders.

It was Duncan who made a passing comment that their friend here had too much fun and they were taking him home. Duncan was apparently convincing enough that the guards laughed and waived them on their way. At the first opportunity, out of sight of the guards, the party ducked back into an alley, hoping to avoid any more patrols for the rest of the night.

After a few more alleys, they found themselves crossing through the business district, which was mostly shut down at this time of the night. Unfortunately, that left them vulnerable to the thieves that inhabited these alleyways as their own under cover of darkness.

The thieves thought they were mugging a group of drunkards that had wandered in to the wrong part of town, but after the heroes put Milo's body down and drew their weapons, the thieves soon realized they were in for a real fight.

With shadow and stealth, the thieves, tried surrounding the party. The two leaders of this pack tried to take Duncan down first, while the other members (including a dwarf and bugbear) concentrated their attacks on Pinch and the monk.

Duncan fought off one of his attackers, while Ataraxia went after the other. Soon, the two leaders were dead, and the other thieves ran off in to the night.

With their attackers gone, the party picked up the body of Milo Bornal and continued their city trek to his mansion. As they made their way down the alley toward the Bornal estate, a soft moan came out of the shadows.

Shambling out of the darkness a pale, gaunt figure with soulless eyes, covered in dirt and rags and smelling of death and decay emerged. It’s one hand out stretched as it slowly moved toward the
party.

Then the thing opened its mouth... and promptly burped and stumbled before you!

“Spare a few coins or a drink for a bloke down on his luck?”

After giving the homeless man, Calden, a drink and a few coins, the man continued.

“You tryin’ to get into the Bornal place? You won’t make it through the front. Lady of the house got some kinda party goin’ on tonight, but I seen the ol’ man get in through his private entrance in the back."

"‘E’s fond of slippin’ out a catchin’ a drink or two from time to time, and always sneaks back in with he’s private door. Door musn’t be locked, cause the good sir never carries keys, or anything else that makes noise, I guess so’in’s the misses don’t ‘ear ‘em comin’ back in.”

As the party sneaks on to the mansion grounds, they find all the guards are busy attending to the door and party guest scattered around the front of the house. When they get up close to the back door that Calden was talking about they see the door is sealed shut, but, there is no discernible lock or key hole.

Engraved on the door is the phrase, "Steady profit is the Key to success", and under that is a three by three grid. Within each grid are piles of coins, in various piles and denominations.

After looking over the images for a while, Duncan and Pinch realize that within each row of images, one pile of coins shows the same value. Remembering the phrase above the door about steady profit being the key, they touch the one image of coins in each row that has that similar value.

With that the door magically opened for them. After that, they party was easily able to sneak Milo Bornal's body into his private study and make it look like he died there, hunched over his accounting ledgers.

Then the party was able to sneak away, back into the darkness, after one of the strangest nights of their lives.
Behind the Scenes: Like Embreth in the last session, Pinch was also supposed to be a new member of the group. This player, sadly, wasn't able to continue with my group past this single session.