The party was split which does happen - especially with larger groups. And I was faced with the problem of two members of the party captured and being held responsible for their heavy-handed methods against locals.
Their stories did not mesh, which made the magistrate suspicious of them both. Detheron's was truthful (mostly) which went long towards exonerating him - but I had him saddled with the problem of being labelled as Warlock - in a low magic and distrusting area.
And it was here that another planned reunion blew up in the party's face - Smokey the druid's companion showed up and tried to get to the druid - in doing so attacked the locals and brought more headaches on the party (including the druid who had lost his tiger - and NOW his bear!).
I was very happy with the sideways striking of the problem by going to the pirate-lord and getting his aid - and that has opened up a new avenue for me to run the group through.
Write up follows:
The party entered Dilabria and asked around for the jewelers (after getting a list of rules from the gate guards and had some of their weapons held). Once there they divested themselves of much of their heavier coin, turning them into smaller gems (garnets, topaz, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds), making the jeweler VERY happy in the process. From there the party visited some of the local merchants for weapons, bows, foods, and some other sundries before splitting up.
Norris found himself in Cheapside scouting some of the local bars and places after getting a set of boots with some hollow places. He met with a local rep from a guild of thieves and spent some time familiarizing himself with the people as well as doing a couple of low level jobs for them. Olthar on the other hand did not meet up with Norris (the bard had skipped out on his appointment with the wood elf) and took a room at a local tavern.
Coruth’tae did go to a divinicist, an older crone who claimed her visions came from Loki. She spoke clearly and with some authority, answering both of Coruth’tae’s questions with minimal obfuscation and then gifted him with a thin potion that would make him appear dead for 10-60 minutes after drinking it. He thanked her and left.
The other party members waited outside at a camp area outside the gate, sending other travelers on their way with a mild rebuff and lack of interest. The grey elf told us of what he had learned from the seer and that Detheron and Gwyn were in Dragonhole and in a dungeon and had about 3 days coming to them before it was all over.
Meanwhile Gwyn and Detheron had some more answer time with the magistrate and the torturers – the dwarf getting his ears worked on with pliers and his nose broken and twisted across his face. Detheron continued to claim his innocence and provided the magistrate with more information about Vanir as well as his standing. The back and forth with the Melvin of Chipmunk did not go well and caused more issues for the two friends. They slept poorly if at all.
The group reconvened in the morning and Coruth’tae went in to get horses as well the clothes he ordered the night before. Norris informed the party of the aviaries that his guild friends had intercepted and read, confirming Coruth’tae’s tale as well as filling in more of the gaps. It was decided – we would have to go to Dragonhole and get them out? But how? Lord Vergadain was not a kind man and it was well known that he was a supporter of the Witchfinders from the Order of Thor.
It was Zoltan who decided that we should hit the problem from another angle. As a Lord, Vergadain was an absolute power in his city. What we needed instead of a straight on assault was someone with more power in our court. Baron Dilabria was out, as a public supporter of the deposed and assumed slain usurping ex-count Delarrin Sedaris, he was known to be no friend of mages and untrustworthy. However, there was Baronnet Wodenlach in Eider.
This ex-pirate had clawed his way upward from nothing to notoriety to finally achieving land and title (in a way to get the seemingly uncatchable and unflappable mercenary ON the side of the law). He had the original lords of Eider tossed out and set himself up gaining the populace’s trust and support by throwing open all the coffers and gifting what treasures the former nobles had stored there. As a Baronnet, he is over Vergadain and as much as the Dragonhole lord might dislike it, he owes fealty to Wodenlach. It was just under 30 miles to the east from here, on the southern end of the Eider Swamps and against the Mastelic Ocean. We mounted up and rode on, Coruth’tae enchanting our steeds to run tirelessly.
Making it to the pirate city, we made our way to Wodenlach Manor and met with the Baronnet (who’s castle was in the midst of some revelry and celebration). The Baronnet was in his early 40’s and had a hard look to him and numerous old scars, but he did have a hearty and ready laugh and took pleasure in meeting with the group. Zoltan and Coruth’tae spoke with the nobleman and he was honest – there was NOTHING they could give him or buy him or his services with – he was the man who had done it all and had everything.
BUT, he would like to have the services of a swelling adventuring party for some local issues regarding the tax ship to come from Daro – and for that and their word, he would pen a missive to Vergadain demanding the release of the two missing companions immediately and clearing on all charges. We slept that night and left at 1st light the next day with Coruth’tae once more ensorcelling the rented steeds on our run to Dilabria and then Dragonhole.
As for the dwarf and the druid, it was not a good day as more torture was planned and more questions asked. Gwyn was presented to a priest of Thor who was willing to cast a Zone of Truth spell in the area which had Gwyn sweating – but the stubborn dwarf was able to muddle his way through the enchantment and kept up the fallacy of the truth as he picked his way through all the lies he had said before and tried to twist it that he was actually looking to take of Vanir. The priest of Thor was receptive to Gwyn and vouched for the dwarf – which eased the magistrates mind a bit.
But fate stepped in that afternoon as Smokey, Detheron’s companion, finally caught up with the group – spurred on by Frey, and attempted to storm the militia house and prison. The two friends heard Smokey’s signature roar and his presence both bolstered and terrified Detheron. He was clamoring to be set free, the one guard eventually trusting him that he could calm the animal. The bear was tearing through the guards with ease and was working his way down the stairs as bolts and arrows slammed into him. He crushed a guard to death, tearing the man’s spine in half. The druid tried to run forward and yell to stop to not hurt him and the melee grew frantic and Smokey was speared as he made it to Detheron and fell at his feet, staring up at him with a sloppy smile, happy, and then the light in the 450 lb bear’s eyes went out.
Detheron was clubbed and dragged back to his cell and the guard that had let him free was chastised and more calls for “burn the warlock” went out. He sat on his bench and said nothing.
The group made it to Dragonhole where they went immediately to Vergadain Castle – and presented the Lord with Wodenlach’s missive. It went…poorly. The lord was wroth, furious, and railed against it – but he had no choice and agreed the “halfer and the warlock” would be let free. Come back in an hour and get them the hell out of my city.
We then went to Greystone Manorhouse where Soren spoke with Chalt and the other Greystone nobles to clear his name of the suspected arson of the orphanage. The bounty was dropped and we moved on back to Vergadain Castle to meet one last time with the angry noble and spring Gwyn and Detheron.