Good planning - it does earn its rewards.
The party spent so much time going over the plan to steal the chests and refining them and talking about them - that 2 weeks in real time passed and then the entire plan went without a hitch. No fight against superior enemies, no shadow games with pursuers, no frantic charms and potion wrangling - just a well thought out plan that resulted in the mission finished as well as a handsome reward.
And then at the end of the day the other half of the group went off half cocked and randomly assaulted some hedge-wizard in broad daylight in town and pissed away what good will they had garnered with a single ill-thought action.
I'm so happy I don't plan these things out - you can always count on players to make the day more exciting than it has to be. :)
Write up follows:
There was some more shopping in at and around town for a bit as well as learning a bit more from Baronet Wodenlach about what the DTS Rising Current was about and when and where it would appear. But for the most part, the party opted to stay low and hide out at the Sunken Boardwalk, the Inn near Dock Street and the southeastern section of town.
The DTS Rising Current showed up on time and we watched the great ship dock with ease at Quarantine Docks. It was many hours later when we noted that the cargo from Eider had been loaded as the first of the shore leaves was declared. The plan was to wait until just before the ship left the next day (which was with the tide at 7-9AM) to pull off the heist.
Zoltan, Arnog, and Detheron were each readied with a divesting of most gear, a well applied Endurance spell for the cold water, and the gypsy and the druid each given a water breathing spell. Then with the passwall staff in hand at 10:30 PM the three men stole to the dock, walked into the surf, and proceeded to walk due east under the water and across the channel bottom towards the docks and the Rising Current some 700’ off the mainland.
It took about an hour to get there and once there Detheron took up post under the ship, a detect animal spell going and the druid watching very carefully. Meanwhile both Zoltan and Arnog began climbing up the slimy dock posts some 60-70’ to the keel of the Rising Current. Zoltan paced off the ship from the stern and situating us at the port side he presented the passwall staff, activated it, and made sure that he willed it to be just for himself and Arnog. The two men swam up the 5’x8’ vortex looking rift and cautiously peered up and out.
The other end of the “pass” was about 2 and a half feet over the floor of the secure hold, faint light filtering in through the mess hall above and no other light sources visible. Zoltan used his continual light locket and verified the hold was empty. Then the two of them stepped into the hold and looked around. We identified the two chests that were Eider’s and we moved them silently towards the door, blocking the portal. Then we sorted through the other chests and picked up not 2 as was requested of us, but 4 in actuality (two of them Dragonhole’s, and the other two were from Flat Rock and Karon). Then we had Arnog pick them up, hold them over the passwall vortex, and drop them – where they fell 70’ down to the ocean floor and near where Detheron was scaring away local thresher sharks.
We dropped three of the chests and then Arnog and Zoltan held onto the last one, slipped through the passwall, and Zoltan waved the staff and we plummeted back into the water and dispelled the magical portal. Once on the ocean floor again we began the long walk back to shore, Arnog dragging two of the chests and Zoltan and Detheron each pulling one. The trip back was much longer and we were tired, soaked, and water logged. At the shore we didn’t feel comfortable emerging from the surf with 4 obviously stolen chests in our possession so we paced ourselves about 12’ under the surface, some 70’ from shore, near Wodenlach’s manor house and we waited for the sun to come up, the Rising Current to depart, and amused ourselves by playing “Go Fish”.
As for the rest of the group, when the awoke about 7 they noticed that the 3 friends had NOT come back yet and there was no note on how the heist had gone. After a brief conversation they split up and scoured the town, with Coruth’tae staying behind in case the 3 missing heisters returned. Gwyn ended up at Wodenlach’s and Soren went to Quarantine Docks himself. The Rising Current left shortly afterwards without issue.
While Coruth’tae was entertaining himself though, he did manage to catch what seemed to be a floating eye staring at him. He went to investigate it and it whisked away – Wizard’s Eye. Damn it – someone was spying on him.
Zoltan had gone to Wodenlach’s and had the Baronet arrange a few men to come out with lobster traps to mark the sunken chests and then get them dragged to shore. The gypsy told Gwyn about the success and to tell the rest of the group. Gwyn went back to the Sunken Boardwalk where he heard from Coruth’tae as he spelled to Norris, Olthar, and Soren that they were being watched and it was by a wizard. Both the grey elf and the bard felt it was Gedaides and wanted to go march on the hedge wizard that was situated on the north end of town near Beggar’s Canyon.
The 5 count went fast and in the crappy section of the city they banged on the door hard and both Coruth’tae and Norris stormed it (the area silenced by a judicious use of the coin trick again). Roiling fog filled the entire shop/home, blocking all visibility. Some illusionary fire swept through the shop. A beggar in the street tried to snatch the silence coin and run but Soren knocked him in the leg with a bird arrow to keep him from fleeing. Gwyn was very uncomfortable with this debacle in the street and stood a bit away near a sewer drain with his crossbow out loaded with a poisoned bolt.
Coruth’tae and Norris wound their way through the shop, looking as best they could, but the choking fog made any decent search impossible. Olthar and Soren circled the building; no other exit was seen used. And a crowd was starting to form in the street, shocked at the “fires” they saw engulfing Gedaides home. A bucket brigade was called to order and they began to line up.
Meanwhile, Gwyn heard a voice from the sewer by his feet and a voice said something eldritch – tugging at his mind. He shook it free and realized someone was trying to charm him. He opted to go along with it and played stupid. The figure in the sewer was Gedaides and was wroth as he paid his taxes on time as well as protection to Blackshadow, who were these guys? Gwyn nodded a bunch and said he would cover for his new buddy’s retreat as he clambered out of the sewer and said he was going right to Baronet Wodenlach to bitch.
Some of the town militia were mustered as well as the fire brigade but even a light review showed nothing was burned and everything was fine (except for Norris and Coruth’tae being soaked from good natured helpers throwing water wildly into the building interior). The party wandered back to Wodenlach after Gwyn informed them of Gedaides escape, with Coruth’tae staying back long enough to scour the hedge wizard’s private room to try and find the spell book – no luck.
Arnog, Detheron, and Zoltan, looking like drowned zombies with pale skin, waterlogged clothes, wrinkled and pruned, and after submerged for the better part of 10 hours, accompanied the 4 boxes to Wodenlach where they went with the precious cargo to the dungeons of the manor house and the Baronet was pleased to see them. There was some talking but the chests were not cracked open before a problem arose. A man of some reknown in town, Gedaides, was complaining that associates of Zoltan and Detheron assaulted his home not half a glass ago and attempted to kill him for some unknown reason. He was upset and frightened and to make matters worse and interesting at the same time – the 5 count of the rest of the party were outside the manorhouse with a deep interest to come in and talk to the Baronet now.
And Wodenlach wanted Zoltan and Detheron to join him upstairs to help him come to the end of this matter.