The prior week we had our "End of Year" game that had gotten delayed until February due to a number of no shows at the scheduled end of year game. On that day in December we plowed through the first 3 levels of B4 instead for those who did show and had a good time but I had shelved the end of year game for a time when we could all be there and the 4th of Feb was it.
What was it? A mash up of 6 systems and characters all taking place in an underground cavern on top of a zigguraut surrounded by lizardmen who were going to sacrifice us after we had been teleported there from around the multiverse eventually going up against the dragon who had masterminded the entire thing. Who was there, thrown together for the first time and emerged as heroes? We had a 7th level Magic-User from Mystara and the B-X rules, a 7th Level Half-Orc Fighter from my own homeworld and the 1st Edition Rules, an Australian Mutated Animal Kangaroo Thunderdome Champion armed with a variety of crazy weapons including a lawnmower shield and the 2nd Edition Gamma World Rules, a Specialist 1st Class Dralasite Ships Medic from 1st edition Star Frontiers, an Emerging Jedi/Rebel Captain from 6 years after the Return of the Jedi and the Star Wars d6 rules, and finally a Texas Ranger, Sharpshooter and Lawman from 1871 and the 1st edition Boot Hill rules.
It was epic. So epic, we played for 2 hours after our normal end time just to make sure we met and killed the dragon.
However, this write up isn't about that - it is about the 2nd meeting of the 2nd adventure. Here the party had the opportunity to spend some time at the festival faire-grounds and participate in the games, eat, drink, and do some world building before sneaking off to break into the Brinster Demesne. The goal was to get in and NOT kill anyone, to be ghosts and be gone. But 2 magic-scenting dogs and their handler had the group panic slightly and after "sleeping" them, had them cut their throats and dump then in the bushes.
There is a clock involved and they HAVE to be off the premises no later than 10 no matter what.
Write up follows:
The Festival of Rains paid honor to Frey, Idun, Thor, and Frigga and was a fairly all-encompassing festival. The party made their way to the Greens where numerous tents and stalls had been set up, games of chance were in place, and the smell of faire food was wafting heavy in the air. Jugglers and stilt walkers were wandering about and the big set up were the archery field and the wrestling pit for those who wanted to compete later.
The group wandered about, Thalin, Einar, and Avulstein signing up for the archery contest. Avulstein managed to get on line and was 16th to enter, preventing one of the two Halfling brothers who always competed from signing up. There was some words exchanged but the necromancer didn’t let the angry Halfling bother him.
Wrestling was another matter with the line growing long quickly. Connal, Negan, Darius, and Wolfskar all made the line in time, but Varagut and a burly Half-orc female named Quanesa both hit the 16th position at the same time, and started to hip check and shove one another. This brought the local Festival patrons to show up and the two of them were told to settle the matter with Trial by Axe. A crowd of 70 or so gathered about and the two were given a stance 20’ away from a target post and told whoever throws an axe, spins in once, and gets it to strike and STICK into the post would be the winner and blessed by the gods and Odin…and would be allowed to register as the 16th person.
Well the two of them threw, and Quanesa won. There was good natured ribbing and Varagut was given a yard of beer as a consolation and the tabard wearing patrons made sure there was no more to do and the festivities continued. Pigeon pie, meat on a stick, braised ribs. All manner of food was consumed.
And then it was time for the archery contest. It was 2 shots, and the best of 2 would move to the next round. Each round was a 2 common buy in with prizes given for 4th place and up; the heats went on with Einar being eliminated as 9th, and Avulstein getting a surprising bullseye. However as the 2nd rounds progressed and Avulstein was out, the man ahead of him couldn’t afford the 2 common entry fee and Avulstein paid and moved on! Thalin missed out in the 3rd rounds and the contest went on until Avulstein ended up 4th out of 16 and got a few commons back as a prize.
Wrestling was different with the half-ogres and orcs taking many of the 1st heats, a few dwarves making their way through. Darius pushed through again and again, eventually winning the competition (Wolfskar coming in 2nd) thanks to his skill and a very important mage armor spell that had been cast on him much earlier in the week. His purse of 120 commons and his laurel leaf crown had the fighter beaming and thrilled throughout the remainder of the day.
But as the sun moved through the sky and the feast was getting ready to be laid out, many of the other merchant houses had their family members and managers show up, bringing the crown total to over 2,000 and letting the group know that it was about time for the 6 who were going to sneak onto the Brinster Demesne to fade into the dark and make their way home to arm and armor up: Einar, Negan, Avulstein, Larry, Darius, and Connel.
It was 6:45 when we were finally at the Brinster Demesne and the decision had been made earlier to not go through the main gate. Negan would boost everyone up to the top of the wall on the west side closest to the Offices where Einar would lay down a couple of heavy skins he had bought on the glass and sharp stones, then the entire mess would be beaten with a hammer (muffled) and allow up to cross over without gathering attention.
It went as planned and in no time we were all across and decidedly in enemy territory. We know there was at least one drunken guard wandering the perimeter and assumed the kennel was open. Einar called on Frey to help him know when animals were about, concentrating on dogs – and he felt 6 of them, wandering the kennel area. He felt the gates were open and the dogs were milling about – but didn’t scent us as we were some distance away and in the shadowy section near the back of one of the lesser homes.
We relied on Larry to make his way to the Office where he checked…and it was locked. He tried the lock, and after a few minutes gave up as it was beyond his skill. Plus the walking drunk guard was getting closer. So Larry ran back to the group, told them what was what, and they all drew ready for the wandering person to get closer…and when they came out from behind the rear of Braddock Brinster’s home They were hit a Sleep spell and knocked out.
A few of us ran up to look, it was an adult dwarven female, and she was knocked out. She had a tabard on, Brinster’s, and was a bit foul. Connel and Larry were looking her over when Einar noted that two of the dogs were now coming our way and seemed to be agitated. The feeling was the dogs had been strained to scent when magic was done, and we had just cast a sleep spell.
Connel and Larry came back quickly after they dragged the sleeping dwarven female into the thick bushes of the garden. And the two dogs AND their handler were hit with another sleep spell. This time the three was throat slit and dragged into the garden area. Einar did his look out thing again, noting 4 dogs still at the kennel; these were not disturbed so far.
Then he had a strange feeling and wanted to look for…bears. And he found one. One fucking bear at the kennel area.
We did not want to engage a bear and did not want to have any other encounters.
We went back to the Office, crept around to the front to check it out, and Larry noted that the shuttered windows of the secretary’s office was NOT latched. So he climbed in, shut the window behind him, went around to the side door, and opened it so we could all enter the office. We were in the Brinster Offices on their Demesne, standing in the hallway with a number of other doors to look at as well as the second floor, we had no lights lit right now, relying on infravision and the almost full moon light to guide us, and it was 7:53 at night – leaving us at most a safe 2 hours before we had to get the hell out of the Demesne with the log book.