This was the first meeting with the new dynamic of one permanent member down. One of our original guys moved to PA after being at my table and friend for almost 10 years. He will be sorely missed. As far as game play went, nothing materially different. What happened though was entirely off the cuff up to and except for the end of the night when a job opportunity from Lung Unter to get boar's milk for cheese, this wall all n the spot story flowing making it up as we went along.
And I happened to like it. The party interviewed a criminal to get a "promise" out of him and became engaged in his plights and troubles - so much so that they actually went to his mother and took care of her. An orcish woman, laundering clothes from a tenement apartment in the ghetto section of a dwarven town, and having a rampant growth on her chest that everyone said will kill her in weeks or months and NO ONE would help or heal her. So the son turned to a life of crime (petty) to get enough funds to at least keep his mom in drink and the rent paid since medicine was out of reach and operating or curing it was not even a feasible option.
I liked it, it was an opportunity for the party to exercise the "good" portion of the alignment tree and no care so much about the Law/Chaos aspect of the axis.
Write up follows:
We walked from the Notary Offices near the Church of Frigga back to the Militia Holding cells and the gallows. We had hired Coriso, a half-orcish female notary and adherent of Frigga to pen down what we needed, noting that she talked about her job and what it meant to be a notary. The station of her office, her signature, and her seal on a document is binding and held up to truth and veracity – up to and including if need be, at an Ecclesiastic court should the matter be required.
At the Holding cells we had been remembered and one of the deputies spoke to the group about the two men that were to be hung by end of day today. One was a dwarven male named Vipolian who had been captured, tried, and found guilty for the assault and eventual death of two courtesans from the Randari Quarter. The other was a half-orcish male named Centius who had been caught stealing from his employer, assaulting a wagon driver, then sentenced for his outstanding debt from which he escaped servitude and was caught after sneaking back into the city.
We discussed the two men and decided to try and speak with Centius as we could most likely extract a promise from him. Einar was going to be the main speaker, hoping that the two Randari would have a better rapport than if one of the other party members tried to talk. We were instructed that we should hand nothing to the prisoner without getting it looked at first by the guard on duty and then his permission would or would not be granted.
While we waited in the small room, the half-orc was brought in. Centius was just a notch over 6’ tall, and had to weigh closer to 260 lbs. There was a simpleness about him as if he sort of had no idea how he ended up here. We talked to him for a while, Einar was the main point of contact, and learned that there is a not so subtle undercurrent between the dwarves (at least here in Sorton) and the orcish and half-orcish people. Not a hatred, but a racism that colors everything the two races do.
And Centius had no love for the dwarves. And the dwarves in the room had little respect for Centius. He admitted his crime, but it was fueled entire for his love for his mother. She had a growth that has been robbing her of life and getting bigger, on the left side of chest. When they tried to get it looked at after a number of hospices and healers had looked, culminating at the healers of Odin, it was stated that there was nothing that could be done for her and she was going to die.
And it would be in terrible pain.
Centius tried working but it wasn’t enough, the medication from the apothecists was terribly expensive and it came down to the fact that the cheapest thing for his mom was drinking low quality spirits – effectively getting so plastered the pain was able to be ignored.
Now that he was in jail and going to be hung today, there was no one to help or look after his mom. She had to have run out of spirits by now, and there wasn’t much food left, plus there was rent due and she was probably going to be kicked out of town where she’ll die on the road like an animal. In exchange for our help for his mom (whose name we had gotten out was Opseta), Centius gave his promise that he would do all he could for Einar and Avulstein in this life and the next. In fact, Centius went on to say that he was going to try and take one of the dwarven executioners off the gallows with him when he was hung later.
We had Coriso write down his promise, got permission from the guard for Centius to make his mark, and then had it notarized by the Friggan Adherent. Centius could not be any happier given the situation and we left him with the promise that we’d be back to see his hanging today at 4 PM.
It was a quarter to 12 when we left the jail and Coriso was disturbed by the entire exchange. She left and we had the written out promise in hand notarized and ready. We then were going to go back through the Central Gate and make our way to the Randari Quarter and eventually to the tenement houses that Opseta and Centius lived in.
On the way we were treated to the reverse racism and hostility that Einar had commented on a few days ago. Darius was unused to this amount of vitriol and ran afoul of some of the locals who then took it upon themselves to shadow the party as they made their way off main street and deeper into the Randari Quarter. They found the tenement housing in question, made their way up to the 3rd floor, and took the dimly lit hall to apartment “4”.
We knocked and were met at the door by a large and fat orcish female of advancing years. She was reeling slightly and holding onto what seemed to be a third massive tit under her left side. We identified ourselves, said we had spoken with Centius, and after getting her to believe we were on her side, were invited in. Even though the place was small and poor, it was clean and showed that someone who cared lived there.
Opseta was a laundress and until recently would do the laundry for her clients, Centius was her runner, going off to deliver and pick up her needed supplied and materials. She talked about the cancerous mass and the fact that it was killing her. She suspected she had about a month or two left and it was getting harder to move around. She bemoaned the soon to be death of her son and knew that her days were limited both alive and even in this apartment.
It was here that the group talked about her cancer, the costs to get it fixed (if even possible), and the cost of the drugs to help her deal with the pain. Einar and Negan were both anxious to help out (the druid more so), but eventually it turned to “what if we cut the lump out of you ourselves?”
Negan was going to have to do it as the closest thing we had to a skilled healer, but with Avulstein’s help, Einar’s guidance during the operation, and Darius’ nimble and dexterous hands to keep the cancerous lump from flowing wildly about – we hoped to be able to give Opseta a much needed new lease on life. Being that she was a laundress, there were plenty of bleached towels and sheets already in the apartment. The party started the stove and set a pot to boil, filling it will tools and knives and tongs.
We talked about being able to do the operation and decided that we needed a scalpel and perhaps something to knock her out. There was a Randari apothecist a few blocks from here and Einar volunteered to go out and get the supplies. He left the apartment and when he got to the bottom floor was surprised to find a half-orc down there, one of the ones who had gotten into the verbal spat with Darius. The half-orc asked if Einar knew where “that guy” had gone off to. Not wanting to have Darius (or the rest of the party) deal with this, he gave the half-orc some line of bull that the guy had gone elsewhere and most likely was back in Slagbottom.
He made it to the Apothecist where the windows were small and barred and the door was locked. A smaller door was opened in the thick wood and an angry voice was asking Einar a bunch of questions before he had to prove he was a druid (disk and prayer to Frey) and then was let in. Once inside a hulking half-ogre with a massive heavy crossbow ordered him to turn around and put his hands on the door while he was briefly checked over and then allowed to approach the counter.
Vanil was the Half-orc apothecist and they had the system in place due to numerous robberies over the years. The place was pretty well stocked and Einar could see the 2nd floor landing had a herb garden growing up there. He explained what he was looking for and was eventually shown a silvered steel scalpel. It was expensive but when Vanil found out what it was for, he gave Einar a break on the morphine since the locals liked Opseta and thought that Centius had broken the law but was still a good son.
Once back in the apartment the group got together, administered Opseta 3 drops as we had been instructed by Vanil, and waited for her to pass out. We knew we had between 1 and 4 hours before she would wake up. Einar began the entire process by calling out some prayers to Frey and asking the god to guide Negan’s hands. Then Darius lifted the cancerous lump away, holding it like a ball, and Negan began cutting. We took our time and watched Opseta often. When it looked like her strength was flagging and her breathing was becoming painful or raspy, we stopped. Healing spells were called out often and Einar repeated his prayers to Frey to Guide Negan as the half-ogre laboriously cut away the entire mass.
Darius was forced to move and adjust his position often and we kept a careful eye on the amount of blood that was coating the linens, the table, and dripping to the floor. Einar had a sense for corrupted flesh and kept guiding Negan to make sure he got all the corrupted and cancerous growth out. It was over 2 hours before we had finished and the entire 20# mass was dropped into a honey bucket for disposal at another time.
We then cleaned up a bit while Negan stitched Opseta closed. It was a ragged and messy job but a healing spell afterwards at least accelerated some of the stitchwork and gave the orcish mother a better chance to pull through. We dropped a bit of bleach in the bowl with the mass and covered it with a bit of linen, brought Opseta to her bed and stayed with her until she awoke groggy and surprised to be alive. We told her that we’d check on her soon and that we wanted to go to the hanging to see Centius off.
As we left the tenement, keeping up Einar’s promises, we stopped at the Landlord, a surly looking half-orc named Teclius. We paid 6 months’ rent for Opseta which Teclius said was a waste since she’d be dead soon, everyone knew that. Einar got pissy and said, "Then fine, we’re paying rent on a dead woman’s apartment and she is entitled to stay there, even if she’s dead." Teclius took the money with a shrug and the group left.
We stopped back at the apothecist where Vanil made Einar do the entire wait, half-ogre checks him out thing (we learned the half-ogre’s name was Lummox – fitting) and was happy to hear that the operation was a success – at least so far. He then asked if we had the cancer and after finding out Vanil could use some of the strange growths and fluids within in a variety of experimental cures and distillates, Einar went BACK to the tenement, let himself into Opseta’s apartment, took the honey bucket and the key to the place, went out and LOCKED the door behind him, and then went down the streets and back to Vanil’s where Lummox once again threatened to shoot the half-orc in the nuts if he tried anything.
Vanil was thankful for the donation that he offered Einar either 3 healing draughts or a potion (he took the potion) in exchange and the two of them bid each other farewell. The party then hoofed it out of the Randari Quarter, along Grand Blvd, through Central Gate, and made it to the gallows and hanging grounds in Central Quarter with about 15 minutes to spare. We pushed our way to the front and waited. It wasn’t long before the hangman’s cart was wheeled out with Centius and a dwarf we guessed as Vipolian chained to it.
The crowd threw rocks and rotting vegetables at the two prisoners who were then brought to the gallows and set up on the blocks with nooses around their necks. The main gaoler read off the charges of the two men while Centius was happy to see us. We pantomimed that his mom was fine and he seemed energized and charged up. The dwarven guards had chained his hands behind him (not normally done) in response to his threats he had made earlier about taking one of the guards out with him so he’d go to Valhalla.
Then it was time, the snare drums were beat and then just as they stopped, Centius bulged his muscles and ripped his arms out – and the chains snapped! He pitched forward and grabbed the hood wearing dwarven executioner screaming “For Avulstein!! For Avulstein!!” as he said he was going to do. The floor opened beneath him and the two of them fell, the half-orc throttling the dwarf on the way down but his neck broke at the drop and he died, dropping the dwarf the rest of the way to the floor where he landed amidst the crowd cheering and gasping. As for Vipolian, he twitched and choked and sputtered for two minutes before he finally died at the end of the rope.
We were exhausted, and wanted to get back to the Pennywhistle and relax while we talked about the next 2 days we had in town and Avulstein’s 2 last things – boar’s blood and midnight water. On the way, we did detour by the Sifian Temple where Connal had a chance to talk with Adept Miragius. There was some consternation that the monastic had not returned for his entrance test to the Grim Gauntlets but it had been learned and passed on by Deathspeaker Parylis of Connal’s activities.
So he was given a bye. In fact he was invited to apply on the 30th only if and after the terms of Avulstein’s tasks had been completed; since it was known that Connal and the rest of the party were helping out and participating. Which made Avulstein’s success now directly important to him and Connal.
We went back to the Pennywhistle and started brainstorming ideas on how to get to the Terraces when we decided to approach Curd, the proprietor of the Pennywhistle and see if he could help us (for a price). He said he would ask around since the party had gathered some notoriety and there were those in town who didn’t exactly like the League.
It was about 5:30 or so when a swarthy looking half-orc and his two companions approached the group. Curd gave us a wave and nod, signaling that there callers were here at his ok so we sat and talked. They are the owner and supporting backers of Unterlion Cheeses, a pretty decent sized cheese shop and bakery on Grand Blvd in the Randari Quarter right by Central Gate. Lung Unter, the half-orc, has heard of the party’s plight and seems to commiserate with the group. Too long had the League of Odin pushed their agenda about town, and the fact that the party got into a fight with their members has tickled many of those who the League considers beneath them in the Slagbottom and Randari quarters.
Lung has a proposition for the group. Normally he’d go through the 2nd Reeve for this but there is a cost and stipend that truthfully he would like to avoid paying just once in his life. House Illytch has many smaller farms and livestock groups along the Terraces and once of them is managed by a cousin of Lung named Rupurt Halforc. He has let Lung know that all 12 of his boars have calfed piglets and are lactating. Something that rarely happens.
Lung wants to get all the boars milked one night and then bring the milk here to Unterlion Cheeses. He would need someone to drive the ponies and cart though the Central Gate, through the Upper Gate, and then through the Terrace gate, drive to the Terraces, arrive at the Polemark Farm and meet with Rupurt Halforc. Then the group would have to enter the fields and subdue and rope up the boars one at a time, bringing them to an area where Rupurt’s people (six of them) would milk the boars and then seal the containers. Then the boars would have to be released back without damaging or killing them – and avoid the alpha males who most likely will be getting furious at all this. Then the group would have to drive the wagons back through gates and return to Unterlion Cheeses. To get through the gates and avoid any problems, Lung will supply the party with passes dated for tonight.
We talked about it and agreed, saying that we would meet Lung @ Unterlion Cheeses tonight @ 11 PM. If we succeed in this, even though it is a 1 day job, it does fall under our purview as not only sell swords, but also caravan guards – which would reset our employment clock with the Third Reeve to 4 days and give us more of a chance to stay in Sorton. Plus it gives the group a chance to succeed in Avulstein’s need for boar blood from a living boar.
So we took the job, bid Lung a fond farewell, and then ate a fast dinner and set ourselves up for what we needed for the night. Avulstein went upstairs to study, maximizing the number of sleep spells we would have at our disposal (3 – if we needed them) while Einar went off the Vanil’s to purchase a length of tubing as a bleeding needle along with a couple of flasks and stoppers.
So it was about 10:30 PM and we were getting ourselves ready to head out to the Randari Quarter a bit early and do this job.