Alright, so that didn’t go exactly as planned. It went monumentally bad, but it sort of got us moving in the right direction. Towards the magistrate. And then came intake, and Clever. Clever was this seven foot tall hunk of amazing. He was huge and soft spoken and when I gave him crap about turning over my weapons, he picked me up and shook me and then proceeded to strip me of my weapons. I don’t even remember what he said at that point but I turned on the charm, or at least I tried to. After all our weapons were taken away, we were thrown into a cell in the basement of the courthouse to await our trial.
After the guards left we met our neighbor’s, the cells were all housing “guests” and came to find that we were well and truly screwed. The sour looking Gnoman across the way, not sure what he was but angry personified and quiet. There was Simple, he was a halfling like me and his crew, Thomas seemed dark and mysterious, Bree seemed to be an elf in the same line of work as myself and Trevor, Trevor was a bit of a bag of buttholes, which is to say Bard.
Simple told us of his tale of woe and how he and his band of fools came to find themselves behind bars. It, like some of the best stories ever started with a job. Nothing flashy or fancy, just a job. Turned out that in months past this town was run by the money lenders. Someday I’m going to run through and flip all their damn tables. Filthy bastards. But the money lender in this tale was one Yorick Stonehands. He had hired the group to collect on the debt of a Garrote Ravenclaw. He owed 300 gold or and item of equivalent value, but Yorick had an item in mind. Something called the “Turning Stone Armor”. And getting to this Ravenclaw was easily half the battle, and it sounded in retrospect, like it was not the easy half.
The first trouble they ran into was at the entrance to the gate community this Raveclaw lived safely within. There was a bunch of shenanigans with Simple and his “invisible hand” trickery (side note, I have to figure out how to do that) with the guards at the gate that likely if he really would have pushed things that hard in reality should have gotten his tiny trickster ass run through. But they persevered and when it looked like all hope was lost, sought a moment of performance. The recital of a tale.
And they told that tale for us as we waited in our cells. Turned out Thomas and Bree were an item and that Thomas used to work on the docks, but due to a union strike he was down on his luck. Which sucked. But his love to Bree seemed to get them through. Sounded tough though. So tough.
This tale and their holding up traffic seemed to finally get them through the gate. REally it just sounded like they annoyed the hell out of the guards. But whatever, not my story.
So they get through the gate and make it to the house of Ravenclaw. The guards don’t want to let them in but Simple does his tricks with the invisible hand and they finally annoy their way through and are made to wait in the guardhouse on the property for the lord of the manor’s return.
While waiting the engage in a bit of gambling with the guards, but that all starts to go south when everyone playing catches everyone else cheating but before that can even be sorted out, Gnoman decides to do a bit of sorting of his own.
He starts trying to sort some folks from their lives. And then it goes crazy. They kill everyone in the guardhouse in the blink of an eye, which sounds like a wild embellishment. This Gnoman is made to sound like the incarnation of death the way his hand axes chew through the guards and their captain.
This is the point where the story becomes less than believable but nobody stops Simple since he seems to be on a roll.Thomas who believes himself something of a “horse whisperer” heads off to the stables to procure horses to pull a carriage should the need for a speedy retreat be necessary, which seems harmless enough a task in and of itself, while the rest of the crew heads towards the house.
Along the way they find that there are some statues on display in front of the mansion, but when Bree stumbles on a branch they come to life and call out “Who goes there?” or somesuch. This party of murderous debt collectors throw up the illusion of the captain they just got done killing and when pressed for confirmation the bard imitates his voice, which is kind of awesome from a get away with something crazy perspective. It’s a shame that when that was happening Thomas had the same idea for an illusion with the old man that runs the stables. Why was this a bad idea you might ask? Well because the old man running the stables could see behind Thomas and see the other fake guard captain helping up his tripped “lover”. Which was the beginning of things going from sideways to pear-shaped.
The old man called for some bruiser types to come out and beat the tar out of Thomas. Simple and the rest hurried up there to help clear out the opposition and Simple had the brightest of ideas that fire cleanses all, even a bad reception. So he torched the stables.
From here it was just about a jaunt through the house to look for the armor and after a bit it was found, but after checking the room for traps and upon opening the armor case, since calling to Ravenclaw to come pay his debt went nowhere, some statuary in that room promptly beat the holy hell out of Simple, leaving him battered and unconscious on the floor of the room the armor was displayed in.
After those with him had dispatched the displays they tended to Simple and got him back on his feet, but he was pissed. Like really, really, “just back from the brink of death” pissed. So while his group did what any group would do, search the house for items of value, he’d had enough of these shenanigans and had decided to just burn it all to the ground. So he was pitching lamps every which way setting the house ablaze. His group found the body of Ravenclaw in an upstairs room dead, and he had been for some time.
Now, if his story is to be believed, while all this was going on inside the house out on the property grounds Gnoman and Trevor were working as some sort of tandem death squad and they dispatched all of the remaining guards (I am doubtful of their over a dozen men dispatched claim) in the same intervening time.
Once done inside, everyone regrouped on the lawn and made their way back to the money lender who had hired them in the first place. When they got there and before their entry a man in a red cloak was seen exiting the building. When they went in, they found that the room was filled with guards and Yorick, who promptly fingered them for the job and off to the jails they went to await their “speedy” trial.
That was roughly a month or so prior to our arrest so we were told to expect a timely trial.
That night I had the strangest dream. It was dark and bone-chilling cold. There were black feathers everywhere and a cacophony of birds screaming in the dark. A voice called out to me from the darkness asking what I would give to be free from this prison. I said I would give anything. The voice seemed to laughed from all around me and said I need only pledge my service to her. I said certainly, whatever it took. She said that she would contact me again when the time was right, but that at that moment fate had a different plan.
I never got to finish the dream because in the middle of the night we were awakened by the sound of someone being thrown into our cell. Turns out that Fayne had mounted something approximating an escape attempt, an attempt she swore was going so close to perfectly that all the gods were smiling on her endeavor (hard to believe) when she was unceremoniously bludgeoned on the back of the head and dumped at the guards feet. She swore that the person who did it was Vessa, our traveling companion but that Vessa wasn’t Vessa. She was a man in disguise. A man with a red cloak. By The Three, what had we stumbled into?