Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sea Princes #24: Swashbuckling Action?

I'm still way behind on these reports, my apologies. Last time, the Bird of Prey sent five intrepid crewmen to go spring imprisoned Captain "Ironclaw" McGrath from his prison in Sasserine, so as to use him as ransom for the captured sage Lockard Meek. The men chosen were all of questionable judgement:

W.B. McGarnagle (fighter, desecration of a shrine)
Wodrick "Shank" Grubbyhill (bard, maiming an officer)
"Blonde" Barry Picaroon" (fighter, inciting a riot)
"Two-Bit" Jack Ginth (rogue, grand arson)
and Billy Palsy (rogue, jailbreaking)

With smoke at their back, weapons drawn and Cudgel watchmen closing in, the five sprung into action by....splitting up! Bill Palsy retreated through the kitchen and smoke to emerge in the rear courtyard. Still disguised in uniform, he went running for a far tower to bluff another guard into helping him evacuate all prisoners due to the fire. Blonde Barry Picaroon bull rushed his way past a couple guards at the door and got outside as well. In an attempt to blend in with the confused crowd of watchmen (and no doubt to show off his physique), Barry took his shirt off and went running to find Billy. Meanwhile, tiny Wodrick "Shank" Grubbyhill hid under a great hall table and drew his blades as two armed guards went peeking under them to find him. One got hamstringed, while another got stabbed in the voice box for getting too close. The guards were careful in moving in on the gnome, so seizing his chance, Wodrick ran out from under the tables and entered a side chamber then closed the doors and barred it with a tall candlestand before his pursuers could get the gumption to come after him.

Meanwhile, acrobatic Two-Bit Jack Ginth rode a rope up to the balcony and sent a chandelier crashing down around a group of guards. His comrade in crime, W.B. McGarnagle roughed his way and disarmed a guard to get outside after Blone Barry. McGarnagle sacrificed his sword to bar the portal temporarily and give him time to dash toward a sounding bell tower marked with the symbol of St. Cuthbert. An avowed pyromaniac, Ginth ran along the balcony knocking over lamps and lanterns and setting tapestries afire as the guards turned and ran up the stairs to head him off again. He kicked out a window however and deftly dropped down by way of a torn tapestry to the courtyard below In the distance he saw the same bell tower that McGarnagle had entered.

After Wodrick took the time to barricade himself in the west wing of the central manor, he did a quick search and found a small locked coffer in an office (chest sized to a gnome). Cackling at his luck, the crafty gnome bard hefted the container and looked for another way out...Billy Palsy and Barry Picaroon ran through a hysterical crowd following a duped guard toward the last tower in the garrison. The one holding the prison block. Once inside they ascended some stairs and were met by the loyally unmoving turnkey of the prison tower. Not a bluff from Billy nor an intimidating threat from Barry would move this man. "If the tower caught on fire, the scum in here would deserve to burn!" he declared. In a hurry, Palsy knifed the duped guard and Blonde Barry clubbed the turnkey unconscious. Taking both their uniforms off, they hurried up to the cells above to find Ironclaw McGrath.

Out of frying pan and into the fire, McGarnagle was discovered by a trio of armored Cuthbertian priests inside the chapel tower. up above another priest rang the bell to warn the city of the fire. Assuming he was the source of the mayhem, the priests raised their maces and closed in. McGarnagle had had enough and dashed toward a stained glass window depicting Cuthbert and crashed through it to make his escape through a garden. The cries of desecrator were faintly heard as he ran toward the nearest alley. Behind him in the confusion, Two-Bit had entered the same tower and rushed up the circular stairs toward the bell tower. Attempting to set fires as he went along the vicious Ginth finally reached the top and pushed an unwary bell-ringer down to his death on the chapel floor below. Standing on the ledge at the top of this turret he surveyed the city from the smoldering garrison and leapt into the night....

Blonde Barry and Billy Palsy finally found McGrath as well as his first mate from the Hideous, Symeon Flynch. After explaining what ship they hailed from and who was breaking him out, McGrath seemed pleased with this turn of fate and the pair manacled him and freed him from the cell. Symeon Flynch was given the keys and allowed to free himself. He would willingly go anywhere his captain went even into hostage if it meant being on a ship out of Sasserine. The Bird of Prey would be in just as much trouble as them if anyone found out who freed them after all. Using rope he brought from the ship, Barry, Billy and prisoners climbed down from a parapet to the far side of the wall; from there they slipped discreetly back to their waiting gondola to sneak back to their ship. Amazingly, W.B. McGarnagle was there waiting for them. He could only venture that Two-Bit and Shank were dead or captured. McGrath greeted his former crewman and said no more until they were safely onboard the Bird and sailing out to bay with streams of smoke rising behind them in the predawn sky.

Epilogue: Horses raced for safety, wagons rolled out of the gates, and concerned citizens rushed to and fro with water buckets. In the pandemonium none noticed a small silhouetted figure waddling out the front gate carrying a money laden coffer...

Game notes: That was an amazing session needless to say. Tracking the action in multiple directions was a challenge but the players were quite into the thrilling mayhem they caused. In the end they did the right thing, but in the process left the door open to play some of these troublemakers again someday.

1 comment:

Anthony N. Emmel said...

I love the desecration of teh shrine. My LE cavalier of Hextor would heartilt approve!