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Hackmaster episode 8

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

Noddy, having finally been released from Owin’s attentions, slunk back to join his fellows. Deciding that honesty is the best policy he spilt the beans (almost) and told them of the thief Lupin and his concerns about the interloper Owin. Fudging around some aspects of his own involvement, Noddy said that he had decided to help Owin and had visited Lupin one last time to arrange a meeting between the two. Noddy said this meeting was to take place at midnight on the town bridge.

 

What Noddy did not know was that most of his companions already knew about the gathering of thieves. Bic had been enlisted as a heavy by a merchant friend of Lupin’s, Aseravb was asked to provide protection by Owin’s wife Marla and Hero Tops had joined Sir Benson’s fledgling militia which planned on breaking up the power of both thieves.

 

As darkness fell, different members of the party slunk quietly away from the tavern. Noddy was first to go, hiding on the south side of the bridge, ostentatiously there to support Lupin but ready to shoot him in the back should Owin order it. Next to go was Aseravb. He too went into hiding, in a second storey window overlooking the bridge, where he waited with Marla. Next came Bic who hid near a rather startled Noddy, joining Lupin’s heavies to ambush Owin. Cedar and Hero Tops remained in the tavern where Corporal Tops was introduced to his new (and rather green) companions by Sir Benson.

 

As midnight arrived so did Owin. He strode onto the bridge where Lupin waited and entered into a muffled discussion. This ended abruptly when Lupin drew his sword and slashed at the other thief while screaming “now lads!” As Lupin’s heavies charged forward, Marla and Aseravb swung their window open and unleashed magical energies upon the thugs. Several went down in a blaze of colours. Noddy unleashed a sling stone at Lupin and cracked him hard on the back of the head, while the nearby Bic rained arrows upon Owin.

 

In the tavern Hero Tops heard the sounds of battle and tried to raise the militia with Sir Benson. The sergeant however, a large barrel of a man called Balto, was feeling the effects of a few too many drinks and was slow to gather his men. Eventually they were made ready and Sir Benson led them outside and towards the bridge. They arrived with a yell of “you there, halt!” from Sir Benson. The thieves froze momentarily and then ran – Lupin and his men to the south while Owin leapt from the bridge into the icy waters below. Corporal Tops led his men in pursuit of Lupin while his erstwhile companions ducked out of sight. As Hero Tops and Sir Benson cut down Lupin, Bic broke cover and started firing arrows at the swimming Owin. He was spotted by Sergeant Balto who led a group of militia men in pursuit. Bic fled into the night as his companions slunk off and a victorious Hero Tops dragged the unconscious Lupin into custody.

 

Back at the tavern acrimonious debate was joined between the adventurers. Cries of betrayal rang out along with accusations of dishonesty and disloyalty. Cedar, the only adventurer who remained neutral, tried to sooth the waters and pointed out that it was Godsday, a day of peaceful reflection on which violence played no part. Someone made a joke about being “Seventh Day Adventurists”.

 

Corporal Tops took up guard duty over Lupin. As morning came a short man approached and introduced himself as Lupin’s lawyer. Hero Tops told him to bugger off and Rebecca’d him with his magic spear – causing a small rain cloud to appear above his head. Shortly thereafter Corporal Tops was served with a harassment suit.

 

Meanwhile, Bic was rewarded for his night’s work with information about his sword. He was told that the sword was forged by an elf named Trinkle, a member of rebel elven forces fighting the Southern Orc League from the Suss Forest.

 

Cedar visited Cricket and discussed an alliance between the forest folk and the people of Farzy. Cricket said she would consider some form of mutual protection pact, but told him that old suspicions between the two sides would make anything more problematic.

 

Noddy spent a week training with Owin and Bic decided to abandon the party and set off to Greyhack in search of more information about his sword.

 

Shortly after Noddy finished his training, the party were roused from their inaction by yells and screams from the street outside the tavern. Lurching outside they were greeted with the sight of crowds hurling mud, stones and abuse at a group wearing druids’ robes and in particular at one of them number who was clearly an ogre. Cedar intervened and tried to calm the crowd, leading the druids to the grove where his old master lived. While Aseravb tried to distract the crowd with mindless chatter, Cedar talked to the head of these druids, Mossfoot, in relative peace. Mossfoot revealed that his order were on a pilgrimage to Hardby and that this journey served a two-fold purpose. The first was to atone for their failings to protect an area of the forest and to regain the favour of Ikka Paartang, and the second was to present the ogre, Norbert, to the druid’s grove to demonstrate that the grove’s energies might be better spent converting evil creatures rather than fighting them. Another druid, a terrified young man called Acorn, stepped forward and begged Cedar to save them from the crowds outside and lead them safely to Hardby. He promised that his family, who lived in that city, would reward them handsomely. Cedar swiftly agreed and the party adjourned to the tavern for the night.

 

The tavern was full of angry townspeople eager to kill Norbert as revenge for the recent sacking at the hands of his humanoid brethren. As Hero Tops tried to calm the crowd, Ugly appeared and yelled for Norbert’s head. There was a heated exchange of words between the two and Ugly threw a punch. The crowd erupted into a betting frenzy. Aseravb stumped 50gp on Ugly and cast a cantrip to make him look bigger. Hero Tops drew his sword and stabbed at his opponent. Some of the crowd roared in pleasure at seeing their fighter draw first blood, the other half screamed anger at the cheat who bought a sword to a fist fight. Hero Tops claimed victory and turned his back as Ugly took another swing at him. Corporal Tops’ supporters booed their anger. A punch was thrown in the crowd. Noddy tried to pick a book-maker’s pocket. Gold coins spilled onto the floor as the bookmaker spotted the attempt and lunged after Noddy. People dived in after the cash. More punches were thrown. A chair was hurled, shattering the large mirror behind the bar. Bic and Ugly shook hands and ordered a couple of pints. Noddy and Aseravb fled. The brawl spilled onto the street as Sir Benson tried desperately to pry people apart. Chaos reigned.

 

The party tried to sneak quietly out of town with the druids very early the next morning. A small crowd followed them hurling insults and mud. Hero Tops “Rebecca’d” one of them and the villager, fearing powerful magics, fled back into town in terror pursued by a small wet cloud. The rest of the crowd retreated murmuring angrily.

 

Along the road to Hardby, the party hide in the bushes as a large military convoy headed south past them. Stone-faced soldiers guarded heavily armoured wagons.

 

A night was passed in the wilds followed by another day of travel.

 

As night fell again the party were beset by bandits. Noddy shrugged off a mighty blow as Cedar and Aseravb combined their magics to entrap and render unconscious half of their foes. Combat was joined and a druid struck down. Aseravb smote a bandit with his quarterstaff while Norbert the ogre tried to protect his downed companion. As another blow rained upon the druid’s head Norbert roared in anger and struck back. The bandits fled and a tearful Norbert set off on the road home. Cedar caught up to him and tried to console the ogre, who was disgusted at himself for breaking an oath to refrain from fighting. Cedar sat down next to the sobbing ogre and persuaded him to carry on to Hardby (with the help of some cute animal friends).

 

After some discussion about killing the bandits caught in Cedar and Aseravb’s magical trap, Noddy and Hero Tops released them and for their troubles received a lecture from Cedar about the nature of good and evil and the need for capital punishment.

 

Onwards the party moved to Hardby. While Cedar led the druids around the city, Aseravb and Noddy escorted Acorn to his parents’ home so that they could collect their reward. On the way they noted the city’s new defences, a huge castle with the Greyhack standard flying above it, and a new “ambassador’s residence” overshadowing the Countess of Hardby’s palace. Soldiers wearing Greyhack livery marched arrogantly through streets of sullen crowds. Eventually Aseravb and Noddy delivered Acorn to his home in a wealthy part of town. As Acorn dashed inside and upstairs to his room, his long-suffering mother greeted the heroes with a sigh and asked how much Acorn had promised them. “100gp” they chorused. “Each or altogether?” she responded. “Each” came the lie in unison.

 

The party reconvened at the druids grove to the east of Hardby. Here they waited while the druids spoke to the Archdruid and his advisors. Cedar was called briefly into this meeting and asked his views, for it appeared that the Council could not decide whether Norbert was positive sign from Ikka Paartang or an abomination that should be executed. By the end of the day, they still had not made up their minds…

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