Week 2 finds us back at The Basement game store in Zone Rosa, northland Kansas City, for another round of killing bad guys and taking their stuff. Tomight we had a full table of 6 players, using all pregens with the exception of one of the clerics for a second wizard made using the Red Box. Three of the players were returning from last week, and three were new. The three new players were two kids in the 10-12 range, and their mom who I convinced to play. (I am good at convincing people to play.) I probably could have convinced a few more people to play, since I recognized one or two walk-ins from last week, but since I had a full party, I decided to let them come over if they want. Instead the ended up at the Magic card game table.
Aside: It was very strange playing in the store this session. There were quite a few people playing Magic. They were very quiet, almost silent as they played. Meanwhile, my voice, so used to large crowds packed into small spaces, was literally ringing out through the store. Sometimes I felt like I was describing the action to the whole store as we played. It was cool. (I am a closet exhibitionist. I know, closets are not the optimal place for exhibitionism, but I am crazy like that.)
The nights encounter began in the cave that had been so recently full of living, breathing reptilian humanoids, including the dragonborn Kesk, and his drake-hound Fido. They were now crumpled bundles in the corner. The party retrieved a shivering, ill Gordi from a shallow pit in the cave floor, found a stack of healing poultices in one corner of the chamber,and also a few coins for their trouble. The cleric Sola was pre-occupied, so one of the Eladrin wizards Faverel, tried a healing check on Gordi. The natural 1 he rolled, untrained in healing, led to a worsening of Gordis health. When Sola finally arrived on the scene, her healing skills were able to ease Gordis pain somewhat, but she could not make sense of his delirium. There was a puncture wound in his arm that glowed red and hot from some kind of poison. She wrapped a cloak over him, Quinn threw him over his shoulder, and the party started back for Restwell Keep.
The darkening clouds that had been threatening all day finally opened wide as afternoon turned to evening. With the added burden of Gordi it took longer to reach their new home. Questioning him along the way, the got the barest bit of a picture of what happened. Jumped from behind after work by unknown assailants, he was knocked out and woke up with the lizards all around him. He kept repeating “No more lizards…”
The fat, jolly friar was waiting impatiently just inside the gates as the party trudged up the road towards the keep. Benwick couldn’t wait to see his friend and rushed forward to help with Gordi. He seemed very relieved that the man was alive, and congratulated the party on their success. He handed Gordi off to his assistant Juriel, and with half the party, the took Gordi to Benwicks apartment to see to his health, while Benwick led the other half of the party to the tavern for a meal.
As the first group saw to Gordis health, the second sat and spoke with Benwick for a moment, who informed tham that he had a room reserved for their use, and that he had spies set out around Ronnicks bank. If anything happened, he would know where to find them. Otherwise, in the morning, if Gordi was feeling better, they would deal with the corrupt banker.
So saying, he left the inn and met the other half of the party in the town square, just coming in from getting Gordi settled. Benwick told them the same thing he told the others, and ambled off towards home. Meanwhile, the little Halfling Merrick watched Benwick leave the tavern, and was surprised to notice another of his kind tucked in behind the coat rack next to the door, spying on them. The other Halfling saw he was spotted and slipped out behind Benwick. The party followed and regrouped outside the tavern just as the Halfling spy set off an ambush of thugs crouching in the shadows of the rain-soaked town square.
There were many thugs, but the majority wore rags and carried improvised clubs. They were led by 3 ‘captains’ with heavy iron maces and hardened leather armor, and by the Halfling spy who turned to attack once his allies were engaged with the party.
The battle was fast and furious, and it was surprisingly dangerous for the party. The minions went first and they all charged, two on each fighter, and one got a lucky hit on the other wizard Berrian. The dwarf held the north end of the battle, while Quinn the knight held the south. The bandits were next to go, and two of them held back and threw daggers, while the third charged the wizard Faverel. Next up Merrick the Crazy climbed a nearby building. First he threw his dagger and did massive damage against one of the thugs, and next turn he followed it up by leaping off the building onto the thugs back, driving a second dagger next to the first.
On the third round of combat, each of the wizards and the Halfling rogue went down. Faverel was cut off on the other side of the town square, and the mace man prepared a coup de grace. The wizard Berrian couldn’t stand up to the thugs at close range, and poor Merrick, after flying off the roof, was caught between two thugs and took a double pummeling.
The cleric was dazed by one of the mace men, but even with butterflies buzzing around her head, she still managed to stay standing, and cast a healing spell that healed Berrian with a little left over for Merrick. Poor Faverel was down and out, and slipped closer to eternal slumber with each passing second. Luckily, he had help when Quinn turned his back on the thug he was sparring with to run to stand over Berrian. He couldn’t heal him, but he could make life difficult for the mace man trying to splatter Faverels brains onto the cobbles.
Meanwhile a group of children had taken up watch from an alleyway and were chucking rotten potatoes at the robbers, who were strangers to the townsfolk. As Quinn took out the thug threatening Faverel, the slayer was chopping through the minions on his end of the field. One thug remained standing, and the slayer turned his anger on his enemy. Just as he swung his axe for the kill a starving dog ran out into the melee and the dwarf grabbed that dog and hit the thug twice, once with his axe, once with the dog, killing him. The battle was won, though it was a close call.
Hopefully their bowls of gruel were still warm.