HDQ3.02: Rescuing Leosin, part two

The level three heroes this session

Brog, human-reared dwarven Life cleric of Chauntea;
Kael, human fighter/Battle Master;
Lapis, two-sword wood elf rogue/Assassin;
Zebedee, forest gnome wizard/Bladesinger

Supported by Worm (NPC this session) Bramble the halfling druid, and Erevan the elf ranger

The story so far

Greenest demands answers! The heroes are asked to gather, and promised a reward for, the whys and wherefores of the bandit attack! They travel south towards the badlands, manage to fight off a hasty ambush, and with the information gleaned from their prisoner, plan to rescue Leosin the half-elf monk. He is another of their main objectives and will have much intel on the attackers. Those attackers appear to be led by dragon cultists… though what the dragon cult is doing in the Greenfields of outer Elturgard is anyone’s guess.

Decision one

The party wisely decides to be guided by Erevan. This avoids any further trouble getting to the camp, which as they have been told already, is a long horseshoe canyon into the plateau that marks the badlands’ beginning.

So much later the same night, they peer down from the lip of the canyon, roughly at the 2 o’clock position around the canyon, at a ladder that descend to the first shelf. There, a watchtower has been raised. They can all see in the dark (apart from Worm who is ready to reinforce but not in a position to sneak about) and catch sight of men atop the watchtower.

Decision two, and deception one

At first they are inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth, and walk a little farther clockwise. Just in time, Lapid hears an oncoming patrol and gestures them down into hiding!

Returning to the ladder they opt to clamber down. Here is where gear becomes crucial. Lapis makes it easily, but Brog and Kael clank a bit, especially the former. A watch-guard comes down with a torch after challenging and receiving the hail to she who must rise. Kael glibly explains his presence (the other two are hiding) and the guard is satisfied. Zeb climbs down quietly and, dressed as a ragged prisoner, is escorted down into the camp proper.

Many camps, many factions

Again as they have been told, there are numerous ruffianlike factions here. They wander to and fro, hearing or bumping into Storm Fists, Red Sun, Black Sail, and leadership. Nearby the latter camp Lapis manages to catch sight of a figure bound to an x-frame. That will be Leosin, at least if the hunter who has explained all this was telling the truth.

However, the nearest guards to Leosin are alert, and bid this new “prisoner” be taken away to the kobolds, so they head west, seeking more intel and the other prisoners. At one point Kael recognizes the Black Sail of his arch-nemesis, K’Var the half-orc. Lapis speaks to an evil wizard of the pirate crew, but (although it seems as though the wizard penetrates his story) does not have his cover blown.

Grog and prisoners

At length they find the kobold tents, not far south from the kobold watchtower at the west end, where only three prisoners are left. The gaoler seems to be a dwarf, good-humored at first, who gives Kael a swig of grog.

But then on being asked about the prisoners, becomes quite suspicious. Kael uses sleight of hand and the darkness to slide Zeb’s rapier to him, drifts off and decides on plan b, cause a distraction by BURNING a campsite!

Meanwhile Zeb is thrown down with the other three, Brog soothes the gaoler’s amor propre and there is a spell of calm. The gaoler heads away to get more grog. Had they wished to, they could now simply guide the prisoners away. But they hesitate. Then Kael’s distraction begins!

Distractions and captives

This is a cultist campsite and they react quite badly on seeing a large armored man beginning to torch their tent.

“In the name of the Black Sail!” Kael bellows, and begins laying about him with his greatsword, then flees north-west back to the prisoners, leaving the cultists to put out the fire and blame Kael’s enemies.

Things are going well for Lapis meanwhile… he strikes up a conversation with a driver and learns that come first light the entire encampment will split up and go various ways. Then he sneaks towards the bound Leosin…

Until a blaze of fire off west tells him that he is running out of time! He speeds up, races around behind the monk, and begins two-sword slashing at the ropes. Leosin sags as they are cut: he is not capable of walking out under his own strength. Lapis will need help!

From the darkness, Worm materializes, as a third rope parts. But equally, a guard drake has caught wind of the unfamiliar presence, and a torch-bearing veteran cultist approaches! Worm throws himself at them, urging Lapis to get Leosin clear.

Success and Failure

At the far west, a running fight with kobolds sees Kael Brog and Zeb succeed in fleeing to where Bramble’s (or Erevan’s?) Entangle effect masks their retreat. They can use the druid and ranger to help hide up, then bring the three prisoners safely away once the cult has given up searching.

However, at the far east, there seem to be any number of both heavily-armed veterans and hefty guard drakes, and Lapis and Worm are about to be overwhelmed.

“I’ll tell the others!” Worm says and flees at top speed, far faster than word of his being there can reach the unwary guards. Leosin is captured once again, and now the cult has a new prisoner, Lapis of the Greenest Watch.

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