Tensions were running high as the last of the thugs were put down. There was an exchange between the Red Raven and Cheech “Badrock” Bedrock and Christian took note that the bar staff in their silken clothes were nervously shuffling by the tables and exchanged looks with their boss.
The Red Raven ordered a round of drinks for his Unkindness, ordering a “Holy Bartender” for himself as he approached Cheech with a rapier drawn. Cheech lowered his crossbow and made eyes for his girls to drop their guard. He wasn’t happy about what had transpired, but he wasn’t looking for any more trouble or negative attention drawn to his place of business. At very least, the thugs were very quickly bound and piled up outside of the tavern for the guards to discover.Only Lance actually took his drink, feeling as though he had earned it.
As the group worked, tending to the deadly wounds of some thugs and tying them up, the infamous “Stick-Man” revealed himself to be a young man, barely more than a boy. His face was painted with some kind of stage makeup in an attempt to look older. Campbell remarked that that he was more of a twig than a stick and nicknamed the boy “Twiggy.” The boy took no offence, and seemed to be genuinely interested in helping. He was a big fan and claimed he’s been working with the Raven all along, citing the morning at the Jarl’s longhouse as an example. Campbell seemed to recognize something about the boy, but it was neither the time nor the place to hash that out.
Twiggy informed the Red Raven and his party that he had taken the liberty of staking out the place under the guise of a practical joke for the regulars who had become bored with the same old, unmoving stickman. The joke was on Cheech as the position allowed him to sit and listen and observe the place in relative peace. He said that the beautiful girls, in particular, were trouble, taking advantage of young and innocent adventuring types. Getting them drunk, loving them up, stealing their goods, and dumping them somewhere else. Cheech took offence to the kid talking so openly about his operations and without outright admitting to his crimes, said he should fire the kid for his allegations. The boy quite simply told him he could take the job and re-staff it.
Twiggy also took notice of the actions of Herman, who had been offering work and paying people out of the bar these past few nights. Strangely, Herman would occasionally come up from the basement without having previously entered through the front door. This information gave the Red Raven and the party exactly the line of questioning they required of the man.
They struck a deal with Cheech to use his kitchen downstairs as an interrogation room. The Raven trusted Christian and Lance with interrogating Herman. He didn’t trust Cheech, so he Redden and Twiggy remained upstairs to avoid any funny business.
Lance took on the roll of ‘bad guard’, donning Jack’s mask and a few kitchen knives to intimidate the criminal. Christian, took on a softer touch as the ‘good guard’ who could potentially protect the poor guy from Lance’s harsh methods, if only he could tell them everything he knew. It didn’t take long before Herman went from tough and ignorant, but sobbing and spilling out all the secrets he knew. He valued his toenails and really wanted the man in the iron mask away from him.
He revealed the he was indeed paying out the copper and silver out of the Drowning Cat Tavern for Mr. Big. Big was operating underground, in a literal sense. He had a hideout in the sewers, and those in the know could find the place through the many turns in the tunnels by following chalk markings on the wall shaped like circles with arrows pointing in the right direction. He assured the men that they would find no trouble or traps should they follow the markings.Most importantly, he told them Big and his right hand man Mr. Dinero were having a midnight meeting with people hired to kill the Red Raven and that a message would be delivered to the Raven tonight.
When Christian and Lance came back upstairs they walked in as the Red Raven was completing a speech about how crime doesn’t pay and how justice always catches up with criminals. They took Campbell aside and informed him of what they were told. He immediately went outside and mumbled under his cloak for a moment. A raven appeared out of nowhere and headed off in a north easterly direction, where the party were told Michael was also playing the role of the Red Raven. He informed the party that with the meeting fast approaching, this would be a good time to deal a decisive blow to Mr. Big before things could escalate further. He said the party should get whatever things they needed from Boram’s boat as quickly as possible, so that they could head underground before the city guards arrived at the Drowning Cat.
The party did exactly that, deciding to get underground before they lost time to answering questions from the guards. They left that responsibility to Twiggy who was disappointed to not join the Red Raven’s Unkindness, but happy to provide the help required of him. He promised to do his best to further the Red Raven’s agenda and to make sure the men they arrested were brought to justice. Tonight, the city jails would likely be filled with broken men telling the stories of the Red Raven and his Unkindness.
Blackfeather stayed safely above ground, circling nervously in the skies while Tequila took her place hiding in Lance’s backpack ready to provide support if need be. The party went down to the kitchen in the basement of the tavern and into the sewers.
It was dark and smelled bad, as they expected. Redden found his mythic eyes quickly adjusted to the environment. He promptly discovered bootprints and followed them to the first chalk marking on the wall. So far, Herman’s intel seemed legitimate. Campbell put on some goggles and said he’d keep watch for trouble from behind and that the party should take the lead in getting them all to Big’s hideout.
Round some bends, following the markings, and taking leaps across stagnant waters, Redden found a torch lit at a door and a large collection of dirty boots. He didn’t notice activity coming from within, and took it upon himself to throw the boots into the waters to prevent anyone inside from giving chase. He collected his friends and they had to decide on a plan. They could kick the door in, or try for a stealthy approach. They decided that a mix of the two would likely be the best method. They’d try to be sneaky, but would be at the ready for fighting should it come down to it.
It was somewhere around midnight when they opened the unlocked door to what they believed to be Mr. Big’s hideout. Within they found that the first room was surprisingly clean for a sewer. A cloakroom/supply closet full of cleaning supplies, clean boots, candles, and more alluded to this place being well kept. A heavy door lead to the south, and a door to the east was slightly ajar and from inside came the sound of two men talking and a mix of scents that the party identified as scented candles and marinara sauce. This combined with the smell of the sewers behind them made for an almost sickening mix. They listened to the men.
The men conversed about whom they thought would be the one to kill the Red Raven: the dwarf, the archer, or the guy with the knives. The party took their chances trying to disguise themselves as hired men here for the meeting. Lance used his hat to make himself a “dwarf” of a man. Redden was already good at passing for an archer. Christian decided to just look tough while the Red Raven and Tequila kept to the back, ready to assist at a moment’s notice.
The party knocked and went in. They introduced themselves, and one uneasy look later Christian found himself knocking out the first guy and his friends finished the rest without even the need for the Red Raven to intervene. They had a moment to gather themselves as more voices came from a door in the south east corner of the room. They tried to hold off attention with a bluff and some time to close some doors and to take a look at a list held by one of the men in the kitchen.
They noticed quite a few names and brief descriptions listed, crossed out were "Frank the Tank " “The Sterling Archer” and “Slash” The party took note that these people must all ready be here, while others may not have arrived. Lance took a look at the list and decided to disguise himself with his mask as “The Immolator” someone hiding their burned face from the world. Redden found himself drawn to someone listed as “Quiet Archer – Silent but deadly.” Christian, again decided to just look tough and see how it goes.
Someone was coming from behind the door and there wasn’t much time to worry about fabricated identities. They knocked out the first man to get in their way and headed into a long, narrow hallway with the Immolator at the front and The Red Raven climbing and moving along the ceiling along with Tequila, in an effort to move just out of sight above the doors to the west. They had almost reached the end of the hall when the door opened and someone stepped right in front of Lance. Lance did his best to impersonate the Immolator, but his lack of knowledge about the character and a particularly insightful thug prevented their success. Men started to stir in their barracks to the west, but the party was quick enough to not suffer a pincer attack in the hall and could instead fight their way into the barracks and take advantage of the wider space. The party noted that between the kitchen and barracks, the furniture and décor of this hideout looked like it was stolen from a nobleman’s mansion.
Together, they quickly dispatched of the men until only one remained. Campbell, as the Red Raven, tried to get more information out of the last one standing. Utterly intimidated, the man spilled that Big and everybody were around the corner in the meeting room and likely questioning the prisoners. When pressed on the subject, the goon said there were two prisoners… an old lady and some guy with a messed up face. Campbell gasped and knocked out the man. Recognizing this as likely the “message” for the Red Raven, he aid that the group best move fast. If Garret and Agnes were in trouble, they needed to act now. He stressed that while he did care for Garret, it was utmost importance that they rescue Agnes and ensure her safety. He told them to be ready to fight as he rushed around the corner and listened at the slightly open door.
In the surprisingly opulently decorated room, someone was indeed questioning Garret about the identity of the Red Raven. He was still healthy enough to play “dumb” and claim that the inn was named after THE Red Raven and that whoever was running around in the cowl must be a copycat, though he must be doing something right if they are that scared. This upset his captors who went on to threaten him with a crossbow and hurting the old lady.
With this Campbell A. Williams, the Red Raven, nodded to his allies and burst through the door and engaged the enemy. He rushed in and put on a dazzling display with his aklys, swinging it with such grace and precision to add weight to his growling words, warning them against hurting anyone. Many in the room were shaken by his sudden, and surprising appearance.
He warned his group to watch the corners he noted a bit of a crowd.
Across from him, he spotted a halfling sitting on a desk with a crossbow (Mr. Big) and a heavily armored dwarf at his side (Frank the Tank.) In the center of the room was a tall, imposing man with a heavy mace on his shoulder (Bobby Dinero, the money man) stood above Garret, who was tied to a chair. In the corners were some thugs, and people matching the descriptions of Slash and the Sterling Archer. Mr. Big and Mr. Dinero were wearing some sleak looking parade armor, while the other Lance would go on to recognize as clothes pertaining to guilds of bodyguards, bounty-hunters, and could assume the last with his dark clothes, knives, and vials was an assassin.
The halfling “Mr. Big” inspired the men in the room with a promise of 1000gp to the one who killed the Red Raven, and 100gp for any of his helpers. He himself stuck to his desk and kept his bodyguard by his side. This was his way of mitigating their fears and helping them get the drop on the Red Raven, but he didn’t count on the Raven having such capable help.
The party wasted no time, and put to use their gods-given abilities to coordinate their movement and attacks accompanied by a rousing soundtrack by their angelic companion. They stormed into the room and Redden and Lance dispatched the Sterling Archer. Lance fell the handsome bounty hunter as he attempted to make a last ditch point-black shot. Christian cornered the assassin Slash, keeping the agile killer at bay. Without a flanking partner or room to maneuver, and despite some attempted trickery, he was quickly brought to the brink of defeat. A closer look at his snarling pale green face revealed to Christian that this assassin was another of the mutated people of Aveh, much like the bandit leader King Kilmister he defeated in Kili’s Quarry.
Campbell, who had leaped to the side of his friend and smashed Mr. Dinero on the head, warned the party of strangely uneven ground beneath the rugs. The party took positions to put a choke on “Bobby.” Mr. Big took offense to their dirty boots treading through his home and on his nice rugs, but had trouble coordinating his men from behind an illusionary curtain drawn shut by the tiny lyrakien, Tequila. Christian nearly fell through the floor after charging over the rugs in the center of the room. It seemed to be that they did more than just tie the room together. Tequila provided even more support with the wand of grease to hinder the movements of Bobby and Slash.
The session ended mid combat, the party with the upperhand, and Bobby trying to get Big’s attention to look at Lance’s mask. How did he recognize it?
END OF SESSION
Stickman / Twiggy: Young sellsword working undercover and trying his best to impress the Red Raven
Cheech Bedrock: He and his girls are kind of small-time and usually prey on naïve adventurers. Agreed to be helpful if the Red Raven and his Unkindness put a stop to all the fighting in his establishment and stay out of trouble.
Herman: Thoroughly intimidated by Lance’s kitchen knives and cutting words spilled the beans about Big’s underground hideout, secret meeting, and plans to send a message to the Red Raven.
Campbell A. Williams / The Red Raven: Conjures birds and has some cool goggles. Let you take point a number of times this night.
Mr. Big Described as a hulking man, but looks like a halfling to you. A bit of a neat-freak and kinda hates you right now.
Mr “Bobby” Dinero: Big’s money man and consigliere.
Sterling Archer: Bountyhunter proficient in hunting for men in urban environments. Was armed with a well-made composite shortbow.
Slash: Green skinned, mutate assassin with a penchant for knives.
Frank The Tank Bodyguard. You assume it’s a dwarf under all that metal. Has a long lucerne hammer.
Garrett Anravis and Agnes: Taken prisoner and paying the price for working at a place called the Red Raven Inn. Campbell seems particularly protective of Agnes.