We Suck at Reconnaissance: Session 11
Figuring out the Situation: Luckily, our little hiding place in the sewers seemed to be unnoticed by the Scourge and whatever else was above our heads. Safe for now, we talked about what we should do next. This was tough, because of course none of us knew the true scale of what was happening in King’s Port. For example, Snowy thought that the temples would be safe, for some reason? And of course, we were all hoping that the king’s palace (or castle?) hadn’t been overcome yet. Finally, we decided to go through the pipes, then look out at different locations to try to get a lay of the land. Of course, we had no idea where the Scourge were concentrated or anything, so we just decided to start where we were. We went to a nearby sewer grate and looked out. It didn’t look like there were any enemies near it, so we pushed it aside and climbed out. We snuck around the houses and heard chains rattling. We looked in the direction that the noise had come from and saw prisoners chained to a big iron wheel. This wheel was further chained to a hulking Scourge beast, like the one that we had fought at the campfire the previous night. Looking closer, there were actually two of these wheel contraptions. I didn’t recognize any of the prisoners, but it seemed like the rest of the party did. Snowy specifically seemed to be fighting the temptation to go fight the Scourge beasts. I asked him about it and he told me about his date that he had planned for about a week ago, with a girl named Berina, who he pointed out to me among the prisoners. Then Tirondel told me about a guy named Jonas Sulk. I recognized him as a bartender, but I couldn’t remember where from. Once they had gone far enough away that they probably wouldn’t notice us, Snowy stepped out from behind the house we were hiding behind and began sneaking after them (without warning us, might I add). Thomdril reluctantly followed, not willing to let him go alone, and Tirondel and I followed, praying that Snowy would not be stupid enough to attack them. After all, I needed to get to the boss. These small fry would just slow me down. Luckily, nobody attacked them, and we were able to sneakily follow them. They went to a large building with chitin on top, just like the Scourge infested towers in Grommshold. What was more worrying than the towers, though, was the man dressed in all black from before, seemingly issuing orders to the Scourge and wither beasts. More Scourge and wither beasts came to him. The wither beasts dragged the prisoners into the large building, and the Scourge climbed up a tower covered in the same black chitin. Once we were sure it was safe, we snuck forward and around the corner. Seeing a sewer grate, we ran over to it and Tirondel pulled out his lock picks. He fiddled around in the lock until it popped open, and we all jumped in. We could make it look like the grate was locked, but couldn’t actually lock it again from the outside, so I tied a rope from the grate to a rung of the ladder that went down, so that if someone tried to open the grate, they hopefully wouldn’t be able to. I disguised the rope with some of the tree stuff that I had been carrying around, so that hopefully it wouldn’t be as noticable. We settled in for the night, and were able to get a good night’s sleep despite being in the middle of enemy territory. The next morning, we went out to see if we could find any patterns in their movements and openings that we could exploit. Everything seemed roughly the same, though, and it seemed that the prisoners would always be guarded by multiple wither beasts and many Scourge. Even if we were to get the drop on them, there was no guarantee that we would survive the battle. We argued about what to do as we hid in a small house. A Scourge climbed over the house, but didn’t seem to notice us. For once, Tirondel was advocating for straight up attacking the monsters. We were interrupted by the sound of Scourge, seemingly coming back to their towers from all over the city. We hid for hours. One Scourge even came in the house, but left without seeing us. We looked out and saw that there weren’t as many Scourge on the streets anymore. By now, it was almost pitch black outside. Tirondel wanted to speak to someone in the large building, so we decided to let him go. He ran up to the building, climbed up it to look inside a window that was high up on the wall, and we waited expectantly as he seemed to speak to someone behind it. Finally, he came back. He told us that he had talked to someone that he didn’t recognize, and that he couldn’t tell the person too much because ‘the Master’ could read their mind somehow if they thought about things, so he gave the person a fake name. Hopefully the master wouldn’t be able to get anything out of that. We slept for the night in the small house.
Finding the Resistance: The next morning, we saw Scourge climbing out of the chitinous tower and a wither beast with a group of prisoners, including Berina and Jonas. We followed them stealthily, and as we did, we saw another man also following them stealthily, between us and them. He wasn’t stealthy enough, though, and we saw a group of Scourge on a tower to the side of the street notice him and prepare to strike. They jumped at him. He tried to defend himself, but utterly failed. Thomdril swung and missed one, yelling at me to leave him one. Tirondel took out three with fire, and I, remembering what my father had taught me about the natural order of life, unleashed the force of nature upon them. I swung my axe in a horizontal slice, hitting one Scourge pretty badly and just annihilating the other. I also hit Tirondel, but he managed to block most of the attack on his shield. As Thomdril had asked, I had left him a weakened Scourge, who he easily dispatched. We met up with the man whose life we had just saved. We talked with him, and he told us that he was a resistance fighter and that he needed to go rescue a guy named Arwick, who apparently was the king’s advisor. He told us to stay where we were and keep an eye on Arwick as he went to gather up more forces. He left, and we saw what we hadn’t noticed before. The ruined building that the wither beasts and the prisoners had entered was the Galstaff Manor. All hope of the king and his family still holding out was gone. The building looked terrible, and as we watched, the ceiling collapsed, and we heard screams from inside it. I wanted to attack the wither beast standing guard, but Tirondel didn’t let me. We waited, and eventually the wither beast walked past us. We snuck behind him into the destroyed building. We saw a crater with six slaves in it, including Arwick. I let down a rope and the others climbed down. They noticed that Arwick was still alive, and attempted to resuscitate him. His eyes opened slowly. He said something, but it was quiet and I was too far away to hear it. Then I noticed something.
Utter Defeat: As this had been going on, an army of Scourge, wither beasts, and even the black clothed person had gathered around us. I challenged the ‘master’ to a duel. Finally, we could fight one on one. Before I could do anything, though, I heard a voice in my head, telling me to submit and drop my weapon. I steeled myself, but it wasn’t enough. Somehow, the voice overpowered me completely. My weapon, my prized greataxe, dropped slowly from my hands and I fell to my knees. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see the others doing the same, though Tirondel stayed up just barely, shaking. Tirondel, realizing that he had no chance of winning, sheathed his blade. We had been defeated.
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Epic!