In room number 3, Franklin Harick, a young man with extraordinary powers, and an even more extraordinary debt was doing his best to enjoy a Wednesday evening in his “home” in the Stella Sabbia, an inn. Despite the ruckus going on in the tavern below him, he had full intentions to settle in for the night. Pillow over his head to drown out the sound, he began to sleep.
Meanwhile, the young gnome woman, Panbatter entered the inn, with ’Renzo, her young troll ward in tow. The strange duo had been travelling for almost a full day from the encampment of the Exodus from the South, and were hoping for a place to rest their bones for the evening. Shouldering their way through the crowd gathered at the Stella Sabbia, they approached the clerk, Panbatter kindly asking if they had any rooms left. The clerk was kind, if short with her, and for a small fee gave her a room, and a key to room number 3. The two prompty headed up to their room.
Franklin, only half asleep, heard his door being toyed with. Jumping out of bed, and grabing a spear, he shouted, “Who’s there?” Of course, on the other side of the door was Panbatter and ‘Renzo. "Uh, it’s just the two of us here to rest in the room we paid for," Panbatter insisted, opening the door. Franklin, gaping at ‘Renzo and the huge blade he carried, was apparently concerned about his outstanding debt to the owners of the inn, lied: "I’m all paid up!" “Well, uh, so are we,” Panbatter insisted.
The conversation continued between Franklin and the duo, while another pair were busy paying for their stay at the inn. Enter Ru and and Mae, a pair of elves who had just come to town. For a small fee they got a key to their room for the evening. Room number three.
Panbatter and Franklin continued to argue over just who gets the room, while Ru and Mae made their way to their room. Of course, like Panbatter before them, they were stunned to find that their room was already occupied. After a brief arguement amongst all of them, they all went downstairs to talk to the clerk that had given them their keys (with the exception of ’Renzo, who had already gotten comfortable on one of the two beds in the room). The clerk explained to them that the Stella Sabbia was extraordinarly busy this evening, and that they either share the room and get along or sleep in the streets and, quickly after, the jail.
“But, I’m all paid up,” Franklin demanded, “That room’s mine!”
“Franklin,” the clerk explained calmly, “You haven’t paid in three weeks.” Prompty after hearing that, Panbatter laughed, and headed back upstairs to get some rest. Franklin flustered, pulled a few coin out to count it, while Ru leaned in and spoke to the clerk in hushed tones.
“How about I give you ten gold if you kick someone out of another room?” Ru suggested.
“I’ll take your ten gold,” the clerk said as he smiled, “and you can go to any room you want and kick out the drunken and potentially belligerent brouhaha that are occupying the room. Let me know how that goes.”
“You have a good point,” Ru noted.
“Yes, I do.”
Dejected, Ru and Mae headed back upstairs to see if they could negotiate with the gnome and the troll that had gotten there before them. Franklin quickly put a few coin on the counter for the clerk and hurried upstairs to get himself a piece of floor. After arguing with each other over arrangements, they all went about their own business in the tavern below (Ru telling a story to some of the crowd, and working them afterwards, Panbatter bringing some food up to ’Renzo and Franklin, desperately, trying to get some sleep), before settling in for the evening. ’Renzo snored loudly. Everyone else slept badly.
In the morning, everyone awoke to the sudden silence of ‘Renzo no longer snoring. Stretching, rubbing their sore backs from sleeping on the floor (except Franklin, who somehow managed to keep his bed) and getting ready for the day. It wasn’t long, though, before the lot of them started to realize the whole of Stella Sabbia was eerily quiet. Panbatter and Mae wandered down to the tavern to find it empty, and Ru did a little investigating of his own (popping into other rooms in the inn), and Franklin decided it was best to check outside. ‘Renzo stayed behind. "I didn’t sleep too good," he insisted.
While the party inside the Stella Sabbia had no luck, Franklin stumbled out to see a huge crowd gathered in front of the schoolhouse. When Franklin went to investigate, he heard cries of the townsfolk, people demanding entrance to the schoolhouse and obscenities being tossed from all directions. The Cinq guard stood in front of the schoolhouse, making sure that no one was granted access. Franklin asked about as to what was going on, and a few people told him, interrupting each other, “Ferd and his gang have broken into the schoolhouse and they’ve taken the children hostage! They’re demanding thousands of gold for their release!” Hearing this, Franklin joined in the yelling for a bit, then ran back to the Stella Sabbia to spread the news.
Franklin ran up to his new roommates just as they left the Stella Sabbia. “Something terrible’s happened!” Franklin shouted. “Someone,” he added in his most heroic tone, “should DO something!” He then went on to tell them about what had happened in the schoolhouse. Panbatter’s eyes almost bubbled up with tears. Ru and Mae discussed with each other the potential for profit. After talking about it for a bit, they decided to all go their seperate ways for a bit to see what kind of information they could churn up about the situation, and meet back up at the inn in about an hour.
What the party had discovered in that hour is that the gang had taken over not only the school, but one of the teacher’s houses, a farm and a pig shed. Prying more information out of the locals, they found that the teacher whose house that was is particularly cautious – her room was always locked shut. The party gathered they could easily sneak into the house and get some information out of the gang members hold up on the house, if they snuck in via that teacher’s bedroom. Which is what they set out to do.
Mae made use of her grappling hook to set a rope up on a second story window, and Ru scrambled up it to and popped the simple lock on in. The rest of them scrambled up in the room in suit. Investigating the room, they noted, quickly,that this was, indeed, the teacher’s room. The door was locked from the inside, and none of the gang had seemed to have been successful in getting in here. Mae listened at the door and heard goblins chattering somewhere else in the house. She opened the door and stepped out, but, picked the squeakiest board in the house to put her foot down on – the goblins quieted down, and went up to investigate. Mae and the rest of the party ducked back into the room, locked the door and layed as quiet as they could be. The goblins came around to the door, but, finding it locked, went back to their old business – raiding the teacher’s food supplies.
“This lady doesn’t have cats, does she?” a goblin was heard to ask.
Ten minutes of laying silently in the room, Ru decided that he should be the one that should go out and investigate. Opening the door again, he snuck out into the house, to see where the goblins were. He soon found that there was something of a foyer overlooking the kitchen, where the goblins were sitting and eating – talking loudly to each other, but not as loudly as they were before. Ru investigated the rest of the second story, and went back to formulate a plan with the group.
Ru proposed that he taunt the goblins into coming upstairs, and that the rest of the group ambush them. But, as Ru snuck back out to the foyer, he found that same squeaky board. Throwing his usual caution to the wind, he stood over the half-wall and looked down at the goblins, brandishing a book that he had found earlier. “Hey, guys, I’m having a little trouble with my math homework,” Ru said, smiling, “Do you think you guys could help?” It was then that Panbatter ran to the foyer, and jumped over the half-wall, with a great gnomish warcry. The goblins screamed like little girls.
A brief battle ensued – Mae jumped down into the kitchen and onto a table, while Ru and Franklin occupied the goblins from above. Franklin managed to cloud the mind of one of the goblins with his magic, while Panbatter and Mae layed into the rest. Mae took a javelin to the side, but it didn’t slow her down one bit. After taking down the unwanted houseguests, the lone goblin remaining (whose mind had been clouded) surrendered, and was subjected to interrogation by Mae. The goblin told her that Ferd had grown more cocky since he developed some magical powers, and had charmed his brother, Buck, into going along this idea – the goblins just tagged along because they did what Ferd said anyway. With this information, they knocked the goblin out, and snuck back out of the house.
The party turned the goblin into the local authorities. Mae nursed her wounds for a while back at the Stella Sabbia, and the party discussed what they should be doing next. They all thought it would be a good idea to gather up some more information on the remainder of the houses that the goblins were hole up in, and look for a decent healer while they were at it. Again, they went their seperate ways, agreeing to meet back at the inn when an hour had past. Panbatter stayed behind (and cooked to pass the time).
When the hour passed, Ru and Mae returned, without any success. Franklin had a bit better luck. “Do you know any clerics,” he asked a man with a holy symbol of Fharlanghn dangling from his neck. “I may,” the man replied. The two returned to the inn, where the man, upon seeing Mae nursing her wounds, headed to her and healed her. He introduced himself as Daniel Theridan – he had volunteered to pick up supplies for his superiors from the Exodus. Panbatter, recognizing the name, let loose a shriek of glee, and insisted that Daniel sit and eat with them.
After a quick meal and conversation with Daniel, they started to formulate a plan. While Franklin was out asking around about the houses that the gang had taken over, he talked to a couple who said they left a mirror in the pighouse, for their own, ah, personal reasons. He also found that the pighouse was home to a ferocious boar who had been teased ceaselessly by goblins before. Franklin thought it would be a brilliant idea for them to let the boar loose and do their work for them. They set out to make short work of the goblins in the pighouse.
The party snuck around to the back of the pighouse, and Ru peeked inside. The front of the pighouse was wide open, and there were no goblins to be seen within. There was, however, a loft, which they immediately suspected the goblins were loitering (perhaps with the mirror). And there was, indeed, a wild-looking boar in a nearby pen. Ru snuck in and set up something of a pulley on the boar’s latch, so that someone could just pull a rope to set it free, while Mae and Panbatter ran to the other side to get ready to shut the door when the time came. Ru then attempted to sneak in and taunt the goblins down, but, after one of them was felled as he moved down to deal with Ru, the other decided it would be a good idea to get the mirror.
Franklin, impatiently, released the boar.
The boar started towards Ru, but upon seeing the goblins up on the higher level, turned it’s attention, snorting at the goblins who had been teasing it for so long. One of the goblins who had been injured by arrow fire tried to sneak down the stairs while the boar was looking up at another pair, but, to no avail. The boar caught scent of him, and chased him up the stairs. The other two remaining goblins tried despirately to set up the mirror to signal the school but were first distracted by the sound of voices up near the hay loft entrence (courtesy of Panbatter’s ghost sound) and then by Panbatter, as Mae strained and threw her up into the loft. Panbatter’s visit was shortlived, however, as a panicked goblin charged her and pushed her right back out.
It was about that time that the boar was coming around to them. As the goblins ran in a panic away from the rampaging boar, the party picked them off one by one. Franklin even moved in to fight, although he got a javelin to his leg for his troubles. The party quickly closed off the door when they had elimated the goblins, not wanting to become new targets for the boar. After things had settled down for a bit, they snuck in through the hay loft, recovered the mirror, and prepared to move on to their next target.
All the while, Daniel had been busy, selling off his own personal possessions to help the party find potions, so that they may stay in good health during the affair. He met up with the party to give him his findings, and to heal some of the wounds they had sustained during the last fight. While the party talked, Franklin dug up yet more information, this time about the farmhouse that the gang had taken over – a roofer told him that he had put a temporary patch on the roof, and had planned on getting around to it later. Of course, the party moved out almost immediately.
Compared to the previous encounters, this one was a cakewalk. Using their trusty grappling hook, the intrepid party climbed atop the roof and quickly found the makeshift covering that the roofer had mentioned before. Ru rushed to cover the exits on the other side of the building (slipping and falling over once on the way), and the rest of the party pried the covering off, and promptly jumped in. Three of the goblins occupying the farm quickly rushed the party, but were cut down in short time. The fourth decided he’d best be leaving. Franklin bravely stepped in front of the path of the goblin, standing outside, but, the goblin wanted out and THEN. Screaming, the goblin charged Franklin – and was quickly cut down by Ru, who was watching down all the while.
So, it was on to the schoolhouse itself, then. How would they get in? They had asked around, and earlier found that a young man had once fallen into the well, and the stream led under the school, and there was a grate leading into the basement. Having taken care of the rest of the lookouts, the party decided it had nothing to lose in taking this course of action. They decended into the well.
They found the waters to be about three feet deep, a bit uncomfortable for the little Panbatter. She opted to ride on Mae’s back while they delved underneath in the waters. Soon enough, they found their way to the school’s underbelly, and Ru (after dealing with a couple of hungry rats), quickly unlocked the grate, granting them access. They prowled on inside, investigating the basement a bit, then moving upstairs. Ru oiled the hinges of the door (thanks to a hint given to them by the school’s laborer), popped another lock and headed in. Listening carefully as they went, the party moved from door to door…
Finally, they came across a pair of double doors that led to an office of sorts. Ru snuck in quietly and found, very quickly, that the room was occupied by a very large, mean-looking half orc. The half-orc muttered a few arcane things at Ru, but Ru shook the sorcery off easily – there then went out a cry of “BUCK!” by this half-orc; he was calling out to this brother. “Well, I guess we know which one this is,” Mae noted. A goblin charged out from the office, and was quickly cut down, and Ru and Mae carefully fired shots into the office, wounding Ferd, the aforementioned half-orc. Franklin tried casting a blinding spell at Ferd from a scroll he had discovered earlier, but, still being the novice that he his, nearly blinded himself in the process. Mae and Franklin moved in on the wounded Ferd, who tried to put a spell on them as they entered, but, again, to no avail. Mae then delivered a blow that almost toppled Ferd, but, instead of felling him, caused him to froth and scream. He swung hard at the seemingly untrained Franklin, who took the blow from Ferd’s claw bracer in the gut. Franklin, instead of toppling over from the blow, seemed to be more energized from it. Ferd, shocked that his solid blow didn’t put the man down was then felled by Franklin, who put a spear in him.
From the hallway below, a pair of goblins and another half-orc arrived. The goblins arrived first, attacking Panbatter, who fended them off easily. One of the goblins pulled a small bottle filled with alchemist’s fire – but flubbed the toss, and ended up in flames himself. Buck then arrived, demanding to know what was occuring.
“We heard some noise, and we wanted to make sure everything was okay,” Ru lied. Buck was slow, to be sure, for he seemed to believe that much.
“Well, uh, still,” Buck started, confused, “we should probably see what Ferd wants to do.” He said this as Mae was taking the claw bracer off of Ferd’s still-bleeding corpse.
“No no no no!” Ru insisted, “It’s important that you check on the children!” Buck would have no more delays and shoulded past Ru. When he saw Ferd laying there, he cried out for his brother, and drew his firearm. Franklin (who was also looting the still-warm body of Ferd) threw a quick spell to daze Buck. Buck’s goblins charged forward, one of them at Panbatter, who dealt with him swiftly, and the other at Ru. The goblin, barely concious from setting himself ablaze landed one solid blow on Ru, then fell unconcious. Ru, seeing the dazed Buck so close to Mae, despite his crushed stomach stepped and fired at Buck, but to no avail. Ru fell unconcious as well. Mae, in seeing this, dealt with Buck swiftly, shoving a blade in him and putting him down…
The party quickly tended to Ru, and then to Buck – they had been told he was charmed by his brother – and then, to the children, who were held by three more goblins. Mae, showing them Ferd’s claw bracer, quickly sumbitted, and were led out by the party, out the front door of the schoolhouse.
A stunned silence overcame the crowd as Mae tossed the Ferd and Buck out into the street. Then, seeing their children stream out of the school, unscathed, there was a great roar of cheering. Frankling quickly stepped forward. “We have saved your children!” he boasted, “And ask nothing in return! Except, perhaps, that my bill at the inn be absolved!” Despite Franklin’s boasting, the four were quickly overtaken by the crowd, shouts of celebration and whatnot went out as they were treated to all manners of food and wines and other things. It seemed as if in a manner of a day they had made heroes out of themselves.
Of course, let’s see if anything comes of it…