Pathfinder: Avengers of Westcrown
Journal Entry 2
Having reunited with Janiven at the temple of Aroden, myself and the two men from the tavern (sellswords? Rebels? Bored miscreants? I could not tell which) could finally attend to the task of sizing up this rebellion.
But first, exponentially more important matters were attended to, as I did in fact manage to rinse the necrotic tissue out of my hair. Note to self: learn to cast Create Water – it may in fact be the most important thing you will ever do, ever.
We were introduced to an even motlier assortment of misfits than ourselves, if a significantly less capable one. For sanity’s sake I will not list everyone here, but there was an oafish Varisian, a mad gardener who dyes his hair with berries (Gnome envy?), an incredibly meek Halfling (former slave?), and other assorted citizens, none of whom seem particularly well-adjusted to society. Which makes sense, as how else does one get swept up in the Beef Stew Rebellion? (I refuse to call it anything else until I see a more compelling reason for involvement than Janiven’s titular dish.)
One young woman stood out as possessed of some potential – a quarrelsome gnome named Nindra, who has recently become a brothel owner after <strike>swindling</strike> legitimately acquiring one of the resident establishments. She is pessimistic, aggressive, and possessed of exceptionally loose morals.
In other words, I think she’ll actually be fine. Barring a small miracle, everyone else is going to die horribly.
With introductions out of the way, Janiven confessed to us that without Arael, the organizer and leader of this group, moving forward would be difficult at best. If nothing else, I would like to speak with this fellow, the man responsible for assembling this group of “concerned citizens” – if for no other reason than to shake him a little. These people are not soldiers. Throwing them up against an actual Hellknight patrol is only going to work if the plan is for them to messily die, and hope the Rack slips on their blood.
He and I? We will have words.
But first, we’ll need to get a hold of him. He is currently being held captive, he shall be transferred to the Rack tomorrow for questioning. If he possesses any steel at all, this should actually be required, as the local constabulary has no art for such things. If he wilts like a flower? Well, then this group is doomed anyway, and I will have to find other means of influencing the city.
The nice thing about this problem, however, is the nice long stretch of road the Rack uses to transport prisoners to their citadel. There’s only one point where an ambush could reasonably take place – a river-bridge with some scattered foliage. Even though the transfer was likely to be overseen primarily by trainees, attacking a group of Mounted Hellknights was a fool’s errand.
Being fools, currently in the employ of fools, we set about said errand.
The main force, determined to be involved, would set up an “ambush” of sorts, that would hopefully lead the mounted knights, galloping toward them with murderous abandon, into some caltrops.
It was about at this point that the Doctor, the Hunter and myself proceeded to attempt to… let’s say shape this plan a little. Wundras devised some explosives to be buried beneath the soil, and remotely detonated. Jenivan was adamant that we not slay any of the Hellknights. She had a well thought-out excuse about embarrassment, but as talks progressed, I came to think that she simply lacks the stomach for such tasks. Von Wundras explained that, you know, explosives are tricky things, arrows and spiked chains were not known for their subdual qualities; and quite frankly, we weren’t exactly going to be prioritizing the enemy’s safety during a jailbreak.
It was around this point that Crowfeather decided to belittle and deride… pretty much everyone who opened their mouth at that point. I could hardly blame him, but the constant jibes (and awful puns) weren’t helping. In an attempt to resolve the situation, I proposed a compromise:
We would strip any survivors naked, chain them to the bridge, and leave them to be discovered by their fellows, as we made off with anything they possessed of remote monetary value.
This seemed reasonable to all parties. Diplomacy! I always told Mother Francesca that promises of savage beatings and wholesale thievery had their place in diplomatic use. How proud she must be right now.
With our terrible plan as fleshed out as it was ever likely to become, the pile of pickled dwarf in the corner (which I had assumed to be a random hobo, brought in to spare the fate of being ripped to shreds by vampiric beasties) stood up, shook off the remnants of a hangover though liberal application of… a potion of vaguely lavenderish color, with the consistency of mushroom gravy (and just as many chunks) imbibed quite lustily. It turned out to be one of the doctor’s current experiments – a potion of tact.
It did not provide tact. It did, however, provide enough consciousness to get the Dwarf, one Manden Clearmug by name, to be brought up to speed.
It turns out he’d heard tales of wandering masters of exotic unarmed combat styles known as “drunken master monks.” He’s apparently been drinking and brawling his way to enlightenment ever since. I thought this about as useful as the others (read: not) so I flung a cookie (so delicious and moist!) at his head.
He dodged with the uncanny grace of an acrobat. This man is either some kind of savant, or…. you know, I’m not sure I want to know. Drinking and fighting towards enlightenment it is.
He and Nindra would provide our immediate combat support for the ambush proper. It happens tomorrow – It has been nice knowing this lot. Oh well. No one lives forever.
There are several smudged out lines that follow
I believe I spoke too soon. Rather than eloquently eulogizing the Beef Stew Rebellion, as I had ABSOLUTELY NOT PREEMPTIVELY BEGUN TO DO ABOVE, we managed to survive the encounter intact, and in fact, with some grace and aplomb.
- Manden is a revelation. He’s erratic, but hits like a minotaur. Also – only leave beverages unattended if you intend for them to be imbibed on a whim. Useful for potions, though!
- Crowfeather continues to show his aptitude with a bow. I must remember this when I invariably attempt to strangle him later.
- The Doctor’s explosives – when they actually detonate somewhere near intended – are overwhelmingly powerful . Note to future opponents: please continue to politely cluster into tightly packed groups. Thanks.
- Nindra is insane, but possessed of genuine potential. There may be hope for this rabble yet.
We have managed to stabilize all but one of the Hellknights – not bad. I will write more later – for now, I believe there are Inquisitions to make.
How positively delightful.
~ Motýl-Kněžna Goresh, Fist of Desna