A Necessary Alliance

Rats in the stew

En route to Sulescu, the captain of The Lioness, Weela Nysis, pays a late night visit to the cabin of Alexandre. Pushing her way in, she begins to initiate a saucy conversation which is entirely misunderstood by Alexandre who continues the conversation not realizing the inferred meaning in his words. Delighted by what she supposes is a man more sexually adventurous than any she has known, she drops her bodice and begins to advance on the paladin. Alexandre makes it known that there is a terrible misunderstanding and that he is not ready for this. She had found him in the midst of prayer. She caresses his face, calls him a sweet boy and heads for the door. He stops her with an offer to pray together and says it’s ok if they keep their tops off. Weela, long since tired of the men of her crew, takes the bait and remains to pray with Alexandre. What she did not count on was an instantaneous connection to the lore of Jerndame, she finds herself completely drawn in by the sincerity of the paladin’s prose and plans are made to explore the faith further after landfall.

A few nights later The Lioness makes dock at Sulescu. Weela thanks Alexandre for opening her eyes to Jerndame and pledges to continue her spiritual journey before the group disembarks from the ship. No sooner than they have left the dock, Gruntu spies a wanted poster with approximate drawings of all their faces. In the weeks since their initial capture, most of their appearances had changed quite a bit and therefore were generally unconcerned about being recognized, Alexandre’s stature notwithstanding. Gruntu also pointed out that it was a slaver’s bounty and not a true wanted poster and therefore anyone trying to detain them would be met with the utmost resistance. As the party discussed this new development, the sound of a large bell cut through the morning air. Locals began shuffling out of their houses and heading towards the center of town, many have livestock in tow. Durog finds higher ground and observes a marketplace being assembled in the town square, animals being bought, traded and sold. After determining that the bell meant no threat, the party heads over to the local inn, The Dolphin, to rent rooms for the evening.

There, the owner of the Dolphin, Deet, offers the giant paladin a job helping out with security. The others offer their skills as well and both Durog and C’haill manage to secure employment; Durog redesigning a more sturdy buttress for the building and C’haill in the kitchen. While there they learn of Sulescu’s curfew, in place because of a spate of vampire attacks inside the city as well as the existence of werewolves outside the city walls. Early in the evening a dwarf enters the bar, the sighting is unusual as this is the first demihuman they have seen . The locals take to heckling the diminutive man, calling him “Roger” and patting him upon the head. A scuffle ensues with the party giving defense to the dwarf and for having given him respect, learns his true name: Rudrik and earns the promise of dwarven crafted weapons.

At one point in the evening Alexandre is approached by a shady individual who introduces himself as Louie…“Lucky” Louie. The thief explains that the paladin’s stature is sure to attract attention to the bounties posted around town and that, for a fee, a real disguise could be arranged for him and what Louie assumes, his companions as well. Alexandre is given an address and a time…a time after nightfall. True to the cutpurse’s words, a gang of drunks identify Alexandre and attempt to subdue him. The attempt is spoiled by Gruntu driving his sword through the head of the lead assailant. The other attackers panic and beat a hasty retreat and Durog, disgusted by the attention the party is bringing upon itself, leaves the inn and heads towards the nearest tavern, The Spar, for distraction.

While Alexandre, C’haill and Gruntu endure the inevitable investigation by the city militia, Durog finds himself in a bar full of sailors, smoke, and rum and scans the room until he finds a suitable companion and makes his play. It is successful and the pair head towards a ship on the dock for more privacy. After the rest of the party is cleared in the bounty incident they head out into the night, against the advice of their employer. While en route to their secret destination they run into a group of armed warriors, outfitted with stakes and silver. Their leader, Vinepul Margali, steps forward and identifies them as The Order of the Griffon and warn that it is unsafe on the streets after dark. After admonishing the party, they move along to seek their prey. The party makes its way to the address given them and find what appears to be an abandoned building. Louie makes himself known and ushers them inside through a secret door before beginning the work of disguising them all.

After the work is done and the rogue paid, the now fully disguised party steps out into the night. Only a small handful of moments pass before the night is pierced with a horrible scream. Alexandre, now dressed as a half-orc, tears off at top speed to investigate. What he sees confuses him at first. The members of The Order of the Griffon all crouch around a newly slain corpse, some making puncture marks in neck of the victim while the others empty the pockets of the unfortunate soul. C’haill and Gruntu arrive on the scene as the Order attempts to talk their way out of the situation. After that fails, swords are drawn and the Order finds themselves overpowered by the righteous fury of the giant holy warrior and his companions. All lay slain save one. A few blocks away, Durog finds his evening with the anonymous pirate come to an end and slips off the ship as his fling slept. Straightening his coat, he hears a forceful female voice in his head, beckoning him to come. Whether it is through curiosity or compulsion, Durog finds himself following the summons.



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