05 Feb

Quail Valley Session 19 (SW)

When we last left our heroes, they had returned to Presov after a rather mixed experience in the northern village of Borsod. After befriending the local priestess and a farming family, the group easily defeated a creature that had been stealing from the farm. Things then went downhill as they discovered that their friend Willow had been arrested and that their pack mule (on loan from the Baroness) had been stolen. Gathering speed, things got even worse as Faelan was goaded into drawing his sword against the Constable and both he and Raspin ended up arrested, jailed, and beaten. Fortunately, with the assistance of the local priestess, the remaining heroes were able to broker an agreement with the Mayor of Borsod. Reunited, the whole group traveled back to Presov and headed straight for the Baroness’ manor upon their return and are ushered into her presence. This is where we pick up after the break.

As usual, my GM comments are in [brackets and italics]. There are potential spoilers for The Vault of Larin Karr below the break. One of the encounters may not be quite safe for work.

The baroness is sitting with a blank look on her face, an open letter on the table before her. She is flanked by a smiling captain and a frowning Farkas. The baroness tells us to sit.

[On the four day journey back to Presov, the group did see the brothers Arno and Ardo traveling by barge, big grins on their faces, making better time than the walking heroes. Presumably the letter…which was from Miklos, the mayor of Borsod…was delivered by them.]

Nearly three minutes of complete silence pass before the Baroness looks at Raspin and Faelen and asks, “Did you draw first, yes or no?”

Faelen admits to drawing first and the Captain laughs out loud before catching himself.

She then turns to Raspin and asks if he kicked in the door to her cousin’s house, yes or no? Raspin admits yes, he did.

She turns to Cailana, Serena and Wink and asks if we were there to witness this, yes or no. We say no.

The still grinning Captain whispers in her ear and she asks, “Did you buy your freedom? Yes or no.”

We say yes, and she follows with a question asking where we got the money, but also states we do not have to answer that. [At least not fully. It was sufficient for the group to admit that it was essentially “plunder” from the troll that they had killed. Perhaps this line of inquiry was to see if the group had been withholding funds that had been found previously.]

The party desperately wants to explain, but is hesitant to speak out of turn.

Serena, hoping to be invited to speak, holds up the letter from Jolana and when acknowledged, informs the Baroness that we have a letter from Jolana.

They take the letter and the Baroness and Farkas inspect and read the letter as we sit in silence.

When she is finished, the Baroness once again looks at Raspin and Faelen and asks them if they attacked her cousin. They both vehemently deny it.

[The letter from Miklos claimed that the pair had broken into his house and attacked him without provocation.]

She then asks Willow if she accused her cousin [the mayor] of misdeeds.

Willow immediately starts to go off about the Mayor and Serena grips Willow’s shoulder tightly as Cailana slaps a hand over Willow’s mouth.

The Baroness asks Willow why…and that is all the prompting she needs and she immediately starts in again. The Baroness tries to cut her off, as Cailana and Serena try valiantly to squeeze the halfling quiet.

After a few more questions, The Baroness asks us to step outside so that she may confer with her advisors. A whispered prompt from the Captain has the Baroness requesting that we turn over all weapons to the guards.

We immediately do so and step outside.

Willow and Faelen have a conversation and she reveals she has a dagger hidden on her person. She wants to take out the guards and for her and Faelen to then go back to Borsod so she can kill the Mayor and the Constable for what they did to her. Faelen cautions her that that is not a good plan and that they need more information first, trying to calm the halfling’s murderous anger.

Forty-five minutes pass and Willow has grown restless and bored. She and Faelen argue as another forty-five minutes pass, with Willow falling to the ground dramatically and exclaiming her boredom. She also offers some interesting advice to Raspin about his romantic pursuit of Barta[, explaining how to properly woo a woman complete with some instructions on how to give a proper foot rub.]

Finally, after three hours have passed, the Captain comes out. He is not smiling anymore. He states, “The Baroness will see you now.”

As we file back into the room, Willow mocks the Captain and asks, “How’s it going Chuckles?” Faelen can’t help but laugh as Cailana elbows the half-folk. The Baroness demands to know what is so funny, and Cailana quickly replies that the halfling had been offering dating advice to Raspin. As we retake our seats, the Baroness indicates the letter and asks us if we know what it’s contents were. We admit we do not.

She reveals that Jolana thinks highly of us, and reveals some other information contained in the letter. Farkas speaks up and says that because of the contents of the letter, the Baroness wants to hear our side of the story.

Willow begins the tale, making a short story long. She reveals that she confronted the Mayor about the theft of our mule and that she was beaten and touched inappropriately by the Constable. Faelen picks up the tale, revealing how it came to be that he was provoked into drawing his weapon on the Constable.

Serena takes this moment to explain how she, Cailana, and Wink, had traveled to Jolana to seek her help in freeing Willow, and that is why we were not witness to the events that transpired prior to Faelen and Raspin being arrested. Faelen and Raspin continue the story. We also tell her of the things we had seen and heard, including the fees being charged to cross the bridge. She asks us to explain as Farkas leans over to talk to her.

Serena takes up the tale and fills in the rest of the story and details regarding the fines paid and the public apology.

The Baroness reveals that the letters differ greatly in their accounts of the details and that Miklos wants the Baroness to come to Borsod to apologize in person [as it was her representatives that had attacked him].

We do not think this a good idea, but the Baroness is adamant that she will be going and the Captain is just as adamant that he will be going as well.

The Baroness disagrees and says he will not, that he is to stay in Presov [to protect the village] and that we will be accompanying her to Borsod, her safety is in our hands.

The captain loudly protests this action as Serena tries to clarify our role.

The Baroness says we are only to keep her safe, not to talk [(i.e., negotiate or engage in diplomacy with Miklos]. She also suggest Willow should remain behind to which the halfling enthusiastically agrees.

The Captain and the Baroness leave the room and we turn over the remaining 450 lordes to Farkas, who warns us of the dire consequences that will befall us should any harm come to the Baroness. We state that we understand, collect our weapons and head back to the inn.

[Farkas left nothing to the imagination. He was quite clear that he’d use every resource available to him to employ those who would find the group, cause them significant and prolonged pain, and then, finally, kill them. Raspin provided a couple of recommendations for individuals Farkas might want to consider for such a job.]

Raspin immediately starts drinking. While Faelen goes off to check the flour, Willow leaves in a huff to go have [bad] sex. We eat dinner and head to bed. During the night, Willow returns and tries to convince Faelen to sneak her along for the trip so she can exact her revenge on Miklos and the Constable. Faelen eventually is able to convince Willow that that is not a good idea.

[The flour had been spread about the cellar in the hopes of catching the footprints of anyone that might have tried to pass to and fro to the Underdark. Unfortunately, the flour had already been cleaned up…the heroes had been gone for nine or ten days on their trip to Borsod.]

Dawn arrives and we join the Baroness and head out on the four day journey to Borsod.

Cailana travels in the front, watching for tracks and danger as the Baroness asks for story after story about our adventures thus far. [Four of the Baroness’ guards also traveled with the group.]

Three days and two nights of travel pass uneventfully, but on the third watch of the third night, our luck it seems was about to be short-lived.

Serena and one of the Baroness’ guards are on duty at the top of the travel tower. As they each make their rounds, Serena, who has turned away to peer down the road, hears a yelp of pain and whirls around to see that a large malformed creature has grabbed the guard, and before her eyes, flings him off the roof and into the woods.
Serena yells for the others as the creature climbs up onto the roof of the tower.

The malformed creature, clad in a filthy loincloth, covered in boils and pustules, with odd limbs sticking out of odd places, and eyes that are barely there, leers and sneers at Serena, saying, “You got pretty lips. Come on up brothers, she’s got pretty lips!”

He lunges at Serena, laughing evilly as he leers at her, but Serena is able to dodge his grasp as two more of the creatures, each with their own “unique” set of malformations, join their brother atop the tower, blocking Serena’s path to the trap door.

Thinking fast, Serena tries to distract them, calling out to them, “You think my lips are pretty, try these!” as she flashes her breasts at the creatures and lunges for the trap door.

The first creature stares unmoving at Serena, drool dripping from his lips as his brothers grab their loincloth covered crotches.

It is at this moment, that Cailana, having heard Serena’s call for help, flings open the trap door, only to find a large creature above her, rubbing his junk. Revolted, Cailana leaps out of the way as Serena drops down the hatch and slams and locks the trap door.

This shakes the trio out of their stupor and they cry out, “Hey! We weren’t done!” Several more lewd comments were made, the likes of which should not have to be repeated, but this author, for the sake of posterity and accuracy shall report them as verbatim as she can. 😉

Said author…and not Serena’s player…is the one who suggested the, um, flashy distraction in the first place. 😀

One hollers, “We want more boobies!” Another claims, “She’s gonna be my woman!” Perhaps most disturbing of all, a third claims, “They ain’t as big as Momma’s but they sure is smoother!” One of his brothers replies, “I ain’t seen no boils on them neither!”

Below, two of the guards have moved to surround and protect the Baroness as the rest of the party heads down to the ground level to ready an attack.

The trap door is suddenly ripped off and a large hand descends, reaching around trying to grab for Serena as the chant of Boobies…Boobies…Boobies clamors above.

Cailana, hoping to trick the creatures, tells them that they will only show their boobs to the strongest of the trio and for them to fight it out and present the strongest of them, hoping the brothers might injure each other and make our battle easier. The brothers, perhaps having a bit more brotherly love (see what I did there…Go Eagles!) than the elf anticipated, quickly agree that one of them is definitely the strongest.

Suddenly, there is pounding down below at the entrance to the tower. Raspin leans out the window and tries to shoot whoever is banging on the door, but misses, so he tosses the crossbow aside and descends the stairs.

Serena, fearing we are now facing a 4th brother, quickly hatches a plan and calls out to the brothers, “If you want to see my boobs, back away from the door!”

Cailana, who has stayed up on the second floor with Serena and the Baroness and her guards, circles the tower, trying to get a shot at any of the creatures.

We can hear them clamoring for boobies, and Serena and Cailana hatch another plan. Serena will flash them again, hoping to stun them, and then quickly step aside, allowing Cailana will step up to the window and try and take one of them out.

Serena calls out to them again, telling them to back up even further so they can see, and as they do, she and Cailana get ready.

She calls out once more, “Are you ready?” This is greeted with an answering chorus of “Boobies…Boobies!” that fills the night. Serena steps up to the window and once again flashes her chest at the trio, who this time, ALL grab their crotches. Serena steps away from the window and Cailana quickly moves into position and lets an arrow fly, taking one of the brothers out.

Seeing their chance, Raspin runs out to attack one of the distracted brothers, taking him out as well. Wink sends out Rocky to attack as he tries to cast a new spell, but fails, and as a result, Rocky disappears!

The remaining brother, shakes himself out of his stunned state and attacks Raspin, exclaiming…”Hey, you ain’t got boobs!”

Serena, runs down to join the fight, shooting at the last brother, and Cailana, who has stayed up with the Baroness finishes the job, killing the last brother.

[Um, no, this encounter certainly did not proceed in a fashion that I would have ever imagined when it started. That isn’t to say that everyone didn’t enjoy how it went. Mechanically, Savage Worlds uses something called “Tricks” that rely on Agility or Smarts. I went with Smarts. I suppose I could have gone with a Persuasion check or something similar but a Smarts Trick seemed fine. To me, Savage Worlds isn’t so much about sweating the mechanical details as just playing the game.]

As the traveling party regroups, Cailana and Raspin head out to retrieve the thrown guard’s body, finding it and bringing it back to the tower.

Meanwhile, Serena, is trying to counsel the Baroness to not ever do that, that we don’t usually do things like this, but the [young] Baroness is just wide-eyed in amazement, and though she tries not to, she cant help but smile and gush…”That was just so cool!” This is probably not at all the response that Serena had hoped for. Raspin and Cailana returned with the fallen guard and the Baroness sombers up, asking us to settle his body to her pony so that she may return him for a proper burial.

The group settles down to rest for the remainder of the evening, and come morning, quickly ready themselves to complete the journey to Borsod.

As they set out, Cailana spots what appear to be half a dozen gnoll tracks about 200 yards from the tower, crossing the road in front of them, leading from the river into the woods.

As she pauses to investigate, a sudden yapping sounds from the woods and five gnolls rush from between the trees and attack.

A vicious battle ensues as we fight the gnolls and try to protect the Baroness. Another guard goes down as the party strives to take out the gnolls, picking them off one by one, with Wink having much success this time around with his spells, lifting and dropping a gnoll to his death from one hundred feet up.

Suddenly, an arrow flies out from the forest and strikes the Baroness in the throat with such force that it tears through one side and out the other, dropping her instantly to the ground. The remaining guards, and Serena, rush to her side to protect her while Serena also works to heal her. As Serena continues to work her healing magic on the Baroness, another guard goes down, and a second arrow flies out of the woods, this time bouncing off of Serena, who immediately notices it to be one of Greylock’s!

She shouts this out to the party as Wink lifts the final [visible] attacker into the air.

Faelen, angered by the past treatment at the hands of the grizzled and wily gnoll, immediately changes into a wolf and charges into the forest to try and track him. Cailana and Raspin, after making sure the party is somewhat safe given the circumstances, dash after Faelen only to find him severely injured and incapacitated. They carry the druid back to the others and Cailana urges the party to get back to the tower to regroup. It is too suspicious how the gnolls seemed to have laid an ambush for them. With the baroness now down to one remaining guard, they need to find the safest way possible to get her to Borsod, since it is still six hours travel away.

The party devises the plan that Faelen will cast Barkskin on the Baroness to provide a layer of protection, and Serena will provide her with a boost of vitality, making the Baroness all but glow in the daylight. The party keeps a tight formation around the Baroness, and setting as quick a pace as possible, set out for Borsod, thankfully arriving before dark with no further incidents.

As we arrive, the Constable is spotted running off and we know a visit from the Mayor is inevitable.

The Baroness directs us to take her to the inn and instructs us to wait outside while she goes inside.

Raspin sidles up to the window to watch what happens. He sees Rumble’s face go through a myriad of emotions, from sly and fake sincerity, to denial, and finally a somber resignation while he speaks with the Baroness.

The Baroness comes out to tell us that we will be lodging here tonight. As we enter the inn and Rumble catches sight of us, he mutters “Shit.” We ignore him and settle into some chairs.

Not five minutes pass before the Mayor comes striding into the inn full of fake smiles and charm as he greets the Baroness most casually, referring to her not by her official title but by the familial title of cousin.

The Baroness calmly but firmly corrects him as he condescendingly apologizes and vows he is her servant, asking how may he serve?

She tells him to put his hands behind his back so that they can arrest him.

He acts shocked and wants to know why as Raspin gleefully restrains the Mayor and pulls his hands behind his back.

The Baroness states there is a long list of charges, but that the one she can make stick is his taxing the people to cross the bridge and for not informing her of this nor sending her her due proceeds.

The Mayor tries to protest and proclaim it all a misunderstanding. As Raspin binds his hands and drags him off to be stashed in a closet off the kitchen, his voice changes and he warns the Baroness, “You dont want to do this. This won’t end well”.

She asks him if that is a threat and he replies, “Of course not, Baroness,” before being locked into the closet.

The Baroness remains in the dining room and we stay with her as little by little, townspeople start to trickle in to greet and talk to the Baroness. She is quite the sight with her barkskin and glowing countenance. Although she tries to hide it, the party can see she bears a small smile and a twinkle to her eyes, knowing how she must appear.

Jolana soon arrives and is asked by the Baroness to please see to the burial of the guards. Several hours pass. By then, it seems that all of Borsod has stopped by to pay it’s respects and to air their grievances. Noticeably absent is the Constable, and brothers Arno and Ardo. Rumble, perhaps trying to minimize any finger pointing in his direction, is handing out free drinks to nearly everyone.

[Just a couple of corrections…

Jolana was asked to see to the deceased guards but not to bury. The Baroness still wants to return them to Presov for burial. The Baroness was actually paying for the drinks…I’m not sure if that was actually shared with the party.]

The Baroness, weary from the events of the past day, retires for the evening. We set up shifts so that one person watches the Mayor while another guards the Baroness. The last remaining guard takes the first watch over the Mayor with Faelan watching the Baroness.

When Cailana heads downstairs to relieve the guard and take over the watch, she finds him dead, shot by one of Greylock’s arrows and the Mayor is gone!! She snatches the arrow and bolts upstairs to immediately alert everyone before dashing back downstairs to rouse and drag a slumbering Rumble up the stairs to the Baroness’ room.

[That’s pretty much where we ended the session…with Rumble protesting that he had no part or knowledge of the Mayor’s disappearance.

Oh what a tangled web we’ve woven…and you all don’t even know the half of it! 😀

Beer Log: Beers shared this session using, as always, our hit, miss, crit, and fumble rating scale.

  • Bell’s HopSlam: So we’ve been drinking HopSlam for years. I hate to say it, but it ain’t what it used to be. The flavor that made HopSlam so special years ago just seems to be missing. It isn’t a bad beer…especially if you like sweet and boozy…but it just isn’t the same. A hit for a beer that used to be a crit.
  • The Bruery Tart of Darkness: Yum…a near crit!
  • Oskar Blues Death by Coconut: For me, this is one of those beers that has become something of a go to beer. It isn’t some amazing IPA or incredible sour…just a very tasty and well done porter that is a near crit because I could drink it just about any night.
  • The Rare Barrel Hypnotized: Nice and fruity with a nice oak coming through as well. Like most Rare Barrel sours, this is a solid sour beer. A definite hit!]

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