the Way of the Wicked

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2

Timetable for Carnage

Day 5 sees Fitch fruitlessly staking out the Mott house. Mrs Mott's gentleman caller does not arrive. Midway through the afternoon Mott leaves – he was home all that time!

Days 6-8 see our villains on a nice relaxing trip in the countryside. Picking up Grumblejack along the way they reach Varning's favoured camping spot early and conceal themselves behind the illusion of a rock wall.

Varning is rarely found off his horse and out of full plate armour, but one of these rare occasions would be when he is asleep on his bedroll under the stars. The rangers are on known ground, have seen no sign of enemies on their patrol, and are not aware of any ongoing threat. They've set a minimum watch of one sentry in armour.

The vilains' plan to sneak up on the sentry does not go perfectly. They get into position under cover of a silence spell, but Creel fails a "stand still and don't make any noise" stealth check while waiting for the sentry to be in ambushing position. A stone moves under his foot and the sentry, somewhat suspicious, comes to check it out.

A wave of crushing boredom overtakes him however, and he loses any interest in raising the alarm or shooting an arrow at them. Sam has learned a new spell! The hapless sentry is quickly and efficently killed by Adelea, but an armed man in a mail shirt falling heavily to the ground after taking a brutal sword blow does make a bit of noise.

A couple of rangers wake from their sleep and start raising the alarm, but unarmoured, confused, and from a prone start the patrol does not give a good account of itself. The Oppressive Boredom spell claims another ranger, who suddenly really can't be bothered with knots today and just stands looking huffily at the hobble on his horse until he's cut down.

Varning does little better than his men, although he does at least manage to draw his greased longsword (not a euphemism) before being cut down.

Adelea gets mildly annoyed at Creel for poaching the ranger she was killing: "Sorry, I was just testing this new mace".

After the fight they loot Varning and the rangers, and decide to kill some of the horses and release the others close to the fort, in the hope that returning with empty saddles they will cause confusion.

Out in the backcountry as they are, Adelea successfully locates some stew ingredients – highly dangerous 'destroying angel' mushrooms. Mmm, poisony!

They get back to town very late on day 8

On day 9 they frame the dwarfs for stealing bits and pieces from the castle, then Sam strikes up conversation with some guards, persuades them that "everybody knows dwarfs are untrustworthy thieving gits" and, after a few more drinks, that they should storm the dwarfs' room and search it for evidence. "Evidence" is indeed found, having been freshly planted.

A loud drunken shouting match ensues between guards and dwarfs with anger on both sides. All it takes is Fitch's peculiar inverse genius for people skills to light the blue touchpaper. Attempting to calm things down, with someone whose name might sound a bit like Crackariah Zeal shouting "let's not get short with each other!" from the back of the growing crowd, Fitch throws in enough heightism and arrogance that the incensed Eisenbauch throws a punch!

It misses, but Fitch does an excellent job of selling it, reeling backwards (and safely out of the fight), clutching his face. As he eels out, Adelea wades in, throwing punches with glee and enthusiasm. She is later spotted wearing a black eye and a deeply satisfied grin. A wild bar brawl ensues which makes a mess of the common room and of several guards. Eventually a patrol from the castle breaks it up and the dwarfs are marched off, as are (separately) some of the instigators

Our villains take the opportunity to sneak off into the secret tunnel for the night. They intend to skulk until the play begins, then use the opportunity to murder Mad Martin the raven herder.

Comments

That all went rather well. And still on schedule!

Anything else we want to accomplish in the fort whilst the play is on, other than the raven keeper?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

Following the bar fight there is considerable confusion as to exactly what went on. However Big Mike is pointed out as a ringleader and, before sneaking off, you hear the leader of the patrol say “we’re putting you in the brig, Father Donnagin’s going to want to ask you some questions”. This is room 35 on the map, by the way.

Donnagin will indeed want to ask him some questions, and who knows what Mike will remember about how he suddenly decided to storm the dwarfs room? He was pretty drunk, but was he drunk enough to forget Sam’s contribution?

You later (unless you get killed infiltrating the keep during the play, obviously) hear the following about the Great Big Bar Fight:

Nobody was killed or even maimed, however several relatively prominent citizens were concussed, lost teeth, or were otherwise quite badly hurt as the fight expanded. A skilled craftsman and a couple of labourers were unable to work for a couple of weeks, and Donnagin agreed to compensate them from castle funds.

A spectacular amount of damage was done to the inn common room (and inkeep Barhold is sporting a spectacular black eye). Again, keep funds are paid out.

It is not clear exactly how the fight started or how the items came to be in the dwarfs’ room (or even whether they were actually there or the guards brought them with them). Despite what some commoners might think, and Big Mike loudly insists, dwarfs are not known to be thieving gits. Eisenbauch is a highly skilled and respected engineer.

It is universally agreed that Eisenbauch started the fight by throwing the first punch. Donnagin and the Commander agree the best course of action is for him to leave the project, and for another engineering team to be requested in six months or so when feelings have settled down a bit.

A handful of guards have broken fingers or what have you. Nothing serious enough to disbar them from duty, and indeed the ones who were most obviously in the fight, or were in the bar and just less convincing in their protestations of innocence, are put on punishment duties for the next week.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

“Peculiar inverse genius” – love it!

It is in fact a pretty potent weapon we have there. We can just unleash the Fitch, who could cause enough fights and subsequent damage to bankrupt the fort. Who needs bugbears??

I don’t think we want to give too much away or cause too much damage during the play. Don’t want to alert the fort just yet. Maybe we just stick to knobbling the ravens and Mad Martin?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

This was quite a lot of fun!

And we got a lot done too!

Rick, is it maybe worth posting day10 onwards of ‘The Plan’ here, so its attached to the latest update?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

Here it is:

Day 10 – play arrives. We use the distraction to scout the fort and poison the birds. I like the idea of framing the actors. But we could sow even more confusion if we throw the bird keeper off the tower with a suicide note. Something like “My babies. My babies are all dead. The plague took them all. I can’t live without my babies!”
It’ll take them a while to find the mangled corpse at the bottom of the tower, so they’ll blame the actors at first. Then they’ll find him and be confused. Either way it wont point to us.

Day 12 – is a Monday. Go check out Mama Giuseppe, befriend her, see what the routine is with the stew. (Don’t do anything with it yet)

Day 19 – Nobble the stew – have it delivered to the keep.

Day 20 – Infiltrate the tower – cause chaos – open the gates – fire a rocket.

On the spare days we need to still catch Eddarley ‘at it’ and go fetch Mott. Hopefully those 2 will take care of themselves.

Also, any ideas on how to take out any of the other Nameds in isolation, prior to the assault? I don’t really fancy taking on the Lord Commander, the mage, the priest, and the head Captain in one go. Any way we could even the odds a bit would be great.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

I think we should start trying to befriend Giuseppe sooner though.

We could go to her this week, before day 12, and tell her we had heard she was an amazing cook, and as travellers we find ourselves often on the trail with poor food, and would love to learn a few good recipes.

Seems to me that two weeks of buttering her up (not literally!) would work better than one?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

tomorrow is day 10 (so play day) – we could go a day early?

Keep Fitch on Mott lookout duty, so that he doesn’t, you know, accidentally SPEAK to her or anything? That could work

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

Turning up on stew day itself would look more suspicious than a day or two before I think.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

OK cool lets do that on D11. Let Fitch know where to find us if Eddarley shows up.

I don’t want to miss that show. I wonder if there’s anywhere in town that sells popcorn

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

You know the captains’ rooms are near the tunnel exit and that they’ll all definitely be at the play. Ideal opportunity for some low risk burglary.

I think you’ve previously suggested faking a note from Barhold the inn keep to Barhold the captain, then ambushing him?

Higher risk , but you could try disguising yourselves on a non play day, and killing the nameds in their rooms?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

yep that was a ploy to possibly lure out Barhold. Could work?

If we’re going to ambush people in their rooms – it should be on the eve of the assault to minimise the time they have to be discovered. Wizard seems like a good candidate, as it has been mentioned that he’s a recluse that stays in his tower?

Lets bring along a little arsenic and mushrooms when we go in tomorrow – in case we spot any targetted poisoning opportunities. Does Barhold keep a pitcher of water or something by his bed?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

The mushrooms will only work if they’re eaten so unless you can find a way to serve an unsuspecting target an omelette the arsenic is probably the superior choice.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

The wizard and the priest I think should be our early targets if the opportunity presents.

The others are probably just fighter types, and so present a lower risk.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

Steve – Do I have permission to speculate over monster/creature specifics? (I do have the appropriate Knowledge skill for what I am thinking about)

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

So I got to thinking about ravens. And these will be trained ravens.

Of course, I could be completely paranoid, and it will be a piece of piss and we just murder the lot of them.

But, on the other hand – what if they don’t want to be murdered? What if they actually fight back?

And so I looked em up and found this:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/animals/birds/raven/swarm-raven-tohc/

That could be pretty nasty. They nauseate (you only get a move action), and they blind you. And they take half damage from slashing/piercing.
Swarms also do automatic damage, can’t be flanked, and casting spells in a swarm is fucking hard.

On the plus side, they don’t have many HPs and take 50% more damage from AoEs. Trouble is, we’re shit at AoEs. I think Chris is the only one who has one, his 2d6 channel negative energy.

Perhaps we could go and visit our alchemist ‘friend’ in the morning and get a couple of flasks of Alchemist’s Fire (20gp each)? Just in case?

Like I said – I could just be being paranoid here… On the other hand, maybe they were never going to be that, and I just gave Steve an idea?

I’ll shut up now

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/creature-types/#TOC-Swarm

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures.

Cant see there being that many ravens in the rookery!

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

But it is a good point, and we are playing “Steve’s pathfinder”, so who knows! =)

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

I dunno – Could be possible. They have a whole ‘top of the tower’ room to themselves.

Also. 1 raven has 3 HPs, 1000 ravens have 18HPs? seems weird.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

From the last session comments

Tacitus the mage is known for loving fireballs and having recently been given a wand of fireball by the Lord Commander.

That would help with a swarm of ravens, though it ranks fairly low on the subtlety front.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

Doesn’t our boy Chris have the priest equivalent of burning hands? Could have sworn.

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
 

He doesn’t have the priest equivalent of burning hands. He has burning hands. Thats 4d4 damage (+50%) – and he only gets one of em because its domain-specific.

But casting in a swarm is a nightmare.

Like the idea of the wand of fireballs. And would require dealing with the mage, which we need to anyway. However, we would still be 10 days away from the assault – so his ‘disappearance’ would likely be noticed.

Steve – I see you’re doing nothing to quash my theory. But that could be a double-bluff. Or a triple-bluff. All in, 4th hand?

Bring Down Balentyne! part 2
Thrudd0001

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