Heady with the success of turning in a bounty without losing a party member to an extraplanar horror, our band of would-be heroes elected to press their luck by taking a bounty for a trio of orc-blooded warriors, the only survivors of a larger group. In addition to the return of the orcs, Trek advised the nascent adventurers that there would be an additional reward for the return of a clear jewel on a silver string, one of the objects the half-orcs had contracted to return.
With little information about their quarry, the team perused wanted posters until they found at least a rough description of the half-orcs. Armed with this basic information, they were able to determine that a team of half-orcs had been making a name for themselves on the blood-match circuit in a chain of bars/betting parlors/arenas known as the Cage Drinkers. Starting their investigation in one of the less-reputable franchises in a part of the Spike with a high population of orc-bloods, the party enacted a clever plan to find their prey, a task that promised to take quite some time, given their scant information and the many Cage Drinkers establishment throughout the city.
Coming up with a clever ruse to, hopefully, draw the half-orcs to them, Oona took on the role of an aloof, spoiled aristocrat, while Corin and the others put out the story that she had been tasked with finding the bastard offspring of a “powerful person” who had taken an interest in the fighting prowess of a particular half-orc. Thanks to the liberal application of gold, a pit boss soon identified the warriors the party was after, as well as the fact that they had made such a name for themselves on the fighting circuit that they had moved deeper into the Spike to a more prestigious franchise of the Cage Drinkers. They also learned that the leader of the half-orcs had a penchant for wearing a monocle when he wanted to appear fancy.
Wasting no time, the group headed downward, pausing to purchase some fancier clothes to better blend in with the high-rollers. After scoping the place out, the group convinced Pseudolus to take a stab at a pit-fighting career. Since the loser’s health-care was guaranteed, the wiry monk saw no real risk in the venture, and soon found himself paired up with a dwarven fighter in heavy armor. After a last word of advice from Oona, Pseudolus headed up to meet his fate, accompanied only by Cerwin, who had wagered a fair pot of gold on his friend’s martial skill.
Alas, Pseudolus failed to heed Oona’s suggestion to aim for the balls, as he was beaten by the dwarf in a closely-contested match. Each fighter was battered and bloodied by the end, but the dwarf’s greater resilience proved greater than the monk’s speed.
After a little time drinking to their comrade’s bruises, Corin laid a bet so he could watch a mage-duel on the top floor, a rare event that had drawn spectators from far and wide. He also hoped to finally lay eyes on the half-orcs they were after, since this venture had already cost the party a great deal of gold, not to mention Pseudolus’ aching bones. Luckily, Corin managed to spot them on the far side of the arena.
The wizard duel was a grudge-match between two long-time rivals, a flamboyant master of fire and necromancy, and a subdued mage in gray robes. The gray-robed wizard proved the victor, spending his power wisely in defense while his more aggressive opponent exhausted his attacks, and Corin collected a fair reward for his clever wager. He also alerted his allies to stand by to tail their orcish quarry, which they managed to do successfully. The team also managed to overhear the orcs discussing their profitable relationship with someone called Garik Mauve (sp?)
Seeing the orcs had gone to an inn, the team waited a few hours for them to fall asleep, then bullied and bribed the young night attendant to give them access to the half-orcs’ room. After discussing a rudimentary plan, Thedis sneaked into the room and managed to incapacitate one of the warriors, and injure another before they were any the wiser. What followed was not so professional.
After knocking out the injured half-orc, Thedis stepped out into the hall and waited. This led to some confusion, as the plan had been for him to lure the warriors down the hall so the rest of the party could ambush them. All this dithering allowed the leader of the half-orcs to pour a potion down the throat of an injured comrade and gather up his weapons before our heroes rushed in to continue the battle. The haphazard assault left the enemy with the numerical advantage in the room, while the would-be bounty hunters piled up in the hall.
While the team eventually pulled it together and knocked out all three of the half-orcs, it was not without cost. Corin was literally cleft in twain by a sword-blow. Fortunately, with the help of Oona’s roadies, they were able to bundle up the fallen and haul them all away, even stopping to loot the room before they beat feet.
After turning in the half-orcs for the bounty, as well as the monocle (which Trek was quite excited to receive), the team set off to get Corin returned to the realm of the living, gods willing. Their first stop met with little success, as none in the group were particularly affiliated with the god they had choses, but the priestess at the temple of Death was more reasonable. In exchange for a large amount of gold and the chance of a task being demanded, she promised to restore Corin to life. Whatever additional demands the god laid are known only to Corin and the priestess.
With their comrade back, if not exactly in fighting shape, the team turned their attention to the scroll tube. After Thedis unlocked the lock, he managed to get pricked by a hidden needle coated with some virulent poison. After Corin took a look at the thing, he managed to find the actual method of opening it, and found a scroll containing an address and a date, two days hence.
While Corin and Thedis recover from their various mishaps, the party has at least a couple of days to recuperate before their next call to adventure.
Level 2! Wheeeeeee!
Each PC gets 250 GP. The party fund stands at 283.5 GP, although a large portion of that is in the form of an IOU from Corin in the amount of 276 GP. He will pay that back as soon as he is able.
Among the loot were the leader’s well-crafted great sword, three sets of stylish leather armor, 3 suits of well-worn chainmail, a great club, a greataxe, as well as a monocle and a locked, trapped trick scroll tube.
Next game is 3/12. See everybody there!