Conquering the Barbarian Altanis: Session 50


Character Class Description
Ad'wi the Round Thief level 1 A genial dark skinned man, with a large round belly poking out from his blue waistcoat.
Salvatore Glowworm Magic-user level 1 Long black hair combed over a balding spot accentuates his thin moustache, both in service of his dreams of uncovering secrets of long lost kingdoms.
Boots Febalem Magic-user level 1 Shabby looking man of mystery. His tattered clothes reveal many scars.
Ripos Wildcheeks Halfling level 3 A halfling of style as attested by his loose fitting white blouse, silky cravat, and red cap.
Norwell Thief level 1 A finely dressed slim fellow of few words. Carries the scar of betrayal.

One summer day in Altanis

“Finally! Here it is!”

Hara, The Stronghold City of Alyrian Merchants. That's how those who live off of it call it in proud banter.

Hara, The Seat of Red Bitch. That's how those subjugated by it call it in whispering cowardice.

Hara, The Palace of Traitor Baroness. That's how the Altanians call it in roaring rage.

The party of five unlikely allies stood in front of the walled oasis of civilisation in the heart of Barbarian Altanis.

Ad'wi the Round, an agile bundle of charm with sticky fingers; Salvatore, a wizard in search of secrets; Boots, a magician accompanied by a hound he calls Flip; Ripos Wildcheeks, a halfling knight riding a mule; and Norwell, a master thief exiled from Antil for his antics.

The party queued to be granted passage into the walled city. Their names, as well as one gold coin per person, were collected. Or so some people say. Others, who don't like heroic tales but prefer gritty realism instead, claim that the party grovelled and begged because they were too poor to buy their entrance. One of them even pulled out a rotting finger of supposedly famous “Rhovar” and tried to use it as a bargaining currency! Whatever might be true, one thing is certain—the unsuspecting guards let the party in.

“Where shall we go to?”

“Maybe explore the city a bit? Follow the walls to the south and see what we discover?”

“We should find some work to do.”

“There is a money changer up ahead. How about we pop in and ask some questions.”

Obese Blob, protected by iron bars and two guards with halberds, politely explained that all coin entering into Hara must be reported to him. After he counts the coins, he will provide them a letter authorising their use in Hara. Of course, he will take 5% for tax—brilliant system designed to keep the city clean and safe!—and additional 5% for his service—brilliant system to keep his house clean and safe!

“Perhaps we could offer our assistance with... collecting?” Ad'wi offered with a grind and a wink.

“Ha ha ha!” Blob replied with a belly lough so loud even Ripos's mule recoiled. “I like your thinking boy! But tell me, do you have a licence for that? You need a licence for everything in Hara!”

“And where would I get such a licence?”

“Thieves' or Fighters' Professional Association, of course!”

“Of course!”

South the party went, scanning the buildings and peering through peoples' windows and doors like creeps. While standing at one T-shaped junction, a group of rowdy dwarves passing by noticed the halfling. One of the dwarves started pointing at Ripos, grabbing the attention of his dwarven friends.

“What?!” Ripos just flipped him a bird, while mounted on his majestic mule.

The dwarf in question burst into tears, bawling. Other dwarves tried to console him, whilst giving Ripos a mean look.

Salvatore and Boots noticed a symbol of silver flask on a large two-story dwelling. “That looks like the mark of Dyrantil, patron of alchemy. Shall we go in?”

Norwell joined them. Ad'wi stayed outside to polish the boots of passerbys. Ripos remained seated on his mule.

“Welcome. How may I help you?” an old woman greeted the trio in raspy voice. The place indeed looked like an alchemical workshop. After some back and forth the party had learned that the alchemist works for the queen, that she used to be an adventurer, and that she thinks very, very little of the local Wizard's Trade Association.

“Do you have any hooks for us?”

“I'm sure you can buy them at the market square.”

Being curious about the wizard tower, and having nothing but alchemist's description that it looks like “a stiff cock just like the stone-heads inside,” the party decided to ask around about it.

“Oh yes, it does look a bit like that. Although, I wouldn't dare to comment on the people inside! Go north until you run into a river. Then you should be able to see it.”

“And what is this large building of white marble next to us?”

“That's our Temple of Justice! All matters, big and small, get resolved here.”

“Let's check it out.”

Although morning, the temple was already bustling with activity. Many people were queuing, most likely to air their grievances or face trial. One trembling individual caught Ad'wi's attention.

“What troubles you young man?”

“I've been framed. Framed. How could I know? I was just protecting myself! The house is haunted! He just jumped on my blade! It is not my fault!”

“A haunted house? Tell us more about it... Maybe we could help you out!”

The man's eyes lit up and he jumped off the bench with elan.

“Cleric! Cleric!” he started yelling like a mad man, waving at one of the acolytes organising the crowd.

“What's happening here?!”

“He has proof that I am not mad! He will save me!”

“First, stop yelling or everybody goes on trial. Second, is that true?”

“No, this man is truly insane. You should, I don't know, hang him right now.”

“We have abandoned such barbaric ways long ago. First we have a trial. Then we quarter them.”

The party promptly left. Then they worked their way north, seeking the phallus of erudition. On their way the passed the Fighter's Guild, a bunch of residential dwellings, several craftsmen, the Dragon's Lair inn, and a Partihous.

Loud music and rowdy yelling could be heard from the Partihous, despite not even being noon. Ad'wi took a look behind the establishment, hoping to find some unconscious patrons. Alas, dried vomit and rancid pools was all that was.

A finely dressed woman ran into the party. She stopped the moment she saw this weird looking bunch. She covered her mouth. Her scowling faces of disapproval said more than any words she could've chosen. Few select words from Ad'wi did not land well with her at all, and she fled in terror.

“Good man, we are looking for a phallic tower that houses some wizards. Could you please point us in the right direction?”

The bearded man just had to point across the river. The tower looked just like the alchemist described it. The party approached it with speed.

“Here we are.”

“That's them! The barbarians!”

The party could hear a screeching voice behind them. A woman, whom Ad'wi immediately recognised, was marching with eight armoured and armed men towards them. The round thief winked to her, to the party, and disappeared into the alleyways.

Boots slipped into another alleyway, pretending to care for Flip. Rips dismounted his mule and hid behind it. Standing still. Norwell was overcome with deja-vu. Salvatore tried to talk to the guards.

“He is with them! He is with them!” the woman screamed.

“We'll take care of it now.” two guards tried to calm her. “You have to pay twelve gold coins for disturbing peace.”

“I have nothing to do with that man!”

Alas, the guards could not be persuaded. Again, depending on whose story you might be hearing, Salvatore was either misunderstood or very rebellious. The guards would say how he insulted them, Hara, their queen, their civilised ways. They had no other options but to apprehend him. The other guy, whose name they've already forgotten, was quite and collaborative. He was probably just an innocent passerby whom they picked up by accident. But the loud guy? They regret for not silencing him on time.

Either way, the guards escorted Salvatore and Norwell to the citadel by the great river Fairhills. Boots and Ripos followed them, looking for an opening to save their friends. And Ad'wi? He found some loose clothes and disguised himself into a large woman with a burqa.

Bustling market square, full of booths, stalls, merchants and locals sprawled in front of the citadel. Large double gates were open, and portcullis locked in upright position.

“Ripos, listen, I have a plan. If you can cause commotion, I can hide to the side and put some of the guards to sleep. Are you up for it?”

Heck, Boots didn't even have time to finish sharing his plan. Ripos already put a small sack with two little holes on his head, mounted the mule, and started causing wild ruckus in the middle of the square. The mule thrashed and thrashed, kicking stalls and people over.

Ad'wi charged round the citadel, as close to the river bank he could. There he realised that the prisoners were guided to a rowboat. A small island stood in the middle of the river. There was the main citadel, the palace, and one more large building.

“Not so loud now, eh?” one of the guards provoked Salvatore as they were rowing the boat. That was enough to get the magician ranting again. Norwell was quiet all the time, just sighing heavily.

A dozen or so guard came out of the citadel to check on the pandemonium taking place at the market square. Wildcheeks kicked over a baker's stall, so there were several flour clouds out and about, making the whole scene even more chaotic than it was. Boots performed the arcane ritual in as much secrecy as he could. Most of the guards dropped to the ground—sans two of them.

Simultaneously, Salvatore used the guards' ignorance to his advantage. They left him untied and unmuffled. He quickly switched from ranting to uttering words of power. All four guards on the rowboat fell into deep slumber.

“Grab the oars! I'll slit their throats once we are outside of the archers' range.”

Ad'wi unleashed a single arrow. It landed straight into the heart of a guard waiting for the rowboat's arrival at the island. He fell face first into the river.

Norwell sighed heavily.

Discuss at Dragonsfoot forum.

#Wilderlands #SessionReport

Subscribe to get the latest post in your inbox. No spam.