As Telvas negotiates his way into a possible position in the Red Lotus trade via Fulmer (and a 250 coin fee), Finbar, Tiskus and Rafos find themselves imprisoned in the lair of Eldabon Thorne and his newly acquired minions. The smooth-tongued mage’s entreaties are silenced by both Thorne and the threatening looking Witha, a prospective torturer of the troupe, which avoids the rack (or whatever she has in store), due to a rapid timetable Thorne and his motley goblins seem to be on.
Long story short:
*As Rafos and Tisky distract Witha and the gobbies, Finbar goes full horse and sprints his way right out of the lair, eventually diving from the second story right into a nestling stream below. Left for dead after a blade and arrow caressing at the hands of greenskins and needle goblins, the druid meets with certain death and is sent back to the world of the living, where he washes up in the swamp far from his captors, still breathing and severely beaten.
*Rafos’ endures a similar fate, except death sends him back a changed person. The soft-spoken ranger returns as some sort of evil avatar, and, in a moment where he, Shyk and Tiskus seem to have talked their way into negotiations with Thorne, slices Witha’s throat. Smoth move—Witha is Thorne’s consort. His witnessing of her death effectively brings about an end to all negotiations, forcing Rafos and Shyk to beat feet in the direction of the already hoofed-out-of-there Finbar. While Rafos eventually escapes to the woods, Shyk is pincushioned as he slides down the pulley-chain in the escape chute. Scratch one hireling.
*When Tiskus comes to, he tosses on the invisibility mask (spell), and literally walks out of the lair (or rather, eventually shimmies down a silk rope). He locates his spellbook, procures a few choice group items, and heads for civilization.
The group of four finally comes together at the festival of Ribbons, where Finbar, who is Flaskless (i.e., missing his magical flasks, which puts getting back his staff in jeopardy), donates all his funds to obtain a needed potion to complete his task.
Meanwhile, Tiskus calls in his favor from Delia Xorsbottom (now Delia Foeblade), meets with Lord Foeblade himself, and gains the loan of three veteran warriors to help the Fab Four return to Thorne’s hideout to steal back their stuff (including said flask).
Some concerns arise, however, foremost of which is the Foeblade soldiers list among their number one Jaeel Deerclan, former friend/peer/?? of Telvas, who REALLY, REALLY has a bone to pick with the spinning swordsman. The group makes sure to keep the two apart as they arrange a resupply in nearby Briarhollow. The adventure ends with Tiskus bringing Foeblade’s contingent into town to meet up with Fin, Rafe and Telv, then set off for the goblin lair.
In the meantime:
*Thorne’s “timetable” is obviously skewed by the group’s escape and slaying of Witha. But what was he up to, and what was the effect?
*Finbar has found his stone paw is quite the burden, and makes plans to have the curse removed (without just chopping the hand off, of course).
*Telvas is nowhere near the coin he needs, but Fulmer has agreed to arrange a meeting with his contacts if the elven blade wielder can steal Gruntorm Drunkseeker’s ledgers and deliver them to him within a month.
*Tiskus’ magic draws unwanted (albeit temporary) attention from a bureaucratic demon . down below. No real price is paid for the attention, save loss of a position with legendary chef Jacques Dufresne.
*Rafos’ existence is now dependent on slaying an innocent monthly, lest he return to the abyss. Now that he’s clearly a not-so-good guy, that abyss is looking pretty…warm…
Adventure started: end of April.
Time passed: 5.5 days.
Next adventure starts: “May” 5th. A blustery day, with rain in the forecast.