April 03, 2012

The Cost of Doing Business

After a lull that went on for far too long my group's schedules matched up tonight, Game Night was on! The party was unchanged from the last session, and we picked up immediately after the last. Also, I found time to do a quick sketch to go along with the session report.

The bandits who had stolen Thogsmash's treasure had been dispatched. Their leader, Vinkol Dane, led the party back to their camp tyhanks to the wizard's charm spell. The missing gold was found in sacks piled beside the campfire. Taking a moment to rest, the group interrogated Vinkol. He hadn't personally met the Bogmaster, but a fence named Enrik back in Hamanda Jakla who hired the group to capture Thogsmash if they could, and failing that to bring the loot to the city. A lot of time was wasted deciding whether or not they should take him with them, risking him shaking off the enchantment and escaping, or killing him outright. The party mounted their horses and set off again toward the city, bringing Vinkol along.

Their carnage did not go unnoticed. A pack of wild dogs was attracted by the stench of the corpses, and after having their fill of carrion loped off after the party. It was three days before the party noticed they were being tailed. Hoping to get scout whatever was following them, Spud sent his feline familiar Chairman Mao to spy. This did not go well as the dogs immediately treed the cat. Turning around to rescue his familiar, the party was surprised as the feral mutts tore out of the tall grass attacked. The dogs were especially hungry, and the battle was a hard fight. Diesel took to the tree with the cat to get away from the dogs, while Tim and Vinkol were both brought down under the weight of them. Luck was on Tim's side once more, but he added a new network of scars onto his increasingly frail body. Vinkol was not so lucky, the dogs had left him short an arm and nearly chewed off his face. They drove off the pack when Diesel performed a mercy kill. Thogsmash had a spell go catastrophically wrong, causing his fingers to grow into demonic claws as black as midnight. If this was the effect a single miscast, what did the Bogmaster, never seen without a concealing cowl, look like?

It took a few days for the party to track down Enrik in Hamanda Jakla. He agreed to meet the group at an alehouse called the Dead Duck, deep in the seedier sections of the city. The dwarf Boff goes in to negotiate, bringing Thogsmash in bound by trick knots. The deal was simple, in exchange for 200 gold pieces a head they would turn over the wizard for delivery to the Bogmaster. Boff counter-offered with payment for the whole gang (lying far afield and eaten by dogs.) Enrik demurred. "I'm not running a charity," he growled. "That's the cost of doing business." Agreeing, Boff led Enrik outside to avoid witnesses for the hand-off. A couple of thugs coalesced out of the crowd as they left the alehouse, falling into step behind the fence. Boff could smell the gold on them. The moment the hand-off began Tim and Diesel stepped out of the shadows, and, landing astonishingly keen blows, dropped Enrik's toughs. "What is this?" Enrik sputtered.

"The cost of doing business," replied the other wizard, stepping into the light.

Second Greatest Line of the session"Can I buy a pair of gloves? or maybe oven mitts?" By Thogsmash, on getting back to town after spell corruption (the first in the campaign!) gave him freaky claws.

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