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Session 06: A Bardic Barrage
Shakespeare
Real World Date June 27th, 2014
Game Date March 18, Year 0
Location Creston
Enemies The Nightingale Bandit
NPCs Cleff, Atamant
previous
Session 05: The Great Gamlet Gamble
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Session 07: An Exercise in Exodus

The second open conflict with The Nightingale Bandit proves much more difficult than the first. It is starting to become clear that all the strange events taking place in Creston are closely related.

SynopsisEdit

The Party fights The Nightingale Bandit and his entourage of hired muscle. At several points, he says that if we just hand over the Tome of Time, he will stop his attack, but the party does not yield. The Nightingale Bandit slows the party down significantly by stacking one debilitating bardic spell after another on the heroes. In the course of the battle, Isaac is wounded severely enough that he falls unconscious. Although the party succeeds in defeating all of the lackeys, the Nightingale Bandit escapes with some books from Isaac's pack; one of which he hopes to be the tome. Vic heals Isaac back to consciousness. The party walks in the direction of the inn, but they hear the clamor of armor from down the street, suggesting the presence of military. Emilie reveals that the scary elf she saw in the forest (Atamant) had been wearing the armor of the royal military when she saw him in the forest in Session 04. Namfoodle scouts ahead in disguise. He discovers that the military claims to be there for the purpose of protecting the town from whatever is causing the disappearance. However, this seems to be a cover, because there is a massive amount of units deployed here. Unsure of whom the soldiers answer to, the party chooses caution over comfort and spends the night in the catacombs under the monastery.

Full AccountEdit

At the end of the previous session, The Nightingale Bandit sprayed the area with glitter dust so that he could still see Isaac during the latter's invisibility spell. Ironically, this action in turn blinded Isaac, Kal, and Namfoodle. In this session, Vic is on his way to the theatre to meet up with The Party, and so he happens to see the bandits rushing in through the windows. He joins the brawl valiantly, and the party is able to kill one or two of the bandits before their charismatic leader once again puts his fingers to his lips and whistles out another spell. This one throws the party and some surrounding bandits into dischord, giving them a 50% chance of attacking the nearest creature as viciously as possible for several rounds. The party is able to position themselves strategically so that they will only attack the bandits, and they are thus able to kill all but one of the hired thugs. During the fight, Nightingale tells the party that if at any point they are ready to give up the Tome of Time, he will call off the assault. Through continued discourse, the party discovers that Nightingale himself is just another link in the chain of command. The person who really wants the tome is Lanaea, and she is paying Nightingale hugely for it. Furthermore, the people who are disappearing are being interrogated by this criminal outfit. It is unclear what exactly happens to these people, or how the scary elf (Atamant) (and perhaps the royal army) fits into this. Only one other bandit remains, and he lets loose a third spell; causing Emilie, Kal, and Namfoodle to collapse on the ground laughing. At this point, every player character has been disabled in some way. Isaac is desperately in need of healing, but the party's cleric Vic is too busy swinging wildly at Emilie while she rolls on the floor in peals of oblivious laughter. The Nightingale Bandit casts two more spells. First he lets out a huge bang that deafens half the party and damages everyone. Then he summons seven illusory clones of himself (explaining his immaterial state in Session 01) and surrounds Isaac. Isaac falls in battle and the Nightingale Bandit raids his pack for the tome. He grabs as many books as he can carry from the pack and leaves through one of the windows while the party is still too wounded and otherwise incapacitated to stop him.

Somewhat ashamed of how easily they were reduced to helpless puddles during the battle, the party treats wounds and loots the bodies. Vic restores Isaac back to consciousness, and Isaac discovers that the Nightingale Bandit... missed! The tome is still securely in his bag of holding. This raises morale. On the five bodies, the party finds five bags total of 50 gold each, four smooth stones with runes on them, a bag of mysterious goop, three stick-like objects that may be wands, and some trail rations. They also find a coded paper on each body, similar to the ones we found the last time they encountered the Nightingale Bandit. In order to repay the theatre for smattering their green room with blood and viscera, and for costing them over half of their Gamlet company, the party leaves one of the money sacks in the middle of the room. Namfoodle adds his share of the remainder.

On the way back to the inn, the party hears the clanking of armor in the distance. Realizing that the situation is more important than her personal interest, Emilie at last shares that the scary elf (Atamant) seems to be a member of the royal army. Namfoodle scouts ahead in disguise and sees Knife-Ear among the other soldiers. He attempts to detect their thoughts, but the only useful thing he gleans is that the military presence is somehow linked to protecting Creston from future disappearances. However, this may be a cover, since the sheer volume of soldiers here seems excessive. Nam goes to the inn to ask Cleff if he knows anything, but Cleff claims to be in the dark about gossip and town happenings. Which is odd, given his profession. The party chooses to evade the troops for now, just in case, and sneaks into the catacombs under the Creston Monastery through the back entrance to spend the night. They decide it is most likely safe down there so long as Isaac keeps the tome inside his pocket dimension. Namfoodle sets a spell that will wake him if the catacombs are entered within the next six hours. Emilie agrees to take watch for the rest of the night after the spell wears off.

She looks at the papers during the night. Each has 106 curves and 12 lines. The last set of notes had 103 curves and 13 lines. It has been three days since the first encounter, so it seems likely that the number of curves, which represent date, increase by one per calendar day. If that is true, then is there significance to Day 1, which would be December 3, 1 BC? The difference in number of lines is interesting too. It suggests that they are not randomized, but perhaps correspond to a map. The number is too small to be counting longitude or latitude from the edge of a world map, so perhaps it is counting points of interest from Enderland's western coast. In any case, the difference between the theatre in Creston and the spot of the first encounter some three miles out of town to the southwest seems to be approximately equivalent to one line.

NotesEdit

  • Isaac Coale becomes the first player character to hit negative HP
  • Tahlarien scores the first critical hit of the campaign! The DM made the roll though, while Tahla's player was on her way to the session.

Session DocumentsEdit

Encounter 5/6 Map