Adventure 1: Epilogue
The Chicks in Chainmail were rewarded for their efforts on the road to Calari with a private meeting with Coby’s boss, Winsla Tustin. Winsla is the number two ranked merchant on the Calari Merchant Council. The Chicks hoped she would be a starting point to new work, adventure, and eventual profit.
After spending some time in town, four of the Chicks (Cassie had been busy shopping and looking for stories, and missed the appointment) arrived at Winsla’s mansion, just inside the north west wall of Calari. The city wall makes up 3/4 of the grounds’ perimeter, with a large fence closing in the grounds. A single road leads up to the fence where a guarded gate screens all visitors to the mansion.
The Chicks arrived on time and were greeted at the gate by Coby. Coby was nearly unrecognizable to the Chicks. No longer was he the disheveled, frightened wreck the Chicks had escorted along the road. Having regained his composure, and properly mourned the loss of his friends, he showed a commanding presence with the rest of Winsla’s staff. He was obviously a well respected member of Winsla’s team.
Coby escorted the Chicks into Winsla’s residence and into her private office in the back. The room was rather large, and several of Winsla’s servants worked throughout the office. As the Chicks entered, Winsla could be seen behind her desk, conversing with one of her advisors.
Winsla is a fine looking, though eccentric lady of Calari. Her face shows the wear of middle age, though that is hardly noticeable in comparison to her clothing. She wears a large, bright yellow spring hat adorned with pale blue flowers. Her yellow cloak, worn over a black dress, shimmers with a blue similar to the flowers on her hat. While all who see her notice the oddness of her look, most are at the same time amazed by the beauty of it.
When Winsla saw the Chicks enter her office, she waved off her advisor and gave a warm greeting to the four ladies. She was thoroughly impressed and thankful for the work done on the road, both protecting Coby and successfully getting her shipment to the city. Yet as soon as conversation began, Winsla’s advisor walked back up and interrupted the ladies.
Winsla apologized to the Chicks and explained that she was needed elsewhere at that moment. She asked that they speak to Coby about payment and a reward for their work, and then Winsla invited the Chicks back to a formal dinner that evening with her and a few distinguished guests. She asked that they dress appropriately for the occasion, and that she would even provide attire for the evening for the ladies if needed.
After spending the afternoon getting fitted for evening wear, the group arrived early for dinner, though Cassie was a no show for the evening.
Coby greeted the Chicks at the gate to Winsla’s grounds and escorted them to the dinner hall inside the mansion. Coby’s wife was already there, and Coby introduced her to the Chicks as they found their seats and waited for their hostess. The room was quite large, mostly taken up by a table that comfortably would seat twelve. Along the inner wall were large windows that looked out to the inner courtyard. While seated at the table, guests could look out on Winsla’s garden, which included flowers, bushes, a couple small trees and a walking path. The courtyard was enclosed on all four sides by the mansion, though it opened to the sky above.
After a short wait, other guests began to arrive. As Coby, his wife, and the Chicks took to small talk, a servant entered the room, held the door open and announced the first guest.
“Madame Winsla Tustin” called out the servant. Winsla entered the room, still wearing her bright hat and cloak, but with a black dinner dress on beneath, accentuated by a belt of zebra skin. Winsla took her seat at the head of the table and welcomed her guests to dinner.
Soon after, the servant again entered the room, and called " Horatio Danforth IV". A portly, jovial middle-aged man entered the room. He was obviously wealthy by the clothes he wore, but he looked uncomfortable in them. Though not fully bald, his hair had receded considerably. He entered, sat near Hagressa and nearly immediately called over one of the servers to order an ale.
" Captain Lance Quindol" announced the servant. Capt. Qunidol entered the room with another man, who’s name was not announced. Capt. Quindol wore a fine, wide brimmed hat along with his dinner suit. Though no one else was armed at the dinner, the captain’s scimitar was prominently displayed, sheathed at his side. His guard companion was more modestly dressed, but suitably attired for dinner. Capt. Quindol sat at the end of the long table, opposite Winsla. His guard sat next to him, between the captain and Hibiscus.
After a brief introductions, dinner began and various conversations were struck up. Captain Quindol was introduced as the head of the Calari Merchant Council, and Horatio was a fellow member of the council. Hibiscus delighted the party by conjuring up some basic cantrips to draw a map on the table, showing where she was from. Brega embellished a fine tale of her amazing dwarven background. Horatio was thoroughly impressed by Brega’s fine story and nearly fell from his chair in laughter (possibly aided by the amount of alcohol he had consumed up to that point).
As talk turned to business, the Chicks looked to Nead as their spokesperson. Nead was able to strongly convince the attending council members of the Chicks value, and there was a clear understanding the the Chicks would be given future work if needed along with their rewards for their heroics with Coby on the trade roads.
As dinner was served and the group began to eat, Hagressa noticed movement out the window into the mansion garden. She was able to make out a shadowy figure aiming some sort of weapon in the direction of Captain Quindol and Horatio. Her warning was in time, as the captains guard was able to sand and take the brunt of the necrotic blast, presumably saving the assassin’s intended target.
Immediately, all at the table sprung into action. Captain Quindol pointed toward the kitchen and called for the Chicks to head in that direction. He would circle around the other way to cut off their defender. Winsla chanted a quick spell and the Chicks’ weapons appeared in front of them on the table. Coby, his wife, and Winsla then went to see to the fallen guard. Brega, Nead and Hagressa rushed off toward the kitchen, while Hibiscus followed after the captain in order to cover him. She did not want the potential assassination victim to be on his own.
The mansion was infested with shadow elementals which hindered the Chicks’ progress in getting to the assassin. Battle could be heard around the mansion as Winsla’s guards took up battle with the elementals. As Brega, Hagressa, and Nead ran through the kitchen into a side hallway, they found their way blocked by a pair of elementals. Hibiscus and Captain Quindol equally found themselves slowed in the garden by the shadowy forms.
Brega charged through the two elementals, leaving Hagressa and Nead to tangle with them, hoping to cut off the assassin before it could escape. The captain soon showed just how adept he was with his scimitar, slicing through elementals on his way toward the assassin.
The shadows were unable to stop the Chicks from breaking through their ranks on the way to stop the assassin’s escape. Eventually cornered in a room in the northwest of the mansion, the assassin fought hard with his two short swords, blackened from the necrotic magic pulsing within them. The assassin’s lightning reflexes allowed him to occasionally throw bolts of necrotic energy from his black leather sling.
Even with all of his training and weaponry, the assassin was no match for the captain and the Chicks. In an attempt to escape, the assassin blew a hole in the north wall of the room, but he was unable to get away before he was cut down. The Chicks were unable to find anything to identify him. Even his swords smoked and melted away when Brega attempted to look at them more closely. Only his black sling held any clues, and the Chicks held on to it.
As the Chicks and Captain Quindol finished their fighting, Coby rushed in to make sure no further help was needed and to report the captain’s guard would survive. As the group was discussing what to do next, a flash of light and a giant explosion erupted from the northwest of the mansion grounds, shaking the house. Orbs of magical light were lit along the north wall.
Winsla rushed in to assess what was going on as a female halfling servant came running into the room as well. “Madame Tustin, your daughter! Carly has been kidnapped!”
Winsla looked at the Chicks, fear in her eyes. “You say you wanted work? Go rescue my daughter, and I will be forever indebted to you!”
Until next time…