Ryndaria

Chicks in Chainmail - Adventure 1, Session 3

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…

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Chicks in Chainmail - Adventure 1, Session 2
Trouble on the Road, Session 2

Last time, on The Chicks in Chainmail:

The Chicks found themselves escorting a merchant and his wares back to Calari from Stelmerch. He had lost his friends and guards in a bandit attack on the way up to Stelmerch. The road quickly turned dangerous. After dispatching a group of bandits, the Chicks were being pursued by a larger, deadly group of the criminals, and had no choice but to attempt to hide in the woods.

Bandit backup noticed the commotion the party had made dispatching their compatriots, led by the fiery whip wielding commander. They could be seen rushing up the trail toward the group.

Coby had lost all sense at this point and was shrieking incoherently. Cassie, newly rejoined with the party, attempted to calm Coby down. Coby, having never met her before, got even more freaked out. Hibiscus dropped a magical hand over his mouth to at least quiet him down enough to get off the road.

The rest of the Chicks worked to get the carts and animals off the road and to cover the tracks of the group. By the time the bandit backup arrived, there was no sign of the Chicks for them to follow.

The Chicks spent the next few days wandering the forest attempting to avoid detection of various bandit patrols and wild life. Coby’s demeanor calmed once the group was safely in the woods. The trek down the hill was slow, but steady with no major interruptions.

As the team approached the city of Formel, they realized they would be forced to confront bandits if there were to get to the city. After picking out a group of bandits to approach, Hibiscus disguised the merchant wares as simple carts of sawdust in hopes of getting to the city unscathed.

The Chicks relied on their quick wit to deal with the approaching bandit road block, claiming that all they had for sale was sawdust, and there was no real value in the bandits attempting to confiscate they goods. The leader of the group of bandits was not buying the ruse and asked the Chicks to explain how sawdust was in any way useful for sale.

Hibiscus and Cassie quickly gave their sales pitch on the wonderful uses of sawdust. They sell only the finest, high mountain, tree old sawdust. It has so many uses from clean up to healing powers. The Chicks explain the industry growth potential in sawdust and even offer an opportunity to invest in their venture.

The pitch worked! Perhaps even too well, as the bandits were convinced this sawdust would be worth its weight in gold. The bandits drew their weapons and attacked the Chicks.

The battle was controlled by the Chicks from the start. Early on in the battle, Coby nearly transformed. He was no longer the frightened, nervous merchant. A blood lust overcame him as he continually shouted at the lead bandit, firing bolt after bolt from his crossbow and the halberd wielding, chain mail wearing bandit. The Chicks were perplexed by the sudden change, but used it to their advantage to quickly overwhelm the bandits.

The bandit leader was allowed to live, but before the Chicks could question him, Coby kicked him repeatedly into unconsciousness. He would later explain that this leader was one of the guards he had hired to protect him on the road. He had been betrayed, and was taking out his anger at the loss of his friends on his betrayer. Eventually, Coby calmed down enough to drag the bandit into the town of Formel and turn him over to the authorities.

The Chicks rested in Formel a couple days while preparing for their journey on to Calari. While in town, they set up a storefront that sells store fronts to other merchants. They also attempted to sell the sawdust, forgetting it was a magical illusion.

While staying at The Trinket, the local inn, Bregaattempted to rent herself out as a trinket to the inn’s proprietor, Bartleby Ironside, but eventually gave up and had a good time drinking the night away.

Hibiscus spent time at the Leatherworks. While there, she asked the owner, Sir Galen Taylor, about the fire whip they had found on the road. Sir Galen could tell it was finely crafted, but claimed it was not one of his, nor could he tell by the markings who made it. While there, Hibiscus contracted Sir Galen to trace arcane symbols onto her leather armor, which he did for a modest fee.

Nead also visited the Leatherworks and attempted to find Raincaller work while in town. A meeting was setup early the next day to meet with some land owners who would be coming in from their farms.

Cassie spent the evening at the lake telling fishing stories and learning a new sea shanty.

Coby was in a hurry to continue on, and so rushed the Chicks to continue on the road to Calari the next day after business was completed.

While on the road, the Chicks encounted Count Vicros Milner II and his military guard. He recognized Nead, as he was acquainted with her parents. He was on the road to deal with some political disputes in Formel. With all the bandits on the road, and the constant merchant bickering, he was tied up with politics as usual. Before passing on, he warned Nead that something odd was afoot in the area, and she should be extremely careful who she trusts.

Later, the Chicks had a hearty laugh at the Count’s expense. He reminded them of a childhood entertainer and puppet and they had a grand time on the way to Calari, nearly dying of self-inflicted laughter.

Continued…

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Chicks in Chainmail - Adventure 1, Session 1
Trouble on the Road, Session 1

The Chicks find themselves in Stelmerch, a small trading outpost at the base of the trail that leads up to the dwarven UnderCities. While there, the girls pawn a few trinkets and bless a few homes for rain (no snow), and good fortune. Hagressa knows Gretta well, and Gretta allows the party to stay at her inn at a significant discount. Many nights are spent chatting up the locals (and making deals) at Gretta’s.

Most talk about the town is about the increased danger on the road down to Formel and Calari. Bandits and monsters are always a risk, but there had recently been a significant increase in the number of bandits on the road. Many caravans had been attacked and robbed. Those merchants that can afford it have increased the number of trained guard escorts.

The Chicks did not have much issue on the trip up the road to Stelmerch. They do not usually have issues since they are well equipped for a fight, not a typical merchant caravan, and somewhat well known in these parts.

Adventure

  • While enjoying a night of drinking at Gretta’s, Gretta approaches Hagressa about a need she had stumbled upon.
    • A human merchant she had known for several years had stumbled into the trading outpost that day battered, frightened, and looking for help.
    • Gretta asks if the group would speak to him and possibly help out, since they are going back down the hill soon.
      • The merchant, Coby, tells the group his story
        • He had hired four ex-military (twice what he normally hires) to escort himself and three other men that work for him up and back to Stelmerch from Calari.
        • The presence of the guards seemed to keep the bandits at bay. They even witnessed a few off the road who did not come up and challenge their party.
        • Half way between Stelmerch and Formel, the group was confronted by a group of six bandits. They demanded 100gp for passage along the road. When Coby refused, his party was attacked. The guards fended off the attack well, even taking down a few of the bandits. Suddenly in the thick of battle, a barrage of arrows flew in from behind some trees off the road. The arrows struck and killed two of his men before he understood what was going on. When he watched the lead bandit strike down one of his guards, fear overtook him and he jumped on his horse and fled.
        • He has no clue what happened to the rest of his guards, and fully expected to be caught and murdered.
        • He barely escaped with his life and enough money to buy some armor, weapons and tools from the dwarves he hopes he can sell back in Calari.
        • He has no way to get back, and desperately needs help. He asks that the Chicks would slow down enough to let him tag along on their trip back down the hill. Upon arriving in Calari, he would pay them what he could and put in a good word with the Merchant Council of Calari, as he worked for the second ranked member of the Council.
          • The last time the Chicks were in Calari, they made a good bit of coin (since Calari is a pretty good sized city), but the Merchant Council had turned away their services completely.
    • Negotiations between Coby and the Chicks were rather heated. Since Coby was in such dire straights, and the journey seemed perilous, the Chicks made sure the escort would be worth their while.
      • Coby agreed to speak with his boss, who is the second ranked member of the Merchant Council in Calari. If he would not give work to the Chicks, Coby committed to hiring them himself in the future.
  • Day One:
    • The journey during the day down the hill toward Formel was uneventful. Coby is a jittery sort, after seeing his previous company killed.
    • During the night, while Nead was on watch, an ant the size of a large dog came wandering out of the brush near the camp. It scurried around and eventually made its way toward the light of the camp file.
      • Soon, more large ants came up to camp.
      • As Nead began waking up the rest of the party, a giant ant approached the camp. Standing over 6 feet tall and 12 feet long, it charged in through the trees and attacked the party. The rest of the ants took the lead of their larger companion.
      • The fighting was frantic.
        • Hagressa found herself suffering the brunt of the attack. The giant ant pressed Hagressa hard, forcing her to the ground with its mandibles and stomping at her.
        • Coby spent most of the battle whimpering and hiding, staying out of site of the hungry ants.
      • The Chicks eventually won the day, successfully protecting Coby, the mules and their own mounts.
    • After the battle, the dwarf, Brega listened to the wind and noticed a faint rumbling sound off into the distance from whence the ants had come.
      • Not wanting to meet the rest of the ant hill, the Chicks decided to pull up camp in the middle of the night and continue down the hill.
      • As they left camp, Hagressa, who had grown up in this area, noted she had never seen anything like this before. She had never even heard of a creature like this.
  • Day Two:
    • The Chicks continued their travels along the road on the second day.
      • Much of the morning was slow going. Sleep was sparse through the night, so rest was found in shifts along the road.
    • By midday, the Chicks came upon their first sign of other people along the road.
      • It was not difficult for the girls to determine that this group of men on the road were bandits looking for their first kill of the day.
    • The lead man of the group attempted to politely deal with the Chicks, but the ladies saw right through his charade.
    • He switched tactics in an attempt to intimidate the traveling group by brandishing a finely tailored whip that lit up in flame at his command.
    • Hibiscus, no stranger to rabble along the road, grew impatient of the game.
      • With a quick “I can play show and tell, too!” Hibiscus conjured a giant ball of fire to land behind the lead bandit, singing his backside. The Chicks and bandits quickly took to arms.
      • The battle was rather one sided, as the Chicks quickly took control of the field.
        • Hagressacalled out to the ground and a large thicket of shrubs rose up around the Chicks and their carts. The bandit archers struggled to find a clear shot as the Chicks cut down the bandits with precision.
        • Neadfound herself away from the battle and unable to get into the thick of it as she had planned, so she pulled out her repeating crossbow and fired round after round at the bandit leader.
          • It was a brilliant shower of crossbow bolts, yet Nead’s aim was off and the best she did was a glancing blow off the shoulder of the bandit.
    • After dispatching the bandits, the Chicks looked down the road to see they had been noticed by a larger group of bandits.
    • Coby yelled and cried for them to get off the road.
    • Hibiscus grabbed the magical whip from the dead bandit’s hand.
    • Cassie, who had been missing from the trip up to this point gave the team a wave from the woods and the group set off to hide…
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