You make your way to the docks to trace the path of the box. Reilly informs you that she has already had someone she trusts gather the shipping manifests. It has been 12 hours since the attack began. During that time, a temporary infirmary has been set up in a tent in the mid-ground courtyard. The weather has been mostly favorable, save for a dump and done rainstorm seven hours ago. The sea gate has been closed and all outer cannons and ballistae have been loaded in preparation for an attack.
As you walk pas the makeshift infirmary tent, you can see two exhausted nurses sitting on the ground with their backs up against a tree. They’re sharing a flask of whiskey with the label “Oakenhearth Distillery”.
Players talk to nurses
(Where did you get that?)
“We found it at the west beach, by the woods when we were evacuating a wounded soldier. I knew what kind of shift we were going to have, so I slipped it in my pocket and held on to it until we were done treating the wounded. Good thing, too. The rain might have washed it back into the sea.”
Players go to the beach
The western gate opens up directly to the beach. The sandy beach tapers off to the north and is bordered by jagged granite cliffs. The south side of the beach goes up a hill and is broken off by a treeline leading to the woods.
(call for search and spot checks)
(Spot DC 20)
You see a faint line of smoke rising from beyond the treeline.
(Search DC 20)
You find a scrap of torn cloth stuck on a thorny vine, with a smattering of mostly-dry blood. One of the thorns has some dried-up blood on it.
(heal check DC 20)
Given the comparitive age, it would seem that the blood on the cloth came from the same source as the blood on the thorn. In addition, the drying of the blood given current humidity would indicate it is between two and three hours old.
Players delve into the woods
(If players have Robyn)
Robyn goes to work, following footprints and blood drops. Whoever it was was alternating between running and a brisk hiking pace. Along the way, you find scraps of a cleric’s vestments which were removed. Robes, circlet, cloak, sandals. Robyn stops a mile in and points out where moss was scraped from a fallen trunk. Combined with a cluster of bare footprints and bootprints leading away. There are at least four distinct pairs of feet. Robyn ventures a guess that whoever made the trail changed clothes here and met with co-conspirators, then continues on down the trail of bootprints.
(If players do not have Robyn)
Without a tracker, you must spend extra time searching for more obvious clues. Make a search check.
(DC 18 search, nat 20 skips a step)
-You find a discarded circlet of Pelor’s clergy a few hundred feet behind the treeline.
-A robe and a cloak are found in rapid succession a half a mile in
-You find a pair of sandals in the center of a small clearing and a pair of footwraps on the southern edge of the same clearing. One of the footwraps is smeared with blood that is beginning to dry.
-A few hundred feet into the woods from the clearing, you note a scene that even an untrained tracker would notice. Moss is stripped from various trees and cigarette butts line the pete-covered ground. Several distinct pairs of feet have all made their mark on this spot. Everyone present appears to have gone the same way, trampling the wet ground and leaving obvious bootprints behind them.
Players tracked with Robyn or succeeded in all search checks
Following the large group of footprints, you soon begin to smell the smoke of a campfire and hear mumbling voices (DC 20 Listen check below).
Players successfully eavesdrop
You hear a frantic, but hushed argument. One voice says:
“Where the seventh hell is that boat? We were told to expect pickup before dusk and the sun is already starting to go down.”
Another one retorts: “I don’t even think that boat is coming. Lantis is just going to hang us out to dry. Maybe if Kyran had disposed of that whiskey properly instead of just dumping it.”
“Hey!” Another voice, presumably Kyran, retorts. “I risked my neck going back there. Not my fault those damned vestments are such a trip hazard.”
(if Robyn is with them) Robyn snickers and remarks: “Something tells me we’re not dealing with professionals.”
Players approach the cove
You eventually emerge from the woods to see a small, sandy cove dotted with boulders. Four people are gathered there around a fire, huddling in the damp, cold air.
Players enter the cove and are discovered
One of the conspirators curses under his breath and kicks the dirt “Dammit, Kyran. You led them right to us.”
Players Draw Weapons
Three of the conspirators instinctively raise their hands. One of them says “Please, don’t shoot. It’s not what you think.” A fourth, Kyran, takes off running.
Players talk to the conspirators
(Who sent you)
A gang lord in Freeharbor. Goes by Four-finger Lantis. Paid us 6,000 gold a piece.
(What did you think you were doing)
Lantis said we were placing Scrying beacons for a client. We didn’t know they were going to explode. If we had, we would have turned the job down.
(Who’s Lantis’ client)
He doesn’t give out that kind of information. We didn’t need to know and we had 6,000 shiny reasons not to ask.
Players failed a search check
You eventually emerge from the woods to see a small cove. It took longer than expected to arrive. There is a small catamaran beached near the treeline tied to an oak. In the cove, you see the smouldering embers of a fire and four bodies with blood pooling around the sides. Two of them are quite near the fire, lying face up with their throats sliced open. The other two are farther away, sprawled on the ground with a single arrow in each of their backs. A masked woman in dark clothing is pulling an arrow from the back of one of the dead men. A dagger in her left hand is still dripping in blood.
(Players succeed on hiding)
She makes no sign of having noticed you. (allow players to set up)
(Players fail hide checks)
She is scanning the treeline, but makes no sign of having noticed you. (Assassin gets a surprise round)
Combat with assassin
(There is a note in the Assassin’s pocket)
You find a note that reads: "We’ve been hired for hush job. Your assignment is to meet with a group of people under the employ of “Four-Finger Lantis”, a gang lord based in Gildenport. They have been told to expect someone to transport them off the Island. You are to pose as their way off the island, find out what they know and who they’ve told, and eliminate them. Collect your payment from their corpses. If there is any less than 24,000 gold present, you may collect the difference from the usual location."