You and your comrades, prepare for the coming day. After you finish preparing, you spend uneasy minutes waiting and pacing before the tension sets in again and you feel the urge to prepare all over again just to keep busy. Reilly has been gone for some time now after leaving to make contact with the Nightblades. Robyn had thought about going with her, but eventually they decided their time was better spent going with Harxen and slingshot to check out the meeting site. Enfys spent a good half hour trying to convince Reilly to rest before giving in and sending the “Mithril Bitch”, as Reilly had since been nicknamed, with a half-dose of cure light wounds. Milo and Cade are still in the harbor. Cecily is still preparing spells.
After quite a long wait, Robyn comes back with Slinshot and Harxen. They have a none-too-pleased look on their face. Robyn drops pack and says: “Have I ever expressed my frustrations over the Kaptalis obsession with windows and balconies? Because they’re everywhere. The buildings surrounding the square are peppered with potential perches for a sniper. The only thing about that square that might work in our favor is the chance that it will give Dagget a Priapism and mess up his shot. Any questions?”
Cecily says: “I could put up a personal abjurant to deflect a single shot, though I wouldn’t bet my life on it’s success. Dagget’s a clever bastard and he’s likely developed a countermeasure since he first took a shot at me. If you can find another way to pinpoint his perch or foil a shot, I’m all ears because otherwise, one of us is getting shot.”
(players discuss options)
“Alright” Robyn says “We’ll need to get moving soon. Reilly is going to meet us on the way with whatever Nightblades are helping. Take some time to check your gear and count ammo. I’ll meet you outside.”
Enfys, Robyn, Slingshot, Cecily and Harxen have elected to join you in the negotiations. Cecily asks you for a word on the way out.
“Listen”, She says “I appreciate everything you’ve done but I want to be sure we’re clear on one thing. Whether you choose to support us or not, it is not your decision whether or not to accept the terms of an agreement. It’s not even mine, I’m only there to make a judgement call about whether the terms are likely to be broadly accepted. Of course, if things go the way I think they will the IEG will spring a trap and the negotiations will become irrelevent.”
You’ve walked for about a half mile when you see Reilly turning the corner with a group of five nightblades in tow. The nightblades have swapped out their traditional red and black longcoats for basic civilian clothes. You recognize one of them as a rioter from the previous night and another as Jacc. Jacc passes Reilly to speak to you and says: “Your Warmaster has told us about the situation. I don’t know whether you plan to kill or capture Dagget, but it may be beneficial to capture him. He knows everything about the Daggermen. Numbers, Identities, Clients, Supply cache locations. Everything. If you capture him and allow us to interrogate him, we will be able to pull back the agents who are currently devoted to gathering information on their outfit and we will have the resources to pursue a full alliance with the Paragons. Once we’ve got what we need, we’ll turn him over unharmed to you. We’ll defer to your judgement on what to do with him. In the meantime, we’ll devote our agents to slowing down any reinforcments that come your way if the negotiations go south.”
Jacc rushes down a sidestreet out of sight and you see the other Nightblades fanning out down the streets and alleyways.
It takes another hour to arrive at the meeting point. When you get there, you see an array of rioters lined up on a barricade brandishing bricks or weapons. They wave as you pass by and you get the impression that they’re ready to fight if needed. Cecily approaches them to explain the terms of the meeting and asks them to pull back five blocks. The rioters discuss it briefly and then move back. On the other side of the square, you can see the IEG doing the same.
In the middle of the square is a large tent with two tables underneath. One has chairs, the other has food. Tilani greets you as you approach. “Take your pick from the buffet. I’m sure you have the presence of mind to test it for poison.” Enfys gives you a thumbs-up and pours a cup of tea.
Once everyone is seated, Tilani begins: “Why don’t we start by understanding where we are now. Your band of rebels has taken over more than half the city. Eventually our reinforcements will arrive to quell this rebellion, but until then we remain locked in a stalemate. With Arkali forces still roaming Irythan, the Merchant Lords would rather have those reinforcements used in aiding the Bastion Army. In exhange for an end to hostilities, we will offer the lower class of Gildenport half again their original wages and addition of 3 wells inside the worker’s housing district.”
Cecily lets out an exaggerated laugh, regains her composure and says: “You can’t be serious. Maybe that would have passed before you tried to have me killed. The people out there on the barricades have sacrificed so much for a free city. They’ll settle for nothing less than a free city. We’re willing to work with you on an orderly withdrawal of IEG forces and subsequently a program for our former employers to work for a living like everyone else, though no one will be toiling as hard for as little as we once did. Pull back now and there will be no further casualties. That is our offer.”
Tilani whispers in the ear of the Merchant’s Guild represtantative, who shakes his head. She then turns to Cecily and says: “May I have a word with alone with the Paragon delegation?” Cecily appers hesitant, but tells you: “I’ll take a short walk. I trust you hold the best interests of Gildenport at highest priority.”
Cecily walks off toward the rebel barricades. Tilani turns to you and says: “Now we can speak freely. I commend you on your progress. Despite our emnity I admire your ingenuity. The midnight raid on our ships and the destruction of city hall were inspired. However, they have had a negative effect on your reputation. The Merchant Lords and the Governing Houses both consider you to be a terrorist organization, where the Paragons were once only considered a nuisance. You can’t really blame us for that after blowing up a government building. However, there is a way to repair that damage. Since the rebels are clearly not interested in making a deal, I will ask you for one. You’ve gained the trust of the rebels and you currently hold all the naval power in the harbor. Use that trust and that power to help us quell this rebellion. It would be the first step in repairing relations with Kaptal. You can be Terrorists or you can be Heroes. The choice is yours. I suggest we take a brief recess for you to consider what has been said.”
The session breaks up and Enfys comes toward you. She says: “We’re not considering that offer, are we? I know it would grant us immediate resources, but it would mean betraying those we swore to protect. Tilani is right, our reputation will be determined here. But not just that. If we support the IEG, people who fight to free themselves from oppression would never trust us again. That includes some of our current volunteers. I owe you my life. For that reason only I would support your move to back the IEG, but that would be the end of our relationship and our friendship. I implore you to become Liberators of the working people, not the traitorous tyrants that kept them under Kaptalis boot.”
players decide to back the rebels
The session continues a half-hour later. Cecily is seated next to you with an almost pleading look on her face as though she knows what you were offered. Tilani asks: “Have you considered our offer.”
“Unfortunate. Are there any reforms at all that would sway your decision?” Cecily takes a deep breath and says “No”.
Tilani sighs, finishes the last sip of her tea and says: “I’m very sorry it had to come to this.” She rolls up her sleeves and mutters a brief incantation. You are unsure what exactly happened until you realize you can see the back of her chair. Tilani has turned incorporeal. She leaps back from her chair and begins muttering a second incantation. While she is casting you notice that there is a distinctive tattoo on her right forearm. It is a skull with a dagger blade sticking out of it’s mouth.