(players chalk on the lighthouse)
You mark the lighthouse and go about your day. An hour later, man in the familiar garb of the Night-blades approaches you and says: “I honestly didn’t believe it when they told me you’d showed up. My name’s Jacc. We met briefly in the sanctum, remember?”
“I’m assuming Fetrian gave you the run-down on the checkpoints, right? We have an alternative that would allow you to sneak past them. You’ve probably seen the wells around, right? They’re fed into directly from the canal. It’s a way to draw up water from the river without having to walk over to it. Cecily finally managed to get a well built in the Slums a month ago. We sent a crew in three days ago to try to smuggle in weapons, food and medical supplies. Only one of the five couriers returned. He said they ran into a Drowned Wight in one of the stonemason’s tunnels. We sent 2 clerics and an ex-paladin in to take it out, but they were forced to retreat. After that, we sent a scout, who returned saying he could not find an alternate route since the other tunnels were still under construction when the riots broke out.”
(players decide to sneak through a checkpoint) Milo says: “They won’t let us in if we don’t look like we belong. I’d suggest we look the part.”
You approach the checkpoint and the guard asks for your permit. He looks it over and says: “I’m reading on your permit you work at the steel foundry. Is that true?”
“Are you carrying any weapons or other prohibited items?”
“Alright, move along.”
Deeper in the slums, you start to see improvised barricades set up. No sign of rebel agents. A group of four kids approaches you. One of them bumps into you clumsily and asks if you have any food. Reilly hands them a bag of trail rations. The kid says: “Thanks, lady” and they run off.
An hour later, a man with a sword on his belt walks out of a tenement building and says: “Come with me, our people want to know who comes armed and armored into free territory. She’s waiting at St. Laerta’s Temple.”
St. Laerta’s temple looks like an ordinary chapel from the outside, minus some extra fortifications. The inside looks less like a place of worship and more like a public forum with amenities. There are now pews, but a series of chairs that can be moved around to suit the needs of the moment. Currently, most of them have been taken apart for barricade materials and splints for injured limbs. The communal kitchen is filled with volunteers making meals for those on the barricades. Clerics and Medics are doing what they can to nurse the injured back to health. Small groups are talking amongst themselves. In the back is a small group hunched over a map. One of the kids who bumped into you earlier is giving a report to a athletic-built woman with greying-brown hair in her early 40’s armed with a spear and wearing work clothes. She turns around and you recognize her as Cecily, though she sports a new bandage over her left cheek and she looks like she hasn’t slept in a while.
She practically tackles Enfys in an embrace. Looking at you, she chuckles and says “Damn, you all look like hell. Did you pick a fight with a dragon again?”
“Laerta’s last arrow, I was kidding. Promise you’ll tell me the full story. First, let me tell you what we’ve been doing here.” She hesitates “Where’s Brill?”
“Damn it, I’m so sorry.”, she says.
Enfys replies: “It was tough. I take comfort in the fact that he died knowing he saved all our hides. And that he didn’t die sober. He would have hated that.”
Cecily pours each of you a glass, plus one for herself. “To Brill,” She says “And hope that wherever he is, there are good fights, bad whiskey and worse hangovers.”
“Now, how about a tour?”
“You’ve already met our spy network. Kids can go unnoticed and even when they do get noticed, nobody remembers them unless they know them personally. Remember when the little kid bumped into you? He was checking you for weapons. We have barricades set up throughout the slums, but they’re unguarded at most times. We use them to delay incursion teams until we can set up an ambush. We worked ourselves into a good stalemate. It’s not worth the effort and risk for either side to make a move. On less bloody matters, the people here have practically formed their own society. They just look out for each-other. Those who can’t get a work permit help however they can. I’ve been teaching some rudimentary cantrips and I think I’ve patched about 3 roofs since this shit-storm began. This uprising forced us to depend on no-one but each-other. Whatever we build here will effectively be the governing body of Gildenport when we’re done.”
“For now, we need to kick the Internal Enforcement Guild out of the city. But to do that, we’ll need to break through their defenses. The first objective is to get a large host across one of the bridges. Problem is, the soldiers guarding the bridges aren’t exactly pushovers. They’re combat veterans from the war with Termalyn seven years ago. They’re experts at fighting infantry supported by spellcasters, so they’ll target anyone using magic first. I learned that the hard way duing our last break-through attempt” She says, pointing t the bandage on her cheek."
She draws a map of one of the bridges and it’s fortifications. “Every time people get let out for work, we get reports of the fortifications. We’ve managed to arrange for a workplace accident near the southernmost barricade. They’ll have to pull guards to respond to the resulting chaos. While that’s happening, we hit them hard and fast. I was hoping the heroes of Caer’Daugh would be willing to plan it out.”
(after players finish)
“Good. I’ll call in some volunteers to brief them. You may have to explain it to them yourself. They won’t agree if they think the plan is crap, but they know you by reputation.”
A scout stumbles in the door, badly wounded. Cecily catches him mid-fall and Enfys reflexively reaches for her healers kit. The scout says: “They sent in 20 soldiers and a war-golem. We set an ambush, like usual but with some extra kick. The golem tore right through and the soldiers split off and got away. Our arrows hit the golem, but we barely made a dent. We were forced to disgengage. The rest of my crew went after the soldiers, I came back here to warn you.”
Cecily tells the scout he did well and to rest up. She picks up her spear and backpack from the table and says: “I’m gonna take some friends and go break this thing. Any volunteers?”
“Right, then.” She turns to a shirtless elven teenager with boxing wraps, improvised bracers and a shortbow. “Slingshot, take all the other volunteers and go after the soldiers. Take Enfys Gwalchine and Sergeant McTeague, show them the way. I’m going to blow this machine sky-high and I don’t plan on being subtle about it. Lorraine, Dez, Irythan, Veil and Cade, follow me.”
Slingshot covers his face in a rag and hands two more to Enfys and Reilly before leading a group of fifteen fighters outside.
Cecily opens the door and signals for you to follow. As you run through the narrow streets of the slums, citizens point the way to the Golem. You can first see it from 200 feet away. It’s about 9 feet tall and shaped like a human. It’s limbs are cased in some form of leather armor with metal plates covering the chest and back with it’s head completely covered in an oversized IEG helmet. It has a repeating crossbow strapped to it’s left arm and carries a madu shield in it’s right arm. It’s left hand is carrying a large truncheon-style mace. Cecily points to two ladders leading to the rooftops on either side of the street and says: “If you want to take that position, now would be the time.” She scurries up the one on the left and says: “Most of my magic is used for a barrier to keep them from using trebuchets to target us. All I’ve got left is a scorching ray and 3 magic missiles. I hope you guys now how to blow stuff up.”
Combat with War-Golem
The war golem collapses in a heap of metal, held together only by the leather casing. Cecily approaches it and touches her hand to the head. She waits for a moment, then pulls her hand away and says: “Well, that’s just brilliant”
“War golems are not intelligent. When they’re activated, a mage has to give it a specific task that cannot be changed. This one’s task was to kill me. The guild is smart, they know that killing me now would only piss people off and create more rebels. This means they’ve figured out that I’m the one erecting the barrier that prevents them from using siege artillery on the slums. They kill me, they can target our barricades and infrastructure and use catapults to cover an assault. Let’s get back to the chapel. The others will need to hear our plan.”
The chapel looks untouched by the fighting. Slingshot and his crew have taken injuries, casualties and a prisoner. A soldier in IEG armor is tied up on a barricade, wounded. Enfys approaches you and says: “That soldier killed one of the volunteers in our squad. He ran off after the rest of his buddies were killed and Slingshot gave chase and tackled him. One thing of note is that Reilly didn’t try to blow his kneecaps off. His injuries are bad, but not life-threatening. How did you guys make out?”
(if players don’t mention it) Cecily says: “I was the golem’s target. They know I’m the one keeping the siege weapons from smashing our infrastructure to bits. Before we prepare our assault, I want to see if we can get this pig to squeal.”
Reilly asks for a word before you ask him questions.
“I’ve seen his type before. You remember Enfys said I didn’t blow his kneecaps off? That’s because it wouldn’t have done any good. He’s been trained to tolerate pain and he know’s we’re in the dark. He’ll resist and then he’ll give us a very convincing lie, knowing we have no way to verify it before we attack. I have another idea. He’s arrogant. Let him think we’re accidentally giving him valuable information. You can make that information whatever you want. Then we let him escape. If we make this convincing, we can make them do something extremely stupid.”