“Laerta’s left tit, Harxen. Fish or cut bait.”
Harxen puts his hand down and shoves a small pile of silvers in Christine’s general direction. Christine puts down her cards, face up. King high Flush. Hearts.
“Good call, Jethrali. Better luck next time.”
You hear a bell from the deck, signalling a port in sight. After two days on a fishing boat, everyone is eager to get off. Having the cart taking up space hasn’t helped the conditions.
You disembark on to the cleanest pier you’ve ever seen. The picturesque village of Dawstyn slopes up a gentle hill toward a somewhat spartan looking manor home at the top. Terrace farmland and cottage homes advance up the hill with steep staircases. The stonework railings along side the terraces have firing parapets at regular intervals. It seems that even the gentle villages are fortified in Fask.
An officer in the Faskian Home Army approaches you with a ledger. A pair of pistols are prominently displayed on his belt and he is flanked by two Faskian Halbardiers.
“Purpose of your visit to Fask?”, he says.
“I’ll need to see travel papers for you and your workers, and my soldiers will search your vessel.”
Players do not have travel papers
The officer has gone from bored to Irritated: “We’re at war, foreigner. You’re lucky I have more important things to do than detain you. The magistrate of Dawstyn lives in the house at the top of the hill. He has the authorization to write you new papers. Go be his problem before I change my mind.”
Christine says: “We’ve got time to get the papers. I’d rather go to the Inn first. My contact sent someone there to watch for me.”
Players get new travel papers
The magistrate’s manor is even more imposing up close and looks more like a keep than a mansion. A guard outside the main gate asks you to state your business.
Players state business
The guard replies: “The Magistrate is currently occupied. I can issue temporary travel papers free of charge. You will have to return tomorrow with the appropriate fee. And I would leave your thorn-ear hirelings behind. The magistrate finds the lesser races to be… Unsightly”
Players go to the Inn
The local inn is positioned on the north end of a market square. There is a sign outside it that says “No elves, no gnomes, no gambling”.
Christine says, in a somewhat rude tone: “Wait outside by the cart. I’ll be back.”
The tavern door closes behind her as she walks inside.
The market itself is arrayed in rows circling a monument depicting what is described by a plaque as “The Liberation of Dawstyn”. The depiction is of a human in full plate bearing a pistol and a sword. Some kind of musky incense is fed into the pistol so that it is always smoking. The same figure is striding over three dead elves.
The crowds are wearing an even mix of farmers’ garb and Militia uniforms, though many of the uniforms are hemmed with matching shades of dirt. The Militia members are all carrying flintlock carbines on their backs and shortswords on their hips while they browse. Most everyone who passes gives a look of either apprehension or disgust.
After about a minute, a group of guards approach looking more hostile than disgusted. One of them, an officer, levels his carbine and barks in Faskian: “Stay where you are, all of you. Face the cart and put your hands in the air.”
“I said put your hands in the air, you scum! You’ve got three seconds! Two”
Bang! A gunshot echoes across the plaza. The guard that was counting collapses. A hooded figure at a nearby fruit stand drops her pistol and hurls a bread basket at an expensive looking carriage that is traveling along the edge of the plaza. (Combat. Refer Below)
(to Sam) The guard in charge, a sergeant, addresses you directly “What’s your business here, Skippy?”
(if not answered) he asks you as a group “Are you all together.”
Players answer yes
He says, half to you, half to the four guards with him:
“Well, you know what they call more than two treefuckers in one place? A conspiracy. Round them up now. I don’t want them around when the magistrate’s carriage comes through”
(refer to interrupt below)
Players answer no
“I’ll need to see some identification papers”
(players do not have ID)
“No papers?” The officer looks irritated and gestures to hist retinue.
The guard on his left pulls a set of wrist irons from his belt. As you assess your options, you, and apparently the guards, hear a crash on the edge of the plaza. A stall has been tipped over in the path of a carriage and the horses have spooked. The carriage comes to a halt. Then it explodes, sending splinters flying and a broken wheel rolling in front of you.
Combat, 4 guards, plus or minus an officer
(One player action)
The crowded market quickly erupts in a panic as citizens run away from the blast. Militia members move to draw their muskets and orient themselves in the chaos.
(another player action)
Several militia members are caught off guard by people in the crowd wearing assorted green cloaks and masks. They’re armed with knives. The five or so attackers leave their knives in the soldiers’ throats and take their weapons.
(one round in)
Christine bursts out the door of the inn. She looks around and draws a hidden pistol. “What the seventh hell did you do?”
(next player action)
A group of three elves near the edge of the market drop their hoods, pull weapons from under their cloaks and walk toward the wrecked carriage. A man in a dress uniform is clawing himself from the wreckage. He looks at the approaching group and begins looking around for a weapon. He finds nothing, so he puts his hand up and starts pleading. One of the elves, a woman in her 30’s or 40’s with short, black hair, says “Beg all you want, tyrant scum. My dead brother says hi” and drives a crossbow bolt into his left eye.
(next player action)
One of the cloaked attackers fires a stolen musket at the stone statue, taking a chunk out of its’ face. The black haired elf shouts: “Forget the monument. We got the real one. Let’s get out of here before more Wyrlat show up.”
(next player action)
Christine fires her pistol at a militia soldier, wounding him in the arm. “My guess,” she says, pointing to the attackers “These are the last arrows and one of them is our contact.”
players ask Christine about attack
“Yeah, they told me all about it. I thought it would be a nice surprise ‘welcome to Fask’ party. I even ordered a cake and a keg of ale. NO! They neglected to mention this part.”
(Next player action)
One of the rebels that approached the carriage checks the horses and starts undoing the tack. “This one’s wounded. She’s not going anywhere soon.”
The dark haired elf shouts back “Dammit, We’ve lost two people already. We can’t stay here.”
(next player action)
One of the rebels retreating toward the destroyed carriage bellows to the dark haired elf: “We can’t all fit on one horse. Any ideas, Benavin?”
Christine (describe combat action), then turns to you and says: “Without these people, we’re not finding St. Laerta’s remains.”
As you clear the market and soon, the town of Dawstyn, the dark haired elf offers her hand and says: “Thanks for getting us out of that one, now who the hell are you?”
“Benavin. You already know what I do. So you’re looking for the remains of St. Laerta?”
“Well, we’ve got no idea where they are. We think the Faskies have some kind of lead, though. One of the colonels in their Homeland Army has developed a very public obsession with finding them. The kind of obsession that could get him fired or shot, were he not so good at his job. He’s probably the one they’ll send to hunt us down after that stunt we pulled in the market, which makes finding him a fairly simple matter.”
“It’s going to be a few days before he gets to Dawstyn to start his search. For now, we’ll need to ditch this cart and disappear to throw off the garrison chasing us. We’re camped out in some old ruins in the forest.”