October 31st, 2010

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, 20th Session: Ambush on Grape Lane

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s game. Each PC gets 615 xp.

10th Iunius (contd.)

While the others are in inside the Winking Vixen, Ulthar tries to strike up a comradely conversation with Tamrin, the brothel’s bouncer, but he fails to impress the gruff dwarf and retires across the street to the Sultry Siren tavern. There, he buys a beer and takes it outside to drink so he can keep an eye on the front door of the Vixen.

Inside, Juma and Hrothgar are unhappy that there are no pretty boys or gnoll women available for hire. Juma tries to get the barman to perform a private dance for him but he’s just not interested so the genasi climbs up on the bar himself and starts dancing. This creates enough of a distraction for Hrothgar to sneak up to a door leading to the staff area and listen to the argument going on behind it between an Akhrani man and a woman - he can’t make out much but the name “Zeno” is mentioned.

Back outside, Ulthar spots someone peering round an alley, apparently spying on him. When he goes to investigate, he is surprised to find himself facing five attackers: a gnoll, a half-elf and three humans. Luckily, he’s wearing the handy cloak of shadowform he took from Cadavra and is able to turn himself insubtantial and move out of reach while Tamrin alerts the other PCs.

Juma tries to leap through a closed window to the warlord’s aid but this doesn’t work out too well – the genasi crashes through the shutters to land face down in the street! Hrothgar and Sora use the door instead, although the barbarian is hit by the flail-wielding enemy gnoll lurking behind the doorway as he comes outside. Gil casts fireball through the now-open window into the thugs, then Ulthar dispels his shadowform to join his fellow adventurers in melee. The gnoll thug is killed first, then Hrothgar licks his axe and unleashes his frost wolf rage on the half-elf, taking the Grape Lane basher’s head clean off. Gil’s flaming sphere takes down the hammer-wielder and Sora kills the guy armed with a scourge but the irritating, tumbling knife fighter manages to escape.

The PCs’ efforts have been watched by the crowd inside the Winking Vixen, including Iancu Petronas’ acting troupe. Always on the look out for a few coins, Juma passes a hat round so they can show their appreciation. Before the watch arrive, Gil casts Tenser’s Floating Disk and the party load the hammer-wielder’s body on to it. Ulthar chats to Eusebia, the brothel’s madam, but doesn’t learn anything useful.

Back at their apartment, Gil casts speak with dead on the corpse – the dead thug hasn’t heard of Iancu Petronas but reveals he took his orders from someone called Ekrem. Later that night, Hrothgar, Gil and Ulthar take the body down to the waterfront and manage to dispose of it in the Dolphin Strait without being observed.

11th Iunius

The PCs head to the Golden Bean Tree coffee house in the Khanduq of the Nightingale’s Song for breakfast. Here, they run into Iancu Petronas and Beatus – the playwright offers the PCs free tickets to his play after their heroics the night before but is unwilling to invite Jihad round to his house. After Ulthar tries a bit too hard to flatter him, Iancu and his friend leave.

As the party finish off their coffee, a sinister-looking trio enter the cafe and start threatening Yasmina, the owner as two Wicked Fang gnolls guard the entrances. When two of the thugs start smashing coffee cups, the PCs intervene and a battle ensues. Gil conjures Bigby’s Icy Grasp to grab hold of one of the villains as Ulthar and Juma are dazed by the two bodyguards. The two gnolls mark Hrothgar and Ulthar and pull them outside into the khanduq’s courtyard as artists and stallholders scatter in all directions. The PCs take down one gnoll and one bodyguard, then Sora knocks the leader unconscious, allowing the others to finish off the last two racketeers. To celebrate, Hrothgar eats the heart of the gnoll he killed!

The city watch arrive and allow the PCs five minutes to interrogate their captive. They learn his name is Ashraf, he works for the Golden Scimitars, reporting into someone called Vadim who can sometimes be found at Fahil’s Floating Palace. Juma chops off his little finger, then hands him over to the watch sergeant. Sora claims the gnoll’s +2 blood fury greatsword. Ulthar gives Yasmina 10 bezants to pay for the damage done to the Golden Bean Tree; the grateful owner explains that this is the first time she’s encountered the Golden Scimitars. A street gang called the Lamplighters used to look after the Maker’s Ward.

Unsure what to do next, the PCs ask round in the taverns about Iancu Petronas, trying to find out his address without success. They do hear that the Lamplighters seem to have disappeared in recent weeks and the Golden Scimitars are now moving in. As the Lamplighters used to protect the Potters guild, they head to the guild headquarters and talk to one of the officers. Jihad says the Juma Gang are available for hire as security to protect the Potters from their arch-rivals, the Masons, but the guildsman seems a bit unsure about hiring the party.