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Old 03-31-2021, 06:41 AM   #238
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 58 (2021-03-26)

Thoughts on October 14th

When we woke up, I suggested to Olivia that she organized breakfast while I raised morale with an acrobatics show. She smiled and said that was fine. I put on my performance outfit and went outside. As soon as I left the tent, one of the former captives, an older woman, came up to me and asked if I was the leader of our group. I said it depended on what she actually wanted to ask. I held the most rank in the adventurers’ guild, and I knew certain skills that the others didn’t, but when it came to strategy or negotiation, I depended on the others to take the lead.

It turned out the woman wanted to know what would happen to them and to the goods that the bandits had taken from their villages. I reassured the woman that we would escort them home – the former captives hailed from four of the six villages in the vicinity – and that we had no claim on the stolen goods. They had to sort out amongst themselves what should go to which village, or perhaps there were mayors or councilors in the villages that could convene and see to the proper distribution. The woman thanked me for taking care of the bandits, and for the promise to see them safely home.

After breakfast and my show, Leopold took charge. He announced that after we had cleaned up the encampment, we would take everyone and everything to the nearest village. That village could inform the others, so they could send representatives to negotiate for the goods, as well as bring their people home.

With the help of the villagers, it didn’t take long to gather up everything in three piles. The first pile was in fact ready; it consisted of the provisions we had captured in the woods. We knew who owned that. The other piles were larger, and held what the villagers laid claim to and not. I think the villagers were afraid of Va’lyndra and Ilzo; Olivia wasn’t the only one to be disturbed by their bloodthirsty behavior last night. The villagers put some things into our pile that should have gone in their pile, but which they thought we might not believe was theirs.

The first things to go into our pile was seven crossbows and the accompanying bolts. The weapons were of decent make, and Ilzo even tested one, but he thought he could draw it too easily. He would want one with a heavier pull, I presumed. Not that he really needed a crossbow. He has his sling, from which he lobs veritable boulders.

Next came knives, longswords and axes. We moved the axes over to the villagers’ pile, for they weren’t dedicated weapons, and could be used to chop wood. We wouldn’t get much for them anyway, if we sold them. We let the villagers have the knives, too. The bandits’ bows were of poor quality, and probably not of military issue, so we asked the villagers about them. They admitted that some of the bows came from their villages, so we let them have them all. They’d be useful to protect the villages from the monsters of the Bewitched Forest.

The bandits’ shields varied in quality, not considering the number Ilzo had done on a few of them. We tossed aside the broken ones and let the villagers have the rest. There was no law against commoners arming themselves. With the Bewitched Forest so close, it was encouraged! The authorities might look askance on finding a stash of military grade weaponry, though.

There were seventeen sets of leather armor, all of poor quality despite most not having been used last night. The bandits hadn’t had time to put them on, except for the few on guard. We let the villagers have the leather armor, too. There were seven sets of plate armor, all marked with military insignia. They looked all right, quality-wise. One even looked like masterwork despite all the holes I had put through it to ensure that the wearer was dead. Looking at it now, I thought maybe I had gone a little overboard.

The bandit mage’s staff was magical, as was a small stone Va’lyndra found in his tent. We kept those, of course. We uncovered some jewelry and fancy clothes that we decided to sell; it was too fine for village people. The bandits’ furniture also found its way to our pile, but that was so heavy that we didn’t bother with it. It wouldn’t fetch much at market. Finally, there were some tools. Some of them might be useful to us, but I thought the majority should go to the villagers.

Leopold found a small library, yesterday, and now that we were divvying up the loot, he gave me two of the books. They were hardly more than leaflets, at least compared to some of the volumes I’ve seen in his possession – or Va’lyndra’s – before. He said they’d suit me. At first, I thought that was because of the size. Even someone as bookophobic as me should be able to get through these. I glanced at the first title, “Silent Whispers”. I glared at Leopold. If this was an instruction manual on stealth, he had more need of it than me. But perhaps he had already read it. Leopold devours books when given the chance. And I might learn something. Admittedly, I got by on superior flexibility and mobility, not much actual stealth practice. The other book was titled “The Maiden’s Sword”. That made me frown. I was primarily an archer, and I could fall back on my skill with knives or unarmed combat if an opponent got too close. I had no need to learn swordplay. I humored Leopold, though, smiled and said thank you, and stuffed the books into my saddlebags. Maybe I’d get around to read these books, if I broke both arms and legs and Olivia wasn’t around to keep me company in my boredom.

There was one last thing, the most valuable item here: The steam cannon. Leopold drained it of water, but it was still far too heavy to get down from the tower, even for Ilzo. “How did they even get it up there?” I asked. I retracted the question when Leopold opened his mouth. I didn’t want to listen to all the technical details about how one might accomplish such a feat. I asked how we could get it down instead. If we got it down, Va’lyndra could make a sled so we could pull it along. I was about to suggest having Ilzo quaff a potion of fetch and carry, but Va’lyndra suggested that Leopold used his earth magic to lower the tower into the ground.

Leopold considered the proposal for a moment before nodding. He instructed Ilzo and me to keep an eye on the tower as he lowered it, for it was top-heavy and could begin to tilt if he wasn’t precise enough when manipulating the earth. It turned out there was no need for us. Leopold lowered the tower carefully into the ground, building up a ramp beside it in the process, so he didn’t have to reach so deep into the earth. Then with a joint effort, we lifted it out and onto the sled, which Va’lyndra had shaped from parts of the tower. The villagers pulled back from all this blatant use of magic and watched from a distance with a mixture of fear and curiosity. They had seen us fly around and shoot lightning bolts last night, so they shouldn’t be too surprised.

We wanted to destroy the palisade so it couldn’t be used by other bandits, so I brought the villagers outside to gather up all the oil barrels that were spread out on the killing field. I balanced on the palisade and had Ilzo toss up barrel after barrel while I slowly made my way around the encampment, pouring oil onto the palisade as I went along. I may have done some acrobatics while I was up there, too. We also drenched the central tower in oil. Va’lyndra and Leopold had to rest after their spellcasting and sat down to recuperate while the rest of us worked.

The horses and oxen were so heavily laden that we couldn’t ride. We brought the animals, the villagers and the six remaining bandits out the gates and into the forest, about a hundred meters beyond the edge of the clearing. Ilzo pulled the sled with the steam cannon. Va’lyndra, Leopold, Ilzo and I returned to the forest’s edge, and I got out flint and steel while Ilzo found his fire bombs, the ones Va’lyndra had prepared before the attack. I lit the soaked ball on fire, and Ilzo hurled it at the palisade. It looked to me that the oil-soaked logs caught on fire before Ilzo’s fiery projectile actually struck, but that couldn’t be. It actually looked like the very air around the palisade began to burn. I rubbed my eyes, a difficult feat with my helmet on. The encampment became an inferno, and the flames rose a hundred meters into the air. Even at this distance, it was uncomfortably hot. Leopold and Va’lyndra decided to remain behind to make sure the fire didn’t spread to the forest, but told the rest of us to get going.
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
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