Cast: Dellin, Archibald, Cedric, Bronan, Izzy, and introducing “Rufus”, an apprentice wizard (a.k.a. “tutor”) played by Ryan.
Markus, Ranthin, and Ghoma were busy recovering the statuette from the river. Thus they were not involved in the events of this session.
Continuing where last session left off, Cedric intercepts Archibald and steers him in the direction of where the combat was that recently took place. Archibald is told the thugs mugged the PCs, and that his help is needed to heal the injured. Archibald takes Dellin and Izzy, the two most injured, back to the Inn, where they are able to discreetly clean up. Cedric and Bronan take the prisoner (who is restrained with a pair of Dellin’s manacles) to the “town watch” — which really means to an alleyway sufficiently far from Archibald that they can interrogate him in peace. Cedric tries to hypnotize the thug, but the thug’s will is too strong. Further questioning is tried, accompanied with blows to the head and neck area and threats. The thug becomes too dazed to be able to intelligently respond to anything, and Bronan hints sharply that he should be killed. Cedric tried to slit the thug’s throat, but his innate goodness doesn’t allow him to kill in cold blood. Instead, Bronan takes the man and dumps him head-first down a nearby well.
The characters rendezvous back at the Inn, where Archibald has used his healing skill successfully on Dellin, and less so on Izzy. Bronan is also tended to. The next day, a strange man shows up named Rufus. He is a man of learning and was discovered by Markus a few days back looking for work. Markus told him to show up on this day, but he (Markus) is nowhere to be found. Archibald steps in an agrees to pay Rufus 10gp if he helps the party find Nigel Sneed. After that, Archibald decides to pay Father Klaus a visit at the church.
Bronan uses his gossip skill while visiting various whore-houses and gambling dens to see if he can learn anything about Sneed. In fact, he does succeed in learning that a man matching Sneed’s description was gambling in the docks district and ran up quite a tab against the mate of a river trading vessel. So Sneed is in Nuln and back to old habits.
On the way to the church, Archibald is approached by Lord Bismark, who is “out of uniform.” Bismark indicates he has urgent need of Archibald’s help, and the help of his team. (He recalls that Archibald is the combat commander of the group…) In short, Toltevsky is off-limits to official Inquisition at this time, as he has extremely powerful friends. But if solid evidence where obtained showing that Toltevsky’s UberSoldaten program is heretical, then that might be a different story. Turns out that prior to using his latest techniques on Empire Soldiers, the Vivisectionist experimented on a group of undesirable civilians that were working the mines. One or more of them is loose on the country-side near the town of Brusenwald (?) and Bismark offers the team lots of gold to help him get one alive (less gold if dead).
So all is agreed upon and the characters find that several farms on the outskirts of Brusenwald are in flames. Archibald’s excellent vision spots a large armored figure doing something unspeakable to a tree (apparently). So they rush to the attack and a melee ensues. Bismark and the party take on three raving mad black knights who are raping and pillaging their way through the countryside. One of the black knights is doing something bad to a farmer tied to a tree when the party attacks.
Bismark shows his stuff in this combat — for nearly half the combat he takes on two of the chaos knights while the rest of the team fights one….well…Bronan fights a tree, hoping to chop it such that he both frees the peasant and causes the tree to fall on a chaos knight…alas, that strategy doesn’t work out well. Once the characters dispatch one of the knights and concentrate on helping Bismark with the other two, the tide turns. All three are killed, unfortunately, so bringing one back alive to Nuln doesn’t happen.
Rufus and the others examine the dead chaos knights. Their armor is covered in runic scripts and symbols. Rufus indicates that he’s learned that these types of symbols are forbidden at the university and should be proof enough of the heretical nature of Toltevsky’s work. The knights are stripped of their armor, and their skin is likewise covered with scar-tissue tattooing of similar runes. The bodies are thrown into the fire. (Except a single hand, severed at the wrist, which Bismark wants to take back as evidence.) The armor is also confiscated by Bismark, but 250gp is given to the party in compensation.
Archibald renders aid to the surviving peasant and also helps heal the other party members. Cedric and Dellin go to Brusenwald proper to inform them that the horror is over and the black knights are no more. Cedric is hailed as the “Hero of Brusenwald” and decides to hang around that area for a while with a cute young woman who thinks he’s remarkable. [This is Erik’s last game until he returns from college over winter break…hence Cedric will be busy for a while.]
Bronan keeps one of the great axes wielded by a chaos knight. He finds a weaponsmith in Nuln to sand off the inscriptions and make the weapon look as normal as possible. Izzy upgrades his armor to full plate.
Characters get 150 experience points. Each character’s share of the total loot+reward amounts to 50gp.