Cast: Cedric, Izzy, Ranthin, Mako (Nathan’s new Hedge Wizard), Konrad
While Archibald and a few others venture to Altdorf to recruit Lord Bismark, Dellin spends time with Mix Riggins training on “Monster Hunting” skills. Ranthin, Konrad, and Cedric go to find Izzy, who split from the party after leaving Beaufort Pass. (Side Note: Izzy wasn’t involved in the combat against Grimm’s Reapers because he was unexpectedly knocked out by a falling tree and only revived afterward.)
Mako (new character), did a job for Grolst Van Eyke about a half year ago. After doing the job, he was being tracked down by the inquisition as a potential witch. GVE arranged to get Mako smuggled out of Nuln and sent to a safe house. More recently, Mako was contacted by one of GVE’s loyal men. Mako was asked to find Markus in Nuln and give him a missive that offers him 250 guilders if Markus can find a way to get GVE out of the RuchenBrecher Mining Camp. Mako found Markus and Ghoma, who are currently up to their ears trying to stay one step ahead of Strussel. Markus suggested Mako find one of the other crew members and give them the offer instead. Markus has Ghoma write a post script to the missive.
Which brings us to the start of this adventure. Mako has found Izzy at a road side Inn, safely beyond the outskirts of Nuln. Mako delivers the message, but Izzy can’t read it. Cedric, Konrad, and Ranthin arrive some time later. Mako is still around, having nothing better to do. Konrad, being the only literate among them, reads the missive. Markus’ post script encourages the characters to free GVE if they can because he might be able to help undermine Strussel’s control over the lower quarter of Nuln (and thus make life much easier for everyone). Izzy is especially on board, as he has a vendetta against the supervisor of the guards — a sadistic brute named Hinks.
So the characters decide to do it, and they include Mako in the job. They reconnoiter the prison/mining camp, and Cedric does a good job of being sneaky. They cook up a plan to rescue GVE over the Hexenaucht (witching night) holiday, which marks the coming of the new year. Mako uses his apothecary skills to prepare some Bugmann’s XXXX Ale. They procure several large barrels of beer as well. Mako and Ranthin play the role of delivering Beer and Ale to the guards at the prison camp in celebration of the holiday, and as a gift from Councilman Strussel.
Cedric, Konrad, and Izzy hire a sign maker to paint Strussel’s colors and insignia (scales and coins) on some of their equipment. Konrad writes an official looking note that is an order from Strussel to transfer GVE out of the mines and back to Nuln for special questioning. Cedric has the note embossed with Strussel’s sigil. They also procure a cart to use as the prisoner transport wagon.
The plan couldn’t have worked more perfectly. Mako and Ranthin show up on the eve of Hexenaucht. They charm the guards, who partake in the brew. The wagon with the barrels of beer is brought into the camp and the barrels are rolled out and distributed for easy access by all guards. Mako gives the small “reserve” cask of Bugmann’s to Supervisor Hinks. They are invited into the guard house for food and drink. Hinks drinks two pints of Bugmanns and passes out (for 15 hours!). The remaining pint is drank by Hink’s right hand man, who gets to feeling “unusual.” A number of the other guards over-indulge as well, but not all of course.
When Cedric shows up several hours later, he’s met by a completely toasted and somewhat belligerent drunk at the front gate. Eventually the supervisor is called to look at the orders that Cedric is presenting. Being indisposed, the “acting supervisor” (still feeling a bit unusual…) comes to the gate and accepts Cedric orders as true. Cedric and company are ushered into the camp. A couple guards are dispatched to retrieve GVE. Meanwhile, Izzy chats up a guard and moves into a position where he can whisper to Mako that he’ll get extra gold if he can do something nasty to Hinks.
GVE is brought to the prison cart in bad shape. He is obviously starved, being skin and bones. His right hand has been cut off, and is now an infected stump. His right eye has been destroyed with a branding iron. He is feverish, and all but unconscious on his feet. Cedric loads him on the cart, where manacles have been prepared to lock in the prisoner. Cedric, Izzy, and Konrad leave without any confrontation, taking GVE right out the front gates! When out of sight, Cedric administers a healing poultice (previously given to him by Dellin) to try to stabilize their dying prisoner.
Mako and Ranthin spend the night in the guard house. In the morning, after a changing of the guards, they have a few minutes alone with the unconscious Hinks. They shove him into an empty barrel, and roll it out to the cart. The guards see this and come to the rescue! Do they need any help loading the cart? Why sure…and the guards go and retrieve the other barrels and kegs while Mako and Ranthin struggle to get the barrel concealing Hinks up into the cart. The rest of the barrels are piled on, lashed down, and the characters leave the camp with smiling and waving guards.
The two groups meet up at a safe distance. Izzy is given his present from Mako — Hinks in a barrel! While Izzy figures out what to do with Hinks, the rest take GVE to the safehouse. They administer a healing draught to GVE after he revives from the slumber caused by the poultice. He is still in pain, but no longer at death’s door. They deliver him successfully, and are rewarded.
GVE is impressed with the operation and takes special note of Cedric as a promising new addition to the new structure he’s putting together. GVE tells the characters that Strussel was skimming 10% of the silver ore from the mine, and is most likely running a counterfeit operation, minting his own shillings. GVE had his eye put out for paying too close attention to the numbers (noticing the skimming) while at the prison camp. GVE says that if the characters can catch Strussel men red-handed with their counterfeit minting operation, that would put an end to Strussel.
So ended the session. Cedric will stay with GVE for a while to learn a few tricks. (Eric will not be playing until the summer.) Konrad will stay as well to provide protection (Scott also will not make the Chapter 2 conclusion). Izzy and Ranthin return to the rendezvous point with Mako, who has proven his worth in a tight spot.
Characters earn 200 xp, which includes a bonus for pulling off the plan with such aplomb. Each character also earns 50 gold as reward payment from GVE.