Hell's Rebels @ Mercenary

Silver Ravens, Week 2
Croc in the cellar

Silver Ravens, Week 2
Prologue: determined to flush out the thing in the water before things went any further,
Laria gave the crew a string of sausages (“are you sure you don’t have anything a little more, I dunno, rotten?” “NO I don’t have rotten meat lying about my kitchen!”), nearly half of which were still extant by the time Leonin, Valeria and Janun made it to the flooded room. Valeria waved the sausages in the water, and well, it was a successful lure: 19 points of damage, grabbed and tripped in a single action as an enormous, pale reptile lunged out of the water. It was defeated without any deaths, and Leonin cut open its stomach to find a strangely undigested boot. Its mate was found on the corpse of Nan. Determined to be thorough, Valeria waded through the water trailing sausages and her own blood to try and smoke any more out, but to no avail. Leonin found a secret compartment in the statue containing papers, a holy symbol of Calistria and a +1 whip; the papers were water-ruined, alas, but they surmised this place had once been a shrine to Calistria. They spoke with Laria about the boots, who felt that she had given Nan permission to use her space to hold smuggled fabrics and he had used it to hold violent criminals instead; thus, he owed her. And she claimed the boots for herself.
Organization: A natural 20 on the Attrition roll meant that you actually gained followers during upkeep. Thus, the organization is now level 4 (pretty good for week 2); everyone gets 1 skill point, 1 potion worth 300gp or less (cure moderate wounds is a popular choice), and one Feat from a short list (Alertness, Deceitful, Persuasive, or Sneaky). Concluding that they had enough supporters for the moment, it was decided to try and recruit two teams, with Street Performers being the priority and Peddlers being the second choice. The Performers were successfully recruited; the attempt to recruit Peddlers failed. The event this week was Sickness; much of your organization, and possibly the city, is ill with something nasty. Attempts by the Ravens to improve the situation failed. Fortunately, no Security-related actions were planned or undertaken.
Valeria stayed bedridden for two days, as the crocodile had pretty seriously fucked her up; the second of those days was a Day of Fire, a quarterly holiday in Cheliax marked by gladiatorial contests and, well, burning things. ‘Taur-baiting is always a crowd favorite, in which forty halfling slaves are turned loose with a minotaur. It’s generally assumed the halflings will take it down eventually, and any who survive win their freedom – the betting is on how many halflings the ‘taur kills before it goes down. Grumblings this year suggested Kintargo couldn’t get a real minotaur and it was a doppelganger or the like mind-controlled into being a “minotaur”. Most of the “games” feature lots of burning obstacles, and victory by heat prostration rather than fatality is the norm. Tieflings thus do well in the more matched events. Janun made a bit of coin as an “obstacle” during the fights; Leonin went to the Alabaster Academy while the crowds were at the bloodsport to meet with professor Nifflin Sludgescrawl about the serial killer operating in the Devil’s Nursery. Nifflin hadn’t even heard of it, but together they worked out a psychological profile that gave them a very narrow target area where the killer could live. Leonin revealed that he was a Silver Raven, likely a high-ranking one, to Nifflin; Nifflin was vaguely positive about this development.
By day three, Valeria couldn’t take sitting on her ass waiting to heal any longer, so it was determined to find some sort of magical healing for her; and so the party found itself at the Newt Market, talking with The Newt. Healing potions were purchased with a variety of lies and negotiations (‘sweetie, if you only have two dying grandmothers here you’re not even trying”) and, much improved, they set out to find the serial killer. Within the Devil’s Nursery, it turns out Valeria is much liked and perhaps even respected and missed, and people (especially a little thief named Zea) practically fell all over themselves to show her the body that hadn’t been cremated yet, the places where the bodies had been found, and even an eyewitness turned up describing a host of small flying creatures and the direction they took off in after tearing a guy apart. The players found it trivially easy to find the relevant building, a tavern boarded up and nominally uninhabited, invaded the root cellar, and killed a swarm of tooth fairies. They found the summoning rite that had brought them over from the First World – the corpse of a tiefling child, bound in sinew taken from another with inscription on it in Aklo. Valeria smashed the whole place up thoroughly and Janun burned it down. An examination of finger-marks at the scene indicated the rite was performed by a human female; spellcasting ability is unnecessary for this, but how many Aklo-speaking human women are in Kintargo? One set of gold and diamond dentures was found among the teeth, and Leonin kept it as revolution treasury.

Silver Ravens Week 1
Getting the Band Together

Silver Ravens, week 1

The PCs, Rexus Victocora and Laria Longroad decided, in Laria’s office, to reconstitute the Silver Ravens and overthrow the government of Kintargo. Awkward questions about what sort of government and city they wanted in its place were sidestepped for the moment. The focus of the group was made Loyalty (recruiting and influencing public opinion) as opposed to Secrecy (clandestine action) or Security (direct terrorism, basically). Officer posts were assigned – Demagogue (morale and loyalty of recruits): Janun. Partisan (field leader for direct actions): Valeria. Sentinel (reserve officer and Jill of all trades): Amitael. Spymaster: Leon. Strategist: Imrah. Recruiters: Rexus and Laria. The bag of pearls from the cache was declared organization Treasury; Rexus has taken one of the pearls and sold it to fund immediate recruitment activities (he’s the child of a great house that just burned down, him selling gems for cash isn’t conspicuous right now). For week one, it was decided to focus on Recruit Followers; Teams can come later. Rexus hangs about either the coffee shop or the Alabaster Academy, using his Silver Raven (he got the sixth one) to spread seditious messages and convince college students the Ravens are back. Laria mostly stays in the coffee shop and chats up the nobles who drop in, or their servants. Results are good (20 followers before attrition check). No Event was rolled.
With three open threads before them (investigate the fires from the Night of Ashes, investigate the serial killer active in the Devil’s Nursery, find out what the hell is in the basement), the PCs opted to focus on the basement. Laria admitted that she has a secret basement she uses to smuggle slaves to freedom in Varisia; it was dumb luck that she didn’t have a basement full of them when the curfew was declared. While this goes on she intends to lay off, but told a human smuggler friend he could use the space; he said he was smuggling fabrics. Then he went down into the space and didn’t come back up. The food and wine she sends down each night disappears. The laughter she hears is definitely not human.

The PCs found his body soon enough, in a large flooded room with a statue of an elf woman rising out of the murky water; examination revealed it had been stabbed and had its throat cut, then dumped in the water. (Leon’s an investigator, and Valeria knows a fair bit about wounds). After it was in the water, something ate about half of it. No sign of whatever did that, the PCs elected not to go into the water and if something is in there it elected not to come out.
They’re attacked from behind by some sort of maniacal bird thing; they beat it unconscious easily enough and manacle it. At that point they’re confronted by a flock of tengu angry about their daughter-sister-whatsit…but the PCs manage to avoid a fight by hastily pointing out that one does not manacle a corpse. A tense standoff and negotiation ensues; the Fushi sisters (the tengu) were smuggled out of Riddleport after Chough (the thing that attacked the PCs) ripped out the wrong throat in a fit of boredom or frustration. Korva Fushi decided to become mother to an egg she found but, after it hatched, it became clear this wasn’t actually a tengu; Chough grew to full adult size in only 3 years and doesn’t seem to have ever mastered language. She also kills, a lot, with her bare talons. Korva still thinks of Chough as her daughter or something like it and refuses to abandon or forsake her. The PCs gave the Fushis vague directions to a tengu gang called the River Talons in the city, and they departed, with Chough. This ought to be interesting.

There actually was a lot of cheap, water-damaged cloth down there; Amitael wrapped and sewed the corpse up. I look forward to hearing the next step in that process. Laria was informed, and the Wasp’s Nest, as she calls the basement, is now the PCs to use, it seems.

Loose threads: corpse disposal. Serial killer. Fires from the Night of Ashes. Imrah’s dog? Amitael suggested researching the old Silver Ravens to see how they failed or were destroyed. Leon also has some work/research projects that I really need to put some time into. I appreciate it if you tell me which threads you wish to pursue most actively. I also figure I should toss some more NPCs at you, presumably the baristas and regulars of the Long Roads Coffee House.

Welcome to Hell's Rebel's @ Mercenary
A blog covering the Adventures of the New Silver Ravens

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