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Chapter 1

Wherein our unlikely heroes meet and get involved in the evolving story.

Session 2 (Sandpoint)

Sandpoint Portrait

Royce had been establishing himself in Sandpoint for a few weeks when he heard a series of rumors about a bold attempt by an unknown interloper to rob something from the Sandpoint Mercantile League a few days broad daylight! The daring perpetrator allegedly harried the town guards assigned to the facility during working hours as well as an additional squad that was mobilized, and hurt the capable Sir Jasper Korvaski so badly that he required clerical ministrations after a reportedly epic battle.

Rumors quickly spread around the seamier side of Sandpoint that the raider had been after some kind of precious cargo awaiting shipment inside the Mercantile League building. The rumors soon matured; a large single-cut ruby is the prize, held awaiting a warship escort to take the gem to Magnimar to serve as some prince's bridegift.

That got Royce's attention! Such a bauble should more rightfully be his to covet.

Sensing a big score, Royce mobilized himself to action, and pursued a multi-dimensioned strategy to curry information, including using illusion to disguise himself as an urchin and attempting to ingratiate himself with a corporal of the watch (unsuccessfully), as a patron of the local brothel to attempt to overhear some tidbit of gossip from guardsmen taking their ease (somewhat succesfully), and trolling for rumors in the seedier taverns...including Fatman's Feedbag.

As best Royce could determine, the word on the street was that a big half-orc had been seen ghosting around the docks and some food has gone missing, so Royce cleverly reasoned that it was possible the skulker was holed up tight somewhere under the docks and coming up to get food.

The guardsmen had supposedly checked down there, but Royce knows from his own experience that unless pressed to it humans tend to avoid dark wet and claustrophobic spaces, and surmised that the guards may have been less than thorough. But a half orc? The foulness under a dock would hardly register on the "gross-ometer" of most half orcs Royce had met.

Royce Finds Kazzar

Resigned to it, Royce waited until twilight and then slipped under the docks beneath the shipyards and methodically walked and waded his way through the filth. Finally, direcly below the very dock of the Mercantile League building that lay at the center of all this, Royce noticed a drainage pipe that wasn't quite flush with the shoreline. Sneaking up to it, Royce realized that someone had dug out an entrance leading back into a small and cramped cavelet sheltered in the bend of the drainage pipe and shored up by support pylons for the pier above. Therein resided a sodden but well hidden half orc meeting the description circulating around town.

Afraid to approach the brutish looking thug, Royce cast a magic mouth spell on the side of a pylon and spoke through it to engage the apparantly dim-witted raider in converation. Eventually, Royce managed to weasel his way into the half orc's trust, and they entered into a negotiation. Royce was determined to secure Kazzar's assistance in another raid on the Mercantile Guild to secure the ruby he was certain was there...despite Kazzar saying "I don't know nuthin about no Ruby" a couple of times. Kazzar finally agreed to help Royce, if Royce would agree to teach Kazzar how to read and also to do "powerful magic". Royce disengenuously agreed.

Wasting no time, Royce concocted a hairbrained plan to have Kazzar don his stolen guardsman's uniform and attempt to gain entrance to the League building, carring a disguised Royce over his shoulders as a "package" for delivery "inside". Putting this plan into action, as soon as they regained the surface Royce cast a glamour to make Kazzar look like a human guardsman and himself look like a sack of potatoes.

The Daring Heist

Kazzar dutifully attempted to gain entrance to the now heavily guarded and locked down building, and Royce's illusion worked as advertised to fool the guards, but Kazzar's total lack of ability for lying...or coherent conversation...caused the plan to soon fall apart when the guards, frustrated by Kazzar's inability to name his guard sargeant or who had sent him here to deliver what to whom, caused them to get verbally abusive.

Mighty Kazzar could not tolerate such an assault on his mightiness! He quickly and brutally smashed the first two guards posted at the end of the loading dock ramp, vaulted up the ramp to lay out another guard posted by the door, and then pounced upon another guard who had been out of his eyeline while down below. Dropped in the scuffle, Royce scrambled to the nearest wall, put an illusion making himself blend into the wall over himself, and cowered.

Lets Take This Inside!

Kazzar Fights Alone
Royce Seeks The Shiny

Kazzar made quick work of the hapless guardsmen, but another one inside was alerted to the commotion and could be heard banging through doors inside the building, running towards the other side to sound the alarm. With thought and action being as one, Kazzar bolted into the building after the unseen runner, and quickly ran him down just as the guardsman broke the plane of the front door to escape the building.

Meanwhile Royce used the distraction to sneak into the building and skulk towards a large cargo door with some fancy brasswork and a big but currently open pad lock. Listening carefully at the door, Royce could make out two people whispering about whether they should go help or stay at their post. Figuring that it was two more guardsmen, Royce hid himself with a quick illusion and then imitated the voice of the corporal of the guard he had earlier failed to ingratiate himself with, ordering the entrenched gaurdsmen to "come out and help dammit!". After a moments hesitation the large door slid open and both of the guards dashed out to join the fray toward the front of the building.

Elsewhere, at the front doors, Kazzar was battling with a small horde of guardsmen, including the 2 who Royce had lured into the fray. Though hard set upon, the mighty half orc was just too strong and tough for the increasingly dismayed guards, including the reenforcements who had been standing guard outside the front door. He ultimately defeated 7 more of them, to add to the 5 he had defeated thus far already. Despite most of the guards drawing swords and other lethal weapons, Kazzar beat them all with his bare hands, or by picking up one of their number and throwing or bonking them into each other.

Royce took their place in the room, slid the door behind him, put down a patch of slippery magical 'grease' in a patch near the door to hopefully buy him some time if anyone came running into the room, and proceeded to try to detect via magical means the ruby he was certain was in here, but despite several attempts it was for no avail.

Kazzar made a pile of knocked out guardsmen in the process of systematically robbing them of their purses. Not a bad little score for such a light workout.

Royce kept looking but ultimately had to accept that there was no ruby to be found here "The bastards must have already moved it!", he was heard to mutter. Royce scrounged through the other packages and pallettes in the holding room and found some rare spices and a box of very expensive wine, but everything else was large goods or of no obvious blackmarket value.

Lets Take What We Can Carry And Beat It

Retreiving a somewhat winded but basically fine Kazzar from his newly constructed human barricade in the front lobby, Royce shared the bad news of no ruby, and told Kazzar to come and grab a box of "very very valuable spices...almost as good as a ruby!" to carry out. Royce himself could only manage to carry one of the large magnum bottles of fine wine, so he boosted one and cast a persistent illusion to make it look like all the bottles were still in the box and put the top back on.

The criminal duo quit the building out the back, ran down the docks, stole a rowboat, and Royce instructed Kazzar to row across the harbor to the lee shore as the encroaching darkness spread it's deep dark cloak over the scene, while he sat in the prow and talked big plans. Very big plans indeed.

"With my brains and your brawn, we'll soon be the big fish in this sea!", Royce exclaimed...

"...but I'm not a fish! And I thought you said yer a gnome?", Kazzar replied.