Blackfell March

Chapter 3: Disruption

Bors and Luther return to Ulfrecht where they meet Arturo in the town square next to a large statue of a stone horse. Arturo tells them that after tailing the thieves guild, he has identified a number of important personalities: the half-ogre Lourganne, the Akmeri wizard Drashan, the sly dart-thrower Hetwick and the pierced and foul-mouthed Caglan. He has never seen Lunnegan, the boss, but knows that he is based out of the Coinhouse and coordinates some meetings from beneath the town jail.

Pennythane, it turns out, has recruited the thieves guild of Ulfrecht to assist him in pulling a grand heist on Blackfell Keep. Arturo doesn’t know what they plan to steal and can’t keep track of Pennythane, so he has followed Caglan’s routes for days and caught the filthy thief in a pit trap. The trio goes to collect their captive.

Caglan makes a bizarre threat of dismemberment, but the trio ignores this and proceeds to take him North. He is uncooperative, but they figure Edmund Thane will be happy to get the information on the heist out of him.

Before they can make it through the slums and out of the city, they are ambushed by thugs, who strike from the rooftops with crossbows, as well as a small pack of mangy dogs.

Arturo sneaks up the side of one of the buildings and cuts down and unaware thug. Bors and Luther each enter a building; Bors gets surrounded by dogs but kills one and locks the other in a room. By the time Luther makes it to a roof, the thugs have grabbed Caglan and are dragging him away. Luther dives down, kills one thug with his greatsword, and allows the other to flee.

The trio drags Caglan along the banks of the Tarn as a foggy night falls upon them. From the mists, a wily Bagaturian man approaches and beckons Bors to him. He introduces himself as the one Bors knows him to be: Derngh Pahkh, the mystic.

Bors calls back to Luther and Arturo about who he has found, and Arturo is in disbelief, but Bors follows Derngh to a cove in the muck at the river’s side. As he follows, he sees two shadowy figures waiting in the mists, one short and one tall, but Derngh calls his attention to a set of three items and associated instructions.

First, he warns that Pennythane is no mere thief, but actually a powerful lich, and hands Bors a mace of disruption which he says Luther must use to kill Pennythane. Next, he gives Bors a sealed letter, and tells him that Arturo must deliver the letter to Yngvar the Apothecary back in Ulfrecht. Finally, he tells him that he will take Caglan, and that when Pennythane is destroyed Bors and his companions must come to this very cove, open the Aboleth’s Tome to the page he specifies, and meditate on the inscription until a ritual completes itself. Bors accepts the task, and after much bickering with Arturo, gets his companions to surrender Caglan to Derngh.

The trio returns to Ulfrecht by morning. Luther takes the mace and goes to Gantt’s Tavern while Bors and Arturo go to Yngvar’s shop. At the tavern, Luther meets Ponderosa, Strombardi mercenary, and Hetwick of the Thieves Guild. He interrupts an argument they are having to take Hetwick outside and give him the shakedown. Hetwick is too slippery for Luther, however, and he gets away to the frustration of the paladin.

At Yngvar’s Arturo remains skeptical and almost opens the note he is meant to deliver, but Bors discourages him. When they deliver the not, Yngvar cowers in fear and begs for Arturo’s mercy, saying that he will give them what they demand: Yngvar’s Ascenders, Yngvar’s Alterer, and his own stationary, which resembles the note they just handed him. Arturo demands to read the note and sees that it is written in his own handwriting, and is a threat of blackmail and capture to Yngvar. Evidently Yngvar has a dark past with perverse experiments on humans and animals and merely wants to live peacefully in Ulfrecht. Arturo is alarmed, and suspects magic, but follows through because Bors gives him assurance and at any rate he wants the hat and gloves/boots, which allow him to change his appearance and scale walls, respectively.

Shorter summary of rest:

-Next day
-Arturo goes to infiltrate the Thieves’ Guild, using the Alterer to become Caglan
-Drashan and Lourganne trust him, but Lunnegan orders Drashan to hold the imposter
-Arturo bluffs hella hard, buys time, and takes a golden sword of a rack as Pennythane comes back
-Pennythane puts a suggestion on Arturo to change back and lead the Guild to his companions

-Meanwhile, Bors and Luther try to engage Hetwick, go outside and realize that the Thieves’ Guild is inbound, so Bors stalls and fights Hetwick etc. while Luther goes berserk in the barm intimidating Gantt and invigorating Ponderosa

-Crazy fight with Drashan flying, Arturo fighting Lourganne on a rooftop, Ponderosa charging out to fight Pennythane and Bors battling Hetwick
-a voice in Arturo’s head proclaims that Atensior has awoken and is happy to be back in the hands of one with a noble heart
-Arturo gibs Lourganne with Atensior, which it turns out it is sunblade
-Pennythane kills Ponderosa and moves to take out Arturo, holding him and casting him to the ground
-Luther comes barreling out of the tavern, his belt glowing and granting him giant’s strength, and destroys Pennythane in one blow using the mace

-Drashan and Hetwick retreat, and Luther, Bors, Arturo race to complete Derngh Pahkh’s instructions
-Bors read’s the words in the aboleth text as the moon strikes the hollow, and crazy voices happen as the night becomes mistier, just like two nights ago
-in the distance, they see themselves dragging Caglan to the north
-Arturo, noting the group’s possession of Yngvar’s stationary, the Alterer, and the mace, realizes he was Derngh all along. He chides Bors for his silly beliefs and tells the paladin and dwarf to stand back while he transforms and carries out Derngh’s actions as best as he remembers
-The past selves go back South, and the present selves, evidently in a time loop, find themselves with a slowly-waking Caglan to take to Blackfell Keep
-Caglan mutters something about a phylactery, and the party realizes the goal behind the heist and that Edmund’s motives may be darker than they seem

Other notes: Lourganne killed by Arturo, Pennythane’s form destroyed by Luther, Caglan captured

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