Borc's Bandits

Episode 20: A Feast of Cloaks and Daggers

"Hey you! Your wife was in a horse accident! Go save her or whatever!"


The group arrived in Erlestoke late at night and headed straight for Cadwgawn's apartment next door to the Knave and Wain. Squire Rodney let the group in. As they climbed the steps they could hear Cadwgawn discussing the feast and its attendants with someone else. After making themselves known, Cadwgawn turned to greet the adventurers and introduced them to Holloweyes, the head of the Black Spears guild and a member of Erlestoke's ruling council. 

The two men describe the extent to which people—even the council members—are on edge because of rumours surrounding the Greenspell Tournament. Cadwgawn and the characters make a plan for the feast and determine who will be posing as attendants for Cadwgawn and Holloweyes (Nuck, Wax, and Magick). The others—Borc and Julliumz—plan to get in by posing as musicians with the troupe scheduled to perform. Cadwgawn agreed to let the group stay in his apartment and indicated where and when to meet the following day.

As he and Cadwgawn were leaving, Holloweyes pulled Borc aside and asked him about fighting pits. Apparently, Holloweyes had spotted some of the fighters, one of whom looked very much like Borc. Holloweyes also suggested that not all of the fighters in town for the tournament were doing so of their own volition. 

Borc returned to the apartment and filled the others in on what he had learned. Doing so forced him to admit that he still had 'brothers' enslaved by fighting pit owners in one place or another. The group was less shocked by this revelation than by the names of Borc's brothers: Porl and Cyril.

Later that night, as the group was settling down to rest, someone started banging on the door. They opened it to find Donald Donaldson, Cadwgawn's landlord and 'business' partner. Donald explained that Cadwgawn often helped him collect on overdue rent in exchange for a discount on the apartment. Eager to help their pal Cadwgawn out, the group agreed to help Donald and got the pertinent information: how much to collect and from whom.

In the morning, the group travelled to the home overdue on their rent. Inside they met a massive former gladiator named Mickey and his very pregnant wife Jana. Julliumz talked to the couple and calmed down what could have been an ugly confrontation. Wax offered to cover their overdue rent if Mickey would be willing to show the group a secret entrance to his old stomping ground: the fighting pits (to free Borc's would-be-brother). Mickey agreed and the group caught up with Donald to give him his money. 

The group spent the rest of their time before meeting Cadwgawn shopping for upgrades. They headed to Gnome Depot and stocked up on potions. Wax went a few shops over and bought some fancier clothes for the feast (to one-up Nuck). In return, Nuck splurged on some magical Bracers of Archery (to one-up Wax). 

Meanwhile, Borc was pulled into an alley by a shadowy stranger. It turned out to be his half-Orc brother Porl who quickly got over the shock of running into his brother and informed Borc of a plan to free a number of fighters in the slave pits—including their other brother Cyril. Borc, to the best of his abilities, noted the time (sunrise), place (corner across from the fighting pits), and other details of Porl's plan and ran to inform his friends. 

Still with a few hours to kill before having to meet Cadwgawn and head to the feast, the group settled in at the Prancing Pony tavern and talked inquired about other secrets from each other's pasts. During this conversation, Julliumz noticed the matching crystals that Magick and his fox familiar Muggle wear around their necks. 

Finally, Cadwgawn appeared and the adventurers quickly reviewed the plan and headed to the feast. They surrendered their bags and weapons at the door and Borc and Julliumz headed to the stage to join the Bard trope. The others followed Cadwgawn to Holloweyes' quarters where they were expecting to find Axel—leader of the Circle of Stars and yet another figure suspicious of the goings on around the tournament. They opened the door to indeed find Axel in the room. However, he was alone and dead lying in a pool of blood with a number of dagger wounds in his back. 

Conveniently, the group heard the sounds of guards approaching and acted quickly. Cadwgawn passed Axel's magic sword to Wax and told him and the other characters to hide. Cadwgawn offered to buy the others some time to find out who had killed Axel. Unfortunately, that meant giving himself up as soon as the guards entered the room. Cadwgawn admitted to nothing but was taken away nonetheless. 

The group quickly rushed back to the main hall and informed Julliumz and Borc about what had happened as well as Holloweyes—the only other council member they knew they could trust. Wax acquired the Whiskey of Truth from his pack and joined Nuck and Magic and (with the help of Holloweyes) went about meeting and questioning the other council members milling about the great hall. 

They were introduced to Noranen, Cadwgawn's friend and leader of the Four Swords as well as all other council members but one. They slowly removed a handful of figures from suspicion until they ran into a tiny gnome named Eccthelorei, leader of the Thantars, a guild of mystics and sorcerers. She immediately read their minds and learned of Axel's fate. She told the part what little she knew and offered to probe the minds of the other council members once they were all seated together after feast had begun. 

Not a moment later Ameria, leader of the Red Shields (and one of those the characters still suspected) called for the meal to begin and everyone began to find their seats. The group watched Eccthelorei slowly walk past the other council members on her way to hear seat. When Ameria stood once again and called for someone to summon Axel so the feast could begin, Scaldor, leader of the Long Moon, offered to go and collect him. 

Eccthelorei looked to the three inquisitors and mouthed "it's him" and gestured for Wax, Magick, and Nuck to follow the council member. When they arrived at Axel's door they heard Scaldor, seemingly unfazed by the dead body, rummaging around the room as if looking for something. They pushed the door open a crack to see exactly what he was up to but a fortuitous creak of a hinge alerted the council member. 

As he shouted, "Who's there?" Wax slowly pushed open the door and stepped in, followed by Nuck and Magick. A glimmer of recognition hit Scaldor's eye as he smiled and chuckled to himself surprised but pleased. "Warwick Kilmer. Look at that." 

The three adventurers moved in towards Scaldor finally having found the imposter on the council. But before they could question him, Scaldor shouted: "Guards! Guards! Axel has been murdered! Guards!" As the sound of armored footfalls came echoing down the hall, Scaldor flashed a cocky, knowing grin at the three characters as if he already had plans for them after their soon-to-be arrests….

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