Friday, November 17, 2017

MoMj: The Corruption Saga - Session 8b-Deirik

Deirik returned to Alucard and continued to be consumed with finding the opportunity to kill Torvald the Betrayer. It was all he could ever think about, his sole focus, his reason for being. Lord Krogan knew this and, not long after their return, called Deirik in to the temple to have a discussion.

When Deirik arrived, Krogan met him in the sanctuary. Moments later, a beautiful Dornish woman, a bit shorter than most and with dark, black hair stepped out of the shadows to greet him. Deirik barely noticed some platinum blonde roots in her hair, which made him believe she was mostly Dornish, though her height suggested some Sarcosan blood in her heritage at some point. Krogan introduced her as Lyra, and informed Deirik that Lyra has been hired to train him in the ways of the Nephilim (**a hybrid class between the D&D 3.5 Assassin and the Midnight 2E Avenging Knife**).

Deirik is quite interested in this idea, being trained as a Nephilim can hone and develop the skills he needs to kill Torvald. Lyra doesn't mince words with Deirik and simply tells him that for her to train him, he must show that he has skills worthy of her time. When Deirik asks how, Lyra tells him he must kill someone in town, a smith who lives in the Workmans' District of Alucard named Thomas. She gives him a description so Deirik can ensure he has the proper target. She then tells him he has 2 days to get it done and it must look like an accident, and then sets him loose. Deirik, before leaving, asks both Krogan and Lyra what this man has done to deserve death. Krogan simply answers, "That is not for you to know. You have your task," then takes his leave to the lower levels of his temple. Lyra smiles and shrugs at Deirik, then grabs a seat, paying him no more attention. Deirik departs the temple and makes his way toward the Workmans' District.

While he walks, his mind wanders as to what this man may have done. Perhaps the reason for his death sentence will be revealed as Deirik studies him, or at least, so he hopes. Having lived here for some time now, Deirik figures any smithies at this time of day are either wrapping things up in their shop, eating dinner in their home, or drowning their sorrows in a beer. Deirik heads makes his way through the Workmans' District and learns fairly quickly from some others nearby where Thomas' shop is located. It's a small smithy with an attached home, perfectly sized for one person to live and work. Deirik is relieved that Thomas doesn't have a family that will miss him, but does not find Thomas there.

He next surmises that Thomas must be at a nearby tavern, and the closest one is the Rusty Anvil. Deirik makes his way there, his path taking him past the Alucardian Canal, enters the tavern, and immediately notices his prey. Thomas is sitting with a number of others at a table in the middle of the tavern. Deirik grabs a seat, orders some food and drink, and listens in on their discussion. Thomas is relatively quiet and doesn't add much to the conversation, but the topic of choice is what each of them has been working on lately and if anyone's found themselves in a relationship, generic small talk which doesn't really help Deirik in his desire to determine Thomas' crime.

The evening drags on and Deirik learns nothing of value as the men continue their chatter and drinking. Thomas eventually decides he's had enough to drink, and stumbles a bit as he gets up and heads for the door. Deirik waits a few moments after Thomas leaves to pay his tab and follow him out.

Deirik decides to try his luck in approaching Thomas, seeing if maybe he can drag some info out with Thomas in his currently inebriated state. Deirik makes his friendly approach, but something about it spooks Thomas and he does his best to focus on walking a bit faster and more efficiently. "Damn," Deirik thinks, "now I have no info on this guy's crime AND he's on to me!" He decides to follow Thomas, stealthily, the rest of the way back to his smithy. While following, Deirik is looking for any "accidents waiting to happen" that he may use to kill Thomas. Thomas, however, is too focused on putting one foot in front of the other as quickly as possible to notice he's being followed, heads back to his home, locks the door behind him, and goes to bed.

Deirik waits until he hears Thomas' snores, and then breaks into the smithy to learn even more about this guy. When he gets in, he sees Thomas' business is almost entirely the repair of vardatches and daggers. Not ready to make any further move that night, Deirik locks the window behind him as he leaves and heads home to get some sleep himself.

The next day dawns and Deirik decides to make another approach, this time with a dinged-up dagger for Thomas. Perhaps bringing him a little business will loosen his lips? Deirik enters Thomas' smithy as Thomas is straigtening a vardatch and waits for an opportune moment to make his request. Thomas is a bit confused, as most of his weapon repair business comes from the nearby orc barracks, but accepts the job and tells Deirik he's got a lot of repairs ahead of his, but will get to it in due time. Thomas goes back to his work, not engaging in any further talk with Deirik, which Deirik finds frustrating. As he walks away, Deirik realizes that it's simply going to come down to whether he can or can't kill this man without knowing the reason why. It doesn't take long for Deirik to consider this man's life to be blocking the path of his vengeance against Torvald, and make the decision to kill him.

Later that evening, Thomas closes up shop and once again heads for the Rusty Anvil. His path, and that of Deirik following him, once again takes him past the Alucardian Canal. Deirik realizes that's probably his best bet at an "accidental" assassination and let's Thomas enjoy his night. A few hours later, Thomas is on his way back to his smithy, once again more stumbling than walking. Deirik waits until Thomas is as close to the canal as possible, and saps him in the back of the head. Thomas is out like a light! Deirik drags him over to the canal, pauses for only a moment, and then dumps him in. To be sure Thomas does not survive, Deirik then jumps in after him and forces his unconscious body beneath the water until he's sure to be dead. Deirik then climbs out of the canal, soaking wet but having achieved his goal, and heads home to sleep it off.

The following day, Deirik reported in to Lord Krogan and Lyra who had both heard of the "accident" that befell poor Thomas and congratulated Deirik on a job well done. Apparently, they weren't finished testing him though. Deirik's next assignment would see him in action alongside Lyra so she can personally witness his skill set. Krogan has become aware of a large group of rebels that have come from the West and taken up residence in a set of caves alongside the Be'neeya river. They're using this location as a staging point to raid official boats going up and down the river. They've apparently stolen some trade goods and supplies that Alucard will need for the coming Winter and are a problem to be immediately resolved. Deirik and Lyra's assignment is to go to their campsite and kill each and every scout, guard, and lookout they have posted. By his calculations, it should take them three days by canoe to get there, so they should leave immediately.

Deirik and Lyra pack their things and head for the docks of Alucard, where a canoe is set waiting for them. They have some time to chat as they paddle downriver and discuss Deirik's past and what Lyra's Nephilim training will entail. When they arrive at the brigands' cave complex, they see a number of lookouts on both sides of the river and decide to split up. Lyra takes the Eastern camp, Deirik takes the Western.

Deirik sneaks up on the two lookouts on the beach and uses his burst of speed ability to kill them both before they can sound an alarm. He then props them both up against each other as if they're sitting up looking for trouble in either direction. He then makes his way into the patchy forest ridge above the caves where the remaining guards and scouts should be. After some close calls with the first pairs, he learns it's more effective to try to draw one away with a slight noise rather than take them both on by surprise. After employing this tactic, he makes short work of the remaining guards on his side with the exception of the one lookout within a makeshift crow's nest atop the boat beached in the middle of the complex.

To kill that lookout, Deirik stealthily makes his way along the waterline, avoiding some of the brigands as they casually move about the beach amongst their cave complex. When the coast is clear, he slides aboard the boat and waits for the right moment at the base of the mast. When the moment comes, he struggles to climb the mast in his haste and gives himself away... almost. The lookout glances around, but doesn't notice Deirik staying on the opposite side of the mast. Deirik then, more focused, climbs the mast again and makes it to the top while the lookout is looking in the other direction. Finally in place, Deirik kills this last one and takes a look around for himself. There are a number of brigands on both sides of the river, but his job is not to deal with them, only to take out the guards, scouts and lookouts. He looks to the Eastern guards and realizes that Lyra is already finished her work as well, and likely has been for some time.

Deirik sneaks back out of the camp, back to the canoe, and paddles over to the Eastern side of the river to pick Lyra up. "It's about time," she snarks, but then gives Deirik a grin, "but you do have some skill. I can train you." As they leave the camp and head upriver to the North towards Alucard, they hear the sounds of battle to the South and figure Krogan's forces must've arrived just in time. On the second day of their canoe journey home, it's smooth sailing but they do hear, off to the northwest, a booming thunder that strikes three times, once every 10 minutes. Wondering at the oddity of that occurrence and what could be the source, but not knowing how to find out, Deirik and Lyra make their way back to Alucard to begin their training.

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