Drinking & Dragons

RPM:1 Escaped Sorcier Prisoner

From Drinking and Dragons

Next: 2 Sorcier Scum or Double Agent

Starring: 🏹 Ehsan, Florint, Hugo, 🐺 Ildefons, 💃 Milady Rosalie, 🐘 One-Tusk
Guest Starring: Captain Hernaut, Iosif Kettleblack, Bonacorso, Bluespeak
Challenge: Discovering how Zephryine escaped; finding Bonacorso; tracking Zephryine
Location: La Magie de Prison , Chirp (Village), Drumchapel (Hamlet)
Date Played: 19 Oct 2016

Gathering the Pride for a Mission

🏹 Ehsan: I did plan on just training all day. Just myself, my bow, and some targets, but as usual things can never seem to settle down in this city. A mission came to us from above and we’re tasked with with recapturing some escaped Sorcier caster. Had this been my homeland such traitors would have already been dealt with in a more permanent fashion, but this is not my home and so I need to keep with their laws (especially the ones of this organization).

I went to grab Florint. He protested slightly, but I have no patience for this. The faster we get moving on this retrieval, the faster I can get back practice and peace.

Florint: Florint was in the lab at the RPM headquarters hoping to get the results of a particularly interesting experiment regarding the reactive nature of gunpowder under the influence of different dragons au...Florint was in the lab. Ehsan approached him with the vague intent of "we need to do something". To be honest Florint was more distracted by the nature of the experiment, it's amazing what the introduction of a single variable to an already extremely comp...Florint was distracted. We paired up and headed in to hear about what was expected of the Pride today.

Hugo: I was relaxing at RPM headquarters when Ildefons came looking for me. Apparently there is an urgent matter at the prison that we must look into. Just as well, I have been drawing far more attention today whist I practice my swordplay and I don’t care for it.

🐺 Ildefons: I've been told there's an urgent matter to attend to at HQ, so I pack up my wares from the market and head out to find Hugo and drag him back there with me. It must be some pressing matter if it can't wait until the bell tolls for our normal daily check-in. But then again, aren't they always "urgent" since I have been placed under Rosalie's nominal leadership?

And I must rightly have a word with the laundress again. It's getting to the point where I may just as well have to do my own pressing if I want the shoulders to fit right. As it is, the deviant who calls himself a chef still hasn't learned how to dress poultry without losing half of the best meat. Try as I may to show him how to make a precise cut, well, never mind. None of the staff appreciate proper technique.

💃 Milady Rosalie: Ugh! Who left this old bread in my office. Do these soldier wants ants, because this is how we get ants!?! I swear, ever since the Sorcier lost a good deal of their power the Pride has been getting lazier and lazier.

Speaking of ground dwellers, it appears we have a mole. Chances are the whole city knows about this due to Maelia's big mouth. Someone in our ranks has helped the prisoner, Zephryine, escape from prison. Everyone with the Lions are scattered to the four winds. One Tusk is a trustworthy sort, and his fervor against the Sorcier will quickly drive him to find the others. No need to dirty my hands with the brunt of the grunt work.

🐘 One-Tusk I've read that Wildbloods "live between two worlds"- neither man, nor beast. Ever since the Revolution, I've felt that- the revolution is a constant ongoing struggle, so what do I do… load ships? Manage baggage trains for a group that is almost certain to explode (whether metaphorically or physically is an exercise for the reader). What am I? A freedom fighter engaged in an endless struggle for equality? Or just a lump of muscle?

Neither, of course. Even as a Stevedore, I still fight the revolution. My union brothers and I fight for the rights of labor- human and wildblood alike. In this chaotic world, ensuring that capital is not the phoenix that rises is of the utmost importance, even as we purge the world of counter-revolutionaries.

Which brings us to Rosalie's visit. A sorcier escaped the prison (mercy for the previous era is understandable, but a threat to the Revolution- why even imprison them, when summary execution is both more apt and more efficient?). We must retrieve them. I relayed this to Ildefons.

Investigating the Escape in La Magie de Prison

Iosif Kettleblack.jpg

🏹 Ehsan: We get to the prison without issue. The escaped caster, whose name is apparently Zephryine, looked to be in her cell when we arrived. This is but an illusion of course, meaning she must have had someone, one of the guards, help her make her escape. One Tusk makes a mess of turning over the cell, but we do manage to find a journal with more illusory magics woven into the text that gives us some hint at her plan at least.

We gather the guards into the common area with Warden Kettleblack’s assistance in order to question them. The fact that one of these guards could be swayed to let loose their charge disgusts me, but I make quick work of the interrogations and manage to get out a name: Bonacorso. He seems like a poor guard and has vices that can easily be held over him like gambling, debt and alcohol. How this one was even allowed access to prisoners I’ll never understand.

Florint: The investigation went as well as one could have hoped...insofar as one of the investigators has certain elephantine qualities. After said qualities were employed we had access to a potent clue. After the initial discovery of the notebook we discover that reading the notebook triggers an illusionary explosive reaction. While interesting at first, it became clear that there was no danger, and upon further reading one could expend the resources that power the illusion. After we get the necessary information we split up to find the guard responsible for Zephryn's escape.

Hugo: This explains why I was garnering much more than my usual audience back at headquarters, a former acquaintance of mine, Zephryn had escaped… and I am a suspect. They obviously have nothing on me; if they did I would surely be in shackles now. Admittedly, meeting with her off the books was perhaps a poor decision on my part. You must understand the name Le Roux is not looked upon fondly on the best of days – I was merely trying to obtain some news of my siblings. While my parents and I don’t see eye to eye on a great many things, my brothers and sisters are not monsters and I don’t wish any harm to befall them. I would do well to keep my head down and help bring this matter to a swift conclusion.

🐺 Ildefons: One Sorcier master of illusion, Zephryn (I really do not know why the revolution required a "language police" to change the spelling of everything! We are the same people, just no longer shackled by the toxic Sorcier.), has escaped from Warden Josef Kettleblack's care. We are to find her and return her. We turn over her cell and find a journal and not much else beyond her illusory scarecrow. The journal bursts into imagined fire every time we open it, and it is in an obscure shorthand, making it difficult to read. Florint perseveres and discovered there was an allied guard to help her escape.

After we settle the warden straight that we are to solve the case promptly (and not wait for for his lackluster staff to find wrenches), we get him to let us speak with the staff. Ehsan handles the search lineup and gets a name: Bonacorso. He's a guard said to have a debt problem; so, easily bought by a Sorcier witch. From where do they continue to get their money? We redistributed their lands, made public their factories, and seized their accounts. By all rights, those few who remain should be paupers. Every day I am convinced further that One Tusk's solution is the only way.

💃 Milady Rosalie: Hugo. Why I brought him on board, I'll never know. It's just one thing after another with him. If it weren't for his father's tight ass and loose morals...

Aside from the fact that Hugo may have had a hand in this, he is not smart enough to do this on his own or capable enough to do this with outside help. This eliminates him as the main suspect.

The young lady seems more adapt at illusions than her entrance paperwork suggested. It's something we'll have to keep in mind as we travel. If the group keeps close to me, their resistances to her wiles should at least be tempered.

One Tusk did make quite a mess of the place. I swear, those Wildbloods may have evolved a good bit, but civility and patience still escapes the lot of them. I was able to assure Iosif that One Tusk will be spending some of his rounds as an aid to learn some respect for his position and help with the more rowdy prisoners. This will hopefully quell any hate and, if One Tuck does a good job, put a small favor in my pocket from Iosif.

🐘 One-Tusk: I am no investigator, though none among us truly is. The sorcier used an illusion to escape, and left no scent for Ildefons' hounds. Hugo stood accused of being an accomplice, but I never believed it for a moment. Hugo may be stained by his family connections, but he does nothing to sully his name himself. We tossed the cell, we rousted the Guard from their bunks, and the result was a new name- Bonacorso.

Tracking down Bonacorso

🏹 Ehsan: The others move to slowly, so I take my loyal mount, Sameen, and ride off towards the Peasant and Courtesan in the seedier district of the city. As I ride off I can overhear my compatriots making “humorous” remarks about me, something about if I’m rushing there for the courtesan. Regardless, I speed there and arrive before the rest of my party as planned.

I leave Sameen with the urchins outside. They seem amazed by her, though this isn’t surprising as she is a rare creature in this land, but it does mean she will be kept a good eye on at least. I talk with the bartender over a very tasteless mug of wine about our target. Through some pressing be points me towards the docks. I arrive there to find he pointed me there to perform a favor for him. While this is both extremely inconvenient and angering, I pull some strings to get some more illicit cargo off of the ship. Not for the bartender as I never mention his name, but rather to have a favor at the docks. You’ll never know when a favor for a ship captain can come in handy.

After some more stern words with the bartender at the tavern, I finally make my way back to headquarters to find the rest of the group already questioning Bonacorso. For some ill-fated reason Rosalie hands me her pistol which she questions the inept guard. I regretted holding it shortly. I hate these loud weapons. No subtlety and so easy set off and hurt someone unnecessarily! I was attempting to put the gun into my belt to house it safely, so one of my known misfires wouldn’t happen yet again, but of course the damned thing went off right as the barrel passed by Bonacorso, striking him right through the eye. The cleanup was a mess and thankfully it was recorded for the accident that it was, but still, I can’t help but feel that that woman handed me that wretched thing for a reason.

Florint: With a location in mind, the party goes about several different methods of reaching it. Myself and Hugo take a more leisurely pace, recognizing there is no good to go rushing off to meet our quarry expended. We reach the establishment and the chase has already started. During the chase I employ my suitably advanced science to coral the target while everyone else employed their skills to aid in his capture. After an entertaining chase involving the required fruit cart, and an unexpected parade we capture the guard and take him to a room for inquiry. I employ a subtle deception ensuring immunity that I have no authority to offer. This loosens his tongue and gets him started on giving us the information we need. The questions continue, and a clumsy pistol later leaves us with a corpse and a destination.

Hugo: We find that a possible lead by the name of Bonacorso has been seen at the Peasant and Courtesan – Florint and I head directly there, while the others go off in other directions. While Florint’s pace annoys me, I am certain our direct route will more than make up for the time we are spending enroute. Ildefons flushed Bonacorso out of his hole in the kitchen – the chase is on. I spring to action, hot on his heels. He manages to evade my grasp but it takes too much of his focus and the rest of the group close the net around him.

🐺 Ildefons: Bonacorso's trunk had ample scenting for Bihotz to follow and OneTusk carried it with us as evidence. We are led to one dive, Peasant and Courtesan, which our companions found on their own shortly after we did. I donate my remaining wares to the kitchen to a tight-lipped, skinny cook. The man outs himself, disturbing his hiding place: the very kitchen to which I was about to deliver goods. One Tusk charges and I chase behind. The Florint and Hugo catch up (Rosalie probably stayed behind to crimp her crumpet) and we are chasing Bonacorso through the city. Ehsan and her horse would be most useful here, and she had rode ahead. Did she catch a bad lead?

After he barely tears free of Hugo's grasp, and sick of running, I loose Berta to maim. She does so, but is unnerved by a nearby parade and only wrecks his shoulder. Florint's mind had caught up and he puts the chase to a stop with the sudden appearance of a giant wall.

We regroup at a local patrol station. Bonacorso reveals to us that Zephryn is headed to Mont Marin and thence into Condrol by way of a caravan that has already left L'île où s'a.

💃 Milady Rosalie: Ha, I would never be caught in that end of town. I'll let the rest of them track some leads and get back to me. I have to write some thank-you letters to some of the local nobility anyway and I've drug my feet long enough on that.

I wasn't long into my letters when I got word that Bonacorso, the one that helped Zephryine escape, was found and in an interrogation room. I wasn't in there long until the bleeding heart Florint made a bunch of promises his mouth couldn't fill. Loath to let a traitor walk, I hand Ehsan my pistol. She is well known for her inability to handle one and her constant misfires. It wasn't long before Bonacorso met with his due justice by her butter fingers. It all gets written up as an accident as well. I love when the cogs all fall into place.

We do find that this business with Zephryine has something to do with her daughter. This has evolved from a summary execution to something she may bend my ear about. No promises.

🐘 One-Tusk It is perhaps absurd, but I feel uncomfortable working with the Pride and not carrying gear. To a degree, it feels like my role. I had a thought that I could carry Bonacorso's footlocker, mostly to humiliate him- a drunkard and a layabout in the Pride should be made to feel ashamed. Perhaps there was some "animal cunning" in the choice, though- for Ildefons' coyote could grab Bonacorso's scent.

We found him in the Peasant and Courtesan, hiding. The chaos of that quarter (oh, what a world we could live in if streets were centrally planned, and not laid down by haphazard tradition!) made his capture a near thing, but captured him we did.

More to his shame: he took a bribe to release the sorcier. Sadly, he will not face the justice of the courts (a swift, speedy, and public trial and execution could have been a lesson to any sympathizers, regardless their motivations), for Ehsan killed him in an "accident".

I am displeased by this outcome, but not upset.

On Zephyrine's Trail and a Split in the Party

🏹 Ehsan: After days of perusing this escaped Sorcier prisoner and as we finally seem to be coming upon her location, we are interrupted by a request from some traders to deliver some sacks of seed to a village days out of the way of our destination. One Tusk seemed compelled to help along with Florint (the reason for this alludes me still, though I would imagine some kind of strange curiosity is what spurned him on). Left to their own devices they surely would have taken at least a week to travel there and back, so I offer myself and Sameen to carry the load to the city of Chirp, though Florint insisted on coming with me. I did not refuse, it is always smarter to travel in groups (even small ones) when traveling outside of civilization.

We arrive at the settlement swiftly and upon seeing Chirp the strange name for the city becomes apparent. The whole of the place is inhabited by the strange wildblood creatures, all birds and on the smaller side than I've seen before. Truly these creatures are very curious, I will never understand them I think. But understanding them does not mean that I will not extend all of my honor and goodwill towards them. They seem a bit distrusting though and requested we disarm before entering. I oblige, however I keep my bow with me as it never leaves me side. The citizens seem to be dismantling their homes to migrate to land with better soils to grow food, so Florint and myself assist them before turning in for the night.

Florint: We pursue the witch, and all is going well until a certain member of our group (Let's call him 'TwoTooth') decides to go messenger boy on us. In an effort to save time Ehsan volunteers to swiftly perform his duties, as opposed to leaving him to his own devices. I join her to make sure she doesn't get distracted, and we're off to deliver this precious...birdseed?

Things become clear as we arrive at the village of Chirp, which just so happens to be inhabited by wildlings with a specific Avian bend! We disarm in order to allay any fears the wildlings may have of us. Besides running in to any situation guns blazing is considered in many cultures (including bird culture) a dick move.

After delivering the package we tuck in for the night to assist the town in a time of need in the morning.

Hugo: Zephyrine’s trail leads us to the hamlet of Drumchapel, along the way some obligations to the trade union rise up. A package needs delivered to the Village of Chirp – Ehsan and Florint volunteer to fulfill the delivery for OneTusk, as the beast Eshan rides provides her much greater speed. We carry on to the hamlet and arrive in the middle of some commotion. There is a ‘witch’ here, or so the peasants seem to believe – I hope these simple people don’t decide to toss the moniker in my direction.

🐺 Ildefons: We head out of the city into the midsummer's waving wheat fields after we report our findings and One Tusk learns what he can about this particular caravan. Ehsan keeps ahead scouting to make sure we aren't shaken while I make sure we stay on course. Hugo takes care of an counter-ambushes some bandits Ehsan had noticed, and we carry on our way.

For some reason, Ehsan and Florint head to a nearby village of Chrip, while the rest of us arrive at Drumchapel during a pitchfork mob. They claim there's a witch nearby, which some of our group believe may be Zephryn. I doubt it, since no one seems to have noticed a caravan coming through. Rosalie works the crowd and calms them enough to talk and to let us take this task on ourselves. I sent Oroitz up and out to scout.

💃 Milady Rosalie: Zephryine has dug her own grave it seems. After dealing with wild, winding trails and a group of bandits, we reach the village of Drumchapel. They are convinced she is a witch due to the flashing colors off in a distance of where she is hiding. The town wants to descend upon her with fire and pitchfork. I try to convince softly, and then with a heavy hand, that we should take care of the issue. I almost had to pull out my trump card and convince them that I could "drive the witch out of her" with my powers. It's tasking, and something I'd like to reserve for when I actually need it.

With luck, we will be able to get this wrapped up before the other part of our group returns from Chirp. I'd like to return quickly to a more civilized quarters.

🐘 One-Tusk Before his death, Bonacorso set us on the sorcier's trail- she left concealed in a caravan. My Union Brothers were able to help us trail her to the point where she left the caravan, and presented me with another task- delivering bird seed to a town of Chirp.

Again, I find myself trapped between two worlds- do I continue to just fight the revolution, or do I focus on the new world we are building? As eager as I am to crush out the last vestiges of the sorcier, I cannot neglect my duties to the world that we are building- I accept the task, despite needing to split from the party to accomplish it.

Fortunately, Ehsan takes initiative- her strange mount can carry the load, and get there and back faster than I could. She proceeds to Chirp and continued on the sorcier's trail- which leads us to Drumchapel.

Here, I see perhaps the best argument against summary executions of sorcier- the entire town is gripped by superstition and fear of witches. They were about to embark on a witch-hunt exactly as we arrived. For a moment, I was briefly optimistic- could this be the sorcier? Operating so openly and foolishly? Of course not. I suspect it's nothing connected to the sorcier. Lights in the darkness? Noises from the hill? Still, quieting superstition and dispelling rumors of magic is an important part of the Pride.

Off we go, to find a "witch".