Wow, yesterday was kind of crazy. I’m back in Isenfell getting Breela resurrected, but that’s telling the events out of order, so I’ll go back a bit.
Yesterday our dance plan went off without a hitch. We managed to snag nearly all of the mercenary guards in our sleep spell and left Satinder and a few of her trusted townsfolk to truss them up well. Meanwhile, as soon as Ilona and I were properly garbed we used a few dimension door spells to get us to the “secret” escape route quickly. We were assuming as soon as that many guards didn’t report in the baron would know something was up and might make a run for it. Satinder posted some guards to watch for those fleeing from the keep. They’re not to engage, simply watch and/or follow.
Right as we entered the tunnel we had several black puddings fall on us from above. Eran and Jiro managed to jump aside, but Khismia wasn’t so fortunate. Jiro started hacking at them, splitting them into smaller slimes before Breela stepped in with a big fireball to end the encounter. Our next obstacle was a very rusty iron gate which Jiro heaved and heaved and heaved at without success. Ilona pushed him aside to try and lifted it seemingly with ease. He insists that he loosened it up for her, but we continued teasing him about it all day.
We found a bunch of storerooms and treasury and secret doors and locked doors. Eventually we came to one where we could hear someone on the other side of the door (which was locked), so Breela took Ilona, Jiro and Eran with her in a dimension door. Apparently they found the dungeon as most of them ended up inside cells. They made the acquaintance of a middle-aged man with a beard who introduced himself as Lord Terion Numeste, Cassandra’s father. After assuring him that his daughter was safe (well, one daughter at least), they made a proper jailbreak and we met back up while Lord Numeste said he’d go rally the people. We let him have his moment.
After rambling about the keep looking for worthy opponents we finally located the courtyard where the giants hole up during the day. Ah hah, exactly the combatants we needed kept off the streets if our little rebellion was to flourish! Many, many boulders later, Mari had finished off 4 of the giants and Breela had been forced to retreat from the stone barrage. A couple of fireballs had zoomed in during the fight (which Breela swears were not from her, but I wonder…) and once we’d vanquished the giants we started trying to locate the spellcaster. While doing that, a voice called out for the mage to cease his barrage and asking for parlay. Ilona and I rode over to speak with the man, Baron Hannas Drelev himself. He asks why Isenfell has declared war on his city, to which we counter that he attacked first with mercenaries and barbarians invading us. He then claimed that it was all the fault of Pitax, yelled that all of the surrounding kingdoms would know of our “treachery” and ran into the keep behind him and slammed and locked the door. How rude!
After taking a minute to heal up (giants may be dumb, but they can certainly clobber pretty well), we used more dimension doors to get up to a balcony in the keep’s tower (probably where the mage had been bombarding us from) and started searching from there. We found a bunch of rooms, none of which housed the Baron’s runaway mage (which is why we started in the tower rather than following the Baron directly). We did encounter the mage’s sister and Baron’s wife, Cavetta, and her little yippy dog. She was scared but mostly cooperative so we put her in the traveling portable hole (the one where we’ve got cushions and air and books rather than the one with all our loot). We located the Baron’s room with a secret passage leading to what was presumably his mistress’ room containing many expensive gifts. We also located the mage’s rooms, but no mage, so we headed back downstairs, leaving nothing behind us to surprise us at an inopportune moment.
Cleared out the whole fortress top to bottom, finding no one. As we headed into the dungeons again we found evidence that our missing people had escaped out the tunnel (big surprise!) so we followed them out. Unfortunately, our revolutionary scouts hadn’t stayed hidden as we found their bodies outside the tunnel. A moment of searching and Jiro located two sets of tracks, most of them leading back to town and a smaller contingent heading northeast which we assumed contained our quarry. We wanted to capture the Baron, of course, but Khismia pointed out that the town appeared to be starting to burn and volunteered to head back with her eidolon to do what damage control she could do. Since the giants had been dealt with and the mercenaries don’t pose much of a threat to her, it seemed safe enough. We wished her luck and continued hunting our quarry.
With our magical mounts summoned, we were easily able to make up ground on the Baron’s party, which led us to a large river where eight people had crossed, presumably with the Baron, but Jiro also found some other tracks. After dimension dooring across to the river party, they surrendered, but we could see the Baron wasn’t with them. Meanwhile the Baron’s location became obvious as he backstabbed Breela and then the mage successfully cast a disintegrate spell on her (and thus why I’m back in Isenfell today getting her resurrected). The mage put Jiro in some kind of spell bubble (not a spell I’m familiar with), and the Baron’s mistress, apparently a bard started singing an inspiring song of some sort. Things got all messy then, obviously. The Baron attacked with several guardsmen while the mage flew up out of reach and the bard faded out of sight. After the mage shot a chain lightning into our midst screaming about us killing his sister I realized that we might be able to turn him away from the Baron’s service and started trying to talk him down, telling him his sister was fine, and was in fact with us right now, safely tucked into our portable hole. With my charismatic nature, I was able to sway him to at least listen as I explained. He says if I give her to him, we’ll part ways. Grabbing the correct hole, I carefully open it in front of him and request that the Baroness come out. She does so, and before the mage takes off with her, he says, “You’re lucky I didn’t see eye to eye with the Baron!”
Meanwhile, Ilona, Jiro and Eran have managed to completely wipe out the Baron’s party except for the invisible bard, who once we’re unengaged, reappears and introduces herself. She’s actually a spy for Daggermark (the Gaulus’ family’s original homeland) and wishes no quarrel with us. While we ride back to town (after gathering what we can of Breela and her gear), Quintessa tells us that she’d been sent to find out what Pitax is up to and fills us in on the inside story of the conquest of Fort Drelev. It basically dovetails what we had heard so far. Lord Numeste, hearing of the Baron’s demise and the mage’s defection, begs us to take over rulership of the town. I’d best set down my pen and check that our soldiers and food carts are nearly ready. We’ve got to get them to Drelev as soon as possible so that we can deal with the barbarians in the north (and feed Drelev’s starving people). I’ve also stuffed both portable holes with as much foodstuffs as we can carry back for now. I’m off to see how Breela’s feeling with her new lease on life.