Obligations and Entanglements

Session One

Fast times at Vesten Festhall

((As usual, feel free to edit this to include forgotten details))

Picking up where Session One left off; the party and the captain discuss the issue of what to do with their Skaerjn captive. Pablo and Rafael Dominguez initially suggested recruiting, but Captain Alicia Montoya de Zapeda del Castillo_ demurred, being uncertain that the Skaerjn would not betray them at a critical moment with her Vesten weather magic. _Giorgio Lucani suggested as an alternative to turning the Skaerjn over to the Vendel League in Kirk – a move that would have resulted in her near-certain death – that instead they ransom her back to the Vesten; a practice the Vesten were well familiar with, as they have often used it themselves with valuable prisoners.

The arguments went on for a while, but in the end, the group agreed that ransoming the Skaerjn off to the Vesten was marginally more acceptable than letting her be killed or rot in a Vendel prison. This decided, they set course for one of the Vesten islands in the chain; as this would only be a brief departure from their original course, they would not lose much time in arriving in Kirk to sell the trade goods stored on the Matron’s Sorrow.

The Captain issued a number of orders before retiring to her cabin and requesting the cabin boy Myshka_ join her. Later on, during the journey, Giorgio Lucani_ climbed up in the rigging to take care of some minor tasks, but unfortunately got his foot horribly entangled in the rope – attempts to dislodge himself only served to exacerbate the situation. Another of the ship’s Crew, a Castillian who doubled as the ship’s barber, climbed up into the rigging to help get Giorgio Lucani loose. Giorgio had acquired one of the ship’s line ropes which was just as well as the Castillian’s skill with knots was sufficent to free Giorgio, but not sufficent to do so safely. The young Vodacce swung away on the rope he’d grabbed, but cruel fate intervened in the form of a sudden hard wind that sent him crashing into the mainmast. He landed in a crumpled heap, but when some of the crew moved over to check out what they expected to be a bloody mess, he turned out to be almost completely unharmed; quite the feat given how squarely he struck the mast and fell.

When the ship was about to dock, Louis Camus, and Lucien Demoulins opted to remain behind with the ship, not at all pleased at the idea of rubbing elbows with barbarian savages. The rest of the party and the Captain disembarked; they entered “negotiations” with a tall, bald and heavily scarred Vesten. While this was going on, Fionbarr and Rafael Dominguez headed to the local tavern; where they got down to the business of drinking heavily and flirting with the Vesten women. Fionbarr proved to be rather more silver tongued than his shipboard activities might have suggested, and partook of a number of unique experiences that Rafael decided were a bit outside of his field of comfort.

Once appropriate compensation had been acquired, they were invited to the festhall to participate in the impromptu party the Vesten were throwing to celebrate the good fortune of the return of their Skaerjn.

The group took to the party for the most part like fish to water, stories and mead flowed like a river. Giorgio spun an epic yarn taking in the best aspects of Vesten culture, and the Vesten were soon pounding mugs on the table to the tale. Their Jarl, apparently even more impressed, claimed that this was clearly a sign, and rallied the Vesten up to go raiding.

As the big burly guys with the axes began filing out, several party members took advantage of the chaos to acquire small treasures and warmer outfits; Pablo, not to be outdone, swept up a giant bearskin rug and draped it over himself, wearing the headpiece like a helmet.

And they might have snuck off quietly with their gains, had the Jarl not stuck his head back into the festhall and insisted they come along for the raid.

The Vesten (and the group) piled into longboats, rowing along the coastline until they spotted their target; a small Vendel village with little more than a barrier wall facing coastward. About half the group slipped off to either side of the village quietly, while the rest (and the Vesten raiders) charged into the village, the Vesten carrying lit torches and howling like madmen.

While much ancillary looting occured, the village seemed oddly deserted; there was little resistance to be found – one small group of trained militia at what was probably the Mayor’s dwelling, and only one or two other buildings were occupied at all.

The Church, on the other hand, turned out to be quite well guarded – two full squads of crossbowmen fired through the windows at approaching looters (including Giorgio Lucani). Lucani leapt up to the window, taking some minor injuries from the glass … and discovered that behind the altar was a priest – who pulled out a firearm and fired; missing horribly … then dropped the smoking weapon and pulled out a second as the Vesten came scrambling through the doors, engaging the guards who had drawn blades. The Vesten could see the many fine treasures to be had at the back of the building.

Meanwhile, Myshka had spotted two men sneaking away from the village, heading toward what looked like a watch tower in the distance. With some cunning animal mimicry, he terrified the two men so badly that when he burst out of the bushes with a gutteral roar, they fainted dead away.

Giorgio Lucani vaulted over the heads of the crossbowmen and down the center aisle, drawing his sword as he went. The priest fell back slightly, pulling up the second firearm. The shot rang through the village as it caught the Vodacci full in the chest and knocked him back into the pews, where he lay prone and still. The priest drew a breath, and pulled out his third firearm as the last of the guards fell to the Vesten raiders. He looked at the group of them, shook his head, turning around and firing at the altar.

There was a massive explosion; the back half of the church erupted; the altar utterly destroyed and the wave of force lifting up and launching the first three rows of pews into the air. Several of the Vesten raiders, who had been closing in to dispose of the priest and take the treasures were killed by the explosion of burning wooden chunks launched by the explosion. The ones further back grabbed up Giorgio and the contents of the poor box and fled the church.

Unfortunately, there was no way the pillar of flame and explosion were going to go unnoticed by the distant guard tower. Myshka emerged from the trees with a bloody scalp, grinning like a feral creature to rejoin the rest of the group, who then retreated toward the longboats in an attempt to get clear and away before Vendel League naval vessels could discover them.

In this, at least, they were apparently entirely successful and they returned to the Vesten community.

(End of Session One)



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