Dramatis Personæ

Brother Mendel (Herodian)
Dane Sardock (Winston)
Gabriel Auditore (Rigil Kent)
Gestlin the Unpredictable (CommJunkee)
Magnifico the Clown (Feste)
Merasiël Alethmist (Melissa)
Rainald North-Hammer (Gigermann)


Of Liberty and Arrest

3 June 2014

As the early-morning sun began to appear, Gestlin triggered his magical, winged harness, and flew back to the Gleaming Endeavor, to guide the ship to a secluded part of the river nearest the safe-house. After some time had passed, the rest of the Heroes left on foot, to the agreed-upon place on the river, taking along Bashir, still-weak from his many tortures in prison. Yet later, as Dane kept watch on the river while the others concealed themselves nearby, he spotted their ship as it approached, and signaled to Gestlin. The Heroes then quietly got themselves aboard, and sailed back across the rover to the pier where they had agreed to deliver Bashir to the anti-slavers.

As they approached the docks, the Heroes remained vigilant for new threats. They spied Aurelius before them—glad at the ship’s arrival—emerging from a nearby street, accompanied by two other men who kept watch over him. But as the ship was moored, the Heroes then also spied two sinister-looking fellows headed toward Aurelius from down the docks, and on a nearby roof, a shadowy figure that leveled a crossbow in his direction. Gabriel leapt from the ship to the dock and sprinted toward Aurelius to intercept the assassins. Gestlin Teleported Merasiël to the roof beside the crossbow-wielding shadow, and then also Rainald, to Aurelius. The lifeless body of the crossbowman slid off the roof to the street below, startling passers-by; they witnessed no sign of his killer, who bounded down to the street in another place. Meanwhile, Aurelius’ bodyguards were surprised, and attacked Rainald, who paid them no mind, but loudly challenged the two assassins as they approached, who fled before him.

The Heroes bade Aurelius quickly come aboard, lest there be more enemies about, and he did so. He embraced Bashir there, happy to see that he yet lived, and was now safe. He was to be taken through the city to a friendly merchant who would spirit him away out of the city; the Heroes believed his bodyguards would not be enough and volunteered to escort them to the merchant, and Aurelius was happy to accept their offer. As they navigated the winding, narrow streets of Tredroy, they spotted the same pair of assassins seen at the docks trailing behind them. Dane ducked into a nearby alley and led one of the assassins away, and circled back to the others; meanwhile, Rainald turned back to confront the one that remained, but the assassin fled before him again, and did not return. They continued to the merchant’s house, and Aurelius said his goodbyes to Bashir as they left him there, and the Heroes returned to the ship with Aurelius. As midday approached, Aurelius spoke of his promise to learn the whereabouts of Lord Wallace, and said that he would make inquiries of his contacts in the city on their behalf. Again the Heroes offered to escort him, and again he accepted their escort. They spent much of the day following him here and there through the city as he spoke discreetly with this-or-that stranger, and they later found themselves at a villa just outside of town, the home of a merchant who had agreed to speak to them.


As they all entered the courtyard and began to take their ease, however, a score or more Templar soldiers stepped out of hiding there, fully surrounding the Heroes, and demanded they lay down their arms and surrender themselves, saying that they were to be arrested for treason against the King, to be taken before the Lord Commander of the Templars. The merchant apologized, declaring he had been given no choice but to allow them, and hurried away to his chambers. Aurelius stood aghast, for he trusted the Templars as long-time aides to his cause, just as he had come to trust the Heroes for the same. As the Heroes stood back-to-back in the center of the courtyard, Gestlin, at length, brazenly challenged the Templars’ authority to arrest them, and declared the Heroes’ collective innocence, but their would-be captors were deaf to his argument, and continued to expect their surrender. Seeing that Gabriel had murder in his eyes for his hated enemies, the Templars, and also that Merasiël and Rainald were loathe to lay down their arms, Magnifico saw no alternative to battle, but began to dance. Aurelius wisely fled the courtyard to join the merchant.

Crossbow bolts were loosed upon Magnifico as he began his insidious display, but Merasiël threw herself in front of him, taking one herself that would surely have struck him, though he was still struck by another. Fighting through the pain, Magnifico continued, and many of the enemy that surrounded them succumbed to the magically-induced confusion; some stood fast, stupefied, while others saw disturbing visions. Then Magnifico gave in to his wounds, and collapsed.

As the dance had begun to take effect, Gabriel sprang forth from his place and engaged one among the ring of Templars, and found his opponent’s magically-enhanced defenses difficult to penetrate. Rainald held fast in his place to defend his side of the Heroes’ formation. Dane loosed arrow upon arrow, sometimes getting past the enemies’ shields to strike home. Gestlin threw up a Wall of Force to shield his side of the formation, and when Brother Mendel had cast a healing spell upon Merasiël, Gestlin teleported her to a far room adjoining the courtyard, where they had previously spotted more Templars, kneeling in apparent prayer, no doubt maintaining magical protections on the rest—in seconds, she slew the four she found there. After having healed Merasiël, Brother Mendel then turned to Magnifico, to heal and awaken him, and Magnifico got to his feet. At the same time, the Templars that were still capable held their position, loosing bolts from their crossbows, and upon a command from their leader, they began casting a Flash spell in unison—upon the spell’s completion, the sudden brightness flash-blinded the Heroes, excepting Gabriel and Merasiël who were outside the circle at the time. The Heroes continued to resist. Gestlin threw an Explosive Fireball through the formation at the opposite side of the Templars’ ring, but it went errant, nearly scorching Magnifico instead. Then the Templar leader gave another command, and his troops began casting another spell in unison, this time, Distant Blow—those wielding crossbows dropped them and drew their swords—and afterward, they began to magically strike at the Heroes as if there were no distance between them and their targets. Rainald charged forward from his place and, with a war cry, brought down his hammer upon one of the enemy still standing dazed, who fell. Gestlin cast a Darkness spell about their formation to conceal them, and Rainald fell back into it, daring the Templars before him to follow. The Templars on Gestlin’s side of the formation could not press through his magical barrier, but instead used their Distant Blow spells against the Heroes. The Templars on Magnifico’s side of the formation strode forward into the darkness, and continued their attack, while Magnifico hurled jarring insult after jarring insult, causing some to stop momentarily in stunned bemusement, while Brother Mendel disarmed them of their swords with his quarterstaff. Gabriel had finally felled one of the Templars when he was set upon by another, and then two others began also to strike him with their Distant Blow spells, though they could scarcely touch him still for his tumbling about. Merasiël had emerged from the side-room and set upon the Templar leader from behind with such a fury, and after some struggle, she buried her blades in each of his eyes in turn. Rainald slew another Templar that foolishly charged into the darkness near to him, and upon seeing Gabriel’s distress, charged forth again to engage some of his friend’s attackers. Another Templar that charged into the darkness before Dane was brought down by Gestlin’s Tanglefoot spell, and Dane loosed an arrow or two into his head for it, before Gestlin set him ablaze with a Fireball.

Then, as suddenly as it all had begun, a cry of “Parley!” rang out, as the second-in-command of the Templars called for truce. Dane answered, and called out to his fellows for calm, such that they ceased fighting. Several of the Templars’ number had been lost, including their leader, and the second-in-command offered that the Heroes should leave them to tend to their wounded, rather than press the matter. The Heroes agreed, and offered in return that the Templars should send a messenger to the Gleaming Endeavor if their Lord Commander wished to meet with them in peace, in a safe place. The Templar agreed that it would be so, and commanded his troops to allow them to leave the villa.

Aurelius went with the Heroes back to their ship, vexed and conflicted over which side he should favor, but his new friends assured him that their side was just. Aboard the ship, having pulled away from the docks to ensure none could easily board them, they all discussed what they might do, as they waited. Aurelius wished to go back into town to discover the Templars’ motives for himself; knowing the assassins might still lie in wait for him, Gabriel offered to escort him wherever he needed to go, and so the two left the ship. Some time later, as evening approached, a messenger for the Templars called out to them from the docks, and said that the Lord Commander would speak to them in the morning at their stronghold, though he would speak to Dane alone, and the boy awaited there for a response; Dane told the lad to tell his master that it would be so. Afterward, there was talk amongst the Heroes of magically listening to Dane’s conversation with the Lord Commander, but Dane dismissed it, for honor’s sake, preferring that they should wait outside for him. Gabriel returned to the ship later, having left Aurelius at place of safety, having encountered no assassins.


In the morning, the Gleaming Endeavor was unmoored and sailed downriver to a place just outside the city, before the Templar stronghold, an impressive fortress set upon a hill in the desert. The Heroes disembarked, and after some time walking (Gabriel riding atop Cometes, who was glad of some exercise), together approached the gates, fully armed. The gates were opened for them, welcoming, and they saw within a large formation of Templars, as if greeting some foreign dignitaries. A boy approached and offered to take Gabriel’s horse to water and feed him, and Gabriel accepted. The Heroes made their way through the formation and approached the entrance to the keep, where they would wait, as Dane went inside to meet with their enemy.

At the far end of the massive hall sat a grizzled, older man, behind a desk, flanked by Auqui, in his Templars’ garb. Auqui met Dane’s gaze, and nodded in recognition, though he said nothing. The old man offered Dane a chair, and some wine, which Dane accepted. And the old man revealed that he was McDonald, Lord Commander of the Templars, and began to speak his mind…


  • Due to some short content, and a big multi-session combat, I have combined the last three sessions into one report; these three sessions were spaced out over more than a month, as we had scheduling difficulties that prevented us from having all players in attendance, which was needed for the fight.
  • As soon as we got to the villa, before the Templars were revealed, we were all already quoting The Empire Strikes Back, “They arrived right before you did. I’m sorry.” The GM was a bit disappointed—he intended to spring that on us himself 😛
  • Due to a lot of factors that would take a whole blog-post or two on their own to explain, the fight was taking a really long time to get through—could have gone on for at least another session, and maybe more—and was becoming an unbearable slog, so we all decided to cut it off, resulting in the “parley”; the GM confessed that the ending of the campaign, which is nigh upon us, has changed a little as a result