24 Rova, 4711 (24 September, 2011)
Journal of Yostara Rufano
Present: Urta, Nix, Lostara and Simon-Louie
After our lengthy trek through the storm drains and sewers of Westcrown#, we took refuge in a dilapidated, unused temple. This proved to have been dedicated to the Lord Aroden in the past, and now is the property of the church of Iomedae. But no member of that clergy has visited the place – until now, with the arrival of Brother Urta.
Here we are reunited with Janiven and Morosino, and are here introduced to all of her band of followers. Here also the Westcrown Reformation Society is proclaimed and its initial membership is recorded. Follower Amaya volunteers to sew a banner; and several ideas for insignia, such as armbands, or distinctive hats, are discussed.
Such discussion can not keep us from setting out our plans for the rescue of the captured Arael. Follower Schiavo, a scribe in the court’s offices, has informed us (rather breathlessly) of the current conditions: the half-elf’s custody is even now being transferred from the dottari# to that of the Order of the Rack – Hell Knights of Asmodeus – and that they will soon take the prisoner to their impregnable fortress, Citadel Rivad.
Schiavo also discovered the identity of the Rack officer in charge – a Signifer# named Shanwen – whose teams were the very ones we eluded at Vizio’s Tavern yesterday! We can expect this foe to be on his guard and smarting from his recent failure.
Shanwen’s squad consists of ten armigers#, four of which have horses and will function as a sort of cavalry. Their prisoner-wagon is familiar to us, having been seen around Westcrown quite often. It’s a sturdy wooden affair with a roof-mounted weapon of some sort, like a giant crossbow.
It appears that Janiven is somewhat familiar with the road out to Citadel Rivad. She outlines two possible places for our ambush, one being a stone bridge over a creek and the other a sparse wood with some places to hide. We have no time to look over these sites ourselves but must quickly make our decisions and plans. It is eventually agreed, that Janiven, with our squad of untrained followers, will serve as a distraction to Shanwen’s guards; whilst we, the active ones, will strike the wagon when the opportunity is there.
In order to make our attack with speed, follower Gorvio arranges with his uncle (and employer) Jacovo, of Jacovo’s Stables and Livery, to borrow four horses. There will be one for me, Nix, Urta and the summoner Simon-Louie.#
The wooded region is selected as the ambush spot; our force divides according to plan and we settle in to await the arrival of the prisoner transport. This is indeed not long in coming; directly Janiven’s group make themselves known far in the front and the four mounted armigers speed away to investigate. At that, we launch ourselves into the fray.
Setting the horses aside, Simon-Louie conjures a deadly war-eagle and sends it straight at Corporal Shanwen. The rest of us charge in – the priest Urta lands a solid blow on Shanwen, distracted as he must have been by Simon-Louie’s eagle. After quite a scrap, during which I found myself knocked unconscious#, we were victorious! We rescued Arael, and managed to leave no armigers dead behind us – one was discovered bleeding out and was healed up by Nix.
Some argued the necessity of this, leaving enemies alive in our wake. It was agreed that we want to make certain that we hold the moral high ground in any argument – that we are better than they are and that if we are to cause any desertions over to our side we must demonstrate this at all times. It all sounds better when Urta or Schiavo says it, I would have just cut their throats and been done with it.#
Before heading back to the city we took from Shanwen and his foot armigers, anything of value they were carrying, including their armor and equipment. All this amounted to a tidy sale at Lucania’s pawn shop# – 160 crowns divided four ways, forty each to Simon-Louie, Urta, Nix and myself.
Also on Shanwen’s person was a curious letter – from the lord mayor of Westcrown himself, to the chief Hellknight at Citadel Rivad. This letter seems to ask for help in dealing with a group of bandits – and also seems to be repeating an earlier request! This, from Aberian Arvanxi himself… These ‘Bastards of Erebus’ must be of some interest, if the mayor’s own forces are unable to meet the threat.
Back to Westcrown we go, first to get Arael safe indoors – the Order of the Rack certainly tried to live up to their name even without using an actual rack – the half-elf priest is in terrible shape and will need some time to recuperate, even with magical healing applied.
Our second errand is to return the horses to Gorvie’s uncle. This was not without incident – uncle Jacovo was being berated sharply by a strange customer when we arrived. This offensive fellow was treating Jacovo to a tirade of invective, all about four missing horses. These turned out to be the same four animals that had carried us out the Rivad road and back! Only quick thinking on the part of Simon-Louie, along with quite a bit of flattery from us all, calmed the man down. He is a local celebrity, a singer in the largest productions# in the biggest houses named Thesing#. It is with some difficulty that I manage to pry him loose from me, once his attention was diverted away from the horses… His remarks upon being soundly rebuffed were most unkind and I hope to never hear the like again. Anyway we made our way from the stables and returned to the Arodenite temple.