As said in the OOC thread, Sidius will cast Mage Armour before we head out. 4 hours duration.
Sidius nods, "You did, yes. I happened upon a small group of Milani's priests, pretty much by accident, when I was trying to find a contact in the Bellflowers... Someone who could pass a message to someone important out of the city...." He trails off for a moment as happy memories come to him unbidden, then turn to bitter ash before adding, "but all I have of that now is a holy symbol and some memories... I think they may have run afoul of the dottari. Still, I can certainly share with you what little I've learned."
Seeing the bard cast message, Sidius does the same, linking in Lubella, Talvek, Arcos and Fhingle. He whispers, "I think that's all of us. As long as you're within 140 feet of me or Lubella, and we're within that of each other, this should work... though we may have to relay things."
As you cross the bridge, paying the higher toll, you see a stronger presence of dottari on the southern side of the city, especially in the Red Roof district.
You are able to spot a squad of guards about a block north of the Fantasmogoria's front entrance.
As people stop to gawk at the museum, they call out and wave them along.
Keep moving, citizens. Nothing to see here. Official city business.
They have not seemed to notice your team of misfits yet.
Lubella nonchalantly noted the guards' positioning in relation to the Fantasmagorium.
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Bluff (to not be obvious about it): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
She whispered, "Looks like we're going to need to create a diversion, to distract their attention from the entrance. Let's go into an alley, where we can work on our disguises unobserved."
We should have donned our disguises before leaving the Wasp's Nest, but I forgot to do it.
Fhingle nods and follows his new group, once in the Alley Fhingle stops and pulls out the disguise that was given to him.
"I can link us all together as well but in a much different way." Fhingle says touch each person on the shoulder, everyone feeling a slight tingle run through their body. "I will accept some of your wounds, this will allow us to fight longer if needs be."
"Perhaps we should wait until the evening, maybe they will go away. In the meantime, I'll ask some of the locals, see what they know."
Donning his own disguise, Talvek proceeds to discreetly inquire of the passers-by what was with all the fuss.
Disguise self with extract: 1d20 + 3 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 10 = 18
Diplomacy to gather info: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (17) + 13 = 30
4d20 ⇒ (15, 12, 7, 20) = 54
Talvek asks around for a bit and returns with some interesting news which may explain the extra patrols.
“The Silver Ravens are attracting all sorts of strange attention, some say Lady Nox was involved.
But I heard that Thrune has hired a Tian specialist of some sort to help track them down!
The guards seem to be working in shifts and this is not the only patrol spotted in the city. After some time (1-2 hours while Talvek is gone), a replacement squad appears and the original heads towards the citadel.
Also, they only seem to be watching the front of the museum, and none appear to be stationed at the rear alley.
Lubella applied some ash and soot to her face, and put on a frayed bonnet. She practiced a shuffling, hunched-over walk reminiscent of an old woman.
Disguise, taking 10: 10 + 7 = 17
Then she helped the others, excepting Arcos and Talvek, with rudimentary disguises. "We don't want to get known by our true appearances!", she told them.
When Talvek returned, she huddled with the group, "As far as I could tell, and from what Talvek says, they're guarding the front of the museum, but not the back alley. The office area where we left the bodies, has a window overlooking the alley, so we should be able to gain entrance. Once we get them out, we'll need to move them far enough away to safely load them into a wagon; we'll hire the wagon after we get the bodies out.
Does anyone have a blanket with them, for hiding the bodies?"
If we need to, we can buy a couple of blankets at Kelimber’s Dry Goods and Supplies, which is only a few blocks away.
The Fantasmagorium map is the third slide in the Hell's Rebels Combats link. We left the bodies in the upper right corner area. There's a side entrance nearby; no idea if it's locked, or if it's being watched.
Sidius says, "I've a bedroll in my pack, if need be. It's easily replaced.. Avoids anyone having bought anything suspicious near the site of the job."
He adds, "I can change into another species, but only for a few minutes -- was thinking of turning into something small, like a ratfolk, to make me more stealthy without losing the ability to see in the dark... but I could always turn into a bugbear for their sense of smell."
I thought we hired the wagon already, and that we'd be having it wait with the meter running, as it were?
Lubella replied to Fhingle, "I think that they're not watching the rear. Still, it might be an idea for me to position myself so I can move around to create a diversion if I have to, while being close enough to talk to the rest of you with my message spell. If you don't see anyone around the back, I won't do anything; if you see or hear someone coming, I'll spring into action. I have a spell that can double my speed, so I should be able to get away from the guards easily enough."
With Expeditious Retreat and a good Stealth skill, Lubella should be able to outrun the guards and then hide.
Talvek ponders the suggestions.
"Distractions are risky. They may not leave their post, or only some of them may leave, or things could slip out of control. We are not ready to have a direct confrontation with the dottari. I favour the stealthy approach, myself, and I might be able to get around locks, if need be."
Lubella said to Talvek, "I agree — it's a last resort. Hopefully they won't even know we were here, until we're long gone."
She told the others, "Talvek's a good burglar; he did a great job getting us into the Sallix Salt Works."
Assuming the burglar approach...
Talvek is able to sneak around the back alley, and sees all of the windows on the rear of the building were boarded up, rather than locked, including the alcove with the statue and the office.
Before Talvek went around the back, Lubella cast a spell on him to boost his confidence, and did the same for herself. She also re-cast her message spell, this time including all of her team members.
Casting Heroism on Talvek and herself. Casting on Message on Arcos, Fingle, Sidius and Talvek — I forgot that I was 4th lvl there for a moment :)
Talvek gains a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, saves, and skill checks. Duration: 40 min
"Sidius, can you stay close enough to Talvek to communicate with your message spell? When he goes in the window, he might get out of my spell range. I'm going to watch the side of the building."
She sneaked around to the side of the building, keeping Talvek in range of her message spell; she made sure to take advantage of the available cover to conceal her approach. "If you need me to create a diversion, just say so!", she whispered.
Stealth, Heroism: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 12 + 2 = 19
EDIT: Lubella is trying to keep a watch on the right side of the museum (looking at the map). She will stay within 140 ft of either Talvek or Sidius, so she can communicate using her Message spell. She doesn't necessarily need to be right next to the Fantasmagorium, if there's better cover fairly near by. She wants to be able to see any guards coming around that side of the building.
Sidius nods, "Absolutely," then stealthily heads to the entry to the back alley, finding a place to hide.
Stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
"We should have brought a crowbar." mutters Talvek as he surveys the situation. Oh well, no time now to go shopping for burglary supplies. Moving towards the alcove and positioning himself so that the shape of the building would hide him from anyone who would look from the side alley(s), he pulls out a dagger and his thieves' tools, attempting to finesse out the nails by applying judicious leverage, while not making too much noise.
Stealth, free inspiration: 1d20 + 6 + 1d6 ⇒ (19) + 6 + (2) = 27
Disable Device?, inspiration: 1d20 + 13 + 1d6 ⇒ (9) + 13 + (5) = 27
Talvek is able to pry the back boards loose with his fairly handy thieves tools.
Looking inside, the place looks mostly as you left it. Very little has been touched from what you can see.
The others are able to move into position behind the museum. So far, no sign of the dottari moving.
Will next need to know who is going in or staying out, where you are going, and what you are doing if you find the bodies
2d20 ⇒ (15, 15) = 30
Lubella whispered her report, "The dottari are holding their position in the front so far. Keep me updated on your progress — let's say every minute or so."
Sidius relays Lubella's whisper to the group, just in case she's out of range to anyone.
"We should stay together as much as possible" whispers Talvek, also addressing Lubella, either directly or via Sidius' relay. "Here, I'll give you a boost."
Once the tiefling helps Fhingle through the window, he looks around the seemingly-deserted museum, looking for traces of recent passage besides themselves.
Perception, inspiration: 1d20 + 11 + 1d6 ⇒ (10) + 11 + (6) = 27
Sidius Whispers, "They went in. Might be time to join them."
Talvek helps Fhingle into the window.
Not going to spoiler this since message is going...
Looking around, the pair do not notice anything moving, and Talvek does not see too much has been disturbed. Within a half a minute, he finds the bodies of the redactors appear to be missing and some of the better books. The zombie corpses are where you left them towards the front of the hall before the library.
Outside there is no movement by the dottari yet, or any other locals. The alley is quiet at the moment.
"Everything quiet with the dottari," Lubella whispered. "I'm coming back to the alley."
She stealthily moved back to the alley, while keeping watch for any sign of the guards moving to check the rear of the building.
Stealth, heroism: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 12 + 2 = 30
Perception, heroism: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 2 = 21
"Let's get the bodies and get out quickly." Talvek whispered as he started wrapping the corpse of Rexus's mother in his cloak and positioning it across his shoulders. He can't help but stuff a couple of books in his pockets, lamenting internally that they could not save more of the library here.
Sidius whispers, "I'll head to the window, then," and carefully creeps to where Talvek and Fhingle entered the building.
Talvek and Fhingle are able to wrap the bodies and drag or lift them to the window without too much trouble...other than the unpleasant smell and grossness of it all.
Sidius sees a couple of wrapped bundles at the window about the time he arrives.
Lubella stays to the shadows in the alley, and does not see any sign of dottari getting involved.
Arcos...well, he stands in the alley, waiting for action.
Lubella saw that the others were making good progress with the bodies. She said to her comrades, "The dottari are staying put. I'm going to check our exit route, and make sure we don't stumble into an awkward situation. Let's get the bodies away from here."
She sneaked along what appeared to be the best path away from the museum, in the opposite direction from the guards. She kept an eye out for passersby, or people watching out windows.
Stealth, heroism: 1d20 + 12 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 12 + 2 = 24
Perception: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 8 + 2 = 19
"We used the services of a boat captain before, we could do that again."
Like Lubella, Talvek looks around to try and spot potential trouble.
Perception, inspiration: 1d20 + 11 + 1d6 ⇒ (11) + 11 + (2) = 24
With the wrapped bundles passed through the open window, Fhingle and Talvek exit the Museum.
Lubella retreats to check for guards, but does not spy anything of interest.
As you are climbing out of the window and hoisting one of the bundles, you thought for a moment you saw a figure up on the roof of an adjacent building. However, just as soon as you saw it, it was gone.
So it may have been tricks of the mind or the exertion, but you are not sure.
Arcos and Sidious can assist with the two bundles as discussion of boats ensue...albeit a bit later than would have been advised.
Obviously it would take some time to track down your favorite captain on short notice and the bundles are now in the alley.
So let me know the plan and who is going where with what...
Lubella returned close enough to whisper to the others, "The path looks clear. Bring the bodies this way; we'll hide them when we get far enough away from the museum. Then I'll go and hire a wagon."
She tried to think what would be a plausible trade good to take in a wagon out the Rust Gate, and towards the site of the cremation ceremony. If the wagon load could be something smelly, so much the better!
Profession Merchant (taking 10), heroism: 10 + 3 + 2 = 15
Both bundles are able to be moved from the window to the alley and behind the adjacent building without attracting dottari attention.
Talvek seems to be lookup up at the building behind the museum.
Lubella with advice from Arcos is able to track down a teamster with an empty wagon coming from shops further south in the Red Roof district and the old man agrees to meet your group.
Aye, fair enough. If you gots good gold I will haul it anywhere you want. But the toll on the Bleakbridge has been increased and there be lots of attention if you get my meaning.
As Lubella recalls, the cremation ceremony tomorrow will be north of the city out along the night, crossing the bridge is the only practical way for a wagon to cross the river. A boat across the river is another option, but requires more contacts and time to coordinate.
Arcos figures another hour to get a boat along the south docks to meet with the wagon...if patrols can be avoided until that point.
Fhingle casts a quick spell on himself before coming to talk to the wagon driver.
"I can pay the cost to get across the bridge no problem." Fhingle says pulling his coin pouch out of his pack. "Do you travel these roads often?" Fhingle asks the man
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 13 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 13 + 2 = 27
When they got back to meet up with the others, Lubella whispered to her allies, "OK, let's get the bodies into the wagon. Sidius, do what you can to deal with the odor; I need to judge how noticeable it will be to someone fairly close to the vehicle. Crossing the bridge is not going to work, if there's a foul stench emanating from the wagon!"
Once the corpses were loaded in, treated, and covered, she walked around the wagon, conducting a smell test.
Is Heroism still running. or has the 40 min duration expired? It has the same duration as Message, so we should be able to tell.
Sidius nods, "Mixed this up... It won't make the smell go away, but it's good enough to stop a dog from tracking us -- which is to say, they'll smell, but they won't smell like rotting dead."
Applies the Scent Mask...
Can Lubella smell the zombies when she's walking around the wagon? I'm not familiar with the ability/concoction that Sidius is using.
If Sidius has a link to the spell/ability that would be helpful to me as well. I will assume it works as desired unless we find otherwise.
Lubella and the others find between the wrappings and Sidius's application, the zombie corpses are transportable without much notice.
2d20 ⇒ (15, 7) = 22
You are able to transport the wagon down side streets and back alleys, and have to determine if you will attempt to cross the Bleakbridge with the wagon or find another route.
Lubella conferred with her friends (out of earshot of the driver), "OK, now we need something plausible to carry in the wagon — something that would make sense to be transporting though the Nightways Gate, and up the Night Road towards Nidal.
"The alternative is taking the bodies to the Old Harbor, and hiring a boat."
Profession Merchant (what would be a suitable cargo?), taking 10: 10 + 3 = 13
Knowledge local for cargo, Inspiration: 1d20 + 12 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 12 + (6) = 20
"I don't know many merchants..." Talvek grimaces involuntarily for a moment, then resumes after a slight pause. "It has to be something that makes sense, and something that we can get nearby. There's the Redroof Market, where we could buy some bolts of cheap cloth, or Kelimber's Supplies."
Sidius says, "There is necromantic magic that could help mask or hide the corpses -- to strip the flesh from the bones and then restore the corpses afterward. We could hide them in offal, then. Sadly, I don't knows those spells -- but scrolls might solve the problem."
Talvek sighs at Sidius' suggestion. "As practical as your proposal is, Rexus might have a difficult time with such treatment of his parents' remains. Let us try to not cause him any more distress than strictly necessary." He turns to Fhingle. "That might work, if there is no special paperwork required for such a thing. We might even claim they died of some contagious disease, it would make the guards less likely to want to take a close look."
Suitable cargo, or at least cargo you typically see moving north across the Bleakbridge as you have traveled frequently...would include:
Barrels or crates of Food supplies and ales for the different pubs,
Cloth and clothing and other supplies for new market,
School or merchant supplies and papers,
and finally fine dishes or art heading towards the Nobel "Greens" district. Large bulky items are usually transferred by ship.
I will just need a decision on the direction and plan...who does what etc
The bodies are loaded into the wagon with the driver ready to move as the teamster Walton calls back.
Everything ok? Are we ready to go? Sitting here too long is going to get us some attention. Attention that none of us wants I can assure you.
So far no dottari appear to have noticed anything yet.