The midday winter sun pours weak light through the Windmill Inn windows onto the shambling sleepy forms of the party after the previous night’s ordeal with invisible bitch, an ancient unknown time ritual, and Red Cloaks. Except Nakor, who kicks the party awake.
Much has happened in the Caldera in the past 24 hours, as Varis reveals in his last liaison with the party. Clad in a Robin Hood-esque costume rather than his regal inner-city red and gold, he tells of the orcs’ activities (poisoning the river, massing in the east) and the final mission: to assassinate presidential candidate Vizier Deling during his parade.
Offering 10,000gp up front and 5,000gp for any who survive capture, Varis strongly suggests the party skip town back to the Empire after the job, much like he and his Elven Resistance will be heading south back to the Elven highlands. He gracefully (yet with slight trepidation) lends his Greatbow of Distance to Lilith for the mission.
The party spent the next 3 days scouting out the central boulevard where they plan to snipe Vizier and then take him into an alley for stabbity stabs. They also get a hold of a lethal necrotic poison from a shady fellow in the second ring. As you do.
On the day of the assassination, the party takes up positions in surrounding alleyways (team stabbity – Zhara and Nakor), rooftops (team pewpew – Lilith), and the crowd (team backstab – Borja). The carriage carrying Deling arrives with extravagant pomp and circumstance. Moving onto the dais, he begins his speech with promises of wealth for all, moving onto “with allies like this, what can stand in our—”
Lilith, with her minus 6 penalty to perception, hasn’t noticed that there is in fact a blue dragon wyrmling flying overhead. It lands with a crunch of timber next to the podium behind which Deling is writhing, being attended to by his personal guard. Literati draconic translators appear on the scene, shouting at it to find the assassin, which it does by flying straight at the building Lilith is on. “Oh shiiii—”
Nakor, seeing that Deling is down but not out, throws a ruby incendiary into the fore, burning the two dwarven snipers attending the president. Understandably miffed, they fire on him once he breaks cover to run from the City Guard captain, gravely wounding him. “Oh shiiii—”
Borja, caught for a moment in the crowd’s surging away from the stage, keeps a cool eye on Vizier’s status. Vizier writhes in pain but doesn’t appear to succumb to the poison, so he takes the opportunity while the dwarves are distracted to bring some more pain to the president. The warforged mercenary bodyguard is unimpressed. “Oh shiiii—”
Zhara, going for the oldschool technique of hiding in a trashbin, springs/rolls onto the scene but is unable to control the path of the bin, tumbling out into a crowd of panicked noobs. Unpredictability appears to be the order of the day, and she quickly dispatches one of the dwarven snipers as they turn their sights on Borja. “Boo-yeah!”
Everyone having done their thing against Vizier, the party tries their escapes. Lilith managed to hide from the blue dragon wyrmling and evades a crossbowman in an alley by wall-walking into a window; Nakor blinked up onto a nearby building to escape the righteous fury of the beserker captain of the city watch; Borja melded back into the crowd of noobs while his Literati and warforged pursuers sneeze simultaneously; and Zhara took advantage of Borja’s distraction to slink away.
At the rendezvous point – Laval’s estate – the party learn that Laval is making a run for it and will give the party safe haven within Acanthia, but is unwilling to help them escape the city with him because they are marked men. “All that killing has made me tired” the party mutters.
Hours later, the orcish forces have begun their assault on the city from the east and the north. Time to b! After bravely trying to force their horses to trample the crush of commoners at the south-western gate, and also refusing the call to duty from another captain of the city watch, they join the queue to exit normally.
elevator music plays
The party finally make it to the Windmill at Novale where they exchange the Greatbow for their 5000gp each. From there, they stalk through the southern forest around the orcish forces until they make a break for it northward, back to the Empire. Unfortunately, the party has to weigh up how many supplies vs. how much lootz to carry, so they bury the large part of their stash in the woods. (Could this prove to be a plot hook for a lucky adventuring party in the future, searching for buried treasure? Only time will tell.)
ACANTHIA. The battle of Acanthia raged fiercely but briefly. Acanthia is not totally razed by the Orcs, who take it as a their own stronghold after victory.
THE ELVES. The party did not hear from Varis or Lien during their escape. One can only assume Varis was telling the truth when he said they were withdrawing back to the southern Elven highlands with both copies of the black & gold ritual book.
THE PARTY. They arrived safely into the cosy embrace of Amon, which sits on the SW fringe of the Empire, loaded with gold and XP.
The Tiefling used her capital to start a high class escort service, quickly becoming the most feared Madame in Amon and neighbouring cities. Behind the facade of her business, however, she still indulges in assassin work (for the right price).
The Doppleganger, by contrast, essentially vanished upon re-entering the confines of the Empire. Like Kaiser Soze, he became a myth, a spook-story, as he shape-changed to suit his purposes. What he is up to, no one can tell…
The Eladrin and the Elf, bickering all the way back from Acanthia to Amon, fell into a righteous rivalry, hunting each other throughout the edges of the Empire using their ample funds and wondrous weapons to their full extent. Who ends up killing who will have to wait until the next campaign.