You know, they're schemers.

Anastrianna’s 2nd log

After ridding the hideout of cultists, we noticed that Beltheor and Dugor had somehow been knocked unconscious during the fight, I suspect from the shock of seeing a naked girl stabbed and cut twice. As we began to gather our senses, Phaidan searched the room for hidden clues while Ethett looked for treasure and I tended to June. With a few minutes of studying, I was able to determine that she seemed alive still. At about the same time, Ethett found 25 gold pieces, and Phaidan noticed some strange stones jutting out of, and sunken into, the wall. We retrieved Dugor’s 10 ft pole, and began pushing buttons. We must have chosen correctly, because a small hole opened in the wall to reveal a small metallic cube. None of us had any idea what it was, but after casting Detect Magic, I at least determined that it possessed a magic aura.

Since Beltheor and Dugor were still unconscious, we opted to tie them to the goat and drag them along behind us, as none of us wanted to take the effort to carry them. Phaidan started out the door, but as he did, we heard footsteps running towards us. Ethett and I hid ourselves, while Phaidan donned cultist robes once again, and we waited for whoever it was coming. Within a few moments, and dwarfish man entered the room, took one look at the scattered bodies and Phaidan’s bloodied robe, and fled whilst screaming “CULTISTS”. Phaidan quickly ran after him, and was able to calm him down and inform him of who we really are.

The dwarf, whose name we discovered was Bahlin (though I’m not sure how he spelled it), informed us that Buatel had been overthrown by a cultist coup, and that almost everyone had either been killed, or imprisoned, or had fled. Bahlin begged us to come back to the town and try to see if we could help drive the cultists out, and free the town. Naturally, we assented, and once June clothed herself and Beltheor regained consciousness, we left for Buatel.

After 10-15 minutes of walking, we came upon the outskirts of Buatel. From our place in the forest, we saw that a patrol came around the town hall/jail about every minute. We quickly hatched a plan to subdue the guards and make our way inside the jail. After the patrol rounded the corner, we sprinted (some more quietly than others….) to the building, and waited for them to come around again. Sure enough, they did, and in one fatal blow, Ethett cleaved one of their heads in two (I made sure I asked if they were cultists just before). The other cultist threw down his weapon and fled inside for reinforcements, and we prepared ourselves for battle.

As a group of 4 more cultists came into view, Beltheor let fly a javelin, and struck one of them squarely in the chest. I followed that up with an acid splash to the cultist’s face, and he staggered back. As we engaged in combat with this group, more cultists poured out of the jail and started to form a semi-circle between us and the jail.

Suddenly, the cultists fighting us ran to join their comrades in the circle, and a bugbear sprinted towards us. The bugbear attempted to choke the life out of Ethett, but before it could put its hands around his throat, Ethett sliced it clean in half. Ethett was an unstoppable, katana-wielding god-killer. He dodged every blow from his enemies, and not a one emerged unscathed when he turned his blade against them. However, Ethett’s brutal massacre was soon cut short, when the guard who had goaded us so challenged him to one on one combat. Ethett immediately assented, and the remaining cultists formed a circle for them to fight in.

Ethett remained unmoved by the guard’s threats, but I foresaw a bad outcome. Ethett wore only leather armor, but the guard had not only a full plate, but a shield as well. As the two combatants prepared themselves for a fight to the death, I loaded my crossbow and got ready for the potential fight to come.

The fight started out well for Ethett. The guard, out of pride, let Ethett strike first, and he delivered a powerful blow, staggering the guard. However, Ethett’s good fortune came to an end when, in a rage, the guard threw down his shield, grabbed his sword with two hands, and swiftly dealt a massive blow to Ethett, knocking him out immediately. The guard then ordered his cohorts to round us all up as prisoners, and Beltheor ran to Ethett to heal him back to consciousness.

As the guards started to take hold of my compatriots, I knew that I could not let myself get captured. Without my spellbook, I would be worse than useless, I would be a hindrance to my party’s ability to escape. So, promising that I would return and free them, I fled into the woods to find Bahlin and June.

For the rest of the afternoon, I did nothing but plan my assault. Given that I am a wizard, I knew fighting any number of guards by myself would be a horrible idea. Instead, my best bet would be to draw the guards away or incapacitate them somehow so that I could free everyone. With their numbers, we would stand a much better chance of taking on the guards.

I will recount this next section in mostly the present tense, for simplicity’s sake.

So, how could I ensure that something would cause the guards to leave the jail. I could use Prestidigitation to create some balls of light, or I could cast light on something and use Mage Hand to guide it around, but there’s a strong chance that they wouldn’t be interested, and I would have to be within 10-25 feet, which is far too close for my comfort. I could try to use Disguise Self and Ghost Sound in tandem to create the illusion of the leader riding his horse back to the jail, and order them elsewhere. But I’ve never been able to keep up a Ghost Sound for more than 6 seconds, and I see no reason that would be any different now… Oh! I still have all those flasks of oil with me! I’ll look around the houses in town and find some firewood, surely they have some, and set it up behind the house across from the jail. With a big enough fire, the guards will have to leave to prevent it spreading throughout the town!

But how do I get from the house to the jail without being noticed? I could run straight there, cast Obscuring Mist, and hope that they wouldn’t find me in it, but that sounds much too risky. Perhaps Bahlin could help me by lighting the fire when I give a signal, so that I can stay somewhere else and slip in unnoticed. [At this point I asked Bahlin if he would help, and he said he surely would.] Ok so with Bahlin’s help, here’s what I will do. Dugor’s rope weighs only 5 lbs., easily moved with Mage Hand. I’ll secure the rope to the chimney on top of the jail, and climb up. From there I can bombard the guards at the door with burning oil, which is also the signal for Bahlin. When the fire starts and the other guards come running out, I will cast Obscuring Mist, which will fill the inside of the building, and slip inside. Once inside, I will find my friends and see what I can do to free them. If I encounter resistance before they are free, I have Acid Splash, Mage Hand and my Light rocks, 4 more flasks of oil, and Color Spray; though I’d prefer to save Color Spray for the guards when they return. At 1:00 AM, when I’ve prepared spells, I will strike.

The time comes, and as planned I attach the rope the to chimney, and easily climb up. I look over the edge of the roof, and can see two guards at the door. I take one of the flasks of oil out of my backpack, light it, and drop it on the guards, and to my amazement, they both fall down, dead. However, they still scream in agony as I had planned, and Bahlin lights the fire at the house. At the sounds of the screams, more guards pour out of the building, and I cast Obscuring Mist. Grabbing the rope, I climb down the front of the building under cover of the mist, and slip into the jail unseen.

Once inside, I notice that my spell was more effective than I had thought, as the entire room is full of mist, but I manage to find a door, and open it. This leads down to the jail, where I see four large cells, full of both townspeople and my friends. However, the cells are wrapped with heavy chains and locks, and I have nothing to break them. Beltheor tells me that their equipment is stashed somewhere else in the building, and I leave to find it, but tell them to try and break out in the meantime.

Upstairs, I find another door in the mist filled room, and after listening, can make out voices on the other side. I open the door and find the room occupied by two clerks. I hadn’t expected to find anyone but guards inside, so I was taken aback, and not quite sure what to do. They did not seem enough of a threat to justify using Color Spray, but I had to do something quick. I tried to lie and say that they were needed to put out the fire, but the repeatedly saw through my bluffs. So, without pausing, I cast Mage Hand on one of my rocks, and fire at one of their faces. The man’s face explodes from the impact, and he falls to the ground dead. The other one flees upstairs, but I decide to guard the main entrance from the guards who I expect to return soon, instead of pursuing the clerk.

As I wait, my friends run up from the jail, and join me in the mist filled room. But, before we can gather our senses and make a plan, I hear loud footsteps and shouting coming from the room I just left. I believe this is the leader, which puts us squarely in the middle of what I expect to become two groups of angry, armed, murderous cultists….



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