Characters: Raymondo Cortiz (Human assassin rogue, former entertainer); Grumli Fellhammer (Mountain dwarf path of the ancestors barbarian, former tribesman); Zanna Cobblestop (Forest gnome wild magic sorcerer, former urchin); Nina Kessler (Air genasi way of the frozen fist monk, former spy); Hiroshi (human samurai fighter, former knight).
Events: Having made a tidy profit selling gunpowder that had been magically enriched with sea dragon ichor, the Excruciata were keen to capitalize on their economic momentum and corner the illicit trade in enchanted black powder. Unfortunately, since no new source of already prepared arcane gunpowder was in view, they decided that it might be best to procure their own method of creating it. A little research in the criminal underworld turned up a new ally: a man named Hiroshi, a disgraced bodyguard to an aristocratic family living in a country far, far away.
Hiroshi had previously taken a few jobs providing muscle for Antoine Saulk, a wealthy man who owned a prosperous sea dragon ichor refining plant in Umberwell Docks. The Excruciata made a legitimate appointment with Saulk in hopes that he would be willing to sell them ichor they could use to enrich gunpowder, but during the meeting it quickly became apparent that he viewed the gang members with obvious distaste. As a man of rising fortunes, he had no wish to do business with a pack of obvious ne'er-do-wells.
Plan B was to escalate the situation. Since Saulk was unwilling to deal with them due to their obvious criminal enterprises, they decided to show him exactly how villainous they could be. Hiroshi knew that Saulk's mansion was situated at the edge of Umberwell Docks and Sartorial Square; Nina was able to adopt the guise of one of Saulk's lovers to get access to his social calendar through his secretary. Picking a night that they knew Saulk would be at the opera, they put there plan into action: break into Saulk's mansion, and kidnap his son.
The Excruciata entered the house by breaking into a storm cellar that led into a storage area of the basement. They made as much use of stealth as they could, but when that failed they brought violence into the house of Saulk. They tried to keep casualties to a minimum, particularly among Saulk's innocent servants, but a few guards within the house had to be sniped and killed from a distance. The gang managed to find the boy's room and steal away with him from the mansion. A letter was sent to Saulk the next morning, informing him of his son's abduction, and the Excruciata's willingness to return him for a favorable rate on sea dragon ichor.
It only took enclosing one of his son's fingers with the letter to provide proof that they were serious.
A source of sea dragon ichor now secured, now all the Excruciata had to do was find someone mad enough to use it to enrich a store of gunpowder...