Monday, February 13, 2017

The Case of the Abducted Drake

The Characters
  • Theobaldo, tabaxi gentleman rogue
  • Volgo, monstrous barbarian who threatens to eat his foes
  • Mortimer, street fightin' human monk
  • The party arrives at the office of their sometimes-employer (Koska, a tiefling woman with prehensile hair) to find her taking coffee with another tiefling woman wearing a white carnival mask. Koska explains that the woman is their client, and that her pet drake was stolen from her apartment. The job is to find out who abducted the woman's pet and to retrieve it. Due to necessary discretion, the party won't be allowed to search the scene of the crime, but they are assured that the woman's servants have been cleared of any wrongdoing and are told that the drake must have been smuggled out of the small window in the room in which it was kept.
  • The party's first stop on their investigation is to see Voone Jaskar, a turtleman who everyone knows buys and sells illicit goods at his pawn shop in Redgutter. No one has tried to sell Voone a drake lately, and he remarks that there isn't much market for rare pets like that in the local underworld. He does offer to put the characters in touch with the Kneecutters, a local gang of "half-pints" (halflings, goblins, kobolds, etc.) who run the local protection racket.
  • Next, the party stops by Goodneighbor's Emporium, the only department store in Redgutter Ward. They ask the clerk about a cage big enough for a drake, and find out that the store had just sold a cage of the same make and model a few days prior. Pressing for details, they find out that the cage was sold to a ratman named Creel, but unfortunately the address he gave at the time of purchase proves to be fictitious.
  • On the way to ask Wick, the fire genasi bartender at the Bullroarer Tavern, Brewery, and Sauna about Creel, the party realize that they are being clumsily shadowed by four figures--two kobolds, a goblin, and a halfling. Mortimer uses his amazing agility to scale a wall unseen and drop down behind the pursuers, while Volgo approaches the halfling and immediately begins to threaten to eat him. Picking the halfling up like a sack of meal, Volgo brings him to Theobaldo for questioning. The party learns that the half-pints are all from the Kneecutter gang, that Creel is the leader of a rival gang called the 47 Rodents, and that the group can call on the Kneecutters if they make a move against the 47 Rodents because, hey, one less gang in Redgutter means less competition for the Kneecutters.
  • At the Bullroarer, the party refreshes themselves with ale and goat curry. Wick tells them that the 47 Rodents are no longer welcome at the Bullroarer, and she gives the party the location of their hideout along an abandoned stretch of Redgutter's docks.
  • Hoping to scope out the hideout of the 47 Rodents before attempting to find the missing drake, Theobaldo hides in the rubble of a ruined warehouse, Mortimer climbs a ladder to the roof of a still-extant warehouse, and Volgo pretends to fish off the pier. The sound of a metal door opening is heard and Volgo sees a man dressed in a robe of filthy furs exit the warehouse that Mortimer is atop of; the man makes his way to the ladder at the side of the building, but is arrested by Theobaldo, who pretends to be an officer of the law demanding information. The man says that he is a priest and a neighbor of the 47 Rodents.
  • Mortimer descends from the building by scaling down its rough stone walls, but unfortunately he nearly slips and lets out a loud grunt. He and Volgo explore the priest's warehouse, where they find his cot, some personal effects, and an altar on which is a stone statue of a hideous, horned, multi-eyed rat. 
  • Mortimer's grunt had been heard in the warehouse next door; the party hears a door shut softly and the approach of malefactors. Two ratmen with wicked curved knives and one ratman with a drawn pistol stand at the ready. They're all wearing leather armor with an insignia featuring a 47 above a rat skull. Mortimer rushes one of the knifemen and shanks him handily, then punches the other in the face. Mortimer is stabbed in return by the dead ratman's compatriot. Volgo rushes at the gunman, but the gunman is toppled by a shot from Theobaldo. 
  • Another shot rings out. Someone is firing at the party from below! Volgo lops the head off the remaining knifeman and leaps through a hole in the dock to land next to a larger ratman below. The ratman drops his pistol, draws a cutlass, and nearly kills Volgo in one horrendous swipe. Volgo is enraged and destroys his foe mightily. 
  • Topside, a hairless rat clambers up the wood of a ladder from down below. It staggers like a poisoned thing, its skin bubbling up like cheese under a broiler. It splits into three hairless rat things, and they all charge at Theobaldo. Theobaldo spots the priest attempting to flee the scene, pounces at him with great alacrity, but only manages to grab onto the man's gross robe of pelts, which comes away in his hand, leaving the priest running down the street naked. When Mortimer threatens to destroy the priest's rat idol, the man turns and shouts "I'm thinking about converting to another religion! The rat god isn't working out." He escapes.
  • Meanwhile, Mortimer and Theobaldo deal with the multiplying rat beasts by throwing flaming debris at them and by creating a makeshift gunpowder trap. However, Theobaldo is bit in the melee, and contracts a horrifying disease that will later cause him to wake up next to an inert copy of his own body that he shed overnight.
  • Volgo discovers the rat leader's shack of corrugated metal beneath the boardwalk, and finds a pile of looted goods and a sleeping drake in a cage that matches the one they saw earlier at the Emporium. The drake is asleep, apparently drugged by the rat men to keep it docile.
  • The drake is returned to its owner, a sample of the weird rat-thing's flesh is taken in case Theobaldo turns out to be infected (he is), and a hit list against the Kneecutters found in the 47 Rodent's stash is turned over to the rival gang, who promise to take out whatever remains of the ratmen upstarts.
The Take
  • XP - 283 each
  • 270 gp for returning the drake
  • 73 gp 190 sp 9 cp
  • Statue of THE CHITTERER (50 gp)
  • Copper hairpin topped with a bawdy mermaid in silver (5 gp)
  • Copper teakettle (1 gp)
  • Polished brass buttons (5 sp)
  • Silver fork (1 sp)
  • Sapphire earrings (275 gp)
  • Silver dagger (50 gp)
  • Gold ring with inset emerald (310 gp)
  • Engraved parade helmet (5 gp)
  • A ring of old keys
  • Four syringes of sedatives, six syringes of adrenalizer 
  • The priest's staff (allows the wielder to speak with rats and summon a rat swarm once per day)
  • --> 353 gp 2 sp 3 cp each for the salable items, unless somebody wants to keep any of this. Also, who's taking the staff?