GM BigDog DragonlairdGaming
Part of the 7th Heron Squad is making a tour of the (What is the name on the big map?) Hills, a week’s ride west of Ashton. Rumors of a Goblin warband are proving to be insubstantial and they are preparing to return toward their home base.
They ride into the bustling town of West Bridge on the (name?) River that runs along the eastern edge of the (TBD) Hills. There appears to be good river traffic with a maze of docks and riverboats to be seen. The townsfolk seem subdued in their reaction to the Gray Rangers. No children run out to follow their horses.
The Rangers sniff around the central plaza of town, identifying one inn (the Waylaid Traveler) and several taverns including the “Split Hog Tavern”. They split up, each trying to get information as best they can. They soon determine that there is a gang in town that seems to run things as well as a “Boss” named Hugo Kord. Hugo is a local farmer who is too old to work his farm, but he hangs around town, settling disputes and shooting the breeze with his friends.
Kmon encounters part of the gang (The Dock Boys) which includes Peter, Mugwumps, and Girl. the goblin picks up on the fact that the girl is actually a girl who keeps trying to prove herself. She’d rather be called Tough and Kmon obliges. Mugwumps is a drunk and soon the four of them are in the Split Hog Tavern drinking fine beer. The tavernkeep assumes that Kmon is important since he’s being treated so well by the gang, so even after the gang leaves, Kmon milks his mistaken position for a lot of fine food. Kmon overheard the gang telling the owner that he’d get his shipment of liquor when they were good and ready to give it to him.
Mandikar runs into “Tiny”, the largest Dock Boy, and they exchange several cartloads of machismo with each other.
Lou uses her persuasion as best she can with some of the women. They open up to her until the gang walks into the plaza, at which point they clam up and hustle off.
Hargen goes to the docks and meets Herkaal, a man in his forties who appears to be the leader of the Dock Boys. He has a marionette that he is taking into town to perform for the children. He lives in a little shack on the docks themselves.
The Gray Rangers stay the night at the inn. The gang comes by and treats the Rangers extra special. They’ve been told to make sure there isn’t anything the Rangers will want to investigate or stick around for. Eventually, Kmon and Lou are smoking the weed and (giggle) decide to go investigate these Dock Boys and some tidbits of information they found talking about warehouse buildings by the river where these Dock Boys might store their illegal stuff. They broke in and stole a case of 8 bottles of liquor, take two for themselves, and leaving six at the Split Hog Tavern.
Morning came and with nothing else to keep them there, the Rangers headed downstream (north) along the road. After a couple hours, they stopped to water the horses and someone spotted a dead girl in an elaborate bridal dress in an eddy pool of the river. It seems she probably floated there. They craft a litter and head back toward Westbridge.
Along the way they find a copse of trees that hides a small altar to the Ascended. There are signs of struggle and blood here. It is likely the girl was waiting at the altar when she was attacked. Barefoot prints lead upstream on the riverbank, back toward Westbridge.
They return to town with the girl, find her father and brother, talk with Boss Kord, and eventually determine that one of the Dock Boys named Wylde was in love with the girl, Donella Gruppe. Only a Dock Boy could have stolen such a beautiful dress for her.
The Rangers head down to the docks where they spot Girl/Tough, Dopey, and John-John readying the largest riverboat to leave. The other Dock Boys come down the docks baring their chests and telling the Rangers to leave. A fight breaks out and when the Dock Boy Wicked whips a knife at Kmon, it gets lethal.
Herkaal emerges from the shack with armor and sword and casts magic into the fray, trying to wall off the Rangers from his Dock Boys. The Rangers eventually break through or around the barriers and pursue Herkaal to the large riverboat. Kmon blankets the area in darkness as the boat cuts its lines but Mandikar, Lou, and Hargen leap into the darkness to get on board. They quickly subdue Herkaal and get the others to surrender.
It turns out that Herkaal and the Dock Boys were river thieves and pirates. Their stolen goods were put in charge of Boss Kord to try to get them back to their rightful owners in the other villages up and down the river. Herkaal is sent back to Kythros for trial and prison. Girl/Tough, John-John, and Dopey are the youngest of the Dock Boys and the Rangers want to give them a second chance. They are sent to Kythros under watch to see if they have what it takes to become Rangers some day.
Jeff: Coconut Oil.
G-$: No, Palm Oil.
Jo: Ewww, what you been doin’ with that palm?!?
Players: What’s the name of the inn?
GM: The Waylaid Traveler.
Players: You mean the Well-Laid Traveler? That’d get more busi