Chapter 10: Covert Ops: Trouble 't Mill

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Session Number: 10
Date: Sunday 8th March 2015
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Balassar Brb1 (Tammi absent) (kills: none)
Besheeba Wlk2 (Alain) (kills: none)
Connor Brd2 (Yeran) (kills: 1 kobold, with an assist from Johnny)
Johnny Rog2 (Craig) (kills: none)
Nicolai Clr2 (Fergus - remote) (kills: none)
Oskar Mnk2 (Ash) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: 10

The party debate whether to go. Connor is ambivalent; Nicolai does not want to continue until he has had more of a rest. Governor Nighthill stresses the importance of the mill; if it is destroyed, then the villagers will have a very hard few seasons ahead. Nicolai shows continued reluctance until mention is made of villagers possibly being killed.

The group leave via the tunnel, around the east side of the keep hill to the northern edge of town, then west to the mill, avoiding torchlight. Besheeba dons the enemy cloak and keeps the mask at hand.

Nearing the mill compound, the party see a kobold against the mill walls, holding a torch against a pile of twigs and straw. Johnny, Connor and Oskar let simultaneous arrows fly: Johnny's and Connor's find their target and kill the creature. There is indistinct torchlight somewhere near the building's south wall. They make their way towards the southeast corner and see another kobold doing something similar. They move further to the southwest for a better shot when the kobolds takes off to the west then around the building's corner. "I think he saw us," Nicolai says.

Johnny quickly directs the others back around the east wall to the north, keeping below the 5 foot tall stone wall. He glances around the entranceway. There are no other sources of light visible from this vantage point. Nicolai takes a peek also, confirming that his darkvision eyes see nothing further.

"Shall we investigate the outhouse?" whispers Nicolai.

"I was more thinking of going over there," Johnny says, pointing west. "Looking over the wall."

"Circumnavigation?"

"Ah no, my parents didn't do that to me."

The group move west past the gap in the wall. From near the northwest corner they see three kobolds inside the compound near the west wall, trying to set fire to flammable items piled up. Both Nicolai and Besheeba pick up subtle clues that make them think that the kobolds are faking it.

"It's a trap!" Nicolai whispers.

The kobolds look towards the adventurers and then run away to the south out of sight.

"Well," says Nicolai, "they're no longer trying to set fire to the mill. Mission accomplished!"

"I reckon we go over 'ere," Johnny says, indicating the middle of the western wall. "Keep movin' and stay low."

"Alright."

Johnny leads the way, first making sure the way is clear. There is nothing further visible from the middle of the western wall. Besheeba looks at the keep, wary of an attack, but the view is largely obstructed.

"Mister Johnny," Besheeba says. "Maybe they were doing this for the keep to send people here so there is less to defend the keep…"

Johnny weighs the girl's words. "Why do you say that? They're still 'ere, burning down the mill. We've gotta stop 'em, regardless. The Gov'nor said if the mill goes, the town's gone."

"If the keep's gone, the town's gone," Oskar says.

"It's just that they aren't really trying to burn the mill," Besheeba says.

"What?"

"They are just pretending. They are not really trying. There's something going on. I'm not sure what it is."

"That puts a different spin on things."

"Let's go there," Besheeba suggests, pointing to the mill's tower. "We'll be able to see a bit more."

"It's a trap," Nicolai says. "If they're faking lighting fires, it can only be to draw us out. Going to the tower would be going into the mouth of the trap."

"I don't want to go inside a building when there is lots of flammable stuff around," says Oskar.

"Mister Johnny, would you be able to climb that big tree there? You would be able to see if there is a gathering of forces around the keep, or near here."

While everyone waits below, Johnny stealthily climbs the tree in the northwest corner of the mill compound. From as high as he dares climb, he has a clear view of the keep. From here, at night, he cannot see anything that looks out of the ordinary. There are a number of clusters of torchlight still around the town and the noise of chatter. He climbs back down.

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Nicolai is wary of a trap. He and Oskar suggests moving south. Nicolai leads the way.

There is no more to be seen at the wall's southwest corner. The group continues to the south and skirt around a cluster of buildings. Nothing nearby; there is the sound of distant combat and the gutter of torchlight to the southeast. Johnny breaks off and circles clockwise around the building, heading towards the crossroads. He sees more torchlight a long way to the south and off to the east, but no targets. He returns to the others. "There's nobody at the intersection and nobody along the road to the north," he whispers. "So do we spring their alleged trap, or leave it alone?"

"We could see if any of these houses have people in them that need help," Connor says.

Nicolai sneaks over to the door and listens at it. He cannot hear anything.

"I'm sorry, but I'll go and check the mill," says Besheeba.

"I'm more inclined to do that," says Johnny.

The party head around the western wall to a point north of the mill. There is no one in sight. They then head to the northern gateway and peer around. They enter, moving to the smaller structure north of the main building. Johnny opens the door; it is a storage shed, unoccupied. They then move to the mill's north wall. There are no entrances on this side, and the only windows are short, wide, high up on the wall and covered in dust. There is no perceptible noise.

"Let's go to the tower," Johnny says. He leads the others to the tower's door in the south wall. It is quiet inside. Johnny stows his bow and unsheathes his swords. "We're goin' in."

Johnny opens the door from the hinged side and tumbles in: it is a self-contained storeroom with a ladder fastened to the north wall providing access to a second level. There is no one inside. Nicolai faces south, keeping watch. Connor moves to the south gate and joins Nicolai in the lookout.

Besheeba dons the mask in her hand and heads east, moving towards the downed kobold. She finds the kobolds' lifeless form where it fell. She searches the body.

"Nick!" Johnny says. "In 'ere with me! Oskar! Either in 'ere with us, or go with 'im," he says, nodding towards Connor. "Don't stand there on yer own." Both Oskar and Nicolai enter the tower. Johnny climbs the ladder: upstairs is a lookout, empty. It offers a good view of the town. Johnny notices that there seems to be less torchlight dotted around Greenest than he saw from the keep battlements. He climbs back down, glancing around. "Oi!" he says. "Where's Besheeba?"

Besheeba's search of the kobold reveals nothing of great interest besides a coin pouch with 11 silvers. She goes back, and with the mask still on is mistaken by the others for the enemy. Connor runs towards the newcomer. Nicolai lets an arrow fly that misses. Besheeba quickly pulls off the mask, saying "Don't shoot!"

Hearts still racing, the group prepare to enter the main mill building.

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