To assist me on this mission the Bellicus determined that Kenichi, Akra would be adequate guards and some new guy Gung-Ho , which isn’t exactly a name that inspires confidence in me but oh well… But at least we are on a mission worthy of my skills. This time the League is sending me to break into the Ecclisia’s fortress, which would be impossible for most, but I don’t think it will be that difficult, it will be just like the good ole days. The riches we steal/destroy from the Ecclesia will cripple her ability to pay her mercenaries and will cause her to quickly fall from power, which seems like quite a fun way to ruin someone.
With 1000gp in my pockets to pay for our siege’s expenses we made our way towards the Rusty Blade tavern in Madriera to meet our contact Gung-Ho. After casually blending in to the crowd I asked the waitress if she knew where we could find Gung-Ho, and while she pretended not to know, it was pretty easy to tell she knew exactly where he was. The barmaid left our table and went directly over to another table and tapped a man on the shoulder pulling him over to the bar making it pretty obvious who we were going after. Just as the person who we thought was Gung-Ho came over and sat with us, his spastic gnome friend looked up and realized he had just been talking to himself for the last 4 minutes and screamed out “HEY GUNG-HO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING OVER THERE!?!?!” making Gung-Ho’s identity secret identity no so secret anymore… The information we were dealing with was far to sensitive for that gnome to blow our mission so we decided to meet at one of Gung-Ho’s safe houses to discuss our plans.
I let the party know that to properly infiltrate this manor/fortress that we would need info on the following things:
-the layout of the manor
-the physical security
-timeline of the Ecclesia and her guard returning
To gather this info I got Kenichi magic himself into a bird and fly over the grounds, which worked perfectly. I got Akra to try to join the mercenaries that work into the keep, which worked even though Akra disguised himself as “Acra”(soft c) but thankfully his name doesn’t carry the same weight as mine so we got lucky on that one. On Akra’s first shift as a mercenary he found out that there was an ogre being kept in a dilapidated church in the fortress grounds, but he couldn’t let things go that smoothly and managed to make an ass of himself by picking a fight with one of the “small cock” duelists. The first swipe of the duelist was easily parried and Akra didn’t even swipe back, but Akra got cocky, and it got rocky… After that initial miss the duelist quickly picked “Acra” to peices thankfully sparing him in the end. Luckily our cover wasn’t blown and the only thing ruined was Akra’s pride.I performed around the entrance of the fort trying to pick up as much information about the who was coming/going through the gate, and while one of the elven archers became a little wary of me, I slipped away pretty much unnoticed in the end. The last major piece of the puzzle we needed was information about getting to the vault itself, but Gung-Ho had just the person for the job, that fat spaz of a gnome we met earlier in the bar. The gnome Debergerac obviously wasn’t savvy enough to keep something this a secret so playing off his love of things that make him fatter we told him that “We were breaking into the Ecclesia’s vault to throw her a surprise party and we were a group of the best pastry makers from across the lands, and if he helped us out he would be able to gorge in most exquisite pastries he had ever tasted at the party, but only if we could get into the vault unnoticed”. Somehow that ludicrous plan worked and the gnome busted out some plans of the sewers around the fortress and managed to figure out a staggering amount of information from what looked like a map pretty much devoid of anything very useful. Still hyped up from the thoughts of being able to gorge on the best pastries ever created he went over to the engineering guild and found a disgruntled ex-employee of the Ecclesia. Apparently when the Ecclesia was building the vault she only half paid him for the plans he made and then threatened the disgruntled engineers life when he complained about it. But that small savings on the engineers plans are now going to cost the Ecclesia everything copper she owns as the disgruntled engineer went on to describe in great detail the intricate 3 stage lock he made, and a trap that would have flooded part of the vault drowning any who had entered. While Debergerac was finding that out the rest of us managed to piece together the timeline on when the main security force of the Ecclesia would be back, and setup a 500gp poker tournament to keep the Ecclesia’s compulsive gambler of a main assassin busy . Now I had all the pieces of the puzzle and laid my master plan into effect.
We got through the sewers and found the grate under the fortress with little problem. The distraction we paid for worked quite well as the archers didn’t notice us emerging from the sewer and slipping through(and in one cast shoving through)an open window. Upon entering the manor it was quiet and we easily made our way downstairs to where the vault most likely would be. The first trick they engineers had for us was a poorly constructed invisible wall which I easily found and saw that there was a door with the exact lock the disgruntled engineer described. Between Debergerac and Gung-Ho they made quick work of it and Gung-Ho opened the last part with a quick flick of his dagger. We moved on downstairs to discover the water trap as described, avoided it and went on to the last section which was supposedly magically trapped(the one piece of information we couldn’t gather anything on). The doors to the vault were suspiciously unlocked and as we entered further into the vault it became harder and harder to breathe. The casters ushered in some clean air by conjuring up a small wind but it was only enough to sustain us a little longer, we had to get rid of the source of this gas. Way up on the high ceilings of the vault there were a bunch of vents which after a bit of effort Gung-Ho and I closed. The last trick the Ecclesia had for us was that the chests containing her wealth were pressure sensitive and if there was ever less than 10lbs on the plates an alarm would sound. Around this time our fat little gnomish friend started to realize that this wasn’t a pastry surprise party at all and started asking too many questions. I tried to shut him up with some lame cover-up story but surprisingly he didn’t buy it. Debergerac chose the wrong moment to lose his trademark gullibility and the group quickly weighed the choice of whether we kill the gnome or risk our heist failing. And without any discussion more than a glance at each other the gnome was stabbed in the back by Gung-Ho and than blasted into oblivion by a bolt of energy from Kenichi. I think I felt worse about Akra losing to that “small cock” duelist than I did over us killing the gnome so coldly. And at least we have the 40lbs of counterweight we need for the chests. Now we just need to get out of here.