Red Mills

Red Mills (Session 2) – Of Songbirds, Doves and Ducks

Dramatis Personae
Robin playing Rashi the rogue.
Elliott playing Varis the druid.
Noah playing Igorok the wizard.
Karl, who had played Chenette the bard, switched to Bobo the rogue.
Tess playing Tinus the sorcerer.

After the battle in the warehouse the group returned to The Dead Man’s Wife as the moon slipped behind the hills to the west. The place was about to shut, but on seeing the colour of their gold, mostly red, the proprietor was happy to remain open as long as they were happy to keep buying. So with alcohol free beverages in hand the five of them sat down at a table and the six of them raised a glass in self congratulations.

Six. Their contact with the mysterious Kalla had slipped in amongst them again, her arrival unnoticed.
“Well how did you get on?” she asked.
They explained the story, leaving out very few details. She nodded her approval.
“You should get some rest now” she said, “you have a busy day ahead with the concert and your next job.”
Chenette and Tinus had been booked by Pease Shaker the owner of The Globe Theatre to perform the next evening. That bit they all knew.
“What next job?”, they inquired.
“Oh a mere trifle. Since you will be at the Globe anyway, you may as well collect their, em, let’s call it a donation, to the Kalla.”
“Collect from who? And why are they making donations?”
“From the box office and because we keep them safe. You will need to learn our secret knock” she rapped on the table tum-te-tum te-tum.
“You try it, it means ‘k’ ‘a’ for Kalla”.
They practiced the knock until she was satisfied and then she ran through the whole alphabet with them.
Kalla Knocking Code

Looking up from their practice they noticed she was gone and they decided to go get some rest. Rashi made a point of stopping by the West Gate first.
Lady Altea was here and was very pleased to see them. “The orcs tried an attack, but when they saw we were ready for them and that their plan to open the gate from the inside had failed, they ran off.”
They told her about the warehouse and the orcs in the wagons and she was stunned and grateful. She sent a patrol to the warehouse to check it out and bid them good night as the sun was rising.
A flyer advertising a play at the globe with the characters as support act.They all slept until around midday and they awoke to a town all excited about the coming concert. There were actors in elaborate costumes on the streets. Some were some dressed as a dragon, some as a giant snake more were running around with paper horses’ heads. They were all handing out fliers for the evening’s event. A play about the queen of the neighbouring land of Azertina, who died tragically fifteen years ago. But more importantly the opening act was themselves. Bobo, who would be replacing Chenette on the ticket, set out for the shops to buy the most elaborate costume Red Mills had to offer. Then they all headed to the Globe to check out the venue and plan the concert. Everywhere they went people were thanking them for saving the town and shaking their hands.

At the theatre they made plans for the show. Bobo would come down to the stage from above. He would be lowered from the machine room, where there are hoists for changing the scenery. Tinus would rise up from below the stage through the trap door. Igorok would be in the corner of the tiring room using his magic to create dramatic effects throughout the performance. Meanwhile Rashi was exploring the upper area of the Globe, paying particular attention to the rafters and the professional Varis located the Box Office. Tinus brushed past the actor who would be playing Queen Flavia in the play and slipped the pretend crown of Azertina into his tunic.

Plan of the ground and first floor of the globe

The doors opened and the people of Red Mills streamed in and paid their hard earned money to see the show. The owner and master of ceremonies, Pease Shaker, walked out on stage and introduced, with a slight change of personnel, the heroes of Red Mills. Bobo descended from above in a shower of butterflies, sparks and rainbow feathers. The crowd went mad! Tinus rose up from below in between pillars of flames, wearing the stolen crown at a jaunty angle. The crowd went even madder! Then the two started to play their instruments and sing in absolutely perfect harmony. The crowd went insane! Illusions of black and gold swans showered the crowd in sparkling lights. The crowd lost it altogether. They screamed in delight, it sounded like they would scream the roof off.

A plan of the third floor and roof of the globe

Rashi, who was in the rafters at this point had to hang on for dear life as the whole theatre shook. She managed to climb further out the rafters and squeeze under a beam into the dovecot on top of the roof of The Globe. She caught her breath and looked around. The place had trained doves for use in various shows and was otherwise empty. But then a door opened by itself and a dove rose into the air but with its wings pinned to its sides. A small piece of paper was wrapped around the dove’s leg as it moved towards the open window. Rashi made a grab for it, but it fell to the floor and then launched itself through the hole in the rafters into the main auditorium, where it flew around terrified of the pyrotechnics, the music and the screaming crowd. Confused Rashi headed down to tell the rest what she had seen. Leaving the dovecot apparently empty.

While the music of Bobo and Tinus and the illusions of Igorok were entertaining the crowd, Varis, ever the professional, watched as the doormen as they took the money boxes from the entrances to the box office to be counted. After a few minutes, he knocked on the door.
Tum-te-tum te-tum.
There was some nervous movement inside and then the door opened a crack.
“Sorry we’re not ready” said a nervous voice, “please come back in ten minutes!”.
The door closed and the key turned in the lock.

Varis left the room and headed back through the throng of actors going in all directions. The dragon got entangled in the giant snake, one horse’s head tried to help while a second one wandered out the stage door with a wooden duck under their arm. The singing duo came off stage after their third encore. The crowd were screaming so loudly it was hard to hear anything. Rashi arrived and pointed out the dove circling inside the auditorium, explaining what had happened in the dovecot. Igorok sent his owl familiar to fetch the dove, which it did with ease and brought the poor creature back to them. There was a note tied to its leg. It read:

They searched through their various bags and sacks for the tattooed orc arm. Finding it Varis sat down to decipher the code. The crowd was distracting him, they were now booing the start of the play as it didn’t live up to its opening act. As best as he could make out it read:

The owner, Pease, came by and paid Bobo and Tinus, who shared part of the earnings with Igorok. Reminded that they had a financial transaction to complete, they headed back to the Box Office. Tum-te-tum te-tum, they knocked. There was no reply. They listened at the boor and head muffled sounds from within. Bobo picked the lock and they moved into the room. The two clerks were bound and gagged in the corner. When their gags were taken out of their mouths they nodded at some broken wooden paneling in the corner and told them, “They went that way!”.

Diving through the hole they found themselves under the stage. Searching around they found nothing except the curtain to the front had been disturbed. Beyond the curtain the crown in the pit were flinging cabbages at the actors. The owl flew out and spotted two hooded figures exiting the auditorium into the stairwell. They returned to the Box Office and Bobo was just crawling in when the owner came through the door and demanded to know why they were robbing him!

After a complicated explanation they tried to figure out what to do. Igorok sent the owl outside and on the deserted street it soon saw the horse’s head figure with the duck running down the road. They all dashed out of the Globe and tried to find it. But it had disappeared.

In fact they found no one on the streets but someone found them. A hand reached from the shadows and grabbed Bobo by the scruff of his collar.

“Where’s our money?” inquired their Kalla friend with a hint of malice, “It was supposed to be at The Dead Man’s Wife half an hour ago!”.
“It’s been stolen!” they said defiantly, since they had her outnumbered and felt confident they could handle her on her own.
But the shadows in the lane shifted slightly and the roof coughed softly. Maybe they didn’t have the advantage after all.
“Well you’d best find it fast” she warned. “Consider it a loan. Shall we say fifty per cent per day. That’s five hundred, plus two fifty by this time tomorrow!” and she melted into the shadows.
“Ah!” said Bobo, “where are we going to get that?”
“The duck!” said the others, “the money is in the duck! We just go to the bridge and get it back.”
“There are five bridges” said Bobo counting, “One each!”

Map of Red MillsSo they scattered across Red Mills, one to each bridge. They were all in place just before midnight. The water bubbled beneath each bridge. Tinus was at one of the bridges near the South Gate. He didn’t hear anything near his bridge, but thought he head splashing downstream. With a shout he starting running towards the most easterly bridge. The one near where the Mill Race flows into the Tendar river.

This was Rashi’s bridge. At midnight while she watched in amazement a wooden duck appeared half way across the bridge, then a rope appeared and tied itself first to the duck, then to an upright on the bridge and with a splash it fell in the water. It floated downstream to the confluence of the Tendar. The rope pulled tight and the duck bobbed up and down. She could clearly hear paddles splashing in the water. Someone or something was paddling towards the duck. She shrank into the shadows, hoping the others would come soon.

Tinus, Igorok, Varis and Bobo came running to Rashi’s bridge. They could see the rope and that something was pulling on it. Varis left the road and ran down along the bank, just managing to see a row boat with eight orcs with Blood Moon shields paddling and pulling themselves along the rope toward the bridge. Igorok dashed for the centre of the bridge, he was trying to reach the rope but couldn’t quite make it. Varis whispered an incantation and the row boat was lit by ethereal faery fire, clear for everyone to see now and they could see that the duck had been hauled aboard. Fearing he would cut the rope, four of the orcs fired arrows at Igorok and three of the arrow thumped into his body. He fell to the ground with a groan. The others fired at Bobo and Tinus but missed. Bobo enraged that Igorok was down, fired an arrow at one of the lead orcs impaling an arrow in its shoulder. The orc grinned as he snapped the arrow off and was about to shout some insult when Rashi’s arrow came out of the dark and shut him up, forever.

Tinus decided that it might be better to sink the boat than try to fight seven orcs and he sent his three glowing arrows into the side of the dinghy, under the water line. But the boat floated on, all that happened was that it listed to one side slightly. Igorok lay dying in the middle of the bridge, his friends could see his life force draining from him. Varis ran along the bank and to save time vaulted flawlessly over the corner of the bridge and skidded to a halt next to his friend, whispering some healing words. Igorok’s eyes flickered open. Enraged the orcs concentrated their arrows on Varis, with many finding the mark. He fell and almost rolled off the bridge into the torrent of eternal dark waters below. He clung to life. Again Bobo shot an orc and again Rashi hit the same one, finishing him off. The two rogues were working well together.

Encouraged by his previous result, Tinus fired more magic arrows at the boat. This time the dinghy lunged to port and all the orcs had to cling on. Two failed to grab the gunwales and were swept away by the current. Igorok, stood over the body of his friend and raised his hands over the railings in the bridge, slippery grease erupted from his hands towards the boat but just as it was about to hit the boat lurched and the underside was covered instead. Varis groaned, he almost came round but not quite. He wasn’t dead yet! The boat glided faster through the water now and the four remaining orcs pulled themselves to the bridge and jumped up. The dinghy turned over floating upside down in the water, with no one pulling it, it sped down on the current until the rope ran out. It was held in position by the tangled duck. Bobo hammered an arrow into one of the four orcs but this time Rashi missed and didn’t quite finish the job.

Tinus now turned his magic from the boat to its former occupants and the arrows finished off the one Bobo had just hit and wounded another. Igorok anxious, as they all were, to get that gold filled duck molded some earth under the water to adjust the flow and dived in grabbing the rope and being swept by the current towards the turtled boat. Varis lay groaning on the bridge but the bleeding was slowing down. The three remaining orcs split up. The first attacked Rashi hitting her with his axe. The slashed his axe through Tinus’ guard. This was what being a Blood Moon orc is all about. They laughed at these weaklings! The third ran across the bridge and headed for the main part of town. Flustered, Bobo’s next shot went wide. Rashi tried to hit her attacker with her rapier, but the narrow blade could not get past the orc’s shield.

Tinus managed to hit his attacker with three glowing arrows, but the orc did not fall. Meanwhile Igorok reached the boat and struggled to pull the duck from under it. Eventually the wooden creature came free and the dinghy disappeared downstream and high speed. The bleeding from Varis’ wounds slowed again and his friends could tell he would live, if he wasn’t attacked again. There were only two orcs left on the bridge, one hit Tinus again, the other missed Rashi with his great axe. The third orc was now disappearing into the streets of Red Mills. Bobo shot the one who had just hit Tinus and the orc fell in a heap on the bridge. Rashi was badly hurt so she decided to run away from the orc attacking her.

Tinus dashed across the bridge to intercept the one chasing Rashi. Igorok was stuck at the end of the rope in the cold water unable to pull himself to safety and unwilling to let go of the duck. Varis lay unconscious. The last orc was distracted from Rashi by Tinus and clove him with his axe in fury. The sorcerer fell to the ground. Bobo and Rashi launched arrows at the orc and he fell.

Bobo and Rashi ran to Tinus collecting Varis’ medicine kit along the way and made him stable. Then they pulled Igorok from the water. Any joy of victory was short lived as they realised that the duck was just a wooden prop for the stage and had not been filled with stolen gold. Silence fell and the three looked at their unconscious allies and considered their next move.

“We could leave Red Mills” they all said together.

End of Session 2

Next session is Saturday 6th April

Experience Points

Rocking the house with the performance at the globe. 100XP
Strange goings on in the rafters and the dovecot. 100XP
Catch that pigeon. 100XP
Deciphering the note. 100XP
Trouble at the Box Office. 100XP
Friendly chat with the Kalla. 100XP
Battle with 8 Blood Moon Orcs. 8 x 100 = 800XP
Rescuing the duck. 100XP

For a total of 1500XP, divided between 5 is 300XP each.

Rashi 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Varis 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Igorok 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Bobo 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2
Tinus 350 + 300 = 650XP Level 2

Yartalla 350XP Level 2
Issac 350XP Level 2

The heroes and villian of Red Mills

Most of the Heroes of Red Mills (the camera shy one is holding the camera!)

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