… As I'm grasping this Amulet that I pulled off of "Ragnar", The entire scene shifts. We are able to have a brief, private conversation with my lord, Vecna. He explains that this is a realm where much is not as it seems. He warns, of our journey ahead that the pigs are not to be trusted?? Before any of this can sink in, we notice that a large heavily armored Knight enters the tavern and executes Ragnar. Gilly shouts a warning and we all jump to attention. Shoving the Amulet back into into my shirt, the room seems to instantly become less shadowy.
Soldiers are now trying to enter the front door as battle is joined. Raj quickly possesses Faux Raj, the rest of us jump into combat. There are a great many troops outside the door lined up to enter. It dawns on us that we could probably sneak out the back and let our dopplegangers take the fall for us. Creating a diversion, we try to quickly exit out the back – bribing the tavern keeper as we go. On retrospect, we probably shouldn't have let him live.
There is a sewer drain in the back courtyard which we use to make a speedy exit, but it's too late. We've been noticed. As we find ourselves running thru the sewers, Raj works a little magic to slow down our pursuers. I find myself wondering if we would have been better off remaining in the shadowy realm and letting the guards cut down our dopplegangers before shifting back to the real world. Would they have been able to see us? I'll have to do a more thorough investigation of this thing later.
We reach the end of the sewer line and pop a head up through the gate for a look see. A troop of dwarves and a large war engine are dispatching some of my army. Fools, I told them not to waste their lives in such open warfare. Hopefully the more savvy of the troops are still out there sewing havoc from the shadows. I'll need to find a way to make examples of those who are wasteful with my property – but that is a matter for another time. Clearly, we have gone the wrong way in the sewers - we had expected to be approaching the river.
We hightail it back in the direction we came. As we approach our original entrance, there are troops trying to make their way down. Several of our party starts to engage, but they are deterred as they feel themselves being drenched in oils from above.
It is decided to lead the guards on a bit of a romp through the city sewer. We are able to put some distance between us as I aid the party moving through this underground filth like only an experienced street urchin could, yet still they come. After passing several possible exits, we decide to pop the grate to the surface but then carry further down the tunnel. I focus my Ki to create a silent area which will hopefully mask the fact we are continuing to rush through the sewers.
Our rouse seems to work briefly, but ultimately they continue the chase – persistent bastards. Deciding to try out luck on the surface, we head up the next ladder. We are in luck as the river is near this location. Following the river for a time, we note a bridge in the distance. We don't exactly blend in with the populous running thru the streets covered in sewer filth. Raj, Drax, and I take a quick dip in the river to quickly rinse off. Gilly won't go near the water. He may look like an old man, but clearly he is still a small blue boy. Mental note: remind him to wash his hands before his next feeding.
Our quick side trip to rinse off is enough for our pursuers to catch our tracks again. We head for the bridge with all possible haste. It is my intention to duck into an ally and use the ritual of Pass Without Trace. All those years of walking on rice paper are about to pay off….wait, why didn't I think to use this with my army earlier. Curse the dimness of my Intellect!
As we round the corner to the ally, we see our old friends from the Valahalla Tavern. We spend a few moments talking and catching up. Several brigades of troops pass by and seem to pay us no mind. Gilly takes some mad bets rolling bones. His opponent is clearly cheating, but still they seem to pay off at first.. until they don't and he finds himself back at square one. Drax scores himself a shiny mug of endless ale – i'm sure we'll put that to good use! I make a similar bet with rolling bones, only i won't be so easily cheated and palm a special trinket – if cheating is allowed, well two can play at that game. I walk away with a shiny new satchel – it seems to be one of those fancy 'bigger on the inside' deals I've heard drunken fools discuss in pubs. Maybe there was something to those tall tales. Learning my lesson, I walk away while I'm ahead.
We talk for a bit longer with our friends. They are not able to help much with locating the child. The god of war longs for an army to command. I tell him we'll keep an eye out and see what we can work out. We explain that we must take our leave, but will return soon. He offers to come find us if we are taking too long. That might come in handy? Perhaps, in the final battle yet to come, I can reassemble what remains of our troops and give them over for him to command in combat. Surely the god of war can imbue the green recruits with the benefits of his skills.
Heading toward what seems to be the center of town, we fall behind another brigade of soldiers on the march. We don't really make much of a point of disguising ourselves, ultimately one of them notices us. As the battle is about to begin, we all scatter. Taking a step into a nearby shadow, I find myself arriving in the wrong shadow. I'm in a small room with two figures writhing about in a rhythmic fashion, outside i can hear a battle raging. Deciding to try my hand at a little mischief, I try to possess the body of one two figures using the cursed quarterstaff. She is surprisingly strong and able to repel my attempt. Feeling a bit dazed, I abandon hopes of a clever plan – it's not really my strong suit anyway. Quickly knocking out one of the male, I present his limp, unconscious body to the female. "Will you accept the blessings of your god in exchange for this one's life?", I ask. I take her screams as intent to decline that invitation and therefore neatly snap his neck before silencing her screams with a quick boot to the head.
Taking my leave of that room, I set out to join the battle which seems to have gone silent outside. Eventually finding my party, I can see that they have dispatched the brigade outside and are collecting spare munitions. Gilly is informed about the snack I left for him upstairs as I go about seeing what remains of the carnage.
Long night, I'm exhausted. Some of us still need to sleep. Time to find a place for some shut-eye.