Earth Awakened

Chapter 2
A Daring Rescue

Saturday, 11 January 1400

We rejoin our brave heroes- 

  • Callidus, Lizardfolk Rogue and escaped slave
  • Aspen, Kenku Monk, and escaped slave.
  • Jean, Human Fighter, and blade for hire.
  • Lucius, Human Paladin, and orphan.

The Preparation

Around noontime, Trebellia and our faithful heroes discuss plans and schematics for the expansive Catilus Manor. Our champions-to-be order their priorities as such:

  1. Assist in Denica's escape from the clutches of the Catilus' clutches.
  2. Get Trebellia's friend out.
  3. Heroically steal everything from the Tablinum of the Manor.
  4. Get revenge on the vile Decimus, son of Aulus, and heir to the Catilus fortune.

Trebellia explains that the manor is "about ten minutes from a town two to three hours away." She points out the direction towards Kottenberg, the semi-distant town. After much deliberation and discussion, the party begins their move out from Genoa by foot at around 13:00.

About an hour en route, our vanquishers of slavery by chance meet upon some heavily armed men. Jean walks up and asks them how their day has been going. "Oh, you know, fine," they awkwardly respond after taking a look at the even more heavily armed and armored mercenary approaching them. It turns out that these legitimate travelers are "unemployed" and drinking the day away by keeping a close focus on the road from Genoa and into Kottenberg. The party, using their keen sense of insight and perception, collectively decides that their unemployment is not worth investigating or solving and moves on towards the town.

In Kottenberg, most of our emancipators make a beeline for one of the two bars in town, the rather run-down but much more active Bloody Unfortunate Wand. The posh Silver Spoon does not attract our blue collar heroes. Jean buys a taste of home- a bavarian-style lager that had been locally brewed, while the others grab waters, from the large, male, orcish bartender, Rose. Then, they walk over to a pair of utterly trashed mousefolk. After some careful conversational navigation by the party, they learn that these little mice a celebrating a massive sale to some kind of "Cadillac Manor" just outside of town! Everyone strongly suspects that, despite the slurring of speech, it is the very same Catilus manor that our would-be heroes are searching for.

Our chain-breakers take this information in, internalize it, and decide that action happens now. Jean and Aspen begin walking up and down rivers for hours trying to find the Catilus manor. Lucius, at this point, decides that taking a back seat in this likely the best course of action and becomes much more passive for the rest of the night.

Callidus, meanwhile, decides that dinner is in order. The local fine-dining restaurant in town, the Shepard and Chariot, has opened for a good Saturday meal. A quick discussion with the restaurant hostess, and soon the head chef, reveals that the Shepard and Chariot are catering a massive feast for the Catilus manor tomorrow for the sale of a slave. Then, after directions and a job offer the next day (hauling foodstuffs up a mountainside for the equitable wage of 1 singular copper piece), Callidus eats at the restuarant. Pheasant, pesto, grapes, large quanities of liquid fermented grapes, and many other foods are served to Callidus by an attendant for the low, low price of 7 gold pieces. Truly a meal fit for a king. He promises the chef that he'll see him first thing in the morning for the day's work for the hour's wage.

Callidus, in a lightly drunken stupor, wanders to his familiar rivers and sits down in the cold, evening stream. He lays there for over half an hour- until around 20:00- until Jean and Aspen find the lizard. Callidus explains his newly found information- the exact location of the manor and the nature of the big party there tomorrow.

The Rescue

Since the phrase "discretion is the better part of valor" would not uttered for another 197 years, our champions ignored this new information and decided to stick with the original plan.

After gingerly walking on the correct path out of the small, italian town, Jean stealthily clanked up to the southern olive grove and, using his deft touch, oiled up the wood. Then, using a borrowed steel and flint, lit the grove on fire. Jean hauled ass out of there and cut around the southern hill.

The bright light of the fire eventually caused some of the inhabitants of the manor to wake up the other inhabitants. People, much like moths, are drawn to an open flame, especially one that threatens their home. The various slaves and able bodied men and women of the place rushed outside to put it out while those less capable of physical labor physically loitered.

As the fire began to rage, Aspen, Callidus, and Lucius sprang into action.

From the roof of the anterior, noble quarters, the old master, Aulus, began shuffling towards the fire to join the others, by far the slowest person. "What's this racket?" he half-yells. Callidus sees him and throws a dagger, right into the old master's neck. Aulus keeled over right into the water of the manor as Callidus follows suit. The old man was tied to a grate at the bottom of the water feature. Callidus takes Aulus' gold, too, a whole 93 gold.

Aspen, always a creature of innovation, follows along. Then, Aspen goes right into the Tablinum, eager to extract revenge on the slaver's finances. Instead, he finds a pair of 4 to 5 year old twins. They are terrified, so he attempts to grab the two while making the gurgling sounds of their dying grandfather. They are rightfully terrified. One collapses into the fetal position as the other starts crying.

Aspen is having exactly none of that shit, so he grabs them both, bird claws digging into their weak, child skin. The standing child is dragged out by hand, while the fetal position child is dragged out by foot. Aspen drags the pair right over the thick door frame towards the tablinum as the floor child's head repeatedly bangs against the tiled floor. There is little resistance left in him.

- Jean rejoins Aspen in Tablinum

- Aspen torments the children with their own screams and cries

- Ignore the stairs going further past the Tablinum

- Skeleton fight with Aspen and Jean

- First child runs out of Tablinum as Skeleton one-shots Aspen

- Callidus kills the kid as he runs away, then dumps his body in the water

- Callidus then sneakily sneaks up to Denica, standing near the fire, and whisks her away

- Aspen and Jean loot the chest, stealing a boatload of gold, a fancy sword, and the flag from the animated skeleton armor thing. No books from the bookshelves are taken.

- Bravely run away as fast as possible with the knocked-out kid in tow

- Drop the kid. Aspen scratches "be back" in latin on the child's forehead before running away, sans child.

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Chapter 1
Arriving in Genoa

Bardtholemew, historian, biographer, and discoverer of lore meets the group at a healthy level 20. Four people introduce themselves:

  • Callidus [Taylor]. Lizardfolk. Escaped slave. Escaped from Aullus Lucretius Caddilus. Wishes to free his friend, Lucretia the Chef from his former master's clutches.
  • Aspen [Jan]. Kenku. Makes sound of wind in quaking aspen. Traveled far away from oppressive master in Himalayas. Hates slavery, wants to eradicate it. Met in Genoa, traveled to France with Callidus.
  • Jean [Mike B.]. Human. Former soldier of the Holy Roman Empire. Grew tired of restrictiveness of religion. Joined some untoward ne'er-do-ers. Selling blade in France when hired by Callidus.
  • Lucius [Mike R.]. Human. Paladin of Holy Roman Empire. Abandoned by parents. Picked up by church people to do church bidding. On an unspecified hunt.

January 10th, 1400

After hearing that slaves have been disappearing from the Caddilus household, Callidus assembles a team of friends and mercenaries to free his former coworkers.

Our stalwart group arrives in Genoa, City of Spices and Slaves, by way of merchant ship from somewhere suitably yet nebulously far away. Just past the docks and the spice markets, they find a very wealthy inn in the administrative portion of the city called the Broken Thorn owned, or at least manned, by a tall, wiry thin female elf and her mousefolk servant. Our intrepid adventurers rent out 2 rooms for 1gp a piece, each with king-sized beds.

In a room, Callidus explains his backstory and the nature of his mission to his mercenaries/friends. Jean comes up with plan to fake purchasing slaves from Aulus Lucretius Catalus. Callidus' former master, at the estate.

After grabbing a bit to eat at The Broken Thorn, our inspiring heroes make their way to Aulus' estate in the Genoese foothills. Unfortunately for them, they discover the estate was sold with only the main manor still standing. A for-sale sign is on the door: "Nam sale? Batavius loqui," with an address to the bad part of town, near the fish markets. The remaining land was sold for duplexes which are well on their way. Aulus' new estates are about two hours on horseback through the foothills away from the city in the rural outskirts.

Here, the party splits up. Aspen and Callidus go the bathhouses to meet Callidus' old contact and mover of escaped slaves through the underground railroad, Hapi the Egyptian. Hapi explains (at bathhouse) that the Knifed Ear has Trebellia, Hapi's "friend." Trebellia is a female dwarf assassin by training, though not yet finished. She's there trying to escape.

Meanwhile, back at the estates, Jean and Lucius take their time waiting to see who walks by the estates when they come across three would-be thieves. Lucius (surely on purpose) fires a shot across the thieves' faces as Jean orders them to a hald. Thief 3, the lookout, bravely runs away while thief 1 is left speechless and thief 2 micturates on himself. J&L order the thieves to break into the building, then follow them in. The thieves canvass the manor while our mighty heroes nonchalantly stand at the door, waiting for them to steal anything of worth. As the thieves return, two guardsmen, Mulier and Ballio, arrive after a neighborhood watch report makes it their way. The thieves are apprehended, along with the two massive sacks of gold they found somewhere. Our protagonists save their hides by reporting these thieves and assisting in a citizens' arrest. The Empire of Rome thanks them for their service.

Afterwards, all 4 meet at bathhouse. Our goodly group discuss plans to get a reward at Precinct tomorrow for their apprehension of the ne'erdoers. First, however, they decide to grab the Runaway Trebellia that night.

They make their way to  a shoddy bar near the fish market known as the Knifed Ear, a run-down shithole with 3 wooden walls and one reclaimed stone wall. The bar is owned by a very excitable male dwarf. Two other dwarves sit passed out at a table, and a very bored looking orc stared at a wall. 

Our heroic protagonists try to heroically bribe the owner to no avail, but upon discovering the nature of the mission, the owner lets the group downstairs to the slave hideaway. After some initial tension, Trebellia leaves with the group, but not after Aspen gives her 24 gold, 9 silver, 9 copper for her lifetime of troubles. 

In addition to knowing the lay of the land, Trebellia asks to get her friend Messenio out. She can make a list of other slaves that would like to leave. Finally, she'll make a map for the party and assist in any way she can.

January 11, 1400

After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, salad, and freshly squeezed orange juice, our heroes get to work.

While Callidus and Aspen sat in the bathhouse (again), Lucius and Jean went to retrieve their reward from the police station. There, they were thanked by the head of police for the city, a savagely tough-looking elf woman. When Jean and Lucius attempted to lie multiple times about their intentions, the chief politely threatened to cut their hands off for theft. At this point, Lucius bravely broke down in tears and heroically told a half-truth. Moved by his paladin tears, the chief relented and gave the visitors a portion of their reward, a healthy 50g. The two brave interviewees told nothing of this encounter to their party members short of the reward, ostensibly to save face.

Our would-be rescuers of slaves met up at the bathhouse for yet another lengthy planning session at the Genoan bathhouses (interspersed by pitchers of wine, of course). Eventually, everyone got up off of their asses and got grappling hooks and assorted equipment, readying themselves for the mission ahead.

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