The (unwanted) Rescue of Lady Ari!
OR: A Handjob Leads to Romance, in the most convoluted way possible.
Last time we met: Our Heroes had just fought off a ghost pirate ship while on their way to the rendezvous point to rescue the fair, helpless, totally innocent Lady Ari. Baddies had been killed, loot had been acquired, and things were going forward in a fairly normal manner. That wouldn’t last long.
(Note: this is long, so I have split it into a few parts. If anyone reads this whole thing I will be impressed.)
Part 1: Dalliances in Town (for every sense of the word)
As the Harpy’s Call approached Breaker’s Point some of the crew used Captain Halvard’s spyglass to look at the Pirate ships that had come into view. Zed had the idea to try holding up one of the black dots that was on the ransom note up to the spyglass, and was able to negate the magical illusion surrounding the ships. Surprising no one, the pirate ships were full of pirates.
As there was still two days and a night until the designated meeting time, some of the crew (Tho, Della, and Draco) decided to head into the nearby town to see what they could find. The rest of the crew decided to stay on the beach near the meeting point to keep an eye out for any sort of shenanigans.
Once in the town Draco decided to go shopping, and this was where the effects of what can only be assumed to be an enchantment over this strange little town started showing up. The local potion seller was an old Sea-Hag, who had some generic snake oil wares for sale. However, after Draco decided to spontaneously french the Hag, she suddenly had a poison potion that she would sell to Draco for 30GP.
At the same time Tho and Della went to the bar, as one does, in search of some information. The barkeep was almost too busy insulting Tho’s pitiful attempt to blend in with his fancy clothes and noble-ness, at least until Tho paid 5GP for a drink. Then the barkeep became very friendly, mentioning that the local drunk – Marty “Drunky” McGoo might have some answers. Drunky was apparently the source of the rumors that had been circulating about town that an Elf maiden was on the pirate ships, and rather than being a captive might have been free to roam around the deck.
On approach to Drunky it was obvious that Tho wouldn’t get far, since most drunks have a respectable distrust of nobility. Luckily Tho had no qualms about gently encouraging Della to go talk to him. And Tho’s version of gently encouraging in this case meant physically shoving Della towards Drunky. It was a meeting pre-ordained by fate to start off a chain of events that would forever change Della’s life.
Della started talking with Drunky. He talked at first, but then slowly started to realize he might be able to make some money for the information he had. So Della bought him a drink or two. But this Drunky was looking for more than just a drink, and with Della putting on her charm to try to win over some information he had his way in. It can be debated who was playing who at this point, but all that your dear narrator remembers at this point is the two then went up to Drunky’s room above the bar, and certain acts were performed in exchange for information. Acts involving Della’s hand. Or hands. No one is really sure, but the end result was a sleeping, apparently satisfied Drunky who was then robbed blind. Some would argue that Della, having made 150GP for her troubles, could now be considered a “working girl” but your narrator would never stoop so low.
Part 2: Whore Fight! (but not in that way)
At this point the group in the city, having learned some valuable information about the Pirates, decided to go and get the others that were keeping watch on Breaker’s Point. Once they were retrieved it was shared that a certain group of the pirates liked to come into Stinkyton (the name of the small fishing town) and purchase supplies and frequent the local house of ill repute. Or very good repute, according to Drunky.
Niko, Della and Tho decided to head to the whorehouse to do some investigating. This may or may not have been Tho’s idea, but since it actually seemed prudent to head to the whorehouse for once everyone else went along with it. After a bit of negotiating the Madame agreed to help lure a group of the pirates to shore where Our Heroes would bravely drug them and dispatch of them in their sleep. Once those Pirates had been taken care of the group would then don some of their clothes (the Pirates, not the Whores) (Unless Tho got his way. He really wanted to dress up as a Whore) and then head out to the Pirate ship that was docked off the coast of the city, away from the two that were docked at Breaker’s point.
The Madame put up the Red Banners and a good chunk of the Pirates headed toward the Brothel. Tho finally got his wish, as he, Della, Draco and Zed all dressed up as Ladies of the Night, as Niko made himself up like a servant boy and Akenara (thoroughly disgusted by the whole thing) hid in a back party room ready to come out swinging, and also passing out weapons. Apparently it is hard to hide a warhammer beneath a frilly dress.
Once a good portion of the Pirates were passed out from the roofie flask that Della had “appropriated” from Drunky McGoo Della lead the remainder back to the party room, where they were all promptly beaten into a fine pulp. While this was happening Niko was going around the outer room zapping unconscious Pirates to death. After all of the Pirates were dealt with, looting happened, and everyone took a disguise to use to get onto the Pirate ship. Amazingly, Our Heroes had a plan that they executed without any major hiccups, and it seems to have worked! It isn’t known how long it will take news of the Nine Hells freezing over to reach the mortal plane, but it is surely incoming.
Part 3: Confronting the Mother
After a bit of rowing, Our Heroes closed in on the Pirate ship while wearing the cloaks that mask their identities. On the way it is decided that they will act like they have captured Tho in town, and are bringing him back for another hostage. Hoping this will draw out the captain for a quick kill, the group approached the ship. Zed, being the charismatic one, is volunteered to respond to the hails coming from the Pirates, and gets everyone on board without incident, mostly thanks to a very inept watchman on deck.
Once on the ship Tho started yelling about his mom, demanding quite a lot for a person who was supposedly a prisoner. Taking a chance that wouldn’t come around very often a few of the party members might have been a bit too convincing in the shots they took at him to keep him quiet. The captain eventually came out to see Tho, taunting him the entire time, and then called for Tho’s mom to come out! The Lady Ari was in on it the entire time!
Apparently Tho’s dad had been a bit free with his “companionship” and Lady Ari was tired of it, and decided to get some revenge, both against Lord Ari and the Empire as a whole. As Tho and his mother were sorting out their family issues and the Captain was laughing his little pirate head off, Draco was getting bored. For our regular readers, you should know what happened next. As the Lady was lamenting the fact that Tho had been dragged into the situation Draco figured it would be good for everybody to Chill Out – and unleashed his Ice Breath. This may have also been because Draco thought he recognized the captain as one of the gladiators from his early childhood prison named Bozag the Great, or it could have been because he was bored. Your Narrator gives the odds at about 50/50.
The fight was on. Akenara lit off his Radiance of the Dawn, Thia grabbed a rope and started swinging around kicking people in their faces and then got knocked out, other people did other cool things, it was your typical melee on a boat. And yes, of course Draco threw down some ball bearings and caltrops, this time effectively stopping reinforcements from coming up from below decks.
During the fight Zed somehow ended up in a locked room with Tho’s Mom, who explained how Tho’s dad had been unfaithful and she had met the Pirate Captain at a dinner party and fallen madly in love. Zed used his magic detecting want to check if there was any sort of spell causing Tho’s mom to be charmed, but unfortunately for Tho it seemed his mom was a Ho fo Sho. One of the pieces of evidence Lady Ari used to know that Tho’s dad had been unfaithful was word of another son, an unknown brother to Tho that is out in the world somewhere. Zed kept his suspicions that this son was Niko to himself. No need to kick a traitor when they are down.
The fight was over, but what would Our Heroes decide to do with the captive traitor Lady Ari?
Part 4: Happily Ever After (for some at least)
Tho plead for his mother to be released, and the rest of the party agreed as long as it was to the Elves and that they were given full knowledge of what her crimes were, and tasked with keeping her in their lands. While this discussion is being had Della was comforting the Lady. Did I mention that Lady Ari was one of the most beautiful elven maidens ever? And Della was fairly easily swayed? Anyway, Della and Lady Ari found a secluded place to talk, where Della mentioned that she might know the other ill-gotten son. This obviously upset Lady Ari, but luckily for both of them Della was there to “comfort” her.
While Tho was trying to decide what to do with his Mother, Draco, Zed and Niko went about looting the pirate ship, finding many shiny things. Someone interrogated the last remaining Pirate and found that the password for approaching other ships is “element autur”. Also, that these three ships are the whole fleet, but the other two ships are run by mad wizards that were from the city/prison that draco was from. Also, Draco found a spyglass at some point.
It is decided to send Lady Ari back to live with her kind in the Elven lands, but she would need someone to watch over her and make sure she didn’t try to pull any more rebellions against the Empire. Also, she would have to be found again. Where was she? Also had anyone seen Della? Draco volunteered to go find them, and find them he did, in a more than slightly compromising position. Or positions. No one really knows how long Draco watched before he let them know he was there.
As Della had formed a close bond with Lady Ari, she volunteered to travel with the Lady and watch over her. As Draco was a bit of a Perv, he volunteered to follow with them and act as a bodyguard. He promised to watch them very closely.
Since Lady Ari had tried to claim that the Elves were a part of the rebellion against the Empire, they were asked about this when it came time to drop off Lady Ari. When the situation had been explained, and after the Elves had said their usual racist remarks about how humans can’t stay faithful, they said they had no issues with the Empire and they would be happy to take tho’s mom into custody. Draco also volunteered to go undercover into elven culture and see if there was any truth to the rebellion claims. How a Draconian was going to go undercover in Elven culture was a question he didn’t think to ask.
Finally, as Della and Lady Ari left the deck of the Harpy’s Call into Elven lands holding hands, the exact nature of their “bond” hit Tho. He was slightly less than pleased, but could do nothing at this point. Della, Lady Ari, and Draco were off to live in the Elven lands, and there was still a fairly large pirate rebellion problem to deal with back in the Empire. Tho would just have to deal with it. And the mental images. And the weird feelings.
Will our Heroes finish up their commitment to the Empire as mercenaries? Is there a larger Rebellion plot at hand? Will they randomly meet a few more adventurers in the next day or two? Find out next time!