Posted on July 17, 2012
Gardeners of the White Rose
After going through the Beginners Boxes with some friends from high school I started running Council of Thieves this Monday. I figure, if no one minds, I’ll post some recaps here. Hopefully this can generate a tiny amount more traffic so Duffin can make some ad money.
Bulgav – half elf ranger
Gregory – human rouge
Korva – human cleric of Iomedae
Malory (of the uncertain name) – human wizard
Council of Theives is set in Westcrown former capital of the Chelish empire. In the heyday of Aroden it was prophesized that the patron god of mankind would return Golarion and return in Westcrown. Things didn’t turn out like that though and Aroden died. Without their patron to guide them the Chelish empire fell into 30 years of civil war. In 4640 the Thrice Damned House of Thrune took complete control of the empire however by this time Cheliax was half it’s size, run by demon worshipers and bore an eerie resemblance to Lutheran summer camp.
The adventure starts in the year 4709. The party arrived back from their failed attempt to kill black fang who turned out to be a small, ass kicking black dragon not an aurochs killing super snake. They were discussing how long it takes acid related scars to heal over ale, red wine and lemon water when an attractive but world weary woman sat down at their table. She offered her name, Janiven, and not much else. She owns a place called Viseo’s Tavern which will be opening soon and is looking for people of their caliber. She wanted them to meet at the tavern for an early dinner (curfew is sundown due to the shadow beats that prowl the seats) as it’s unsafe to speak in public.
The next day at Viseo’s Janiven laid it out for them. The people of Westcrown are oppressed. No one is in position to overthrow the House of Thrune. However that doesn’t mean they can’t work, covertly, to make everyones lives in the city a little easier. To be clear the people of Westcrown are not living in Obama’s America. In Cheliax hope and change are syllables for treason and conspiracy. Everyone in Viseo’s knew this yet this didn’t stop Korva from giving the speech the slow clap.
The good feelings came to a quick end when a youth, Morosino, burst through the door. Through a fit of coughing and panting he let everyone know that some guy named Arael, yes Arael, has been captured by Hellknights who are now on their way to Viseo’s. This is how everyone ended up in the sewer beneath Viseo’s tavern.
After a few turns the party thought they had the Hellknights beat. Turns out they just all twisting and turning but them behind the Hellknights. Luckily Gregory’s crafty nature alerted them to the threat and Janiven was able to create a distraction pulling the Hellknights off of their scent but leaving the party alone, with a little kid they just met in an unfamiliar sewer system.
Luckily they had instructions on how to follow a set of markings to find their way to a safe house. They only had to follow the path and oh yeah…fend off some goblins, a Hellknight patrol and one pissed of wererat. They did this with aplomb, if you don’t consider a little kid dying to be a big deal, and soon found themselves at the safehouse, an abandoned shrine of Aroden.
They were met by Janiven and a group of NPCs too large to list. Seriously Paizo 10 NPCs dumped on the party at once is a bit much. The group was in the midst of a heated debate about what their infant group should be called. Some argued from the Children of Westcrown others argued for the Knights of the White Rose (a reference to the famous white roses of Westcrown that turned black upon the death of Aroden). The Children of Westcrown on was leading in the vote count as many though that “knights” was too militaristic and didn’t represent the groups somewhat peaceful intent.
It was Malory who suggest that the party be called the Gardeners of the White Rose. Everyone thought highly of this. The idea of them being gardeners growing back the city seemed in perfect alignment with their plans to help the citizens of Westcrown.
With that settled it was time to talk about rescuing Arael, yes Arael, who it turns out is the leader of this little group. It turns out that Arael was, for the time being, in the hands of the city guard. Soon though the Hellknights would finally get through all the red tape and then it was of the Citadel Rivad a short ride outside of the city.
Janiven proposed a daring ambush in which the Gardeners would pose as bandits drawing away much of the Hellknight guard. After this the PCs would swoop in take out the remaining guards and whisky away Arael. Janiven emphasized that it would be preferable not to kill any Hellknights so as not to draw down a larger force upon them. Plus, such an event would be more embarrassing to the Hellknights.
The party chose an ambush point about halfway to the citadel where the road crossed a small but swift river. The idea was for Gregory to hide beneath the bridge. The rest of the party would draw the attention of the guard and Gregory would slip in to free Areal. This worked pretty well. Through careful use of fear, sleep and daze spells the party was able to eliminate most of the guard. The remaining guardsman was easily sapped into unconsciousness. This left them free the free Areal and ride around on the prison cart like jackasses. They eventually caught up with the rest of the Gardeners which is where we left them.