Murder Castle (Into the Odd / Electric Bastionland)

Picking up from the last session of Electric Bastionland / Into the Odd, with the same four players, plus three. These three rolled up stats in a matter of two minutes and became three of the 11 sailors waiting outside the castle: Störte Becker, Silver John Long, and Timothy with the long pipe. They were hoisted up with the rope and joined the piano-hunters. With this addition, the mood in the party shifted from careful to bloodthirsty.

Slippery Slope

Taking stock of the situation, the group decided to take out the guards first. They opened the door into the round tower and found another door into onto the narrow battlements of the wall. Jayne snuck forward like a cat (1). Grand Uncle John followed, but slipped on the wet battlements (20), hit his head on the stonework, and dropped into the courtyard, but took only 2 damage from the fall, dropping into a dungheap. Still, he passed out and lay there in the rain, his pistols on the wet and dirty ground.

Timothy chuckled about the “old fool”, and promptly also slipped, at the same spot (20), and fell right on John, who cushioned his fall (no damage). He pulled the fallen Dwarf to the side, while Henry snuck along the battlements successfully. Then Silver John Long went next, only to also fail his roll. He got a chance to hold on and stay on the battlements, but failed it, and also fell into the dungheap, cursing. He found the pistols and pocketed them.

Looking at a failure rate of 60% to traverse the slick, crumbling stonework, Mary and Störte decided to take the stairs down.

Bloody Murder

Up on top, Henry tried to slit the guard’s throat, but failed to surprise him, and a scuffle ensued, which Jayne ended by way of her longaxe. Down on the ground, the guards were suddenly set upon and beaten down with rifle butts, then suffocated and looted.

Great Uncle John was woken up; he demanded his pistols back from Silver John Long, and got them after some arguments.

What now? The team decided to kill all the sleeping pirates in their beds, Nazgûl-Style, and went about it slow and careful enough to get the job done. They even found the wounded guy with the green headscarf and, remembering the murder of their helpless friends in the water, decided to go the extra mile and split his skull with a meat cleaver.

They left two of them alive for later questioning – for now, they ethered them and tied them up with the letter-writer.

Alchemist Extraordinaire

Then they inspected the round tower with the suspected Alchemist. Going top to bottom, they found his lab and then the man himself, on the ground floor, sleeping. They woke him up and found out he was a prisoner here, one Nikodemus Readbeard, Alchemist extraordinaire, forced to make explosives and healing potions for the pirates. He had always waited for the Bastion City Council or the Queen to send someone for him, and he had almost lost hope… then his delight was crushed as nobody recognised his name and he was informed that the party was here to get a piano, not him.

He also told them that the green-cap pirate was the First Mate, and that the captain was living in the square tower with his women and the gold.

They picked the lock of his chain, then found keys with the First Mate.

Sticks and Stones…

The square tower had one tiny door to the crumbling battlements and one normal door on the ground floor. Jayne and Mary went up to guard that exit and let the menfolk go in through the front door. But the menfolk decided, after opening the door, to get the key ring to the women. First they wanted to throw it, but the danger of missing and throwing the keys into the woods was too great. So Henry braved the battlements to bring the keys, even though Jayne hissed that she did not need them. With one hand occupied holding the keys, he was not that sure on his feet, slipped, and fell into the courtyard. He took a scar — he broke his right leg. But he made his WIL save and suffered in silence.

Then Störte took up the keys and decided to try again where Henry had failed.
Jayne rolled her eyes and quickly climbed toward him to intercept him ere he fell too. “Thank you.” she told him through gritted teeth, then climbed back to her post.

The men entered the tower and found a way down to the basement. Some of them piled dead bodies on that, but Tim went forward up the stairs. He triggered a trap and kept still to avoid the release.
After the others were done, complaining about him standing there instead of helping, they followed and he showed them the trip wire. They identified it as an arrow-trap, and Silver John Long pulled Tim out of the way. The arrows came and cracked against the wall.

But the sound woke up the captain.

Shootout in the bedroom

Tim stormed in to shoot at the man, who lay in a huge bed with four women. Tim wounded him slightly, but the captain shot back and took Tim down – critical injury, down to 4 STR. Silver John Long called out, “Captain, you okay up there?”

Then, when the captain answered and asked questions, he surprised him by showing up and shooting him in the belly. The women fled up the stairs, the captain was critically injured.

The team came in, secured the captain, checked on the women, and ordered them to clear the dead bodies of the basement entrance. Then finally they also remembered Tim and got him back on his feet, and fed him one of the healing potions to bring him up to 7.

They also remembered their eight NPC comrades outside, and went to let them in.
And they remembered Henry’s broken leg and let the Alchemist look after that.

They interrogated the captain and as he asked: “What do you even want?”, Jayne told him: “We are from Bastion, sent to bring back Nikodemus Readbeard.”
“Arr”, he sighed, “I knew it was only a matter of time until they’d come looking for him.”
They forced him to give up his treasures, which yielded 4000 pounds.

Shootout at the Gate

The next day, when three pirates came up from the harbour, they lured them in and killed them.
They expected the pirates to come in small groups, drip by drip, but next came ten, and a gun battle ensued. They shot down 7 of the 10, and the last 3 fled. But Silver got scratched and Great Uncle John got shot down, and they lost two of the NPC sailors.

While the Alchemist patched up Great Uncle John, a forward team of 4 sailors, Jayne, Tim, and Silver raced to beat them to the harbour by taking the road.

Shootout at the Harbour

The guys on the ship already waited for them, and there was a shootout with good cover on both sides at the harbour. Silver underestimated the enemy and tried to play sniper while directly in view: He put up his rifle and stuck out his head to aim along it. Jayne tackled him down and out of the way of the bullet with his name on it.

Now the three survivors from the earlier battle came out of the woods at the back of the party, and our heroes had to flee into a pile of rice bags. They lost two sailors, but then were relatively safe. Lots of shooting at no viable target in all directions, thanks to enough ammo on all sides.

Then Great Uncle John led a heroic rescue mission as the constant gunfire down at the harbour told him that things did not go so well: He stormed down from the castle with Mary and the other four sailors, and took the three in the woods from the back, saving everyone’s bacon.

Jayne negotiated with the pirates on the ship and told them about the treasure of the captain and the money to be had for the old piano. So they came to an agreement, and grudgingly forgave each other the various losses, and pirates and sailors became one new crew.

Happy End

They left the pirate captain marooned, brought the piano onto the pirate vessel, hoisted the flag of Bastion, and returned home victorious, with piano, Alchemist, chests full of gold, and with cool battle scars to impress the drinkers in Bastion’s taverns.

They were unsure what to do with the captain’s women. They did not want to be mean to them, but they also did not want to include them in the treasure share, so they just took them home, unsure about any “what then”s. They did not bind them or lock them in, because that felt wrong, but always stayed away from them for fear of stabbing or other unpleasentries – after all, this crew had marooned these women’s man and nobody thought to ask them how they felt about that. So back in Bastion the women just stole a bit of the money and went off-grid in the greatest/worst city that ever was.

No matter: All who survived were well off, and with the piano safely delivered to Ekon Musl, as agreed in the beginning, the debt was paid off.

And they never even needed the bomb.

.

Image: Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

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