And so begins my part of the campaign with Episode 9!
As Kulo, begins to get acquainted with the group in general, except perhaps Beren, they muse on some possible courses of action. Finally they set upon an idea formed from Tak-tha's intelligence gathering before he left. The sighting of Ulruun's slave caravans getting ready to depart Tyr sparked the group into action and they managed to slip in through the Market gate. Beren had a clandestine meeting with a message courier in the Merchant district which revealed his master was getting impatient with Beren's apparent lack of progress in his mission.
As they made their way from the Merchant's district, they were diverted by a struggling armed guard controlling some kind of anti-slavery demonstration. The soldiery were hard pressed to keep them back and as Gretchan tried to get near, they waved her back and gave instruction to go around by a different route.
As they made their way down a narrower side street, strewn with small market stalls, piled boxes of provisions, from the shadows of the alleys to either side stepped a gang of dwarven toughs and their leader. He intimated that they had been sent by Ulruun to treat you to a roughing up on his behalf. It was clear that these fellows were spoiling for a fight and they closed in, wielding gouges and greatclubs to decent effect at times. With Kulo, locking down a couple of goons with his chains and Kuroar! charging about, his fullblade carving chunks from the enemy while Gretchan stepped through space to appear on a nearby rooftop and Beren & Garidias teamed up to take on the chief. All were subdued, quickly and their bodies hidden before the group made a getaway down the street toward the slave markets.
Reaching the large, open-air area around the slave markets, which brings back some memories for those who spent time here before, Gretchan spots 4 caravans that seem to be marked with House Shom, whom Ulruun works for. Just as they head towards it, the kanks begin to move and the convoy gathers speed. It is clear that they are on their way out. Just as that happens a small boy raced past shouting, "They are free!! We are all free!!!!" as a roar, similar to that made by lots of people, erupts from the Slave Pits.
Fortunately, the only way back out toward the Merchant gate means the convoy has to come right by the group's position. Hoping to derail Ulruun's plans and possibly the dwarf himself, the group position themselves into an ambush position on the road, ready to attack the caravan as it flies by.
As the first two caravans approach, Beren & Kulo, leap into action followed swiftly by the others, blocking the roadway and dealing with the caravan drivers in various nasty ways, including being teleported into the slave caravan and being torn apart by desperate slaves. The rearmost caravans were forced to divert around the others and generally got in each other's way.
The fight dragged on a little, the kanks not giving up easily and the source of the earlier roar was now clearly a swarming tide of released slaves, some jubilant, some exuberant, but all heading right towards the group. With the caravan's neutralised, the group got out of there in a hurry, the two goliaths making good use of their innate knowledge of just how boxes can be strewn behind to slow down a pursuing enemy to create some distance between them and the mob.
They finally were able to lose the mob and catch their collective breath in a side-street. They were promptly approached by a detachment of the city guard and asked to accompany them to the Templar district. Despite some general nervousness about being escorted, the group followed orders and the patrol sergeant explained that they were gathering up the freed slaves to remove the markings of their former masters. Along the way, they gather other former slaves and are made to wait in a long queue to be processed.
Each of the group are then attended by a young Templar by the name of Mavar who will be performing the removal of the slave markers. Kulo, insisted on standing guard over some of the group while theirs were performed, which Mavar had no particular objection to. The procedure was quite quick, but painful, but the ministrations of the Templars are such that no ill effects are suffered by the group.
As you are all escorted from the Templar district, you make your way back towards the Merchant district looking for a place to stay for the night, the streets are quieter and on one of the more deserted ones, you are again ambushed, but this time by 3 centipede-like creatures, two of which had been waiting on rooftops and slithered down the walls with great speed and agility. The group defended itself against the attack, but without Beren, Gretchan was left exposed and the creature's pincers and antennae proved too deadly. Vicious wounds were dealt out on both sides, but the valiant work of Kurorar! enabled Garidias and Kulo, to get back into the fight, rescuing Gretchan. Inspection of the dead bodies reveals them to be species of cilops. Garidias' knowledge of these things indicates that they can be trained to track and kill for their owners. He says he has heard of Templars doing just such a thing.
Following their close call, the group calls it a night and heads for the tavern that Beren had earlier met his messenger in and settle down to their first night of freedom for many years, if ever...