There, gathered on the roof of the Hospice of the Blessed Maidens the party can see the city they’ve been protecting. The shared threat of Lamm is long gone. Regicide, cover-ups, vigilantes, and rescues have made the time fly. Were anyone to look up and see the figures on against the moon a nod of the head would be involuntary. This is Korvosa, and word has spread about a team who takes on the impossible. Ferox Kerr, Inquisitor of the Bank of Abadar, Gaius Lirsiiv the Whip of Callistra, Sandor Strongbellows Crafter of Legendary Weapons, Morkeleb the Mighty the Bender of Men’s Wills, Thorgrym Sharkslayer and his companion Bucho, and Odric the Stout Brewer of Brews and Smasher of Skulls, stand ready to do violence on behalf of their city yet again.
After much planning and discussion, the group decides to break into the hospice from the roof. The plan includes Gaius’ nimble fingers and considerable skill getting the group past the physical barriers they encounter. Ferox will use his magic to detect the thoughts of any who might pass beneath while the fighters prepare for bloodshed below.
The inquisitor’s eyes bore into the roof even as the holy man dismantles it expertly.
Suddenly, Ferox touches Gaius’s shoulder. There are two sources of thoughts below. They pass out of range eventually, only to return. It’s periodic and predictable. Eventually there is a whole even the sizable Odric and Sandor can pass through, ready to go. The work is so expert that there’s no visible clue inside that a new egress has been made. All that remains is for someone to push through to the other side…
The Kegerator is out and ready. Odric is silently cursing himself for forgetting to warm up appropriately and is fairly certain if he doesn’t turn an ankle he will have a pulled groin muscle or something.
In an effort to get his blood flowing and hopefully minimize his potential for injury, Odric silently flexes all of his muscles simultaneously, then relaxes them. He repeats the action three times, getting redder and redder in the face each time until he starts breathing again quietly.
In the near dark, the big warrior tries to make out shapes and movement from the hallway’s dark recesses. He is glad his sturdy companions are with him, the unknown dangers ahead weigh heavily on him. The plan is for the fighters to drop into the room below, then for Morkeleb to slide forward and hang his head and shoulders into the ceiling so he might cast Sleep. If magic fails, steel will ring.
As the fighters fall to the catwalk below, they find they are flanked by a pair of Grey Maidens. The guards are, in fact, Grey Maiden’s. The Queen’s handmaidens stand on the catwalk, forked by the party. Below is a crowded room; the cries of the Blood Veil victim’s drown out the action above. The magical sleep descends on one who slumps to the ground, motionless.
Riding the ecstacy of his initial spell, Morkeleb immediately casts another enchantment—Daze—on the standing Maiden, in an attempt to make this encounter quick and quiet.
Morkeleb fires of another dweomer, Dazing the remaining guard. In a quick series of blows, Odric and Grym dispatch the wakeful but dazed guard and decapitate the sleeping one.
Now that they have time to take in their surroundings, the party can get a feel for the situation. Twenty feet below you are about 60 beds, each occupied by someone wracked with the Blood Veil. Among the sick are four of the masked doctors. They walk the rows, but don’t seem to be doing anything in particular. The only way down from here seems to be a rope and pulley style elevator in the Northeast.
Exploring the area, Gaius discovers a lift made of a series of pulleys and a platform. He manages to figure out how to operate it in moments.
Despite their best attempts at stealth, the party is betrayed by the unusual sight of a dwarven figure standing on the catwalk. Without a word, communicating only with hand signals, two of the doctors make their way to the lift to investigate. Seeing the masked doctors coming to investigate, the ranger sheathes his blades and gets ready to try and take one alive.
Gaius says, “We’ll talk about you wearing plate to a break in later, Dwarf.”
Gaius casts Disguise Self and changes his appearance to that of a Grey Maiden. He palms a dagger, keeping it out of site, and the glamer will not show it in any case.
He motions to his companions to move this way to the elevator, then he steps in and pulls the, “off”, lever—which should bring him to the ground floor to intercept the doctors.
When the elevator arrives on the ground floor, Gaius will only cock his head at the two doctors, as if to silently ask the question, “Yes?”
The two doctors make a rapid fire series of signs with their gloved hands. They look at each other and then board the elevator. They stand directly by the door. One of them takes out a vial and smashes it into Gaius’s chest. The glass shatters and the liquid worms its way into Gaius’s body. Gaius immediately recognizes that he has been given a potion of Bull’s Strength. The other starts mixing rather volatile chemicals, ready for combat. The alleged Grey Maiden smiled wickedly.
Sandor slowly backs up to try to lure the Doctors into the gauntlet of his friends. He backs up as much as he can to make them have to move before they are in range to throw the vial.
When the elevator opens, Gaius strikes true. He slips his Masterwork dagger into the Doctor’s kidney. The doctor in front of him stumbles forward, a deep hit in his back. He’s not down, but he flails soundlessly. He turns to face the Calistrian while the other continues to prep for attacking Sandor, heedless of other threats.
Grym leaps into the fray with his elbow forward, smashing into the Doctor’s face with an unarmed strike. The ranger’s cracking strike clearly breaks bone. The doctor takes the hit without a single utterance of pain. He’s extremely injured, but still in the fight.
Ferox nocks an arrow and lets loose at the injured doctor. The first arrow finishes off the wounded foe and the Ferox shoots again, wounding the other one.
Morkeleb casts Daze on the remaining Doctor, but the Doctor ignores the power of the spell; it has no effect.
The short jaws latch on to the doctor’s leg, then the dog shakes his blocky head back and forth to savage the wound.
Gaius drops his dagger whips out his rapier, and thrusts at the remaining doctor. Who will never see it coming. He dies without a sound. The two doctors below have seen the attack now though.
The ranger smiles in delight as his faithful dog brings down the masked doctor. Though between the the massive stab wound in the chest and his dog severing some arteries in the leg the enemy is bled out and dying. The ranger shakes his head ruefully, “After I went through all that trouble to engage him with out my blades…” he thinks to himself. Grym whispers to the Calistrian, “Lets try to take one alive, if we can.”
Odric vaults over the railing arms and legs akimbo, plummeting through the air towards the doctors on the ground floor. His impressive agility for a man so large allows him to land on balance in a threateningly lethal crouching position. The thud when the nearly 200 pounds of solid muscle hits the stone floor is impressive and sounds painful. The carnivorous grin on Odric’s face betrays not a flicker of discomfort though.
After a heartbeat of glaring at the doctor before him, Odric leaps at him with the ferocity of a mountain lion. The gleaming falchion swishes by the man’s face thrice before the true attack slams him in the side of his neck, gouging a bright slash of crimson in the man’s flesh. Odric turns to face the other doctor and swings the Kegerator in a lazy figure eight, flinging red strings of blood and gore in wet lines across the man’s mask and robes.
The grizzled dwarf’s scarred mouth hangs open for the span of a few heartbeats, then the warrior’s square teeth clack together audibly as he set’s his jaw and charges for the edge of the railing. His respect for the human manifests itself in the sincerest form of flattery as the crusty dwarf leaps into the air. He grumbles a prayer to Torag on the long trip down, apologizing for acting like a ridiculous plate mail-encased flying squirrel when dwarves are supposed to be firmly rooted in the ground.
The impact nearly accomplishes that feat, as a flagstone cracks beneath him. Sandor too is able to maintain his footing and lands in a wide-legged stance immediately before Odric.
“Quit yer foolin’ around me boy and I’d suggest yer finishin’ that other one off instea’ o’ playin’ with that Mighty Fine Blade! Use it fer killin’ like it were made ta do and quit yer fancy showin’ off ye damn fool human!” Sandor pokes his stubby finger forcefully at the doctor Odric slashed but did not yet decapitate.
Sandor glares at Odric for a moment, thumbs the blade of his trusty battle axe with a thoughtful look on his face. The dwarf spins widdershins and hacks mightily at the doctor’s spindly shins.
The doctor leaps nimbly over the axe and Sandor finds himself winding up for a counterattack on Odric’s back, having spun himself completely around.
“What are ye doin’ in front o’ me ye durned idiot?! Are ye tryin’ ta get yerself split in two like a melon?” Sandor reorients himself on his opponent cursing Odric’s incompetence under his breath the whole time.
The eerily silent reaction of the doctor’s continues. With his lifeblood flowing freely the doctor makes not a sound even as he begins mixing ingredients furiously. Finally the doctors move to action, wordlessly.
The injured one remaining, to the west of Odric steps back and mixes a concoction that he slides under his mask. His wounds begin to heal instantly though not completely. Meanwhile the second one mixes an altogether more volitile looking concoction as he steps back and hurls at it Sandor. The dwarf knocks the bomb just barely off course. It explodes, the flames lapping at Sandor’s beard, but causes no damage. The liquid fire splashes onto a victim of the Blood Veil, burning the remainder of his life out of him. Odric is splashed with the fire as well.
“FIRE!! Ya will bloody pay fer usin fire” Sandor roars and smites the doctor with an extremely well-placed strike.
The ranger quickly weighs the heights and distances. He decides to pull out his sling and fire a stone at the one who just launched a fire potion at Sandor. Grym’s bullet goes wide, way wide. Thankfully no civilians were hurt.
Ferox should be able to see both doctors. He takes aim and lets loose another two arrows at the doctor closest to him. Ferox’s first arrow lands home. The second goes wide. Two injured doctors on the floor. With two injured targets available, Morkeleb tries to take both down with Magic Missiles.
Gaius’s disguise still intact, he takes the elevator down to the ground floor and walks out of the elevator, moving menacingly towards Odric and Sandor.
Odric violently ends the doctor in front of him with the Kegerator.
With a splash of blood the Doctor falls.
The group mills about, examining the carnage and looking to misister to the dying. They fear they have all contracted the Blood Veil, and are interested in figuring out what they can before they are overcome by the disease.
Sandor asks, “So what’s the plan Gaius? I ‘ave a feelin that Morkelb, Ferox, ’n yaself could go down n look like Dr’s, but Grym, the lad, ‘n I will give that ruse up quickly. I would prefer not ta split up, but if’n ya think it makes sense.”
While waiting for Gaius’s answer. Sandor does an equipment check then does a few of the lad’s deep knee bends to loosen up after taking a leap off the balcony and to make sure everything is there.
Odric immediately brightens. “Stretching out is a grand idea!”
The huge man begins gyrating in what could only be loosely termed stretching. His exertions are immensely distracting to anyone around him and he does his best to include all those nearby in his warm-up. The armored war kilt swings wide with each spin, and the shorter of stature are sure to get an eyeful if they are not careful. The patients nearby are certainly treated to a view they won’t soon forget.
As Odric continues his warm up, he begins practicing a move he read about in a tale of piracy on the high seas and an accursed treasure buried in a jungle. It involves running up to an opponent, attacking and then continuing to move afterwards, like a cat of prey. The move was called Spring Attack, after the pirate who first attempted it.
The pirate had lost his right leg to a shark, then his peg to an infestation of termites. He replaced the peg with a wound piece of steel in the shape of a coil called a Spring. This pirate would use the curious properties of his Spring in his attacks, allowing him to effectively bounce around the battle in a most terrifying manner.
Odric had never thought himself capable of such a feat, but shortly after the last altercation he felt strong enough and experienced enough to attempt it. Perhaps the leap from the catwalk above had reminded him of the concept. In any case, he committed himself to practicing the move, hoping to perfect it after leaving the hospice.
Once he is done, and is sufficiently sweaty and red-faced to consider himself prepared for what might lie ahead, Odric pants heavily as he walks the rows of beds, offering water or bites of food to those victims he can.
Wearing the mask proves difficult with the amount of sweat and less than fresh breath issuing forth from his face, but once Morkeleb explained the mask’s properties, Odric immediately put it on.
Adjusting people’s blankets, fluffing pillows and offering reassurances or short dirty jokes occupies his time until the party is ready to proceed.
The party resolves to press on, bravely facing the challenges ahead.