SUMMARY: Tom Bagnell finally comes through on his promise to introduce the Trio to The Purple Maze
Characters in play: Elwyn Archer — Virtuous Monk of Onus, Raizel — Sociopathic Freebooter, Fernando Sylvio — Mind-addled Runaway Slave
Settings: Balitan Lower City, The Low Road, Lake of Woad, Merinhold, Temple of Demios: Merinhold Branch
- Meeting at their usual table at the usual Ozark’s Mistress with the usual Tom Bagnell in his usual, overly conspicuous get-up, the Trio learns of The Purple Maze’s response to their gift: Come to us. Make haste.
- Tom tells them that he has set-up the reason for his absence and why he would be taking the Trio along with him: He has claimed that a rogue wizard is on their way to The Maze, and that the only one who can stop him is the Court Wizard! … Along with a troupe of hired ruffians.
- The Court Wizard leaves the Trio to their drinks, which is when Caruso takes the opportunity to speak to them. Apparently, recent actions in the city (including their known defense against the Three Foreign Bounty Hunters after Sylvio, as well as their not-so-known involvement in the recent murder of Jezebel Pace) have caused an new edict to be installed concerning bounty hunters and mercenaries of any kind. All individuals and groups must be recorded, named, and identified if they are to earn money within the land of Balitan.
- Though disconcerted, each of the three allows Caruso to record the required information. Their name? The Burning Light.
- Tom arrives at the Mistress the next morning, putting on a show, asking for aid in the capture of this rogue wizard. Elwyn speaks up, going along with the act and throwing in their group’s name. All seems solid, until Rickard Dabney and his own group drunkenly accost Elwyn and offer up their names. Tension and shouting increase.
- To stop the threat of the two groups coming to blows, Tom offers up a challenge to settle the matter: A contest of blows! (That’s hand-to-hand combat, you pervs.)
- Dabney, two of his fellows, Sylvio, and Raizel go out back for the “contest”. Even without Elwyn, the slave and the freebooter make fantasticly quick work of their opponents. Raizel skips around the said and jumps off of some crates for Dabney’s head while Sylvio flattens the two minions straight out. Tom declares them the winner.
- Before they have a chance to leave, Dabney swears to “get them for this”, threatening to have his mother destroy them. Tom suggests they leave as soon as possible.
- On the road with Tom and his carriage driver, the Wizard explains to them the depth of Rickard’s threat. His mother is Miranda Dabney, Battle Commander to Baron Ozark. He has yet to meet her, but understands that many people have described the tactics she employed in war, and the reason she was promoted to that rank, as ruthless.
- They travel for some time. Tom refuses to tell them anything about what they’ll be facing, mainly because it has been so long since he was a member that his information would most likely be wrong anyway. He only tells them that, no matter what, they let him do the talking and ALWAYS take his lead.
- After several days of relatively mundane journeying, they come upon the Lake of Woad. The Low Road was paved along the Southern edge of the lake, but the body of it stretches for miles North until the end of the Dekampe Mountains.
- In their path lies a large, fallen tree trunk with a gruff man sitting atop of it. Forseeing the motives of this obvious Bandit, Sylvio cuts him off at the pass, claiming they’ll not be taken for their money. Raizel felt a more… subtle approached was called for, so he motioned for his companions to leave unseen out the back of the carriage.
- While Sylvio continued his banter with the Bandit, Raizel slapped the horse into a crazed gallop headed straight for the fallen tree! It landed with a resounding CRASH and knocked the Bandit from his sitting post.
- Wild and unseen arrows flew from the trees surrounding them and a fire sprung up, seemingly out of nowhere. Elwyn took to defense against what Bandits he could see on the ground while Sylvio arced throwing knives through the air at the hidden foes that sniped from the branches. Tom saw the fire and ran off behind the copse, screaming something.
- Proving his worth with a blade tenfold, Raizel did away with the lead Bandit as well most of his fellow ambushers at little cost except for bloodying his falchion.
- After the bodies hit the grass, they hear two sets of yelling close by. It’s Tom and, surprisingly, Boris Nevlo the Conjurer. They are about 15 feet apart, but locked in a struggle of arcane nature. There’s a perceived blue arua emanating from Tom’s hands that seem to be restraining the all-the-more vicious red aura flaming wildly from Boris’ entire body.