Our brave heroes discussed their plans at length on how to capture the Black Hand Gang, perpetrators of a series of heinous murders on the Freidvale waterfront. Some wanted to parade Oberon along the docks until the killer took the bait. They eventually decided to take some of the gold they had acquired from Oberon that bore the symbol of a scorpion and spend it at the Skinny Puppy Tavern, hoping that the killer would hear word of this and track them back to Oberon's house. Fallister was chosen to carry out the mission with his silver tongue, while Karsh would provide backup should things go south.
And south they went. The bartender, a Halfling named Rolf, immediately tried to drug Fallister when he flashed the scorpion gold and asked for a drink. Fallister was not so easily drugged, rolling high on his Fort save. Karsh readied his sword, a half orc in the tavern readied her axe, but Fallister quickly de-escalated the situation with some calming words. Fallister agreed to give the bar patrons 50 gp in exchange for foregoing any hostilities, and the denizens of the Skinny Puppy readily agreed. Karsh was dispatched to fetch the additional gold, while Fallister lost 4 copper in a game of Old Maid with two scarred elves named Benny and Joon. When Karsh returned with the gold, the bartender offered Fallister another drink, just to show there were no hard feelings. The drink was drugged yet again, and despite profuse apologies from Rolf, Karsh and Fallister quickly took their leave.
The party made preparations for attack back in Oberon's basement. They didn't wait long. Karsh stood guard by the door, shadows flickering in the dim candlelight. He heard the tiniest creaking of the floorboards above them at midnight, and quickly woke the others. Moments later, Joon, one of the elves from the Skinny Puppy, leapt from the shadows to attack. A vicious brawl broke out, with Joon expertly diving between Karsh and Brog without a scratch to flank the half orc between herself and her compatriot, Benny, who had appeared in the stairway. The party launched several tanglefoot bags (at the walls), while the fighters and rogues exchanged blows. Brog was brought low by a strike from Joon, but was quickly revived by healing from Vocifera. Meanwhile Karsh and Brog had managed to deal considerable damage to Benny, who was spitting blood. The tide finally turned when Tannis grappled Joon, rendering her largely helpless as she was unable to break the grapple. The monk rained blows down upon her, while Karsh pursued the fleeing Benny up the stairs. The party converged on Joon and rendered her unconscious.
The party debated on whether to revive Joon or let her bleed out. Brog was the voice of reason on this one, wanting to question her first. Vocifera healed her enough to stop the bleeding. Joon promised not to cross the party again, saying they had learned their lesson. The party kept her weapons and magical items: a rapier, a returning dagger and a magical belt, but let Joon live to fight another day. An additional reward for their efforts was that they had earned enough experience to reach level 2.
Having been a night of considerable energy expenditure, the party set watches and rested. They didn't rest for long as a crash from upstairs woke the group and brought them to full alert status. A man in red emerged from the staircase, did some nifty martial arts moves in rapid succession, and left little doubt in the party's minds that this was the infamous Centipede, believed to be the perpetrator of the Black Hand murders. The Centipede moved quickly and disarmed Karsh, who immediately drew another weapon. Vocifera threw her returning dagger, only to have it snatched from the air by the nimble Centipede. His hands now full, the party attacked him in earnest. Tannis struck true with her oddly-named weapon whose name I can never remember or spell, Brog hacked away with his twin axes, and Karsh landed some shots with a long sword. Were it not for their recently acquired new abilities, the party might have been doomed, but instead they prevailed after a tough fight. Even Vocifera landed at least two critical hits with a regular dagger when her healing spells were exhausted. They bound the defeated foe hand and foot and brought him to the fortress for trial.
Lord Gormless Fatsbury, Duke and ruler of the city of Freidvale, was delighted by the news that the killer had at last been apprehended, and he invited the party to a... well, a party at his castle. Brog, Tannis and Fallister accepted while Vocifera, fearing she would be discriminated against as an elf, stayed in Oberon's basement with Karsh. They needn't have worried, so it turned out, as Lord Gormless revealed his master at arms was a Drow, a dark elf. The Duke explained his love of the undercity of Detropolis and his fascination with the races that populated it. He brought the three heroes to his armory and gave them special gifts, hand wraps for the Monk, a sword for Karsh and an axe for Brog. Lord Fatsbury explained that these weapons were used in the Third War for the White Plains, and area filled with the undead, and that each of the weapons had the special quality of enabling the wielder to affect non-corporeal creatures. He then led the party down to his stables where he introduced them to Caius, a trained rhinoceros mount that he had personally ridden into battle in their youth. He also showed them Cassiopeia, a dire bat mount, and Brutus, a giant spider mount ridden by his Drow master at arms.
The session was ended just as the other party guests arrived.