Fury in Freeport

Part Twelve

Just Dessert(s)?


In the small hours of the night, deep in the rickety shanty town of Freeport’s Bloodsalt district, Willard, the half-orc duellist, having learned of the location of Sardaine, makes his way to the end of the lane and finds a large shack bearing that name, accompanied with the symbol of a fish. There is then, however, a slight problem; Willard is unable to locate the front door to the establishment – he can see light coming from within and the sound of people drinking, but after completing a full circuit he is at a loss. Searching more intently he finally finds the edge of what he thinks is the door and gives it a hearty tug – as a section of the tavern’s wall is ripped away the duellist is greeted with the astonished faces of the stunned patrons and the somewhat angry face of the owner, Sardaine. The Orc barkeep, spiked club in hand, demands to know what is going on and Willard manages to avoid a severe beating at the last moment by disclosing that he has been sent by Nargil. Sardaine takes Willard aside at the back of the bar-shack and is given the message from the Bloody Nose gang leader, that Mote is dead and that Karcil should now be taken out. Sardaine mulls over the information and reveals that he is the gang’s quarter master; he then tells Willard that he will need his help in executing the plan as he is short of men. He then sends Goldie, his goblin runner, to fetch the gang’s Orc foot soldiers, all six of them, and then suggests a suitable plan of action to Willard. While waiting for the gang members to turn up the barkeep supplies Willard with a rusty but very sharp sabre and two firebombs. A short time later the foot-soldiers turn up and are given instructions to follow Willard’s commands and to take him to Mote’s residence – Addocks.

After a quick manoeuvre through the shanty town, the group arrive outside of Addocks. Willard, not wanting to unnecessarily expose himself to danger, orders one of his Orcs to walk up to the building and throw a firebomb at the front door, thus trapping all the inhabitants inside. The Orc gang-member receives detailed instructions in how to accomplish this straightforward task and duly bimbles over to the front door of the establishment and promptly manages to accidentally set fire to himself, thus waking up the inhabitants. As a puzzled Orc opens and looks out of the upstairs shutters, Willard throws the remaining firebomb, which falls desperately short of the window and instead sets the bottom left hand corner of the building alight. At this, two armed defenders burst out through the front door and a frantic melee ensues in which Willard manages to kill them both with his sabre, but also receives a grazing shot to the ribs in the process. One of his gang then manages to catch himself on fire whilst trying to put out the first casualty, and another member of the Bloody Nose gang is shot in the back following a very specific order from Willard concerning a door. In the middle of the savage fight Willard spots the goblin leader, Mote, inside the burning fishmongers, surrounded by a trio of bodyguards, one of whom is taken out shortly after running one of the Bloody Nose boys through with a pike. Willard then springs into the shop and manages to intimidate one of the bodyguards to leave without a fight and then attacks the remaining one, killing him. Unprotected, Mote attempts to defend himself but he is little match for the battle-hardened duellist who makes short work of him. Once the desired target has been illuminated, Willard loots the weapons of the fallen, securing a flintlock pistol and a musket; the last standing member of his attack party then enters the building and is about to tell him something when flaming timbers fall down and kills him; seconds later the entire entrance collapses into a burning heap and Willard is seemingly trapped, until he remembers how flimsy and fragile all the building s of Bloodsalt are and simply breaks down the nearest wall and walks out into the night air. He then departs the scene, cold bloodily killing the last surviving member of his gang and carries a bundle of weapons held in his arms. He slowly makes his way back to Sardaines, tired and slightly annoyed from all the action and mishaps along the way.

Elsewhere, emerging from the ruined temple, treasure chest in hands and pursued by zombies, the pirates of The Golden Ram attempt to flee back to the row boat on the beach. Crossing the open plain and reaching the jungle edge proves no difficulty for the group but a gathering stream of the undead is spilling out from the temple entrance and giving pursuit – their shambling steps steady and unrelenting in their progress. Etienne and Menage take turns to give covering fire as they enter the jungle and many of the pursuing undead fall, but the is plenty other re-animated corpses in their stead to take their place. As they struggle through the undergrowth with the laden chest the zombies close in and as the frantic defensive firing continues, Etienne drops his flintlock on a reload; something he does repeatedly over the next few frantic bloody minutes. Zan’thire, depleted of most of magic, still has enough energy to cast one last illusion spell which succeeds in leading off the vanguard of the approaching undead; which buys the group some precious time to keep pushing on through the dense foliage and trees.

As the group pushes on, Smiling Jack becomes aware of something rushing at him through the jungle undergrowth – he spots its flailing spindly limbs and recognises it as the Arenea that he fought earlier. He turns and flees in terror and manages to catch up with the main body of the group and the chest but the unholy creature springs at the First Mate and grasps him in its many legs, delivering another venomous bite, this one paralysing Smiling Jack. Etienne manages to shoot the creature off Smiling Jack and Menage quickly finishes it off; the murderous Zan’thire, strangely affected by recent events, uncharacteristically begins to aid the helpless First Mate by pulling him along after the chest. Disaster strikes as the group suddenly find their path to the beach blocked by a deadfall of trees which will be difficult and time-consuming to move around. At this, Perdin appears to be struggling with the chest and a seemingly impatient Captain Lubbock orders the exasperated mage to exchange places with Menage – the frantic group, all fearing for their lives at this point, shout their protests but it proves fruitless as the angered Captain appears to be in no mood to listen.

With all the internal wrangling, the lack of defensive fire and the time lost trying to get around the deadfall, the undead horde catches up to the group; Zan’thire, finally coming to his selfish senses realises that death is approaching and chooses to abandon Smiling Jack to his fate and runs away from the group, ignoring the Captain’s threats. Etienne, bold and brave pirate crewman, tries to come to the First Mate’s rescue but is overwhelmed by the number of zombies and receives a series of fatal bites; his body falls on top of Smiling Jack and this saves the First Mate from dyeing immediately, but as soon as the horde has finished chewing through Etienne it moves on to him and he is helpless to stop them. Zan’thire’s intention is to get to the row boat first but in his terror he makes a fatal mistake and heads off in the wrong direction; realising that he has gone wrong he changes direction again and only manages to meet back up with the group as the finally clear the deadfall. Perdin,having watched his arch nemesis, Zan’thire, flee into the jungle, tries to follow suit but the Captain holds him at gun point, threatening to shoot him dead if he makes a move – he also keeps trying to command Perdin to go back and help Etienne but the mage is having none of it as he knows that it would be certain suicide. While held at a stand still, arguing, the stream of undead reaches the group once more and Perdin suddenly finds his path blocked and he is surrounded by the unwholesome creatures who make short work of him. Lubbock urges the horrified Menage onwards and they are suddenly clear of the jungle and are finally on the beach – the row boat is now in sight.

Zan’thire tries to sprint ahead but only succeeds in tripping up in the sand and suddenly he too is surrounded by the revenants who quickly tear him to shreds – an ignoble end to the deadly disgraced royal murderer. As the undead cover the beach and continue their relentless deadly pursuit Lubbock and Menage manage to lift the heavy trunk into the rowboat before quickly diving into it themselves. Fortunately for the frantic matlos it’s dusk and the tide has begun to rise, enabling them to avoid having to push the boat out; instead they grab the oars and manage to push the boat out just as the lead zombie reaches out for them. The last two surviving members of the party row to freedom; the beach and its zombie horde receding in the darkness and the distance. And thus Captain Lubbock’s lethal schemes concerning the treasure horde of Captain Scarmanger (whom he recently murdered in Freeport) has come to bloody fruition. He rows back to The Golden Ram with a satisfied smile, secure in the knowledge that he has managed to dupe his whole crew as to the reason for coming to the Archipelago of Shadows & Strife and then deliberately wiped out nearly all of the away party that helped secure the chest full of treasure – thereby avoiding any requirement to share his new found fortune. Hopefully Menage, a savvy and now battle hardened pirate, will be able to successfully negotiate a new role for himself as The Golden Ram’s new First Mate.




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