What follows is a report of the Broken Sword adventuring company and our works within the town of Highgate.
We were instructed to enter the town as anonymous wanderers and attempt to make connections with any supporters of the Duke we could locate. It was of utmost importance to appear unattached to Colm, and to only reveal ourselves to the right people. We had one clue: the Sprig and Ribbon.
We entered the city disguised as merchants, and took up residence at the Stonebough Inn, convenient in location as well as services; they had a fine stable and a rousing ale house in the common room. The proprietor of the Stonebough (Hamish Stonebough, appropriately) appears kind, welcoming, and even more importantly, amenable to our cause.
Our first connection within Colm was Bennic Cumberbatch, an alchemist that had the sigil of a sprig and ribbon on his store front. He revealed himself as a Duke supporter and proved invaluable as a source of information. He connects us to a cleric at the Templestone bailey, and gives us the name of one of the guards. He also tells us that he has been making large amounts of alchemists fire for the Keep. He knows little about it, except that as fast as he makes it, it is picked up by members of the Harl’s guard. He also tells us of a legend he knows, about tunnels that lead under the city and end at the Keep. Sadly he doesn’t know where they start, or whether they are real.
The Wolves worked around the clock searching for information, and we had soon made connections with the cleric, Roland. Ben discovered where the stash of alchemists fire was being kept, Kilja and Zadok gained intel on a huge shipment of arms, and Ambrose learns from the cleric that the Harl is indeed mounting an attack. Troops are being dispatched to a training camp outside of town. He also knows some facts about the tunnels. It seems they lead from a basement in the Keep to a kennel in the middle of town.
Next we connected with Kerrick Summerhall, a member of the Keep’s guard. He confirms Roland’s story about the training camp in an abandoned mining camp south of the town by about 6 leagues. He gives us a sense of the feeling about Highgate under the Harl’s rule. Fear seems to rule this town. The town is clean and devoid of the usual poor and hungry that gather around towns such as these. While quiet and pleasant, it is eerily so. It seems the Harl has outlawed any but those that have proven to be worthy to live in Highgate. While Kerrick doesn’t agree with the Harl’s ideas, he isn’t sure how many people in town agree with him. An uprising may not be possible when so many fear the consequences of rebelling against the Harl. He warns us to avoid Janus Blackmoor, the head of the garrison guard, and the large, possibly Drakish, emissaries that have been guarding the Harl.
We headed to the kennel master to see if we could sway him to our side, or at least find the entrance to the Keep and sneak past him. We met the man and purchased a dog named Daisy for Zadok in an attempt to befriend the kennel master, but it was no use. Tarn, the kennel master, seemed staunchly in favor of the Harl, or at least staunchly against poking his nose where it didn’t belong. We thought we would be able to sway his assistant, Dogboy, though. He was a large, slow fellow. And we did see something interesting: the pen next to Daisy was clean and unused, and seemed to be built of a different stone than the others. This was a good a place as any to look for the entrance to the undergound tunnel. We would have to return under the cover of night, to be sure.
Now was the time to send the precious Scroll of Sending off to Althus. We would infiltrate the Keep through the tunnels and find the Harl. We also let Althus know the exact location of the training camp that Terk had so cunningly located for us. They returned our message that they would be about a week and a half out. But we all agreed there was no time to lose. The plan would begin that night. While we snuck through the kennel, Ben and Ambrose would light the alchemists fire. Our hopes were that the guard would be so distracted by the blaze that fewer guards would be available to stop us as we entered the Keep to look for the Harl.
We left for the kennel with a sleeping potion concocted by Bennic to slip to Tarn, hidden in a skin of wine. He drank the wine gratefully and was soon asleep. As Zadok distracted Dogboy, I found the secret catch that unlocked the doors to the tunnels, but before we could slip inside unseen, Dogboy caught on to our plan. There was no choice but to tie him up along with the kennel master. We left our Highgate allies, Roland and Bennic, to guard the entrance and followed the tunnel.
The tunnel was a maze of dead ends and secret doors. it led through the dungeons of the Keep, then up through a secret staircase. Finally we broke out into a lavish room with tapestries on the walls, a 4 poster bed and a fine wardrobe opposite. A man sits in the room, dressed in fancy clothes and armed with a sword. He called out, “who’s there?” just as the alchemist fire blew in an echoing explosion that shook the foundations of the Keep.
A battle ensued between the Harl, his guards, and the large ogreish emissary, but though they fought wickedly, they were no match for the Broken Sword. We cleverly mixed magic and might to chip away at the enemy and finally took down the Harl. Ben insisted on bringing the head.
We snuck out, back the way we had came but found the exit blocked by Janus Blackmoor and some of his troops. He pulled out a gigantic magical sword, but before he could swing it, Ambrose blinded him with a burst of lightning, and extinguished most of the guard (along with Dogboy who turned out to be an ogre) and knocked Blackmoor to the ground. The party disagreed about what to do with him, half were insistent on killing him, while half of us were resigned to let him live. He might prove useful after all. In the end, he was allowed to live as our prisoner and Ambrose and I were allowed to try and persuade him to our side, though he would be given over to the Duke in the end.
Though we tried, Janus never became the Duke’s man, though we found him to be civil. He is staunchly loyal and a Harl’s man to the end. He would have made a valuable soldier, but it seems he would rather die than go to the other side. I can’t understand it completely, but I admire his courage.
The rest of the week passes, and Kerrick Summerhall is put into a position of power. Hamish, Roland, and Bennic gather together any supporters of the Duke that are willing to come out into the open, now that the Harl’s power has been extinguished. Althus arrives as expected and led a small contingent of soldiers into Highgate to establish order and give us our due reward. He has a rough battle ahead of him-the Harl had nearly bankrupted Highgate to fund the army and the uprising. Kerrick is promoted to Captain of the Guard and we take our leave, our work finished.
We stock up, with some highly prized items that we were able to buy with the fine money that the Duke supplied us, and headed off once again. Adventure and glory awaits us!!