Hidden Treasures

Cut to San Cristobal

The heroes travedl 3 days over the mountains and came to the outskirts of San Cristobal.  They were stopped by a patrol but quick thinking by Anika and some goats helped the party enter the area un-molested.

Rodrigo found the house of an old friend, but it was abandoned so the heroes made it into a make-shift safe house.  Rodrigo used his Rilasciare contacts to try and reach Hernando but was not able.

So on the next night, they went to the Red Petal and met with Carmen.  Lou realized Carmen was part of Sophia's Daughters but didn't want to blow her cover.  The rest of the party enjoyed the party of Los Barrachos.

Carmen told the ladies that she could help arrange passage out of the city and to meet in the Bishop's square tomorrow morning at 9 am to steal their stuff back, and flee.

The journey to Alta Mira

Once aboard the Hidden Fortune, the group healed and rested.  A few days at sea allowed them time to make friends with the crew and catch up on each other's stories.

The Heroes learned about Anika's past and why she needed to retrieve the artifacts she left behind.  They also learned a few interesting tid-bits about each other.

On the 3rd day, they arrived in Alta Mira and gathered supplies for an over-land return.  The first night they stayed at the hacienda of a local innkeeper named Luciano and his three daughters, Teresa, Luisa, and Margarita.

Rodrigo stayed up and drank bottle after bottle of wine with Luciano and learned that Lucianos wife was murdered by the son of a local Don.  And after Rodrigo went to bed, Luciano left to get revenge on the Don.

The group followed Luciano to the Don's estate, battled through wave after wave of guards, to confront Luciano and the Don's son, Marcos.  In the battle, Marcos escaped… but the group knew he would come after Luciano and his family – so they returned as quickly as possible and helped the family escape with them over the mountains towards San Cristobal.

Escape from San Cristobal
Part 1

The scene opens with Katja, Lou, Anika, and an unidentified woman brought out into a large town square.  They are led up a wooden platform that sits between a large fountain and the open balcony of the Bishop's apartments in the top of the basilica. 

They are to be 'put to the question' in front of the Bishop and the gathered crowd.  Knowing that this is usually fatal for the victims, Rodrigo, Yohan, and Bauldric (with the help of Hernando, Gustavo, Sebastian, and the crew of the Hidden Fortune) make a plan to rescue them.

After the ladies are brought to the platform and the rest of the heroes were in place, Gustavo fires a shot in the air that starts a panic, and the battle began.  Rodrigo went through the Basilica to confront the Bishop up on his balcony, and the rest of the heroes freed the women.  Once free, Anika, Lou, and Katja made quick work of their captors.

Fleeing to the carriage, the heroes made their escape into the town pursued by the City Guards on horseback.  Bauldric used the swivel cannon to clear some of the guards from their tail, but the rough ride through the streets caused the horse yoke shaft snapped.  Rodrigo and Gustavo leapt onto it to try and prevent the horses from running away as well as turn the carriage from crashing into a wall.  Unfortunately, the carriage still crashed, but the heroes jumped into a hay cart and a fish cart near by.

Once off the carriage, the heroes ran for the ship through the docks while some fought the guards to allow the others to escape.

With some clever explosions, the group made it to the Hidden Fortune and were able to flee the bay into open water…

The Bishop's wrath

Session Intro Text for Katja and Lou:
For the first time in weeks, you feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.  The heat is like a weight on you after so much time in the cool, dank dungeon cell.  Sweat immediately forms on your skin.

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You hear the voices of the crowd shouting.  Some in shock and disgust, others in joy.  The rancid odor of the hood assaults your nose but it is a welcome relief from the stench of your cell.   You’re still wearing the clothes you were captured in, but they are now torn and stained with filth.

Suddenly, the chain around your wrists yanks you forward and you stumble, but catch yourself before falling.  You’re led 30 paces that seem like 100 to your soft bare feet.  The rough hands of the guard holding your elbow says, “Steps.  Climb.”  You take 5 steps up and are led to a stop.  “Stand here,” he grunts.

The black cloth hood disappears from over your head and the sunlight blinds you for several moments.  You squint against it and glance about.

You’re on a wooden platform, roughly 30 feet by 40 feet.  It is in the center of a large city square.  Arrayed on the table in front of you are several tools and devices, all showing cruel sharp edges and spikes.  Each one appears to be a a more cruel form of torture.  

You both stand chained together a few feet apart, along with Anika and another unknown woman, Castillian or Vodaccian by her skin color.  The people in the square now unconcerned by your ragged appearance.  Two merchants standing at the foot of the platform are casually chatting about the latest troop deployments against the Montaingian invaders as if you do not even exist, but others look on you with pity, even mercy.

You look further out, across the crowd of maybe 40 or 50 people is a balcony, and seated on it is Bishop Diego Francisco.  You recognize his beady eyes hidden within the folds of his enormously fat face from the times he has come to your cell to offer you a chance to ‘find forgiveness through the cleansing flames of the Prophet.”  After seeing the horrible burn scars on another prisoner, you never gave into his offers.  Sweat beads on his brow.  He stands and the crowd hushes in immediate response.

“In nominee prophetae, et creatore, et potestas ecclesiae vaticine, incipimus et benedicam,” he says in a clear bass voice.  He lifts his hand and makes the sign of the Prophet’s Cross, then pauses a moment and looks each of you in the eye before saying “Alcalde Garcia, you may begin..”

The Alcalde, a short whip of a man with a thin mustache, steps forward from behind you and begins to read out offences.  He moves from person to person.  The charges range from “sins against the prophets” to “practitioner of sorcery”.  Finally, he ends with Anika as he recites her crimes -“possession, transportation, and use of Syrneth objects…and lastly, “he pauses for dramatic effect and the crowd seems to hold its breath. “Murder of one of the Most Holy Inquisition Questioners”.  He glares at the crowd as shouts of “Purify the wicked!” and “She is with Legion!” tumble over you.

The Bishop stands and says, “bring the first heretic before us so that we may bring her into Theus’s grace.  May the Prophet’s guide us.”

The Alcalde will grab the unknown woman, unchain her from the rest, and move her to a chair in the front of the platform.  There, he straps her down with leather bindings.

“My Child, you have been brought to the Questioning because your crimes must be answered for before your immortal soul is released to Theus.  You must meet him with a clean and penitent heart or be cast into Legion forever.  What we do here is to save you.  Will you admit to your crimes and accept the first punishments for your deeds?”

The woman glares across the crowd but her resolve breaks quickly.  “I’ve done nothing!  I swear it, Bishop Francisco!” 

The Alcalde swings his baton against her shins and she shouts in pain.  “SILENCE! You will either admit your crimes and accept the Prophet’s justice or you will have your tongue pulled out!”  Some in the crowd shout in excitement.  Some cry for mercy.  The Bishop simply gazes at her."


The Story so far...

Previously on “Hidden Treasures”….
With Katja (Greta) already in Castille for the last 2-3 months, she has been working with Rodrigo (Dan) to set up meetings with his Rilasciare contacts.  She hopes that someone within the Free Thinkers Society can help her get her father released from prison, but the loose organization has not been quick to trust a 'young noble girl from that backwater country'.  At their last meeting with Rodrigo's contact, Katja gave him a few copied sketches from her father's journal to show them that there could be a huge benefit from helping her rescue her father…
Meanwhile, Bauldric(Aidan) and Lou(Claudia) set out to find his sister.  Leaving Montaigne, they booked passage on the merchant ship, 'The Hidden Fortune', to travel to the Gallegos province of Un-occupied Castille to discover her fate.  The captain of the 'Fortune', a large Vesten named "Captain Yohan"(Ed), took an instant liking to Lou.  He was fascinated by this young Montaignian woman that was just as tough as anyone he'd ever met.  Over the month-long voyage, Bauldric and Lou became good friends with Yohan.  During the last week of their trip, the Fortune was attacked by a Vodacce privateer brigantine.  It was then that The Hidden Fortune's true colors flew up the mast.  Hidden heavy gun ports opened, unleashing hell at the Vodacce vessel.  Captain Yohan and his crew moved like veterans and soon had their attacker at their mercy.  Captain Yohan divided his crew and 1/2 of his men boarded and took control of the brigantine.  Yohan told them to sail for 'home' with the prize while he continued to Castille.  It was then that Lou and Bauldric understood that Yohan was a member of the Pirate Isles. 
At first, Bauldric grew angry and attempted to duel Yohan, but Lou interceded.  Yohan then told his tale of how he was imprisoned unjustly, and Bauldric realized that sometimes justice is not the letter of the law. 
They made port where Yohan's skeleton crew offloaded their goods, and Lou and Bauldric tried to find out what happened to his sister from Lou's contact in town.  It turned out that his sister had been captured by the local Inquisition and had been sent to a cathedral dungeon for judgement and 'questioning'. 
Yohan pledged he and his crew's support to help break her out.  Under cover of darkness they assaulted the dungeon, but the Inquisition was ready for them.  Somehow, they had been warned.  Yohan and Bauldric were able to escape, but Lou was captured…  Her trial was to begin in 40 days after her 'questioning' had been completed.
At the same time, Katja and Rodrigo had met with their contact again.  He put them in touch with a local member of the Invisible College operating out of a legal office in town.  When they went to meet him, they were captured in an Inquisition raid.  Katja was thrown in a cell with a Montaignian woman who turned out to be Lou, and Rodrigo was sent to El Inmundo, a dungeon under El Catedral del Penitente.
Katja and Lou languished in the Inquisition prison for 3 weeks while Baudric and Yohan plotted their rescue.  But Rodrigo's Rilasciare friends were able to free him during a prisoner transport due to the lower dungeon becoming flooded (caused by the Rilasciare of course).
Rodrigo told them about his friend, Katja, who was still imprisoned and they began their plot to free her.  While making these plans, they learned of Bauldric and Yohan… and decided to team up.
Kayta, Lou, and Bauldric's sister are all scheduled to be 'put to the question' in the public square.  Since these torture sessions typically end in the death of the 'acusado', the rescuers are planning to free them during the transport from the dungeon to the square.


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