Corpsmen on duty: Bootlip Shenanigans, Neitue, Draxx, Jay
The Corps woke early on the fifth day of their foray through time; they had to prepare for their meeting. The air blowing in from the glassless windows of their lodgings was already warm, promising a hot day. Under normal circumstances, they could afford a much roomier place to stay the night, but they had to lay low in case the law was after them. As they went about their business, a man appeared in their room with a flash and a bang. He pulled a sheet of paper from his collar, unfolded it ceremoniously, and cleared his throat.
"Hello, I am Arnaud, a messenger angel of Pelor. I am looking for the Goomba Corps," he announced.
After a brief pause, Bootlip spoke up, "That's us."
"I am here to speak to you about your actions two days ago. Kidnapping that cleric of ours and tying him to a tree." This was met with groggy silence. Arnaud took care to look them all levelly in the eyes. He then looked back to his paper.
"Nasty thing to do. I'm sure you had your reasons, but that was just unnacceptable." To Arnaud's consternation, the silence continued. The responses he had come to expect were tearful apologies or crazed threats. Silence was new. Sometimes the visitees would be shocked into silence, but they'd start babbling quickly enough. Maybe these guys were just slow? As the silence continued, he looked around the room. He didn't see shock on any of the faces present. He saw mild surprise, mild interest, mild concern, mild puzzlement, mild intoxication, mild regret, and mild contempt, but nothing he would call shock. Maintaining his poker face, Arnaud continued.
"Well, don't do it again. Since this was your first offense, we'll let you off this time. If you don't have any questions, I'll be on my way." His audience seemed to approve of this idea, so, with a flash and a bang, he left.
Bootlip, Neitue, Draxx and Jay went out to handle the meeting. They arrived at the meeting hall an hour early. Neitue, Draxx and Jay hid in the rafters. All three had ropes to lower themselves down with. Draxx held a pot of oil and a lighter. Jay held a near empty flask of gutbuster. Neitue held himself.
A wily looking woman in a heavy, hooded cloak entered the hall right on time. Bootlip concluded this must be the infamous "Boss" of the East Residential gang. She scanned the room for traps, but didn't see any. She couldn't shake the feeling that something was suspicious, but stepped forward to the end of the table. Bootlip stood at the other end. "I assume you must be the representative from the organization," she stated. Bootlip confirmed this, and asked her if there were any subjects she wished to discuss at the meeting. "Well, I've been watching you people for a while, and think we have similar interests." Bootlip thought this sounded interesting, and wondered if perhaps it would be wiser not to get on this woman's bad side just yet. Jay thought the woman was probably not so bad, even though she ran a gang, and wondered if perhaps she was just misunderstood. However, Jay is usually friendlier when under the influence anyway.
"What do you mean, you people?" asked Bootlip, for clarification.
"The organization in general, not just you and your cohorts," the Boss explained. "What I mean is that I, as a Druid, draw my power from the wild, and, if I'm not mistaken, you are an organization of environmentalists." Bootlip thought about how to answer this, but the conversation was derailed by a shriek from the woman across the table. "What is the meaning of this?" she screamed as a Bugbear wearing gold chains walked in through the door. This Bugbear she recognized as Big Tommy. She lifted her walking stick, obviously with the intention to do something other than walk. Tommy halted and considered the situation carefully. There were two people in the room he did not know, and he was supposed to meet one of them. He couldn't figure out which. He bit his lip and tried to think about it.
"What do you think it is?" shouted Bootlip in reply, for sincere lack of a good answer. The Dragonborn jumped upon the table, shouted "Signal!" and loosed an arrow at the Bugbear. The arrow flew out into the hall. Draxx was quick to recognize this as the signal they had agreed upon earlier, and lit his pot of oil, then dropped it on Big Tommy. The Tiefling slid down his rope as Tommy caught fire, and tried to stab him in the moment of confusion. Unfortunately, he swung to far on the rope and missed. Jay was next to react. With a mighty roar and a drunken mumble, he jumped from his rafter. He swung on his rope with a song to Lagassethon on his lips. The Dwarf collided with Big Tommy, the razors on his armor digging deep into the mobster's flesh. Both Dwarf and Bugbear sailed into the hallway outside, and landed in a heap. Neitue was the third to react, and got tangled in his rope.
Out in the hallway, Big Tommy quickly stood up, and, still burning, pulled his morningstar from his belt. This he swung at the prone Jay. It was a mighty blow, and it knocked the Dwarf back into the meeting hall. The Boss was, at this point, thoroughly confused, and decided she would just stand back and watch the fray.
Draxx dropped nimbly from his rope, and readied his sling. He loaded a glue bullet stolen from the Kobolds, and slung it at Big Tommy. It hit him squarely, and he was immobilized. Jay stood from the ground and proclaimed the soup of the day, "Broccoli and Cheddar!" This announcement pleased his deity and his comrades. He shown with divine light, his allies were inspired, and were fortified with the promise of this soup. Big Tommy, on the other hand, was worried and confused by this announcement. Neitue got himself free from the rope.
As Big Tommy struggled to free himself from the burning glue, Draxx moved in and struck powerfully with his shortsword. Unfortunately, he lost some of the force of his blow to the glue. Still, Big Tommy cried out, and in response some of his rabble came out of hiding in the hall. Jay quickly dealt with one. Bootlip charged across the table, and, with a flying leap, stabbed his longsword into Big Tommy. Neitue carefully shimmied down his rope.
Big Tommy broke free of the glue that bound him, and the fires on his body fizzled out. With a bellow, he swung at Draxx and connected with a solid blow. Draxx backpedalled, which left him open to attack. Big Tommy hit him again, and this time he was down for the count. However, Bootlip quickly finished the bugbear off, and Jay cleared up the gangsters in the hall. Neitue planted his feet firmly on the ground and adjusted his mask.
With the commotion over, Jay set the cooking gear that he always keeps somewhere on his person (???), and concocted his promised soup of the day. As he cooked, he drank, and the rest nursed their wounds. Bootlip approached The Boss, still standing against the wall, and said, "So, you were saying…?"
The Boss took a moment to collect herself, and tried to pick up the conversation from where it left off. "So, I think working together would benefit both of us. Just to show my use, I'll tell you something important. As I'm sure you are well aware, the keys to The Tower are a pair of magical helm crests. One of them is nearby, This I know, because I can feel what an abomination on the land it is. I though that goblin and his gang might have had it. Maybe they do, but I'm beginning to doubt it." With this statement, she narrowed her eyes at Bootlip. The Corpsmen realized she was probably talking about the silver crest they found with the Soulstones as she described it in more detail. She had read a great deal about thes things in books.
"So you would also like The Tower destroyed?" asked Bootlip.
The Boss nodded. "I've learned to draw power from the Wendigo, and as they profit, I profit."
"Those Grue tried to kill us!" exclaimed Jay.
Bootlip waved Jay away and told the Boss to continue.
She blinked. "Anyway, I'm willing to help. I am in charge of one of the gangs here, which will surely be an asset."
"That'sh funny, we're trying to khill them!" Jay had again snuck up behind Bootlip and butted into the conversation. Apparently he was quite thirsty, because he emptied the flask he was carrying and pulled another from his belt. He then went back to his pot and began distributing soup and tending to Draxx's injuries.
Bootlip cleared his throat. "We will need you to disband that gang."
The Boss pulled a piece of paper from her cloak, and offered it to Bootlip. "Fine, I only used it for a little extra income. Besides, I don' think much of it will be left at the end of today. I'm sure some of Big Tommy's have spread the word. There will be pandamonium in the streets, and probably some people waiting for you outside the building. This is my card, give it to your higher ups so they can find me." She handed the card over, turned, and stepped through the wall.
"Thanksh for nuffin, you she bshhh…" grumbled Jay.
A few minutes later, the group had gathered in the foyer. Knowing they would have to fight their way out, they rallied themselves with battlecries like "Let's do this!" "Hoo-ah!" and "Shaff Boi Ar'di!" Once all were feeling appropriately light-headed, they got into a defensive formation, and, with a collectively fearsome shout, they charged out the door, with Jay leading the charge.
Outside raged a small war. The streets were flooded with gangsters who fought tooth and nail. Some had weapons, but others tore through the fray with hands bare but for the blood of the slain. These people /no, these were no longer people, these beasts/ looked like they intended to tear the city down. Frighteningly, they had the numbers to do it. There were nearly two hundred just in the plaza outside the Hall Building. When the grand doors of this building flew open with a crash that, for some anomaly of acoustics, carried across all of High Hill, the brawlers all stopped and turned to look. Out into the sudden silence ran four people, shouting. They skidded to a halt and quickly quieted down, and stared blankly back at the hundreds before them. "Oh," said Jay.
After another moment of silence, the mob remembered what they were there for. The fighting resumed, and several dozen encircled the four Corpsmen. As they came running, Neitue stepped to the front. "I got this," he said with a smile, and swung his longsword before him. Huge gouts of flame erupted from the blade. They blasted holes in the crowd, which allowed Jay the elbow room he needed. He flung two of his throwing hammers into the crowd. Taking cover behind the sturdy Dwarf, Draxx fired crossbow bolts into the crowd. After firing a few arrows, Bootlip decided he was making no progress with his bow. He put it away and forged into the crowd with his longsword. As the party began to wear down, city guards joined the fray. Bootlip hailed the guards, and regrouped the Corps into a spearhead formation. He loosed an inspiring roar, and lead the Corps and guards in a charge through the mob.
The group climbed to the roof of a defensible building, probably someone's home. On the roof they stood against the mob. They held the mob off until the late afternoon, when, suddenly, the fighting stopped. The people were spent, and many were dead. The mobsters lacked the endurance for a long riot. Gerelli's armed forces were suprisingly effective despite their past inactivity.
After answering some questions from the guards, the party was left standing in the empty street. "So, what's the next order of business?" asked Bootlip. Neitue shrugged.
"Maybe we should set up that meeting for the old woman. Lemme see her card." Neitue took the card from Bootlip. "It says her name is 'Ylva,' and to contact her we just tear the card in half. Just need to get a hold of someone from the Organization to talk about a meeting time. Where can we find some o' these peeps?"
Draxx, savvy as ever, suggested they check the bar first. Hearing this, Jay leapt into the air, clicked his heels, and hit the ground running.