[This is the fifth in a series of in-character recaps of a DnD session I’m running in attempt to make what is traditionally a super boring part of DnD a much more fun one. It’s following the “Rise of the Sun King” via the eyes of reporter Aubrey “The Quill”. Check out last week’s here, and check back next week for pt. 6! This one was titled “Gramore Hodgehollow Acts Calm in the Face of Unseen Assailants”, and was a solo campaign following Gramore Hodgehollow.]
(ed. note: Gramore Hodgehollow, aka “The Sting”, has been seen by many who study the events of Pod 54 and the Rise of the Sun King as a Protagonist and Hero due to his role in the events that followed. It must be cautioned that while his true motives remain unknown, we can only assume, given his recently uncovered past, that they were not entirely altruistic. Though we cannot know if future Constantine should have appeared to any other member of Pod 54, all we can know is that we remain glad that he arrived outside the tent of The Sting.)
The last I saw of Gramore Hodgehollow, he was slipping out the door of the Tavern in the Wreck of the Zeta Twenty-Two, probably assuming he’d never return to us again. I was going to say something to Hathron about it, but I had a feeling he’d be back. We’ve been through a fair bit, Pod 54, and I’m beginning to feel an odd sense of kinship to them, despite the fact that through misfortune and ill circumstance we are probably the second unluckiest Pod in the whole of the Moshardeen Army. Anyway, Gramore took off into the night and it wasn’t until MUCH later that I eventually heard the whole story.
Just after he left, he spent some time taking in the sights of the city and eventually was just grabbing some food when a kid lifted his whole coin purse off of him and dashed back down an alleyway. Gramore chased after him, past a group of Zeta thugs that apparenty had also been pickpocketed by the same kid. Gramore lost him in the streets, and, annoyed, went into the nearest tea shop and began trawling for rumours. Within some time he heard that there was a shot this pickpocket lived up on a nearby shantytown hill, and so Gramore tossed down some change at set after him.
He came to the house, however, was mistaken for a friend of the pickpocket’s by the pickpocket’s mother, who was ill with coal-sickness and lived off of ivory medicine that her son (the pickpocket, named Jeremy) bought for her. She worried where he was getting the money, however, Gramore assauged her fears and then left. Jeremy came home and Gramore spied on them from the window, and watched as she worried that he was in trouble, and he stormed upstairs to count the money. Gramore climbed up through the window and accosted Jeremy, but Gramore ended up giving him the stolen money and his ivory bracelet in exchange for his apprenticeship.
Gramore climbed outside the the slow claps of a figure from the shadows, who called himself Ghent the Sheriff and wore a silver masquerade-mask and a black tunic. He asked Gramore to be his apprentice, and if he accepted, to meet him atop the Wreck of the Twenty-Two next full moon in two days time. Then, he went inside the house and blood spattered the windows, for, as he said, “No one steals from the Zeta Cartel.”
Gramore wandered the streets, however, ran into that group of Zeta thugs who incorrecty assumed Gramore was the theif. After assaulting him, he quickly dispatched two, but was knocked out by the last and woke some time later, bleeding in a gutter with nothing but the clothes on his back. Swearing vengeance, he tracked the zetas to their nearby guard house, where he barged in and stormed downstears, where he ruthlessly cut the throats of all the guards. The guard-captain of the station, feigning ignorance, quickly evacuated the scene alongside Gramore and privately thanked him for getting rid of the extremely unpleasant thugs, treating him to tea and getting him a job serving tea, where he spent the next few days getting back on his feet. The night of the full moon, he bid the shopkeeper farewell and hiked across town to the Wreck of the Zeta 22.
While the front door was heavily guarded, Gramore managed to sneak into the river and swim up into the cellar, nearly drowning under a pile of wreckage. He snuck upstairs where a quite fancy party for Zeta high-rollers was being thrown, waiting for the Salamander bartender to duck downstairs before smashing a keg and feigning he was a servant with now-wrecked clothes. He was shown to the servant’s room, where he was issued a new uniform and a plate of appetizers, with which he snuck across the room and upstairs, through sideways decks to the main Zeta headquarters, where he spent some time snooping.
In the various evidence he looked through, a few things stood out, mainly the fact that one member of the original whaling crew who left from Ere did not return on the voyage back, which was probably just an oversight. There were several documents on coal, and a few which attempted to rationalize the effects of it, which were mainly inconclusive.
Gramore found a secret panel which led to a stairway which took him up a long flight of recently-built stairs, up to a cathedral-like pointed hall, where Ghent the Sheriff stood with his back to the door, welcoming Gramore. The walls were lined with weapons, includng a particularly notable gleaming red axe, and Ghent shouted the secrets of coal at Gramore while they fought. Gramore could not lay a blow on Ghent as he danced around him, and eventually – when Gramore threw a dagger that was just about to strike Ghent in the face – the dagger paused in midair and fell to the ground. Ghent then smiled and, breaking a piece of the ship off with his mind, welcomed Gramore Hodgehollow aboard as he sent them flying across the land on his levitating raft.
He explained several things which I have already mentioned, and made several personal and sweeping comments, though it does not seem relevant to document these as his actions are much clearer than his mangled thoughts, as I’ll soon write down, as soon as I get a spare moment. Looks like we’re off again, though, and I’m a fair bit slower now – though the medic makes a mean crutch. Quickly, then, Ghent dropped Gramore off just outside the wreck of the 22, where he recieved his personal effects from the gatekeeper and a small package which the gatekeeper said was from ‘a guard, who in turn ws given it by a scrappy looking kid’. It had a bit of coin, a few days rations, an ivory bracelet, and a note that said “I made it out. Thanks. -J”,
Really need to leave now, Hathron is giving me that look again. Aubrey the Quill out.