Session 5

"The Great Train Robbery"

Having been told by the captain of the guard that the increasingly expanding scope of the Emerald Claw kidnappings was out of his pay grade, the party has been pointed south, to Sharn, to speak with the head of the Brelish national guard force - Gray Ironsides. The journey from Xandrar to Sharn is a long one, unless one takes advantage of the lightning rail, and pays the pretty penny for a ticket. Not one to spend neadlessley, Hessth attempted to acquire a transportation job, and couple the trip to Sharn with a delivery. Along with Tizish's silver tounge, he managed to get a job moving a shipment of Gnomish galoshes to a clothing store in Sharn. With six writs of transportation, the party began the five day ride to the nearest lightning rail station: Hatheril. They arrived at the station without delay five days later, boarding the Sharn Express in the rear and prepared for the 31 hour ride.

A few hours after they left the station, M and Tiz grew restless of the storage cart, and began working their way into the middle-upper class cabins. Kiiba took Raine to the rear observation deck, so the two could enjoy the sunshine and the passing countryside. Meanwhile, in a first class cabin, Jacquie of Karrnath was growing restless as well. She had been revealed of her last duties as a militia woman in Hatheril (long story) and was heading to Sharn in search of employment. As Hessth, Rhonne and Parg had finally become situated comfortably in the rear wagon, the train came to a screeching halt. Puzzled, the scattered group began independently readying itself for the worst, only to find that the stop was momentary as the train resumed its usual speed.

A few minutes later, Jacquie heard the faint sounds of combat coming from the hallway, followed immediately by a short but sweet scream. Grabbing her blade and shield, she darted in the hallway to find the doorman hunched over, a masked man holding a bloodied dagger in his side. Her military training kicking in, Jacquie's shield bashed her way into combat, followed by her blade, dropping the villain where he stood. Investigating further toward the bridge, she found a pair of deadly looking gnolls pawing over a pile of slain victims, and decided to double back and equip her armor before routing the rest of the rabble.

In middle class, Tizish had begun heading back to the storage area, leaving M alone to hobnob with the common class. A few minutes after the abrupt stop, the crowd broke to the sides and retreated back, a woman's scream jerking the absent minded M to a dangerous situation: a pair of bandits were attempting to hold up the train, informing everyone to lay down arms and pull out their gold purses. M reached back and grabbed his hand-crossbow, shooting ahead and engaging the pair in combat. As the larger of the two headed towards M, he stumbled backwards, falling prone and defenseless before the impending axe attack, and was saved a bolt of purple-green energy weaved through the crowd, impacting the ruffian and sprawling him across the deck. "The name's Virgil Winchester, and let's save this train," the young wizard said, extending a hand. As M turned his attention to the front of the cart, he saw the second man fleeing away, far out of range. "Pleased to meet you Virgil, and lets get my friends."

The passing trees and foliage was serving as a brief crash course in botany for young Raine, who happily enjoyed the company of her father. What sounded like rain but hitting harder caught her ear, and as she turned to ask her papa about the strange noise, she noticed his ears perked in alert. He apologized for having to cut the session short, and picked her up, telling her to settle in — there might be a fight ahead. Creeping up the rear access ladder, he saw a pair of heavily cloaked humans and a large metallic cutting tripod on the roof of the rear carriage. Bolting forward, he smashed into the first man, cracking him across his jaw. The force from the blow caused his legs to buckle and slip, his feet falling out from under him as his safety harness failed to prevent his body from staying on the 100 mph train, which bounced off the side like a rag doll before disappearing off the side. Her daddy took a hit from a sword before tripping the second human, who flopped in a similar manner to his grizzly end. His shifter eyes noticed a similar group of men with a cutting device further up, between middle and upper class, and started heading forward, maybe this time he'd ask questions before kicking them to their death.

Hessth had been trying to nap for the past three hours, and his current state of mind would be called "exhausted" if one were speaking politely. In truth, Hessth was more bored than tired. Five days journey without combat, and he was worried that his maul-arm was getting flabby. The front door slammed open, jerking him back to the trip, and the warforged frantically began telling the group that the train was under attack. The group suited up and headed back into the fray, with the exception of Tizish who darted back to the observation deck to get Kiiba. It seemed like combat will be to be a frequent occurrence with this new group, Hessth thought, good. Tizish reached the rear wagon to find no one on the platform, clueless to his companions location, until a scream followed by a plummeting man lead his search to the top of the train. Kiiba informed him of the skinny and picked Tizish up, the pair heading forward. A group on top, and one inside, the party headed forward in unison.

Jacquie had followed the pair of bandits to the rear of the train, where they met up with four more men in the lounge, and were going to proceed but were forced to combat by a group of adventurers. Looking to aid them, she rushed the back of the group, sandwiching the six in the narrow corridor, cutting them down to five in no time. The sixth fled out the window, scrambling up and making tracks to the front of the train. She exchanged pleasantries with the group, and they agreed to draw steel together until these hijackers were dealt with. Up top, Kiiba and Tiz saw the man climb out the window and start running. After the first cart he was hit by a gust of wind mid stride and knocked off the side, screaming, to his death. Meanwhile, Rhonne and Hessth joined them up top, the four heading towards the second group of saboteurs. They managed to engage them quickly, but not before the device had a cut a man sized hole into the crawlspace, and moments later the train began screeching to a dead stop. Rhonne was knocked off the side, but managed to catch himself on the edge, saving himself from a nasty fall. The two bandits had readied themselves with the harnesses and made the most of the temporary advantage. One engaged the shifter with a new found fury, as the other headed to the edge, attempting to stop the elf's fingers off the side. Darting between the pair, Kiiba dodged an attack and threw the attacker into his friend, sending both tumbling off. Rhonne climbed back up, irritated, "what were you doing? I had that under control!"

The party approached the elemental ring cart, their in train advance stopped by a door that had been welded shut. Dropping down, Hessth got to work, banging out the metal bar to open the door. Bang! Meanwhile, Tizish had hopped across, and started heading up to the elemental ring, curious to see it up close. Bang! From the front cart, a cloaked man stepped forth, sneering down at the adventurers, "blast, they are persistent! Release the elemental!" Bang! As Hessth hit a third time, the cart behind him exploded in flame, a molten being of fire and rock with one heck of a bad attitude rising from the rubble. It turned its anger immediately on the gnome that attempted to run out of range, toward the robed man, crushing him in a single attack. Rhonne, seeing Tiz drop, darted forward, avoiding any attacks and shooting at the spellcaster. The arrows deflected off his shield as he cackled before going invisible and running into the train. Jacquie smashed into the fire from the side, accompanied by Parg, and the pair hacked away furiously. Bang! Hessth finally broke through the door, and decided to head forward on the ground level, into the exploded cart. He found a wand behind a pane of glass in that said in red letters: Askwar ista Braka, and he cursed his illteracy, shattering the glass and stealing the stick. "Better get this to M."

Upstairs the battle was anything but good. Jacquie was managing to hold her own, but Parg and Kiiba had taken substansial damage. Rhonne had stabilized Tiz, but was failing to make any impact into the fire elemental. In the distance he spied another problem: an incoming tugship sized airship, manned by a handful of gnomes. Seeing his friends in a loosing battle, Vigril tossed Kiiba a bag of potions, offering to lend a hand where he could, right before a man sized plank of spiked wood blew into his chest killing him instantly: the airship had a goddamn harpoon. M had darted over to Tiz, and used his wand to bring him back to consciousness. Hessth made it to the top level, tossing the wand to M as the airship moved into range, and hopped off the side, shifting and raging in a bloodfrenzy. He landed on the first gnome, knocking him off the railing and swung into a second. Battle felt good. Rhonne turned his attention to the airship, firing shots when he could. Kiiba chugged a potion and leapt back into the fray, catching an unlucky blow from the elemental and dropping into unconsciousness. As the life left him, Kiiba felt small hands on his chest, Raine, followed by a surge of energy: she had manifested healing magic. "Don't worry chaps, I've got this!" M shouted from the bow, attempting to use the wand. Click! "Ahh dag-nab it!"

Hessth finished off the last gnomes, and Rhonne crowed his head into the cockpit, picking off the pair of gnolls expertly. Wounded from battle, both Tiz and Parg retreated below deck, to find three large metal boxes emblazoned with the seal of Breland on the side. Jacquie dug her heels in, she would NOT die here! "Come on you piece of shit!" Click! M worked frantically, unable to figure out the wand. Fire charred his companion's flesh — they only had a few seconds left. "Come ON!" Click…WOOOSH!! A burst of blue flame shot from the wand, impacting the back of the elemental, who chugged forward, ice curling over its sides and freezing it, as Jacquie reared back one last time, shattering it with a single blow.

Meanwhile, on the nearby airship, Hessth's natural instincts to rend and tear were kicking in, as his maul decimated the small gnome privateers. The one that was presumably the captain of the ship drew steel and quipped at him, but the noise was a murmur in the back of his head, behind the single voice repeating: "kill, kill, kill…" After the captain lay bloodied and broken at his feet, his enflamed nostrils picked up a familar scent, as the invisible enemy flew across the gap and into his range. "kill, kill, kill…" The ship had begun to drift listlessly to a side, without captain or orders, the elemental moved of its own volition. Hessth's mighty weapon swung through the air around the shrouded spellcaster, who took to the air above the ship. "Fine then, I'll burn you down!" Dropping invisibility, he started raining fireballs down upon the ship, determined to bring the barbarian down. As fire roared around him, Hessth ran to the wheel, turning the ship back toward the lightning rail — "MOVE!!" The elemental obeyed without question, and the ship moved within jump distance of the train. Another fireball. Hessth was now barely alive, his body fueled only by rage and fury managed to make the jump across, into the arms of his healers. Cursing his name, the spellcaster took another arrow, calling down a final ultimatum at the adventurers that had so wholly disrupted his heist. Seizing the moment, Kiiba vaulted across the gap, grapping onto the harpoon gun and flipping it skyward, firing a single well placed shot. The wizard, impaled, fell into the waiting arms of death.

Once bandages were distributed, the group attempted to move a box, finding it nearly impossible. Tiz decided to see what was inside one of them, prying the lock off with quite a bit of difficulty. Inside were bricks of solid gold, each emblazoned with the crest of Breland, and each, M was sure, arcane marked by the Court in Sharn, meaning it was trackable. He did a quick calculation, estamating the entire worth of three crates at roughly 3.5 million gold. The group looked among one another, anyone have a moral dilemma with a little redistribution of wealth? Hessth nodded at the airship, that still idled along side the train. "Hey guys. I got a ship."

Rewards: 2250 XP, 3,500,000 gp?, the "Beginner's Luck"