Bessel is a walled port town. Being on the northern hinterland of civilization, with more primitive societies over the waters, well knows raiders and slavers.
On Day 41, Furnok enters the town first to reconoiter:
- Surge in raiding lately
- A known crew of slavers called the Raiders of the Yellow Sail has been active for the last few months. They strike the area periodically, actually. Previously used hit and run tactics with low casualties and would often ransom those whose families could pay. Often took bribes to not attack a town
- Now, more deaths. Attempts to pay have resulted in money taken but no one returned. Bribes given and attacked anyway
- Land forces and sea forces;merchants do deal with them and visit the town to the east on the coast that is there base: an abandoned town once called Highport. A temple in the center is there base. Much of the town is partially ruined or on its way there
- Local militia forces not strong enough to deal with the problem
- Hillmen from the east also visit the slavers at times
- Town eader offering a reward for any heroes who can deal with the issue.
The next day, day 42, after getting all the info from Furnok, Tom enters town with Kell and Tanaron. Yanath, Hawkeye and Eagle Eye head for the slaver base to recon, and Uumgwana goes to join the slaver so we have a man on the inside.
Leader tells Tom a 5-man adventuring party volunteered early on in the process and never returned. The temple has a main gate, with a secret door in the rear of the temple compound. There is no information on #’s of slavers, but they have orcs as well as humans. It is a half day ride there. They sell their slaves in foreign lands over the sea.
Yanath’s Scouting (same day and next day, day 43):
- small camps of nonhumans are dispersed throughout the old town, including orcs, halforcs nad some ogres
- Half ruined temple is the only decent structure in town. Most of the camps are outside at least to some extent. The HQ is however quite large. Guards are not too diligent during day, though more so at night
- 5 Ships lie at rest in the bay, mostly human crews but some half orcs. Many stay at the docks and/or on boats all the time
- Pens of slaves at the docks
- Outer and inner portcullis protects gateway
- The temple once was a grand 3 stories, but at some point obviously burnt; now only 1 story
Umgwana arrived late and spent the night with an orc camp.
Day 44A couple merchants with guards arrive by land, right up the road from Bessel; they are challenged at the temple gate prior to entry; then are allowed to enter in small groups
Also, a boatload of slaves departs in morning
Early in the morning, Uumgwana taken to temple seeking to join. Some orcs are within wall and a half orc looks Gwana over in the courtyard. Checks out his fangs an spear. Asks his accompanying orc a few questions and “Yoiu’re hired”. He spends that night with the orcs again.
Couple more merchants arrive from the road, and from the east mounted hillfolk come. Grooves left by the wagons of the merchants are deeper when they leave than when they came.
Tom arrives with Kell and Tanaron, so after nightfall we find secret door and enter, exploring the rubble-strewn passages and rooms. We battle a ghast w/4 ghouls and flee from a Basilisk thanks to Malenko’s warning! Attack a camp of nonhumans and crush them utterly.
After making our way through the tunnels of large ants and a weavil-like insect, we reach a ladder going up. Pushing a stone off the top is Umgwanna, coming up into a temple room in the main complex finally. After he fakes being an orc merc who is simply lost, he makes his move after pretending to move to replace the stone cap. We start entering the room a couple at at time and battle ensues. The last enemy is the female, who is shot down by Yanath, Hawkeye and Eagle Eye as she runs down a long hallway outside of the room. Meanwhile at the bottom, Tanaron and Ulik are surprised by the rescued slave we have had with us, who turns out to be a doppleganger. The assassin succeeds in dousing the light for a brief time but it is lit again and the Ulik and Tanaron kil him.
After more exploration, we reach the main courtyard where they lie in wait for us and put up a difficult fight, leading off with volleys of crossbow fire and a primitive flamethrower. Uumgwana and Furnok make for the flamethrowing wagon at the outset and eliminate asap. It’s a fierce battle but we win.
After a good rest we find our way into the main prison area underground. Another battle, led by Ungwanna and Yanath, in a room of 2 long twin lines of cells, is won by us, Tanaron using his speed to reach their rear and block the escape of a visiting merchant. We secure the entire place and send Tanaron running to call upon the local authorities who arrive the next day. Evidence found on maps of slaver routes gives us a couple leads should we desire to track them further. The slaver fleet in the harbor flees. This has gone well into Day 46 and we are exhausted at this point. Most are down much if not all of their reserve, a few wounded beyond that even.
By Day 46
We are back in Beseel and rest a few days before following the slaver map into the mountains.