They reserve every room in the inn except one. This means that when Noreeno shows up they know which room he’ll be in.
Evening closes in, and as they hoped he shows up and checks into room 4, which they left open. His bodyguards aren’t around. Perhaps they are staying outside the village, or rooming at the local barracks. If the Queen was correct and he’s traveling with a half dozen men, then it would be unlikely they would fit in the inn, even if the party hadn’t grabbed all of the other rooms. The party remains hidden in their rooms until nightfall.
At midnight they gather outside of Noreeno’s window. Enoch casts silence on the area and Thordek smashes in the window (which makes no sound because it falls within the radius of the silence spell). He crawls in and finds Noreeno asleep in his bed, undisturbed. Just for safety, Thordek gives Noreeno a couple of good whacks with his mighty hammer, to make sure he doesn’t wake up. He then tosses the magistrate out the window and they drag him out into the woods north of town. They manage to pull all of this off without rousing the town watch.
They drag Noreeno out of town and tie him to a tree. They remove his ring and Thu’fir buries it nearby. Then they wake him up.
I had the players list all the questions they wanted answered. I assumed Beck was going to inflict as much pain on Noreeno as possible, short of killing him. Hitpoints aren’t really suitable for this, so I came up with a little ad-hoc system of intimidate checks for Beck vs. willpower saves for Noreeno. If he failed the save, he would answer one of the questions. Each time he “won” the willpower save and resisted talking, he would then have to make a forititude save to stay alive through the susequent nastyness. I ran through the list of questions over and over until he failed three forititude saves, which I decided ahead of time was enough to kill him. I was pretty proud of this, since I think it simulated what was taking place and randomized what questions would get answered.
Their most important questions went unanswered. This wasn’t DM meddling, it’s just that they overestimated how much Noreeno knew. He didn’t have any idea where the Magus Archives were, which Eomer suspected was the base of operations for the Children of The Cathedral. (This was the Lich-worshiping cult which Noreeno led) If he didn’t know, none of them did.
They learn that Mordan’s followers have been meeting in various basements and secret rooms throughout the kingdom. The meeting places are enchanted in various ways to keep out the prying eyes of the Queen and whatever spies she may employ. Beck learns the locations of some of these meeting places. He also learns that there are not more than 100 followers of Mordan in the land. Finally, they also learn that Mordan is again set on conquering the mountain. Also: war and revenge. Not much of a surprise there, but it was good to have it confirmed.
As the sun rises, Beck returns to the others from his grim night of work. He’s bloody and tired. He reports his findings to the others.
Morning comes and the town gets noisy. Noreeno’s men have discovered his empty room and broken window. The alarm is raised in town and the town guards began to fan out and search for Noreeno.
They make ready to leave and it dawns on them: Their horses are stabled back in town! They can’t hope to sneak into town in broad daylight to recover them. They can’t afford to hang around until nightfall, or they will end up fighting with the town watch or the local soldiers who are now looking for the magistrate.
As the the soldiers draw near, the party silently retreats into the woods and heads south on foot.
The Biggest Game Ever
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Batman: Arkham City
A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.
The Disappointment Engine
No Man's Sky is a game seemingly engineered to create a cycle of anticipation and disappointment.
Silent Hill Origins
Here is a long look at a game that tries to live up to a big legacy and fails hilariously.
Do It Again, Stupid
One of the highest-rated games of all time has some of the least interesting gameplay.