While Enoch translates the text at the library, the Eomer and Thu’fir gather at the blacksmith’s shop. Upon learning that the party had lost many of their basic supplies in the shipwreck, he suggests they help him with a problem he’s having.
Before the city fell, he had stored away a cache of weapons, armor, and other provisions in the case of invasion. When the attack came, it happened a bit quicker than he anticipated, and he didn’t have time to reach the supplies or distribute them. Worse, soldiers came and siezed his house and have been living there ever since. The supplies are hidden in a secret room in the basement, but he can’t hope to sneak past the guards to reach them.
The blacksmith suggests that the party try to sneak in and retrieve the items. If they do so, they can keep some of the stash for themselves. The only requirement is that they not kill any guards. If they do, the soldiers will simply retailiate by coming into town and killing people in order to exact revenge.
Eomer asks about what unforms the northerners used. It turns out they didn’t have proper fancy uniforms like the Alidians, but instead wore simple black sashes around their waist or arms.
Thu’fir asks what they have been fighting about. The blacksmith explains that the war was over territory. Apparently there is a valuable mountain here called Mount Khelberg. It seems to be a rich source of both gems and gold. The blacksmith explains that the mountain is the birthright of his people: King Lorman (their leader) is the great great great (etc) grandson of the first foreman of the miners. He dug the first shafts and the land should be his. This is why they attacked the Alidians.
Finally Eomer get back to the subect of the supplies they need to steal.
Gereg draws a quick map of his house.
A crude drawing of the layout of Gereg’s house.
Click for larger view.
There is a front door on the house that faces west, towards the town. Behind the house is a storm door that leads into the cellar. There is a secret door in the cellar that conceals the goods in question. Unfortunately, the door is barred from the inside, so they can’t just pick the lock to get in. Someone will have to sneak in the front door.
Right behind the house, about ten feet from the rear door, is the woods. Gereg suggests leaving the heavy items there in the woods where he can recover them later.
By this time the sun is going down. Eomer goes east through the woods to the backsmith’s shop, which is a ten-minute walk. Everyone else gathers at the tavern and waits with a glass of ale. (Skeeve has Tea, Enoch abstains.)
Eomer watches the building as the sun sets. It looks like there is a circle of tents in front of the house, and a number of guards are gathered there, talking. He sneaks up to the back of the house and peeks through the rear window with his mirror.
A soldier is inside, working on something. Eomer can hear the banging of pots. This room is clearly the kitchen. After watching the place a bit longer, he returns to town.
They discuss their plans. Thu’fir suggests that instead of sneaking in the front door, they could just pull off the hinges. They worry that perhaps this would be too noisy. Enoch points out that he could create a zone of silence. This magic power of his will deaden all noise in a 20-foot radius.
They agree on this. Skeeve decides to stay at the tavern. He realizes they have no place to stay for the night. The soldiers tooks several houses, and the displaced families have filled the small inn.
Beck cuts in, suggesting they go in fighting. He’s clearly drunk. Thu’fir buys him another drink, and gives the bartender enough money to keep them coming all night. They slip out and leave Beck to his ale.
Eomer, Thu’fir, Enoch, and Thodek sneak through the woods to Gereg’s house. Enoch and Thodek stop well short of the house, not wanting to make a lot of noise in their heavy armor. Eomer moves forward silently and looks around.
Juding from the light, there is a campfire in front of the house. He listens carefully and determines that two guards are having a conversation. Using the mirror, he peeks in the window, but it is dark and quiet inside. He gives the signal, and Enoch casts silence on the door. Eomer takes the hinges off and Thu’fir takes the beam off. The beam falls soundlessly down the steps within the zone of silence.
Eomer sneaks in and goes to the secret door, which is a pegboard of tools. He moves one of the tools and finds it makes a very slight sound. The door is just outside of the silenced area! So, he needs to open a door which is covered in hanging metal tools, and he must do so without making any noise. He takes a deep breath…
…the door opens silently. He signals to Thu’fir, who is at the bottom of the steps looking in, letting him know where the edge of the zone is. They begin moving boxes. There are seven boxes of varying sizes, plus a sack and some other loose goods. Thordek and Enoch help move goods from the house into the woods, just on the edge of the zone. There are seven crates, a sack, a book, a lantern, and a longbow.
It’s nighttime. Dark. They are in a basement. How can they see what they are doing? Eomer, Enoch, and Thu’fir are all human, and should be feeling around in the dark at this point. I never noticed these sort of errors until I went back and reviewed our sessions.
The goods unloaded, they realize that Eomer needs to stay inside when they put the door back on. If they want to hide all traces of their work, then he needs to place the bar on the door again, which can only be done once it’s in place and closed.
Enoch casts silence again, since he guesses that the five-minute duration is nearly up. They replace the door, attach the hinges, and Eomer places the bar on the door again. While this is happening, the members outside see a group of five guards head off towards town, carrying a torch. They conclude they can’t do anything about this now. They have to wait for Eomer.
Eomer, still inside, must sneak upstairs, out the front door, around the house, and meet them in back. He makes it upstairs and to the front door without difficulty.
Just before he leaves the house he pauses. He goes around into the kitchen and checks it out. He finds lots of dry goods. He also finds a sack of iron rations. He opens one, pisses on it, and then carefully re-wraps it and places it back in the sack.
He slips out the front door and rejoins the party out back.
While this was going on, Thu’fir had gone through the crates, suspicious of the smith’s story and wanting to make sure the story they had been told was true. He found the following:
- 3 bucklers
- 3 tindertwigs
- Very large bundle of arrows
- Several longswords wrapped in blankets
- 30 iron rations
- Another map
- A purse of gold.
- A very ornate horn
- A pile of blankets
- 3 iron skullcaps
- 10 sets of heavy boots
- 10 empty water skins
- map case
- several backpacks
They take enough backpacks, blankets and waterskins to supply the party. They take enough food to supply themselves for two days, and they take the horn. They leave everything else hidden in the bushes.
Starcraft: Bot Fight
Let's do some scripting to make the Starcraft AI fight itself, and see how smart it is. Or isn't.
Crash Dot Com
Back in 1999, I rode the dot-com bubble. Got rich. Worked hard. Went crazy. Turned poor. It was fun.
WAY back in 2005, I wrote about a D&D campaign I was running. The campaign is still there, in the bottom-most strata of the archives.
Mass Effect Retrospective
A novel-sized analysis of the Mass Effect series that explains where it all went wrong. Spoiler: It was long before the ending.
Quakecon 2011 Keynote Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.