The Basterds, rather chuffed at having just completed the destruction of a pirate galley, some walls surronding a holy citidel and pissing off a bad ass paladin retreated to a local inn in an attempt to maintain some level of anonymity ( as much as nine strangers who waltz into a port town and start a bar fight the day before all hell breaks loose).
It was in the bar on the ground floor of the inn that Kira overheard the barkeep arguing with a woman who Kira assumed to be his wife about something to the effect of " no I won’t call em, its none of my business" “But the reward….” " “They are paying customers”. curious, and alarmed, though more alarmed based simply on his knowledge of the kind of characters that made up his party, Kira waltzed up to the barkeep (having first made sure to deactivate his skank armor) and inquired of the barkeep as to the nature of his argument. As he did this the woman departed rather hastily toward the kitchen. " Ehem um Umm…you heard about the goings on last night eh?" “Well of course” Kira assured him. “Well to be honest” the man continued “many believe your party was involved.” Though not surprised in the least Kira appeared taken aback defending himself by stating quite forcefully that he had spent the day at the local infirmary curing the ill. " Well of course I’m not saying you did" the man responded to the cleric fearing the possibility that the strange cleric would interpret his words as an accusation. “I heard something about a reward?” Kira inquired “Yes yes… there is a thousand gold bounty being offered for either the people or the know whereabouts of those responsible for last night” " Do you know who is putting forth the money?" " To be honest no, but the members of The Citadel surely have the resources to put forth such a sum…. But to be fair The Sealord would not be above such an action." In a feeble attempt to throw the local populace off the basterds trail Kira, having previously gathered the knowledge as to the power of “The Association” (aka the thieves guild) and the lack of previously agreed merchant fees being paid to them by Sealord and his trident followers, Kira put forth the notion that it was quite possible that The Association might very well be the ones responsible, as he did this Kira also put forth a good amount of coin into the palm of the Barkeep. " Oh, OH! the barkeep stated in a surprised look, the barkeep responded. " Well that is certainly something that I had not heard but I do see how it very well might be true." The barkeep pocketed the coin. You know, it very well could be unwise for you and your comrades to stay the night here" the Barkeep not so subtlety hinted. nodding his head towards the kitchen. With that Kira thanked the man for his time and went up stairs to consult with his brothers (and sister) in arms.
Upon Kira’s very eloquent relay of his knowledge to the party The Basterds determined that the best course of action would be to send Saleaan the druid out as an eagle to scout the island for a place to hold up for the night that was beyond the immediate reach of The partrols of The Citadel. Upon his return Saleaan told his party of a cave entrance two hours north of the towns border that seemed touched for at least two weeks. With the exception of Khord, Ikotosh, Woodchuck, and Blair; who opted to find a different, third tavern in which to consume alcohol, the party took off towards the new found cave, somehow managing to make it out of the city without attracting the attention of The Citadel. With Bale in the lead (the only member of the party with dark vision present) the party set out down the cave in in order to determine what lay at the other end of the water worn shelter. It was then that Saleaan noticed something move just out of site, he motioned for everyone to stop, but having taken the lead Bail did not see and thus did not head said warning and charged on through thus tripping an alarm that brought him to an encounter with a Gnome on a rock wearing a very funny little mask of some sort. “Why are you here?” the Gnome queried of him, “Cool mask the Drow responded why are you wearing it?” It is my land you are intruding upon I have a right to wear what I want in my own space. " Very true Bale thought, and reflected as to the ludicrousness of his inquiry. I have a friend you should meet. " Is he well mannered?" asked the Gnome “Define well mannered” replied Bale as he thought of woodchuck, on the dead ranger and the scar on his leg. This gave him pause as to his use of the word friend. He then noticed Deracles shadow coming ’round the corner, and put his fingers to his lips quickly explained that his companions who were on their way were unaware that he spoke more than a few words at a time and scampered back to the group. The gnome smiled and sat waiting for a few moments for the full party to arrive.
After a very long exhaustive exchange between The very magical very powerful gnome in a funny mask, a charming cleric, a brutish bloodthirsty fighter, and a Druid raised by wolves (read into that what you will) it was determined that The Basterds would fulfill a contract for the Gnome who apparently worked for The Association, that involved the ambush of a trade negotiation between members of The Trident and another unknown fourth party That the Basterds would keep the loot from said trade, and that they could fulfill their short term goal of a place to rest for the night. In addition Bale learned via three deep booming voices that he could not go right, nor could he go left, but that the bathrooms were in the corner.
Upon arriving at the place of the exchange the basterds readied themselves, Woodchuck by hiding in a clay whole made in a rock by Saleaan, Ikitosh by berrying himself in the earth so as not to be detected, Bale by transforming himself into a statue on the beach, and then realizing he was on a beach and following suite with everyone else and hiding behind bushes that were on the edge of the sand. And so they waited, and waited, and waited.
Finally come nightfall five humans came onto the beachhead in a three forward two aft formation. one of the five jumped up on the rock in which woodchuck hid and gazed out to see trying to spot the boat that carried their merchandise. (For some reason Ikitosh could not shake a strange fear that he might come face to face with his bride this evening) As he contemplated the possibility of this Bale used his hat of disguise and transformed himself ( rather poorly) into a member of Trident, he then marched up to the leader of the group and greeted him, the leader looked at Bale quizzically as the boat came to shore, there was something about this Trident guy, “I’m here to help unload the cargo” Bale stated quite plainly. The leader dismissed his misgivings and waved bale over to the half drows that were hopping out of the boat so as to take part in the exchange. As one of the original five was about to hand Bale a parcel full of some substance he paused and squinted at Bales face noticing something odd. Just then a loud crack sounded and the leader of the original five experienced a very hot loud painful blast coming from a projectile thrown by a Dwarven Rogue. Not to be out done Deracles Charged, as hard and as far as a maniac encumbered by large amounts of plate armor can. Ikitosh having heard the blast burst out of his earthen slumber and charged one of the five. Saleaan followed suite by summoning a ball of fire right on top of one of the half drow. Kira, not knowing bale’s location at the time sent out a sonic boom thus stunning the drow and all the half drow that surrounded him. Blair charged in attacking ferociously the same enemy that Ikitosh had set his sights on. Rassa Fired a lightning bolt right at two of the enemy who happened to be perfectly in the wizard’s line of fire. It was at this point that Woodchuck sprung out of his clay hole at blasted a thirty foot wide cone of flame towards the bulk of the enemy, unable to move as a result of the stun he was delt by the undiscriminating cleric Bale was caught most intentionally in the crossfire ( as he was still disguised as an enemy) The enemy reacted with force slicing back with various weapons striking a few good blows on some of the more forward of the Basterds The leader of the original party however did not strike with sword, staff or club, but summoned a giant water elemental to fight in his stead. The fighting continued, Deracles again moved closer to the battle, his rage turning to frustration at watching blood shed without his participation. After the third of the original five summoned some toxic gas to aid him the druid sent his wolf in to aid in the assault. In addition he moved his flaming sphere over to the elemental summoner, The liquid monstrosity was wreaking havoc, just as Deracles was able to join the battle he was scooped up by a watery whirlwind and taken out to sea. Ikitosh continued his assult on the leader who then conjured up three identical decoys to aid in his bid for escape Rasa having been knocked prone off his feat scrambled back and hastily fired a bolt of lightning straight through his assalents torso as this happened a look of shock and inhuman anguish came across the mans face as he crumpled lifelessly to the floor, By this point the Toxic fumes had gotten to Blair who was now hurling up yesterdays beer in a most violent fashion. The druids ball of flame slammed into one of the summoners duplicates causing him to evaporate as Bale realized the danger he had put himself in so he removed his disguise so as not to incur the wrath of the gnome once more. but this caused the half drow, now startled to learn they had been duped to turn on him, in addition he also suffered a most debilitating blast from the watery beast. all the while Deracles was being taken further out to sea after Khords failed attempt to cleave the gas man in two Ikitosh evaporated another illusion, now down to just him and his one decoy the leader of the opposing forces made a full retreat to the sea, this only provoked the druid who transformed himself into a hawk and took off after the man. Now surrounded on three sides by a wolf and two dwarves and noticing the loss of many of his comrades another of the original five retreated towards his leader in the hopes of escaping with his life. At this point Bale was on the verge of death, face down in the water unconscious it was only a matter of time before his life was brought to a close, though noticing the ferocity with which the basterds fought and their dwindling numbers the enemy was too distracted to notice this otherwise obvious fact. It also helped that Ikitosh was bearing down on one of the drow’s assailants in a bid to rescue the rogue. Rasa having returned to his feet fired another lightning bolt killing another enemy. The wolf took off after the second of the retreating men and made a second failed attempt at the jugular. However his Elven companion was having much better luck having just fired a second successful lightning bolt at The Summoner. In all the confusion the Watery giant lost focus on the crazed human fighter and focused his energies on the crazed half orc fighter instead, smashing him with brutal wall of H20. As such Deracles grabbed a single breath of air, sank to the bottom of the sea and began to slowly march on it’s floor towards the shoreline. At last the Druid managed to fry the party leader with a third bolt of lightning that rained down from the heavens, causing the water elemental to loose form and purpose and be lapped up by the tide, just prior to this however, Blair who had finally recovered from her stomach convulsions was able to rescue the Drow from drowning, and so…battered and bruised the basterds finished off the remaining enemies, and thus won the day…….and apparently in addition to a decent sailboat some packages of very valuable narcotics.