The Crooked Inn II
The session begins with Talman upstairs waiting alongside Marken for a chance to snatch Willip, while Beckah is (unbeknownst to them) inside the room torturing Willip for information. Jobina and Eisig are downstairs in the common, having concluded their business together. Neither have yet decided whether to stay for a drink or leave the inn and go about their business.
The action starts off quickly as the GM describes a pretty serious disturbance at one of the northern tables the moment the session starts. Just as Eisig and Jobina are about to give each other their "Yeah, yeah. Nice working with you. Seeya around" the window by the table shatters and something long and metallic-grey arcs through to snag the man sitting there right in the chest. With a loud (and painful) grunt the man is snatched almost instantly out of his chair and up against the windowsill. Before he can react further a pair of dark furry arms grab him and snatch him out through the window. The GM calls for Initiative.
Eisig takes the lead and spends an action to run from the bar to a spot behind the table in question (keeping it between him and whatever is out there) in order peer out and get a look at what the heck just snatched the guy out the window. Already we hear bloodcurdling screams, presumably from the poor guy just outside. Eisig arrives in time to see a vaguely humanoid figure in the dark just outside the window, bent over something on the ground. A lanky, furry arm arcs several times up and down, driving what appears to be a single, huge hook-shaped claw over and over into it's victim, who's screams are already turning to a gurgling death rattle.
Beckah, upstairs and rather busy torturing poor Willip, is largely unaware of anything unusual going on downstairs. She hears the startled yells and screams from the patrons downstairs but it sounds like nothing more than the reaction to a bar fight breaking out so she ignores it. Jobina is at the bar and being more concerned with her own skin than curious about people being snatched out of windows she edges toward the front doors of the inn, keeping an eye on the goings-on around the far window.
As soon as Jobina draws even with the side door out of the common room the front doors of the inn are pushed open just enough for another man to be shoved through. He stumbles and falls to the floor in a bloody mess as soon as whatever pushed him let's go. At Jobina's first glance she can only see the man has had most of his clothing ripped to shreds and is bleeding from more wounds than she can count at a glance. Beyond that there seems to be something seriously wrong with his face.
Upstairs Talman hears the disturbance down in the common room and suggests to Marken that they check it out. Marken puts him off, preferring to wait and see if the uproar might draw Willip's girlfriend out of his room.
Ever impulsive, Eisig draws his dagger (his only weapon at the moment) and snatches up a chair. He launches the chair one-handed out the window at the dark figure with the huge claw. I rolled low unfortunately and the chair just sails out the window over its head. Eisig is a bit disturbed when the figure darts up and stares for half a second right at him before snarling and leaping right through the window into the inn, then jump nimbly up on the table right in front of him. Eisig can see it's clearly humanoid but so dark and covered with thick fur that he can't get a good look. He does see the eight inch, ivory hook still dripping with bits and pieces of the dead guy outside pretty darned clearly though.
Upstairs Beckah is just beginning to realize those are screams of terror downstairs and considers taking a look. She decides instead to double-check the latch on the door and wait, listening intently to the clamor coming from the common. Coppertail, on the other hand, has a front row seat for the action as he's still cavorting around the common waving Jobina's scarf. Being a wise little monkey he makes a bee-line through the door and hits the stairwell just as another creature vaults through the back door of the inn.
Jobina, seeing the monster with the big claw that just jumped after Eisig and the man dying painfully on the floor near the front door, decides to take a quick peek through the door to the hallway, following Coppertail's fine example. Hopefully she can put some distance between herself and all the violence breaking out all of a sudden. It only takes a short peek for her to see another of the creatures seems to have burst through the rear door of the inn and is a practically right on top of her. Jobina turns on her heel and launches for the bar, throwing herself over it to hunker down behind the innkeeper (who's still in a bit of shock) and draw her pick-knife.
At the window near Eisig a third furry creature scrambles over the windowsill and into the common, this one apparently wielding a long iron chain with a huge hook on the end. From the gore still stuck to the hook we figure this what snatched the recently deceased patron out the window. The moment the beast's feet hit the floor it's howling madly and has the chain swinging, planting the hook into another of the patrons still scrambling out of his seat near the table.
By now the patrons of the inn have finally gotten to their feet and begun to panic in earnest. The ones at the table near Eisig all fall back from the table and the two nightmarish creatures there (minus the one unlucky guy who just got hooked). The only guy relatively near the front doors ignores the dead guy there and leaps to make his escape, stumbling past the barmaid who's headed flat out for the hallway that Jobina just fled.
Upstairs Talman and Marken likewise are beginning to figure out something very serious is happening downstairs. Marken nudges Talman toward the stairs while he edges conspicuously toward Willip's door. Figuring Marken can handle the Willip situation alone for a moment, Talman decides to take a quick peek at what all the ruckus is downstairs and heads that way.
Eisig opts for a called shot to the leg of the creature on the table before him, hoping to disable it and get back out of range quickly. Dropping two Plot Points on the attack in the hopes of overcoming the difficulty of the called shot I'm pretty happy to score very well against my target's Innate Defense. Eisig immediately drops back to the other nearby table to put it between him and The Hook, grabbing up another chair to throw next turn. The Hook, having just been stabbed pretty viciously in the leg, howls and stumbles off the table to sprawl on the floor. He's back up and howling mad in a split second, though I'm very glad to see he's up on only one leg and bleeding badly from the other.
Beckah, with her pick-knife already in hand from her business with Willip, suddenly decides not knowing what exactly the threat is downstairs doesn't sit well with her. She exits the room, sparing a wary look at Marken loitering nearby in the hall and makes for the stairwell. Coppertail bounds up the stairs fleeing the howling creature in the hallway and finds her there, launching himself up her side and onto her shoulder to seek shelter.
Jobina, behind the bar with innkeeper, snatches up a full bottle to throw but decides at the last instant not to draw attention to herself. She opts to wait, hoping the creatures will find victims to amuse themselves with and give her a chance at sprinting for the front door.
At the northern table where all the trouble started the creature with the hooked chain snatches his victim in close to drop him with a wicked slash to the throat with one claw. The patron drops dying at his feet and the creature turns to howl at Eisig, who just dropped it's partner a moment before. At the front door to the inn the patron fleeing in that direction hits the door and shoulders them open, only to suddenly come up short with a startled grunt. A quick glance in that direction shows yet another of the creatures, apparently waiting for someone to attempt to flee that way, has already latched onto the man and planted a hook in his belly. The two crash to the floor in the doorway in a bloody heap.
The barmaid, who opted to flee for the hallway, bursts through those doors and out of sight. All we can determine of her fate is a startled scream followed by the sounds of a violent struggle.
Talman, running for the downstairs hallway, reaches the stairs and gets only a quick glimpse of the barmaid struggling with something dark, hairy and human-shaped near the foot of the stairs.
Eisig determines that he can't retreat further from the chain wielding critter near the window (nor the one he wounded) without putting himself too close for comfort with the one hacking at the patron near the front doors. He launches his chair at the chain swinging critter and saves the rest of his actions for defense this turn. The chain critter dodges it easily, though. The creature he stabbed in the leg, seemingly too badly hurt to run around very well, turns his sights on the man who's wedged himself up near the fireplace but stumbles and falls to the floor in the attempt to get at him.
Beckah takes a moment to reassure Coppertail and get him situated before moving to the top of the stairs. She's still too far away from the action to make anything out though.
Jobina, on the other hand, has a good view of the action and doesn't care for any of it. Deciding not to stick around any longer than necessary she intends to clear the front door, her preferred method of escape. Taking a quick look at the bottle in her hand she discovers that it does indeed appear to be filled with a flammable liquor. She long arms it across the common to smash open on the floor around the creature and his victim there, following that up with the lantern from the bar. She's more than a little discouraged to find the resulting blaze now covers the entire entrance, blocking her escape. Still it does seem to occupy the creature there very well.
The chain wielding creature leaps forward with a snarl to swing at Eisig but I manage to dodge it even with a pretty low roll.
The patron wedged in at the fireplace, who once had a chair clung fiercely to his chest in self-defense, begins screaming and swinging it hysterically at the creature sprawled practically at his feet. From what Eisig can see out of the corner of his eye the man seems to have either killed it or at least knocked it out after a couple of blows.
The creature who was busily stabbing the patron near the front door is now very unhappily doused in burning alcohol and oil. He screams and thrashes around for the rest of the turn.
The barmaid who fled the common now comes flying back through the door, apparently having been launched pretty strongly by whatever attacked her there. She lands in a bloody, gurgling heap in the middle of the floor with the creature in the hallway bursting through the door right behind her.
Talman, who witnesses this from the far side, draws his broadsword and rushes the creature in the doorway. Being the only one bold enough to bring a large weapon into the inn he's confident he can put up a good fight. With the creature's back turned to him and intent on terrorizing the patrons in the common he's an Easy target and Talman lands a truly vicious blow despite the small step penalty for the distance he ran to get there. Though the blow is a little weak and awkward, it's skillfully placed and Talman has the critter nearly run clean through from behind. It howls are cut short and it drops dead with that single blow.
Eisig's no fool and spends his entire turn shoving through the patrons crowding him to dash for a spot near the door, hoping to take advantage of the big guy there who just dropped one of the creatures.
Beckah reaches the foot of the stairs finally and sees only Talman with a sword in one hand and something very dead and very ugly at his feet. She skids to a stop until she can determine which of the two has been causing all the commotion down here. To her left she can see the cook and another worker peering out from the kitchen door at Talman.
Jobina, still behind the cover of the bar, takes note that there's a big guy with a sword near at hand but still isn't quite prepared to come out from the nice cover she's got. She waits to see which direction all the nastiness is going to surge next. She does snatch up another bottle of flammable liquor, just in case.
The hooked chain swinging critter abandons his focus on Eisig, who just ran away, and turns his attention to the chair-wielding patron who just bludgeoned his crippled buddy to death. A quick jig in his directions followed by two hard swings of the hook drop the terrified patron in a bloody mess.
The flaming critter/patron duo over at the front door finally succumb to the flames engulfing them and give up the ghost. With the flames there still blocking the front doors and two more critters leaping through the wide window nearby, that side of the common continues to be dangerous territory.
While Talman is feeling confident after dropping one of the critters from behind so easily that's short lived as the patrons, who've all finally managed to get to their feet and properly panic, surge for the only exit not blocked by nasty beasties and flames...the one he's standing in. Talman spends all his available actions for the turn taking hits from terrified patrons trying to rush past him. Though he manages to keep his feet he's pushed back out of the doorway a step or two as the mob bottle-necks there.
Behind him, the cook who's determined that Talman is the source of all the ruckus dashes up with a meat cleaver to put down what he assumes is a mad man running wild with a broadsword. Though he rolls low with this attack Talman is relying on innate defense. He makes his dodge but when his Out of Luck complication kicks in the reroll fails. He takes a nice flesh wound from the swipe.
Meanwhile the bartender cowering behind the bar with Jobina surprises her by lunging for the bottle of liquor she's holding, apparently concerned with her setting any more fires in his inn. She's able to keep her grip on the bottle easily, though.
With the patrons now blocking the only door out of the room, flaming liquor and oil blocking the front doors and hooked wielding critters near all the windows, Eisig decides the spot behind the bar with Jobina and the barkeep is looking pretty good. He dashes for the bar and vaults over.
Beckah, back on the stairwell and having seen Talman drop someone (something?) with a sword, patrons charging through the door in a panic and the cook attacking him, likewise assumes Talman must be the source of the trouble. She decides to return to her target upstairs, wrap up the interrogation quickly, then kill him and escape out a window while the rest of the inn is busy with the Cain-marked lunatic downstairs. She dashes back up the stairs to attend to that.
When it's clear to Jobina that the barkeep, in his panic, has focused on getting that bottle out of her hand she simply lets go and lets him have it, freeing her up for other action this turn. Again she's forced to wait and see how events turn, hoping for an exit to present itself.
With the patrons all bottle-necked in the side door the chain-swinging critter gleefully hops over to lash at their backs, dropping one of them in the process. The two new arrivals from the south window likewise sprint howling for the mass of terrified people clogged in the doorway, laying into them with bloody hooks. With this impetus driving them the patrons manage to finally clear the doorway and pour into the hallway beyond, only to bottle-neck again at the rear exit down the hall.
Talman is still just inside the hallway, dealing with the cook with the meat cleaver. He easily dodges his two swings and grabs a firm hold on the man when his initiative comes up immediately after. With a huge heave he launches the cook into the doorway, soon to be crowded with maniacal hook-wielding freaks. Talman then dodges back up the nearby stairwell a step or two.
Having won possession of the coveted flammable liquor bottle, the bartender finally takes stock of the situation around him. With a frightened wail he sprints for the northern window where all the trouble started, launching himself through it and into the night.
With the bartender fled out the window Eisig considers following suit but the nearest hook critter is a bit too close for comfort. Not wanting to get stabbed in the back while hoofing it for the window he hunkers down and seeks out a bottle of flammable liquor of his own. Taking that in hand he peeks over the edge of the bar and tries to remain inconspicuous.
Beckah sprints the rest of the way up the stairs and around the corner to find Marken standing in the doorway to Willip's room, clearly taking in the situation there. Having used all her actions for this turn she launches into an attempt to intimidate him, preparing to either scare him off or grapple him on her next turn. With all the goings on, Beckah isn't all that intimidating to Marken and she fails in her attempt. Coppertail is still clinging the her shoulder, screeching in fright and likely not helping her look all that menacing.
Jobina is still crouching behind the bar and since the bartender is gone she grabs the last bottle of flammable liquor herself. It suddenly occurs to her that huddling behind a bar seems a foolish thing to be doing so she casts around for a scrap of cloth, finding a piece the bartender used to wipe mugs (spending a Plot Point on that). She stuffs it into the neck of the bottle, fashioning a quick Molotov cocktail. She takes a quick look around and finds another small lamp on the bar (spending another Plot Point). She grabs the small lamp and lights the cloth on her bottle of liquor, preparing to make a move for the window next turn.
The critter nearest the doorway to the hall howls madly and grabs for the cook Talman just tossed him at him. He easily snatches the portly cook off his feet and to the floor, already clawing at him with his hook before he's even on his back. Of the other two hooks one dashes into the hallway pursuing the fleeing patrons at the back door. There he falls upon them just as they swing open the door to find another hook critter waiting to begin slashing at them just outside. The last remaining critter in the common room spies the cook's assistant peering out the doorway to the kitchen and immediately makes for her, slashing at her as soon as she's in range.
The patrons trapped between the hook critter in the rear doorway and the one slashing at them from behind struggle and scream in terror but are trapped for the turn between the two beasts.
Willip is still bound to his bed upstairs and Marken, faced with the snarling Beckah and her shrieking monkey, not to mention the obvious screams of pain and terror from downstairs, isn't all that concerned with her. He scoffs at her attempt to run him off and instead warns her off instead, saying that he's taking Willip with him and she'd be wise to turn and walk away while she still can.
Downstairs again the cook struggles in vain to shake off the howling maniac grappling and slashing at him with an ivory hook. He fails to break free, however.
Talman, with all manner of unpleasantness practically on his heels, runs up the stairs to the second run of steps before turning with his broadsword in hand to make a stand against anything that might be chasing him.
Outside the inn the bartender stumbles clumsily through the window and takes to his feet only to be cut down near instantly by yet another hook critter crouching there. Neither Eisig nor Jobina hear the sounds of the bartender being attacked and killed outside the window.
With the only hook critter in sight still busy hacking at the cook on the floor near the hallway, Eisig decides it's time to leap out the window and get gone. He opts not to sprint but runs instead, not quite reaching the window but allowing for dodges should the nearby critter come after him.
Beckah upstairs is still faced with Marken, a stranger who's inexplicably decided to kidnap her target. She snatches out her pick-knife and threatens Marken again, making it clear she intends to attack if he doesn't make himself scarce. She succeeds in intimidating Marken this time as he appears to be unarmed.
Outside the inn near the common room window, the hook critter who just slaughtered the bartender snatches his hook out of the man's chest and leaps in through the window to look for more targets. He spies Eisig at hand right off and steps over to make a slash at him with his hook. Eisig easily dodges the attack.
Jobina is still brandishing her fire bomb and was prepared to dash behind Eisig for the window until the hook critter appeared there. Now with no other exit readily available she considers staying behind the bar but discards the notion. Besides being tired of huddling like a frightened child, the fire near the front doors is starting to spread and smoke has begun to get thick in the room. Jobina stands and dashes her fire bomb into the doorway to the hall, setting both the dying cook and the hook critter stabbing him to death in burning liquor. Already wielding her pick-knife she runs over beside Eisig, assuming he'll fight the creature and willing to pitch in to put that obstacle out of her way as quickly as possible. She jabs at the howling creature twice and is surprised to miss both times despite how many actions the beast has taken this turn already.
In the back door of the inn the two hook critters there have already wounded or dropped all the patrons bottlenecked there and are busy hacking at those that are still struggling.
The creature in the doorway to the hall is on fire and thrashing around on the floor. The other in the hall has already lain into the cook's assistant in the kitchen and is busy killing her. The cook himself gives up the ghost on the floor of the common room after being slashed repeatedly by the hook critter and being set on fire by Jobina.
Back upstairs Marken does his best to reason with Jobina, still believing she's Willip irate girlfriend or wife. He takes no other actions.
Talman on the stairway realizes with some relief that nothing seems to be coming after him so turns to run up the stairs to rejoin Marken and warn him of what's going on down in the common. He nearly runs headlong into Beckah from behind and recognizes the implied threat to Marken in the way she's brandishing her pick-knife. He uses his momentum to continue forward and slam into her. Coming up from behind quickly as he does, Beckah is an Easy target and he hits her hard.
With the hook critter slashing at him and the knife wielding woman from the bar appearing beside him to slash at the creature, Eisig decides to see if he can recreate his previous success with fighting one of the creatures. He levels two jabs, hitting both times and badly wounding the hook critter.
Upstairs Beckah stumbles forward from Talman having barreled into her. Rather than turn to assess the threat she continues her forward stumble and darts into Willip's doorway to take a stand and shove at Marken in order to clear the door. She fails to move the man even after two tries and has now left herself wide open for attack by both men.
In the common room the hook critter facing Eisig and Jobina slashes twice at Eisig, who just stabbed him. He gashes Eisig badly with the blow.
Jobina takes advantage of the hook critter's focus on Eisig to make a strong jab. Her attack hits well and the creature drops to the floor.
At the back door the two hook creatures finish off the last two patrons and move on down the hall at a lope to seek out new victims. One slams open the door to the common but recoils at the flames before him. He does spy Eisig and Jobina near the window beyond and turns to run back down the hall and out the back door next turn in order to intercept them. The other creature makes for the foot of the stairs, meeting the remaining hook critter who just finished off the cook's assistant in the kitchen, who is in turn just beginning to sprint up the stairs.
Marken recognizes that Beckah is attempting shove him clear of the door in order to close it and seal both he and Talman out. Though he's wary of her knife, he attempts to prevent her from closing the door and calls for Talman to subdue her before he gets himself stabbed.
Talman already has his broadsword in hand and steps up to warn Beckah that it'll cost her head if she doesn't drop her knife and step aside right away.
Eisig makes for the window, vaults through and finds himself outside the inn at last. Taking a quick look around he can't see any sign of the hook creatures out here, beyond the two dead men at his feet. He runs to the opposite side of the street to take a good look at the inn and any possible threats from that quarter before escaping the area next turn.
Beckah, faced with an immovable Marken and the threat of Talman close at hand, is a bit desperate. She quickly decides that if a confrontation is in order, then so be it. She darts over to Willip, still bound to the bed nearby, placing her knife to his throat and threatens to kill him if they don't back off. She reasons that if the two men are interested in Willip then taking him hostage might be a good idea. Beckah's monkey Coppertail is off her shoulder after Talman slammed into her in the hall. He makes himself useful by skittering up onto the bed and chattering loudly at the two men at the door.
Jobina wastes no time following Eisig out the window, figuring a good meat shield isn't something to abandoned too quickly. She vaults through the window and is right on his heels as he dashes across the street. She considers running off and leaving when the man stops to gawk at the burning inn and the madness going on in there but decides against it. She's already making plans to make the best of the situation and seduce, rob and kill Eisig once they get away and things calm down.
Back in the inn the two hook critters in the hallway join forces and sprint out the back door, intending to chase down the two (Eisig and Jobina) who got away out the window. Making an all-out mad sprint in their desire the hook somebody, they come within twenty feet of the two before they can react.
The hook critter on the stairs continuing running up until he reaches the second floor. Taking a quick glance around he spies Talman and Marken near at hand by Willip's door. He wails madly and charges after Talman, his hook already drawn back for a strike.
Marken, still intimidated by Beckah and unwilling to come within range of her pick-knife, is waiting for Talman to deal with the mad woman. The appearance of a dark, wailing, hook-wielding creature at the top of the stairs nearly causes him to wet himself. He immediately turns and jumps for the nearest door at hand, the innkeeper's quarters. The door is locked of course and Marken now finds himself trapped at the end of a short hall with nowhere to flee.
Talman doesn't waste time on Beckah or Marken when the beast appears and charges right for him. He meets the creature's charge, attacking fiercely to put him down before he can attack. Despite the creature's attempts to dodge all three lightning quick slashes, two of them hit hard and it's enough to drop him at Talman's feet.
Outside Eisig and Beckah are suddenly faced with two howling hook critters sprinting out the back door and making straight for them. Eisig, being impulsive and not all concerned with the fact that he has no armor and is armed only with a dagger, charges right for the nearest one. Now that he's escaped the burning inn he wants to bag one of these critters and finally get a good look at them. A short run brings him in range of the first of the two and Eisig cuts loose with every attack he can muster. Which, with his d4 Knife skill after a run leaves him with...one. It dodges Eisig's attack.
Jobina dithers a bit when confronted with the two hook creatures, especially after Eisig's failure to wound either of them. In the end she decides to drop back a bit and wait. If Eisig does any better against the creatures soon she'll jump in and help, hopefully earning his gratitude and opening up the opportunity to pursue her plans with him. Failing that she intends to flee and give up on scoring a victim tonight. It's been a rather crazy night, after all.
The two hook critters waste no time laying into Eisig, both slashing repeatedly and furiously. Despite being reduced to innate defense for all the hurt coming his way Eisig manages to avoid all but one of the attacks. Coupled with the harsh cut he took in the common room moments ago he's in bad shape after he takes a second hook slash.
Beckah is waiting for the men to respond to her threat and is surprised with Marken spots something in the hall, blanches and flees to the right, followed by Talman looking to the left, roaring and charging for whatever is howling over there. With the door suddenly clear she simply springs for it, closes it and flips the latch. Hopefully whoever came up the stairs will deal with the Cain-marked madman in the hall while she waits it out. She's unaware that the inn is on fire downstairs.
Marken rejoins Talman then and Talman, seeing Beckah close and latch the door, has enough of her already. Figuring it's well past time to secure Willip and get out of the place, he charges for the door and rams into it (dropping 3 Plot Points on the attempt). He smashes the door wide open, bursting into the room. He then readies his sword to attack and issues Beckah a final warning to drop her knife and step aside...or else.
Eisig again decides to lay into the nearest critter, reasoning the best defense is killing at least one of these maniacal hook wielding freaks before they hook him. He makes two slashes at the beast, dropping one Plot Point on each attack for good measure. He blows are weak despite landing well though. He injures the creature at last but hardly drops him.
Jobina is surprised at Eisig's ability to dodge all the hooks flailing around him though unimpressed with his dagger skills. She decides at last to pitch in, figuring they should be able with defeat these two creatures and provide her the opportunity to make Eisig the quick mark she came here looking for tonight. Besides, after all the ruckus she's rather spoiling for a fight. Running back to Eisig's side she lays into the creature he wounded, wielding her pick-knife two-handed this time. Her first mighty blow drops the critter instantly so she turns to level two more against the other. She lands a mere scratch with one strike and misses pretty badly with the second.
The remaining hook critter wails with fury and strikes at Jobina in turn. She dodges one slash but is wickedly gouged with the other.
Upstairs in Willip's room Beckah considers her options quickly. Unwilling to let go of Willip before she's got enough information to be sure to secure the payment the Skin Hags are offering, she elects to return her pick-knife to his throat and take him hostage. She and Talman immediately begin to parlay for Willip, she still wanting a bit more info from him and Talman wanting only to take him in hand and get out.
Marken joins Talman in his negotiations to secure Willip from Beckah's pick-knife. Things go badly when Marken overrides Talman's intention to let her quickly get what info she needs before turning him over. Marken knows nothing of Beckah's employers or the information they desire from him and is concerned their interests may run contrary to his own employer's. He instructs Talman to secure Willip from Beckah some other way.
Talman simply shrugs and informs Beckah that she's got ten seconds to leave the room before he lops her head off. If she kills Willip then so be it. Either way she's dead if she doesn't get gone quickly.
In the street Eisig is faced with a single opponent now and the crazy pick-knife woman from the inn is back at his side. He attacks the remaining hook critter with another pair of slashing strikes. He lands a solid blow this time that leaves the critter howling with pain and fury.
Jobina pitches in with another flurry of strikes that she hopes will drop the critter quickly. She lands a piercing blow but doesn't quite drop the critter.
The hook critter is badly wounded and can make only one weak attack on Jobina, the last person to wound him. She dodges the clumsy attack with little effort.
Beckah dithers again, still really wanting another crack at Willip. In the end she decides that tackling the hulking Cain-mark brute with the broadsword simply is not a viable option and releases Willip. She steps aside to the corner of the room, pick-knife at the ready to defend herself and watching for any sign of treachery from the two men.
Upstairs Marken clearly wasn't comfortable with Talman's approach but couldn't come up with anything better to get himself and Willip out of the inn quickly. He's relieved and fairly pleased with Talman when the frightful woman with the pick-knife steps aside. He orders Talman to cover him while he gets Willip and moves forward to untie him from the bed.
Talman takes up position to defend his employer, eyeing Beckah as menacingly as possible.
Back outside Eisig at last lands a solid blow on the frothing critter and drops him to the street before he can get a lucky strike on either of them. Free at last to satisfy his curiosity be kicks one of the critters over to get a good look at him. He's a little surprised to find the creature is human after all, something he suspected from the beginning. Dressed in dark furs with something black smeared all over their exposed skin the men certainly seem frightful when howling and swinging hooks all over the place. Eisig is very interested to note the men seem of a race he's never encountered before, with broad foreheads and square jaws. He also notes a wide variety of scars etched on every exposed bit of skin, arranged in some rather bizarre patterns.
Beckah on the other hand isn't at all interested in the hook wielding maniacs. She takes the opportunity to catch her breath and formulate her strategy for seducing Eisig instead.
Upstairs in the inn Marken quickly releases Willip, keeping the gag in place and using the ties Beckah bound him with to likewise bind his hands behind him. Taking him firmly in hand and ignoring Willip's fervent, muffled pleas he gives Talman a nod and the two back out of the room. Making for the stairs to put some distance between themselves and the mad woman upstairs they arrive in the hallway to find a fire has spread from the common into here blocking their exit. While they could dash through it isn't likely can they do so with Willip in hand without getting burned badly.
They instead head left into the kitchen, ducking the flames in the hall in order to make use of the north window there to scramble out of. In moments Talman has broken out the window with his sword and Marken crawls through to pull Willip through while Talman pushes from inside. Beckah, meanwhile, has followed the men furtively as she's likewise without another exit from the inn.
Presently Marken, Talman and Willip have gained the street and Beckah is waiting only for the men to move away so she can exit safely. When they spy Eisig and Jobina just down the street standing over two more dead hook wielders they opt to head east and take the nearest alleyway out of the area. Unfortunately it's only a few steps before they spot the half a dozen city guard jogging up from that direction. Turning on their heels as inconspicuously as possible they head west after all, intending to breeze quickly past Eisig and Jobina, leaving them to face the guard instead.
When Beckah finishes crawling through the broken window she's disgruntled to find the city guard right on top of her, demanding she present herself. Shaking off the dirt and dust she puts on her most innocent face and does so. While the guard busy themselves questioning her about all the dead people in the street and the fact that the inn seems to be in a blaze behind her, two of the guard break off to jog after the gaggle of civilians further down the street. They call out for all to halt and present themselves.
Marken and Talman opt to run for it, dragging Willip mercilessly along. They duck into the nearest alley and through to the next street. There Marken instructs Talman to hang back and hold off the guard while he escapes, something Talman isn't at all in agreement with. Taking on the city guard seems something only slightly less than completely suicidal. Marken doesn't waste time arguing, still dragging Willip along in the opposite direction and warns Talman that if he's going to be working the Black Garrote he's expected to obey orders. After considering the matter for a moment, Talman decides Marken can get stuffed, sheaths his broadsword and makes his way back down the alley to turn himself over the guard already sprinting his way.
Back on the street outside the inn the guards have Beckah in hand already and are busy questioning her. Eisig and Jobina don't bother running either, figuring they've nothing especially to hide. They join the guard and fill them in on the night's events as well. Presently they're on hand the witness the big Cain-marked warrior escorted in from the west to face questioning as well.
While they're busy with the guards on hand many more begin to arrive in the interim, responding to the blaze. They begin a bucket brigade, carting in sand and dirt from an empty lot nearby to combat the blaze. The recent drought leaving water far too precious to be thrown onto a fire. They struggle at first but eventually give up and start hacking down the nearby buildings to contain the now raging blaze. Residents are thrown out into the street along with the goods and merchandise of a couple of nearby stores as well. The full two dozen guards take a moment to conscript the now homeless residents in helping them cart the remains of their homes and flammable belongings off away from the fire to keep it from spreading.
Eventually the guards feel they have a concise accounting of the events of the night. We all learn from them that they're convinced the strange men with hooks are likely the culprits behind a string of murders all over the city in the past two weeks as well. Before we can be released a runner approaches from the east and delivers a message to the senior guard, who issues orders in turn to the barker running our interrogation. To our surprise the barker immediately orders us all seized and hauled down to the jail to be held there.
With nearly three dozen city guard all running about the place armed with swords and armored in thick leathers it's rather a no brainer that fighting is out of the question. We turn ourselves over to the guard and are quickly escorted off.
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