Abban, Spike, Linooh and Raif rushed into the solar of the Weathernel Atar manor. The torch that lit the room concealed as much as it revealed, and the soon-to-be victims used the shadows to their advantage in defending against the party.
Raif solved this problem with a well placed sunrod, but the brilliant light in the dark and misty night caused a problem of its own. Beacon. Several guards from the walls came running toward the room, ready for action.
The light revealed the party’s opponents, two halflings. The male halfling was armed with a rapier and obviously used agility for attack and defense, though initially he stayed largely out of the fighting. The female halfling had wrapped her robes around her and used arcane energies to blast the party with acid. She focused her efforts on Spike, but the light revealed her position and allowed Linooh to reinforce Spike with some energy blasts of her own.
The defending sorceress was soon bloodied and the rapier-armed defender rushed over to snuff the sunrod, allowing the other to slink back into the shadows.
During this time Abban had made quick work of a guard running for help but other guards that had seen the light beagn to arrive. The assaulting party still had the advantage and Raif, in an attempt to lessen bloodshed and perhaps gain useful information, called for the defenders to surrender.
The female sorceress cried out that Elrad, the rapier-wielding halfing, had an uncle who would not forgive him if he surrendered. That motivated Elrad to keep fighting as one of the stronger guards, Chanan, moved into the melee. The other guard rushing in from the misty air was dropped by Hektor’s quick and surprising strike from behind. However, Hektor quickly retreated once again and hid in the shadows.
Raif and Spike managed to flank Elrad and soon made short work of him. Sensing his defeat, Elrad surrendered. Chanan and the other halfling, Paziah Weathernel, refused to give up. Paziah made a run for the open door, dodging Hektor’s hasty attacks. Just as she was about to break past the party Abban put a well placed bullet into her skull, knocking her unconscious.
With that, Chanan surrendered and the party was able to talk with Elrad. Elrad Weathernel turned out to be the bailiff, or person-in-charge, of the manor. He was convinced by Linooh’s silver tongue to divulge the location of what the party was looking for and even mentioned the possibility of a business arrangement if they were successful in their raid.
Spike and Abban, overwhelmed by sudden victory, took a few moments to gather themselves before they could explain what they wanted. Once they told Elrad they wanted the rumored dowry for the four Weathernel daughters Elrad became a willing accomplice.
Elrad explained that the dowry was of no use to him and if the thieves would give him a cut he would gladly help them find and defeat Chozal, the mercenary hired to guard the treasure. Chanan, now bound and gagged, began making noise at Elrad’s helpfulness, so Elrad stabbed him in the eye with his icy rapier.
Elrad then guided the party to the ‘hidden’ part of the garden where Chozal was hidden. Elrad warned them that Chozal was easily worth several of any one party member and that extreme caution was needed.
Taking his advice Abban, with Spike acting as lookout, silently eliminated several guards strolling along the garden’s paths outside the secret area to assure the group an uninterrupted party with Chozal.
With the way cleared the party prepared to rush Chozal, sneaking through the hedges. With a silent hand signal Elrad, Abban, and Chozal darted forward hoping to end the fight quickly. To their dismay they found that Chozal was built like an ironworks and unhappy realization came upon the whole party.
Chozal was not going to go down easily.