The PCs managed to avoid any trouble with guards and have enough money to pay for their passage across the river to Buche. They hide in some smuggler’s hold aboard Francois’ ship, and spend the night there and half the morning till they get the all clear from Francois (who bribed a guard not to watch him unload his cargo). They agree to reunite in 10 days time, when Francois will take them across the river again into Barcino.
The Heroes arrive in Buche to discover that getting into the city, as hard as it was, will be easy compared to getting out of it. There is a wall around the city that is patrolled by guards at all times. There is a gate where all people trying to leave are questioned and searched. They also learn that the main road from Buche to Bascone (where Ramon’s prison is believed to be) also happens to be the road to Charrouse (the capital city). At any time, they may see between two and two-hundred Montaigne troops coming down that road to Buche; and they’re known for stopping all travelers demanding to see papers, and also making arbitrary arrests; especially of foreigners. Because Buche is so close to the war with Castille, security is extremely tight here.
Realizing this difficulty, they decide to lie low until nightfall. As they are wandering the crowded streets of Buche, towards the Crusty Wench (owned by the twin sister of the old Vesten woman from the Salty Hag), Diego spots someone, and hears his deceased sister’s voice cry out! “He’s here, Diego! Be careful brother!”
At that moment, the Montainge Officer known as “El Craneo Rojo” (The Red Skull), the man who killed Diego’s sister, blinded his father, and burned their family home; turns and sees Diego. Diego immediately begins to follow him, but when he turns the corner into an alley, El Craneo Rojo is gone (he is a Porte mage). Diego is distraught for two reasons.
1. He is OBSESSED with bringing his sister’s killer to justice.
2. He thought he was already dead! In a previous adventure (run as a 1 shot) El Craneo Rojo was shot and apparently killed. Somehow, he has managed to cheat death (he did so by using the “Catch” knack with Porte, to prevent the bullet from harming him. When he wheeled around clutching his chest and collapsed, people assumed he’d been killed by the gunshot. The fact that porte sorcery causes blood to drip from the portal made this all the more convincing, as it seemed like he was clutching a bleeding wound right over his heart.
Needless to say, the fact that his sister’s murderer is alive and well, and that he had gotten away has left Diego rather upset. He drinks his dinner that night, while the other PCs try to choke down the horrid food from the Crusty Wench (it is actually worse than the Salty Hag). In spite of finishing off a bottle of what the old Vesten woman swore was brandy, Diego was still conscious (but certainly 3 sheets to the wind).
At nightfall, the Heroes set about trying to scale the wall. It is only 20’ tall, with crenelations around it. Luis uses Quinn to get a boost, then lassos one of the Crenalations. One failed notice check later, and there is a guard helping him to reach the top. Luis’ attempt to fast talk the guard into thinking that he was deliberately trying to get the guards attention (and that there was a murder just below) fails. As the guard tries to place Luis under arrest, Luis knifes him with the blade he had up his sleeve.
Then, they hear footsteps approaching. Luis uses the rope to lower the dead guard below while he hangs from the wall. The guard manages to pass by without incident (he paused when he stepped in a puddle, but in the dark of the moonless night, he had no way of knowing it was a puddle of the other guard’s blood).
Meanwhile, Quinn helped himself to the dead guard’s sword. The PCs made it over the wall without incident, and wandered into the dark Montaigne night. They moved into the countryside, off the main road to avoid the patrols. They planned to move all night until they could make it to the edge of the woods in the La Motte province, where they intended to rest.
Once there, Luis elected to stay and guard the camp site. Because they had not had anything decent to eat in days, Diego and Quinn each decide to split up and go hunting (Diego is hunting with a sword). Diego also manages to see a deer! But as he begins trying to sneak up on it, he is startled to see another predator in the woods.
A gigantic black wolf, the size of a small horse, bursts through a Porte portal and bites the deer’s head off in a single snap of its jaws! It then looks up at Diego, and gets ready to charge him!
At this point, I called for everyone to roll initiative.