Along with the treasure the bandits had hidden in Kuto’s Well, they had also stashed two elven captives: a ranger, Inigo (Bob), and a wizard, Ginallath (John, in his first night playing with our group). Grateful for the rescue and in desperate need of a fresh infusion of cash, the elves agreed to join the party: with their numbers bolstered and access to an arcane spellcaster, the PCs began to consider a return to Sokol Keep to settle accounts with the Orcs. They discussed their options, then rested in the chambers beneath the Well.
Climbing out of the well the next morning, Inigo was greeted by a shower of rancid, regurgitated alcohol. This was, of course, Beck Darkmantle, who had chosen Kuto’s Well to void the combined aftereffects of a night on the run from Vola as a werewolf, and his natural Tucker Max-ian penchant for alcohol. A fight almost ensued, but fortunately Beck recognized MacTavish and Wulf, and rejoined the party as it made its way back to New Phlan. Here, they split up again, with most of the group stopping at Jerome of Melvaunt’s shop for supplies before heading back to their rooms at Nat Wyler’s Bell while Beck roamed New Phlan seeking a refill of his keg and a hot bath. Instead, he had to make a hasty escape from Vola at the Bitter Blade (a hangout for political malcontents with all the worst aspects of a caucus and an open mic night), was turned away at the Cracked Crown (a more upscale inn catering to locals), and after a cold bath in the Moonsea vowed revenge.
In the meantime, Ginallath had identified the magical items from the bandits’ stash (a +1 suit of chainmail, a +1 bastard sword, and various potions) and the party decided they would indeed return to Sokol Keep. Accordingly, they bedded down for a good night’s sleep at Nat Wyler’s…except for Beck, who convinced Aeryn to help him rob the Cracked Crown. The two arrived at the Crown, and Aeryn picked the lock. As they searched for the cashbox, Beck (not good at moving silently at the best of times) bumped up against a table, sending a mug crashing to the floor. The innkeeper woke and called for the Watch, and Beck made a hasty exit (but not without leaving some caltrops behind) while Aeryn hid in the Crown’s kitchen. Aeryn waited in hiding for the innkeeper to leave, and Beck managed to talk his way out of being arrested by the watch by convincing them he was looking for a lost puppy (the New Phlan watch must like puppies…Beck rolled amazingly well on his Bluff check). Finally, both characters slunk back to Nat Wyler’s Bell around 3AM…40 GP richer, as Aeryn had found the Crown’s cashbox.
The next morning, the party visited the New Phlan City Council and, while unable to see their patron Poryphrys Cadorna, obtained a writ from the Council Clerk for a new rowboat. Loading themselves and their gear inside, the party rowed out into the harbor towards the Keep.