A Mercenary Gamble chapter 2 - another throw of the dice

Stop - Hammertime!

A guard officer tells us that two black dragons are rumoured to be coming to Hammerfast in search of the party.
A guard officer lies and wriggles when Elder Kendred’s vision of 3 dwarves moving the box has few distinguishing marks.
Something is definitely going on, and we have little idea who’s responsible.

Maybe we need a different tack.

Are the dragons real? If so, how do we fight them, knowing that they come? The tower was invaluable cover last time against one dragon. Now there may be two dragons coming and we are missing Lincoln and Justice.

Can we salvage our investigations in Hammerfast? If not, can we stabilise the town any other way? Is the Mayor in on it, or not? Either way, can we persuade the Mayor into cleaning up her town?

Possible leverage
We have 70,000gp from the Tower find. That’s a lot of potential assassins. Clean up the town. Purge the hardliners, somehow. Build a better city. Or else…


Quite frankly, I feel pretty much as I have always felt; It’s not our problem to solve.

The dwarves are happy with the status quo. The orcs are too. Elder Kendred is over the moon with us for recovering the artifact. We may have screwed the pooch by trying to interfere.

Anyone know how fast Black Dragons can fly? Faster than a Phantom Steed? After all; He who turns and runs away, lives to fight (in another defensible position) another day. He who stays, and doesn’t run… Sometimes Dies, and that ain’t fun.

Stop - Hammertime!

Yeah, we’ve made a stab at sorting out the naughty bigotted dwarf problem. But, we’ve thrown our best plan at it and it’s not worked as well as we’d like. This could be an ideal time to foment revolution in a civilian population!

How much is the good regard of the halfling trade crew worth to us, compared to the enmity of some isolationist dwarves?

We could just run. Knowing how well we hide, we ought to run to a better place to repel Dragons from, though – if they exist. Why not call the Dwarfy bluff and hang around Hammerfast?

Better yet? If the dragons show up – We can tell them we sold the Orb to the acquisitive dwarves of the Trade Bank. That’s why we’ve got a lot of gold. If the dragons are quick, they should be able to reclaim it before the Dwarves work out how to use it.

Stop - Hammertime!

I like the lying to the dragon idea. But they have a tendency to be a little wider spread with their aggression than I’d be happy with even to sort out some stuck up dwarves. WE have friends and allies in the city. I don’t want to risk them too. The Arcane Star is NOT Collateral Damage!

Stop - Hammertime!

Of course. I wouldn’t put anyone I cared about in harm’s way without good reason. The question’ll probably come back to what we stand to gain out of either path.

Stop - Hammertime!

What did we gain by trying to unmask the thieves? It put our reputations on the line, and wouldn’t really have netted us anything. The city has been working with this situation just fine for years. We can’t solve everyone’s legal problems wherever we go. ESPECIALLY as we are not intending to stay here. We’ve spent over 500gp of arcane components to get nowhere. We could have left almost immediately and been on our way somewhere more tolerant.

Stop - Hammertime!

Setting aside the issues regarding dwarven politics – How do we fight two dragons?
Obviously, both at the same time in open ground in daylight is a Really Bad Idea.

So, other plans? Ranged weaponry? How to convince a dragon to stay on the ground long enough for Krusk to hit it?

Stop - Hammertime!

Or – Do we need to fight them at all? If they think they’ll win the fight, they’ve little incentive not to fight. Dragons are notoriously mean-spirited and disdainful of so-called lesser races.

Stop - Hammertime!

With most Dragons, I foresee the following options.

1. I am considerably harder than you. – A show of incredible force.
2. I am considerably faster than you. – He who turns and runs away… (Lives to kick orc ass another day)
3. I am considerably smarter than you. – Master the Orb… (Unlikely but possible).
4. I am considerably luckier than you. – rely on the situation… (bad idea)
5. I am considerably richer than you. – hire mercenaries to fight them for us… (yeah right)

We might be able to get the Gruumsh Orcs to fight with us, for the glory of it. But I don’t really see much other option if there really are dragons. Option 2 is my favourite.

Stop - Hammertime!

How about adding a chattier option.
6. I am more politically astute than you – The compact means that the Gruumshites are bound to help defend Hammerfast. The noble dwarven Moradinites won’t sit a fight out, if it’s publicised as a glorious coming battle against Dragons, an ancient dwarven foe.

‘Kick the adventurers out and hope the fight passes us by’ is hardly a great dwarven (or orcish) battle cry. Let’s see if we can rouse some of the city to glorious effort!

Stop - Hammertime!

That might work, especially if we START with the orcs… then we can play the “you want to live in a city that the ORCS defended and you weren’t brave enough” card?

Stop - Hammertime!

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