The City of Lives

Treasure Hunters for Hire: The Hangman's Noose, Part 2

The hunters, armed with the map to the Hangman’s compound that Akina “found” (or rather, created after secretly pulling the knowledge from a thug’s head), headed towards the outskirts of the City and the Hangman’s lair. As they left, Moregar decided to stay behind and interview the prostitutes more intently, looking for more evidence to take the Hangman down, and Lopov mysteriously vanished to pursue his criminal activities after passing off the Horns of Torment to his sister.

Nearing the compound, in the woods, they began to encounter signs of the Hangman: nearly every tree had a rotting corpse hanging from its branches, and a thick scent of decay filled the air. Heading in, Thalia began running ahead, as is her wont, and disturbed a sentry, who began sprinting towards the Hangman’s cabin nearby. Yorgen followed quickly, riding Ilsa, while Akina slowly brought up the rear. As she neared the cabin, Akina spread out her mind, scanning for nearby people. She found a second sentry hiding in the woods, as well as nearly a dozen thugs inside. Thalia tackled the sentry she had found and knocked him senseless.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fix had heard back from Moregar and decided the team needed another helper, so called upon another of his freelance employees, the Outlander and possible Daughter of Light descendant Gemma, a brawler of no mean skill. Gemma came upon the scene just in time to see the second sentry slip into the house, and headed over to help. She approached the door and addressed one of the thugs inside, who rebuffed her, saying they didn’t want any visitors [non-canon detail: “We don’t want any Girl Scout cookies” in a bad German accent]. She refused to be dissuaded, and while the sentry headed into the house, alerting the rest of the Hangman’s crew, the thugs at the door began to fight back.

Gemma and Yorgen focused their attentions on a pair of thugs, one well-armed and armored and another lighter and more mobile, with a lariat for pulling opponents to his partner. Meanwhile, Akina slipped past them into the house, and Thalia used her newly-acquired Boots of Leaping to easily jump onto the roof and down through the ceiling, surprising several more thugs inside. A second battle commenced inside, and Akina, wishing to conserve her mental energies for the confrontation with the Hangman, began to try and use her tiny bits of martial prowess, but was quickly disarmed by her opponent. Thalia found herself trying to protect Akina as much as possible, interposing herself between the weaker loremaster and the thugs.

By the time Yorgen and Gemma were finished outside, the sentry had made it down to the basement and warned the Hangman, who immediately came up to get rid of these interlopers. He began his assault by choking Thalia with his mystical Noose, causing a ghostly rope to appear around her neck. Yorgen immediately responded by nullifying the magic before Thalia could take much damage, and Thalia managed to rip the Noose from the Hangman’s fingers. The Hangman responded by bringing out a secondary weapon, a terrifying man-catcher with a massive mace on one end and a loop of razor wire on the other. Luckily, Thalia only took one strike from the mace before Yorgen stepped in between them and began fighting the Hangman.

Akina, mentally exhausted but knowing she was ineffective in physical conflict, revealed her Horns of Torment and started throwing intense pain at the Hangman. Over the next few minutes, Yorgen held the Hangman off while Thalia used the Noose and Akina used the Horns to attack him, as the remaining thugs fought Gemma and tried to take the Noose back. The Hangman threw Yorgen into the fireplace with his man-catcher, then headed to kill Thalia. However, before he could do so, Thalia used the Noose to throttle the Hangman to death.

Finishing up, the team discovered a victim hanging up in the basement and rescued her, Yorgen snatched the Horns from Akina, then returned to Mr. Fix. Yorgen revealed Akina and Lopov’s treachery, and Mr. Fix went berserk, telling them that Lopov would have to crawl back to him on his hands and knees if he wanted a chance at being forgiven. He took the Horns without paying the team, calling it his payment for their deceit. However, he complimented them on their work with the Noose and paid them a fair price for it.

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