Renegade Project 15: Deadly Cargo


While the men welcome the party of harlots, you slip away to the wagon at the back of the camp. At least for the moment, it stands unguarded. You climb up and open one of the top wooden boxes. Empty.

Maybe Galen does order them to bring the crates back for reuse. You use your foot to push the bottom crate and it slides easily. Empty too.

Just to make sure, you move to the other side and open the top crate – empty – then check the bottom one with your foot. The bottom crate doesn’t budge.

Arching one eyebrow you glance around to see if anyone is approaching. With no one near, you lift off the top crate and open the bottom one.

In the night, it’s hard to see, but the box is definitely more than half full of something dark – or rather, many things. You lean closer.

“Swords?” There are a variety of lengths, but they are all black swords with thick wooden handles. Except that what you thought were black sheaths are actually thick blades. What sort of metal is it? And not regular steel?

You reach out to touch one of the blades. Just before your fingers touch the black surface, a spark jumps and tingling pain darts through your hand.

You jerk your hand back. It can’t be. How in the world would Gallino have a whole box of lightening staffs? Two centuries ago all realms of the known land had agreed to forbid the relic as part of the Treaty of Rodan. They had cost too many lives in war. Existing ones had been gathered and destroyed, along with the records of how to create it. The very information was deem too dangerous. Most people don’t even know that such a relic ever existed.

Although, it’s possible that a few escaped discovery and have been hidden to occasionally turn up, if anyone is found to have even one in their possession, is a serious crime. However, these are modified to look like swords, which means someone is creating them – in mass.

Only one book contained the details of the relic, secretly compiled of deadly relics and herbs in order to counter or destroy them. It had been one of the most dangerous secrets entrusted to the monks, which is the only reason you even know anything about it or the relic. You had hoped it had burned in the massacre, but if someone has even part of that book…

You grit your teeth. Fighting a lightening staff with a normal sword is deadly. Not to mention that if Gallino had these, who knew what else he might have.  You remembered a few of the counters, but it would take time to find and prepare the right tools. It’s a good thing you checked the crates first. If caught, you could be dead before you even figured out what you were up against.

But now what? Do you:

Watch what happens to the crate and hope you find out where they are coming from or going before someone discovers you.
Grab one of the relics as evidence and get out of there. You are in way over your head and the relic alone can prove there’s serious trouble. Dying in reckless heroism might only ensure no one ever finds out until it is too late.

Voting is Closed.

For those who missed the rules for this game or an index check them out here!

And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

11 comments on “Renegade Project 15: Deadly Cargo

  1. Hmmm, Meditate upon this, I must.

  2. Oh nice one, Ren! What a dilemma!

    If he takes the staff, then he can get caught “red-handed” with the proof, and accused of great treachery–and outlawed! If he doesn’t take the staff, he has no proof, and who knows WHAT Gallino will do with them all.

    One thing is for sure: Natin is right!

    Ooh boy.

    He needs Natin. You don’t suppose you could write Natin in, skulking about on the edges of the camp somewhere? Hmmm. Maybe not! That would spoil the fun.

    I vote for taking the staff and making like a bat out of hell to somewhere that he can safely hide it. And not getting caught in the process! But of course, I’m no fun…

    😉 So; just for clarification: is there only the one crate of these fell objects on the wagon?

  3. Aren’t all the monks, his former allies, dead? I got the impression the whole reason he’s hiring himself out as a mercenary is because he has no one he can turn to.

    I say stick close to the caravan, and see what happens to the lightning sword thingies. You need to know where they’re going, who has control of them, and what they’re intended purpose is.

    Also, if there is someone left who you can trust, send an urgent message. If backup is available you’ll need it, but taking off with just one sword to parts unknown…that’s not gonna end well for you.

  4. A combination of both. Take one of the swords for evidence, but stick close and see what happens.

  5. Okay, a little more info…

    Yes, there is only crate with these weapons. The rest of the crates are empty.

    About the monks, yes, at least as far as our hero is aware, they all died in that attack. He wouldn’t be running off to “parts unknown” for some elusive ally. The book that had information on this weapon, along with other such forbidden tools, was created for the purpose of preserving information on how to defend against, cure or beat these tools. Our hero may not have a photographic memory, but he’s not clueless of how to fight these things (which is a whole lot better than can be said for the other people in this land who have never encountered such weapons and didn’t know that such could exist).

    But it takes preparation and the right resources. The real question here is does he get clear and prepare the best he can to defend against the stuff he remembers in the book, or does he risk being caught unprepared in order to find out more information.

    If he got clear he would probably head back to the estate – unless the group wants him to head directly for the equivalent of the police, which is an option.

    In this I don’t have any outside ally waiting in the wings to step in. You’re welcome to approach Galen, Natin or whoever else you think might be a good ally. Think of the people that you have run into or even those that would be in the area… who do you want to turn to? The throne is contested among three siblings so even going to the “very top of the chain” you have a choice.

    Now, because of the nature of this game, you guys are free to discuss and come up with your own wild card. I can’t force you. You control this hero. You can propose whatever option you want – even the potential of creating an ally. You could create the option of seeking out a fellow/friend mercenary who is definitely trustworthy. Or have the hero seek help from an old friend who maybe happens to be the king of a neighboring realm.

    If I create/introduce a character, then you can’t dictate what they are, but if you come up with a character as part of an option and the group chooses that option, then I will run with it.

  6. Um… come on, a tie with one each?

    and here I thought I had two on one and was ready to call the vote!

  7. Stick close and see what happens

  8. Not sure where my vote went. I commented when this post went up. I will agree with Kaleb.

  9. Ren, I’m thinking of changing/adding to my vote in light of the additional information you gave us.

    Natin was telling the truth (this time), but he’s already proved himself a little incompetent and very impetuous. Our hero needs better backup, but first he absolutely needs to stop Natin from attacking the caravan before it’s too late and Natin gets himself killed. So, I guess the next question is, where is Natin, and how to stop him?

    So; my changed vote is:

    I vote for our hero to slip one of the swords out of the box, wrap it in his cloak and make his way out of the camp unobserved. He needs the sword to experiment on in order to be sure that he hasn’t forgotten something important from that book and that he can neutralize these swords as he encounters them.

    Once he finds Natin, I vote that our hero warns him off and gives him a message for Galen; Gallino is smuggling lightning staffs disguised as swords. He can show Natin the sword and explain/demonstrate why they’re dangerous, but Natin’s going to have to find a way to convince his father without the sword that they’re real, and that Gallino is shipping them. Maybe–can the sword deliver a nasty shock-burn that would take a while to heal? Something not life-threatening?

    After he parts from Natin (and company), I vote for our hero to follow Gallino to his end destination to see where he delivers the swords, and then slip away to start finding the ingredients that he needs to counter the swords and competent backup (I also have some ideas on this for later, but this is getting too long).

    Whether he hides the sword somewhere for safekeeping, and/or at what point, I won’t vote on for now. Whether he finds Natin well before he attacks Gallino’s caravan, or has to physically intervene to stop the attack–I’m not voting on either.

    • ok, more clarification. Natin’s plan of drugging the guards is not likely to work with only one cup each. True it depends on what “drug” is used, but… unless all the camp looks like the men are passed out it may be that nothing will happen.

      Granted, I didn’t clarify it and our hero doesn’t know, but Natin didn’t plan on being on location. Our hero doesn’t know who was going to do what after the drugging. For all he knows it could be the women who were going to snope around. They’re really the only ones you can say are really in on it. If there is a group of men waiting nearby to storm in… well, you don’t know what will happen or who is allies with who.

      Now, I guess that you could try to corner one of the girls and push her to give info or lead you to the instigator/the one giving them orders.

      Your suggestion is legit (to make contact and possibly relay the evidence through Natin’s Allies or hirelings- can’t tell which) and actually intriguing to me, but it has to win the vote to find out what would happen. So you need is to win some votes and pronto.

      Because of your last minute suggestion, I might consider giving a couple more days for voting so the others can consider this option…

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