The Subtle Art of Negotiation

As part of an exercise in subterfuge to find those responsible for seditious behaviour, our party finds itself in the shanty town of the city, removed from the luxuries we have become accustomed to and creating a deception that we would rather be with the indigent elements of society. This isn't straightforward, as we are well-armoured and equipped, and have a little notoriety, but we are hoping to draw some attention to ourselves so it's not a real problem.

Shortly after we arrive in the shanty town, we hear cries of distress from a mother calling out that her baby had been stolen by the ghouls. We had learnt previously that there was a large, open grave, and that some ghastly undead stalked the area, and it seems that they were currently active. Despite trying to keep a low profile, some of us considered rescuing the baby to be a good act we couldn't avoid, so we head off to the pit.

A little investigation found the ghouls' lair, and after a few encounters with various monsters we find the leader of the ghouls, with the baby of the woman sitting in a cage near him and his coven. The leader threatens us, tells us the baby is his now and that we should leave or face the consequences. Not about to be told by a barely living creature where I stood, I use my skills in intimidating to put him back in his place, forcefully telling him that the baby was coming back with us, and that if he or his cohorts even dared to lay a hand upon us then he wouldn't live to regret it.

The intimidation seemed to do the trick, and the monsters were cowed. So that we didn't put ourselves immediately in to a compromising situation Tal walked in to the small cavern the ghouls were in to retrieve the baby. He trod confidently up to the cage, whilst keeping in mind the constant threat the ghouls presented, but he was not molested or attacked in any way. Just before he reaches to get the baby, he has a change of heart. His two-handed weapon swings around and strikes down the leader in a single blow, and punches through his soft skin with such force that it continues around in to one of his coven, sending her to the floor too.

The other two ghoulish creatures flee to a corner and Tal decides not to kill them, rescuing the baby instead, as he remembers what we are supposed to be doing. 'I will leave the others alone', he says nobly, forgetting that he just cut down two of them in cold blood after we had negotiated the release of the kidnapped victim peacefully.

'So why did you kill two of them when they were letting you get the baby?'

'It was just too tempting to be so close to them without them attacking. It is rare to get opportunities like that.'

'But why two in a single swing? Couldn't you have just killed the leader?'

'I learnt Cleave recently, and that was my first chance to use it.'

At least he had a good reason, and we did get the baby back.

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