Since the new crew was being paid, the old crew wanted to be paid too. Cane decided to give them a salary, but since they were low on cash they wouldn't pay them the whole thing until after the war was over or until we got enough money, since they'd all volunteered to fight. That was enough for most of them.
But just as they were loading equipment and otherwise not quite ready to leave, they ran into trouble -- Nico and Magnus (the new mage they'd hired) were among the rebels who were slated to be executed at 10pm, the same day. Duty was Paladine's watchword, not justice! Most of their new crew were also rebels of one sort of another, and by asking around Takara was able to find out that many of them intended to storm the courtyard to stop the execution, while the more intelligent bunch had a plan to sneak into the prison beforehand and rescue the prisoners there.
Cane asked the blacksmith to mount a cannon on one of their small ships, as a plan B -- they could support the mad rebel rush by flying the skip down into the underground passages of the city, using the corridors the giant dogs (the lords of Paladine) used to get around. They had three crystals left and it took two to power a skip, so it was theoretically possible... then they'd turn the prisoners into feriphal, stuff them in a sack, and fly the skip out the way it had come in.
Plan A was to accompany the other rebel team on the raid of the prison.
They snuck through the service tunnels used by the city's clockwork, which went mostly as planned -- at one point they had to cross a catwalk over one of the Lords' 30-foot-wide passageways, where they were spotted by a small child that everyone ignored. But when they got to the prison, they found the ceiling ducts full of spinning fans, powered by exposed clockwork gears in the ceiling.
They sent Takara to scout and locate the prisoners they most wanted to rescue, which gave them a route of fans to disable. Cane disabled the fans by wrapping his (armored) arm up in cloth to muffle the impact, then sticking it into each fan to stop its movement, and then using spike growth ointment on the gears to gum up the works and keep it stopped. This worked fairly well about halfway to the prisoners, at which point the accumulated stress on the system started popping gears out of place, and the whole thing started to shake itself apart.
The guards in the prison noticed, and after turning the system on and off a few times (which didn't fix it) they left it off, and sent someone to go contact the clcokwork bugs for repair work. The rebels rushed to the prison cells to free their friends, before that happened.
Unfortunately, the grating for the fans was a dense grid of wire. Billy, a feriphal rebel mechanic, had a giant jury-rigged machine he'd been using to pick the locks in the service tunnels, and reconfigured it to snip through the wires. But he wasn't actually strong enough to turn the crank, so Cane decided to lend him a hand.
Clipping all the wires at once made a loud noise, and Cane ended up dangling into Magnus' cell, having just barely caught the clockwork before it smashed into the ground and made an even louder noise. But it was too late -- the sproink had alerted one of the guards, who looked into the cell and saw Cane hanging there, and sounded the alarm.
Magnus just screamed, refusing to be rescued, and Takara looking down into Nico's cell had seen that he was beaten unconscious. The obvious plan of rescuing them out the ceiling and then running away wasn't an option, since the people they were rescuing weren't going to cooperate with it. They had to fight so that they'd have time to get them to come around!
There were a LOT of guards, and their stun guns were dangerous, but Cane was able to work himself into a rage -- some of the people the Empire had arrested were innocent, and he was fighting to free them! (as well as the not-so-innocent actual rebels) He pushed two of them back through the door they'd come out of, then jammed it shut with spike growth ointment, finished off another that Takara had wounded to the point of death before changing targets, and... fell unconscious, because the whole section was being gassed.
Luckily, he wasn't the only one fighting. Takara, the rebels, and one other crewmember they'd taken with them (nicknamed 'Redshirt') were slugging it out, giving about as good as they got, and Kyngeah was in her sanctuary, healing people. If it wasn't for the gas, it would have been a close fight but the party would have won decisively. Unfortunately, gas.
Takara took one of the badges off the guards to protect herself from the gas, but it didn't look like that was the actual source of their protection. Kyngeah actually solved the problem by improvising a variant of a 'cleansing light' spell she had (which worked similar to the cleansing incense Cane made) to be 'purifying light', which worked against poison instead of disease. That kept the rest of them from passing out, and at the end it was her, Takara, and 'Redshirt' standing, with all the guards down.
She healed everyone else, and they opened the doors to rescue all the... illusions. There were no prisoners in the jail -- they'd already been moved to the public square for execution, and this was just a trap to catch more rebels.
Apparently, they'd need plan B after all.
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