Earlier this week, I managed to talk one of my regular gaming groups into letting me run Grant Howitt’s Honey Heist for them again. Due to a few reasons, we were down a few players and, as we’re currently between campaigns, we thought it would be a great one session game to pass the time.
The crew consisted of Sir Bearington III (a name given to him by the generous pupils of Leavington Primary School), a gentleman thief formerly of London Zoo, Paddington, a honey badger with a singular talent for sudden violence and [unnamed], a grizzly bear with a mysterious past who acted as the brains of the group. Their task was to infiltrate HoneyCon (held this time on Shaded Seal Beach, a small fishing village on the coast) and steal a rare jar of Black Orchid Honey. This honey was rumoured to possess magical properties and, they were informed, was not to be sampled at all. Any other honey they could find was fair game, and they were told to steal as much of it as possible, whilst avoiding the laser grids and poisonous gas that would surely be protecting the Con’s honey supplies.
The heist began with a reconnoitre of the venue. Shaded Seal Beach, the bears discovered, had multiple escape routes, a decent sized beach (the location of many of the Con’s tents), and a lighthouse on a small island in the bay. From their position atop the cliffs overlooking the village, they noticed a fête on the village square, as well as a collection of boats tied to a jetty behind a fence at the north end of the beach. More importantly, they saw a tent on the beach whose doorway was flanked by banners, each depicting a strange pillar with a dot at the top of it. Sir Bearington III remembered a similar symbol from his time at the zoo and it was agreed they could probably exchange “paper money and clinky money for paper” to gain entry to the Con itself.
As bears, they weren’t in the habit of carrying money, so Sir Bearington III had to resort to picking a pocket but they had soon gained entrance to HoneyCon, and even managed to find directions to the main honey tent by looking at the helpful ticket seller for an awkwardly long amount of time.
This tent proved to be the first obstacle to their plan.
Surrounded by boxes of honey samples, Sir Bearington III and Paddington began to glut themselves, prompting several nearby visitors to commence tutting and tapping their feet in annoyance (two signs commonly held to be the most extreme forms of conveying displeasure among the British). In the meantime, [unnamed] tried to get to the boats but was stopped by security. After a brief ‘conversation’, he learned that the long sheds at the end of the jetty were where the convention sellers were storing their honey, and that the Black Orchid Honey was being held safely on the island in the bay. With this mission critical knowledge in hand, he returned to the main tent and had to resort to causing a panic to get his comrades to stop eating all the honey they could.
After a hurried discussion surrounded by confused security guards looking for the bears that had disappeared from the tent, they decided that Sir Bearington III, being a strong swimmer, would swim around the fence protecting the jetty and steal a boat for them to use.
Unfortunately, he didn’t know to untie the mooring first but, after some delay, he managed to pull one of the boats towards the other members of the crew where they realised it would only be big enough for Paddington (a quite diminutive fellow) and one other bear. Sir Bearington III opted to swim again and began pulling the boat towards the island while [unnamed] slapped the boat’s oars against the water’s surface in an imitation of something Sir Bearington III had witnessed once. They made it halfway across the bay before they noticed the armed guards standing on a jetty on the island and Sir Bearington III dove under the water to hide his approach and climbed partly onto the island, waiting for the other two to cause a distraction so he could explore without fear of discovery.
It was at this point that [unnamed] realised his efforts with the oars had been for naught and he couldn’t use them properly. Luckily, Paddington managed to figure out how they work well enough to propel them slowly through the water, with [unnamed] looking out for rocks that could damage their boat or stop their progress.
Their distraction, upon reaching the jetty, didn’t go as planned, but ended in a spray of blood as Paddington tore through three of the guards present ([unnamed] took care of the other). The sudden violence and the sound of gunshots, however, did attract enough attention to them that Sir Bearington III made his way up the back of the island whilst they commandeered the security force’s launch and (unknowingly) piloted it to where he had climbed onto land, whereupon they dragged it up onto the island.
As they distracted the guards, Sir Bearington III heard a man call for the largest building to be put into lockdown, found a building entirely full of honey and snooped around another where it looked like many of the guards now on the jetty had been relaxing. He finished his exploration as the other two bears appeared around the corner of the largest building (from which came the sound of a lot of bees) and they briefly attempted to gain entry before the man who called for the lockdown noticed them. [unnamed] thinking quickly, and wearing a hat belonging to one of the dead security guards, managed to persuade the scientist to open the door for them, whereupon Paddington exploded once more into unprovoked violence and the man’s head was reduced to a pulp. After dispatching him, they lured the other man in the building (whom Sir Bearington III had heard talking when he first came upon it) to a swift end and then mastered the electronic keycard which controlled the main door lock.
With their means of entry and exit secure, it was determined that Paddington would don a spare bee-keeper’s hat from the uniforms hanging on the hooks nearby and enter the next room to look for the Black Orchid Honey.
Not only did he find a jar of honey (coloured the deepest black) he also saw something land on the net in front of his nose; a bee wearing a top hat and lace, fingerless gloves, before the swarm declared that “YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE COME HERE!”
Spooked, he ran for the exit, throwing the honey to [unnamed] in his panic. [unnamed], unable to resist temptation, opened the jar and tasted some of the rare honey at roughly the same time that Sir Bearington III also dipped a claw into the it and sampled this rare foodstuff. Both were instantly affected by the honey’s strange power and turned into goths (or, as Sir Bearington III’s player insisted when Paddington asked they were suddenly wearing eye-liner, “I’m trying to be a panda. It’s a life choice, respect it.”), a change Paddington was too busy trying to escape to notice.
As they realised that their short, but incredibly violent, friend was in a hurry to leave, a four-armed woman comprised entirely of bees in tiny top-hats and veils pushed her way into the room. Sufficiently motivated, the three bears made their escape (Paddington manage to snag some the Black Orchid Honey for himself) and split up.
Sir Bearington III and Paddington ran towards the building full of honey where they began filling whatever bags they could find with as many jars of the stuff as they could carry before heading for the boat.
[unnamed], in the meantime, lead the woman towards the guards on the jetty where both parties immediately forgot about the strange person (not at all a bear) wearing a stolen hat and started attacking each other. He heard the gunfire stop as he made it back to the stolen security boat and helped Sir Bearington III and Paddington to load the honey into it. It was only when they got it into the water and turned the motor on that they realised it had been damaged as it was dragged over the ground and the boat began to turn in circles.
This was the least of their problems, however, as it was at that moment that the four-armed woman stormed over the hillside and began flying over the water towards them. Thinking quickly, [unnamed] used the damaged rotor blades to direct a huge amount of spray at her, knocking the swarm out of coherence and sending them flying back to their hives, hundred of tiny top hats and veils falling into the ocean.
With Sir Bearington III pushing the boat towards the setting sun, the three bears shared a feeling of relief. They had made it.
They had successfully completed their heist.