We did a lot of roleplay today. I had prepared some notes for every character, and I think going around around the table and everybody doing their thing worked really well.
[[Corian?]] talked to Andrigor, learnt that he was a member of the Fellowship of Note and interested in helping the current government of Bard’s Gate headed by the High Burghess Cylyria. Corian also joined the Wizards’ Guild.
Belflin was interested in finding some pure blood elves and talked to Ginivarin Krandolve at the temple of the elven god Darach-Albith. He said that the only other elves of note are the wizard Velior and his assistant Syrele Saythet, and the leader of the Farseekers of Twilight, Oberon Thanlaus. The Farseekers are the elven equivalent to the Longhunters and decidedly dedicated to the woodlands. Belflin placed some orders for wondrous items.
[[Karamutenga?]] took off one night to visit the City of Ashes, where she prayed to Orcus, ignored the scratching and knocking sounds and moved towards the speck of light up in the hills to find the Claw of Orcus, a hidden enclave of priests of Orcus. She entered the chapel, but failed to sing the proper response in the chant praising the chaotic aspect of Orcus. When she professed her eagerness to learn and serve Orcus, she was taken to the High Lord of Death, a mummy priest who mumbled several spells and anointed her a servant of Orcus.
Auroleva visited the temple of Freya and met Zoey, the halfling priestess. Zoey was very impressed with Auroleva’s aura of spiritual strength and her martial bearing, and inspired by a sudden vision of valkyries, she invited Auroleva inside and asked her to join the holy order of Valkyries of Freya (also a prestige class). Once Auroleva accepted, Zoey also handed her a scroll case containing a letter that the missing Jeffar had written her from an underground ghoul city.
I had prepared two new props for this session: An extension to the old hex map illustrating how to reach Bard’s Gate from Fairhill which people liked, and Jeffar’s letter that worked just as I had hoped it would. I should bring more props to the table!
Brar tried to figure out how to get Vanquish enchanted by the dwarves and ended up getting a letter of recommendation to the priest of Dwerfatter in Silverhelm from the proprietor of the Iron Standard.
In preparation for this plotline I had prepared a little conversation with Perton Dinhelm in Silverhelm and the quest he’d ask of Brar. I guess I get to work on it some more…
The entire party then decided to investigate the caretakers in the City of Ashes. They talked to Fuad the gardener, Erlend the archeologist, and Genevieve the bard. They also saw T’saalix the half-orc. The four seemed to be rather carefree and easy going. A night of observation reveals that the caretakers are either in league with or at least silently tolerating the Red Blades quietly getting rid of their victims by dumping them into mislabelled graves. When the three blades are confronted by Brar and Belflin, they try to take off but eventually spill their secret meeting place: The Black Viper.
When the party goes to talk to Scars at the Black Viper, they meet Tavik their Fairhill nemesis (see 2007-03-18 Adventures in Fairhill and other sessions in the Crucible of Freya module). All hell breaks loose and they slay him in less than two rounds. Karamutenga resists his slay living attempt, and he never gets to use any other spells. The leader of the assassin guild, or a at least a high-ranking member called Noria Verilath escapes at the last possible moment using invisibility, boots of speed, and swimming across the river. I bet she’s going to lie low for a while, now!
Karamutenga also manages to get her hands on Tavik’s unholy mace of Orcus…
Corian also discovers that Konrad von Eberfeld is the dean of necromancy at the wizards’ guild and nobody has seen him in weeks. As the party neither knows nor suspects Karamutenga’s secret, they are stumped. What next?
Finally, Brar offered to commune with Kord, to help them decide what to do.
The tall, red-haired priest, stripped bare to his waist, lit the incense and began a long litany of prayers. “Oh great Kord, the Brawler, the Mighty Contender, the greatest of gods, He Who Crushes Giants With His Bare Hands and Slays Dragons With His Fists…”
Finally, the prayers were complete. Brar looked up to the ceiling, hands held up.
“Oh mighty Kord, the best of gods, hear now your humble servant Brar, and answer these questions, so I may be more awesome!”
The faint sound of distant thunder rumbled from above, and Brar smiled.
“Is Jeffar now an undead creature?” “HELL YEAH!”
“Does this letter lead us into a trap?” “IT’S A USEFUL TOOL.”
“Can Jeffar be saved?” “NO, FORGET IT!”
“Does Jeffar need to be destroyed?” “HELL YEAH!”
“Is Jeffar under duress or magical control?” “NO!”
“Do the intentions and plans of the Darakhul emperor threaten the surface world?” “YEAH!”
“Are there agents of the Darakhul in Bard’s Gate?” “YEAH!”
“Will the Red Blades try to retaliate?” “AH, NAH.”
“Is Konrad von Eberfeld the necromancer in the White City?” “YEAH!”
“If we accept the emperor’s quest, can we stop it?” “YES!”
“Is Conrad to be trusted?” “YES!”
“Is Jeffar’s letter misleading?” “NO.”
“Umm, are we having dinner soon?” “WHO CARES?!?”
As a final question, he proceeds to a divination, offering up his gruesome trophy: the right hand of Tavik, the half-orc cultist of Orcus they had just recently slain in Bard’s Gate. As the divine magic takes hold, he mumbles these confused lines:
Beneath the shadows of a stony paw
Flesh is ripped from bone by undead claw
Through a bone-filled pit
Kord sends you and sees fit
It must be referring to some of the older crypts in the City of Ashes, or perhaps to the old city beneath the graveyard. We’ll see.
Defeating Tavik, defeating Noria, uncovering the connection between the caretakers and the assassins, winning the alliance with Ginivarin, Zoey, the High Lord of Death, and Andrigor…
|Corian ||43923 + 3675 = 47598 (Sor-10)|
|Auroleva||40563 + 3675 = 44238 (Drd-5/Clr-4)|
|Brar||40050 + 3675 = 43725 (Cle-9)|
|Belflin||35700 + 5512 = 41212 (Rng-9)|
|[[Karamutenga?]]||30577 + 5512 = 36089 (Brb-9)|
|Flax||15836 + 2450 = 18286 (Rog-6)|
I’m switching to a somewhat simplified XP mechanism. I’m assigning “points” to the goals achieved and hand out 300 XP per point. The default for dangerous stuff is number of points = average party level. The points I assigned were 9, 9, 7, 6, 6, 6, 6, thus 300*(9+9+7+6+6+6+6)/4 = 3675. If your character level is above party average, you get 50% XP, if your character level is below average you get 50% extra XP, thus 3675*1.5 ≈ 5512. A cohort gets the character’s XP / character level * cohort level, thus 3675 / 9 * 6 = 2450.
New levels for Corian, Belflin, and Karamutenga.