Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Hungover Heroes Guild, Part Three

Did I mention how much I love the Forgotten Realms? Yeah, I have. So far the Hungover Heroes (as we've dubbed them) and I are having a great time exploring this vivid, living, breathing setting as it was in the Year of the Banner, 1368 Dale Reckoning.

Alex couldn't make it tonight, so we had Vlad just hold the horses reins or sleep at the inn whenever anything was happening.

We picked up where we'd left off, a few miles north on the Tethyamar Trail from where Drog had critical-hit the ogre to death. The party continued on the next morning until they saw a curl of smoke off a side-trail in the distance. They took a short detour to investigate and discovered a burned village surrounding an equally burned motte-and-bailey fort. This was all that remained of the village of Black Switch. In the bailey, a large pile of corpses (men, women, and children) had been burned, heads had been mounted on pikes all along the stockade and a sign tacked to the gate proclaimed that all who harbored or supported Randal Morn would face a similar fate. Drog discovered a gold wedding ring in the ashes and kept it, but felt uncomfortable holding an item whose previous owner had suffered such a terrible fate (yet he hadn't wanted it to just sit in the ashes).

Early that afternoon, the party arrived at the village of Tethyamarside, fully occupied by Zhents. Seeking to pawn some of their loot, Baravis, Drog, and Sven visited the local peddler and curio shop. The elderly Daggerdalesman behind the counter was typical of his folk--he didn't trust strangers and asked Baravis to remove his hood. Baravis did so.

Now, understand, Baravis is a tiefling so he has grayish skin and devilish horns. I had to roll a Will save to see if the old man would be scared or merely shocked by Baravis' appearance.

I rolled a 1. Critical failure.

Horrified, the man fled through the back room and raced out of the building's rear entrance, screaming for his wife, "Marta, it's Bane! Bane, I tell you!" Baravis quickly grabbed the nearest valuable (he's Chaotic Good--it seemed like a good idea) hid a gold plate and golden earrings under his cloak and walked calmly out of the store before anyone else arrived. The three made their way back to the inn, but not before Sven noticed something--they were being tailed by someone.

Back at the inn, they intimidated the innkeeper (when bribing wouldn't work) into telling anyone who asked that they had never left the inn (they left the bribe--the unfortunate wedding ring). When the snitch went and told the guard, a small cadre of Zhentilar braced the innkeeper, who successfully bluffed them into thinking the PCs had never left the inn. After greasing the Zhentilars' palms with some silver (well worth it considering the ring), the innkeeper was left alone. Much laughter was had about Old Man McGraw (as we dubbed him) and how the town would be saying that Old Man McGraw was crazy for years. "He says he was robbed by Bane hisself, he does! An evil, dead god! Stole a gold plate, he swears!" The guards who had braced the innkeeper could barely believe it themselves. "Have you seen... Have... Oh, for Cyric's sake, have you seen Bane? Yes, Bane. Old Man McGraw is raving that Bane robbed his store. We're looking for someone who looks like the dead god of strife and tyranny. ... Man, I need a drink. I joined the army for this?" Much laughter was had.

The next morning, the party decided it would be wise to simply leave, so they got on their horses and got out of this small village as soon as they were able. Within an hour they were within sight of Dagger Falls, but decided to follow a small path that led up to a rocky crag to the southwest to see if they could get a good view of Dagger Falls. After making their way up the steep rock face via a crumbling trail, they were attacked by two goblins who had tamed some eagles as pets. After dispatching them, they investigated a cave, managed to drive off the bear that had taken over its entrance with a dented helm and a hammer (banging them together) they disabled some traps and found a secret entrance deep within the cave. This led them into a large vaulted chamber where they were assaulted by a swarm of bats (annoyed by being disturbed) and four fire beetles. By the end of all this combat, Sven, Drog, and Baravis were looking the worse for wear but decided to press on, discovering a forge, altars to Moradin, the bones of dwarves, and a message in Dwarven left by Colderan, the Mage-Lord, seeking vengeance and cursing the dwarves for the murder of his wife Belissaria. Colderan Morn, as they recalled, had been the Lord of Daggerdale two-hundred years before and was Randal Morn's ancestor. He had cast the Brightblade dwarves out, the same dwarves they had met in Anathar's Dell. So this must be Eagles Eyrie!

Leaving for Dagger Falls, they met up with Louden the Cooper, their contact. When shown the secret coins that Randal used to identify his supporters, Louden asked them many questions to ensure they weren't spies for the Zhentarim. Satisfied, he explained a little bit about the Dream Fever and the short, dark figures stalking the town at night. "It's been going on since that Priestess of Cyric went beneath the Temple of Lathander's ruins."

Baravis commissioned a pricy masterwork suit of studded leather armor, all blacked out to help with Hide checks. When Dulwar the tanner was asked about Colderan the Mage-Lord, the tanner simply said that Colderan's tomb is unknown.

The party entered the town of Dagger Falls, settled at the Teshford Arms (after selling loot to the pricegouging Fulgarth, the only caravan supply store and trader in town) and decided to rest up and heal before going down beneath the Temple ruins. And there we stopped.

No comments: