The campaign begins with four newly created characters:
Butterchin, a dwarven cleric
Belven Carter, a human wizard
Alec Duorts, a halfling thief
Euha, a dwarven paladin
Butterchin, Belven and Euha thwarted the attempt of what appeared to be a human, elf or half-elf to assault Alec. Alec was thankful. Euha attempted to chase after the assailant, but with the head start and a much faster footspeed, the assailant was able to get away clean.
The group then went to the Raven’s Nest Inn and Tavern where they had dinner and met Yahs, a flirty bartender/waitress who appeared to be more than she seemed. During dinner Butterchin attempted to console and help a fisherman whose brother-in-law had disappeared on the Bluewater a few days before. Butterchin learned that the ship had been completely lost except for one empty burned and broken lifeboat which had floated ashore to the east of the Great Falls. Unable to promise to rescue the lost brother-in-law, Butterchin promised to at least check out the area around the lake and find out as much as he could about the lost fishing boat.
As dinner was being served, Yahs flirted openly with Belven and informed the group that she had in fact been in Arich before, and had left when Belven’s brother, Jorje (sigh) had been captured by some unknown evil forces, along with other farmers who lived outside the town. She informed the group that she had left when the town elders had been presented with ransom demands, but did not provide any details about how the ransom demands had been delivered, nor what the town elders were supposed to do about them, other than pay them.
There was a group of three gnomes at another table talking about kobolds, the 3Oaks Mayor and something that sounded like “boddynockton”. There was a well-dressed man sitting at a corner table with a competent looking half-orc. There was also a man drinking ale and smoking at the bar who looked like he had travelled a long distance.
After dinner Butterchin, Euha and Alec went to rent beds in the common room for 2 silver per night while Belven stayed behind at the request of Yahs for a private conversation. In that private conversation Yahs repeatedly asked Belven about his reasons for being in 3Oaks, his travelling companions and their purpose. Belven told her they were “adventurers” and that they were heading to Arich to see if they could do something about his brother Jorje. Belven’s attempts to get more information out of Yahs were not very successful. While this was going on Butterchin and Euha went to bed and Alec joined Belven in the bar for a while, listening to the elvish female bard singing elvish ballads and watching the local fishermen spend their recent profits on ale and wine. They left before things got rowdy.
The evening’s sleep was uneventful. The group awoke the next morning and Butterchin prepared new spells while Belven decided to keep the ones he had already memorized. While the two of them talked shop and prepared for the day Euha took the opportunity to get some more rest after his long walk from Westport. As this was unfolding a local constable entered the common room and began to question Alec about his activities the night before. After getting some evasive answers the constable decided to take him to the local police station and he and a fellow constable escorted Alec there. On the way to and in the police station Alec and the constable exchanged dialogue which revealed that the local authorities had some reason to believe that Alec was involved in a plot against the Mayor. Alec denied this and after warning Alec to stay out of trouble, the constables let him return to the Inn, where he rejoined his party. Interestingly nobody asked Alec what had happened at the police station and Alec did not volunteer any information.
After Butterchin had completed his spell preparation, the group went to the tavern for a free breakfast. The three gnomes were there also eating breakfast. Butterchin went to their table to talk with them. They seemed glad for the company of a dwarf and were very talkative and informative, not only providing key information about kobold activities in the general area of the Arich road and particularly south of the road, but also that they were specifically in town to try to get the Mayor and the Keep Commander to send a real force into the plains to the east to clear out the kobold incursions. They seemed frustrated that the Mayor and the Commander had as yet not agreed to do so.
After the conversation with the gnomes, the group headed off to the local general store where Belven was astonished to discover the price of a standard lock to be 20 gold pieces. They queried the storekeeper about Arich and were told what they had already heard from numerous sources, that Arich had not been heard from in about three weeks, and that a patrol of soldiers from the Keep was late in returning to check on the situation. Leaving the store they walked to the Keep itself.
At the Keep they asked the guard through an iron gate if he knew anything about Arich or about the patrol that had been sent off. The guard offered no new information and was unwilling to leave his post to go and find an NCO or officer who might know more about it. Discouraged the group left the Keep. After a spirited debate about whether to head over across the river to check out the southeastern shore of the lake, the group decided to head to the local seer, Trillian, to see if they could get any information through normal or magical means.
Upon arriving at Trillians they were chagrined to learn that a standard seeing session was a minimum of 10 gold pieces. Unwilling to invest that much a group member (I don’t recall who but I think it was Butterchin) suggested that they could perform some other service for the seer to earn a seeing in trade. Amused and tempted by the offer, Trillian told them if they could discover whether Yahs, the very same bartender/waitress from the Raven’s Nest, could be proven to be working towards evil ends.
The group headed back to the Raven’s Nest to see what they could do. Somewhere about this time the subject of Magical Merkel’s Quality Battle Simulations came up and Butterchin was surprised and embarrassed to learn that his assumption that they did not have enough funds to purchase a simulation was not true, Belven was loaded. With the prospect of a battle simulation now a realistic possibility the group debated whether to continue on the quest Trillian had sent them on, or if they should head straight to Merkel’s. Finally they decided to at least check out Yahs somehow.
Back at the Raven’s Nest tavern, after much whispered debate, Euha decided to cast detect evil on himself in the bathroom and then to come out and see if he could detect any evil aura around the bar, specifically in the vicinity of Yahs. Surprisingly, this worked. He did in fact detect an evil aura around Yahs, much to Belven’s disappointment. After much more fevered whispering (and some curious glances) the group decidedn against confronting Yahs publicly, and instead returned to Trillians where they reported that Euha had in fact detected evil from her. Trillian was excited by this and made good on her promise to do a seeing for one member of the group.
The group decided to have the seeing done for Belven, so Belven accompanied Trillian into her sanctum where she cast some spells, or entered a trance or something, from which upon returning she told Belven the following: Belven’s brother Jorje was alive, but captive. His captors looked to her like goblins and Jorje was kept, along with others, in a dank, dark 10’x10′ pit topped by a locked iron grate inside what Trillian believed to be a goblin tunnel somewhere near Arich. Once this was done Trillian closed up her shop and told the group that she needed to take this information to the police station. She told the group they had performed a valuable service to the town.
The group then headed on to Magical Merkel’s place, which was just a few doors south of Trillians, and inquired about pricing and what to expect from the simulations. A gnome named Bleerfurgin told him that he and his wife ran the simulations together, and the simulations were guaranteed realistic of their money back. They said they could keep the prices low because they were on paid retainer from the Keep Commander to keep his troops trained. Normally they would have been busy training troops that day, but the Commander had canceled training for this week for some reason.
The cheapest simulation they offered was called “kobold ambush” and was intended to give the party a chance to react to a typical kobold ambush situation. The group seemed ready for it, and Belven seemed willing to spend the money, but that was the end of the session.
A few loose ends:
Experience point awards:
Each member of the group is rewarded with 40 points.
Here are the significant things the group did that led to the points being awarded:
Euha for figuring out that he could cast detect evil on Yahs, and successfully doing so.
Butterchin for repeatedly engaging townsfolk in information gathering efforts and sincerely desiring to do good work to respect the law and the good.
Belven for attempting to learn more about Yahs and distracting her while Euha was detecting her evil ways.
Alec for being smart enough to mostly cooperate with the local authorities, and for being coy enough to play his cards close to his vest.
Here are some things to think about:
Nobody but Alec knows what he and the constables talked about.
Dwarves really dislike water.
At least two characters you have encountered so far seem to be far more powerful than any of you are (Trillian and Bleerfurgin). It is likely that there are evil characters who are also similarly powerful in the town.
A man in a goblin dungeon is living on borrowed time.
OK, after writing this up, I actually feel a lot better about the session than I did when it ended. I had really planned on having one of three encounters tonight, and we just ran out of time just before we could have done one of the three (the kobold ambush simulation). But going back through this, you actually really did accomplish more than it seems.
So, next time we will jump right into the battle simulation. I have decided that this illusion situation will be worth half normal xp because of the need for you to actually learn how to battle. However, future encounters with the same illusion will not provide any xp, unless you die the first time, in which case you won’t get any xp and you’ll get the 1/2 the first time you do survive, if you can scrape up the money to try it again.
Future simulations will only provide xp if they are significantly different and more challenging, but even then they will decline in xp according to this rule. This first one is worth 1/2. Should you decide to do the goblin tunnel one, it will be worth 1/3 the next will be worth 1/4, etc.
OK, hope you guys had fun.