Monthly Archives: January 2014

1/9/2014 Session Pt 2: “The best of times.. the worst of times; Lanmis Edition”

Upon arriving in Lanmis, Barundar quickly notices that a lot has changed in the two or three weeks since his last visit.  The typically lively village is surprisingly barren and that those still around act uncharacteristically sullen. The party goes to the Smoking Ogre, an inn owned by Barundar’s friend [and love interest], Kisha Greyfoot. Renaldo guards the drug-cart outside as Barundar and Myles head inside.

The general mood of Lanmis upon the group’s arrival… This actually isn’t that strange of behavior when people see Barundar.

The inn is ridiculously large, featuring a full restaurant and bar, private dining rooms and a number of rooms for travelers [like a TGI Fridays with a Motel 6 attached]. Kisha seems to be in a rather poor mood and Barundar’s typical flirting falls on deaf ears. Kisha explains that the local money lender, Recter Olwen [Rector, Rector the money collector] has been calling in debts left and right in the past few weeks and, those that cannot pay [ie. everyone] are being forced into manual labor to help him clear out a series of ruins that he claims are his ancestral home. Kisha goes on to explain that the inn owes 2,000gp [!!] to Rector and that he has called her debt due. Not having the money/goods to pay the amount in full, this means that Kisha’s father can be taken away to the labor camp at any moment.

Outside, a well-armed man drags an elderly peasant through the streets. A young woman claws at the man’s ankles, trying desperately to prevent what is presumably her father from being taken away to the camp. The young woman cries out to Renaldo for help, who refuses based on the grounds that saving peasants does not seem like a very “barbarian-ly” thing to do. Disgusted, the woman runs inside the bar and gains the attention of Myles and Barundar.

Rushing outside, Barundar intervenes in the well-armed man’s abduction of the peasant by shooting a bolt at his feet and demanding the peasant be released. The well-armed man is shocked that someone would stand up to him in such a way but is more shocked when Barundar throws him to the ground and puts a scimitar to his neck. The well-armed man explains that he is the captain of Rector’s guard and produces a warrant of sorts that proves the legality of his actions; he claims that the peasant man owes Rector money, that Rector can call the debt due at any time and that, if the man cannot pay back his loan in full he must perform manual labor to pay back his debt. A quick once over by Myles shows that the document confirms all of this. Dusting himself off, the guard captain demands the old peasant accompany him to the work camp. Acknowledging the technical legality of his actions, Myles steps between the two and tells the man that he will have to come back for the peasant tomorrow. Barundar tells the peasant to enjoy the evening with his family while the captain curses Myles and Barundar, telling them [for the second time in about 12 hours] that they will be sorry for having crossed his boss as he skulks away angrily.

Throughout this entire escapade, Renaldo stands near the cart, dutifully protecting the drugs.

Even barbarians can’t be bothered with hangnails.

Before returning inside, Barundar places a chalk mark near the doorway to the inn, scribbling a sign that to layman would draw no attention, but within the criminal underworld signifies that someone wants to do business with the Spymaster’s fences.

Later that evening, the group is set up in a private dining room within the Smoking Ogre. Renaldo and Myles guard both entrances as Barundar sits at the table. A complex series of knocks comes from the door nearest Myles and, with Barundar’s approval that this is the knock of the Spymaster, Myles opens the door to be greeted by a man wearing all black. Barundar and the man exchange various means of identification, handshakes and code words to verify each other’s honesty prior to getting down to business over the fencing of the drug stash. It is estimated that the 60 statues each contain a shard of black stone, each shard of black stone is approximately 100 doses [hits] of the drug, and the street value is approximately 900gp [!!!!]. Despite Barundar’s abysmal charisma, he’s able to negotiate a reasonable price for the drugs, and the party is soon presented with a note with the Spymaster’s seal for the value of 550gp [!!!!!].

[My face when Nathan gave us a total value.]

Knowing that the note is as good as gold but that no one around has that much gold just sitting around, the group wants to “cash out” the note as quickly as possible. It is soon realized that the only person around that has the means to do this is Rector Olwen, the man who’s guard captain Myles and Barundar had accosted earlier in the day… This leaves Renaldo to cash the note solo-style. After a restful sleep, Renaldo takes the morning to don his fineries, put back on the airs of civility and “get into character”. The group makes the few mile walk to the dig site where Rector has all of his indentured servants toiling away and, leaving Barundar and Myles hiding in the woods, Renaldo proceeds alone into the work site.

“Would you fuck me? I’d fuck me..” Renaldo thought, as he looked into the mirror at the Smoking Ogre…

Renaldo is quickly stopped by a guard as he approaches the dig site. In uncanny style [and completely off the cuff from Damien] Renaldo explains in great detail his identity as, “Lord Darius McFoggle, son of Oswald McFoggle of the illustrious House McFoggle, and well renowned Master of Fisticuffs” and demands an audience with Rector.

Renaldo meets with Rector and [flawlessly] recounts his history and is soon escorted to a tent along the periphery of the site. Inside the tent Renaldo and Rector do the elegant dance of nobility, sharing stories of intrigue (the McFoggle’s triumph over the lesser baronies of the Wafflebottoms and the FicMoggins) wherein Renaldo introduces the note, explaining that he needs to cash out a portion of his fortune into material goods. Rector is fooled by the ruse and explains that he cannot “cash” the note, as 550gp is an incredible amount of currency, but that he is able to provide a trade of equivalent goods instead. Renaldo negotiates for the following goods:

100gp in gold coins and gems (easily devisible)
100gp masterwork (+1) light crossbow
125gp – 5x warhorses, saddles and tack
25gp – 1x rapier
25gp – 1x scimitar
75gp – hand crossbow
100gp – 2x longbows

Rector writes a note explaining the exchange and marks it with his seal. He explains to Darius/Renaldo that he will have to go to his estate back in Lanmis and present the note to his quartermaster, who will fulfill the trade.  Renaldo bows deeply and thanks Rector for his decorum and hospitality, when suddenly a guard bursts into the tent. Excusing himself, he tells Rector that he must come immediately as they’ve, “found it”. Rector excuses himself from the tent and rushes away to the dig site, where, in passing, Renaldo notes that a crew has recently uncovered what appears to be a staircase descending into the ruins…

Renaldo was probably just as surprised to get away with it as anyone…

End notes:

So there you have it…

In one session we managed to become involved with the drug trade and, upon not being able to cash out in currency, have actually found ourselves laden with arms as well… Without assistance and pretty much on our own accord we are now drug and weapons traders… but we’re pretty rich too, so it kinda balances I guess? Unfortunately that wealth comes at the expense of alienating at least two relative movers and shakers, one of whom is a drug kingpin and the other is enslaving an entire town to dig up mysterious ruins… We said wanted plot hooks, so I guess we’ve got them in spades now…

1/9/2014 Session Pt 1: “The Black Stone Giveth”

The curtains raise and we find our party on the outskirts of Redmark. Renaldo, Myles and Barundar seek passage with a small caravan of wagons and the drivers readily accept because we look so tough. The journey from Redmark to Lanmis is estimated to take about a day and a half, so it is planned that they will break for the evening somewhere in the middle, after crossing a small river. The day passes uneventfully when, nearing dusk, Barundar hears the sound of wooden mallets ahead. With the dampened thumps of wood striking wood growing ever louder, Barundar approaches through the haze of sunset.

Coming around a small hill, Barundar soon finds himself face to face with what appears to be a broken down wagon and an older man beating away at a split wheel. Curiously, the wagon is set up to be horse or mule driven, but there is no horse. A company of people who appear to be a family sit nervously a few yards away. After a brief, tense moment of confrontation upon hearing Barundar’s hail, the skittish old man puts down the mallet and we learn of the afternoon’s happenings.

The man’s name is revealed to be Walter and he explains that he is a travelling merchant, headed to Redmark with various goods and trinkets to sell at the Weeping Angel festival that’s happening soon. Chief among his goods were a crate of statuettes of the eponymous angel. Walter seems very distressed and explains that his small wagon had fallen into a bandit trap and they were soon relieved of their merchandise and most of their belongings. The family corroborates this story. Tragically, Walter also explains that his son set out after the bandits in an attempt to retrieve the valuable statuettes for his father, but he has not returned in a number of hours. Walter asks for the party’s help in recovering his goods and, optionally, returning his “idiot” son. After a bit of discussion, the party agrees.

Setting off of the trade roads, the group tracks the trail of the bandits through the countryside until they come face to face with what appears to be an old, abandoned keep or watchtower settled upon a rocky outcrop near a small trickling stream. Surely in centuries past both the keep and the stream were in much better condition, but nature has served neither well, as the stream is but a few inches deep and the keep is in serious disrepair, including a broken bridge.

Barundar becomes a shadow of the night and swiftly and silently approaches the tower [Matt rolled three 20’s in his first 5 rolls]. Once in proximity, he hears a few voices coming from on top of the tower high above. Sounding surly, he relays back to Myles and Renaldo that this is surely the bandit’s hideout.

A crudely drawn version of the die roll20 was using for Matt.

Myles chooses the easy route and passes on the far side of the now-decrepit bridge, creeping through the ankle deep, gently rolling water of the stream. He approaches the locked gate to the keep and prepares to ambush any bandits that come through the gate.

In typical style, Renaldo has no interest in simply crossing the stream. Waiting patiently for his compatriots to get in position he calls out into the night, challenging the bandits to mortal combat and launches himself over the broken bridge [about a three foot gap] and, flipping in the air, lands on the other side in a full barbaric rage.

The only difference is that Renaldo was already naked.

The bandits miss Renaldo’s feats of acrobatics, but hear his valiant cries and soon spring into action. The two bandits on the tower approach the side, which proves to be a fatal mistake, as Barundar steps back from the wall of the tower and kills one of them outright [seriously, one shot in the middle of the night to a target on a tower above him] and the corpse stumbles over the wall of the tower and falls into the courtyard. Renaldo hacks the door to the keep to pieces with his great axe, leaving Myles to wonder why he didn’t do anything like that himself.

Inside the keep, the party finds four additional bandits and a teenage boy tied up in the center of the courtyard. Given some notice of the happenings by Renaldo’s shrieks and the corpse of one of their friends falling from the sky, the bandits are already in mid-charge in a vain attempt to slay the party.

Myles wounds a bandit, Barundar manages to [BOOM] headshot another from across the battlefield, claiming a 2nd kill for the evening and Renaldo deftly decapitates a third. Quickly realizing that they’re outmatched, the Bandits become shaken.  As one near the back of the courtyard shoots an arrow, it finds it mark in the bandit that Myles had wounded, killing him by friendly fire and stealing Myles’ kill.

In short order the remaining bandit descends the tower and finds that only he and one of his buddies remain. Thinking quickly, a bandit puts a knife to their hostage’s throat and begins making demands. Myles approaches and, thinking better of intervening, negotiates with the bandit. Given that the party killed the majority of the bandits in the span of 12 seconds or so, these negotiations go well for the party and the bandit and Myles agree that all of the material goods (which include a crate, a coin sack and a mule – very much appearing to be Walter’s merchandise) and the boy will stay behind and the bandits will be free to go. The bandit’s accept, valuing their lives over their stolen goods. However, as the man lowers the knife from the boy’s throat, Barundar [no freaking joke, Matt crits againshoots the bandit square in the face, killing him instantly. Myles has no choice but to strike down the last remaining bandit, if only to secure at least one kill out of the encounter. An argument ensues between Myles and Barundar over the double cross, but the party soon realizes that they were only bandits and there’s really no hard feelings.

Untying the boy, the party soon realizes that the merchant’s story may not have been entirely accurate. The boy, Jesse, looks as though he hasn’t slept in a number of days and is overly interested in condition of the statuettes. “Accidentally” breaking two of the statues, Myles and Renaldo elicit an unbelievable reaction from Jesse as he attempts to dive to the ground where the statues have broken, only to be restrained by Barundar.

Upon further inspection, the broken statues have revealed a hidden surprise. Out from the dust and broken medium of each of the angelic statues falls a single, black shard. None of the party has a clue as to what this material could be until Jesse says a key word that sparks Barundar [who has previously rolled two crit fails in a row on his Stone Sense checks, which Paul noted served him right] and Myles’ memories, “black stones”.

Black stones are crystals mined from deep within the mountains by only the most backwoods of dwarves. The process is incredibly dangerous, but the fruits of the labor are very valuable. Black stones are reduced to a powder and consumed for recreational use. [WE FOUND SOME DRUGS Y’ALL]

You either run from things, or you face them, Mr. White…

After some significant moral searching, ethical debates and greed-infused discussion later, the party comes to the decision to steal the drug-laden statues from Walter and sell them ourselves. In doing so, Myles assures the group that he’s in on selling the drugs in the hopes of ID’ing the source of the drugs and take down the supplier/kingpin.  Renaldo and Barundar seem more interested in the fat stacks of cash the drugs are liable to return.

The crate of statuettes is strapped to the donkey [affectionately named Boris], the party collects a few other items from the camp and sets off back to confront Walter, stashing Boris and the crate along the way.

LOOT –25sp, 2 scroll containers marked with religious symbols. One scroll carries two first level spells (Cause Fear and Detect Good and Evil) and the other contains one second level spell (Lesser Restoration), 60 statuettes laden with black rock.

Travelling back to the now-repaired wagon, Walter is shocked to see that Jesse has been returned but is obviously more concerned about the fate of the statuettes than his “son”. Pulling him aside, the party soon drops the bomb on Walter that he’s been jacked. Not taking the news well, he tells us that we’ll be sorry for stealing a shipment from the Dawn’s Master, who he reveals is the supplier of the black stones and an all-around bad dude. Myles reminds Walter that we could just as easily kill him, leaving the Dawn’s Master [who is located to the North of Falgrim] to assume that the bandits had offloaded the stolen drugs, but that we’re doing him a favor by sparing his life. Walter explains that, for losing the shipment he and Jesse and [perhaps, most tragically] Boris are all as good as dead anyway, but he knows better than to push the party.

The following morning, the party returns the fare to the family that Walter was transporting and explains that Walter has had a change of heart and will now be escorting them for free. The family is elated at the news and Walter takes off begrudgingly for Redmark.

This is the last glimpse the party sees of Walter..

The party swings back for the drugs and proceeds uneventfully to Lanmis…