Nivlac couldn’t make the session and was left to his devices after the very rough night/morning he had.
- Back at Greenest, and the Green Rest Inn.
- From Kale, Isk buys a longbow and Ran buys some weapon sheaths. Tristana sells Woody a new kite shield and tries on some half-plate (though she doesn’t have a working set in store), and Ran picks up some more daggers. Isk also bought some cookies.
- At Cuth’s, Woody finally gets his Chondalwood cloak! Isk recieves a cloak (with colours picked out by Temmie) and Ran recieves some sashes. Each member gets a scarf to accompany their new clothes, since the weather is getting cooler, and Woody commissions some robes.
*_ Robes are to be in the style of Nivlac’s, but heavier and to be worn over his armor – like winter robes._
- The group see Orek on patrol around town in Guard uniform, and they go to try find the twins – to get info on the gem seller in town.
- They arrive at the barracks to see the twins taking the new recruits (Kenny and Brentworth) around town. Mina talks to the party while Nina looks after the recruits.
- They discover that Volker, the gem seller, is lewd, greasy and cheap. He is a cutthroat businessman with a weakness for women. The twins are not fond of him and do not see themselves returning to Calimshan with him.
- The group comes up with a plan to get the best deal they can for some gems/jewellery they’re trying to offload. The plan is this: Ran uses Alter Self to appear as an elven woman and charm his way to a better deal. Using the spell does come with a hitch- it doesn’t change one’s attire… and so the party go back to Cuth’s to find a dress to purchase.
The whole process was very much like using a character creator with features and aspects of Ran’s body changing drastically on a kind of ‘slider’ scale. It was all probably quite bizarre to see.
- This venture ends with Cuth getting a bit mentally scarred as he sees Ran turn into a woman before his eyes, but keeping his voice the same (his choice), but he does get fitted for a dress. Tammie helps him into it and sells the dress for 15 gold (which should have been 50gp, when Cuth is overheard talking about it later.)
- And so the con resumes, with Ran (aided by Isk’s Enhance Ability bolstering his Charisma, and the use of pink and purple dice being thrown his way) working his way into Volker’s store, with the two owl familiars holding up the train of his/her dress.
- Let’s not get into the semantics of gender during this whole process… let’s just not do that.
- Ran wears the gold and sapphire ring on a chain around his neck during this. He looks about the gem seller’s wares and notes some elemental gems and rings, amongst a lot of gold and gems. He gets a lot of uncomfortable looks and inappropriate comments and gestures as well.
- He offers the 6 mastercut jade and is eventually offered an equivalent diamond and 450gp, which is the best offer he’s willing to make. He also makes an offer for 1000gp for the ring.
- The ring looks like one a widow in town (Meredith) has been asking him about every few days, trying her luck and seeing if he has seen or knows anything about it. The ring was stolen during the raid on Greenest a couple months past. Ran declines the offer, stating that it was a token of a dalliance spent in the fey wilds and holds too much sentimental value to part with.
- Meanwhile across the way, Isk is reading Volker’s lips and relaying information to Woody, while they and Ran are communicating via Message and Silent Speech the entire time. The party also find themselves being talked about by townsfolk and being referred to as heroes.
- After that is done, Ran douses himself with a few canteens of water, and gets his clothes/gear back. And they go on to talk to the elderly gnome bookseller- Hector Snooplerdonk, whom is jumpy and prone to panic attacks, constantly talking about something he believes is after him.
- Hector left the Hill of Lost Souls about a year ago, where a prominent library there was burned down- and still burns to this day, they say. He’s making his way away from whatever it was that caused it, though he hasn’t seen anything or have any evidence anything is after him. He believes this is a good thing, meaning he’s safer this way.
- The group buy a bunch of books off him (Woody gets a book of terrible Ogre poetry rebound – to be picked up that afternoon.) He has a number of scrolls available but the price seems a bit too rich for Ran, and they offer to perhaps meet up with him at the Staggered Goat pub later that evening.
- Ran also uses a Minor Illusion to make the Spider Climb scroll appear to have spiders on it, when he hands it back to Hector after it was blown off his stall. This freaks him out, but doesn’t make him reduce the price by much at all. It almost causes him to tear it in half in front of them.
- The party also see the Kegtappers being shown about town, and they’re eyeing off the community eating area/food hall, as a potential place to set up a tavern. They’re also being shown around town by someone in guard uniform the group don’t recognise… at first. Ran recognises him after a decent look at the fellow, who has a scarf made of purple rags and a scimitar on his hip.
- The man, Allus, panics when he recognises Ran- and Isk, who he believes looks like someone he used to know. Especially with the greatsword strapped across her back. The man was the cultist that was found and left in the storage room (and a crate) when the party blew through their hideout at the Raider Camp.
- They make a mental note to pass this information on, and Isk tells him she’ll be keeping her eye on him.
- The party then, realising the time, make their way to the council building and find Linan and Markguth. They catch up a bit and find out a bit of information about proceedings and how to navigate some of the council members (namely Edmund, who might prove to be an issue.)
- After waiting a short while, and being attended to by Gary, the group head into the meeting room.
- They are greeted by Nighthill, who introduces the rest of the council. They are Escobert – representative for security and military, Eadyan (currently filling in for a recently deceased member) – farmers and produce. And two people they have not met previously, Xiaoyu Wulong (an asian woman in her 30s, with a sharp gaze and calculating demeanor) – merchants and trade, and Edmond Rolff (a haphazard, older, beanpole of a man, with numerous papers before him) – coin and treasury.
- There are five seats across from them, one for each party member, and on the very right sits Ashe, who offers a small wave to the group.
- Nighthill starts the function and tells them how proceedings will follow. Basically, discussion of the task, and then talk of reward. If the party needs more time to organise themselves they can have it.
- The group pulls everyone in for a sidebar, and talk about the idea of reward and what they have to offer as proof. Ashe says she can’t offer much, since she has little to no memory of what happened, but they can count on her to have their backs.
- The proceedings begin with recapping most of the venture to the Snakewood (leaving out parts such as Poisandra, and Ashe being mind controlled.) They speak a bit of proof and Eadyan shows a lot of concern over the farmers in the ’fields which have to adopt to the sudden demise of their bountiful crop, along with the loss of livestock and lives which is somewhat widespread.
- The majority of the discussion is spent with Nighthill, Escobert and Eadyan weighing in and finding out how things went down and if there is anything they need to prepare for in the future. Escobert is particularly concerned their could be something else coming and wishes to prepare for it if that is the case, but he does bring up that he’s thankful in their assistance in bringing in promising Guard candidates and the Kegtappers.
- The conversation then turns to the talk of reward and reimbursement. Xiaoyu takes a lot more interest in this aspect of the discussion, with Edmund showing signs of distrust towards the party (namely Isk – as they discover that his family were killed during the raid, and he believes the party could just be running a con and using the town for their own gain.)
- Xiaoyu offers a deal, that the party can sell their wares through the town, to help enrich their wares and stimulate the economy. She will take their goods and only ask for a 40% cut of the profits. She also believes that the party has been given enough in terms of reward and support from the town. She brings up information on the party that most people in town are not privy to, such as their dealings with Chen, calling Woodford “Dragonslayer” (jokingly), and mentioning an elf that has been in town and constantly makes trouble for the local apothecary.
- She wants the party to have a symbiotic relationship with the town where they both can benefit from one another’s presence. Much like their arrangement with Chen.
*_During a more heated exchange, during Edmund’s accusations and Xiaoyu’s disbelief of the party’s intentions, Ashe had an outburst at the council demanding they give respect where it is due._
- They party try to barter for a better deal but she isn’t willing to budge, and when they start to concede the need for any reward, she tells them all she’s glad they would not take such an awful deal. She wanted them to be smarter than that, and is glad that they are. Her demeanor completely changes at this point.
- Ranorme is baffled by all of this, Messages Ashe (who it is revealed during the conversations to be Nighthill’s ex-wife) who is looking rather amused, and asks her “Just who the hell is this woman?” To which she replies “Chen’s niece.”
- While they discuss this new information (like how she helps Chen with his store and how he has yet to consistently brew anti-venom), she offers the group the following: the opportunity to help the Kegtappers set up a tavern in the town square in the place of their choosing, for a discount, and the chance to open a storefront out of their business (in a potential partnership which is to be discussed and organised with the Kegtappers themselves) so that they can sell their adventuring loot. She requests the party sells wares to vendors in town where it is applicable to help make their own stores more attractive and to help create more business opportunities.
- They are also offered 250 gold each, which will be delivered to them in a couple days at the latest.
- That business is then closed and Escobert is prompted to discuss something about security.
*_The group state that Nivlac is the one to talk to about the task for building the Guard, and that business can be conducted at a later date that suits him._
- He tells the party he has an idea, in partnership with Xiaoyu, as an opportunity to have a bit of a celebration and a draw for some extra folk to come through town.
- Escobert asks if each party member can take on 2 of the new Guard recruits, and train them for a week. At the end of that week will be a series of challenges to assess their capabilities and growth. They won’t know what the challenges are, but are recommended to work with their recruits strengths/weaknesses. The trainer and winning Guard members will receive 20gp each.
- The Guard available are: Maddock, Allus, Mina, Nina, Kenny, Brentworth, Orek… and when asked who the 8th is… Ashe.
- The group agree (and names were put into a bowl and drawn at random to determine teams. The only restriction was that the twins would not be together.) And with that the meeting is adjured.
- The group speak to Jilhaly on the way out, to ask information about Meredith, and they find her about town. She brings up that her friend/mentor is going to be in town in a few days and is incredibly excited. But she also tells them of Meredith, who lost nearly everything during the raid, and point out where she lives.
- They find Meredith’s home and while outside the front of it, discussing what to do, a woman with hair obscuring half her face (covering burns) and missing half of her left hand quietly excuses herself and enters the home.
*_Hearts collectively break around the table_
- Isk tries to stay back from the group, knowing her similarities to the people who caused the event might cause distress, and Ran knocks on the door. He shows Meredith the ring, who can’t believe that it’s there in front of her, and he gives it to her. She then asks if there perhaps were some pearls with it? She doesn’t think there would be. Ran says that there was, and also hands them over. The woman is so grateful she gathers what coin she has and offers the group 400gp for them, and the group all decline the offer.
- Meredith also notices Isk (as the person who fought outside of the keep), and recognises the party, and she thanks them for everything they did that night.
- After this, the group decide they need a drink. Or many. And head for the Staggered Goat pub. The old pub owner, Marybeth, is there and welcomes the party and offers them drinks on the house.
- There is also some music being played in the pub, with a human and a half-elf playing drums and lute respectively.
- They see Hector in the corner, drinking alone, with a few books and scrolls on his person.
- They speak to him, while plying him with alcohol, about the incidents in the Hill of Lost Souls… but his distress causes him to drink and very quickly he is completely hammered. They quickly regret giving him so many drinks and they carry him back to their inn and Ran puts him in his room.
- They then get an evening meal from Hogan and have more drinks, and getting some drunken crafting organised. Isk and Woody (rolling 3’s and 4’s) create an absurd but effective fishing lure. And Ran decides to do some work in Tristana’s forge… but is soon pointed out by her that it’s dark and he can try again in the morning.
“Where you perhaps trained by dwarves?” “I am! How could you tell?” “It’s fucking dark…” “Right” “Yeah” “Oh, humans… sleep, right.” “Yeah, weird, I know.”
- So Ran returns and the group go for a drunken fishing trip to the river running south of town to try the lure. Isk brings her bow in case she feels like trying that out, and Woody manages to actually catch a fish (with a ridiculously high Survival check.)
- They return it to Hogan who prepares them a meal out of it, and some chips.
- There’s more eating, drinking, and the party retire for the evening.
- And the session ends there. But players can message me in regards to their ‘training montage’ for the week, if they wish to keep that away from the other players.*
- I will have a post up soon regarding basic information about this, but feel free to message me if there’s anything you want to know.*