Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Realms Toowoomba Recap # 12 [RPG]

[23 Tarskakh 1372]

Leaving the bandit hideout behind, the group (along with the rescued slaves: Tazi, a merchant, and two caravan guards) heads in the direction of Mirabar, making slow progress through the hilly terrain. Along the way, they talk with Trigonnis, the bandit captured by the group who has since pledged his allegiance. Trigonnis decides that the group must be "treasure hunters," and shares his suspicion that Grim may have a hideout in the Evermoors, near the oft-besieged town of Nesme.

That evening, during a shared watch, Nakor talks with Trigonnis and the two establish a shared roguish bond.

[24 Tarsakh 1372]

The group continues walking, but the need to hunt and forage for food slows them down. Fargrim returns with a dead elk and the group feasts.

[25 Tarsakh 1372]

During the march, Nakor tells Trigonnis that the group is searching for the lair of a dead god filled with valuable treasures and magical artifacts. Later in the day, an expensive-looking carriage passes by. Nakor tries to get it to stop, claiming medical necessity, but the coachman refuses.

As the sun goes down, the group makes it into Mirabar with little problem. The rescued merchant provides the group with a small reward for their troubles.  That night, while sleeping in the Sign of the Forgehammer inn, both Cain and Fargrim fall prey to terrible nightmares, in which they see themselves as rising from the grave as undead abominations. Even when they wake up, they still hallucinate that their hands have become skeletal in nature.

[26 Tarsakh 1372]

Fargrim takes Nakor with him to meet Bearos. Bearos promises to arrange a meeting for Nakor with one of his old colleagues from the thieves' guild. That night, Nakor establishes contact, gaining a set of thieves' tools and a warning not to carry out any illicit business in Mirabar without giving the Guild a substantial cut. Nakor also arranges for receipt of a disguise kit the next day.

Cain spends the day working for the dwarven blacksmith he had worked for during his previous stay in Mirabar. His work is far better this time around, and he uses some of the profits to buy his own set of artisans' tools. During a break, he spots a cleric of Auril, the Frostmistress, talking to a mysterious figure in an alleyway, but Cain decides it would be too risky to start any trouble while on his own.

Fargrim tries to discover more clues about Grim's whereabouts and asks some contacts whether they have ever heard about a place "where the mountains meet the sky" that Tazi claimed he was being taken to, but no real leads develop.  The dwarf also arranges for a special chain and wrist-cuff to be made and connected to the pommel of his greataxe.

That evening, Fargrim again has terrible dreams. This time, after awakening as a living corpse on a massive battlefield, he sees that legions of such abominations are being led by a hideous figure wearing a strange black circlet, from which four jagged silver spikes protrude.

[27 Tarsakh 1372]

At breakfast, Fargrim is exhausted from a second poor night's sleep in a row.  He tells Cain, Nakor, and Markus about what he saw in his nightmares, but both Ellywick and Mellia are away on other business and do not hear about it. Tazi stops in to excitedly report that the two women have helped to find him a job as an apprentice cooper (barrel-maker) and that he now has a place to sleep above the workshop. He still tries to convince the group to take him with them, but they kindly refuse.

Cain begins work on crafting himself a spear, while Markus, Nakor, and Fargrim visit a gnome advertising himself as "Protius the Potion Purveyor" in a back-alley business. The trio purchase some healing potions, but find they cannot scrape together the funds to buy one that might relieve Fargrim of his suffering. Fargrim decides to visit Mirabar's shrine to Tymora. There, he
explains a little of his plight to an adventuring-priestess named Janith, and she offers to try a spell the following morning. Fortunately, that evening, Fargrim has a sound night's sleep and awakens well-rested.

While the others sleep, Nakor disguises himself as Markus and sneaks out of the inn. He spots Trigonnis outside, and hears a rumour that a small caravan will be leaving one of the dimaond mines outside Mirabar the next day at mid-morning to head for Luskan. Nakor continues on to a rowdy tavern, the Goblet and Gem.  There, as partial revenge for Markus' actions their last time in Mirabar, Nakor (as Markus) makes a fool of himself and challenges several patrons to a fight
outside the inn the next morning. He also "befriends" one of the Gems (professional escorts) and learns that The Axe has long suspected that the Lord of Feldspar House in Mirabar's wealthiest neighbourhood might have some information about Grim. Apparently, a party is to be held there in two days' time.

[28 Tarsakh 1372]

In the morning, Nakor tells Markus, Cain, and Fargrim of the diamond caravan and suggests following it might be a great way to set a trap for Grim's associate, the Scourge of Blackford Road. The group decides to see if they can find Mellia and Ellywick before heading out.

Director's Commentary (August 29, 2013)

Instead of pressing their attack in the bandit cave and trying to capture Grim (or his impersonator), the PCs decide that discretion is the better part of valour and that a return to Mirabar is warranted.  This hesitant adventuring is a trend for some time, and something I've teased the players about; but in their defence, they had an extremely long run without any PC deaths so maybe they were on to something . . .

Sessions like this really make me miss Nakor!  Although we've had a rogue in the group since who is extraordinarily good at the traditional thief skills (hiding, finding traps, etc.), we haven't had any character (rogue or otherwise) who was so good at ferreting out information and being manipulative for his own ends.  In this session, one of those ends is revenge on Markus, and it's fun to see it play out next session.

There's some discussion of a couple of different leads to track down Grim.  I think I mentioned in the past that I really didn't expect this to become a major plot point in the campaign!  At the beginning, I figured having a bandit or two around would help spice up the long travelling times between cities in the North; but as the sessions went on, Grim's mythology grew and grew, as did Fargrim's desire to catch him.  I may not have mentioned that Grim was part of Fargrim's backstory, so I have Fargrim's player to thank for coming up with the NPC to begin with.  Because Fargrim's backstory featured Mirabar and the Long Road (long before the PCs learned they would actually be adventuring in the interior of the North rather than the Sword Coast itself), his backstory was the only one I was able to really incorporate into the game for a long, long time.  And there's still some PCs I haven't been able to do as much with as I would have liked.

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