Saturday, June 20, 2015

Realms Toowoomba Session # 52 [RPG]

[29 Kythorn 1372]

Still trapped in T'Klack's complex on the far side of the mirror-portal, Ralkin practices stealth by seeing if he can move so silently that he can't hear himself! Later, he builds a throne and lounges on it.

In the Silverwood, Syd casts a spell to speak with Daisy's griffon, Binky, and asks whether Binky is happy. Binky seems to think that Daisy is his mother, and is grateful that she doesn't make him fly very often. After letting Garry catch and feast on a branta, Syd starts walking back to Silverymoon along with Daisy and Binky.

At Terrigo Multivar's house in Silverymoon, the others discuss their upcoming journey to Thay. The consensus seems to be to take the mirror-portal to Laothkund on the Aglarond Peninsula and then travel cross-country to the Thayan border in order to obtain a travel permit. There is some discussion about whether the group should disguise themselves, but Mellia says she is inclined to stick to the truth as much as possible. They glean from Multivar that the last time someone took the mirror-portal to Laothkund, the traveller returned in 10 days; but Multivar emphasizes there is a random element to the portal's operation and that this is not a guarantee.

Mellia, Myst, and Dolcetto walk to the Shrine of Tymora and witness a blessing ceremony: it seems that adventurers have been enlisted to journey to the Evermoors to push back the undead who have started to spill out in increasing numbers, and perhaps to find the mysterious forge where blight-blades are being made. After the ceremony, Luckpriestess Sul does as promised the night before and sends a surge of necromantic energy through Markus' body and asks it if Markus would wish to be returned to the land of the living. The body, which retains the memory of Markus' psyche, assents. Sul says she will perform the raising ceremony the next day. Dolcetto makes a large donation to cover the shrine's expenses, but tells Mellia the costs will have to come from the proceeds of the sale of the items obtained in T'Klack's complex.

Next, the three visit The Halls of Inspiration, Silverymoon's magnificent four-towered temple to Oghma and Milil. They witness a farewell ceremony for an elder member of the faith, and the effect of a dirge is so powerful it makes Myst tear up. He remains behind while the two females decide to return later, after the ceremony is finished. On the street, Mellia talks to one of the Knights in Silver and tells her that a deranged would-be paladin named Eve has been claiming affiliation with the city and should be detained. The two adventurers then witness a street performance involving actors playing Knights in Silver defeating a costumed "orc" named King Obould Many-Arrows.

The two finally arrive at the Vault of Sages, and get information from Athamis, a young priest of Denier who loves hearing stories about their travels but can't imagine actually going on adventures himself. He provides the two with a precis on Aglarond. He tells them the name refers to both a kingdom and a peninsula. The Kingdom of Aglarond covers the Yuirwood, a deep, dense forest occupied primarily by half-elves and foresters, and cities on the northern coast of the peninsula settled primarily by humans. The two races have long worked together to resist repeated incursions by Thay and are ruled by the Simbul, a hereditary queen. The southern coast of the peninsula is known as Wizard's Reach, and Laothkund is one of a handful of independent city-states that was an ancient colony of another nation. The Wizard's Reach is said to be wilder and less settled than the northern coast, and travel is often done by sea as travelling by road is too dangerous. Athamis says his most recent information is almost five years old, but that reports indicated that the Red Wizards of Thay had been exerting increasing influence on Laothkund and the other cities of the Wizard's Reach. Dolcetto purchases copies of maps of Thay and the Aglarond Peninsula, and mentions she is staying at Terrigo Multivar's residence. Athamis is alarmed to hear this and states that Multivar is suspected of being responsible for multiple thefts from the Vault. He provides a list of 25 tomes for the adventurers to keep their eyes open for while staying with the senile old wizard.

The two then return to The Halls of Inspiration and see that the farewell ceremony is complete. They find their way to Lorelord Ormast Keldellyn, an elderly man who walks with a cane. The adventurers explain that they are trying to discover whether their fallen companion Gelkar would wish to be raised but that his patron deity, Tempus, has no house of worship in Silverymoon. Keldellyn is resistant at first, stating that war is responsible for the destruction of knowledge and gives the example of the practice of setting captured cities to the torch, including libraries. Myst, however, persuades him that Gelkar had never destroyed books and was actually, perhaps ironically, a more peaceful man than most. Keldellyn says that as today is a day of mourning, he is sympathetic to their desire to speak to a departed friend, and instructs a junior priest to perform the necessary divine rites. Gelkar's animated corpse, however, reports that it is overjoyed to be in the hands of Tempus and should be burned.

The adventurers comply by taking Gelkar's body to a charnel house. Afterwards, on their way out, they run into Syd and Daisy with their animal companions in tow. The group decide to stop at a supply shop for mystical regents. Daisy waits outside with Garry and Binky, only to find herself surrounded by a semi-circle of extremely tense Knights in Silver. It turns out that bringing a megaraptor into the city is frowned upon! Syd is called outside and agrees to take Garry back into Silverwood.

Meanwhile, Fargrim does some errands in the city and then asks a blacksmith where the best place to sell weapons in Silverymoon would be. The blacksmith gives a strange answer: "Mortimont's Fine Pastries". He says Mortimont gives the highest prices, but can be disturbing to work with. Fargrim finds his way to a small shop with its name painted in elegant lettering on the window. Inside, however, the walls and floor are bare except for a short, hairless man with protuding eyes standing behind a small counter. Mortimont proclaims his willingness to buy Fargrim's weapons, and takes a frankly creepy liking to the dwarf's red-bladed greataxe. Fargrim says he needs to consult with his companions and makes a hasty retreat.

When he returns to Multivar's house, he finds the others have returned as well. They journey back with him to Mortimont's, and earn just over 10,000 gp by selling the items looted from T'Klack's display chambers. Mortimont continues to show a fascination and unhealthy desire for Fargrim's greataxe, constantly raising his offer until it reaches almost 4,000 gp. At last, Mortimont brings forth a small pastry from behind the counter and offers it to the dwarf. Fargrim backs away slowly, slides the silver greataxe that Dolcetto made him on the floor, and says that Mortimont can keep that one instead. Although the dwarf leaves, Mortimont's thirst for the red greataxe is not satiated!

The adventurers return to Multivar's house. That night, while the others are sleeping, Dolcetto searches through some of the old wizard's thousands of books and finds two that were on the list of books stolen from the Vault of Sages.

Syd and Garry spend a peaceful night in the Silverwood.

[30 Kythorn 1372]

First thing in the morning, Dolcetto and Fargrim walk to the Vault of Sages to pick up the two maps she paid to have copied. She also turns in the books she recovered the previous night. Much to her dismay, however, the priests of Denier say the books constitute proof of Multivar's crimes and promise to turn him over to the authorities. After leaving, the two adventurers witness a procession of individuals wearing red robes; thinking they may be Red Wizards of Thay, Dolcetto insists on following them, only to be told by a bystander that she must not know much about magic because, in fact, the procession is the graduating class of the Lady's College. The two then return to the Shrine of Tymora and pay for the revivification of Markus, a startling sight, but Fargrim handles it calmly: "How ya' doin?" he asks.

Meanwhile, Syd takes Garry to the deepest part of the Silverwood and instructs him not to eat any "two-leggeds." The halfling then flies back towards the city in the form of a bird.

At Multivar's house, Mellia is startled to hear the voice of her old rival Procul in her head. Procul says "What have you done? Gideon struck feebleminded! In divination circle, inscribed the rune for Allia! Risking cross-planar communication! Babbling same answer over and --" Alarmed, Mellia sends a telepathic message to her old friend, the potion maker Hestia, asking her to check on Gideon and let her know what has happened. Before she can worry too much, however, loud raps on the door announce the arrival of a black-robed figure who sternly announces himself as Magistrate Tiven, and says he has a writ to search the premises for stolen books. The Magistrate's men begin hurling books to and fro, dumping many in a large cart to be examined later. Mellia berates Tiven for going about things in such a ham-fisted way, and says she'll make sure Multivar cooperates in finding the books. The old wizard tries to wheedle his way out of the problem, first by trying to jump into the mirror-portal and then by casting a spell, but his efforts are foiled by Mellia and Myst. Eventually, all of the books are found and Tiven leaves, vowing that charges against Multivar are likely to come in the near future.

Exactly one hour after midday, Ralkin is pulled through the mirror-portal shouting "my throne!" He first tells Multivar that the amulet the adventurers were sent to retrieve was accidentally left on the far side, but finally admits to Mellia that he has it. The kenku says he's reluctant to return it to Multivar because he's dubious the old wizard is its rightful owner, but in the end Ralkin turns it over. While Syd watches from outside, in the form of a bird, Dolcetto, Fargrim, and the newly-raised Markus return. Daisy gives Markus back his familiar and uses the magic shovel she obtained from Gelkar to heal him. Daisy then tries to talk Syd into coming with her to Startop Mountain, but the halfling is uncertain. He says he must depart to check on Garry, but will return at sunset in two days' time. As Fargrim and Multivar break into a wine cask and start swapping tales, Mellia and Dolcetto discuss whether they should leave through the mirror-portal for Laothkund that night or wait until the magical items taken from T'Klack's storeroom can be identified. Dolcetto persuades Mellia to wait, stating that once the tiefling finishes learning a new spell, the party will be able to travel fast enough to more than make up the time.

The sun begins to set on another eventful day in Silverymoon.
Director's Commentary (May 11, 2018)

There's a ton of little things happening in this session: Markus getting raised from the dead, the group getting information on Aglarond, and Syd learning that megaraptors are not allowed in the streets! (I've never been a fan of pets in gaming, but that's a digression).  Sessions like this, which were pure role-playing and no combat, were very much a test of my improvisational skills to try to keep things interesting for six players who (almost always) decided to split up.  It was quite stressful to run the sessions, but also sometimes exhilarating.  The best thing about this session is an NPC I created named Mortimont--his look and voice were based off Peter Lorre, and I made him the nicest, creepiest guy you could imagine.  He was so much fun that he ended up making several return appearances.

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