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 11 August, 2006

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Crossing Paths

Players:  Turath/Dwel (Jeremy), Fineous (Mykal), Welf (Kyle), Kal (Dave)

It was a slow start, but it finally got moving...

First, I passed out experience for last week, since I give XP for showing up, and for a player's first game session.  All 4 guys turned in backgrounds, so I handed out some more XP and other rewards; Fineous got a language, Kal got a masterwork rapier, Welf got 2 Feats (he got 2 Cosmopolitan feats that I had him choose Knowledge skills for-- since he's a wizard, it isn't as powerful as it sounds, but did fit with his background of being a sage-like bookseller), and Turath got more than he bargained for.  OK, I'm being dramatic.  His history spawned several concepts, and so I gave him a +2 skill bonus and a troublesome magic item.

There was some discussion with each player that connected their histories to what they were doing in Amruthar.  Kal got here on his own without too much difficulty, and with a little negotiation, he got a room at a local boarding house and an NPC friend at the Cryptic Coin.  Welf started looking for clues to his parent's disappearance from their home in the Great Dale.  He found out that they had most likely been Thayan slaves, as an old village woman knew they spent a lot of money with a traveling wizard when they were new to town to have Thayan slave tattoos removed from themselves.  With some more research, he figured that Amruthar would be a good place to start looking for them.  Fineous' history had him sent on an atonement quest to begin in Amruthar and he bumped into Welf when they both disembarked from ships in Bezantur. The elf was standing agape in the streets, apparently horrified at the zombies doing public works.  Fineous quickly introduced himself and got the elf to pretend to be the priest's slave.  The ruse seemed to work, as they found a Sembian caravan and headed to Amruthar. Finally, Turath got a letter from a childhood friend, Lorvell, with a coin.  The letter said that he had gotten the coin from an Amrutharian merchant, and was heading to Amruthar.  There was a strange seal, with the words "Cryptic Coin" on it that sealed the note shut.  Turath took the magic coin and found the tavern upon reaching Amruthar.

Once all the characters were in the same area, they needed to meet.  As it turns out, the barkeep of the Cryptic Coin, Erland, was looking for his best friend, Castigir, who had disappeared a couple of days ago.  Hoping to pick up a few coins, Kal had made some enquires with the church of Kelemvor, but didn't find Erland's missing friend.  Turath arrived at the Coin, and asked about Lorvell.  Erland said that he knew the man, and that he wanted to discuss some things with Turath, at the back table.  Turath took a seat back there and Erland called his son, Carson, to watch the bar while he tended to something. Heading up the stairs, he asked Turath to wait a couple more minutes.  Kal came in then, and told Carson that he hadn't found any leads at the church of Kelemvor.  They then started talking about the girls in the tenement across the inner courtyard from the tavern.

Erland came downstairs with a pack and a bag.  He sat down at Turath's table and asked some peculiar questions.  He asked about how Turath new Lorvell, and about their history.  Turath gave the barkeep his given name, Dwel, and tried to answer the questions as best as he could.  Oddly, all the personal information that the barkeep seemed to know about Lorvell was completely wrong.  Turath became confused, and Erland asked him to describe the man he knew as Lorvell.  Turath did, and Erland gave him the sad news that Lorvell had disappeared 18 days ago.  He found the note and coin in Lorvell's belongings, and sent them to Dwel of Delthuntle.  Erland mentioned that his friend, Castigir, was interested in Lorvell, who was having some problems with the Tharchion of Lapendrar.  Lorvell didn't impart any real information to Erland, and Castigir was keeping much of their business secret as well.  Unfortunately, Castigir himself disappeared two days ago.

While Erland was having this discussion with Turath, Fineous and Welf came in looking for Fineous' contact, Castigir.  Carson stopped gossiping with Kal long enough to take drink orders.  Erland noticed the priest of Tymora and made arrangements to talk to him at the end of the bar, since Turath still has Erland's table.  The barkeep told Fineous that Castigir had disappeared two days ago, and there was a search on for the man.  He gave the reasons that they didn't think he was kidnapped, but they knew something was wrong.  Erland promised to go into detail about it after the bar got quiet, around midnight.  [There are gangs of gnolls that work for the city that roam the streets about 4 hours after dark.  They tend to harass anyone they find, so the streets empty and the locals go home.  Not really a curfew-- but there's little business except for the regulars.]  Erland told Fineous that the man in the corner had missing friend, and that Castigir had a lot of interest in that friend.  The man had had a magical coin, and Castigir was investigating it; and even found one himself.  When he found a coin like the first, Castigir started acting strangely, and that the coin might be more important than Erland had first thought. Fineous headed for Turath's table, pausing only to get a room key from Erland. Kal overheard the conversation between Erland and Fineous, and quickly followed Fineous to Turath's table.  He quickly introduced himself and told them that he, too, was looking for Castigir, as Erland is giving a reward to anyone who finds the barkeep's friend. 

The guys quickly started pooling information and getting ideas.  Fineous asked about the magic coin, and Turath let him examine it.  Both Fineous and Welf cast detect magic, and came up with conflicting information.  Turath also fully realized that there was something akin to a curse on him, drawing him to the coin.  They decided to take their discussion up to the private room, where they could talk more freely.  [At this point, I went to help a new player work on his character.  He made a priest of Silvanus, who may join in next week.]

When the tavern closed, Erland asked Kal to help Carson out with the closing work and took Fineous, Welf, and Turath into a secret room.  Kal and Carson went about getting the tavern cleaned up while Erland lead the others into a hidden, underground area with a worship area with shrines for several of the good deities that are restricted in Amruthar. He told them about the secret rescue/slave-smuggling operation that he and others were involved in here in Amruthar.  Erland gave them a quick tour of the meeting chambers, including showing them the donation box and the log books with the names of those that used the "underground railroad". [Not the term used, but I couldn't think of what those kind of operations were called before we did it here in the US.]  Fineous made some devotions and a donation while Welf looked through the log books of the last few weeks for familiar/useful names.

Once Fineous finished his devotions, Erland led him, with Welf and Turath back to the secret room.  As the platform rose up from the underground complex, Turath felt an increasing urge to travel southward.  When the platform reached the surface, Turath found himself compelled to go southward, and started off on his journey, just as he was.  The others followed him, including Kal, who was finishing up in the Tavern.

Turath started southward, sticking to the shadows and avoiding the gnoll patrols.  Fineous, Welf, and Kal followed, also staying to the shadows.  When Turath approached the East Gate, he paused, trying to figure out how to get past the heavily guarded gate.  The group decided the best way to get out of the city would be to climb over the wall.  They got their equipment together and made a plan to use some rope to climb over the wall.  Kal went up first, and hid.  When Welf got half way up the wall, he slipped and fell, slamming his head into the ground.  Fineous quickly healed him, and they sent Turath up the rope.  Turath prepared the second rope to go down, when he was overcome again with his compulsion and continued over the wall.  Fineous quickly scaled the wall, just before a couple of gnoll guards on patrol came by.  They didn't spot Kal and Fineous hiding in the shadows, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  They quickly pulled the rope that Welf tied around himself and helped him climb the wall.  Climbing down the other side, they quickly caught up with Turath.

When morning came our adventurers were well tired and rested for a few hours.  By noon, Turath was itching to go again.  Midday, they reached the first tax station.  Welf was mildly harassed by a gnoll, but Fineous bullied him, and the gnoll backed off. They paid their tax and continued.

By evening the party was ready to rest again, but Turath couldn't relax enough to get some sleep.  While Welf was trying to get him to lie down, a ghoul snuck into camp and attacked Kal.  Kal barely had time to open one bleary eye before he was paralyzed by the ghoul's foul touch.  Welf tried to drive it off with a Burning Hands spell, but the ghoul was not impressed.  Turath flanked it and tried to kill it, but couldn't hit the creature as it lunged at Welf.  Fineous woke to the horrible sight of the ghoul, and tried to turn it.  Again, the ghoul was less than impressed.  It ripped into Welf and dropped him, but not before the mage shot it with a Magic Missile.  Again Fineous tried to turn the undead, but the creature's evil could not be overcome.  Turath attacked the ghoul again, and hit the ghoul squarely, and killed it.  Fineous healed Kal, and they moved their camp.  By morning, they were ready to travel again, although it was clear that Turath was fatigued.


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This page was updated on Friday, August 11, 2006