D&D Enc Murder in Baldur’s Gate – Session 7
This week at Tabletop Tyrants we split back into our 2 tables to continue running the adventure with the D&DNext playtest rules. The groups were given the choice of returning the body of Ezree Provoss to her family or taking the evidence of her murder to the authorities. My group decided that as they had the pipe and cane they would do the latter.
Following last sessions pc deaths the group this week consisted of:-
- Richard – Halfling Rogue
- Hannah – Half-orc Fighter
- Adam – Half-orc Barbarian
- Shane – Half-orc Barbarian
- Vipin – Dragonborn Monk
- Jamie – Elf Ranger
As the heroes left Tumbledown they came across an increasingly familiar gaudily dressed figure and greeted Coran. The flamboyant elf was surprised to see them and asked where they had been for the last 2 days. The heroes were confused, having only spent a couple of hours in the Provoss crypt, while apparently 2 days had passed in the city. Coran suggested that perhaps the magically adept ancestors of the Provoss had cast some sort of temporal stasis enchantment upon their family resting place causing time to pass more slowly within, but more importantly the heroes had missed “all the fun” – the nightsoil and goldenflow collectors had gone on strike and the city was beginning to stink with the build up of refuse, and Duke Silvershield had issued an edict that all non-patriars must vacate the Upper City by 3 bells to reduce the increased levels petty crime and the refuse build up, this had created obvious tension in the Lower City with many citizens business’s suffering from the shortened trading hours in the Wide. Coran noticed that the heroes numbers were fewer than the last time he’d spoken with them and offered to hook them up with “suitable replacements from some adventuring types” he knew. The heroes thanked him and set off towards Little Calimsham.
They made their way to the Jewel Emporium and found Rael’s large companion manning the shop, when they asked if Rael was available to talk to he wordlessly nodded towards the back of the shop. Moving past the hanging curtains they found her seated on the cushioned floor with a robed dragonborn and a hulking half-orc. Introductions were made as Rael told the heroes the newcomers were looking to join them. They inform Rael of their findings in the crypt and hand her the items which she confirms belong to Ariax Rillyn, head of the Rillyn patriar familiar who often presides over trials within the City. She offers to make sure the items are passed on to the right people. The heroes ask if Rael has any “tasks” she needs them to do for her and she tells them that the Harbourmaster has begun taxing luxury items in a protest against the early lockdown of the Upper City, while she agrees with his principal the tax is hurting some of her “business associates” bringing in their own goods and would appreciate the heroes trying to persuade the Harbourmaster to rethink his stance. She doesn’t want him hurt though, as he is usually a good and fair man (and any replacement may be even worse). The heroes happily agree to “have a word” with him.
Journeying into the Lower City they experience the effects of the refuse strike, with the already narrow streets becoming choked with uncollected waste. Upon reaching the docks they see several nightsoil workers sat outside a bar, happily playing cards and drinking. Despite striking for improved pay, they seem to have enough coin to spare for such activities. Arriving at the Harbourmasters office they find him hunched over his huge leather-bound ledger, noting the comings and goings of ships and their cargoes. Upon speaking with him they realise that he’s just trying to prove a point to the Dukes and Peers Parliament that the hardworking folk of the Gate wont stand for these ridiculous restrictions, especially while they have no representation on the Council of Four. Realising they aren’t going to convince him otherwise they head up to try and find a resolution with the Dukes and Peers by trying to get Duke Caldwell on side.
After entering the Upper City the make their way towards Caldwell’s mansion when a roof tile drops onto Adam’s head. Looking up they manage to avoid a second tile. Hannah manages to climb up onto the roof before lowering a rope and Shane joins her up there. They discover that the tiles had been deliberately loosened but could find no trace of a culprit. They are spotted by a Watch patrol who question why they are on roof. After talking with the patrol they discover that several such “accidents” have occurred in the past few days, resulting in minor injuries, and are allowed to continue their journey. Talking with Caldwell they discover that the Parliaments vote to instigate the curfew was a very close one and several of the patriar families are feeling the pinch as they have business interests in the Lower and Outer City. He suggests they try and convince Duke Silvershield to reconsider.
So the heroes head to the High House of Wonders but after speaking to one of the adepts they find that the Duke is at the High Hall for a meeting of the Parliament, they inform the adept of the fate of Ezree Provoss and that their companions had taken her body back to her family and then hurry to the High Hall. Sitting through the meeting is a long and tedious affair but their interest is piqued when they announce that evidence had been brought forward that one of the heads of a patriar family had been implicated in the heinous murder of a Ezree Provoss and that a bloody dagger had been the evidence. The patriar in question was Amblyn Ravenshade, and until his innocence he had been taken into custody. The heroes thought this strange as they had given Rael the cane and pipe, not a dagger, but said nothing. At the end of the meeting Duke Silvershield asked if there was any other business and Richard stepped forward. Following an impassioned speech the council called for a vote to repeal the edict on the early curfew and it came down to a single vote – Norold Dlusker. who voted to rescind the edict and tipped the vote in favour. With a face like thunder Duke Silvershield was forced to declare the curfew returned to its previously long-standing time of dusk and with an over forceful slam of his gavel declared the meeting closed before stalking off, closely followed by his advisor Imbralyn Skoond.
As the heroes filed out of the Hall Coran was sitting at the back and gave them a congratulatory clap of his hands. He then reached quickly into Hannah’s cloak and produced an envelope which he passed to her. Inside was an elaborately decorated invitation to a private soiree at his Bloomridge mansion at 8 bells that evening, before taking his leave.
The heroes made haste to the Harbourmasters office but were stopped shortly after entering the Lower City by the sounds of a girls screaming for help. Investigating they found her begging for help, her little brother apparently trapped inside their house that had caught fire. Vipin and Shane rushed into the smoke-filled abode, following the sounds of a childs cries to the upper floor. Vipin charged into an obscured room which he thought held the child but only managed to run straight out of its open window, luckily to be caught by Hannah as he fell earthward. Shane discovered the cries were coming from behind a closed door and burst through to see the youngster in its crib. As he grabbed the child he heard the floor creak ominously and leapt clear as it gave way to the flames below. Quickly but carefully he exited the building and reunited the siblings as others arrived to begin throwing buckets of water upon the blaze. After about an hour it was put out but the house was ruined (luckily it hadn’t spread to adjacent buildings), examining the remains the heroes realise that the blaze hadn’t been a total accident – someone had set fire the build up of refuse on the opposite side of the building which had spread uncontrollably. With their neighbours looking after them, the heroes left the children and continued to the harbour.
They informed the Harbourmaster of the reversal of the curfew and he said that once it was made official he would “re-asses” the necessity of his harbour tax and bid them good day. Whilst everyone else decided to attend Coran’s party, Vipin chose to remain in the Lower City, renting lodgings and preparing to pay pan after hours visit to the Harbourmaster’s office and get a look at his ledger. Using his disguise skills he made his emerald scales appear a dull black colour and under cover of darkness made his way back. The door lock posed no problem to his talented use of picks and he entered the office. After making sure he was truly alone he opened the ledger – and a voice like parrot cried out loudly “Thief! Thieving buggers are trying to steal me!”. Vipin was surprised to find the voice was coming from the ledger itself and realised that a magical sigil was on the cover, he tried to decipher and use it to silence the ever louder squawking, to no avail. A glance out of the window showed a Fist patrol approaching, he had about a minute before they would be close enough to hear the commotion. He tried once more to silence the sigil but failed again, so tearing the newest few pages out he fled. The patrol spotted him but were unable to keep up and he easily list them, returning to his lodgings to examine his findings.
Meanwhile Coran’s party was in full swing and the heroes were greeted warmly by their host and soon were enjoying the refreshments (some more so than others). The 2 barbarians quickly began downing the strongest ales they could find and soon became inebriated, shortly thereafter deciding to establish who’s tribe was better with a bout of traditional orcish arm wrestling. Several of the partygoers and some of their companions placed bets on the outcome, and when Shane emerged victorious Coran was pleased to give him 5 gold out of his winnings. Having lost money betting on Adam, Richard decided to try and recoup his losses with his larcenous skills, but as he approached his target a familiar voice in his ear announced “not while your on the premises, please”, and so he decided to leave it till later. Eventually the party began to wind down with several of the guests leaving in groups or singly and a small number taking advantage of the numerous guest rooms Coran placed at the disposal. Coran told the heroes they were welcome to stay also and as a former adventurer he understood that sometimes you needed someone or somewhere in a pinch so his door would always be open to them, just so long as they used the back door. Hannah and Jamie took their drunken friends up to a sumptuous room while Richard decided to take a stroll, following a trio of young patriars into the night air. One by one they split off into their respective family’s compounds until the last one staggered along alone. Richard made his move, expertly striking the youth at the base of the neck with the pommel of his silvered dagger. The young patriar’s legs buckled under him and he faceplanted into the street. Richard quickly took his coin purse and dagger from the belt, then checked his boots as many hid extra wealth in them – no coins but a folded parchment note which Richard pocketed quickly. He was unable to search further as a Watch patrol was approaching, and so he returned to Coran’s (via the back door) and one of the servants clearing up directed him to his companions room. As he passed another of the doors on the same landing he heard a girlish giggle from the room beyond followed by a very familiar voice saying “Here’s Uncle Tickle-fingers!”, followed by another squeal and giggle from the girl. With a wry grin he continued on and rejoined his companions.
Secure in his lodgings Vipin was able to examine the pages of the ledger he had stolen. Most were pretty mundane but a couple of large deliveries stood out, large quantities of the ingredients for smokepowder had been brought in to the city noted as “Deliver to H. Kope, in care of Felogyr’s.”, the monk decided to wait until he had regrouped with his companions before investigating this further.
Having spent a little time in discussion with Liam (our 2nd DM) we came up with the time discrepancy and that we wanted the players to split back into their groups and return to their separate agenda’s. We gave them the choice at the start of the session and ran from there. The players have noted that the name of the accused didn’t match with what they discovered and have chosen not to act upon that, yet.
The orc arm wrestle was something I came up with on the spot. I had both players roll initiative with the winner going first, rolling their Str v the defenders Con roll, a win resulted in pushing the opponents arms wide enough to plant a headbutt on them. Then the second player does the same, and repeats with fresh initiative rolls to begin the next round. The first to win 3 rounds won. It worked well and all came down to a Shane beating Adam’s roll when they were on a 2-all tie.
I’ll add Liam’s write-up once he’s caught up, been a busy chap as well as suffering the lurgy.