D&D Enc Murder in Baldur’s Gate – Session 10

Murder-Baldurs-coverDuring the week between sessions I had been talking with Liam (DM for the second table at Tabletop Tyrants) about what we still needed to include from the printed adventure before the finale as we had both improvised plenty of extra fun for our players and needed to steer back towards the central story line. Having done so we, still wanted the players to have “unique” experiences and so we prepped accordingly.

This week I had Jamie missing as he had been struck with the bug that had previously laid Adam low, but Adam was back with us this week.

  • Hannah – Half-orc Fighter
  • Adam – Half-orc Barbarian
  • Shane – Half-orc Barbarian
  • Richard – Halfling Rogue
  • Vipin – Dragonborn Monk

The heroes continued their stroll down to the back street weapons dealer for Hannah to purchase her hand crossbow (it looked so tiny in her big half-orc hands) for an agreeable 80 gp, while Vipin asked to purchase a whip but was unwilling to pay the 30gp asking price. Richard managed to haggle down to 25 gp and purchased it but then told Vipin he could have it when he paid the cash. Richard also bought himself another 60 arrows for his shortbow before the heroes headed back up towards Little Calimsham in search of further daring deeds.

Arriving back at the Jewel Emporium they were greeted by Rael and Richard told her of the meeting he had attended planning the kidnappings and that a highly placed member of the Fist had been there also. Rilsa calmly noted this and advised the halfling that her associates were well aware of the meeting and plans but didn’t know about the Fist. Thanking him for the information she added that she would make sure the next meeting would be more secure. The heroes asked if she had any tasks suitable for them and after a moment of thinking she asked them if they could possibly travel outside of the city to collect a delivery for her. With the duelling laws and summary street judgements throughout the city the common man needed to defend himself and so the Guild were bringing in shipments of small arms to allow those in need to do so. A quartet of weapon crates were to be dropped at a secluded spot (which she gave them directions to) and needed bringing back before dawn. Most of the heroes were happy for the change of scenery but Vipin chose to return to Coran’s residence.

Vipin prepared a letter for each of the families that ran the warehouses that had stored the smokepowder. “If you do not wish for your secrets to be exposed and blow up in your face like smoke powder, you will come to the Dwellings of Coran the Elf tonight at 10 bells (and /12 Bells/2 Bells on each letter respectively), where one of our agents will meet you. Come alone and bare no weapons. Ignore us at your peril. You are watched.” and sent them by lamplad to be delivered. While he waited he watched Jamie trying to teach the rat tricks using food as an incentive, certain that the rat kept watching him he made a grab for the rodent but Jamie pulled it out of reach and took it up to his room – as they left the room Vipin could swear he saw the verminous creature whispering into Jamie’s ear as it sneered back at him. It was quite upsetting but as his hand brushed the handle of his wand he felt its reassuring presence and calmed a little.

Realising4e_DnD_Orcs_by_RalphHorsley1 that they would need to transport the weapons crates back Richard used his stolen Fist brooch to commandeer a mule and cart from an Outer City business and they set off into the deepening night. Thankfully the trio of half-orcs could see in the darkness and guided Richard and the mule-cart to their destination. Coming clear of a small copse of trees they had a small dell ahead with the ruins of an old watch-fort on the opposite side. As they approached they saw shadowy figures moving within an a deep voice boomed out asking what their business was. The heroes noticed the voice although speaking common sounded orcish and tried to use their heritage to their advantage. But the voice called back that he’d have no truck with dirty half-breeds and sure enough an arrow zinged out from the ruined walls, narrowly missing them.

The heroes could make out four figures in the small ruin, and as they traded missile fire they realised that they needed to overcome the orcs advantage of superior cover. The three half-orcs closed for melee while Richard remained in the cart for cover as he continued to fire his bow. One of the orcs managed to get an excellent shot off, blasting an arrow through the wooden cart-side and into the startled halfling before dropping their bows in favour of wicked looking greataxes.

Adam and Shane worked themselves into a barbaric frenzy as they charged forward at the largest and meanest looking orc while Hannah attacked one of the lesser orcs. The leader gave a howl of fury which seemed to bolster the orcs somewhat but his followers failed to score any hits on the heroes. The leader however managed a viscous strike on Shane (rolled a critical) almost toppling the half-orc with the force of the blow. As Hannah dropped one opponent another stepped in to attack her, finally slipping a strike past her defenses. The stoic fighter calmly took it in her stride and fought on, easily outmatching her opponent. The third orc had moved to flank Adam as he continued to bash at the pack leader with his mighty maul but Richard still managed to thread an arrow between the combatants to strike the foul creature.

Enraged by the wound he had received Shane slashed with his blade and opened a huge gash on the large orcs torso (rolling with advantage for his rage, he rolled 2 criticals!) but the beast refused to drop until Adam smashed his maul down on his head and ended his foul existence. Confident that Adam could handle the remaining orc Shane disengaged so that he could begin binding his wound. The last orc suffered another deadly accurate arrow from Richard which should have dropped him but the rage of Gruumsh was in him and he stubbornly swung his weapon. Thankfully the futile attempt missed the heroes and used the last of his adrenaline as he followed the swing through and sprawled lifeless on the ground.

The heroes gathered the weapons crates and loaded them onto the cart then took the time take care of their wounds before heading back to Little Calimsham. Unfortunately they got a little confused and missed their bearings slightly finally coming into sight of the city north of Black Dragon’s gate and so followed the edge of the Outer City back to the Jewel Emporium. Rael was very pleased that they had brought the weapons back and as she made arrangements for them to be distributed she invites the heroes to spend the rest of the night there, which they are more than happy to do.

As the time for the first of Vipin’s “appointments” approached he began to stealthily patrol the nearby streets looking to see if indeed anyone would come. He saw a small group heading for Coran’s led by a lamplad, a well dressed older patriar flanked by a quartet of burly guards. As they arrived at the mansion the patriar and a single guard entered. Vipin went back in via the rear door to find the patriar awaiting him (the guard remained in the hallway). Ariax Rillyn was not a man used to being summoned and his annoyance showed in his posture and voice. Vipin tried to intimidate the patriar, saying he knew he was involved with bringing in large quantities of smokepowder ingredients but the old man calmly replied that his customer had hired the warehouse to store their goods for a specified period and paid accordingly, what those goods were was irrelevant to him. Even making reference to the suspected sacrifice to Bhaal didnt phase the patriar, whose response was “the only sacrifice I make is a few coins in the poor box at the Hall of Wonder once a week”, before bidding Vipin good night and walking away. Vipin did notice that the old man walked very well and without a cane, curiously considering the broken stick they had retrieved.

His second visitor arrived alone and out of breath, the portly man having had trouble keeping pace with the sprightly lamplad that had led him there. Under Vipin’s “interrogation” he broke down in tears on his knees, “it’s not my fault, we needed the money and it was only once. They said the girls would only be in the city for one night and would be moved on next day. I know it’s not an acceptable trade in these parts but all we did was let them use a ship and unload”. Vipin used the advantage to secure a promise that House Hullhollyn would be of help to his masters when they called, before the blubbering man left  into the night.

His third visitor strolled through the night streets of the Upper City alone and with luisroyo_malefic_Legend_of_the_Duelistconfidence and once before Vipin broke into a tirade before the dragonborn could even speak, “I don’t know what you think you know, but you know nothing!”, he made it abundantly clear that should Vipin ever interfere in his families further business it would go badly for the monk. Taken aback at this Vipin drew in a deep breath, and faster than his eye could follow the patriar had an elaborate rapier drawn and pointed at his throat “think very carefully on your next, and possibly last, action” he said with a cool confidence. But the dragonborn ignored the warning and exhaled a blast of its fetid gaseous breath. Barely phased the patriar struck with his rapier, piercing Vipin with a precision strike. The monk disengaged and ran into the garden of Coran’s mansion turning to see if the patriar was giving chase. The patriar stood in the doorway apparently awaiting Vipin’s next move, which was to fire a crossbow at the man. The patriar calmly lifted his bejewelled hand and one of the rings on te extended hand glowed briefly as a bolt of lightning streaked forward at Vipin. The agile monk tried to leap clear but was still caught by the edge of the bolt, its electrical charge coursing through him and leaving him smoking and unconscious on the now scorched grass. Coran’s servants barely looked up as the patriar stalked forward to the groaning dragonborn and drove his rapier deep into its chest, ending Vipin’s life. He was about to walk away when it seemed he heard something, then bent down and retrieved the wand from Vipin’s corpse before leaving.

Well, first off I think I should explain what was going on with Vipin’s monk. The wand he found was a wand of fear but it was cursed.

Wand of Vangar – bone wand

1/day cone of fear
Activation Time: 1 action
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 1 minute
DC: 15

The wand creates a phantasmal image of sheer terror in the minds of your enemies. Each creature of your choice within range must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for the duration. This spell has no effect upon undead or constructs. On its turn, a creature affected by this spell can use its action to make a Wisdom check against your spell save DC. If the creature succeeds on the check, it is no longer affected by the spell.

Paranoia: The pc using the wand must make a CHA check against the Wands DC each time they use it (if it hasn’t been used in a 24hr period they must test during a long rest). Failure results in the user increasing their stage of paranoia, success reduces by a stage. Once affected the user will not wish to be parted from the wand and will do their utmost to retain it. They will only willing part with it once they are reduced back to unaffected.

Stage 1: -1 on CHA checks, user believes he is being followed.
Stage 2: -2 (cumulative) on CHA checks, user hears whispers that aren’t there.
Stage 3: -2 (cumulative) on CHA checks, and takes offence at the slightest thing even from allies.
If a user dies while suffering stage 3 his soul is absorbed by the wand (how it gets its power) and so may not be  resurrected/raised apart from as mindless undead.

Having read the Weapon Smuggling event I wanted to tweak it a little and give the heroes a chance to do something outside of the city and experience fighting something other than soldiers, nobles and dock workers. I used a trio of orcs with an orc leader straight from the Bestiary, these had followed the Guilds associates, seeing them leave the crates in the ruin and decided to help themselves before being interrupted by the heroes arrival.

We have received the Launch Event packs for the next season and following discussions with the players and myself and Liam, we’re planning on levelling up the adventure to allow players to either carry their existing characters over or create new 4th level (as that’s what they will be at the close of the season finale) for Legacy of the Crystal Shard and its Encounter season. I must admit this doesnt look too much of a problem within the  Next playtest rule set so should be fun. I was also given some dungeon tiles by one of my 40K club friends and fellow blogger, a number of which feature snowy terrain – talk about perfect timing – so a big thank you to Jon.

 

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