D&D Enc Murder in Baldur’s Gate – Session 3
We continue our adventures using the D&DNext rules, following a discussion with Liam and further to suggestions on some of the DM forums we informed our players that rather than give out XP each week, we will simply advise when to level their characters up.
My table once again was
- Shane – human fighter
- Richard – halfling rogue
- Adam – half-orc barbarian
- Hannah – half-orc fighter
- Vipin – halfling cleric
and we continue from where they closed down the Oasis last week.
The heroes returned to the Lower City, noticing that a large number of people were passing into the city through the gate, asking one of them revealed that a state funeral was being held at the High House of Wonder for Duke Adrian and many people were going to pay their respects.
Once in the Lower City they headed to a shop called Sorcerous Sundries as Richard wanted his shiny new dagger identifying. Vipin offered to try and a succesful magical lore check revealed it to be a +1 Gleaming Dagger. The party still chose to continue to the magic shop, marvelling at the tweeting bird noises as they entered. A brief perusal of the items on show and they realised that the shop catered more for arcane spellcasters in need of components rather than actual magical items, though they were offered a genuine healing potion for only 50 gold pieces. The heroes declined and resumed their journey to the Low Lantern.
As they approached the tavern built within a docked ship, a wooden tankard came smashing out one of the windows, flying out above the water before splashing down. Raised voices could be heard and when they entered they found a trio of Watchmen arguing with the patrons. Questioning what Watchmen were doing in the Lower City, they were apparently there on orders from the Duke’s to investigate the “Captain” of the Low Lantern for “illegal activities”, but the assembled patrons wouldn’t let them upstairs to the Captain.
At the sound of breaking glass upstairs Shane and Adam rush to investigate and tensions boil over in the taproom. Some of the patrons decide to escalate the situation and start throwing their drinks at the Watchmen while the armed Watch respond with the flat of their weapons, trying to knock the irate drinkers out. Vipin tries to assist the Watch while Richard and Hannah actually attack them with missile fire.
At the far end of the taproom a trio of old dockhands calmly sit with their drinks and place wagers on the outcome.
Entering the Captains cabin they see a rope leading out of an open window which seems to have knocked an oil lamp off the desk it’s tied to. Adam rushed to the window in time to see a well dressed red-haired woman descend the rope into a waiting dinghy and begin rowing away. Without pause he rapelled down and launched himself at the small craft, but his balance was a little off and despite reaching the dinghy he fell backwards into the water. Shane followed his comrade to the window but ignored the rope, leaping from the higher vantage point to land heavily in the boat and knocking one of the oars out of the woman’s hand. As he straightened up she already had a hand to the hilt of her rapier. Noticing Adam’s struggling in the water she offered Shane a deal – producing a small purse that jangled with coins and a wicker covered float she offered them in return for letting her go. Shane accepted, tucked the purse in his belt and dove in to save Adam. Eventually both made it to the dockside.
Back in the taproom the three uppity patrons had been subdued and one Watchman lay bleeding from his wounds. Vipin used Spare the Dying and revived him. Producing his writ from Ravengard, Vipin declared the Lantern closed by order of the Flaming Fist, giving the remaining patrons time to finish their drinks before scooting them out. He reminded the Watchmen they had no jurisdiction here and demanded to speak to the ones that gave them their orders. The watchmen stated that they had to return to the Upper City and Vipin and Hannah set off with them. Richard, Adam and Shane remained behind to search the Captains cabin for any evidence of these “activities”.
Their search uncovered a couple of pages from some form of ledger in the desk drawer (though the ledger itself was missing), a pair of high legged heeled boots with a hidden compartment in the right heel, and a Seaman’s chest under the bed. After dragging the heavy chest out into the room they found it contained high quality women’s clothing, though not enough to explain the weight, and the inside seemed didn’t seem deep enough compared to the outside. Rich couldn’t find any hidden compartment within the chest so Adam flipped it over, revealing a small keyhole in a hatch on the bottom. Rich unlocked it but failed to notice the small needle trap before it pricked his finger but luckily its poison had long since wore off. Inside the false bottom they found 15 Lantanese Trade Bars worth 20 gold pieces each, and agreed on a three-way split before heading off to meet their companions (as they left Rich “accidentally” took down the closure notice Vipin had nailed to the outer doors).
Meanwhile, as they marched up the streets the wounded watchman stumbled, but it was a feint timed to allow the other two to try and push the heroes away. Vipin was launched backward down the street, but the Sergeant pushed Hannah only for her to look down at him and not budge. The watchmen took off at a run, followed by a javelin and bowshot before the heroes gave chase. Vipin was quickly outdistanced, and after a few minutes the wounded watchmen’s pace slowed. They realised they weren’t going to outrun Hannah so turned to confront her. She managed to drop the halberd wielding Sergeant but his two allies slashed at her with their swords, leaving her for dead in the street before retreating. Luckily Vipin managed to catch up in time to once again use the healing magic of Yondalla to bring his ally back from the brink.
The heroes regrouped and set off towards the nearest gate into the Upper City, still busy with people heading to the funeral. By the time they got there they had to be satisfied with seats furthest from the front yet they still heard every word Duke Silvershield, High Priest of Gond, as he presided over the ceremony. He gave a long-winded speech about the great things Duke Adrian had accomplished for the city and vowed to continue in the same vein for the good of Baldur’s Gate. Eventually leading the assembled mass in a prayer to Gond as the coffin was carried inside to be interred, and choir took up a mournful song. As the temple’s inner doors closed Silvershield announced the issuing of a Sumptuary Law, many voices in the crowd announce disapproval at this (including Shane’s cries of “bulls**t”). Silvershield takes no notice and after a perfunctory “Go with Gond” turns and enters the temple himself. The crowd disperses, with many of them still fuming about the announcement.
So my players have completed Stage One of the adventure, no casualties as yet thanks to Vipin’s healing spells (not so lucky for Liam’s table I overheard, but I’ll let him tell that tale). The players might be split as to loyalty to the Fists and the Guild but they all agree that Silvershield and the Parliament of Peers are definitely not to be trusted or liked at this time. Vipin certainly wants to ask them questions regarding not only the trio of Watchmen but also the corrupt tax collector too. The party is staying in the Upper City while it figures its next move.
This week, our adventurers were without a healer, which proved…interesting. Picking up exactly where we left off last week, the group had just emerged from the sewer into the foggy night time streets of the Lower City just in time to spot Nant Thangol and his aides walking by on the way back to his home. I’ve added a little fluff in to cater for the Gnome Druid whom Jodie took the role of when the Rogue was killed.
Our party consisted of:
- Tilly – Elf Ranger
- Tan – Half-Elf Paladin
- Jodie – Elf Rogue/Gnome Druid
- Hannah – Elf Ranger
Given the fog that had descended on the streets of the Lower City, a good deal of luck was required by the group to spot that the man passing the alley they were in was indeed Nant Thangol, otherwise known as The Basilisk. It was difficult to make out the stocky dwarf given the poor lighting of the area, but hearing him bellow at his aides who appeared to be carrying a chest between them and torches, they were certain it was him.
Opting to follow at a distance through the fog, they managed to stay well hidden, following the dwarf until he reached a gate which he opened, passed through and then locked. Exploring a side street, the party found it brought them around to the other side of the gate, just behind the dwarf where one of his aides spotted them and called out for guards saying they were being attacked.
At the sound of this, one of the Rangers attempted to scramble up the side of a nearby building to hide, but she struggled to do so as she lost her footing due to the wet stonework and was dangling from a window ledge.
Out of the fog came several guards brandishing the insignia of the Flaming Fist, and one larger, brutish looking man with the distinctive markings of a Sergeant. The Sergeant demanded to know why they were trailing Thangol, but believed none of their excuses, serving only to irritate the Sergeant. The lower ranking looking members started to get nervous and a keen eye from one of the Rangers spotted their swords had all been pulled a little way from their scabbards. One of them noticed the suspended Ranger and immediately drew his sword prompting the others to do the same prompting the Ranger to break into the house and drop a well-aimed arrow at the guard that spotted her. The Sergeant called out to two more guards and instructed them to get into the house and track down the Ranger and arrest her.
The Paladin began trading blows with the soldiers and the other Ranger and Rogue tracked back the way they came to meet one of the soldiers who had started making his way around to the back end of the side street the party had taken to catch up with the dwarf. The Ranger and Rogue trading blows with him as the Paladin felled two of the soldiers that had cornered him. With one lower ranking solider left, the Sergeant fell back to follow the soldier currently engaged with the Ranger and Rogue.
The two soldiers looking for the first Ranger had now made their way into the house and began bounding up the stairs looking for the Elf now hiding under the bed in the room she had entered earlier. She opted to stab at their legs from beneath the bed when they were close enough causing them to flip the bed. She dispatched them quickly but not without some serious damage taken herself before leaning out of the window to assist the Paladin from a distance.
By now, the Sergeant had caught up to the Rogue and the Ranger, his flail at the ready. In a few swift hits, he had beaten the Rogue to death with his flail and turned on the Ranger just in time for him to catch the wrong end of her twin-swords.
A passer-by arrived, a Gnome Druid came to assist the struggling party, whom despite only two soldiers remaining, were on their last legs and all hope was gone. The Gnome spotted the dwarf and his chest cowering in a side street and kept him occupied whilst the Ranger made her way over to see what was going on. She explained to the Gnome who the man was and what they were trying to achieve. The Gnome agreed with what they were trying to achieve and helped the party get hold of the chest that the was accompanying the dwarf.
Letting the dwarf run home, the adventurers made off with the chest and delivered it back to Rael, finding it full of the coins the dwarf had no doubt been skimming.
This was a very VERY hard session for the group. They were down their healer and it was a hard fight resulting in the complete and total death of one of the characters and another left on 2 hp. I upgraded the Lieutenant to a Sergeant and lowered the number of soldiers given the smaller group and the lack of a healer. Combat lasted 11 rounds but I opted not to bring in the additional soldiers that should arrive too and settled for them taking the chest as the “robbery”. With that, our group has completed Stage 1 of Murder in Baldur’s Gate.
Another change I’ve opted for is telling the group when they level now instead of awarding XP as looking through it, the Math doesn’t quite add up. They’ll be levelling to 2nd level soon but for now, they have a little more work to do.