Arnon's Campaign (Freeport Trilogy & RHoD)

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Arnon's Campaign (Freeport Trilogy & RHoD)

Postby arnon » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:10 am

Hello all,

I've recently started to DM a campaign, giving out trusty old DM a rest from almost a year and a half of continual DMing (Ptolus, if ya want to know). I stepped up to the plate offering to run them through the Freeport Trilogy and then Red Hand of Doom.

I'll try to keep this updated with their progress, and any thoughts i might have during the campaign (how it goes, and where its going).

Anyone who wants to comment is welcomed and encouraged to do so. :)

You can check out the wiki i set up (though it's still missing some bits).

Two more things:
1. MY PLAYERS STAY OUT!!!!!

and,

2. SPOILERS AHEAD

Cast of Characters:
Kradak: Male Human Barbarian
Samrok: Male Human Cleric
Oscar: Male Dwarf Rogue
Su: Female Human Monk
Val: Female Human Sorceress
Last edited by arnon on Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby arnon » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:26 am

Dead Man’s Quest

The party was on the “Wave’s Bitch”, captained by Captain Bruce. Kradak and Oscar are a part of the crew and know each other from before. Several days ago a storm has cost the captain a large portion of his crew and his cargo, so he enlisted the aid of the rest of the passengers (the party) to man the ship.

On a misty evening, they spot a lone ship with tattered sails and burn marks all over drift towards them, and seeing no crew on board, they decide to investigate. They close in on the boat and pull her close with grappling hooks, and jus then, 10 ragged pirates’ jump at them. The party (at the front of the boat) fights the pirates easily enough; the captain and the 2 remaining sailor do not fare so well, and by the time the party turns to help, all 3 are down and being chewed upon by the crazed pirates. The party finishes them off quickly as well.

With no experienced sailor or captain, the party is a bit at a loss as to what to do. After a short while, they notice a vague translucent figure walk on the water over to the boat. They do not attack or challenge it, and it just walks into the side of the boat. The party rushes to the other side to see if the figure will come out from there, but suddenly hear someone talking to them from behind them, and as they turn around, notice the figure rising up from the deck. This is Captain Fletcher who goes on to ask them to help him return a valuable stone to the temple of the Pirate God at Freeport. The eyes of the party light up at the sound of jewels and pirate treasure.

Cpt. Fletcher instructs them on what to do and how to handle the boat so that they manage to make it to where his boat was sunk by some nasty fish-folk (they also all rolled really high on intelligence check, so I let them figure the ship out). They get to the sunken ship and go down, finding the water breath potion Fletcher told them about (and are glad to find gold there as well), and continue to investigate the ship.

-End of Session-
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Postby arnon » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:34 am

Dead Man’s Quest (cont...)

They agree to take Fletchers body back for burial and take it back to their ship. Back in the wreckage they fight of some sea ghouls, who give them little trouble, but not too much. Their major trouble is moving underwater (even though they all left their armor behind) and thus reaching their enemies.

Searching around the cargo hold, they notice the big sharp tooth and start to get worried; and with some poking around, they find the loot-trail that leads them to the island and hideout. Samrok goes up to the rowboat, lowers a rope, and is pulled/rows along with the party in the direction of the island. They notice the underwater entrance to the hideout, and as they approach spot the shark (who does not spot them); with a well aimed magic missile they lure the shark to them thanks to a ready action (and a critical hit), the shark dies from a single, barbaric, great sword thrust! (Damn!). They send Cpt. Fletcher to see if there is another entrance to the caverns.

The party moves in to explore the cavern system, and while trying to decide on where to go, are spotted by and attacked by Mother Merrow (leader of fishmen). It’s not easy to kill her (especially since she buffed herself), she manages to knock unconscious both the barbarian and the fighting-cleric, while her familiar small shark, manages to piss-off the dwarven rougue. But the Mother is finally killed and the familiar is also killed as it tries to make its escape.

The party is overjoyed at the tremendous amount of loot found in the cave, and just at that moment Cpt. Fletcher returns, starting to say that he found another entrance, but cuts it short. He too, is overjoyed that they found the loot, especially the Dragon Eye stone, and his rapier (which he offers to the party... not that he could take it himself anyways).

The party takes their time to load all the loot they can onto the rowboat and them make for their ship. Cpt. Fletcher says he can’t maintain his appearance much longer as it is very tiring, so he directs them towards Freeport and disappear. I let them reach Freeport without further incident. As they approach Freeport, I describe it to them and Cpt. Fletcher reappears, giving them further details (I also mention the lighthouse under construction, but just in passing, without putting much weight on it). Although they do ask Fletcher about the lighthouse and he calls it “Milton’s Folly”, telling them that a lot of money was poured into its construction. He directs them to the Pirate God temple, and disappears before the port pilot comes on board to stir the ship in (at this point the party start to discuss amongst themselves what they should do with the ship, now that it is theirs – see end of post for my thoughts on this).

On their way to the temple they drop several items to be identified at Falthar’s. At the temple, they are greeted by Father Peligro and Fletcher, and are led to the coffers of the temple. Their eyes pop out at all the riches (and OoC they talk about looting the place... that’ll be a sad day for them if they do). They give Peligro the stone and he places it in its place in the statue, prays, and then leads the party out of the basement. Fletcher starts to say he goodbye and they hear a crush from the basement. Rushing back they notice a hole closing in the wall, but are not quick enough to jump through it. Fletcher start to rage and curse, while Peligro prays for guidance and receives a vision as to where the stones where taken. He asks the party go bring it back, and they ask what will they get from doing it. “The gratitude of the temple,” says he. “Yes, but we need to eat too,” says Val the sorceress. “I can provide you with food,” says Peligro, “you’ll have my gratitude, believe me, that’s a lot.”

Fletchers starts to cruse and shout, and in his fury manages to break several chairs and windows. Father Peligro calms him down and send the party on alone… he has to stay behind and keep an eye on Fletcher.

The party rushes to the warehouse of the vision, spotting from a distance. Kradak, the barbarian, runs on crushing through the door, bursting them open, but does not manage to avoid the sack of sea urchins that flings at him…

-End of Session-


About owning a boat: The party think they owe the ship now… Not a chance!

But I’m not going to just take it away. I’m thinking that the ship and the original captain were carrying some contraband for someone (Mr. Finn or Mr. Wednesday, or someone who works for them). Since they “claim” to own the boat, they are responsible for not having delivered the cargo. The ship will be “taken” as partial payment for the loses, and the party will still owe some form of payment… to whomever it’ll be I decide.

This will give me an excuse to chase them out of town later for the Red Hand of Doom party of the adventure (along with other leads, I hope).
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Postby arnon » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:36 pm

Session #3
Dead Man’s Quest (cont...)

Oscar and Kradak stand in the open doorway of the large warehouse, interrupting two thugs in the middle of the conversation. It takes the thugs a second to react and dive for cover behind a stack of barrels (each to a different side). The warehouse is large and the first round of combat is spent getting closer to the thugs, while Kradak takes an arrow to the guts, but in his rage he continues on, jumping on a nearby barrel; from one of the corners close to the doors of the warehouse, the party hears the sound of someone drawing a sword and heavy breathing. Val (the sorceress) cast cause fear on one of the thugs, effectively getting him out of the fight. Kradak launches himself at the hapless thug, killing him with a mighty blow, while suddenly, from behind some crates, pops up a man in robe and tries to cast a spell on the approaching dwarf but Oscar shrugs it off.

The cultist is taken care off quickly with both magic missile and Kradaks greatsword. The party goes on to tie the remaining thug and try to extract information out of him. Being a religious fanatic gives him a good resistance to their intimidation and the party proceeds to torture him a bit (especially Val the sorceress by breaking each of his fingers). He laughs at them and spits blood, and then finally passes out. They go on to search the warehouse, and it takes them a bit of time to find the hidden entrance.

Going down they hear the chanting from further down the hall. While some of them want to investigate the storage room and bed room they come across, the raising crescendo of the chants urges them on. They find a cabinet full of yellow-mustard robes and put them on, rolling high on their disguise rolls (and the cultists very low on their Notice), effectively placing themselves in the cultists midst.

Kradak jumps on the stone altar and tries to strike at the leader of the chanting, but misses miserable, thus alerting him to the ruse. The leader calls on his followers to attack, but they are slow to react; and before any of the 10 cultists react, 3 are killed. A successful daze by Val disrupts the leaders concentration of the summoning ritual (which both Val and Samrok the cleric correctly identified), but the leader is also slow to react, and he is killed rather quickly by Kradak standing on the stone altar.

The cultist rush to attack the invaders clustering around Su (the monk) and Samrok (the cleric), but they are sluggish in their attack and miss. The party also has some bad luck, and they are not able to hurt a single one of the cultists. Suddenly, over the altar and right next to Kradak, there appears a horrible creature which immediately attacks Kradak; its attack is frightening and it causes Kradak to drop his greatsword and flee for his life. The struggle continues and another cultist gets cut down. The next time that the creature attacks a cultists, and 3 cultist get panicked along with Samrock; Samrock and one of the cultists run in the same direction as Kreadak, while two others cower in fright. Kradak, recovering, draws his short sword and skewers the cultist that came in his direction, then runs back to the fight. Oscar keeps shotting everyone with his crossbow all the while; while Val alternated between cause fear, daze, and magic missile.

Eventually the party manages to kill most of the cultist, and Kradak almost goes out of the fight with a successful hit by one of the cultist (critical). But he is healed by Samrok and they eventually kill the creature. The last cultist is in shock that it died, but his shock is cut short by Oscar’s morningstar to his skull.

Taking the Dragon Eyes from the alatar (and ransacking the place) the party returns to the temple of the Pirate God, give them to Father Peligro; watch impassively as Cpt. Fletcher says his goodbye; and rush to Falthar’s to get their items… too bad he is already closed to the night. They go to the fancy “Last Resort” inn but most do not like the snotty atmosphere and “cold” reception from the hostess there, so they go in search of another in and find the Laughing Lady right next to Falthar’s. The next day they get their items (and want to sell them, cause they do not want them, but Nell, Falthar’s assistant, says they don’t need them… except maybe the wand), and they leave some other stuff to be identified, decided to rest for the day until the Falthar finishes his work.

Smarok decides to go the “their ship” in order to scribe some scroll sin quite. From the edge of the docks he notices several figures moving on the deck of the ship, and as he gets closers he notices a Halfling with a white straw hat, standing on the dock shouting to one of the man on board: “check the captains quarters again.” “What are you doing on my ship,” demands Samrok. “Excuse me… your ship?” asks the Halfling. “Yes.” “Funny, you do not look like Captain Bruce…” Samrok tries to convince the Halfling that they own the boat, and tries to force his way onto it.

The Halfling react quickly, throwing his hat into the cleric’s face and hits him hard in the gut. Smarok crumples to the floor and passes out… waking up in some small ally, minus all his gold (about 100 gp), and a longsword (I threw d% and left him the peral of power he recovered… very generous of me I think).

-End Session-

I’m not really sure who the Halfling with the straw hat is, and who he is working for (maybe Finn), I just liked the idea of a small Halfling knocking out someone bigger than him (I did not stat him out, but in my mind he was Rogue 5, with improved feint, combat expertise, and quick draw… he doesn’t like to kill people, so he uses nonlethal damage). I think the ship will not be there if the go looking for it the next day at the docks… or they might see it leave.

Next session, we start with the Freeport Trilogy: Death in Freeport.

Level Up!
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Postby arnon » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:37 am

Session #4
Murder in Freeport (or, The Gimp)

Smarok staggers back into the inn where the rest are just wasting the day away, as they notice him and ask him what happened he tells them. He also says that he heard the Halfling say to his people to search the captain’s cabin again, and that means that the party must have missed something important (why is it that players believe that everything that happens surrounds them?!?). They go back to the ship and find it empty of people, searching the captain’s cabin they notice that there is a hole in the wall over the bed and that its empty.

Kardak and Oscar say they’ll remain on the ship while the rest will go to find the dock-master. They manage to get about 80 feet from the ship, and while still on the docks the three party members (Val, Su and Samrok) are surrounded by a press gang that wants to take them to work on their ship. “We’ll do it the hard way,” says Val. The party calls to Kardak and Oscar (who join the fight one round later), and try to fend for themselves for a while. The press gang manages to deal some (nonlethal) damage to the party, but the moment 4 are taken down, the 4 left try to flee. Two escape along the docks, on tries to jump into the water but is killed, and another also tries to jump into the water but receives a savage nonlethal damage from a greatsword (what happens when a barbarian with a greatword deals 26 nonlethal damage to a character with 5 hp???).

During the fight Su notices a young man in robe watching them, and as the fight ends he comes over and introduces himself as Brother Egil. He takes them to a tavern and asks them to look for his friend Lucious who has been missing. All this time, Kradak, who is disappointed that the sailor he knocked out isn’t coming to, carries him along with him and pours beer on his face to try to awake him (with no success).

The party agrees to take the job and Egil takes them to Lucious’s house, where Val finds the “To Do” list and the Journal. Both Val and Samrok become obsessed with ‘Turnips’ and ‘Travel Log’ which appear on the list and start asking about Turnips fields, merchants, stalls, etc. They decide to check out who Cpt. Scarbelly is and go to the dock. They learn that the orc pirate has been in dock for almost two weeks and that the crew is nervous. They go to the ship, and ask nicely to see the captain. The orcs tell them to “piss off”.

The party is adamant so the orcs call the second in command, Arggo. They again try to get to the captain, but he tells them to talk to him or piss off. They ask about Lucious and are told that the man came a week ago, but was also refused audience with the captain… and that the party can piss off. Val asks Arggo if they trade in turnips and the huge orcs tells her in no uncertain terms that no. There is a tense moment when the barbarian is close to angering the second in command, but they relent at last and leave the ship.

They go to the temple to try to see what it was the Lucious did to piss them off (they believe the church of the god of knowledge is responsible for Lucious disappearing). As they go in a young attendant approaches and asks Kradak to take his passed-out friend to a room in some inn (Kradak is still carrying around the sailor he knocked out). After some comic conversation Kradak goes to wait outside with the sailor, and Samrok asks the attendant if they have a section onf travel logs, regarding orcs and pirates (and turnips). They all pay a small donation to use the books and start sifting through the travel logs. After several moments Su and Val decide to go and ask to see the High Priest and ask about Lucious. They go down and are met by Milo he does not let them see the high priest but answer their questions curtly and precisely. Thye don’t get much in the manner of answers: no I don’t know where he is, nor do we care to search for him; he violated the temple and was expelled, he came back and after talking with the high priest was allowed back in. That was the gist of the answers.

They leave the temple to meet Kradak again outside, ready to give up as they have reached a dead end. Kradak decides to go in (after making sure that someone is looking after his unconscious sailor) and asks around in the temple what is was exactly that Lucious did to get expelled; one of the older clerics remember that he acted disrespectfully to some holy books. Kradak returns to the party and they decided to check out Lucious house again (even though they do not have the keys).

As the sun is setting and they make their way through the narrows streets of Freeport, the party is ambushed. Two archers with crossbows are stationed on roofs and shot bolts at them, while 4 fighters and a sorcerer surround them (3 from the front, 2 from the back). The sorcerer acts first and tries his burning hands on those at the rear of the party, but both Oscar and Su survive unscathed (rogue and monk, avoid due to their evasion ability). Val casts cause fear on one of the fighters and he runs away screaming. Bolts fly at the party but miss, while the leader of the mercenaries charges Kardak dealing a critical strike and injuring the barbarian seriously (18 damage out off 25), this, of course, pissed Kradak off (rage!). Smarok heals Kradak; Oscar misses with his crossbow, and Su punches the sorcerer, but he takes a step back and cast ray of frost on her. The archers turn out to be rather useless as they constantly miss; Oscar and Su (at the rear) manage to kill both sorcerer and fighter, while Samrok chips away at the leader… Kradak misses his hits on the leader two consecutive rounds, but finally scores a critical and completely obliterates the leader. The surviving fighter tries to escape (but is captures) while the archers make a clean getaway (Su manages to climb the roof can’t catch up with the archer).

They find a dagger with the letter “L” on the leader as well as a crumbled note with an address. They question their prisoner but soon realize he doesn’t really know much, and Kradak lets him go after making sure that the mercenary knows he’s dead meat should they meet again.
-End Session-


DM Notes:
Don’t really remember if I had anything I wanted to say.

The session was fun: both comedic role-playing with Kradak carrying around the unconscious sailor everywhere (they called him the Gimp), and some nice fights.

They’ll probably finish the adventure next session, and I’l try to lure into Holiday in the Sun (a small interlude before next adventure in the trilogy) and maybe also further harassment by the mysterious Halfling with straw hat and his gang.
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Postby arnon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:32 am

Session #5
Murder in Freeport (or, Even Taverns in a Pirate City have Opening Hours)

The party of “heroes” is tired and they decide to head back to their inn. ON the way the limp sailor who Kradak has been taking along with him for the whole day finally regains consciousness. Kradak starts asking him question and wants to tell him that he’s boss will answer to him if he hears about them bullying other people, but the poor sailor has a bit of a memory loss and can’t remember anything that happened. At the inn, the party decided to post a guard along the hallway (somebody did try to kill them) but the night passes with no incident.

In the morning they go to the address they found on the merceneries and come to the Black Gull. The place is closed (and nothing pikes PCs attention more than a locked door), so while the party hides Oskar (the dwarf rogue), he picks the lock on the front door, only to find out that it’s barred from the inside. They go around back, but same thing there. So of course (as good PCs), they start to kick the door down… but it is a sturdy door and it holds fast. Someone start to curse them from a second story window, and when they ignore him he tosses his chamber pot at them. Oskar wants to shot him with his crossbow but is stopped, and Kradak tries to yell him back to the room but does not impress the angry neighbor much. He threatens to call the guard, if they continue but is dissuaded by Val’s sweet words.

As they stand for a minute scratching their heads, the door opens and the form of an orc (there are no half-orcs in my campaign) stands in the doorway “You’re not Helga…” he says to them rubbing sleep from his eyes. “The job is done,” says Kradak. “What job? Who the hell are you?” asks the orc. “You know..”. “No, go away, we are closed.” “Where is the owner?” they ask. “He’ll come later when we are open.” “Can we wait inside?” He slams the door in their face and bars it again.

They wait at a bakery down the street and after two hours see the front door being opened and a tall, big boned blond sweeps some dirt outside, leaving the door open as she walks back inside. As they come inside they go to her and ask to speak with the owner. “Boris is not here, he’ll come later.” So they wait ordering food and drinks (all but Val, this establishment is not for her taste). The orc cock is not very good, but not terrible either.

After about two more hours Boris (the owner) comes in. They try the same routine as with the orc (pretending to complete the mission), but of course, he knows nothing about it. They finally describe Rittoro (the head merc) to him and he recognizes him from yesterday. The man met with another thin nervous looking dude who looked out of place and waited here all night last night… all that after they jog his memory with some coins. They decided to wait in the tavern and hope the guy will show up again. He does, after an hour or so.

Enzo sits in the corner and tries to stand up and leave as he see the party approach his table. “The job is done…” “What job?... Ohh, it’s you…” he blurts out, and Kradak tries to slam Enzo’s head into the table, but Enzo manages to evade. Enzo is scared, and blurts out any information he knows. Something about some vague Brootherhood; a powerful Master who want them dead, and food he has brought to some house. They demand him to take them to the house. He tries to avoid, but a knife in the back from Oskar (causing him to wet himself) convinces him to stand up. He leads them to the house, always trying to convince them to let him go. They reach the house, open the door, and knock the babbling Enzo unconscious (he’ll probably have memory problems as well).

They party goes down to the cellar, finding it full of big barrels. Naturally they smash them… and the first one bursts open splashing wine over them all. They decide to check which are hallow, and search around those. They find the entrance and head on in. Oskar and Kradak walk in the lead; Oskar notices the trap in the floor but does not manage to warn Kradak about it, and the barbarian falls into the pit. They then go into the ritual room, take some of the stuff from the table, and Kradak is severely tempted to ring the gong, but is stopped at the last moment by Samrok. Leaving that room, they head down the hall and open the treasury door and the skeletons raise up to “greet” them. Krdak and Oskar react quickly and dispatch one each, and Smarok (with a very high roll in Turn Undead) destroys all the rest, but while they all have their attention focused on the skeletons, some degenerate serpent people attack their rear (Su and Val). Su is hit by a bite from a serpent person and fails her Fort save (draining 6 temp Wis… I rolled max; very bad for a monk character to have her wisdom drained), During the battle the ensues, Oskar manages to get bitten as well, and the party gets a bit hurt but they kill all 4 enemies.

They debate for a moment to go and rest before continuing, but then decide to stay and end this, not wanting to loose the momentum, They next reach a small library, and find there a letter from some N’tal guy (who says the preparation are almost ready, and they will be arriving soon), and some progress reports on the Lighthouse of Drac. Hey also find a large black leather bound book which hurts both Val and Samrok as they try to read it; Samrok places it in his backpack.

They then reach big double doors and Kradak opens them wide. They have reached the great hall of the temple. A man behind the altar reveals to be Milo from the temple, and he greets them with a “you are going to die” speech. Two cultist fire their crossbows from behind columns (one hitting Oskar), and Milo casts Doom on Kradak. Then the party starts to react. Val shoot a Magic Missile at Milo, and Oskar advances into the room to try and reach one of the cultists. Milo then acts again, casing Hold Person on Val, paralyzing her in place. Samrok, Kradak and Su, do all they can to reach Milo behind the altar (some performing a double move, others flat out running to reach him. Once they reach the altar they find a man tied and tucked in the corner, but they have no time to check him out. A cultist tries to shoot at one of the PCs who have reach the altar but misses, and another cultist strikes at Su.

Milo steps towards Samrok and places his hand on his chest, activating his death touch ability, and Samrok falls to the ground immediately. Oskar misses one of the cultists, but the cultist does not miss Oskar and deals some serious damage (Oskar was already hurt, and 1 more point would have put him down). A savage slice from Kradak shakes Milo and he just barely manages to keep on his feet. Val shakes of her paralysis; and Su and the cultist try (unsuccessfully to hut each other).

Val steps into the room and shoots a magic missile at Milo, and the evil person falls to the ground (having been a 0 hp) dying. Oskar desperately tries to kill the cultist in front of him knowing that should he miss and the cultist hit, he might very well die… Oskar misses, but so does the cultist. Kradak goes down to help Su fight the cultist but he too, along with Su and the cultist, misses almost all their blows. Val casts a cause fear spell on one of the cultists and he runs away in horror, and one relieved dwarven rouge, sits down to breath (he was disabled and any strenuous action would have dropped him). It takes another round for the cultist to be taken down, during which Val pour a potion of cure light wounds down Samroks throat; and while he is not raised above 0, he is stabilized.
-End Session-

DM Notes:
I had made several mistakes during the run of the final combat (the working of a spell and an ability), both of which would have made it much tougher to the PCs (not that it wasn’t tough) but that is life with d20… too much things to keep track of at all times.

(Reposted from another thread...)
Also, I just got an e-mail from a player playing a cleric of a good God, asking if he could take over the building they have just left (meaning the bricked up building from Murder in Freeport) and set up a temple to his god there.

Of course I can't let that happen, tough I do like the initiative he is taking. What I guess I'll need to do is drown him in bureaucracy, which is what the 'bad guys' will do anyway because they still need that place for the next part of the adventure (Horror in Freeport).

Maybe have him go to the record office and try to dig around as to who owns the place... just had an idea! The owner of the building might be a certain person (name to be decided), but he is just a name on the paper, the real owner is the Halfling in straw hat that knocked Samrok (the cleric) out last time... who in turn is a part of Finn's gang. The owner knows nothing of what happened in his building (don't ask don't tell policy)...

This will probably put more suspicion on the straw hat Halfling, but that's fine by me. Let them focus on one character and then be surprised when he truly does have nothing to do with what's happening... not in regard to the trilogy at any rate. :twisted:
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Postby arnon » Fri Sep 19, 2008 1:02 am

This update is 3 sessions rolled into one…

Sessions #6-8
Terror in Freeport (or, I Don't Really Have any Funny Title to Put Here)

As they start ‘looting’ the temple they notice that Milo’s body starts to shake and convolute and change right in front of their eyes, and turns into a snake-man. Lucious, who they free in the mean time, Is socked by this transformation as well, telling them that he never suspected. He tells them his story and how Milos almost killed him even though he knew nothing about what Milos asked. They take Lucious back to Egil, they tell him what they saw and learned, and Egil is shocked as well.

Samrock then goes with some of the others to the temple of Heronimus (he is sort-of a priest of Hieronimus), tells them about the underground temple and shows them the book that he took from there. The priest take the book and promise to study it and make sure it is taken care of, and say to Samrock that unlike where he comes from, they are not the authorities… but they will inform this tale to the authorities so that is taken care off.

The party passes some idle days, mainly resting and recovering (some of them were poisoned) and sell some of the lot. They go to check on “their” ship but find out that it is gone; they convince the dock master to tell them who too it: Cpt. Terriam of Salura (who this guy is I have no idea, I made him up on the spot); the party demanded to know why it was taken, and the man says that the Cpt. Came with all the right papers of ownership.

Swagfest arrive, and the party moves about town to observe the celebration, it does not interest them much once they learn that it celebrates murder and pillage. They do observe the speech by Cpt. Lydon, and spot the assassin trying to backstab him. With a well cast Cause Fear spell by Val, in a surprise round, and then a well placed poisoned bolt that paralyzes the assassin the threat is over before it even began. The party goes over to see what it’s all about, and soon both Lydon and his guards and the city guards arrive. The city guards take the paralyzed assassin to a holding cell, and the Cpt. thanks them for saving his life. The party is not interested in the festivities and decided to go check on the assassin, but the city guard does not let them interview her telling them it is not their business to check about it, but thank them for stopping her. They try to gather some info about Lydon, and learn that he is into politics, so this might be a reason for the assassination attempt… some of them also think that the assassin was under duress (forced, in other words) to kill the Cpt. in broad daylight, and that she is not really a trained killer (heheheh).

Leaving this alone, and wanting to investigate further about the lighthouse, the temple they uncovered and so forth, they realize they have to wait till Swagfest is over. They return to the temple of Hieronimus as some point, and are told that some nights ago a yellow sign was painted on their door, and that one of the younger clerics tried, without permission, to read from the book, and is now in a comatose state; they are having an expert come and take care of the book. They go to Egil and Lucious, wanting to know if they learned anything about the ‘Brotherhood’, but the two priests have not. Lucious looks haggard and tired and Egil says he is worried for him. Samrock wants to learn who the owner of the building (where the temple was) is and they go to the Office of Public Records. There they meet Reed and manage to be a little bit nice to him as well as offer him some money… though that was still not enough, so he promise to look into it once he is done with some other things he is doing.

They then decide to check on the assassin, and go the city watch post at the docks, only to find that: “No she is not here anymore, she has…errr… OK, that’s enough, you need to leave now.” This, of course, makes them very suspicious, but they can’t get the guard to spill out what he knows. During this time, Samrock also tries to learn about the Halfling that left him unconscious when they first arrived to Freeport, but he is not very good at talking to people, and no one seems to want to talk about that Halfling.

Several days later they all wake up to find a note pinned to the inside of their room doors. It is pinned with some sort of long and strong thorn, and says “You have a week to give me back what you took from Cpt. Bruce’s ship,” and is signed “Mr. D.” After some sniffing around by the party, they learn that Mr. D. is actually Mr. Darling, a halfing that nobody wants to mess with.

They next day Egil comes to find them, he is shaky and jumpy. He tells them that he feels that something is wrong, that he is always being followed, and that last night he noticed an unwanted intruder in Lucious’ home who took some sort of a scroll from there. He asks them to check out what’s going on… that he feels a growing sense of doom, and that the authorities aren’t really doing what they should. He also tells them that he sniffed around a bit about Milos and learned that he had another identity: a merchant by the name of Devin. Of course, he also offers to pay the party.

The party find out where Devin was staying, and go to check his room. They find the book with the lighthouse drawing, and also notice that some of the books have much less dust on them than others. Samrock figures that these are the most read/used books and takes them wit him (though they are completely different from all the other books, dealing with inane stuff, and not with architecture and masonry as most of the books on the shelf). As they leave the inn they hear a cry for help and notice 3 orcs assaulting a young messenger boy. The party confronts them and the orcs are only to happy to oblige. The boy, after a round or two in which he doesn’t see the book he is looking for, backstabs Oskar and runs away. Su and Kradak try to give chase but loose track of him.

The party then goes to investigate the building where the temple is. They notice that the scene is the same, except for 3 guards up front, and recognize that they belong to Varliene, chief advisor to Drac of the captain’s council. They talk to them, but the guards tell them to “go away, this is council business!” They party try’s to protest, but don’t want to anger the guards.

They head around back and try to pry loose some board, but make to much of a noise and hear one of the guards approaching. Kradak goes to hide in the ally, while Oskar, Su, and Samrock just sit on a barrel right there at the back of the house, as if they are just resting. “We told you to get the hell away from here!” “We’ll sit wherever we want buddy!” retorts the party (as any PC party will do, thinking they own the streets). “This is council business, leave now, and do not make a hassle!” “Or you’ll do what...” taunts the party. The guards half draws his sword, just to scare them off, but Samrock starts to draw his sword too. At that the guards shouts to his friends out front “attack!!!” and from the front the party here the sound of an alarm whistle. They smartly decide to back away… but back away only a block away.

More guards arrive, and one of them notices the broken window. 6 guards walk up to the party demanding explanation; the party rebuff the questions and leave. They all meet up at the inn, and decide to go at night.

At nigh they find three (other) guards at the building. Kradak decides to try to talk with them, but since it is night (and he failed his spot check miserably) he believes the guardsmen are actually guardswomen. This pisses-off the guardsmen, but Kradk retreats before pissing them too much. Su climbs to the roof, and manages to remove some planks in order to get inside. As Oskar climbs to join here, he makes to much noise, and two guards come to check. Kradak, Samrock and Val all hide quickly in the ally, and the guards miss them. The rest of the party climbs up to the roof, and Oskar and already down in the building… but as the last party members climbs up, he makes a lot of noise and the guards go again to check. Kradak decides not to take any chances and jumps on a lone guard, trying to subdue him. Samrock reacts quickly with a Hold Person spell, freezing one of the guards; and Val shots a Magic Missile on another, the guard that was hit blows his alarm whistle, and draws his sword. Kradak struggles with his guard, while the guards screams for help; Samrock jumps back down from the roof and uses non lethal damage to knock the paralyzed guard out. The sergeant of the guards, on the other hand, falls dead to another barrage of magic missiles. Oskar rushes to the building door, breaking it loudly, while Kradak finally manages to subdue his opponent, and they quickly drag the bodies into the building, hiding them in the cellar. They hear no alarms from the city, and decide to investigate the temple.

They find it much it was before… except empty from all possessions, and eerily quite. They make it to the main temple area, and notice that both the altar and the statue are gone, and as they investigate further, they are suddenly attack by some serpent-people and a cultist that emerge from a hidden door. The battle is short but fierce, and while none of the party members were in any real danger, almost suffered some form of injury. Going through the secret door, they find a large cavern with an underground lake and 2 tunnels exiting it.

Also, they notice a crate. The crate has some golden goblets and some strange bricks with a seam running along their middle. Kradak takes one brick and smashes it to the ground, but only notices that some of the broken pieces have a strange yellow-gold color. Samrock, on the other hand, chips away at the brick along the seam, and finds out that at the center of the brick is the Yellow Sign of the Brotherhood.

They decide to investigate the southern tunnel, and Samrock closes the main temple secret door before doing so. In that tunnel, they quickly come upon another secret door (not secret from this side) and find that it leads to the treasury... they also hear voice speaking in common in the temple. They quickly close the door, and both Kradak and Samrock go to the temple secret door to listen. Samrock manages to hear that the guards are surprised at bodies of the snake people and that they are worried of this, also, one of the guards says that they should get Lloyd. This makes Kradak angry, because it means that they killed a person (the guard above) who knew nothing of the serpent people and was not collaborating with the enemy… they gave birth to an argument, mainly with Val and Oskar, that their immediate solution to all things so far was “let’s attack them”, Kradak trying to make them understand that taking a life is not something to be done lightly.

While the guards are at the temple, the party decides to explore the other exit and starting wondering around the tunnels bellow the city, but find nothing (I ask for lots of Notice checks, and roll behind the screen a lot, but that’s just to keep them alert). Finally they decided to get back out and leave the place. The temple is empty of guards and the bodies of the serpent people were removed. As they sneak out to the cellar, Oskar sneaks ahead to the ground level room. Through the broken door he notices a large cadre lad guards, they care speaking quietly, and then most of the guards leave, leaving behind 3 guards at the front of the building, about 15 feet from the door. Kradak offers to run out and make them chase him so that the others can leave unnoticed; Val tries to convince him that it is a bad idea, and he seems to agree. So they decide to subdue the guards (again). They walk up to the main room, after waiting for the large group of guards to get away, but the guards don’t seem to notice them, standing and talking amongst themselves. The party decides to change tactics, and sneak out of the building.

Kradak is first… but kicks the door unintentionally instead. The guards turn to see him, and in that instant he bolts down a dark ally. Two guards run after him, and another starts to, but then decides to stay, although he does go to try and see into the darkness if his friends have caught the man, leaving his back to the door. And so, the party sneaks out without hurting anybody.
-End Sessions-

DM Notes:
These were 3 sessions.

The first one was perhaps the worst I’ve ever run, in which nothing really happened.

I’ve tried to pull them into something (The Swagfest thing, even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to run this interlude), they didn’t bit and showed no interest… other than finding out about the assassin. What they did not manage to learn is that the assassin broke out while transported to another place, killing a couple of guards.

I’m going to tie her to Mr. Darling (the Halfling in straw hat), that will also be Egil’s money-lender... this will be my interlude between Terror and Madness. They’ll try to come after him (I hope), he’ll tell them that they can repay him by killing Cpt. Lydon at the Lighthouse Ball; the assassin would be there, but she will be in stoneshape after “failing” Mr. D. (I’ll give them a means to release her from the enchantment, some of them still think she was forced to kill Lydon… not hired! She’ll thank them, but try to kill them later on...) hopefully they’ll try to kill him and he will be a tough fight.

I say hopefully, because this will bring Finn into the picture and will be very mad that the party killed his cousin. He’ll come to them just before the Lighthouse Ball, and tell them they have 3 days to leave the city, or he will set everybody he has against them. This will, hopefully, make them run for their lives and leave Freeprot after the Madness climax… leading them straight to Red Hand of Doom.
arnon
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