Scene: The Tavern: The Drunken Dragon
· Barmaid: Helena
o Husband: William
Lanlin of the Technical Tinker
Lucky was made one-of-a-kind in Ballygrady. Return address to Southbridge Camp with no sender info. 300 gold included in the crate to pay Lanlin to repair him (left side of body not functioning – can only say words starting with a vowel).
Valario hits on Helena… a lot… and she’s clearly not having any of it.
They go to Lanlin to get Lucky fixed – Lanlin gives a 10% off discount, and gives 30gp back to the party (Canas takes 15gb, the rest of the party splits)
Valario leaves to return the wheelbarrow (used to transport Lucky to Lanlin) back to the Drunken Dragon.
Helena thinks that Valario is still making moves, and, spooked, she has her brothers drag Valario into the tavern and teach him a lesson.
The tables quickly turn on the two brothers that were beating up Valario as the rest of the party, upon hearing the sounds of conflict, arrive and join the fight at the Tavern.
Helena says something derogatory about dwarves and tells everyone to get out of the Tavern before one of her brothers gets killed.
They recall something Helena said to Valario about a boat leaving town the next morning (and another one not coming for another week after that)
Go to boat
Pick up on anti-dwarf sentiments
Talk to captain, the dwarf Grilnob
Grilnob says “I don’t know why, but everyone here hates dwarves”
Ship is headed to Woodbury
Notice the icon of the Clan of Iron (hammer and ingot) with a big red cross-out over it all over the city… although it’s faded. It’s clear that the symbol, at one point, was used all over the city -however this has not been the case in quite some time.
Party decides to go to Lanlin to talk to him about it. He details the effort six months ago of the dwarves to dig around under the village.
Discover that, since then, the village has made an explicit effort to kill all of the dwarves they see.
Discover that the Town Council of 5 (of which Lanlin is a member) are voting that night to send a party of 300 men down to Woodbury to rid them of their bit of dwarves).
Decide to disguise Sicarius as Lanlin and represent Lanlin at the council meeting. Trap Lanlin in his employees only room and “mist his mind” to make him forget what happened.
They send Sicarius into the council meeting. He convinces, through his bullshit OP bluff, to launch an “exploratory committee” to see how things are going down in Woodbury before devoting 300 men to attach the dwarves there. The committee pays 150gb upfront and agrees to 150gp pending their return (and makes it clear that they’re tight-fisted and will not hesitate to go after the party if they don’t return).
They return to Lanlin. Sicarius unsuccessfully convinces Lanlin that everything is cool. They turn Lanlin into a toad and transport him via Lucky.
The party heads back to the ship, who is still docked because Valario knocked some precious cargo into the river (without being noticed) and needs to recover it first.
We left off with a Lanlin-like toad stored carefully inside of Lucky and the party ready to head off to Woodbury to "scout out in preparation for the genocide of the dwarves".
Sicarius had to leave the party abruptly to "assassinate shit", and Valario suddenly left the city to head to the middle of the desert for reasons unknown, with no stated intended return.
The party of three heads up the center of the city to investigate the garden where the dwarves historically broke through to the surface for the first time in North River Shores. Godric notices the center garden bed 'disturbed' and slightly newer than the rest of the square -- as well as a similar circle of cobblestone in the center of the cobblestone town square, about a meter-and-a-half in diameter. Godric notices that the stones in the circle are slightly warmer than the rest of the stone in the square. Rather than attract attention, they go back to the ship to prepare to leave.
Grilnob, the dwarven ship captain, says they can't leave port until they find some precious missing cargo. The group decides to search the shores. They travel past the boundaries of the town's beach and discover three outlaws in a dingy coveting some crate under a trap. They are aggressive, and a fight ensues. The party prevails after an embarrassing showing from just about everyone involved.
On the strong red-headed outlaw woman, Godric notices an old relic: a dwarvish chestplate made in Bellygrady (Bellygrady Chestplate, +2 AC, -1 to speed). Laronar opts to open the crate, and in doing so, breaks an internal wax seal. They find a hand-carved wooden bird on the inside.
The party of three returns to the boat, and Grilnob is relieved to see that they have the missing cargo. He is dismayed to find that the party opened it, and not knowing himself what's inside, makes it clear that the party is responsible for delivering it to the awaiting recipient in Woodbury.
The ship leaves and heads down-river to Woodbury, a journey that lasts several days without incident. The party rests up and recovers from the conflict on the beach. The ship arrives in Woodbury; a beautiful, quaint, mid-sized port city on the river.
Godric tries to make a quick, quiet exit off the ship, but Grilnob stops him -- "Oooohh no, you get to wait for Alice!".
Alice arrives at the dock with her entourage of six elite guards. She is beautiful in her old age and carries an incredible aire of nobility, grace, and intimidation about her. She gently thanks Grilnob, and then specifically thanks the party of three for personally finding her precious package, who her "husband Calvin would have greatly appreciated seeing back on Woodbury soil". Alice invites the party to dinner in her "home" at sundown. She parts with the group, has a guard grab the package from Grilnob, and heads back into the city. The party realizes how quiet the port had become and notices the atmosphere return to normal after Alice and her entourages leave.
The party continues into a crowded part of the port. Godric notices a small hand reaching into his pocket to steal gold. He swats it away, and uses his eye/orb to track him back into a "condemned" Bait & Tackle shop. Lucky and Laronar make a distraction (Laronar shape-shifts and Lucky does some fancy spells), Godric easily picks the lock and sneaks inside. He closes the door behind him and notices stomping.
An incredibly large, intimidating thug stomps towards him. The party takes him down (Godric has a... rough time and critically misses four times). They find a key on his body. They are left in a dingy room with a large, strong trap-door in the floor that is locked and requires a key.
Sicarius enters the room -- Godric is pretty unhappy about it and asks him indignantly where he's been. Sicarius observes the body in the room and makes a note in his small notebook.
They open the trap door; a small 3x3' tunnel is revealed at the bottom of a short ladder. Laronar turns into a panther and descends into the tunnels, tied to a 50-foot rope held by Godric. Laronar scurries down the tunnel and quickly reaches his 50-ft rope limit after catching the scent trail of the pickpocket from outside. Laronar struggles against the rope and Godric mistakes it as Laronar getting attacked. Laronar wiggles out and reaches the end of the tunnel (about 300 feet farther in a straight shot), only to find a one-way trap door like at the other end of the tunnel.
The Stone Mug and Crown Tavern. Barmaiden suggests "Gassy Gnoll" if they want cheap. Sleep there. In morning, Alice comes in. Invites to dinner. Wait at tavern and do nothing.
Town led by Lord Dain Clearwater
Bird from the Sun Elves of the Arneth Woods, from late hubby Steward Calvin Strayts (who was right-hand man to Lord Dain Clearwater)
Alice wants the party to help clear out the underground problem
Alice mentions "Gassy Gnoll"
Go to Gassy Gnoll. Bad guys follow drugged Godric upstairs. Fight ensues. 3 dead bodies later. Barkeep (Arthur) nowhere to be seen.
The party takes a short rest to give themselves time to figure out what just happened and recuperate. Laronar notices a conspicuous trap door behind the bar. They soon hear lots of boots and hushed movement from outside the bar. Godric shouts to the party to go into the trap-door entrance behind the bar to the tunnels beneath.
The party enters the tunnel, which bears a striking resemblance to the tunnels underneath the Bait & Tackle that Laronar entered a few days ago. Laronar continues on ahead after they see a faint light in the distance and hears hushed activity up ahead. With the party waiting a safe distance back in total darkness, Laronar quietly comes upon the source of light and noise; a sizeable office in an offshoot of the main tunnel. The office was lavish and populated by an annoyed-looking half-elf, Elaren, at a desk, with two dim-witted guards behind him.
Sicarius communicated with Laronar and decided it was safe for the rest of the party to quietly approach; unfortunately, the approach wasn't quiet enough, and the guards were placed on high alert.
Godric elected to walk into the room and attempt diplomacy before the sword. Yet the half-elf Elaren knew exactly who Godric was, and the party to which he belonged. Diplomacy failed as Elaren demanded to know why Arthur, the shady Gassy Gnoll barkeep, reported a violent struggle back at the tavern (in which the party killed the three shady individualls).
Godric quickly realized that he had to act fast. He threw a makeshift molotov cocktail using a particularly nasty bottle of spirits acquired from the Gassy Gnoll's bar. Elaren was quick to move initially, but calmly returned to his chair after witnessing a powerful shockwave from Lucky (?) nearly killing one of his guards. He prompted the guards to continue fighting, knowing full well that they would not last long.
Indeed, last long they did not. Mildly bemused, Elaren concluded aloud that his "arrangement" with Alice had clearly been disregarded, and that he would be sure to contact the party in the near future for a debrief of sorts. With a firm tone, he asked that the party leave immediately back toward the Gassy Gnoll, lest they face the crowd of thugs headed toward Elaren's office.
Before leaving, Godric approached the desk and clumsily looked it over. His eyes quickly shot to a large business ledger square in the middle of the desk; in it, he made out "Gassy Gnoll", "Stone Mug and Crown Tavern", and even the name "Garx" printed several times. Elaren slammed the ledger shut and harshened his tone. Godric defiantly grabbed a nondescript pen from the desk, sensed his luck was being pushed, and continued down the tunnel with the rest of the party.
The party returned without incident to the Gassy Gnoll and noticed a large number of people had clearly been in the tavern, but were presently nowhere to be seen.
Reminder: There is still a gnome/toad inside Lucky's chassis.
The party decides to go see the captain of the Woodbury Guard, Aldrik Battlehammer. He explains that North River Shores has slowly been going insane -- in fact, he expects a 'war party' from the city every year. Ever since the stupid dwarves dug under the town and accidentally hit the town's well, they've had trouble with irithril getting into the water supply. The town has slowly been driven mad and is somewhat of an "inside joke" amongst surrounding cities and towns.
Cordovan is in charge of rehabilitating the war party that arrives every year. Some make it, others do not. The party approaches Cordovan to help turn Lanlin back to normal. There's a bit of mistrust. Cordovan decides they mean well and sees if he has the necessary ingredients to fix him.
To heal, transform, and rehabilitate Lanlin, the party needs a few herbs that Cordovan does not have: barberry (greenish-looking, sort of like grapes), and stinging nettle (green-purple nettle plant)
The party heads to Woodbury's local apothecary, "The Secret Stash", owned by an old male gnome named Herb. The Stinging Nettle is available (it was in the back and had not yet been stocked in the front of the store) free of charge because of a favor that Cordovan had done for Herb a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Herb is all out of barberry. He hasn't been able to get it in a few weeks because the party he sent out a week ago had presumably been killed by wolves while foraging.
Herb shows them on a crudely drawn map where it should be. They go out to find it. They encounter a territorial pack of wolves in the only barberry bush in sight and quickly dispose of them. After dispatching the wolves, they hear some menacing howling far in the distance. Laronar quickly picks four small bushes of barberry and decides to flee back to the city two miles away. Sicarius sneakily pickpockets the barberry from Laronar before he departs.
The party continues down the path toward a stream to seek the missing foraging party, which in turn leads them to a cave behind a waterfall a few hundred feet away. The party cautiously enters the cave. However, their stealth eventually fails, and they attract the attention of an absurdly large and powerful direwolf known to the inhabitants of Woodbury as Raksha (Godric recalls seeing a contract posted for the dire wolf's head somewhere back in Woodbury and assumes this is the dire wolf in question).
Two men, presumably the foragers from Herb's shop, urge the party to sneak into the room they're hiding in. Unfortunately, Cordovan and Sicarius don't make it into the room in time before Raksha leaps toward them.
Laronar, meanwhile, is five minutes away from the party after realizing he didn't actually have any of the barberry.