Thursday, February 22, 2024

Campaign Journal: Farewell(?) to Acroria

 Full house:

  • Fulvus - halfling
  • Rondel - elf
  • Frederick - thief
  • Slick - thief
  • Jax - barbarian
  • Orzu - gnome
Our heroes closed out the Autumn Equinox ball from last session. I had to overlap a bit, just to let Slick do Slick things. 

Anyway, Fulvus found a couple of halfling kin raiding the hors d'oeuvre table. The pair were head of the local community, mostly consisting of craft folk and servants. The local gossip in the halfling quarter was continued rumblings of discontent from the Merchant's Guild at being shut out from city decision-making and influence on the Council. Fulvus bid them adieu, and the pair went back to spiking the punch.

Dancing was had, with the halflings showing off their West Shire Swing stylings, and hench Roderick getting turned down by the beguines, and most everyone else. 

Slick, now recovered, prowled the edges of the gathering, before sliding over to the coat check. A bored private yawned and dozed. Slick charitably suggested that the young man might need some fresh air, supporting his observation with some palmed coins. The fellow agreed, stepping out, allowing Slick to take off with a couple of fancy hats. Of course.

Sensing that the festivities were ending, the party stepped out into the night. Most of the group headed out, with Jax lagging as a number of children detained her, begging to pet Goober just one more time as their harried parents pulled them away. Which of course allowed her to be behind the main group and get shanked by the Shadowy Figure(tm) who leapt from an alleyway. The party turned, hurling a few knives and an arrow with limited success. Fulvus darted after the figure with his "fancy boots," but lost them due to their surprisingly fleet feet.

Local guards were called and given report, and Jax was healed and bundled off to the inn. This being the second time she was set upon in town while separated from the rest of the crew. Coincidence, or by design? Hmm...

The next morning, everyone was enjoying their hangover breakfast when a guard captain and substantial number of soldiers arrived. It's almost as if they expected trouble... Anyway... The captain reported that Zejo Drašković, expedition survivor, had been slain in the night. The party responded that they had their own problems, and were alibied so stop bothering us. But the second attack in Jax and subsequent murder of the soldier was of serious concern. It seemed that certain Chaos operatives were in town, causing disruption. 

With that bit of news, the party made their way to the Home for the Wayward. One of Brother Sigeric's "orphans" greeted the party at the side door. "Was just about to send for you. The Brother's in a fit." The brother was, indeed, in a fit. And day drinking. "Welp, seems that Rancent Pere DID get a seat on the Council. I may have been outmaneuvered..." Even with the party's exposure of his double-cross. All commiserated regarding the new complication, and how odd it was that the Council would operate with an even number of members. "Besides, I might actually need to run a legitimate charity..." Everyone agreed to keep an eye out for further developments.

Returning to the inn, everyone had a drink and considered the news. About then, the inn door darkened, again. Basically with Bluto:

He proceeded to storm in, grabbing Slick and giving him a heathy throttling. "Where's my Pappy's sword? People saw you stealing at the bath house!" (shakeshakeshake). Between head bobbles, Slick attempted to convince the very large fellow that he had been charmed and working under influence, and that he had misplaced the sword (it was a hilt and broken blade, rolled on a random loot table). Rondel affirmed that Slick had been charmed multiple times, being susceptible to such magic. The fellow was skeptical. Rondel then tried to charm him, to no avail (Rondel now doubting his go-to spell). Finally, the chap was bought off with some coin and went trundling back out into the street.

As Slick readjusted his head on his shoulders, a courier stepped in with a package for Frederick. "Parcel from Petre Gagua." The party gave the kid a substantial tip and sent him on his way. The parcel turned out to be a wine bottle. Frederick gave it a shake, confirming that it seemed to contain wine. Popping the cork, he discovered that the 'liquid' was a vial of mercury, inserted to give the bottle weight. Orzu taste-tested it, confirming it was mercury. Frederick 'accidentally' broke the bottle which contained rolled journal entries and maps of the expedition's ill-fated reconnaissance. A windfall. 

About this time, a figure made their presence known from a Dark Corner(tm) of the tavern. The large, cloaked figure slid over, notifying the party that he'd been keeping an eye on them, and that they may have similar interests. Introducing himself as Massen Cardew, he revealed himself to be an agent of the Hougan Duchy, in town to gather intelligence. He had a sense that the party had need for contacts and resources, and perhaps his associates might be more willing to help than the Theocracy, who seemed more focused on being insular and driving their religious agenda. The party considered this, especially since they were intending to travel back south anyway. The fellow's offer was helped by the fact that he looks like this:

(Totally unintended, the random chargen rolled a fellow with stats better than anyone in the party, including an 18 STR and 15 CHA, but I kept it as a joke. I'm sure he's a most effective spy.)

That said, the agent confirmed that he would provide them a list of contacts, and disappeared into the streets.

Oh, Rondel leveled up, so contacted his elven peers for some 3rd level spells. Unfortunately the "fun" ones weren't available, but he got a few useful utility and buff spells. And is now mostly broke.

Another messenger. Time to face the Council. Sure enough, Rancent Pere sneered at them from the Council's platform. The party, in turn, sneered back "congratulating" him on his position. Banter happened, including the party asking about the potential for a tie among the Council, and Slick volunteering to take a tiebreaking role. Rancent assured them that this was unlikely, before turning to the other Council members to state that "ruffians and outriders" had caused enough strife in the City, distracting it from its mission. The party agreed, before realizing that Rancent was referring to them. How rude. 

With that, the party threw obscene gestures, praises to the god Garond, and other behaviors that got them bum-rushed from the Council chambers. Slick cleared a guard's purse as he was perp-walked out. 

Seems like they've worn out their welcome...

DM Notes:

More role play and world building with respect to Opharel. As well as a few complications. And notes taken with hints or questions to consider later....

Looks like we are on the road again soon.

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