The party had the luxury of doing more town adventuring which was a nice change for them. They visited places and had adgendas and interacted with the populace in a way they had never had the luxury of doing before.
When I do town adventures, I often use the party as aids for LARPING and give them characters to play - making sure that everyone gets a chance. Normally it works out pretty well and everyone gets a laugh, but when you give up the reins of the cart to someone else, even after coaching them on what to sort of say, you have to expect them to run the damned wagon off the road.
That happened here. I had Matt and Jason play the leaders of the thieves guilds and wanted them to try and get Zoltan to join their guild - membership being about 150 crowns. They decided that they were going to take this into a different direction and wouldn't take no for an answer - and that the price was over 200 crowns! This lead to the Zoltan Theiving Spree that had just about every dice roll go in the theif's way as possible.
He netted more swag in an hour than the group had done in three times that amount of time slaying bad guys. Mind you, there are ALWAYS reprecussions - but for this night, Zoltan was truly the king of thieves.
Write up follows:
It was roughly Workmonth the 1st at 11:00 AM when we reconvened, scattered all over Ponyboro on a number of personal missions.
Detheron penned a missive to Matriarch Cassandra Silverbough, Highpriestess to the Temple of Frey where he asked the hard working Matron to contact him later for an audience. He then spent some time in the temple in prayer to his lord until a response arrived. Noting its contents and pocketing it, he wrapped up his time there and moved on to get some meal at the local tavern – the only place he remembered being mentioned – Eight Acres Black.
Gwyn, already at the tavern if you remember, watched Puck leave and then spent some time sitting here listening to the locals and sucking his ale slowly. He heard about the mill house, the local's opinion on the Coopersons and got a taste of the local looks and opinions all the while feeling like there was no need to walk around the strange town in the rain. So he sat there and waited until lunch time at which point he ordered a thick slab of hamsteak, some local bread, and had the entire affair slathered in freshly ground mustard seeds – eating the impromptu sandwich with gusto.
He was approached after a time by a man named Jullof – about late 30's, large framed, a craftsman of some sort. Some verbal sparring followed where it was learned that Jullof was looking to hire a lumber team for the Wolverton Estate and there was some interest in hiring out of towners as well as either half-orcs or dwarves (as they are pound for pound – good workers). Gwyn commented a bit on the fact of "Too many damned elves" around here and listened to the spiel – deciding it had merit. It was for 6 weeks worth of work – starting in one week, pay at 3 commons/day and all meals included. Anyone who needed a place to crash would be allowed one, but the pay would be reduced to 2 commons/day.
Puck wandered around the town circle, looking for fountains or statues, but finding none really – before asking direction a few times for the apothecist. Slogging through the rain, he followed the road toward the Silverbough Demesne, passing the temple of Frey, until he picked his way off the beaten trail to Thanasta Silverbough's Apothecary. There were some noises inside as he knocked and then an elven-ancestored woman opened the door, holding what looked like jewelers tools and her blouse splattered with blood. He was escorted in, told to sit in the cramped and narrow shoppe, while she went back to the dentistry she was performing on the man here.
She was extracting his tooth and listened to Puck's talk of headaches and head colds. A leeching was recommended (declined) as well as a haircut (accepted) and then Thanasta went about making up an elixir for Puck, telling him to drink it soon, every hour and he would be better. Puck left disgusted, feeling that if she was a "closet" mage – she was also an idiot and instead looked around for the glassblowers.
Karis rode with Guthorm, learning some of the places in town as well as some of the history of Ponyboro – their trail taking them around the outskirts of the Gunnarson Demesne and their horse farm. The Gunnarson's have a nephew/niece or the like with druidic contact/skill as well as one of them who is a king's man (ranger) – and this has given them some benefits in regards to husbandry over the last half dozen years. The half-ogre also learned that besides the Sheriff, mounted, and standard town militia – each noblehouse maintains their own private force as well (usual around 15-30) – and we saw a 6 count of them with the Gunnarson/Ponyboro tabard later on. The Wolverton, currently on the hardest time – relies on the town militia to patrol their grounds as Lord Ulric had to disband the private militia recently (2 years agoish).
Zoltan went to the Twisted Forelock where he rested and relaxed, the tavern set up smaller and different from the 8-Acres Black, the crowd a bit seedier. He kept his ears peeled for an Eydis, and discovered her to be a waitress waiting tables. After getting her attention with a call for new ale, he canted to her a bit and she in time – set up a meeting for him tonight (at 5) back here to meet with her bosses. Zoltan thanked her and finished his meal before leaving.
Deth came in to 8-Acres and watched Jullof leave Gwyn's table before joining him. They compared notes while the druid ordered a meal and some raw mutton to bring back with him and Gwyn glossed over how long he had been sitting there having a good time (even though there were no games yet for him to get in on).
Some conversation followed and Deth decided he was going to go home to see to Fodder and Smokey and Gwyn non-committedly said he'll be home soonish.
At the Glassblowers, Puck watched as the master was making some sort of bottle, 4-6 apprentices hanging around, as well as some locals which included a half dozen followers to Thor. He cast detect magic and spotted a number of things all over the place before singling out an apprentice with enchanted sandals. The youth, 17, thought Puck wanted to buy some glass ware, some sort of globe or flask with thin walls that would explode better when filled with oil and set on fire. The shoes were mentioned a few times and the youth said they were not for sale and eventually got bothered by Puck, declining to do business and asking him to leave and telling some of the other apprentices of the strange man. Puck left and hungry now, wandered home to get a free meal from Flora.
Karis' ride brought him around the back of the Wolverton Demesne and along the side of the Coopersons where he saw the wide fields and Guthorm mentioning something along the lines of 50k in sheep – the largest flock in the barony. Yolanda caught up with them, and lunch was suggested so they went to 8-Acres Black and grabbed a meal and some conversation – most of it about the Cooperson who seem to have some problem – as the two running the Demesne are stewarding it as Lord Cooperson passed away and his son and daughter (Beldric and Serilinis) are running it now. Although good business heads, neither are knighted or lorded – something is holding it up in court in Cymbarton.
Eventually the party reconvened at the house on Daernhorse's Demesne and traded info, talking, sharing notes, and finalizing plans for the night which involved: Karis' date with Yolanda at the Rampant Griffon to see a show at 7 PM, Zoltan's meeting with Eydis' bosses at the Twisted Forelock at around 5ish, and Puck wanting to go and see a man named Dardis at the Blessed Children of the Wilted Leaf Orphanage who was some sort of entertainer there (and could juggle fire according to Flora). Gwyn and Deth were going to hang out and chat with Flora all night (and Inks when he showed up later).
Zoltan went and made it to the Forelock on time. He talked for a bit with Eydis who led him then to see Herod and Gilof, two headmasters of the Ponyboro Thief Guild (played by Matt and Jason – way to go larping and helping me out guys!). The gypsy was not treated well and his home was laughed at, as well as Keohn. There was talk about not being a freelance artists and must join a guild and then something went wrong. Zoltan was told he can't leave the table and Gilof needs a gift for his time, money. Talk to me you need a gift. And Zoltan offered his meager pouch with maybe 6 crowns in it and they wanted know where the rest was (it was in Orihalcus) – and Zoltan tried to run for it by cloak flinging himself but Herod was a touch faster and daggered Zoltan's cloak to the table and stuck the thief/bard with a 2nd blade and it was nighty night for Zoltan.
He awoke a while later (hour and a half to be accurate) naked and his gear spread out while two toughs, Gilof and Herod, and a thief-mage was going through the stuff of our battered bard. He was told he was stupid and has a problem now. These thieves were holding the entire adventuring guild responsible for what they considered to be Zoltan’s impertinence and a price of 200 crowns was mentioned. It didn't look good as he was hit again and again when he didn't answer fast enough.
Zoltan was a bit cocky and offered to get the money if they would let him go – they decided to – giving him 72 hours to pay them – they were keeping the cloak until then. The gypsy said he could get double for them – so now it was 400 crowns (incidentally - this was NOT the way I expected this to go) and they said if he failed – he was dead. Zoltan asked if anyplace was under protection – but Gilof and Herod failed to hear it and the matter was closed. Then Zoltan was knocked out and he awoke later thrown in a muddy ditch outside of Gunnarson's Whiskey – a distillery house.
Karis' date was going well. Yolanda was dressed wonderfully and with a bodyguard or two following, they went to the Rampant Griffon to get dinner and see the play. Some conversation ensued and more was learned about the power play in town. The 5 houses get along well enough, but some matters are swept under the rug. Karis asked in a roundabout way about problems with a particular house and lordship and getting them in trouble and what not – and Yolanda told him that if it came to her and she had to get involved – it could be taken out of her hands and the Magistrate (Cottson) could make the matter disappear. If Karis needed to prove something “wrong” he should get her when the damage could not be "hidden" if that was possible – and Karis seemed to understand her implications.
Puck wandered to the Orphanage where he met with Dardis, a heavy-set man who worked there. There was some verbal sparring back and forth about songs and trading and stuff like that and Puck tried to ray of frost to prove his skill but Dardis dispel magicked it and then it was “set the impertinent neophyte in place” time.
Was told about the need for secrecy from the townspeople and common folk. Delarrin's issues (the former count) and the last 14 years of the scattering of the mages and the art. And Puck's needed to stop thinking he was hiding his spellwork in town – as he wasn't. If he was caught – they would burn him at the stake, no questions asked. It was recommended he should join the mage's guild in Cymbarton as soon as possible – and when able to, take the Test.
Puck asked about it, and Dardis told him that the Test challenges a mage in what he knows and what he's capable of doing and what kind of a person he is. Not everyone takes it, as it is dangerous and could be deadly to those not ready or able to master the skills involved. But for those who do take the test – they learn much and it helps them out tremendously in the future. Puck talked with Dardis for a while and eventually left – smarter and richer in knowledge.
A messenger from Matriarch Cassandra summoned Detheron to visit the priestess at the temple of Frey where he spoke with the Matronly woman for a while. She was no nonsense and offered him 6 minutes to talk about what he wanted to. So Deth pulled out the chalky bluish stone/egg we had and she keeled backwards in surprise – saying it was a blue dragon egg. She asked him if it had been hit by a bolt of lightning or the like and he said no – and she said that's a good thing – as if it did – it would incubate the egg and two months later it would hatch which would be BAD. Besides having a baby blue dragon here – a dragon birth does two things: 1) a raw influx of magic sucks into the area which would alert anything affected by that sort of thing that something like that happened (normally, dragons hatch far from civilization – so no one ever knows about it) and 2) it sends a beacon to dragons that a birth occurred who usually want to come and INVESTIGATE it. Yeah, you know – invite a pile of blue dragons to pay a visit to Detheron wherever he is.
Cassandra took the egg off his hands.
Then, our “gorilla” wielding druid whipped out the sundered unicorn horn which fired up the Matriarch again. She immediately hit him with a "geas" to go and find whoever did this to the unicorn and exact vengeance in name of Lord Frey AND to find the tortured beast wherever he/it is and try to repair its horn to its body once more. It takes lots of magic to sunder a unicorn's horn and a wizard/sorcerer is most likely culprit. Once horn is removed – THEN the unicorn can be "bled" and its fluids harvested – unicorn blood is a component in many rituals - some/many of them necromantic.
Finally – Heimdall's Bulwark. Could it be recharged? Maybe – roots of Yggdrassil, pure pool like god's tears, magical places- a holy site to Heimdall (try Principia). There was mentioned a temple south of here on the Blackwater River – far south – 140 miles plus. Place of power.
Detheron left smarter and returned to the Daernhorse Demesne.
Zoltan, figuring no place is under the guild's protection, started with breaking into the 1st building he saw – the distillery. Wandering around for a while he realized a guard dog was within and left. (I am glossing over LOTS of detail here by the way). Rethinking of his mission – he struck out for the grandest building in town proper – the 4 story hotel - the Rampant Griffon. There was a show playing there – so most people SHOULD be downstairs seeing the show – leaving their rooms untended to and filled with riches.
The thief/bard avoided the back door, climbed to the second floor, found an unlocked window, went in, ripped off about 30 crowns worth of junk and then picked his way up to the richer rooms on the 4th floor. It seemed that every hotel guard was NOT on duty (damned dice loved Zoltan tonight!) and he went into a room at the end of the hall (by the way – there was a lot of lock picking and the like). Some stuff in here, but couldn't get into the wall safe so decided to try another room. Snuck in and there was a woman asleep on the bed. The dice clattered and effectively Zoltan had achieved a “32” on his move silently so he could have done the "ha-cha-cha" on the 70 year old woman and she would have stayed asleep. He stole her mink wrap, earrings, rings, jewelry, and then hit the wall safe – successfully cracking this one. Snagged 220 crowns, 220 nobles – and 10 platinum bars. With the jewels, he had more than enough – so he considered himself SUPER lucky and left out the same door, back down to the 2nd floor, back out the window and made his way BACK to the Twisted Forelock.
The rest of the group met with Inks who came home tired with lots of info.
*Pherrid works for the Lycos Suns and not for the Wolverton Estate – but was contracted on the Wolverton Estate by Steward Lornwylf to handle animal husbandry.
*Vanir is co-president of the Lycos Suns – for about 8-10 years. There is another but no name appears on any tax records. Most likely a silent partner.
*There are no poisonry books per-se not written by Cruros, but the Silverbough archive might have. Will check there tomorrow.
*Address for Thadar Teamster, wife Deidra, and kids Gregor and Hani was given.
*Address for Lycos Suns was given.
*There is no record of a Djohrgahd but that is not surprising as there was no family name, profession, or anything given.
That wrapped up Inks and the party went to sleep.
Zoltan met with Gilof and Herod who were surprised to see him back. He gave them the mink, jewels, and 5 of the platinum bars as payment (keeping the other 5 and the coin) and he was welcomed to the Ponyboro Thieves Guild and given a membership coin.
By the way – there will be LOTS of fallout from Zoltan's escapade – but that's the next day.
And that wrapped us up – we pick it up on Workmonth the 2nd – our 2nd day in town. We most likely only have one more day –and we still need to do/visit at least 3 things on our list of party agenda:
1) Thadar's Family and return the bronze medallion, talk with them.
2) Lycos Suns Office – visit and see what their face operation is and get some info.
3) Wolverton Estate even if Sir Ulric is not here and see the estate grounds without being bothered.