This was the big city. Not only the capital city of the barony - but of the county as well. And like all larger than life cities - it was dauntingly huge to the group. They spent a few sessions in here making purchases, contacts, deals and networking and then left I feel with a sense of relief.
As one of my players pointed out: At some point we grow out of the pond we start in, but as big fish, we can and will get lost and swallowed hole in the much larger sea.
Point in note, the self-same player is already laying the groundwork for transitioning his character out of Orihalcus one day and into Ponyboro (twice the size in population, 8 times the size in land area).
Write up follows:
We continued where we left off on Earthmonth the 12th, at the Yawning Portal, and discussing what and where we were going to go to next. There was talk about us going to the Adventuring Guild and bid hellos and whatnot. We had a back and forth discussing and convincing of Amal that he should stay. The orcish brawler did comment strongly that he'd like to have the opportunity to join the Adventuring Guild and our charter and was incensed since there had been talk about adding Coruth'tae – and he hadn't really bled with the group yet. But Amal did and has continued to do so! So Detheron made the orc a promise that before too long (shy of him letting him free of his service) that he would see to it that he was added to our charter.
As Amal went back to his room to see about getting some company from the Ladies of Dawn, the party went out to the Guildhall and discussed at length Detheron's proposal. Karis was against it and the two of them had a back and forth – Karis's indiscretion with the dangling guard being brought up as well as the issue with Clothier Dellia. Some rocky road but the matter was let to die without a resolution for now.
At the guild hall a swaggering tough named Olwelis tried to get one of the party members to go and punch another guy in the face but Zoltan cloak/portalled himself away from there and to the 2nd floor where we had audience with the Guild master – Dumethian Dracowulf. Past 70 and flanked with a pair of silent and unmoving guards (one of which was revealed to be an illithid) we spoke with the aging guild master about the guild hall and what we get for our 10% tax/take.
There is a deal between the Potionbrewers guild and the Adventuring guild – where any potions purchased THROUGH the guild hall net a 50% discount – and that we can make some extra coin by getting a list from the potion makers of raw goods and ingredients that we might uncover in our travels. In addition, we can get a 25% discount for training costs by having our training take place at the Adventurer's guild – since the guild has ties and contacts with all the major craft/service halls throughout the county. There is also a potential healer on duty and other services – but they are not free – and we would have to pay for whatever costs are necessary. Finally (at least the hall in Cymbarton) there is a number of eldritch artisans on hand should we need to have any arcanic gear repaired – as well as a possible place to sell off or maybe trade our unwanted gear for other items of interest to us.
We then went down to the basement where we talked with a dwarven artisan named Ettasius who was willing to work on the dagger named "Talensia" which Zoltan had. A price was named and we left knowing we'd return on the morrow to pick it up. We went back to the Yawning Portal then and went to sleep.
The following morning Karis was awakened by Amal who confided in the half-ogre that he was on his 4th lady of the evening and she was currently unconscious in his bed. She was a large girl, half-orcish, and with "huge tusks" – should he want to come up and take advantage of the orc's good nature. Karis declined and spoke to Amal about possibly going to stay at the Adventurer's guild since if anyone in town discovered he was an orc – they might try to attack or kill him. Amal was adamant that he was NOT leaving the inn – and was going to go back upstairs to continue to enjoy himself – and THEN hold the party true to their word about taking the orc to visit a potter.
Oh boy. This was going to go…well.
The rest of the party awakened and we discussed over breakfast some of the places we wanted to go and some of the things we wanted to do. Dumethian had confided in the group that an orc wandering town would be bad – and that he would arrange to have a journeyman potter show up at the guild hall so that if they could bring Amal there, he'd be able to have his time making pots – but not have to bring a hulking 260 lb orc across the metropolis to scare the locals.
Karis, Amal and Zoltan went back to Adventurer's guild where Amal met with Master Dumethian and we talked to the kindly old guild leader for a while. Amal then surprised everyone and whipped out 35 crowns to join the guild! Even though he wasn't on the party's charter – he was still unhappy at NOT being a member of the adventuring guild – and was happy to pony up the equivalent of 90% of the money he had in his pocket. So now he can benefit from all the bonuses a member of the guild can get – which are sizeable – but he is still not a member of the party's charter until you allow him to sign. Currently – he would be considered still a henchman to Detheron.
Karis and Zoltan left Amal and the visiting potter upstairs, and went to see Ettasius the dwarf – seeing the dagger was in good shape and well repaired. We were then told that there is a guild sage and crystolmancer who could possibly help us to identify the dagger's properties and history – Hallani. We went to visit her and she told us that she would do the 1st one for free – but afterwards each identification would cost about 50 crowns. The dagger was once the property of a master wood carver elf from a county far to the south – one of many he had owned and had given as gifts over the centuries to his apprentices. Zoltan was thankful and was wondering (although it was nice) if he could perhaps someone else to trade it to here in the guild. For something a bit more to his liking. We were guided to talk to the vault keeper Tassolde where he traded the carpenter knife for an ensorcelled sling (and a handful of gem stones from his belt pouch).
We had the cudgel Elkstone identified and then Karis paid (or had Zoltan foot the bill) to have Kysoth's Bludgeon worked over – learning it was part of a set from a warrior-priest to Odin from two hundred or so years ago. Bludgeon, Shield, Breastplate, and Helm. Each item is enchanted and specific to its own – but if all 4 items were brought together – there is a feedback loop and the items become even more powerful. Excellent!
Detheron was at the Tower Library and recordhall where he read up on wraiths and a few hours on trolls – specifically Forest. Want to kill a forest troll? Lightning blast the bugger in the heart. Got it. He then went to see Isoti the Sage where he had the gnome work up an amulet (would take a month) that would allow the druid to locate where the unicorn's head was (was a possibility to use it to find the unicorn's killer - but he opted to find the unicorn itself instead).
He then went back to the Hotel where we met, had lunch, and then went to the Adventurer's guild to hang out and chat with the locals.
Zoltan went back to the Hotel and put on his best clothing – then wandered around until he got to the noble's district – where he looked around for the Daernhorse Demesne and requested an audience with Lord Grath Daernhorse. He sat with the Lord for a short while and spoke about his cousin Artis in Ponyboro – and then Zoltan revealed his purpose for visiting and returned the lost locket of Grath's wife Isola to him (dead these last 6 years). Some words were spoken on her behalf and Grath was saddened and morose – and Zoltan left after learning that when Lord Daernhorse pulled himself together later he would send a token of thanks to the Yawning Portal. Afterwards he went to the Adventurer's Guild with Gwyn and they spent time there drinking and chatting (and watching Amal and his pottering!).
Karis went to pay a visit to the chapterhouse of the Order of the Cowled Rose where he spent time with the monastics and did his own research as well – trying to find out if the Cooperson family had any holdings that might be considered to be Dargan's Folly. It took some time but he learned that Sir Dargan ran the family holdings for 2 odd years and then turned over the family control to his cousin Nathanial to pursue private real estate matters. Dargan's Folly wasn't mentioned. Neither was it mentioned what happened to Sir Dargan. So it appears that if we were to go the dungeon and find stuff – we wouldn't have to give up a portion (or all of it) to the Cooperson family (since according to Dargan's Folly books – Sir Dargan had to purchase the rights to the area on his own dime – not the family holdings).
Afterwards he decided to go on an impromptu visit to Bower Lane and we Larped a visit with Cyric Mulholland's great nephew Flach. The family home was sort of upper middle-class and Karis tiptoed around the desire to learn about more books from Cyric (like Dargan 3 and 4!) by saying he was representing a historian from Orihalcus. Flach made Karis stay and regale him with stories for a while before he allowed the conversation to flow to the Dargan Folly's – and admitted there was a copy of Dargan's 3 here. The first 2 had been purchased a good dozen years earlier by a collector named Thorinn (the same name appears on the Phantom Blades charter that we found).
A price was set and some conversation followed about a map and Karis paid it and got a copy of Dargan's 3. As for Dargan's 4, Thorinn had purchased that one too – but almost a year later – and 3 had not been available for sale at that time as it had been on loan to some other library for cataloging.
We ended it here, about 4:15 on Earthmonth the 13th. We have the evening here and tomorrow – and then on the morning of the 15th we have to get our 10 crates of pigeons from the Baron's Demesne and ride back to Orihalcus to make our deal time and date of the 17th.