One of my players - the new leader of the party, Detheron the druid, has been absent for 4 sessions or so lately - and it has kind of had the group not as focused as I'd like - especially as he disappeared it was when the focus of the game shifted to him. So we've had this elephant in the room that hasn't been addressed and it has fractured in my opinion the flow of the game.
Every DM manages flow different - and you know when it is going right - the night just flies by and everything stays on track and the party is just a juggernaut. This meeting was not one of them. There was a lot of pondering of how to take out the treasure and to step it forward without me attaching a cart to the rails - I let them come up with their own ideas. It eventually worked out but that was a rough patch.
Also - we will be having our 100th meeting in 8 more get togethers and I have a REALLY good night planned for them - it will be terrific. I have to scout ahead and see when it really occurs in RL and make sure that everyone shows and comes with their game face on.
Write up follows:
We returned to Baronet Wodenlach’s manor, our charges in tow and nothing but praise from Gelain on our rescue and recovery of his daughter and the other captured women. Wodenlach listened and after the merchant had gone spoke frankly – not happy about the taking of girls from around his area, not happy about the brazen gnolls and the lizard man clan getting “big” for their britches, and finally not happy about potential elven slavers coming to his neck of the woods (swamp) to do their business. He wanted to know if we found something out to keep him in the loop and he’d pay for the info.
After that we wandered the town, looked over the landscape, and took in the sights around Quarantine Docks – getting a feel for what was to come and what we would need to do to take the two chests Wodenlach asked of us.
There were many ideas. Charming a whale and smashing it into the ship. Attacking it from sea. Staving in the sides with a battle axe. Sneaking on invisibly. Using Ignore potions. Making believe as one of the crew. Getting a hold of a Gelatinous Cube and somehow stapling it to the side of the ship. Sneaking boxes on board. Sneaking the chests out.
However, it wasn’t until later in the day that it was thought that we could somehow get hold of a passwall spell and use that to gain access to the ship. Arnog could already breathe underwater and if the chests could be dropped OUT the passwall and to the bottom of the bay, the fighter could haul them across the seabed to the shore and just walk out of the surf.
Such a spell was beyond anyone’s ken or ability and the thought of buying a scroll was going to place it closer to 3,000 crowns to get one – if even anyone in Cymbarton would have it available. At that point Norris took Coruth’tae with him to his warlock contact and through some dropped coin and questioning, learned that a Master Blackshadow, a former adventurer and one time friend of the Baronet either had a scroll or knew someone who had the ability to cast Passwall.
The thought of going to see someone that the Baronet was not friendly with was seen as questionable, especially since the pirate-king was out benefactor at this time. Before taking a rowboat to Blackshadow Manor (a stately 2 story stone and wood keep on a private isle some 300’ off the main coast) Zoltan suggested we talk to Wodenlach first.
The Baronet informed us that there had been a falling out between him and Blackshadow some years ago and that although Rigil (Blackshadow’s first name) swore he’d never live in Eider or “anywhere that pompous windbag claims to rule” ever again – Wodenlach still considered the “gentleman adventurer” one of his closest friends.
We took a rowboat to the Baronet’s place where Zoltan, Norris, and Olthar paid a visit. It was quickly discovered that this was a thieves guild and Rigil Blackshadow was the master of it – and from his own lips controlled most if not all of the black-market business in Eider. Rigil was a older man well past 60, his hair steely grey and black, eyes alert, and he wore obviously ensorcelled leather armor as well as a single silver band and a silvered steel rapier at his side.
We talked to him about the passwall and he admitted he had a staff of such a power – one time belonging to a friend and wizard companion of his some years ago. It had been used 16 times to his knowledge and at least once before it came to his hand and control. That meant there were at most 8 charges remaining in it. He wanted to make sure that they knew to return it with at least a handful of charges still. The group then spun a yarn that they needed the staff to get a shield out of the Armory in Dragonhole and the staff would make entrance and exit easy and swift – two things they needed.
He had heard of the Sundered Chains – learning of their name first almost a year ago after they had dispersed Fulgore Keep, and again recently as they had returned to town with 4 young women destined for slavery. He agreed to lend the staff to the group for about a week – for the cost of 1,000 crowns. He lowered the price to 850 and took the other 150 as payment costs to welcome Zoltan, Norris, and Olthar to the Thieves Guild.
Staff in hand the group reconvened at the Rusty Boardwalk Inn and we talked a bit more on out soon to be daring plan to hoist a bit of piracy against the DTS Rising Current as well as possibly go back to Dragonhole and steal back Gwyn’s shield “Steadfast”.