I like town adventures although it generally doesn't do much as far as xp is concerned. But with a large group I don't get much opportunity to role play "down time" or just a good party/tavern crawl.
But in this case we had one and as I had expected, the BBG had made a visit at a time when the party could not directly conflict with him.
Of course one of my players decided to do that anyway and critically screwed up the BBG big time! In doing so he also killed himself in the process but it did derail the current path the adventure was going on for the next 2 meetings.
That's what I like - when the party takes my plans and forces me to dump them. No kidding - really - it makes for a better game for everyone.
Write up follows:
As Guyus was mounting his paladinial steed the rest of the party was trying to plead with the knight that he was making a large mistake. Confronting another person here, in town, now? This could only end badly especially since we did not know WHAT Karis was doing here. Guyus began trotting after Karis’ fading form. Gwyn was contemplating a dose of stun poison to the horse, some of the party was following, but it was Detheron and a call to Frey to hold the animal that stopped Guyus’ ride.
While there was arguing in the street over what was happening, Norris ran down the alley behind the 3 Dog Hotel to try and follow the half-ogre when a figure confronted him from the darkness. Another man was there and would not let Norris pass, holding him at bay with his rapier. The two men bandied words, a tossed net, as well as a slash or two and the other figure tried to whistle out a sleep spell which failed. Great, a bard of some sort. He whistled out a message spell to someone named Maulin and Norris backed away. The two men walked back to where they had come, Norris unable to follow Karis through the alleys and the other bard successful in stopping the half-elf in his attempt.
As for the rest of the party, they had gotten Guyus calmed down and eventually the party was given to understand to follow Karis was not an option. Most of them went back to 3 Dog to rest while Detheron and Ludwig went to Grey Raven Hospice to heal those who needed their help. It was a bit after 11 when the party was all together again and we talked about what was to happen next.
Karis and co (Red Clouds) were here and seemed to have no interest in the Lycos Suns – instead looking for information on Kysoth. As in Kysoth’s Helm, the item Havic had gotten in Glittercap. We wanted them to go and to leave soon – but needed to lure them out of town. We decided to forge a copy of Frink’s map as well as the paperwork/page from Kysoth’s tome and get a local member of the thieves guild to sell it to the Red Clouds – thereby outfitting Karis and his people with what they wanted, getting them out of town, and doing it in a way where the Sundered Chains was not directly tied to it.
We needed to find the local guild and Norris went to the Split Beard Tavern, taking Aleron with him as muscle assuming something went wrong. The bard walked around, buying a drink or two, playing a song, and subtly reaching out to the patrons there. Two of them did speak with him, one was a loud youngish man named Anannis who was clumsily trying to signal being a thief but failing at it (Norris eventually left him behind), the other was a average nondescript man named Lamelon who was indeed a member of the local guild. Norris explained what he wanted and they settled on a deal of roughly almost a dozen doses of the antidote the alchemist was working on.
The two friends left and Norris made a drop of the documents when Thurin was done with them, meanwhile Aleron did take 5 crowns from Anannis offering to do the job the young man wanted (seemed to be a marriage certificate dated at least 5 days ago).
We awoke at 8 and took breakfast where we shared what we had learned and went over what our plans were today. Thurin and Mebali were going to go back to Morei where they would continue to help the alchemist. Supposedly an aviary was sent to Dilabria and we were hoping that a lifting on the quarantine would occur that would allow other alchemists up north to help the beleaguered Morei and Flatrock in making more distillates and cures.
The rest of us went to the Grey Raven Hospice where Father Timon Beerdrinker had tapped a number of “holy” casks of very potent ale. We joined him and what acolytes here in numerous toasts and then we started getting patients, passerbys, anyone who wanted to drink and party with us on successfully curing the plague. The hours flew by and the group of revelers had gotten to almost 60 by this point. Detheron had miscast a spell and one of the personages was floating upside down by a single foot. Most everyone was either comatose, blitzed, or incapable of much of anything. Only Havic and Gwyn were mostly vertical, their dwarven constitutions overriding most of the effects of the alcohol.
But it was when Havic noticed that Iohannes was here, and one or two other members of the Lycos Sun sharing a brew with everyone…as well as Vanir. Holy crap!!! The dwarven barbarian tried to have Norris cast a spell on him but the bard miscast his own spell and made 9 members of the party turn invisible! Taking advantage of the situation, Havic snuck behind Vanir, took out his enchanted boar spear “Jotunfang” and stabbed the mage from behind! He hit him a second time and hissed in the mage’s ear.
Vanir reached back, grabbed the dwarf, and a ring on his hand flared to rainbow light. The two of them disappeared! Havic was dropped to the floor in some strange room somewhere, Vanir right in front of him. The mage’s hands came up but the dwarf was a split moment faster. He whipped both of his enchanted Lightning Javelins and hurled them. A crackle filled the room and a blast of twin bolts tore through the mage, hit the wall, bounced back, and did so again and again until both the dwarf and the mage slumped over – Havic’s last sight before dying was Vanir staggering, his clothing on fire.
Being as the party was drunk, no one noticed what happened, either Vanir appearing or Havic disappearing. Iohannes and his people left and Gwyn watched them go. By this time it was about 4 and most everyone was unconscious except for Gwyn, Detheron and Guyus when representatives from Sir Bork had arrived. We were summoned to the nobleman in fact this was the 4th summons today (the others had fallen victim to the ale and party).
Staggering (except for Gwyn) we walked out of the Hospice and across town to Bork Keep. It was Marketday though and Detheron took us for a detour through the stalls – eventually filled with a desire to purchase an entire 200’ long spool of braided leather cord. He dumped most of his commons and carried his purchase with a drunken smile. We arrived at Bork Keep, gave up our weapons, and went in to see the nobleman who was apparently waiting 6 hours for us to arrive. He was not happy.
Plus when we did arrive it was only 3 of us and two of the group was practically blindingly drunk. Gwyn tried to talk to the nobleman, explaining that we did not get any of the summonses and that we were relieved from curing the plague and were caught up in the festivities. Sir Bork was understanding (sort of) and left it to Gwyn that we should all come back to see him tomorrow at 11 AM.
From here we went back to the 3 Dog Hotel, Sir Bork having lent us two guards to help get the party home. Upon arrival though the proprietor was sitting there unmoving and our hackles were rising. The door down the hall opened and suddenly web arrows filled the air. It immobilized most of the group except for Gwyn who was just under their sticky reach. Aleron had awoken long enough to find himself stretched out in the webs.
But the last figure down the hall was the red leather jerkin wearing figure of Maulin, the mage and second command of the Red Clouds. He disappeared in a spray of sparks and one of the member busted into a nearby room. Gwyn gave chase and heard splintering wood – eventually seeing the shuttered window in the back had burst open and the figure was down the alley and gone. However in the bed was a very charred and burned dwarven figure, Gwyn had no idea the significance
The webs were cut free and the guards went back to inform the militia what had happened. Gwyn brought everyone to a single room and was laying out broken glass in the hall as an alarm when he heard a zap behind him.
Blinking into the room with his unconscious companions was Maulin. He had a wand pointed at the dwarf and his hand was hovering over Detheron. They exchanged words, Maulin saying that Karis wanted only a second item now (what was the first) and then would leave. He took Detheron’s magical staff Heimdall’s Bulwark and the two foes exchanged a last set of quips before Maulin blinked away.