This is a town adventure, so besides the world building and LARPing opportunities, there isn't much traditional d20 combat kick in the door take the loot set it on fire situations. What there are though are some vignettes where the group has to go in and play to their strengths, roll the d20s, and do what they can in the context of who they are and their skill set.
So we had the druid calming and playing to the semi-domesticated boars, the wizard circling the battlefield dropping sleep spells, the monk and half-ogre going in to danger and toe to toe with the big baddies, and the charismatic dexterous dude filling in what spots he needs and keeping the NPC's off our ass.
Not everything is a swing for critical hits, and that's ok too!
Write up follows:
The group made their way down Grand Blvd to 2nd Avenue and turned to Unterlion Cheeses, a large sprawling building and cheese shop on the corner. We made our way around back and knocked on the closed fence by the loading bay. A few shadowy figured behind the slats asked us to wait while they went and got Lung who eventually came out and had the gate opened for us.
The Half-orc was once again flanked by his two relatives, known more for their size and intimidation, happy to make the party’s acquaintance once again. A heavy cart and pony was already set up for us, along with half a dozen 4 gallon pails with lids and wax stoppers. A few clay seals were in place as Lung went over the job with us again. We would drive the cart to the Terrace Gate and then to the Polemark Farm where his cousin Rupert Half-Orc would be waiting for the party along with a small number of trusted farmhands. Then the group would help in wrangling the 12 sows to the barn where they could be milked one at a time, all the while not hurting the boars or allowing the males to either hurt the party or be hurt themselves. Then we would have to drive the cart back to Unterlion Cheeses with as many sealed pails as could be gotten. In return we would be given a large pouch of coins (no less than 100) and more importantly, a successful employment contract which would be given to the 3rd Reeve and allow the group to spend another 4 days in town solidifying a working contract.
Darius drove and Avulstein and Connal rode in the wagon while Einar and Negan walked along, the party making their way out of the Randari Quarter and up Grand Boulevard to Central Gate. Once there, the guards asked a few short questions and waved us through. We stayed on Grand and made our way along Central Quarter until we arrived Upper Gate.
It was here that the guards were paying better attention. They looked over the travel pass we had and noted that it was late. “Burning the midnight oil”. A casual inspection of the wagon followed but we were let on and wished well. The trip through Overcliff and the lee side of CobbleHill had the group tromping along, winding ever higher up Jarl’s Tooth as we made our way at long last to Terrace Gate. The guards here gave us the hardest time, but still did their job. They looked under the wagon, poked about, questioned Avulstein and accepted that he was a druid companion to Einar and his Frey-Disk.
We did note that the gate did have some detection ability built in, and specific ally illusion was mentioned (of which we had none). They did let us through and one of the guards escorted the group to the 3rd terrace and Polemark farms (3rd farm) where at the gate they alerted people by the barn and Rupert came over to vouch for the party. The guard signed us over and went back to the gate and we entered the Polemark Farms.
Rupert had 4 others with him and we were told that the family was asleep and the other farmhands that he didn’t have with him were zonked out from a night of drinking. We were led to the barn and parked the wagon along the back and then we all offloaded the pails and took a look at the situation we had.
There were 12 sows and 3 males, one of which were pushing 300#’s and was surely the alpha. The barn had a corral gate that led to the boar pen which was 100’x60’; through the corral pen were the calf stalls where the animals were going to be milked. The piglets were sleeping and we took our time walking the pen and getting a feel for the boars and their attitude. Right away, we knew the alpha was going to be the biggest problem and we wanted to neutralize him first.
Rupert lent us a number of burlap sacks from the barn and Darius doled out his silk rope to Negan, Connal and Avulstein. Einar was going to help bring the animals in, relying on his own ability to keep wild animals somewhat calm and Darius had a bag of apples, already cutting them up and setting a few up on thatching cord to use as a lure. Once we were all ready, Avulstein called out a sleep spell and the Alpha male, one of the betas, and a sow or two fell over knocked out. What was frightening was the alpha boar refused to fall asleep at first! We could see him snuffling and fighting, struggling to stay awake until after 30 tense seconds he fell asleep.
With that the first sow was escorted in and Einar and Darius used apples and calm words to keep the sows from getting agitated. Negan and Connal jumped the fence and made their way to the two males. They started hog-tying them up while Avulstein wandered around the outside of the pen where he hit the 3rd male with another sleep spell, dropping him and a few more sows. The other two were working fast to tie the boars up and then they put the sack firmly over their heads, after tossing in a few apple slices Darius offered. Negan then physically dragged the animals about the pen; the females near the corral and the males towards the back of the pen.
Meanwhile, Einar and Darius were cycling fresh sows in through the corral to Rupert and his men every 5 minutes or less. Negan dragged the few sows that had been affected by the sleep spell closer and over to the corral so that when the enchantment wore off, they joined the queue and ate Darius’ apples. The males were something else. They started off thrashing about and kicking, but the ropes held and all they ended up doing was flapping about. The Alpha was the worst of it, almost hurting himself which had Avulstein fire off the 3rd sleep spell and we tossed more sliced up apples in the bag.
One by one, the boars were milked until the 12th was finished. We had 4 and a half full milk pails – 18 gallons which would be about 20 lbs of cheese. Rupert thanked us and reported that we were both diligent and respectful. It was here that we made our way back to the pens, untied the males, and then when they were charging about, slamming into fences and snorting wildly, we snatched the bags off their heads and ran for the fencing, getting over before anything bad happened or anyone got terribly hurt.
We returned the bags to Rupert and then loaded back onto the cart and started driving it out of the Polemark Farms and back towards the Terrace Gate. It was perhaps 20 minutes to one. As we approached the gate we were stopped again and the guards gave the cart a serious look over. They were strict and might have been over reaching in their questions, but eventually they did let us go. Sighing in relief, we continued on to the Upper Gate where a similar line of questioning followed but much friendlier. And then the Central Gate let us through and we drove up to Unterlion Cheese by ten after one.
Lung was called and the staff of Unterlion Cheeses came out to check the seals (unbroken) and then take a small taste of the milk. Lung was satisfied and wrote off on our contract that it was complete, sending it to the Third Reeve’s Office to be put in the slot without delay. He gave us a small block of cheddar as thanks and tossed us the large jingling pouch of coins. Exhausted we made our way back to the Pennywhistle and exhausted, crawled into bed at 1:30, knowing we were going to be tired tomorrow.
7 AM came early and we woke up, cleaned up, and went down to the Common Room to eat and discuss not only last night’s job, but also what was to come today (Midnight Waters?). The call then went out to divide the coins we got and when the pouch was opened, there were indeed 100 plus coins in there – but they weren’t nobles – they were actually nickel flats and slugs. We looked over the terms of the contract and it never indicated what we would be paid, just that it was to be a large pouch of at least 100 coins.
We were worried then, besides Lung fucking us on the payment, did he actually send the report to Third Reeve Theros? We would find out very shortly as we closed up our breakfast and made our ways to the offices.
Once there we only had to wait a short time before we learned that the employment contract HAD been turned in and that the Third Reeve was happy to announce that we were invited to stay in Sorton at least until the 3rd of next month. Perhaps longer as he was working on an employment opportunity and contract with House Illytch and it should be done soon. With the threat of having to leave Sorton before the 3rd Reeve could do his job for us, we left the Offices and found ourselves back on Grand Blvd.
We were pissed at Lung for fucking us on the payment, but as had been mentioned in the offices, you have to read the contracts carefully, especially for jobs that don’t come through the Reeve’s Office.
So now we had to take care of Midnight Water – and that had to be done before 2:30 tomorrow the 30th. Avulstein was going to need new spell components and since the sleep spells had been working well for us, that was to be tackled first. Darius had dated a florist’s daughter a few years back and knew where the shop was – so he volunteered to go and get rose petals. While there he was hoping to stop by the family shop and gather up a prism or two for Avulstein’s read magic spell. Connal was going to the Temple of Sif to get some information about the Temple of Loki – and we would all meet back for lunch at the Pennywhistle by 12ish.
Darius made his way through Central Quarter and up to Overcliff. From there he wandered down the main thoroughfare until he arrived at Sorton’s Rising Florist. Entering it was as he remembered and the attractive late 30-something woman behind the counter remembered Darius, giving him a hug and a welcoming squeeze. They talked a bit about where he’s been and what he’s done, his family, hers, and in general the town. Meg (the florist) did sell Darius a decent sized leather bag stuffed with rose petals that apparently the Arcane Academy also purchased on occasion. She also did it at a low price and her innuendoes were getting…racy.
It was then discovered that Mister Florist had been banished for assault and spousal abuse some 9 months earlier, and a divorce and bequethement of the shop and its inventory was awarded to Meg Florist for her pain and troubles. So she was working, and all alone, and looking for some company. So Darius was invited back for dinner and he accepted, getting another hug and a peck on the lips for his efforts. And with that he left, circled the corner, and mopped the sweat from his brow.
Connal went to the Temple of Sif and spoke with Adept Miragius about Loki and their hierarchy. There were (at least here) 13 Higher Priests and 26 Lesser Priests. They also don’t have a particular name, eventually giving it up in service of Loki so they can all at any time impersonate one another if need be. Upper 3, Lesser 17, etc… They are also deceivers not because they lie outright, but because they tell 90% of the truth and mislead you the other 10%. Connal thanked him and decided he wanted a more personal and closer look at the Temple.
Darius went by the family jewelry shop and looked in the window. His eldest brother, Gordson, was sitting at the counter and was directing the staff in whatever jobs they were doing. He did see his youngest sister, Twilaine, sweeping up near the side. So he snuck to the window and tapped on it to get her attention. She was thrilled to see him and motioned for him to go to the back door. He did and then heard the sound of the bolt sliding free and his 16 year old younger sister pulled him in the shop and fiercely hugged him.
They spent a few minutes whispering to one another and catching up, always aware that Gordson could come around at any time. He was trying to inspire her to leave the shop and family; she was being pressured to marry Isilwine Goldsmith who she identified as old, pimply, and terrible. He tried to tell her she had a choice and she just seemed so lost.
He did comment he needed a prism and she went to the shelf and gave him a box of a half-dozen or so low quality crystal prisms. Getting a last hug he promised to come and visit her again before he left through the back of the shop, leaving his sister crying softly as he shut the door and made his way back to the Pennywhistle.
Connal entered the Temple of Loki, red and blues and blacks were prevalent about the place. He was approached by a acolyte wearing a stylishly cut red vestment who took the time to talk to Connal about Loki and the world, guiding the man through the place and offering to spot him at the adjoining gambling hall known as the Happy Horse. He played a few hands of poker, and even though he didn’t win, suspected that he did pretty well all things considered. He promised he’d look into it and would be happy to come back. There was a festival/party tonight from 6 PM on and everyone was invited.
The party then reconvened at the Pennywhistle and shared what we had gathered and learned. There were 4 doors @ the Temple, one led outside, one led to the Happy Horse, and 2 others were somewhere else. No stairs – we had heard enough that the midnight water was found in the basement level where only the High Priests are known to go and reside.
There was some thought to going BEFORE the party and again attempting AFTER the party started – and the pros and cons of each were discussed but to no satisfaction. What was decided was that Avulstein and Connal were going to just brazenly head off to the Temple now and see if they can get in to where they need to.