Session 30 - Much Ado About Nothing
Foreword: Sessions are finally back in. We are trying out playing digitally due to life changes. The idea being that playing online is better than not playing at all.
Timekeeping: Session from 8/10/2022 - 12/10/2022 Downtime from 13/10/2022
Characters: Futadur the Fighter (H F1), Daubeny Jamwine (Gnome T2), Caelestis Daemon (H F2), John Smith [H] (H C1)
Downtime Adjudication: We had a huge amount of downtime. For the characters from last session, it started on 25/07/2022. The players went to Underland (25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022 travelling from Khun Kaldur to Underland by cart) and sold the laser robot head to Barbanikos for 10000gp (as 2000 platinum). I allowed this to be part of the last session's XP reward since they made the journey immediately. Part of the selling process involved them using the blue fuel canister they had to fuel the head and incinerate a hairy purple monster in a cage that had a morale-breaking scream. Anyway, from this point it was individual downtime (everyone had a few months upkeep to pay)
Finesstro - Training to MU3 with Barbanikos - some cost deducted since he took the library of the last MU (Maethedir) who died tragically. In his research he discovered the spell Leomund's Trap (which he immediately cast upon the chest in their cart) and rolled 4hp! For the rest of his downtime cast Comprehend Languages in the Giant's Shin tavern [5/08/2022 - 7/10/22] earned 550gp (55xp, reduced ratio).
Daubeny - Underland trip [25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022]. Paid 40% of all his treasure to Thieves Guild; paid his henchman John Smith (who got so much XP from it he was able to level up - the first lvl 2 henchman of the campaign! He rolled 2hp though); leveled up from T2-T3 [29/07/2022 - 4/07/2022] and rolled 6hp (plus his con bonus). He is also looking to buy a specialty puppy that will be raised and trained to bear him as a steed. I'm still figuring out exactly how this should work and how much it should cost.
Caelestis - Underland trip [25/07/2022 - 28/07/2022]; Leveled up to 3 by training with the Underland guard. Rolled 10hp! He learned how to use a composite longbow; Spent 3 weeks in recovery from an intestinal parasite he caught. Spent the last 2 months of downtime as a Lieutenant in the Underland Army for 300gp/month - just covering his newly acquired upkeep costs. He also paid a weapon-smith to have a custom composite longbow made which would accommodate his size and strength. I ruled that it would cost 320gp - Double the composite longbow's cost of 100gp, plus 10%, plus a weapon-makers monthly fee of 100gp.
The party had returned to Khun Kaldur during their downtime and decided that they would find this monster hunter "Dweor Krull" in the mountains and try to sell the skull-gem to him. They try to leave the gate to the south-east and notice that the dwarves are all on edge. They inform the party that nobody will let them in after dark. With this, the party proceeds through the mountain pass the dwarves have developed, to the Outpost Gundinarg, arriving about midday. They are met with similar behaviours - many armed dwarves patrol the area, behaving sketchily. One of them asks a guard what's going on, and it's revealed that there is some disturbance in the mountains causing them concern. They also asked about Dweor Krull - apparently he wears armour of a pearlescent bone and was last seen... Heading due East into the wild mountains, to search for the ancient ruins of some lost city, and apparently find settlements of humans who supposedly live in the mountains disconnected from the rest of the realm.
Nobody wants to do this. So they head back to Khun Kaldur and, as it is nightfall by the time they arrive, they are locked out. Who could have guessed! Thankfully, the night passed by peacefully, except for strange howling and the sound of boulders crashing not that far away.
They get let into the dwarven lair and try to check out the dungeon they went in last time. Apparently all the dwarven sentries that got sent down to the first layer have been withdrawn due to a strange sickness spreading among those who were down there. The party heads down and notice immediately a strange haze in the air, emanating most strongly from the tunnel to the left, where their map said was "The Quarry" that they had journeyed down last time. Nobody likes this and after some half-hearted arguments on how they could cover their mouths with cloths etc. everybody decides that the adventure which gave them such great riches last time was suddenly too high up the tree. They decided that a good old fashioned monster hunt was on the cards. They head to the tavern, imbibe some potent dwarvish ale, and ask about possible adventure. Emerging from the shadows is a queer looking figure - both in the 1920s and 2020s sense of the word - he is covered in purple/pink frills and lace, makeup, and is so old and decrepit. He offers the adventurers a job - a heroic task - cut off a troll's head and give it to his "associates" in Underland... Before it regenerates. Everybody is keen as at first, but more conversation with this guy raises their hackles. He has done something bad and is in Khun Kaldur on exile. They want to "arrest him and return him to Underland for justice" (read as: kidnap him and see if they can get money for him. He even gave them 25gp (which Futadur's player informed me he took all of). But the dwarven innkeeper says that you can't go around kidnapping people without evidence in a Lawful Good domain.
With this, the party decides to leave the mountains, the dwarves, and Jiji, and go to Underland where there must surely be some sort of low hanging fruit.
9/10/22 - 12/10/2022
The party journeys to Underland with no encounters on the way. Very recently, the Duke was pronounced dead and some sort of council has stood in for him. A change that has happened is that a particular cult on the Street of the Gods have grown in favour immensely - even occupying one of the three primary temples. Their disciples wear black and red tabards with a half open eye, and have been granted authority from the ruling council to have religious patrols. They also notice the sewer entrances are being guarded and access restricted. The party asks a guard about all this and, with some decent charisma reaction rolls, learn about a meeting below the Giant's Shin tonight.
They loiter around the inn until closing time, having spoken with the innkeeper (and Caelestis tipping him a few gold pieces for his "trust") about the meeting tonight. The inn is closed - doors locked, windows shuttered. A trapdoor in the back room is opened up, revealing stairs down with torchlight below. The party heads down with the innkeeper, and follow a tunnel below the city - hewn from the earth. They eventually come to a big open room with a stage in the middle. There are various similar tunnels coming to and from it. A tall, well groomed man stands on the stage. His clothes suggest he is a merchant. The room is full of different types - some adventurers, regular peasants, guardsmen, merchants, even a couple of higher-class people. The man on the stage gathers everyone's attention and goes into a speech about the state of the city. One of the players thinks this is a Communityism rally. But it becomes clear that they are just concerned citizens wanting to maintain the way Underland was.
Key points brought up
- There is a cult
- They have authority granted from above (some type of council since the Duke's death)
- This mob wants to find out what the cult's endgame is and find a way to circumvent it - returning Underland to the way it was
After the meeting, Caelestis spoke with the speaker (who was called Anastis) and suggested the idea that he infiltrate the cult and find out what is going on. The speaker was very impressed and shocked at the generosity and selflessness of the idea, until Caelestis asked if he would be compensated for it. Admiration turned to disgust and Caelestis was dismissed. Daubeny sympathised with the peoples plight and had a reasonable conversation with the man.
The meeting had ended and the party retired for the night. They now have a lot of options for what to do next session - what with the Curse of Lamalla now in full swing, many unexplored hooks from previous sessions open to them, these developments with this strange cult, and plenty more undiscovered adventures ahead. What are they going to do? I haven't a clue!
Treasure & XP:
Futadur - 25gp = 25xp
Character Performance Ratings: All Excellent
Downtime Requests:Comments: First time running a "session" online. We all noticed that everyone is way more focused and there are less side-conversations since everyone is at the same volume. It is also a lot easier for us to schedule and play since travel has been eliminated - all in all, it is not as nice as interacting in person but it is certainly more efficient with regards to time - you're home already, you hop on and play, and your play time is maximised because there is no travel buffer either side of it. I will likely just use my usual pen & paper implements and the PC will be exclusively voice chat but I can see a mix of the two being useful down the line - especially being able to search the rule-books more easily and use random generators online on the fly.