An Evil Fleet of Sand Skimmers
Detailed Adventure 002
Adventure 002: Murder Most Fair
Playdate: 10/16/2010. Players: All but Tim
Characters: began level 1 (475 xp), ended level 2 (1001 XP)
Zaine and Grimgutt’s departure was delayed as she was expecting a courier sent from her family to arrive for her. Zaine asked if the rest of party would be interested in serving as her slaves. There were multiple objections (most vocally by Zar). Zaine then came up with a much better offer when she asked the party members to join the Service Labor And Violent Entertainment Sector, which Zar will happily agree to until someone explains acronyms to him.
Meanwhile, Bynn was intrigued by the idea of open access that Athasian Minstrels have by way of tradition for entertainers. He thought it would be worthwhile for the party to travel as a minstrel band. Enthusiasam for the idea was muted at best, though that hasn’t stopped Bynn from purchasing (off panel, at the conclusion of the adventure, with GM’s permission) one drum, one flute, one harp, one horn, one lute, and one lyre. Rumors that Bynn Jerdun will be changing his name to Reuben Kincaid are as yet uncofirmed.
Another opportunity arose to fight for profit in the arena, which Bynn was lukewarm on but Grimgutt convinced him that the training as a group would be worthwhile. Grimgutt neglected to mention that the “group” in the arena did not include Zaine and himself. Two anonymous (soon to be posthumous) gladiators joined the party to fight a motley group of opponents who weren’t interested in less than a fight to the death. Zar and Liam were not very successful but Liam was the MVP of the fight, dealing multiple critical hits. Mark however frustrated the group the most by asking why the NPCs didn’t simply use a healing surge, despite multiple assertions by the GM, other PCs, and the ghosts of Gygax and Arneson that they could not do so.
Suddenly a commotion broke out in the VIP section of the arena. While the combatants were hurried out of the ring, Zaine and Grimgutt (who had borrowed Bynn’s chair and Doritos) made their way towards the chaos, to discover the dead body of Tellemon, head templar for Altaruk.
Through a proxy, the governor asked Zaine and Grimgutt to look into the murder, hoping that using outsiders could minimize the chance that a successful – er, politically tainted – investigation would be carried out. Zar proved useful in finding the murder weapon. Unfortunately, the only law principle he actually understood involved possession being nine tenths of the law, and he refused to give it back. Still, Zaine was able to determine that the blade was magically enchanted, while Liam was able to recognize a specific venom on the blade that he referred to as “Proddy Poison.”
Meanwhile, Liam questioned the witnesses, and was able to get a brief description of the assailant. Certain clues (like the cool sandals described) led the party to believe that a current or former gladiator was responsible. The went to the martial side of town, where a bartender told them of a dwarf who had been looking to hire some local talent.
Additional subtle interrogation (“Where’s Dent?!”) yielded the name Birk Suntouched, a dwarf beggar who had been ranting that Tellemon owed him money. Zar and Bynn were able to find him first, at which point he fled to a gladiator training center, where Zar had gone earlier to get himself clean, have a good meal, and do anything he feel.
Unfortunately Suntouched was not alone – the gladiator assassin was with him. Bynn ordered them to surrender as they were clearly outnumbered two to two. They refused, and unfortunately Bynn did not continue the conversation, so the battle was on.
Bynn and Zar held their own (Dray for “barely stayed alive”) for a round or two before Zaine joined the Dray in the fray, m’kay? Her psionic powers prevented Suntouched from escaping while Bynn and Zar inflicted great damage on the gladiator’s weapon with their torsos and heads. Finally Grimgutt, Liam, and Liam arrived. Liam was able to cure Bynn when he fell and also dealt the death blow to the gladiator. Meanwhile Liam’s patented boxing glove arrows knocked the dwarf out.
When Suntouched came to, he was questioned but defiant, stating he would gladly give his life to fight us, whom he referred to as defilers. Bynn correctly deduced that Suntouched “wore the Veil” – in other words, was a member of the Veiled Alliance. If Suntouched was to be believed, the governor was also a member of the Alliance. Tellemon had to be killed to protect the Veil.
Moral ambiguity ensued, with some arguing that he should be released, while others said he should be turned over to the authorities. Liam argued for both of those at different times, including option three (hanging the bastard that killed the man that bought him a drink) and option four (forgiving the blood debt if Suntouched bought him TWO drinks.) In the end, the dwarf was released in the hopes of a future favor from the Veil, though Bynn seemed pessimistic that the Veil would deliver, and Zaine seemed determined to to use the information about the governor being a Veil member to her family’s best advantage.
An audience with the governor was granted, who thanked the party for their service and asked questions about rumors of a dwarf being involved (Dwarf? What Dwarf?) Satisfied with the non-answers, he offered a templar’s boon to everyone. Bynn refused, but got one anyway.
After the meeting, Zaine got an offer from a rival family to retrieve some lost goods, which was done very politely and with very little gloating over Zaine’s family misfortunes. Apparently they had invested all their money in a barbarian think tank, a non-alcoholic beer for elves (“It’s got an Irish name – the focus groups loved it!”), do-it-yourself guides for warlords, and NPC healing surges that were not cleared by the FDA. To be continued next week, when we’ll all be level two…way to pull your weight, Tim! ;)
The party made out overall with 600 gold (plus 50 gold for everyone who fought in the arena), 800 gold in advances from Rohtam Vor, and a +1 Screaming Hide armor set for the barbarian.
This concludes recap, version 1.0. Version 2.0 will be composed by Joe in musical verse.