Monday, November 23, 2009

Campaign Journal #8- Burning Bridges in a Town with No Bridges

Again the party found themselves beginning the adventure in town. They still had some time to kill while waiting for payment from Lord Monty and for Lela’s performance at the Goldborn residence in several days, though they suspected things may be a little dicey around Bowerstone considering the heist at the docks from the prior night. That morning Mgabwe purchased a scroll of Break Enchantment and used it to free Al’londia from her stony constraints. A bit bitter, but more anxious to stretch her legs the elf departed from the party, vowing to regroup at a later date.

Deciding it was in their best interest to figure out what was happening in town Lela, Henri, and Romulus went out on a fact finding mission to gauge the town views on what happened at the docks the night before. The extremely charming Lela set to work and learned that some were talking about the incident, but it by no means dominated the news cycle. However it was clear that Arlen Starcrush was the target of the heist since it was his package that was stolen and not much else. The party was predictably concerned about making enemies with a retired conjurer.

Glee went out to spend some party gold at Up in Arms, the weapon shop run by Percy the survivalist nut orc. After trying on many items he settled on a +1 Greatsword and a suit of +1 glamered studded leather. Like I had mentioned in a previous post
, the party is very generous when it comes to helping one another. Glee spent virtually all of the party gold on these two items (Mgabwe had also spent a chunk on some scrolls) and no one seemed to mind. The armor was somewhat necessary, aside from his Ring of Blink Glee has very poor defenses and has been close to death a couple of times. The sword was not as necessary as his damage output is real good, though having a magic weapon is always nice, especially at this level when some creatures are resistant to mundane weaponry. Henri has mentioned several times to the rest of the part that he would like to trade the Cloak of the Montebank to someone else, since he never seems to be one using it. No one was particularly interested in doing so, so I expect him to lobby for some party funds to purchase a Cloak of Charisma or something else that he needs (as a Cha based caster with a 16 Charisma he really could use a boost to that stat).

During the course of their information gathering Lela, Romulus, and Henri found themselves at the Squires Club, a local establishment that seems to cater to henchman and hirelings. While enjoying a beverage they were approached by a rough looking dwarf. Without an invitation he seated himself and spoke to them, the glint of his gold tooth shining in their eyes as he introduced himself as Abraham. He explained that he represented an Association in town that controls certain activities in Bowerstone, activities that the party has infringed upon. He was going to be generous with them and instead of making them pay for it the hard way he would be willing to take 5000gp and call if even for the time being. Not wanting to give up their hard earned gold so easily they play it coy and said that they had no idea what he was referring to. Not one for innuendo, Abraham said that he knew the PC’s were at the docks the night before and were involved in the heist. Again they refused his offer and he left, but not before telling them that they had until midnight to get him his gold.

On the way home Lela ran into Lady Goldborn, the woman who had hired her to play the birthday party of the husband. Lela informed her that she would not be able to make the performance and then spun a thoroughly transparent lie about her sick sister. Goldborn seemed very upset and insisted that she would ruin Lela’s reputation in town if she did not make the performance. Even the mayor was going to be there! Eventually Lela conceded and agreed to perform, even if it meant the death of her sister. Goldborn seemed pleased and gave Lela some instructions, including entering through the back door of the house.

The party regrouped at their home and figured out what to do next. Glee was all for paying off Abraham to get him off their back. His argument being that Bowerstone is a nice town and he doesn’t want to have to be looking over their backs forever while here. Romulus was very against being extorted and would much rather hunt down Abraham and settle the affair that way. You know, with axes and swords. No real conclusion was reached and the party eventually headed back to the Squire’s Club to check out the night time scene. When they arrived there no one was surprised to see a performance by the Dockside Boys going on, which included between set banter between the group and Abraham. Were the Dockside Boys working with the Association? Is that how Abraham knew the party was at the docks, since Henri was seen by the do-woppers? Glee’s blood was just about boiling over this development. They talked to Abraham some more and offered to join his gang instead of paying, hoping they could take over the group and profit from doing so. He laughed at the idea and mocked them, saying they knew so little of what was happening.

While all of this was going on Mgabwe was playing the role of entrepaneur and hoping to get some takers for his fledgling mining operation. He wanted to round up a crew of workers and excavate the collapsed cave in which they had battled the giant snake. Telling tales of the treasure within he was hoping to get some volunteers to do the actual digging, offering a share of the treasure. He even approached Abraham with the idea. Abraham had no interest in such a scheme. A young swashbuckling type named Leonardo seemed to have the most interest and promised Mgabwe that he would see if he could get some others on board for the job. This could certainly go somewhere, though the rest of the party does not seem as interested as Mgabwe.

Eventually the party left and decided to stake out the bar, waiting for either Abraham or The Swooner Simon Schooner (lead singer of the Dockside Boys) to leave. After several hours neither of them had been seen leaving, and some investigation by Henri revealed that they were most likely not inside the place either. They went back to their rented home to work on a new plan. Suspecting that a trap may be in wait for them, they rested cautiously. Doors were barred, watches were set, and they all rested in the common room of the home. Shortly after midnight the window to the home was broken and the residence started to fill with a poisonous cloud. Most of the party failed their Fort saves and took Con damage from the noxious fumes. Under attack, the party switched to battle mode. Since they had barricaded the door it was not easy to get out. Mgabwe, Lela, and Glee were able to dive out the window, though the large Romulus was caught half in and half out of the house, leaving him as quite the target. The three who escaped through the window were attacked by a pair of rooftop archers and two invisible swordsman as they came out of the house. Henri grabbed Romulus and used the cloak to Dimension Door away from the scene, putting the pair about 400 feet from the battle, much to the chagrin of Romulus.

With his Mage Armor and quickened Shield Mgabwe is practically invulnerable to melee attacks, so he had little difficulty dispatching his opponent. However he was forced to make several Will saves while fighting, the source of which was not readily visible to him. Lela was not as lucky and was reduced to -9 hit points before Glee could ram a healing potion down her throat. Several hundred feet from the action Romulus was limited in his attack options and fired arrows and moved to the scene as quick as he could. While doing so he made an excellent Spot check and noticed a cloaked female elf on a rooftop. He focused on her. Following suit Henri fired lightning bolts at the female, one of which caught her full on and she began to flee the scene. Henri pursued through the air, but she disappeared before he could close on her. The rest of the combatants were defeated and searched. The two swordsmen were wearing matching rings that each had a large A emblazoned on them.

Not wanting to show weakness the party went back in their home and went to sleep. Early in the morning they were awoken by a knock at the door. Captain Miles, the guard who had given them a hard time when they first arrived in town, wanted to talk about the bodies in the street, as well as the “welcome” that Glee had scrawled in blood in place of a doormat. They explained the situation to him and he took notes, as well as the rings that he deemed to be evidence. He thanked them for their cooperation and asked that if such an incident happened again he would appreciate if they would keep the fighting out of the streets and clean up afterwards. Glee commented that this was their type of town. After Henri prepared breakfast they were greeted by another knock, this time a messenger from Lord Monty.

Arriving at Monty’s house they were welcomed by the nobleman and the infant Fiona, who seems to be taking quite well to her new father figure. Monty assured them that he was able to move the “package” and paid the PC’s 7000 gp for their role in the whole situation. He also said that things were getting a little strange in Bowerstone and he was going to be leaving for a little while, though he encouraged the party to check in with him at a later date. Monty also added that he suspected that Starcrush was not as angry as it may seem, Monty believed that he was going wind up with the missing item anyway. When asked about Abraham he said that he had heard of him but suspected that he was the face of the operation rather than the brains of it. Monty had certainly heard of the Assocation and believed that they had legitimate influence in the town. He also shared some information that he learned recently. As was told to the party in the past, a retired General named Olden Delacroix had recently strapped his sword back on and was once again leading the DuChamp army, despite his desire to lead a life without war. Monty had discovered that recently his baby daughter had gone missing, a fact which Monty thought may have been motivating him coming out of retirement and which Monty wanted to explore further. Lela asked him about the Goldborn family and he mentioned some information about them, including how they have been closely associated with the Shadowstaff family. At the mention of this name the ears of both Glee and Romulus perked up, for this Shadowstaff family was the same one that they double crossed some time ago before meeting up with the rest of the party (this was all in their shared backstory during character creation). Ready to depart Lord Monty offered them some cookies and then took his leave.

Well, the party has certainly made some enemies in town but they seem intent on at least sticking around until Lela has her performance, though this may change with the new information that they garnered about the Goldborns. Bowerstone has proven to have a wealth of opportunity for the enterprising adventurers, and they have taken advantage of many of them. I’m happy to see them spending some time in town after having spent virtually no time there for the first part of the campaign. But I think that they are itching for some heavy combat and looting. They are also quite varied in their motives at this point. I’ve left numerous adventure threads out there for them and I’m curious to see which of them they take up.

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