Session Date: April 8, 2017
In-Game Dates: 2 Flamerule to 9 Flamerule, 1367 DR
Before this session began, the players decided on an official name for their group: the Sword Coast Guard (the adventurers formerly known as the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls).
As the battle with the redcaps draws to a close, Nigel walks calmly over to the tied up and gagged Ashton Sanguine. Then, with little ceremony, the bard slits his hated enemy’s throat.
Once Sanguine is dead, a large scroll case winks into view. Nigel opens the case and finds a letter and nine mysterious blue discs. The letter refers to them as remnants. The group looks over the discs, unable to determine their function, and discusses the letter for a bit.
Rusty determines that it’s too much trouble to carry Ashton Sanguine’s body all the way back to Waterdeep. So, he chops his head off and stuffs it in a sack. The bloody sack, as it came to be known.
Dire News: Let’s Party
The group stops off in Rassalantar on their way back to Waterdeep as it’s on the way. There they meet with Lord Chenrey Vendrick, the nobleman who runs the village. When they tell him about the massive army of orcs camped but half a day to the West, he begins panicking and has a runner inform the Waterdeep soldiers stationed in the village.
The Sword Coast Guard [and by that I mean Nigel] then convinces Lord Vendrick to throw a feast that night in order to calm peoples’ minds. So, there is feasting and celebrating until early morning. The next day, Nigel wakes up with a horrible hangover, but everyone else is fine. [Nigel failed his save; everyone else passed.]
A Maiden Fair
On their way to Waterdeep, they come upon a noble woman and two guards traveling toward the city, too. It turns out that the woman, Lady Nellabee Tharmar, had been robbed of her carriage and valuables by bandits. Fortunately, it had been a non-violent robbery.
The heroes – Nigel in particular – offer to escort her back to the city. While the others are offering help, Rusty antagonizes the two soldiers with her. He eyes them up and down, insults their ability to protect their mistress, and in general seems to be spoiling for a fight. [I think the player was just wanted to fight stuff.]
At any rate, Lady Tharmar accepts their offer to escort her back to Waterdeep. Her travel pace turned out to be rather slow due to her cumbersome dress. So, Nigel persuades her to wear common clothes so her dress doesn’t slow their movement. [My player thought this was a great achievement, so I mention it here. Celebrating the little victories, I suppose…]
Then, later that night while the group is camping, Lady Tharmar approaches Nigel and seduces him. Quite easily, too: Nigel offers no resistance whatsoever.
When they are but a few hours away from Waterdeep, they see a large column of Waterdhavian soldiers – approximately five hundred – approaching them as they march north.
Elodin ask one of the captains what’s going on, and the captain tells them that gnolls are marauding unchecked to the north around Red Larch. To protect the village and the valuable trade route that runs through it, Waterdeep is dispatching soldiers to protect the city. In fact, forces from Neverwinter and other members of the Lords Alliance are going to help, too. [This was a loose thread from the Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. The group killed the gnoll leader, dispersing the gnolls into the countryside, but never took care of the rest of the gnolls.]
Once the Sword Coast Guard is back in Waterdeep, the heroes spend several days resting and pursuing their own goals.
Rusty seeks out a trainer who can teach him techniques of fighting with great weapons, and begins training with Vhonna Deepdell at the Field of Triumph. He gives Vhonna a ruby ring in exchange for training. This thoroughly impresses her, and she says he can stop by anytime for training.
Elodin speaks with Linare Aeraelandar from the Waterdeep war wizards, as he is interested in joining them to benefit from training and spell learning. He is told that he needs to prove himself a friend of the city first. The wizard also spends a few days gambling around the city, using his innate luck to win a tidy sum of gold.
Nigel meets with Grand Harper Parlonae Song-Joy from the New Olamn bards college. [I forget what he did there, though. Nigel, feel free to leave a comment to explain…] Nigel also spends a few days visiting with Lady Tharmar. The lady’s library, in particular, is a locale of interest. (Nigel loves books…)
Guld spends his time stocking up the party’s supplies (healing potions and the like) and buys them all horses. Except for Nigel. He’s “special” and has a hippogriff.
I’ll Be Back
During their few days of rest while Nigel is at a tavern eating, a cloaked and mysterious man sits next to the bard who is alone. All alone.
The man demands the remnants from the bard or things will get violent. Nigel denies knowing what the man is talking about, but the mysterious stranger calls his bluff and resolutely states that they know Nigel has them. [And Nigel does have them. I made a point earlier about knowing which character was carrying them. DMs never ask innocent questions. Never.]
The man presses a dagger into Nigel’s ribs and claims there are more of them nearby. If he doesn’t give him the remnants, he dies. Nigel panics, grabs his lute (which he is barely competent with), and begins loudly playing it with the aim of drawing attention to himself.
It works. Most of the tavern glares at the bard and the horrendous “music.” Not liking the attention Nigel is drawing to them, the man snarls a threat, saying the bard will see him again, and leaves the tavern. He is followed by two other similarly garbed men.
[After the session, Nigel’s player told me how he was genuinely freaking out about this encounter because he was all alone. I was actually just about to have the men attack Nigel when he came up with the lute playing thing. Good idea. It probably saved his life...]
Questions? About What?
One morning, as all the heroes are eating breakfast in the Safehaven Inn, a group of Waterdeep watch arrives. They ask the heroes to accompany them to Magister Altadar for questioning. The soldiers refuse to explain what for, and escort them to the magister’s office near River Gate.
Once inside, the Sword Coast Guard sees several of the White Knights within. Guld is sure that he recognizes one of them as the cleric they killed while fighting their way free of Gauntlet Hall. It turns out that the White Knights are there to level charges against the heroes: murder, robbery, defiling a holy place, and tomb robbing.
There is a trial, and the heroes defend themselves quite well. In the end, they are acquitted of all charges except tomb robbing for with Magister Altadar sentence them to a “small favor to the city to be paid at a time of his choosing.”
Furthermore, the heroes turn things back on the White Knights, bring up how they apprehend innocents, put them on trial for witchcraft, and then burn them at the stake. Magister Altadar finds merit in the charges and has the White Knights present arrested.
The Sword Coast Guard meets with Tzarrakyn the Younger to see if he has any work for them. It turns out he does. [What kind of D&D game would it be if he didn’t?] It appears that some children have gone missing in Rassalantar, and he wants them to get to the bottom of it. [Okay, not every job has to be super interesting. At least they aren’t clearing rats out of someone’s basement. (They did that already.)]
The heroes also express interest in “taking care of” the White Knights. Tzarrakyn admits they are a problem, but they are also a large paramilitary organization. He says they are welcome to do what they can, but they many want to find allies first. Nigel mentions to the others that Granny Tichwillow might be willing to help. However, first, the group decides to take care of the missing children.
Slaves for My Palace
As the Sword Coast Guard travels north, they come upon monsters attacking a farmhouse. Several hobgoblins are in the middle of tying up the farm family to take as slaves, and a large efreeti supervises the effort.
As the heroes approach, the efreeti calls out, “Good day. I invite you to turn around and continue on your way. Interfering here will not go well for you.” Needless to say, the heroes charge forward to engage the creatures. [Sure, I knew they’d never negotiate with them, but it’s kind of my DM rule to almost always present players with a choice of social interaction or combat, instead of just forcing combat on them.]
The efreeti – which Elodin identified and pointed out as being immune to fire – summons a fire elemental which surges forward toward the heroes. Then the efreeti flies 120 feet into the air to throw fire down on the heroes.
As the hobgoblins dash forward to, swords drawn, Nigel disables them with a hypnotic pattern. Guld, Shadoestar, and Rusty move to engage the fire elemental and incapacitated hobgoblins.
Guld and Shadoestar quickly discover that attacking the fire elemental hurts them nearly as much as it hurts the fire elemental. Rusty kills two hobgoblins in one round and leaps over their corpses to attack a third.
The efreeti congratulates Nigel on his “parlor trick” and flies directly above the bard. Then it throws down two globes of fire. The first misses Nigel, but the second slams him square in the head. The fire critically wounds the frail bard, tossing him to the ground. [This was a critical hit. What was normally 5d6 damage became 10d6 damage. Yeah, nasty.]
Heavily wounded, Nigel stands and casts hypnotic pattern on the efreeti. The spell catches the fiend off guard, and he falls 120 feet to crash into the ground. The efreeti is mildly wounded by the fall, but more importantly, he loses his concentration on the fire elemental.
Enraged at the efreeti and hobgoblins, the creature begins to swat its fiery claws at the hobgoblins, dropping several.
Guld, Rusty, and Shaoestar turn their focus to the efreeti, now, but it flies above them – a mere 20 feet this time – forcing them to use ranged attacks. Nigel responds with another hypnotic pattern, dropping the efreeti 20 feet to the ground. With the efreeti prone, Guld, Rusty, and Shadoestar surround him and rip into him with all they have.
Surrounded and displaying several nasty wounds, the efreeti attempts to flee, casting plane shift. However, Elodin counter spells it just in case the monster is trying to cast one of the heroes into a random plane.
The heroes tear into the fiend more with sword, fist, and quarterstaff. As a final effort, the efreeti tries to cast wall of fire on the heroes, but Elodin again counter spells it.
As the Sword Coast Guard renew their efforts against the efreeti, both Rusty and Guld take turns tripping the thing to the ground. Finally, Rusty jumps atop the prone monster’s body and jams Ice Tooth up to the hilt in its chest, dispatching it.
With the efreeti and hobgoblins dead, the fire elemental wanders off into the countryside, and the heroes untie the farm family. Naturally, they receive an offer of lodging for the night and a meal as gratitude.
And Nigel… Nigel grins broadly at one of the farmer’s daughters.
All in a day’s work.
The Sword Coast Guard
the adventurers formerly known as the Heroes of Gold, Glory, and Girls
[sorry, still need a picture]
Shadoestar - Half-Elf Monk