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Author Topic: Living Forgotten Realms - Box it Up  (Read 346 times)

Abyssal Maw

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Living Forgotten Realms - Box it Up
« on: March 19, 2010, 09:03:46 am »
This is a recap of the LFR (MyRealms) adventure I ran last night:

(This is actually the 5th adventure in the Drow group I have been running.

PCs:
Grudge (revenant drow fighter) (now CAPTAIN Grudge)
Yannik (enslaved minotaur sorcerer)
Solaste (male drow beastmaster ranger, with pet spider)
Livatro (male drow rogue)
Riltharra (spellscarred female drow warlock)

There's only slight overlap between this group and the previous adventure (masquerade)- Grudge was in both games-- but the continuity is the same.

This takes place on the day after the masquerade. While House Rilyntel was busy invading House Philozza and stealing a magical lens from their scrying chamber, Veltran sent some of their own thieves into House Rilyntel.. and managed to steal a few of the magical silkpatterns that Rilyntel uses.

(This is part of a larger plot- Veltran has long had it's eye on replacing Rilyntel's position in the silk trade, and Rilyntel is on the verge of being purged.)

But as it turns out, one of Veltran's thieves was captured with several of the silk patterns. Yannik the minotaur (who happens to be an expert silkweaver) was brought in to identify the patterns- they were taken from the loom itself, not Rilyntels arcane library. So that helped trace how far the thieves had gotten.

At this point the other players are brought in:

Captain Grudge is accompanying Shiver to interrogate the captured thief, and it soon becomes clear that Veltran has it's eye on Rilyntel's Great Loom- an artifact that is used to create magical silk cloth.

Mistress Ilianmyrna (a fairly high ranking but treacherous drow priestess with ties to Veltran) once again pulls enough strings to get her protege Livatro into the meeting.

Riltharra is there because she is becoming Shiver's favorite. Which she isn't happy about.. (haha)

The suggestion is made that since the purge is likely to come sooner rather than later, that the Great Loom should be dismantled, boxed up, and smuggled away for safekeeping. Since a shipment of silk is due out that morning (promised to a night hag along the Dhaerys Teardrop route in the underdark), the idea is that the crates (containing the central mechanism of the Loom and the tomes of patterns) will be hidden amongst the silk bolts.  
This is where Solaste is finally brought in- as a ranger- and a spider-herder, he has familiarity with the underdark routes outside of T'lindhet.

So here's the mission: smuggle the dismantled loom and pattern library to the undead holdings in Alura R'teyn ahead of the suspected purge.

The players gathered supplies- including tarps and rope and so on. They were given a cart drawn by a pack lizard. The crates containing silks and the crates containing the pieces of the loom and the patterns were subtly different- they contained a symbol of dots in the corner.

 They planned out the most likely route.. and Solaste (who had traveled this part of the Underdark before) pointed out that once they dropped the silk part of the shipment off, they would either have to 1) abandon the cart and carry the remaining crates, or 2) figure out a way to lower the cart down a 40' cliff.

He knew the location of an old cargo crane, but it was a place that was often held by various underdark denizens.

Still, that seemed like the best idea. So they set out.

(to be continued.. the adventure was still ongoing, I'll update this soon).
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Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 01:47:05 pm »
The 5 players, their lizard-drawn cart, their cargo of silk and the boxed-up components of the Great Loom.. set out, first making their way out of T'lindhet, and then into the Maze of Dhaerys, an underdark labyrinth of switchbacks and circling cave passages. What should have been a 3 hour journey, turned into 6 hours when they allowed Yannik the minotaur (who was adept with mazes, or so he claimed) to lead the procession.

Eventually they broke out of the maze and onto the general slope of the underdark trails that led towards the Teardrop. Nobody ever makes the same journey through the Underdark, and this was no exception- still  they encountered very few denizens. At one point they turned towards a set of curious paths choked with softly glowing mushrooms, and eventually figured out that they had crossed partway into the Feydark (the Underdark portion of the Feywild). Riltharra, Yannik, and Solaste did their best to retrace their steps and eventually they came out near a swift flowing icy underground stream.. about 4' deep.

With no (easy) way to cross, they decided to follow the stream for a while (hopefully to a bridge or crossing somewhere..) and eventually they found one.. but the advance scout (Solaste, the ranger) also found a group of gnomes camped on the sandy banks of the stream close to the crossing. They were talking about something but Solaste couldn't get close enough to understand it.

He reported back. The drow had the drop on the gnomes in matters of stealth and it would probably be a swift decisive battle to ambush them.. but Riltharra insisted she be able to talk to them (Riltharra is not only a fey pact warlock, but has ties to Llurwon, the gnome stronghold in the area).

Riltharra stepped out of the darkness and introduced herself to the gnomes, who were surprised.. but got over their hostility quickly enough. The rest of the drow remained hidden (with the minotaur well back, along with the cart).

It turns out that..according to the gnomes, a group of orcs had seized the nearby cargo crane (not far from here) and were thus controlling the flow of cargo along the Dhaerys route by charging for it's use to move heavy things up and down the Underdark cliff. They had gathered a sizable shipment of gold and..instead of using it to pay the orcs off.. they planned to beg a local harpy (Her name was Magg Maul, and she's sort of a local NPC) to chase the orcs off.

Riltharra convinced the gnomes that with their groups combined  they could take the orcs together.. thus not involving the Harpy. (And Riltharra then called out the rest of the party from hiding except for Solaste and his spider, who remained in the shadows). The gnomes were surprised, but after some intense negotiation, they reluctantly agreed to the plan: they would confront the orcs and fight them together, and then part ways.

So they crossed the stream, and trundled along with the wagon (with Solaste shadowing them from the rear...)  and eventually reached the cargo crane and the orcs.

The orcs (there were several) were lounging around on the hulk of the decrepit crane. The leader snatched up his greataxe and bellowed out his offer.. "100 gold toll for all of the cargo in that cart!"

Riltharra of course refused.. even though the orcs eyed the minotaur and the gnomes.. and eventually insults were exchanged. Riltharra ended up laying a curse on the orc, at which point battle broke out.

(more later with the results of the battle!)

So the group
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Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2010, 10:48:01 am »
So the battle broke out- the drow had somehow convinced the gnomes to join forces to seize the one strategic point along the Dhaerys route where cargo could be moved up a dangerous sheer cliff face (how's that for goblin-busting-through-walls detail?).

Secretly, there was some behind the scenes perception checks, and one of the gnome skulks slipped away before the battle started. And Solaste- who was meant to keep an eye on the wagon, immediately leaped into the fray once the battle began.

The battle played out fairly quickly, with the gnomes taking out most of the orcish minions, and the players getting absolutely beaten up by the tougher orcish raiders until they pulled together a plan. During the battle- the gnomes have a "fade away" power to become invisible for a time, and I took advantage of that for the arcanist and another of the skulks (once they had mostly dealt with one of the orcs) to duck out of the battle. One of the gnome warriors did get killed.

Meanwhile, where are the gnomes going? Heading back to the silk cart, prying open crates to see what the hidden cargo is. And they found it.

Riltharra was the first to figure out that the disappearing gnomes weren't coming back.. while the rest of the group was wrapped up in finishing off the last 2 orcs, she ran back towards the wagon.. and found the pried open crates, and the two gnomes struggling with a pair of the "valuable" crates not too far off. She called out to the others, (who left Livatro and Grudge to deal with the last orc..)

And battle #2 (attacking the treacherous gnomes) happened right on top of the battle with the orcs.

In the end, they took two pieces, inventories the crates to make sure they had everything.. and executed their prisoners. Riltharra was mortified because she had hoped to use this opportunity to show that the fey could be trusted...so she carried out the executions herself.

At the end of the battle, they took a short rest, and this is when the night hag, Asha, appeared. She had watched the entire battle from afar, and was there to buy the silk.. but now she was interested in buying the extra crates. "so unusual to have them out here..I'll buy them too..sight unseen."
She offered extra gold and even a magic trinket or two.

So there was sort of an extended little negotiation there, but once the players let it slip that they were headed to Alura R'teyn for a "very special buyer" (in Underdark terms- the undisputed ruers of Alura R'teyn included a gargantuan primordial spider and an arch-lich) Asha decided not to interfere.

The party became "known" to Asha at that point (story point, I'll keep her for a future NPC. In game terms she's a level 4 solo soldier).

So the party took her payment for the silk, offloaded everything but the special crates.. and then went about the business of lowering the minotaur down the cliff face.. then the cargo down the cliff face, and then lashing the cart together and lowering that as well.. and then the party members one by one.

They headed out of Dharys at that point, cutting west towards a pair of routes that parallel the Darkgulf (an underground sea). One route runs along the sandy shoreline, and another runs through a sort of muddy fungus-choked canyon. They chose the canyon (it seemed safer- there were rumors of Aboleths in the Darkgulf-- and ghosts).

They ended up in a side trail called the Savage Path- known to be a troglodyte hunting ground. Solaste pointed out numerous signs of troglodytes, as well as the staked out trophies of trog kills.

(to be continued..same game session we hadn't gotten to the harpy yet)
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Abyssal Maw

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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2010, 12:25:44 pm »
So finally...

The rest of the group trudged onwards to Alura R'teyn, with the ranger up front avoiding tracks and trails from the trogs in the area. And then they found the savaged corpse of a gnome and heard the screeching call of a harpy.

Quickly, they got off the pathc, with most of the group heading into a side cave from the main route- the main route being high-ceilinged enough that a harpy could fly through it. The group scattered and got out of sight.. all drow and undead- they were pretty stealthy.

Except Yannik, the minotaur.

The harpy landed on a rock behind him.


Magg Maul is another (planned to be) recurrent NPC in the campaign. Eventually they might kill her, I have no idea. But she had the minotaur cornered.

But she'd just eaten.

"You look meatier than a gnome.. and tastier than a trog. It's a shame..But then, I suppose you'd probably put up a fight, too..."

The rest of the group readied whatever missiles they could from inside the side cave, but Yannik held a conversation with the harpy, introductions were made. He started with diplomacy, but as Magg Maul got closer and closer to decising whether or not she would attack, Yannik lost his temper and threatened her back..at which point she became offended (and a little intimidated) and she flew off.  

"We'll talk again".

The adventure ended here, they were closing up shop for the night. We have plans for continuing the little trip to Alura R'teyn, but it might be a while before I get back to this group:

Tuesday we wrap up the Orcus campaign
Thursday (this coming week) I am actually a player (rather than a DM) in another group
Fri-Sun is RegulatorCon (8 slots of D&D!) with my girlfriend
 and then next Thursday we are doing a special "reverse dungeon" run of East1-1, where the drow have to fight off invading adventurers.

More updates when I get to them!
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