Author Topic: Session Summary #23  (Read 259 times)

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Offline Nathan Sherman

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Session Summary #23
« on: May 23, 2020, 08:03:49 PM »
After the discovery that the skull probably resides in the urn on the fireplace mantle at the Inn of the Broken Staff, the party talk about options to get it.

- Theren says “What if, bear with me here, we simply meet with the owner and explain (divulging as little information as possible) what we need.  We could offer to pay for it.

This eliminates the need to burglarize the joint as well as reducing the possibility that we end up hurting innocent people during the heist.

Suggest the group consider this approach.  Theren offers to seek the owner out.  We will have the proceeds from the sale of the pirate ship, although our quest is true and paying may not be necessary.  The owner may not even be aware there is a skull somewhere near his fireplace.”

- Otep says that “he would be amenable, with certain reservations.

He'd not be willing to pay a huge amount.  It's something that needs to be done, and I'm not sure how the owner benefits from having the skull. 

Otep would suggest that the owner be isolated in a discussion with us.  And that we pressure him if he doesn't agree to give it to us outright, or sell it for a small sum.  Needs to be isolated so that the threat is felt fully.  In his best interest to sell for small sum, than for us to ruin the establishment and kill him.

Otep feels the end justifies the means.  Skull is certainly needed, and it's in everyone's best interest.  Including the current “owner”.”

- Ceress, as usual, will go along with the what ever the group plans.

- Akronos chimes in with “Theren, I am so pleased you are adapting to Drakellian ways so quickly! 

Otep, I applaud your willingness to try open communication and offering reasonable gold for the skull.

Gents, I would like a solution where we can attain the skull, be good with the Broken Staff Inn, and escape without ill-will nor being hunted.  I fear if we kidnapped the owner and offered a price he or she may say no for whatever reason.  I’d hate for us to have to kill them.

I have a plan… let’s steal the skull but leave behind a story written by Theren saying why we took the skull plus 150 platinum.  This would be a great opportunity to turn an ordinary theft into a fantastical story which will become famous at The Broken Staff Inn.  150 platinum to symbolize the 150 years since the demon war (and because it is a good price).  Theren could write about how we have collected all the other skulls and imply we already got the one from the apparitions.  It would be an epic tale!  In the story say we are fighting the Black Sorcerers and Hand of the Abyss to save the world and prevent another demon war.  Theren could even say he would return to The Broken Staff Inn to tell the rest of the story after we save the world… and sign it as the “Secret Bard” or some-such.  Instead of a theft it could be declared a set of heroes finishing the most important quest in 150 years and generously gifting 150 platinum to the prestigious Broken Staff Inn.

What do you think gentlemen?”

- Otep responds back with “No.  150 platinum???  Too much.  That's like, more than 100 gold!

1)  Talk to owner first.  Ask for it for free.  He should be paying US, since we've been doing all the work to save humanity!  Does HE want demons walking around Drakell?

2)  If talk doesn't work, then tell him we'll offer him 100 gold.  NOT platinum.  I'm not agreeing to paying so much.

3)  If that doesn't work....THEN we kill him.  I mean, after explaining how it's more in his best interest to get 100 gold rather than to die.  Unreasonable, ungrateful human.”

- Lutheo says “In all of what follows, this is a given: We will leave town with that skull.

That said, I'm torn.

On one hand, I'm keen on being open and honest, especially with people who have not done evil (at least, not that we have seen). And the people at the Braided Scarf have done no evil that we have seen. Their "no magic" rule and their magic detection field show how much they value honesty and fairness. Perhaps this extends only to their musical contests, but I'll bet not.

If honesty works, I greatly prefer that.

On the other hand, I'm also keen on avoiding bloodshed, especially with people who have not done evil. If openness and honesty fail, our interest in the skull will surely draw attention and raise suspicions. I don't see a way to advance our mission without bloodshed.

For my part, I am willing to pay for that skull with whatever money I have. I don't begrudge any of you who would do differently, because money buys support of one kind or another, and I suspect we will need all the support we can get soon enough.

I quite favor the kind of outcome we were able to achieve in Aridorn, at the Basiliarch of Imarus. A bit of noise and commotion, and perhaps a bit of future trouble if they ever figure out that their relic is gone. But all in all, relatively quiet.

So maybe we can devise some way to break into the Braided Scarf at a moment when it is empty or nearly so, and retrieve the skull with as little fuss as possible.

That's not nearly as honest as I would prefer, of course. But it has the potential to limit bloodshed. A tradeoff like that might leave me sleeping fitfully for a few nights, but sleep I will. (Depending on whether any lycanthropes bite me. Ugh!)

So my preference is to steal the skull as quietly as we can.

That said, whatever we decide, I will do whatever I have to do to ensure that we attain that skull.”

- Theren responds with “…and you call yourself Lawful Good?

If the caper goes awry Theren is worried we will have to spill innocent blood.

I too am willing to offer up my entire share of the ship as payment if necessary to avoid that.”

- Lutheo quips “As it happens, I do not ;-)

Yes, I have the same worry. If open negotiation raises attention and suspicions, that leads to bloodshed. If stealthy theft fails, that leads to bloodshed.

Which is more likely to fail?

I can't say.

Akronos, can your gizmo predict the outcomes of negotiations and capers, or only weather?”

- Theren “I think I have a way to finesse the “negotiation” (without magic)

Not guaranteed, but I think that if I can get an audience with the owner, I have a credible appeal lined up that won’t give up too much information unless he is willing to work with us and is likely to help him understand that working with us is in his best interest.”

- Akronos says “Lutheo, my Druidcraft can only predict weather.

As Lutheo and Theren said, I would be willing to contribute my share of the ship sale towards the bloodless purchase of the skull.

Any method that does not require bloodshed of otherwise innocent people is my preference.  Theren, as a bard if you have an idea that could pull on their heart-strings or otherwise persuade them… I’m all for it.”

The party takes time over that night to sleep on the options and the next morning Theren convinces the party that he has a strategy that should work well for getting the skull if he can talk with the manager. He goes to the Inn of the Broken Staff with Lutheo right at opening the next day and talks to Nikos, the manager who they had talked to the night before.

He says that he has a story that he wants to tell him but he wants Nikos to have someone there that can cast Zone of Truth to know that Theren is telling the truth. After some conversation he convinces Nikos that it is worth his time and he agrees to meet with them the following day at 2:00, before the Inn opens for business. Nikos will have a friend present that can do the Zone of Truth.

The next morning, the party checks out the progress on sprucing up the captured pirate ship and it is looking much better. Akronos goes to talk to his guild about the sale of their ship.

He meets with Murta the ship buyer for the Merchant Guild of House Qaigen. Murta lets him know that the guild would pay 4,000 gold for it to someone from the public but since his is a guild member they will pay 5,000. Akronos takes the deal and receives a Drakkellian letter of credit that they can take to one of the local banks.

Theren and Lutheo return to the Inn of the Broken Staff at 2 o’clock to meet with Nikolas. Nikolas lets them in and they take a table on the far side of the inn, in the corner to the east of the fireplace. Nikos is trim and clean cut. He wears his black wavy hair combed back and short. He has a neatly trimmed beard and mustache, his clothing is of the finest cut representing the most modern trims and he has on some of the most styling shoes that they have ever seen.

Aside the crew that is preparing for the days business there are two other people on the main floor. There is an old man reading a book in one of the chairs by the fireplace and a younger man sitting further away who Nikos tells them will be performing the zone of truth.

Theren tells Nikos that he wanted to offer him a favor and ask for one in return. He encouraged him to get a zone of truth so that he could trust everything he was about to tell him.

Theren warns him that he would share as much information as he would like, but that he might want to go slowly because the information could jeopardize his safety. He lets him know that the party is on a quest trying to save the world. They believed he has on his mantle one of the items we need for our quest.

There have been multiple attempts on the parties lives in the last 2 months, and that those pursuing us would stop at nothing to get that artifact. We are offering to take it off his hands and that is in his best interests and in ours.

Through out all of this Nikos is interested but not too worried about it. When Theren starts to tell him that it is linked to the Demon Wars from 150 years ago, Nikos shows signs of concern. He sighs and mumbles that he can tell that this won’t end well.

Theren shows him the magical finger and encouraged him to allow Theren to find what it is pointing towards. He writes the word “skull” on a slip of paper and folds it up and tells Nikos that if Theren finds what hew was looking for, Nikos could open to confirm but that Theren didn’t want to tell him straight away because if he couldn’t find it, then it would be more dangerous for Nikos if he knew what the party was looking for.

Nikos encourages them to abandon the quest but see that Theren and Lutheo are set on this. The Zone of Truth shows that they believe their quest is real and just. He finally gives in, mumbling that the outcome isn’t going to be good.

Theren gets up and dangles the finger at the end of the chain. It swivels and points west of him, towards the fireplace. He walks over and the finger sways gently at the end of the chain. As he gets closer, instead of pointing north towards the fireplace mantel, it starts to swing to the south. Nikos continues to mumble that this is no good. Theren walks between the fireplace and the table with the old man reading the book and he realizes that the finger is pointing to the old man.

It dawns on Theren that this skull is still living, that before him is one of the original Conclave of Freedom members, now very, very old.

He asks the old man and Nikos if he can sit down and talk with him. The old man happily sets his book aside and invites him to join at his favorite table. Nikos and Lutheo join them. Nikos introduces him as Tykor, the owner of the Inn of the Broken Staff. Tykor is dressed very sharp for an old man. Slacks, stylish dress shoes, fine cut shirt, jacket and silk scarf, with a brass topped walking stick by his side.

Theren tells him that they are looking for one of the Conclave of Freedom members but Nikos tells him that he doesn’t know who they are. Theren holds up the finger on the chain and it points right to Tykor. Recognition comes over Tykor and he looks closely at the finger and say “Ah, Gelden my friend. Apparently you were right, it was your fault that they found us.” The waitress catches his eye as she is walking by and he asks Susie for another whiskey and then he apparently forgets all about Gelden, the finger and the previous conversation they were having. When Susie brings him his whiskey, he tries to pay her for it but she reminds him that he doesn’t need to pay since he is the owner. When she continues to refuse to take payment, he tells her that she must at least take his tip and he slides her a full gold Drakkellian coin.

The group talks for a while and it becomes clear that Tykor was known as Illanor long ago. After the Demon War, he left the Rukemian Empire and came to Drakkell, leaving the name of Illanor behind and taking on the name of Tykor. He met a wonderful human woman named Ezra and fell in love.

Ezra was a great musician, amazing with the harp, the flute and violin. He talks at length about her. He says that she would play off of a split musical score, also known as a broken staff. Her skills were amazing, playing a double melody at once, she was the inspiration for opening The Broken Staff. They made this into the best place for musicians to play and get inspiration. She passed away long ago and her ashes remain on the mantle to this day.

Apparently Illanor has been playing at being Tykor for so long that most of the time he doesn’t remember that he was Illanor. For the most part, he just wants a warm fire, a comfortable chair and a nice glass of whiskey. Once when asked about Illanor he said that he had heard of him and doesn’t think very highly of him. Thinks he was a wizard too powerful for his own good, that he thought he knew everything and really didn’t know anything. Wizards are risky companions he says.

Often he will just forget what they were talking about and start talking about musicians, the Inn, whiskey and other good food and drink. “I think we should bring back the Shepards Pie now that the weather is getting cooler” or “Nikos, is it too early in the session to start serving pumpkin soup? That pumpkin soup that Devonte makes with a thick slab of bread would be prefect right now.”

Theren asks if Tykor will join them on one last quest and he is willing to do that. After much back and forth with Nikos, he tells the party that he needs a day to think about it before he lets his friend risk his life leaving for some crazy adventure. He points out that Tykor is still a very powerful wizard, he just doesn’t remember that most of the time. Every now and then they will find a pile of ash in the Inn and they just hope that it was a robber or chair or something else that doesn’t matter if it was disintegrated instead of something worse. Travel could get complicated with Tykor in his current condition.

 He tells them to come back tomorrow and he will have an answer for them.

Theren and Lutheo agree and leave to rejoin the party and tell them what they discovered. The party agrees that it would be best to relocate where they are staying from the Merchant District to the Guild District. They pack up their things from the Cracked Mug and get a room at The Stone Lady, just a short distance away from the Inn of the Broken Staff. They have dinner that night at the Pig and Thistle tavern and Theren spends the whole evening and night in the Plaza of Mallugar with the magical finger, making sure that Tykor is still in the inn and that Nikos hasn’t whisked him away to protect him.

The next day the party goes back and talks with Nikos and Tykor. At one point during the conversation, Tykor sees the finger pointing to him and he proclaims “Ah, Gelden my friend. Apparently you were right, it was your fault that they found us.” He then reaches out and takes the finger and chain and puts the chain around his neck. The finder points directly to his chest the whole time he wears it. He orders a round of whiskey for the whole party and goes through the process of trying to pay for it when it arrives and ends up overly tipping his employe, Susie again.

Nikos tells the party that they will help with this quest but he needs time to train up a new front of house manager. Logan is a great kitchen manager but he can’t run both sides at the same time. We will need a month to train up a new manager. The party stresses the urgency of their mission and try to take Tykor with Nikos catching up but he won’t have that. After much back and forth, the agree on only two days before they all must leave.

Nikos is protective of Tykor and refers to him as his Reshie which translates from Sylvan roughly as uncle or teacher. He has served him for over 130 years and won’t let anything happen to him. He always knows where his Reshie is and won’t let him out of his sight.

Nikos asks how long they will be gone and they party debates this. They hope to have the quest completed in the next few weeks.

Nikos will want to be back before a month is over. Reshie shouldn’t be gone long and if Nikos say Tykor has to come home, then he has to come home. Also, Nikos has heard that Lord Ashcroft has purchased a rare book of the complete Wild Goose Chases written by Gustav Wilder. Lord Ashcroft will be hosting some epic parties based on the Wild Goose Chases. Nikos loves good music, dance and flirting with woman and that is why being at the Broken Staff is the best life that he can imagine. It is always a party here with the best musicians and a parade of new woman to woo every night. Lord Ashcrofts party will be amazing and he wouldn’t want to miss such an epic event as the Wild Goose Chases! Rumor has it that Lord Ashcroft paid 475 gold for the book at an auction just about a month ago.

The party has Akronos contact Master Elodin through a Sending to see how things are going and inform him of finding Illanor alive. Master Elodin is amazed that he is still alive and reasons it must be due to the half elven blood that he has in him. Elodin is saddened to hear that Illanors memory has abandoned him. He agrees to contact a mage that he knows at the Drakkell school of sorcery and see if he can get them teleported to their next destination, Freeport. After a little while he lets them know that he will owe the wizard Dezi for performing the teleport but it has been arranged for two days hence.

The party decides to spend this time and their new found money finding out if Drakkell, the city where anything can be had for a price, has some magic items they can purchase.

Akronos goes back to his guild for advise on where to purchase the magic items and is informed that House Landry would be the best source. They also recommend that the party higher one of the fabled negotiators know as a sword tongue. House Qaigen has several that they employ and they recommend using the sword tongue Luzon due to his deep understanding of the value of magic items and the business of buying and selling them.

Over the next two days, the party sells off some of the items they have acquired during their adventures, splits up the proceeds and buy new items.

They return to The Inn of the Broken Staff at the appointed time two days later and meet up with Nikos and Tykor. Nikos is still very sharply dressed, this time with very styling traveling boots that he just purchase for the occasion at Jerome's Taught and Tanned Leather Shop. He has a small backpack ready and adds to it the small box from the mantle. Tykor is dressed mostly as he always has been, slacks, dress shirt, vest, scarf and jacket. He takes the worn mandolin from the mantle and reverently slings it over his shoulder and with walking stick in hand is ready to venture out.

The party realizes that Tykor is pretty slow at walking so they hire a carriage to take them to meet with the wizards who will teleport them to Freeport. The teleportation circle goes smoothly and they arrive at the designated location to the west of the city.

This is where the session ends. The party has decided to continue on with their quest instead of giving up adventuring and retiring to buy their own inn. They have one of the original Conclave members with them and four skulls. They are headed back through Freeport to the haunted mansion of Nikova.

Next session, assault on the haunted mansion of Nikova!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 01:02:59 PM by Nathan Sherman »