D&D Encounters: Murder in Baldur’s Gate (Week 10)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on October 24, 2013

murder-in-baldurs-gate-cover

Following the massacre at the gates between Lower City and Upper City, the people of Baldur’s Gate took to the streets and a riot consumed the city. Fortunately the PCs were in the thick of things and were able to sway the masses with diplomacy. Under the powerful and charismatic influence of the Carl the Paladin and the rest of the party, the heroes brought out the best in the people of Baldur’s Gate and convinced them to stop the destruction and senseless violence. Once again the heroes were branded as heroes of the people.

This week at Harry Tarantula North in Toronto we ran two full tables of six. The DM for our third table knew he’d be absent this week and agreed to do a double session for his group next week. My table is finally getting some stability and we had the exact same party we had for the previous two sessions – Dwarf Fighter, Warforged Fighter, Human Cleric, Carl the Half-Elf Paladin, Elf Wizard, and Human Monk.

Martial Law

We began the session a few days after the riots were quelled. The PCs were given a time to rest after their instrumental role in stopping what could have been a disaster from ravaging through Baldur’s Gate.

When we picked things up the PCs and all other Flaming Fist soldiers at Wyrm’s Rock were called to a mandatory meeting. On the way a messenger hand delivered a letter to Carl. It had a wax seal on it, but the seal was clearly broken. Someone had read the letter. When Carl asked the messenger accusingly the boy replied that Ravengard himself demanded to read it.

The letter was from the Parliament of Peers. They formally requested that Carl come to speak before them tomorrow. They wanted to give him an opportunity to officially address them and declare his formal intention of being considered for the open office of Duke.

Carl tipped the boy and the PCs found their way to the marshalling area where Ravengard was about to address hundreds of Flaming Fist soldiers.

In light of recent events Ravengard declared marshal law in Baldur’s Gate. Signs were being posted around the city as he made the announcement. Under this law the Flaming Fist has total authority. Only Fist soldiers are allowed to wear armor and carry weapons. People are not allowed to gather with anyone outside of their immediate family. Everyone must be off the streets by nightfall. No ships are allowed to enter or leave the docks without clearance.

Anyone who violates these terms or any other standing laws can be arrested or executed on the spot. Most of the Flaming Fist members present supported Ravengard’s proclamation, however, a few were clearly concerned that this could backfire if any Fist soldiers let this new power go to their head. The PCs were among this minority.

Despite their misgivings, the PCs didn’t feel that openly opposing Ravengard in this context and at this time would be seen in a positive light. If anything they could be charged with insubordination. They decided to do what they could to ensure none of the other Fist members stepped out of line.

As the crowd was dispersing, a low ranking Fist member approached the Dwarf Fighter. He introduced himself as Favil Blanthe, an exchequer responsible for the Fist’s bookkeeping and armories. He was clearly in distress and asked the Fighter if they could speak privately.

Weapons Smuggling

Blanthe explained that he was in trouble. He’d made some bad decisions, was in over his head, and needed help. For the past few months he’d been smuggling weapons out of the Wyrm’s Rock for members of the Guild. These were sub-standard weapons that were going to be scrapped anyway. He’d doctor the paperwork and arrange for crates of weapons to disappear during deliveries.

He’d been raised in Outer City and understood the dangers such a life presented. When the Guild said they needed help arming the poorest and most desperate people how could he refuse? That used to be him. He felt obligated.

At first it was just a few old swords or crossbows, but recently, since Duke Abdel’s assassination, the Guild demanded more arms of better quality. Realizing he would be arrested (at best) if his role in the smuggling was discovered he continued to help them. In light of the recent riots he felt it was time to finally face the music.

Blanthe asked the PCs to help him. He hoped that if they discovered exactly where the weapons were going it might make his punishment less severe. The Fighter agreed to bring it to the party and see if they’d help. Sure enough they were all on board.

After some discussion on the best way to insert themselves into this mess, they decided to let the next shipment of weapons leave Wyrm’s Rock and they’d follow it. Fortunately there was another shipment schedule for later that day.

The carriage heading from Wyrm’s Rock to the Baldur’s Gate was easy to spot as Blanthe had tied a red and yellow strip of cloth to the back of it. The PC followed it through the streets of Outer City. When they neared Little Calimshan the carriage was slowed by the abundance of foot traffic and numerous impromptu stalls near the road.

The PCs closed in, fearing they might lose the carriage in the congestion. Another carriage stopped next to the one they were following and two men quickly jumped out, removed two crates from the carriage and loaded them on their own. The PCs decided not to interfere. Instead they followed the goods on the new carriage and Carl the Paladin managed to crawl under the carriage and grab on to the bottom of it.

The heroes kept the new carriage in sight as it veered off the main road and into an impoverished area of Outer City. The structures in this area were little more than shanties and their haphazard construction formed a maze of sorts. The PCs knew they’d be spotted if they followed directly so they instead split up and tried to surround the carriage.

The carriage came to a stop and the men unloaded the crates. The heroes pounced from all sides announcing themselves as Flaming Fist soldiers. Carl dropped from beneath the carriage, rolled out, drew his sword, and told the men to surrender. They immediately complied and threw their hands in the air. They agreed to cooperate with the PCs.

Two burly looking men were just inside the shanty where the carriage had stopped. When they saw the PCs, they shut the door and locked it. The PCs smashed through the door but once they got inside the room was empty; the men had fled through a back door. A couple of PCs tried to pursue, but after a few rounds they realized they’d lost them.

The men on the carriage claimed they were just hired to deliver crates. They hadn’t done anything wrong and were willing to cooperate. The PCs accused them of stealing the crates from the other carriage, but they assured the heroes that the driver of the other carriage was well aware of the exchange. They had no knowledge of what was in the crates, just that they were to deliver them here.

Convinced the delivery men were just pawns, the heroes let them go. A search of the shanty revealed numerous empty crates. Clearly this was a frequently used drop-off point. The PCs decided to wait to see if anyone else showed up. About an hour later someone did.

A Guild member whom the PCs had met before arrived with arms outstretched. He made it clear he was here to talk. His group was indeed responsible for smuggling these weapons, but it was with the best of intentions. The Guild had reason to believe that “Something Big” was going to happen in Baldur’s Gate following Duke Abdel’s death. They felt they needed to help the poor people of Outer City prepare for this upcoming event.

At first the Guild believed that “Something Big” was the riots, but after the noise and dust settled they continued hearing about this big event. Now they have reason to believe that whatever it is it will happen within 24 hours. They need these weapons to ensure the people of Outer City can defend themselves.

The PCs were not convinced and wanted to arrest the Guild agent. He then asked the PCs how closely they’ve interacted with Ravengard personally. He wanted to know if they felt he’d changed over the past month. None of the PCs understood what he was getting at. He suggested that Ravengard was heading down a dangerous and violent path, as his recent actions would demonstrate.

First he wanted the Fist to shut down business and arrest the proprietors, then he wanted the PCs to strong-arm a candidate for Duke, then he supported the sumptuary laws, then he enacted the tribunals, then he was at the heart of a massacre of innocent people, and finally just today he instituted marshal law. Clearly his actions were growing more violent and erratic.

The PCs were shocked that they hadn’t seen this pattern themselves. They agreed that Ravengard was up to something, perhaps Something Big. They agreed to let the Guild take these weapons but they demanded that the smuggling stop. The Guild agreed. After tomorrow’s event they hoped they wouldn’t need them.

As the group was finishing this conversation they heard an explosion come from Baldur’s Gate. In the distance they could see a plum of dark smoke rising about the city’s wall.

Thoughts

It took me nine weeks but I’ve finally realized that the party doesn’t have to be present for every single important part of the story. Most weeks there were three scenes and each week I’ve tried to give the PCs a chance to be involved in all of them. It’s been difficult and it’s made the sessions run over two hours every single week. This week I decided to try something different.

By now I’ve got a pretty good idea of how my players will or will not insert their PCs into the story. For the most part the group is very passive; they rarely challenge the establishment. Knowing this I correctly predicted that they’d do nothing to stop or oppose Ravengard’s declaration of Martial Law. So I decided to focus on the weapons smuggling part of this week’s session.

Only a hand full of details about the smuggling was provided and if the group was not aligned with the Guild they’d have no way of knowing most of it. I decided to flesh things out and allow the PCs to really get involved, which they did. Although they ended up choosing not to fight, they certainly could have engaged in melee if they’d wanted to. Instead they played to their other strengths.

Regarding the third plot point, I decided that the PCs would not be present when the explosion happened – forcing them to be in the right place and the right time to bear witness seemed wrong and unnecessary. I opted to leave it as a plot hook for next week’s session.

I’m regaining my mojo as we head into the final two sessions. I had fun this week; a lot more than I’ve had the past few session. I think keeping the session to around 90 minutes really helped. Nothing seemed to drag on and all the players had a chance to do something meaningful to contribute.

Next week a lot of the pieces come together in order to set up the grand finale. I think the players who stuck with the adventure will be happy and satisfied with where things go next week.

How are things going at your table? Did anyone confront Ravengard upon learning he declared marshal law? How many parties investigated the explosion? For those who investigated the weapon smuggling where did it lead and what did the party do if they learned who was behind it?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mike October 24, 2013 at 10:33 am

This week our group had my druid, our rabbit rogue, wolf/assassin and three new players a thief, ranger and bard. With all the rouges and rangers we seemed well equipped for what we knew our next mission must be: tracking down the undead Gilden Marsh and using him to find the rest of the cult of Bhaal. Before we could start, we got a message from Rilsa requesting we come to the Duke’s council immediately. Tracking Marsh was too important to give up, but we couldn’t ignore a request from all four Dukes so once again the party split up. The bard, assassin and rabbit/rogue went to the Duke and the rest of us went back to the scene of Marsh’s attack.

As a druid/warlock I knew that most teleports were line of sight only. Since Marsh had been riding on an elephant, we got a ladder to try and see where he could have teleported to. Then the thief could deduce which were the most likely hiding spots and the ranger could track him from there. Unfortunately my mystic sight found out it was a long distance teleport heading to the noble district and couldn’t be readily tracked. Instead the ranger tracked the elephant back to the circus. The circus was chaotic as everyone tried to leave quickly after the murders yesterday. We leaned on a dwarf who appeared to be in charge , but he was distraught that his brother had been killed by one of the snake/crabs we had sold him and he gave us no information. The thief tried a gentler tack on some halfings who pelted him with rotten vegetables and blamed him for murdering three performers in their tent last night. We found the tent still standing as no one would go near it even to tear it down. My druid used a ritual to see what the last thing they saw was. Unsurprisingly, it was Gilden Marsh beheading them. That’s when we noticed the tent was on fire. The thief and ranger snuck around back and ambushed a circus worker nearly scaring him to death. He said Gilden Marsh had paid him to burn the tent just this morning. He almost fainted when we told him that we had already killed Marsh a week ago. We used his information to pick up Marsh’s trail again which headed into town.

Meanwhile the other group had gone to meet with the Dukes who demanded an explanation for yesterday’s events with the circus and murders. We gave our version, that Gilden Marsh had been made undead by the Cult of Bhaal infiltrated the circus and started murdering people. Just then Ravensgard pounded on the door and demanded to enter. He looked haggard and drawn like he hadn’t slept in days and smelled like it too. He carried a bag the size of a head that dripped with blood from the bottom. He emptied it on the floor and dropped out not a head, but dozens of bloody Flaming Fist badges. Then in a hoarse voice, he accused our rabbit thief of poisoning 2 score Flaming Fists and then slitting their throats in the night. He also brought out the quaking “perfume seller” who had sold him the poison to testify that it was the same poison. It was a good frame-up as this is probably exactly what we would have done if we had wanted to destroy a Flaming Fist Garrison. The bard tried to charm everyone and stand as a character witness for the rabbit, which seemed to reach some of the nobles, but not Ravensgard at all. The rabbit did not help his case. He was sputtering and fuming and threw back every accusation against Ravensgard that the Fist were the ones who were murderers and thugs since the first day and they were the ones brutalizing the city. Then he examined the badges and declared that the poison was an entirely different poison than the one he used so he couldn’t have done the murder. With a natural 1 on bluff it’s not clear that anyone believed him. Ravensgard challenged him to a duel, which he was only too delighted to accept, but the Dukes forbade it. At that rebuke, Ravensgard threw down his badge, declared that the Flaming Fist would no longer be protecting Baldur’s gate and stalked off.

The group tracked him back to the Flaming Fist Barracks, where all of their flags and insignia had been removed and at that point they met the other team.

We regrouped and tracked Gilden Marsh back to his family’s estate. We came up with various plans to get in from having the bard walk up publicly (since she was new to the group and might not be known) to sneaking in over the walls. However, it turned out that the gates were all unlocked and no one was around. When we reached the main house we heard the buzzing of thousands of flies and found the rest of the Marsh family slaughtered, even down to the children. The corpses did not look like they were decaying normally, like it was too fast and too slow at the same time. I repeated my ritual to see the last thing they saw, which was Gilden Marsh killing them ritualistically. In the last second he seemed to look right at me and he said “Not yet. Bhaal will claim all your foolish souls soon.” That was pretty creepy. Was he powerful enough to interfere with my spell, or worse did he have visions of the future and did he kill his entire family just to send us a message? Not wanting the rest of the family to rise from the dead I cast another ritual to protect their corpses and as I was finishing the city guard and a herald came in. Seeing the horrible scene the herald cried “What have you done to the Marsh family?” and ran off. Our bard managed to persuade the guard that we had just found the scene and were trying to protect the bodies. They caught the herald and “persuaded” him that was the case also. It was almost an anticlimax to hear that martial law had been declared and anyone out after curfew would be executed. And that’s where we left it with the city locked down in terror and a powerful undead servant of Bhaal with the power to teleport freely around the city, murder wherever and whoever he wanted and the intelligence to pick the most devastating places possible. And of course our group credibly framed for multiple horrific murders. It is looking harder than ever to save this city. But that’s what separates the heroes from the mere adventurers.

No combat this time, but still an enjoyable adventure. I have to give credit to the DM for particularly gruesome descriptions of Ravensgard’s bloody bag and the dead family at the Marsh estate. In addition the frame up was well done using exactly the plan our group would have used if we had listened to our assassin and decided to start wiping out the Flaming Fist. Argh. It’s so much more challenging dealing with intelligent enemies.

2 joe October 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm

This week at Modern Myths in Northampton, MA, we continued to run the modified, 4e-focused version I did up for this season. We had 2 tables of 7 this week.

Our session this week was mostly parallel in setup to the published events. The declaration of martial law after heavy rioting (in our case it was a circus-related riot) lead to fear across the city as a curfew was enacted and violators were to be killed. The PCs were immune to this law, since they have been working with the soldiers to maintain order, but were still troubled by the very murderous tone to the new law.

They received a note from their patron (at my table it was Ravengard) asking for an escort from the Hall of Dukes after dark. It turned out to be a trap, and probably not written by Ravengard himself (though the jury’s still out on that one), and the party was ambushed by soldiers in Bhaal-themed armor (I reskinned the Flaming Fist Sargeant & Lieutenants). They were unable to hold back from killing these soldiers*, though, so they had few answers afterward. Instead, they rushed home to the inn, where they were plagued by dreams of murder (and thus did NOT get an extended rest). 2 more sessions till this all comes to a head. We’ll see if the party ends up getting murdered in Baldur’s Gate…
joe´s last blog post ..What The Average Joe Thinks: Star Wars-Age of Rebellion BETA

3 dan October 25, 2013 at 2:24 am

This session we had one table of 4e and two tables of next. My table made by people. We had a human rogue, a gnome druid, a gnome barbarian (me), and a human cleric. The party was spread across the city, making repairs after the riot. The cleric heard the sound of weapons-grade steel rattling, and realized that it was coming from a coffin on a cart going by. When she tried to stop the driver, he took off, and the cleric rallied her fellow workers to join the chase. The cart was causing the weapons inside to bang together more loudly at this speed, and the druid noticed it. He cast longstrider, and began pursuit. The rogue also heard, and managed to get to the edge of the gate she’d been repairing before it passed beneath her. She jumped onto the cart, managing to land almost unscathed, except for a sword whose blade her foot landed on. At this point, the barbarian heard, and began pursuit as well. The rogue managed to get up to the driver, and held her dagger at his throat, commanding him to stop. He started so badly, that his stop threw her off. He had a minor cut on his neck, and a short sword sticking out of his back from the cart. The gnomes arrived, and quickly healed and restrained him. The barbarian investigated the cart, and found a cache of swords and daggers. He took all 30 daggers for himself, and then the party began interrogating the driver. He told us who his master was, but beyond that, he was just the driver, and had no other useful information. We confiscated the weapons, and turned them in to the flaming fist.

We were asked to find evidence of the guild’s involvement in the smuggling, so we chose to investigate the funeral home. Just after getting within sight of the building, we also noticed the driver, back on the cart, leaving. When he saw us, he started, accidentally kicking the horses into a cabbage merchant’s stall, and knocking a smoke pipe from someone’s hands. It landed on the cart, igniting the smoke powder hidden within. The cart exploded, and sent the driver flying. He barely managed to survive, with more help from the cleric and druid. Upon waking him up and beginning questioning, he seemed to have forgotten what he’d been doing from the trauma. Then the funeral home owner ran out, shouting about his cart.

We tried to calm him down, and stop his calling for recompense, and returned him to his home. We (specifically the barbarian) demanded to be allowed to question his family and himself. He told us that it was barbaric to subject a family to questioning when their own livelihood had just been destroyed, with the implication that they were involved. He received the response “Of course i’m barbaric, I AM a barbarian.”

The questioning lasted several hours, and we found absolutely nothing from the family. The rogue interrogated the owner separately, and got him to share some details about the smuggling, specifically that he did it because the people of baulder’s gate needed to be armed for their own safety. He continually denied any knowledge of the smokepowder, and refused to reveal its destination. Upon leaving, we noticed a flaming fist sergeant posting a notice that baulder’s gate would be under martial law, under the authority of the flaming fist. We immediately turned around and demanded that the owner of the funeral home allow us to search his home under martial law. We were careful not to damage anything, but were very thorough, and yet still found nothing. Displeased, we left, and tried to track down other leads. We went to the pottery shop where the firework merchant got his alchemy bowls to see if he had returned yet, but discovered he had been delayed, and would not be able to return for a few more weeks. At a loss, we approached Corrin our last hope. He had nothing left to tell us that we didn’t already know.

We all left thoroughly frustrated, as the DM even told us that the book said we were not allowed to get anywhere in our investigation. In my opinion, if the book needs to block the players from accomplishing anything through plot investigations, it is a broken adventure. The writers need to learn to balance story with gameplay. At least in previous seasons they were up front about the fact that they were railroading players. In this one, they promise lots of options and possibilities, but it seems more like nothing we try can succeed because it would mess up their idea of how the story should play out. It is unfortunate, but I find myself looking forward to the end of this season in the hopes that the next one will be better. And if it isn’t, I hope to be able to at least help remedy that a bit, as I am most likely going to be taking up the mantle of DM, since we will be down one.

Side note: the party at the other Next table had an enchanter, so the investigation was made easier through a well-placed charm spell. Still, the book seemed to more or less demand that the DM change the outcome of the spell so that the party could not gain any leads. Even more reason to be frustrated with the adventure.

4 Vobekhan October 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

Once again at Tabletop Tyrants in Leicester, we had 2 tables playing Next, numbers seem a solid 5-6 per table though a couple of players missed this week due to a horrible flu-bug doing the rounds (it has unfortunately struck me but I refuse to give in to it so far).

This week saw most of my players taking on a delivery retrieval mission for the Guild in a tweaked version of the Weapon Smuggling event and gave them a chance to fight some viscious orcs rather than the usual soldiers, nobles and dock workers.

We also had our dragonborn monk sinking into paranoia and coming to a “shocking” end.

At the end of the session my halfling rogue player asked me if there was any reason he couldnt run for the vacant Duke seat so I told him there wasnt – a little late to make huge issue of his candidacy but hopefully we’ll be able to pull something in with the last few sessions and finale.

Our second table apparently witnessed the Massacre, not really making a huge issue of it but did manage to rescue a kidnapped child of a member of the Parliament of Peers, scoring some brownie points with the patriar family.
Vobekhan´s last blog post ..D&D Enc Murder in Baldur’s Gate – Session 10

5 bisonic October 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

This week we had five for Next, the usual four with one returning. The day began with the riot and the players noticed that a few people seemed to be doing more instigating than actual rioting. They talked to these people who told them they were doing it because it needed to be done and they were getting paid as well. The group went into a Guild friendly bar and talked the owner into letting them sit out the riot in turn for protection. When she recognized them as the Heroes from the wide, she made excuses and left the bar immediately. Soon after there were noises in the cellar and a few thugs, an armored man, and a Drow came up and attacked the party. (I wanted an assassin who could be more of a solo monster than the multi-thug fights they’ve been having. I used Stryker from the Vault of the Dracolitch.)

The fight became very deadly when the Drow used his Darkness on the group. They were at a huge disadvantage and kept trying to feel around for people to stab in the dark. The thugs left the darkness and were dispatched by players who had also found their way out. Eventually the darkness faded and the group closed in and finished the enemies off, keeping the armored guy for interrogation. He told them that they tracked the group here through informants and came up from the undercellar. This let them know they were specifically being targeted, most likely by the Guild as everyone seemed to have the same contact in Shady Joe. They decided to enter the undercellar and eventually found a tunned that had been unused by the Guild according to the thieve’s signs but had recently had carts up and down it, according to the Ranger. They followed that tunnel until they came to a wooden door.

They listened at the door and heard people speaking in muffled voices. When they snuck in they saw three people in cheap clothes and face masks working on powders and alchemical equipment with buckets of sand and water next to them. The room was lit with Light Cantrips. The thief figured out they were building smokepowder kegs and pulled out her flint and tinder to surprise the people. When she got their attention, they flipped out and tossed a bucket of water at her. She botched the Dex save so it ended with a bucket on her head. The rest of the group stormed in as the alchemists told them that lighting a fire there would kill them all. They surrendered to the group and after showing the ability to cast Light, told them they were hired by Horus and had been making powder for weeks. They would put two barrels out side every few days that would be carted away at night as new supplies were left. They had already sent ten shipments out and were finishing the final two now. A rearch of the sleeping chambers revealed note sthat indicated Guild involvement as well as the recipe for smokepowder. The alchemists thought that was strange as they were privately contracted, but did have guild contacts, and had been told to memorize the formula. The players remembered the description of Horus Kope and had finally found the smuggled materials they were looking for but new questions had been raised about what the bombs were for.

The group hatched a plan to wait until the cart comes by and to figure out where it was going. We ended there.

I liked the fight but I soon realized that the 10 minute concentration span of Darkness was going to wipe out the party as they stood outside, firing blindly into it while being peppered by crossbow bolts. The group was more active and one former player returned. The session was mostly improvised and it seemed that way to my friend who sat in and watched. The group seemed to enjoy it. The biggest change is there has been more Deus Ex Machina than I normaly care to use but it is making the adventure more relevant. I think next week they will follow the coffin as marshal law is declared. I may even have the prison break, if time allows. I am no longer dreading the next session but I really want this season to be over.

6 Justin Yanta October 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm

SORRY THIS IS LATE. I WAS SICK AND DID NOT GET IT UP IN TIME.

The party still claims the Blushing Mermaid as its home and is using it as the base of operations.
The party this week consisted of:
• Half-Orc Cleric (Lucy)
• Wood Elf Paladin (Woodarrow)
• Tinker Gnome Rogue (Nezzle)
• Half-Orc Rogue (Jackal)
• Half-Orc Fighter (Torrak)
• Stout Halfling Barbarian (Kah-Kaww)
• Human Ranger (Owl)
• Half-Elf Paladin (Jeff)

Blushing Mermaid (Everyone):
The party woke up to a new day but the same old problems. The party left the Blushing Mermaid and spent most of the morning campaigning for Nezzle and getting people to vote for her and put pressure on the Parliament of Peers. It was nearing noon when Jeff and Woodarrow heard some jingling coming from close by. Jeff recognized the sound to be swords or blades clinking together. The group searched the area and found multiple carts in the area. The group was able to determine that the cart moving dead bodies to the funereal house was making the noise. The group chased after the cart and finally got it to stop. Jackal and Jeff showed there Flaming Fist badge and was allowed to search the cart. Jeff was a masterful searcher (natural 20) and was able to find a secret compartment full of blades. They then spent the next few minutes questioning the drivers and with some great intimidation checks were able to get some better information. It turns out the drivers were the two sons of the Candulhallows family. The family was in debt to the Guild and in order to pay off the Guild they had to pick up some packages from the harbor and drive them back to his store. The sons did say that by the time they got back to the store the extra items were always missing. The party decided that they needed to meet with the father and find out what his deal was with the Guild and where he was getting all the weapons. They decided they did not want to stop the weapons since the people in the lower and outer city needed to arm themselves. The party headed to the funeral home.

Funeral Home… or not really (Everyone):
As the party was making their way to the Funeral Home a huge explosion occurred. No one in the party had seen smoke powder in action so they did not know what it was. How I described it was this:
“Everyone roll me a listen check…. OK everyone feels the ground under their feet move and a loud echoing sound of what seems like a whole castle fell down at the same time. Jeff, Woodarrow, Owl you all hear the sound came from the west toward the wall.”

The party ran toward the sound and came upon a horrifying scene. The buildings in the area were all damaged and some completed missing walls. Bodies and parts were flung around the area and some people were standing with blood streaming out of their ears and looking confused. The party quickly moved through the area helping people and trying to find out what happened. Jackal, Nezzle, Owl, and Torrak searched the area while Woodarrow, Lucy, and Jeff helped people that were hurt and try to learn what happened.

Jackal, Nezzle and Owl were able to find pieces of a cart and small parts of what might be hinges and coffin shaped wood corners in the area and even a Flaming Fist uniform. Woodarrow, Lucy, and Jeff were able to find out that it was a cart with a coffin on it that the Flaming Fist had stopped. The Flaming Fist was taking with the drivers and were laughing. One of the Flaming Fist soldiers was smoking a pipe and knocked out the ashes on the coffin. As soon as the ashes touched the coffin the whole area exploded.

The party got back together and put all the clues together and found out that the coffin came from the funeral home where they were heading. The party headed to the Candulhallow’s shop to get some more information. Once they got there they asked to see the father, the owner of the shop. He greeted them and tried to sell them some nice coffins that they could rest in for eternity. They stopped his offer in mid sale’s pitch and demanded why he was dealing in illegal arms and smokepowder. He flatly denied having any involvement and demanded they leave his shop. Jackal and Jeff showed off their badges and Jeff rolled a Crit to intimidate.

Mr. Candulhallow said he was paying back debts to the guild and he was just picking up packages from the harbor but that was it. He was not giving them to anyone, they just seemed to disappear from the cart. The party was ok with the weapons but demanded to know about the smokepowder. He denied any involvement and said that he just made a coffin to send to the upper city. When they pressed him he would not give up his information. So the group went with a different tactic. Torrak intimidated Mr. Candulhallow some more and with his 2 rolls (Orc) he was able to get a Crit. I had Mr. Candulhallow sputter and start to cry as Torrak told him what if it was his sons that was carrying that coffin and not his other workers. They demanded to know where it was going. Mr. Candulhallow let slip that it was between him and Horus Kope. Now they remembered the name but not where they heard it. I let them roll some intelligence checks and it was Lucy that crit and I whispered to her where they heard the name. She told the others and they were very interested in where the coffin was going. Mr. Candulhallow would not budge until Jeff threatened to cut off the fingers of his daughter (with a Crit on intimidate). Yes the LG Paladin was getting ruthless, must be Bael taking over. Mr. Candulhallow gave up everything at this and said the coffin was to be delivered to the High House of Wonder and it would be picked up there. That is all he knew. When it left his store it was empty and he had no idea how smokepowder got in it. The party took that information and left the shop heading to the upper city.

Weapon Shop (Everyone):
With Kah Kaww giving up on his crossbow because of the amazing shot he wanted to pick up the longbow. They went to the Weaponshop and petitioned a longbow custom made for him, using the bolt from the sniper that killed the Flaming Fist guard last session. Also while they were there they stocked up on supplies and some extra weapons. The longbow would be ready in 4 days but Kah Kaww paid extra to get it completed sooner. As they were leaving the shop a group of 15 Flaming Fist were approaching the store with some papers. They stopped the group and demanded they give up their weapons and go with them to prison. This caused an uproar at the table with everyone wanting to do different things. I talked to Jackal and Jeff and reminded them about the badges and they were able to get the Flaming Fist soldiers to escort them to Ravengard so they could talk to him.

The Seatower (Everyone):
Ravengard has seen how the group has been helping the city and how they stopped a lot of bloodshed. He agreed to give them all badges and told them to confiscate all the weapons they can see. He also wanted them to report on any illegal weapon smuggling but they did not say anything. With everyone now working with Ravengard and the Flaming Fist they headed back into the streets to find out what is going on and look for more clues.

GM NOTES:
Now this was a quick session for us (only 2 hours not like normal 3-4 hours the other weeks). And I did like what they did. I also let them expand more on the special event then what the book said to allow (because I wanted to start to tie everything together). They enjoyed it and hoped to find more about the smokepowder soon (they feel that is the main problem they have to solve/stop. They are sure that the High House of Wonder is going to be attacked and it is by the Guild).

This week I found out there is TOO MUCH TEXT to handle. I had to search for a while to find Horus Kope’s name because I knew that is who would of ordered the coffin. Also I had to spend a lot of time preparing for this week so that everything would be linking together. I like my group a lot and I know they are enjoying the game but sometimes I think they get annoyed that they can’t solve something in a week. I think they will be happy with the smokepowder plot this week and it will be my MAIN adventure as I am making Skood’s house with all the hidden passages and have a cool dungeon tiles to use for the hidden passages.

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