Thursday, January 21, 2010

AP: An evening with no encounters is just. . .improvational theater?

That's right, last session was four hours of roleplay. There were a handful of die rolls (Insight checks. . .Perception checks. A Nature check, maybe) and a lot of in character talking. A pretty health ratio of in character/out of character, really. The participants were:

Arashi Stormcrow - Genasi Swordmage
Jasper Phinneas Merryweather III - Gnome WizardWarlock
Phedre no Delaunay no Montreve - Elf Cleric
K'rrul - Kobold Assassin

Senzimay (and her difficult to spell name) had left the party, as had Hogorth. Paulic (of the clan Paulic) was a zombie this session.

The session opens on May 16th. Arashi, Jasper, Phedre, and Paulic were preparing to leave the Eladrin city that they teleported to in haste two sessions ago. I missed the intervening session of roleplay, but since I am bringing a new PC. . .I never found out what was learned there. I gather there was some Speak with Dead ritual(s) and some roleplaying, but not much else beyond that.

The party was given two methods of leaving the city. Both led to the settlement of Blackrock, on the coast. One was the long and more safe passage along the edge of a valley. The other was the shorter, but dangerous trek through the unknown wilds. Arashi was all for braving the danger. Apparently he was the only one, because the party ended up taking the longer, safe passage. It is a few day's travel, most of it glossed over.

The one interesting event was the discovery of a coach or wagon that had gone off the road. Arashi climbed down to investigate, but was not able to immediately determine how long it had been since the accident. He found no evidence of survivors, and no valuables. Even though he figured a wagon of this type required two horses to pull it, he only found a portion of one of the horses.

Jasper and Paulic climbed up the hill on the other side of the road. They didn't find much, but a set of what appeared to be wolf tracks. The pack of wolves went up the hill, and their trail was lost as they entered a stony area and there were no more tracks.

While this discovery was *interesting*, the party had no context or motivation to pursue it further, so they continued on their journey to Blackrock. The town was aptly named, being built on a large deposit of black rock. It appeared to be obsidian. The city was bounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by a ten foot wall. The wall extended into the water, and metal gates kept boats out. The tallest building in the city had a structure that the party recognized as an airship dock. It was currently vacant.

As the party approached the gate, they were stopped by a solitary guard. He asked them to give their names, and as they weren't on 'the list', they were required to bind their weapons with silver ribbon. He seemed to indicate that only people with interesting or effective weapons were asked to do this. He recommended they stay at The Knight's Reprise, and sent them on their way.

Once inside the city, the party split up. They had to return to Verithrond, and were in a hurry. Jasper looked for some information on House Orien, to see about getting the teleportation sequence in Verithrond. The party had an Artifact that would allow them to Teleport there, if they knew the right Arcane sequence (think Stargate). Arashi went to the docks to see about hiring transport. If Jasper failed, they would need to get to the mainland somehow, and a boat was the only real way to do that. Phedre asked around about some information they had gleaned during the time spent with the Eladrin. All she found was an old crone tending a shrine to the Blood of Vol. She was pretty much antagonistic and told Phedre to get out of town, and that she didn't belong in the North.

Jasper had little luck, too. He learned that House Orien had little or no presence here, since they had a fierce rivalry with House Lyrandar. Arashi learned that most of the ocean transport here was cargo, but if they wanted to book personal transport they needed to talk to the half-elves in charge. The nature of the town began to become clear. This town was run by the shipping and pirate industries. Fishing was core, too. And it all seemed to flow from the large tower in the center of town.

Jasper, Phedre and Paulic all entered an Inn to look for rooms, and were accosted by a Kobold. He claimed that a seer had told him of the party's arrival. He wanted to join, as the seer had suggested his destiny was with them. Needless to say, there were various levels of scepticism. Despite several signs given by the seer about the nature of the party, for prudence sake they all went to verify things with her.

It was fully nighttime when K'rrul led the rest of the party to the door of Eltar the Sighted. She lived in a cave under the black rock, with her door made of chicken (when knocking, Jasper said 'bok bok bok'. made of chicken). A young half-elf boy answered and said that Eltar, his grandmother, was sleeping. With a bribe, we *encouraged* him to wake her, and after a few minutes he led us inside.

She had taken her seat in a tiny room with a small table and an obsidian 'crystal ball'. Jasper verified that the ball was indeed magical, and the seer represented with some out of the blue fortune telling about Phedre. It turns out that some of the information she had gathered about her nemesis, the Stillborn, was incorrect. Unfortunately, like most things of this nature, Eltar could not be more specific. The party grudgingly accepted K'rrul's presence (for now) and returned to the inn for sleep.

The next day we headed for the black tower at the center of town. Our only option was to take a sloop, a journey of four or more weeks, or to find another option with the folks running the show. A tip the night before had given us a name of a higher up we could ask for. A quick bribe and we were shown into the building. Shortly thereafter, a half-elf with a Mark of Storm over his eye entered the room. Over the course of a few minutes negotiation, we learned of several options. Our list became:
- Hire a sloop and travel to Verithrond. This was estimated to take at least a month, and cost 500 GP
- Hire the airship and travel to Verithrond. This could take only a week, but would cost 5,000 GP.
- Agree to owe this guy a favor, and get the airship for only 1,000 GP
- Attack and kill the captain of the airship and turn it over to him. We would still owe the 1,000 GP
- Double cross him and tell the captain (Koulton D'Lyrandar, this guy's boss) of his plans. No clue what the reward would be, or if we would gain passage this way.
- Blackmail him and hope he'd drop the price
- Attack and kill the captain and take the ship for ourselves

The two seriously debated choices became whether to double cross this guy, or do his bidding. Either choice was bound to anger people. Some information gathering at a dive down at the docks revealed that both men were well liked by their crews. The fight could go either way.

In the end, after long deliberation, we chose to sleep on it. The next morning during breakfast, Jasper was handed a note. It was from our Dragonmarked friend. A sloop was departing that day at noon, and we could be on it, headed for the mainland. It appeared that our choice was made for us, which was kind of a relief.

We finished up and headed to the indicated address. It was an abandoned warehouse. Adventurer senses tingling, we approached with weapons de-ribboned and ready to fight. The session ended there. . .

Our DM, Jesse, actually ended it by telling us that we were ambushed from the shadows. Nothing like a combat-less week ending on a cliffhanger to motivate players to show up next time, eh?
The half-elf contact we spoke to had a name, I just can't remember which one it is. Anton, or Alton, or Amber or some A name. A hoity toity name.
Funny things this session besides the door made of chicken:
- Star Rubles (a mixup in gem pronunciation) got an impromptu description, with cosmonauts waiting in line to spend their Star Rubles on the moon. . .as usual, my description hardly does it justice.
- Relieve us of our bodily usage.
- Paulic Paulic of Clan Paulic in the house of Paulic, from the Paulic region of . . . .you can see where this is headed.
Next session, combat? And perhaps some sort of decision from the party about where to go and how to get there!

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