SC1.06: Greed and Good Dealings

The level one heroes for this session:

Grandor, bard and party face;
Garth, fighter and party muscle;
Dakeyras, rogue and party eyes;
Thorin, cleric and party medic

The characters begin 22xp below level 2 and end on 12

We lost one

Thorin swiftly moves among his fallen comrades, recalling that he was handed the warhammer by Garth, so Garth needs stablizing last. Dak, Grandor and last of Garth. Then he moves out to check on Hurey: but it is too late for the colorful cleric of Lliiria.

But hey, loot!

The four survivors take a Short Rest while they mourn their ruined metal weapons and damaged chainmail. Thorin, who has proficiency with Smith’s Tools, judges that some minor smithing work will bring the mail rings up to scratch, but there’s no saving the completely-rusted hammerheads.

Beyond the four-way passage, where the slime had hidden, lies a small pile of very clean coins. Like the first two picked up in the main temple, these bear the Abbathor imprint.

They might prove to be more valuable than face value but the face value adds to 7 gold coins.

Hurey’s last resting place

Naturally the first concern is weapons. If they are to push on and honor their contract they need something to tackle any remaining slimes. So Norb and Dazza listen to their appeal. They offer pick handles, burning brands, and hatchets.

And if they are dickering about that, why not take a

Long Rest: everyone is on full hp and the spellcasters have their slots back

And what about Hurey? His corpse is moved to Norb and Dazza’s junk room, the once-secret chamber filled with rubble.

Sixteen tons and what do I get?

It’s time to make a decision about where to search next. There’s one more secret door in the temple wall, and a mountain of rubble to clear. So they start with the easy option, and trace it right (back to the entrance opposite the above store) and left, to a rubble-choked chamber where a search finds one silver coin.

Then the grim task of shifting a passage filled with rubble lies before them. But both Norb and Dazza are willing to help! Shifts for one dwarf lifting at the front and passing stone back to the queue are set up.

Seven hours of this sweaty, mindless labor go by. Then Grandor, who is at the rock face at the time, works through to a closed door.

XP: lvl2-21 to represent general good dealings with Norb and Dazza

The statue and the necklace

A fairly bare octagonal room lies beyond. A statue, representing presumably Abbathor, holds a necklace in stone hands, held abut shoulder height. It consists of five large red beads. Dak studies the set-up minutely and concludes he can safely snip the bottom two away.

The dwarves hold their breath as Dak uses his Thieves Tools… success! the two beads drop into his careful hands.

It’s a good chance to have a Short Rest again while Grandor uses an Identify ritual. It involves soft drumming, and let’s admit it, quite a lot of posing.

Necklace of Fireballs: Grandor swipes Hurey’s component pouch and stores the two beads in it.

Since they have to wait anyway, the others have a good search of this last chamber, finding nothing.

Group search, a poor effort, below DC10

XP: lvl2-18, the two beads are potent weapons if used judiciously

Wait, did you find a trapdoor? Norb and Dazza get greedy

Discussing the proceeds, it looks to Norb and/or Dazza that their laborers and partners might not be telling them everything.

Dazza expostulates:

“But there must have been something… what about a trapdoor in the chamber?”

“Wait there’s a trapdoor…?”

Half-hearing one another, the two parties miss one another’s meaning. Norb and Dazza conclude that there really is something to find.

“We did find some red beads but ya better not mess with them…” Grandor warns but his advice is taken how such advice usually is taken.

Boom! The partnership is dissolved

Dak paces after Norb and Dazza as they hurry through to the octagonal chamber. He’s just in time to see Dazza grab at the red stones…

Rocks fall, everyone dies - 1d4chan

Dak misses a DC15 DEX SV but does clear DC10, so gets only 2d6 rockfall damage. He is out.

Garth grabs Dak and drags him clear as hundreds of tons more rubble provides the miners with a lasting burial place.

DC14 STR: Athletics from Garth

Out at the camp, the four survivors easily locate the Sending Stones, their agreed contract price for killing slimes. If there are any nuggets they are probably buried with the miners. It’s time to rest up again, and get ready for a march that will begin in the afternoon.

Sending Stones

Long Rest: no exhaustion effects, Dak is on full hp again

XP: lvl2-17

Akaros is convincing

As Dak, who is on point, steps beyond the ruined stone gates of the ancient settlement, he sees a burly-shouldered humanoid standing in the middle of the canyon trail. It is considerably takker than he is, has greyish, somewhat olive skin, sturdy leather armor, and carries a spear. The spear though is point down in the canyon floor, and a white banner or rag is tied to the spear-butt. He’s looking right at Dak.

“Ho there…” – Dak

The being holds his weapon hand up, palm out, in sign of truce.

Grandor strides past Garth and Dak. His varied life allows him to recognize this newcomer as an orc warrior. “Ho there friend… nice day for a walk!”

The DM valiantly resists an Arnie comeback.

The orc responds: “Talk… my leader!”

“You want us to talk to your leader? Is he close by?”

In response the warrior withdraws a few paces and gestures forward. An even larger orc strides out from cover at the canyon’s north face. This one is dressed in better armor. He calls, in dwarvish:

“Who is your leader?”

“I’ll speak for us,” Grandor replies.

A couple of paces back, a greenish-gray-skinned orc, with ritual tattoos over the visible parts of his body, tails his leader. Dak guesses, judging by body language and lines of sight, that there’s a fourth hiding somewhere. He uses fingers-behind-back to signal this to his comrades.

The orc leader paces closer to Grandor. Judging by the wear and tear, he’s traveled far and fast. But he looks very confident and is a lot taller than Grandor.

Akaros

“We are a people new to this area. We plan to move in here.”

“Wait, you wanna move in to the old temple?”

“It is a digging, right? … stone?”

“A- absolutely!”

“That will suit. Yes, we wish to move in here.”

“Why you’re in luck, we just cleared it out for ya! Got rid of all the beasties. We knew ya were comin’ an’ wanted to try to clean it up for ya as best we could!”

Grandor fails a Deception check for this outrageous lie.

“I will let your lies go, dwarf, but do not lie!”

“Yeah, I didn’t mean to lie, I was just tryin’ ta make it sound better. The truth is we were hired to clean it out, and we did, and nearly died, and there are a couple of miners buried in there because they blew somethin’ up. So we’ve done our job, we’re headin’ out, an’ if ya like to trade with us over to Phandalin that’d be good too.”

“That is good. You have a deal.” And after checking what Grandor’s name is, the orc chieftain steps back and calls to his followers: “Let it be known that Akaros will not make war on Grandor the Strong’s people.” Grunts come from his followers to acknowledge this.

Grandor flashes a smile and a thumbs-up to his comrades, Dak gives him two thumbs up in reply. Garth mutters forebodings under his breath. Dwarf warriors do not forget the many battles their ancestors have had with the orc folk.

Though there is indeed a fourth orc warrior, the party leaves with impunity and begins the trek back. There’s no rush, since Dak needs to do all of the scouting now that Hurey is no more.

XP: lvl2-15, potentially important allies

A three-day wonder in Phandalin

The trip back is marked only by the sight of a winged creature, probably the Mandy-core Dain described, off to the north. As far as they can tell, it does not spot them.

“Say Grandor,” Garth says as they walk up from the south, “one thing about Harbin, who holds the reward… I judge him to be easily intimidated.”

“I hear ya, an I’ll do my best,” Grandor replies. Garth decides to join him for the negotiations. With a wave of good luck Dak and Thorin head on across the village square.

Thorin walks on north to the smithy, and bargains with the beefy, jowly smith for access to the forge. The smith is quite willing, since his prentice will get the chance to watch chainmail being repaired. That, and a few dozen nails turned out will be payment enough.

Pete Smith

Dak for his part sinks down, shrugging off his pack, with a sigh of relief at the Stonehill Inn. There’s a decent amount of pale sunlight left in the day and he relaxes. Unusually for Dakeyras he’s noted by the passing villagers, and several greet him and press him for details of the journey. He catches the reason for the interest is the long delay returning. And how are the dwarf miners and will they keep being good customers of the village?

Dak explains that regretfully, greed got the better of the miners and they have ceased operations. But on the bright side there are orcs there now and they seem friendly!

Consternation ripples across Phandalin.

Harbin hedges but finally pays

After the negotiating party spends some minutes knocking then yelling, Addie Gwynn makes her way over in a familiar comedy routine, and the Townmaster very reluctantly opens his door.

There follows a somewhat fraught negotiation and an effort to tap back on the deal. After all, Harbin points out, if the miners are dead then Phandalin should not need to pay to warn them. Garth cracks his knuckles menacingly at this point!

Harbin Wester Character in Faerûn | World Anvil
Harbin

Partly because he wants to make use of the adventurers in the future, Harbin reluctantly counts out 500 silver coins, and the two negotiators leave.

They find Dak still on the inn porch sipping ale accompanied by Mayberry the halfling. Thorin arrives back at this point as well.

XP: lvl2-14

The Lionshield, Linene, and future business

“Hey, I don’t suppose you could repair my mail as well, huh Thorin old buddy?” Garth asks on seeing Thorin return with the results of his smithing.

“OK, just make sure you get me a good warhammer at the very least,” Thorin responds obligingly.

For it is time to see if the others can parlay the old coins and the jeweled holy symbol into some decent new weaponry, and the place to do that is the Lionshield Coster.

Hearing their footsteps along the aisles of equipment, proprietress Linene emerges. To dwarves, it’s hard to guess Linene’s age. She’s not human-young, nor human-old, is all Grandor can make out. Her manner is quick, but she seems friendly and willing to bargain. So she and Grandor begin bargaining over a discount.

Linene Graywind | Forgotten Realms | Obsidian Portal
Linene

Once Grandor introduces the old coins, and the holy symbol, Linene agrees that for those, the adventurers can help themselves to new gear: just, don’t go crazy!

And speaking of old things, Linene adds, they may be interested in an old shrine just south of the ruined village back up the trail toward Red Larch. Her directions are very vague, but she says the ruins are hard to miss.

While he’s weighing up longbows and shafts, Dak notices one of the two farriery lads from the stables, looking at fletchings and such. But he’s shy – blushes at the notice – heads off. Dak makes a mental note to look the lad up later.

With a final warning not to trust the b***h in the Miner’s Exchange Linene bids the party farewell for now and good fortune for future business.

XP: lvl2-13, a contact gained

Tobe also bargains

Thorin catches the others up at the Stonehill, having made a very fine job on Garth’s armor. He still owes the smith some nails, to be finished after dinner.

Tobe the innkeeper has kept their rooms for them – so he says – and has been storing their spare gear, besides. He asks the reasonable price of six gold to cover this.

The scene begins to get a little awkward. But hearing that Hurey won’t be returning and has no next of kin Tobe brightens. While he doesn’t get anyone to sign a waiver, the deal is that he keeps Hurey’s spare gear, and there’s no cost for their absence. But he does collect a gold piece from everyone staying tonight.

The next great mission is to Gnomengarde!

Over dinner – a well-cooked dinner that is very welcome to all – the talk turns to what shall be the next great adventure. Gnomengarde is a set quest, the old ruin and shrine is a speculation.

The party votes on the cautious side and Grandor (and Garth) head back to Harbin once more. Thorin heads off to finish his nail work, and Dak heads out back to see if he can find that lad.

Grandor makes a great Persuasion check

Harbin runs over the deal. Then, he warns that of the last expedition, only two returned, and they bore no gnome gadgets. And the survivors wouldn’t say what happened.

Grandor proposes a better deal. “Not only do we get paid for the service, you pay us 25 gold for each fallen party member.”

“Very well, provided the town owns the possessions of the fallen, and you bring proof of death.”

Agreeing on boots as proof of death, and having thus placed a modest bounty on the heads of his comrades, Grandor shakes hands, and the session ends.

XP: lvl2-12

DM Note

The “rocks fall miners die” happened organically. It began when the party made a sub-DC10 Group Investigate check around the Hall of Greed where the Abbathor statue stands. Then roleplaying Dazza I asked “surely there was a trapdoor,” and this morphed, based on the responses from the characters. By the time the miners decided that they needed to see for themselves I had visualized the “see gem, grab gem” which sets off the two statue-held fireballs which sets off the fireball in the grabber’s hand, which by the book, and admittedly that is a different trap, sets off a massive rockfall. I liked the idea of just closing this dig down and making the “orcs move in” an easy choice. So I went with it.

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