The level four heroes for this session
Dakeyras, wood elf rogue/assassin;
Garth, mountain dwarf fighter/battlemaster;
Richlen, high elf paladin/oath of the ancients;
Lincas Sulfarn, human wizard/enchanter
For those that came in late
The four adventurers are a union of two different groups. Garth and Dak came down to Phandalin in search of adventure in the fall. Linc and Rich came up from Triboar and headed west. They met at Conyberry, adventured together, and the four are now wintering in Phandalin. Even in the first hours back, Garth and Dak busy themselves organizing loot sell-offs and getting in touch again with acquaintances. Rich and Linc, who are the worse for the bitter cold, obtain a room for all four in the crowded Stonehill Inn.
A family man
Dak trudges clockwise about the old ruined wall, to the orchard on the east slope. Its trees are mostly bare now, and firewood is heaped up against the lee side of the main house. Snow heavy on the roof: and snow crisps underfoot until Dak enters the swept yard. He knocks and almost dozes off from the cold: his brain is giving out and he can no longer remember why he wanted to speak to Daran. A dog barks.
“Come in if you’re friendly!” and Dak knocks the mud and snow off and fights his way through the hot fug to the fire. The dog – nondescript, friendly tail – rushes up, checks the visitor’s groin out. In the living quarters a young girl busies herself organizing the dinner table. Daran Edermath, splendidly mustachioed, is at rest with his family. The two exchange greetings, Daran asks Dak about the recent journey and Dak asks about a druid that lives north in the forest.
Linene it was that recommended Dak speak to Daran, over the matter of the cloak. It tasks Daran a little to recall a polite title to call the old druid! As to whereabouts, Thundertree is the place to go. Best head up the high road [coast road] until you sight Dragon Barrow, head to it, then due north, to find Thundertree.
Reidoth – “Master Reidoth” – definitely don’t call him “old beardie” – last checked in with Daran over a matter of evil at work in the forest – Gorthok Thunderboar for example. He knows a lot of lore about the region.
As exchange for this information Daran catches up on Dak’s most important news, that of Falcon and Big Al Kalazorn. Daran muses that he really ought to visit, but these days he finds living in comfort with a family is the best reward for an ex-adventurer. He somewhat fears being swept into a lethal adventure!
The three curses again – and the Tower of Storms?
The next real news comes a couple days after the heroes are welcomed back. The town and inn are crowded, what with winter sheltering. No-one is particularly excited about the upcoming council meeting, except the adventurers since they’ve been told not to go splashing their copper about until then.
Daran Edermath comes over to check on something he’s heard since he spoke to Dak. Nodding to the rest of the party, and complimenting Linc on his finely barbered face fuzz, Daran seats himself with them.
He leans closer to Dak: “I’ve heard something along the lines that you went to Old Owl Well?” Dak nods. “You may not know this, but that is one of the last relics of Netheril – a fallen and some say evil, empire. I don’t suppose you picked anything up?”
“We actually spoke to Agatha… it didn’t end well,” Dak explains, confusing the two places. “That’s something Sister Garaele would be interested to hear,” Daran comments. “She believes there may be something there that would put Agatha to rest.”
“Ah yes we do mean to look up Garaele, any idea of her whereabouts?”
“That’s something that’s beginning to trouble me,” Daran admits, “I hope and trust she is wintering down in Waterdeep, but I’d be glad to know.”
“We also met a very unpleasant chap, and we want to warn Garaele about her,” Dak explains. Daran takes notes. Encouraged, Dak mentions the tale of the three unquiet spirits.
“I think I may be able to guess where one of the other two is,” Daran muses, twirling a mustache. He mentions the Tower of Storms and that it could be just harpies. And it’s known for shipwrecks.
Bidding them all the best, Daran checks that he has his notes, and takes himself away.
Neverwinter News – old friends reunite
Almost at the same moment, Sergeant Osclin and two of his riders enter, shaking snow off cloaks. Two dwarves come in with them. As Osclin looks around Garth waves.
“By Thunder! They’re still alive!” Osclin exclaims delightedly. A beer is offered and the two riders join them! They reminisc: tales of the dragon seem to have grown over the weeks since the incident!
As it happens, they can tell Garth and Dak that Gundren Rockseeker made it back to Neverwinter alive – he came back with Travok, Dain, and Hartley AKA Red.
Osclin has no handy reward or advice to offer about the manticore, but he does mention that Leilon, just south down the high road, is finally getting some solid construction under way. He and his men won’t be under canvas or lean-tos next time around!
They sympathize about lost friends. Osclin explains what brings them in at this season: They are escorting the other two Rockseeker brothers, Nundro and Tharden, and gold from the Dwarf Holds, sent to support the town council.
Osclin briefly sketches in the role of stipends from Lords Alliance and Dwarf Holds to Phandalin, but has to meet and speak with Addie Gwynn, so takes his leave.
Freda Weaver and Miss Kaleena Merren
Rich finishes pushing piles of gold around the table. Everyone has their share. “It’s time to head to the tailor,” Linc pronounces. Tobe, who is by way of playing MC with the common room guests, motions to draw Linc over before he departs.
“You carry on,” Garth says, running his fingers caressingly over the pile, “I’m just fine here.” Dak looks pretty settled too. Rich gets to his feet though, he has an idea for a woven product himself.
“Just wonder, ah, if you’d be so good, when you visit Freda, would ah, you be so good as to buy a healers kit or two from Miss Kaleena Merren? She is down on her luck but too proud to accept town charity.”
Linc nods charitably, and he and Rich – and after some urging, Dak – head the short distance east to Freda Weaver’s.
Rich and Linc buy healer’s kits from the gnome Kaleena, and having given his requirements for a fine cloak, deep green for preference, and properly tailor-readied clothing, Rich is ready to leave. Linc lingers after being measured, and asks about three to five fine outfits and who sells scrolls.
Linc has a plan to cast Silent Image or Minor Illusion so as to give Freda accurate measurements for Dak and Garth… expect pushback from the others!DM
A busybody heiress has a minor quest for not much money
A dwarven woman with a leg that clanks seats herself down opposite Garth and the two troopers. She has a job for one or perhaps two adventurers, and can offer not much money, with optional free beer.
“I don’t like the sound of not much money but free beer has my attention,” Garth growls. The troopers excuse themselves.
Torgga Nordar has inherited the Sleeping Giant as the pub down the road is named, but its current manager refuses to leave, it being winter. And he has a few toughs to back him up. She unfolds a broad leather billfold and shows Garth impressively-legal looking papers. Torgga will pay five gold coin for the manager to be evicted, and either five gold on completion or the balance in beer on the house.
“I’ll need to talk to my mates…”
“Be sure they understand there’s not much money in it. By the way, see that man in the mask? When I tried to speak with him he shut me down, hard. It has me curious. Do you think you could find out about him and report back?”
“Are you a spy?” Garth asks, and studies the said masked man. Human size, a distinctive dragon-theme mask. Long cloak of average cost, with a deep hood that at the moment is down.
“I’m not great with the subtlety…” he continues.
“D’ye think you could pick a fight with him and knock the mask off? And what about that strange elf? The one that babbles nonsense, and hangs about when I’m at the privy…”
“Uhhh, I’ll keep an eye out for your elf, but what’s in it for me if I do pick a fight?”
“Just a thought, ye can never have too many friends, and sometimes ye need the right enemy.”
Linc visits the Lionshield Coster
Linc (in quest of spell scrolls) and Rich (in quest of a sword that better reflects his level) head next back to the square and south to the Lionshield Coster. The square has been swept clear of snow, and those that have leisure – principally the sojourners such as Preston – are taking the air.
The Lionshield is busy – miners purchasing new pans or picks, and householders investing in new pots and griddles – so they both have leisure to look aboout. Rich peruses the stands of armor and displays of steel weapons. Linc heads straight for Linene’s counter.
Linene, who is careful of just who she does business with, has a few questions as to Linc’s ethics and the like, beginning with “tell me of yourself,” and seems satisfied. She’s intrigued that he had a run-in with a Red Wizard of Thay. And he seeks the scroll of Minor Illusion for his party’s sake. She does have two spell scrolls in stock, but neither is what he wants. She tells him to check in again come Spring.
“Do you have anything better than this?” Rich asks, placing his on the counter. “I’m feeling inadequate…”
Linene admires the sword, a fine Neverwinter-fashioned piece, but Rich finds there aren’t any magical weapons or armor for sale, and – with the caveat that she’s not to be trusted – suggests speaking to Halia at the Miners Exchange. Linene – as she did for Dak – offers to keep an ear open. Preferably a sword, Rich affirms.
They head on…
Garth makes a mite of mischief
Garth attempts to be subtle! He strides up to the masked man, who stands and half-bows at Garth’s approach, and says:
“Hey! What’s th’ deal with that mask?”
“Well… I am horribly scarred, you see…”
A man seated at the same table, wearing a monkish style of garb, says, “It’s alright brother, we all have our burdens to bear in this life. I, you know, was abandoned by…”
“Yes-Yes, you have told me that, already. Now – sir dwarf – what name have you?”
“My name’s Garth, yours?”
“I thought you had already knew of my name. It’s Dyrk.”
“I’ve never heard of you.”
“Well I suppose that’s… good… did you want anything else?”
“Is that an actual dragon mask?”
“Technically it is from a drake.”
“What’s the difference?”
“A dragon flies, a drake does not…”
“Oh that’s actually from a drake, that’s quite the trophy.”
“Yes…. Of course I would rather have my face back.”
Garth is really intrigued. He persists but Dyrk stonewalls him.
“One might think you were trying to hide your identity,” Garth essays, and the way Dyrk shifts uneasily tells Garth he has struck a chord.
“My son, if you have a secret, ’tis best to be honest…” says the monkish type, but Dyrk snaps:
“Don’t call me ‘my son,’ when I know you merely pose as a holy man!”
Garth tries a stumble-clutch on the mask but Dyrk is wise to that, sidesteps and retreats, walking swiftly to where the kitchen (and Shalla!) offers protection. Garth returns to his table, interest piqued but without a solution at present.
Rich finds a nifty duelling longsword at the Miners Exchange
Rich has far greater success at the bric-a-brac bench of the Miners Exchange. While: Linc waits patiently to speak to Halia up on her dais: while miners are busy about mining business: Rich sorts through a wide variety of used goods. There is a sword there, fashioned for a rich cavalry trooper.
Experimenting with the weight and balance of it he finds it would be ideal if used with a shield, in the dueling style. He has the exchange’s only attendant put it by for him.
Once Linc discovers that Halia has no wide selection of scrolls but can sell him spell-quality cuts, he has done with his business, purchasing a fine-cut spell-ready scroll for five gold coins.
Rich speaks to Halia, who immediately negotiates to acquire the cursed longsword Talon from his party loot. She speaks airily of collectors in the south. What she has to offer is the prospect of something equivalent: a sword that somehow strikes away memory! Sounds intriguing! But Halia can’t fill in much detail, and as Linc points out, stabbing someone with a sword often permanently erases everything. Oh well. Rich purchases the cavalry sword for 30 gold and tips an extra 10 gold.
Sword, non-magical, rare.
The sword is so well-balanced and keen edged, it provides +1 to hit and damage. When used in the dueling style by a martial class, and with a shield that is medium size or smaller, it also provides advantage against medium size humanoid opponents.
Not versatile: Because of its unique balance the sword remains at d8+1 when used two-handed.
Back at the Inn, Linc counsels laissez-faire
“But but, don’t you think he’s suspicious?”
“Really Garth, people on the frontier come to form a new life, you should give it him,” Linc advises.
“No chance bud,” Rich chips in, “I don’t want to break any laws but Garth is right to be suspicious.”
The party splits into two camps, camp nosy occupied by Garth and Rich, and camp hands-off occupied by Linc and, by virtue of not having an opinion, Dak.
“I hope you did not disgrace yourself too much,” Linc wonders as Garth sums up his confrontation.
“No, I just fell on my face.”
“So the usual then,” chuckles Rich.
As for the eviction and weird elf…
The party is mildly interested in helping Garth evict the current Tavernier, but just as interested in the weird elf.
And for that matter, Torgga. What’s her deal? Why does she feel the need to be so across all the oddball characters here?
Linc intends to spend a day writing a scroll, so Rich and Garth (and maybe Dak) set about gathering a bit of basic intel.
Taegen the weird elf: Tess, the hired help, nods and says, “Ah, I guess I getcha, but really, he pops up anywhere. He’s on the register as Taegen F, his money’s good, wanders around sayin’ crazy things, sister Addie had a talk wi’ him… says things like “black, underneath, the blood: and then” – with a glance at Dak – “there’s his black cloak an’ clothes…”
Rich reports that Taegen is probably harmless and pushes for the eviction to move up the to-do list.
“I’d like to know more about Torgga, the woman setting the quest, before I duck headfirst inta this,” Garth grumbles. “They tried ta suck me inta town politics a’ready.”
Two days later Dak admires Pete Smith’s handiwork on the magic sword, now a magic shortsword+1. The grip and hilts are well finished, the pommel is suitably dark and non-reflective, and Pete provides, as part of the job, a workmanlike scabbard.
Rich has commissioned and had finished a decent scabbard and baldric for the cavalry sword. His fine deep green cloak is finished, but not the bespoke garments.
The Town Council
Dressed in finery, Linc presents himself at the Townmaster’s hall, and Garth (everyday winter-wear, interested in money) and Rich (fine cloak, generally interested) and Dak (dressed in black as usual, there for party loyalty) also attend.
All the commercial interests of town are on the council. Tobe appears to act as Secretary while Harbin has the chair.
- Money for establishments
Formal thanks to be sent to the Dwarf Holds via the Rockseeker brothers.
- Money yet to be supplied
A message to be sent on to the Lords Alliance via Sgt Osclin, urging speedy delivery. Osclin may be able to forward the message south, from Leilon.
- Moneys at large: oversupply of copper coinage
The party is invited to stand forward a spokesperson. Linc steps up. He starts off passive-aggressive which makes the council members stir uneasily.
Tobe explains. It’s a matter of living alongside one another on the frontier. The important issue is to not flood the town with oversupply of wages.
Sr Addie Gwynn introduces herself and hopes Linc and the others will remain on – the town council has long sought a good adventuring band to stay about and see to defenses. They speak generally about the gnome ballista and Harbin reminds the council that the party only need bring back the ballista to be paid. Barthen asks to speak to Garth after the meeting, concerning winter travel.
Harbin attempts to aggrandize himself and take a corner on the copper as surety. Garth bristles!
With a verbal agreement that the adventurers will not monopolize or blow out local prices (for example, not taking a corner on vital supplies nor pay 40 gold when 30 is the asking price) the meeting has completed this item.
- Additional item: explaining what the town’s commodities are, to Linc.
Aside from plenty of silver, it seems iron mining is some kind of sore point.
O what fun!
After the meeting breaks up, Barthen shows Garth that he has taken the wagon down and fitted it with sled runners. But Vincent is not a snow ox, and the party will need to source winter-ready beasts, possibly dogs. And with that, the session ends.
Next session: further intel on Torgga. the Sleeping Giant. The arrival of Sildar Hallwinter.
DOWNTIME GAINS ON TOOLSETS
More can be added for players that have not seen a full list of proficiencies – these will take all winter to complete!
Calligraphers tools for Linc: Either Thomas Bostel, who has a variant on Acolyte background, or Miss Azura Hawk, who is of minor noble rank, have this and are willing (very willing in Thomas’ case) to earn coin by teaching it. Cost: 30 gold including materials, 15 gold for the kit (6lb)
Woodcarvers tools for Dak: This allows traps and alarms that use wooden components to be speedily rigged, as well as running repairs (within reason) to transportation that the character is already proficient in. Dak can learn this from local woodcarver Thel Dendrar who may be used as a contact for him. Cost: 25 gold for the training, 1 gold for the tools (5lb). NB this does not provide extra knowledge of iron trap mechanisms such as man traps and bear traps.
Magic items that become known over the next three days
Barthen has a high-level spell scroll that would be ideal for creating a sled-beast. But it would take a brave wizard to try it, not knowing for sure if there are side-effects.
Halia has come into possession of a high level healing potion. But you can’t simply purchase it. “I just want you to do us a favor though.”
Linene does some further asking around about Richlen and decides he is the “right type” of adventurer. She reveals that she does know exactly where a magical sword of dragonslaying lies. In the Dragon Barrow, which is the main landmark Daran spoke of, on the way north to Thundertree. No-one has delved into the barrow and returned alive.