Sunday, February 24, 2013
The party, fresh off their adventures at the Hammermain/Goldeneye estate in Coventry, continued north towards the Tavern of the Sun and the Moon, where their next body had to be dropped.
Along the way, they met a female tiefling who was performing some sort of warrior ritual at the side of the road. This turned out to be Fury/Greg, who was commemorating the anniversary of her sister’s death. She recognized Nikolai as someone she’d been through basic training with back in Ionia, and though they hadn’t been great friends, she and the party both decided that a larger group was better if the undead were rising from their buried homes.
The party also further discussed what M.U.D. had seen when his soul was elsewhere, and learned that the typically evil nation of Thay, where necromancy is commonplace and torture is akin to tea time, is ruled over by scheming regional governors, called Tharchions, and that the two strongest Tharchions are currently the mysterious necromancer Szass Tam (who for some reason has the same name as the Atramor necromancer King Ironhammer fought in the famous battle where both sides disappeared more than a hundred years ago), who seemed to currently have the most political backing; and his chief rival Valindra Shadowmantle, a lich the party had met in Waterdeep, whose plans include raising an army of “boneforged” that have all the undead’s strengths with none of their weaknesses. Valindra tried to create this army with some kind of wooden orb of intense life energy that she’d had the pixie assassin The Little Death steal for her, but Karath sacrificed his soul to disrupt the ritual and send M.U.D. back home. The party agreed that Thay (or at the very least, Valindra) needed to be dealt with, but that they had more immediate concerns to attend to.
The Tavern of the Sun & Moon was basically a city unto itself, sort of like Disney World & Atlantic City mooshed together. Each region was separated by a large domed structure, and some were atop chained earth motes, floating high above the rest of the park. The entire facility was ringed by running water, with hydromages creating a beautiful arc of water over the park’s entry gates.
The party paid their entry fees, taking with them tokens that would automatically deduct additional fees, should they stay longer than initially stated. They attempted to speak with Cressia Morningstar, a deva female and one of the two owners of the establishment, but though she proved to be skilled at turning the death of their servant/soldier into a story about loyalty to the Coventry nation, she failed to actually speak privately with the party, instead leaving them in a waiting room that was not even completed. While their, they did meet another shunted visiting dignitary, a shifter human named Scarnose, who represented a group his father and other “packmates” were in, the Temple of the Full Moon, a wandering group of lycanthropes & near-lycanthropes who chose to follow Sehanine and control their “condition”.
During this time, some hooded tieflings came up to speak to Art/Jenn, telling her they had information about the ones who had killed her parents. She left the group to pursue this very personal matter of vengeance, though perhaps she will return later (if/when Jenn comes back to game).
After meeting with the dead soldier’s parents (each of whom were lift operators for the magical lifts leading to the earth motes), and “buying” their time so they could mourn their son without losing work time, the party headed up to the Air Zone earth mote, where two dragons were holding a storytelling competition. The two dragons were very different: a copper female named Mixalena and a male mithral dragon named Longwei. While Mixalena was playful, Longwei was one of the five mithral dragons in charge of the Mithral Arm, a famous group of dragonborn fighters dedicated to slaying evil dragons. The rumor was that while Mixalena was just looking for the most entertaining story, Longwei was interested in eating the loser.
The story battle was epic in scope, with participants (and their supporters) having to create stories with good content, delivered with proper inflection, displaying the proper passion, and demonstrating sustained energy throughout the tale. The story was also to be told in the first person (essentially an extended game of Baron Munchausen). Nikolai/Micah (with support from Praxis/Lisa) won in the end, and as a reward, Longwei breathed a suit of +2 Mithral Chainmail onto Nikolai. Mixalena gave a clever (and magically-infused) wink to Praxis, which was the alternate reward Fortune’s Wink.
Their victory celebration was cut short, though, when Scarnose arrived to ask the party’s help. Apparently his father & packmates had been acting strangely around a man dressed in red, and had gone off with this stranger to the “Moon Zone”, where bad things were no doubt in store. Rushing to the site, the party found that the pack had, in fact, turned into their monstrous werewolf forms, and the party had to fight them off non-lethally while seeking out the oft-invisible mind flayer that was controlling them (and also while trying to avoid contracting lycanthropy).
Eventually the party was successful in subduing the werewolves, not becoming werewolves themselves, and killing the mind flayer. Among the mind flayer’s things, they found a tome with notes written in dwarven to Szass Tam. It appeared that the mind flayer, an agent of Szass, was doing research on creatures that could change form, and on how to control that change. Narash, the head werewolf, gave Praxis a unique sword, Moonbane, as a gift of thanks for freeing them from the mind flayer.
As the session ended, the party returned to their rooms in the “Home Zone”, ready for Private Cartwright’s funeral pyre that Jimmy had arranged with the clerics of Pelor for the next dawn.
Experience & Treasure
The entire party should be at 7000 XP after this session. FYI, level 6 is at 7,500 XP.
The current party gold total (after tavern expenditures) is 4,000 GP.
The party also received the following treasures:
- Nod of Fortune, lvl 3 alternate reward (Praxis/Lisa)
- +2 Mithral Chainmail, lvl 9 chainmail armor (Nikolai/Micah)
- Moonbane, +2 longsword, lvl 10 unique named item.
The party will (hopefully) have an extended rest before the next session.