Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tyrrany of Dragons - A Fluid Situation

Last session saw our band of adventurers complete their scouting/invasion of the Cult of the Dragon's local cavern headquarters.  In addition to slaying the local warlord and his pet roper, they captured low level boss-cleric Frulam Mondath.  At the cost of one party member, second line dwarven fighter Henry St. John.

Back at the local Greenest Keep, the party met up with two messengers looking for the recently rescued monk, Leosin.  They delivered reports of the cult heading north towards Baldur's Gate by way of two different roads.  The loot collected from the region had been split into two separate wagon trains disguised as traders, one of which was led by the local cult head honcho, a half-black dragon called Rezmir.  Also, one of the messenger's guards was an elven fighter conveniently willing to hook up with the party (read: my new character).

Before picking one of the two trains to pursue, the party opted to descend to the Keep's dungeon for a quick interrogation of the captured cleric, Frulam.  Their first question was a collective, "Wait, you're a woman?"  Bear in mind, that the party had encountered Frulam multiple times, and our DM had consistently described and referred to Frulam as a crusty old dude - with matching crusty old dude miniature.  This week our DM brought along the official WotC DM's screen for the campaign which includes helpful pictures of the major NPCs.  Turns out that crusty old spittle flecked crackpot is actually a hot young chick, possibly of some sort of elven descent.

More like, Whore of the Dragon Queen, amirite?
Apparently WotC changed Frulam's gender at least once during the writing and editing, and a few of the pronouns slipped through the cracks.  During the prisoner questioning some players went with the retro-active gender switch, and some stuck with the new and improved female Frulam, to much confusion.  Either way, Frulam was a tough nut to crack.  She tried to charm the mage, failed miserably, and shut the heck up.  Part of me thinks Frulam disguised herself as a crusty old guy knowing that the resultant confusion would throw off pursuit/focus on the questioning.  Despite some solid intimidation rolls, we didn't really know what questions to ask, so we didn't score any useful intel.

Setting out cross-country to intercept and way-lay the inland wagon train, our heroes stopped for the night at a crowded caravanserai at a river crossing.  Two other groups of travelers had already claimed the best sleeping patches, so the party elected to set up in the lower right of the lavishly prepared, non at all suspicious campsite.

Recognizing the heavy hand of meta-gaming pointing to an obvious ambush, the characters set to investigating the group on the left.  (The group on the right wanted to be left alone and posed less of a threat over on the other side of the river.)  The left hand group consisted of a fat, jovial spice merchant named Aioli with six or so guards.  After sharing a meal, buying a rather nice road mess kit, and surreptitiously scouting the contents of the trader's two wagons, (the flat green things), the party set watch and made camp.

To no one's surprise Aioli was actually a hired hit man whose squad ambushed the party in dead of night.  Aioli had flavored the evening's meal with his special poisoned Aioli Sauce, but no one succumbed, and battle was joined.  Turns out the second group on the right was also hired hit men, and they joined battle as well.

It didn't go well for Aioli, his guards, or the un-named grouchy folks from the other side of the river.  The party has enough area effect attacks to handle the low level mooks, and the spell-casters kept picking the wrong targets - they kept using the wrong spells on people with the best saving throws, things like charming high Wisdom characters, or hitting high Dex characters with area-effect spells.

The wagons had to be left behind, but not before a thorough looting, and the finding of more intelligence:
We're going to need a folder to start tracking the paperwork.
And that was the end of a late night.  We got started late, and by the time everybody sat down at the table, all we really had time for was one session of RP and one combat.  The longer than normal gab session to start the session gave me time to start decorating the campaign note folder with some lovely junior-high doodles, though...
Also, my character was too dumb to help
with the interrogation of Frulam Mondath

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