Sunday, March 22, 2009

Campaign Update #5: The Disgrace of Bathcat


May 12-15, 2008

I am not certain whether or not Pangold and Olwe shared their ideas about methodically usurping power in Kharschum and eventually taking over the city, but the rest of the party seems to be of the same mind. Last night, Bathcat, the brutal and much-feared leader of the Severed Hand was overthrown by a gnome, a dwarf, a half-elf ranger, a northman, a druid, and a sorceress, who call themselves "The Eight" spared Bathcat, on the condition that he furnish them with a 5,000 gps upfront payment and half of his earnings, which average 6,000 gps per week. It would be an understatement to say that the campaign has taken a very interesting turn.

The evening began with the party casting about for opportunities. The characters first discovered that a young woman named Granya, daughter of a wealthy merchant and slave trader named Jochi, had ventured into the Eastern City the night before and gone missing. Jochi was offering a 12,000 gps award for his daughter's safe return, and city guardsmen, in their signature chainmail shirts and hooded, brown tunics, were combing the area around the Red Light District for clues. Several other girls had also disappeared, but they were poor girls of the Eastern City, and the guard cared little about them. The characters were only mildly interested in mounting an investigation and rescue, so they went to Garrad's Tavern, which fronts the Rogues' Guild, to see if the guild had heard of any opportunities. Garrad did not let them down. He told Kyr that Bathcat and three of his henchmen had visited the Gossamer Veil, the most exclusive brothel in the city, the night before. Bathcat only visits that brothel after a big score, so it was likely, Garrad explained, that Bathcat was sitting on a substantial sum of money. After some discussion, the party decided to investigate Bathcat's stronghold, which they learned was north of the Shantytown in a place called the Dockyard Slum.

After finding their way through the shanty town's labyrinth of shanties and filthy alleyways, the characters arrived at the Dockyard Slum, a neighborhood comprised of decrepit boats permanently anchored in a stagnant backwater of the river, interconnected by crooked, uneven docks. The party headed toward a source of light and noise, which turned out to be Grick's Place, a tavern improvised from two two boats lashed together, and run by none other than Grick, a surprisingly affable, full-blooded orc. Alayna and Kyr disguised themselves and spent some time at Gricks, where they learned that Grick, along with every other business owner on the northern fringe of the city, pays "protection" to Bathcat each week. The party decided to offer Grick their protection for half price, and Grick tentatively agreed. Bathcat's captain would be at Grick's Place at noon the following day to collect his weekly payment, Grick explained, and helpfully pointed out an abandoned boat in which the party could spend the night.

Bathcat's captain arrived on schedule, accompanied by two thugs. The party easily took the captain and one of the thugs down and captured the third. Kyr Tuttlewynde, with the help of Alayna's Greater Invisibility spell, was especially deadly with his sneak attack, and once again highlighted the effectiveness of pairing stealth with magic. After beating the thug nearly senseless, the characters sent a note to Bathcat, instructing him to meet them in front of Silks and Sundries that evening.

Bathcat arrived on time, with a veritable army of thugs, but the party had chosen its terrain carefully, and the narrow streets and limited access to Silks and Sundries essentially negated Bathcat's advantage in numbers. Erth's Spike Growth spell and Alayna's Ray of Enfeeblement crippled the Severed Hand further, and bathcat soon fell, alive but sorely wounded. The party presented its conditions and he accepted, thus beginning a strange new chapter in the campaign.

After the battle with the severed Hand, the party followed up on the disappearance of Granya. They were given a tip that a rogue named Nizar had been seen near the site of one of the abductions The party found Nizar in his apartment, which he shared with a dozen or so other people, and a Suggestion spell persuaded him to reveal that he had been paid to kidnap girls for Shivani, who led a cult of some kind. Nizar directed the party to the cult's lair, which he said was camouflaged by an illusion. The party went where he directed, but could see only an empty, ruined building. They returned the next day and saw, with the help of Hrolff's True Seeing spell, that the ruined building was instead an intact compound, with bricked up windows and a set of imposing wooden doors. Unsure of how to proceed, the party paused, and the players decided to call it a night.

Thank you for yet another great night of gaming. I loved the curve balls that you threw at me, and enjoyed improvising and adapting as we went along. It was a lot of fun. I apologize for my f*#k up with Bathcat's vorpal sword. Ulfgar's head and neck are intact, and he does not lose a level, because there was no need to resurrect him. I'm sorry my mistake knocked him out of combat.

Experience Points Totals
Inaki, Kyr, Alayna and Erth: 5,420
Ulfgar: 4,600
Hrolff: 4,155

31 comments:

Ironbeard said...

Thanks DM for another fun night of gaming. The combat encounters were especially stimulating and very well designed, no small feat since I suspect that you were improvising them somewhat.

Bring on the Red Nails.

Fear the 8.

camp17 said...

I'd like to say I could deal with sitting back all nite doing nothing, not straining my dice rolling hand and my enfebbeled math brain and enjoy collecting 4600 xp. But damn I was a mess. I thought for sure I lost another character. Oh well alls well that ends well! It was a great nite of Gaming DM. I wonder how long its gonna take to clean our pants after seeing all those NPCs come down the street!!
in deed bring on the red nails... the Sopranos meet Lord of the Rings... who'lda thunk it!
Fear the 8ish...

Inakai said...

Maybe now you guys can eat lasagne instead of horse stew. Who's the Godfather of "The 8-ish?"

A well-crafted night, DM, from my limited view. Sorry I didn't finish the night, guys. I wasn't my usual plucky gaming self. I was my morose, brooding, exhausted self.

camp17 said...

yeah we have to save the horse's head to put in someone's bed (was that from the Godfather or some other mob flick?)... maybe that Madame that wants Ogadi's Mirror(oh whats her name again??).

camp17 said...

beauty pic BTW DM

Ironbeard said...

Alayna leveled up, which means that Rask now has an intelligence of 10. I believe that is higher than Kruusk.

Aeschere said...

I'll look forward to some new surprises from our cunning sorceress.

When do you all want to play again? I feel badly that Matt wasn't able to join us, so I would be happy to play again on Saturday, March 28, if most of you are able to make it. If not, how about the following weekend, April 3 or 4?

camp17 said...

its only one "u" and Krusk had an Intellegence of 11. hmmmmmph. who is rask anyway?? Ulfgar is 850 away from 9th. Any Xp for surviving a behheading DM??

camp17 said...

HEy DM... finally got around to reading HRolffs last post... Nice... thanks for besmerching my mountineers reputation. Actually those were my thoughts as well when I read the last paragraph. That was the morning we almost went down to dehydration.

Erth said...

That was quite a turn we took in the campaign and that was some terrific improv on the DM's part. The grand showdown had the characteristic ups and downs of an outcome in question. Well done.

Alas, I will be out of town on this coming weekend the 28th. The following weekend looks good at this early glance, but as always, feel free to proceed without Erth and his dire companion.

Inakai said...

Just a reminder to the DM - The Boys Next Door is the weekend of April 3 and 4th, if you are planning to attend (the 4th is the principle cast).

camp17 said...

you will pay for the lipstick comment DM. (Just read that part to, trying to catch up on the posts)

Aeschere said...

That's right, Heather, I do want to see the better cast on the 4th, so if it's okay with everyone, let's shoot for 4/3 if we decide on that weekend. Hell, we can play both weekends, as far as I'm concerned.

post festum said...

Wow - what a fantastic play-by-play. I feel I know each of your playing styles so well that through Matt's vivid description I could almost hear the negotiating and strategizing as if I were at the table. Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed recap, dm.

And the invisible gnome sneak-attack to take down a primary foe...absolutely brilliant!

What else is left to say but...

We're stinking rich!!!! Thanks everyone!

I'll get back to you soon with dates.

Ironbeard said...

I can play on 4/3. This weekend is not so good for me, not good at all as a matter of fact.

camp17 said...

4/3 is a go for Ulgar.. I'll be at the play on the fourth if ya give me the info Hebs.
As for PF... whats this WE shit?? Oh we gotta give you some of the loot I guess. Someones gotta give ya crap for skipping out.

Ironbeard said...

Speaking of wealth, everyone who participated in the adventure should add 866 gp to their accounts. This represents the loot we stole from Bathcat's henchmen and the 5,000 gp thank you gift from him for graciously allowing him to stay in business with us as his partners.

post festum said...

Perhaps you can divide the current loot amongst yourselves, but Olwe and Pangold are certain to demand their share of all future profits.

Besides, can't you read Ulgar? It's "The Eight", not "The Five plus some goon whose head's been cut off."

camp17 said...

The 8...ish. just bustin em PF.Of course Olwe and Pangold should get their share of loot from our past encounter. we warrior sorts have to stick together. Come to think of it Ulgar isn't much for readin... way better at Cleavin.

Ironbeard said...

A wager. I predict that pursuing a life of criminality, intimidation, and the ruthless pursuit of power will pull our PCs together more and cause more bonding than trying to do good.

Aeschere said...

It is certainly a more concrete goal than trying to achieve some kind of abstract good in a city as corrupt and seedy as Kharschum. At the very least, the characters' lives will become increasingly interesting and exciting as the underbelly of Kharschum reveals itself and those who wield power strive to keep it out of the hands of that brazen band of adventurers who have been in Kharschum for little over a week, but who have already proven themselves troublesome and perhaps even a little dangerous.

camp17 said...

JUst remember.. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This oughta be fun. Arrgh by the blood of Gorum, let the beheadings begin, Ulgar yearns to hear the snitty snak of his Vorpal sword. The Gold pieces won't be too shabby either.

Inakai said...

How long have I said I've wanted to play a villian? Aaarrgh! Praise be to the Dread Pirate Kildyn!

Aeschere said...

Snitty snak?

camp17 said...

typo... was supposed to read: snicker-snack

post festum said...

Hey Camp - I know you well enough to know your busting balls...So was I!

Aeschere said...

It looks like 4/3 works for most of us. Is there anyone who can't play that evening? If everyone is available, let's play some D&D.

Just an FYI - I revised the dates for this last session from May 12-14 to May 12-15. When I first wrote the recap, I forgot to factor in that extra day that Hrolff used to prepare his True Seeing spell.

Ironbeard said...

A quick question for the DM: Did we ever find Ogodei's spell book?

Aeschere said...

Yes, Ogodei's spellbook, bound in black leather with the cured skin of a human hand stretched and stitched to the cover, was among the many books in the library. It contains 80 pages of spells, many of which are quite sinister.

camp17 said...

can any of em turn my Ex into a newt??

Aeschere said...

Only if she weighs the same as a duck.