Hearth and Hell

Session 12
Party Like It's 1372 DR

Characters Present:

  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle
  • Bombur

Each member of the adventuring party prepared for Lord Morn’s feast in his or her own way. Adora-Belle spent the day making Scrolls of Detect Poison that might double as sheet music. Dreznoff sewed the sum of his personal wealth into his clothes so as to conceal the fact that he was wearing armor to the party. Jenny, meanwhile, hid her armor in plain sight. Bombur made sure the group’s weapons were effectively concealed behind a rather fetching tapestry. And if he started tasting the ale a bit early, well…

As the guests began to trickle in, Bombur ingratiated himself with the tradesmen by performing the Dalelands equivalent of a keg stand. Jenny wandered around pretending to be a regular (giant) bird and stealing food. This put her in a position to hear the gossip at the nobles’ table about the odd bird and the strangely bedecked dwarf seated with Lord Morn’s people.

When the musicians entered and began setting up their instruments, Adora-Belle managed to claim their set break for her own flute performance. However, when she finally began playing, something went horribly wrong. During the horrified silence that followed, the adventurers observed one person who was not fazed by this: a servant determinedly placing a tray of meat pies on Lord Morn’s table. Surmising that this must be the poisoner, they warned Morn (Jenny), stopped Adora-Belle from eating any poisoned pie when she was invited to sit next to Morn (Bombur) and observed the guests for suspicious activity (Dreznoff). Adora-Belle fled the room, upset and seemingly unaware of what just happened. Jenny and Dreznoff chased down the poisoner while Bombur went after Adora-Belle.

The serving girl was frightened, but not entirely truthful. Lord Morn ordered that she be taken for questioning. Bombur found Adora-Belle just outside the feasting hall, waiting for one of the guards to return with her flute, which she had left behind. As Bombur tried to comfort her, the guard rushed out of the room and passed on Lord Morn’s orders. Soon Dreznoff and Jenny emerged with the quaking servant between them, and everyone moved off toward the cells.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 500 XP for defending Lord Morn without ruining the party.
  • Dreznoff receives 50 bonus XP for his determined vetting of the guests.
  • Adora-Belle receives 50 bonus XP for creative roleplay.
  • Bombur receives 50 bonus XP for holding his liquor and being kind to Adora-Belle.
  • Jenny receives 50 bonus XP for thinking on her feet to protect Randal Morn and catch the bad guy.
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Session 11
How Do We Get There From Here?

Characters Present:

  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle

While Jenny and Dreznoff secured the prisoners, Adora-Belle was getting to know her new best bard buddy. Shadowdale’s night watch arrived soon after they were subdued. After the night’s events were related to the proper authorities, the party got some sleep while Penelope finished her work on the coded documents.

The papers obtained in the Constable’s Tower revealed a plot taking shape in Daggerdale. The communication involved a fake assassination attempt on Randal Morn. The attack was designed to allow a “healer” access so that a sample of Morn’s flesh could be acquired for some dark magic. Upon hearing this, the party decided to return to Daggerdale. Conveniently, they spotted a griffon circling Elminster’s tower. Upon investigating, they found Storm Silverhand discussing matters with a dwarven griffon rider. When Storm heard the adventurers’ tale, bolstered by the words of Harper agent Penelope Aurnor, she secured them transport on the griffons (all except Jenny, who took the short route as fast as her legs could carry her).

Once in Daggerdale, they discussed the situation with Randal Morn. The lord of the dale suggested that the party come to the night’s feast as guests, since the poisoning was supposed to happen during the festivities.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 300 XP for their efforts to get the wizard’s papers decrypted.
  • Adora-Belle receives 20 bonus XP for filling out the session feedback form.
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Session 10
Outta My Way, Y'old Bat!

Characters Present:

  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle
  • Bombur (late)

The party rushed to the tavern and found Jhaele Silivermane alone in the common room. She refused them entry even after they begged shamefully and vociferously. When pushed, she locked the door to the upper floors and pulled her mace like she knew which end of it was used for whacking. Adora-Belle tried to cast a sleep spell on her but the magic simply flowed over her without effect. This caused Adora-Belle to flee, while Dreznoff and Jenny redoubled their efforts to talk some sense into the woman.

Adora-Belle gathered her courage once outside and snuck around the back to do some second-story work. She found Penelope under attack in her room and gave what aid she could.

Jenny and Dreznoff exited the tavern, were accosted by…Jhaele Siilvermane? And reentered the tavern with a newly arrived Bombur in tow. The real Jhaele Silvermane shouted her head off, urging Belgar (her enormous barbarian bouncer) to kill the doppleganger. This was eventually accomplished, but it was a team effort.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 400 XP for valor in the face of a very grumpy innkeeper and all-around monster slaying.
  • Dreznoff and Jenny each receive 50 bonus XP for a realistic moral dilemma.
  • Adora-Belle receives 50 bonus XP for being both moral and practical, even while fleeing like a little girl.
  • Bombur receives 30 bonus XP for being amusingly befuddled and engaging in axe-bonding.
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Session 9
Daggers in the Dark

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Meria
  • Bombur

Despite an escape attempt along the way (foiled by Dreznoff), the party arrived safely in Shadowdale with their captives in tow. Meria met them at the edge of the village with the intention of escorting them to the tavern. Before they reached the Old Skull Tavern, however, Adora-Belle got it in her head to go to the dilapidated windmill that serves as Elminster’s tower. An argument ensued, during which the guard arrived to ask the party politely but firmly why they were dragging two bound and bleeding men through the streets. The party was provided with an escort to the garrison, where they had a conversation with Captain Danek. The suspected Zhent assassins were taken for interrogation.

While en route to the Old Skull Tavern, Adora-Belle stopped off to leave a note on Elminster’s door. She successfully floated up to the tower and back with all her limbs and faculties intact. When the party reached the tavern, Adora-Belle handed over the papers and wandered off to listen to a ballad. Meanwhile, Meria introduced the Harper agent (a bard named Penelope Aurnor) and took her leave. Dreznoff explained the situation with the papers and Penelope promised to have something by sunset the next day.

Adora-Belle and Bombur went off to sell the wand at the temple of Chauntea. Meanwhile, Jenny and Dreznoff went back to the garrison to see if the prisoners talked. They found commotion as the prisoners were discovered dead in their cells. Dreznoff rushed in and examined the assassins, quickly determining that they had poisoned themselves to avoid retribution. He managed to save one of them and began interrogating the man, whose name was Elias Black. Black admitted to being hired by the wizard from the tower. They were to follow the party from Dagger Falls and attack them on the road. Dreznoff discerned that Elias was holding something back, but the man wouldn’t talk until Adora-Belle showed up with Bombur and threatened to read her poetry at him. The assassin finally revealed that a second team had been sent through the Underdark to “clean up” the Harper agent.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 300 XP for doing their duty as citizens and/or permanent residents of Daggerdale.
  • Dreznoff receives 50 XP for spitting in the face of fate, holding back death, and generally paladin-ness.
  • Adora-Belle receives 30 XP for being endearingly flighty.
  • Jenny receives 30 XP for being a weird alien bird with a predilection for human bondage.
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Session 8
On the Road Again...

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

After spending all night in the tavern arguing about which route they should take to Shadowdale, the party blearily set off down Tesh Trail. On their first night, they were beset by assassins, whom they whupped but good.

But who sent them? Are there more? Will they talk if properly persuaded? Will disagreements over interrogation protocols tear the party apart? Are these rhetorical questions?! THERE’S NO TIME!

Experience:

  • All characters receive 300 XP for beating the not-so-sneaky assassins into submission.
  • Bombur receives 50 bonus XP for being his awesome self.
  • Jenny receives 30 bonus XP for having teh eagle eyes.
  • Adora-Belle receives 30 bonus XP for RP.
  • Dreznoff receives 20 bonus XP for teamwork.
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Session 7
Requires Lockpicking (500)

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

The party met a shady character named Coyote, who opened the dwarven strongboxes without the benefit of a key.

That’s pretty much it, really. Guy was kind of a dick.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 30 XP for RP and negotiation.
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Session 6
Now You See Me...

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

Adora-belle sat down to examine the codex they discovered. In deciphering the script, she determined that it was actually a book of soup recipes. (!?)

Dreznoff wandered into a corner and discovered a brace of dwarven strongboxes that will require more than a good thumping if they are to reveal their contents. Meanwhile, the circle embedded in the floor yielded 223 gp worth of precious metals and stones.

Intending to catch the Zhentarim agent that appears to be using the tower as his/her base of operations, the party collected some bedding from the lower floors and settled in to wait. Dreznoff was on watch when the wizard tried to sneak up on them using a spell of invisibility. He immediately alerted the party and they deployed various strategies to reveal the attacker, including throwing enchanted ink, rocks and torches.

While Bombur concealed himself to ready a strike, Jenny managed to leap high enough to get ahold of the wizard and pull her to the ground. The wound was severe enough that the wizard teleported out in a panic, leaving behind some scraps of bloodied silk.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 700 XP for defeating the wizard and sending her running with her tail between her legs.
  • Bombur receives 30 bonus XP for combat and RP.
  • Jenny receives 40 bonus XP for combat and RP (highlight: grabbing the wizzy).
  • Adora-Belle receives 60 bonus XP for combat and RP (highlight: planning to give her grandmother the book of soup recipes).
  • Dreznoff receives 40 bonus XP for combat and RP.
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Session 5
Spies and Spells and Spirits, Oh My

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Bombur
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff

After defeating the poorly-constructed (according to Adora-Belle) golem, the party investigated some closed doors. Jenny and Dreznoff examined the portal to the north and determined that it led to a library. After much bashing of heads and dwarven cursing, they managed to break down the door. And Bombur didn’t even have to set anything on fire.

The library looked to have been ransacked: everything was off the shelves and unceremoniously dumped into a pile in the middle of the room. Adora-Belle found a book on transmutation and a book on wild magic. The latter detailed a theory about spontaneous generation of clay, stone and flesh constructs.

Since the golem was the stairs, Dreznoff made a rope ladder to climb up to the top floor. The party found a wizard’s laboratory (yes, a laBORatory) complete with stinky fungus, entrails and instruments of torture disguised as “research.” Bombur found some precious stones and metals embedded in the wooden floor and began prying them up. Meanwhile, Adora-Belle sensed something magical near her dwarven friend and alerted the party. It was a tiny winged demon that slashed Adora-Belle and poisoned her before Dreznoff and Bombur whacked it to death.

After defeating the demon, they examined the room for anything else that might be of interest and found evidence that a Zhentarim spy resides in Dagger Falls.

Experience:

  • All characters received 600 XP for defeating the golem and demon as well as advancing the story.
  • Bombur received 60 bonus XP for combat and roleplay.
  • Dreznoff received 40 bonus XP for combat.
  • Adora-Belle received 40 bonus XP for combat and roleplay.
  • Jenny received 30 bonus XP for roleplay.
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Session 4
Spells and Stairs

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Bombur (partial)

Using their highly sophisticated stick-poking method, the party advanced through the first level of the tower without incident. Though no spells hit them, there were significant (and apparently random) discharges of magic, which Adora-Belle noticed stopped in mid-air when they reached the path of safety. The door to the tower closed of its own accord, locking Bombur and Meria outside. Meria left to get some tools while Bombur stayed to bang his head (literally?) against the problem.

As they proceeded, they discovered a storeroom to the west and a guardroom to the south. Proceeding along the safe path, they found a locked door. Adora-Belle knocked and called “Housekeeping!” to no avail. She told Dreznoff to try the door. He attempted to determine if there was anything evil lurking on the other side, but couldn’t feel his god. It was at this time that the party determined they were walking through a dead zone. Dreznoff broke down the door.

Meanwhile, Bombur applied a similarly dwarvish solution to his locked door and joined the party. Everyone went to the second floor to investigate and found two well-appointed bedchambers, some servants’ quarters and a locked room. The spiral stairs leading to the third level were carved with a vaguely humanoid shape that came alive when Adora-Belle started up the stairs. They managed to defeat the creature, but the stairs were obliterated when the statue came to life. As they considered the gaping hole in the fifteen-foot ceiling, Dreznoff attempted to bind Bombur’s wound.

Experience:

Bombur: 60 (general progress, combat and taking one for the team)
Adora-Belle: 80 (general progress, combat and entertaining RP)
Jenny: 80 (general progress, combat, investigation)
Dreznoff: 80 (general progress, combat, investigation)

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Session 3
Into the Tower

Characters Present:

  • Meria
  • Bombur
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle

During an audience with Lord Randal Morn, the party learned the specifics of their quest. Lord Morn is offering five thousand gold pieces (and possibly land or titles) to anyone who can clear out the Constable’s Tower. The Zhent wizard Ilthond made the place his base of operations, adding architectural elements as well as enchantments. Randal Morn himself was briefly imprisoned there, and thinks there must have been at least three floors, not counting the cellar. He wishes the party luck and leaves to go about the business of running Dagger Falls.

The party set out for the tower, making the 45-minute hike to the hill overlooking Dagger Falls. The tower itself looks quite new and well-maintained, despite being abandoned for over a year. Adora-Belle examined the arcane energies of the place and established that it is literally glowing with magic. She also sensed an extraplanar presence somewhere inside.

A group of children were playing near the tower. Adora-Belle addressed them sternly, trying to scare them away from danger. Bombur took a gentler approach, but that didn’t stop Jenny from ruffling her feathers a bit in defense of the children. They eventually persuade the little ones to run along, and the rugrats do provide one interesting piece of information before they go: someone has been entering the tower and actually making it back out.

Meria threw a club inside and the tower’s spells chewed it up. However, the ranger noticed a track through the dust and indicated the direction it seemed to take. Adora-Belle threw a crossbow bolt that way and nothing happened. Jenny kicked dust at the doorway, which obscured the path but didn’t set off the spells. However, she did this just as Adora-Belle took a step inside, evoking considerable consternation from the mage.

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