Murder in Baldur's Gate

Finale
Death and more death

The Cast of who might have been there (since I have a fuzzy memory)
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists
Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Brian as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Katie as Ever, the Badass Paladin

The citizens of Baldur’s Gate relax and their spirits begin to rise. The remaining leaders have meet and agreed to work together to build a better tomorrow. The Festival of the Moon unites the city and the remaining city leaders pool their funds to make food and drink available for everyone during the three-day festival.

The first day of the Festival goes off without incident. There is food, minstrels, dancing, puppeteers, and entertainment for all ages in the Wide. During the Second day, the party finds themselves in the Wide hearing the toast from Silvershield. He thanks the heroes and speaks of the greatness of Baldur’s Gate.

A commotion at the back of the Wide catches their attention. Rilsa is moving slowly through the drunken crowd with a few henchmen slaughtering revelers as she makes her way through the Wide. Panic erupts as people realize what’s happening and rush to make their escape. Other followers of Rilsa make their way into the Wide from other locations and also start to murder the townsfolk trapped in the wide.

The Heroes jump into action, quickly engaging the murders and helping the townsfolk escape to safety. Between the Watch members and the heroes, they are able to kill the raving Guild members. Dak traps Rilsa in a corner and delivers a mighty blow which shatters her skull. As Rilsa’s body slowly sinks to the ground, the mangled body begins to chuckle and transform into a creature similar to the one they fought on Founder’s Day.

The mighty team of Heroes throw their best attacks at the creature, but to no avail. One by one, the Heroes fall to the monster’s blows. First Dakn gets ripped in half, leaving an astonished look on his face. Next fell Kondrat, for once to slow to escape the razor claws of the beast. Next fell the Don the Goliths, who sadly tripped and fell down a hole into the Undercellar and broke his neck in the fall. Then came Ever who bellowed with drunken Dwarvan rage, and smashed the monster’s foot as it clawed through the thick Dwarvan armor. Nairue tried to remove the monster’s head but was smashed into the ground. Lastly came Tarvor who tried to Psionically destroy the monster from a far. Taror’s attacks seem to bounce off the monster as it stalked closer to Tarvor. Finally at it’s goal, the Bhaallspawn grabbed Pat and lifted him into the air for a backbreaker. “Wait,” shrieked Pat, “That isn’t what happened!”

Oh, really? (Cue music from the Clue movie) Then how about this.

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As the party of Heroes basked in the glow of the adoration of the crowds, Duke Silvershield finishes his praise of the Heroes and speaks of the bright future ahead for Baldur’s Gate.

A scream interrupts the festivities as everyone looks to the sky. Admists the fireworks (fireworks, really? After the bombing of the High Hall? Who wrote this module?) decorating the sky, what looks like large balls of fire can be seen headed towards the Wide.

The explosion rocks the Wide as the first of many mortars begin to hit the city. The Wide erupts into panic as people run for cover. Kondrat quickly skitters to the top of the nearest building and reports that the motars are being launched from the Seatower. The Heroes decide to live up to their moniker and rush down to the Seatower to confront the madman launching the flaming mortars at the city. Minutes tick by (as written, that’s about 30 minutes in game time) as the Heroes slowly make their way down through the crowded streets, shoving people out of the way, helpless as the watch mortar after mortar rain down on the city. First the Wide and then the Upper City get hit. Then the Basilisk gate and the Outer City get hit.

The streets are deserted of citizens as they near the Seatower. The few Flaming Fist soldiers that they encounter are bewildered and confused. Finally at the gates of the Seatower, the Heroes find the bridge and courtyard empty of living souls but the corpses of Flaming Fist troops litter the courtyard. The team make their way up the tower that is the source of the bombardment and encounter a small troop of Flaming Fist officers. The Heroes order the officers to stand aside, but they’re ignored and the officers seem to be taken by some sort of madness. The Heroes quickly kill the officers and make their way to roof where they find Marshall Ravengard and a few troops firing the catapult at the city.

Ravengard appears to be in a state of madness as he orders the men to continue firing into the city. The Heroes split into two groups as one group tries to stop the catapult and the other group tries to bring down Ravengard. Tarvor uses his awesome Psionic skills to break the catapult while drunken Dwarf Ever (I assume Ever is a Dwarf) and Nairue kill the soldiers.

Kondrat, Dun, and Dak triple team Ravengard until he goes down from a backstab and sneak attack critical hit from Kondrat (Scott rolls a 20!). As Ravengard falls to the ground in a puddle of his own foaming blood, a hideous laughter erupts from the body as it transforms into a monster similar to the one they fought on Founder’s Day. The team now face off against a huge, towering monster. Tarvor, fresh off his high from disabling the catapult, rush to destroy the Bhaalspawn, but gets crushed instead. Kondrat and Dak move in and attack the monster, but their blows have little effect. Ever, Nairue, and Dun also surround the monster, but soon they too soon fall to the monster’s blows. As Kondrat, the last Hero falls, he whispers, “But I killed him already…”

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Sure, that’s one of the three possible endings to our Encounter Season, but here’s what really happened.

As the Heroes stand in the Wide listening to the speeches, Duke Silvershield steps forward with a smile. He thanks the Heroes for their service and tells all Baldurans about the coming days of greatness. He presents a large cask of ale and offers free drinks to everyone in the spirit of the Festival of the Moon.

The revelries continue around them, but slowly the team of Heroes begin to notice a change. The good spirits that once surrounded them seem to have been replaced by voices raised in annoyance rather than joy. Tempers begin to fray and fisticuffs begin to breakout across the Wide. Slowly the Heroes begin to suspect that something was wrong with the casket of ale. Off to the side sits Duke Ravengard, smirking as he watches the fights evolve into brawls. The team make their way to the cask of ale and break it, but it is too late as weapons are drawn and revelers begin to fight each other to the death. The Priest of Gond that surround Duke Silvershield fight off the Heroes but they soon fall under the mighty blows of the Heroes.

Dun the Golith finally kills the Duke with a mighty blow that severs the head from the body. As the head rolls to a stop it starts to laugh in a maniacal manner. The body of the Duke slowly transforms into the monster the Heroes first encountered on Founder’s Day. “Fools!” the headless body spits, “Your doom is sealed!” The corpse finishes the transformation ad the party finds themselves facing off against a Bhaalspawn.

The party delivers blow after blow until finally the Bhaalspawn is killed. “No matter,” whispers the Bhaalspawn, “as foretold, Bhaal has returned to the world.”

The bloody heroes stand in an empty Wide amidst the bodies of the slain citizens and wonder what they should they do next. Should they stay in Baldur’s Gate and help with rebuilding the city? Or should they travel north, past Luskin where riches await.

Fare thee well brave adventures!

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The End is Nigh
Going out with a Bang

Table 2
The Cast
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists
Tim as DM

The adventure begins this week with a bang. An explosion in the upper city catches the notice of the brave adventures and the rest of the city. Initial reports from witnesses and bystanders suggest that the explosion was in a side street where an empty coffin was being delivered. Guilt is quickly pointed at the Guild.

(DM: At this pointed I checked in with the players as to who they want to aligned with for the Encounter session. I told them that the Upper City was still in lockdown and that the Lower City was under Martial Law. This gave them the option of the being with the Watch and having access to the Upper City, being with the Flaming Fist and having access to the Lower City, or choosing neither and using the Undercellar to get around. They decided that they would be working with the Flaming Fist.)

The team investigates the scene and determines that the “empty” casket was the source of the explosion. They follow up with a visit to the Candulhallows, the undertaker family business that was delivering the empty casket, but uncover little except denials and obstructions. They team breaks into the undertakers building later that evening and find hallow caskets and delivery paper work which indicate another delivery the following day.

The team follows the delivery as it leaves the undertakers and makes it way through the Upper City. The casket disappears down an alley and the team is able to determine the location with the help of Nairue’s quick thinking. A quick break in with Kondrat’s talents shows them an empty coffin in an empty storeroom with some stairs leading down into the Undercellar. Nairue’s Drow heritage helps them track their targets in the dark and confusing Undercellar and they finally come upon their targets. Skoond.jpgThey find Imbralym Skoond in an empty staging area dismissing his workers and telling them the explosion will start shortly. The team realizes they are likely near the High Hall, the gathering place of the Parliament of Peers, and Nairue runs back to the exit in the hopes of evacuating the High Hall. Kondrat and Tarvor quickly subdue Skoond who yells at them, “You fools! We’ll all die here!”

As Nairue races through the streets to get to the High Hall, Pip comes running up to her yelling for help. Ravengard has announced that he will be executing Guild members and sympathizers who are prisoners at Wyrm’s Rock and that Mr. Needle is one of the prisoners of the Flaming Fist since the closing of the Baldur’s Mouth. Nairue gives Pip her Flaming Fist badge and tells him to give the badge to Ravengard and to tell Ravengard to hold off executing Needle until they return to Wyrm’s Rock. Pip runs off and Nairue continues on to the High Hall.

As Kondrat and Tarvor drag Skoond back towards the exit through the Undercellar, above them Nairue runs into a cordon of Watch soldiers that are blocking her way to the High Hall. Nairue quickly outwits the Watch soldiers (and the DM) by Fey stepping past them. But…

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The explosion goes off at the High Hall. A tidal wave of earth erupts around the wing of the High Hall and it swallows it whole. Burning fragments of the building and people rain down across the city, causing hundreds of injuries and starting dozens of small fires. (The DM spends 90% of the FX budget on the explosions.)City_Fire.jpg

Kondrat and Tarvor, caught underground during the blast, pick themselves up and make their way to the surface and the High Hall where they find Nairue attending to the wounded. Skoond again breaks free and rushes into the debris to his death. (Sorry Pat, I wanted to kill the red herring and keep you on track.) Nairue informs Kondrat and Tarvor about the executions at Wyrm’s Rock and that Pip said that Needle might be soon executed.

Another explosion is heard and Kondrat scampers to the roof to see a plume of smoke at the Seatower. The team decides that they need to stop the executions and make a run for Wyrm’s rock. Along the way they overtake Pip and Nairue collects her badge before leaving Pip behind.

As the team make their way across Wyrm’s Crossing to Wyrm’s Rock, they start to see the hung bodies of the executed prisoners. Among the dead they find Ettvard Needle. The team makes their way to Ravengard and tries to talk him into stopping the executions, but he remains unswayed. The team informs him about the destruction of the High Hall and another explosion of some sort at the Seatower. This convinces Ravengard to stop the executions and double time all the available Flaming Fists troops to the Seatower.

(DM: Distance, time, and logistics make it impossible for this to happen, but for story value I make them arrive at the Seatower in time for all the action. I make them do an Endurance check or loose two healing surges.)

The team and the rest of the Flaming Fist rush to the Seatower and find it being overwhelmed by an armed rabble in what looks likes a Guild sponsored prison break. Bodies lay everywhere and small clusters of fighting are scattered through the courtyard. The team and the troops rush in to subdue the rabble. (DM: Think of those large cinematic battle scenes where it goes into a tight focus on the fight with the heroes.) The team find themselves facing off a few Thugs and Halfling Sneaks. They take down all the bad guys until only two are left who almost kills Tarvor, but Ravengard comes to his rescue!
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Ravengard stands among the dead and looks in horror at the smoking rising from the Upper City. “No, things have gone too far,” he whispers. He turns to the heroes and asks for their help in uniting the city and helping them rebuild Baldur’s Gate.

The city reels from all the destruction and it heaves a collective sigh of relief as the city leaders, Ravengard, Silvershield, and the remaining Parliament members agree to work to for the betterment of Baldur’s Gate. The sumptuary law and the law closing of the Upper City are relaxed and Martial Law in the Lower City is lifted. When confronted with Skoond’s actions, Silvershield points to the Guild and denies any involvement with Skoond.

To help the city mend, the leaders pour resources into the upcoming Festival of the Moon, a three-day long fete featuring costumed merriment, entertainment, somber remembrance, and feasting. During the festival the Wide is transformed into a festival ground. There will be plenty of free food, masks and costumes, minstrels and dancing, puppeteers and fireworks, and games of chance. Well, maybe not the fireworks. All citizens are welcome.

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Into the Underceller
Dwarf fighting

Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Brian as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Someone that looks like Jacob as Harbek the Dwarf Cleric
Someone that looks like Brian as Kelnozz the Drow Warlock
Josh as DM

As the adventure opens this week, Dak and Dun are looking around their party and they realize that many of them had befallen of the plague that seemed to be going around Baldur’s gate this week. As a result, Dak and Dun first make a check of the local eating and drinking establishments to find a couple of additional adventurers for their quest this week. Luckily, they come upon a dwarf cleric named Harbek who happens to be sitting with a level 1warlock by the name of Kelnozz.

With the party as complete as it is going to be for this week, the four head off to Wrym’s Rock to speak with Ravengard. He is very busy but eventually the party gets in to speak with him. He greets them with a dry, “Heroes, it’s good to see you.” Dun speaks first and asks Ravengard if he knows what started the riots. Ravengard is very quick to place blame on the guild with very little explanation.

Following up on what the adventurers learned about the riots, Dun asks Ravengard about the imposition of martial law. Ravengard’s response is that the riots are causing the possible imposition of martial law. To which Dak explains the chicken-or-the-egg scenario of that response in that their understanding is that the riots were caused by the possible imposition of martial law. To which Ravengard responds again that the only way to quell the riots is to impose martial law because he wants to nip this problem in the bud.

Ravengard explains that the lack of new duke is contributing the riots. Dun suggests that if that is the problem, that Ravengard should maybe focus his efforts on putting pressure on the upper city to get the duke situation taken care of. Ravengard is not too receptive to this and talks again about quelling the riots with martial law and Dun again explains that the riots are being caused by the rumor of martial law.

At this point, Dak steps in and suggests a compromise. Not sure what to suggest in the way of a compromise, Ravengard looks to Dun and Dak for what their proposal would be. Dun points out that if the Flaming Fist would show that they are supporting the city then things may turn around for the better. Ravengard agrees to an extent but asks about what to do with the guild. Dun suggests that he ignore it at this point and that Dun may be up for convincing his fellow adventurers that they may be able to take care of the guild. When Dun mentions the name of “Rilsa Rael,” Ravengard responds with a sly, “Now that’s an interesting name.” Dun plays his cards close and tells Ravengard that they may be able to find the instigation arm of the guild and then go after it. In the end, it is agreed that Ravengard will hold off on the imposition of martial law for two days during which time he will be expecting the adventurers to infiltrate the guild and help him take care of the instigators.

With that understanding the party then leaves Ravengard and heads to the upper city to speak with Silvershield who is at dinner but agrees to provide and audience to the party. Silvershield asks the party about rumors of goings on in the lower city. Dun explains what had happened that day with the riots and asks Silvershield if he knows who may be heading the guild rioters. Silvershield responds somewhat disgustingly by saying that he doesn’t deal with “those people” but that there may be a man named “The Fetcher” whom it is rumored may be at the center of the rumors. Although Silvershield is unable to provide a location for “The Fetcher” he directs the party to the streets to ask around. With that message, the party departs.

It is decided that the party will make one last check with Coran to see if he has any information about The Fetcher. But it is late in the day and as the party knocks on the door, the butler informs them that Coran is not there and the best time to contact him is during the day.

Needing to get information on The Fetcher, the party finds Pip who is still stuffed from the feast of fish and chips that they bestowed upon him last time they saw him. Dun asks Pip about The Fetcher. The mere mention of the name causes Pip to hesitate in providing any information. Kelnozz steps in and rolls a streetwise check that convinces Pip that all information he gives them is confidential. As a result, he eventually gives up some information on The Fetcher’s whereabouts.

He indicates that The Fetcher is frequently seen at the outer city pub called “Blood and Sand.” There apparently is a hidden room in the basement where the kegs are kept that The Fetcher tends to hang out. The party thanks Pip for the information and gives him another orange and a copper piece. As he leaves the party, he looks back and gives a very wry warning that the party should not be looking for or talking to The Fetcher.

Hummus.jpgAs it is early in the day, the party strolls around Baldur’s Gate doing patrols. As they are strolling along, they come upon a Boston Thumb Cat stuck in a tree and save the little kitten from sure demise. After feeling very satisfied about rescuing a freak of nature like a thumb cat, the party heads to the Blood and Sand early and posts up waiting for The Fetcher. They have some dinner and in tribute to their ill colleague Kondrat, they order the hummus plate. But it just doesn’t taste the same without Kondrat there to eat it with them.

Eventually, a couple of humans and a dwarf come into the bar and take a seat at a table in the corner. Harbek’s passive insight sees them and after a couple of minutes he nudges the others in his party and tells him that they humans and the dwarf are looking around. Kelnozz’s streetwise check is not picking up too much, but Harbek’s streetwise is on point and he does notice that one of the humans seems to be in charge and is likely the person that they were looking for – The Fetcher.

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Various people in the bar are getting up and going over to talk to the humans and the dwarf. Our adventurers can see that the other party orders one round to drink before the wait staff whispers to them at which point a trap door is opened for them which goes down to a cellar. Just as quickly as the trap door was opened by the wait staff, they go back to waiting on the rest of the patrons in the Blood and Sand.

Dun wastes no time in going over to the trap door and opening it to walk down to the cellar. The rest of the party follows with Dak bringing up the end. As Dak makes one last look around the bar before going down to the cellar, the other patrons of the bar seem to be flabbergasted that the party would have the audacity to just go down there like they were. Ignoring the reactions, Dak bars the door as a preventative measure from the other patrons interfering with them.

As the party makes their way down the cellar stairs, they can see the dwarf and another shifty looking character. They notice Dun and his party coming down the stairs and start to approach Dun. However, Dun cuts them short and announces “I need to talk to The Fetcher!” The Dwarf, not missing a step, asks, “Why and what business do you have with her?” Dun makes some accusations about The Fetcher and her party being the ones instigating the riots to which the Dwarf laughs heartily and disclaims any knowledge of such an accusation.

Dwarf_down2.jpgHowever, Kelnozz does an insight check and is able to tell that the Dwarf is lying. He tells Dun the same to which Dun continues his discussion with the dwarf about the riots and the arson. The lack of any favorable response from the dwarf infuriates Dun who walks up to the dwarf and sucker-punches him with his fist doing resulting in a critical 20 hit. Blood immediately gushes from the dwarf whose face is left a bloody mess by the critical strike of Dun.

Quite satisfied with himself, Dun turns to the human and says that he wants to talk to her. But this is met with absolutely no response except that weapons are drawn. The human prepares her weapon but makes an offer for two fingers and the adventurers can go. Dun and party’s opinion of the offer is that it is completely ridiculous. As a result, Dun strikes at the dwarf and finishes him off and the battle ensues.

After some crafty combat, Harbek is able to finish off another human that was unfortunate enough to enter the fight mid-fight. Coming off of that high of killing the other human, Harbek lashes out at The Fetcher for one last blow and finishes her off with true finesse.

With all threats vanquished in the cellar – and not having their residential thief Kondrat with them – they search the bodies and find 20 gp each. They also find a slip of paper on the dwarf that has a location and a time on it that appears to be TWO DAYS from now. Dak and Harbek do a further search of the cellar and find a loose cobblestone with a box behind it. In the box is 50 gp each and a couple of speeches and meeting points from the riot. They also find a stash of aged whiskey. At one point, there appeared to be the remnants of a teleportation device but as quickly as the apparition came, it dissipated in the shape of a red forage fish, mostly belonging to the family Clupeidae.

The party then retreats from the cellar looking especially beat up with heads hung low as to draw as little attention from the patrons as possible. When the patrons see the adventurers, there are a few snickers – not the confectionary kind – coming from the bar. The party ignores them and leaves the tavern. As they round the corner, they take the opportunity to heal and then head back to Wrym’s Rock to speak to Ravengard.

They report the outcome of their melee with The Fetcher and her crew to which Ravengard expresses some surprise that the party was able to succeed. The party presents Ravengard with the information about the upcoming goings on. Ravengard thanks everyone for the information and tells them that they should stay at Wrym’s Rock until Ravengard can verify the information. The party respectfully declines telling Ravengard that they have a safe place to stay. The party is a bit confused about Ravengard’s suggestion, but an insight check shows that it is actual concern for the party’s safety that prompted his offer to stay there. Based on that, the party settles in to Wrym’s Rock and spends the time enjoying the comforts of the Flaming Fist’s facilities.

(Excerpt from the Journels of Dak the Githzerai)

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An Interlude
Heroes vs Dalek

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A Riot of Undead
A Riot so Loud to Wake the Dead

The Cast
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Brian as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Katie as Ever, the Badass Paladin.
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists
Josh as DM

The adventurers start off this week by showing their appreciation for Pip doing some scouting for them. They take Pip out to one of the wholesome fish houses in Baldur’s Gate. Pip eats his fill, thanks the adventurers and heads on his way.

As the adventurers are continuing their patrols through the town, they come upon the Badass Paladin whom the adventurers knew had thwarted some kidnappings last week and ask her to join their adventure. After some initial introductions, the paladin does join them. They all return to the inn and retire for the night.

After sleeping in a bit the adventurers awake the next morning to a rumbling noise that sounds as if it is an earthquake that is still a ways away. When they step outside the check it out, people are running around both toward and away from the noise. When they look to the distance, they seek smoke billowing up. They then move toward the billowing smoke and see that a full scale riot of lower and outer city residents has broken out where people are tearing up everything in sight and several buildings are on fire.

When they look back from where they came, they see a Flaming Fist patrol coming toward them to quell the riot. The Flaming Fist then takes a position and blocks people from coming in toward the riot scene.

Dun takes a step out of the group and goes into the riot to ask what is going on. After he finds someone who appears to be leading the riot, he intimidates them into telling him about the riot. The resident tells Dun that the rioters are out because they heard that the patriars are going to declare martial law. Dun explains to him that that is incorrect and that they have spoken with Ravengaard and he absolutely does not intend to instill martial law on the citizens of Baldur’s Gate. At this time, Nairue tries to yell to the crowd, but it does not seem to have much effect. So Dun continues to make his way into the rioters and the rest of the adventurers follow.

As they move toward the center, they notice that the rioters are a lot of dock workers and Dun again goes in and intimidates them to get information. One of them named Gilderoy let Dun know that the oppressive government and rumors of Ravengaard implementing martial law is fueling the riot confirming what they heard from the previous rioter. Again, Dun tries to explain to the dock worker that Ravengaard is not going to implement martial law but to show the rioters that he is willing to help, he offers to go talk to Ravengaard to confirm that martial law is not going to be imposed.

So the adventurers backtrack to the Flaming Fist patrols to look for Ravengaard but as they approach the Flaming Fist line, the guards don’t let them pass. But Dun will have none of that and jumps the line. The patrol surrounds him and starts to question him when Tarvor flashes their Flaming Fist badge and questions the guards, “What are your orders?” The patrol responds that they are there to suppress the riot.

Dun goes back to Gilderoy who is not all too receptive to Dun and insists that he wants to talk to Ravengaard himself. Dak steps in and backs Dun up which causes Gilderoy to leave the riot. Dun then tries to yell at everyone to disburse but that has little effect on the full riot save the few that are immediately around the hulking Dun. Not having any of it, Dun makes his way through the rioters hitting some of them in the head to make his point. This causes a few of the rioters to surround Dun but Tarvor steps in and they are able to tell the rioters that they just need to disburse. However, things just seem to be getting worse and worse and some of the rioters on the fringe of the crowd are starting to fight with the Flaming Fist patrols.

The adventurers decide that the best course of action is to get out of there and start heading through a nearby cemetery. When they are looking around, they see a lot of dead bodies that are very fresh. They also see some movement in the cemetery and all of a sudden are surrounded by three undead creatures and a large greater death demon. The adventurers take fighting stances and begin their assault.

After some initial rounds with all of the monsters, the Badass Paladin slays the greater death demon and it falls into a pile of flesh. This allows the party to focus on the undead. After killing a few of the undead, two more appear and begin to fight the adventurers. More shots continue to be taken at the undead. As Dak shoots one of the undead, spectral bison charge from his bow which causes the undead to crap spectral poo. But then just as suddenly as the great death demon went down, a very large zombie hulk rises from the remains of the greater death demon and starts to attack everyone. Zombies

Through the battle, Dun takes a very aggressive stance and starts smashing all of the undead that are around him but they seem to be getting the better of Dun because Dun goes down and eventually becomes unconscious. To save the hulk of the group, Nairue shoots healing surges at Dun to keep him alive. Dun comes back and starts swinging again. Eventually the Badass Paladin does a great strike to vanquish the zombie hulk and reduce the danger to everyone. To seal its fate, Nairue casts a spectral flame on the remains to prevent any other creature from rising from the corpse. The final blow in the battle is dealt by Kondrat. However, the rest of the party is still in awe of the spectral bison that Dak was able to deliver.

When the party has a chance to look around, they see a crypt in the cemetery which seems to be the source of the undead that continue to rise against the party. Religion checks by Tarvor do not seem to reveal much, but Nairue feels a violent energy emanating from the crypt. Nairue casts some spells to wrestle with the spirits and eventually all of the spirit energy that he had felt dissipates. Meanwhile, in classic Kondrat fashion, he scours the crypt and finds some odds and ends – mainly jewelry and tokens.

The party then turns to leave the crypt and as they emerge from it, there is a crowd of locals that has gathered and starts to applaud the party for the excellent battle they had just waged. The party graciously accepts the accolades and then heads up to Ravengaard’s place to discuss the rumors of the imposition of martial law and the magical power they found in the crypt. As they make their way that way, they see that the riot has dissipated but there is a lot of property damage in the wake of the riot.

However, the party continues to make their way through the destruction and continues on the way to Wyrm’s Rock to meet with Ravengaard.

(Excerpt from the Journels of Dak the Githzerai)

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Protesters and Kidnappers
10% from the 1%

Table 2
The Cast
Brain as Dak the Githzerai Seeker (off on a Githzerai meeting this week)
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue (off meeting shady characters this week)
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists (who was channeling Heskan the Dragonborn Paladin Premade)
Tim as DM

We pick up with our Heroes as they try and convince Duke Silvershield to rescind the Dueling laws. The Duke feigns having any influence with the Parliament of Peers to change the laws. The team decides that their next course of action is to intervene in as many duels as possible to teach the Patriars the lesson to not duel any more. After keeping this up for a few days, the lesson begins to take and the duels end.

With Dak and Kondrat off for the week, Nairue, Tarvor, and Dun spend time in the city gathering rumors and taking the pulse of the city. They catch wind of a brewing protest in Norchapel that intend to march to the High Hall and demand that the Outer City be recognized. The Heroes learn that the protest has been growing in size and that Ravengard has mobilized the Flaming Fist to intercept them at Baldur’s Gate to prevent them from entering the Upper City. Silvershield, on the other hand, has withdrawn all the Watch soldiers from the walls and near Baldur’s Gate in order to leave Ravengard solely responsible.

The team mixes in with the marching protesters and they get the feeling that most of them are unarmed and leaderless. The Heroes also notice that the crowd has a small group of armed agitators mixed in who are provoking them. They continue to march until they reach Baldur’s Gate and find it closed and hundreds of Flaming Fist soldiers blocking the street. Marshal Ravengard orders them to disperse and return home. A few people shout back but the crowd does not disperse. The team decides to covertly take out a few of the possible Guild agitators and to also talk Ravengard into holding off on any drastic action. They successfully defuse the situation and convince Ravengard to wait as the crowd slowly dissipates.Order of the stick comic

Impress by their actions, Ravengard reaches out to them the following day and asks them for their assistance in a sensitive and timely problem. The Heroes agree to help and Ravengard explains the son of a prominent merchant had been kidnapped and Ravengard hires them to retrieve the missing son. After following the kidnapper’s instructions and running through the city, with Tarvor getting a bit lost, Dun and Nairue finally reach the kidnapper’s hideout and find the boy tied between two halflings, a human thug, and a Flaming Fist soldier. Dun and Nairue deliver the ransom stall the exchange. This frustrates the kidnappers since they want the money and want to leave. As they try to exchange the gold for the boy, someone makes a dash for the boy, which causes the human to make a dash for the cash and the door. Dun kills the human as Tarvor finally catches up with everyone. Frustrated that they might not get their gold or their freedom, the kidnapper fight off the heroes and also try to kill the boy. The heroes finally manage to take the kidnappers down and before they are able to kill boy. They deliver the ransom, the boy, and the Flaming Fist soldier back to Ravengard.

Ravengard is shocked to find one of his troops involved in the kidnapping and offers the team 100 gp each for their silence. The team agrees to this if Ravengard also agrees to end his military tribunals. Ravengard quickly agrees then kills the soldier in front of them, upsetting Nairue.

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Rising Tensions
Fire, Sword, or Trial

Table 2
The Cast
Brain as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists
Tim as DM

The tensions continue to rise in Baldur’s Gate. The people in the Lower City treat the Heroes of the Wide with less enthusiasm as they continue to work for Silvershield in the Upper City. As they patrol the Upper City they notice signs around some of the shops of clean up vandalism and graffiti. During the off hours in the Lower City they also notice an increase of vandalism and graffiti. Slogans like, “Equality for All!” “Tear Down the Walls!” “Hang the Patriars!” “Burn Baldur’s Gate!” and “Extinguish the Flaming Fist!” cover the Lower City.

One night at the end of a pub crawl, they team finds a warehouse on fire. They help to put out the fire and then investigate and determine that the warehouse was empty and abandoned. The fire’s point of origin looks like it was started inside the warehouse. No signs of dragon’s dung, salt of yolk, or charcoal are found in the warehouse.

A few days later it is announced that the old dueling laws have been reinstated. These laws heavily favor the rich or the patriars who can afford better armor and weapons than their opponents. While on patrol in the Upper City they come upon a duel in progress between two patriars. First blood is shed and the dual ends.

An announcement is made Marshal Ravengard a few days later that due to the corruption and infiltration of the justice system by the Guild, he has created the Courts of the Flaming Fist. This impromptu military tribunal can convene anywhere, hear evidence, and pass judgment. The team witness a trail near the docks and the crowds seem to react positive to the judgment.

The team comes across another fire days later, this time the warehouse isn’t empty and goods are lost. After interrogating the owner, they look for signs of arson, dragon’s dung, charcoal, or salt of yolk. FireAlthough they do find evidence of arson, they do not find signs that dung, charcoal, or salt of yolk was stored in the warehouse. Reports of seeing children in the area makes the team believe that they might be involved. The team hires Pip to keep his eyes and ears open for more info on the fires.

Day pass with no tips from Pip, but the team does witness another Court of the Flaming Fist on their way to Little Calimshan. The case involves a thief of merchandise from a shop in the Lower City. The Officer declares him guilty and sentences the thief to have his finger tip cut off. The Heroes try to intervene. First Tarvor tries to talk the officer into a lighter sentence, but the officer isn’t swayed. Then Tarvor buys off the merchant to ask for leniency, but the officer still isn’t swayed. And Tarvor is out 20 gp. Dun then picks up the thief and considers running off with the thief. The officer calls for more troops and orders the Heroes to stand down. The team finally relinquishes the criminal and the punishment is carried out on the spot.

The team finally makes their way out to Little Calimshan to try and meet with Rilsa. When she meets them, she brings body guards and makes it clear that she doesn’t trust them. They’ve been working openly for Silvershield and she wants proof of their intention before working with them again. She also chides them for coming back to the Calim Jewel Emporium as she had told them in the past not to come back there in order to avoid attracting attention.

A few days later the team runs into another duel in the Lower City, this time between a patriar and Lower City resident, a young adult who is less equipped than the patriar. This time Dun steps in. He offers to fight the duel in place of the Lower City resident, has first blood drawn, and accepts the loss of the duel. Although the patriars are arrogant and rude, the heroes remain unprovoked into another fight.

Image 1The Heroes think another fire is due and they make arrangements to stake out the walls near the Upper City. Their work pays off and they catch early signs of something going down. They rush to the building and find street urchins giving warning signals before scattering into the streets. Tarvor, Nairue, and Kondrat give chase to the youths while Dak and Dun break into the building. Inside the building the find the arsonist prepping for a fire, but the surprise entrances of Dak and Dun cause him to start the fire as a distraction while he tries to get away. All the youths are captured and Dun gives chase to the one of the two arsonists while Dak attempts to put out the fire with kerosene. Dun tackles and breaks the leg of one of the arsonists while the other escapes. Kondrat goes into the building and runs upstairs to help the residents out of the building. Good thing since Dak tries to put out the fire with left over cooking oil. The building burns down, but the family and a very pretty daughter are grateful to Kondrat.

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The Calm Before the Storm
A soiree and sneak

Table 2
The Cast
Brain as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Jacob as Dun the Goliath Fighter
Tim as DM

After the news of the killing the Wererat in the sewer make the headline of The Baldur’s Mouth, things begin to look up for our Heroes. More people start to recognize them in he streets, venders give them food, and tavern patrons offer them drinks. It’s a good time to be a Hero. Or is it?

Rumors start to make their way to the streets about the political jockeying for the open Duke’s Seat. Traditionally this seat has been offered to someone with ties to the Lower City and to the Flaming Fist, normally the Marshall of the Flaming Fist. But the title of Duke has yet to be offered to Marshall Ravengard by the Parliament of Peers. A deeper probing by the team into their various contacts in the city reveal that Duke Silvershield is the largest controlling factor for the patriars. They also uncover the rumors that Wyllyck Caldwell, a lumber baron patriar, was being considered for the fourth seat, but Ravengard some how made Caldwell make public statements of his non interest in being a Duke. (The team rolled some high skill check numbers).

The days pass and the tensions in the city continue to rise as do incidents of graffiti, vandalism, Flaming Fist roughhousing, and forceful enforcement of the Sumptuary Laws. While walking the streets on day, the team comes across a small Flaming Fist patrol harassing a small group of laborers. They again try to deflect the hostility of the patrol unto themselves, but with less success that last time, but they avoid a fight with the patrol.

More days pass and the Upper City decides to react to the increase in civil disturbances by closing the city at 3 bells instead of at 6 bells. This forces merchants who sell, but don’t live in the Upper City, to close their carts/shops to leave early and loose revenue. It makes labors that live outside the Black Dragon Gate to leave work early, causing delays and pile ups on the docks. Silvershield offers the team 10 gp per day per person to patrol the Upper City with the Watch. The team accepts with the conditions of lodging and meals added as part of the deal.

A few days after their starting their new job, The Baldur’s Mouth announces that the vandals of the statues were quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced. All five of the vandals (no word on the missing one) were sentenced to one year of labor in the Upper City and fined 1,000 gp. Since no names are released, the team realizes that the labor sentence is more to protect the youths from angry mobs in the Lower City than any actual punishment. The team notices that their receptions in the Lower City are cooler, no shouts of greeting, no free food, nor free ale now that they’ve publicly sided with the Upper City.

In response to the early closure of the Upper City, the Harbor Master announces that there will be a rise in tariffs on fine goods shipped into the city that will go into effect shortly.

Amidst the tensions, the Heroes receive an invitation to a soiree at the residence of Coran. At the party Coran takes time to chat with the Heroes. He answers questions and offers them his services if needed. Before leaving them, Coran suggests that something odd is going on at the harbor, but he is unsure of the details and the party may learn something valuable.

The team makes their way to the Harbor Master’s office in the middle of the night. Due to the harassment of the Flaming Fist patrols, the area is more deserted than usual. They successfully sneak their way to and into the building without attracting any attention. A careful examination of the Harbor Manifest reveals that it is an old magical artifact. The team successfully disarms the magical ward and is able study the manifest was well as the paperwork around the office. Despite Kondrat’s failure to notice a patrol coming up near the office, the team successfully remains concealed and avoids detection. (Yet another successful skill check!)

Pouring over the manifest finally pays off as Nairue discovers shipping irregularities related to Felogyr’s Fireworks. For many years, Felogyr’s Fireworks has imported four identical shipments per year of dragon dung, salt of yolk, and charcoal. A couple of tendays ago, less than a month after the arrival of the most recent regular shipment at Felogyr’s, another consignment for five times the usual amount was received. Two similar shipments preceded it. The larger shipments were labeled, “Deliver to H. Kope, in care of Felogyr’s.”

The next day the team pays a visit to Felogyr’s and meets Avery Sonshal, owner and descendant of Felogyr. He is open and honest with the Heroes and answers all of their questions. He knows nothing about the additional shipments, but some one did buy out all his stock months ago and asked about his suppliers. He gives a vague description of a tall brown haired man and says that the man’s name was Horus Kope, or some similar name. Dak remembers the bowl the found in the Bloomridge district and shows it to Sonshal. Sonshal is perplexed as to why the bowl looks like an authentic copy of his ancestor’s bowl, but he assures them that all his bowls are accounted for. Sonshal says that the bowls are made to his exact specifications by a Rivington potter and that a month ago a man paid for that information. Sonshal describes that man as short with black hair. Sonshal is as confused by the bowl as the rest of the team (high rolls on their insight checks) and has no suggestions or ideas as to what it all means.

Unsure of what to do next or what all of this means, the Heroes follow Nairue as she makes the religious rounds and seeks information. A friendly cleric of Gond, a short friendly, balding man, Dmrecalls that the former Duke Adrian had some sort of connection with Bhaal, the deceased God of assassins. It was said that Bhaal, in preparation for his death and rebirth, spawned many children in his later years. After Bhaal’s death, these children fought each other to the death to collect the essence of Bhaal and resurrect him. It is said that it was in Baldur’s Gate that the last two fought, the winner being Abdel Adrian. But Adrian was a good man, kind and generous to all. It is believed that Adrian’s good spirit prevented Bhaal from being resurrected. There are rumors that a Cult of Bhaal remain in Baldur’s Gate in hopes of raising their master.

But that must be just rumors, right?

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Politics and Parties?!
The pen may be mightier, but the sword is more fun..

Table 1
The Cast:
Jarred as Quentin, the Bard wonder
Collin as Keira, the ever-flexible Swordmage
Hannah as Phelaia, Thief extraordinaire
Katie as The Badass Paladin
Umar as Link, the Not-Silent Warden

After stopping the framing and killing the Flaming Fist, the heroes take the personal effects of the judge and stop in his courtroom the next day. They confirm that he seems sympathetic to the Outer City and seems to unexpectedly lessen a sentence for a thief bearing a subtle Guild symbol they have seen before. They confront the judge privately in his chambers, returning the item and confirming his innocence. They question him about the Guild, the Cult of Bhaal, and Ravengard, but he is mostly unhelpful. He does mention that the Upper City vs Lower City leadership seem to be escalating their power struggle, furthering the strife and pain of the common citizens, citing a new policy by the Council of Four to extend the Upper City curfew several hours earlier, hurting Outer and Lower City merchants, and a retaliatory hike in the tariff on luxury goods passing through the Lower City docks (enacted by the Harbormaster and Ravengard) which is intended to enrage the patriars, but likely to have a side effect of negatively impacting the economy of the city.

The heroes go talk with the Harbormaster, who says it was Ravengard’s idea to retaliate this way, recognizing the tariff hike may be bad for the city, but refusing to drop it until the curfex extension is also lifted. During the conversation, Phelaia sneaks through the offices and finds a large book with an unusual magical seal in the back office. Quentin requests an audience with the Parliament of Peers to argue against the curfew, and while outside the parliament house the rest of the party incites a riot and brawl with the guards to further demonstrate how angry the common people are about the policies (which most were there to complain about anyway). During the audience, Quentin argues passionately and points out the riot as further evidence. The Parliament speaker agrees with his logic and says they will further consider it given their respect for the Heroes of the Wide and obvious will of the people. On the way out, a messenger from Coran stops the heroes and invites them to a party at his mansion that night, intended as a “last hurrah” before the tariff increase goes into effect and reduces supply of the delicacies they would otherwise enjoy.

Everyone shows up at the party that night, and spends time making allies among the patriars and generally hobnobbing and enjoying all the fine things available (and possibly some illicit ones?). Phelaia sneaks around grabbing whatever she can get her hands on to turn a profit, and after finding Coran’s “private” bedchamber, he shows up in the hallway. With a wink, he asks her to restrict her taking to the provided party favors rather than his personal collection, and also mentions that, besides his storing up of luxury goods, the heroes should check out “who else might be hoarding things in the city,” and the Harbormaster might be a good place to start. On the way out, he also offers to help them whenever he can with navigating the complex politics of the city, since he was a young poor adventurer himself at one time. Although, with some questioning he does not provide much directly helpful info and returns to the party.

Phelaia relates the information he gave privately, as well as the book she saw earlier in the Harbormaster’s office, and they decide not to waste any more time but go ahead and break in and check it out that night. They head over, the street is pretty much deserted outside his office but Phelaia breaks off her lockpick in the door. Keira impatiently just kicks the door open and everyone heads inside. He sees the strong protective seal on the book and is able to disable it, but upon picking up and opening the book he realizes there was another magical seal on the table underneath, which has now been broken! No alarm is sounded, but several magical constructs of fire emerge from the seal and begin attacking the party. The others run in from outside and everyone engages.

Fortunately, with strong teamwork and multiple well armored heroes who can keep the constructs distracted, they are able to defeat them fairly quickly. They seem to be a simple magical defense without strong thought or teamwork, so the heroes make short work of them with several heavy blows. Once they are defeated, the magic is spent. The book turns out to be a ledger with records into the distant past of everything that has come in and out of the harbor. It is an overwhelming amount of information, but Keira, The Badass Paladin and Quentin spend some time reading through it and working together to assemble clues to anything unusual. They find that a company called Felogyr’s Fireworks has a history of ordering one annual shipment of smokepowder ingredients [DM Note: read as “gunpowder”, e.g. stuff to make bombs]. But a few weeks ago, after the normal year’s shipment arrived, a second shipment with four times as much ingredients was delivered under the same company. No one else in the city has a history of ordering smokepowder (and, as a controlled substance, it requires a license) so this is very unusual. But what would someone do with that much smokepowder?

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Be'were the Rats!
It's a stinking job, but someone has to do it.

Table 2
The Cast
Pat as Tarvor the Psionicists
Brain as Dak the Githzerai Seeker
Scott as Kondrat the Rogue
Cooper as Nairue the Eladrin Templar
Tim as DM

Days pass with no word from Rilsa, perhaps she is upset at being double crossed by the Heroes. A sanitation strike starts and the days go by and the city gets filthy. A week goes by when Silvershield and Ravengard both send invitations to meet. Team decides to skip Ravengard. Silvershield gives them gold and tells them to take care of the union problem. After asking around, the team makes their way to the Nightsoil Guild Hall. After a few questions and a bit of threats to the guild leader, the team leaves unsuccessful in ending the strike.

PipThe days quickly pass and the strike gets worse, more garage piles up, and news of rat attacks start to appear. Silvershield send them a note demanding they take care of the situation. The team hires Pip, their favorite lamp lad, to take them around the lower city at night in hopes of finding the cause of the rat attacks. (Insert retcon) The team starts to patrol areas likely to get attacked or have been a place of attack. One night while patrolling Bloomridge, Tarvor spots a broken ceramic bowl on a trash heap that has the letters, “F E L O G Y R / B G” scratched into the bottom of the bowl. It is stained with residue that smells of sulfur and smoke. Tarvor recognizes it as likely used to make smoke powder. (End retcon). A few nights later while they’re patrolling the city, they see someone suspicious up ahead. They decide to drop the light and try to make a quick sneak/ambush on the person, but they all lack lowlight vision and lack stealth.

A chase ensues (a short skill challenge) and Nairue is useless (fails check twice), but Dak appears out of nowhere, jumping across roofs and spots the guy going into the sewer. The team dismisses Pip and enters the sewer as they debate what to do next. They realize that they have no reason to attack this guy. The stranger yells at them, “Leave me alone!” They yell back, “Why did you run away?” He yells back, “Why did you chase me?” Good point. The Heroes pauses to consider their next move. “Why did you come into the sewer?” they ask. “I’m safe here,” he yells back. They’re still standing in a dark sewer tunnel entrance. Nairue moves further into the sewer, “Stand where you are!” yells the stranger, letting the team know he sees better than they can right now. The team continues to discuss their course of action.

Nairue busts out a sunrod and the Heroes move closer, Kondrat jumps into the sewer and wades across, boy does it stink. The stranger plays a fife and rats swarms around the Heroes. Rat swarm by jayodjick(I took notes for an escalation of sewer conditions which would grant CA for the creatures as well as change the sewage movement conditions, but I forgot to use them.) The Heroes notice that the stranger’s wounds heal a bit over time, Tarvor suspects the stranager is a wererat (I put the rats too far away from ratboy and I didn’t get a chance to change him to wererat form. I need to get better at DM combat.) Everyone gets rat bites, except Tarvor who has a pair of super sturdy, knee high, leather boots.

After defeating the rats and capturing the wererat, the team questions the wererat. They bind him and take his money and fife. He curses them and isn’t intimidated by them. Dak returns his share of the money back they stole from ratboy. This improves the situation and the wererat is more talkative and admits to being paid. He promises to leave town and give up his employer if they return his money. The team returns the rest of his money. (I had Pat rolling 1d6 every few minutes and was giving that many hit points back to wererat boy.)Wererat by satibalzane d595emq

After getting his money, the wererat rolls on his employer; the head of the Nightsoil Guild! Kondrat says thank you, then stabs the bound wererat, killing him in one blow. Just to be certain, he cuts off the head and dumps the body in the sewer. The smell is overwhelming and team must do an Endurance check. Kondrat fails and barfs all over himself.

The team delivers the head to the Watch Citadel and leaves a note for Silvershield that the attacks should end. The next day they go back to the Nightsoil Guild hall and intimidate the guild leader into going back to work or they would reveal who hired the wererat. This time the guild leader complies and the Guild goes back to work.

On the way back into town Nairue expresses her displeasure at how the wererat was killed. Kondrat explains how they had to kill him before he changed form. Nairue clarifies that she wasn’t opposed to the killing, just how the body was handled afterwards since she is a Priestess. The Heroes promise to treat the bodies of any future kills with more dignity.

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