This week saw the lowest turn-out since this season began, primarily due to a rather major convention (PAX) being run down in Melbourne, as well as illnesses afflicting several players. We had only 25 players – I expect numbers to rebound next week significantly.
My own table continued to accompany the caravan north towards Waterdeep. I’ve cut out a lot of the intervening space – well, skipped over it – so they were reaching the end of their journey. As we progress through the adventure, I’m getting more comfortable with role-playing the characters. Janma Gleamsilver, the gnome who joined them a couple of sessions ago, is forming a good relationship with both Vanilla (Danielle) and Mordechai (Josh). She began the session by joining them for breakfast, and saving them from a dangerous trap that had been added to Vanilla’s food – a bone ring that would uncurl and perforate her insides if eaten. Janma asked to meet the characters that evening, leaving them with their breakfast.
Mordechai gave his bowl of porridge to one of the cultists, who was later seen pouring it into the fire, making the players even more paranoid.
That night, Janma revealed that they were on the same side; she’d also been sent to deal with the cultists. What she really needed was to discover what they were carrying and where they were going. Adran (Lewis) used his magic to send a squirrel in to check the cultists’ wagons, who returned with the news that there were a lot of barrels holding wool – probably to protect the valuables. They informed Janma of this, and she was grateful for the knowledge, although she also really wanted to know where the cultists were going.
Phosphorous (Paul) and Adran, both employed by the cultists, spent a large part of the next day’s travel trying to talk to the woollen-hatted human who was travelling with Cultist Bob, but they had no luck there. Phosphorous was able to get more information from Cultist Bob; he’d get instructions from their leader once in Waterdeep. Phosphorous tried to persuade Cultist Bob to take Adran and him along, but Cultist Bob did not seem amenable to that idea.
The weather turned foul that day, and the group were extremely happy to reach an inn at the end of the day’s travel. They were less happy to discover that the inn was booked out by a quartet of nobles. The group provoked a fight, and discovered that the nobles had superior weapon skills, but eventually were able to subdue them; two were killed, the others captured. The innkeeper was aghast by what had happened, but wisely was silent.
Further investigation revealed odd items on the nobles – disguise kits, extra signet rings and a poisoner’s kit. Interrogation revealed that the “nobles” were, in fact, assassins. The group wasted little time in persuading Cultist Bob that the assassins had been responsible for the death of the cultists last session (they’d tried to kill Vanilla, only to be killed themselves and their bodies hidden). Cultist Bob then killed the two remaining assassins. The party was relieved; they had been quite disconcerted by the threats the assassins had made against them, especially those that pointed out that the Assassin’s Guild in Waterdeep would come after them… and they had the magic to find them!
A couple of days later, Vanilla found herself accused of murder! It seemed that another of the cultists had been killed, although who did it was unknown. Danielle came up with the defence that she was “a murderer, not the murderer”, which amused us all greatly. The wagon master was less than amused at the incident, but as there was no proof that Vanilla had did it, the cultists were not allowed to kill her. Tensions were running high as the caravan finally reached Waterdeep.
With the arrival in Waterdeep, the merchants had reached their destinations. The players were thanked and paid, and were now ready to plan their next moves. We’ll likely spend a bit of time role-playing in Waterdeep next session, but after that they’ll attempt to follow the cultists further north. What awaits them there?